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Archive for March, 2013

Kiko’s Food News: 3.15.13

The future of fishing was foreshadowed in a “Trash Fish” dinner where fishermen, chefs, and environmental advocates dined on redfish, dogfish and pollock; for years these fish have been tossed overboard as waste, but the group aims to re-introduce them to the marketplace: (Boston Globe)

As more and more people go gluten free, this article bears a good warning about how to do it safely, without sacrificing essential fiber and nutrients: (Scientific American)

American vintners are going after younger consumers to keep their $33 billion industry growing, using more irreverent labels, easy drinking wines, and laid-back tastings to demystify the elite atmosphere surrounding wine: (San Francisco Chronicle)

Upscale resorts have added culinary classes for kids, like a Young Pastry Chefs program at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel where kids take home a monogrammed chef’s coat, chef’s hat, and recipes from the day: (ABC News)

Whole Foods has become the first US retailer to require labeling of all genetically modified foods in its stores, with a five year deadline: (New York Times)

Safeway’s confronting requirements to map their global supply chains in an effort to identify suppliers with suspect labor practices like human trafficking and slavery, and urging other huge chains to do the same: (Supermarket News)


Cocktail of the Month: NOPA’s Sunshine Fix


In honor of our opening on Divisadero we asked Yanni Kehagiaras, who runs the bar program at NOPA next door (did you know that Jeff Hanak, co-owner of NOPA, was a high school buddy of Sam’s?) to share one of their cocktail recipes with us. Yanni chose the Sunshine Fix, one of the most popular cocktails on their menu.

Yanni says it’s “straightforward, easy, and delicious. The recipe is equal parts City of London Gin, Aperol, and fresh lemon juice, with a dash of Angostura Bitters…garnished with a grapefruit twist.  So in addition to being a solid cocktail, it’s super easy to make.”

Bonus: It was featured recently on 7×7’s “50 Drinks to Try Before You Die” list!



1oz City of London gin

1oz Aperol

1oz fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 dash Angostura bitters

Build all ingredients in a mixing glass, shake well with ice, and fine strain into your favorite glass. Express a grapefruit twist over the drink, and drop in. Serve immediately.





It’s Time: Bi-Rite Divis Opens March 13th!

birite-divis-logoRefrigerators delivered: check

Divis Sandwich and Sundae contest  entries in: check

60 new staff members hired: check (almost)!

Guess this leaves only one thing…Opening March 13th!

divis team floor

Pre-opening Divis staff meeting

We can’t even wait to open our doors at 550 Divisadero (at Hayes). Just like our 18th Street Market, Divis will be open every day from 9am-9pm and will be a one-stop shop for farm direct produce, a full-service butcher counter, deli with prepared foods from our on-site kitchen, natural wine & spirits, fresh bread, local dairy… and of course important doodads like toilet paper and deodorant.

shak its time

It’s time!

What took us so long? We renovated and retrofitted the interior of the building –which was one of the original Safeways—while taking care to preserve the art deco façade. And we’re upping the ante from our 18th St. Market: Divis has an old world style cut-to-order cheese counter and an ice cream scoop shop right inside (yes, Sam’s sundae with chocolate ice cream, Maldon sea salt, bergamot olive oil and whipped cream will be here)!

We hope you’re ready to give us feedback on what dishes and items you love and what we can do better, so we can evolve together. We’ve got a 30 year lease, so we’re planning to be around for a while and we look forward to feeding the neighborhood for years.

Big thanks to our new neighbors for weathering the construction. And thanks to everyone who has already made us feel welcome—from the other Divisadero Merchants to school and church leaders from the Western Addition, Haight, Fillmore, and Hayes Valley neighborhoods that so richly intersect here!facade feb



The Front Porch: An evening with the People’s Community Market team

pcm3There’s nothing better than seeing our staff members go on to spread the good food word beyond San Francisco. You may remember Rebecca Eiseman, the smiling brunette that for years greeted us at the cash register? Well she’s currently working with the People’s Community Market on opening a neighborhood grocery store that helps West Oakland families thrive by offering quality fresh foods, health services and a place for community building and recreation. Our founder Sam Mogannam actually co-authored an article in the Chronicle last fall with People’s Community Market founder Brahm Ahmadi, talking about how deep an impact a neighborhood grocery store can have on its community.


Bryant Terry speaking at a Front Porch event last Fall

Each month, the People’s Community Market team hosts a public Front Porch event to raise awareness about the project; next Friday March 22nd we’re hosting them here at 18 Reasons and we hope you’ll join us to learn more about their vision and their fundraising method, a Direct Public Offering (DPO). A DPO is a true community investment campaign in which residents of California of diverse economic backgrounds can become Founders and Shareholders in creating People’s Community Market.


Brahm Ahmadi, founder of People’s Community Market

Join us for live music, tasty bites, real conversation, and to learn how to invest in good food and better health in Oakland! The event will be hosted by food justice leader, eco-chef, author and friend Bryant Terry and we’ll serve “soul-warming” food from Grace Hearth.

