Latest Posts

Starter Workshop with Sour Flour

It was a fitting beginning to the Feastly Artisan Series– a Starter Workshop with Sour Flour’s Danny Gabriner. Held in the colorful La Victoria Bakery in The Mission District of San Francisco, Danny led eight Feastly Cooks through a hands-on bread making session. He covered the lesser known life cycle and considerations of using a wild-yeast, naturally fermented sourdough starter– and it’s quite the responsibility! The Sour Flour starter came back with Danny from Costa Rica over 4 years ago, he aptly named it Dulce. Their love story, and Danny’s passion for bread making continues today, and when asked why:

  1. It’s history being thousands of years old
  2. A food for everyone (sorry gf peeps!)
  3. Simple
  4. Complex

Before Sour Flour, Danny worked as a CNET analyst but left the technology world for something grounded and tangible. What began as an initiative to give away 1000 loaves, has grown into a meaningful business with loaves available in over a dozen shops and restaurants across the Bay Area. These days you can also find free bagels every Monday at La Victoria Bakery, a tradition true to Danny’s drive of giving back to the community.

When asked if he has any advice for potential food entrepreneurs, Danny smiled through his recollections of his own experience with the transition:

  1. Dream big, but think realistically. Grow gradually and value your existing support.
  2. Find and surround yourself with good people.

La Victoria Bakery, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

La Victoria Bakery, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

La Victoria Bakery, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

La Victoria Bakery, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Sour Flour Starter Workshop, Photo by Olivia Bodzin

Stay up to date with future Feastly Artisan Series classes by registering and subscribing to the Feastly newsletter.

September Photo Contest: Source locally, snap photo, win!

Feastly and LoveMeButter

Feastly + LoveMeButter September Instagram Contest

Eating exclusively farm-to-table is idyllic, but tough, especially as we rush from work to prepare dinner, or make time for an elaborate brunch between yoga class and shopping trips. There are many great ways to eat and support local producers, but we don’t think sourcing locally should stop at the supermarket or farmers markets.

Feastly is partnering with LoveMeButter to provide you with the best grass-fed meat, pastured dairy and wild-caught seafood from Bay Area farmers. LoveMeButter is a delivery-to-your-door subscription service that provides their customers with everyday items like meat, dairy, seafood, eggs, butter – without the hormones and inhumane treatment. Plain and simple, it’s good food from local farmers, unadulterated and ready for you to craft amazing recipes with! Now’s your lucky chance to win a basket from Feastly and LoveMeButter by posting a picture of how you source locally.

Here’s the deal: Post a new and original picture to Instagram of your locally-based food – whether you’ve grown it yourself, supported a local farmer, or shared a recipe with a neighbor. Caption the photo with why supporting local is important to you and use the hashtag #FeastlyLocal and #LoveMeButter.

Contest Rules: 

– Make sure you are following Feastly + LoveMeButter on Instagram – @eatfeastly + @lovemebutterguy

–  Contest ends 9/29/14

– Winner is determined by most number of hearts (on Instagram) on photo; post must represent a minimum of 10 hearts. Can submit multiple contest entries to improve chances.

– Grand prize of LoveMeButter basket is only available to SF Bay Area residents. If chosen winner resides in another geographic location, Feastly will provide $100 in Feastly credits towards a feature unique dining experience.

Good luck Feasters and Locavores!

 

Coffee Cupping with Proyecto Diaz

This past weekend we had the pleasure of joining Fernando of Proyecto Diaz Coffee for a coffee cupping session. The group of veteran and new coffee enthusiasts shared stories and knowledge on all things coffee, all while sipping, slurping, and smelling.

Learning about coffee (Photo credit: Fernando Diaz)

Proyecto Diaz Coffee is a small family-owned business with roots in Oaxaca, Mexico and San Francisco, CA. Fernando grew up constantly hearing of “grandfather’s farm”, yet never grasped what exactly this meant. Later into his adult years, Fernando came to understand just how special this farm was. He decided, then, to establish a coffee company that support the farm directly, as well as sourcing their coffee beans. By doing so, Proyecto Diaz empowers the operations of small-scale farmers and introduces the San Francisco Bay Area to his family’s coffee. Ultimately, Fernando hopes to establish more direct-trade relationships with coffee farmers in the Oaxaca community and beyond.

