tablehopper
table of contents This week's tablehopper: star CHEFS.

the chatterbox
the word on the street

the regular
it's about time we met
the lush
put it on my tab

the socialite
shindigs/feasts/festivals
the starlet
no photos please

the sponsor
this round is on me

FineFoods

Dress for Success

JULY 8, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO How are all you hands-free drivin' people doing? (It seems to be quite the topic of the populus this week.) So of course we had a foggy Fourth, but this week is shaping up for full-tilt weather gorgeousness… Meow. I am thrilled to be heading to wine country for some proper heat this weekend, hitting both Napa and Sonoma. Naturally, I will share highlights (but no low-lights, ha ha) next week, and I'm currently working on a Napa jetsetter piece since many of you seemed to like the Healdsburg one. Stand by.

Sadly I am missing this year's Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, but my liver and waistline are singing a chorus of thanks. So, starting next Wednesday, don't be surprised if you don't find many of your favorite bartenders behind the stick. Reason enough for me to head back up to Napa for the TASTE3 conference (July 17th–19th). Am happy to see Dan Barber of Blue Hill & Blue Hill at Stone Barns is returning, plus I'm excited to hear Ben Wallace, the author of The Billionaire's Vinegar. And yay, Ted Allen will be a session host, such a nice guy. Wanna go? Got some dough? There are still tickets left!

So, speaking of fabulous events, I have a "save the date" announcement for you: I'll be hosting the next tablehopper supper on Tuesday July 29th at the inimitable Rubicon! This event will be extra-special, not only because I adore Stuart Brioza's inspired cooking (and his fiancée Nicole Krasinski's one-of-a-kind desserts), but also because we'll be pouring some fantastic wines, including the just-launched Pillow Rd Vineyards' pinot noir, and some killer wines from Ladera Vineyards. (Can you say cabernet? I knew that you could.) Look for all the details about menu, pricing, and making reservations next week! Just mark it on your calendar for now, would love to see you there.

imageLast week I hosted one of my favorite and certainly most memorable meals in a long time. Now, before you wonder why you weren't invited, it's because this was the first tablehopper dinner with the CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness Through Employment in Food Service) class! For those of you who may remember, the kind folks at Bambuddha Lounge, GM Michael Shaulis and executive chef Jessica Gorin, generously offered to host the dinner when they saw I was trying to gather donations to take the class out to dinner.

Look for a full recap of this very special evening in this week's the regular—I even have a guest reviewer from the class, yay! I also posted a flickr album with a bunch of pics here. Many thanks to CleanFish, who kindly donated the Laughing Bird Shrimp and Loch Duart salmon for the dinner, plus Modesto Food Distributors Inc., who provided us with Fulton Valley Farms chicken. (Hearts to you both.)

Many, many grazie to you, dear readers, who helped raise a total of $1,673 for me to take the class out to a future dinner. Like, whoa! The checks just kept rolling in—it was the best week of mail in my life, lemme tell ya. You all blow my mind with your kindness, and I know the class and program heads are all so touched by your thoughtfulness. I am currently putting together a field trip and dining excursion for the current class, and your donations will go toward the costs to do so. Stand by for the plans on that one. I also plan to make these dinners an ongoing event for each group of new students who start a session in the program, so I plan to apply remaining funds to those dinners in the future. Thank you all for enabling me to give back to our local community in such a tangible way.

Oh, and for those who have a moment, I want to point you to this compelling video about the CHEFS organization that was presented at the recent SummerTini annual fundraiser. It helps show why this program is so dang important, and why I'm all fired up to help support it. Let's rock.

Gratefully yours,

~Marcia  subscribe
the chatterbox

FineFoodsJULY 8, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Downtown just keeps getting interesting, I tell ya. To that end, here's on update on ~GITANE~ in Claude Lane, slated to open at the end of July. Looks like we'll have yet another spiffy place to score our citywide bad habit: yes, pizza. Executive chef Lisa Eyherabide has joined the ranks of local folks getting certified by the VPN (Verace Pizza Napoletana) in the authentic Neapolitan style of pizza making (like some folks at A16 did); it's a weeklong training and certificate program. Gitane will have a wood-burning pizza oven and Eyherabide will be creating about five–six unique pizzas each day.

