Tag Archives: Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan, Raj Patel head up new edible course

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Less than two hours after tickets became available for Michael Pollan’s opening lecture on Monday Jan. 27 in the Edible Schoolyard Foundation’s new Edible Education 101 class, the event was full. Such is the popularity of this course, Edible Education 101: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement, now in its third year.

This year Berkeley omnivore, professor and author Pollan, is heading up the program along with author, activist, and filmmaker Raj Patel. The course consists of 13 lectures at UC Berkeley held weekly on Monday evenings, 6:30-8:30 p.m. through May 5.

Two hundred tickets for each of the course’s lecture are made available to the public for free. Advance ticketing is required and registration is opened a few days before each lecture.  … Continue reading »

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Pollan: We teach kids about sex, why not cooking?

Michael Pollan-FranCollinPhoto-049 RT
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For his new book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation, Michael Pollan, who has ventured far and wide exploring the inner workings of the food chain, opted to spend more time in the kitchen — including his own in north Berkeley — to focus on what he calls ‘the middle link,’ namely cooking.

Apprenticing himself to a succession of culinary masters, Pollan, a professor at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism as well as a highly regarded author, learned how to grill with fire, cook with liquid, bake bread, and ferment everything from cheese to beer.

In the course of his journey he discovered that the cook occupies a special place in the world, standing squarely between nature and culture. His education led Pollan to conclude that taking back control of cooking may be the single most important step anyone can take to help make the American food system healthier and more sustainable.

Berkeleyside caught up with Pollan to quiz him a little more about his cooking instruction, and next steps. … Continue reading »

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Bites: What’s new in East Bay food, XX

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Openings, closings

Screen shot 2013-05-02 at 2.24.55 PMHIVE A new coffee shop called Hive (“the place to bee”) should be open within a month in Oakland’s Dimond district at 2139 MacArthur Blvd. Calanit Kamala, who is opening the spot with Bree Dezort, says they will be serving Highwire coffee and Starter Bakery pastries, as well house-made sandwiches and salads. “We are going to have honey cake as one of our specials, as well as completely vegan honey-lavender-coconut granita,” she adds. Follow Hive on its Facebook page for details of opening day. … Continue reading »

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Podcast

Podcast: The Three Michaels in conversation

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Two weeks ago, 600 Berkeleyside readers were treated to 90 minutes of conversation with The Three Michaels: Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan, moderated by Sedge Thomson. As a special holiday treat, here’s a podcast of the evening. To listen, either click on the link or right-click to save to your computer, tablet or phone. You can subscribe to Berkeleyside podcasts using our feed.

Among the highlights of the conversation:

  • How Pollan’s car crashed into Lewis’ studio
  • The professionals’ approach to Star Market’s annual pumpkin carving contest
  • The truth and fiction of Berkeley stereotypes
  • Balancing writing and family
  • The difference between Berkeley’s and “Republican” softball teams
  • How web browsing can lead you from spark plugs to the Partridge Family … Continue reading »
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’3 Michaels’ talk writing, inspiration and Berkeley quirks

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In an evening designed to focus on the “Berkeleyishness” of Berkeley, and raise money for a great cause, three of the city’s most renowned Michaels kept hundreds of local residents laughing for the better part of 90 minutes with their wit, charm and candor.

Writers Michael Lewis, Michael Pollan and Michael Chabon — all of whom live in Berkeley — answered questions from West Coast Live host and Berkeley native Sedge Thomson, who moderated “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation” at Berkeley Repertory Theatre on Monday night.

This was the third public forum Berkeleyside has put on, part of its commitment to providing quality conversations and debates on issues that matter to Berkeley, both on- and off-line. (Scroll down for a slideshow, courtesy of Pete Rosos, from the forum.) … Continue reading »

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The ‘Three Michaels of Berkeley’: Supporting, supported

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Authors Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis, and Michael Pollan, who all live in Berkeley, will appear at the Berkeley Rep in “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation,” an event organized by Berkeleyside, to help enable the creation in Oakland of a tutoring and creative writing center for East Bay youth modeled on the highly regarded 826 model.

The original 826 center, 826 Valencia, founded by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari in San Francisco ten years ago, is dedicated to supporting students, ages six to eighteen, with their writing skills, and to helping teachers inspire their students to write. All their programs are free of charge and, so far, their model, which combines a writing hub and retail storefront, has been replicated in eight locations nationwide. … Continue reading »

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‘Three Michaels’ sold out, last chance to snag tickets

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As you may have heard, Berkeleyside is organizing what promises to be a hugely entertaining evening on Monday Dec. 10. The “three Michaels of Berkeley” — Michael Chabon, Michael Lewis and Michael Pollan, all Berkeley residents — will come together for the first time to talk place, politics, people and, no doubt, writing. The event is a benefit for 826 Oakland, a new youth writing program for the East Bay, inspired by Dave Eggers’ pioneering 826 Valencia. The event is sponsored by One PacificCoast Bank.

We are delighted to announce today that “The Three Michaels: A Berkeley Conversation” is sold out. Clearly many people are as eager as we are to support a great cause and to hear from three of the country’s best writers, all of whom do fascinating work in their fields.

