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Last Day in the East Bay 

Local luminaries tell how they'd spend their last 24 hours here.

Cat Cora

Cora is a leading light in the Bay Area's culinary community. The former executive chef at Postino in Lafayette, she now cohosts the Food Network's Melting Pot, is a featured regular on Date Plate, and is busy producing The Cat Cora Show, set to air nationally next year. She's also hard at work on a cookbook, Cat Cora's Kitchens, expected out in 2004.

I'd go by Rick & Ann's in Berkeley and get the gingerbread waffles -- that's a must. I'd go to Chez Panisse for lunch and get a glass of Domain Tempier. I don't really drink rosés, but this one is absolutely great, and I'd go for the really great fresh organic lunch, be it the beet salad or the local goat cheese or a slice of the Oregon salmon which is absolutely perfect right now. Also there's O Chame in Berkeley. They have a sesame tea that's ... ahhh. When I went there I had like four cups. I was spinning when I walked out, but it was so good I couldn't stop drinking.

I'd go by Rockridge Market Hall just to pick up some great wines and breads and some fresh pasta, just kind of to stock and take supplies with me, since I can't come back. I'd probably pick up a bottle of wine at Jackson's in Lafayette. I go there to get my Greek wine; there's a really great white called a Santorini. I'd stock up on a case of that -- not a bottle, a case. They'll put your wine bottle in a bag of ice for you if you want it chilled by the time you get there. I'd go clothes shopping at Hush in Walnut Creek. They have a really great eclectic mix, kind of chic dressy stuff, very cool. I'd have a sushi snack at Blue Gingko in Lafayette; to me it's definitely the best sushi around. And I'd have a pineapple martini at Girabaldi. They make the pineapple vodka in jars there, and they're chilly and great, delicious and yummy.

I'd also go for a hike in Tilden Park, maybe rip open some of the cheeses I got from the Rockridge Market and open the wine. Hmm ... is that legal? Well, anyway, taking a big hike, that's a nice way to spend the last day.


Narsai David

The famed chef and food and wine editor for KCBS radio came here in 1953 as a Cal freshman and never left.

I'd want to go to the UC Botanical Gardens first. Then I'd continue to drive up the hill to the Lawrence Hall of Science, up to Grizzly Peak, and then back down Claremont Canyon. I'd also have to talk a walk through the campus, starting at Sather Gate to the Campanile to North Gate and over to the eucalyptus grove. I might also see the botanical garden at Tilden Park, and ride the little train there. I'd take a drive down to Fourth Street and watch Randy Strong blow a glass vase. I would also have to stop by the Cheese Board and get some cheese and one of their chewy baguettes. I'd probably want to squeeze in a wood-fired pizza at the cafe at Chez Panisse. I wouldn't want to miss a meal at Marica, a seafood restaurant on College Avenue. Finally, I'd have to pop over to Alameda and visit St. George Spirits, a unique distillery that makes one of the most unusual whiskeys in America as well as the finest eau de vie, a clear and fruity brandy.

Previous Winners

(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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