East Bay Appetizer

September 18, 2014 -

Fall Festivities

Celebrations are popping up all around town. Choices abound, with a terrific array of fairs and festivals to savor.


Artists on parade in Redwood Regional Park at the Art in Nature festival Photo courtesy of Samavesha

Artists on parade in Redwood Regional Park at the Art in Nature festival
Photo courtesy of Samavesha


Dona-TomasShake Up the Margaritas!

A Quinceañera for Doña Tomás
Sunday September 21, 5–10pm
5004 Telegraph Ave, Oakland

In many Latin communities, a girl’s passage to womanhood (at age 15) is celebrated with a big party called a quinceañera. We’re all invited to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Doña Tomás with Mexican food, house margaritas, music, and dancing. Doña Tomás is the first restaurant run by Dona Savitsky and Tom Schnetz, the duo behind Flora, Fauna, and Xolo in Oakland, and Tacubaya in Berkeley. Festive quinceañera attire is encouraged. Cost: $15 at the door includes house margaritas and food.




Kick Up Your Heels at the Hoes Down

Kids catch and then release native insects that live on Full Belly Farm.

Kids catch and then release native insects that live on Full Belly Farm.

Hoes Down Harvest Celebration
Saturday October 4 & Sunday October 5

Join the Full Belly farmers as they put down their hoes. Enjoy two fun-filled days of workshops and events showcasing agricultural arts and sustainable rural living in the Capay Valley (Yolo County).… Read More

September 15, 2014 -


Barnraiser Makes it Easier to Crowdfund the Food Movement

Barnraiser is a new crowdfunding community designed to power healthy and sustainable food to the tipping point. Barnraiser offers an easy way to influence good food by celebrating the stories of modern-day food heroes and collectively funding sustainable food and farming projects. Founded by entrepreneur Eileen Gordon Chiarello, Barnraiser launched in April 2014 and has successfully funded projects in food, farming, education, community, and media. “We are thrilled to offer Barnraiser to anyone serious about making a positive impact on the way we farm and eat,” said Chiarello, who with her husband, celebrity chef Michael Chiarello, has created award-winning restaurants and sustainably farmed wines. (www.barnraiser.us)

September 4, 2014 -

School Lunch

As kids try to focus on homework, many adults are thinking hard about school lunches. Read on for lots of kid-centric food news, plus a few enticements for the grown-ups…


See how Charlotte Peale (a frequent contributor to this newsletter) makes her own creative school lunches in her back-issue article, Obento!

See how Charlotte Peale (a frequent contributor to this newsletter) makes her own creative school lunches: Obento!


Beefing Up the Case for Healthy School Meals


As school swings back into session, busy parents aren’t the only people thinking about school lunch. The Center for Ecoliteracy announces a new video: Making the Case for Healthy, Freshly Prepared School Meals. This two-minute animated presentation is ideal for people who want to improve student health, academic achievement, school finances, and the environment. It’s part of a set of resources to help make the case that healthy, freshly made school meals are not only important, but possible. Other materials from the Center a research PDF summarizing growing evidence about why improved school meals matter and a customizable PowerPoint presentation to help make the case to school leaders. Info: here


Bring Your Class to the Garden!


Schedule your Foods of the Americas tour and visit the marketplace of native crops from North, South, and Central America between October 2 and 17.… Read More

August 28, 2014 -


Soda: The Series Brings Conversations on
Sugar-Sweetened Beverages to Berkeley

Soda: The Series offers conversations about sugary drinks and their impact on the health of our families, community, and environment. At six different events, experts will discuss the science of sugary drinks, tactics of the soda industry, and disease prevention efforts.

These events take place in the run-up to the November election, when Berkeley will vote on Measure D, a tax on sugary drinks. Soda: The Series is sponsored by the Berkeley Healthy Child Coalition, Ecology Center, Public Health Institute, Prevention Institute, and Small Planet Institute.

All event details are available at www.sodaseries.org. And, you can read more about Measure D in the current issue of Edible East Bay. Click here

Here are two of the upcoming events:

Thursday, September 4, 7–9pm
The Science of Sugar & Its Bitter Impact on Health
Hillside Club
2286 Cedar St, Berkeley

Are all calories the same? What’s all the fuss about sugar? Sugary drinks are causing health epidemics and driving up medical costs. Dr. Robert Lustig, Dr. John Swartzberg, and other health experts will share the latest research and discuss the impact on our future.

Saturday, September 13, 4:30pm
Soda & Kids: A Predatory Relationship & How We Can Fight Back
Ed Roberts Campus
3075 Adeline St, Berkeley

One in three kids will develop diabetes, yet kids are drinking more sugar than ever.… Read More

August 24, 2014 -

Garden Fundraiser at Cleveland Elementary

Help transform the hillside at Oakland’s Cleveland Elementary School into a terraced garden and learning lab. The finished project will include an incredible edible garden, a sensory flower/herb garden, and a wildlife area where students can create habitats with native plants and observe creatures in their natural environment. Donations will cover the cost of redwood lumber, a drip irrigation system, soil, new plants, and related curriculum materials. Cleveland is a public elementary school in Oakland serving racially and economically diverse students, 60% of whom qualify for free or reduced lunch.

