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Producer Saturday : Cocktail Culture

Saturday, March 28th marked the second Producer Saturday. On hand we had the fabulously spirited and ingenious Maxine Giammo to teach a lesson or two in mixology and flavor extraction science. And that she sure did.

Arriving promptly with a cheerful smile, a wealth of knowledge, and arms laden with citrus and quinine, Maxine got us off to a bubbling start. We began with some detailed history on quinine bark, citric acid, and tonic through the ages then proceeded to make a group batch of tonic water with each attendee contributing an ingredient, from freshly grated zest, to squeezed juice, to spices, water, etc.

Next we each made a bottle of limoncello. Some brought grapefruits, opting for pompelmocello, while others brought a last-of-the-season find of bergamot oranges thanks to the unique selection Bi-Rite Market oft has on hand. Soon we’ll be able to partake in the fruits of our labor as we’re nearing the two-week finishing mark of adding sugar (or sweetening agent of one’s choosing)! It’s super simple and makes a festive, seasonal and elegant gift for those dear.

Finally, we rounded out the afternoon with a lesson and experiment in flavor extraction. Maxine contributed some creative ideas from cacao nibs and jalapeno to cilantro and cardamom. All one needs is a nitrous oxide cartridge, whipped cream non-aerosol whipper, vodka, and the aromatic ingredient of curiosity. Et voila!

One of the attendees summed up the afternoon quite nicely; have a peek!

If you’d like to learn more or would like to get in touch with Maxine to have a lesson yourself, send a note: acuriouspalate[at]gmail[dot]com.


bake sale for japan

come out in support of japan!

samin nosrat, the local food & community leader, has coordinated a nationwide bake sale to assist with efforts for rebuilding japan. a handful of local rockstar locales are hosting….

come for a visit – i’ll be volunteering with the art sale at 18reasons! perfect for a stop to collect some baked sweets and savories from Bi-Rite!


The Biker Bar

We pulled it off. Dare I say without a hitch? The event was one-of-a-kind, actually, truly, as the bar will be closing permanently in a couple weeks. Inaugurating A Moose Bouche by way of the biker bar, glamour chef in town for the evening, a dedicated and polished staff, adventuresome and persevering herd of four moose, extraordinary performing local artists, and two seatings of eager and curious guests, the evening was spectacular. Here’s a glimpse . . . What’s next is yet to be determined, but know that we’re ideating, dreaming, and of course, amusing the palate.

all images courtesy of and credit to the talented Robin Jolin

Producer Saturday | 1

Well, it all started with a healthy dose of curiosity, determination, creative ingredient combining, and a passion for the home-made. Kraut and farmers cheese; that’s where we started. Friends and out of town guests alike came to test their wills with combining very basic ingredients–salt, cabbage, carrots, daikon, etc.–letting them sit for a bit, then packing into jars fist deep the fresh mixture that over the course of a few days’ (and weeks’) time would ferment and transform into this magically delicious, tangy, microbial-rich dish we call sauerkraut.

To be precise, Sandor Ellix Katz was my inspiration for this first foray into fermented foods. His book, Wild Fermentation, is a solid resource for the home experimenter (or professional for that matter) wanting a loose d.i.y. guide for fermenting anything from vegetables to dairy to grains to sugars. We gathered round the island and began chopping and salting, then moved on to packing while enjoying a couple krauts I’d prepared earlier that week. Yum!

Cheese-making followed, the process enveloping us all in a rich, ethereal aroma of a mixture of yeast, salt, fresh bread baking, and something I can’t quite wrap my love for linguistics quite across wafting from the pot as the curds separated from whey…


Here’s to an experiential and joyful inaugural Producer Saturday! Stay tuned for news of number two to come…


images courtesy nik daum

Who wants pink beer?

Bryan and Patrick of Pacific Brewing Labs know their beers. They also know their colors, and how to impart playfulness and beauty with them naturally in their artisan beer making. They produce a small handful of craft brews, including a couple saisons and IPAs.

On a recent evening at San Francisco Mission District’s 18 Reasons, Bryan and Patrick paired a full five course meal entirely with their beers, in fact. You may think beer with smoked Gulf Coast mackerel and delicate greens, or cauliflower and lemon sformato with poached squid, trumpet mushrooms and brown butter would be a stretch. No, not for the über talented and creative Morgan Maki of Bi-Rite Market. And beer with dessert? Check. Maki paired the orange hefeweizen with ice cream to finish the meal with an ice cream float. And, unique to this dinner, Maki designed the menu around the beers in order to highlight their varying hues, effervescences, and acidity levels.

What really makes Pac Brew Lab’s beers unique is their embrace of color and flavor with their beers. They produce a few pink, marigold yellow, and sherbet-orange beers, namely the hibiscus, grapefruit, orange & tangerine Saisons, the lemon and grapefruit IPAs, and the blood orange Hefeweizen. Patrick expresses that it’s as much fun playing with the concept of color–and people’s relationship with it with regard to experiencing food and the senses–as it is crafting the beer itself.

Capturing the evening through a lens of eloquence and grace was Berkeley-based photographer Nader Khouri. For a glimpse into the experience, have a glance through his recent work portfolio.

As for experiencing the beer firsthand, SF Beer Week has officially concluded, but thankfully Pac Brew Labs is here to stay. Stop in and pay these gents a visit for a saison before it’s the end of the season 🙂

A Moose Bouche Production

Friends & Colleagues….without further ado and with genteel pleasure I introduce you to A’Moose Bouche. Two weeks and counting….