Some appetizers on the preliminary menu may include items like the delicious-sounding baccalau acras: house-salted Atlantic cod, Yukon gold mashed potato, and diced sweet peppers mixed together and rolled into bread crumbed fritters, deep fried and served with lime aioli (awwww yeah), and mackerel escabèche: an Atlantic king mackerel simmer prepared with a marinade of onions, carrots, bay leaves, Champagne vinegar, and white wine, served with saffron potato salad; mains may include souris d'agneau: locally raised braised lamb hind shank in Rioja red wine, fresh orange juice, orange zest, coriander, accompanied by fire-roasted butternut squash. Here's a sneak peek at a recipe from bar manager Dominic Venegas, in case you're wondering what you're going to be starting your meal with: the Solera is made with Santa Teresa 1796, Lustau Palo Cortado, Velvet Falernum, and a dash of Regan's bitters. Is it the end of July yet? Bring it! 6 Claude Lane at Bush.

Congrats to South Food + Wine Bar who signed the lease on their new place opening in West Hollywood: ~SOUTH ON SUNSET~! They have primo real estate, just opposite the Chateau Marmont, with 140 seats, a full bar, and the L.A.-de rigueur outdoor patio. The executive sous from Glass (Sydney) will be the head chef. The concept will be similar to the San Francisco location, but there will be a bar menu and a bigger wine list. Permits pending, they are hoping for a December opening. Cheers, mates! 8226 Sunset Blvd. at N. Harper.

Some more glammy news: last week I mentioned some potential local chefs competing on ~IRON CHEF AMERICA~, and this week I got word that Eric Gower, the author of The Breakaway Cook and The Breakaway Japanese Kitchen is a judge for the upcoming season. Right on, Eric!

Since we're speaking Japanese (I think I'm turning Japanese, I really think so), Eater had the word that 30-year-old ~TORAYA~ has shuttered. I heard about some local chefs checking the space out a few months ago, but haven't heard anything definitive about who the new tenant is. Yet. 1914 Fillmore St. at Bush.

Yesterday marked the opening of another La Boulange, this one is ~LA BOULANGE DE MARKET~, near Third Street. I spoke with Thomas Lefort of Bay Bread, who said the menu is similar to other Boulanges around town, but will have a limited bread offering. There will be more grab-and-go options for local busy bee workers, a full array of coffee offerings to fuel up with, and there will be catering available for the neighborhood, a first for Bay Bread. There is only outdoor seating available: eight two-tops in all. Initial hours are Mon–Sat 6:30am–5pm. 685 Market St. at 3rd St., 415-512-7610.

This weekend is the grand opening of ~18 REASONS~, a new event space and gallery from the Bi-Rite folks celebrating local food and art. Yes, you savvy San Franciscans, the name is a play on the 17 Reasons sign (check out the logo on the site if you need a hint). In fact, you'll want to check out the site anyway, because that's where you'll find the lineup of all the cool events this space is hosting, from talks to tastings to a wickedly affordable winemaker dinner on July 29th with Randall Grahm of Bonny Doon. Word. This opening weekend's events include: Friday July 11th at 7pm: 18th Hour with Greg Brown (T-Vine Cellars) and Sam Mogannam of Bi-Rite; Saturday July 12th: gallery open 12pm–4pm; Saturday July 12th 2pm–5pm: free cookbook signing with Joyce Goldstein; Sunday July 13th: gallery open 12pm–4pm. 593 Guerrero St. at 18th St., 415-252-9816.

Over in Potrero Hill, another art-oriented project will be opening, this one on Rhode Island Street in a former antique showroom, by early August. It will be called ~PROJECT ONE~, and is shaping up to be an eclectic art gallery/wine bar. The venture will be a collaboration of Joseph Latimore's Galley Sensei in NYC and curator Brooke Waterhouse of the Bay Area. If his name seems familiar, Latimore was also one of the founding partners of the cocktail lounge Otis on Maiden Lane. 251 Rhode Island #3 at 16th St.

