Calendar


Bi-Rite Events


December 2013

Tasting Seminar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine

December 9 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm
18 ReasonsTasting Seminar: Champagne and Sparkling Wine
with Pamela Busch

Monday, December 9, 7:00-9:00pm
Tickets: $50 for 18 Reasons members; $55 for the general public


Find the perfect bottle for your holiday meal.

Champagne may be the most celebrated sparkling wine, but is not necessarily most celebratory. There are certainly other wonderful options for a crisp, dry, elegant toast.

During this two hour tasting seminar, Pamela will discuss what makes Champagne truly unique (and therefore, more expensive) and will discuss the various methods by which other sparkling wines are produced (including méthode champenoise). She will guide you through a tasting of two Champagnes and four sparkling wines.



About Pamela Busch
San Francisco Examiner wine columnist, Pamela Busch, is a 21-year veteran of the Bay area wine industry. She founded Hayes & Vine Wine Bar in 1994, a trend-setting venue that paved the way for other wine bars in the Bay Area. In 2005, she opened CAV Wine Bar & Kitchen, a San Francisco Chronicle three star rated restaurant with one of the most progressive wine programs in the Bay Area. In 2010, she started Skrewcap, an educational forum that host wine classes and tastings.

 

Root to Stalk Cooking for the Holidays, with author Tara Duggan

December 10 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 ReasonsRoot to Stalk Cooking for the Holidays, with author Tara Duggan
{A hands-on cooking class culminating in a three course dinner with wine.}
Tuesday, December 10, 2013, 6-9pm
Tickets: $55 for members, $65 for the general public


Learn how to reduce waste, save a little money and be creative with seasonal vegetables for holiday celebrations. Tara Duggan, a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer and author of the new book Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable will demonstrate how to use up those chard stalks, fennel stalks, carrot tops and even apple peels in seasonal, holiday meals.

Menu

Harissa-Roasted Squash with Mache Salad

Fennel-Roasted Whole Fish

Roasted Root Vegetables with Carrot Top Salsa Verde

Sparkling Apple-Wine Jus

Extra-Fruit Crisp (to use up the apples-flexible ways to use up fruit)



Tara Duggan is a James Beard award–winning journalist and cookbook author. A staff food writer at The San Francisco Chronicle, Tara has published work in Food&Wine, the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Denver Post.

Trained as a chef at San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy, Tara has written several cookbooks, including Root to Stalk Cooking: The Art of Using the Whole Vegetable (Ten Speed, 2013) and The Blue Bottle Craft of Coffee (Ten Speed, 2012).
 

closed for a private event

December 11 from 4:00pm to 11:00pm
 

closed for private event

December 12 from 11:30am to 4:30pm
 

Holiday Cookie Swap @ 18th Hour

December 12 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 ReasonsHoliday Cookie Swap @ 18th Hour
Thursday, December 12, 6-9pm, Drop-In
Please RSVP: Free for anyone who brings cookies; $10 donation to just taste



Join 18th Hour, Eat the Love, and Melanie Duve for our fourth annual Holiday Cookie Swap!

It's simple to participate: make 3 dozen of your favorite holiday cookie. We will put out one dozen to sample and set aside two dozen to swap. You'll go home with a colorful and delicious array of cookies (see photos for irrefutable proof). The variety is always fantastic, so reserve your spot now!

Remember to bring a tin to carry home your loot, too.


About 18th Hour
Every Thursday we open our doors to bring you delicious food and drink. 18th Hour Café offers a changing weekly menu of craft beer, amazing wine, cheese, charcuterie and Tartine bread; prices range from $3-$20. The café features a curated schedule of art exhibits, a growing cookbook library, and music.

The goal of 18th Hour is twofold: to create a great space in the Mission for people to enjoy, and to support 18 Reasons public programming and community collaborations. Proceeds from 18th Hour support our youth programming and volunteer work.

