On an exquisite Sunday afternoon (October 25), our blossoming Dinner Club gathered at Bi-Rite Creamery near Delores Park for a taste, a talk, and a tour. Pastry Chef and Co-Owner Kris Hoogerhyde (that’s her in the green t-shirt) met us all outside for an informative chat as we tasted her silky confections. Then we broke into smaller groups as Kris led us into her spatially-challenged kitchen to explain the process of turning premium raw ingredients (such as Straus Family Creamery, among other local favorites) into Bi-Rite’s luscious frozen desserts and assorted pastries.
Next we strolled across 18th Street to meet up with Bi-Rite Market’s General Manager, Liz Martinez. Liz graciously provided a brief history of this celebrated neighborhood market and explained their commitment to many small Bay Area farmers, ranchers, bakers, cheese and chocolate makers and other food artisans. Bi-Rite prides themselves in forging strong personal relationships with these producers – so they’re sure they know exactly where the food they sell comes from. As an added bonus, multi-talented butcher and chef, Morgan Maki, spoke about his department’s mission and their wide range of choices which include many premium items normally reserved for high end restaurants. If you haven’t already, you really should check out what these people are doing. Bi-Rite is one of the true champions of the local/sustainable food movement. They are also a great friend to Slow Food who continually steps up to help in any way they can. When we called on short notice to ask if they could fill a Dinner Club space for us, they quickly said yes – though requesting, due to space restrictions, we limit our group to 15. Later, when we mentioned we had 20 anxious to attend, they immediately said “no problem – we’ll make it work”. They did – in a big way. What else can we say, but thanks?
It also bears mentioning that we had 20 respondents for this outing – and all 20 showed up, on time. Each and every guest was friendly, patient waiting for turns inside the creamery, and appreciative to our hosts. Thank you members – you’re really making this a pleasure.
Finally, anyone who attended should recognize the unexpected treat rolling up in the U-Haul van just over Kris’s shoulder.