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Sara Deseran

Hairy But Tasty, The "It" Pig Comes To SF

In the game of pig one-upmansship, Heath Putnam—the owner of Wooly Pigs—just pushed in all his chips. Not your obvious hog guy, the former software and financial analyst has become the first breeder of the burly (and yes, hairy) Austro-Hungarian Mangalitsa pig in the Western Hemisphere, a hog classified as an "extreme lard-type" versus the usual "meat-type." Two years since bringing the pigs over to the US, his work is paying off. Of course, King Keller got first Mangalitsa dibs a year back. But this Saturday, you can experience the rich, fatty pork at (no, not Incanto) … Frascati! Michael Mina is up next.

Food52: A Cookbook Competition with a Familiar Face

According to Food52—started by Mrs. Latte herself, Amanda Hesser, along with Merrill Stubbs—the website/community was "created to celebrate the best cooks in the world: home cooks." It's the kind of site you submit your best stew with olives or your best fig recipe. Relatively down home.

Valley High: A Quick Tour of What's New in the Wine Country

St. Helena

Love him or hate him, wine critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. has made and broken many a winemaker. On Oct. 22, feel the power as he leads a tasting of the 2007 Châteuneuf-du-Pape at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. A sparkling wine reception follows (as it should when you’re shelling out $750). 2555 Main St., St. Helena, 707-967-2305, ciachef.edu

The Twitterverse: Can A Critic's BF Be the First to Tell?

Any chef in town that recognizes SF Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer (the majority) knows Michael Murphy’s face almost as well. Murphy is not a food writer but he holds sway for one reason: He’s Michael Bauer’s longtime partner and fellow diner for many a review meal.

Tonight: The September Issue, A Glass of Rosé and Popcorn

The September Issue—the documentary about the making of Vogue’s biggest fashion issue ever in 2007, a four-pound tome that couldn’t be squeezed into a mailbox—debuts this weekend. Although tonight is the SF premiere, the film’s already been showing in NYC, timed well with Fashion Week. The movie’s release also has a darker sense of timing—magazines across the country are in trouble and being forced to reinvent themselves. Even Conde Nast, which has always remained mythically golden, has been in the spotlight, as McKinsey & Company has been called in to survey the wreckage.

The Plant Cafe: Outdoor Dining at Its Most Organic

I'm a person that never feels like they can get enough of summer. Knowing that the season is fleeting makes me greedily eat as many peaches as possible. The same goes with the Indian summer in SF; I have this urge to dine outside every minute I can—all the while, looking, in a slight panic, towards the horizon to see if I can see the fog threatening to spill over. I feel it's important not to waste a moment of blue sky. (Except when you're at your desk writing a blog.)

Thursday! Mos Def, Erykah Badu & Jay Electronica

You might just be recovering from Outside Lands, but for a refreshing breath of funk, hip-hop, reggae and rhymes, book your tickets now for The Ecstatic Tour featuring bohemian queen Erykah Badu and political rapper/actor Mos Def—equal partners in talent.

Mos Def's fourth solo album, The Ecstatic, came out June 9 and his tour launched mid-August in Minneapolis. Now, Mos Def—along with the quirky Badu and her boyfriend Jay Electronica, are coming to San Francisco's Davies Symphony Hall on Thursday. On Friday, they'll be at Oakland at the art-deco fabulous Paramount Theater, one of the most beautiful places to see any music in the Bay Area. Tickets are still available, but get them soon.

A16 is Turning Japanese: See the Video!

A16 is opening in Japan and now there's video footage to prove it. Everyone knows that the Japanese do everything better, so we have to assume those pizzas are going to be pretty darn good.

 

First Bite: Saison Does Fine Dining Without the Fineries

In the ongoing trend of chefs thinking outside the box, Saison—a Sunday night “restaurant” put on by Kris Esqueda, former Michael Mina sommelier Mark Bright and chef Joshua Skenes—has been luring diners from all over the city to a urban-cool space tucked behind the Stable Café in the Mission District. Skenes is now taking reservations for weekend nights too (reserve for September 5, 6, 18, 19, 20, 25 and 27). For $70 you get four courses; add $40 for wine pairings.

Taste Catering Gets a Tomato of Their Own

No matter that the farmers markets are brimming right now with heirloom tomatoes of all shapes and sizes, some chefs want a customized tomato that they can call their own. So it was with top-notch local SF catering company, Taste, who dreamed of a tomato that was the ideal flavor—a balance of sweetness and acidity—as well as the perfect shape. 

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