tartine afterhours. wednesday, june 16th

tartine afterhours.

a monthly series of family-style dinners at tartine bakery
complete with music, wine & cameraderie

the details:

who: the fab folks at tartine (and me)
what: a (mostly vegetarian) three-course family-style fixed menu
where: tartine bakery (600 guerrero st. sf, ca)
when: wednesday, june 16th at 8pm
why: to highlight the joy of good food and good company
how much: $35 plus wine (cash only, please!)
to reserve: this dinner has been sold out! depending on how the weather forecasts on monday, june 14th, we may open up some outdoor seating for this dinner. please join the mailing list by entering your name in the box on the sidebar to receive notice of our next dinner and enter the lottery.


Upcoming Home Ec Classes

Home Ec: The Chicken Course

Come spend an afternoon with Alexis Koefoed of Soul Food Farm and Chef Samin Nosrat for a hands-on butchering and cooking class.

In the first half-hour, Alexis will describe her chicken husbandry practices at Soul Food Farm, where she raises exquisite pastured chickens for some of the Bay Area's finest restaurants, including Chez Panisse, Camino, Coi and Frances. She'll talk about how she got into the chicken and egg business, as well as answer any questions you might have about backyard birds.

Next, we'll move into the kitchen where Samin will show you the ins and outs of butchering a chicken, including how to truss it for roasting. In 2008, Diablo Magazine called Samin's technique for spit-roasting chicken "masterful," and she will share with you all of her tips on roasting, spit-roasting and frying up delicious chicken every single time. You'll also receive a recipe book with tips on making stock, brodo and a few simple chicken dishes.

The class will end with some hands-on work: each student will receive a Soul Food Farm pastured chicken to break down into primal cuts under Samin's guidance. You'll leave empowered and encouraged to start buying whole chickens at the market, knowing how to economically and deliciously use every part of the bird!

The Chicken Course: How to Butcher, Roast & Fry a Chicken with Samin Nosrat

4629 Martin Luther King Junior Way
(At the corner of 47th and MLK)
Oakland, CA 94609

Saturday, June 12th from 4-6.30pm

To enroll: visit the event page at Brown Paper Tickets

20 students max.
Each student will butcher and take home his/her chicken and a butchery and recipe guide.

Home Ec: The Rabbit Course

Rabbits are the new chicken. As one of the most sustainable meat choices available, rabbit is quickly becoming a favorite for conscientious home cooks. Come spend an afternoon with Mark and Miriam Pasternak of Devil's Gulch Ranch and Chef Samin Nosrat for a hands-on butchering and cooking class.

In the first half-hour, Mark will describe his rabbit husbandry practices at Devil's Gulch Ranch, where he raises rabbits for some of the Bay Area's finest restaurants, including Chez Panisse, Zuni Cafe, Quince Restaurant and The French Laundry.

Next, we'll move into the kitchen where Samin will show you the ins and outs of butchering a rabbit—then it'll be your turn: each student will receive a rabbit to break down into primal cuts. The class will end with a cooking demonstration of how to extract the most flavor from your rabbit, with recipes for a rich stock, kidney and liver paste, Tuscan rabbit ragu and tips on how to best season, grill and braise rabbit meat.

A rabbit butchery and cooking class with Samin Nosrat

Saturday, June 26
4 pm- 6:30 pm

4629 Martin Luther King Junior Way
(At the corner of 47th and MLK)
Oakland, CA 94609

To Enroll: Visit
the event page
at Brown Paper Tickets

20 students max.
Each student will butcher and take home his/her rabbit and a butchery and recipe guide.

A professional cook and freelance writer, Samin Nosrat looks to tradition, culture and history for inspiration. Trained in the Chez Panisse kitchen, she cooked there for several years before moving to Italy, where she worked closely with the Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini and chef Benedetta Vitali for nearly two years. She spent five years as the sous chef and "farmwife" at Eccolo restaurant, butchering, brining, and preserving nearly everything in an effort to make the restaurant as self-sustaining as possible. Her writing has appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, Meatpaper, and Edible San Francisco, as well as on her blog, Ciao Samin.


the yoga of pizza

this is charlie :: photo by the ever-talented paige green

charles hallowell is my soul-brother.

over the past eleven or so years, i have alternately wanted to strangle, kiss, punch, and lavish him with love. to know charlie is to redefine what it means to be in a love-hate relationship with someone. charlie is foul-mouthed, brilliant, sensitive, outspoken, offensive, infantile, generous, petty, arrogant, humble, mean and really effing stupid all at the same. he also has a bigger heart than practically anyone i've ever met.

what i love about him more than anything else is this: he can find the beauty in absolutely anything. above all, charlie is a lover. i find him to be exquisitely focused on beauty, in a way that few others are.

this is a gutsy, fantastic review that came out today about his new place, and i love it. i also love that he was shocked that she dared to print what he said! are you kidding me, dude?

here's my favorite part:

"It's a fucking pizza — a circle of dough with shit on top of it. But there's something beautiful about doing something over and over again," he says of the process of slinging pies day in and day out...Hallowell says it's about building a special relationship with the oven and the fire.

"If you've had a fight with your girlfriend, or you haven't been laid in awhile, or your mom's dying from cancer and you try to throw in a log — the log will roll off the fire, maybe it won't catch, or it lands on a pizza," he says. "When you're not there and you're not present, the pizza burns."

Hallowell has dedicated his life to pizza — and sometimes that freaks him out. Making pizzas may feel mundane at times, but he believes that the three most important things in life — fucking, eating, and sleeping — can all have a tendency to feel that way. So he kneads in a little extra love and hopes it comes through.

