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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The SPCA Parties Down, Pet Adoption Rates Go Up

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Ali Wunderman
  • Duffy <3

On Friday the San Francisco SPCA threw a party for the ages, a ramen-fueled hootenanny resulting in the adoption of 25 of their animals.

As an avid supporter of the organization (and the rescuing of animals in general), I decided to stop by to see what kind of shindig the SPCA could host. It turns out a pretty awesome one, considering they sold out of their tickets and ended up with a line almost around the corner when I arrived an hour after their doors were open.

The City’s most popular ramen-themed food trucks attracted lines of their own, as did the beverage services. Like the event tickets, drinks were technically free, though donating money was encouraged. To my surprise and delight, the bartenders assured me that people were giving well above the suggested donation of $5, with whole $20 bills lining the contribution boxes.

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Friday, March 13, 2015

This Weekend: SF International Chocolate Salon

Posted By on Fri, Mar 13, 2015 at 9:26 PM


Hollywood's awards season may be over, but in the world of chocolatiers and confectioners, the show is about to begin. This Sunday, over 60 premier confectioners will gather at Fort Mason for the ninth annual SF International Chocolate Salon. Guests can mingle and sample 55,000 square feet of goodies in the Festival Pavilion, while judges will give out the coveted Best Chocolatiers & Confectioners in America Awards. 

For Joel Sakakihara of R&J Toffees, the confections he’ll be presenting on Sunday carry both professional and personal value. His San Jose-based enterprise is the result of three generations of hard work and experimentation in his family. “It’s my grandparents’ recipe,” he says. “I learned how to make toffee from my grandfather, who was a chef as well as a soldier in World War II.”

This year will be R&J's first appearance at San Francisco's Chocolate Salon, and their accolade-studded past bodes well for their awards chances. Sakakihara's only current product, his original almond toffee, garnered first place at the Top Artisan Toffee Awards in 2014. It was no easy task. Sakakihara and his brother spent three years refining the recipe and surveyed hundreds of people before they started selling the toffee, which he still makes by hand. 

Although Sakakihara's recipe represents a family legacy, it is anything but static. That's where this weekend's Salon comes in. Sakakihara is excited to "get feedback from events like this, which helps [the toffee] evolve." Plus, the gathering is kind of like an all-star game for confectioners. "To be with up there with some of the most renowned companies is really validating," he says. "It proves that what we're doing is working." 

Sakakihara’s grandparents never sold their toffees – they made them socially and for church fundraisers – and Sakakihara sustains this ethos by giving back as much as he can. Though he’s had to grow his business first, he hopes that the success of his toffees will one day enable him to expand his philanthropy.

Cancer research is high on his list of causes — and for good reason. His kitchen is covered with pictures of his grandfather, who died of cancer before he could witness the boom of his grandson's business. "He had no idea how successful we would be," says Sakakihara. "I think if he could see us now, he would be very proud."
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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Top 10 San Francisco Foodie Accounts To Follow on Instagram

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 3:52 PM

  • From Left to Right: @Juantanamero, @EdibleSF, @CoffeeCakesCafe

Food snapshots, along with selfies, plague the Instagram stream. There are plenty of square-cropped, filtered photos out there on the social medium platform: 200 million users with 20 billion posts, to be exact. With that in mind, it can be difficult to sort through Instagram accounts worth following — ones that provide images that satiate our hungry eyes.

So we did some of the  work for you and selected our 10 favorite San Francisco-based foodie accounts. These users vary in occupations — from photographers to tech-savvy chefs and professional writers to food enthusiasts — they all have one thing in common: making the San Francisco food scene appear just as delicious and diverse on social media as it is in person. These user accounts, at one point or another, made us think and exclaim: "That looks good!"

Let us know if we left off any other users worth following. Happy scrolling!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Local Crowdfunded Campaign of the Week: Food for Thought

Posted By on Thu, Feb 14, 2013 at 9:30 AM

  • Live Oak School Potrero Hill Learning Garden/100 Gardens Initiative

Last week, we broke down the crowdfunding process for you and pitched an awesome organization working to promote sexual health awareness. This week's local crowdfunded campaign is also about public health -- this time cultivating green thumbs and educating the community about healthy food choices.