Here's some info about a cute new place in Potrero Hill (and a treat for tablehopper readers): opening in the former Petite Patisserie space is ~BAKED. CAKES, SWEETS & TREATS~ from Tina Fisher and her partner, Andrea Ortega. They plan to officially open on Monday July 14th. And how sweet is this? tablehopper subscribers get a free cookie if they come in that Monday and mention tablehopper. (Call and make sure they are open before you head over for your cookie though—I don't want to hear about it if they don't open as planned! Things happen, you know. But if the opening gods are with us, enjoy!) For the first couple of weeks, baked. will be open from 7am–2pm, opening back up at 5pm until 9:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays for you post-dinner folks in the area with a sweet tooth. Or those who just finished hitting their neighborhood dispensary, or maybe just watched a Cheech and Chong movie. Perhaps both. 1415 18th St. at Connecticut, 415-826-9455. 

There are some schedule changes for the ~MARCHÉ ON THE SQUARE~ project in Ghirardelli Square: the market opened according to schedule, but it ends up Bar Marche will not open until next Tuesday July 15th, instead of this Wednesday. 900 North Point at Larkin, 415-359-0365.

I was catching up on my neighborhood haps in this month's North Panhandle News, and learned a ~NEW DIVISADERO FARMERS' MARKET~ begins a three-month trial period on Sunday July 13th! Rad. It's through the Pacific Coast Farmers Market Association, who also do the weekly Fillmore market. The NoPa market will be hosted in the parking lot at Divisadero and Grove—yes, the lot by the old Brother-in-Law's BBQ pit, and the medical Mary Jane trailer. (Now you can get a different kind of herb.) Everyone in the neighborhood, and nearby, please come out and support this market! Sundays 10am–2pm. Divisadero St. at Grove.

~1300 ON FILLMORE~ has added Saturday brunch service, with all kinds of dishes to get you fat, like Marty's Hang Town fry; ham-hock hash with eggs any style; cinnamon brioche French toast with maple syrup, roasted apple, and French vanilla bean cream; and barbecue shrimp n' creamy grits. Oh, let's not forget the croque madame, with ham-hock, Gruyere, and a fried egg (call your trainer before going to this brunch, yo). You can waddle in and out on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30am–2:30pm. 1300 Fillmore St. at Eddy, 415-771-7100.

It's ~BASTILLE DAY~ on Monday July 14th. Yup, the frogs will be going nuts. One place I know of that is offering a special menu is Cassis, with a four-course prix-fixe menu for $49.95 (beverages, tax, and gratuity are additional). Their Bastille Day menu can be viewed on the Cassis website. 2101 Sutter St. at Steiner, 415-440-4500.

A super-sleuthy Chowhound has discovered the former chef of Thai House Express on Geary and Larkin has gone to the brand-new ~CHAI THAI NOODLES~ in Oakland, and is offering pretty much the exact same menu as Thai House Express. Even the font is the same. Well. The space sounds small (ten tables). You can read all about it here. According to the Chowhound poster, the hours are 10am–8pm or 9pm—I'd call in advance before heading over since it just opened. 545 B International Blvd. at 6th Ave., Oakland, 510-832-2500.

Also in Oakland, here's an update on what is replacing Jack's Bistro at the Waterfront Hotel in Jack London Square: ~MISS PEARL'S JAM HOUSE~ is back, a project from Joie de Vivre and Joey Altman. You remember that place when it was at the Phoenix Hotel (which was JDV's/Chip Conley's first hotel)? I do. It was opened by Altman back in 1989, but this East Bay redux is being designed by Michael Brennan to be "Miss Pearl's mansion" on a tropical island, with an eclectic style replete with trinkets and antiques that are supposed to conjure up a feeling of sunken treasure. There will also be abalone shell walls with LED backlighting, recycled glass, shell chairs covered in pearl essence, and ceiling fans.

Altman will bring back some dishes from the original Miss Pearl's New World-inspired menu, like crispy catfish fingers, black eyed pea fritters, and jumbo sea scallops in a potato crust, plus new additions will hail from the raw seafood bar, the wood oven for roasting fish and meats, as well as a rotisserie. Altman is consulting on the project for a year, working closely with executive chef Robert Barker, whose background includes Bambara in Salt Lake City, and Emeril's in New Orleans.

