Category Archives: More Food Gal — In Other Publications

Where I’ve Been Getting Takeout Of Late, Part 1

Such a treat -- beignets from The Village Pub.
Such a treat — beignets from The Village Pub.

When shelter-in-place first took hold, I took it to heart, cooking all my meals at home from pantry and freezer ingredients, and from grocery deliveries, so I wouldn’t have to venture out needlessly. But wanting to support my local restaurants, I also bought gift cards and donated to GoFundMe campaigns.

As restrictions have lessened, though, I’ve felt more at ease about getting food to-go. I prefer to pick it up myself rather than going through third-party delivery apps that tack on an extra charge to restaurants. Plus, after listening to a highly informative “The Tim Ferris Show” podcast with guest Nick Kokonas, co-owner of Alinea restaurant in Chicago, I also realized I now needed to use those gift cards pronto. Kokonas, who owned a derivatives trading firm for a decade, explained that while the revenue from gift cards help restaurants in the short-term, they remain a debt on their books. Indeed, the worst-case scenario would be for every well-meaning patron who bought a gift card to descend upon that restaurant the first week it reopened to use them when the establishment had no revenue coming in.

So I’m making a point to use those gift cards I purchased in March for food to-go now, and to even order more beyond the card’s amount to give the establishment an extra boost.

Here’s where I’ve picked-up food in recent weeks, paying my own tab.

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The Big Unveil


Voila! Finally, the big reveal: Presenting the cover of my forthcoming cookbook, “East Bay Cooks: Signature Recipes from the Best Restaurants, Bars, and Bakeries” (Figure 1 Publishing).

I couldn’t be more excited to show off details of my newest cookbook, due out on Sept. 10, which will feature 41 of the best restaurants and bakeries in the East Bay.

To whet your appetite, that’s the paella from La Marcha Tapas Bar in Berkeley, and the lamb larb from Belcampo in Oakland’s Jack London Square prominent on the cover. The photos are all by the incredibly talented photographer Eva Kolenko.

What else will you find inside?

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You Don’t Know Babka Until You’ve Tried This Babka

Chocolate (left) and halva (right) babkas by Babka by Ayelet.

Chocolate (left) and halva (right) babkas by Babka by Ayelet.


If you think babka is just a sweet yeasted bread swirled with chocolate or cinnamon, then get ready to have your mind — and palate — blown.

After months of delays, Babka by Ayelet finally opened its doors two weeks ago at Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village to serve up babka in a variety of flavors, both sweet and savory.

Babka Logo

Made by Israeli-born Ayelet Turgeman Nuchi, a former private chef on the Peninsula, this Eastern European specialty bread has been transformed.

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The Countdown Begins — For My Next Cookbook

Photographer Eva Kolenko arranging potential images for my "East Bay Cooks'' cookbook.

Photographer Eva Kolenko arranging potential images for my “East Bay Cooks” cookbook.


For most of this year, I’ve immersed myself in writing a new cookbook, “East Bay Cooks” (Figure 1 Publishing), which spotlights the diverse, progressive and talented chefs of the East Bay Area.

Writing a cookbook is a major undertaking involving a multitude of interviews, fine-tuning a heap of recipes, and conducting scores of interviews.

For so long, it’s lived mostly as text in my manuscript. But last week, it all came to vivid life when the photography on the project began.

Chef Paul Canales of Oakland's Duende with a salmon dish ready to go before the cameras.

Chef Paul Canales of Oakland’s Duende with a salmon dish ready to go before the cameras.

Chefs from all around the East Bay descended upon the incredibly equipped Rule & Level Studio in Berkeley, where they and their dishes were photographed by the incomparable Eva Kolenko.

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Signed, Sealed, Delivered, And Yours (Sept. 2019)

Look for my new "East Bay Cooks'' cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.

Look for my new “East Bay Cooks” cookbook to join this group in summer 2019.


See that stack of beautiful cookbooks above? Soon to join them will be “East Bay Cooks” — by yours truly.

Yes, that’s what I’ve spent the better part of this year working on. In fact, I just finished the manuscript this month.

The cookbook, which will debut in September 2019, will feature 40 of the top restaurants, bars and bakeries in the East Bay, with their stories and recipes. The photography will be by the incredibly talented Bay Area-based Eva Kolenko.

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