There is one last chance to snag tickets, however. … Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley serves up an edible education this fall

Graduate School of Journalism professor Michael Pollan. Photo: Fran Collin
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Tonight marks the return of Edible Education at Cal, with solo instructor Michael Pollan kicking off the 16-week course. The class is open to both undergraduate and graduate students — and, like last year, some 300 free seats are reserved for the public. (See details below for nabbing a ticket to these popular sessions, which typically fill to capacity each week.)

The Graduate School of Journalism professor, and guest speakers from the food and farming world, will examine the future of farming and food and explore how the U.S.’s industrialized food system impacts the environment, health, farm and food workers, as well as the culture at large.

“Food politics are in the forefront of students’ minds these days,” said Pollan, known to tackle wonky food subjects in compelling prose in bestselling books such as “In Defense of Food.” “They like hearing from non-academics — activists, farmers, and journalists.” … Continue reading »

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Wit and grace are hallmarks of book awards ceremony

Winning author Andrea Lingenfelter knows firsthand that a translator’s work often goes unrecognized
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Michael Pollan, taking the stage at the 31st Annual Northern California Book Awards on Sunday June 10, accepted the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement with two caveats: first, he’s not that old. And second, he’s lived in California (on Berkeley’s north side) for only nine years.

The internationally renowned food activist, journalist, and author gave a humorous account of a reading he gave early in his career at Cody’s Books on Telegraph Avenue. Botany of Desire had just come out, and among the fans to hear him read was a woman in purple attire who repeatedly raised her hand during his presentation. When called upon, the woman objected to Pollan’s use of the word “pests” to describe aphids that attack plants. Doing a fine imitation of himself as the bemused young writer, Pollan recalled asking what term she might prefer. The woman’s lightning-quick reply? “Associate species.”

Sedge Thomson, who maintained admirable poise on crutches after breaking his ankle a few days earlier, emceed the awards ceremony. Thomson, a Berkeley resident, announced the names of finalists in six categories, beginning with Fiction and Poetry in Translation. The translators received applause from the audience at San Francisco Public Library’s Koret Auditorium before exiting stage right to await the verdict. … Continue reading »

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Accolades for Edie Meidav and other East Bay authors

Edie Meidav, author of Lola, California, which is nominated for a Northern California Book Award.
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The East Bay Literary scene is heating up. Never before in the 31-year history of the Northern California Book Awards have the Fred Cody Award for Lifetime Achievement, plus ten nominations for book awards, all been given to East Bay writers.

The authors who have been nominated represent a wide range of disciplines, expertise, and artistic talent. They include: Barry Eichengreen, Adam Hochschild, Andrea Lingenfelter, Mary Mackey, Edie Meidav, Sandra Gilbert, David Meltzer, Michael Pollan (Fred Cody Award Winner), Amy Reed, and Katherine Silver.

Each week, from now until the June 10 Awards Ceremony, Berkeleyside will spotlight one of these writers. … Continue reading »

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New edition of gardening bible for a gardener’s paradise

Photo courtesy of Sunset
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Tonight, at Builders Booksource on Berkeley’s Fourth Street, Kathleen Brenzel will introduce the new, ninth, edition of the “Sunset Western Garden Book“, the iconic gardening bible which is in its 80th year.

Brenzel, Sunset’s Garden Editor, paused on her busy book tour to answer some questions posed by Berkeleyside. Naturally we selected to focus on Berkeley.

What do you think of when you think of Berkeley and gardening?
Diversity. Woodland, meadow, and even tropical gardens thrive here. … Continue reading »

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Animated vegetables recount Michael Pollan’s food rules

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Benoit Detalle and Marija Jacimovic, a freelance editor and animator, created this adorable film of animated vegetables explaining how Berkeley author Michael Pollan’s “Food Rules” work.

Pollan’s message here is that organic works, especially in the developing world, and we can grow enough good food to feed people if we stop using it for industrial meat operations and biofuel projects.

According to Jacimovic, writing about the film on Viemo, the pair used a mixture of stop-motion and compositing. “Our aim and challenge was … Continue reading »

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Marc Kelly dishes on the story behind Berkeley’s Soop

Red lentil soupL In demand with new moms
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As mid-life crises go, Marc Kelly’s was a pretty productive one — with a little spice thrown in for good measure.

Seeking change after a 20-year career in the fruit and vegetable export business, Kelly was keen to open a food joint of his own. Something modest and manageable, a takeaway place that satisfied his culinary aspirations and cravings.

That’s how Soop, one of the original anchor businesses in the Gourmet Ghetto’s Epicurious Garden, came about.

Kelly, a self-taught chef, determined that soup was an unexplored market niche in the edible landscape. He sensed an opportunity. Six years into serving up soup every day, Kelly’s enthusiasm for the comfort food he sells is still apparent.

He has a loyal band of regulars — Kelly sees them coming and knows which ladle to reach for. And his years of global travel inform what he sells: every culture has a soup tradition and on the road he learned the universal language of soup. … Continue reading »

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