happy birthday, Tom!

Photo by Melissa Schneider.
Just a quick note to wish our favorite Butter Pig a happy birthday - he's probably influenced you gastronome readers (and any stray OWF readers) more than you might imagine.

So much love, from your kitchen staff. I think I speak for all of us when I say we'll always be your sous (souses?) - in or out of the kitchen. :)
Posted by shock at 06:12 PM

geranium closes: march 31

Quick heads-up: If you've eaten at Geranium and want to again, now's your chance. If you haven't, and you've wanted to - there's (literally) no time like the present. Lorraine & Jim are closing down Geranium to focus on their family - the restaurant will be open through the end of the month. There's a great piece about what they do and why they do it up on their site right now. I encourage you to go read it.

You'll see us there a lot over the next two weeks. We'll definitely miss the food and the staff tons. (Geranium serves incredibly tasty vegetarian comfort food. Go. See them out in style.)

Posted by shock at 09:00 AM

Food blog awards: announced!

Congratulations to the good folks over at Too Many Chefs! We're honored to sit next door. And we're blushing mightily at your sweet words.

Posted by shock at 11:07 AM

food blog award: voting time!

Gracious! It's been a year, already? Kate from The Accidental Hedonist has done a splendid job putting together the 2005 edition of the Food Blog Awards. We're surprised and flattered to be in the running for Best Group Blog - and stunned at the number of gorgeous blogs we're discovering across all the categories. Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and have yourself a tasty little surf - and then pop over and vote!

Posted by shock at 11:13 AM

It's feeling like...

Egg Nog Cream Cheese Pie time. Yum!

Posted by rebecca at 10:24 AM


(I like to say it fast, all run together like that - winebloggingwednesday.) The "Is My Blog Burning" phenomenon is taking off - they even have their own domain now. Sugar-High Fridays and Wine-Blogging Wednesdays are following to increase the fun.

I think it's high time we played more - I'm going to start posting the events, and encouraging all you gourmands to participate. The next one that looks fun: Chez Pim's hosting January's Wine Blogging Wednesday.....

The game? Pick a wine with a wacky name. Drink it! Write up a review, and post it live here on the 26th of January. We'll trackback to Pim, who'll round up the results and post back to her blog. Fun!

I have my wine picked out... do you?

Posted by shock at 09:07 PM

Thomas Keller in SF

Thomas Keller will be signing his new book (Bouchon) at Williams Sonoma in San Francisco on Saturday, November 6. 4pm-6pm.

From the invitation:
Saturday, November 6, 2004

340 Post St.
San Francisco, CA
(415) 362-9450

Please joins us for a visit with Thomas Keller as he signs copies of the Bouchon Cookbook.

Thomas Keller is the chef and owner of the legendary French Laundry in Yountville, California, and owner of Bouchon, a second, more casual French restaurant in the same town, as well as the Bouchon Bakery. In February he opened a second Bouchon in Las Vegas and the eagerly anticipated restaurant, Per Se, in New York. Keller grew up in restaurant kitchens in Southern Florida, but honed his skills in New England and France. He was the chef of La Reserve, Restaurant Rafael, and Rakel in New York before moving to California.

We hope to see you there!

Posted by shock at 07:44 AM

Bonny Doon/Moss Beach Distillery

Bonny Doon is all over the winery/local restaurant dinners these days. This time -- in Half Moon Bay at the Moss Beach Distillery. 10 November 2004. Three seatings: 5:30 pm, 6:15 pm or 7:00 pm. Call 650-728-5595 for reservations. And you can even peek at the menu!

The Chef
MBD Chef Brian Barisione will create a feast using the freshest seafood, hand-made pasta, and prime aged beef.

The Winemaker
BDV Creative Director and former Winemaker, John Locke will charm you with his witty anecdotes and a look into the alternate Dooniverse that is Bonny Doon Vineyard.

The Honored Guest?
Perhaps the famed Blue Lady, the well-documented ghost of Moss Beach Distillery will grace us with her presence. This is an event not to be missed!

