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Talk, Eat, Listen


Michael Pollan is all smiles and ready for his big dinner at Fort Mason.

I’d make a horrible revolutionary. I don’t have the myopic focus of an Alice Waters or the drive of a Michael Pollan. Last night, I set down the latest Gourmet magazine, which focuses on the “farm-to-fork” movement, with a sigh. Instead of being moved, as I was a few years back, I felt tired. Even worse, I felt compelled to do something bad—like eat a pineapple.

So thank god other people forge on, spurred on by justifiable outrage, doing the work for me (and the rest of us), re-stoking our dormant flames. I’m not oblivious to the fact that the raised consciousness of the food community here, or the access I have to great farm-fresh produce on both menus and in markets, has little to do with me. I’m indebted to many people.

One of them is Larry Bain, a man who’s spearheaded many wonderful events (some of the most amazing were part of the “Taste the Difference” dinner series that I attended most of and found completely inspirational, despite my obvious personality flaws). I bumped into Larry the other night and he reminded me of his latest series of events called Turning the Tables. The first, called “The Menu for the Perfect Dinner,” is set to be one of those don’t-miss meals. Created by Brian Leitner of Living Room Events and Jean-Pierre Moulle, the chef of Chez Panisse, it’s going composed of ingredients foraged from San Jose to Sonoma (wild mushrooms! wild nettles! wild boar!). Speakers include Kari Jamerschlag from the California Coalition for Food and Farming, Paula Jones, the Director for San Francisco Food Systems and of course, author and food activist Michael Pollan.

All they need is a check for $150. They’ll even write the letter to Senators Feinstein and Boxer about Farm Bill legislation for you to sign. But really, truly, all you have to do is show up at Fort Mason on October 26th at 6 pm and talk, eat and listen.