There will be two outdoor patios and an entire section of the restaurant devoted to the bar and lounge area. Beverage director Geoffrey Perry, an Oahu native, will be putting together some Hawaiian island cocktail drinks that will feature some lighter Caribbean influences, and in the ultimate throwback move, will be offering the infamous JELL-O shots that Miss Pearl's was known for. As Altman says, "The JELL-O shots started at Miss Pearl's, then went to the college dorm rooms, and now we're taking them back." (Don't say I didn't warn you.) There will also be sangrias, infused rums, rum punches, mojitos, and aged sipping rums on the menu. Miss Pearl's Jam House should be opening in mid-August. Breakfast, weekend brunch, weekday lunch, and dinner nightly. Waterfront Hotel, One Broadway, Oakland, 510-444-7171.

A family friend wanted to let me know the sole restaurant in La Honda has opened (I'd have no job in La Honda, would I?). It's called ~SULLIVAN'S RESTAURANT~, and has moved into the long-closed La Honda House Café space. The restaurant is from husband and wife team Tim and Jane Sullivan (Jane reportedly sports a serious Yorkshire accent). You can read all about it in a piece the San Mateo County Times, but the basics are that they have Yorkshire pudding, shepherd's pie, fish and chips (English style), plus some breakfast on the weekend. And yes, an outdoor patio, with live music amongst the redwoods. Open Fri 5:30pm–10pm, and Sat–Sun 8am–10pm. 8865 La Honda Rd. (Highway 84), La Honda, 650-747-9664.


Got a hot tip? You know I'd love it (and you). Just reply to this email!

 
the sponsor

FineFoods

As much as we love dining out, sometimes it's great to curl up at home and enjoy a delicious meal. But that doesn't mean you always want to cook. That's where FineFoods comes in… Whether you have a crazy busy schedule, love eating but hate cooking, or want to help out friends with a new baby, FineFoods can help.  

FineFoods stocks your fridge with the food you love to eat. Inspired by cuisines around the globe, the seasonal menus feature all-natural and organic meats, and tons of the best local and organic produce.  

Rediscover your dining room table and enjoy FineFoods at home.

As a special tablehopper offer, sign up for the Fine Foods Newsletter during the month of July and you will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift certificate to enjoy FineFoods.  


 
the regular

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Bambuddha Lounge
601 Eddy St.
Cross: Larkin St.
San Francisco, CA 94109

415-885-5088
website

Happy hour:
Wed–Fri 5:30pm–7:30pm
Dinner:
Wed–Sat 6pm–10pm
Lounge:
Fri–Sat 9:30pm–2am
Closed Sun–Tue

 

JULY 8, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO This write-up is a special recap of the tablehopper CHEFS (Conquering Homelessness Through Employment in Food Service) dinner, with class/session number 33. This event was generously hosted by ~BAMBUDDHA LOUNGE~ GM Michael Shaulis and executive chef Jessica Gorin—thank you so much for making this night possible, and cheers to your kitchen and attentive service staff, too.

It was quite the evening: we were seated outside at one long table under the cozy heat lamps, 16 of us in all, and executive chef Gorin treated us to one heck of a spread. I was so impressed with how open-minded all the students were—each and every one of them tried the amuse bouche of a raw oyster on the half shell, some experiencing their very first oyster. And only one "meh"! A great start.

It was an evening full of questions, inspiration, and coming together over chef Gorin's globetrotting cuisine that provided an exciting and flavor-loaded platform to discuss a variety of exotic ingredients, preparations, and influences. We also chewed the fat about topics like food writing, the local restaurant reviewing circuit, eating sustainably and locally, dining etiquette, and we also went over the glossary chef Gorin and I prepared, covering any culinary terms and ingredients the students encountered on the menu.

Special thanks to CleanFish, who so kindly donated the Laughing Bird Shrimp and Loch Duart salmon for the dinner, plus Modesto Food Distributors Inc., who provided us with Fulton Valley Farms chicken.

Below I have posted the menu, and instead of writing this week's review, I am happy to pass the baton to student Nina Flower-Moore, who took a bunch of notes all night and wrote up her thoughtful and detailed take on the dinner, with a little feedback from her fellow students. She's got a serious flair for food writing; I'm so impressed, and know you will be, too. I am also posting comments below from the other students with their thoughts on the dinner, enjoy!