Since 2008, Annie’s has donated funds to over 270 schools. They’ve also created the Annie’s Garden Funder™  on CrowdRise to empower schools and like-minded friends to raise money for school gardens. You can donate to the Cleveland Elementary project: here


August 22, 2014 -

Two Weekend Events


Slow Food Solano’s Annual Tomato Day

tomatoesSunday August 24, 11am–3:30pm
Morningsun Herb Farm
6137 Pleasants Valley Road, Vacaville

Come enjoy heirloom tomato tasting including more than 100 varieties of ripe, juicy tomatoes. Watch cooking demonstrations with area chefs, sample the results, and purchase local products from a variety of vendors. Suggested donation of $5 provides 10% off purchases from Morningsun Farm plus discounts from the on-site vendors. All proceeds benefit Solano County public school gardens. Info: www.morningsunherbfarm.com/ssp/tomatoday and slowfoodsolano.org


Off the Grid: Public Market Emeryville
Launches Saturday, August 23

Off-the-GridOff the Grid is serving lunch at Emeryville’s Public Market. Beginning Saturday, August 23, Off the Grid will offer eight rotating food trucks from this list: Little Green Cyclo, Curry Up Now, Lobsta Truck, We Sushi, Mayo and Mustard, Little Red Riding Truck, Sajj, Cluck it Up, El Poretno, Seoulful Korean Fried Chicken, and Garden Creamery.

The new market provides fresh lunch options to shoppers from Public Market Emeryville, as well as nearby Bay Street, Ikea, and East Bay Bridge Shopping Center. Off the Grid also introduces a new partnership with Guitar Center to bring local music and educational programming to the event.

Off the Grid markets are founded on bringing new and old communities together through a shared mobile food experience.… Read More

August 21, 2014 -

Kids in Mind

An image from Food Forward TV, episode 6, "School Lunch Revival"

An image from Food Forward TV, episode 6, “School Lunch Revival”

As kids head back to school, we offer up a host of events the whole family can savor, from a new PBS series that serves up inspiration, humor, and music about food to a book signing party (plus popsicles) at the Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley.


Fentons' Chip & Cookie Sundae was created to help the Lend A Hand Foundation.

Fentons’ Chip & Cookie Sundae was created to help the Lend A Hand Foundation.

Sundaes & School Supplies

Sunday August 24, noon–4pm
Fentons Creamery
4226 Piedmont Ave, Oakland

Join Fentons and the Lend a Hand Foundation to raise funds for school supplies. Help to equip 5,000 homeless and underserved Oakland students by the start of the school year. On Sunday August 24, the first 100 people to donate a new backpack or $10+ worth of new school supplies at Fentons Creamery will enjoy a free scoop of ice cream. And, for the entire month of August, 25% of proceeds from Fentons’ special “Lend A Hand Myrtle Special Sundae” will be donated to the foundation.



Forward Thinking

by Rachel Trachten

Monica Martinez serves up superworms and salted crickets at San Francisco's Ferry Building.

Monica Martinez serves up superworms and salted crickets at
San Francisco’s Ferry Building.

From edible crickets to composting human waste, the new PBS series Food Forward TV serves up visionary ideas about growing and eating food.Read More

August 19, 2014 -

California Grape Harvest

Photo courtesy of Sally Gordon, Dashe Cellars

Photo courtesy of Sally Gordon, Dashe Cellars

Workers from Oakland’s Dashe Cellars sort grapes from the 2014 harvest, pulling out any stray leaves or clusters not suited for wine. “It is going to be a very early year,” says Mike Dashe, who gets most of the grapes for Dashe Cellars wines from the Dry Creek Valley. The wineries that comprise the East Bay Vintners Alliance  have their pick of some of the most prestigious vineyards in California. The grapes seen here are from Bedrock Vineyard, producing high quality fruit since 1880. 

August 10, 2014 -


Sunday, August 17, 4–7pm
Harvest of Shame
Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve
1595 Railroad Ave, Vallejo

California’s Institute for Rural Studies presents Edward R. Murrow’s 1960 groundbreaking documentary Harvest of Shame. The film, originally televised on CBS the day after Thanksgiving, offers a poignant exposé of the brutal conditions experienced by migrant farm workers. A discussion with anthropologist Dr. Seth Holmes and Department of Labor Investigator Paul Ramirez about current farm worker conditions follows the film.

The screening includes treats from Slow Food Delta Diablo and Slow Food Solano plus popcorn from POP Mama POP. The Mare Island Shoreline Heritage Preserve is on the southern side of the island, with sweeping views of the Bay, hiking trails, picnic areas, and the oldest naval cemetery west of the Mississippi. The movie is shown in the visitors center, formerly a 1934 ammunitions bunker! This event is free and open to the public, though donations are gratefully accepted.

August 8, 2014 -

Grill Time!

Summer grills are sizzling hot, cooking up everything from pork ribs and burgers to squash, peaches, and figs. We’re featuring five books on outdoor cooking with equipment that ranges from backyard grills to cob ovens and camp stoves. Some include how to make your own condiments. We’ll also take you to a matsuri (that’s the Japanese word for “festival”) where you can sample grilled yakitori. Then it’s on to a farmers’ market celebration, where you’ll find plenty of organic edibles to grill at home.


Paula Marcoux, author of Cooking With Fire, plank-roasts a fish fillet over an open fire. Nineteenth-century texts and modern-day cooks favor smooth hardwoods like oak, hickory, and birch for planks. Different woods produce different smoke and flavoring. Photograph by © Keller & Keller Photography, Inc. from Paula Marcoux’s Cooking With Fire. All rights reserved.


Two Years in Oaktown for Umami Mart

Umami-Mart-festival Matsuri Festival Tuesday August 12, 6–9pm 815 Broadway, Oakland Umami Mart celebrates two years in Oakland with a tasty spin on the traditional Japanese matsuri (festival). An importer of high-quality kitchen and barware from Japan, Umami Mart also serves as a hub for events and conversations about food and drink. For their summertime birthday bash, they’re serving up burgers by Kronnerburger, Japanese-inspired ice cream scoops by Bootleg Creamery, grilled yakitori by Izakaya Trappist, fresh ceviche, tako (octopus) tacos, plus wine, Japanese beer, and tunes courtesy of DJ Chungtech.… Read More