Last night was the Sunday Supper put on by CUESA (Center for Urban Education About Sustainable Agriculture) An organization that I used to work for many moons ago, with the Market Cooking for Kids program through the Oakland Public Schools. A great program that introduces inner city kids to seasonal foods and cooking. It is such a fun event that I think we have only missed it once.
We chose to go to the cocktail party only (as opposed to both cocktail party and sit down dinner) and it was a fun event with great people watching. Celeb Chefs from my generation like David Gingrass from Two Restaurant and Annie Somerville from Greens, and many, many more supplied delicious nibbles that reflect their taste and the restaurant's menus.
Some highlights were Hog Island Oysters with a pomegranate jalapeno mignonette, Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwiches with seasonal Jam from Bar Tartine, House Cured Baccala "frito" from Cane Rosso, Seared Yellowtail with Escalavada (Spanish roasted vegie salad) and Tomato Vinaigrette from Laiola, and let's not forget the unusual but sublime Green Tomato Consmme with Avocado and Basil olive oil from Range. Piquant!
There were many tastes and tasty drinks. A favorite of mine was the Basil Gimlet. Using a thick bar glass, take basil leaves and using a pestal, mash them into the glass. Add about 1/2 cup lemon juice. The lemons that were used were green! Add two-four shots of 209 GIN by Greg Linden (www.209Gin.com) to the glass depending on the size of your martini glasses and how many friends are imbibing. Using a shaker, give a few Sambas and go, pour and enjoy! The guys making them were the friendliest aka cutest bartenders! Salute!
One last note, the event flew by, but I did get a short chat with Janet Fletcher, cookbook author extraordinaire! Also, Patricia Unterman and I gave a thumbs up to the baccala "frito." For those of you who don't know, she is the former food critic for the Chronicle and current owner of Hayes Street Bar and Grill. She also is responsible for the delicious Viccolo's Pizza www.vicolopizza.com/products that you can purchase at Whole Foods and other local grocers. Too many more people to name, or recognize. Tickets go on sale next September 2010.....be there or be square.