Our 9 Stars from Food & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers”



Food & Wine Magazine just came out with their complete list of “40 Big Food Thinkers;” people in the food and beverage industry who are changing the way Americans eat, drink, and think. While you can check out their full article here I’ll highlight the nine people and products carried at Bi-Rite that made their cut!

#6 & #7: Brett Beach and Tim McCollum: Bean to Bar Chocolate Makers:

Brett and Tim started Madécasse in 2008 after doing years of Peace Core work in Madagascar. Their chocolate products are not only incredible, but also responsible. Did you know that although 85% of the world’s cocoa is grown in Africa, less than 1% of the world’s chocolate is made there? Brett and Tim are determined to change that!

#11 & #12: Michael Kirban & Ira Liran: Coconut Water Popularizers:

Michael and Ira are the founders of Vita Coco, one of our top selling coconut waters in the market. Nothing perks me up after a long night of celebrating like delicious, chilled coconut water! I never thought I’d be a convert, but there’s something addictive about the sweet, clean taste that I can’t get enough of.

#17: Matthew Cain: Eco-Wine Importer:

Carbon footprint that’s half that of the average wine bottle? Check. Organic wine? Check. Reduced packaging with a Tetra Pak container? Check. Totally legal (well, kind of) for the park? Check!

#26: Minh Tsai: Soy Artisan:

Hodo Soy is the BEST TOFU THAT I’VE EVER HAD! I shouldn’t admit this but I can eat a whole pint of the silken tofu by myself.

#27: Amanda Hesser: Cookbook Author:

Amanda tested countless recipes from the New York Time’s recipe archives in order to make this serious compilation the masterpiece that it is. I bought this cookbook the very first day that it was available in the Bi-Rite book section , and I’ve been cooking from it every day since! I’ll be testing out her turkey recipe next week and will let you know how it goes.

#31: Rob Cooper: Spirits Inventor:

I imagine Rob Cooper and I would get along well.  He invented St-Germain Elderflower Liqueur, and I just happen to be St-Germain’s number one consumer in the bay area. My favorite drink with this magical liqueur is the St-Honore 75: Pour one part St-Germain and ¼ part lemon juice in a champagne flute. Top with bubbly and garnish with a lemon twist. Best enjoyed with brunch!

#40: Jeremy Tooker: Coffee Craftsman:

I’m psyched that Jeremy, the founder of Four Barrel, is our neighbor to the North. It not only means that we’re able to get multiple drops of Four Barrel coffee each week, ensuring super-fresh beans on our shelves, but it also means that I’ve got an amazing coffee shop just blocks away when I need my own coffee fix. I’m digging the Costa Rica el Tajo that we have on the shelves right now- a complex, bright coffee with a delicious, soft finish. Yummm.

Overall, I think that Food & Wine compiled a thoughtful, thorough list of change makers, and was impressed by the variety of people they highlighted. From wine makers, to cheese mongers, to cookware collectors, the Forty under Forty seems to be an optimistic group for our food future. Anyone have a vote for next year’s list?



2 Responses to “Our 9 Stars from Food & Wine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers””

  1. ima fan says:

    Whole-heartedly agree with it all! Just a note, though – re: Amanda Hesser’s recipes. I think the word you’re looking for is “compilation” from the verb “to compile” (not “compellation”, from the verb “to compel” – although it is compelling!)

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