I created a flickr album of the event, click here if you'd like to see more pics!

One last thing before we dive in here: one student told me tasting this food made her really want to try harder in the CHEFS program. She said it totally inspired her, and made her see how good food can taste. Another was so excited by the Thai tom yam soup we had that he wanted to make Thai food the base for a menu he was preparing for class. Yeah, that's the stuff, isn't it?

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CHEFS PROGRAM DINNER
THURSDAY, JULY 3, 2008

Amuse
Effingham Oyster with Green Tea-Shiso Granite

First Course (Shared Appetizers)
Edamame in Shichimi Togarashi
Prawn Fritters with Siracha Aioli
Mixed Seafood Ceviche with Shrimp Chips

Second Course
Spicy Tom Yam Soup

Third Course (Shared Salads)
Ma-po Duck Salad
Jakarta Salad

Fourth Course (Family Style Entrees and Sides)
Loch Duart Salmon with Yellow Curry
Lemongrass Chicken
Stir-fried Bok Choy and Lotus Root
Coconut Rice

Fifth Course
Assorted Dessert Platters

 

And now, the review of the meal from guest writer Nina Flower-Moore from CHEFS Session #33:

image"We started off with a petite oyster topped with refreshing, lightly sweetened green tea shiso granite. It was succulent, sweet and followed by a mellow brininess. It was reminiscent of the sea as a good oyster should be.

"The sustainably farmed "Laughing Bird Shrimp" Ceviche had a voluptuous mouthfeel, it was flavorful and almost meaty in texture, but tender at the same time. To our delight it was paired with colorful shrimp chips,which resembled a playful interpretation of chips and dip. It was presented in a beautiful maroon colored banana flower petal.

"A hard act to follow, but the mung bean battered prawn fritters were delectable and addictive, served with a siracha aioli, a perfect accompaniment for this outstanding appetizer.

"Our entree "Show Stopper Salmon" is what they should call this dish. Presented in a delicate curry sauce with micro cilantro and crunchy roasted cashews. It was served with coconut rice and baby bok choy. The fish Loch Duart Salmon was tender, flaky and sweet. The coconut rice was fragrant and the bok choy cooked to perfection.

"An additional entree of Lemongrass Chicken was outstanding as well, bronzed on the outside but fully cooked, moist and tender inside.

"Following the meal a chocolate chai bread pudding, the best bread pudding in California, and a slap your mom pineapple tarte tatin.

"A wonderful meal, wonderful ambience, great hosts, great time. Thanks to our chef instructors, CHEFS staff and above all to our sponsors for their support and for believing in us."

Here's a variety of comments from the CHEFS students who attended the dinner:

"The desserts tasted like they were made with love. They took my senses by storm and took me to a happy place." -Paul

"For the first time in 1/2 a century of existence I dined like I belonged to a royal family. Thank you very much." -Dexter

"What a great experience, a five course meal, I've never had one before." -Latoya

"Not my kind of food but I ate everything and it was all good." -Jonathan

"Enjoyed everything, the chef is master of seasoning, nothing was over or under seasoned." -Ron

"Soup was too hot and spicy but I ate it all anyway, it was that good." -Susan

"I ate all five desserts, the Chocolate Chai Bread Pudding sure wasn't Mom's bread pudding. The Tapioca was a blast." -Charles

"WOW, at the first sight of this dish (ceviche) my eyes were preparing my palate for something great!" -Robert

"The Drink: basil, strawberry, soda and lime, a rich deep color, with specks of green basil made me want to chug it down like beer on a hot day." –Robert

"Over-all, I got a lot of inspiration. The whole concept of the meal was great." -Nina

"The presentation was elegant and it all tasted good too."

"I liked the fact that the Chef went out of her way to educate us, joining us at the table and explaining things. She even joined us again after dinner to answer questions."

