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Saturday, January 28, 2012

surprise party for 50, tonight

Last night was somewhat surreal. Evidence we are now in a police state was most evident as cops, uniformed and plain clothes were all over the building and each elevator had a police escort.  City of Berkeley, UC campus police and i imagine FBI and/or homeland security were out in full force.  They were asking ID of anyone heading to the meeting where me and my 2 assistants were going to cater the party afterwards. Mayors from several east bay cities were in attendance as were CEO's of solar companies and other "green" businesses.
Was unable to listen in to hear what the meeting was about.
Mayor Jean Quan looks awful, as if she has not slept in eons. A troubled soul, perhaps? She left the meeting early, bee lined to the bathroom and then left, not tasting a thing. We did receive, as usual, some great feedback for what we presented.  By the time, the party aspect of the event started, most of the cops were gone so we did not have a chance to feed them and hear what they had to say.

I was glad to have my old friend Gino Bartalotti come and pour some of his amazing cabernet from his family winery, Bartalotti wines. He produces some very high end cabernets with his brother and they are getting some exceptional reviews and high sales even though they are only in their 3d year of releases.

Now here is the irony of the so called security. When getting in the elevator, i was asked who i was and what i was doing. Well, i was carrying a cart full of food and supplies and pointed to that and said i and my 2 team members were here to cater the event at the penthouse. He looked at me and said, "ok, you look like you have food to me". Did not ask for my id. So all this facade of security was just that, a facade. Had i been one of the so called terrorists they always warn us about, i would have walked right up there and done something stupid, of course, something i would never persoanlly be interested in doing! But, when you think about it, we have a totally inept police force supposedly protecting us and i think i completely proved that, last night. In the elevator i could not help but mutter out loud, "this is what a police state looks like", as the cop who hosted the elevator ride asked for id of everyone going up but me and my 2 helpers.
It is offensive to see american citizens being asked for id to go to work!! When i grew up, they used to tell us about East Germany and other communist countries and how you had to always show ID and always were being watched. hmmmmm

Was really glad to get the last minute call for this gig from the East Bay Sustainable Corridor. Being one of the only caterers that truly presents sustainable cuisine, it was nice to be recognized by this organization. Thank you Carla Din, for this!!! Hope we get to work together more, but with less eyes all over us :)

anyways, tonight we are back out with more great food and this time for a very typical event.
Someone i know is about to get  major surprise for his 50th birthday party and my food will be part of this surprise! 50 guests will be at his house in Oakland tonight and we will be laying out spreads of finger foods for them.

potato chips with rosemary salt
lotus chips with sichuan salt

sopes (homemade tortilla bowls filled with black bean puree and pear salsa)

buckwheat knishes

asparagus roasted with pine nuts, garlic and lime

mushrooms ajillo style

tempeh in mole sauce

There will not be any security at tonight's event. Just a lot of friends and co workers of the birthday boy. Choppers will most likely be overhead though as Occupy Oakland has a major event planned today, marching from the plaza to a large vacant building they plan to take over. These are truly interesting times we live in.....

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