The March 20, 2010 Fourth Annual San Francisco International CHOCOLATE SALON participants include over 70 chocolatiers, confectioners, wineries and other culinary artisans. New 2010 Chocolate Salon Additions include the Chocolate Chef Competition and the TasteTV Wine Competition. Other Salon highlights feature chocolate tasting, demonstrations, new product launches and flavor combinations, fair trade & organic offerings, chef & author talks, wine pairings, a live chocolate body frosting demonstration, ongoing interviews by TasteTV's Chocolate Television program, and book signings. More information and registration information is here.
Image Credit: Exploratorium
The Exploratorium in San Francisco transformed into a cocktail laboratory at Science of Cocktails last Wednesday, January 20 for a hands on look at the physics, chemistry, and biology of cocktails. Guest mixologists from 15 Romolo, 83 Proof, Orson, Alembic, Annabelle's Bistro and other popular bars. The event was sponsored by Meebo and Marissa Mayer, VP of Search Products and User Experience for Google, was the Honorary Chair. There was a Botanical Competition sponsored by No. 209 where you had to guess the botanical ingredient of a liquor by its scent: the choices were Lemon Peel, Juniper Berries, Cardamom, Bergamot, Coriander, and Cassia.
Here is a Pear Sonata Cocktail Recipe from Joel Baker: Bourbon and Branch
1 1/2 ounces No. 209 gin
1 ounce St. Germain Elderflower liquer
1/2 ounce Meyer lemon juice
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/4 ounce pear eau de vie
Combine all ingredients in a mixing glass. Shake and strain into an ice-filled collins glass. Garnish with pear foam (see recipe below) and a light dusting of cinnamon.
7 ounces Looza pear nectar
3 ounces St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur
(add 4 ounces almond milk - I substitute this instead of egg white)
Combine all ingredients into a whipped cream dispenser. Charge with nitrous oxide (N20). Let rest for 30 minutes. Charge again before use.
You may have read my post on Epigenics and the role of B vitamins on diabetes gene suppression.
Here's a must-read article by Dr. Frank Lipman on how healthy food habits can "nurture genes" and bring out the best in them. The science is called 'Nutrigenomics'. In addition to him recommending to eat vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds, he also recommends trying to eat as close to nature as possible. For Omega3's, you can have flaxseed, salba, algae, walnuts, hemp seed and canola.
I've written about Salba before and am a fan of it since it contains a great amount of plant-based Omega 3's (2740mg of Omega 3 per 12g serving) and Calcium (92.4mg of calcium per 12g serving). Flaxseed is also one of my favorite plant-based Omega 3 sources. Omega 3 is the name given to a family of polyunsaturated fatty acids and is used in the formation of cell walls and improves circulation and oxygen uptake with proper red blood cell flexibility and function. More nutrient information is here. In addition to seed, tortilla chips, pretzels, potato chips, and salsa are available. A Salba Smoothie recipe is also here.
Credit: Christopher Drummond
Have you tried Christopher Drummond's all-natural, vegan, organic-based makeup line? It's infused with an exclusive blend of Brazilian Acai, botanical extracts, and trace minerals. Christopher Drummond is a formal model and make-up artist with a Bachelors Degree from the University of Michigan who also has an esthetician's license and additional coursework in chemistry, skin pathology, and nutrition. He created a line that is good to the skin as well as the environment. I tried the Foundation, Saude Pele, Finale Finishng Powder, and Amethyst Eyeshadow. All the products were fabulous.
I met Dr Anteneh Roba, Chairman of International Fund for Africa, at a conference several years ago where he informed me of the Ethiopian Cave Dogs he rescued. He will be in San Francisco at a Soul Food For Thought Herbst Theater event February 12. I asked Dr. Anteneh Roba to share his story with Gratitude Gourmet readers in addition to updates on the Cave Dogs he saved.
Q. Why did you decide to become vegan, and what was the path you took?
A. About 10 years ago, I adopted a 3 month old Maltese who started me on the road of inner transformation. When I met my now 10 year and half old dog Nikita I was a happy go lucky single guy who used to work hard and party hard. I never had any responsibility for others and I was oblivious of the suffering around me. When I was forced to take care of Nikita, for the first time in my life, and yes I was forced to take him because my cousin who bought him from a breeder in New york could not keep him in her apartment, because of complaints from neighbors. I was supposed to keep him for three months until she could relocate to an apartment that accepted dogs. Well it never happened, and I was forced to adopt the little guy.
