KCBS Foodie Chap Podcast:
Chef Alicia Petrakis has been cooking for friends and family for as far back as she can remember. The pure love for entertaining and cooking is at the root of why she became a chef. Prior to opening THREE in June 2013 Alicia operated ASTARIA Restaurant occupying the same space for almost a decade with her partner Eleni Lolas. The pair got their start in the food business when they opened ASTARIA Catering in 1995.
Alicia learned the art of cuisine on the job, being called on to prepare all manner of cuisines during her many years as a caterer. Often menus were produced before recipes were tested. It was the challenge of creating something that would exceed the client’s expectations and as you might imagine Alicia always did. She drew from her days cooking with Mom and Grandma. However as you will learn from our interview it was her Dad who first put her to work in the kitchen.
At THREE Alicia is able to fulfill her dream of giving guests a fun, unique, engaging experience. The bright, open, dynamic dining room at THREE buzzes noon to night. Serving a broad mix of cultures and ages the one constant is activity. You can hang with a group on the communal table, have an intimate dinner for two in a quite corner or saddle up to the bar and enjoy a killer cocktail. And the cocktail really are good and affordable too – $12 a pop. The St.Germain Collins – a refreshing cocktail was my personal favorite.
“For a moment we are making people happy
through food and that’s the reward.”
– Chef Alicia Petrakis
On my recent visit to this popular spot it was Chef’s Alicia’s inviting reception that warmed my heart coupled with the knockout THREE menu. Every dish was bangin’ with layers of flavour. I did have a few favorites among my shared small plates (a good way to go):
Brown buttered beet & citrus salad – wow.
Pork belly in a sweet, tangy sauce – heaven.
Wild Mushroom stogies with chipotle aioli sauce – creative and OTT tasty.
The THREE onion soup with a a layer of gruyere – delish.
Spaghetti with prawns and porcini mushrooms – hit the mark.
…And there was enough left over for lunch the next day.
San Mateo was recently voted Best Small Town for food in America. After eating at THREE I know why San Mateo made the cut.
To eat at THREE is to enjoy the cuisine of a Chef who cooks with a whole lot of heart, the love from Chef Alicia Petrakis is on every single tasty plate.
And when you venture here stick around for dessert, you will be happy you did.
Enjoy the chat!
“5 Questions with Chef Alicia Petrakis”
Bacon Sweet Potato Hash, Maker’s Mark Glaze
– THREE restaurant and bar
Sweet Potato Hash (8 servings)
1/2# bacon (preferable apple wood smoked thick cut) cut into ¼ inch slices
2c yellow onions diced
2 c. red bell peppers diced
2# jewel yams, diced into small cubes ½ – ¾ “
½ TB thyme
Salt and pepper
Cook Bacon in large skillet over medium heat until almost crisp (but not quite), remove bacon from pan with slotted spoon and reserve bacon fat in pan. Over a medium high heat, add onions, bell peppers, 1t. salt 1/2 t. pepper and cook until they begin to caramelize. Stir in yams and 1t. additional salt and cook covered, stirring regularly so that potatoes can cook evenly, but be careful not to overcook. Once potatoes are almost done, add thyme and bacon. Check for seasoning. (this can be made in advance and reheated just prior to serving). The trick to reheating the hash is to make sure you have a nice hot pan with either oil, butter or best yet reserved bacon fat. This will make sure that your hash heats evenly and retains a nice crisp on the outside but stay soft (but not mushy) on the inside.
Season outside of 3# pork tenderloin (about 3 pieces) with fresh thyme, salt and pepper (we typically portion tenderloins into 3-4 oz. medallions and it works well, cooks pretty quickly and makes it easier to serve)
HOW TO COOK PORK:
If you are the type to save rendered bacon fat, then add some to a medium hot sauté pan, sear seasoned pork evenly. Once seared, add Maker’s Mark about 4-5 oz. depending on how much sauce you want (be careful of the flame), let it burn off a little and then add a little brown sugar (1tsp. for each ounce of MM) (you can always add more after it comes out of the oven if the balance is not right for your taste, and about 8 oz of chicken or vegetable stock. Put in a 425 degree oven until desired temperature. I usually pull it out at about 130-135, take the pork out of the jus and reduce the jus on the stove until it begins to thicken. Place medallions back into sauté pan to coat. Place a mound of hash on a warmed plate at about 10 o’clock. Just to the base of the hash (towards the center of the plate) place one or two pieces of tenderloin and spoon sauce over the top of the pork and a small puddle in front of the hash.
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