Wild Fermentation

A cluster of grapes is an all-inclusive wine starter kit – everything you need to make wine is pre-packed in each and every cluster: sugar, acid, yeast. This year, I wanted to make one batch of wine that simply let the grapes do their thing. If you’ve ever seen grapes ripe on a vine, or…

The Crush, August 2020

Vermouth making has become an annual tradition for my friend Sam and me. Once we had harvested the grapes that he and his team spent all year growing, it was my responsibility to turn them into wine, vermouth’s base ingredient. The first step in making wine is wresting the juice from the grapes. Last year,…

Grape Harvest, August 2020

The vines ripened in the final days of August this year, and when the grapes call, I must go. Sam, my friend who grows wine grapes, graciously let me harvest over 100 pounds of chardonnay on the evening before his last night of harvest. I drove to his family’s farm in the delta near Sacramento…

Pizza Sweater

My master’s thesis in Boston University’s Gastronomy program was on the subject of Food as a Response to Trauma. I studied the roles food could play in trauma recovery by speaking with practitioners, and by reflecting on the food that played a part in my own trauma recovery. Food is extremely effective in modulating emotion,…

Willful Ignorance

Last week, I wrote about the clear plastic domes ensconcing diners at the upscale restaurant Hashiri in San Francisco. The restaurant’s manager Kenichiro Matsuura described the domes as protective: within the bubbles, diners were sheltered from the weather, from COVID-19 exposure (the Department of Public Health disagreed), and from “disturbances” in the public plaza, he…