 

Smari OrganicsTasting

December 13 from 11:00am to 1:00pm
outside in front of Bi-Rite Market 18th (3639 18th)Smári Organics makes the only certified organic Icelandic yogurt here in the U.S. with milk from grass-fed, family-farm cows. By implementing authentic Icelandic methods, the yogurt we produce has the highest protein content per ounce of any yogurt that's made in the U.S.: 20 - 30% higher than Greek yogurt currently on the market. It's also naturally nonfat, low in sugar, free of additives and preservatives, and ultra thick, creamy, and delicious!
 

Neo Cocoa Tasting

December 13 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
outside in front of Bi-Rite Market 18th (3639 18th)Neo Cocoa’s - “hearts of chocolate truffles”, describe a unique artisan chocolate confection, a shell-less truffle. Neo Cocoa offers a chocolate experience that is unlike any other, truly melt-in-your-mouth. Featuring uniquely different flavor combinations that are bold yet delicate and handcrafted in small batches using only the highest-quality, 100% natural ingredients. Born at La Cocina, right here in San Francisco

 

closed for private event

December 13 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm
 

closed for private event

December 14 from 10:00am to 12:00am
 

Feve Artisan Chocolatier tasting

December 14 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
In front of Bi-Rite Market 18th Street (3639 18th)Shawn and Kathryn Williams created Feve Artisan Chocolatier out of the desire to create innovative and sustainable chocolate confections that offer an artistic and transformative culinary experience. Located in San Francisco California, Feve is an artisan chocolate and confection company that sets itself apart not only through the use of high-quality ingredients, unique flavor combinations, and stunning visual appearances, but also it's social mission.
 

Vicolo Pizza tasting

December 14 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
In front of BiRite Market 18th (3639 18th St)VICOLO (Veek.oh.lo), from the Italian for “little alley” was named for thier original location in San Francisco. Out of that little alley, they’ve earned our reputation for rustic, handmade, corn meal crust pizzas topped with freshly prepared seasonal ingredients.
Inspired by centuries old Italian cooking traditions, their crust combines freshly ground non-GMO organic corn meal, unbleached wheat flour, and extra virgin olive oil to create a distinctively rich taste and texture.
 

closed for private event

December 14 from 4:00pm to 10:00pm
 

Food Lit Book Club

December 15 from 11:00am to 1:00pm
18 ReasonsFood Lit Book Club
Third Sunday of the Month, October-December, 11:00am-1:00pm
Tickets (access to all three meetings): $30


It is time for the next three-month installment of our popular Food Lit Book Club! All meetings are on the third Sunday of the month from 11:00am-1:00pm, at 18 Reasons.


Upcoming Titles

October 20
Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us, by Michael Moss

November 17
Behind the Kitchen Door, by Saru Jayaraman. Event will be attended by special guest, author Saru Jayaraman!

December 15
Three magazines: Cherry Bombe #2, Lucky Peach #8 (The Gender Issue), Modern Farmer #2. Event will be attended by special guest Andy Wright, editor of Modern Farmer!


How it Works

By signing up you commit to reading the book of the month and attending the club meeting for all three months. At the end of three months you can continue on in the group or choose to give up your spot to a new member.

Heather Knape is our fearless moderator and she sends discussion topics/questions to members before each monthly meeting.

The club tends to organize some sort of rotating snack duty or potluck system (there are no snacks or beverages provided by 18 Reasons).
 

Food Lit Holiday Party

December 15 from 1:00pm to 3:00pm
18 ReasonsTickets (access to all three meetings): $30
 

Bar Cacao tasting featuring: Ritual Chocolate & Fresco Chocolate

December 15 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
In front of Bi-Rite Market 18th (3639 18th)
 

Bernal Cutlery Knife Sharpening in front of Bi-Rite Market

December 15 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm
Bi-Rite Market 18th StreetCome get your knives sharpened! More info here:

biritemarket.com/events.....rite/
 

closed for private event

December 15 from 3:00pm to 9:00pm
 

Gate Comme des Filles tasting

December 15 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
Bi-Rite Market, 18th Street, San Francisco, CA, United States
 

Kika's Treats tasting

December 16 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
In front of Bi-Rite Market 18th (3639 18th St)Kika’s Treats is an artisanal company based in San Francisco, California which manufactures premium pure chocolate-covered confections, using an array of alternative sweeteners (no white sugar and no corn syrup in our treats!). Our commitment is to use only the finest quality locally-sourced ingredients to make the most delicious treats around. Kika’s Treats are 100% all-natural wholesome goodness without anything artificial. We don’t compromise and neither should you!
 

