This Just In: Fava Beans from Martin Bournhonesque


Martin, our unofficial season-keeper, delivered the first Fava beans of the season yesterday. These are the ones that are so sweet, they need no cooking.

So, the gang is all here: morels, green garlic, artichokes, and lamb! It’s a beautiful thing.

Sunday Family Supper Menu for April 19, 2015

Parco degli Acquedotti, Roma

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for April 19, 2015
Rome

Salad of grilled spring vegetables

Spaghetti alla carbonara

Seared chicken alla scappi

Dessert: TBD

*

Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For parties of one to twelve. The whole table must order the prix fixe menu.

(Please note that wine and service charge are not included.)

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

Larger parties: please let us know at the time of your reservation if your table will be ordering the Sunday Supper menu so that we can plan accordingly. Thanks!

Oliveto Commons: Knife Skills 101

jonahs-knives-3-600

Chef Jonah Rhodehamel’s knives.

 

Oliveto Commons Event: Knife Skills 101

Jonah’s knives are objects of beauty. They were beautiful to begin with, but their subsequent care and use have made them a reflection of both their owner, a skilled craftsman in his own right, and the knifemakers.

Our kitchen holds a special respect and love for knives, and part of that is caring for them. In our knife class, Jonah will share his  knowledge of the craft of knifemaking and the care and use of knives. We’ll discuss what different knives can do, different materials, and practice sharpening and other skills.

Sunday, April 19th, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and are available at Eventbrite.


 

From left to right, the knives above are: a custom yanagi (Japanese single-edged slicer) made by Carter, from white super steel, crafted by Murray Carter as a gift; a sujihiki made by Misono, from Swedish steel; a gyutou (Japanese Western-style chef knife) made by Carter, made from white super steel; a deba (Japanese knifer for rough dressing fish) made by Hon Kasumi, from white carbon steel; honesuki  (Japanese poultry knife) made by Misono, from Swedish steel; a hankotsu (Japanese boning knife) made by Kikuichi, from high carbon steel; a Western beef skinner made by Forschner, from stainless high carbon steel. The stones, from left to right, are: a Japanese whetstone made by Takenoko, 6000 grit; a natural Japanese whetstone from the Narutaki District near Kyoto; a whetstone made by King, 1200 grit.

 

This event is part of  Oliveto Commons, a series of classes, discussions, presentations, events designed to better engage with the neighborhood and offer a venue for a connected community. You can learn more about the Commons and see a calendar of upcoming events here.

 

 

By |April 15th, 2015|2015, Coming up..., Commons, Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

In Discussion with Mary Berry

Mary Dee Berry, the Executive Director of The Berry Center, puts to work the writings of her father, Wendell Berry, the author of The Unsettling of America — a book that was, and still is, a rousing cry to protect our land for small farmers and a more sustainable food system. For the whole of her adult life, Mary has been farming organically and sustainably, raising cattle, heirloom pigs, non-GMO hay, and harvesting lumber on 300 hundred acres of mostly wooded land in Kentucky. She brings first-hand experience, expert knowledge of the fundamental thinking behind today’s sustainable food movement, and the wit, charm and good sense that remind us of her father.

What is a good farmer? How do we preserve farm land from agribusiness?? How do we protect the marketplace so that small farmers might thrive? All of these questions will be food for thought.

We are oh so excited to have her here.

Sunday May 3rd, 1 pm – 3 pm

 

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By |April 14th, 2015|Coming up..., Commons|0 Comments

Chanticleer Dinner: Menu

 

Chanticleer in performance at Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes. Photo by Michel Garnier.

Chanticleer in performance at Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes. Photo by Michel Garnier.

Chanticleer Dinner: Menu

Chanticleer, the world-renowned men’s ensemble which has sung in performance halls and cathedrals with the finest acoustics in the world, will be performing here in our state-of-the-art, acoustically-enhanced dining room designed by Meyer Sound.

Taken by our dining room’s being able to mimic the unique acoustic qualities of  different environments at the click of a switch, Chanticleer plans to use the dining room to replicate world-class concert venues. For Chanticleer, this will be a step into the future of musical performance spaces. For us, this is our first foray into using our dining room for musical performance. We hope to have more concerts in the future — this time, our menu will be particularly delectable.

We still have a few seats left for what we think will be a remarkable event! Tickets for the evening are $250 dollars, including tax and service charge, and includes a multi-course meal, beverages, Chanticleer’s 30-minute performance, and an opportunity to meet members of the ensemble. Cocktails will be available for purchase. Proceeds for the evening go to Chanticleer’s education program, which includes 30 East Bay schools.

May 12th, 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets, visit Chanticleer online or call (415) 252-8589.

Menu

Passed Appetizers

Antipasti platter of Italian cheeses, house-cured salumi, and prosciutto
Spicy pork polpettini with tomato sugo
Kushi oysters on the half shell
Smoked mozzarella-stuffed arancini

Primi

Chilled vellutata of English peas with salad of mint, asparagus, and Fava beans

Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of Porcini mushrooms, saffron, and Fontina Val D’Aosta cheese

Secondi

Charcoal-grilled Paine Farm pigeon two ways with barlotto, spring onions, and charred strawberry salsa

or

Pan-roasted halibut with brown butter, capers, and parsley, roast Yellow Finn potatoes, and Bloomsdale spinach

or

Farrotto of early summer vegetables with a poached farm egg and Pecorino cheese

Dessert
TBD

By |April 14th, 2015|2015, Coming up..., Commons, Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for April 12, 2015

A Sicilian market.

