KCBS radio Foodie Chap and CBS 5 television Eye On The Bay host Liam Mayclem introduces us to the culinary stars behind the food and wine loved by so many in the Bay Area.
By Liam Mayclem, the KCBS Foodie Chap

Antelmo (or Telmo) Faria, is the son of Portuguese immigrant parents and a native of the San Francisco Bay Area. Telmo spent the early part of his childhood on the island of Faial in the Azores, Portugal, where his father operated two family-owned restaurants. Eventually Telmo moved to San Jose, CA, to a Latino neighborhood where he first became intrigued with Mexican culture.

His love of Mexican food continued to develop as he frequented the taquerias, carnicerias and the Mexican super mercados around him. He carried this enthusiasm for Mexican food through his training at the California Culinary Institute.

“Being a chef is about bringing people together and making them happy. Creating memories.”
– Chef Antelmo Faria

Telmo, 31, has headed the kitchens of La Salette Restaurant (Sonoma, CA), Montrio Bistro (Monterey, CA) and Tropisueño (San Francisco, CA).

As the executive chef of Tacolicious (San Francisco, CA), he’s happy to be working with a farmers market-driven menu that upholds his values and food that truly suits his passion.

I first fell in love with his tasty’s taco’s at the Tacolicious stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco (Tuesdays).

His offerings at Tacolicious on Chestnut Street are fresh, locally sourced and they change with the season.

We talked over tacos in the Tacolicious kitchen in San Francisco.

5 Tasty Questions with Chef Telmo Faria

1. What is your favorite midnight snack?
I’d probably get up and make myself a hot dog, but lately it’s been more of dark chocolate covered almonds.

2. Restaurant versus the taco stand, where do you love most?
I love being outdoors and getting the sunshine of the taco stand, but I love the energy of being around the customers at the restaurant. So, I guess I would say restaurant.

3. What might be the two songs of your chef life?
I get pumped up everytime I hear “Eye of the Tiger.” It sounds silly but, I have a hard time not getting a little extra bounce in my step when I hear “Eye of the Tiger.” Then probably Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.”

4. What do you love to do on your day off outside of the kitchen?
I love to just hang out with my friends and family. They all live in San jose, so I love to just go down there and hang out with them, grab a bite to eat, watch a movie, doesnt matter, just spend time with them. I don’t get to see them a whole lot.

5. At your last supper, you can have a couple of guests there, who would they be and what would you eat?
It would be my two grandfathers, who’ve passed away, my father, who has also passed away. I would love to be able to just spend a couple of hours with them and just hang out and chat. We’d be eating a whole lot of shellfish, something simple, and a lot of crisp white wine.

LM: Chef Telmo, 5 tasty answers! Thanks so much!

Tacolicious’ Farmers Market Spring Veggie Taco

Makes about 16 tacos.

This non-traditional taco was created using the best of spring ingredients. Although it’s vegetarian, it’s meaty enough to please carnivores too (not to mention healthy). If you don’t have time to make your own salsa, purchase a good-quality replacement.

¼ cup kosher salt
2 tbsp ancho chile powder (or any other chile that you enjoy)
4 cloves of garlic

Tomatillo-Avocado Salsa:
1 ripe avocado (pit and skin removed)
1 lb tomatillos (husk removed)
½ yellow onion, roughly chopped
1 clove garlic
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
½ cup water
1 teaspoon cumin, toasted and ground
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp kosher salt

1 lb asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces and blanched
1 lb fingerling potatoes, boiled until tender, drained and sliced 1/4 inch thick
½ lb mushrooms, sliced
2 stems of green garlic, sliced thinly on the diagonal
2 tbsp good-quality extra virgin olive oil

For assembly and garnish:
2 tbsp corn oil
32 small, taco-sized corn tortillas
½ yellow onion, finely chopped
½ bunch cilantro, finely chopped
16 small wedges of lime

For the recado, places all the ingredients in a spice grinder or food processor and pulse until finely ground. Place on a cookie sheet in a 225 degree oven for 30–40 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for 20 minutes and crumble with fingers.

For the salsa, place of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth.

For the filling, in a sauté pan over medium-high heat place the olive oil and let it heat up (but not smoke or burn). Add the potatoes and let them cook until they are a golden color (5-7 minutes), then add the mushrooms and green garlic and sauté until soft, 4-5 minutes. Lastly, add the asparagus pieces and cook them until hot. Towards the end, season the mix to taste with the recado.

To assemble, warm the tortillas in stacks of 2 in a pan over medium heat and drizzled with a small amount of cooking oil. Turn over to heat both sides of the stack. Place about 3 ounces of filling in the middle of the tortillas, top with salsa, chopped onion, cilantro and finish with a squeeze of lime.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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