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December 14, 2011

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Connie @ Marinatingonline

I am looking forward to trying this recipe over the holidays. My husband loves clam chowder and this recipe looks perfect for him. Me too. Always sad to hear of restaurants closing.

john

Ms Glaze,Your elan and graciousness are exceedingly becoming and demonstrate your solidness as a refined and humane person. It is a pity that such qualities are not more widely shared by others who have the opportunity, but not the character to do the same. Merry Christmas! And God Bless Tiny Tim! John

Ms. Glaze

Connie! It looks like I left out a main ingredient – cream! I put it back in, but if you've printed out the recipe already, I hope you catch this!

John – Thank you. I have been feeling quite humane as of late ;-) Merry Christmas to you too! And please sir, can I have some more!?!?!

Sam

Why did you leave Citizen Cake? You were very excited when you started, but you suddenly disappeared for a while and kind of left that part out. Sorry if it is a sore subject, just curious. :)

Ms. Glaze

Nope, not a sore subject at all. It was time to go. The reason why it closed as Elizabeth talks about in the SF Chronicle article were present from day one. She opened the doors with a BIG financial set back. And hard work and dedication can't always make up for lack of the good ol' fashioned green stuff.

I think we were hoping that the good name of the restaurant would carry on. And it did, but there just wasn't as many people to serve at the new location. Pastry sales were nothing like before. My food numbers were good but we needed more.

The food received good reviews on yelp and in the papers but floor management shifted quite a few times and I'm not sure if it ever found it's feet so to speak. I worked with some great professional servers so why the reviews were up and down is beyond.

I was ridiculously busy during that time working 12 to 14 hour days 6-7 days a week with a small team. I barely had the time to write about how much fun (and by fun I mean total crazy hard work) it was to open a restaurant from scratch. Non stop adrenaline. Sleep? – a waste of time! I would do it again in a heartbeat. What a rush to feel like you're part of something bigger than yourself!

What is sad, is that Citizen Cake meant a lot of good memories to a lot of San Franciscans. I can even remember the first meal I had at the last location about ten years ago! And I think everyone will miss Elizabeth's great pastries. I know I will.

wattacetti

So after reading all of this, I'm just going to be just a touch indelicate and simply ask if any of the late CC3.0's menu was *not* created by you. I'm not talking about the current ice cream and eats menu, I'm talking about the one earlier in the year that actually had plates.

The hiramasa was you, the poussin was you, the stroganoff was you… I'm thinking the heart anticucho wasn't you given that you're not all that big on Peruvian grill classics, but that might have been it.

The menus you put out at those three eateries are definitely something to be proud of. Top notch work that highlighted your Michelin background, and those who got to eat at those places should realize how lucky they were.

Now I need to find me some clams; I've already got some light cream (the carton says it's only 40%).

Ms. Glaze

Elizabeth trusted me to do good food. She saw that I had a feminine style that counterpointed her robust flare and she scooped me out of Circa to open Citizen Cake. We loved cooking and collaborating together. And she is a creative powerhouse.

Sometimes she would get an idea and say something like: Let's put Stroganoff on the menu! And then I would set about creating the dish in a way that I felt represented Citizen Cake. She would taste it and say: That's exactly what I wanted. And I would respond: Yup, I know. Because I did know. It was just one of those relationships where you get it instinctively.

And, by the way, that was the most popular dish on the menu along with the Clam chowder. And what a pain it was! Oh my goodness! My hands would turn numb cleaning beef cheeks for hours while dulling all my knives and then the stress of hoping my purveyors would even have enough supply from week to week.

I think the dinner menu represented my style of cooking and the places I have trained but was very much Elizabeth's vision of Citizen Cake.3. The lunch menu consisted of classics from CC.2. And the pastry I had nothing to do with and sadly the pastry kitchen (because I love the smell of freshly baked anything) was at Orson. I'm pretty sure I survived the opening on cupcakes.

I see there is a chapter in the story that I missed. I wish I had had more time to write about my experience at CC.3. There is nothing in the world like opening a restaurant. Total complete burnout. But, what a neat experience.


Ms. Glaze

By the way people: DO NOT SUBSTITUTE THE CREAM FOR MILK OR HALF N' HALF IT WILL CURDLE!

I know this first hand because one afternoon with a lot of soup orders on the board I kept curdling the broth and throwing it out and curdling it again. As it turned out our new dairy purveyor had half n' half in the same color cartons as our cream and I kept reaching for it thinking it was the heavy stuff.

Use heavy whipping cream or manufacturing cream. A little goes a long way...

Stu Harris

I was always taught that you don't continue cooking a dish once heavy cream is added, or it will inevitably separate. Is that rubbish now?

It seems that the basic recipe could easily be adapted for a tagliatelli sauce -- vongole on steroids. Do you think that would work?

Ms. Glaze

Stu! You can reduce cream. It will get thicker and it shouldn't separate on you unless you're turning a gallon into a teaspoon. Having said that I tend to simmer it (strong simmer) as opposed to rolling boil. Half n' half and milk not so much. I think you could adapt this no problem for a pasta dish. Sounds delicious!

rc helicopter

Impressive blog! -Arron

Alexander

This is a great read ! Really enjoy all your blog posts!

Stu Harris

I used this recipe as the centrepiece of the New Years Eve dinner and everyone luuuuurved it. I used manillas instead of little necks, because that's what we all like, so parboiled the potatoes first. I substituted celeriac for the celery and fennel, that worked fine. So thanks very much for it and HNY.

Ms. Glaze

Stu! Happy New Years to you too!!! I'm happy it worked for you and parboiling the potatoes is a good call. That's what we do in the restaurant, but when I make it at home I don't bother. Love the celeriac addition...

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