Tonight -- and tonight only -- we have Chef Nick Balla in the house, collaborating with us on a menu tracing the links between Hungarian and Chinese cuisine, with a dash of sustainability. Here's the menu (everyone gets everything)!!
As we barrel toward the holidays, we have quite a few events planned for the next week or so. Hope you can join us for some of them!
November 11 (Sat): Tour of The Perennial's Greenhouse with CUESA and Don Bugito.
November 13-18 (Mon-Sat): ChefsGiving Week. We're donating proceeds from our chicken & waffles dish with ChefsGiving, whose "goal is to raise funds for those in need of temporary and long-term housing throughout Wine Country." (Reservations by phone or via OpenTable.)
November 13 (Mon): We'll be supporting one of our favorite publications, Civil Eats, at their annual fundraiser with a table of food showcasing our house-made bread, baked with soil-restoring Kernza.
November 14 (Tues): Duna Chinese Food with visiting chef Nick Balla exploring intersections of Hungarian and Chinese cuisine with our chefs, Anthony Myint and Michael Andreatta. Fundraiser for SF Fights Fire. ($49/person; reservations by phone or OpenTable.)
November 16 (Thurs): The Perennial will headline The Cal Academy's annual BiteLife event, with our (new) co-chef Michael Andreatta and (old) co-founder Karen Leibowitz on hand with food and conversation.
We will be closed November 9 (Thursday) for a private event and Nov 22-23 (Weds-Thurs) for Thanksgiving.
On Tuesday Nov 14, Chef Nick Balla of Duna will join forces with Anthony Myint and Michael Andreatta for a one-night-only, nose-to-tail, climate-beneficial, lamb-centric dinner, benefitting SF Fights Fire in Sonoma County. With "Duna Chinese Food," we're exploring Hungarian food and its link to China, drawing on unique items from the Duna larder as well as unusual flavors from The Perennial's aquaponic greenhouse.
We're going where the Danube meets the Yangtze and it could be a wild ride.
Reservations available 5:30-9 (call 415-500-7788 or reserve online here). We will also be serving the menu on a walk-in basis in the bar. $49/person (exc tax, drinks, and gratuity, but including donation to SF Fights Fire).
We are excited to announce that our co-founder Anthony Myint will return to the kitchen as co-chef with our friend Michael Andreatta, who has recently returned to San Francisco from a sojourn in Chicago. Anthony and Mike are excited to work together to express The Perennial's mission of fighting climate change with great food.
The Perennial will (of course!) continue to advocate for sustainability by showcasing ingredients from regenerative farms and ranches, while the new menu will incorporate the playful, collaborative, experimental style Myint developed as chef of Mission Street Food, and will welcome guest chefs to get involved in building a larger movement.
Since opening The Perennial in January 2016, departing chef Chris Kiyuna was named a Rising Star Chef by The Chronicle and helped the restaurant earn a “Best New Restaurant” nod from Bon Appétit and GQ, among other accolades. Chris intends to explore his other interests, beyond the food world, after helping Anthony and Mike transition into their new roles over the next two weeks.
Anthony is grateful to have worked with Chris as opening chef, allowing him to immerse himself in the connections between food, climate change and healthy soil, including his non-profit Zero Foodprint, which helps restaurants become carbon neutral, and The Perennial Farming Initiative, which promotes regenerative agriculture. In each project, Myint is motivated by food and the restaurant insudtry's capacity to combat climate change, and now he’s excited to express his ideas and activism through cooking again. (He was chef of the influential Mission Street Food 2008-2010.)
Mike, too, has a passionate commitment to sustainability, and came back to the Bay Area energized by the idea of making a difference while having a good time. Or, as he puts it, “I have been working personally on being as sustainable as I can be in my life, ever since I can remember, but my overwhelming goal and desire is to just have fun with it all. I've been an outdoorsy guy since I was 11, and a forager since I was 18. I got into food because it brought joy to me to cook for friends, family, and strangers, and to give them joy in doing it.” The co-chefs' new menu items will begin to populate the menu over the second half of September, to be fully phased in by October 1.