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Fernando of Proyecto Diaz Coffee

The rich story behind Proyecto Diaz and their coffee created an intimate space of connection to our daily food and beverage. Each bean is handpicked and dried either naturally with the cherry, or “washed” without the cherry. This begins the process of imparting particular notes and flavors to the beans. These green coffee beans are then roasted, which is where the terms “light”, “medium”, and “dark” roasts apply. Through an extensive aromatic, palette, and tactile test, the beans are chosen to be carried by the roaster or not. It was mind-blowing to discover the differences of each region’s coffee. The differences were more pronounced with the whole, ground, and extracted beans.

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Though not usually present in professional cuppings, Fernando provided some edible cues to helps us make taste connections with the various coffees. The cups of berries, dried fruit, nuts, and citrus helped our palettes distinguish the unique characters of each coffee The Bali, for instance,  tasted like blueberries and raspberries, while the Yirgacheffe had notes of lime and nuts. This wholesome experience gave each of us new insights into coffee and strengthened our relationship with each other and our food.

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Stay tuned for more events in our artisan series!

 

 

 

Salt + Pepper Club: California Summer

At the peak of summer the Salt + Pepper Club gathered in San Francisco to host a feast to celebrate the season’s bounty. The dynamic duo behind the evening, Caetie O. and Aleks S., focused on crisp fresh flavors and bright colors, capturing the cool summer nights in the city.

Stay up to date with future meals – register and subscribe to the Feastly newsletter!

Aleks S. and Caetie O. of Salt + Pepper Club, Photo: Olivia Bodzin

California Summer Menu, Photo: Aleks Strub

 

Sliced cucumbers + radishes with lemon-oregano/mint marinated feta, Photo: Aleks Strub

The table’s set to feast, Photo: Aleks Strub

Meet and eat, Photo: Aleks Strub

Ready to roast, Photo: Aleks Strub

Finishing touches, Photo: Aleks Strub

Summer’s bounty on a platter, Photo: Aleks Strub

Who is going to Spain? Announcing Feastly’s summer contest winners!

We announced our #FeastlyinSpain summer contest earlier this month with great enthusiasm to bring a gregarious and dedicated Feastly community member to Spain for a week of culinary discoveries.

With a community chock-full of talented food entrepreneurs, passionate home cooks and Feasters, and incredibly gifted culinary professionals, we had our work cut out for us.

It was such a difficult task, that we decided to not choose just one, but two winners! We are thrilled to share with you that the winners of this gastronomical trip of a lifetime are MacKenzie and David!

Here are the winning Instagram videos, that captured our attention with fervent energy for food sharing, travel, discovery, collaboration, and other important values shared by the Feastly team.

 

And the videos from our runner-ups:

Thank you all for your entries and impassioned efforts towards creating and experiencing food experiences for and with your community near and far! Another contest will be announced soon, stay tuned.

Great Expectations by a Friendly Feaster

With so many dining options available it’s important to consider what you are looking for from a meal. A friendly Feaster, Mona of the Bay Area in California, shares her insights on what she has come to expect when attending Feastly dinners, supper clubs and pop-ups near her. Read on to discover what you could be walking into at your next Feastly food experience!

What I’ve Come to Expect at a Feastly Meal

I just got back from my second Feastly meal (an amazing southern coastal meal by Ryan and Cayce aka Break & Gather). While both of my meals were unique experiences, they shared a number of very important similarities that seem to be at the core of all Feastly meals. I wanted to share some of those with you:

1. Amazing food

Let’s start with the obvious. I’m sure this would not come as a huge surprise to you, but the food at Feastly meals has been AMAZING. From intricate appetizers to flavorful main courses to delightful desserts, both of my Feastly meals have been out of this world. My friend who came with me to my most recent meal texted me the next morning so we could keep talking about how delicious the food had been and how full we both still were. And for the cooks, it seems like a really cool opportunity to either share something you love with a new group of people or get to challenge yourself to experiment with a new menu. Either way, the end result is some of the best food I’ve ever had.

Mona Thompson - Break and Gather Food

2. Lots of laughter

I walked away from both of my Feastly meals thinking about how easy and fun my interactions were with the cooks and other feasters. At my last meal, we laughed almost non-stop: about the surprisingly good wine in a can that my friend and I brought, the confessions of what everyone had made for themselves for dinner the previous night (I came in solid last with microwaved black bean burger on toast), stories about dumb things we’d all done when we were younger, and so much more.

3. Insights into unfamiliar worlds

I don’t often get to sit down at a table of strangers and spend hours talking with them about their lives. For me, this is one of my favorite aspects of Feastly meals. At my most recent meal, a number of the feasters worked in the marketing department of Whole Foods, which was something I’d never spent much time thinking about. From tuna-cutting displays to employee discounts to chalk artists who design and draw the displays in every store, I got to discover a whole world that I had known very little about previously. Everyone has unique insights and stories to tell, and it’s so exciting to get to explore those around the dinner table.