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Thursday, January 31, 2013

It Gets Batter: Teen Comes Out to Parents with a Cake

Posted By on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 1:32 PM


In perhaps the most adorable coming out story ever, 15-year-old Laurel (and Ellen DeGeneres fan) decided to tell her parents she's gay with a cake and a pun-filled note.

Here's the full note, in all its gratuitous pun glory:

See Also: 10 Reasons You Should Come Out of the Closet

Video of the Day: The Onion Mocks Jodie Foster's Quazi-Coming Out Speech

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Read Local: How to Be a Real Cook

Posted By on Wed, Jan 23, 2013 at 11:00 AM


New York City might be home to the big houses, but this scrappy city just happens to be the epicenter of publishing on the Best Coast. Join Alexis Coe every Wednesday for Read Local, a series on books produced in the Bay Area.

"Cooking is often one disaster after another. What you learn is the only thing you can't fix is a soufflé."

This quote by Julia Child, who needs no introduction herself, serves to introduce a book that promises to arm you with the kind of knowledge that makes a chef. I'm not talking about someone who can drive to a fancy food store and buy imported truffles snuffed out by a female pig. That requires little more than a nice-sized bank account, which also seems to be the only prerequisite a person needs in order to declare oneself a "foodie."

See Also: You've Never Seen S.F. Like This -- Rebecca Solnit's Infinite City

Increase your California Cred with these 10 Bay Area Books

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Friday, December 28, 2012

Video of the Day: Fight Hunger with Football

Posted By on Fri, Dec 28, 2012 at 8:30 AM

former Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick, now of the 49ers. - JOHN TODD
  • John Todd
  • former Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick, now of the 49ers.

Just when AT&T Park has had a chance to cool off after the Giants' World Series win, another high profile event comes to town. But this one's in tune with the holiday spirit. The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Game, recently renamed from the previous incarnation as the Emerald Bowl, is the premiere event in the college football bowl lineup.

See also:

Lost Robert Altman Movie Discovered at Flea Market by Filmmaker Gary Huggins (Video)

S.F. a Cappella Group the House Jacks Add Voice to Monday Night Football and The Sing-Off

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Friday, December 14, 2012

My Drunk Kitchen Gets Fancy with HD, Celebrity Guest Spots, and a Tour

Posted By on Fri, Dec 14, 2012 at 10:30 AM

  • Hannah Hart

Julia Child, who would have celebrated her 100th birthday this year, ended many of her cooking segments with a plated meal and a glass of wine. The lady loved to drink -- so much so, that she dedicated the preamble of her seminal book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, to the subject.

Bay Area native, Hannah Hart, has taken Child's modus operandi to disastrous and hilarious new heights. Hart is the brain behind My Drunk Kitchen, a YouTube series dedicated to the art of inebriated cooking.

See also:

Gay People Love Vodka (Infographic)

Video(s) of the Day: Schmooze and Booze with Dan Savage

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Friday, November 30, 2012

Brighten Your Nights with San Francisco's Plentiful and Free Holiday Tree Lightings

Posted By on Fri, Nov 30, 2012 at 9:30 AM

  • Hanna Quevedo

The election is over, Black Friday is behind us, and the holiday season is in full swing. Shoppers are out and about, we're all frantically trying to get caught up on work before our vacations, Macy's Holiday Tree is lit and brightening up Union Square and -- wait a minute -- Macy's tree is lit? Yep, it's true. Once again, we have missed the holiday tree lighting in Union Square. But don't despair if you're reading this with a similar panicked reaction; we've found a couple more tree lightings to round out the holidays for all you procrastinators.

See also:

Maya Kabat Exhibit in SFMOMA Cafe Distracts from Downtown Holiday Madness

Black Friday: SF Weekly Takes Masochism to a New Level, Spends 24 Hours at Walmart

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tea House Owner Convicted of Drug Trafficking Falls Short of Fundraising Appeal

Posted By on Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 10:30 AM


By Anna Westendorf

Om Shan Tea describes itself on its website as "An urban tea oasis where fine teas, organic foods, and cultural events are offered to inspire healing, conscious community, and holistic wellness." However, in light of recent legal issues, this oasis is currently in jeopardy.

Oshan Cook, founder and owner of the tea house, was found guilty on November 1 of distribution of psychedelics, which includes a minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.

See also:

Exile Nation Examines the U.S. Drug War From Behind Bars

Operation Midnight Climax: How the CIA Dosed S.F. Citizens with LSD

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"