Anna Mindess

My passion is exploring the connection between food and culture. I write regularly for Oakland and Alameda Magazines and Berkeleyside's NOSH. My blog, East Bay Ethnic Eats, gives me an excuse to track down the only Bay Area baker making fresh filo dough or learn to stuff a dried eggplant with help from a Turkish immigrant. Culture is the thread that ties together my several careers. As a sign language interpreter, educator and author, my study of Deaf culture has taken me around the world, where I fell madly in love with seed-strewn Danish bread, attacked platters of French shellfish with a small arsenal of tools and sampled a Japanese breakfast so fresh it wiggled. I'm also an epicurean concierge for Edible Excursions Japan town tours (that I lead in either English or ASL). And when I conduct in-depth cultural trainings for foreign workers being transferred to the Bay Area, I am sure to discuss the delights of doggie bags and the mystery of American restaurants serving ice water in the dead of winter. I can be found tweeting @EBEthniceats

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Anna Mindess's Latest Posts

Buy a Live Fish in Oakland Chinatown for a Traditional Chinese New Year’s Feast

Buy a Live Fish in Oakland Chinatown for a Traditional Chinese New Year’s Feast

| February 9, 2013 | 1 Comment

Lisa Li shows us where to buy live fish in Oakland’s Chinatown to prepare a traditional Chinese New Year feast.

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Chinese Astrology and Food Favorites in the Year of the Snake

Chinese Astrology and Food Favorites in the Year of the Snake

| February 6, 2013 | 0 Comments

To celebrate The Year of the Snake, Bay Area Bites playfully examines the food habits of each animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac. Are you a fussy Rooster, a junk food loving Monkey or a trendy Rat who has to be the first to try the newest restaurant?

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Mazatlán Throws an Endless Seafood Fiesta

Mazatlán Throws an Endless Seafood Fiesta

| January 23, 2013 | 2 Comments

Anna Mindess discovered the world’s freshest oysters and a street lined with shrimp sellers in Mazatlán.

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LUCKY FOODS for New Year 2013 – We’re Going to Need Them

LUCKY FOODS for New Year 2013 – We’re Going to Need Them

| December 29, 2012 | 3 Comments

If you suffer from triskaidekaphobia –an intense fear of the number 13 — 2013 is going to be a nail-biter. Don’t take any chances, eat lucky foods on New Year’s Eve to insure a prosperous and healthy year filled with good fortune.

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Tamale Class at La Cocina — Just in Time for Christmas

Tamale Class at La Cocina — Just in Time for Christmas

| December 20, 2012 | 0 Comments

Besides demystifying tamale making the event at La Cocina introduced students to three chefs from different regions of Latin America, each demonstrating their own traditional recipes and techniques that produced a variety of stuffed, steamy bundles. Post includes recipe for Alicia’s Mango Tamales.

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Ancient Ethiopian Cuisine Honored with a Limited Run At Guest Chef

Ancient Ethiopian Cuisine Honored with a Limited Run At Guest Chef

| December 12, 2012 | 0 Comments

Selome Haileleoul cooks traditionally spiced Ethiopian dishes and is serving as chef at Oakland’s Guest Chef until December 16 — where a rotating roster of chefs try out their cooking techniques for two weeks at a time.

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Celebrate Day of the Dead with Sugar Skulls and Pan de Muerto

Celebrate Day of the Dead with Sugar Skulls and Pan de Muerto

| October 19, 2012 | 2 Comments

Decorate sugar skulls with icing, sequins and feathers or learn to make bone-shaped Pan de Muerto bread for the upcoming Day of the Dead festivities in the Bay Area.

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Onigilly Introduces Updated Japanese Comfort Food to the FiDi

Onigilly Introduces Updated Japanese Comfort Food to the FiDi

| October 12, 2012 | 2 Comments

Onigilly (recently opened in the Financial District) offers an updated version of classic Japanese onigiri rice balls with generous toppings, from traditional pickled plum and salmon, to miso roasted fennel, spicy shrimp and bacon cooked with garlic butter, sake and chili sauce.

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North America’s Largest Night Market? It’s in Richmond (B.C. that is)

North America’s Largest Night Market? It’s in Richmond (B.C. that is)

| October 1, 2012 | 0 Comments

From slithery BBQ squid tentacles to icy mango slushies, 400 vendors and 30,000 visitors a night make the Annual Night Market in Richmond, B.C., Canada is the largest in North America. Enjoy a dizzying array of Asian street food snacks amid a typically-polite Canadian throng.

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Aileen Suzara Cracks Open Filipino Cuisine in Coconut Cooking Class

Aileen Suzara Cracks Open Filipino Cuisine in Coconut Cooking Class

| September 21, 2012 | 1 Comment

Coconut is the new pomegranate, prized not only for it’s flavor and versatility, but its health benefits as well. Coconut is also plays an important role in traditional Filipino cuisine. Second generation Filipina American, Aileen Suzara recently taught Cooking with Coconut class at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center, featuring binakol, laing and palitaw.

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Food Speaks in Many Tongues

Food Speaks in Many Tongues

| August 27, 2012 | 12 Comments

Porridge Head! Sweetie-Pie. Adaptable Tomato. Every language uses descriptive food phrases as insults, endearments, warnings and advice. Here is a smorgasbord of food metaphors and idioms in 17 languages including French, ASL, Danish, Chinese, German, Spanish, Turkish, Hebrew, Italian and Arabic.

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Lali Ghlonti Celebrates her Native Georgian Cuisine at SF Street Food Festival

Lali Ghlonti Celebrates her Native Georgian Cuisine at SF Street Food Festival

| August 16, 2012 | 0 Comments

Lali Ghlonti is thrilled to introduce Georgian specialities to the 2012 SF Street Food Festival, sponsored by La Cocina. The native of Tbilisi will make kidney bean spread with corn bread, and chicken blintzes with “Georgian salsa.”

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Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony Brewed Up by Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Cafe Colucci at SF Chefs

Traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony Brewed Up by Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Cafe Colucci at SF Chefs

| August 7, 2012 | 12 Comments

A traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony was presented for SF Chefs by Chef Marcus Samuelsson and Fetlework Tefferi of Oakland’s Cafe Colucci. The bean roasting demo was followed by a brunch of Ethiopian specialties.

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Just Say Yes to Marcus Samuelsson’s Memoir, “Yes, Chef”

Just Say Yes to Marcus Samuelsson’s Memoir, “Yes, Chef”

| July 18, 2012 | 1 Comment

Marcus Samuelsson, the award-winning chef and cookbook author who seems to be everywhere at once–including NPR’s Fresh Air, The Today Show and the New York Times’ Best Seller List–spent two days last week in the Bay Area, being fêted at Camino and Jardinière, and reading from his new memoir, “Yes, Chef,” at Book Passage and Google. Bay Area Bites caught up with Samuelsson at Jardinière for an interview…Fried Yardbird (chicken) recipe included!

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