Tag Archives: Acme Bread

Wine merchant Kermit Lynch celebrates 40th anniversary

Kermit Lynch: Rocker-turned-wine-importer. Photo: Courtesy KLWM
Print Friendly

Following in the footsteps of long-time culinary anchor institutions in Berkeley such as Chez Panisse and the Cheeseboard, Kermit Lynch Wine Merchant celebrates its 40th year in business on Saturday Oct. 27 — with the parking lot of its store at 1605 San Pablo Avenue turned into a party venue featuring, of course, fine food and wine.

Kermit Lynch, a wine retailer and importer, is widely regarded for writing one of the best books on the wine business — Adventures on the Wine Route – and is also known for selecting and selling quality pours from small, family-owned estates in France and Italy.

Lynch imports wines from around 140 producers and he’s garnered an international reputation for singing the praises of wines without well-known pedigrees, particularly from France, where he’s traveled the back-roads in search of hidden gems of great value by looking, as he likes to say, where no one else was looking. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Chez Panisse contingent head to Cuba, public welcome

A Cuban farmer talks about growing greens with a visitor. Photo: Varun Mehra
Print Friendly

In the last year, Chez Panisse chefs, staff, and alum have embarked on gourmet global diplomacy trips to Japan (in an informal expedition under the auspices of a group known as OPENrestaurant) and China (in a formal affair the restaurant’s owner, Alice Waters,  presided over herself.) Now comes word that a contingent from the acclaimed restaurant are headed to Cuba to plant seeds of change on the food and farming front — and learn a thing or two about Cuban cuisine and growing greens from this Carribbean island country.

What’s more the trip, scheduled for December 4-12, coincides with the Havana Film Festival, and is open to the public. The delegation includes Chez Panisse downstairs chef Jerome Waag, former Chez Panisse pizzaiolo Charlie Hallowell, Steve Sullivan from Acme Bread (a former Chez Panisse chef), and Cuban-American line cook Danielle Alvarez, who will set foot on Cuban soil for the first time. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Bartavelle owner: What’s cooking for ex-Café Fanny space

Sightglass
Print Friendly

Suzanne Drexhage is living proof of the adage that things come to those who wait.

Drexhage, who has worked at Berkeley wine purveyor Kermit Lynch for a dozen years, hosted her own pop-up restaurant events, served at Chez Panisse, and cooked with some of the most creative folks on the Berkeley food scene, has been scouting around for several years for a space to open her own place.

So, when Café Fanny closed in March after 28 years of serving frothy cappuccinos, poached eggs, and Acme toast, Drexhage was delighted to get the go-ahead to open Bartavelle Coffee & Wine Bar, a café-wine bar with a modern vibe and a European feel, in the slip of a space formerly co-owned by Alice Waters and Jim Maser of Picante. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

‘It’s the end of a generation. Fanny has grown up’

DSC_0109
Print Friendly

Alice Waters came to Café Fanny Friday morning with a funeral wreath to commemorate the closing of the café she opened 28 years ago.

As a long line of people waited to get their last servings of poached eggs on toasted Acme levain bread, beignets, and steaming bowls of café au lait, an emotional Waters, the owner of Chez Panisse restaurant and edible schoolyard pioneer, expressed sadness that the café was closing. She said that the café was losing money, and, with the divorce of the other co-owners, Jim and Laura Maser, Café Fanny had ceased to be a happy place, which is a critical ingredient in the success of any restaurant endeavor.

…See a photo gallery of Café Fanny’s last day

“It seemed like the end of an era,” said Waters. “You want to have someone home at a café. You want at a restaurant to have people who love it. I can’t take care of it now the way it needs to be taken care of. I just didn’t want to disappoint people who expect a certain something when they come here, whether it is a café au lait, a poached egg or a beignet. It is very hard to change a place.” … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Café Yesterday: Cocoa Puffs and Verve coffee for all

Cafe Yesterday mixes granola and gummi bears.
Print Friendly

When Midwest transplant Ryan Brinson recently set up shop in Berkeley, he thought he’d died and gone to heaven. Well, that might not be how Brinson, an ordained minister, would characterize it. But the rock and roller with religious roots definitely felt like he had come home.

Brinson, a keyboard-playing long-time preacher in San Diego, decided to switch gears and locations to open Café Yesterday, a nonprofit java joint with a charitable and compassionate community approach — as one might expect from a man of the church. … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Arts

Berkeley street style: Gray days indeed

Gray3
Print Friendly

The first (and only) time I visited Ireland, I was 21 and in the middle of my art history studies. Upon stepping off the ferry from France I exclaimed, “I love the juxtaposition of green against the gray sky!” Spoken like a true art history major.

As we head into the gray season (who said we don’t have seasons?), it is as true today in Berkeley as it was on that Irish hillside: A gray sky is the ultimate backdrop for making a bold color statement. And aren’t we lucky to have so many gray-sky days to make the most of our yellows, turquoises, and, my personal favorite these days, royal blues? Could anything be more cheerful than a shock of color revealing itself through the mist?

I know how tempting it is, as the air reaches maximum saturation levels, to reach for our tried and true Gore-Tex gear in all its variations of drab (mine is a thoroughly uninspired forest green.) But I’m going to resist the urge to blend in this year and get more wear out of my turquoise Adidas logo trench. Or maybe troll eBay for one of the 1970’s foul weather jackets I used to wear on my family’s sailboat as a kid.