Dinner Discussion: Drakes Bay Oyster Company - SOLD OUT

December 16 from 6:30pm to 8:30pm
18 ReasonsDinner Discussion: Drakes Bay Oyster Company
Monday, December 16, 6:30-8:30pm
Tickets: $35 for members, $45 for the general public


Drakes Bay Oyster Company is a 80-year-old oyster farm at Point Reyes National Seashore. A third-generation ranching family, the Lunnys purchased this historic oyster farm to revive a part of our community and ensure the health of the estero. They provide local jobs and a sustainable food product that supports local businesses. Their stewardship of the oyster farm has resulted in award-winning oysters, and has protected the pristine waters of Drakes Estero and its abundant wildlife.

Recently, a federal appeals court upheld a decision to deny a preliminary injunction which would allow the National Park Service to evict the oyster farm before the merits are even heard in a court of law. The farm has requested a review of that decision by a full panel of the 9th Circuit.

Join 18 Reasons as we join the conversation and celebrate one of our favorite producers. This is a unique opportunity to share a table with the Lunnys, while enjoying a meal of their pristine, sustainability-farmed shellfish, on the half-shell and in a rich, warming stew. There will be good bread and great wine. And what is sure to be eminently interesting conversation.


For more information and to show your support, please visit
www.drakesbayoyster.com/
 

DIY Holidays: Gingerbread House Decorating

December 17 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
18 ReasonsDIY Holidays: Gingerbread House Decorating
{Both Adults and Families are welcome!}
Tuesday December 17, 7:00-8:30pm
$25 for 18 Reasons members; $35 for the general public
Each ticket is good for one house which fits 1-2 people (adults and/or children)


Bring a little old-school fun to your holiday this year by decorating a gingerbread house, complete with gumdrops and candy canes. Local instructor extraordinaire, Michele Simons will show you tricks and secrets for making the edible palace of your dreams, and then it'll be time to have some fun and get creative! Dress to get messy.

More info: For each participant (or pair/household), we provide one home made, pre-constructed gingerbread house (6" x 6") on an 8"x10" base and lots of decorations including: candies, dried fruits, sanding sugars, sprinkles, home made cookies, and plenty of royal icing as edible adhesive. We also will have boxes for transporting the completed gingerbread masterpieces.
 

closed for private event

December 18 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
 

Homemade Holiday Sweet Treats with Shakirah Simley

December 18 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 ReasonsHomemade Holiday Sweet Treats with Shakirah Simley
Wednesday, December 18, 6:00-9:00pm
Tickets: $55 for members, $65 for the general public


Get ready for the season and add to your larder, impress your folks and make hearts grow three sizes larger!

Learn to preserve homemade gifts and spread some holiday cheer with Shakirah Simley (founder of Slow Jams and Bi-Rite's Community Coordinator). In this demo and hands-on class, students will tackle the following special, seasonal and truly stunning treats:

Brandied Seckel Pears
Walnuts Preserved in Local Honey
Vanilla-Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Rangpur Lime Marmalade


Participants will take home recipe packets, samples of our in-class concoctions and a boost of holiday canning confidence.


About Shakirah
Shakirah Simley is the Community Coordinator and Canner-in-Residence for Bi-Rite, where she wears a number of hats including: developing jams and preserves for its PUBLIC Label line, cooking instructor at 18 Reasons (its educational arm) and community coordinator in charge of giving and community outreach, with a penchant for programs that support youth empowerment and increase access to healthy food. Before arriving on 18th Street, Shakirah attended the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received her Masters degree and studied under Italian canners. She has previously worked on nutrition and recreational equity policy issues, on youth organizing campaigns, and owned her own small-artisanal jam business, Slow Jams. She was recently named one of Zagat's "30 under 30: SF Bay Area Up and Comers." Shakirah loves putting her food systems, community engagement and jammy talents to work every day, and if you catch her on 18Th street, she loves to talk food justice, policy, jamming, school food and the perfect cappuccino.

