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Friday, October 28, 2011

Egyptians marching for Oakland? Levante is in first place? Michael Moore is coming?

what is going on in the world? Ok, i grew up in a world that made no sense whatsoever and i have always been labelled a freak for bringing up the simple fact that well, this shit is wrong and needs to be dealt with. And now In Egypt, they are going to march on the US embassy in solidarity with what is going on in Oakland, California. Arabs, many of them Muslim, marching in support of American protestors! After 9 games in Spain and Levante is in first place? And Michael Moore, the hero of the liberals and some progressives is apparently going to show up at the General Assembly in Oakland's occupation tomorrow or Saturday. I am used to, but never accepting of things not making sense. But now they are not making sense but in a good way!
A marine survives 2 tours of Irak, comes home a changed person and joins Veterans for Peace. He and his ex marine vets from Irak stand in the front lines at the Oakland Occupation, right in front of the armed riot cops and one of them gets shot in the face by a tear gas can for it. An Oakland police man shot a Marine in uniform, who was standing there, unarmed, while his friend stood next to him, waving the veterans for peace flag.  Survive 2 tours against a made up enemy and come home and get shot and hospitalized by oakland police. Does this make sense to anyone?

Was down at Occupy Wall Street-Oakland for several hours, tonight.  The mayor, for some reason, assumed she could march out and on to the mic and do her thing. Well, sorry "old woman", but we are trying to evolve beyond the bullshit. Your money and position mean absolutely nothing, here and you have to deal with that. This is what some call anarchy and others call democracy; we are all equal here. Perhaps you have learned in history class of those pesky anarchists in Catalonia in the early 20th century? Same as everyone, your presence and opinion are wanted and expected and will be heard.  But why did you show up with a huge media entourage? most of the media had left long before your arrival, thinking the spectacle for the evening news was over. They were in the vans waiting for an instigator to go off or the cops to go ballistic so they can entertain on the evening news. Why not come out in the middle of the GA and not expect a special spot of your own? However, you are simply going to have to wait in line like anyone else who wants to speak at the general assembly at these occupations. And you must accept that you, and every politician, democrat and republican,  work for "us" and that is not negotiable. Sadly and stupidly, some people at the plaza did not understand this and rushed the stage scaring you and you left, running back to your office. Will you send your police back on the crowd, now? Or perhaps you are just a puppet and while in DC, orders from above were sent to 16 different state, city and county police to take the occupation out, earlier this week. You are a pathetic mayor and must stand down, either way, whether you gave the order or you had your strings pulled, you must go.

Our constitution demands that we take you out when you are corrupt and do the wrong thing and we are simply doing what we as Americans can do, tear down a tyrannical government and amend our constitution with a separation of state and bank and state and corporation!

When i got home, i heard Mayor Quan give a well written speech about how liberal she is. Please, you are a democrat, you love to talk nice and then make pathetic apologies like "i did not know" for your fascist actions. Your time is coming for your kind to get out of the way and let the rest of the planet evolve. Remember the french revolution and how it spread to end feudalism in Europe.  Hopefully as an elected official you know of political systems and how they have evolved and how some have been destroyed in order for the planet to move forward. As a college student i watched on TV as walls were knocked down in Eastern Europe. Now, Mayor Quan and all those democrats and republicans in power; those of you who have done nothing, and especially to  those of you who are the reason for the banks and corporations to have their way, raping and pillaging the planet,  we are coming to your walls, here in Oakland and all over the country and planet.  This non violent movement will metaphorically tear your walls apart in ways Napoleon could not have imagined as he tore apart Europe, smashing the old code of feudalism apart, destroying many of the old kingdoms.  The more violent your police  get on us, the more our numbers are growing. The police will not help you for much longer.  The rain and cold will not deter the change that must happen. This version of capitalism has utterly failed us and we are at your walls, ready to take us to the next step!

Ironically, she did mention she was in DC when the whole fiasco went down. OK....who was she with in DC?

