2022 Northern and Central California Food News and Journalism [SF Bay Area, Northern California, Central California, Northern Nevada]

Vik’s Chaat Corner

2390 Fourth St. (at Channing Way), Berkeley. 510-644-4432 or https://vikschaat.com/

Hours : 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and 5-7:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday.

I'm proud to present NAPA IN FLUX, a package of stories about this consequential moment in America's most important wine region. With brilliant writing from @jesslander, editing by @JanelleBitker & visuals by @alexkfong @stephzhu_ @james_clapham + others. https://t.co/Qr6SVSHpSa

— Esther Mobley (@Esther_mobley) July 27, 2022

Five stories on Napa wineries -

Are you a young journalist ready to launch your career? It's time to apply to the Hearst Fellowship program ! https://t.co/SPuFJMwbNw

— Janelle Bitker (@JanelleBitker) July 27, 2022
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Yesterday, driving in Fairfield, I saw a “farm workers” van. Maybe Dixon, Maybe Winters, but I don’t recall seeing that in Fairfield before. I know lots of people who who work in Napa, don’t live there, and may live in Solano County.

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I think that Luke Tsai is leading the pack in writing about the Bay Area food scene -


Excerpt -

San Mateo County farmworkers will soon be able to access health care resources via a double-decker bus, thanks to a new program launched by local advocacy groups and backed by major life sciences companies like Genentech.


Kathy Novak’s 94-second report today, August 1, on KCBS SF radio about the double-decker bus that will deliver health care and information to farmworkers in San Mateo County on-site.

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Excerpt -

. There are recipes for “koshersoul collards,” yam kugel, black-eyed pea hummus and brisket prepared with the berbere spice used in Ethiopian and Eritrean cuisine.

After 33 years, Holy Land Restaurant has closed. It was in Oakland near the Grand Lake Theater.

Miri will continue with a catering business



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This morning on KQED FM radio 88.5 in the SF Bay Area, host Alexis Madrigal discussed with local grocers how they are fighting inflation and issues such as spoilage, expiration dates, donations to food banks, opportunity buying, private labels, among others.

The guests were Chi Dixon, marketing and communications manager, Berkeley Bowl and Eric Liittschwager, independent operator of the Grocery Outlet in the Mission in San Francisco.

The audio of the 50-minute program should be available later today or tomorrow and I’ll link to it with some notes.


Taiwanese restaurant Dragon Gate, which closed earlier this year at its location at 300 Broadway in Oakland, is scheduled to reopen next year at 1 Franklin St. in Oakland’s Jack London Square.

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Jeff Edalatpour in the East Bay Express -

Breakfast and spiced drinks using Blue Bottle coffee will be added at the new location.

Cafe Colucci, projected opening at the end of summer 2022

5849 San Pablo Ave.



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Here’s the link to the 53-minute audio of the August 4 broadcast on KQED radio Forum with Alexis Madrigal about grocer methods to cut costs.

2:40 mark - Chi Dixon is in operations with the 2 Berkeley Bowl stores. She says that BB started in 1997 and was located in a building on Shattuck that was formerly a bowling alley. BB saves money by having their own egg farm in Petaluma. They don’t buy in large lots the way that Grocery Outlet can, according to Dixon.

4:06 mark - Estevan Morales operates El Molino in Concord which is aell-known for its house tortillas.

5:06 mark - Eric Liittschwager operates the independent Grocery Outlet in the Mission. Eric says that he is diligent about pulling items that are past their expiration dates and most of those items are donated to food banks according to some type of agreement they have with SF.

18:48 mark - Eric says that recently he was offered a deal on Naked Juice blueberry smoothies with only a week left before expiration. He bought 200 cases and sold them for 4 for $1.

42:34 mark - Chi says that BB cuts costs by having direct connections with certain farmers

Luke Tsai on Preeti Mistry in KQEDarts -

The tasting menu format also gives Mistry the opportunity to present dishes that are more prettily plated and nuanced than what they used to serve at their more casual restaurants—food that’s a little bit “fancier.” Dishes might include khichdi, deep-fried Jimmy Nardello peppers with chickpea batter and a tomato rasam soup poured tableside. It’ll be a mostly vegetarian menu with one meat course, Mistry says.

Preeti Mistry’s “Shifting the Lens” residency at J Winery ( 11447 Old Redwood Hwy, Healdsburg) will run from Aug. 18–28, with seatings for the $200 tasting menu Thursday through Sunday between 11am and 4pm. The VIP dinner ($250) is on Saturday, Aug. 20, 6–9pm. Make reservations in advance via Tock or the J Winery website .


John Birdsall, biographer of James Beard, writes about SF Chronicle restaurant reviewer Soleil Ho in Edible San Francisco -


Jonathan Gold at his best brought lyricism and a poignancy that lurked in places unknown to white people. Gold could trace, in the washed-out scene of a carne asada dive on Pico he’d once loved, the still-discernible scuff marks of a former life—he was a writer on place as much as on food. Soleil, it seems to me, is reaching for something else, perhaps more challenging: to expose, in the stories behind the food, the threads of need and emotion; as if considering what a restaurant serves, apart from the web of intention and struggle in which it’s suspended, is so reductive it distorts.

Buy your chocolate-tasting tickets from the event booths at 1451, 1495 or 1607 Shattuck Ave. on the day of the event or in advance on EventBrite. Tickets are $1/ea. or 20/$20.

Chocolate & Chalk Art Festival August 13, 10am–5pm
North Shattuck District, Berkeley
Free Admission
More info at ChocolateAndChalkArt.com

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KQED 88.5 Forum hosted by Alexis Madrigal
August 10 2022 at 9 am and 8 pm.


We’re talking about hot weather foods in a summer edition of All You Can Eat, our regular segment with KQED Food Editor Luke Tsai.


Luke Tsai, food editor, KQED

Nora Haron, chef and owner, SanDai Restaurant + Kopi Bar - opening in Walnut Creek in the fall

Amod Chopra, second generation owner, Vik’s Chaat

Here’s the link to the 52-minute audio of Cold Soup and Hot Tea on KQED radio this morning with -

Luke Tsai, food editor, KQED

Nora Haron, executive chef, SanDai Restaurant + Kopi Bar - opening in Walnut Creek in the fall

Amod Chopra, second generation owner, Vik’s Chaat

Christian Reynoso, chef, recipe developer, cooking columnist, SF Chronicle

Martin Bournhonesqu, farmer , local CSA and sells produce to restaurants

Azucena Rasilla in Berkeleyside/Oaklandside -

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Sunday market in Ubud, Indonesia
Credit: Roozbeh Rokni, Flickr