Satisfy your appetite for art and culture. With our series At the Table, food-world luminaries serve up connections between art, culture and edible traditions.
Presenters are passionate gourmands who infuse classic cooking with innovative twists. All will illuminate connections between their culinary philosophy and the museum’s collection, exploring ways culture is shared through food, just as it is through art.
September 17: Knafeh with Reem Assil
Learn how to make knafeh at this online cooking demonstration with Reem Assil, a 2018 and 2019 James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: West, and owner of Reem’s, a bakery/restaurant with locations in Oakland and San Francisco. Assil shares her Palestinian recipe for this phyllo dessert soaked in syrup and layered with cheese honoring her late grandfather.
October 1: Pancit Molo with Yana Gilbuena
Global nomadic chef Yana Gilbuena dives into one of the most famous Filipino dishes, pancit, in this virtual At the Table. She will share her technique for making pancit molo (pork dumpling soup), a version from her home island in the Philippines. The recipe reveals the culinary influence of China on Filipino food: similar to wonton noodle soup, pancit molo is defined by its base of shrimp and chicken stock enlivened with notes of lemongrass and ginger. Gilbuena guides us through making the stock and the wontons for this dish, while sharing some of its history.
December 10: Studio ATAO with Chef Jenny Dorsey
At this virtual At the Table event, chef Jenny Dorsey and mixologist Matt Dorsey demonstrate recipes that ask larger questions about worth and power. Fancy Because It’s French is a multilayered dessert, a faux red-bean mooncake, that poses the question: What does it mean to be “valuable”? To make this dish, Jenny Dorsey, founder of Studio ATAO, applies many of the fancy French techniques she was taught in culinary school as substitutes for the laborious process of making a traditional Chinese mooncake. Does combining the classic mooncake flavor profiles of red bean, salted duck egg, and oolong tea with the methods of haute cuisine “improve” or “elevate” this recipe?
Author Molly Kitamura discusses the inspiration for her book Knives and Needles in a fun and insightful talk and cooking demonstration featuring foodie tattoo artist Chad Koeplinger. They demonstrate how to make a delicious vegetarian “chicken” korma dish, as they talk food and tattoos.
Monica Lo and Felicity Chen, food lovers and activists, present on the history of cannabis as a traditional Chinese medicine and the ways in which it is used today as a healing herb in cooking.
Tim Archuleta and Isaac Fitzgerald discuss the history of sushi and share their tattoo tales.
June 21: “Food as Healing” with Real Food Real Stories
Food is more than just sustenance: more and more, we are understanding the role food plays in healing. This Tasting Menu highlighted Pei-Ru Ko, founder of Real Food Real Stories (RFRS), and chefs and farmers who use food as a way of restoring health. RFRS, whose mission is to humanize the food movement, coaches changemakers in food to tell their authentic and personal stories.
Hear from Ko and four other female leaders in the field — Preeti Mistry of Navi Kitchen and The Juhu Beach Club Cookbook, Sylvia Charles of Just Date Syrup, Kristyn Leach of Namu Farms and Aileen Suzara of Sariwa Kitchen — then sample a bite from each of the chefs. Photographic portraits by Brenton Geiser of changemakers who have found healing for themselves and their communities through food, will be on view throughout the evening.
July 19: Chef’s Hawker Centre Festival
Experience an Asian night market at the museum produced by “Top Chef” contestant Tu David Phu. Phu has been creating these Chef’s Hawker Centre pop-ups, which he calls “platforms to celebrate Asian American culture through food,” around the country as a way to bring people together and find commonalities. This pop-upfeatured a night filled with bold creative, cuisine by Bay Area chefs, innovative beverages and music by guest DJs Anne-Mary Pham and Jonathan Reyes.
Participating chefs included Francis Ang (Pinoy Heritage), Jason Angeles (Frozen Kuhsterd), Reem Assil (Reem’s), Richgail Enriquez (Astig Vegan), Mariko Grady (Aedan Fermented), Deuki Hong (Sunday at the Museum), Shawn Naputi (Prubechu), Jake Rosenbush (Hardwood Bar & Smokery), Hanif Sadr (Komaaj) and Nite Yun (Nyum Bai).
April 6: Chinese Medicine and Healing Foods with Jonathan Wheeler
Jonathan Wheeler, teacher at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine (ACTCM), presents an introduction to traditional Chinese medicine and the five elements of wood, earth, metal, fire and water. By understanding your body type, you can identify your strongest element. Listen to a talk on these practices and find your element composition with one of the consultants.
April 13: Kwangjuyo Ceramics and Corey Lee
The Bay Area is known for its unique food culture and the exquisite plating techniques that are essential to a memorable presentation. Corey Lee — chef of Benu, Monsieur Benjamin and In Situ — uses wares made by Kwangjuyo, a Korea-based company that promotes the beauty of Korean dining culture.
Lee partners with Kwangjuyo artist Daeyong Kim to create personalized wares for his restaurants. Kim joins us from Korea to talk about their collaboration and process in creating these wares. Lucia Cho, creative director of Kwangjuyo, also joins us from Korea. In 2016, Cho led their traditional restaurant Gaon to be one of the first restaurants in Korea to receive three Michelin stars. Lee will moderate a conversation among the three about Korean dining and ceramic traditions and how they’ve evolved to be internationally recognized.
What does tofu represent in America today, and where is it heading? Join us for a discussion with Minh Tsai, founder of Hodo Soy and Jennifer 8 Lee, producer of The Search for General Tso. Then sample tasty bites of tofu dishes by some of San Francisco’s hottest chefs who have been working with Hodo: Brandon Jew of Mister Jiu’s, Stuart Brioza of State Bird Provisions and The Progress, and Annie Somerville of Greens.
Tsai started Hodo Soy with a simple goal: to create fresh, great-tasting tofu, inspired by his memories of growing up with tofu in Vietnam. Now, this Bay Area-grown business is working with America’s top chefs from the Asian culinary scene as well as chefs cooking with Western techniques and traditions. How did they do it? By reclaiming tofu as a delicious, complex ingredient, and by reacquainting eaters and chefs with tofu that is both deeply traditional and innovative. Join us to contemplate (and celebrate) the rise of handcrafted tofu in America.
August 17: Filipino Flavors of the Bay Area
This Tasting Menu offered a forum for discussing contemporary Philippine cuisine, seeking to understand “Where do you draw the line between tradition and innovation?”
We invited four chefs, including Francis Ang of Pinoy Heritage, Eric Pascual from EatsbyE, Richgail Enriquez of Astig Vegan and Janice Lazaga of the recently closed pop-up Elena Una, to trace Philippine culinary heritage in the Bay Area and explore how they maintain Philippine tradition while appealing to a larger audience who are unfamiliar with the traditional cuisine. After the discussion, visitors will have the opportunity to taste each chef’s take on contemporary Philippine food.
April 14: Mariko Grady of Aedan Fermented
Mariko Grady, founder and entrepreneur of Aedan Fermented, discussed fermentation processes, particularly for koji, live-cultured food that is the heart of her traditional Japanese products.
May 22: Danielle Chang of LUCKYRICE
Danielle Chang, founder of nationwide food festival LUCKYRICE, shared the inside scoop on partnering with top chefs to celebrate Asian cuisine.
Kevin Kiwata and Curtis Lam, the duo behind The Chairman, offered a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the food truck industry and dish about bao (their signature buns).
Valerie Luu and Katie Kwan of Rice Paper Scissors discussed their distinctive fusion of Vietnamese street food and Californian sensibilities.