You can tweet her at @EatSlowJams
 

18th Hour

December 19 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 Reasons18th Hour
Drop-in and join us!
Every Thursday, 6:00-9:00PM


Every Thursday we open our doors to bring you delicious food and drink. 18th Hour Café offers a changing weekly menu of craft beer, amazing wine, cheese, charcuterie and Tartine bread; prices range from $3-$20. The café features a curated schedule of art exhibits, a growing cookbook library, and music.

The goal of 18th Hour is twofold: to create a great space in the Mission for people to enjoy, and to support 18 Reasons public programming and community collaborations. Proceeds from 18th Hour support our youth programming and volunteer work.

 

closed for private event

December 20 from 5:00pm to 11:00pm
 

Le Paste di Natale: Homemade Pasta for the Holiday Table

December 21 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
18 ReasonsLe Paste di Natale: Homemade Pasta for the Holiday Table
{A hands-on cooking class culminating in a four course meal with wine.}
Saturday, December 21, 11:00am-3:00pm
Tickets: $65 for members, $75 for the general public


The planning, making and eating of handmade pastas is an integral part of how Italians celebrate the winter holidays. Families gather around kitchen tables to knead, roll, fold and shape delights that have been part of their conversations for decades.

In this very special course, Viola Buitoni will share her recipes and techniques for homemade pasta, inspired by holidays spent with her family in her hometown of Perugia. She will finish the class with a decadent take on the classic tiramisù.


Chestnut Pappardelle with Mushrooms and Truffles

Chocolate Tagliatelle with Cream and Speck

Red Beet Tortelli with Poppy Seeds

Tiramisù di Natale al Panettone



Viola Buitoni, a member of Italy’s famed Buitoni pasta-making family, is a noted chef and expert on the history of Italian food. Learn more about Viola here:
 

Our Doors are Open: Gallery + Shop

December 21 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm
18 ReasonsDrop by anytime, 3:00-6:00pm, to browse our instructor curated Holiday Shop!
 

gate comme des filles chocolat tasting

December 22 from 2:00pm to 5:00pm
In front of Bi-Rite Market 18th (3639 18th St)
 

closed for private event

December 22 from 2:00pm to 6:00pm
 

Ocho bar tasting

December 23 from 4:00pm to 7:00pm
Bi-Rite Market 18th St., 18th Street, San Francisco, CA, United States
 

18th Hour - CLOSED THIS WEEK

December 26 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 Reasons18th Hour is closed this week. Happy Holidays!
 

Bruce Cost ginger ale tasting

December 27 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
Bi-Rite Market 18th St., 18th Street, San Francisco, CA, United StatesCome by the market to try our favorite ginger ale!
 

Marge Granola Tasting

December 28 from 1:00pm to 4:00pm
In front of 18th St BiRite Market (3639 18th)Marge is a baking company located in Seattle, Washington that specializes in small-batch granolas and cereals using organic grains, lots of good nuts and seeds, olive oil, organic Vermont maple syrup, and their signature blend of warm spices.They bake each batch at a low temperature for a long time to give it the characteristic toastiness that their customers have come to know and love. We dare you to find another granola like it.
 

closed for private event

December 29 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
 
January 2014

18th Hour - CLOSED THIS WEEK

January 2 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 Reasons18th Hour is closed this week. Happy Holidays!
 

Linea Caffe Tasting

January 4 from 9:30am to 12:30pm
Bi-Rite Market, 18th Street, San Francisco, CA, United States
 

SOLD OUT - Canning Intensive: Preserving Late Winter

January 5 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm
18 ReasonsCanning Intensive: Preserving Late Winter
with Shakirah Simley

{A combination of hands-on cooking and demonstration.}
Sunday, January 5, 3:00-6:00pm
Tickets: $55 for members, $65 for the general public


Learn to preserve with Shakirah Simley, founder of Slow Jams and Bi-Rite Market's Canner-In-Residence.

