When Cecilia first opened the Mandarin in 1960, business was slow-a bit like the scene from the movie "Big Night" where nobody shows up. But then Herb Caen, front page gossip columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote about the Mandarin and from that moment on, there were lines out the door. In 1967, Cecilia moved to the recently renovated Ghirardelli Square, where she opened an elegant, temple-like restaurant with 300 seats and white tablecloths. It was called the "best Chinese restaurant in America." The Mandarin attracted the icons of the food world and later, at the urging of actor and comedian Danny Kaye, Cecilia opened another Mandarin in Beverly Hills where she became star to the stars. In this episode, Cecilia teams up with Nancy Oakes, chef/owner of Boulevard, a belle epoque eatery that for the past 20 years has been voted San Francisco's favorite restaurant. Cecilia teaches Nancy and her chef Dana Youkins how to make "minced squab in lettuce cups," a dish Cecilia created that became one of the signature dishes at the Mandarin.
Episode #103 / Length: 27 minutes