Tasteful Authors and Other Foodie News

Ruth Reichl (Photo courtesy of Gourmet)

Gourmet’s Editor in Chief, the one and only Ruth Reichl, will be meeting and greeting in Palo Alto, 5:45 p.m. Sept. 29.

The award-winning former restaurant critic, author, and foodie extraordinaire will discuss how we’re eating differently today, and share some of her favorite recipes from the new cookbook, “Gourmet Today” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt).

The event, presented by the Commonwealth Club of Silicon Valley, will be at Cubberley Community Theatre, 4000 Middlefield Road.

Price is $15 for members, and $25 for non-members. Premium ticket holders ($100) also get access to a reception catered by Draeger’s, a copy of the cookbook, and reserved seating. For reservations, call (800) 847-7730 or click here.

You may remember my good buddy and former colleague, Sheila Himmel, as the former restaurant critic of the San Jose Mercury News. Since leaving the newspaper, she’s written her first book, which has just been published.

“Hungry” (Berkeley Trade) was written by Himmel and her daughter, Lisa. It’s the unusual, true memoir of a restaurant reviewer who makes her living eating and her daughter, who in an ironic, almost Shakespearean-twist, is battling anorexia and bulimia.

You can meet both Sheila and Lisa at 7:30 p.m, Tuesday, Sept. 15 at Kepler’s Books in Menlo Park, when they will discuss the bittersweet, powerful, and ultimately uplifting road they have traveled together.

Andrea Nguyen is another prolific and busy friend. The Santa Cruz author of “Into the Vietnamese Kitchen” (Ten Speed Press), has just come out with her second book, “Asian Dumplings” (Ten Speed Press).

Meet her 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 26 at Omnivore Books on Food, a jewel box of a book store in San Francisco that’s dedicated solely to cookbooks. Nguyen will be discussing the global varieties of dumplings she showcases in her book. She always brings food to her events, too, so do come say hello to her at this free event.

What food blogger doesn’t know Pastry Chef David Lebovitz, the cookbook author and widely read blogger who chronicles all things sugary in Paris? Now, you can meet him when he stops by Fog City News in San Francisco, noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 25.

He’ll be talking about and signing copies of his new book, “The Sweet Live in Paris” (Broadway), which features 50 recipes for both sweet and savory dishes. Valrhona chocolates will be available for sampling, too. The event is free.

Another lovely lady I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for years, Jerry Anne Di Vecchio, will be teaching a hands-on, kids’ cooking class, 1p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 20 at MacArthur Park in Palo Alto.

Di Vecchio, the former food editor of Sunset magazine, has just written a children’s cookbook, “You’ve Got Recipes” (Trafford Publishing).

Price of the class is $25. To reserve a spot, call (650) 321-9990.

Fashionistas who like to eat — and yes, I’m sure there are at least a few of you out there — will want to head to the Bently Reserve Building in San Francisco, 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Sept. 16 for the Dress for Success San Francisco fashion show and reception.

Funds raised from the event will support Dress For Success, an organization that provides local disadvantaged women with professional attire and networking resources for career development.

Fashions by local designers Calvin Tran and Melissa Moorcraft will be spotlighted. Six female chefs will provide gourmet eats to nosh on. They are: Jen Biesty, executive chef of Scala’s Bistro in San Francisco and former Bravo TV “Top Chef” contestant; Lisa Eyherabide, executive chef of Gitane in San Francisco; Erica Holland-Toll, executive chef of Ducca in San Francisco; Michelle Mah, executive chef of Midi in San Francisco; Jamie Lauren, executive chef,  of Absinthe in San Francisco and “Top Chef” contestant; and Mimi Young, owner of Mi2Sweets.

Tickets are $100; or $500 for a VIP ticket, which includes admission, reserved table, and gift bag.

Visitors to the Tut exhibit at the San Francisco De Young Museum can enjoy a taste of Egypt at the museum’s cafe. To commemorate the popular exhibit, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” which runs through March 28, 2010, the menu includes specialties such as chicken tagine, and lamb and beef kefta. The cafe also is open extended hours, 9:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., to accommodate the throng of visitors.

Tuesday and Wednesday nights through Sept. 30, museum visitors also can opt for a special four-course, prix fixe menu, as well as discounted admission. The “Tut at Twilight” special includes dishes such as warm summer tomato soup, and grilled Marin Sun Farms beef tenderloin skewer. The dinner special is $14 (or $21 with a glass of wine). Discounted admission is $20 for adults, seniors, and students; and $15 for youths, ages 6-17.

Finally, I’m sad to report that the lovely Trevese restaurant in downtown Los Gatos served its last meal last week.

You may remember Chef-Owner Mike Miller as my Thanksgiving partner-in-holiday-crime. During my career as a food writer at the San Jose Mercury News, I twice took on Miller in a friendly holiday competition to see who could craft the most delicious Thanksgiving feast. I was just happy to survive the first one, as it was not only my first attempt at Thanksgiving dinner for my family, but my first time cooking a turkey — period. The second time around, in a show of good sportsmanship, we declared it a draw.

No word yet on Miller’s next move. I look forward to seeing what delicious derring-do awaits this talented chef in the future.

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  • Wow. So much going on. I would adore seeing Ruth Reichl in person. I’ve read a couple of her books and loves the way she expresses herself and describes food. I also love the idea of hands on cooking classes for kids. I would have loved that when I was young.

  • If only I could go back to SF…most of these seem to priced very reasonably too.

  • Food Gal, I just got back to the Bay Area from two weeks of traveling and you’ve got my calendar all booked up already! 😛

  • Seriously, this is a terrific round-up of future happenings. I interviewed Reichl by phone a few years ago and would love to meet her in person.

    So sad about Trevese! I ate there a few months after it opened and had an absolutely wonderful meal. It has seemed very quiet there recently. Damn economy.

  • Ruth is one of the best at describing food. Few people can capture in words so well what something tastes like. She’s very generous, too. A few years ago, when she was the critic in residence at a food conference, she volunteered to critique a few stories from food writers. I’ve never had such a thorough critique in my life. She went through my story word by word. It was an incredible learning experience.

  • Wouah, so much going on indeed! Thanks for all the info. I would love to meet Ruth but can’t. Not the best time for me! 🙁

  • Yikes – thanks for the round-up but I’m exhausted just thinking about it . What’s the word for both friend and fan? Fand? I’m not going to make it to half of these events but that doesn’t mean I’m not a fand of more….

    So sad about Trevese! I hate it when good places fall victim.

    As always Food Gal, I’m a fand of yours.

  • Wow, this would be a great time to be visiting the area!

  • Wish I could go to them all! I will be seeing Tut at some point so I’ll make a point in checking out the cafe. And I’ll be heading up to SF for BlogHerFood when Lebovitz will be doing the signing for Sweet Life In Paris so maybe I can see him then.

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