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Eat + Drink

Stocking Stuffers for Food Lovers

Sure, an orange at the toe of the stocking is still a nice touch, but here are seven other goodies to slip in the sock.

1. At Christopher Elbow’s Hot Chocolate Lounge in Hayes Valley, you can enjoy a rich mug of any number of his signature drinking chocolate—treat yourself, then buy a tin and treat a friend. $16, available at the shop (401 Hayes St., 415-355-1100) or online.

Cask . . . and you shall receive

Cask popped up quietly, though spirits junkies and bartenders around town have been awaiting its opening for some time. The specialty spirits and bartender-supply shop opened by the good folks who have given us Bourbon and Branch, Swig, and Anu, seems slightly out of place next to the Subway sandwich joint at Third and Market (17 Third St is the exact address), but once you pass under its burnished wooden sign, you enter a world away from the big corporate retailers that otherwise populate most of the area.

Booze Brother

Dan Aykroyd is going to be a the Jug Shop on Polk and Pacific today btw 4-6. Yes, that Dan Aykroyd. He's pimping his new line of wines and you can meet him in person this afternoon at the Jug Shop. If you like sipping the wine and hanging out with the celebs this is the event for you.

 

Here are the details from the press release:

Which Chef Does Eric Ripert Think is an S.O.B?

Chef Eric Ripert of NYC’s Le Bernardin was in town last week to promote his excellent new cookbook, On The Line (Artisan). Co-authored by Christine Muhlke, it’s a look behind the scenes (danger, drama!) at one of the country’s most revered fine-dining restaurants. Twenty years into it, Ripert has a lot to say.

Ripert is close friends with chef Laurent Manrique of Aqua, so he’s spent more than the usual amount of time eating around SF. Ripert and I sat down for dinner the other night and had a chat. Turns out he's a seriously nice, soft-spoken guy.

The Eat and Drink List: This week's top 7

1. When author Andrea Nguyen’s family left Vietnam in 1975, one of the few possessions they brought with them to America was their notebook of recipes. She celebrates this culinary tradition in her cookbook, Into the Vietnamese Kitchen. Join her for a free book signing at Omnivore Books on December 17 from 5 to 6:30 p.m.

2. Dine out on December 18 and you’ll be helping the 150,000 San Franciscans who don’t have enough to eat.  Ten percent of the proceeds earned by restaurants participating in the Dine Out Against Hunger (including Maverick, A16, Americano, Sociale, Delfina, Foreign Cinema, Incanto, Kuleto’s, Magnolia, Range, Serpentine, Slow Club and SPQR) will be donated to the San Francisco Food Bank.

Jamie Lauren: 10 Things I Haven't Done In Years

My life consists of working. All. Of. The. Time. When I am not working I attempt to maintain some sort of normal life—like see the dentist, clean the bathroom or get the dishes out of the sink and into the cupboard. Since graduating from the CIA Hyde Park I have not:

What you have in common with Thomas Keller: In-N-Out

Google “Thomas Keller” and you’ll turn up 774,000 results. So what can I tell you that you don’t already know about the celebrity chef who made Yountville a town worthy of food pilgrimage? Well, there’s the In-N-Out thing. Google “Thomas Keller and In-N-Out Burgers” and you’ll get only 32, 600 results. Which means, by my quick calculations, that many of you may not know that the VFC (very famous chef) who “invented” such dishes as oysters and pearls (oysters set in savory tapioca) and salmon tartare cornets (fashioned after ice cream cones) also really likes In-N-Out burgers. His standard order? Standard cheeseburger, fries well-done (“Because,” he says, “at least then they’re crisp.”).

Gift Idea #3: Bixology

Sometimes Chronicle Books just nails it: Case in point, the new yet old-school cocktail book that they just published called Bixology: Cocktails, Culture and a Guide to the Good Life. Written by Doug Biederbeck, the owner of Bix restaurant, and Eve O'Neill, the hardback is a small, brown number (gives the impression of being leather covered) with simple gold writing on it. It's intentionally, somewhat cheekily, representative of another era, just like Bix itself.

Holiday Drinker's Gift Guide, Gift #1

Over the next two weeks, I'm going to give a series of  recommendations for buzzed-related products that would make worthy gifts for any drinker in your life.

Top Bartenders Face Off at Domaine de Canton Competition

Last week, some of San Francisco's best bartenders faced off in one leg of what is sure to be one of the most high profile cocktail competitions in the country. Sponsored by Domaine de Canton, that spicy, complex and delicious ginger liqueur that debuted earlier this year, the contest is worth $10,000 to the ultimate winner and a trip to St Martin for the finalists. Considering all that, you would think tensions would have been high at Le Colonial, where the event was staged. Rather, though, the mood was festive and the bartenders didn't act as if they were nervous at all. Drink ingredients varied from coffee beans and kaffir lime leaves to coconut milk and pineapple.

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