Friday, June 18, 2010

My Awkward Photo Op With Anthony Bourdain

Yesterday -before work - I went to Book Passage in the Ferry Building to have Anthony Bourdain sign my copy of his new book, "Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook."

I'm a big fan of course. I love to watch his TV program "No Reservations" with my son who digs it almost as much as I do. It's perhaps not the best program for kids but believe it or not, I think my son learns a lot from it. His mind is opened up to other countries, cultures and their food. My son is also adventurous with food. He may not like everything but is usually willing to try something new, which I find to be a very appealing attitude. I think the majority of people I get on with the best are also those who love and appreciate different kinds of food and aren't afraid of pushing their culinary boundaries.

Despite the "educational" aspects I think my son also loves all the cursing. Even though it's bleeped out, he gets a huge kick out of it in addition to Bourdain's other humorous observations. My son is well aware that Bourdain is a bad man and he likes him all the more for it. I wanted to bring my son along but he was in school.

I waited outside in long queue while I baked in the sun until it was my turn. I had him sign the book to my son and myself and then took a photo. Bourdain was hopped up on Red Bull and looked slightly overwhelmed, though mostly content. I really didn't say anything to him besides "thank you" as I had to assist the kind woman taking photos with the zoom feature on my camera. She got it figured out just in time to take this awkward looking snap.

And faster than Bourdain slides on the ice in the opening sequence of his program, I was back in the Ferry Building wondering if I should buy a six dollar Affogato with Humphry Slocombe Ice Cream at Blue Bottle Coffee.


Sunday, May 30, 2010


So I made it to the Carnaval parade for the third year in a row and, as usual, it was a wonderful time.

The weather was absolutely incredible. The crowd - not too large or small. It seemed as if there was less corporate sponsorship and not as many floats but I may be wrong. But none of that mattered, as everyone was having a wonderful time in the Mission - The City's most vibrant and colorful neighborhood. (Yeah! That's right! Uh -huh! You know it!)

Another noticeable difference from passed parades was the presence of more low riders. Perhaps due to the recent release of the film "La Mission", there seems to be a resurgence in their popularity and their place in the Carnaval has been rightfully restored. Even the Bratt Brothers ("La Mission's" star and creators) - Benjamin and Peter - rolled up 24th Street in a cherry-red 54 Chevy convertible.

Native Missionista and friend, Sam Reveles, however, was not to be undone in his with own pride and joy -La Morena.

Sam Reveles' La Morena

For me, it was all about hanging out with friends and family. During the course of the day, I always run into all sorts of people I know or knew in my neighborhood - and that is more than half the fun.

So I'm sorry if you couldn't make it. But luckily, the other thing I like to do at Carnaval is take photos -so feel free to check out my Flickr slide-show below. I always have a hard time getting good light an unblocked shots but I hope you enjoy them anyway. Don't forget to click on the full-screen option!
-el güero

Saturday, March 6, 2010


This Oscar nominated animated film may not beat any of the studio heavy hitters it's competing with, but this Irish Indie feature looks incredible. The cinematic animation style is reminiscent of Samurai Jack. The New York Times printed this article earlier in the week that provides some more information. I'm not sure when it will open up here in San Francisco. Check it out!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Güero Eats: Corazon de la Mission

Corazon de la Mission, the street food event at La Victoria this past Saturday appeared to be total success as far as this güero's taste buds’ could tell.

I received a Facebook invite from the my old schoolmate and owner of La Vicotoria Bakery, Jaime “Jam for the People” Maldonado, so the family and I headed over for some of what the Mission District is known for – delicious street food!

We sampled some wild boar perogies from ForageSF, empanadas from Venga, smoked sausage gumbo from the Gumbocart and lastly I gotz to give special shout out to my man Dontaye from Goodfoods with his “big bad” brisket that melts in your mouth. My son and I usually hit up Goodfoods at the Alemany’s Farmer’s Market on for their pulled pork sliders with spicy cole-slaw, so it was a added surprise that Dontaye and his awesome mom were in the house.

Unfortunately we couldn’t sample everything from the other vendors but Jaime assured me on Facebook that more events are coming so being a food lover and a Missionista by default, I’m excited.

Some dismiss the whole street/cart/truck food phenomena taking place in The City, LA and other cities as just another food fad and who knows, maybe it is but then again, who gives a culo de rata? I wish all fads tasted as great and were so much fun.

It’s what makes San Francisco and Mission district in particular such a great place. There is so much innovation and creativity going here whether it be in art or food and it’s awesome that all the street chefs know and help each other out. It’s reassuring to know that despite a crap economy, people here are trying out new ideas and new models that could spread and change the way we eat.

