Joanne Weir: Have Fork, Will Travel

Joanne Weir: Have Fork, Will Travel

Joanne Weir calls San Francisco home, but the world is her cauldron. The acclaimed writer and culinary artist offers cooking schools in San Francisco, Tuscany and Greece when she’s not appearing on television or gathering new recipes.

I interviewed Weir for the San Diego Union Tribune years ago when she debuted her Tapas to Meze cookbook, a smorgasbord of appealing apps from around the world. I was hooked on her delightful dishes, perky patter and encyclopedic culinary expertise.

She’s been busy since then, expanding her classes in San Francisco (including an online class), leading culinary tours to Tuscany, Venice, Morocco and Greece where you can live and cook and in her spare time, writing new books including a culinary memoir.

There’s even a restaurant. When Il Fornaio’s founder and legendary restauranteur Larry Mindel challenged Weir to a margarita-making showdown, a Mexican restaurant concept was born. Located in the heart of Sausalito, Copita Tequileria y Comida is a seasonal Mexican restaurant and tequila bar created by Joanne Weir and Larry Mindel.

Said Food & Wine Magazine:”Joanne Weir and Gonzalo Rivera take a lighter approach to Mexican cuisine, often using fruit and vegetables right from the restaurant’s garden. California cooks that they are, they design dishes around their incredible ingredients, for example, showcasing local citrus with avocado in a lime-and-cilantro-dressed salad or crusting Point Reyes oysters simply in polenta before frying and serving with a chile de árbol tartar sauce.”

Take a look at what else is cooking in Joanne Weir’s tasty world.

Must-See TV: Her new series, “Get Fresh TV” serves up a culinary journey of food and wines through delicious Tuscany, Provence, La Rioja, Venice, Morocco and Greece. From cooking classes to Weir’s favorite markets, artisans and vineyards and back home to her San Francisco kitchen studio, Weir explores fresh new delights on whatever’s in season, from fall fruits to veggies and dairy.

Says Weir: “I love working with new students in the kitchen, whether in my own in San Francisco or while traveling the globe. It’s always incredible what a fresh perspective can bring to any dish or experience, and a lot of that starts with the ingredients themselves.”

Robust Recipes: Her recipes and inspiration are boundless. “Sometimes the inspiration comes when I find a new spice or remember a childhood favorite that I’d like to recreate, or a visit to my local farmers market, which always gets my wheels turning! Often, the inspiration comes when I am traveling along the Mediterranean,” she writes.

The world is her oyster. “When I eat at a restaurant anywhere in Europe, whether at a bistro in France, a tapas bar in Spain, or at a winemakers home in Italy, and I find a delicious dish, I’ll immediately write down the list of ingredients. Sometimes, if I’m lucky, the chef or cook will come out and share their recipe or special cooking technique with me!”

Cookbooks: Weir is a James Beard award-winning cookbook author, and cooking teacher. A 4th-generation professional cook, Joanne spent 5 years cooking at Chez Panisse after receiving a Master Chef Diploma with Madeleine Kamman. The author of 18 cookbooks, including her new food memoir, Kitchen Gypsy, Joanne is also the Consulting Editor-at-Large at Fine Cooking Magazine. Here are some of her cookbooks that you can buy on Amazon.


Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food: Her adventures with food is shared here, pairing 100 new recipes and 250 photographs of her favorite food memories, including her first cooking fiasco and cooking on the line at Chez Panisse. It’s a joyous personal food journal.


Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence – Dinner Made Simple: Anxious about cooking a fab dinner? Here are some simple hacks to help you sail through recipes and entertain with aplomb.

Joanne Weir's Cooking Confidence - Dinner Made Simple
Joanne Weir’s Cooking Confidence – Dinner Made Simple

Joanne Weir’s More Cooking in the Wine Country: Northern California is on the same latitude as many of the countries of the Mediterranean, and award-winning chef Joanne Weir’s cooking embodies the vivid flavors of that region. In this book, Weir shares 150 new recipes from the second season of her acclaimed public television series, Weir Cooking in the Wine Country, presented with all the warmth, enthusiasm, skill, and flair that has made her a household name.

Joanne Weir's More Cooking in the Wine Country
Joanne Weir’s More Cooking in the Wine Country

Root Vegetable Chips With Roasted Carrot Hummus
Serves 6
Featured in Joanne Weir Gets Fresh

Root Vegetable Chips With Roasted Carrot Hummus
Root Vegetable Chips With Roasted Carrot Hummus

Photo courtesy of Karen Pavone. Used with permission.
See her site at:

Root Vegetable Chips
Watermelon Radish or large red radishes
Red beets
Yellow beets

Peel the vegetables. Using a mandolin, slice each raw vegetable into paper-thin slices. Place in a large bowl of ice water for 15 minutes. Remove from the water and dry on towels.

Roasted Carrot Hummus
Makes about 1 1/4 cups

3 large carrots, about 12 ounces, roughly cut into 1-inch pieces Kosher salt 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons tahini (sesame paste), well stirred 1 teaspoon light brown sugar 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin Pinch crushed red chili pepper, or to taste 2 to 4 tablespoons water


1. Heat up the oven to 375°F.
2. Place the carrots, salt, and olive oil on a large piece of foil or parchment paper. Toss together. Wrap them up and seal the edges so the steam doesn’t escape.
3. Bake in the oven until tender, 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Open the paper and continue to roast for 5 minutes.
5. Remove from the oven and cool completely.
6. Add the carrots to the food processor with the remaining ingredients except for the water. Process until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
7. Add water if needed to make a thick dip the consistency of hummus.
8. Season with salt.

This will keep in the refrigerator for a few days

DISCLAIMER: Kevin, Lori, Abby, Haley, Lindsey & Mahika do not dine anonymously (this would be impossible) and we sometimes get free food (though never expected). However, we dine with the locals and we support our own. You will always get honesty in a respectful manner. We do not include any large national or regional chains in our ratings and reviews. We focus on independent locally owned eateries exclusively.

PLEASE NOTE: Reviews reflect a certain moment in time. Some restaurants stay extremely consistent over many years, and some change for the better or worse. Some things that may change are: chefs, recipes, food suppliers, ingredients, philosophies, ownership, etc. We always hope that you have the same good, or great experience we had.

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