"The meal as a whole had a nice presentation, wonderful colors, tantalizing smells, every part of this meal left me waiting for the next bite." -Clifford

"The ambience, with open curtains, tropical plants, candlelight and authentic food and tastes made me feel like I was in the Orient." -Tom

"Oh my God folks, let the game begin! The tastes, seasonings, flavors, mouth watering textures and The Sweets..............." -Robert

"Thanks to all of you for making a group of people very happy, I wish you could all have heard their expressions of joy. They were excited, delighted and very grateful. Thanks again. This was successful beyond my wildest dreams and would love to do it again with other classes." –Bill Taylor, Program Manager for CHEFS


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the lush

Dress for SuccessJULY 8, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Here's on update on ~CLOCK BAR~ by Michael Mina, opening next Tuesday July 15th in the Westin St. Francis hotel in Union Square. The team includes GM Matthew Meidinger, bartender Marco Dionysos (formerly of Tres Agaves), and seasoned bar team Ray Cortez Brown, Estanislado Orona, and Maren West. CLOCK BAR will showcase the standards and classically-inspired cocktails (ranging between $10–$14), not quite reaching some of New York's $20 cocktail price tags, but getting up there. That said, the list is the kind I want to work through from top to bottom, with classics like the Aviation and a Pisco Sour, and the San Francisco Sazerac made with Old Potrero Rye really speaks to me. I've never had a Mary Pickford, which I gotta try. Not particularly because of the Montecristo rum, maraschino, pineapple, and grenadine combo, but because it reminds me of the cheeky bartender from the Cypress Club who used to call me Mary Pickford. Ahhh, memories. There is also a list of 300 wine selections assembled by Mina Group wine director Rajat Parr.

There is a menu of small plates created by Michael Mina and chef Chris L'Hommedieu. I took a look, and it includes a chopped salad with lobster, pancetta and Banyuls vinaigrette; a soft-shell crab po' boy; lamb tenderloin panini, and hello grilled Wolfe Ranch quail with "wild man" mixed greens, grilled peaches, and spring onions.

There are two columns serving as the central focus of the space, topped with ticker clocks showing the time in New York, Rome, Tokyo, San Francisco, Paris and Chicago. The clocks are a reference to the name of the bar itself, inspired by the famous Magneta Grandfather Clock in the main lobby of the hotel that has been a central meeting place in San Francisco since 1907. Open daily 4pm–2am. The Westin St. Francis, 335 Powell St. at Post, 415-354-2735.

Domaine Select Wine Estates is hosting a ~MOON AND MINIMAL INTERVENTION PRODUCED WINE TASTING~ at William Cross Wine Merchants tomorrow (Wednesday July 9th) from 6pm–9pm. You can read more about the event here. $15 per person. William Cross Wine Merchants, 2253 Polk St. at Green, 415-346-1314.

Don't forget next Sunday July 20th is ~PICCINO'S ROSÉ AND PIZZA FESTIVAL~! Piccino will throw open its doors from 11am–5pm; they will crank up the ovens, prep the pizzas, and chill a wide variety of French, Italian, Spanish, and California rosés selected to complement their thin-crust pizzas and salads. Pours will be by the glass and bottle, and, for those who wish to sample widely without getting loopy, they will also be offering 2.5 oz. tastes. With luck, some warm weather will roll in, too. Heck, it's usually pretty darned nice out in Dogpatch anyway. 801 22nd St. at Tennessee, 415-824-4224.

La Cocina and Duggan McDonnell (AKA Shotzi) of Cantina are hosting ~THE MODERN MIXOLOGIST: USING SUMMER'S BOUNTY TO INVENT YOUR OWN DRINKS~ on July 28th from 6:30pm–9pm at Cantina Bar and Gallery. You'll be learning to make up to five cocktails, getting behind the bar and making 'em with farmers' market fresh and premium Latin ingredients, plus you'll be set up with fish tacos and fresh salsas that will keep you from spilling all over yourself. 80% of your $125 event fee is tax-deductible. Buy tickets here. 580 Sutter St. at Mason.

New Belgium Brewing Company (makers of Fat Tire Beer) are having their wild annual bikes and beer festival, ~TOUR DE FAT~, on Saturday July 19th. The event kicks off at 9am with a bike parade, and then there's the Afternoon Ballyhoo (two parts bike rodeo and one part circus), starting at noon. There will be all kinds of entertainment, and I'm not just talking about the crowd. And here's the best part: it's FREE. All proceeds from beer sales ($5 for 16 oz.) will benefit the San Francisco Bike Coalition, and The Bay Area Ridge Trail Council. Read the site for details on the various events. Tour de Fat runs from 9am–4pm at Speedway Meadow in Golden Gate Park.

