Jennifer Maiser

"My passion for food began young." I am the editor of the influential website which encourages readers to support local farmers and producers. I began my personal website, Life Begins at 30, in 2003. I have been published in Edible San Francisco and Fine Cooking, write regularly for Bay Area Bites, Serious Eats, and have been quoted in many nationwide publications. Photography is a passion, and I have had photos printed in National Geographic Traveler and Travel + Leisure. I contributed to a Williams-Sonoma cookbook: Cooking from the Farmers' Market, which was released in February 2010. I live in San Francisco, California and can often be found at local farmers markets seeking out the best of what's in season and chatting with farmers.

Restaurant Openings in 2009

As we wind up 2008, I will be happily ringing in the new year and looking forward to the new restaurants that 2009 will bring to San Francisco. Here are three restaurants specifically that I cannot wait for: Contigo. Contigo is being opened by a friend -- Brett Emerson from In Praise of Sardines. Urbino. Urbino will be the third restaurant to be opened in San Francisco by the group that brought us A16 and SPQR. Heaven's Dog. In January, we can look forward to a new restaurant from Charles Phan of Slanted Door fame.

Menu for Hope V: December 15 – 24

I'm going to try not to sound like a grandma-in-a-rocking-chair here, but indulge me for a moment: I joined the food blog community in its infancy. When I started my blog over five years ago, there were just a handful of us around. I don't think that any of us imagined what this blog community was going to become, or predicted the explosion of food bloggers worldwide. So, what's bringing on all this nostalgia? It's the announcement of the 5th Annual Menu for Hope -- a worldwide fundraising effort by food bloggers for a designated charity. This is an event that really highlights the magnitude of the food blogger community and its impact around the world.

Tastes + Graves in Los Angeles, Part 2

I spent the Thanksgiving in Southern California with family, and on Friday we had a couple of out-of-towners who wanted to see Los Angeles. Mom and I put together a fun trip. It was by no means a comprehensive look at Los Angeles, but it provided the guests with an overview of things that we find interesting and tasty. Last week, I shared with you part of our day including Westwood Cemetery, Milk Restaurant, and Grauman's Chinese Theatre. Today, I bring you the last part of that trip.

Tastes + Graves in Los Angeles, Part 1

I grew up in Southern California. I lived there until I was 25, and inherited most of my food prowess from my mother. She is great at seeking out hole-in-the-wall restaurants with divine food, and we had very few bad meals during my childhood. After moving to San Francisco, my food obsessions became a little more focused, and I often have a list of new places that I'd like to try in Los Angeles. Combine my careful research with mom's, and we spend most of our time tasting our way through my days in Southern California.

Lev's Original Kombucha

Are you drinking kombucha? Among my friends, it's becoming all the rage. Kombucha is a tea-based drink that has been fermented and is effervescent. Many varieties of kombucha are available these days at stores like Whole Foods and Rainbow Grocery. While not proven, many tout health benefits such as liver detoxification, better digestion, increased blood circulation, and a general boost to the immune system. I personally like kombucha because I like the flavor -- with its fermented qualities, kombucha reminds me of an alcohol-based drink without the alcohol.

Back to Classics: Herbs, Spices & Flavorings

A few years ago, I noticed an old, cracked book on the bookshelf of a friend's mom. As soon as I picked it up, I knew that I had to get my own copy. Herbs, Spices and Flavorings was originally published in 1982 and was written by Tom Stobart. Stobart went on to produce and direct the Master Chef series on the BBC.

Election Day: Better than Disneyland

I am a true election geek. While most of you have probably been feeling election fatigue, I am sprinting toward the finish line. My interest and excitement has increased as the days go on. Most days, you'll find me with my iPod on, listening to podcast after podcast of election analysis. I can't get enough of On the Media, or Fresh Air's campaign interviews, or the Slate Gabfest. Yesterday, my fun activity for the day was to analyze 85,000 campaign contributors to see what corporations were donating to a cause that upsets me greatly. As someone who has spent a lot of my life thinking about politics, election day is the culmination of watching and participating in months and months of policy discussion, campaign strategy, and grassroots activism.

Your Guide to Bay Area Sustainable Turkeys

Thanksgiving is a huge business in this country. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that 45 million turkeys are purchased for Thanksgiving alone. Most of those turkeys are raised in confinement, on large factory farms, and are types which are raised for their large, white breasts. In the Bay Area, we have access to many types of sustainably-grown, free-range, and heritage variety turkeys that you may be interested in considering for your dinner table.

Bay Area Food Bloggers on Twitter

Do you know about Twitter? It's the reason that many Bay Area food blogs have been lying dormant lately, and why mothballs are piling up on our RSS readers. Twitter is a "micro-blogging" site where users can post statements of 140 characters or less. And many of us do it, many times a day. It's quick and following your favorite bloggers is easy to do. Even if you're not interested in "tweeting" yourself, you can set up a Twitter account and follow your favorite bloggers. Just select the links below and press "follow" under the username. Then, each time you go to Twitter, you'll be able to see what everyone is up to.

Changes to the Fillmore Street Food Scene

I've lived near Fillmore and Sacramento in San Francisco for about six years. There are benefits to spending so much time in an area -- I know exactly where to shop, where to drop off my dry cleaning, and when the neighborhood Victorian gets a new paint job. But there are also frustrations -- shops and restaurants can bore me after a while. Don't get me wrong -- I love sitting at the bar at Florio when I'm feeling flush, and think that Ten-Ichi is a good neighborhood sushi place, but I was getting tired of the same old scene.

October is Eat Local Challenge Month

October is Eat Local Challenge month around the nation. Over at the Eat Local Challenge blog, we are excited to have over two hundred people who have committed to eating locally in their area for the entire month. We choose to eat locally because it supports the local economy, because it supports local farms and farmers, because it's lighter on the earth, and because it supports responsible development.

Three Wise Farmers Tour

CUESA is the organization that oversees the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. In addition to the tasks involved with market oversight, CUESA also leads educational programs, farm tours, and farm trips.

Limon Rotisserie

While fans of Limon wait for it to reopen, they now have another place to turn: Limon Rotisserie also located in the Mission. I was tempted by the rotisserie chicken, the casual atmosphere, and the inexpensive menu. Limon Rotisserie is a small corner location on Van Ness. The space is friendly with bright colors and comfortable seating.