Newsletter #16

  • By Bear
  • 09 Jun, 2017

The origins of Cow by Bear are rooted in Mexico City.

The origins of Cow by Bear are rooted in Mexico City.

I'm often asked how Cow by Bear began and have shared bits and pieces of the story along the way. I haven't been completely honest, though, as it's tough for me to talk about the key ingredient to the entire story. Her name was Osa Bear.
Osa and I met in 1999. I had just arrived in Mexico after an intense period in rural Haiti where I'd been cooking up the remains of animals sacrificed during Vodou ceremonies. These rituals are deeply connected to the culture of the people, and the moveable feasts would feed the village for weeks. I often felt like the ancient spirits were speaking to me and I believe it was their guidance that led me on my next journey; to find The Great Oso, spiritual leader of all bears and rumored to be holed up in an abandoned minor league baseball stadium in Mexico City.

When I arrived my eyes focused on something much more beautiful than I ever could have imagined. It was Osa, daughter of The Great Oso, breaking down one of the finest cuts of beef I had ever seen. I knew right then I loved her, although it was months before I could muster up the courage to say it out loud. Osa was the kind of bear that turned heads when she walked in a room, and I'm pretty sure it wasn't just because she was a bear. She could ice skate, fence, surf, write poetry, beat Contra on the Nintendo without cheat codes and speak 5 languages (not including Bear).

She taught me so much about life, about being a better bear, and more about cooking than all of my other masters combined. We came up with the idea to start Cow by Bear together and spent countless nights sketching out the plan, before the tragedy - a story for another time. Cow by Bear is hers as much as it is mine and it eats me up that she didn't survive to see our dream come true. But it gives me so much pleasure knowing her heart and soul is in every single dish we make.

Esto es todo para ti, Osa.
Getting my shopping done at the Little Italy Farmer's Market.

Now onto some bizness. After much thought, I've decided to not host a large Halloween dinner party this year. As much fun as last year's event was, the planning that goes into larger parties can risk taking away from the quality of our traditional 14 person events and that's something I'm not comfortable with. I have opened up the October 26-28 dinner seats that were previously on hold, and they can be purchased here: . These tickets are currently the soonest we have available for dinner for two, so if grab them before they're gone!

If you're interested in joining us for a Cow by Bear experience and can't wait that long, remember we also offer   Brunch by Bear   on Sundays and   Wine by Bear every other Tuesday. We currently have availability for brunch as soon as July 2 and Wine as soon as June 20. I hope to see you at one of these events!

And, of course, some recipes:

Duck Tacos with Cherry Chipotle Salsa

I've just introduced a dueling tacos appetizer to the upcoming menu and have been experimenting with this delicious duck taco. Pro tip: Get that skin crazy crispy so it's almost like a chicharrones. I feel so sad for my bear brethren, they just have no idea what they're missing out on when it comes to tacos!

Duck Taco Ingredients
1 lb. duck breast
2 tsp. chipotle chili powder
1 tsp. cumin, toasted & grounded
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c chipotle cherry salsa (see below)
12 small corn tortillas, lightly toasted
2 cups red cabbage, thinly sliced and tossed in 2 tbsp. sour cream
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

Salsa Ingredients
2 cups cherries, pitted
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped
1/4 c red onion, diced
1 small clove garlic, grated
1 handful basil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste

For the Tacos:
1. Score the skin and fat of the duck breast with a knife trying to cut all the through the fat without cutting into the meat.

2. Mix the chipotle chili powder, cumin and salt and rub it into the skin side of the duck breast then cover it and let it sit in the fridge for 20 minutes  up to over night.

3. Start the duck breast, skin side down, in a cold, oven-proof pan. Place over medium heat and slowly cook until the fat has rendered and the skin is crispy, 10-15 minutes.

4. Place the pan into a preheated 400 F oven for 8 minutes, or until duck registers 132 F with thermometer.

5. Remove and set the duck breast aside and let rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

6. Drain the excess fat from the pan, add the salsa, deglaze the pan and simmer to remove any excess liquid.

7. Assemble the tacos and enjoy.

For the Chipotle Cherry Salsa:
1. Puree everything in a food processor until smooth. (Puree less if you prefer a salsa with a little more texture).

The Annabear Croft

Can I confess something to you? Promise? Ok, this recipe is just one of many ways to make a  Pimms Cup, a cocktail that's been around since the 1800s. I simply gave it a fun name after my favorite female, British tennis player. I first came across this drink at Wimbledon in 1984, sucking them down in the stands with John McEnroe while we watched Annabel Croft take on Chris Evert. It's been one of my favorite summer drinks ever since.

4 cucumber slices
1.5 oz. Pimms No. 1
1/4 oz. fresh lime juice
4 oz. ginger beer

Slice 3 cucumbers and muddle in a Boston shaker. Add ice to the shaker, followed by the Pimms and lime juice. Shake vigorously and strain into a glass, over ice. Top with ginger beer and garnish with a cucumber slice.


Bear’s Necessities (Archive)

By Bear 09 Jun, 2017

The origins of Cow by Bear are rooted in Mexico City.

By Bear 12 May, 2017

I was a six year old bear when I had my first glass of wine. I remember like it was yesterday, stolen from a campsite by my older, bad bear cousin Rico   (RIP) . Red wine, I loved the stuff and spent the next year or so devouring campsites, flipping over airstreams and digging through Coleman coolers to find it. Years later when I arrived in France, my love for wine was renewed. French wine opened up my pallet in a way I couldn't have imagined when I was drinking the homemade stuff from Alaska in my youth. My travels have taken me all over the world and I've always made sure to pair the finest wine I can get my paws on with my meals. It's become an obsession that almost rivals food, which is why I created the   Wine by Bear program . Along with Sommelier Kaitlin Brooks, we're serving up 6 great wines every other Tuesday night. Our current lineup highlights the   6 Noble Grapes , and I asked Kaitlin to write a guest post about a couple of the varietals.