For you recipe contest lovers: "Amateur chefs across the country are invited to submit their favorite original recipe for the ~RÍAS BAIXAS ALBARIÑO FOOD AND WINE PAIRING CONTEST~. This year, contestants will try to please the palates of talented celebrity judges including winner of Top Chef Season One, Harold Dieterle. So, put on your little white toque and get cookin'. One grand prize winner will receive a $1,000 William-Sonoma gift card and a dinner for two at Perilla, Harold Dieterle's restaurant (valued at $200). Two runners-up will each receive a $250 William-Sonoma gift card. All three winners will receive a selection of Albariño wines. Contest ends October 15th, 2008. For featured recipes, rules, and more information, visit riasbaixaswines.com."

 
the sponsor

Dress for Success

The mission of Dress for Success is to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support, and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.

Dress for Success San Francisco provides a two-part program at no cost to our clients, including our Suiting Program and Professional Women's Group, an employment retention program.

For more information regarding upcoming clothing drives, events and volunteer opportunities please visit www.dressforsuccess.org/sanfrancisco.

Thank you for making a difference in the lives of women.

 
the socialite

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Are You What You Cook?
Tue. July 21, 2008

One Ferry Building, 2nd Floor
San Francisco, CA

website

6pm registration and wine reception
6:30pm–8:30pm panel discussion

$35 general admission
$25 restaurant trade or full-time student (with ID)

JULY 8, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Coming up is ~ARE YOU WHAT YOU COOK?~, a celebrity chef panel discussion hosted by the Asian Culinary Forum (ACF), a new non-profit focused on educating the public on Asian food and culture (this is their launch event).

The panel discussion will feature San Francisco area food experts, including Charles Phan, executive chef of Slanted Door, Eric Gower, author of The Breakaway Cook, Kelly Degala, executive chef at Pres a Vi and Va de Vi, Michele Mah, former executive chef of Ponzu and the upcoming Midi, and Kirti Pant, executive chef of Junnoon. They'll share how they developed their signature styles and how their personal and professional experiences have shaped their vision of Asian cuisine. The moderator is Linda Carucci, chef director, International Culinary School at The Art Institute of California, San Francisco.

Slanted Door and Va de Vi will provide a light buffet of savory appetizers. Elaine Villamin, Eden Canyon Vineyards' owner and winemaker, will be pouring tastes of her family's Cabernet blend.
 
And mark your calendars: ACF's first major weekend-long celebration of Asian food culture, Asian Food Beyond Borders, is scheduled for October 10–12, 2008. The first of its kind in the nation, the event will celebrate Asian food and culture through a wide range of activities such as tasting-and-learning sessions, guided tours, cooking and wine-and-food pairing classes, and an all-day discussion forum with preeminent Asian food experts. For more information on the event and registration dates, please visit www.asianculinaryforum.org.

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Slow Food Nation
Fri. Aug. 29–Mon. Sep. 1, 2008

various locations

website 


JULY 8, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO On Tuesday July 1st, the lawn in front of San Francisco's City Hall began its transformation from grass carpet to edible garden, with volunteers preparing the land for Slow Food Nation's Victory Garden. On Saturday July 12th, Mayor Gavin Newsom, Slow Food Nation founder Alice Waters and more than 100 volunteers will plant the first edible garden in the City's Civic Center since 1943.

In case you were wondering, the Victory Garden project takes its name from 20th Century wartime efforts to address food shortages by encouraging citizens to plant gardens on public and private land. San Francisco's program became one of the best in the country; Golden Gate Park alone had 250 garden plots.

This event is in preparation for ~SLOW FOOD NATION~, taking place in San Francisco over Labor Day weekend (August 29th–September 1st, 2008). Billed as "the largest celebration of American food in history," the event is expected to bring together tens of thousands of people.

The majority of Slow Food Nation's events will be free and open to the public; certain events are ticketed. Events are listed and tickets are on sale at www.slowfoodnation.org.

I also noticed some of the restaurants hosting Slow Dinners are beginning to sell tickets; dinners will be hold from Thursday August 28th–Monday September 1st. There are some amazing dinners and collaborations, check it out.

