After successful runs last year at the DeYoung Museum and Galleria de la Raza, The Great Tortilla Conspiracy returns for another fantastic show at SomArts Cultural Center. Self-described as “the world’s most dangerous tortilla art collective,” the father and son team of Rene and Rio YaÃ±ez explores a wide swath of themes in their unique medium. Along the way, they recruit other artists as well as creatively minded gallery visitors to join the fun. Immigration and genetic modification, apparitions of religious icons and pop-culture celebrities, free trade and lucha libre — it’s all game in tortilla art.
Laughs are few and far between for anyone who works in that tough corner of the food world where food security, public health, and urban development issues intersect. Fortunately, the dynamic duo of Dallas Penn and Rafi Kam have been making short, sharp, and extremely funny documentaries about shopping and eating in urban neighborhoods, including this short on bodegas, those infamous corner stores.
If one of the outer circles of hell were reserved for hoarders of kitchen tools, then yours truly already has a place reserved for her to peel and scrape, slice and dice for all of eternity. Fortunately, in my current incarnation, I can write about my habit so that you, dear reader, can choose more wisely.
With two new entries on my “What’s this?” page, I share some simple yet useful utensils for cooks who actually cook.
I’ve also added my latest favorites: a book on traditional Japanese packaging, paper-mache bowls, and a staple from my pantry. All are short and sweet.
With SFIAAF 2008 in full swing, I’ve managed to munch popcorn with yeast for dinner more times than I care to admit during the past few days. And with another week of films ahead, it looks like I’m going to need to restock my supply of dental floss.
Fortunately, it’s been worth it. Over the weekend, two titles that food and film lovers should add to their list were screened to sold-out crowds.
THE KILLING OF A CHINESE COOKIE
Who among us can resist opening a fortune cookie? No matter how jaded or snobby, no matter how much you may hate that dry, tasteless joke of a dessert that sits on your bill after a meal at the Golden Imperial Jade Wok Garden, I dare you to leave behind, unopened and unread, that little strip of paper and its peek into your future.
From Tricycle Press, that little imprint of our very own Berkeley-based Ten Speed Press, comes the World Snack Series, a cheerful set of children’s board books about sweet and savory treats enjoyed around the world.
Author and illustrator Amy Wilson Sanger provides both the books’ sing-song text and the artful, colorful sculptures that grace their pages. Adults and children alike will love the parade of scrumptious snacks: cha siu bao, bhel puri, tamales, hamentaschen, little polpetini, and even temaki with uni roe. One of my favorite lines, from Yum Yum Dim Sum, sent me straight to the closest teahouse: â€œWhy, oh why, my little sui mai, why do I love you so?â€