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

It wasn’t until Chef Zaré Hoss opened Zaré at Flytrap in San Francisco in 2008 that he delved deeply into Persian cuisine. He took it as an opportunity to introduce people to the cultural wealth and heritage of his homeland by combining Mediterranean and modern Persian food. At Zaré at Flytrap, Hoss entertains diners all week long with food and beverage programs created by the best Bay Area talents in an extraordinary space that pays tribute to the history of San Francisco.

Born in Tabriz, Iran, Hoss immigrated to San Francisco in 1986 joining his older brother who had moved to the city a decade earlier. Almost immediately, Hoss began cooking to pay the bills while working his way through pre-medical coursework at the University of California at Davis.

“Cooking to me is meditation.” – Chef Hoss Zaré

As a self-trained chef with a solid grasp of traditional French and American cuisine, Hoss decided to expand his culinary knowledge at South Park’s Ristorante Ecco. He found the restaurant’s Italian style of cuisine aligned with his own experience and perspective. Within a year, he took over the stove at Ecco, where again he acquired terrific reviews. Next up was Aromi, later reincarnated as Bistro Zaré.

After years building a name for himself, Hoss’s passion for wine and the Slow Food movement lured him to relocate to Napa. Zaré Napa opened in 2005 featuring a Mediterranean-inspired wine country menu focused on community-provided produce. Yet as time went on, Hoss craved the energy of the city and his friends and family in San Francisco. He set his sights on returning to the place that so warmly embraced him when he first arrived in the U.S. Not only did Hoss crave the city, but his customers demanded his return.

Chef is without doubt a guy with a bigger heart than anyone I know. His “Hoss-pitality” is legendary and his food memorable and in a league of it’s own. To eat at Zaré at Flytrap is to be a guest at the “House of Hoss”.



5 Tasty Questions with Chef Hoss Zaré

1. Define your cuisine.
Short and sweet with Mediterranean and Persian influence.

2. What’s always in your fridge?
Delicious cheeses and wine.

3. What dish reminds you of home?
The Koofteh Tabrizi, which are big Persian meatballs that are famous in Tabriz, where I am from. I do them here at Zaré at Flytrap on Monday nights.

4. If you were not a chef, what might you be?
Any kind of work with kids so I can help them out like a soccer coach. It would be a lot of fun to be a florist or interior designer.

5. At your last supper, what would you eat and who would be at the table?
I love watermelon, creamy feta cheese and fresh bread. That would be my meal. I would especially have my parents at my table, because I lost them four years ago. I know I have them in my heart with me, but I know soon I’m going to be with them, so I will have them at my table; physically or spiritually.

LM: Five tasty answers Chef. Thank you!


Mirza Ghassemi

(Persian Eggplant Casserole)

Serves 6

2 medium eggplants
2 each spring red torpedo onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, grated
1/4 cup chopped scapes( garlic shoots) (optional)
1 teaspoon harissa
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup white wine
1 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup good tomato sauce and add some basil and tarragon or {2 tomato, (peeled
drop into hot water for a few seconds to loosen skin)and then chopped and added
basil and tarragon.}
2 eggs, lightly beaten

Roast the eggplants over a charcoal grill until brown. Or roast them in a 400
degree F oven until brown on the outside and soft on the inside (test with a
fork). Cool and peel. Mash the pulp.
Sauté the onions, garlic, and scapes in the olive oil until golden brown. Stir
in the turmeric. Add wine and cook for 5 minutes. Add the eggplant pulp and
sauté briefly, stirring well. Add the salt, pepper and harissa. Stir tomato
sauce into the eggplant. Cook over a low heat for 5 minutes. Pour eggs over the
eggplant. When the eggs start to solidify, stir briefly.

Squash emulsion
1/2 cup squash slices
1/2 cup zucchini slices
1 cup verjus
2 shallots
1 baby torpedo onion
Salt &pepper
2 oz butter

In a medium pot, add olive oil over low heat. Add onion and shallot.for 5-8
minutes or until onion is tender. Add verjus, zucchini, squash slices and season
with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat for an additional 10 minutes. While
sauce is hot blend in blender or food processor with butter until smooth. Taste
for seasoning.

Sunburst squash
Slice small slice off of bottom end of squashes, then 1 inch thick slice off of
top of squash. Scoop out inside of squash leaving about 1/2 inch layer inside
Place squash shells in buttered baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees approx. 10 to
15 minutes or until shells are tender when poked with a fork.

Quail eggs
Cook quail eggs in a sauté non stick pan sonny side up.

To plate:
In a oval plate, spread some of squash emulsion on the plate. Place sunburst
squash on the plate and stuff it with mirza ghasemi. Top it with a quail egg.


(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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