Erik Lowe, Aaron Toensing & Blake Askew, Maybeck's, featuring Brokaw Ranch Company
Saturday, May 20, 2017, 10:30 am - 11:15 am
Stop by the CUESA Classroom for a cooking demo featuring the seasonal bounty of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Erik Lowe is a native of Salt Lake City, Utah. He landed his first restaurant job through a serendipitous ride, after his car broke down, from a chef. Later Lowe enrolled at the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, and after graduation he took a job at Jeanty at Jack’s under the tutelage of chef Justin Deering. Lowe quickly ascended to sous chef, and worked at several restaurants before joining Hiro Sone’s team at Ame, where the team was awarded a Michelin star in 2008. He was at the helm of Bix’s kitchen for four years before helping chef-owner Bruce Hill and the Real Restaurants team re-open another San Francisco institution, Fog City. It was during his time at Real Restaurants that Lowe met his business partner and pastry chef Aaron Toensing. Together, they began to joke about opening a restaurant, a fantasy that evolved from a burger spot to a traditional red sauce joint, which started as Spaghetti Bros. and is now known as Maybeck’s, a refined San Francisco eatery serving up innovative American standards.
Aaron Toensing was born in St. Croix Falls, a small Wisconsin town bordering the Mississippi River, Aaron Toensing launched his culinary career on a riverboat the summer after eighth grade. That summer, and every summer until high school graduation, Toensing returned to kitchens where he continued to gain skills in service etiquette, event catering, and cooking. Buoyed up by his cooking experiences on the riverboat, Toensing enrolled at University of Wisconsin-Stout to pursue a degree in hospitality and food service. Realizing mid-education that he wasn’t interested in hotel management or food service administration, Toensing left to work as a line cook, where he soon found himself in the pastry department. In pastry, he discovered that his aptitude for precision in the kitchen was well suited to the high degree of organization and meticulous methods needed to execute consistently superior desserts. Toensing subsequently enrolled in the pastry program at California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Degree in hand, he signed on as pastry cook at Postrio, where worked under Janet Rikala. He was offered an opportunity to oversee the pastry program at Bix, and worked with Lowe at Bix and Fog City before teaming up to open Maybeck’s.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Chef Blake Askew developed his love of cooking from an early age. His family moved between the Chicago area and Texas throughout his childhood, rooting him in the Midwestern American traditions of food as comfort and celebration. While working his way through college in a variety of different restaurant positions, his connection with the service industry really started to grow. The allure of the kitchen grew until eventually he devoted his attention full time to pursuing a career in cooking. After a number of years gaining as much experience as possible in various Dallas restaurants, he worked his way up through the ranks to Executive Sous Chef, ultimately relocating to California to help open Aveline. Here, he had the opportunity to work in every aspect of designing and opening a high profile restaurant. He also worked under Dominique Crenn to open Le Petit Crenn before taking on the Chef de Cuisine position at Maybeck’s.
Hank and Ellen Brokaw started the ranching operation at Brokaw Ranch Company in 1967. Their son Will manages all farmers market and direct restaurant sales. The Brokaw Ranch Company specializes in intensively farmed avocado, specialty citrus, and subtropical tree-fruit production. The Brokaws endeavor to consistently produce plentiful crops of top-quality fruit while being good stewards of all resources: soil, water, and people. Will has deep roots in the avocado business. His great uncle was the half owner of, and the first to propagate the nursery stock for, the original Hass avocado variety.
All demos take place in the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) and are free to the public, with recipes and samples for all.