Category Archives: New Products

Chef James Syhabout Helping Oakland Schools, Restaurant Weeks & More

Chef James Syhabout gives back to Oakland schools. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Chef James Syhabout gives back to Oakland schools. (Photo courtesy of the chef)

Chef James Syhabout’s Dine About Oakland Public Schools Initiative

Oakland’s native son and only Michelin-starred chef, James Syhabout has launched “Dine About Oakland Public Schools.” Under the initiative, 5 percent of all sales in January at his Oakland restaurants, Hawker Fare, Box & Bells, The Dock, and Commis, will be donated to a designated Oakland school.

Through Jan. 17, proceeds will go to Claremont Middle School. From Jan. 18-24, funds will go to Chabot Elementary. And from Jan. 25-31, proceeds will benefit Oakland  Tech.

Restaurant Weeks

Chef James Syhabout’s Hawker Fare, Box & Bells, and The Dock also will be among the restaurants participating in Oakland Restaurant Week, Jan. 15-25.

For those 10 days, a slew of restaurants will be offering special prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus for $20, $30 and $40.

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EXO — An Energy Bar With A Little Something Different

There are about 40 crickets in each bar.

There are about 40 crickets in each bar.

 

Unwrap an EXO protein bar and you’ll find something unusual lurking inside.

Crickets.

Yes, these bars have an unlikely ingredient — flour made from ground crickets.

Gabi Lewis and Greg Sewitz got the idea for these unusual bars when they were in their final year at Brown University after discovering the health and environmental benefits insects have. Indeed, according to them, insects are a source of protein in 80 percent of the world. Moreover, crickets are low in saturated fat and contain more iron than beef.

They figured the easiest way to entice people to eat insects would be to put them in a form they readily understood — a bar. So, they enlisted the help of Chef Kyle Connaughton, former head chef of R&D at The Fat Duck in England and former culinary director of Chipotle, to develop the bars.

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The Cookie That Eats Like A Chip

Take a look at how thin these cookies are.

Take a look at how thin these cookies are.

 

Cookie Chips bills itself as the cookie that eats like a chip.

Indeed, the round, wafer-slim cookies are as crisp and thin as potato chips. They’re as addictive, too.

Founder and Pastry Chef Joanne Adirim got the idea for them after her kids inhaled some just-baked cookies like a bag of potato chips.

The Gardena, CA company, HannahMax is named for her two children. It makes five flavors: Original, Cinnamon Sugar, Chocolate Chip, Sea Salted Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Chocolate Chip.

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Four Locally Made Host/Hostess Gifts for the Holidays

Sweet, delicate and buttery Clair de Lune cookies.

Sweet, delicate and buttery Clair de Lune cookies.

Clair De Lune Cookies

Crumbly, crisp and utterly melt-in-your-mouth, Chateau Bakery’s Clair de Lune cookies are the perfect holiday treat to share with co-workers or to thank your holiday dinner host.

The sugary butter cookies, which were first made in a small European bakery in 1898, are now made in Burlingame by Esther Buss, a former consumer marketing professional who’s been baking since she was a child.

I had a chance to sample the cookies, which are made with just cane sugar, flour, butter, sea salt and vanilla. They’re delicate and disintegrate in your mouth even more than your average meltaway cookies. Rolled in sugar, they are super sweet. A smidge of sea salt adds a refined touch.

Enjoy them with coffee, tea or even sparkling wine.

The cookies are available online, as well as at retailers including Lunardi’s, Mollie Stone’s and Draeger’s. They are priced at $9 for a package of 15 cookies; $25 for a large gift tub of 28 cookies; and $5 for a mini gift tub of five cookies.

Round Pond Estate’s Pomegranate Syrup

Imagine the super concentrated fruity taste of pomegranates without having to ferret out all those plump seeds to enjoy it?

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A Whale of A Gift

Delicious whale tail-shaped cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company.

Delicious whale tail-shaped cookies from Honolulu Cookie Company.

 

Bypass all the craziness of crowds at the mall today — and still give a whale of gift to friends and family this holiday season.

Honolulu Cookie Company’s newest creation is exactly that — a shortbread cookie shaped like the tail of a Hawaiian Humpback whale.

The Hawaiian Islands boast one of the most important Humpback whale habitats on the planet. The whales migrate to Hawaii each year to reproduce.

The cookie company will be donating a bevy of its whale cookies to fund-raising and educational events hosted by Pacific Marine Life Foundation, a non-profit that supports marine research and conservation in the Pacific basin.

Besides drawing more attention to the whales, the cookies are just plain delicious, as evidenced by the sample I recently had a chance to try.

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