About Me


Photo courtesy of Julie Michelle Sparenberg

I’m so glad you decided to stop by.

The only legitimate reason you are on this particular page is to discover a bit more about the author of this blog without having to resort to Google.

I thank you for your interest. It’s really very kind and I’m terribly flattered and whatnot.

My full name is Michael Clinton Procopio. My middle name has nothing to do with politics and has everything to do with the fact that I was born exactly 60 years to the day after my late grandfather, Clinton Beeson Moore, who himself was named for the two doctors who popped him into a warm oven upon his birth to revive him. It was just like that scene in 101 Dalmations, but without puppies.

I moved to San Francisco somewhere in the late 20th Century to attend a culinary school which shall remain unnamed. I never, ever wanted to be a chef, but I thought that pairing an education in the classical food arts with my incredibly useful degree in Art History from UCLA would somehow land me a rich husband who liked to eat and was passionate about Pre-Columbian art of the Andes.

Life does not always go according to plan. As a result, I’ve explored nearly every field the food world can offer in order to support myself:

• I interned under Michael Bauer at the San Francisco Chronicle’s Food Section until he went on vacation to Antarctica. I continued my tutelage under the marvelous Maria Cianci, who watched me eat chow fun until I threw up.

• I was a program chef, cooking behind the scenes for PBS cooking shows, wherein I 1.) wore meat-related clothing on the set of Mollie Katzen’s Cooking Show 2.) learned how to make proper macaroni and cheese and deal with rejection with Jacques Pepin, and 3.) ate dinner with Martin Yan as he made me hold the Emmy our show won and eat seconds of fish tripe soup after I declared it “delicious.”

• I was an assistant pastry chef in a charming little Kiwi restaurant in San Francisco’s Mission District where my “curiously strong” mint ice cream was named one of the “Best of The Bay”, much to everyone’s surprise.

• I’ve waited tables for many years, where I’ve gotten to see which celebrities tip horribly and which ones know how and when to use a salad fork.

• I nearly went blind in a windowless kitchen making Barbie-sized palmiers for a major cereal concern as a professional recipe developer.

• As an assistant food stylist, I’ve worked on several books for Williams-Sonoma and had the privilege of spending hours making instant oatmeal for a child actor who could not get the right coloring on his single line in a commercial for another major cereal concern.

• I’ve gotten to spend the weekend in Napa where I passed my entry-level exams and joined the Court of Master Sommeliers, thanks to copious amounts of wine and inappropriate flash cards.

And now, I write. It makes me marvelously happy to do so. I hope you get a small bit of enjoyment out of it as well.


59 Responses to About Me

  1. Bob Novak says:

    good sense of humor, now tell me about food, wish the state legislature would outlaw cell phones, etc, in restaurants, theaters bars, etc, but not going to happen our governor and the Mrs. are seen here in so, ca having lunch in Santa Monica each with a phone in their ear , he got off before driving away, our attorney general, old twinkle toes his self having poolside brunch on a very busy Sunday afternoon arguing with someone loudly on his cell, I finally threatened to throw the phone and him in the pool. he apologized and hung up.thank goodness one more month and its against the law to drive while plugged in.not only blackberries, how about the apple phone, and all the rest.

  2. Stu Baby says:

    Honey – loved reading your delicious entries. Congratulations on your developing life. You are an inspiration to those (me!) around you.

  3. Ann says:

    So, my dog is in love with Jacques Pepin (I kid you not, she watches whole shows without blinking, but I think Claudine annoys her a little).

    So, what’s your story? That’s from me, not the dog…

  4. Kathie says:

    FAAA+++site, love the Moroccan recipe and you sense of humour – keep it up!!!

  5. Carmela says:

    I am taking my 81-year old grandmother out for an evening of local art and goodies and I have decided that we will be ordering Depresion-era food and drink in commemeration of the Bailout. I will be wearing pearls and fur (don’t start with me) and saying things like ‘Capital! ‘and ‘Rah-thuhr!’ as I order Side-cars. Suggestions anyone?

  6. michaelprocopio says:

    Carmela– Excuse me, I’ve been away from my blog for a while…

    Rah-thuhr! You are a woman after my own heart. And I promise not to raise a fuss about the fur– especially if the fur piece is one of those old school mink stoles with the biting heads and glass eyes. Those are my favorite.

    • Lorie says:

      I couldn’t resist the fox stole thing with those eyes-I have my mother’s foxy stole in my extra closet! I am trying to find a good home for it.
      I am second generation 1/2 from Sao Miguel Azorean power houses. At this time through my ancestry site I have an uncle who was from Madeira and his two nephews which he adopted and brought to Massachusetts.
      I like the Portuguese beef kabob marinade recipe. Thanks! Don’t have bay trees though. Say maybe somewhere back there we are very distant relatives!

