Asian-American Food & Film, A Bake-Sale Not To Miss, & More


Center for Asian American Media Feast and Fest 2017

Celebrating Asian-American achievements in food, film and music, the Center for Asian American Media presents its 35th annual CAAMFEST, March 9-19.

The film presentations, live music, and food events, which shines a light on new Asian-American talents, takes place in various venues around San Francisco and Oakland, including the Asian Art Museum and the Castro Theatre.

Among the films sure to whet your appetite are: “Sunday Dinner,” directed by Casey Beck, which follows one man’s journey through San Francisco’s Chinatown to pick the most exacting ingredients to cook for a family feast; and “Good Luck Soup,” directed by Matthew Hashiguchi, about what it’s like to grow up mixed-race in a predominantly white neighborhood in Cleveland. Tickets for regular screenings are $12 to $14 each.

CAAMFEST is preceded by CAAMFEAST, March 4 at 6 p.m., in the Green Room at the War Memorial & Performing Arts Center in San Francisco. The evening features tastings from top restaurants, and a multi-media tribute to culinary awards honorees, who this year include Los Angeles Chef Roy Choi of Kogi BBQ and Locol; and the People’s Kitchen Collective of Oakland, which hosts Diaspora Dinners, sliding-scale community meals, and workshops. Tickets are $200 each.

Wine Dinner and Bake-Sale at Zola in Palo Alto

Pastry chef extraordinaire John Shelsta, also known by his Twitter handle of @loveforbutter, will be hosting one of his not-to-be-missed bake sales at Zola in downtown Palo Alto, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 25.

Pineapple-filled kouign-amanns. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Pineapple-filled kouign-amanns. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Shelsta has trained with some of the best around, including William Werner of Craftsman and Wolves in San Francisco, and Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie in San Francisco. It’s from the latter that he learned to make his gossamer, crackling sugary kouign-amanns. The traditional Brittany pastry is like a croissant folded upon itself with layers of sugar in between.

He creates about 1,000 pastries for each sale — all hand-made by himself. When they sell out, that’s it. So go early for the best selection. He always has classic kouign-amanns, including often some with special fillings such as Hawaiian pineapple; croissants — regular and almond, savory cheese pastries, and cream-filled brioche buns. Often, he’ll add whatever else he dreams of, which can be anything from loaves of sourdough to white chocolate-ginger cookies as big as your hand to cardamom-coconut granola. Prices start at about $3 for the pastries. For info on future bake sales, sign up on the newsletter mailing list by emailing:

And if you’ve never experienced a sit-down dinner at Zola, there’s no better chance than Feb. 27 at 7 p.m., when the intimate bistro will host a wine dinner with Frederic Esmonin & Atherton Wine Imports.

Domain Frederic Esmonin, from Burgundy’s Gevrey-Chambertain appellation, have been making estate wines since 1987. The $195 five-course dinner also will include Champagne and white Burgundy from Atherton Wine Imports. For reservations, call: 650-521-0651.

Open Your Heart Pajama Drive at the Fairmont San Jose

The Fairmont San Jose is inviting the public to donate new pajamas, books and monetary contributions, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 24 at its Club Regent room.

Those who donate or help sort the donations will enjoy a complimentary breakfast and heart-shaped sugar cookies.

The event is being held in conjunction with the Bay Area Chapter of the Pajama Program, a non-profit that provides pajamas to children in need.

Last year’s drive resulted in 1,200 pairs of pajamas, 180 books and more than $4,000 going to support children at local group homes, shelters and temporary housing facilities throughout Santa Clara County.

Pajamas are are needed in sizes from newborn to teen. To volunteer, email: Pallie Zambrano at

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  • I met John Shelsta the baker on Bryant street in Palo Alto today or yesterday and hope to some day eat his bread. He makes things I’ve never heard of! Brave new buttery world.

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