Tag Archives: Bob Klein

With Duende, chef Paul Canales breaks free

Paul Canales of Duende. Photo: Tracey Taylor
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Paul Canales, who opened his new restaurant and bodega Duende in Uptown Oakland last week, admits to having been more than ready to embark on his new venture. Canales was at the venerable Oliveto in Rockridge for 15 years — he joined as an intern and left as Executive Chef — and he loved it there. But, even before he handed in his notice in 2010, he had been fantasizing for months about a different cuisine, a different aesthetic — in fact an altogether different approach.

He was drawn to small plates and Spanish food, mainly because of his heritage — his father was raised in the Basque region — and partly because his passion for Italian food had run its course.

“Entrées never seem that exciting to me. They are a lot of commitment for a dinner,” he said this week sitting on a stool clutching a carton of coconut water in his vibrant new space on 19th St., a stone’s throw from Oakland’s beautiful Fox Theater. Adding to the disconnect was the fact that Canales and his wife — Ici Ice Cream owner Mary Canales — and their daughters didn’t eat that way. “We don’t eat a lot of one thing — we like ethnic food,” he said. … Continue reading »

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Oliveto’s Bob Klein can’t get enough of white truffles

Bob Klein with Truffles
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Bob Klein, the owner of Oliveto, cares so deeply about truffles that he is currently nursing several broken ribs sustained while out on an adventurous truffle-hunting expedition in Tuscany.

Klein heads to Italy every year to meet up with his friend Giorgio Sacchini and his pack of truffle-hunting dogs (watch the video below, shot on one of those trips, to see just how one unearths the subterranean mushrooms.)

What Klein finds, he brings back for the Oliveto truffle dinners prepared by the Rockridge restaurant’s chef Jonah Rhodehamel which are happening right now (see below for details).

NOSH checked in with Klein this week and asked him about his intriguing hobby.

Why the passion for truffles?
I don’t know if  it is a passion really, it is just something that I could do and got good at. I’ve come to know a great deal about truffles, and have probably bought (and cleaned) a couple of hundred pounds of white truffles — that’s a lot.

When did you first discover truffles, and where?
My earliest, and best memory of truffles is coming back for dinner to our truffle hunter’s house, and having him mash all the small whites into new olive oil and slather it over grilled meat. … Continue reading »

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