      • Lorie,

        Sadly, I am not the least bit Azores Portuguese. But my best friend from college is– his father is from Pico. He’s the one who turned me on to the beef skewers. If you lack Bay laurel branches, I would suggest adding a few fresh (preferable) pr dried bay leaves to your marinade. I’ll bet that would work like a charm.



  7. nancy jean says:

    THANK YOU for you chicken fried steak story. It meant a lot to me that you did that. Please email me back so we can chat. I want to make up bumper stickers with the drinking fountain on it but I need to ask permission of the person who made it first. Thank you again for caring about human/civil rights for ALL of us. Nancy

  8. Katy says:

    Michael, I’m a reporter at the Wall Street Journal. I’d like to interview you for a story I am working on. Would you contact me with a contact phone number? Thank you so much and I will explain all when/if we speak.
    –Katy McLaughlin

  9. Ive had so much fun reading through your blog, I love your sense of humor and I’m looking forward to more great posts from you! Have an awesome weekend!

  10. HAL FORNEY says:

    Michael, We have never met, but I am a good friend of your father (from Wash. HS), and have heard a lot about you. Would love to meet sometime.
    Great blog, I thoroughly enjoyed it. You have made a great success of yourself.

  11. Charles says:

    Mike, Charles from UCLA and that retail storefront loft on Washington. Remember that club we used to go to down the street? It’s a blur!
    In Bangkok now, as a foodie you must come for a visit!

    Email me back!

  12. dave says:

    Great writing, I added you to my reader and can’t wait to keep up. Thanks!

  13. michaelprocopio says:

    Hal– How is it that I did not see your comment? Thanks very much! My parents are excellent pimps.

    Charles– how long has it been? I’ve already Facebooked you. We’re “friends” again!

    Dave– Thank you, thank you! I’m very happy you like the site!

  14. I work for an LA-based reality production company, and am currently helping cast talent for an hour-long special to air on TLC.

    We are on the hunt for dynamic personalities who LOVE food to be featured alongside our talent on this special and I wanted to see if it’s something you might be interested in.

    In this special, our chef-talent will travel to San Francisco and New Orleans to sample the best these cities have to offer. In each city, we will follow our talent as he is shown the four best undiscovered spots by a local food lover.

    We’re looking for this food lover in SF who not only adores food — but all kinds from five-star cuisine to the taco truck down the street.

    Please let me know if it’s something you might be interested in!

    Best —
    Ally Weinberg
    [email protected]

  15. akinori says:


    I reached to your blog from foodbuzz and found it very interesting and professional.

    I am writing this email if you are interested in our new service, recipe market where you can sell your recipes globally.

    We offer recipe sharing service in Japan for our 8 million monthly unique visitors in Japan. Our business went public last year and thinking of going abroad.

    It would be great if you could mail me for more detail.


  16. I’d like to personally invite you to join the CookEatShare Author network. CookEatShare has had over 2.5 million unique visitors in 2009, and I think they will be interested in your content. Users will be guided to your actual blog, so this is a free way to increase page views and visitors to your site.

    Please visit http://cookeatshare.com/blogs/apply for additional information. Please contact me at [email protected] if you have any questions about the program.

  17. Amrita says:

    I’ve read yor blog so many times and I guess its high-time I left a comment…I absolutely love it, and always come back to it at the end of a day of food-scouting over the internet!

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Amrita– Well I am most delighted that you decided to speak up! It always makes me so happy (and very, very grateful) to know that people are reading and enjoying. The only payment I get here is in comment form, so thank you. Thank you very much.

  18. kokloongw says:

    Ah…I followed Martin Yan since I was very young! He was the first chef inspired me to want to cook!

  19. Dave says:

    Hope its OK to contact you here but I couldn’t find a contact form. First of all let me say your blog is beautifully designed and your photography is very professional. We’d like to invite you to appear on our foodie website: http://www.foodierama.com . have a look and if you are interested contact me through the email on this comment of through the contact form on our site

  20. JOYCE says:


  21. Michael!
    You combine the sensual pleasures of food and words to create a sublimely savoury experience! Now that I’ve crossed your path in the blogosphere I shall orbit your star with frequence!

    • michaelprocopio says:

      Thank you very, very much, Judi. I look forward to your next visit. Perhaps I should make tea. Are you a cream or lemon kind of girl?

  22. ruairi says:

    Hello there!

    Your blog is such an inspiration for me, thanks for sharing your tasty recipes 😀 (favorites were the guacamole and cherry tomatoes!)

    tis early days for me in this blogging game, but for sure I have plenty to learn from you !


