Hi gang! Happy International Women’s Day this Friday, and welcome to Women’s History Month. Cheers and respect to all the womxn!
And Happy Mardi Gras! I hope you have some gumbo in your near future. I have a whole bunch of PDO feta in mine: it ends up I’m taking a last-minute trip to Greece this weekend to learn about one of my very favorite ingredients that is always in my fridge! Yup, #fetatrip. I’m so excited. (I also need to swing by The Manufactory Food Hall at SFO—yay, an international flight!)
At the end of my dream PDO feta trip (it wraps up in Thessaloniki), I’m heading back to Athens for a week of exploration. The last time I was there, it was in 1999—it was the first day of my vacation and I was sitting down for my first moussaka in the Plaka when a monster 6.0 earthquake hit and really fucked shit up—including my head space. It was pretty devastating, with numerous buildings that crumbled and trapped people in the rubble. I got the hell out of there the next morning and fled to Sifnos. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier to be on a ferry and off terra-not-so-firma.
But, I am returning! Athens, we have a make-up date! I’m thrilled to get to know the city properly, without dodging fallen buildings and rubble. (I’m gonna do a prayer before I leave: no earthquakes! Plllllease! And I’m buying some worry beads on arrival.) So, if you have any Athens recos to send my way, I’d be so appreciative! I’m going to spend a couple days on my own in Thessaloniki as well. Efharisto in advance!
The next tablehopper will be April 2nd, so publicists and restaurant folks, please make note of it for any pitches and event announcements.
Since I’m going dark for a bit (boy, do I need a break), today’s column is a bit heftier than usual. I also have my very last Table Talk column for you—KQED decided to not renew my contract, so that’s that (although I will still have some one-off pieces for them, like an upcoming feature on the women creating SF’s canna-culinary scene).
Last week’s Table Talk highlighted the fantastic sandwiches at Turner’s Kitchen, plus two places for Mardi Gras parties (tonight!), and start planning a field trip to Marshall for the reopening of Tony’s Seafood from Hog Island Oyster Co.
I’m happy to announce I’ve been doing some writing for Nob Hill Gazette, and here’s my recent feature on Michelle Polzine and her oh-so-special strudel at 20th Century Cafe! (Congrats to Michelle on her James Beard Award semifinalist nomination for Outstanding Pastry Chef!)
You can see all the James Beard Award semifinalist nominees, and the finalist nominees will be announced on Wednesday March 27th (the winners will be revealed at the annual James Beard Awards Gala on May 6th in Chicago).
Last Sunday was the 39th Academy of Friends gala, and wow, what a night! Our generous restaurant partners really knocked it out of the park for our guests, take a look at the pics here and here. Such delicious and beautiful bites! Of course, with a theme like Neptune’s Fantasy, the fashions were also so fun. It’s too bad I don’t like costumes and themes. We’re still waiting to see how much money was raised, but many many thanks again to everyone who contributed so generously to the gala! The generosity of the restaurant community is something else.
One more thing: you won’t want to miss this absolutely heart-wrenchingly delightful video about Jacqueline Margulis of Cafe Jacqueline fame. I see a soufflé in front of you, verrrrrrry soooooooon.
Yassou! ~Marcia (rhymes with Garcia)
The theme for the Academy of Friends Gala was Neptune’s Fantasy, and my stylist friend @heatherhair ran with it! She took a special trip to the pet store to create my amazing headpiece. Neptune winked at me. Photo: Heather Caruso.View tablehopper Newsletter from Tuesday, Mar 5 2019