By Bear 27 Mar, 2017

Wednesday Dinners Available This Summer!

By Bear 13 Mar, 2017

It's time for the 2nd Annual Cow by Bear bracket challenge!

By Bear 24 Feb, 2017
Hello humans, Bear here. It's been quite the February with some of our most entertaining and raucous dinners to date. We'll be rolling out a Mardi Gras menu next week to close out the month and I'm really looking forward to serving up a NOLA-inspired menu.
By Bear 13 Jan, 2017

I hope you all enjoyed a great holiday season and your 2017 is starting off with a bang! When I reflect on 2016, I'm truly amazed by how far Cow by Bear has come. This time last year, we had just rolled out Friday dinners in addition to Saturday and had a staff of just three. We now host dinners Thursday, Friday and Saturday along with a Sunday brunch and have a staff of fifteen. I owe it all to you guys for being along for this ride and supporting Cow by Bear. Huge plans are in store for 2017 and I can't wait to share what's up my fur.
By Bear 10 Nov, 2016
I know many of you are probably looking to your favorite bear for insights on the Presidential election. From the beginning, Cow by Bear has always been about inclusion and bringing people together over food and drink to create new friendships. Whether your candidate won or lost, my door will always be open for you to come spend an evening with us. As my dear friend Barack Obama said, “We’re all on the same team.”
By Bear 04 Oct, 2016
Hi Humans,

Fall is finally here, and while the weather here in San Diego is late to the party, I’ve started to shift focus to my favorite autumn dishes. Fall is my favorite season and produces some of the tastiest produce of the year. I’ll not only be incorporating them into our traditional Cow by Bear   brunch   and dinners, but also the special 7-course, 50-person dinner/costume contest on Saturday, October 29 to celebrate Halloween.   There are still a handful of tickets available here.
I had such a blast two weeks ago at our anniversary dinner at the Broadway Pier. It was the largest dinner Cow by Bear has put on (100 people) and we learned a ton about how to make these special events true one-of-a-kind experiences. I can’t wait to share some of the upcoming ideas!   You can check out pictures from the Broadway Pier event here .
Now onto a few recipes. We partnered up with   Barcón Cocktail Co.   for the anniversary dinner and they provided two awesome custom cocktails for the event. I wanted one to have our house spirit, of course, Rhum Barbancourt from Haiti - so they incorporated that with the Imperial Buck.
By Bear 16 Sep, 2016

Hey Friends,

We're one day away from our big Anniversary dinner and I couldn’t be more excited. This whole ride has been really amazing, and I feel like we’re just scratching the surface of how great and special it can be. I want to thank you all for following along and being part of this experience. Putting on these dinners and special events (and soon Brunch !) has been so rewarding for me, and it’s because I’ve had the chance to meet and spend an evening with so many of you wonderful humans. So, this is a giant Bear hug from me to you. Thank you!

While the staff and I are hard at work getting all the details just right for our dinners this weekend, I also wanted to take the opportunity to announce our next big event! On Saturday, October 29, we’ll be hosting a special Halloween dinner! This is sure to be as delicious as it is spooky, featuring 7 deadly courses paired with 7 deadly wines. We’ll be having a costume contest, with the winners taking away some great prizes…but you’re going to have to beat me out and I have some pretty epic ideas circulating my big bear brain, if I may say so myself.

We have the perfect location lined up, but I can’t guarantee that it’s not haunted. You may experience some experiences, but that’s all part of the experience. Dinner is $200 per person and reserved to 50 guests. As a member of our newsletter, you’re getting priority access to this announcement - but we’ll be making a larger announcement on Monday so if you’re interested in coming make sure to get your tickets now before they’re gone.

Tickets are on sale now and available here.

Feel free to reach out to me directly at if you have any questions at all.

Thanks and we hope to spend a spooky evening with you!


By Bear 02 Aug, 2016

Hey Y’all! How’s everyone’s summer going? Hopefully you’re making some time to do what you love – traveling, spending time with family, getting outdoors…whatever it is that makes you happy. That’s really been the thrill for me of running Cow by Bear, getting to do what I love – cooking and bringing people together.


I’ve had the opportunity to host some amazing folks already this summer and appreciate everyone that has come in for a dinner. I’m always looking for ways to keep our experience fresh and unique and opportunities to bring more people together. It’s in this spirit that I’m happy to announce we are starting a Sunday brunch experience - Brunch by Bear - beginning Sunday, October 2. As a subscriber to our newsletter you have priority access for tickets, which are available now at .


Tickets are $100 per person and the experience will be unlike any brunch you’ve ever been a part of. The brunch will include 5 courses and feature signature drinks. You’ll leave fat and happy. Brunch starts at 10:30am and, like our dinners, reserved to just 10 seats.



A huge THANK YOU to all of you that purchased tickets for our Anniversary dinner in September. It sold out even quicker than I anticipated, and I can’t wait to spend an amazing evening together. We’re planning an even bigger New Years Eve celebration, which I’ll be announcing here on this newsletter in the coming weeks!




Now is also the time to book your company’s holiday event with Cow by Bear. In addition to our regularly scheduled Thurday-Saturday dinners, we’ll be available to put on dinners for parties between 10-14 on every other day in the month of December. Email me at to inquire about availability!




Now that that’s all out of the way, on to a couple recipes!

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