September 2008

September 30, 2008

Hey there. I am happy to be home, a bit tired, but it was certainly a blast exploring Washington state last week—Walla Walla is très cute, can’t wait to write it up for y’all! And the weather was as spectacular as many of the wines I tried. We even took a horseback ride in the middle of vineyards and fruit orchards, going from winery to winery—yes, by horse. One word: dreamy (and a little nerve-wracking, well, until I understood the quirky ways of Daisy, my Appaloosa). Get ready to plan your next trip.

But now, I’m back in the City, and going full-tilt. On Wednesday evening is the Macy’s Cellar City Bites event I’m hosting with local talents Ryan Farr, chef de cuisine/mad pork genius of Orson, and Daniel Hyatt, the bar manager at Alembic who has a knack for getting his customers tipsy on only the good stuff. I named the event “The Pursuit of Flavor”—which in this case means a night of pork, hamachi kama, and bourbon. We look forward to seeing you there!

And then this Saturday October 4th, I’ll be emceeing the Now We’re Cooking hour on the opening weekend for Litquake. Guests reading from books about food and drink will be Elizabeth Falkner, Bryant Terry, Beau Timken, Tara Duggan, Julia Flynn Siler, Brian Yaeger, and Eric Gower. And it’s free! The reading is from 3pm–4pm at the San Francisco Public Library’s Koret Auditorium, Main Branch, 100 Larkin St. at Grove. A reader pointed out that it's happening at the same time as LoveFest—ravers and readers unite, woot woot.

Congrats to the fabulous Monica, who won tickets to Sunday Supper! A LOT of you entered the giveaway, which I’d say means a number of you really really want to go. If you’re thinking about it, please buy tickets and go, because a full 9% of CUESA’s modest operating revenue comes from the Sunday Supper sales. What is CUESA? They’re the essential nonprofit that operates the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and all the free culinary programs, produce tastings, producer interviews, farm tours, and more that they put on. Times are tight for everyone, and ticket sales this year are down. Here’s more on this incredible event, which helps raise money for this important organization. Even the $60 reception is quite the culinary tour de force—think about it!

Okay, I have stepped off my apple box. Now it’s time for another giveaway! Actually, two! It’s a giveaway-fest, literally. I have two tickets to WhiskyFest (read all about it in today’s socialite), and a pair of tickets to next weekend’s FallFest!

You know the drill: to enter to win, just forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to two friends (or more, you star!), telling them why they would dig a subscription to, and CC or BCC luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com so I know you sent it (I promise not to use anyone’s email address!). Deadline to enter is midnight on Friday October 3rd. I’ll let you know this weekend if you are the proud owner of some tickets—the first winner gets their pick from the two events.

I’m off to unpack this suitcase… And yes, I brought some apples home in my bag.
~ Marcia

September 23, 2008

Some Monday nights I really wish I was out playing—the tablehopper would have had a trifecta of parties to hit, but alas, I had to flip on my hazards and stay home this gorgeous Monday night writin’ this beast. We can all rubberneck since Tracie Broom has a piece on the Moss Room media preview, and the Bunrabs hit A Food Affaire. As soon as my column is out, I’m packing my bag and am off to wine country in Washington state for the next six days, checking out a variety of places. Expect a jetsetter recap soon! I also had too much going on this week, way too much, so no review. No worries, there are still around 6,200 words for you to read.

Thanks to everyone who entered last week’s “back to school drawing” for the NFL Gameday Cookbook! And those of you who entered to win a spot to the chocolate event I was hosting last week, I loooooved reading all your favorite desserts! They were so right on that I had to repost them below in the chatterbox so everyone can get inspired on some new sweet treats to hunt down.

This week I have two hot tickets to give away to the upcoming Sunday Supper dinner by CUESA—read all the deets in this week’s socialite. The line-up of chefs is pretty special—the party will be a full-tilt feast o’ delish. To enter to win, just forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to two friends, telling them why they would dig a subscription to, and CC or BCC luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com so I know you sent it (I promise not to use anyone’s email address). Deadline to enter is midnight on Sunday September 29th. I’ll let you know next week if you are the proud owner of two tickets. Let’s eat!

I’m off to the land of apples.
~ Marcia

September 16, 2008

Yup, I am back from the mountains, the land of chattering chipmunks and blue jays, and if it wasn’t for the pain of dial-up internet access at my family’s cabin, I’d still be trying to figure out how to stay up there and get my work done. Alas.

Let’s party. It’s time for the monthly “back to school” book giveaway from Chronicle Books. This one is sure to please you sports fan types, because I am giving away three copies of The NFL Gameday Cookbook by Ray "Dr. BBQ" Lampe. This month, three lucky winners will score a copy of the book, plus a Chronicle tote bag. To enter to win, just forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to one friend, telling them why they would dig a subscription to tablehopper, and CC or BCC luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com so I know you sent it (I promise not to use anyone’s email address). Deadline to enter is midnight on Sunday September 21st. I’ll let you know next week if you are the proud owner of a book and tote. Let’s kick it off!

Since I’m feeling all “giver goddess” (a la Judy Tenuta), I have another fun enter-to-win to throw your way: I’m busy planning and hosting two cool invite-only events this week for the launch of the and Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest, and I have one extra seat to give away to this Thursday evening’s event!

The winner will get to watch pastry chefs William Werner of polite/persuasion and Boris Portnoy of Candybar do a unique chocolate cooking presentation at Sur La Table on Maiden Lane, and of course munch some tasty treats. Yes, fo’ free. The invite-only event runs from 6pm–8pm. To enter to win the sole spot, just email luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com what your favorite sweet treat to eat in San Francisco is. Deadline to enter is by 9am on Wednesday September 17th—I’ll let you know if you won by noon that day.

I’m also hosting a cool event at the Macy’s Cellar on Wednesday October 1st with Ryan Farr of Orson and Daniel Hyatt of the Alembic. Yes, there will be pig and bourbon involved. A veritable flav-o-rama. Check it out in the socialite.

And now, let’s dive into this doozy of an issue.

~ Marcia

September 2, 2008

Did you have a swell Labor Day? True to its name, I spent some of mine writing this thing. Although instead of penning a restaurant review this week, I opted to get a little BBQ time in at grandma’s house with the fam in San Mateo—the smell of my neighbor’s barbecue was making me hangry, so I had to get my steak on.

And since I am boss of me, the nice boss side says I get to take time off when it’s convenient for ME. Which happens to be this Thursday, when I head back up to Tahoe for a few more days of sun, swimming, biking, and yes, quinoa.

In fact, it’s time for tablehopper Indian summer hours! I’ve decided to take next Tuesday off, so there will be no tablehopper next Tuesday September 9th. The ’hopper will be back in your inbox on Tuesday the 16th. Instead of spending ten-plus days doing and recovering from Burning Man this year, I am creating my own variation: Lake Woman.

I threw in a bunch of event listings so you know what’s going on until the 16th; there are also some additional pieces in the wino and the bookworm for you to dig into.

Of course I was running around all weekend at Slow Food Nation—I put a recap below in the chatterbox. I actually got snagged by the charming Carla Borelli of Local Forage and Beth LaDove at the cocktail pavilion (surprise, surprise) for a quick interview for the SFN website. Here’s the link to my interview on YouTube. Actually, here’s a link to the entire Slow Food Nation channel so you can see other footage and interviews, including one with Nico Monday, who was behind the pizza oven I mentioned last week, and another in praise of the Berkel slicer!

Here’s wishing a big welcome back to everyone staggering in from the playa, and I’ll catch y’all on the flip side.


~ Marcia

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