My passion is exploring the connection between food and culture. I write regularly for Oakland and Alameda Magazines and Berkeleyside's NOSH. My blog, East Bay Ethnic Eats, gives me an excuse to track down the only Bay Area baker making fresh filo dough or learn to stuff a dried eggplant with help from a Turkish immigrant. Culture is the thread that ties together my several careers. As a sign language interpreter, educator and author, my study of Deaf culture has taken me around the world, where I fell madly in love with seed-strewn Danish bread, attacked platters of French shellfish with a small arsenal of tools and sampled a Japanese breakfast so fresh it wiggled. I'm also an epicurean concierge for Edible Excursions Japan town tours (that I lead in either English or ASL). And when I conduct in-depth cultural trainings for foreign workers being transferred to the Bay Area, I am sure to discuss the delights of doggie bags and the mystery of American restaurants serving ice water in the dead of winter. I can be found tweeting @EBEthniceats
Want to welcome the passionate, creative and crafty Fire Monkey of the Lunar New Year into your home? Here's a list of easy steps to take and a one-stop shop in Oakland with almost everything you'll need.
Dedicated Gluten-Free Bakeries = sweet heaven for anyone with celiac disease or serious wheat intolerance. Luckily, the Bay Area is sprinkled with 5 such paradises from north to south and east to west.
Tee Tran's Monster Pho defies expectations. Tran, who opened this Oakland Vietnamese eatery last year, was warned repeatedly that as a first-time restaurant-owner with no previous experience, that his plan was "impossible" and "doomed to fail." He has proven his critics wrong with simple, traditional dishes from his mother's recipes, served in a hip, family-friendly atmosphere (that is also 100% peanut-free).
Kobani’s succulent chunks of chicken kebab, creamy hummus, moist dolmas, richly flavored lentil soup and generous gyros are a welcome addition to the corner of University Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way in Berkeley. But there is more to this new casual dining spot than meets the mouth.
Dim sum in its homeland, Hong Kong, is flourishing in a culinary balancing act of tradition and innovation. Every day, cozy family-run spots, all-vegetarian teahouses and elegant dining rooms create over a hundred varieties of steamed dumplings, baked buns, and deep-fried delicacies.
Think you know everything about Halloween? It was not always candy-centric. Are Halloween sadists real? Pumpkins, apples, and candy corn have surprising histories. Find out the truth behind 5 common Halloween food fallacies.
Chocoholics of the Bay Area, rejoice! A new tasting tour from Edible Excursions takes you behind the scenes of 5 Mission District chocolate hot spots, shares the neighborhood's history, plus samples of drinking chocolate, chicken in mole, a cacao smoothie and exquisite hand-molded confections.
Get it quick before it's gone! Handmade tofu and mochi sweets in San Jose's Japantown. Two devoted husband and wife teams have been quietly keeping tradition alive for more than 25 years with the sweetest results. No preservatives, no automation, just loving hands and hard work.
Tet, the Vietnamese celebration of Lunar New Year, encompasses a range of traditional foods: from thick wedges of sticky rice filled with peppery pork to candied kumquats and nutty cookies. For the Year of the Horse, Son Tran, owner of Oakland's aptly named Le Cheval Vietnamese restaurant, shares details of these essential holiday dishes and other cultural traditions.
Wheat, nuts, fish, dairy--seems like everyone is allergic to something these days. What's a host to do? An illustrated guide to the difference between intolerance and allergy. And tips for cooking for those with these conditions (and having them leave sated --and alive.)
Louella Hill is a San Francisco, modern day, milk maid, who views cheesemaking as an art form that embraces the microbial world and can't be rushed. She teaches classes around the SF Bay Area in how to make goat cheese, brie, ricotta, mascarpone and more.
Eerie, severed fingers made of chicken sausages, a Frankenstein avocado sandwich, a cheese-wrapped mummy -- it must be Halloween and you can make these quick, creepy food creations to fill lunch boxes in the Japanese bento tradition.
While the Bay Area doesn't get the swoon-inducing heat and humidity of Japan, Peru, India or the Philippines, we can still partake of their edible solutions for cooling relief. Some like it cold and icy with mounds of shaved ice doused with syrups, while others turn to peppers and spice to induce a natural cooling response.