Letters to the Editor

A response to our Summer 2022 interview with Dr. Gail Myers on the documentary, “Rhythms of the Land”

Received October 1, 2022

Dear Editor,

I’d like to give my sincere heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Gail Myers for her incredible article on the history of African American farmers and her stupendous dedication to this (more than a) passion project. We need more angels like Dr. Myers.

Evelyn Washington
Oakland native



Responses to Alison Negrin’s story, Cooking Eggplant Meltdown for My Father,” in our Fall Harvest 2022 issue

Received September 26, 2022

I really enjoyed the current (Fall ’22) issue, and my kapema is baking in the oven as I type. I saw your note about not being able to fact-check the dish’s spelling. Could it be a derivative of “kapama“?
—Andy Raskin

Reply to Andy Raskin from Alison Negrin:

Thank you so much for sending your feedback to the editor of Edible East Bay. I was given the opportunity to write back to you and so am sending you this email. I am curious about your familiarity with the dish. Have you eaten it or made it before? I have read other recipes for kapama that is more stew like. I prefer the way my grandmother made it as the caramelization that occurs is so good! I hope your batch came out delicious. I served it this weekend for Rosh Hashanah.

Andy Raskin’s reply to Alison Negrin:

I had never heard of kapema before, but when I read the fact-checking note in the editor’s letter, I started googling and found kapama recipes. Definitely more stewy, as you say, though it seemed like there could be a connection.

More importantly, wow, the kapema I made from your recipe is SO good, and a huge hit in my family. My wife had the idea to put some feta on top, and while I at first resisted, I thought it meshed really well.

By the way, I made it for a Yom Kippur breakfast (with the feta on top) and it was gone within minutes!
—Andy Raskin


October 2, 2022

Greetings Alison,

I read with great interest your article, “Cooking Eggplant Meltdown for My Father,” in the Edible East Bay magazine.

My father, Irving Coffino, was born in Ioannina, Greece, and arrived in the Lower East Side as an infant. I was born in the Bronx. My father was part of the Greek Jewish diaspora. My understanding is he was a Romaniote. Negrin is a name that is very familiar to me. I know that my parents had friends with that last name.

The last years of my mother’s life were spent at Reutlinger in Danville, and I have also spent my professional career as a pastry chef with a bakery in Mill Valley, so, with all of these connections, I just wanted to say hi. We have been enjoying eggplant and tomato gratin this season.

All the best,
JoAnn Coffino