Author Archive | Edible East Bay

Lorraine Battle’s Apple Cake

From They Always Wore Aprons.  Story and photos By Helen Krayenhoff


This “cake” is a pure celebration of the apple. Use different varieties—some sweet, some tart.
12–17 apples 
Zest of 1 orange, finely grated
1 tablespoon organic sugar
2 5-inch ramekins, lightly buttered

Preheat oven to 300°.

Peel and core apples and slice very thinly by hand, on a mandolin, or in the food processor (use 3mm disk).
Finely grate the zest of one orange and mix zest with sugar.

Build the cakes in the ramekins by carefully piling the slices in differing directions to make as solid a structure as possible. Every third or fourth layer sprinkle a pinch of the orange sugar mixture. When you reach the top, tie a collar of parchment paper around the dish and secure with cotton string. Collar should reach 3-4 inches above the top of the ramekin. Continue building up the apples until you have reached the top of the collar.

Cut a small circle of parchment paper to fit on top of the apples and weigh down apples with a smaller ramekin or another kind of flat-bottomed ovenproof dish that fits inside the paper ring. Place ramekins in a baking dish to catch overflow liquid and place in oven.… Read More

Continue Reading

Three Tahoe-Reno Area Events

Oakland muralist and art teacher Edythe Boone
Photo courtesy of filmmaker Mo Morris

Thoughts of the Sierra Nevada in early autumn always arouse my wanderlust. Here are some upcoming events in the Tahoe area I’ll be checking out. All three are bound to appeal to East Bay food and art lovers.

—Cheryl Angelina Koehler, editor

Friday–Sunday, September 8–10, all day
Lake Tahoe Autumn Food & Wine Festival
Northstar California Resort, North Lake Tahoe

The 32nd anniversary of this food, wine, spirits, and brew festival features hands-on cooking demos by celebrity chefs, a Farm-to-Tahoe dinner, winemaker luncheons and dinners, food and wine seminars, and Sunday’s Culinary Competition and Grand Tasting. Cost varies by event. Info:

Saturday September 16, noon–5pm
Sample the Sierra
Bijou Community Park, 1201 Al Tahoe Blvd, South Lake Tahoe

The region’s farm-to-fork fair celebrates homegrown food, wines, spirits, and brews. Twenty booths each feature a different winery, distillery, or brewery, along with a restaurant and farm, with paired food and drink unique to the region. Cost: $20–$40. Info:

Friday–Sunday, October 13–15
Reno Mural Expo at Art Spot Reno
Downtown Reno, Nevada

“The Reno Mural Expo will celebrate the art we have and raise the bar for the next generation of artists to come and paint our walls,” says Eric Brooks, curator of Reno Mural Expo.… Read More

Continue Reading

Broth Baby and Preserved

Making Strides

Two Oakland entrepreneurs share business
savvy and advice as they walk the lake

By Rachel Trachten | Photos by Robin Jolin

Oakland business owners Cassandra Gates and Elizabeth Vecchiarelli make a habit of circling Lake Merritt together to brainstorm and offer each other morale boosts. “I’ll talk for the first 30 minutes, and she’ll talk for the second 30 minutes,” says Broth Baby founder Gates, explaining the routine she’s developed with her friend, the owner of Preserved. “[We’ll talk] about hiring and managing people and business costs, and we’ll have this female download time of all our aches and pains as business owners.”

The two Philadelphia natives met in 2013, introduced by a mutual friend who noticed they were following similar paths. It was during one of their semimonthly lake walks that Vecchiarelli recalls cementing the vision for her shop and telling Gates, “I want to have a fridge and sell your bone broth.”

An umbrella of fermentation

Vecchiarelli built her food education working as a server and bartender in a wine, cheese, and beer bar in Philly. “I loved encouraging people to get to know about food and wine,” says the 34-year-old entrepreneur. During time spent working on an organic farm, she discovered Sandor Katz’s book Wild Fermentation.… Read More

Continue Reading

Chef Tu David Phu’s Lemongrass Beef

From Flavors of Home by Alix Wall

“I always get a lot of questions on how to use lemongrass. The most common remark is, ‘I never seem to extract the lemongrass flavor.’ My answer is that you have to use a lot of lemongrass, and that you will either have to bruise the stalk or chop it very finely. 

“People also ask, ‘Which fish sauce do I use? How do I apply it?’ I prefer Three Crab brand fish sauce for adding to sauces that won’t be cooked, since the brand seems to lose its salty flavor with long cooking. Squid brand fish sauce is saltier and is great for marinades.” —Chef Tu David Phu

1 stalk lemongrass
3 tablespoons Squid brand fish sauce 
1 tablespoon organic sugar
5 whole garlic cloves, peeled
1 pound filet mignon, tri-tip, or skirt steak

Prepare lemongrass by cutting away the bottom half inch of the stalk. (This part is very woody and should be saved for broths or soups.) Cut the stalks into ½-inch segments and chop finely in a food processor. Add garlic cloves, fish sauce, and sugar. Blend to a fine paste, about 1 minute. Place beef into a zip-top bag with the marinade, making sure to coat all of the beef.… Read More

Continue Reading

Contents Fall Harvest 2017



Roasted Watermelon Radishes
Asian-Inspired Celery Salad
Apple Cake
Carne En Su Jugo
Lemon Grass Beef
Linguine Tutto Mare
Cambodian-style Chicken Salad

Guide to Good Eats

Source Guide

Editor’s Mixing Bowl

What’s in Season?

