What’s Cookin’

Weekly Intro and Updates (Coming in hot...)
June 12, 2018

This is what happens when your friend Matthew Wyne invites you over for a Saturday afternoon of Old Pals. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey everyone, how are you? It has been such a rough past week with the passing of Anthony Bourdain. I know everyone has been profoundly shaken by that horrible, bleak, heart-wrenching tragedy. Such a huge loss. I posted some of my thoughts here. Let’s all take good care of each other.

I also heard our dear chef Jan Birnbaum passed this morning after time in hospice over the weekend (there has been a lot of confusion online about this, and I am so sorry I was misinformed earlier). He was such a kind man and cooked with so much heart and NOLA soul. Love and condolences to all who knew him and loved him. He was a mentor to many, and a friend to many more.

Today’s column is getting to you late because I was personally dealing with my own scare: my grandmother went missing for more than 24 hours, and my family was frantically trying to locate her. (It was the first time something like this has happened, so it was a shock.) Thank goddess she was found by a sweet couple who figured out things weren’t quite right and connected her to us this afternoon. Shout-out to all the good people in this world! There are many. All’s well that ends well, but damn, what a roller coaster of emotions, with a whole lotta angst corkscrews. Looking forward to a stiff drink, a date with my vape, and some sound sleep tonight. So thanks for ignoring any mistakes today, and there were some stories I just couldn’t finish—obviously, I’ve had a lot on my mind.

Just a few quick links for you, in case you have a voracious appetite for even more food news: here’s this week’s Table Talk on Bay Area Bites, including news about the Tacolicious guest chef taco lineup, a rosé tasting, the Refugee Food Festival, an all-cake dessert menu at Bluestem Brasserie, and where to find amatriciana pizza in SF (which I could use a large of right about now—and some cake).

Last week’s Table Talk takes a look at the rebranded Ritu Indian Soul Food (formerly Dum), Alexander’s Steakhouse launches The Feast, check out some fun (and tasty) Father’s Day deals, and more.

I’m also so happy with this spunky write-up about my new venture, mymilligram, in the SF Weekly’s Evergreen section. It’s a fun backgrounder on how and why I’m covering cannabis after writing tablehopper for 12 years. Take a look, it’s a fun piece.

If you’ve been curious about looking into low-dose cannabis products and CBD, I’m hosting my second mymilligram educational event next Wednesday June 20th, come on by!

And with that, I am signing off for the evening, with so much gratitude in my heart. Looking forward to spending Father’s Day with my fam, wishing you the same.

Take good care and all my love,

May 29, 2018

The salty lassi cobbler at Dosa, with peaches and cucumbers. Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hi gang! You still feeling relaxed from the long weekend? Did you get a little sun on your arms and maybe some rosé in your system? Good work.

Speaking of rosé…I want to thank all of the tablehopper readers who came to the first mymilligram educational event last week (it was a non-consumption event, to be clear, but the vino was flowing)! It was so cool to have many of you from the tablehopper world come check out my new venture! Right on! I’m going to be hosting a second event very soon, stand by if you’re curious, and you can always subscribe at mymilligram.com to keep up on everything! Thanks for all the support and feedback, it’s been a blast.

The past couple of weeks, I’ve been super-busy planning a big private event happening this week, but I did leave my desk to visit a few spots, like the new Pearl and Besharam (read more in today’s column!). I also checked out the new Kerala-inspired menu at Dosa (more on that deliciousness soon!), had some Japanese carbonara ramen at a fun pop-up with Eatfreakz and Noodle in a Haystack, and paid a visit to the Borsch Mobile (read my Table Talk column for KQED’s Bay Area Bites for more on that—and don’t miss the part about CUESA’s 25th Birthday Bash on Sunday June 10th, with a special tablehopper discount code!).

I also posted a Table Talk column yesterday, which includes the annual CHEFS Gala fundraiser (please support it if you can!), the lineup of food and drink at this year’s Outside Lands, and how to score discounted tickets to Eat Drink SF! Hop on over.

Lastly, my friends Jay Jeffers and Michael Purdy at Jay Jeffers The Store are running an amazing raffle to raise money for the 2018 AIDS Lifecycle, and I hope you can take a look! The auction ends at noon tomorrow (May 30th).

So, I feel like my hair is on fire, and we have a lot of news to cover, so let’s jump in. (Don’t miss the fun ticket giveaway in today’s sugar mama!)

Cheers, and thanks for reading!
Marcia Gagliardi

May 15, 2018

Tempura master chef Hitoshi Arai from Tenko in Tokyo, cooking last night at Air Restaurant’s second Bay Area event. Here, he is preparing uni in shiso maki. Have you ever had uni tempura? I hadn’t. (Yes, it was amazing.) Photo: © tablehopper.com.

Hey gang! First, I want to say a tremendous GRAZIE to everyone who turned out for the Cento Osteria preopening party a couple of weeks ago—that was a festa! What a spread, from the roasted pig to pizza to pasta—like I said, Donato Scotti and Gianluca Guglielmi are total feeders. The cocktails were flowing, thanks to bartender Casey Carr and team and our sponsor Campari America. And thanks to all of you who came, we raised a nice amount of money for Family House. What a great night. That was a blast. The restaurant is now open, read more in today’s chatterbox!

More reading for you: since tablehopper is now every other week, you can still keep up with weekly news and events in my new column for KQED’s Bay Area Bites, Table Talk. I post them each week on Twitter and Facebook if you want to follow along.

I also wrote this piece on the city’s best steak frites for Blackboard Eats—it’s going to make you want to go eat some, I’m just warning you.

Some of you haven’t heard the news about my new venture, mymilligram, a weekly newsletter I just launched about low-dose and high-quality cannabis products! It comes out every Thursday, and is designed for the canna-curious, the microdosers, the lightweights, and the beginners! There are a lot of amazing products out there which are completely measurable and manageable and can help you feel better and have fun without feeling too high. (I can’t wait to relax tonight when this day is done. I have been working like a beast until 2am the past three nights, and there’s a Level Tablingual with my name on it.)

So, if you want to hang out in person, learn about some of my favorite new products, and hear more about what this low-dose thing is all about, I hope you can join me next Wednesday evening on May 23rd for the first mymilligram educational event.

It’s a non-consumption event, to be clear, which means you could bring your mom and anyone else who wants to learn, but maybe isn’t ready to consume just yet. But since I am the tablehopper after all, there will be lovely wine and some delicious bites prepared by the talented chef Rachel Aronow (formerly at The Alembic). And tickets are just $20. I know! It’s a small gathering, so get your ticket and let’s talk about this amazing plant and fantastic products that are coming out. Let me tell you about Mondo walks! I look forward to seeing you. You can subscribe at mymilligram.com and follow along on the gram at @mymilligram.

Thanks for all your support, and take good care of yourselves. Personally, I have been grappling with the loss of beloved barman Daniel Hyatt over the past couple of weeks, and have written an homage to him in today’s column. Sending my love and big, long hugs to everyone who is missing him right now.