August 03, 2014

Caught The Lady's Eye: The Food Edition

Maybe it was because we hadn't eaten lunch yet when we started writing this, but it seemed everywhere we turned, the coolest things happening around us this month were all food centric.  Films, books, lectures, parties- you name it!

1. The Heirloom Vegetable Cookbook by the Beekman 1802 gang, just released in May, this has finally made it our way. While all things "heirloom" and "heritage" may be starting to feel like overused words, in a heavily genetically modified agricultural world, heirloom vegetables will never go out of style. The book comes just in time for our harvests to really be bountiful and full of plenty of late bloomers like tomatoes! The cookbook is seasonally organized and has a sort of nonchalance to its ingredient lists which we find endlessly appealing, not to mention the conversation-like quality of the writing and the empty pages left in the back to be filled with your own recipe variations. In other upcoming cookbook news, for the San Franciscans who are tired of waiting in line, and the visitors who continue to yearn for certain meals, two of our most popular restaurants are coming out with books this October: The Slanted Door, with it's modern Vietnamese, and Flour and Water, for its perfect pasta.

2. At the end of the month chef David Chang (of Momofuku fame) puts out the 12th issue of the quarterly food journal he started, Lucky Peach. A total gem of a food magazine saturated with content in a time when fewer magazine can't justify such thoroughness. This issue's run-and-get theme? The SEASHORE!

3. If you've grown up listening to NPR, and know most of the shows well enough to whistle their theme songs, then you're probably familiar with the broadcasts from The Commonwealth Club. What you may not know is that the actual club is located in our very own San Francisco. On the topic of pertinent food discussions, and one you might be interested in if your eating habits are fulfilling some longing for the French countryside- Nina Teicholz, author of "The Big Fat Surprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet" will help dispel your fears of saturated fats. She'll be there to elaborate on her nine years of research, delving deep into how misinformation about these fats has taken hold of the scientific community and our popular food culture and why they might just be crucial to reversing the epidemics of diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. The lecture is on August 7th 5:30-7pm and is $20 for non-members, $7 for students. Can't make it?  Grab her book- what you'll learn will definitely make for interesting dinner conversation.

4. So now that we've revealed that saturated fats are essential you can prepare yourself for the 6th Annual Street Food Festival, located, as ever, in the Mission District. The coolest thing about this festival- aside from the 80 some vendors to choose from- is that it's also a fundraiser for La Cocina, a non-profit incubator that provides commercial kitchen space and industry-specific technical assistance for low-income immigrant entrepreneurs working on growing their own businesses- and women in particular. Annnnnd, this might be their last year, so on Saturday, August 16th make your way to Folsom between 22nd and 26th streets 11am-7pm for some major decisions: will dessert be deep fried caramels or gourmet funnel cakes topped with our local Ghiradelli chocolate?....hmmmm.

5. If you'd prefer to take total advantage of your time off that very same Saturday, August 16th, then head up north for a day at the Russian River and an evening that ends with a picnic and a screening at the Rio Theater of some of this year's best picks from the Food and Farm Film Festival.  The recently renovated Rio is a must-go destination in itself- it's a Quonset Hut cinema and when's the last time you can say you saw a film in one of those? The not to be missed flicks? Le Quattro Volte, the beautiful dialogue-less film starring some goats and an old goat herder that will have you longing for the peace of the Italian countryside, and Sriracha, a short about the mysterious origins of the iconic hot sauce- guaranteed to have you laughing, groaning, and applauding. Make sure you sign up for the Rio's newsletter so as not to miss their other future events, like the Pongapalooza that was followed by a screening of Ping Pong Summer.....sadly this winner happened yesterday.

6. Lastly, for some good laughs, Bon Appetite, has pulled together the most amazing assortment of what they have deemed "Totally Wacky but Kinda Useful" cookbooks. We won't say anything more...just go take a look.