Chef and Owner: Donna Seymour
Address: 510 San Anselmo Avenue, San Anselmo, CA
Hours: Cucina s|a is offering both outdoor and indoor dining for lunch and dinner, Tuesday through Sunday. Lunch 11:30-3:00 p.m., dinner 5:00-9:00 p.m. Take out only available weekdays, cocktails to go and online ordering available.
Cucina s|a is a friendly neighborhood spot that has been satisfying diners for over 24 years. Owner Donna Seymour recently added a parklet and expanded the space to include a full bar with a selection of spirits and craft cocktails. These new offerings complement award-winning dishes cooked in a wood-fired oven and the seasonal, organic- focused menu showcasing Southern and Central Italian cuisine.
Chef Roberto Avila brings fresh spins on classic dishes like goat cheese and fig salad and brined and braised pork chop with red cabbage and smoked pineapple chutney.
Donna Seymour on Her Favorite Comfort Foods and More
What is your go-to comfort food?
My go-to comfort food is a pasta dish that I read about years ago in a Bon Appetit article about Rome. I’ve lost the recipe many years ago, but it always goes something like this: cook a short pasta — penne, rigatoni, or a shape — and as it cooks, sautée garlic with olive oil and chopped fresh tomatoes. Add lemon zest, and fresh calamari if available, otherwise prawns. Then capers, toast pines, fresh basil, and fresh parmesan. I’ve made it dozens of times!
What food reminds you of childhood — do you have a specific memory that comes to mind?
Duck reminds me of childhood, because my dad went duck hunting, and we loved it. Wild duck is very different than raised duck — gamier and leaner, so you have to cook it rare.
Could you share a favorite recipe or some kitchen tricks for our readers?
Always use fresh garlic. The peeled kind you can buy in the grocery store has no flavor and a bitter taste because they dip it in bleach. And never chopped garlic in a jar — the worst!
What about working in this industry is special or important to you?
I love working in the hospitality industry because it truly connects you to people. You are taking care of someone and feeding them, what could be a kinder gesture than that?
It’s Chopped time — what would you do with these three ingredients: apples, cauliflower, jalapeño.
I would brine and pan sear a pork chop, and make an apple chutney with jalapeño and onions and golden raisins. Served with a cauliflower sformato — basically a cauliflower flan baked with parmesan and eggs.