2021 California Food Journalism and News [SF Bay Area, Los Angeles, the rest of California and Northern Nevada]

from youtube:

After World War II, a newly affluent United States searched for its own gourmet culture. In James Beard, whose larger-than-life presence would rule over kitchens and dinner tables for the next 35 years, America found its culinary maestro. How did this secretly queer failed opera singer from the epicurean backwater of Oregon become America’s first food celebrity? John Birdsall tells the tale in his new book The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard, bringing to life a towering figure, a man who still represents the best in eating and yet has never been fully understood—until now. Join us for an in-depth conversation with Birdsall, who will look beyond the public image of the celebrated cean of American cooking to find a man who battled depression, self-doubt, loneliness, and the complex rules of the closet to become a beloved household name synonymous with fine cooking and the good life. Producing nearly two dozen cookbooks in his lifetime, Beard was staunchly unfussy and proudly anti-elitist, embracing the elegance and pleasures of pure, local food and “humble, everyday cooking that aims for simplicity, honors flavor over dubious thrift, and achieves perfection using fine ingredients.” His influence on American food culture cannot be overstated: he was the definitive source of knowledge and inspiration for American home cooks in the 20th century, and the inspiration for a new generation of restaurant chefs in the 1970s, including Larry Forgione, Jeremiah Tower, and Alice Waters. Our special guest, John Birdsall, is himself a two-time James Beard Award-winning author, a former food critic and a longtime restaurant cook. He co-authored (with James Syhabout) the cookbook Hawker Fare. NOTES Commonwealth Club members receive reduced ticket prices, among other benefits. Not a member? Join today for as little as $10 a month. Birsdall photo by Eric Wolfinger. THU, FEB 18 / 12:00 PM PST SPEAKERS John Birdsall Author, The Man Who Ate Too Much: The Life of James Beard; Former Food Critic; Restaurant Cook; Co-Author, Hawker Fare; Twitter @John_Birdsall Michelle Meow Producer and Host, “The Michelle Meow Show” on KBCW/KPIX TV and Podcast; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors; Twitter @msmichellemeow—Co-Host John Zipperer Producer and Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable; Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club—Co-host -www.commonwealthclub.org/covid19support -Subscribe for more Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/commonwe…​ -Upcoming events: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/events​ -Become a Member: https://www.commonwealthclub.org/memb…​ -Donate Now: https://support.commonwealthclub.org/…

Taiwan Bento

412 22nd St
Oakland, CA 94612
(510) 250-9858
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Casa Barotti. Opening Tuesday. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. 3204 College Ave., Berkeley. casabarotti.com

I don’t understand this: 'The largest refund request was for more than $140. Bogharian said the reason given for the refund requests is often “change of plans.” ’

It infuriates me that such request is granted. If I am the restaurateur, what do I care what your plan is if you order a meal and I prepare and deliver the meal?

It is also disheartening to see of all businesses scammers are targeting during the pandemic, they are targeting the already-suffering restaurants.

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from Berkeleyside:

CALIFORNIA CUISINE The Berkeley food scene is just as abuzz now as it was decades ago. Food and wine entrepreneur Narsai David will reflect on his history in the Berkeley food scene starting from his arrival to the Bay Area in 1953. He’ll talk about the Pot Luck Restaurant, the start of his catering business that had clients like rock star Bill Graham, the Napa Valley Wine Auction, and the San Francisco Symphony, and his experience running his own Narsai’s Restaurant in Kensington. He will be in conversation with food writer, publisher and filmmaker L. John Harris. Join this conversation and expect to get hungry! Sunday, Feb. 28. 2-3:30 p.m. Suggested donation $5-20.

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It’s too bad they’re the main SA restaurant option in the Bay Area (unless you know South Africans personally, like I do). They specialize in food from just a particular region, plus they have a big emphasis on “paleo”, which certainly fits into the Bay Area but isn’t traditionally South African. However, you can get pretty decent boerewors (sausage) from Dittmer’s in Los Altos.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold