Tag Archives: Oliveto

On My Calendar

Exciting things coming up in August both in and around Rockridge and further afield:

  • Subculture the East Bay Express’s Best of the East Bay Party:  With something for everyone (and I mean everyone), the East Bay Express will be celebrating everything wonderful about the East Bay at the Oakland Museum this Friday, August 7 from 5pm to midnight.  The party itself is so massive and diverse that it makes summary a futile endeavor.  Download a large copy of the invitation by clicking here (invite) or check the blog the EBE has set up for more information.  (Best of the East Bay 2009 Party Blog)
  • FLUX Super 8 Showcase: Sets from the short film Synesthesia by directors Corey Creasey and Ian Kibbey of Terri Timely will be part of this exhibition curated by RESFEST founder Jonathan Wells.  This is the first annual showcase by FLUX, organized to celebrate eight of the most exciting and emerging young artists working in film, video, music and design.  Watch Terri Timely’s film here (Synesthesia via Terri Timely).  Opening: August 15, 7pm  Scion Installation L.A. 3521 Helms Ave (at National) Culver City, CA. 90232 (310) 815-8840.  Through September 8.

synesthesiafrom Terri Timely’s Synesthesia

  • Oliveto Tomato Dinners: Oliveto’s annual Tomato dinners are the perfect capstone to tomato season, but this year in particular.  Oliveto’s new Community Journal has been tracking the cultivation of this years crop from the time the Early Girls were planted as seeds back in February via Tomato Watch (check out their brilliant Tomato Watch timeline by clicking here).  For those of us who have been watching all along, the Journal has taken the experience of anticipation of eating this prized fruit to new levels.  Whether you’re a regular or an Oliveto virgin, the Tomato Dinners are sure to delight.  Wednesday through Saturday, August 26 through 29, 2009.  (Oliveto Restaurant, Oliveto Community Journal)
  • Chalk Hill Clematis’s Mary Toomey Garden Open House:  The eminent clematis cultivators Chalk Hill will open their doors to the public later this month for a tour of the Mary Toomey Garden.  From the Chalk Hill website: The Mary Toomey Garden is adjacent to the nursery and consists of a large pergola planted with roses and clematis and five individual gardens each with a different theme including an eighty foot long perennial bed featuring many herbaceous varieties. Chalk Hill also produces their own Olive Oil and Vinegar, available for sale at the farm.  In addition, cultivator Kaye Heafey’s book A Celebration of Clematis will be available for purchase  Open House Friday August 28th from 9am-4pm.  Chalk Hill Clematis PO Box 1847, Healdsburg, CA 95448 (707) 433-8416 farmmgr@chalkhillclematis.com


MTGsiteplan_smallArtwork by Martha Kemp

  • Os Mutantes LIVE: One of my favorite musical acts of all time will be performing live at the Independent in San Francisco as part of the second annual Outside Lands festival.  Their blend of Tropicalia, Psychedelia, and progressive rock have made them a unique (and we all shudder to use that word, but in this case it’s appropriate) force in 20th century popular music consciousness since their debut in the mid-1960s.  Don’t miss this rare opportunity to see them in action.  Sunday, August 30, 9PM (Os Mutantes Myspace) (Tickets via the Independent) (About Os Mutantes via Wikipedia)

os-mutantes1

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Mother’s Eggplant

Everyone’s talking about eggplant these days.  It’s eggplant season!  Chef Canales has them all over the menu at Oliveto from antipasti to secondi (watch Chef Canales shop the Berkeley Farmers Market for tomatoes and eggplant here).  Meanwhile in Pasadena, mother’s eggplant is nearing maturity.  Isn’t she a beaut?

eggplant1

those leaves!

flower

those flowers!

eggplant3

that color!

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Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko at Mission Street Food

Post updated 10:55pm PST 6/18/09: This Saturday at MSF from the MSF blog

I first heard of Mission Street Food (a pop-up restaurant in the Mission District of San Francisco) through Chris Ying of the McSweeney’s clan.  Rimpletide had bought me a ticket to see Michael Pollan, Bonnie Azab Powell, and Harold McGee on a panel at 826 Valencia moderated by Ying back in February of this year.  The whole thing was lovely, and perhaps loveliest was Ying and his vintage volume of Beard.  I’m not totally clear on the connection (perhaps Ying knows the two who started this whole madness?) but my understanding is that Ying cooks at MSF on a regular basis.

I never really followed up on MSF, since I, as a devoted resident of Rockridge, rarely venture across the Bay (and dine almost exclusively at Oliveto, but you all know that), but when I got word of a new collaboration, my curiosity was piqued.

The word: Sylvan Mishima Brackett of Peko Peko will be a special guest chef at MSF this coming Saturday and I’m just too excited not to shout it from the rooftops (and by doing so making it harder for myself to get a table, but, well, all in the name community service).