Jaime "Jam for the People" Maldonado from La Victoria

Dontaye Bell from GoodFoods and the Wild Child

Iso Rabins from ForageSF

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir Of Food And Love by Michelle Maisto, Random House (Sep 2009)

Sadly, in today’s world, 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce – that rate even higher in California. If any of us were told that we would have a 50 percent chance of being run over by a car if we crossed the street, surely most of us would not bank on those odds and stay safely put. But despite the awareness of those odds, many of today’s couples, as they always have, double down and make the nuptial plunge. In her first memoir, “Gastronomy of Marriage: A Memoir of Food And Love”, author and certified foodie, Michelle Maisto, well aware of the pitfalls of marriage, takes great care and thought into her own decisions. As the title clearly states, it’s about food and love: two subjects that for Maisto, and for the benefit of the reader, are scrumptiously intertwined.

Maisto, who is Italian-American, opens up her heart like a well-stocked pantry. Though her eyes, she recounts the story of her courtship and engagement to Rich, a fellow writer who happens to be Chinese American,(It’s like Marco Polo realized in America!) in an honest, thoughtful and well, just down right delicious way. Maisto observes her thoughts on love and life and blends them tastefully with her fondness and fascination with food – instilled in her from generation to generation though her Italian heritage.

As anyone who has been in a relationship knows, when two people come together, we come as individuals: with different backgrounds, different points of view and in many cases (especially now-a-days) - different religions and cultures. Along with all of that, of course, are differences with regards to what, when and how we eat. All these things we bring to the table and Maisto, a self-professed home kitchen expert, takes up the Iron Chef challenge.

All told, I must say that this story was most revealing to me because I know the author and her husband, Rich, personally. Rich and I were roommates and friends for over two years in Los Angeles and we have continued somehow to stay in touch despite his and Michelle’s successful and busy lives in New York. I always understood how much they meant to one another but reading about them really brought a depth and texture to their relationship that I could have never otherwise appreciated. Michelle has not just written a book about recipes and ingredients for great tasting meals; it’s about taking everything you have, what’s available, what’s nourishing and creating your own ingredients for deep, kind and lasting relationship.

(Reader Caution: make sure you are not hungry while reading! The author of this book possesses mysterious powers in which she uses words that will titillate the taste buds!)

-the Guero

Michelle Maisto will be hosting three upcoming book signings here on the West Coast:


Thursday, September 24, 6PM at OMNIVORE BOOKS

3885 Cesar Chavez St

San Francisco, CA 94131-2013

(415) 282-4712

Friday, September 25, 12:30 PM at ALEXANDER BOOK COMPANY

50 Second St

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 495-2992


Saturday, September 26, 2 PM at BOOKSOUP

8818 W Sunset Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90069-2125

(310) 659-3110

Also you can visit her wonderful blog, The Market Report.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Yes! I've finally been recognized and will be put in print! That's right, don't ask me why but artists Jonathan Harris and Sep Kanvar have included me in their new book entitled "We Feel Fine: An Almanac of Human Emotion" from Simon & Schuster which will be released in December of this year. Alright, perhaps I'm overstating my contribution as it is very small if not insignificant - possibly just a photo and/or a snippet from this blog - but you know me, I'll take recognition wherever I can get it!

Harris and Kanvar created a project entitled We Feel Fine, which uses elements of computer science, anthropology, visual arts and storytelling to explore human feelings. They essentially created a computational system that records people's feelings all over the world by searching for them via weblogs, twitters, etc. Anyway, they actually used my "feelings" from my blog post a few years ago for their online project and now they are using a different post for their print version. They informed me in their e-mail that I would be on the page for Election Day 2008, which I suppose is a pretty good date to be on.

In case you are wondering: no, I'm not getting paid jack-didley from this deal but they did say, I could get a free copy of the book and that I'm welcomed to attend their Launch party in New York, but under the present circumstances, it's not bloody likely that I will make it.

If you liked to check out the We Feel Fine website, you can go here and play around with it. Well what can I say? I guess I "feel" honored. Hmmm...let's see if that feeling makes it the cut!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


After my trip to Berkeley I had to run an errand which brought us back into The City. That however is really not worth mentioning but on the way, we stopped over in J-town to check out the second day of the grand opening of New People, a new retail establishment highlighting pop culture from Japan. Manga, magazines, toys, Hello Kitty and all the latest fashion from streets of Tokyo; It's all here! The design and architecture of this new building are impressive but whether or not this is going to be a money making operation remains to be seen because all that really cool stuff from Japan is really f-ng expensive.


(very expensive handcrafted Japanese shoes from SOU SOU)

The upstairs gallery featured art by Yoshitaka Amano, that cat from Japan who was a graphic designer for the Final Fantasy video game.





So if you are into Japanese pop culture or are you are looking for the latest in Gothic Lolita fashion, this place is at least worth checking out. And if you are feeling like you need a little caffeine fix, the cafe is serving Blue Bottle Coffee. You can't complain about that.