Hungry Onion Drooling Q&A with Joyce Goldstein (Jan 6, 2017, 3pm PT)

Q&A with Joyce Goldstein

Jan 6, 2017 3pm PT

For twelve years Joyce was Chef and Owner of the ground-breaking Mediterranean Restaurant, Square One, in San Francisco. Her menu presented the foods of Italy, Spain, France, Greece, Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa. Square One won numerous prestigious industry awards for food, wine and service. She also ran the very successful Caffe Quadro which served pizza and sandwiches next door to her flagship Square One.

Joyce is a prolific cookbook author. Many of her books have won industry awards. Her newest book is The New Mediterranean Jewish Table: Old World Recipes for the Modern Home. She’s also the author of Inside the California Food Revolution: Thirty Years That Changed Our Culinary Consciousness. She also writes for many magazines such as Fine Cooking, Cooking Light, Wine & Spirits, and Food & Wine, Vegetarian Times, and the Sommelier Journal. She currently contributes wine and food pairing columns for the San Francisco Chronicle.

Joyce was founder and director of the California Street Cooking School, San Francisco’s first international cooking school and taught kitchen design for the University of California’s Department of Architecture. Joyce was elected to Who’s Who in Food in 1985. She was voted San Francisco FOCUS magazine’s Chef of the Year in 1992. She received the James Beard Award for Best Chef in California for 1993 and in 2005 was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women Chefs and Restaurateurs.

Joyce is currently a consultant to the restaurant and food industries, Joyce’s areas of expertise are recipe development, menu design, and staff training. She improves existing recipes, adds new ones to complement the menu and works with culinary staff to refine flavors and execution.


Hungry Onion Drooling Q&A is a place where you can interact with your favorite cookbook authors, food critics and chefs and ask them in-depth and thought-provoking questions about their areas of expertise. It is a great venue that lets us explore the interviewees’ thought processes, how they approach their professional work, and what drives their passion.

Got a question for Joyce? Click ‘Reply’ and ask! Joyce will join us on Jan 6, 2017, 3pm PT.

Don’t forget to also check out our great Q&A lineup as well as our community members’ knowledgeable discussions on restaurant recommendations and cooking techniques!


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I’ve just picked up a copy of “The New Mediterranean Jewish Table” and am in admiration of it’s breadth–the Sephardim, Mahgreb, and Mizrahi. And I really appreciate the inclusion of a bibliography and the stories of where the recipes were obtained. There are so many preparations to choose from for each dish–do you have any inclination towards one of these styles?

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I think a lot of us on Hungry Onion came to the Bay Area post 2000, so it is hard for me (us?) to imagine the Bay Area dining scene before seasonal-aware restaurants such as Square One were common, or even available. Do you feel like these ideals of local flavor and seasonality have mostly benefited, or mostly turned into a marketing scheme for many restaurants, as this Tamp Bay article, which was one of the most-read longreads indicates?

In the last 20-30 years, what are the aspects of the Bay Area dining scene that have improved/ deteriorated, in your opinion?

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Changing just about every dish on the menu every night at Square One was an impressive feat. How did you handle sourcing different ingredients daily and training the kitchen with limited time?


Jonathan Kauffman profiled a few restaurants in San Francisco that opened this year and closed shortly after. As a restaurant consultant, what do you see as some of the most common problems with struggling restaurants? Is there anything we should conclude from more new restaurants closing?

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California pioneered the seasonal, local, farm-to-table movements and you spearheaded many of those efforts. These concepts have now spread all over the country and been well accepted in many areas. In many cases, these trends are bringing old fashioned way of cooking/ sourcing back into modern society. Any new promising food trends from California coming up?

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Years ago I believe the professional kitchen was mostly male. How was it like to be a female chef commanding the kitchen during your restaurant days?

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What about the current SF dining scene do you like the least?

Ms Goldstein- thank you for your restaurant and your books about Mediterranean cuisines over the years. What are your current favorite Med and CalMed eateries in the Bay Area when you are not cooking yourself?

You became a prolific author after you left the professional kitchen. I have lost track of how many cookbooks you have written. What gives you more pleasure- running a professional kitchen, or being a cookbook author? Why?

Ms Goldstein, thank you for doing the Q&A! Mediterranean cuisines emphasizes fresh ingredients and high quality ingredients is something the Bay Area, with its proximity to artisan farms, is strong at. With that said, there are certain ingredients, e.g. spices, specific raw ingredients, that may be harder to track down outside of the Mediterranean. What are some of favorite places to shop for ingredients? Thank you.

What are some of the more challenging dishes that are not often found in restaurants because of various reasons like cost of raw ingredients, labor, that you find highly satisfying to make at home once you take away the concerns about profitability and prep time?

Love your cookbooks. What are the dishes/ cuisines you are planning to write about in the future?

I really enjoyed Inside the California Food Revolution
and noticed an absence of a discussion of the role of restaurant reviewers. Do you think they had an active role in guiding the revolution, or was their role more broadcasting what was going on?

What do you think about criticisms of ingredient-driven cooking styles like the California cuisine, such as David Chang’s fig on a plate comment?

Thanks for the Q&A. I would like to become a better cook, what are the ways to help to improve the palate besides tasting as much as possible? Do you have any methods to train?

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What are the all-time personal favorite recipes from your books?

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In the last 15 years, online recipes proliferated. What is the impact on traditionally cookbook authors like you