They say that appearances are everything, and that certainly goes for a magazine cover. In order to succeed, a print publication must quickly convince folks walking by to reach out and take a copy home for a closer look. In theory, a dog stepping up to announce the Spring 2019 issue of Edible East Bay is an odd choice, but you must admit that an earnest farm dog proudly wearing a broccoli hat did have every chance of capturing your attention. And Roux, as you will learn, is ready to tell a fine story about helping her family grow good food for the East Bay community while also satisfying her natural urge to chase rodents.
As it happens, this issue is filled with compelling personal stories showing a myriad of ways that food has played into the courses of people’s lives. One tale centers on two baristas and a renegade coffee cart that finds its way home. Another narrative follows the making of an entrepreneurial pizzaiolo. There’s a story drawn from memories of a dad making chicken curry for his family on Sundays, and another about a man who gradually finds healing through soup. Perhaps the most profound is of two young men who are rebuilding their Native culture, relearning their ancestral languages, and restoring their peoples’ food heritage, which is tied directly to the land of the East Bay. In each case, we learn about the complexities of people’s relationships with food, and we are reminded of the potent role food plays in our lives and our history.
During the recent government shutdown, we were pelted daily with reports about the incident’s unfortunate consequences: damage to national parks, lost scientific research, delayed wages and tax refunds, and plenty more. But as Edible East Bay’s associate editor Rachel Trachten commented to me, it was the flood of media stories about everyday working people turning to food banks and struggling to pay the mortgage that seemed most effective in creating political change.
Shutdowns, boundaries, and barriers might offer strategic ploys and protections, but in a time when there is so much we need to repair and rebuild in our world, stories of everyday people retain the power to move and influence us. We hope you’ll savor the full menu we’re proud to share in this issue.
Cheryl Angelina Koehler