In this 3-hour class, we'll identify varietals and taste winter fruit suitable for preserving at home. Then, we'll tackle canning citron, kumquats, pomegranates, and blood oranges across the preserving spectrum. We'll top off our adventure with hearty bites, Shak's fave preserved picks and a glass of something delicious.

Participants will take home a copy of Shakirah's preserving guide, jars of our in-class concoctions and a serious boost of canning confidence.



Shakirah Simley is the Community Coordinator and Canner-in-Residence for Bi-Rite, where she wears a number of hats including: developing jams and preserves for its PUBLIC Label line, cooking instructor at 18 Reasons (its educational arm) and community coordinator in charge of giving and community outreach, with a penchant for programs that support youth empowerment and increase access to healthy food. Before arriving on 18th Street, Shakirah attended the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy on a Fulbright scholarship, where she received her Masters degree and studied under Italian canners. She has previously worked on nutrition and recreational equity policy issues, on youth organizing campaigns, and owned her own small-artisanal jam business, Slow Jams. She was recently named one of Zagat's "30 under 30: SF Bay Area Up and Comers." Shakirah loves putting her food systems, community engagement and jammy talents to work every day, and if you catch her on 18Th street, she loves to talk food justice, policy, jamming, school food and the perfect cappuccino.

You can tweet her at @EatSlowJams
 

Whole Grain Primer: Quinoa, Rye, Freekah, Amaranth

January 6 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
18 ReasonsWhole Grain Primer: Quinoa, Rye, Freekah, Amaranth
{A 2.5-hour interactive demonstration culminating in a light meal with wine.}
Monday, January 6, 6:30-9:00pm
Tickets: $45 for members, $55 for the general public


We love whole grains, but understand they need solid technique and a dose of inspiration to coax out their flavor, maintain their texture, and increase their digestibility. In this 2.5-hour interactive demonstration, you will learn professional tips and techniques for cooking four of our favorite grains. A light meal will be served.

Menu

Freekah with Purslane, Barberry, Pistachio
Toasted Quinoa with White Roots, Goat Cheese, Poppy, Lemon
Rye Berries with Roasted Cabbage, Walnuts, Oregano
Amaranth Pudding, Almond Milk, Date Syrup, Popped Amaranth



Michelle McKenzie is 18 Reason's Program Director and Chef. She has a knack for making simple food seem special and is full of amazing tips for making every meal memorable. Michelle's food seems at once healthy and hedonistic, elegant and effortless, and always attainable. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in nutrition and a minor in biochemistry, giving her a deep understanding of food properties and their complex implications within the human body. She later graduated from The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, where she immersed herself in health-supportive cuisine prepared from whole, organic and seasonal foods. Since then, Michelle has worked at some of the best restaurants in the country and, most recently, spent five years directing NextCourse's Eat Ur Veggies program at Mission High School.

You can find Michelle at18 Reasons, or on her blog,
Flavor in Spades.
 

SOLD OUT - Basic Knife Skills

January 7 from 6:00pm to 8:15pm
Basic Knife Skills
Tuesday, January 7, 6:00-8:15PM
Tickets: $25 for 18 Reasons members; $35 for the general public


Join 18 Reasons instructor John Lee for a class in the basics of using your chef's knife at home. We will discuss the ins and outs of knife use, care and safety. You will walk away knowing how to maintain a sharp edge and the best way to cut vegetables and herbs. This is a great class for beginners.

*The vegetables cut in this class will be used to create our favorite Vietnamese Salad; beer and bread will also be served.


About the instructor
John Lee is a man about Bi-Rite. Previously an Assistant Store Manager for four years, these days you might see him pouring the latest staff favorite from Jura or breaking down half a pig- John has become a regular 18 Reasons instructor. When he is not hosting 18th Hour Cafe- he is cooking private events all over San Francisco and plotting the opening his own wine & beer shop.


tag: Newbie
 

Urban Gardening School

January 8 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
What: A workshop- and lecture-based Introduction to the fundamentals of growing edibles in urban spaces.
When: Second Wednesdays and Saturdays, January-June: 12 sessions total.
Where: 18 Reasons (3674 18th St.) and Garden for the Environment (7th Ave and Lawton St.)
Tickets: $475 (Monthly payment plans are available.)


