Red Delicious: Here Comes Strawberry Week

Trickier than they look
With strawberry season here, the creators of Heirloom Tomato Week and Dungeness Crab Week are gearing up for Strawberry Week, and they've brought friends -- lots of friends. Forty-four local chefs and 57 restaurants will participate in a week of berry-inspired revelry with signature dishes and cocktails. Show up at one of the participating eateries, pay for a meal with Visa Signature plastic, and you get a free strawberry-themed recipe book. (Full disclosure: it was penned by SFoodie editor John Birdsall.)

Chef Bruce Hill is serving up three berry dishes at Bix (56 Gold at Montgomery), and will preside over a free cooking demo at Macy's Cellar (170 O'Farrell at Stockton) on Saturday. "The Bay Area really has the best-tasting fruits and vegetables, and this is a celebration of that bounty," Hill said. "Especially with the current economy and restaurants struggling, it's time to promote in a big way."

Hill's additions to the Strawberry Week recipe book include an arugula and Albion strawberry salad with toasted almonds, basil, balsamic, and dry-aged ricotta salata; Seascape strawberries with almond mascarpone and a meringue crumble; and a strawberry rickey cocktail. Guests at the Macy's demo will get a behind-the-scenes look (and taste) at the process of creating these recipes, which Hill said is more challenging than it looks. "Using strawberries is tricky in savory cooking. It takes a lot of discipline. We typically use strawberries for appetizers and drinks. But for every dish we serve there are probably two or three failures. It really focuses your creativity."

Strawberry Week runs May 14-24. See the full list of participating restaurants here.

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