Friday, March 22nd, 7-9 pm at 18 Reasons

Free, RSVP encouraged. 



Kiko’s Food News: March 8, 2013

If you could shame your friends into composting by calling them out when you caught them trashing compostables–even from miles away–would you? (Mechanical Turk)

I also love the idea of making good food affordable by changing habits around home cooking and storage, like taking 3-minute fridge inventories and cooking wilted veggies: (US News and World Report)

Universities’ searches for new revenue streams, coupled with growing demand for locally sourced food, are fueling farm-to-table product lines like Washington State’s branded “W.S.U. Premium Beef” from cattle they’ve raised in their animal science program for years: (New York Times)

Check out the biggest Oxfam America campaign to date, Behind the Brands: they’re taking on Big Food by ranking the ten largest food and beverage companies on social & environmental issues (I should add that these grades are based on official policies, not actual behavior): (NPR)

Last week I shared news of the horse meat scandal in Europe; turns out the USDA is likely to approve a horse slaughtering plant in New Mexico, which would allow equine meat suitable for human consumption to be produced in the US for the first time since 2007: (New York Times)

Child poverty in the US has reached record levels, with almost 17 million children now affected, and a growing number going hungry on a daily basis; Obama’s focusing his efforts on raising minimum wage to $9 to bolster the incomes of millions of working families: (BBC)


So You Think You Know Our Catering Menu?


March: the month where winter and spring meet. Or, in the alternate reality of San Francisco, June: the month where winter and spring meet. Sorry SF, but our farm fields heed to the calendar seasons as well, bringing us one more month of Brussels sprout goodness, citrus brightness and chicory earthiness.

roasted root veggie saladIn honor of the almighty spring cleaning ritual, our catering menu has gotten an overhaul!

Move over polenta bites, our Wild Mushroom Cakes served with Sriracha Aioli are here to spice things up. Sayonara broccoli pasta salad, our Farro and Raw Kale Salad with Mushrooms and Shaved Parmesan has stolen the spotlight.

Plus, we’ve added the perfect Antipasti Platter loaded with grilled veggies, olives, housemade pickles, and salumi.

Don’t worry, we’ve held on to crowd favorites such as the Grilled Beef Sirloin Skewers with Argentinian Chimichurri sauce and the Classic Crab Cakes—we’ve just added more to the roster!

Check out our fully revamped a la carte menu here.

mission statement page picFirst stop: dessert. Don’t miss the Vanilla Cream Puffs Dipped in Chocolate Glaze and Butterscotch Pudding Cups with Whipped Cream and Brown Sugar served with a layer of Velvet Spice Cake.

Please reach out to us if you want guidance planning any event—our catering team is always happy to help!

Matt R.

March Winery of the Month: Farmers Jane Wine Co.

Our newest Winery of the Month, Farmers Jane Wine Co., is a collaboration between winemakers Faith Armstrong-Foster and Angela Osborne. Faith and Angela, both budding California winemakers on their own, first discovered each other when they worked the 2002 harvest at Simi Winery in Healdsburg. Today they each make wine under their own labels with slightly different approaches. Faith bottles wine under her label Onward Wines, which are solely Pinot Noir from northern California, and Angela bottles wine under her label A Tribute to Grace, which are solely Grenache from the central coast.

Angela tells us that working together came naturally; winemaking on one’s own can be a lonely process and she says it’s great to have her best friend there to collaborate with and bounce ideas off of. Since they each make single varietal bottlings on their own, they decided to go in a different direction entirely in their collaboration – it helps that their approaches balance each other so well. Angela describes herself as an intuitive and spiritual winemaker, while Faith has a strong background in the science of winemaking. Combining natural and scientific approaches in the vineyards and cellar create harmony in the bottle!

The name of their label is directly inspired by the book “Farmers Jane” by Temra Costa, which focuses mostly on sustainability and transparency in food, but translates so strongly to wine. Temra agreed to let Angela and Faith use the name of the book and evoke those same principles in their wines. They also love Temra’s nod to the feminine approach and want people to know that these wines were made by women – two very talented women in this case!


jane12011 Farmers Jane Field White  –  $24.99

The Field White is 100% Chenin Blanc sourced from 30-year old vines in Jurassic Park Vineyard in Foxen Canyon (Santa Barbara County). It’s fresh, light, crisp, and minerally with everything you’d expect from a dry Loire Valley Chenin Blanc. Forget Cali Chardonnay for a second and try this lush white alongside anything from grilled foods to spicy curries.

Only 125 cases of this wine were produced.

jane22012 Farmers Jane Field Rosé  –  $16.99

The vineyard for Angela and Faith’s rosé is actually owned by the Chumash Tribe of Native Americans in the Santa Ynez Valley, and every year before harvest, the vineyard receives a tribal blessing. The blend is half Grenache and half Cinsault, which are pressed and fermented together. It evokes the great rosés of Provence with bright acidity, minerality, scents of dried herbs and a crisp, dry finish. So mouthwatering and fresh!