Growing food is a powerful act and a personal joy; the benefits to both the gardener and their community are innumerable. Most basically and importantly, growing food feeds people. Whatever your reasons for wanting to, edible gardening in urban spaces takes skills and knowledge, especially in San Francisco.

Anyone, with any amount of space, can grow food. Whether you want to start a small herb garden on your fire escape or build raised beds in your backyard, we will teach you how to get the most food possible out of your space.

In this 12-part class you will develop these skills and start building a reservoir of information. The classes and garden work days are scheduled to mirror the actual planting season: you will first learn about garden planning and soil vitality; soon after, you will understand how to pick varieties and plant them; lastly, you will develop the skills needed to harvest and set your garden up for the next round of production. This way, we will be by your side during the entirety of your first growing season.


Format
Classes meet twice per month on the second Wednesday and Saturday of each month. Wednesday classes are lectures at 18 Reasons and Saturdays are gardening days at Garden for the Environment.


Attendance + Dates
We expect participants to attend all 12 classes. Dates are:

January 8+11
February 5+8
March 5+8
April 9 +12
May 7+10
June 11+14

Times of classes
Wednesdays at 18 Reasons: 6:30-9PM
Saturdays at Garden for the Environment: 10AM-2PM
In the event of rain, garden days may be canceled.

Cost
The cost for the 12-part series is $450. We are happy to set up monthly payment plans for any interested student. If you are interested in a payment plan, please contact Michelle at 18 Reasons:
michelle@18reasons.org by January 2, 2013.

Gardening equipment
GFE supplies all garden-based equipment for the Saturday classes. Participants are responsible for their own gardening clothing: gloves, sturdy shoes, and a hat.

Textbook
We will be using Golden Gate Gardening by Pam Pierce frequently throughout the course. There are copies at the library and in many local bookshops and online stores.
Readings from other sources will be available online or given as handouts.
 

close for private event

January 9 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
 

18th Hour

January 9 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 Reasons18th Hour
Drop-in and join us!
Every Thursday, 6:00-9:00PM


Every Thursday we open our doors to bring you delicious food and drink. 18th Hour Café offers a changing weekly menu of craft beer, amazing wine, cheese, charcuterie and Tartine bread; prices range from $3-$20. The café features a curated schedule of art exhibits, a growing cookbook library, and music.

The goal of 18th Hour is twofold: to create a great space in the Mission for people to enjoy, and to support 18 Reasons public programming and community collaborations. Proceeds from 18th Hour support our youth programming and volunteer work.

 

closed for private event

January 10 from 9:00am to 4:30pm
 

SOLD OUT - Flavors of Azerbaijan: Autumn + Winter

January 10 from 6:00pm to 9:00pm
18 ReasonsFlavors of Azerbaijan: Autumn + Winter
Friday, January 10, 2013, 6:00-9:00PM
$55 for 18 Reasons members, $65 for the general public; Ticketed


Menu

tahini + hazelnut puree, sumac
roots, seasonal herbs
olives, lavash

lamb meatballs with chestnut + pomegranate, wild greens
saffron rice, potato kazmag (or "crust")

rye cookies, dried fruit, black tea


The Flavors of Azerbaijan

As I entered into the second decade of my life, I met Liana. A transplant from Baku, Azerbaijan, she had landed in Hendersonville, Tennessee, a tiny town that was outfitted with little more than a bowling alley, a bank, and meat-and-three known as The Mason Jar. Liana lived a mere five minute walk from my humble yellow-shingled home on Riverwood Drive. As our relationship grew, I found myself spending a lot of time at her house, which she shared with her parents, older brother, maternal grandparents, and a very large Husky who, much to my dismay, didn't understand a word of English. Despite the language and cultural barrier, I began to feel adopted into this fascinating family. I was coined "Mishka" by Liana's father, who refused to speak to me in anything but Russian. Never quite able to pick up the accents or general annunciation of the phonetically harsh dialect, I learned to translate via context clues. Fortunately, I could usually bet the question posed was related to food. "Have you eaten?" and "Are you hungry?" were the most prevalent inquiries.