At the Oakland occupationtonight , the General assembly met in sub committees, then voted on various actions. Not as big a crowd as yesterday where over 1600 people voted to general strike on Nov 2 to about 100 against and another 200 not voting. (numbers not exact but was way in favor and at least 1600 said). Several actions and marches to take place this weekend including an anti police march on the main station that is bound to get "interesting".
Finally, 11 years too late, yet still welcome,  a general strike is planned on Wednesday! How many unions and other workers and students will partake remains to be seen but there is huge union representation at the GA! They are wearing their colors, AFL-CIO, City workers, EBMUD, Sanitation, restaurant workers, nurses, transit, teachers unions, longshoreman (i overheard the head of the longshoreman union say to one of the main organizers of the occupation that their executive committee voted unanimously to strike, and are waiting for the general members to vote. Stop bringing in the cheap chinese crap is ideal and shut down the docks).  There is a big list of unions voting on whether to join the strike at least to start. American workers deciding for a general strike? The same workers who allowed a stolen election in Florida in 2011 and went to work as if nothing happened? The same workers who went to work the day the war in irak started and chanted support our troops? The same workers who allowed the tax money to be handed to corporations to "bail them out" and went to work the next day as if it was no big deal. Finally, American workers are thinking of actually dealing with the problem shutting down the system! The resounding sound of over 1600 people voting and shouting STRIKE STRIKE STRIKE, this is Oakland, not Egypt, not Greece. Who would think an american revolution, or more hopefully evolution would start in Wisconsin? And then get tremendous impetus and taken to a whole new level in Oakland, where i have lived and taught and cooked for 14 years?

Still, I  reamin livingin a world that makes no sense. As a chef i have to go out of my way to avoid Monsanto products.  I hve to spend way more than most chefs in order to only consume the finest grown ingredients from the finest nearby farmers and hook up with other local pasta, tofu and other purveyors who share my commitment to iingredints of the finest quality. At the same time i watch people with their mythologically local and organic menus and see their kitchens which are loaded with processed crap and monsanto products. Yet they are praised for their words of local and organic, woohoo. Meaningless baby steps get praised.

Maybe next spring, Levante (who heard of this team before last year when they showed up in the Spanish first division) will be back in the middle or bottom of the table while fascist's Real Madrid, or more hopefully FC Barcelona  are back on top. And Michael Moore will make a movie about oakland and by then  most of the occupations are either dead or in jail or many american cities are turned into civil war zones. Or perhaps we are evolving to something that can make a lot more sense than what we currently are dealing with. Can Americans have what the Czeks had, a "velvet revolution", where sides comes to agreements. I and most occupants are more than willing to offer up several red states to the republicans and democrat wannabees so they can have a place to retain their primitive ways of thinking and acting.  There they can have a puritanical world based on their myths and values and let us evolve beyond thinking profit/greed is the motivation of all.

What i have seen first hand at the general assemblies in NYC and Oakland is far more inspiring and encouraging than what i see in the US Congress and Senate. Tomorrow i will cook up an 8 gallon pot of potato soup to bring to the newly revived occupation in Oakland. Despite the police brutality, the tents are going back up and will be in bigger numbers than before. Temperature is dropping and that hearty potato soup will help warm up at least 50 people, occupants, homeless and anyone else who comes by with a smile and an empty stomach.

Philip Gelb

Monday, October 24, 2011

Day 3, San Francisco World Music Festival

for lunch we served:
dal with eggplant
Tofu salad with herbs, lime, shoyu

While prepping for dinner, i had the pleasure of hearing the Azerbaijani musicians rehearse with 3 of the Kyrgystani musicians! Truly delightful and they can easily communicate through their imperial language, Russian from when they were part of the Soviet Union.

For dinner
dal with eggplant and zucchini soup
Garbanzo beans stewed with pumpkin, carrots purple cabbage, sumac, tahini, lemon
roasted sweet potatos and potatos with herbs and spices
choy sum stir fried with garlic and ginger

Sunday, October 23, 2011

SF World Music Festival, day one

We served dinner for 18 for the visiting at the San Francisco World Music Festival.

rice noodle soup with kabocha, herbs and tamarind stock
Rice with sweet potatos
Tofu and eggplant roasted with almond-miso-yuzu sauce
zucchini stir fried with onions
seaweed salad

After dinner, a serious treat as 3 musicians from Azebarjan pulled out their instruments. What a sound!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

San Francisco World Music Festival

Pretty excited about this one! We will be feeding master musician from several continents 7 lunches and 5 dinners and one reception for the San Francisco World Music Festival

Each day we will present menus of international flavors to 18  from India, Azerbaijan, Taiwan, Kyrgystan, and the United States. Will post the menus as we present them

Friday, October 7, 2011

eve of Yom Kippur thoughts

On the eve of Yom Kippur, 5773
may next year be the year that we finally not only pray for peace but all actually go out there and make it happen!

I stand in solidarity with this occupation and most certainly with this statement they issued which i copied at the end of this post. I am most impressed that the collective in New York City is actually running under anarchist principles. These folks are appearing to have studied their Bakhunin, their Spanish Civil War history, they have read their Thoreau and Debord!  Their actions are hinting at the Situationists at times or am i misreading things?
I look forward to meet them, next week as i will be in my hometown, New York city for a week to attend my awesome niece's wedding and Cori and i certainly plan to show up at wall street during our visit.

