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Sunday, April 24, 2011

lunch for 15 in Orinda, April 25

Lunch for an office where my former neighbor Judy works.

dal soup
chiraishi sushi
homemade pita
green salad with creamy herb miso dressing

last night's review

review from food prepared for my favorite client for a party of 6, last night
"It was fantastic!
"When we served the salad, one of guests was in absolute raptures!  He said it was "F-lawless!"  Everyone was blown away. Then when we served the main, they were in more raptures.  One guest was Italian and really knows his cannelloni, and he was seriously impressed with yours.  More rapturous compliments, especially the tomato sauce.  The tofu was also awesome.  I've never thought of doing tofu with rosemary before, but that was fantastic.  I will have to get the recipe for that one.  I felt that the greens were a bit too bitter for me, but everyone else seemed happy with them, so there you go.  And of course the truffles went over extremely well.  More raptures!  :-)"

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

dinner/concert: Rich O'Donnell performing! July 30

Saturday, July 30
8 pm
seating for 20

We are quite happy to present a friend visiting from St Louis, the brilliant percussionist and amazing inventor, Rich O'Donnell in a very rare bay area appearance.

peach rosewater kanten

grilled peaches, mizuna, fried parsnip strips, salted daikon, peach miso dressing

small plate
peach roasted tempeh
our renowned homemade tempeh marinated and  roasted with spices, peach juice, red miso, pomegranate molasses
quinoa pilaf
arugla-radichio salad

eggplant rollatini
Roasted eggplant stuffed with our homemade almond "ricotta", peaches, basil and pine nuts in heirloom tomato sauce served on a bed of homemade spaghetti


Rich O’Donnell’s career as a professional musician spans a half century. In addition to his virtuosity as a percussionist, O’Donnell is a prolific composer, innovator and inventor of percussion and electronic instruments, a teacher, and a writer. He is currently director of the Electronic Music Studio at Washington University, St. Louis. He co-founded in 09 HEARding Cats, a 501(c)(3) arts collective with Anna Lum, Mike Murphy, Ryan Harrris. Though O’Donnell grew up loving and playing jazz in the bop-era, his talent led him to a career with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra at the young age of 22. Never finishing his degree at North Texas, he went on to play with the SLSO for 43 years, spending most of that time as principal percussionist before retiring in 2002. Throughout his professional career, O’Donnell has been a mainstay in helping promote, produce, and perform modern music in the United States as a board member and long-time Music Committee Chair of New Music Circle. Through the years, constantly reinventing, O’Donnell refined his own craft in extended percussion techniques through timbre exploration and instrument-building (acoustic percussion instruments, analog synthesizers, and digital gestural controllers). He has been directly involved as a professional performer, composer, and inventor in many of the major musical movements of the modern era: bop/hard-bop; free-improv; improvised chamber; analog and digital synthesis; tape music; minimalism. More recently, O’Donnell’s innovation and vision in percussion led him to create SeeSaw Drumming—a revolutionary playing technique using a new type of sticks and pedals. SeeSaw Drumming is based on reciprocal motion and makes use of two beaters per hand (and foot). Using two beaters per appendage gives O’Donnell the ability to create complex layers of polyrhythms and hemiolas that provide new insight into rhythmical structures. He no longer thinks in terms of downbeats and bars, but rather convergence, overlays, and cycles of the various layers. This technique can be fast and dense, but it can also be elegant and in the pocket. On May 1, 2000 he premiered SeeSaw Drumming at City Museum in St. Louis under the auspices of New Music Circle, and on May 11, 2000 the New York premiere at Merkin Hall by World Institute of Music. O’Donnell has completed a book entitled, 3:4:5 with accompanying CDs illustrating the technique. Through the years, many compositions have been written especially for O’Donnell by the following composers: Jocy d’Oliviera, Eleazar de Carvalho, Walter Susskind, Robert Wykes, Carlos Santoro, Tom Hamilton, J.D. Parran, and Michael Hunt. Recently O’Donnell has performed with the following individuals (among many others): Leroy Jenkins, John Butcher, Vinny Golia, Gino Robair, Thomas Buckner, J D Parran, David Wessel, Denman Maroney, Peter Zummo, Tom Hamilton, Morgan Guberman, Min Xiao-Fen, Andre Vida, Davey Williams, Robert Dick, Carol Genetti, Mike Murphy, and Anna Lum. In the distant past, he has appeared on stage with: Igor Stravinsky, Iannis Xenakis, Aaron Copland, Elvis Presley, Yo Yo Ma, Bob Hope, Dean Martin, John Adams, Imrat Kahn, Chet Baker, Luciano Berio, and Jocy d’Olivera.