There are also Slow Journeys and Slow Hikes! Be sure to check the site for more.
 
Highlights of the four-day event include:

Taste
Saturday August 30th; 11am–3pm; 5pm–9pm
Sunday August 31st, 11am–3pm; 6pm–9pm
Fort Mason/Festival Pavilion
Tickets: $45–$65
Taste is Slow Food Nation's grand celebration of good, clean and fair food from across the United States. In-depth taste workshops and hands-on experiences with quality, process, and distinguishing flavor factors will connect visitors with the origins and true value of our food. Each of the 15 uniquely designed pavilions showcases a different food through on-site demonstrations and tastes. Featured foods include: Beer, Bread, Charcuterie, Cheese, Chocolate, Coffee, Fish, Honey & Preserves, Ice Cream, Native Foods, Olive Oil, Pickles & Chutney, Spirits, Tea, and Wine. The Green Kitchen takes place here, where acclaimed chefs will demonstrate techniques for making simple, everyday dishes sustainable.
 
Food for Thought Speaker Series
Friday August 29th, 9am–4:30pm and Saturday August 30th, 11:30am–10pm
Civic Center/Herbst Theater and Milton Marks Auditorium
Tickets: $5–$25
Featuring leading thinkers, community organizers, journalists and activists discussing current food issues, from policy and planning to education and climate change. Speakers include: Wendell Berry, Marion Nestle, Carlo Petrini, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Vandana Shiva, and Alice Waters.

Marketplace
Friday August 29th–Sunday August 31st; 9am–4pm
Civic Center Plaza
Tickets: Free
The Market showcases 60 California farmers and artisans growing and producing good, clean and fair food. Visitors can purchase directly from the producer and learn the significance of regionality, diversity, and artisanality in the Bay Area's food system. Next to the Market, "Slow on the Go" demonstrates how "fast" slow food can be. Visitors can purchase affordable street food from San Francisco's diverse ethnic community, prepared with fully sustainable, source-verified ingredients.
 
Slow Food Nation Victory Garden
Friday August 29th–Sunday August 31st; 9am–4pm
Civic Center Plaza
Tickets: Free
In collaboration with Victory Gardens 2008+, Slow Food Nation will herald the era of self-sufficiency through the creation of an ornamental edible garden in the heart of San Francisco's Civic Center. Planted on the same site as 60 years ago during World War II, the Slow Food Nation Victory Garden demonstrates the potential of a truly local agriculture practice and brings together and promotes Bay Area urban gardening organizations, while producing high quality food for those in need. The Slow Food Nation Victory Garden will be introduced to the public on Saturday July 12th in a ceremony with Mayor Gavin Newsom and Slow Food Nation Founder Alice Waters.
 
Slow Food Rocks
Saturday August 30th; 11am–7pm and Sunday August 31st; 11am–5:30pm
Fort Mason/Great Meadow
For tickets visit: www.slowfoodrocks.com

Featuring: Gnarls Barkley; G Love & Special Sauce; the John Butler Trio; Medeski Martin & Wood; New Pornographers and Ozomatli. Additional major headliners to be announced soon. A two-day outdoor music festival featuring the biggest names in rock, folk, hip-hop, soul, jazz, and world music. Produced by the Festival Network, this is one of only three public events permitted on the Great Meadow the entire year.
 
Petition Launch for a New Vision for Agriculture and Food Policy for the 21st Century
Thursday August 28th; 4pm–5pm
Civic Center/Slow Food Nation Victory Garden
Tickets: Free
Hosted in conjunction with Roots of Change (ROC), Slow Food Nation will introduce a Vision Statement for Agricultural and Food Policy for the 21st Century drafted by notable activists, practitioners, producers and eaters across the country. The Vision Statement will be a call to action to frame future food and agricultural policies, including the next Farm Bill, to benefit all Americans.

 
the starlet

JULY 8, 2008 | SAN FRANCISCO Here's a blast from the past: Chris Isaak was spotted on Sunday at Pho Phu Quoc (AKA PPQ Restaurant) at 19th Avenue and Irving with his wife. I remember he was my very first concert in a club, the Stone on Broadway!

 
 

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