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Joel Huff on the move

It’s hard to keep up, that’s for sure. The perennial San Francisco chef-shuffle is a source of both amusement and aggravation for me, keeping me perpetually on my toes. Who, after all, wants to be the last to know?  So it’s always nice when a bit of information lands in my lap, as was the case today. My editorial assistant had just finished fact-checking a bunch of our restaurant listings (like painting the Golden Gate Bridge, this is a never-ending task—you complete it, only to begin again) and dropped the sheaf of papers on my desk, noting casually, “Oh, by the way, Joel Huff is leaving Silks. But you knew that, right?” Uh…no!

Young Symphony Supporters Gala

On Saturday, June 19 members of the Symphonix Dinner Host Committee celebrated the upcoming Opening Gala for the SF Symphony with young symphony enthusiasts at the Clift Hotel’s Spanish Suite.

Kevin Whittaker, Namita Dilawri, Scott Weiss

Rebecca Saroyan Robbins, Kathryn Pellegrini

Adam Loges, Erica Wirtz

Chateau Musar at Local: Lebanon and On and On

Last week, Serge Hochar (above right), proprietor of one of the world's most unusual wineries, was in town to do a vertical tasting. His winery is Chateau Musar, improbably located in the Bekaa Valley of Lebanon. About 7,000 years ago, this area was perhaps the world's first fine wine region, as its products were exported around the Mediterranean, even to Greece, which already bustling with wine. Hochar has managed to steer the winery out of trouble, miraculously guiding it through Lebanon's 15-year civil war of the 1970s and '80s while losing only one vintage (1976).

In Good Hands

Friends and co-workers are always asking me for tips on where to go for the best beauty services around town, from waxing and facials to manis and pedis, and I’m always happy to offer up the fruits of my daily research. With summer here, and plenty of San Franciscans trading in their boots for open toed options, we’ll tackle the basics of nail care. There’s a nail shop around every corner in this city, but how do you know if these places are any good? After all, a mani-pedi seems so harmless—a little cuticle nipping here, a coat of polish there. How dangerous could it really be?

Ramen Memories

There are ups and downs to ultimate eating experiences. The up is in the moment. The down is when you start to compare every similar dish to that moment.

Chef Marcus Samuelsson's Hot Hot Heat

Marcus Samuelsson, the wunderkind chef from NYC's Aquavit and award-winning cookbook author, was in SF last night to promote BlueStar ranges, powerful (and expensive) gas stoves that put out 22,000 BTUs of restaurant-level heat. Turns out Samuelsson himself owns a BlueStar and moonlights as a spokesman of sorts. We thought we'd be sitting down to a Samuelsson-prepared dinner, but instead got a cooking lesson in which he demonstrated the fine art of searing and sitr-frying, which, he repeated several times, is not the same as sauteeing. And if you're trying to sear something with a regular at-home stove, it's likely you're just sauteeing it instead.

Sales Talk

On our summer wish list: sunshine, flat metallic thongs, a bright clutch, and a whispy, floral print dress. Lucky for us, boutique buyers are already a season ahead slashing prices on summer merchandise and making room for fall’s cozy coats and scarves. There are a ton of sales popping up around the Bay Area right now, so if you’re pocket book is hurting, you may just want to stay indoors. Consider yourself forewarned!

Where: The Firm, 2999 Washington St., SF, 415-409-0214
When: Now through July 4
What: 10% off Shoshanna bathing suits and cover-ups, 50% off select Paige premium denim jeans and assorted tops, cardigans, dresses and accessories.

John Varvatos Opening Bash and Benefit

On Wednesday, June 11, partygoers celebrated the opening of John Varvatos’ new San Francisco boutique in Union Square. The hot ticket attracted such famous locals as Danielle Steel and rock ‘n’ roll photographer Jim Marshall. Guests rocked out to Grammy Award-winning Los Lonely Boys at this sold-out event, which raised $50,000 for the Guardsmen thanks to a live auction hosted by John Varvatos himself and Guardsmen co-chairs  Kit Kodic and Todd Traina.

Keylee Sanders, Elizabeth Touw

Bachelors of SF Movember Benefit on Alcatraz with DJ AM

On Saturday, June 21, the Bachelors of SF hosted an exclusive event on Alcatraz, complete with music courtesy of A-lister DJ AM. Guests enjoyed a private tour of the Rock while raising funds and awareness for the Movember Foundation, an organization devoted to men’s health issues. Special thanks are in order for the sponsors who helped make this event possible: Golden Gate National Recreation Service, Hornblower Alcatraz Cruises, Diageo, Hangar One, Pommery Champagne, Long Meadow Ranch Wine, Jetset, SmartWater and Melons Catering.

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