Monday, March 12, 2012

Dominica's Cosecha: One Haute Mexican

Dominica Rice, founder and chef of Cosecha, is petite with long glossy hair pulled back into a thick braid that makes her warm eyes stand out--they sparkle with humor and what I like to call “mad food love.” When asked about the roots of her passion for cooking, she explains that it started with her grandmother.  “I was born in Chinatown (in Los Angeles) like my mother. She still lives there, and that is where my grandparents have lived since the 50’s,” she shared before taking a sip from her glass. “We were there every weekend with my grandmother--she was this little old lady from Chihuahua, Mexico, and it was really nice hanging out with her. She cooked all of the time, but after church she would take us out to eat.  Sometimes we would go to Olvera Street for Mexican food, or Chinatown for a Chinese Won Ton soup brunch, and she always wanted to try different places--it was a blast.” 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Love is in the Air - An Oaktown Spice Recipe Challenge

Hello Valentine’s Day, we all know you are right around the corner!  

What better way to take the pressure off and recognize a month devoted to the celebration of love, than with a recipe challenge using a four-spice blend inspired by the language of love?
The Love is in the Air Recipe Challenge

Following is the challenge, it’s pretty simple:

(1) Run straight to the Oaktown Spice Shop and pick up some Quatre Epices.
(2) Use this amazing spice blend to create a recipe.  
(3) Email your recipe to Social Feast ( by the February 29 deadline.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Doughnut Dolly: Remembrance of a Naughty Doughnut

“If I were to sell a really beautiful homemade, yeast-raised, cream-filled doughnut off a truck, would you buy one?”  It was 2010, and Hannah Hoffman was conducting some non-scientific demographic research while peering out from the window of the popular fivetenburger truck parked in Emeryville near Pixar.  The guy being questioned hemmed and hawed “Well, I’m not really a doughnut guy...’cause most doughnuts suck....”  “Would you just try one?,” she asked, “If you don’t like it, just spit it out.”  So he bit into the doughnut and, “Oh my God, these are just like the doughnuts l used to have as a kid on the Jersey Shore!  There was an Italian bakery and they used to make these, like, Bombolino....” She shot back, “Would you pay three dollars for this doughnut?” Unequivocally, he responded, “Yes.”

Monday, January 30, 2012

Everything Nice at Oaktown Spice

”Turmeric is pretty hot right now, so I’ve been playing around with this....” and with that, John from the Oaktown Spice Shop opens a large mason jar of whole turmeric rhizomes and passes it under my nose. The scent is aromatic and similar to galangal, but not as strong, and is topped by a slightly floral note. He pulls out a wizened yellow chunk, “Take a look at this,” he says while heading across the shop to where a red antique spice mill sits in the front window. He tips a bowl with the milled contents to show an intense course-ground mixture of savory green and yellow herbs, and explains how he was test grinding sage with the antique mill when he came up with an idea to create a base for a new poultry rub. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A Little Somethin' Somethin' About Cosecha

Many flattering reviews have been written about Cosecha since it’s arrival in mid-2011, and Social Feast has been chomping at the bit to share this local gem with as many eager friends as possible.
The chef, Dominica Rice, is committed to a farm to table ethos; and while the daily offerings at Cosecha are deceptively simple in description, the delicious devil can be found in loving attention to every detail.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Super-Soft Social Feast Launch

Welcome to the super-soft launch of Social Feast! 

I decided to launch this bare bones site to coincide with the first evite that is headed out across the ethers of the interweb today.  I am seriously tickled wondering who will RSVP for the first feast at Cosecha in Oakland.

There are a variety of interviews in the works, and I plan to post the first interview this coming weekend.  Some of these initial interviews will serve to tease the upcoming dinner at Cosecha and other interviews will simply focus on providing a shout-out for some cool artisan food businesses in the Bay Area.

First things first - I must focus on sending out the invite and rescheduling some more interviews.  I promise I will post tomorrow with some deets about Cosecha and the neighborhood in downtown Oakland.

Miss Amelia Rousseau