December 9, 2008

Hello readers (and partners in crime)! It feels like this past weekend was the official holiday party season kick-off, no? I was in full tablehopper mode, to be expected. And this chilly weather has put me into much more of a holiday mood. Break out the coats and gloves and bourbon!

Since we are in holiday mode over here at tablehopper HQ, I wanted to let you know this Wednesday and Friday you will be receiving two special sponsored holiday emails in your inbox, one on entertaining, and one on gifts. Generous sponsors like the ones that will be featured (and the one in this issue!) are what keep tablehopper going, and since almost all of them are locally based, you can help keep these businesses going strong as well! So please take a peek, click, and buy local, yo! Grazie from all of us.

Now it’s time to give a little something to you! This week is my monthly Chronicle Books giveaway: this time we are featuring The Tagine Deck: 25 Recipes for Slow-Cooked Meals by one of my culinary idols, Joyce Goldstein. The odds for this drawing are good because there will be three winners (you also get a Chronicle tote bag). To enter to win, please forward this week’s tablehopper newsletter to one buddy (or more, you star!!), telling them why they would dig a subscription to the tablehopper e-column (if you call it a blog, you are disqualified, no joke), and CC or BCC luckyme [at] tablehopper [dot] com so I know you sent it—I promise I won’t use anyone’s email address. Deadline to enter is midnight on Sunday December 14th. I’ll notify the three winners soon thereafter!

Want to read more? Thanks to Pete at Green Apple Books, we have a bookworm this week, full of holiday book ideas for everyone on your list. His bookstore is another lovely local biz to support! Swing by, get some cookbooks and fiction and art books for your friends, and then go grab a bag of wicked cheap baked pork buns across the street at Wing Lee Bakery as your prize, yum.

As many of you know, I have a big party to host tonight at Rosewood! So I gotta keep this week’s issue short—no time for a review. Many apologies to all of you who I couldn’t get on the guest list! Dang, that thing filled up fast. To repeat, the list is FULL. But I promise you, there will be other parties soon. Thank you for all of your support and interest and nice notes—I hope to host you in ’09! And those of you who did make it onto the guest list, it’s a hot ticket, so no flaking! I look forward to seeing y’all tonight!

Check out tonight’s competing teams o’ talent: Duggan McDonnell (Cantina) and Lauren Kiino (Coi); H. Ehrmann (Elixir) and Scott Youkilis (Maverick); Scott Baird (15 Romolo) and Justin Simoneaux (Moss Room); Jen Ackrill (Rye) and Jane Tseng (A16); and Aurora Siegel and Alicia Bidnic (both Rose Pistola). I will be doing a recap next week of who won what (best drink, best bite, best pairing).

Oh, and if you’d like to see what else I’ve been up to lately, click over to the buzz page for a few bits of press and videos, like a wine-hop I did with The Tasting Panel magazine, and you can listen to a snippet of my segment on Oprah & Friends (scroll down to appearances)! I also have written some non-tablehopper articles, posted on the who is the tablehopper page, including a link to a story I wrote on SF chefs who use the whole animal for a recent Meatpaper issue, plus some chef interviews in Edible San Francisco.

Have a swell week. Ta!