This Saturday, June 10, we are delighted to welcome David Montgomery, to celebrate the publication of his book, Growing a Revolution: Rebuilding our Soil. This book is pretty much a roadmap for our hopes and dreams regarding climate change: the idea that we can draw down CO2 by changing our agriculture. We also loved his books Dirt and The Hidden Half of Nature.)
David will be joined in conversation by Kiera Butler, Senior Editor at Mother Jones and host of the magazine's food podcast, BITE. He will be introduced by filmmaker Barbara Koons Garcia, director of Symphony of the Soil and The Future of Food.
Doors at 4:00, Program at 4:30, book signing (through Omnivore Books) at 5:30.
Free event, but we'd appreciate if you'd register here so we can plan ahead.
Praise for Growing a Revolution:
“Montgomery has the rare talent of making complex scientific topics not only understandable but truly fascinating. Growing a Revolution is both exceptionally enlightening and tremendously enjoyable. Highly recommended reading.”
—Nicolette Hahn Niman, author of Defending Beef and Righteous Porkchop
“Soil's greatest living advocate, David Montgomery, has done it again. Growing a Revolution proposes the radical idea that by improving soil health, we can heal not only the earth but ourselves as well. A call to action that underscores a common goal: to change the world from the ground up.”
—Dan Barber, chef and author of The Third Plate
Announcing Sunday Suppers and guest chefs
The Perennial is changing things up
Starting this weekend, we're switching to a new schedule--from now on, we'll be open on Sundays for a more casual Sunday Supper menu. We'll offer a $49 three-course menu in the dining room and about once a month, we'll also begin welcoming guest chefs to join us on Sundays, beginning with Nichole Accettola (chef of forthcoming Kantine, June 4), Sean Baker (former chef of Gather, July 16), Nick Balla (Bar Tartine/Motze, date TBD).
On Sundays, we'll be opening at 4pm, perfect for an early dinner after a matinee at one of the nearby theaters. We will be closed on Mondays from May 15 onward.
For Sunday June 4, Nichole Accettola will offer a Rye, Pork, and Milk menu that previews her Scandinavian cuisine at Kantine, with a nod toward The Perennial’s sustainable mission.
When I moved from Boston to Copenhagen in the late 90’s, I felt like my life immediately became simplified. There, movies at the cinema started either at 6pm or 9pm, bikes outnumbered cars and there were only a handful of breakfast cereals to choose from at the supermarket. Danish cuisine was and still is, in many ways, simple. Many of the same basic ingredients are used time and time again, but the Danes are experts in using them in a multitude of ways. This innovativeness inspired me to choose three common Scandinavian ingredients - rye, pork and milk – for the June 4th dinner menu.
Each dish from the proposed three-course menu will contain these three ingredients.
Small Plates (served at once)
Sweetbread, leeks, pickled mustard seeds
Herb and little gem salad, Grandma’s dressing,
Rye and whey porridge, straw-smoked fresh cheese, heart, sorrel
Pork shoulder roll, rosehips, fennel
Buttermilk cotta, cherries and green almond shortbread
We are so proud of our chef, Chris Kiyuna, who was just named a 2017 Rising Star Chef by The San Francisco Chronicle.
As Chronicle Food Editor Paolo Lucchesi wrote, "Our Rising Stars are leaders — culinary leaders, kitchen leaders, community leaders, thought leaders. They have missions, they hope that food can be more than sustenance or celebration, and they bring together communities."
Here at The Perennial, we agree. We've been lucky to have Chris on The Perennial team since the very beginning--or even before the beginning, since he signed on about two years before the restaurant opened--and he has developed a culinary style that is not only sustainable, but also highly personal and as full of integrity as the man himself.
Fun fact: Chris is married to 2015 Chronicle Bar Star Karri Cormican Kiyuna. The stars align!
Yes, Earth Day is Every Day, especially here at The Perennial, but we always appreciate a chance to party. So this weekend, we're doing it up all weekend.
Friday, April 21
Bike Powered Margaritas with SF's Dept of the Environment. Plus drink specials on Long Root Ale (courtesy of Patagonia Provisions), so you can happily raise a glass to the earth with the only beer made from perennial grain!
Saturday, April 22
Together with dozens of restaurants around the world, we are offsetting our carbon footprint today through Zero Foodprint, in honor of Earth Day. Each of the participating restaurants is making a donation based on the number of diners that day.--but even if you can't join us for Earth Day, you can get involved by sharing your thoughts on how much carbon neutrality is worth to you, as a diner, by visiting Zero Foodprint's site and taking this poll.
Plus the bar specials launched Friday!
We're featuring Vinca Minor Wine this week, with two events on Friday, March 31.
Happy Hour (4-6pm in the bar): Vinca Minor winemaker Jason Charles will be in our bar to chat about wine & sustainability -- among other things -- during happy hour in our bar. Bar Bites and featured wines are 25% off in our bar 4-6pm Mon-Fri. No reservation required.