    • michaelprocopio says:


      An inspiration? Really? Thanks very, very much.

      I’m delighted you’re enjoying my blog. Do give my regards to Mrs. Brown for me.



  23. Elise says:

    Hi Michael,

    I came across an article about your Greek coffee-ground reading abilities. At the request of a few clients, I have been looking for a good tea leaf reader (coffee grounds would work fine too) to book for parties and events. I know this is a bit different from your main interest, but if you’d even be up for talking about it, please send me a note. My site is Bay Area Party People dot com and my contact info can be found there. Thanks much, Elise

  24. Linda says:

    I’m going to agree that even still, the word “foodie” is a little hard to digest…. seems a bit too intense

  25. Lucy Lean says:

    Le Blagueur is a little too close to a blagger for comfort but like where you are going with this – and totally with you on the foodie thing – we are all foodies, sleepies and thinkies in my book – some more than others!

  26. Susan says:

    Hi Michael

    I can’t say it enough – I love your posts. I must admit that I really don’t cook very much so I cook vicariously through your recipes. I appreciate the detailed recipes. I think I know hard difficult it must be to write a recipe.

    I absolutely LOVE your video clips and your obscure references. Your sense of humor shines through. That “marshmallow world” clip with Dino and Frank was great as was the Alice in Wonderland clip just to mention two.

  27. Anyone who reads this site, stands up and says to the world that the dumbing down of America is not acceptable. I applaud you for staying original and genuine. It’s good to know there are a few of us out there that will not give in to the weight of the slop that bows the bookshelves of the food section.

    All the Best,

  28. Jennifer says:

    You are the David Sedaris of food bloggers. Hi-larious! Oh, and your food looks great too.

  29. Zack says:

    Michael love your blog. BUT “Blogger” is by no means a homophone of “Blagueur”!

    My IPA is a bit rusty, bear with me: Blogger comes from the middle of the mouth. “ə”. Whereas ‘Blagueur’ is much more toward the front for the mouth. æ . Like pronouncing “track” or “@”.

    I’ll spare you the difference in pronunciation between “gger” and “gueur”…


    Mais… La référence est bien appréciée – merci!


    • Zack– You are absolutely right. My dear, departed, French Linguistics-diplomaed brother would be ashamed of me. If he were alive, he would more than likely say something sarcastic that went straight over my head in that language you two know so intimately.

      It is high time I changed this “About Me” page anyhow. I now have extra motive. Thank you.

      I appreciate your sparing me the other pronunciation difference. When I’m stronger, perhaps.


      P.S. In all seriousness, I can’t believe I’ve been saying it wrong all of these years. Of course, I think I’ve only said the word twice aloud in my entire life, so that must count for something.

  30. Zack says:

    My condolences! Better late than never I suppose. Besides, there are probably about 15 people in the whole of the US who would correct you. (Not counting family members of course, incidentally, my sister too is a linguistics undergrad.. : )

    NYC francophiles. What do they know?

  31. Nafisa says:

    You are an amazing combination of foodie,wordsmith and photographer.Your posts are absolute pleasure to read.

  32. Katherine says:

    Here by way of Wikipedia because of the Bounensuppe recipe you have.

    (a) My husband owns a comic book store and the mother of one of his regular customers was born and raised in Luxembourg, so I hope to have her taste test it. (She comes in at least once a month.)

    (b) I was looking for a hearty winter soup recipe to serve when The Walking Dead starts its next season ( the hubs and I host “Walking Dead Dinner”) and I think I just found it!

    And finally, it’s delightful to read a cooking blog peppered with a great sense of humor.

    • Katharine,

      I can’t tell you how much I love the fact that someone has found me through a wikipage on Luxembourgish bean soup. It somehow makes me feel as if I have truly arrived. I hope the lady likes the soup! The idea that you’d serve something of mine for a Walking Dead event makes me even happier.

  33. Fee says:

    I have just spent the past…..mmmmm….long time reading through your blog. What a brilliant sense of the ridiculous (humour) you have. It’s no wonder you were a finalist in the Best Food Blog Awards – congrats, by the way!!!! I’m sure you’ll pick up more followers.
    So, a Kiwi restaurant in San Fransisco??? that was nice to read seeing as how I’m one of those. I’ll go look next time I’m there (early 2015 is the goal), love your city.
    Keep up the great writing – I’ve bookmarked you and will be back 🙂

    • Dear Fee,

      It cheers me to think that you’ve spent a…long time reading through my blog. Thank you for telling me that.

      And, yes, a Kiwi restaurant. It was called The Moa Room. I loved that place with all my heart. Unfortunately, it closed in 1999(?) when our chef and owner moved back to New Zealand. The space has been the home of about 37 million other restaurants since then.