Moss Beach Distillery. 140 Beach Way, Moss Beach 94038

WHEN: Wednesday, November 10, 2004

COST: $85 per person, plus tax and gratuity

CALL TODAY FOR RESERVATIONS! Call with your choice of seating times at 5:30 pm, 6:15 pm or 7:00 pm 650-728-5595

Grilled Prawn Lemon Grass Soup
Pacific Rim Dry Riesling 2003

Seared Sea Scallops with Vanilla Bean Beurre Blanc
Le Cigare Blanc 2003

Gnocchi with Fire Roasted Red Pepper Puree and Pancetta
Ca‚ del Solo Sangiovese 2003

Grilled Natural Center Cut Prime New York Steak crusted in Szechwan peppercorns and served with heirloom tomato jam
Cardinal Zin 2003

Red and Gold Raspberry Tart - a rustic tart served with a dark chocolate chantilly cream

For more information on our participants, visit us at

Posted by shock at 07:35 AM

bonny doon & bernal heights

Neat ! We'll miss it by a day, but you should all go!
Randall Graham of Bonny Doon Vineyards (one of the founders of the Rhone Rangers) will be at the Good Life Grocery from 4-6pm on Sunday, October 24.

A little later (at 7pm), The Liberty Cafe is hosting a paired Bonny Doon wine menu. Call for reservations soon - I'm sure the seatings will fill up quickly. (415-695-8777)

Posted by shock at 12:24 PM

blog burning: tartines!

There's a nifty new game going around the food blogging community: a food blogger sets a date and an idea, and folks make something along that theme and posts in their own blog on the given day.

With my normal short notice, I'm here to tell you that the next event is TOMORROW: Clotilde from Chocolate & Zucchini (A daily read of mine. Gorgeous photos and prose.) has thrown down the gauntlet around making tartines. Gourmands, I challenge you to participate! I'll be making a post...

Posted by shock at 10:17 AM

field trip: The Old Clam House

So, in my new neighborhood, at the end of Cortland, you'll find Bayshore Blvd. On Bayshore Blvd you'll find a number of businesses, and The Old Clam House. Established in 1861, with half the building still there, it sounds like someplace I need to visit - and soon. Anyone up for an outing?

Posted by shock at 04:04 PM

9/25: wine testing

We are at it again here at Amphora Wine Merchant...offering a great value for
your hard earned money. For $5 you can come and taste 8 Aromatic White Wonders of the World this Thursday, 9/25, and have a little cheese and bread to boot! If that was not enough, all wines are served chilled so you can beat the heat:) All the particulars are below. Hope to see you all here this Thursday!

Location: The Garden Room (just off the communal garden behind the wine shop)

Cost: $5 per person. Please stop in the wine shop first and pay for your tasting prior to coming into the Garden Room

Time: 6pm to 8 pm this Thursday, September 25, 2003. Please arrive anytime
prior to 7:30 pm as we will be shutting the doors and sending everyone home at 8 pm.

Discounts: All Wine Club Members get 10% off cost of admission. All
participants will get 10% off the purchase of any of the featured wines on the
day of the tasting.

Featured Wines:
Albarino - Condes de Albarei, Rias Baixas, Spain 2002
Alsatian Blend - Leon Beyer "La Cuvee", Eguisheim, France 2001
Chenin Blanc - Pierre Soulez Savennieres Roche Aux Moines "Cuvee d'Avant, Loire
Valley, France 1999
Gewurtztraminer - Gunderloch "Dry Style", Rheinhessen, Germany 2001
Riesling - Von Buhl Spatlese Trocken, Ruppertsberger Reiterpfad, Pfalz, Germany
Gewurtztraminer - Spy Valley, Marlborough, New Zealand 2002
Pinot Gris - "A to Z", Willamette Valley, Oregon 2002
Viognier - Alban Vineyards, Central Coast, California 2002

Upcoming Tastings: (Please note the new times and dates)

Thursday, October 2nd, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm - "Aussie Invasion" with Neil
Mechanic. Savor a variety of white, red and "stickies" (dessert) wines
covering the major growing areas of Australia.

Saturday, October 4th, 1 pm to 3 pm - "An afternoon with North Berkeley
Imports" with Matt Licklider, Import Sales Manager. Take a palate tour of
Burgundy, Alsace, Loire Valley, Rhone Valley and the South of France.

Thursday, October 9th, 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm - "Spain is on Fire" with Neil
Mechanic. Learn why Spain is a hot bed of world class wines today. Savor the
wines of Rioja, Ribera del Duero, Priorat, La Mancha and Toro.

