Berkeley Bites: Daphne Miller

Each Friday in this space food writer Sarah Henry asks a well-known, up-and-coming, or under-the-radar food aficionado about their favorite tastes in town, preferred food purveyors and other local culinary gems worth sharing.

Daphne Miller, 44, is a family physician in private practice in San Francisco and the author of the sleeper success The Jungle Effect: The Healthiest Diets From Around The World — Why They Work and How to Make Them Work For You, for which she traveled around the globe to find authentic indigenous recipes and traditions that may help preserve health and prevent many Western diseases.

An occasional columnist on health matters for The Washington Post, Daphne also teaches nutrition and integrative medicine at UC San Francisco and elsewhere across the country; she is continuing her exploration of food as medicine in research for her next book.

Daphne is new to the neighborhood. She moved from San Francisco to The Elmwood nine months ago with her husband, green architect Ross Levy, and their two children. [Full disclosure: Her son is in the 5th grade with my boy at Malcolm X Elementary School.]

1. Are there any Berkeley restaurants that have impressed you since you landed here?


Gather. Their food inspires me. The vegetarian charcuterie was profound; full of complex flavors. I took some out-of-towners there to give them a taste of Berkeley. They loved it. Everything you eat there has a story. It’s wonderful that you can find out the source of all the food.

2. Have you discovered any prepared food purveyors that you like?

Summer Kitchen Bake Shop in my neighborhood is my go-to place to pick up something to build a meal around, though I only eat out maybe once every two weeks. I like their roast chickens from Fulton Valley Farms; even the fried chicken is done in a nice, clean deep fry. They have interesting soups and vegetable sides too.

3. What about family-friendly eats?

Amanda’s downtown does a great little burger. They cook sustainable beef and the sweet potato fries are delicious. Plus they use all biodegradable, recyclable stuff.


4. Are there any bakeries in town that you frequent?

I like the baguette from the Bread Garden. It’s got a good crust and soft inside. Their garlic bread is also delicious.

5. Have you met any new local food folk that you admire?

The egg man at Tuesday’s farmers’ market. His name is Art Davis and he’s been raising his chickens the old-fashioned way at Ludwig Avenue Farm for 15-20 years in Santa Rosa, way before it was cool. I like to put his eggs in a wild greens omelet or on top of a homemade pizza.

Sarah Henry is a freelance writer whose stories have appeared in the Los Angeles Times Magazine, The Washington Post and San Francisco Magazine. A contributor to the food policy blog Civil Eats, she muses about food, family and growing greens on her blog lettuce eat kale.


[Photo: Ross Levy]