What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
November 13, 2018

Sunday evening’s smoky moonrise in Healdsburg, just before TSO Sonoma’s Fall Foraged harvest dinner. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hello, my friends. How are you all doing out there? It has been such an awful, gut-wrenching week for California, full of terrible loss, heartbreak, and so much smoke. The tales of survivors and loss are equally overwhelming. It’s so defeating to look out at these ash-filled skies, and the claustrophobia is real. Sending all the hugs.

I know so many of us feel quite helpless in the face of all this overwhelming destruction, wondering what to do and how to contribute. One really easy way is to give $10 via the American Red Cross by texting CALWILDFIRES to 90999. It’s that easy. Go ahead, do it right now. Or you can donate via their site, or call 1-800-HELPNOW. The New York Times also put together this helpful post with more charities and ways to donate. Thanks for doing the good deeds you all do so well. I will be keeping you posted on upcoming charity events here. Our precious California.

I’m so grateful to get out of the smoke this week, and am actually heading into another kind of smoke: I’ll be in Las Vegas all week for MJBIZCON, on behalf of my other brand (mymilligram), along with 20,000 other cannabiz folks. (Can you believe I’m on a 4:20pm flight today? That was definitely the flight to book.) I haven’t been to Vegas in years, so if you have any recent food faves and finds to check out, I’m all ears. It’s going to be busy bizeee, but a girl’s gotta eat.

Speaking of that, I’ve been eating all over town for you guys! Last week’s Table Talk on Bay Area Bites includes a visit to Five Happiness (an Inner Richmond Chinese restaurant for classic Shanghainese and Taiwanese dishes), plus there’s a new Le Marais Bakery and commissary in Polk Gulch, and let’s look at three new restaurants opening in the North Bay.

This week’s Table Talk covers a quality brunch and cocktails at The Saratoga, plus the Week of Italian Cuisine returns (featuring Puglia this year!), the off-the-menu Prog Dog at The Progress, and don’t miss the next installment of Chicken and Wine Palace’s pop-up, featuring some truly excellent fried chicken.

If that brunch at The Saratoga is really catching your eye, and I know it will, you’re going to be happy to hear I’m hosting a tablehopper holiday brunch there with Westland Distillery on Sunday December 2nd! We’re so excited to see you at this swanky and boozy brunch, it’s going to be a blast, but tickets are limited, so hop to it!

One last item, and this is a fun one. Many of you know I was an Alfa Romeo driver for quite some time, before the Lipstick Mobile experienced her untimely end when a wall fell on her. So smushed, just like lipstick. Tragic!

Anyway, my Dad is currently clearing out his garage of his toys, and one of them is his 1991 Alfa Romeo Spider Veloce 2.0. If you were ever going to buy an Alfa Romeo, you’d want to buy one maintained, loved, and tuned by my father. She’s a beauty—she’s white, only 38K miles (!), comes with a hard top (great for winter), and she sounds like a beast. Immaculate. Check out his beloved Claudia (named after Ms. Cardinale) here. It would be so amazing to sell the car to someone “in the family,” or at least to fellow Alfisti. Thanks for spreading the word! We’re also going to be selling a silver 1972 Spider, also immaculate, if you like vintage cars—stand by on that one.

Okay gang, I’m off for a crazy week with Snoop (yup, he’s going to be there) and suits and everything in between. Catch you on the flip side.

Big hugs.
Marcia Gagliardi

October 30, 2018

A special evening at the Italian Consulate to kick off the upcoming Week of Italian Cuisine in the World (November 12th–17th). When Viola Buitoni and Consul General Lorenzo Ortona are in the kitchen, you couldn’t be in better hands. What a beautiful feast! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hi gang. Can you believe this October? The weather has been so incredible, one bright thing during these dark headlines. I was also super-uplifted to be part of the all-female panel for the Macy’s Culinary Council last week. Thanks to the familiar faces who turned out for the panel as we all shared some real talk about what it’s like to be a woman in the culinary industry. Fempire was in the house.

James Beard’s Taste America at The Fairmont on Friday evening was also a blast (I helped out with the auction)—loved hanging out with so many friends in our local culinary world, and the food was faboosh. Thanks to everyone who helped make that event so special.

