Tag Archives: Aaron Rocchino

Ex-Chez Panisse pastry chef is back as chocolatier

Chocolates
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When the buyer at San Francisco’s artisanal mecca Bi-Rite Market proclaims a certain brand of chocolates to be “exquisite– quite simply, the best I’ve ever tasted,” it would be wise to pay attention.

The chocolates in question are made by Alexandra Whisnant, under the name gâté comme des filles chocolats (a French line that loosely translates as Spoiled Like the Girls Chocolates). So far, they are sold at The Local Butcher Shop in Berkeley (made with their own signature bacon) and through online food delivery service Good Eggs.

Whisnant, a chocolatier by trade, has just relocated gâté comme des filles from Paris to the Bay Area. … Continue reading »

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Top food stories from Berkeley in 2011

Andre Green from the Berkeley Food & Housing Project cooks for the neediest in the community. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back to see what food stories created a buzz around town and on Berkeleyside in 2011.

Granted, there’s an arbitrary nature to such end-of-year lists. But it’s an opportunity to take stock of the city’s culinary culture.

For the purposes of this post we’ve focused on food news stories, which doesn’t take into account the dozens of interviews with foragers, farmers, artisans, advocates, chefs, cooking teachers, preservers, pasta makers, cheese purveyors, pop-up restaurateurs, and farmers’ market vendors we’ve published during 2011.

This year also saw controversial coverage of corner stores, reporting on detractors of school food, an insider’s take on speed dating with a veg-friendly focus, and a widely criticized first-person piece on disappointing camp chow.

Readers may differ on what food stories caught their attention. Feel free to add your own highlights (or low points) in the comments section.

In alphabetical order: … Continue reading »

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Whole-beast butcher shop taps appetite for local meat

Aaron and Monica Rocchino, who opened The Local Butcher Shop in August, say they have been welcomed by the Berkeley community. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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It’s only been just over two months since former Chez Panisse chef Aaron Rocchino and his wife Monica opened The Local Butcher Shop in the heart of Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto. But the store, which prides itself on sourcing locally and embracing the whole animal, has already found a loyal clientele and two very local restaurant clients.

Chez Panisse, perhaps not surprisingly, is patronizing the newly established meat purveyor and buying its beef there, as well as “anything else they need when they’re in a pinch”, says Monica Rocchino.

Saul’s Deli is getting ground beef from its new neighbor and, as of last Tuesday, serving Local Butcher Shop bologna. Executive Chef Peter Levitt hopes this might go some way to appeasing his salami loving customers who, he says, are suffering while Saul’s searches for sustainable, artisanal salami it feels happy to serve. … Continue reading »

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Chez Panisse chef opens butcher shop in Berkeley

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On Tuesday, Aaron and Monica Rocchino quietly opened the doors to their new business, an artisan butcher shop where the term “snout to tail” really comes into its own.

The Local Butcher Shop, in the old Red Hanger Kleaners space on Cedar Street in the Gourmet Ghetto, has already attracted dozens of curious foodies.

One-on-one customer service, offering cuts of meat hewed from whole carcasses, is the principal order of business. But providing some meat — most likely beef — to … Continue reading »

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Chez Panisse chef to open artisan butcher shop

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Chez Panisse chef Aaron Rocchino and his wife Monica are bringing artisan meat to the heart of the Gourmet Ghetto with the opening this summer of The Local Butcher Shop on Cedar Street in the old Red Hanger Kleaners space.

“We think there’s a void in the market for restaurant-quality, sustainable meat for home customers,” said Monica Rocchino, who is setting up the new retail operation with her husband.

“It’s an idea whose time has come. I’m looking forward to having this shop in the neighborhood,” said Michael Pollan, who lives in north Berkeley and has done much to champion the consumption of responsibly sourced meat.

The butcher shop will feature whole animals sourced directly from farms, none of which are further than 150 miles from Berkeley. The emphasis will be on grass-fed, sustainably raised meat, and the butchering and cutting will be to order. … Continue reading »

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