Can the same intelligence and commitment to change via non-violent, civil disobedience and commitment to de-centralized leadership remain as the occupations spread throughout the country. Is the working class of the United States actually going to rise up against the banks and corporations that have done so much damage? Can this movement stay completely away from the absurd democratic party and libertarian parties attempts to confiscate it as their own? in Situationist style, occupy wall street have literally told the democrats, the libertarians and others to "fuck off" in their attempts to claim the movement as their own.

Occupy Oakland starts on Monday. In the Mood for Food will help feed occupy Oakland! We are offering time to help cook food for those who plan to camp out in Frank Ogawa plaza beginning on October 10. I will be out of town for their first week but when i return plan to cook daily soups and stews and if time allows, more. The occupation needs donations and food is one of them. Donations of organic vegetables and fruits, grains, beans, herbs and spices will be needed to help out. It is a small gesture that i as a chef can to help.

As a chef and a person with a daily eating habit, it is most obvious that corporations like Monsanto, Conagra, ADM and others have literally destroyed the overwhelming majority of  our food sources. And it is most obvious they have done this with 100% approval and assistance of the republican and democratic parties. These are crimes against humanity, poisoning our food and water to put it plain and simply. There are no excuses for our politicians allowing these actions. And there are no excuses for us citizens allowing our politicians to allow these corporations to do this. Zero excuses for no action from my parents geneartion or grandparents generations as these diabolical actions started to take shape. And no excuses for a lack of action by own generation and the ones younger.  i am always bewildered by how people not only do not take action but actually, on a daily basis, buy and consume food made by these corporations.

So needless to say, i am inspired by recent actions i am seeing in New York and around the country! And very inspired by what is now appearing to be a true anarchist nature of the wall street occupation collective and this very wonderful first public statement they have made. At the same time seeing the police brutality against unarmed, unaggresive American citizens is appalling! The police are part of "the 99%" and hopefully many of them will start to figure that out as these occupations grow exponentially in coming days and weeks.

This is the statement from occupy wall street.
As we gather
together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must
not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people
who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we
are your allies. As one people, united, we acknowledge the
reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of
its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon
corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their
own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government
derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek
consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no
true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic
power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit
over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality,
run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right,
to let these facts be known. They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage. They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the
workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity
and sexual orientation. They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel
treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these
practices. They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions. They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right. They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay. They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for
ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance. They have sold our privacy as a commodity. They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press. They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit. They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce. They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them. They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save
people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a
substantive profit. They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit. They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media. They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt. They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad. They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas. They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.* To the people of the world, We, the New York City General Assembly occupying Wall Street in Liberty Square, urge you to assert your power.
Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space;
create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions
accessible to everyone. To all communities that take
action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer
support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal. Join us and make your voices heard!

Monday, October 3, 2011

wedding menu for October 22

Really excited about this catering event as the couple are 2 incredibly friendly, dynamic and talented individuals! We are expecting a very fun time simply because of the personalities of Jinju and Nova. Hoping for good weather so we can hold this outdoors but with good backup plans to take it inside as we will offer 130 people a very deilightful fall spread.

passed appetizers
zucchini cups with hiiki and almond miso dressing
spring rolls with fresh herbs, fried tofu, rice noodles and sesame sauce

buffet table:
-seaweed salad
-kim chee
-lotus root pickles
-brown rice, jade rice, black forbidden rice
-panang curry with tempeh, tofu, lotus, eggplant, long beans, herbs  (Homemade curry paste)
-fresh noodles with peanut sauce, flat tofu, sprouts, pickled cucumbers, pickled carrots

Thank you to Karine Brighten for the referral that led to this event!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

pumpkin and yuzu dinner for 10, October 8

Once again we are hosting a dinner for 10. Gourmet, handcrafted cuisine in an intimate setting. We will feature 2 of our favorite autumn ingredients, pumpkins and yuzu in this menu! Please join us.

Saturday, October 8, 2011
7:30 pm
$45/person byob
for more information or to make reservations, vegshaku8 at gmail or 510 393 6096
limited seating for 10

yuzu sorbet shot

Roasted beets and roasted pumpkin with baby greens and yuzu miso poppyseed dressing

small plate
homemade pumpkin noodles with peanut sauce

spicy sour red curry with tofu, long beans, thai eggplants served in a pumpkin bowl (home made curry paste using yuzu)
ong choy stir fried with garlic
black forbidden rice
jade pearl rice

pumpkin yuzu cake
spiced pumpkin ice "cream" (cashew based)