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Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Eat, Drink, and Be Literary: Experience Litquake at Its Most Erudite and Exquisite

Posted By on Tue, Oct 6, 2015 at 10:00 AM

Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn will participate in a discussion on cookbook collaboration. - STEPHANIE HUA
  • Stephanie Hua
  • Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn will participate in a discussion on cookbook collaboration.
Who says you can’t read about cake and eat it too?

As San Francisco gears up for its 16th annual Litquake — a weeklong festival of literary wonder that fosters an interest in literature for readers and writers of all ages and backgrounds — they’ve got a special day set aside for the truly epicurean reader. This Sunday, Oct. 11, enjoy Eat, Drink and be Literary, a decadent all-day offering of books and beverages, signings and small bites, featuring some of the Bay Area’s most notable chefs and food writers and editors.

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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Bay Area Book Festival: Food Trucks, Cookbook Panel This Weekend

Posted By on Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 3:30 PM

Over 51,000 books were sorted for the Lacuna book installation - BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL
  • Bay Area Book Festival
  • Over 51,000 books were sorted for the Lacuna book installation
Over 300 authors and 50,000 books make a debut splash at the Bay Area Book Festival this weekend in downtown Berkeley, near the BART station. The festival is free and for the hungry amongst us, there will be food trucks, a cooking stage, and a beer and wine garden — factors that seem to confirm that the Bay Area remains an area that appreciates its books, booze and food (not necessarily in that order).

Tickets are recommended for panel discussions, and they're free. Wet that mental whistle via the panel on The Science of Booze, with Adam Rogers (Proof: The Science of Booze) and Amy Stewart (The Drunken Botanist) explaining the magic and mysteries of alcohol on Sunday, June 7.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Two Bay Area Authors Investigate Everything About Yogurt

Posted By on Wed, Apr 22, 2015 at 4:30 PM

  • Eva Kolenko

What are the chances that two Bay Area food writers would release books on the same topic within the same month? Well, it happened, and it’s a pretty specialized topic at that.

Yogurt Culture: A Global Look at How to Make, Bake, Sip, and Chill the World’s Creamiest, Healthiest Food (Rux Martin, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) by San Jose-based food blogger and writer Cheryl Sternman Rule with photos by Ellen Silverman, and Yogurt: Sweet and Savory Recipes for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner (Ten Speed Press) by Napa Valley cheese enthusiast and San Francisco Chronicle contributor Janet Fletcher with photos by Eva Kolenko, are going head-to-head in a battle for those who can’t get enough of the dairy delight. Anyone looking to make their own, and anyone interested in ways to enjoy it other than atop granola, should give them a look-see.

Rule said that she only became aware of Fletcher’s book well after she signed a contract with her publisher. “Given how healthy and popular yogurt is, it’s probably not surprising that two books have come out in the same season," she told SF Weekly.

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Friday, April 17, 2015

Heather Hardison's Homegrown Is Basically the Cutest Gardening Book Ever

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Heather Hardison

Not quite a gardening manual, not really a cookbook, and certainly better illustrated than the Farmers’ Almanac, Heather Hardison’s beautifully designed Homegrown: Illustrated Bites From Your Garden to Your Table is the Berkeley illustrator’s effort at exporting the California obsession with freshness and seasonality to people in the rest of the country who are interested in eating more home-grown produce but who find the execution daunting.

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Thursday, April 16, 2015

S.F.'s 'Milk Maid' Wants to Help You Make Cheese

Posted By on Thu, Apr 16, 2015 at 2:00 PM

  • Louella Hill

Louella Hill was on a break from college, working at an agriturismo in Tuscany, when the neighboring farm needed help. It turned out to be a sheep dairy.

"The moment I walked into that milking parlor and saw the muddy backsides of those Sarda sheep, I knew it was destiny," she writes.
Hill, a San Francisco resident who regularly teaches how to make cheese at locations throughout the Bay Area under the moniker the Milk Maid, has now put her knowledge into book form, in Kitchen Creamery: Making Yogurt, Butter & Cheese at Home (Chronicle Books) with photographs by Erin Kunkel.

If you’re the type to ferment your own sauerkraut or brew your own beer, or even if you’re not but have been thinking about trying, making your own dairy products is probably the next step.

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Benu the Cookbook is Gorgeous (But Not to Be Cooked From)

Posted By on Wed, Apr 15, 2015 at 4:00 PM

  • Phaidon

One doesn’t buy a book like Corey Lee’s Benu thinking she’ll actually make something from it. After all, when an ingredient list for a dish simply called “oyster, kimchi, pork belly” calls for sodium hexametaphosphate, low-acyl gellan gum, calcium gluconate, Simplesse, xanthan gum and sodium citrate – and that’s for only one component, the kimchi whip, of an eight-component dish – recreating that in a home kitchen is probably not going to happen, unless the weekend is cleared, and one has access to a vacuum sealer, acetate sheets, a dehydrator, and a Robot Coupe.