Undoubtedly, life in that often chaotic household revolved entirely around food. Mornings were met with potato pancakes, grandma's homemade bread (which I was never allowed to cut), softened butter, and several jars of jam. Black tea, a symbol of hospitality in Azerbaijani culture, was continuously brewing. Lunch was a time for grazing on rustic dishes like sliced cucumbers, kidney bean salad, pork and potato soup, and ikra, a cold eggplant and bell pepper mixture I would, and still can, eat by the quart. Oh, and of course, more bread and butter. Supper was always an extravagant feast: lavash, bowls of myriad herbs (which you'd pick and eat with each bite), soups like borscht and dovga, pickles, olives, feta, grape leaves stuffed with cinnamon-spiked rice and ground beef, meltingly tender barbequed lamb, and so much more. The meals I ate with Liana and her family opened my eyes to a poignant, new world - one in which food, family, and friends are at the center of life. It's a world I now happily call my own.


Michelle McKenzie is 18 Reason's Program Director and Chef. She has a knack for making simple food seem special and is full of amazing tips for making every meal memorable. Michelle's food seems at once healthy and hedonistic, elegant and effortless, and always attainable. She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in nutrition and a minor in biochemistry, giving her a deep understanding of food properties and their complex implications within the human body. She later graduated from The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, where she immersed herself in health-supportive cuisine prepared from whole, organic and seasonal foods. Since then, Michelle has worked at some of the best restaurants in the country and, most recently, spent five years directing NextCourse's Eat Ur Veggies program at Mission High School.
 

closed for private event

January 11 from 9:00am to 1:00pm
18 Reasons10am-12pm Cooking Matters for Adults
 

Urban Gardening School

January 11 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
What: A workshop- and lecture-based Introduction to the fundamentals of growing edibles in urban spaces.
When: Second Wednesdays and Saturdays, January-June: 12 sessions total.
Where: 18 Reasons (3674 18th St.) and Garden for the Environment (7th Ave and Lawton St.)
Tickets: $475 (Monthly payment plans are available.)



Growing food is a powerful act and a personal joy; the benefits to both the gardener and their community are innumerable. Most basically and importantly, growing food feeds people. Whatever your reasons for wanting to, edible gardening in urban spaces takes skills and knowledge, especially in San Francisco.

Anyone, with any amount of space, can grow food. Whether you want to start a small herb garden on your fire escape or build raised beds in your backyard, we will teach you how to get the most food possible out of your space.

In this 12-part class you will develop these skills and start building a reservoir of information. The classes and garden work days are scheduled to mirror the actual planting season: you will first learn about garden planning and soil vitality; soon after, you will understand how to pick varieties and plant them; lastly, you will develop the skills needed to harvest and set your garden up for the next round of production. This way, we will be by your side during the entirety of your first growing season.


Format
Classes meet twice per month on the second Wednesday and Saturday of each month. Wednesday classes are lectures at 18 Reasons and Saturdays are gardening days at Garden for the Environment.


Attendance + Dates
We expect participants to attend all 12 classes. Dates are:

January 8+11
February 5+8
March 5+8
April 9 +12
May 7+10
June 11+14

Times of classes
Wednesdays at 18 Reasons: 6:30-9PM
Saturdays at Garden for the Environment: 10AM-2PM
In the event of rain, garden days may be canceled.

Cost
The cost for the 12-part series is $450. We are happy to set up monthly payment plans for any interested student. If you are interested in a payment plan, please contact Michelle at 18 Reasons:
michelle@18reasons.org by December 15, 2013.

Gardening equipment
GFE supplies all garden-based equipment for the Saturday classes. Participants are responsible for their own gardening clothing: gloves, sturdy shoes, and a hat.

