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« Knife Skills Class Reviewed | Main | i Chile Rillenos ! »

09 May 2006


I love that comment about "what it should taste like." That is so, so true.

I went to a darling new cafe in the Marina last week, and saw the most gorgeous chocolate chip cookie under glass... huge, bigger than a fist, and full of chocolate chips. I had to have it.

Imagine my disappointment when, instead of being moist and almost-gooey and sweet, it was instead sawdusty and bland, with stale chocolate chips that shattered between my teeth.

The art of making something taste as good as it should is highly underrated. You go!


Sounds like a plan to me. I'm tired of being at work all day anyhoo.


I wish I could have one each of those desserts, they all sound marvelous. I'm curious, though- how do you define the perfect snickerdoodle?

Will definately come by for some baked goods. Are you in an area where I can wave hello?


What a lovely post, I enjoyed the idea that the simple, familiar, and expected things are sometimes the hardest to pull off. It is so true. Each version is compared back to the memory of the best one we ever had.

And at the mention of the most amazing lemon cream--I'm there.

What a beautiful and lucious way you have with words. Yum. And, I feel in reading about your desserts that I not only want to eat them but meet them. What extraordinary people they are. They stay in my mind long after I leave them.

What an interesting post! I want the caramel cake all for myself ...

lovely menu, great post!

Hello Tanvi---

The perfect snickerdoodle should be moist in the middle, have crunchy edges, not be too sweet, and have a crumb that's tender but not chewy. One should roll it in a lot of cinnamon and start with a mound, not a disk. I think they're best with strong Earl Grey tea.

Chubby--- when I'm there just ask for me and I will come out for a hello. I can generally be found there Wednesday & Thursdays with the occasional Friday or Monday thrown in.


so wonderful to find your own well put words here!

I do feel this way about ingredients-- like I am trying to understand their personalities. Not merely use them, but work WITH them.


is that a caramel cake order I see?

Shuna, back when I went to school and later worked a few blocks up the hill from Poulet I was there all the time. I have yet to match their meatloaf sandwich--I love that place! I've spent many an afternoon, many a work lunch, and many a day wishing I could get there for whatever yummy thing was on the menu. With your desserts on the menu, I imagine I'd never leave. Thanks for a great post.

Argh, yet another reason I curse myself for not living closer to northern California. Sob.

Your 10th paragraph is like a poem.

Agreeing that the paragraph about ingredients reads like poetry. Really lovely.

I only wish that caramel cake was not on the other side of the country from me. It sounds completely seductive. I want some!

*sigh* Davis, CA needs some better places to eat. Cicolat can only sustain one for so long, and everywhere else sucks. I want to go to SF again and eat at Poulet, you make it sound wonderful!

BTW, I have a whole bag of tater-tots in the freezer. It may not be gourmet, but damn, a lot of foods can't come close to Elementary School greasy awesomeness that it the tot.

BTW 2, I don't suppose you know a good Orange Poppyseed cookie recipe, do you? I have tried 3 different ones (a few times each) so far from the net and all have been dry and dissappointing.

Beautiful words, Shuna, and lovely stories about Tom Keller.

And yes yes YES! to salt with chocolate and caramel. (Claudia's chocolate tart with gooey caramel and fleur de sel...ahhh.)

I AM STANDING HERE BESIDE MYSELF, I am SO F-ING excited, I may have to take the day off and drag my girlfriend out of the office to Poulet- finally SHUNAS DESSERTS....we are not worthy, truly...I am so happy happy day...

Hey, hurray! I will stop in sometime very soon! I'm still a new Berkeley resident myself, so am always happy for an excuse to explore!
And I am so excited about summer fruits! Strawberry rhubarb, yum.

I'm so glad I came by to say hello and get some of your delish baked goods while you were at work which also allowed me to get some of that (not yet in the display case) carmel cake.
The Snickerdoodle was far from the normal doughy gob you get at most cafes and that lemon cream...WOW. That was my fave.

your pal,

I'm very excited to think that when we're in the Bay area on vacation this summer, we can stop in at Poulet for a meal and some of Shuna's delightful desserts. This post exemplifies just the sort of desserts I like best, and the kind that I always want and try to make. They are homey yet innovative, and are never cloying. Their simplicity and use of excellent ingredients makes them always refreshing on the palate. They leave you wanting just a little more, especially the next day...

Oh -- and is this title a reference to Laurie Colwin's beautiful novel, Shine On Bright and Dangerous Object?

Garrett--- Davis is not that far away you know... As for the cookie-- add orange zest and poppy seeds to your favourite shortbread recipe. This way you will be able to taste both those delectible ingredients.

Susan-- be sure to say hello and/or post here what you liked & didn't like... welcome to the East Bay!

Chubby-- it was sweet to see you as well. Thanks for stopping in. I will be making more of that lemon cream next week.

Julie-- you get the headline prize! Laurie Colwin it is. When you come this summer be sure to tell me who you are so I can give you a free sweet for your correct guess.

Your posts make me drool! And the wonderful writing makes this english major's heart skip a beat. I'm so glad I stumbled onto your blog.

I second Katie's comments on your exceptional writing. I appreciate the glimpse into life in a professional kitchen, and the wisdom behind your food philosophy. Oh, and I sure wouldn't mind a slice of that caramel cake!

Yes, yes, and yes. With such lovely thoughts about what goes into your kitchen, what comes out can only be marvelous. I'll be up in the city next month and will be sure to put Poulet on my itinerary! In the mean time I'm looking forward to reading more....

Here's the confession:

I fell off the Eat Local Challenge wagon and popped into Poulet yesterday for a taste of your lemon cream. I would have waited until June, but feared you would be off and running with summer fruit by then and lemons would be long gone.

All I can say is, WOW, you do not fool around. I was with a friend and as soon as I started eating I simply could no longer carry on a conversation. The world got very quiet and intensely lemony all of a sudden. I really didn't know lemon cream could be so good.

You're right, the most amazing lemon cream ever. Thank you.

Oh No! Let me say for the record that I am in no way making these delicious Chile Rillenos. Lucila, the woman who runs Poulet's industrious kitchen does!

But I am happy to know she is inspiring others to make them.

Hey Shuna...
Any chance you're ever going to throw a recipe for the perfect snickerdoodle our way? I've been on the lookout, but haven't found any contenders.


This is a great request. Do me a favor? Remind me again in a few weeks when I'm not buried? I will indeed want to take you up on it then!

Thanks for the great request!

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