"I feed people. I fuel people. I cook with love so people can keep living. They can go home after dinner and make love to their wife and look after their children. They can wake up a happy human being."


Maker Faire

sasha and mark from meatpaper invited me to come along with them to maker faire this saturday, may 22nd. we'll be hosting a basic chicken butchery talk and demo at 2pm at the homegrown village. stop in and say hello!


in my dreams

clearly, i am obsessed with riverdog carrot tips,
because i can't seem to stop photographing them :: may, 2010

with each passing day, i'm able to articulate a little bit better what it is i'm doing with myself.

i know this much: more than anything, my work is to bring people together in community around food, because our food is us.

i honestly believe that as a teacher, my work is not to show people how to do things that they have never done or been able to master, but rather to water the seeds of knowledge about how to nourish themselves that were planted by their parents, grandparents, or even great-grandparents and never tended to. i know that we all know how to do these simple, beautiful tasks like turning flour and eggs into pasta, or cutting up a chicken to feed your family. this is innate human knowledge, no matter where you come from. and my job is to empower, encourage, and awaken people to use this knowledge practically and on a daily basis.

as a cook, i've been dreaming up a list of what i'd like to happen, in my dreams, each time i gather people around the table for a meal. i want there to be delicious, simple, honest food and good wine. i want good conversation to ensue and friendships to be forged. i want people to fall in love. i want to inspire art and music. and for the good china to be used, linens to be pulled down from the cabinet, candles to be lit and music to be played. i want flowers to be plucked from the yard, herbs to be picked from the planter boxes, and fresh eggs to be pulled from the hen house. and most of all, i want people to leave with the motivation to go on and create another special experience for a different group of folks, so that we can continue to spread these values and create more connection to our food and to each other in our wider communities.

yesterday, aaron shared with me this amazing interview with the poet and zen student jane hirschfield, including some of the following thoughts:
the zen way of practicing with food intersecting with restaurant work is that it is all completely about mindfulness and mindfulness in relation to whatever you are doing, whatever activity that is, particularly food.

our relationship to food and eating is a very good microcosm for our relationship to all of life in that it's got to do with appetite, and what we do with appetite. it's got to do with simply what we need, preferably several times a day in order to continue. it has to do with how we navigate our relationship to desire and whether that's going to be blunt or nuanced, generous or stingy, and the deep pleasure of the most basic food: bread, or rice, or a good egg. that is limitless.

how beautiful is that?

and could it be any more true? how we are with our food is a direct reflection of how we are in life (uh, just like how what goes on in our bodies and minds is a microcosm of what goes on in our wider communities, and even the universe. yes, i have spent the past three days engrossed in yoga and tantric philosophical study, if you can't tell).

if i have learned anything over this past year, it's that even in times of uncertainty, generosity begets abundance. when i don't worry about money and follow my heart, money comes, and plenty of it. when i give, i get back so much more. and so, all i am left with is this: giving, loving, generosity, authenticity, connection and community. this is what i want my life to be about.



almost ready to let everyone in to tartine afterhours, may 12, 2010

in sanskrit, purnatva means something like divine fullness or completeness. i sort of understand it as something like a deep awareness at any moment that everything is just as it should be.

though i've been working more than i have ever worked before lately (something i didn't think could be possible after the crazy hours i worked at eccolo), i've also been feeling the purnatva more. my happiness seems to depend less on externalities and more on following my heart.

for me, cooking (and eating) is becoming less and less about the food. as long as the food has been raised and cooked with a certain level of care, it doesn't really matter to me what it is i'm eating or cooking. i care equally about every meal i make, and when i'm feeding others, i care about the circumstances and details of the meal--who's sitting at the table, how the table is set, the plates we use, etc.

i've been cooking long enough to know that for me, the way i cook is deeply informed by the way things have been done for hundreds, and in some cases thousands, of years. when i think about that, there's not much room left for my ego to get involved.

i had the chance to observe a bread shift at tartine with chad and his bakers lori and nate in march, and i was struck more than anything else by the lack of ego involved. they are motivated above all else by love and understanding of their craft, something so rare in the cooking world.

it was this beauty that made me want to collaborate with them. the reason i cook is to create community, to bring people together at the table to share a simple meal, conversation, each other, maybe wine and music. i want to create experiences for people whose memory will endure much longer than any flavor could linger on the tongue. it's this delightful yet grounding connection, to each other, to the earth, and to the food we eat, that i want to create for people.

the other night we had our first tartine afterhours dinner, and it was magical. all day, i was in a state of purnatva. the normally crazed samin was nowhere to be found. i don't know what happened, but i want it to happen all of the time. the amazing thing is that i think it really showed through in the food, the setting, the atmosphere and everything else about it. i wanted to help create something really special for people, and i think we managed to do it. i can't wait to do it again.


pasta-making class at soul food farm

saturday, may 29th
12 pm - 2 pm, followed by lunch

come learn how to make rustic hand torn pasta, traditional tagliatelle, farfalle, and delicate ravioli filled with spring vegetables, using soul food farm eggs. i'll discuss the ins and outs of pasta-making, including which types of flours to use, tips for rolling even, smooth pasta, and how to best store homemade pasta. each student will receive a recipe guide and some pasta to take home.

after class, we'll sit in the shade to enjoy a lunch of our pastas and a few other light dishes.

come prepared to get your hands dirty, because this will be a (very) hands-on class!

cost: $75 per person; includes lunch. soul food farm CSA members get $10 off one ticket