Textbook
We will be using Golden Gate Gardening by Pam Pierce frequently throughout the course. There are copies at the library and in many local bookshops and online stores.
Readings from other sources will be available online or given as handouts.
 

closed for a private event

January 11 from 1:00pm to 6:00pm
 

Dinner to Dye For

January 11 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm
18 ReasonsDinner to Dye For
Saturday, January 11, 7:00 - 10:00PM
$75 for 18 Reasons members, $85 for the general public; Ticketed

Lend your hand at naturally dyeing textiles in our seasonal, foraged dye baths, while sipping cocktails of botanical hues from our natural dye bar. Then sit down to a family style meal offering a menu of those same sumptuous plants that helped us transform color onto cloth: crimson Russian Red cabbage, grassy green avocados, violet musk artichokes, midnight black beans and an array of heirloom fruit ripe with color.

Our seasonal edible dye palette will become installation art for the evening as we share a meal of the vibrant and subtle colors of January in Northern California.

Menu TBD
 

Polenta: Sweet and Savory

January 12 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm
18 ReasonsPolenta: Sweet and Savory
with Viola Buitoni

{A 3-hour, hands-on cooking class, culminating in dinner with wine.}
Sunday, January 12, 3:00-6:00pm
Tickets: $55 for members, $65 for the general public


Polenta is beautiful, textured, versatile, nutritious, easy, and delicious. Its uses span from budget conscious, rustic meal for a large family to elegant offering at an intimate dinner party. The texture and fragrance of polenta can hold memories like no other food. It allows use and reuse in different forms and flavors. In short: this humble food is worth your time and attention.

In this 3-hour hands-on cooking class, Viola Buiotni will share her favorite techniques and recipes for polenta, both sweet and savory.

Menu

polenta gialla con maiale in umido
(yellow polenta with braised pork sumo)

polenta bianca con seppie al nero alla Venezian
(white polenta with Venetian style black squid sauce)

avanzi di polenta: al gorgonzola, al sugo rosso e in padella
(polenta leftovers: with gorgonzola, in tomato sauce and in a skillet)

crostata di polenta e pere
(polenta custard and pear tart)

amor polenta
(hazelnuts and polenta teacake)


Viola Buitoni, a direct descendant of the famed pasta and chocolate family, hails from Perugia, in the heart of Umbria. She came to the US in 1985 for a business degree, but soon after graduation found herself drawn back into the genetic passion for food. In New York City she started Buitoni & Garretti, a catering kitchen and Italian fine foods shop. Here in San Francisco Viola can be found giving lectures on Italian food traditions and trends and cooking classes in collaboration with the SF Italian Cultural Institute and Italian Consulate. She also teaches "The Italian Kitchen", a monthly workshop at the Cavallo Point Lodge Cooking School; and an ongoing series of food articles and cooking videos for MissionLocal.org, a UC Berkeley's School of Journalism blog based in San Francisco's Mission District where Viola lives.
 

SOLD OUT - Intro to Fermentation with Nishanga Bliss

January 13 from 6:30pm to 9:00pm
18 ReasonsIntro to Fermentation with Nishanga Bliss
{This class is a combination of demonstration and hands-on.}
Monday, January 13, 6:30-9:00pm
Tickets: $35 for 18 Reasons members; $45 for the general public


The art of fermentation preserves and enhances foods and flavors of the season. Learn to create ferments that deliciously support health, gently cleansing and nourishing you and supporting your body.

In introductory class, you will become familiar with the basic techniques that will help you transform produce into nutritious, probiotic foods, with a focus on seasonality and letting nothing go to waste. We will make use of local produce to preserve lemons, create sauerkraut, and fermented salsa and pesto.

Nishanga Bliss, MS, L.Ac. has been practicing in the holistic health field for over 20 years. She is an acupuncturist, herbalist, integrative nutritionist, and assistant professor of Chinese medicine at the Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, California where she grows, cooks, ferments, savors, teaches and writes about sustainable food. Visit her blog at
gastronicity.blogspot.com. She is the author of the Real Food All Year: Eating Seasonal Whole Foods for Optimal Health and All-Day Energy, just released New Harbinger Press.
 

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