Sunday Farmhouse Supper Menu for April 12, 2015

salad of roasted golden beets with orange citronette, walnuts, and goat cheese

radiatore with goat sugo, mint, ceci beans, Pecorino cheese, and breadcrumbs

Sicilian-style fennel and goat sausage,
served with Floriani red flint corn polenta and salsa verde

Dessert: TBD

*

Prix fixe $40.

Served family-style. For parties of one to twelve. The whole table must order the prix fixe menu.

(Please note that wine and service charge are not included.)

call 510-547-5356 or reserve online

Larger parties: please let us know at the time of your reservation if your table will be ordering the Sunday Supper menu so that we can plan accordingly. Thanks!

This Just In: Grass-fed Lamb, Beef, and Pork from Magruder Ranch

Reese the watchdog guards the flock. Photo courtesy of Magruder Ranch

Reese the watchdog guards the flock. Photo courtesy of Magruder Ranch

Four yearling lambs and a four hundred-pound sow have arrived from one of our favorite purveyors, Magruder Ranch in Potter Valley. Soon, a steer will also be coming our way.

Currently, Magruder Ranch is lush and green, and the young lambs have been feasting on clover and annual grasses that have awoken now that winter is over.

“Beginning in March, when the days get longer, the grass has more strength, and it’s easier for the lambs, which fed on mother’s milk over the winter, to gain weight. When spring comes around they really blossom,” says Mac, the ranch’s owner. As Patricia Unterman once said in her article for the San Francisco Examiner, they are “particularly succulent, whispering of pasture.”

The abundance of green grass his animals have access to means a high level of Omega-3s, the heart-healthy fat found in foods like olive oil and avocado.

We have big plans for our meat. This weekend we’ll be making salumi with the sow. We will work with our steer piece by piece over time. For now, look for cappellaci, a stuffed pasta filled with lamb, with asparagus and pecorino cheese.

La Caja China Dinner: Boer Goat April 10th

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Our caja china (or China Box), which treated us to utterly toothsome pig in February, will be performing its wonders on Boer goat this weekend.

boer-goat

We’ve gone to some lengths to procure our goats, which come from a neighbor of Full Belly Farm in Guinda. Donato, who is a “go-to” farm hand for many nearby farms, raised these goats in his backyard.

The box, which comes from Cuba, is lined with aluminum and piled with hot charcoal, creating a highly-pressured, moist environment for whole animals to be cooked.

Besides the superior flavors and textures that la caja china affords, we look forward to the enticing, savory smoke wafting in the air on College Avenue, inviting everyone to dinner.

 

By |April 7th, 2015|Happened already..., Uncategorized|0 Comments

Book discussion with Maria Speck, author of Simply Ancient Grains

Simply Ancient Grains cover

From black rice to red quinoa to golden Kamut berries, ancient grains are becoming ever more abundant and easy to procure. In Simply Ancient Grains, cooking with these fascinating and nourishing staples is made easy and accessible by veteran food writer and journalist Maria Speck. Maria’s first cookbook, Ancient Grains for Modern Meals, won multiple awards, among them the coveted Julia Child Award, and was named a top cookbook by both The New York Times and the Washington Post. Maria has also been featured in the upcoming documentary The Grain Divide, starring Dan Barber, Chad Robertson, and Michael Pollan among others.

Maria will be reading from her book and discussing the varied and intriguing world of ancient grains in the Siena Room. A book signing will follow.

Oliveto Restaurant & Café
Saturday, May 30, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oakland, CA

 

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By |April 3rd, 2015|Commons|0 Comments

Stephen Yafa, author of Grain of Truth, with Craig Ponsford of Ponsford’s Place

GrainofTruth Final Cover - 200x300

 

 

In his latest book, Grain of Truth, investigative journalist and award-winning screenwriter Stephen Yafa gives us back our daily bread. At a time when gluten is being denounced as the new asbestos, he sets out to separate truth from fiction. He discovers scientific evidence that mass-production processing methods and monoculture are the culprit, not the inherent genetic make-up of wheat itself. But there’s much more to the story. Artisan whole wheat impresarios like Craig Ponsford form an expanding national movement made up of young, enthusiastic stone-ground millers, growers and renegade bakers who are re-introducing strains of wheat with distinct flavorful personalities and proven health benefits. Their baked goods are probiotic; they break down bulky gluten molecules, provide vital nutrition and fiber, and above all, they’re delicious. But don’t take our word for it. Craig will provide ample samples of the masterworks that he bakes at Ponsford’s Place in San Rafael and talk about why he converted from white to 100 percent whole wheat flour. In addition, Yafa lets us in on a discovery that may change your life — there is in fact a perfect solution for non-celiac gluten-sensitive bread lovers, after all.

Yafa will be discussing his book together with baker Craig Ponsford. Copies of the book will be available; a book signing and sample tasting will follow.

Oliveto Restaurant & Café
Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oakland, CA

 

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By |April 2nd, 2015|Commons|0 Comments