return to our fave clients on Saturday for another dinner for 6

Once again returning to our favorite clients on Saturday evening with a dinner for 6. Italian flavors, this time

freshly baked bread with bean dip and herbs

roasted beets, cara cara oranges, mizuna with walnut orange dressing

canneloni: homemade pasta  stuffed with homemade  almond ricotta and spinach and pine nuts with red sauce.
tempeh marinated and roasted in marsala wine, olive oil and fresh herbs (rosemary, oregano, thyme, sage) sauteed brocolli rabe with olives and capers

truffles with dried cranberries, rolled in pistachios

Friday, April 15, 2011

vegnews mistake

Wow, pretty funny stuff. Well, maybe more to it than just amusement.  Over the years, vegnews has been posting stock photos in their magazine. This is not much of a surprise since most magazines do this to cut costs.  However they are using stock photos of dishes with meat, photoshopping them and then claiming they are of the recipes accompanying the photo. Absurd. Truly stupifying and bewildering.
Now of course they claim they cannot afford to hire photographers for all their photos. Understood in many situations. However, there is a "vegan community" out there. That community includes MANY talented, young chefs and foodworkers and many of them have cameras and some of them even have hobbies of food photography. Obviously Cori comes to mind as she has been documenting her food prep work with me and at Encuentro rather nicely,
There are easily to be found, a dozen or so food photographers of her ability and responsibility who would gladly work for the same rate as the stock photos. A handful of these people, such as Cori are even in the same town as Vegnews and know each other personally.
So instead of building more community and spreading some work and small fees among young vegan food artists, vegnews took the easy way out, got photos from the stock sources, photoshopped out the bones and claimed it was a vegan dish. This shows a total lack of concern of the cuisine being portrayed.
Now pedagogically, this is also problematic. As a cooking teacher and publisher of recipes, i believe photos accompanying recipes should be there to help the "student".  How is a novice to cooking going to learn from a photo that is totally unrealistic, not even portraying the dish it supposedly is. Why would they post a photo of a flesh burger dripping with mozzerealla and claim it is a bean burger with some fake cheese on it?
And why promote vegan cuisine using photos of dead animals? Vegan cuisine can and should be gorgeous and does not need photoshopped meat to make it look palatable. If they are so adamant about saving animals (which is their prime reason to be, it seems) , which i believe they are, why would they want to show a dead animal part in their magazine? That seems to belittle themselves and their reason of being, oddly.

Of course, i understand they cannot take photos yourself of every dish they portray. However, they can simply not use a photo rather than a blatant lie about portraying their beloved corporate fake meat with a photo of actual real flesh on a plate.

Then they try to excuse their actions by pointing out they are sold on magazine stands on a rack next to oprah and martha stewart. Congatulations on the success they are getting with distribution and being on newsstands with others with people they admire!
 However, that has what to do with using photos of dead animal parts in their vegan magazine?

I know the VegNews people personally and think they have good intentions. But this absurd publishing choice that they were busted for was rather absurd to start with. But their "apology"reminded me of listening to Tepco and BP cover themselves rather than come out with something with more honesty and integrity. They could do better.

sheesh, Fukushima is still melting down, the country is now actively at war on 4 fronts, as if this vegnews "scandal" really matters

Sunday, April 10, 2011

dinner for 6 in Concord, April 17

return to one of our regular clients for his monthly dinner for 6 for his colleagues.
This time we will be serving
Polenta, grilled with pistachios, herbs, fennel

Rancho Gordo Farms Hominy and Hutterite beans with dried tomatos and dried chiles and herbs

Cara Cara Orange, Roasted Beets, Arugula with orange walnut dressing

Homeade tortillas topped with tempeh mole (from our renowned homemade tempeh)
saffron rice
mango salsa
Sauteed Puntarella w olives and pine nuts

three sorbets
tangerine, lime, lemon

Friday, April 8, 2011

new publicity

Please enjoy this new article about my work

Thursday, April 7, 2011

hot pot dinner, Friday April 22

Dinner only for this one!
Been a while since we hosted an event with only food instead of our usual pairing of food with world class musicians.

Hot Pot Dinner

steamed Buns filled with tempeh char siu and asparagus served with homeamde chili oil

Tofu and watercress and wood ears

each couple will have their own hot pot to cook at their table.
Stock will be a spicy sichuan broth of seaweed and mushroom stock and a variety of spices. You can control the heat so if you like mild, that is possible.
An arrangements of homemade noodles, homemade tempeh, flat tofu and tofu (from our friends at, mushrooms, greens (gai lan, choy sum mue) for you to cook at the table.
served with:
choy sum stir fried with shitake and garlic
hijiki salad
wakame with daikon.
daikon and tokyo turnips pickled nukamisozuke style
lotus root tempura


Seating for 10
in a loft in oakland
for more information or to make reservations vegshaku8 at gmail