4 Must-Have Cookbooks From Local SF Chefs

San Francisco has long been a gastronomical mecca for food-lovers, hosting a little bit of everything from humble local dives to Michelin-starred dining experiences. However, in the new era of social-distancing, we’ve all been testing the waters of kitchen experimentation. But developing a habit of cooking at home doesn’t have to mean sacrificing the best flavors that SF has to offer. So for each and every difficulty level, here are four essential cookbooks from local SF legends that should grace your kitchen counter. 

Image Credit: Goran Kosanovic/For The Washington Post

1. The Zuni Café Cookbook – Judy Rogers 


Over forty years ago, Zuni Café opened its doors on Market Street and has been one of the Bay’s most beloved bistros ever since. Long helmed by the late Judy Rogers, Zuni is known for its rustic take on local, seasonal dishes. Within the bounds of its earthy covers, you’ll find recipes for Zuni’s iconic roast chicken with bread salad and addicting ricotta gnocchi. Perhaps the most invaluable gift Rogers imparts — aside from her famous recipes — is a meticulous attention to technique and her admirable philosophy on from-scratch cooking. Written by Rogers herself and edited by Maria Guarnaschelli, this is a timeless tome of what defines quintessential California-inspired cooking from one of SF’s most beloved chefs. It’s currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and at Zuni Café itself!

Image Credit: Google Books

2. Atelier Crenn: Metamorphosis of Taste – Dominique Crenn & Karen Leibowitz


Atelier Crenn will probably be one of the most elegant publications to grace your coffee table. But don’t be deceived by it’s decorative minimalism — it’s much more than just an accent to tie your sitting room together. Beyond its gorgeous cover lies the ample wisdom of the only female American chef to earn three Michelin stars. Crenn brought a taste of her native France to San Francisco’s culinary scene, and every recipe detailed in Atelier Crenn is deeply personal. The central philosophy of this cookbook is the idea of poetic culinaria — “food that delights the palette as poetry delights the ear.” And her cookbook reads like poetry. One chapter, simply titled “The Sea” introduces her squid ink meringue recipe with Crenn’s childhood memories of her mother preparing shellfish. While the recipes are well-explained, they are much more advanced than the average family dinner, so beginner chefs — be wary! The book is currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, and Bookshop.

Image Credit: Amazon product imagery

3. Eat Something – Evan Bloom & Rachel Levin 


A lighthearted take on comfort food with a slice of humor, Eat Something is the highly-anticipated cookbook from Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen, the Mission District’s long-cherished joint for deli fare. Wise Sons take on food has what they describe as a “Bay Area ethos,” as traditional Jewish fare is remixed with a Californian take. In addition to recipes for braided challah and “Morning After Matzoquiles,” the voice of Evan Bloom really highlights that what lies behind SF’s bagel scene is a rich family culture — the cookbook recounts everything from sibling quarrels to bar mitzvahs. With essays titled “Confessions of a First-Time Seder Host” and “Iconic Chinese Restaurants, As Chosen by the Chosen People,” why wouldn’t this title be on your must-have list? If you need any more convincing to pick this charming celebration of Jewish culture up, just take the advice of the book’s subtitle: “A Wise Sons Cookbook for Jews Who Like Food and Food Lovers Who Like Jews.” It’s currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chronicle Books, and Bookshop.

4. Vietnamese Home Cooking – Charles Phan 

Beginner – Intermediate

From the chef of The Ferry Building’s legendary Slanted Door restaurant, this cookbook strikes at the core essence of what Vietnamese cooking is all about: ingredient-driven flavors, fresh and robust aromas, and a balance of savory and sweet. While Phan’s second cookbook covers more of his restaurant’s highly modern cuisine, this debut cookbook focuses less on his signature fusion style and instead introduces an unfamiliar audience to a no-frills Vietnamese food philosophy. And true to Phan’s ethnically Chinese immigrant roots, there are plenty of recipes from daikon cakes to pickled cucumber that pay homage to the closely intertwined heritages of China and Vietnam. For those looking to explore the pure flavors of Phan’s cooking, this cookbook has detailed instructions and also includes highly-prized advice on choosing a wok as well. It’s currently available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Penguin Random House

Meet Residence 42C: 3-Bedroom Set to Bay Bridge & Marina Views

From The Harrison’s remaining available residences comes 42C, a stunning three-bedroom home framed by picturesque Bay Bridge and marina views. Set high above the city, yet moments from San Francisco’s most sought-after restaurants, shops and local attractions, this residence brings to fruition a deluxe lifestyle marked by five-star amenities, 24/7 concierge service and inimitable details selected by renowned designer Ken Fulk.

The bright, airy floor plan commences in the expansive foyer, ideal for the avid art collector, where two of the home’s bedrooms lie to the left—one of which boasts an en suite bath and walk-in closet. Framed by floor-to-ceiling windows, each retreat revels in stunning Bay Bridge views and a wealth of natural light. The foyer flows onward into the home’s state-of-the-art kitchen, living room and dining room. Embraced by glass, this expansive and open space captivates from sunrise to sundown with far-reaching views of the Bay Bridge and marina just beyond. Here, one can also access the home’s balcony, which serves as the ideal spot to unwind and revel in unobstructed vistas.

