SAN FRANCISCO -- Renowned chefs Michael Mina and Ayesha Curry celebrate food as the heart of the community with their San Francisco restaurant International Smoke. Spotlighting wood-fired steaks, seafood, and ribs, this popular culinary destination recognizes that fire is the start of all cooking, and every country shares this spark.
"Being able to provide nourishment for people is just such a fundamental part of life that I just have always gravitated to," explained owner Ayesha Curry.
In fact, she started cooking at just 12 years old. Fast forward to Super Bowl 50 when Michael Mina invited Ayesha to cook with him at his restaurant Tailgate.
"We cooked together that day, and we haven't stopped since," said Curry.
The duo teamed up to develop International Smoke, which debuted in 2016 as a pop-up in the MINA Test Kitchen. Now, it's a staple in San Francisco's restaurant scene.
"Chef came to me with the idea of this international grilling concept and he said, 'You know, any culture that you do a deep dive into, there's always a common thread and it's one getting people around a table, but two there's always some sort of barbecue or grilling involved like no matter which culture,'" said Curry.
She added, "And I said, 'Hey, how cool would it be if we gave people the experience of, you know, traveling the globe without ever having to use their passport.' So, that was the idea."
Guests can choose from a menu of unique dishes made with international, wood-fired cooking techniques. Signature highlights include "Peking" Pork Belly Bao Buns, Chili-Garlic King Crab, Roasted Halibut with Matbutcha, and a vegan Whole Roasted Cauliflower.
At the center of the dining experience, the bar offers a community atmosphere - creating a social space where guests can connect with friends over delicious food and drinks for a night to remember.
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