Healthful Pizza, Ruth Reichl Visit, Chef Demo & More

The Mexican pizza at ZPizza in San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the restaurant)

Organic Wheat Flour Pizzas in San Francisco

Laguna Beach, Calif.-based ZPizza, which has more than 90 locations nationwide, now has a locale in San Francisco at 833 Mission St., Suite C (at Fourth Street).

The pizza dough is made from certified organic wheat flour, the sauces are prepared fresh daily, and the cheese is part-skim, rBGH-free mozzarella from grass-fed cows. Gluten-free crust and vegan cheese also are offered. Gourmet ingredients include cremini and shiitake mushrooms, as well as truffle oil and the African hot sauce known as pili pili. For delivery, the pizzas are ferried via bicycles to reduce carbon emissions. Gourmet salads, pastas and sandwiches round out the menu.

Pizza choices include the Thai, with peanut sauce, mozzarella, spicy chicken, cilantro, bean sprouts and serranos; the Mexican with housemade salsa, mozzarella, spicy lime chicken, green onions, avocado, sour cream and cilantro; and the Casablanca, with roasted garlic sauce, mozzarella, ricotta, mushrooms, artichoke hearts and parmesan. Pizzas are $10.95 for a small, $19.95 for a large, and $24.94 for an extra-large.

The one and only Ruth Reichl. (Photo by Fiona Aboud)

Ruth Reichl at Stanford University

Join former Gourmet magazine Editor-in-Chief Ruth Reichl at a free event at the Cubberley Auditorium on the Stanford University Campus in Palo Alto at 6 p.m. March 29.

Reichl, now an editor and author at Random House, will be speaking on “The Intersection of Food, Culture and History.”

A Different Look at Vanilla, Saffron and Chocolate

Sure, they taste good. But did you know all three of those ingredients are rife with politics?

Learn all about the intrigue in getting these three ingredients from harvest to plate at “Politics of the Plate — What’s Behind the Silky Sexiness of Vanilla, Saffron and Chocolate,” 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. March 16 at the Unitarian Universalist Church of San Francisco (Starr King room), 1187 Franklin St. at Geary Street.

Experts Patricia Rain (vanilla), Juan San Mames (saffron) and Mark Magers (chocolate) will be on the panel with moderator Janet Fletcher, a San Francisco Chronicle food writer.

Tastings are included. Tickets are $40 for general admission, $10 for students, and free to members of the press.

The event is sponsored by Les Dames d’Escoffier of San Francisco and the San Francisco Professional Food Society.

Cooking Event at Ikea

Take time out from shopping for bookcases to enjoy a free cooking demo by San Francisco resident, Chef Curtis Aikens, at Ikea in Emeryville, 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 20.

The free event, which emphasizes a casual, no-fuss approach to healthful cooking, is co-sponsored by Family Circle magazine.

Lunch and a Movie at Santana Row

Throughout March, enjoy a two-course lunch at a participating restaurant at Santana Row in San Jose for $20 per person, then enjoy a movie at CineArts Theatre for free. Offer is good only Mondays through Thursdays.

Ten restaurants are participating in the promotion: Sino, Village California Bistro, Pizza Antica, Yankee Pier, Thea Mediterranean, Roux Louisiana Kitchen, Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant, Left Bank Brasserie, , Straits, and LB Steak.

After you’ve eaten, take your itemized receipt to the Santana Row Concierge office to pick up your free movie pass, which is good for matinee showings only.

Livermore Valley Barrel Tasting Weekend

More than 30 wineries in the Livermore Valley will be offering the chance to taste young wines still in barrels during the third annual Barrel Tasting Weekend, March 19-20, noon to 4:30 p.m. each day.

Gourmet appetizers, cheeses, chocolates and nuts also will be served at the various wineries. Armed with your special wristband, you’ll be able to visit each winery for at least one barrel sample.

You’ll also have the chance to pre-purchase some of the barrel wines at a discount before they are bottled and released to the public.

Tickets are $30 per person if purchased online by March 18, and $35 at the door.

East Bay Food Swap

Here’s your chance to show off your homemade jams, pickles, cookies, granola and other goodies, and to trade them for other handmade gourmet treats. Kendra, who blogs at GirlOnBikeWrites has come up with this fun grassroots event for foodies, East Bay Food Swaps, which will take place in N. Oakland, 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. April 9.

The exact location will be revealed once you register online to participate in the event. Signups for the event, limited to 40 participants, will begin online on March 19.

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