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Symphonix Opening Gala Preview Held at Decorator’s Showcase Home

Symphonix hosted an Opening Gala Preview event at this year's Decorator Showcase home in Pacific Heights. San Francisco Symphony Artistic Administrator, Michael Bartlett, Associate Conductor, James Gaffigan, and first chair violinist, Melissa Kleinbart answered questions regarding this year's Opening Night Gala repertoire on September 3rd.

Eric Hankinson, Krista Mitzel Hankinson, Dennis Agnos, Erik Noland

Michael Horwitz, Cameron Phleger

Tcho: Beta Chocolate from the Founder of Wired

You know how sometimes you’re confronted with something that is so over your head it’s embarrassing? This is a familiar feeling for me. I felt it through every math class of high school, during a conversation with a friend who works as an industrial designer for venerable pie-plate company Pyrex (I thought we’d have so much in common—I like pie, he designs pie plates! All was going fine until he started to talk polymers) and, most recently, while reading the website for SF-based chocolate company Tcho.

The chocolate revolution will be digitized.

Valley of the Roses Artisanal Soaps

When it comes to hitting the bubbly, we’ve got a soft spot for all things sweetly beneficial. That’s why it was love at first sniff when we chanced upon this splashy bouquet of artisanal soaps at the local Farmer’s Market in San Francisco. Creators Nancy and Arthur Rosenthal have been gathering and lathering buds from their organic garden in Sebastopol, California for 10 years in the quest to cross-pollinate intoxicating fragrance with supple skin-tone, yielding their Valley of the Roses collection.

Robert Plant and Alison Krauss at the Greek Theatre

photography by Misha Vladimirskiy

The Grammy Award-winning duo mesmerized a packed audience at the Greek Theatre on Friday, June 27 with hits off their latest CD release, Raising Sand. The performance was part of the album tour featuring an all-star band led by producer T-Bone Burnett.

Slow Food Nation: Ritual Roasters Gets Fresh

Today we start a month’s worth of Monday blogs, leading up to Slow Food Nation, which lands on SF this Labor Day weekend. I’m glad the big food festival is happening here, but I’d venture to say that in SF, Slow Food Nation is almost redundant. It’s kind of like putting an Obama bumper sticker on your car. There are Slow Foodies wherever you look.

Ritual Roasters' owner Eileen Hassi and her vacuum-packed baby.

7 Sexy Things

Bang Bang Variety Hour presents: Menagerie
Saturday, August 2, 10pm (doors open at 9pm)
Kimo's Penthouse Lounge
1351 Polk St.

Check out this performance, which combines cabaret, burlesque and vaudeville. Their promise? That you’ll experience “a crossover between artist and spectator.”

Prada Flagship Opens in Union Square

On Tuesday, July 22 Prada unveiled its new Union Square flagship to a packed crowd, including Mayor Gavin Newsom, Vanessa Getty and Sloan Barnett. The event featured an original menu designed by Thomas Keller and music by DJ Jeffery Tonnesen from New York’s The Box nightclub.

OJ Shansby, Graziano DeBoni

Norah Stone, Thomas Keller

Koos van den Akker Sets Up Shop at the Academy of Art University

San Francisco may not be the city that most designers call home, but it’s definitely a go-to getaway for fashion-y types of all kinds during their summer globetrotting. Some breeze through town long enough to make the obligatory department store personal appearance and a round or two of high society party hopping. Others, such as New York sportswear designer Koos van den Akker, hole up for three months for 12 hours a day in a classroom at the Academy of Art University sewing clothes for his Madison Avenue boutique while imparting decades of industry wisdom to collegiate designers in the making.

Trans fats: Yea or Nay?

We got talking in the office yesterday about the trans fat ban in California, recently passed by good old Arnold Schwarzenegger (this was after a breakfast of donuts, mind you, and a heated discussion on the topic of Sara's post yesterday,"fried on the inside.") The ban calls for trans fats to be phased out of restaurants by 2010 and bakeries by 2011 and brings to mind an important question: Can you legislate good health?

Somewhere out there, a hydrogenator sits idle.
photograph from

Fried On For Size

I’ve always got some food idea up my sleeve: a restaurant I’m never going to open, a bakery I’m never going to launch, the greatest pizza delivery on earth that will never be. The cookbook I’m never going to write is called Fried on the Inside. My working subtitle is something to the effect of: Heaven is a Place Where Soft and Crunchy Meet. (Although soft must proceed crunchy by just a second, you understand. It's all about order.)
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