What I did not realize at the time was that a 7 lb dog that peed and pooped everywhere, that barked incessantly was to be the most important teacher I ever had. In the next few years Nikita taught me things that I never considered to be important. He taught me patience, humility, being in the moment and most of all what it means to give unconditional love. His vulnerability, his complete dependence on me for his existence made me realize how we humans wielded so much power over our 4 legged co-inhabitors. One day I was walking and I was holding him in my hands and I felt his little heart beat and at that moment it hit me. What is the difference between the little guy I was holding in my hand that I loved so much and a chicken that I eat? The realization that there was essentially no difference between the two beings started me on a a journey that I am still on. I immediately stopped eating red meat, later stopped chicken, milk, cheese and about 3 years later fish and became a complete vegan about 7 years ago. Ten years later I have 5 dogs: three rescued from the mean streets of Houston and one homeless sweet dog from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The first path I took was to delve into Buddhism, a way of life I still respect, but eventually did not fulfill me. I eventually started reading books like Animal Liberation by Peter Singer, which knocked me off my feet, because I was so oblivious of how badly we humans treat animals till I read that book, which I followed up with Eternal Treblinka by Charles Patterson, The Dreaded Comparison by Marjorie Spiegel and Unnatural order by Jim Mason. These 4 books gave me the basic philosophic underpinning and understanding of how Species-ism works and the interrelationship of all the "'isms'' that exist today. I eventually gave up leather, animal tested cosmetics etc. The transformation that started 10 years ago has led me to where I am today. A human rights and animal rights activist committed to creating a peaceful and just world.
Q. Tell us about your Foundation's work.
A. Our organization, the International Fund for Africa, formerly called the Amsale Gessesse Memorial Foundation was established in early 2007 in Houston,TX as a 501 (c) 3 non for profit organization. Our main focus has been to help people and animals in our home country of Ethiopia primarily. The idea of the foundation came about after I went to Ethiopia in 2003 for the second time in 25 years ,what I saw touring hospitals in Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, and the suffering I witnessed on the streets of Addis Ababa and rural parts of the country, of both animals and people made me realize that I had to get involved and do something about it. After about 4 years, my cousin Ms. Seble Nebiyeloul and I came up with the idea of starting a foundation honoring my dead mother and her aunt dedicated to preventing, alleviating and abolishing suffering of human and non–human animals.
At present our major projects revolve around:
A) Upgrading existing neonatal and pediatric services of existing hospitals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. We are in the process of helping one rural clinic serving 67,000 people in Northern Ethiopia. We are equipping them with much needed medical equipment. In the future we plan to expand our rural work to other parts of Ethiopia and other parts of Africa.
B) Helping reduce and when possible abolish the suffering of domestic and working animals.
C) Helping Veterinary Schools in Ethiopia build a non existent small animal training program.
D) Educating Ethiopians on how to treat all animals with compassion.
E) Helping organizations in Ethiopia who are working to preserve the cultural and artistic heritage of Ethiopia.
F) Supporting different Vegetarian Societies in other African countries spread veganism.
G) Supporting organizations that are trying to protect the environment and the wildlife that depend on a safe environment.
For more information please go to www.ifundafrica.org.
Q. I'm intrigued about the Cave Dogs you saved. For readers who don't know, please tell us what brought you to save the dogs and how the dogs are doing today.
