Friday, September 28
In celebration of Oktoberfest, the culinary team at Jasper’s Corner Tap & Kitchen has created a special Oktoberfest tasting plate: Jasper’s signature spicy beer sausage with house made spicy mustard, a whisky fennel sausage with a whole grain honey mustard, and a warm soft pretzel with smoked cheese fondue. Of course the plate comes with a suggested beer pairing—the Paulaner Oktoberfest Marzen, to be exact. All of this can be yours for a meal deal of $19, or the tasting plate and pint are available separately for $14 and $7. Available through the end of October, 401 Taylor Street.
Saturday, September 29
Chocolate connoisseurs and enthusiast alike: This one is for you. Scharffen Berger hosts two free baking classes at Macy’s Union Square to kick off their Chocolate Adventure Contest 2012: Sandwich Edition. Get inspired for your own recipes as you learn how to make a pasilla chili-infused chocolate ganache spiced cookie sandwich and cocao nib mudslides with pastry Chef Yigit Pura, or get the recipe from Alice Medrich for a nibby-nutty-mocha-banana ice-cream sandwich. Be sure to take notes and submit your own original recipes to Scharffen Berger, you could win the $25,000 grand prize or be one of ten honorees to win an iPad. You are limited to one class per person, and they are provided on a fist come first serve basis, but plenty of chocolate samples will be supplied. Free, 2–3 p.m. or 4–5 p.m., Macy’s Union Square, Cellar Demo Kitchen, Lower Level, 170 O’Farrell Street.
What does live blues music; gourmet food and overall festivities have in common? You guessed it—the annual Polk Street Blues Festival has descended on Russian Hill. For two days, you can enjoy several live performances from some of the top Blues’ musicians from the Bay Area on two main stages, gourmet food stalls, pop up restaurants and an independent merchant market place spanning the streets from Broadway to California. Free, 10 a.m.–6 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, Upper Polk Street (Broadway to California).
Sunday, September 30
Roli Roti Gourmet Rotisserie is celebrating ten years in the food truck biz—a momentous occasion for founder Thomas Odermatt who was a pioneer of the food truck scene, and one of the first to serve high-quality meals on wheels. To celebrate, Roli Roti will be hosting a pop-up outside of Chez Panisse Restaurant. On the menu will be porchetta sandwiches, hearty salads and other lighter snacks, with all profits benefiting the Edible Schoolyard project. 12–3 p.m., 1517 Shattuck Avenue, Berkeley.
The Polish Harvest Festival takes over Golden Gate Park this Sunday, complete with large quantities of sausage and beer. In addition to the traditional grub, you can browse through booths with Polish books, art, crafts, jewelry and other fine knick-knacks, as well as a live band and dance performances. Free, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., Golden Gate Park, Lincoln Way and 9th Avenue.
Friday, October 5
Skip your usual Friday-night-happy-hour and head up to Napa to kick off your weekend with a wine tasting at Back Room Wines. The line-up this week features six of Northern Italy’s finest reds from the regions of Tuscany, Piedmont and Veneto. Brush up on the unique attributes of Chianti, Montepulciano, Barolo, Dolcetto, Barbera, and Valpolicella, and take home your favorite bottle at a 10% discount. No reservation is required; you can drop in at any time throughout the evening. $15 per person, 5-8 p.m., 1000 Main Street, Napa.
Saturday, October 6
Join food and travel writer Laurel Miller in an exclusive one-day only workshop devoted to helping food-loving writers cultivate “well-fed” narratives. Feeding Your Creativity: Food Memoirs will discuss how food related experiences; from cooking, traveling, dining out, or shopping at the farmer’s market makes for good memoir material. Various writing exercises, with snacks for inspiration, will help you translate the sensory aspects of eating into a written manuscript. $115, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Umami Mart, 815 Broadway, Oakland.
Friday, September 28