Chef Shane Ashley Taberos, who continues to impress at Menlo Park’s Oak & Violet, offers a sneak peek at her winter menu.
Chef Shane Ashley Taberos leads the kitchen at Oak Violet.
Shane Ashley Taberos was a young girl when her family immigrated from the Philippines. She found comfort in cooking traditional dishes with her grandmother and felt connected to her culture through flavors that brought back the simple, flavorful family moments. Fast forward a couple of decades after culinary school—plus stints cooking at fine dining and casual restaurants—and Taberos leads the kitchen at Oak + Violet at the Park James (parkjames.com/oak- violet). We met Taberos before one of her simple yet refined dinners to discuss her winter menu and more.
The elegant dining room at Oak Violet
How would you describe your cooking style? At Oak + Violet, I love celebrating the many diverse cultures we have in our community and weaving in fresh, local, seasonal ingredients to create California cuisine with a slant that’s unique to Silicon Valley and our community and culture.
What are a few items on the menu that showcase your culinary style and spirit of the restaurant? While our menu changes often, there are a few regular items that our guests want to enjoy year-round like our truffle fries and Brussels sprouts. A new standout item is braised lamb on hummus with pita chips, arugula, feta and pomegranate molasses. It’s perfect for sharing. Our most popular entree is the Nordic blu salmon with grilled corn, pattypan squash, spinach, farro and piquillo pepper puree. The textures, flavors and colors combine so beautifully together.
From organic meats to vegetables from Frog Hollow Farms, Taberos and her team source all ingredients locally.
Where do you love to source items for the menu? My favorite spot is Frog Hollow Farms (froghollow.com) in Brentwood. It has some of the best organic fruits, and the team lets them ripen to perfection on the tree before harvesting. For our proteins, I turn to Golden Gate Meat Company (goldengatemeatcompany.com), a family-owned local business offering natural and organic meats and specialty products to chefs since 1977.
Do you have any menu surprises for the winter? Guests will be surprised to see how many sharable plates we’ve added to the menu. This time of year is about gathering with friends, so we’ve made it easy to please everyone in your group and meet various dietary needs. We’ve also added some delicious new housemade pasta dishes perfect for this time of year, including pappardelle wild boar ragu and butternut squash ravioli in a truffle brown butter cream sauce.
What about the holidays? I’m most excited about our prix fixe Christmas and New Year’s menus and creating beautiful holiday parties for local residents. Oak + Violet is all about bringing people together, and what better time than the holidays?
Photography by: COURTESY OF OAK VIOLET;