No, one buys a book like Benu (Phaidon) to get inside the mind of a chef. And when the mind in question happens to be a chef who NYC's David Chang calls “one of the best chefs on the planet,” and the French Laundry’s Thomas Keller calls “a rare, precocious talent,” well it’s a fascinating look indeed. Lee will be appearing this Monday, April 20 at Omnivore Books to promote it.

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Thursday, March 5, 2015

A Kosher Winery Opens in Berkeley, With a Cookbook Debut, Too

Posted By on Thu, Mar 5, 2015 at 9:26 AM

  • Ed Anderson
That a new winery opened in Berkeley isn’t so newsworthy these days; many winemakers are discovering they can make just as good wine in an urban setting, even if they have no views of vineyards to wake up to every morning. But when Covenant Wines opened its doors a few months ago on Sixth Street, it definitely brought something new: the only kosher winery in the immediate area (Hagafen, in Napa Valley, has been around for over three decades).

And now, to complement it, is a new cookbook, The Covenant Kitchen: Food and Wine for the New Jewish Table (Schocken).

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Wednesday, February 11, 2015

The Healthy Mind: Brain-Boosting Foods Star in New Cookbook by Rebecca Katz

Posted By on Wed, Feb 11, 2015 at 1:31 PM

When it comes to discussing the healing properties of food, there is perhaps no better local advocate than Rebecca Katz. The founding director of Healing Kitchens Institute at Commonweal in Bolinas, and executive chef of the annual Food is Medicine training program sponsored by the Center for Mind Body Medicine at Georgetown Medical School, Katz is out with her fourth book (with co-author Mat Edelson), this time on foods that boost brain activity.

With two prior books on food for cancer patients and one on foods that promote longevity, The Healthy Mind Cookbook: Big-Flavor Recipes to Enhance Brain Function, Mood, Memory, and Metal Clarity, (Ten Speed Press) is not only full of delicious-sounding recipes featuring the usual suspect healthy foods such as lentils, leafy greens and quinoa, but in the book’s “culinary pharmacy” chapter, we learn about such brain-boosting foods as pumpkin and sesame seeds. Herbs that aid brain function include parsley and mint, and in the spice department, we have saffron and cinnamon.

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Thursday, January 22, 2015

"Vegan Challenge" Author Offers Tips to Reduce Animal Product Consumption

Posted By on Thu, Jan 22, 2015 at 11:45 AM

Now that we’ve all had plenty of time to abandon our New Year’s resolutions to eat better, it’s the perfect time to pick up a new edition of a book by Oakland author and activist Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, called The 30-Day Vegan Challenge.

Patrick-Goudreau, who says she was raised on the standard American diet of meat, eggs and dairy, is the author of numerous books on veganism, teaches vegan cooking classes, and coaches people on adopting more of a plant-based diet.

She chose 30 days because behaviorists say that long-ingrained habits can be broken within three weeks, and she liked the round number that 30 days gives. While Patrick-Goudreau abstains from all animal products, she doesn’t expect that all readers of her book will too; she encourages everyone to take small steps to hopefully reduce, if not eliminate entirely, the amount of animal products we eat. As she herself notes, that without proper support and community, it’s very difficult for everyone but the most ardent vegans to remain at it for long.

In addition to lots of recipes (baked oatmeal with blueberries and bananas for breakfast; southwestern quinoa pilaf for lunch, socca, or chickpea crepes with balsamic mushrooms and kale for dinner; strawberry parfait with vanilla custard and candied almonds for dessert) the book gives advice on introducing new foods to your pantry, trying to go vegan when your partner is not, eating vegan in such places as airports and family gatherings, and time-saving tips.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Chez Panisse Chef Wants to Help You Master the Basics in New Book

Posted By on Tue, Jan 13, 2015 at 9:33 AM

With all the cookbooks from the Bay Area’s beloved restaurants — Bar TartineTacolicious, and Brown Sugar Kitchen, to name a few – that came this past fall, it was easy to overlook Twelve Recipes by Cal Peternell (Harper Collins), a chef with almost 20 years tenure at Berkeley’s beloved Chez Panisse.

After all, going by the title alone, who shells out more than $20 bucks for a cookbook with only twelve recipes? But the title is misleading. Yes, there are twelve recipes and corresponding chapters for each one, some ingredient-based and some technique-based. But each one contains numerous variations on a theme.

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