Tag Archives: Michael Pollan

New podcasts released: Masha Gessen, Alice Dreger, more

Masha Gessen at Uncharted Ideas Festival in 2015. Listen to her conversation with Lance Knobel on the podcast. Photo: Pete Rosos
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Looking for something good to listen to when driving, working out, walking the dog, or simply lounging on the couch?

Berkeleyside has just released five more podcasts of the conversations that took place at Uncharted 2015.

Every October, Berkeleyside’s annual Uncharted Berkeley Festival of Ideas draws together diverse thinkers and artists from around the country for conversations and performances that provoke, entertain and challenge our ‘thinking as usual.’

Listen to Berkeleyside podcasts and subscribe on iTunes or directly on our podcast page.

Here are the episodes released so far (with links to iTunes — go to our podcasting page or use the podcast feed for your podcasting app): … Continue reading »

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In new film, Michael Pollan says let’s savor cooking

Samin Nasrat and Michael Pollan in a scene from Cooked, the new Netflix documentary produced by Alex Gibney and Pollan, whose first episode airs on Friday Feb. 19. Photo: courtesy Netflix
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Michael Pollan, a professor at UC Berkeley’s graduate school of journalism, is known primarily as a bestselling writer —The Botany of Desire, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food — but, as he says himself, he’s rarely as happy as when he has created something delicious to eat. “Just look at my face when I pull that loaf of bread out of the oven,” he says, referring to a scene in the new four-part Netflix documentary Cooked, which is based on his book, Cooked: A Natural History of Transformation. “You will seldom see me feeling that much pride at the end of a good paragraph!”

Cooked, the first episode of which airs on Feb. 19, is a collaboration between Pollan and Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Steve Jobs: The Man in the Machine, Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room). The documentary premiered in Berlin this week, and Pollan reports it was well received.

“It was really an honor to have such gifted filmmakers make a film based on my book,” he wrote by email from Germany. “When you start a book, you look at a handful of rickety sentences on that first page and never imagine that at the end of the journey you’ll be sitting in a theater in Berlin watching your characters — pit-master Ed Mitchell, say, or Sister Noella the cheesemaker — up on the screen. It’s been a thrill.”  … Continue reading »

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Bites: Mr. Dewie’s to Albany, Kobani remodel

Ari and Andrew Cohen showcase their nut milk ice cream. Photo: Mr. Dewie's Frozen Dessert
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Openings, closings

MR. DEWIES TO ALBANY The vegan ice cream company is opening its flagship scoop shop in the former Burger Depot location at 1116 Solano Ave. in Albany. Mr. Dewie’s has already posted signs on the windows and announced the pending opening on its Facebook page. The owners hope to open in January 2016. Mr. Dewie’s “Cashew Corner,” as they are calling the shop, will exclusively sell the company’s cashew-based ice cream and will “create a space where [it] can make small batches, have greater freedom to explore new flavors, produce innovative dessert options, and use more seasonal and local ingredients.” Mr. Dewie’s raised money for the shop through a successful Indiegogo campaign, on which we reported this springMr. Dewie’s will be at 1116 Solano Ave. (at Kains Avenue), Albany. Connect with the company on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.Continue reading »

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UC Berkeley launches minor in food systems studies

Classes at the SOGA (Student Organic Gardening Association) Garden can now also be taken for credit towards the food systems minor. (Jonathan Fong)
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By Alix Wall / Bay Area Bites

Beginning this fall, UC Berkeley students interested in studying how the food system works can now obtain a minor in it.

“The study of food systems is a relatively new field,” said Kathryn De Master, assistant professor of agriculture, society and environment, who along with her colleague Alastair Iles, associate professor of environmental science, policy and management, are serving as the minor’s faculty advisors.

According to the food system minor’s website, the minor is:

“an interdisciplinary program of study that explores the role of food within the environment and society. Drawing from diverse fields as far ranging as ecology, sociology, the humanities, nutrition, history, and economics, the food systems minor critically examines issues of contemporary food and agriculture from a whole-systems perspective.”

“Majors and minors in food systems are pretty new study emphases, having become more popular in the last 10 or more years,” said De Master. … Continue reading »

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The It List: Five things to do in Berkeley this weekend

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BERKELEY SPARK FESTIVAL The Berkeley Spark 3.0 Arts and Innovation Festival will bring artisans, innovators and nonprofits to Civic Center Park on Saturday for a community-based, participant-driven event that aims to connect the great East Bay. The festival features local independent makers with a focus on sustainability and originality. It also serves as a place for fans of the Burning Man culture to gather, and for those who are heading to the desert to stock up on gear and accessories. Civic Center Park is at Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and Center Street. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Learn more at berkeleyspark.org. … Continue reading »

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5 local cookbooks that will make great holiday gifts

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The front table of Mrs. Dalloway’s bookstore on College Avenue in Berkeley is brimming with cookbooks, a sure sign of the holiday season. Many publishers release cookbooks in October so they have time to build enough buzz to make them a must-have on every foodies’ holiday gift list.

A number of high-profile cooks and food writers released books this year, including a third tome from the popular Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi called Plenty More; How to Cook Everything Fast by Mark Bittman; and the ever-popular Joy of Cooking.

All good cookbooks, to be sure. But what is out there to buy for the devoted locavore? How about narrowing that down to authors with an East Bay connection?

Below are Nosh’s holiday gift recommendations: five fabulous cookbooks featuring local chefs or cooks with East Bay connections. And, as with much of the food in the East Bay, it begins at Chez Panisse.

Mention “Berkeleyside Nosh” at Mrs Dalloway’s and you’ll receive a 10% discount on any of these books!Continue reading »

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The Charlie Cart: A little kitchen for every classroom

Charlie Cart
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Designed with reference to the cowboy Chuck Wagon, the Charlie Cart sports two burners, an oven, drawers filled with 10 sets of utensils, dishes, pots and pans, a manual-water-pump, and a drought-wise grey-water waste bucket for returning all water to the garden.

The Charlie Cart Project launched on Nov. 7 on Kickstarter. The $40,000 it aims to raise will fund three pilot cooking and nutrition programs in California, where lessons and a mobile kitchen will be tested and refined before rolling out nationwide in 2015. … Continue reading »

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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

Michael Chabon, Michael Pollan, and Michael Lewis appeared at a Berkeleyside event in December 2012.
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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. [Listen to the podcast of the evening.]

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

Final poster
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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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