New Vegan Cupcakes, New Pinkberry & Dinner by a “Top Chef” Contestant

After a year of tinkering, Sprinkles Cupcakes has unveiled its new vegan and gluten-free versions of the Red Velvet cupcake, its best-seller.

Chef Candace Nelson, founder of Sprinkles, makes the vegan ones with all-natural soy milk, tofu-based cream cheese and coconut oil. The gluten-free one is made with gluten-free flour and topped with a thick layer of the usual cream cheese frosting.

Find them now at all Sprinkles locations.

Word is that competitor, Kara’s Cupcakes, also is working on vegan and gluten-free cupcakes. Stay tuned….

“Top Chef” fanatics will want to know that Season 6 contestant, Laurine Wickett, will be cooking dinner at Coffee Bar Cafe in San Francisco this weekend, Jan. 30 and Jan. 31.

Wickett, whom some fans thought was sacrificed to keep popular contestant Jennifer Carroll on the show longer, is the chef-owner of Left Coast Catering in San Francisco. She will be cooking a three-course dinner for $35; or $55 with wine pairings. Dishes include cauliflower soup with smoked  potatoes and truffle oil; and panna cotta with citrus compote.

To reserve a seat, call (415) 551-8100 or email:

Brewski — and lots of it — will be showcased at the second annual “San Francisco Beer Week,” Feb. 5-14.

Learn why the Bay Area has become a hotbed for artisan beer-making. Indeed, California has more than 200 breweries and beer companies, the most of any state. Eight of those breweries are in San Francisco.

A bevy of tastings and galas will be held at various venues throughout the Bay Area. Click here for a complete schedule.

Another Pinkberry fro-yo shop has opened in the Bay Area — this one at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.

Look for it between Bloomingdale’s and Ralph Lauren.

San Francisco’s Waterbar invites you to try its new “Happy Hour,” 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Dubbed “Come Unhinged,” it features $5 specialty cocktails, $5 glasses of select wines and $3 bottles of Session Premium Lager. Sip those while you enjoy Waterbar’s $1 “featured oyster of the day,” and new bar munchies such as grilled flank steak skewers with chimichurri sauce ($9).

The glam Cyrus in Healdsburg will host a wine dinner, Feb. 2, in conjunction with Peay Vineyards.

Proprietor Andy Peay and winemaker Vanessa Wong will be pouring their Sonoma Coast offerings that will be matched with a five-course tasting menu by Cyrus Chef Douglas Keane. Price is $205 per person.

San Rafael’s historic Falkirk Mansion is the locale of another wine dinner, this one hosted by Chef Christian Caiazzo of Osteria Stellina in Point Reyes Station, and artisan local winemaker, Eric Luse of Eric Ross Winery in the Sonoma Valley.

Each of the four courses of the dinner will be paired with a different wine from the winery.  Dishes include homemade tagliatelle with sweet Bodega Dungeness crab; and grilled Marin Sun Farms Navajo-Churro  lamb leg with rosemary cannellini beans. Price is $110 per person, which includes a $25 credit to purchase a signed bottle of wine.

For reservations, call (707) 939-8525 or email:

Owners of the popular Bombay Gardens restaurants in the Bay Area and Sakoon in Mountain View have opened their newest venture, Bombay Express in Fremont.

The casual eatery features traditional and modern Indian street food dishes, as well as an inventive kids’ menu.

San Mateo’s AcquaPazza has a deal for you: A three-course dinner for $20, available 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. nightly.

The early sunset dining option offers soup of the day or salad; a choice of gnocchi Sorrentina, Pollo al Marsala, fish AquaPazza or pork chop Saltimbocca; and dessert of either vanilla gelato or tiramisu.

Quince in San Francisco welcomes a new executive pastry chef.

Joel Renno has taken over those duties from William Werner, who has left to pursue other opportunities.

The classically-trained Reno was formerly executive pastry chef at the acclaimed Everest in Chicago.

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Date: Friday, 29. January 2010 5:25
Trackback: Trackback-URL Category: Bakeries, Chefs, Cupcakes, Enticing Events, Food TV, General, Restaurants, Wine

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  1. 1

    Great info! All of the beer week events sound wonderful! Don’t tell the toddler that Kara’s Cupcakes may have new cupcakes; otherwise, he’ll have to try them… ;)

  2. 2

    I just recently had a Sprinkles cupcake for the first time–the red velvet, no less-non vegan though. It was a delight! And now you’re telling me there’s a pinkberry at SSC…can I just move in there?

  3. 3

    Thanks for all the tips! Sakoon’s lunch buffet is amazing and a great introduction to unfamiliar dishes.

  4. 4

    Sighh I need to move to a city.

  5. 5

    So funny that everyone is jumping on the gluten-free, vegan bandwagon after the success of BabyCakes. It’s good for all the vegans and people with gluten allergies, though! I wish I could try one!

  6. 6

    Sweet, all sorts of good things to take advantage of. Where would I be with out you! Hope you are well, and dry -and at least got to enjoy that 30 seconds of sun we had

  7. 7

    Another Pinkberry? I guess those rumors that the froyo fad is dying was false.
    The vegan cupcakes reminds me of Babycakes! They were pretty surprisingly good!

  8. 8

    Sigh…you just made me miss SF even more than I already do.

  9. 9

    Look at all those awesome events!!! Wish I lived closer…

  10. 10

    It will be interesting to try the vegan and regular red velvet sprinkle cupcake side by side. Pinkberry was giving out free fro-yo on grand opening day, an fun day to say the least…

  11. 11

    Have I told you how much I ADORE Osteria Stellina in Point Reyes. I had the biggest revelation there the day after we visited Bill Niman on this ranch. I won’t bore you with the details–but I forced to go back there to eat three days in a row. I love that place.

  12. 12

    Have you ever been out to Babycakes here in NYC? I was skeptical on the whole vegan/gluten-free cupcake concept until trying theirs. Trouble is, I’ll eat 5 of them after convincing myself that they’re good for me:-)

  13. 13

    great blog, beautiful photography

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