Thursday, July 31, 2014

Want Gordon Ramsay to Swear at You? Audition for Hell's Kitchen

by Anna Pulley
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Do you fancy yourself the East Bay's next James Shyabout or Tanya Holland? Think you've got what it takes to be a great chef, or perhaps you simply want to cry on national television? Well now's your chance. Gordon Ramsay, celebrity chef and lover of f-bombs, is holding auditions for his show Hell's Kitchen this Monday in San Francisco. 

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Go Whole Hog: How to Buy, Butcher, and Share an Entire Pig

by Cynthia Salaysay
Thu, Jul 31, 2014 at 10:52 AM

In the Bay Area, classes to make cheese, keep bees, and raise livestock are a dime a dozen, but classes on how to buy a whole animal, have it butchered, and share it are rare. The Institute of Urban Homesteading (IUH) in Oakland aims to change that by spreading the wealth, and the pig, in its new class The Whole Pig: Community Pig Buy and Butchery.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

This Just In: Doughnut Dolly's New West Berkeley Shop Opens Next Wednesday

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 12:42 PM

So the new Gilman District plaza in West Berkeley, at the intersection of Gilman and 9th streets) is shaping up nicely. First, the new Philz Coffee opened; then, we got a firm date for Whole Foods' impending arrival.

The latest newcomer? The new location for the Temescal Alley filled-doughnut specialist Doughnut Dolly, which just announced that its Berkeley shop will open next Wednesday, August 6, bright and early at 7 a.m.

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Mid-Week Menu: Cask and Philz Open in Berkeley, and Roli Roti Acquires a Huge New Production Facility in Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jul 30, 2014 at 7:00 AM

1) Cask, a high-end liquor store at 3185 College Avenue in Berkeley, has softly opened and is offering free trike-powered delivery to the Rockridge and Elmwood neighborhoods, Inside Scoop reports. The shop is the latest venture from the ampersand-loving folks behind San Francisco’s Bourbon & Branch and downtown Berkeley’s Tupper & Reed, which is expected to open in six weeks or so.

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Tuesday, July 29, 2014

After a Staff Implosion, a Vegan Restaurant Tries to Move Forward

by Luke Tsai
Tue, Jul 29, 2014 at 6:00 AM

Nature’s Express (1823 Solano Ave.), a vegan fast food eatery in North Berkeley, announced last week that it had been forced to close its doors temporarily, but would be reopening soon under new management. Ownership shuffles like this are a dime a dozen, but the announcement came with more than its share of drama: after the new owners fired three employees, including the chef, the majority of the remaining workers — at least ten of them as of this posting — quit in protest.

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Is Oil the Next Trendy Cocktail Ingredient?

by Luke Tsai
Mon, Jul 28, 2014 at 10:00 AM

On Tuesday, July 29, about twenty of the Bay Area’s top bartenders will gather at Albany’s Ivy Room (860 San Pablo Ave.) in a quest to prove that while oil and water famously don’t mix, oil and booze sometimes can — and often with delicious results.

In collaboration with Berkeley-based La Tourangelle Artisan Oils, The Ivy Room is hosting what might be the first local event of its kind: a cocktail competition in which the participants must create an original drink that makes use of at least one of La Tourangelle’s specialty oils. The faceoff will take place on Tuesday evening from 4 to 9 p.m., with the winner taking home a bar kit, a full set of La Tourangelle oils, and a cool $500. There is no entry fee.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: LIBA Falafel Softly Opens, Curbside Creamery Announces Opening Date, and Lucky Three Seven Launches Late-Night Hours

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jul 23, 2014 at 9:00 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) LIBA Falafel owner Gail Lillian had said she would open her new Uptown brick-and-mortar spot (380 17th St.) with no advance notice, and lo and behold, she followed through on that promise: When I walked past on Monday afternoon, the falafel shop was open for business! The sign on the door says there are only limited hours for now, but eventually LIBA will be open Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. and 5-9 p.m.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Shattuck Down Low Owner to Open Old Major’s in Downtown Oakland

by Luke Tsai
Fri, Jul 18, 2014 at 4:22 PM

Downtown Oakland’s influx of shiny new watering holes continues apace with the arrival of Old Major’s (135 12th St.), a massive, 6,000-square-foot bar that’s coming to the old Oasis Restaurant and Bar space. Co-owners (and brothers) Daniel and Benjamin Cukierman have gutted the building and have ambitious construction plans, which include the installation of thirty feet of nine-foot-high sliding glass doors and a rooftop deck.

The bar is tentatively slated to open in late November.

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Chris Kronner’s Bistro Ordinaire Is the Best Pop-Up I’ve Been to This Year

by Luke Tsai
Thu, Jul 17, 2014 at 4:30 PM

The best pop-up I’ve been to so far this year took place in the back of a wine shop, where a trucker-hat-wearing dude who works there set me up with a glass of righteous Syrah, and where I feasted on lamb cooked two ways — as good as any fine-dining lamb I’ve eaten lately, except it was cooked on a makeshift induction-burner setup and only set me back a modest $18.

That’s Bistro Ordinaire in a nutshell. Chef and noted burger maestro Chris Kronner’s twice-a-week French bistro pop-up has been taking place at the Oakland wine shop/wine bar Ordinaire (3354 Grand Ave.) almost every Thursday and Friday night for the past five months.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Mid-Week Menu: Barkada Is Closed, Shakewell Is Open, and Little Star’s Owner Gets into the Burger Business

by Luke Tsai
Wed, Jul 16, 2014 at 10:30 AM

Welcome to the Mid-Week Menu, our roundup of East Bay food news.

1) Barkada (4316 Telegraph Ave.), Temescal’s cozy bakery-turned-full-service-restaurant, closed suddenly last week, Inside Scoop reports. The restaurant — which, among other charms, served my favorite chocolate croissants in town — shut its doors a little over a year after it opened. When I reached out to Barkada's owners, they told me the decision to close was due to a personal health issue, not anything to do with finances or the success of the restaurant. Here’s to hoping that everyone gets better and that, down the road, the business might rise again.

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