A. The cave dogs are 4 dogs that were saved from a cave, or better still, a pit approximately 20 to 30 feet deep on the outskirts of Addis Ababa. The cave was called the Gido cave, and it was where locals would throw mostly unwanted family dogs (especially females and their puppies) into the caves so that they would not find a way to get back to their homes, which they never did when abandoned far away from home. The idea was to starve them to death. According to locals, this practice had been going on for at least 20 years, 20 to 30 dogs a month thrown into the pit. Over 6000 dogs have lost their lives in the Gido Cave. In June 2007 our Foundation learned about the cave with the help of a local group in Addis Ababa (HAPS). We asked them to investigate and they came back and informed us there were 4 dogs waiting to die of hunger or thirst or both. We Instructed them to rescue them, and told them that our foundation would pay for the rescue which took a week. We petitioned the government to permanently close the cave which they allowed us to do. After their rescue, they were not able to be adopted in Ethiopia so our foundation paid for them to be transported to the US for adoption. In less than a year, two of them were adopted in the Houston area and two went to Best Friends and within a few months were also adopted and are now living the "American Dream". The story of the cave dogs was featured on National Geographic in May of 2008.
Q. What can readers do to help you in this effort?
A. The most important thing your readers can do is go to our website, watch the videos, look at the pictures, read the stories and look deep into their hearts and if what we are doing resonates in their hearts and souls, let them support us, let them be members, let them donate money, even a small amount on a regular basis will help, let them volunteer. That is what they can do to help our efforts.
Per the Wall Street Journal, "The Obama administration is engaged in an unusual internal spat as the White House and Environmental Protection Agency tussle over how to handle millions of tons of waste from coal-fired power plants." As the power industry has sought to cut air pollution from power plants, it has resulted in more pollutants remaining in the material left behind after coal is burned. It contains such toxins as arsenic, lead, chromium and selenium, which present health and environmental risks if released into ground water. Environmentalists are against the use of coal ash in construction materials as cement mix and wallboard as well as agricultural soils. You can read the full article here.
Credit: (Time) Lars Tunbjork / VU
Here's a fascinating Time article about Epigenetics, DNA, and how you can change your genes. It mentions a study where B vitamins attached to a gene that gives the propensity for diabetes in utero and altered the gene's expression without altering the genomic structure of DNA and the result was normal weight and no propensity for diabetes. Another published study in 2006 in the European Journal of Human Genetics stated that of the 14,024 fathers in the study, 166 said they had started smoking before age 11. When the researchers looked at the sons of the 166 early smokers, the boys had significantly higher body mass indexes than other boys by age 9. "That means the sons of men who smoke in prepuberty will be at higher risk for obesity and other health problems well into adulthood." More interesting examples are in the article.
The United Nations Association Film Festival (UNAFF) is screening the documentary "Seed Hunter" by Director/Producer Sally Ingleton free of charge. This film is about Dr. Ken Street, the Indiana Jones of agriculture, who spends his life searching for tiny seeds such as the elusive wild chickpea that can survive in temperatures of 40 degrees above and below zero. The Movie Trailer is below.
January 11 at 2pm at the Palo Alto Senior Avenidas Center
450 Bryant St. Palo Alto, CA 94301
Monday Jan 11, 7:00pm - 9:00pm Rye 6888 Geary St. San Francisco
Rye Bar is hosting Ten of SF's top bartenders who will be competing to create the tastiest, most original libation featuring Combier - the world's first triple sec. The winning bartender will receive a great prize (TBD). All attendees will be able to sample each cocktail and enjoy complimentary apps. Admission is FREE. Please RSVP to Greg@ryesf.com.
Don't miss the SFMOMA 75th Anniversary Celebration, a three-day weekend of free admission and special programs January 16 through 18. To celebrate their anniversary, they will present a series of exhibitions and events that illustrates the stories of the artists, collectors, cultural visionaries, and community leaders who founded, built, and have animated the museum.
The Stanford Ethics of Food and the Environment Series kicks off with an inspiring and educational evening with Farm Sanctuary President and Co-founder Gene Baur, as he discusses his work and national best-selling book, Farm Sanctuary: Changing Hearts and Minds About Animals and Food.
For over 20 years, Baur has been working to expose the realities of factory
farming and change how our society views and treats farm animals. He'll
provide first-hand accounts of conditions on today's farms, outline efforts
to combat the current inhumane system, and put forward a vision for a
healthier and more sustainable food system. Baur will also address how each
of us as an opportunity and a responsibility to consume a kinder plate,
making a better life for ourselves, animals and all life on the planet.
Jan 7, 2010 - Stanford University
4:45 pm - 6:15 pm
Bldg 260, Rm 113