Catherine Nash

I grew up in the South where it was common for a meal to include more platters of food than people. I survived on a childhood of sausage biscuits, fried chicken, fried clams, ham rolls, shrimp cocktail, pickled peaches, homemade ice cream, and lemon tarts, and I thought that getting your tomatoes from a paper bag your neighbor left on the doorstep or knowing the name of your favorite corn was normal (Silver Queen was mine). Now I'm a San Francisco-based freelance food writer who's been published in Olive magazine, Best Food Writing, the Oakland Tribune, The Onion, Northside San Francisco and other local publications. As most of my attempts to reproduce childhood favorites in my own kitchen have ended in crushing disappointment, I eat out four to five times a week and cook healthy meals when I'm at home.

Ghirardelli Square: A Love Story

One of my favorite things to do is go to Ghirardelli Square for ice cream. I’m sure most of the locals just blanched at that sentence. The food snobs are horrified that I’d be common enough to let such “plebeian” ice cream pass my lips, and the regular snobs can’t see hobnobbing with the tourists. … Continue reading Ghirardelli Square: A Love Story →

Move Over, Pierre Hermé!

Rose, lavender, and vanilla bean macaroons I didn’t like macaroons until I met Danielle Chong. She’s the founder of Macarune, a one-woman baking operation, and macaroons are the specialty of the house. A co-worker introduced me to Macarune’s light as air creations, and even through the deadened fog of a headcold, I could taste the … Continue reading Move Over, Pierre Hermé! →

Sens Opens its Doors

On Monday, Sens opened to the public. It’s located in the old Monte Cristo Cafe space at the tippy-top of a curiously exhilarating spiral staircase at Embarcadero Center 4. It’s an odd place for a restaurant, but the cityviews from its windows — of the Ferry Building, beautifully lit at night, and the Bay Bridge … Continue reading Sens Opens its Doors →

Mexico DF

Despite the proliferation of excellent burritos and taco trucks worth chasing down, it’s hard to find a decent sit-down Mexican place in San Francisco. While Mexico DF isn’t quite perfect, it’s good enough to overlook the flaws and welcome its addition to the city’s restaurants. They say you never get a second chance to make … Continue reading Mexico DF →

A Moving Feast

I flew to North Carolina last week for my grandmother’s funeral. She was 87 and she couldn’t do anything for herself by the time she died. A woman named Tonya would come by the house every day, and later the nursing home, and feed her and bathe her and turn on Andy Griffith for her … Continue reading A Moving Feast →

The Candy Store

The Candy Store has but one decoration: candy. Despite its white walls, this tiny sugar-laden Russian Hill boutique is a veritable rainbow of color — giant yellow swirly lollipops, chocolate bars in vintage wrappers, shelves stacked with jar after jar of vivid red and green gummy cherries, hard candy in pastel wrappers, and champagne gumdrops. … Continue reading The Candy Store →

Oh Where, Oh Where to Take Visitors to Eat?

When I was in college, my roommate introduced me to Kierkegaard’s theory of the despair of infinitude. It was complicated in an existential sort of way, but over the years, I’ve adopted a variation on the term — the despair of infinity — to refer to the overwhelming sensation I feel when faced with too … Continue reading Oh Where, Oh Where to Take Visitors to Eat? →

Does Spruce Make the Bay Area’s Best Burger?

A provocative question, especially for a food-loving town in a beef-righteous nation. It’s a question that I can’t even answer, really, not having sampled every burger in the Bay Area, or even the smaller list of San Francisco cult favorites. But one thing I can tell you is that the burger at the newly opened … Continue reading Does Spruce Make the Bay Area’s Best Burger? →

We Love Jam!

Earlier this year, I read about a jam made by two guys from an apricot tree in their backyard. It was seriously small-batch — think 100 jars a year — and the only way to get it was to sign up for the waiting list. “A waiting list, for jam?” I thought to myself. “That’s … Continue reading We Love Jam! →

Beach Blanket Picnics

I grew up at the beach. While other kids were making do with garden hoses and sprinklers, I was cooling off in the salty waters of the Atlantic, whose surface shimmied a mere 15 minute drive from my house in suburban Virginia. I had my first swimming lesson when I was 10 months old, and … Continue reading Beach Blanket Picnics →


When a new restaurant opens, it’s hard to know ahead of time how things will turn out. Some places get a lot of buzz but never live up to it, others turn out fabulous food but can’t make ends meet. Some places are packed night after night, even if the food isn’t anything to scream … Continue reading Luh-Luh-Luh-Laiola →

Blue Cheese and Chocolate

When I arrived at the San Francisco Chocolate Salon, I made a beeline for the Poco Dolce booth. Besides being madly in love with their salt-sprinkled burnt caramel and chocolate tiles, I wanted to say hi to chocolatier Kathy Wiley and her peeps since I’d recently written them up in Edible San Francisco. As I … Continue reading Blue Cheese and Chocolate →

My Nua Favorite Restaurant

I have a love/hate relationship with wine bars. On the one hand, I love a good one. Give me a glass of something silky and bold, a plate of nibbles, and a comfy seat where I don’t have to read lips to hold a conversation, and I’m as happy as a paparazzo outside the LA … Continue reading My Nua Favorite Restaurant →

Pimientos de Padron

From the world of food writing, only a scant cup’s worth of articles slip into my unconscious and remain there year after year. Sometimes they’re so indelibly imprinted that I need no reminding they are there; it still smarts to think about Daniel Patterson’s declaration in the New York Times that culinary creativity was all … Continue reading Pimientos de Padron →