Giorgio Sacchini, our favorite Tuscan woodsman, comes to visit

After years of nagging, our wonderful Tuscan friends are coming for a brief visit. The Sacchini family, Giorgio, Paola and Denise will be here in Oakland this coming weekend. Giorgio has been the Oliveto truffle hunter and agent for the past 14 years, and also the main reason we’ve been able to get our hands on the very best truffles for our annual truffle dinners. The Sacchinis will be in the Oliveto Cafe…

Hearty Winter Crops & Sensational Chanterelles

The season may provide fewer options by way of available produce, but Chef Canales uses his skillful creativity (not to mention his supersonic hearing!) to devise a slew of excellent dishes for the winter menu. Add to that one of the best chanterelle seasons in the a while, and you’ve got some serious deliciousness coming out of the Oliveto kitchen right now….

New Year’s Eve 2009

New Year’s Eve is a favorite time at Oliveto. The menu is spectacular, the atmosphere is celebratory, lively music is played, and when the mood strikes…there is dancing. This year will be no exception. In fact, the menu is shaping up to be even more tricked out than usual, now that Chef Canales has set his sights on a meal celebrating the wintry, soul satisfying cuisine of…

Report from our farmers: Cold Snap!

We stopped by the Derby Street Farmers’ Market in Berkeley yesterday to talk with some of our farmers about how they’ve been dealing with the recent mercury plunge. Both Riverdog Farm and Full Belly Farm in Guinda lost electricity, and had problems with irrigation lines freezing. There was a mad dash before the cold set in to harvest as much broccoli, cauliflower, and celery root as possible. Many recent transplants, too fragile…

Getting Seasonal

Truffles, done. Thanksgiving, done. Post-Thanksgiving-tryptophan-induced-stupor, done.
We are now ready to stop goofing around get seriously SEASONAL. And what’s more seasonal then chestnuts roasting on an open fire? Well, how about hot mulled cider? Because we’ve got that too!
Our expert chestnut roaster, Sarah will be in front of Oliveto roasting chestnuts though…

Randall Grahm’s Greatest Adventure

On Thursday, December 9th, we’ll celebrate the publication of his book with a special dinner prepared by Chef Canales paired with Bonny Doon wines, including some older vintages. We’ll hear about the preparations for his adventure, and wish him well. Dinner, wines and your own copy of “Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology,”…

Truffle Report #3 with Aldo Vacca’s Vintage Picks

Truffles are just now coming on, I encountered my first exceptional truffles last night, at the back door of Ristorante Antine in Barbaresco–I didn’t have to put my nose to it, it overwhelmed me from across the kitchen. Prices remain very low, we won’t be able to set the price for Oliveto Truffle dinners until we actually acquire them, but they should be…

This Just In: Olio Nuovo is Here

The olive harvest has begun in most northern hemisphere olive growing regions. The first cold-pressed oils are called “new oils,” with their very special and fleeting characteristic vegetal flavor and “heat” in the throat. That profound vibrancy lasts only about two weeks before it subsides and the oil stabilizes as…

This Just In – Puglian Chicories

Starting tonight through the weekend, we’ll be serving Barciole di vitellone e cicora: scaloppine of Magruder Ranch milk- and grass-fed vitellone stuffed with Knoll Farm puglian chicories. For this dish, Chef Canales will be using chicories that were grown by Rick and Kristie Knoll of Tairwa’ – Knoll Farms in Brentwood. Rick and Kristie grew these chicories from seeds Oliveto co-owner Bob Klein brought back from one of his annual trips to Italy. Bob had stayed with his friends, Armando and Rosalba of Masseria Il Frantoio, Ostuni in Puglia….

In the Kitchen with Chef Canales: Dry-aged beef

This morning, Chef Paul Canales took a moment to show us some of the beef he’s been aging. Mac Magruder delivered a manzo six weeks ago, and the rib-eyes are now being prepared to go on the menu this weekend as tagliata & (maybe) wild mushrooms. Chef Canales also gives us a heads up on the porcini forecast for next week, tells us what “hard crack” means, and introduces us to Pablo “Tigre” Gavito….