Wine Dinner, 5:30-10pm in the dining room: Enjoy a four-course dinner (plus house made bread and butter) with Vinca Minor wine pairings. 3-course, pre-theater menu with pairing also available. Reserve through OpenTable or by calling 415-500-7788.
Meanwhile, VICE News filmed The Perennial (and our greenhouse) for HBO. Watch here!
"The Power of Fish Poop at the Perennial" aired on VICE News Tonight on March 16 on HBO. Award for best line probably goes to Nathan, who defines his own "personal mantra around sustainability" apropos of mouse melons in the greenhouse:
"The way you subvert the dominant paradigm," Nathan explains, "is by having way more fun than them and making sure they know it."
When The Perennial opened on January 20, 2016, we weren’t thinking about presidential politics—we were picking the first day that we felt ready to welcome the public to experience a project we’d been working on for years. Now, however, as we approach our first anniversary, Inauguration Day looms over the calendar, dominating most of our thoughts and feelings about January 20.
And yet we feel it’s worthwhile to reflect on the first year of The Perennial. From the beginning, we set out to prove that a sustainable restaurant could be just as delicious as any other restaurant, and we feel that we’ve done that, with national accolades from Bon Appétit and other magazines, plus local love from the press, our peers, and above all, our diners. There have been moments when we’ve worried that our mission has diverted attention from our food and drinks, and other moments when we’ve relished the chance to share our message of regenerative agriculture with the world, like when we spoke at noma's MAD conference, or when we took over the Asian Art Museum with an exhibit on food and sustainability. This has been a year of highs and lows, with a lot of fun and a lot of work. That’s the life of a restaurant.
So, for our first birthday, instead of celebrating on January 20th, we decided to take a trip with our staff over Martin Luther King weekend, which would allow us to celebrate our values: banding together against climate change, with optimism and great food. Along with friends from CUESA, Slow Food SF, and other members of our community, we planted more than 200 redwoods and 150 willows along Stemple Creek in Marin County, as part of an effort to restore the riparian ecosystem and draw down CO2 from the atmosphere with help from perennial plants. (And trees that can live thousands of years are the ultimate perennials.) Then we ate lunch and basked in the sunshine and the beauty. It was a moment to celebrate what we can accomplish, together.
Of course, a few hundred trees will not stop climate change. Neither will a single restaurant, no matter how hard we work. We know this, but we also know that we are onto something hopeful and local, in spite of the alarming news on the national level. What can we do, when our incoming government denies climate change? Well, for one thing, we can organize politically -- but we can also engage in direct action like tree-planting or gardening, or grocery shopping with an eye on climate change. We can create the conditions necessary to support farmers and ranchers whose practices offer our best hope against climate. As we look back on a year at The Perennial, that’s what we believe is important, and that’s what we’re going to work on in the coming year as well. We knew when we started that it we were taking on a big challenge, and we’re going to keep at it, year after year. You know, perennially.
We were delighted to be a part of The Cal Academy's recent "How To" Night, where we debuted a new short film about our Kernza bread. Pastry Chef Nicola Carey shed her kitchen whites for the occasion and did a live demo as well. About 2500 people attended the event (not all pictured, in spite of our best efforts)! What a great time!
Check out the film on our YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/Lw6DYa0ExMQ
I've read that experiences make the best gifts, and if you couldn't snag Hamilton tickets, we have another experience that could make a great gift. (And if you are going to Hamilton, we're just around the corner from the theater!)
On January 15, we're launching a new event series with CUESA and Slow Food SF that's all about becoming a part of the change you want to see in the New Year. We're calling it a Ground Work Party, and it means getting a hands-on experience of regenerative agriculture.
We'll meet at The Perennial and travel via party bus to Stemple Creek Ranch in Marin. Our goal is to plant 200 tress as part of helping to transition parts of the ranch towards carbon farming. What’s carbon farming you might ask? Come find out! Fourth generation rancher Loren Poncia will be our host, walking guests through the processes by which cattle and ranchers (and diners) are part of the climate change solution. Lunch (featuring Stemple Creek beef) will be cooked by The Perennial's own Chris Kiyuna and Anthony Myint, with plenty of drinks and conversation.
Cocktail hour starts upon boarding at 9:30am, serious tree planting starts at 11:00am and a cookout prepared by Chris Kiyuna and Anthony Myint (The Perennial) will follow. Ticket includes transportation, food, beverages and the costs of adopting a tree (which is not cheap!). If you're reading this and you're a bluegrass band, we'd love to trade you tickets for a pop-up show. Or meet us there, if you're coming from outside SF.
At The Golden Gate Restaurant Association's first annual Saucy Award ceremony, The Perennial was honored to be named Sustainable Restaurant of the Year. The event was full of restaurant and bar folks from around the Bay Area (7 counties represented), and we were happy for the occasion to cheer one another on.
Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners, and to everyone on our team at The Perennial!
We get a lot of questions about our greenhouse operations, so we're happy to share some pictures taken by our new friend Lingling Chen. (Thanks, Lingling!) As you'll see, there are a bunch of different systems at work in our greenhouse, and though we're using aquaponics, there's still plenty of dirt!