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7x7's Wine Buying Guide

Celebrate California’s best wines and food pairings.

JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset

15 Startups Poised to Make Waves in 2012

All over the Bay Area, particularly in San Francisco, thousands of startups are developing innovative products and services that collectively promise to transform the way we live our lives going forward.

Food Writer Ruth Reichl on Tweeting, Baking, Writing, and Too Much Drinking

If anyone has rolled with the food-writing times, it’s Ruth Reichl. From her stint as the food editor of the Los Angeles Times in the ’80s to her celebrated tenure as restaurant critic for The New York Times in the ’90s, to her 10-year post as the final editor in chief of Gourmet, she hasn’t missed a beat—or a form of media for that matter. Known for her breathless, food-obsessed tweets and her smart, tell-almost-all memoirs, the New Yorker has recently settled into her role as the editorial advisor for Gilt Taste, a high-end online gourmet shop with food writing redolent of Reichl’s style at Gourmet. On Jan. 13, she’ll be presenting as a judge for the Good Food Awards, a salute to artisan food producers across the country, at the Ferry Building.

CRAVE's Sensual Technology Brings Titillation Into Modern Times

San Francisco is a hotbed for technology. But technology is sizzling at CRAVE, a luxury pleasure start-up assembling sensual products for women in SOMA. Led by two product designers combining smart design with quality and environmentally aware materials and manufacturing practices, CRAVE is upgrading sexy time. As co-founder and lead designer, Ti Chang, puts it "If anything deserves good design, it's the things we bring to bed with us."

Tell Us Your Engagement Story to Win a Prize (Hint: Make it Creative and Cry-Worthy)

When it comes to proposal stories, it seems like we’ve heard it all—everything from presenting the ring on a fake hand hidden in a pumpkin to messages written in the sand. But the ingenuity of love is always surprising—and our annual contest is your chance to show your romantic stuff.

Two Sense: Should I Let My Feelings Get the Best of Me?

A year ago, I met "Michael" on an online dating site. Given that I had recently divorced, I took my time with him. But after four months, I was surprised to learn that he was not developing romantic feelings for me. Because I cared for him and enjoyed our friendship though, we embarked on a "friends with benefits" relationship: sexual monogamy with the understanding that we both wanted more from a partner eventually. For the next eight months, we spent about a third of our time together, during which I constantly waged war against my growing feelings toward him. This past Thanksgiving when Michael went to see his family without me, I felt literally left behind, and began actively dating. I met someone who is totally into me. I told Michael, and we agreed to just be friends. But two weeks later, Michael began sending me affectionate messages, and last weekend, he disclosed that he did have feelings for me. I adore Michael; I dare say I love him. I’m scared of being hurt, but at the end of the day, being with him feels right. Do I throw the proverbial caution into the wind?

Technology and Snowsports Converge in South Lake Tahoe for Snowcial

Snowcial, a gabfest that combines social media and outdoor winter recreation, makes its annual appearance in South Lake Tahoe in mid-January.

Holiday Wine Buying Guide: Avia Hotel, Flora Springs, Michael Mondavi, Venge Vineyards and Hall Wines

Celebrate the season with California’s best wines and food pairings.

Southern Pacific Brewery Readies For Its Debut

Sometime mid-month, the long awaited Southern Pacific Brewery will officially open their doors to the public, although on New Year’s Eve a near capacity crowd of 200 showed up for the Mission microbrewery’s dress rehearsal.

Chris Lawrence (former sales manager for Speakeasy) and Anthony LaVia (former owner of both Gestalt Haus and the Matador) partnered up to create Southern Pacific and brought Andy French (former brewer at Speakeasy) on board as brewmaster.

Eat Like a Native: An Iraqi Expat On Where to Go, What to Buy

Welcome to a column wherein we track down a cook good with an accent and milk them for all their best kept eating secrets.

Ghazwan Al-Sharif—a native of Tikrit, Iraq—describes his kitchen as "a place to play." Born into what he describes as a "foodie family," Al-Sharif's father was a diplomat, so he spent most of his early childhood in the Czech Republic and London. He moved to Iraq at the age of 15, where he eventually ran a restaurant. In 2003, when the U.S. troops came into the country, Al-Sharif was tapped as a translator. Eventually, his people turned on him for taking the job and he was forced to flee the country. It's a long, tragic and complicated story that has been told partially by New America Media here, and more recently by the Chronicle here. Al-Sharif was relocated to the Bay Area by the International Rescue Committe, and at last finds himself home and safe, living in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. He currently works as a PR and Production Manager for Project Open Hand, a job that incudes cheffing, dinner and events organization. Food is still one of Al-Sharif's favorite subjects and he was excited to share the San Francisco bites that bring back good memories of his life in Iraq.

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