Tag Archives: Cheese Board Collective
The Cheese Board Collective marked Gourmet Ghetto neighbor Chez Panisse’s 40th birthday by serving free slices of its legendary pizza to customers on Saturday night. The celebrations were curtailed at around 10:30pm, however, after the police, acting on a call from the public, asked that crowds disperse and the party be wound down.
According to Berkeley Police Department spokesperson Sgt Mary Kusmiss, at around 10:00 p.m. a community member called to report a noise complaint consisting of a “loud … Continue reading »
Exploring alternative ways to work in the food industry is a hot topic. Last week in San Francisco a sold out Kitchen Table Talks, a monthly panel showcasing local food folk, featured a discussion about successful edible enterprises that haven’t started the conventional route.
Two of the four panelists hailed from Berkeley. Three Stone Hearth‘s Jessica Prentice, previously profiled on Berkeleyside, talked about her cooperative kitchen model. Cathy Goldsmith represented The Cheese Board Collective.
Beyond the obvious culinary connection, each business is unique. What they have in common? A desire to build community — of workers, artisans, and customers — around their real food ventures.
Case in point: The Cheese Board Collective, which has served as a beloved anchor institution in Berkeley’s Gourmet Ghetto for more than 40 years.
Goldsmith, who has a restaurant background, has been a worker-owner at The Cheese Board for 16 years. She likes to say that the collective got going “back in the day” and people who work there do everything “from soup to nuts.” What that means is the 52-year-old finds herself serving cheese one day, rolling out dough the next, dealing with health insurance and other human resource issues on another, along with stocking bread bags, sweeping floors, and scrubbing toilets.
Goldsmith also tends to do the collective’s media outreach, though she declined to be photographed for this story because, perhaps fittingly for a collective owner-worker, she wanted the spotlight to be on the group — which numbers more than 45 — not on any one individual. … Continue reading »
Wow. Who knew Berkeley residents were so passionate about pizza? It’s right up there with free speech, free love, and free-range eggs — or so it seemed based on readers’ record responses to our request last week for their choice of the best pizza places in town.
Before we announce the winners of our, let’s face it, less-than scientific survey, a few caveats up front. Stunned by the sheer number of votes (over 220 comments including input on Facebook) we realized, after the fact, that we should have employed a poll counter. Next time. And, we’ll be sure to include a category for “other,” so you can weigh in with a pick not mentioned in the post.
Because it turned out, that despite writing in the story and later in the comment thread (several times) that the dozen pizza purveyors listed represented a sample of savory pies on offer here, many of our readers — including one rather irate pizzeria owner — read it as this site’s “best of” picks.
Privately, folks pointed out, too, that businesses left off that list may have been unfairly handicapped, a not unreasonable assumption, and it is duly noted.
So, we didn’t make it easy on you. And you didn’t make it easy on us. Some voted for more than one place. Some voted on Facebook or Twitter but not here. The crack accounting team at Berkeleyside opted to err on the side of generosity in tabulating results, including all favorable mentions in the count.
Many mentioned that a top pizza pick might vary depending on factors such as deep dish versus thin crust, East vs. West style, delivery, location, and omnivore/vegetarian/vegan options. Some argued that the pie produced at Cheese Board isn’t even pizza. (Where is the sauce? Potatoes and kale topping?) As one self-described pizza snob wrote: “While Cheeseboard is undeniably delicious, it’s not pizza.” … Continue reading »
Today this space is all about cheese. And crust. And toppings.
Got opinions about who turns out the best pizza in town? We know you do. So here’s your chance to share your pie picks with fellow readers.
That’s right folks, today, the Friday food column takes a break from regularly scheduled programming to poll readers about their pizza preferences. (The first in an occasional series where residents weigh in on their favorite foods found close to home.)
There’s pizza for all palates and pocketbooks here, whether you favor California-style, wood-fired pies pioneered by the Chez Panisse crew (foraged greens and artisan goat cheese, anyone?), Brooklyn-inspired bites with trademark thin crusts and judicious use of ingredients, or the sloppy cheese slices popular among the campus crowd. … Continue reading »
By Andrew Gilbert
Would you like a little grease with your pizza? When the swaggering tenor saxophonist Nancy Wright is slinging the funk, of course you do.
A Cheese Board regular, Wright performs at the Gourmet Ghetto institution on Friday 11:45 am to 2:45 pm with her organ trio, blowing delectable blues, ballads and soul jazz standards. Featuring Hammond B3 veteran Wayne De La Cruz and supple drummer Kent Bryson (regularly heard with vocalist Kim Nalley), the trio … Continue reading »
Long known for the success of his premium wine and chocolate companies, John Scharffenberger is making a name for himself these days as a tofu hawker.
In June, Scharffenberger, 59, who divides his time between a home in North Berkeley and a place in the country, signed on as the CEO of the Hodo Soy Beanery in Oakland, an artisan food factory that makes products from organic, non-GMO soybeans.
The company, whose founder Minh Tsai was previously profiled here, makes fresh tofu, yuba (tofu skins), and soymilk, as well as prepared dishes such as spicy braised tofu salad, poached yuba loaf, and soy omelette. … Continue reading »
Do Berkeleyside readers even need an introduction to the mother of the American fresh, local, sustainable, organic food movement?
Alice Waters is a living legend. For four decades, the California cuisine innovator, Chez Panisse chef, Edible Schoolyard founder, school food reformer, and Slow Food advocate, has influenced how people in this country buy, cook, eat, talk, and think about food.
As with any icon, Waters has her fans and foes. Some see her as … Continue reading »
It seems unthinkable that the People’s Republic of Berkeley has existed without a food co-operative for more than two decades. Well, try not to choke on your non-GMO, organic, fair trade, soymilk chai latte, but the co-op is coming back to Berkeley.
The Consumer’s Cooperative of Berkeley was the place to shop for the politically correct for 51 years. It opened in the heart of the Depression, when families came together to form buying clubs so they could afford to put … Continue reading »
Betesh is part of the Blue Heron crew which, for much of the year, hawks salad greens, Asian greens, herbs and flower — along with carrots, kale, and broccoli.
The produce comes from a small family farm in Corralitos, near Watsonville, run by Lori Perry and Dennis Tamura.
Farmers’ Market customers don’t always realize that not … Continue reading »
Today, some choice parking spots around Berkeley were commandeered and given over to less auto-oriented pursuits: sitting, eating, lounging and drinking being the main ones.
At the Cheese Board Pizza Collective in the Gourmet Ghetto two parking spaces sported several chairs, an umbrella and a few large yucca plants on a bed of bright green astro-turf. And downtown, outside Amanda’s Feel Good Fresh Food restaurant, people were enjoying lunch and afternoon drinks on Shattuck Avenue — literally — although … Continue reading »
I don’t think most Berkeleyans take our wondrous food choices for granted, but if you’ve become blasé, take a gander at how a Boston writer reacts to the Gourmet Ghetto. That and some choice Oakland spots represent an “omnivore’s dreamworld” for writer Patricia Borns.
As a child growing up in Berkeley, I’ve only tasted pre-sliced bread twice. When I was younger, my family traveled to Europe and I got to eat real French baguettes. Today, we live a few blocks from a bakery and get fresh bread every morning, like many Berkeley residents.