Chef Chandler Diehl is late to the restaurant, but it’s not his fault.
Like Piccino chefs before him, his day has started with a trip to the farmers market to purchase ingredients for the day’s menu. That’s the way it rolls at Piccino -- almost all ingredients (around 98% according to Chandler) are procured locally and the same day they grace someone’s plate. And almost all of it comes from local farmers with whom the restaurant has built personal relationships since opening in 2006. Chandler’s trip that morning was simply carrying on a decade-long tradition.
Chandler is no stranger to the farm to table concept. While at Piccino less than a year, he’s worked for several years at various restaurants in San Diego and Napa Valley that purchase from local farms. He particularly enjoys the relationships he builds with producers and experimenting with the fresh ingredients they send his way. “The variety and volume of ingredients available year-round in the San Francisco Bay Area are a chef’s dream,” according to Chandler, who is originally from Los Angeles and trained at the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) Greystone in Napa Valley.
Chandler is excited to represent Piccino at Grazing at the Kitchen Table. He finds it inspiring to be part of a community of likeminded people who are just as passionate as Piccino is about fresh food and celebrating the farmers who are so crucial to the entire food system. “Grazing at the Kitchen Table is more than another charity event -- it’s much deeper,” he says.
In celebration of the season’s bounty, Chandler is planning a simple but flavorful dish to present at Grazing at the Kitchen Table. He is currently envisioning a mix of shelling beans topped with an heirloom tomato purée, bread crumbs, and cheese (as with many dishes; however, this is based on the quality and availability of local ingredients).
When asked to share about his favorite dish on Piccino’s menu at the moment, there was no hesitation in his response. “The braised octopus. It’s responsibly caught, served with marbled potatoes, preserved lemons, paprika, and cilantro.”
To follow up on Chandler’s menu recommendation, visit Piccino in its charming little corner of Dogpatch, and, of course, check out their offerings at Grazing at the Kitchen Table, where Chandler will be joined by Piccino pastry chef Daniel Saravia.
Grazing at the Kitchen Table takes place from 6.30pm to 9.30pm on Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Dogpatch WineWorks in San Francisco. Tickets are on sale now--don't wait to reserve your seat! Follow #GrazeAndGive2016 for updates.