- Some chefs' successes are measured by the esteem of the restaurants they've worked in. Others, like Sara Moulton, can be gauged by the number of hours they've spent on television teaching people like you and me how to cook.
Having logged thousands of hours on TV over the last five decades in places such as the Food Network, public television and ABC's 'Good Morning America', Moulton, a protegee of Julia Child, has sharpened her skills in front of the American public with her everyday family recipes.
When she's not busy writing cookbooks (or recipes for her iPhone app), she's taking the time to do things like this -- sharing her five favorite restaurants with us:
- Le Bernardin - New York, NY - "The fish is ridiculously fresh and Eric Ripert is wildly creative with the menu. His dishes are so simple and mostly very light and incorporate ingredients from around the world. I don't know how he keeps coming up with all these new ideas. And the service is impeccable -- you feel like you are in a 3-star restaurant in France, but without the pomp."
- Slanted Door - San Francisco, CA - "Whenever I am in San Francisco, I make it a point to go sit at the bar and order several little dishes. The food, billed as "Modern Vietnamese," is consistently exciting and well prepared. I have a very hard time narrowing down what I am going to eat."
- Boulevard - San Francisco, CA - "This is my special occasion place in San Francisco and I am never disappointed. I love Nancy Oakes' gutsy, mostly Mediterranean, dishes, based on many layers of flavor and impeccably fresh ingredients sourced from Northern California. I try to get a table near the water so I can look out at San Francisco Bay."
- El Camino - Brunswick, Maine - "Full disclosure -- my second cousins own this place and one of them is the chef. It is a kitschy little place in Brunswick, Maine, with fantastic fresh Mexican food (most of the ingredients are sourced from local farmers) and GQ award-winning margaritas -- all served in a charming, highly decorated little spot. The place is always packed so I'm glad I know the owners."
- Lake Austin Spa Resort - Austin, TX - "I teach here several times a year and spend a few days on the premises each time. It is so nice to be able to eat food this good, and know that I am not packing in the calories. The chef is French, but the food is a mix of Southwestern and international. Many of the ingredients used in the recipes are harvested right from the garden outside. I love the variety of herbs that make their way into the dishes."
Want more Sara? Visit her website or follow her on Twitter.