Tag Archives: Berkeley food revolution

Berkeley’s garlicky food revolution: Stories within stories

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If it’s true that “Garlic is as good as ten mothers,” the title of Les Blank’s 1980 film, my question is: why anyone would want ten mothers? For most people I know, and speaking for myself, one good mother was plenty. Evidently this is not the case with garlic, about which, for its fanatical fans, there is no such thing as too much.

So when Blank’s cinematic homage to never-enough-garlic was screened on a recent Sunday at the Pacific Film Archive as part of a Les Blank retrospective, aging but loyal garlic-heads, including yours truly, showed up to marinate, yet again, in the stinking rose’s aromatic magic.

When my Book of Garlic was published in 1974 under the nom de plume Lloyd J. Harris, it luckily caught Les Blank’s eye (and nostrils). The book, which had been inspired by my brief stint as a waiter at Chez Panisse during its first hectic days in 1971, proclaimed a garlic revolution in America and popularized the ancient Roman word for garlic, “stinking rose.”   … Continue reading »

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Can’t we just have dinner without all the analysis?

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One of the undoubted pleasures of living in the Bay Area is being able to enjoy the fruits of its pioneering food movement — whether it’s savoring the freshest, sweetest organically grown peach or dining at restaurants where sustainability and relationships with producers are taken seriously.

But there’s also a risk that such enthusiasm can turn into evangelism — that we can veer into being a little worthier than thou. A recent cartoon in the New Yorker summed it … Continue reading »

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