The next culinary event I hope to see you at is the upcoming Saucy Awards on Monday November 12th—and it’s your last chance to nominate your favorite restaurant for the people’s choice award—voting ends November 1st.

I’ve been busy writing about some of my latest food finds in Table Talk over at KQED’s Bay Area Bites: here’s this week’s post (including the delicious Besharam!) and last week’s Table Talk has an awesome fish banh mi you’ll want to track down. And vegan tacos. (I promise, they’re so good.)

And just in case you’re canna-curious but you still haven’t subscribed to my other venture, mymilligram (whatcha waiting for?), here’s a post about five new edibles and beverages coming soon that I spotted at the Hall of Flowers cannabis B2B trade show last month. And if you don’t want to wait, here are five cannabis-infused beverages you can enjoy right now! Anything to take the edge off, especially now.

And please, next Tuesday November 6th, I know you’re going to vote! Spread the word. Those “I Voted!” stickers really are the sexiest thing. You’re so hawt.

Big XO.
Marcia Gagliardi

October 16, 2018

I wish I had this cocktail in front of me right now: Becky with the Good Hair, at the brand-new Prairie! Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Oh, hi there. Yeah, today’s issue is late—it was trying to drown me! At least there are a bunch of fun news items in today’s column. And just in case you want some more, this week’s Table Talk has plenty of goodies in it too (and trust me, you don’t want to miss reading about the pork sung roll!). I also have this recent post I wrote for Blackboard Eats on some of the best SF counter-service restaurants, because SF sure is tough on the wallet these days.

Tickets are now available for the Macy’s Culinary Council panel I mentioned a couple weeks ago! Joining me are Reem Assil, Dani Boglivi-Fiori, Shirley Chung, Dominica Rice-Cisneros, Tanya Holland, and host Yvonne Kim. We’ll be discussing what it’s like to be a woman in the culinary industry on Thursday October 25th at 6pm at Macy’s Union Square. Hope to see you there. Fempire in the house.

Tonight, I can’t believe I get to see René Redzepi and David Zilber at their sold-out talk at the JCCSF—they’ll be talking about their brand-new book, The Noma Guide to Fermentation. The JCCSF is producing some great culinary events—check out this one coming up with Magnus Nilsson and this event with chef Crystal Wahpepah, who will be discussing Native American cuisine.

Did any of you go to the Treasure Island Music Festival this past weekend? You couldn’t have asked for better weather, what a gift. I only made it on Sunday, but seeing Tame Impala play the most incredible set left me feeling amazed—their show was truly a thing of beauty. It was also so refreshing to see so many female artists on Sunday, and art, and the dreamy music at sunset was just peachy (it helped make up for all the dust, which was the opposite of fresh).

Okay, let’s dive in here. Would love to see you at Macy’s next week!

Marcia Gagliardi

October 2, 2018

The Monday night prime rib special at Perle Wine Bar in Montclair. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Howdy, amigos. Happy fall, although I really can’t believe it’s October. I need to get a beach day in before I will fully commit to the changing season.

It’s going to be a busy month, with so many fab food and wine events and new openings and happenings. I’m particularly pleased to be speaking on a Macy’s Culinary Council panel discussion on what it’s like to be a woman in the culinary industry. #metoo and #timesup will definitely be discussed. Joining me are Reem Assil, Dani Boglivi-Fiori, Shirley Chung, Dominica Rice-Cisneros, Tanya Holland, and host Yvonne Kim. It’s on Thursday October 25th at 6pm at Macy’s Union Square. I’ll announce on social media when tickets are available, so mark your calendar for now.

Those of you who follow me on Instagram have already been drooling over the prime rib special at Perle I posted, and you can read all about it in this week’s Table Talk on Bay Area Bites, and here’s last week’s column, with a look at Juanita More’s new Sunday drag brunch at Jones. FUN.

I want to do a quick thank you to Emily Beaven for including me in this post on SF’s Female Food Influencers & Where They Live: The Writers from the Western Addition & Haight Ashbury.

Okay, that’s it, let’s dive in. My fingers are tired from typing. Marcia Gagliardi