      I’m glad to know you’ll be back.

      Thank you again,


  34. Cindy says:

    How funny! I also found you through Wikepedia’s Luxembourg article on the bouneschloup (sp?) This was after an idle thought about Benelux, Belgium and its proximity to the Charlie Hebdo aftermath and the fact that I could not name one city in Luxenbourg beyond its capitol. I am thoroughly enjoying reading the past blogs.

    • Cindy,

      I am so delighted that Luxembourgish food has lead you to me.

      You should feel proud that you are familiar with terms like “Benelux”, etc. Most Americans, for example, don’t even know that France is in Europe. The fact that you can name one city in Luxembourg places you well ahead of the pack.

  35. Liz says:

    I am speaking on behalf of savoriapp.com, a locally, eco-friendly food delivery app. We are trying to reach out to people in the SF area because we just launched our app. If you would like a free sample today, we would be happy to provide you with an excellent meal free of charge! All that we ask is that you write a review about us in your food blog. If you are interested please email me back with the following information regarding your order and I would be happy to process it for you:

    Food Order
    First and last name
    Address of the drop off location
    Phone Number
    Check out our web site for the food options: savoriapp.com, or on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Savoriapp.

    Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!


    Liz Siu

    • Thank you, but no thank you. And for future reference, Liz, this sort of correspondence is better done in email form rather than in a blog’s comment section.


      Michael Procopio

  36. Andrea Procopio says:

    I stumbled upon your blog researching Saveur Magazine’s top writing food blogs, being a food lover and writer myself. Your blog name shot out at me and I felt compelled to click it – and lo and behold! Your last name is the same as mine. Now I do understand it’s rare and quirky coincidence (you share your full name excluding your middle with my uncle Michael Procopio and cousin as well, but hey, Italians like to pass on the Saint names). But it’s great. This universe has led me to exactly what I was looking for – a great blog about food written beautifully. You have inspired me to continue writing, cooking, exploring, and reading. So thank you. Kudos to your blog, to yourself, and may your bloodline be as great as mine!
    – Andrea Patricia Procopio

    • Dear Andrea,

      How very delightful it was to read this message. Some days, I am surprised (and relieved) to discover that I could inspire anyone to do anything except slap me across the face. Thank you for letting me know, Andrea. And please give a special hello to your Uncle Michael.


      Another Procopio

  37. Andrea says:

    So, Michael, I came across your blog while Googling “how long after eating beef tartare can you get sick” (6th link down and very informative, kudos!) & I’ve been extremely delighted for the past hour as I’ve been pouring over your other posts. I must thank you wholeheartedly for striking a fabulous balance of humour & food knowledge and I can’t express how lucky I feel to have found your blog, instead of a WedMD page. Let me explain:

    I’ve been sick with flu-like symptoms for the past 24 hours, lying here miserable and not wanting to do anything (including Netflix binge), and I’m pretty sure your writing has cured me where both ibuprofen and acetaminophen have done diddly squat – fever broken, body aches eased up and I’m now thinking about which of your recipes to follow first. (Any suggestions?) You’re a wizard – a god amongst men – and if you’re ever in San Diego and want to eat beef tartare at Caesar’s in Tijuana, let me know. I ate it 2 days before symptoms started so I’m hoping I’m in the clear. That raw cookie dough I ate yesterday, though… well… that’s another story…

    • Andrea,

      Out of curiosity, I Googled the same sentence and noted that I came up 7th. My influence is fading even more quickly than I thought.

      Your message here has delighted me enormously.Except for the bits where you mention you are ill– those parts make me sad. Except for the fact that your illness somehow lead you to my site– that part makes me happy.

      Also, I had far too many youthful experiences in Tijuana. My experiences there have never led me to crave raw beef. Ever. But each trip did inspire a hunger for Caesar salad.



      P.S. I always suggest starting with any or all of my cocktail recipes– after a few of them, you’ll care less about making my other ones and content yourself to simply read them.

  38. Diane Leach says:

    Dear Michael-
    Sorry to hear the year has treated you badly. Alas, you are not alone. Would that it were only terrible hairstyles….Do know your blog is a drolly bright spot. If nothing else, only two months left in 2015, and your take on manbuns looks divine.

    Cheers from the East Bay,

  39. Hey Michael, just made my first entrance into your inspirational food world. I was so much excited and interested while keeping me ahead into your sweet details. I see, you are a man of vast rich experiences that might be inspiration for many readers and followers to you. I was also very much charmed with your food career. Yeah, Life does not always go according to plan- I appreciate you for this precious and meaningful words. Of course I would like to drop my thanks to you for sharing such an incomparable developing character.

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