Saturday, October 11th, 1 pm to 3 pm - "Charles Neal Imports Presents".
Discover the great values coming out of Southwestern France, the Languedoc, and the Rhone Valley. Proprietor and local importer Charles Neil will offer an
informative perspective of these regions.

John Ogden
Wine Consultant
Amphora Wine Merchant
384 Hayes St.
San Francisco, CA 94102
Fax 415-863-0926

Posted by shock at 01:13 PM

olives and vinegar

October 4th and 5th Canada College will be hosting the Arts & Olive festival. I can't say I was impressed by the art there, but the dozens of vendors of fine olive oil and flavored vinegars were great! I've been the last two years -- anyone want to join me this year? I'll probably head down that Sunday.

Posted by heather at 07:56 PM

Farmers' Market Moving Day

I'm a little sad that i wasn't able to meet up with Naomi at the Farmers' Market today - it's the last time they'll be in the parking lot at Embarcadero and Green. The new digs are MUCH nicer - we snooped around them a bit a few weeks ago, but still - it would have been nice to say farewell to the old site. But Naomi is a peach; not just because she met us for lunch at Ti Couz after we bailed on the Farmers' Market, but she brought me green garlic - so all my dinner guests owe her worship, as well. 8)

The new site is in the Ferry Plaza building proper; the ribbon cutting is on April 26, next Saturday.

Posted by shock at 11:29 PM

Dining Out for Life

This year's Dining Out for Life is coming up in a few weeks - on the 23rd of April. The list of restaurants is fairly extensive; i'm happy to see some of my favorites participating. If my parents are in town that night, i'll make sure we eat at one of these restaurants. If they aren't, drop me a note the day before - you're welcome to join the Borogoves!

Posted by shock at 11:20 AM

farmer's market

Today we went to the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market; it's open from 8:00am to 1:30pm on Saturdays. You can find the maze of tents, produce, people, and other tasty things at Embarcadero and Vallejo. I can see this becoming a Saturday morning ritual for the Borogoves.

Spring is so very here. Summer berries aren't here, but nearly every produce stand had gorgeous bunches of green/spring garlic and tiny leeks. The asparagus is out in force... an astonishing number of people were selling asparagus ravioli. The cheesemongers had lovely wares, and the artichokes are looking perfect. There's something especially satisfying about buying your food directly from the people who grow, raise, and make it.

We're working out new food routines, now that Russell's employed again. We MUST not descend into eating out more nights than we eat in; in our neighborhood, it's frightfully easy to do so. I realized this week that as long as there was good produce in the fridge, i was happy to whip up a quick dinner - but when i only had staples, i was much less interested. My body must be craving all the spring greenery. I'm hoping a weekly trip to the farmer's market will help get me into the groove of cooking most nights again - the produce is definitely inspiring.

This week's loot:
Several bunches of beautiful, thin asparagus. Three large bunches of green garlic. (Two of them are destined for a pot of green garlic soup sometime this week.) A head of cauliflower. A bag of sweet oranges. A stack of sugar snap peas. (Snap peas and asparagus mean spring to me. I miss sharing our spring dinners with James.) A celery root. A piece of Point Reyes Blue; a piece of Capricious washed curd goat cheese; and a lump of fresh feta from the Capricous folks.

Thus far, we've had some of the green garlic pureéd into mashed potatoes and served with asparagus and pine-nut crusted rock cod; tonight i think we'll have some of the snap peas and risotto with celery root next to our roasted chicken.

What do you buy at the farmer's market?

Posted by shock at 02:00 PM

Cookworm What Cooks!

So like two years ago, my mom got me a vegetarian cookbook. 'Madhur Jaffrie's World Vegetarian'. It's a huge volume of recipes from all over the world, (though mostly indian-asian cuisine) and though it's generally easy to follow, it's totally intimidating. Just to cook some greens means making several sub-recipes, aquireing bizarre spices and oils, and lentils that need hours of prep time to soak or cook are always somehow involved.

When we moved to our new place, i realized two things:
A) i want to cook at home more, and not eat out all the time, and
B) i have no upper limit for eating indian food. i could shovel their yummy gloopy veggie stuff till the sacred cow came home, had some chai, stayed up all night watching bollywood films, and then left for cow-work the next morning.