Food Storage Tips

Harvest on Instagram

They Always Wore Aprons

Fun with Food Insults

A Terroir for Beer

What is a Food Forest?

Mixing Business and Friendship
at Broth Baby and Preserved

Chef Tu David Phu

Deaf Chefs Compete

Growing Up with Giovanni Lo Coco

Cambodian Food in Emeryville

Artist’s Gallery
Artwork by Susan Tibbon
Artwork by Margo Rivera Weiss

Edible Events
Three Tahoe-Reno Area Events
Events at Ardenwood
Upcoming Edible Event
Ongoing Edible Events




Cover Artist Helen Krayenhoff
On Light, Color, and Nature

When I paint with watercolor, I first observe the light and dark areas and how the contrast between them creates the shapes I perceive. Where does an object face the sun? What part of it is hidden from the light? How do gradations of tone between light and the absence of light fill the spaces between?

As I start to paint, I decide where I want white or light tones and apply little or no paint to those areas.… Read More

Continue Reading

Fun with Food Insults

By Anna Mindess, Collector of Food Insults | Illustrations by Lila Volkas


Place an eggplant on a plate and the shiny purple globe freely rolls from side to side. You may have never considered the vegetable in this light, but for Hindi speakers, the phrase “thali ka baingan” (eggplant on a plate) is a disparaging put-down for someone who likewise flip-flops, shifting loyalties so easily that they cannot be trusted.

In the last few years, I have become inexplicably hooked on collecting food-related insults in languages from around the world. As a food writer, interculturalist, and professional interpreter of American Sign Language, I find that this delectable subject weaves together my interests in language, culture, and food with tantalizing results. For example, you can label someone a liar in French by referring to them as a raconteur de salades (salad-teller) or in Russian with the phrase tы мне лапшу на уши не вешай (someone who hangs noodles on your ears).

Given our world’s cultural food variations, it is not surprising when regional preferences show up in food insults, too. In Chinese, for instance, 飯桶 (faan tung) means “rice bucket” and implies “useless individual.” Italian jabs feature salami and prosciutto, so to castigate someone with non fare il salame is to say “don’t act like a salami” or “don’t be an idiot.” The German language offers strings of insults invoking sausage: Beleidigte Leberwurst (sulking liverwurst) describes someone who pouts like a prima donna.… Read More

Continue Reading

Cambodian-Style Chicken Salad

Nite Yun’s Nyam Sach Moan

From Noodle Soup Epiphanies
by Sarah Henry, photography by Robin Jolin

(Cambodian-style chicken salad)
This Khmer dish is served at festive occasions, such as weddings, New Year’s parties, and other celebrations. The fish sauce gives it a distinctly Cambodian flavor. Yun gives it a Northern California twist by including seasonal greens and other vegetables beyond the common cabbage.
Serves 4–6

1 chicken breast
2 cups chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4–5 sprigs thyme

For sweet fish sauce dressing:
¼ cup fish sauce
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 cup water
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

For salad:
½ head cabbage, shredded
2 handfuls of loose organic greens (mizuna or arugula)
2 red bell peppers, thinly sliced
1 bunch mint, leaves only
1 bunch Thai basil, leaves only
1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
1 bird’s eye chili, chopped
2 tablespoons crushed roasted peanuts

To poach the chicken breast, place stock, garlic, and thyme into a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, add chicken, return to boil, and then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until chicken is just cooked through. Turn off heat and leave chicken in liquid for 5 minutes. Remove meat from liquid and allow to cool on a plate.… Read More

Continue Reading

Artwork by Susan Tibbon


Artist and farmer Susan Tibbon stewards a small organic, biodynamic farm in northern Mendocino County and celebrates the wonder of nature in her etchings, paintings, and sculpture. “Zucchini” is the 26th in a 26-image series of vegetables (one for each letter of the alphabet) celebrating the gifts of the land. “Eggplant” is the fifth in the series. “Vegetables are great models for this artist,” she says.

Ms. Tibbon’s works are collected internationally and archived in the United States Library of Congress. She welcomes visitors to her atelier by appointment: 415.776.6367, susantibbonart(at),



Read More
Continue Reading

Growing Up with Giovanni Lo Coco

Photos courtesy of Lo Coco’s except where noted.


Giovanni Lo Coco opened his first Lo Coco’s restaurant in 1966 in Jackson, California.

Giovanni Lo Coco immigrated to the United States from Porticello, Sicily, in 1962. His daughter, Suzanne Lo Coco, describes him as a man with “tremendous style and social grace … attractive, with black hair and piercing blue eyes, warm, humorous, and above all an extraordinary cook.”

On arriving in San Francisco, Giovanni went to work waiting tables at Scoma’s Restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf. In acknowledgement of his larger-than-life gregariousness, he was assigned to the VIP section. There, he was the waiter requested by many of the big names of the day, and he would eventually be honored with a best waiter in San Francisco award.

Giovanni left home over a disagreement with his father. The junior Lo Coco had wanted to build a
pizzeria/ristorante on family land in the mountains overlooking Porticello just below Solunto, a Greco-Roman archaeological site, but his father sold off the property, claiming that the restaurant would be “just a playground for Giovanni.”

Sicily’s loss was our gain as Giovanni Lo Coco established several restaurants in the United States, two of which his children and wife Debbie still run in the East Bay: Lo Coco’s on Oakland’s Piedmont Avenue and Lo Coco’s on Shattuck Avenue in Berkeley.… Read More

Continue Reading