Mona Thompson - Break and Gather

4. Deeper discussion

Before my first meal, I was a little worried that the conversation would just be a lot of awkward small talk. But that was absolutely not the case. There’s something about sitting around a dinner table for a couple of hours that makes it so much easier to slide past all that surface stuff and into real conversations. Over my past two meals, I’ve heard stories of people’s roots and cultural backgrounds, their passions and what drives them, what makes them happy, and what makes them sad. I imagine that cooks who host lots of Feastly meals must collect the most amazing stories and insights at every meal they host. It’s deep conversations like these that make me want to keep going to more meals and hearing more stories.

I can’t think of much else that combines all of these factors in one combined experience, and I will absolutely be signing up for more Feastly meals soon. Maybe I’ll see you there!

Get acquainted with what’s happening in your neck of the woods and register a seat on www.eatfeastly.com

SEASONS presented by Nopalize

We’re excited to share that Nopalize is launching their inaugural SEASONS event series. Nopalize is a food media movement supported by Nopa and Nopalito Restaurants in San Francisco, CA. Their mission is to connect people with the origins of their food; namely by showcasing the storytellers and makers behind heritage products.

SEASONS is an event series providing unique, onsite engagement with some of the best local producers in the Bay Area. The series kicks off with a farm tour and lunch at Devoto Orchard in Sebastopol, where Jolie Devoto will welcome you to her family farm, and you’ll experience first hand, the look and taste of California agricultural history.

Can’t make it to Devoto? Don’t worry, there are more incredible food community events hosted by Nopalize in the coming months.

Riverdog farm, a certified organic farm raising happy hogs and hens in open pasture.

Riverdog farm, a certified organic farm raising happy hogs and hens in open pasture. September 4th

Nopalize lunch, an event formerly only for Nopa employees and purveyors is open to the public. Meet farmers, winemakers, and local food lovers.

Nopalize lunch, an event formerly only for Nopa employees and purveyors is now open to the public. Meet farmers, winemakers, and local food lovers. September 10th

Free Spirit Farms, a majestic farm with exceptional producing sourcing to 40 of San Francisco's top restaurants.

Free Spirit Farms, a majestic farm with exceptional produce, sourcing 40 of San Francisco’s top restaurants. October 1st

Become a Feaster and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on wonderful events like these.

Feastly’s Artisan Series for Bay Area Cooks

We’re excited to announce a special series featuring some of the most talented and passionate producers in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our community is important to us, and we believe Feastly Cooks are some of the most unique and create in the biz. We’re interested in fostering local connections and community by supporting Feastly Cooks on their journey to excellence with networking and educational opportunities.

This 3-part series beginning next week exclusively to our cook community will celebrate artisans doing what they love and do best!

Stay tuned for more details and photos and follow us on Instagram and Facebook to learn more about these artisans and change makers in the Bay Area and beyond. #FeastOn


Sour Flour

Thursday, August 14th

 The Mission, SF

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Danny Gabriner started Sour Flour six years ago and his first order of business was giving away 1000 loaves to neighbors and supporters. Today Danny continues building a community around the love of bread by offering workshops on the art and science of baked bread in La Victoria Bakery.



Proyecto Diaz Coffee

Saturday, August 23rd

 Berkeley

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFernando Diaz’s family has coffee running through its veins after more than 100 years of harvesting and roasting beans in Oaxaca Mexico. They use this history to create an exceptional cup that not only invigorates the senses but is also helping to rebuild history, culture, and community.


Fermented Food Workshop

Wednesday, September 3rd

TBD

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Francis Bliven knows fermented food is more than a trend, it’s an inevitable part of food. Luckily so for us kimchi, sauerkraut or other cultured-food lovers. Join Francis for a workshop to demystify the technique and empower you in the kitchen. Let’s make putting a lid on it only the beginning!

Like what you see? You too can become a Feastly Cook; follow this link if you are not yet registered on Feastly, or once logged in with the “Post a meal” button.

#FeastlyinSpain Summer Contest

intagram contest

#FeastlyinSpain Summer Contest

Join Feastly for a 7-day culinary tour to San Sebastian, Spain!

1. Follow @eatfeastly on Instagram

2. Upload a video of why you should join the Feastly team in Spain

3. Tag your video: @eatfeastly #FeastlyinSpain #summercontest

Travel to San Sebastian, Spain–a food capital of the world. Meet world-renowned chefs. Cook at the Basque Culinary Center. Eat top-quality food from local producers. Connect with players of the global food scene. Improve your culinary skills. Eat, breathe, sleep Spain!