And the best part is, I even got my hands on the menu! Dishes are no more than $12 each and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Mercy Corps and St. Vincent de Paul. Apparently, Brackett got his hands on the last of the season’s freshly dug bamboo shoots harvested localled in Livermore.  And in addition to the notable shoots, the menu consists of:

Buta no kakuni
Braised pork belly and daikon with sake and ginger; with hot mustard and mustard greens

Kare karaage
Whole fried local petrale sole with mori tsuyu

Asari sakamushi
Tomales Bay clams steamed with fresh dashi, sake and mitsuba

Hirame kombu-jime
Local halibut cured with kombu; with little lettuces and radishes

Korokke
Panko-fried potato and cream-corn croquettes

Ochazuke
A bowl of rice with green tea and dashi, salt-cured steelhead salmon, scallions and nori

Oshinko
Cucumber with shiso, napa cabbage with kombu and red chili and green pepper and katsuobushi pickles

Aisukuriimu!
Apricot and boysenberry ice cream with apricot sauce and noyeaux whipped cream

My mouth is watering just thinking about the amazing flavor combinations.  One of my favorite things about Brackett’s cooking is his ability to balance fresh delicate moments with crunchy deep-fried indulgence.  Consider the Oshinko and the Kare Karage, or the Korokke (I must try that–there are few people I trust when the work “croquette” is involved, they are too often too mediocre, but I have a feeling these will be the dark horse hit of the evening).  I’ll be lining up early.

But if for some reason you don’t make it, the line is too long, the fog is too thick, you live too far away, or heaven forbid the inevitable happens–MSF runs out of food–you can experience something close with Peko Peko’s most recent bento featuring a Tonkatsu Sanwhich for just $12.50.  A truly authentic Japanese experience, the Katsu-Sando bento is a recreation of the humble but extremely popular lunch of students, salary men, and OL’s alike.  I am loving the new boxes…

katsu

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The Chef Apprentice

Color me jealous.

Stuart Leavenworth of the Sacramento Bee wormed his way into Oliveto’s kitchen and is now keeping a blog about it.  Nice work if you can get it!  He even got a Paul Canales-issued bandana!  

me-paring-potatoes-thumb-250x166

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Oliveto’s Tomato Watch

The people of Oliveto keep food close to their hearts–and therefore their producers even closer.  Right now, and for the next few months, Oliveto’s Community Journal is conducting a “Tomato Watch.”  OCJ will document as these tomato seedlings become sprouts and sprouts become vines, until the sweet fruit hits our plates at Oliveto’s famous annual Tomato Dinner series in late summer (August 26-29 2009).  The whole process is being documented on video at OCJ in a documentary style akin to a mini-series, with new video being shot and released in real time on the site as the tomatoes grow.  Of huge consequence this year is water, or lack thereof due to drought.  

Visit OCJ here to watch as farmers from Watsonville to Capay Valley brave the elements in hopes of the sweetest, tartest red globes around.  

Click here to visit Oliveto Community Journal

dirtygirlearlygirl

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Taking Things to the Next Level

This is very exciting news.  After approximately a year of eating at Oliveto I caved and signed up for email updates about special dinners, visiting producers and the like.  Now another year later, I just got notice of the Oliveto Community Journal–and it’s so much fun.  It could have gone either way; what do restaurateurs and chefs know about the interweb?  Fortunately for Oliveto-devotees and food lovers everywhere, the Oliveto Community Journal is  an exciting array of reports from local farms, bright pictures, and even video of our fantasy-life-husband Chef Paul Canales on the job!  A personal favorite is the timeline feature.  Check out this pic of Chef Canales and some lucky guy c. 2000 when Canales was named chef.  

chef-canales

This is another one of those sites that is going straight to my list of favorites.  

The local chanterelles alone!

canales_chanterelles_500

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Spate of Education-related posts

The Teacher Salary Project, a group of educators and citizens committed to raising teacher salaries in order to improve the quality of education, is having an event in San Francisco on March 23, 2009 from 6:30-8:30.  The evening will include clips from the new film of the same name, based on the New York Times best-seller Teachers Have It Easy: The Big Sacrifices and Small Salaries of America’s Teachers by Daniel Moulthrop, Ninive Clements Calegari, and Dave Eggers.  In addition to a preview of the film, the evening will include discussion with the directors and producers and sushi from Ichi Catering.  Mmmm.  Minimum suggested donation is $150.  A small price to pay for raising money and consciousness for real social change.

teacher-salary-party

Teacher Salary Party pdf

Another incredible opportunity to show your support for students and the people who work hard to prepare them for . . . everything, is quickly approaching at ARL all-time favorite Oliveto.  I knew I was in love with Paul Canales, and here’s just one more reason why.  

MetWest High School invites you to
A Morning of Real-World Learning:

Our first annual exhibition-viewing breakfast fundraiser
Wednesday, March 18th, 8:30 – 9:45 AM

*Join us for a breakfast prepared by Oliveto Restaurant head chef, and MetWest internship mentor, Paul Canales
*Sit amongst our students to view one of our students quarterly exhibitions of their internship-based learning
*Hear more about MetWest’s unique approach to high school education:
– Exploring passions through internships
– Professional networking skills
– Project management experience
– Anti-oppression curriculum
– Close peer relationships within a diverse student body

Please RSVP to Greg Cluster:
metwestgregc@gmail.com or 510-435-6115
Space is limited

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