Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
Thy Tran writes literary nonfiction about food, the rituals of the kitchen, and the many ways eating and cooking both connect and separate communities around the world. She co-authored the award-winning guide, Kitchen Companion, and her work has appeared in numerous other books, including Asia in the San Francisco Bay Area: A Cultural Travel Guide and Cooking at Home with the Culinary Institute of America. Her writing has been featured in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Fine Cooking and Saveur. A recipient of a literary grant from the San Francisco Arts Commission, Thy is currently working on a collection of essays about how food changes in families across time and place.
Though trained as a professional chef, she works on cookbooks by day, then creates literary chapbooks by night. An old letterpress and two cabinets of wood and lead type occupy a corner of her writing studio, for she is as committed to the art and craft of bookmaking as she is to the power of words themselves. In addition to writing, editing, teaching and printing, Thy remains active in local food justice and global food sovereignty movements. Visit her website, wanderingspoon.com, to learn more about her culinary adventures.
Thy Tran's Latest Posts
(Photo by trp0.) There’s been a lot of buzz lately in San Francisco about planting gardens at Civic Center and bringing in a special farmers market for Slow Food Nation’s big Labor Day blowout. No surprise that the farmers market just across the street, the one that’s been a neighborhood fixture for the past 26 […]
I make it back to the Midwest two, maybe three times a year. Since I gave up my home address in Independence, Missouri, twenty years ago, I’ve seen the area’s fields and grasslands transformed into bustling Walmarts and Home Depots. The surrounding green has turned into asphalt as steadily and relentlessly as the graying of […]
One needs many lifetimes to enjoy all that the Crescent City has to offer. Alas, I only have ten days and one stomach. That hasn’t stopped me from trying, though. Here are just a few of the highlights from the past week…. If you’re here during the winter and if someone you know owns an […]
You know you’re in a food town when the postcard racks stock recipe cards to mail back to your friends. It’s been a long, hot, humid and delicious weekend in New Orleans. Pacing has been key, of course, from judging just how many blocks a human can walk under intense sun to learning how many […]
The CCA’s Carême Room served its last grand buffet this past Friday. Anyone who has recently driven by that familiar corner of Polk and Turk, with its clumps of white-clad culinary students smoking on the sidewalk, would have suspected as much, what with that huge sign advertising “Building for Lease.” With only 300 students enrolled […]
Teaching kids to eat and drink healthfully requires much more than admonitions. After carting away the vending machines and abolishing the Big Gulps, we can’t leave the kids empty-handed. Rachelle Boucher from Generation Chefs is working hard to fill the void. From the popular Pizza Smack-Downs at COPIA to her weekly cooking classes (free to […]
Although I couldn’t attend this past weekend’s Maker Faire, with its inaugural section dedicated to food, I did have a chance to learn a few new tricks for the kitchen. It’s not a recent phenomenon for cooks to hack their utensils and ingredients—Homo “Handy Man” habilis figured out that meat on the stick thing, Mongol […]
Black Tartarian Cherries: “Copyright 1910 – Edward M. Mitchell, San Francisco” In celebration of National Postcard Week, which spans the first week in May in the US and UK, be sure to send out a few notes to your favorite folks. An actual piece of personal mail, let alone hand-written thoughts for someone you know […]
I’m not sure my neural pathways for good ice cream and the future of agriculture have ever sparked simultaneously before, but a recent posting sure caught my attention. If you happen to know someone who recently received their Ph.D. in entomology, you can point them, too, toward Haagen-Dazs’ recently established fellowship in honey bee biology […]
Blueberries and oysters? Chocolate and cauliflower? Blue cheese and rhubarb and pineapple? If taste buds could cringe, then mine were recoiled into a wincing mess when I first learned about these flavor pairings. For those of you who have been eating at El Bulli or The Fat Duck or Alinea, this is all old news. […]
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 Yañez explores a wide swath of themes in their unique […]
Bodega: The Bronx 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 […]