Our lucky winner will:

  • Spend a week in September with the Feastly team and top culinary talent
  • Receive transportation to and from San Sebastian (airfare – and train if necessary)
  • Stay in a furnished and centrally located apartment with Feastly team
  • Meet amazing figures in the international culinary scene
  • Eat some of the best food in the world

Suena bien – sounds good! Be sure to show us your passion for cooking, how you build community through food, why Spain and Feastly? Sing, dance, cook, bake, draw–anything that will make you stand out!

Deadline to apply is August 21st, 2014, and best submission will be selected and announced August 22, 2014 on Instagram.

 

Restrictions: Open to international residents with valid passports and a level of native English speaking proficiency. Must be 21 years or older as of September 1, 2014. Must be following Feastly on Instagram and be a user of www.eatfeastly.com. Submission must include #FeastlyinSpain on Instagram to be considered for entry.  Applicant must be available for a trip lasting 7 days and 6 nights during the month of September. Confirmation of travel, and then a negation of participation up to 7 days before program start date will result in a fee of $500. If the winner is unable to attend, there will not be an exchange for a prize of equivalent value. Entries will only be eligible from August 1, 2014 to August 21, 2014 at 11:59PM. Please see the full Terms and Conditions for other details.

 

Bringing Back the Family Dinner

Today we share with you a blog post from Shikha Kaiwar of Shikha la Mode, a self-proclaimed San Francisco pastry fiend. Read on to discover how she connects to the original social network – the dining table!

Photo Credit: Olivia Bodzin

Photo Credit: Olivia Bodzin

When you think of “family dinners,” images of awkward conversations and repetitive entrees spring to mind; it’s not the most glamorous way to describe a meal. But at its core, the dinners present a notion of communal dining and a gathering of like-minded people who come to know each other a little bit better.

In college, my friends and I sought to bring back that inherent concept by creating our own family dinners. Once a month, the lot of us met at the apartment of the friend with the largest kitchen and dining room (this friend didn’t really have a choice, but we made up for it by doing all the set-up and cleanup).

To jazz it up, each dinner had a theme. They ranged from American, for 4th of July, to beginning with the letter “A.” Once the theme was decided, every part of the meal – from appetizer to dessert to even drinks – had to fit in, and each person attending had to contribute something. Sticking to these rules allowed for everyone to be on the same page and lead to some challenges that we collaboratively solved – the Vietnamese-themed dinner took us on a chase around the city to find appropriate beer…and we ended up making Vietnamese coffee.

More than enough of this summer favorite to share. Photo Credit: www.shikhalamode.com

More than enough of this summer favorite to share.
Photo Credit: Shikha Kaiwar

But that was college, when friends lived mere blocks from each other and any night was an excuse not to study. In today’s environment, the circumstances are slightly different. Friends live one neighborhood, two hills, three bus stops, or four times the price of a car ride away; there are multiple friend groups rather than the core college crew; and everyone is on the “grind.”

Given these less-than-ideal situations, I present some pointers to circumvent all that and assure that you can still have a family dinner complete with the traditions and fun that I had in college:

1) Plan Ahead: People love to commit to everything and subsequently nothing at all. They like waiting for “the next best thing,” so be that next best thing. Send out invites and emails at least 2-3 weeks in advance so friends can mark their calendars.

2) Assign: Not to take it back to college, but giving people homework will not only lessen the burden on you, but it holds them accountable. Plus, the dinner becomes much more interesting when individuals have something to contribute and can share their own story of why they chose their dish.

3) Themes: If you haven’t noticed, I’m a sucker for anything with a theme, whether that is a onesie night or a Beyonce dinner (Crazy in Lentils, anyone?). Eating is supposed to be fun, so get creative with it!

4) Feastly: A key aspect of communal dining is meeting new people and exchanging ideas. Feastly does a great job of connecting cooks (and diners!) from many different places and lets them embark on a culinary adventure at each meal. They help you plan appropriately, scale accordingly, and highlight your passions for whatever type of dinner you choose to host. Through a few clicks, you meet people as curious and hungry as you and everyone walks away satisfied.

From the family dinners in college to the meals I plan today, the friends I eat with are some of the closest I have had. We live in a world of communal affairs, and eating should be no different. After all, there is something about sitting at the same table and reveling over dishes that begin with the letter “A” that can’t quite be duplicated without the notion of sharing.