Eat + Drink
Break out the Celebration Ale: this year marks the 30th anniversary of Chico's Sierra Nevada brewery, which was founded in 1980 by Ken Grossman and is currently the nation's second-largest microbrewery (after Samuel Adams). To celebrate, Grossman has embarked on five beer collaborations in the past year, beginning with Life & Limb, produced in partnership with Dogfish Head (read more about it here). Life & Limb was followed by four specially designated Sierra 30 beers, released over the course of 2010.
This weekend on November 20-21, a big, shiny new wine event is coming to Fort Mason, just in time for holiday celebrations and present-giving. The SF Vintners Market transforms the pier space into a massive tasting room where over 200 wineries from Napa Valley, Sonoma County, Paso Robles, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Russian River Valley and beyond will be pouring and selling their bottles.
Now that we've provided you with Turkey 101 (you have ordered your bird, right?), it's time for our Pie Primer. Because, really, when you think about it, if you have a great finale to the meal, your guests will forgive any transgressions that occur before dessert (for some holiday "horror" stories, click here).
Tartine Bakery has a full compliment of holiday pies and breads. Maybe you want a classic pumpkin, an apple nougatine, or a frangipane tart with cranberries and orange zest (all $38)? Yeah, we didn't think you were planning to make that one at home. You can also preorder bread (country, walnut and olive with herbes de provence), cornbread, gougeres and a host of other delights.
Now that baseball season is over, we're going to need another reason to drink beer. Luckily, there's a big one this weekend (Nov. 13 and 14) at Fort Mason. Bay Area Brew Festival gathers dozens of domestic and international brewers under one roof and, for $50, you can try them all for three hours straight (1–4 p.m.). In addition to local favorites like Lagunitas, Speakeasy, and Big Daddy, look for a wide range of brews, from the traditional (Colt45, brewed with pride in Woodridge, Illinois by the Pabst Brewing Co.) to the European (Spaten from Munich) to the karmic (Lhasa from Tibet) to the downright experimental (MateVeza, a "naturally caffeinated yerba mate beer" from Ukiah).
So many turkeys to choose from, so little time. Thanksgiving approaches, so get the best birds while you can with this guide to turkeys around town.
I’ve attended almost every Culinary Institute of America at Greystone World of Flavors conference in St. Helena since they started with Mexico way back when. These conferences are for food professionals only, which is a shame because they are phenomenal. I always get to try something I’ve never had before. That first year, way back when, it was traditionally-made conchinita pibil—a pig roasted in the ground (they actually dug a pit on the grounds of the CIA) by an expert pibil maker from a village in the Yucatán—a man who had never been out of his village, much less hung out a castle-like facility such as the CIA.
Shopping at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a family affair for chef Robbie Lewis. After 19 years in the Bay Area restaurant scene, including stints at Boulevard, 42 Degrees, Stars, Rubicon, Jardinière and Bacar, Robbie is now the Executive Chef at Oracle, where he is implementing CSA programs on all their “campuses” and introducing a range of other ideas centered around local and seasonal food. So it’s no wonder that nourishing the two most important people in his life -- son Dante and daughter Marcella - involves bringing them to the farmers market, where they can pick out their own farm fresh ingredients.
I had hoped to have a report on Contraband or Ma*Velous today, but neither was open to the public when we stopped by earlier this week. (According to Ma*Velous publicist Claudia Juestel, its a permitting matter. It's always a permitting matter. Every new cafe struggles with permitting, and it always takes longer than expected.) In the interim, I thought I'd look at some interesting coffee news from around the Bay this week including, yes, Blue Bottle and Dolores Park.
Each week, we bring you our top picks for the best places to booze on the cheap in SF.
1. SFAQ Symposium: The San Francisco Arts Quarterly, described as a hybrid of a newspaper and an arts calendar, is releasing its latest issue with a celebration on Saturday. With a free wine tasting from 5-6, and an open bar from 7-10, the atmosphere should be very celebratory indeed. They'll also have talks, live music from the Birds & Batteries and Holy Shit, and snacks from Georges. (Saturday, November 13, 5-10 pm, at the San Francisco Art Institute, 800 Chestnut St., North Beach.)