Let these pictures be your inspiration as the days turn dark and damp, knowing you’ll only look brighter the grayer it gets.

Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Farm-to-fork tours spotlight local green businesses

Restaurant chefs at Five, Gather, and Revival will talk slow money and sustainable food at an upcoming green tour.
Print Friendly

Three years ago, Marissa LaMagna started Bay Area Green Tours, a nonprofit, shoestring operation now headquartered in the David Brower Center (and largely staffed by eager, eco-conscious, unpaid interns) because she wanted to showcase the best sustainable farms and food, buildings and businesses, energy practices and employment opportunities in Berkeley and beyond.

The green tour business with a biodiesel bus takes people from near and far to see for themselves and hear the stories behind successful sustainable enterprises … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Jam maker turns hobby into thriving local business

Dafna Kory at Local 123 Cafe./Photo: Sarah Henry
Print Friendly

Dafna Kory discovered the delights of jalapeňo jam during pre-dinner nibbles at a Thanksgiving gathering. She went out to buy a jar, couldn’t find the mighty spicy condiment anywhere, so she began experimenting with making her own. It became an instant hit among her posse.

At first, the self-taught preserver thought her D.I.Y. hobby would just make nice gifts for friends and family. The she moved from San Francisco to South Berkeley, saw the abundance of plums, apples, and lemons growing in her new backyard, and a jamming business was born.

Kory foraged fruit in a hyper-local fashion. She made batches of jam in her home kitchen. She personally delivered by bike. Demand for her jams grew by word-of-mouth.

Friends who had friends who owned stores began encouraging her to branch out beyond her inner circle. So she started shopping INNA jam (the name is, indeed, a playful pun) to places like Local 123, Summer Kitchen, Rick and Ann’s Restaurant and The Gardener.

About a year ago, with orders coming in a steady stream, it became clear that Kory, now 28, needed to either gear up and focus on turning her after-hours pastime into a fully fledged business or scale back and remain a hobbyist. She decided to take the plunge.

A freelance commercial video editor, Kory hasn’t looked back. She began working in a commercial kitchen in North Berkeley, selling her pickles and preserves at events like ForageSF’s Underground Market and the Eat Real Festival, and offering workshops for other D.I.Y.ers.

The UC Berkeley graduate now spends nine months of the year working full-time on her budding food business, and supplements her income in the winter months with editing gigs.

In a year, she hopes to devote 100% of her work day to INNA jam. Kory also pickles though that product line is on hiatus while she ratchets up production to meet demand for her increasingly popular jams. She delivers locally by bike, ships interstate, and offers an annual, seasonal subscription (a 10-ounce jar retails for $12). … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley Bites: Minh Tsai, Hodo Soy Beanery

Yuba_03
Print Friendly

Minh Tsai is on a mission to make tofu the next hip artisanal food. He knows he has a ways to go to get many Americans to even taste tofu, but if anyone can make it cool to eat bean curd, this enthusiastic self-described tofu master is the man for the job.

Tsai grew up eating fresh tofu from street vendors in his native Vietnam. He arrived in the U.S. via Malaysia, part of the so-called boat people exodus. Both … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Nosh

Understated style: tweeting the Chez Panisse way

Noon today
Print Friendly

Last month Chez Panisse succumbed to social media madness and joined Twitter. But, rather than bombard its already 2,431 followers with promotional messages or daily menu updates, the Alice Waters-owned restaurant is playing it cool and tweeting with the understated style we have come to expect from the team that works with Berkeley’s Slow Food queen.

Every few days a beautiful photograph will be shared — be it a mother and daughter enjoying a leisurely midday repast, … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , ,

Berkeley Bites: Kara Hammond, Elmwood Café

elmwood.cafe.1
Print Friendly

A decade ago, and fresh out of North Carolina, Kara Hammond landed a gig at Café Fanny, a tiny slip of a place in North Berkeley opened 25 years ago by, oh, a certain famous local chef.

Hammond, who had run a homespun bakery in Greensboro, wanted to get some kitchen experience in the Bay Area. Someone she knew knew someone who had a contact at Café Fanny; she called up and scored a job, just like that. Hammond … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley Bites: Suzanne Schafer & Shari Washburn, Ebbett’s Good to Go

veggie
Print Friendly

The Twitter handle pretty much sums things up.  Two food-obsessed moms try to have their cake and eat it too: Start a food truck and still be home with the kids.

Meet the newest truck on the block to hit the streets of Emeryville. You can’t miss the baby-blue colored vehicle emblazoned with the Ebbett’s Good To Go insignia. And there’s no mistaking this mobile food biz for some roach coach come to dish up cheap, tasteless … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Berkeley Bites: Tu David Phu, Saul’s Delicatessen

matzo-ball-soup-made-from-pastured-chicken
Print Friendly

What’s a nice, young, tattooed Vietnamese boy from West Oakland doing as the top chef in a Jewish deli in North Berkeley?

I’m so glad you asked. Tu David Phu wanted to take a break from working the stoves in Bay Area fine dining establishments — his resume includes stints at The Peasant and the Pear in Danville and Pasta Moon in Half Moon Bay. So he decided to try his hand in the front-of-the-house at Saul’s Restaurant … Continue reading »

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,