So i dove into 'World Vegetarian', and.... i love it! I'm practially down the street from all the Indian Spice stores i'd need, and even though i work late, all i want to do when i come home is see what insane combo of veggies and spices i can make. So, that said, i'm posting here to formally announce my Intent To Cook Food Lots! I'm sure i'll have lots of questions, and if i have any successes, i'll be sure to share them.


Posted by tapeworm at 11:33 AM

newbie foodie

At last. I have a kitchen! I will now post my vile creations! Bwa HA HA HA! You poor suckers. I have a strong leaning towards health foods, but am constantly tempted by southern greasy wonders. You'll see all in my posts. You'll watch me progress from newbie to foodie slowly as I rediscover the long dormant and dusty food creativity I used to have.

The fun part about this? I have only meager equipment and will be looking for suggestions on where to pick things up now and then. meriko's most excellent advice was to pick it up as I need it - which solves my problem of: I want that! and that! and that! and Duane! build me a bigger kictchen for my STUFF.


Duane likes them spicy dishes - so if you've gotten something hot food-wise squirrelled away (how do you spell that?), bring it on.

Enough - enthusiasm rebounds.

Posted by at 02:40 PM

dine about town

It's that time of year again - January 11 through January 31 is San Francisco's Dine Around Town fiesta. The deal: You take your Visa card to one of the fine restaurants listed at their website, and you'll find special 3-course prix fixe menus ($19.95 for lunch, $29.95 for dinner). There are a number of great fine dining establishments listed - maybe this is the time for a gastronome outing? (One hint: Bruno's does the $29.95 prix fixe year-round, provided you come in on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday night.)

Posted by shock at 12:40 PM

oliveto truffle dinners

Mail from Bob Klein, of Oliveto restaurant.

We are about to leave for our truffle trip. Here's a press release on our truffle dinners. Call for reservations at 510-547-5356

Oliveto Restaurant Forecasts "Truffle Intemperance" at Annual Dinners

Heavy Rains Result in Banner Harvest of Italian White Truffles
Oliveto Truffle Dinners Scheduled for November 12 - 15

OAKLAND, Calif. (October 2002) - According to co-owner Bob Klein, Oliveto Restaurant, the celebrated showcase for chef Paul Bertolli's James Beard Award-winning fare, always takes on a special glow during the annual Italian White Truffle Dinners. Perhaps it's the overwhelming aroma of the "tartufo bianco" combined with Bertolli's magnificent menu pairings, or, as some believe, the pheromones in the air, but whatever it is, Klein expects it could jump off the chart this year.

"Our sources throughout Northern Italy are reporting that truffles are both plentiful and cheap, and the quality is superb. Prices have plummeted," reported Klein. "As with truffles any year, this is a situation that can change day-to-day. More prolonged heavy rains, for instance, could make it impossible for the dogs and soak the truffles. But we're off to a very good start."

The price drop makes it possible for Chef Bertolli to offer dishes less practical when truffles are $3,000 per pound. Among the dishes planned for this year's White Truffle Dinners are: Spit-roasted Farm Hen with Truffles stuffed under the skin, Tartufati (yeast buns slathered with truffle butter), Truffled Pigeon Risotto, Poached Truffled Sausages, Wild Mushrooms roasted in coals with White Truffles, and Truffed Endive Fonduta of Parmigiano.

Klein has made the annual trek to the Italian countryside - often accompanied by Bertolli or co-owner Maggie Klein -- to confer, negotiate, and hunt with his circle of confidantes among the tartufai who drop everything around this time of year to take up their real passion: truffle hunting.

There is a maxim that a good truffle year means a bad wine year, noted Klein, and while the heavy rains that have fallen in the late summer may have played hob with Italy's grape harvest, truffle fanciers have reason to celebrate.

"The one nagging drawback to the full, unencumbered enjoyment of truffles in recent years has been the cost," said Klein. "There's always that little sting that goes with eating 'the world's most expensive delicacy.' But with the sting abated, I think we're going to see some memorable evenings here at Oliveto during the Truffle Dinners."

In order to assure the finest and freshest truffles for Oliveto's kitchen, Klein and Bertolli for several years have journeyed to Italy's prime white truffle fields - principally the mixed forests of oak, poplar, and other compatible trees in Piedmont, Romagna, Umbria and Tuscany - in search of the rare tuber magnatum pico.

