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Eat + Drink

American Cheeses: Clark Wolf Hates Intolerance

Sliding in one day too late for my unofficial holiday gift guide for the foodie is American Cheese: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses (Simon & Schuster, $25) by Clark Wolf. It arrived on my desk the other day and I finally got a chance to look at it.

Top Chef's Jamie Lauren on NY vs. SF (Who's Better?)

One of the things I've noticed over the past seven years that I have been in San Francisco is the clear differences between foodie culture here versus New York City—my hometown. Since I’m just finishing up a visit (snowed-in as we speak), I thought I’d weigh the benefits of two cities dear to my heart.

20 Ways to Spend New Year's (The Eat + Drink List)

Chef Hoss Zaré hosts a five-course dinner at Zaré at Fly Trap on New Year’s Eve, featuring Persian-inspired dishes paired with wines from around the world (along with a complimentary glass of champagne at midnight, of course). Festivities take place from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. Dinner costs $105 for the first seating and $125 for the second seating; wine pairings are an additional $42 per person. 606 Folsom St., 415-243-0580 or visit zareflytrap.com

Another Gift for the Holiday Drinker: The Flip-Top Shaker

The Flip-Top Shaker -- The best innovations in the world of cocktail in the last few years have been historical, archival in nature. That is, the recovery of old recipes, techniques and ingredients through the scholarship displayed in such books as David Wondrich's Imbibe and in events like The Alembic's occasional Savoy Cocktail book nights, where guests are invited to choose antique recipes from the great compendium of the 1930s. Recently, though, I was sent a sample of the Flip-Top cocktail shaker from a company called Metrokane.

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:

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