Only 110 cases of this wine were produced. 


jane3Farmers Jane Field Red  –  $24.99

This red blend is primarily Grenache from Watch Hill Vineyard in Los Alamos. Grenache is Angela’s favorite grape and her love and care for this particular varietal truly show in this wine. Bright aromas of black cherry and herbs are followed by flavors of tart pomegranate, smoke, and baking spice. Great acidity makes this a great food wine!

Only 357 cases of this wine were produced.


Upcoming Tastings at 18 Reasons:

18th Hour Cafe: Tonight, March 7, 6-10PM, drop-in to meet Michael Schmelzer, Winemaker for Monte Bernardi in Italy

Mini European Wine Blitz Tasting – 20% off cases this night only!: Tuesday, March 12, 6-8PM

The Hills are Alive: The Volcanic Wines of Hungary: Wednesday, March 20, 7-9PM, Ticketed

The Mill: Warming up Divis for Us!


Josey was workin hard (or hardly workin?) when I visited on Saturday

Sure we’ve been talking about our new Market on Divisadero a lot lately…but the favorite Divisadero-related topic in our staff break room might actually be the one a couple blocks up the street from us: the opening of The Mill! The Mill is a bakery and café collaboration between Jeremy of Four Barrel Coffee and Josey Baker, a bread baking, bicycle delivering, Vermont-repping guy who’s now operating San Francisco’s only flour mill in the space.

I’m proud to say our grocery team was hip to the goodness of Josey’s bread early on–they brought his loafs on to our shelves two years ago, and since he’s garnered quite a following.

Faun, our deli manager at Divis, might win the prize for biggest Mill fan so far. Get a load of all of the different toasts and brews she’s tasted so far:


Love how open the space is–we’re able to watch Josey bake every loaf!

“During the first week of the Mill being open, I’d already been there four times.  On Wednesday, I had a macchiato and some thickly cut Josey Baker whole wheat bread toasted and slathered with almond butter and honey.  It was perfect after my workout in Golden Gate Park. Saturday, we bought a partial loaf to have with eggs and bacon at home for breakfast. We toasted it and spooned my friend Laura’s homemade blackberry jam. Monday, I introduced a friend visiting from out of town – where else can you order toast with cinnamon sugar and butter with expertly made coffee?  And today I went back to pick up some more Four Barrel beans to grind and brew at home. Living around the corner, in Lower Haight, it’s a nice addition to the neighborhood.”

For the full scoop on the Mill and all the deliciousness contained within it, check out this Bold Italic article. We’re just thankful to have such a killer place for toast and coffee to fuel us once we open on March 13th!


Winter Menu 2013

We’re excited to present the most staff-inspired menu we’ve ever had! When it came time to come up with these recipes, every chef in our kitchen took their turn getting creative with the amazing winter greens, citrus, and root vegetables we’re getting from local farms. Wyatt took his inspiration from the classic South American staples, creating our Quinoa and Potato Salad with Pickled Bi-Rite Farm Peperoncini Peppers. Ryan concocted the bright Farro and Squash Salad with Chicories and Winter Citrus. And Tonio unleashed his creativity on the Baby Carrots and Brussels Sprouts Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette! All of this is available in the Market now, for pickup at the deli or grab-and-go from the self service fridge:

winter menu




Kiko’s Food News: 3.1.13

The former president of Trader Joe’s sees solutions to our problems of food waste and food insecurity in his new nonprofit food store where customers will be able to purchase “expired” ingredients for a fraction of their retail price, plus healthy meals made from donated food. Critics raise the “ew” issue of eating someone else’s leftovers and worry that the discount shop may compete for resources with food banks, but I say we’ve got to try it before we knock it! (Yahoo News)

A study found that 30% of heart attacks, strokes and deaths from heart disease can be prevented in people at high risk if they switch to a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil, nuts, beans, fish, fruits, veggies and wine at mealtime; take this quiz to see how Mediterranean yours is: (New York Times)

For those of us keeping an eye on how local start-up Good Eggs will leverage technology to get food from small producers into local hands: this week they launched a distribution operation, allowing customers to order groceries directly from farmers and food makers and have it delivered right from the field or the kitchen, with no waste from extra inventory: (Wired)

Horse meat falsely labeled as beef has been discovered in lasagnas, burgers, and even Ikea’s meatballs in Britain, Ireland, Sweden and France: (Washington Post)

The International Dairy Foods Association and National Milk Producers Federation have filed a petition with the FDA asking them to alter the definition of “milk” to secretly include chemical sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose–without listing these additives on the label! (Natural News)

For decades the US pork industry has tried to breed the fat out of pork, “the other white meat”, to the detriment of flavor; now an Iowa pig farmer is bringing the flavor back, claiming he’s bred the best tasting pork ever by crossing a Chinese swine with a Russian wild boar. He’s convinced his meat is worth 4 x the price of regular supermarket pork, but how much fat in pork is too much? (New York Times)