"Freshness is the key to enjoying the remarkable perfume of white truffles," said Bertolli. "Bob and I have found that the only reliable way to provide this heady experience to Oliveto's tables is to bring the truffles back ourselves."

White truffles are generally served raw, shaved over food, and diners at Oliveto pay by the gram according to the amount consumed. According to Chef Bertolli, truffles are best paired with dishes rich enough to stand up to the truffle's pungent aroma, but uncomplicated enough not to distract from the truffle experience.

Oliveto is located at Oakland's Rockridge Market Hall at 5655 College Avenue. The restaurant offers lunch and dinner seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., 5:00 p.m.. to 9:00 p.m. The full restaurant menu is available in the Cafe during lunch and throughout the evening hours. For reservations please call (510) 547-5356. Major credit cards are accepted and parking is available in the Market Hall lot.

Posted by shock at 08:21 PM

Millennium cooking classes

Just in from the Millennium mailing lists:

Autumn harvests on local farms translate to rich, colorful, & hearty menus in time to warm hearts on chilly winter evenings. For those who missed our spring cooking class, here is your chance to brush up on your culinary skills just in time for the holiday season. Geared towards Vegans, Gourmets, Creative Cooks, and everyone in between, this interactive and hands-on class will have you slicing and dicing your way through Autumn-inspired preview recipes from our next cookbook; demos, tips, shortcuts, techniques, questions, answers, and plenty of eating and drinking complete your Millennium education.

This is a rare opportunity to pick the brains of Millennium's irreverent chef, Eric Tucker, Sous-Chef, Bruce Enloe, and Pastry Chef, Amy Pearce. So, dust off your favorite chef‚s knife, grab your sense of adventure and jump into the kitchen for a weekend-long Tête-à-Tête with the local veggie virtuosos of Millennium Restaurant! Copies of the new recipes, doggy bags, and plenty of great info are yours to take with you. Celebrate the season with us!

The Details:
Date: Saturday, November 16th and Sunday, November 17th, 2002
Time: 10 am to 3 p.m. (3 hours of cooking plus time to wine & dine)
Location: The Savoy Hotel
580 Geary Street, between Taylor & Jones
San Francisco, California
Directions and Parking information
Also, accommodations can be arranged at a special rate.
Price: $160 includes 2-day cooking instruction, 2 three-course gourmet vegan meals, beverages, wine and beer pairings, and inspiration for joyous holiday cooking!

Posted by shock at 11:03 PM

SFAF Benefit @ CCA

Carrie forwarded this on to the gastronome list. I think Russell, Carrie & i are going. You should come, too! Keep in mind that no, this isn't me training for the Marathon - the athletic one is that nice girl Jennifer, mentioned below.

My Friends, My Family, My Partners in Crime...

As you probably know, I have been training for the Honolulu Marathon in December, and raising money for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation. I Thank all of you for your support through our previous events such as our speed dating events.

We are now doing our last event: A Gala Dinner at the California Culinary Academy at 425 Polk Street (near the Civic Center) on November 12.

This event will be our last fundraising effort, and - if everything goes per our plans, we will raise $10,000 for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation in one evening. Just like every other non-profit in this horrible economy, the San Francisco AIDS Foundation is hurting for cash, and your tax deductible donation will help them continue their services to the local community.

I would like to formally invite you to you a semi-formal dinner at the California Culinary Academy. The dinner will be prepared by the famous chefs of tomorrow. We are currently getting both wine and entertainment donated to the event, and a silent auction will follow. This will be a fabulous evening, and a great opportunity for you to meet new friends.

The details of the dinner are:
Tuesday, November 12
6 PM to 10 PM
$50 Donation to the San Francisco AIDS Foundation

If you are interested in purchasing a ticket, you can email for further details. We can take cash, check or even credit card.

Do you know anyone who would be interested in attending our gala dinner? Would your company be interested in buying a table? (A table consists of 10 seats). I need help in getting the world out- please help me by helping to sell tickets to this event to the wonderful people that you know.

Do you want to help our event, but cannot afford a ticket to the event? We need lots of help, and I would be the most grateful person in the world if you volunteer. Email me if this is something that you would be interested in.

Posted by shock at 12:10 PM