Past the kitchen is the home’s master suite, featuring a deluxe bathroom with porcelain Herringbone floors, custom unlacquered Waterworks brass fixtures, casted-glass wall sconces and beautiful Carrara marble countertops. Sophisticated in setting yet casual in layout, this residence presents a unique opportunity to escape the hustle of urban living and dwell both comfortably and beautifully.

Learn more about The Harrison’s residences, explore the neighborhood or inquire about this particular floor plan.

6 Weekend Road Trip Destinations Within About 3 Hours of The Harrison

Itching to get out of the city and immerse yourself in nature for a few days? Pack a bag or load up your camping gear and hit the road to one of these stunning locales for the weekend.

1–2 Hours Away

1. Half Moon Bay

About a 45-minute drive from San Francisco, the quaint beach town of Half Moon Bay could easily be a day trip, but we recommend an overnight stay to take in the sunrise and sunset over the water. Pitch a tent and camp overlooking the sand at Francis Beach Campground or enjoy the comforts of home at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay. While you’re there, be sure to consider a seaside horseback riding tour via Sea Horse Ranch.

2. Napa Valley

Wine country is about an hour away—with some of the world’s best wine and food waiting for you. Book a multi-night stay at a hotel or bed & breakfast to experience as much of the Napa Valley as possible. No formal wine tastings or tours necessary to enjoy the comforts and delights of wine country.

3. Santa Cruz County

Though famous for its boardwalk, Santa Cruz is much more than a summertime tourist destination. The coastal county is home to expansive redwood forests by way of Big Basin Redwoods State Park, which is great for day hikes or overnight camping. It’s also home to quirky artisan shops by way of charming Capitola. It’s a surfer’s paradise by way of Pleasure Point. Plan for a 1.5-to-2-hour drive.

2–3 Hours Away

4. Carmel-by-the-Sea

As far as idyllic beach towns go, Carmel-by-the-Sea tops many lists. About two hours from San Francisco, you’ll find soft white sand on secluded beaches, eclectic art viewing, boutique shopping, wine tasting, and more. Don’t miss a chance to visit Point Lobos State Natural Reserve—for hiking, picnicking, or artistic inspiration—during your trip.

5. Big Sur 

Hugging Pacific Coast Highway a couple hours south lies the rugged and lush city of Big Sur. Not to be missed: the iconic Bixby Creek Bridge (most recently featured in the intro to HBO’s Big Little Lies series), the beach-adjacent McWay Falls waterfall, and Pfeiffer Beach for sunset viewing. We recommend making your weekend getaway a backpacking trip to take in all the wildlife, stunning vistas, and challenging trails.

6. Yosemite

Head east for about three hours, and you’ll wind up in one of the most beautiful, wondrous settings in the state of California. The 1,200-square-mile Yosemite National Park is on many a bucket list, but San Francisco residents are close enough to visit nearly as often as you’d like—and you’d still discover something new every time. Consider tent camping, in-park lodging, or vacation rentals and explore the park high and low.

Note: Reservations are currently required to visit the park, so make sure to plan ahead. Some hiking and climbing trails/ventures require permits.

Meet Residence 40C: Two-Bedroom Overlooking the Bay Bridge

From The Harrison’s remaining available residences comes this two-bedroom retreat with an expansive floor plan to complement impressive Bay Bridge and city views. Featuring diagonal-planked Siberian Oak floors, polished white slab Carrara marble countertops and unlacquered Waterworks brass fixtures, this residence is the quintessence of high-end interiors framed by unrivaled vistas. Set high above the city, yet moments from San Francisco’s most sought-after restaurants, shops and local attractions, this home brings to fruition an idyllic life marked by five-star amenities, 24/7 concierge service and inimitable details selected by renowned designer Ken Fulk.

2 Bedroom Floorplan

The entry foyer leads into a hallway, featuring generous closet space, and draws one into the expansive living and dining room. Set to stunning Bay Bridge views by virtue of floor-to-ceiling windows, this extensive space is ideal for both prime relaxation or entertaining. Adjoining the dining area is a 62-square-foot balcony, where one can revel in far-reaching city views.


Adjoining the living and dining room is the the state-of-the-art kitchen. Complete with custom Studio Becker Ash Molina cabinetry, polished Carrara marble counters and Bertazzoni and Subzero appliances, all while framed by Bay Bridge views just beyond, the kitchen is an epicure’s ultimate domain.


Onward from the kitchen, the home’s two bedrooms captivate, each with their own city views. The first is ideal for guests or a den to realize one’s creative ambitions. The master suite, however, is an unyielding retreat for any homeowner. Offering plenty of closet space and an ensuite bath, where porcelain Herringbone floors, unlacquered Waterworks brass fixtures and beautiful Carrara marble countertops and subway tiles bring to life one’s spa-like reveries, the master suite is a true urban sanctuary.

Here, luxurious high-rise living within a supreme San Francisco locale is both redefined and made simple. Learn more about The Harrison’s residences, explore the neighborhood or schedule a private tour of Residence 40C by calling 415.721.7788 or inquiring here.