The Perennial's new menu features re-imagined classics, like a Vegetarian Barbecue platter with smoked kale rib, barbecued onion, carrot steak, black rice, beluga lentils, and chimichurri broth. Diners have the option to stick with the deeply satisfying (even “meaty”) vegetarian platter, or add on crispy bits of barbecued meat as a condiment of sorts. The Perennial will also offer a slider version of Myint’s “Apocalypse Burger,” which has been a celebrated mainstay at Corey Lee’s In Situ. Mike Andreatta is drawing on his Italian heritage and travels to expand the restaurant’s house made pasta program, and will continue to advance the range of sustainable grains at The Perennial.
Sneak preview: get an advance taste of the co-chef's new ideas for The Perennial at an event we're curating around food and climate solutions at the JCC on Sept 24. We'll have a bunch of art and activities, and we're honored to have environmentalist Paul Hawken joining us. Details here: https://tickets.jccsf.org/arts-ideas/drawdown-getdown/ We'd love to see you there, and at The Perennial!
We're pretty excited. For the past few months, we've been working closely with the JCC's Arts and Ideas team on an event that's finally close to happening. We're calling it Drawdown Getdown, and it's all about the ways that food and farming can help stop climate change by pulling CO2 out of the atmosphere. We are delighted to present an inspiring talk by Paul Hawken, editor of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming (and we love that 11 of the top 25 solutions are in the food category!). Tickets include a copy of the book. We'll also be joined by Patagonia Provisions (and their beer), Straus Family Creamery (for a collaboration with The Perennial), Recology (ask the expert), the Lexicon of Sustainability (art of regenerative agriculture), and more.
Tickets here and more details below:
Sunday, Sep 24. Starts at: 12:30 pm
General Admission $25. Members get 10% off. Tickets include a copy of Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.
The JCCSF and The Perennial Present
With environmentalist Paul Hawken and Friends. Curated by Karen Leibowitz and Anthony Myint
Could global warming be stabilized – or even reversed – using solutions that already exist? Join us for an interactive afternoon of ideas, activities, tastes and inspiration curated by restaurateurs and activists Anthony Myint and Karen Leibowitz (The Perennial, Mission Chinese Food, Commonwealth) as they pop up at the JCCSF with an optimistic message about stopping climate change with food.
They are joined by renowned environmentalist Paul Hawken, whose Project Drawdown assembled a team of over 200 scholars, scientists, policymakers, business leaders and activists to put forward the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming, along with local experts and community partners like Recology for a food-focused conversation on tangible climate change solutions.
Throughout the afternoon, taste the Perennial’s signature kernza bread, made from a regenerative perennial grain, and Patagonia Provisions’ kernza beer, Long Root Ale; experience art by the Lexicon of Sustainability; play with interactive exhibits on food and climate change; enjoy a Perennial pop-up collaboration with Straus Family Creamery; and so much more. Taste, see, hear, feel and even smell how food can be part of the climate change solution!
Our co-founder, Anthony Myint, wrote an opinion piece published by the James Beard Foundation today, having participated in the JBF Chef's Boot Camp for Policy and Change this year. We are reposting here because we share Anthony's passion for harnessing chefs' capacity to have a positive impact on the world beyond their restaurants.
The concept of global warming can feel paralyzing. It’s so vast and distant that it’s hard to prioritize, and this is especially true for chefs who are already worried about whether their dishwasher is showing up for work, if their orders are coming, or how to make payroll this month. But chefs care about climate change: our livelihoods depend on nature and taking care of people, and chefs have a can-do attitude. Action is now more important than ever before, as we face President Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris Climate Accord, and the detachment of a trillion-ton iceberg from the Antarctic.
The food system accounts for about half of all greenhouse gases, and we know that buying local and organic is not going to work for every kind of operation. Besides, a commitment to good sourcing only accounts for some of the decisions that a restaurant faces. After all, what is the actual impact of using organic onions for stock, and is it worth the price? What do I do if I can’t afford solar panels? What if my customers won’t pay double the price for grassfed beef?
What if I told you that fried chicken can be an environmental act? Or that French wine can be a more sustainable choice than a bottle from a local vineyard?
Figuring out a restaurant’s carbon footprint offers a concrete, measurable way to contextualize climate change and convert environmental ideals into climate-smart decisions. For example, if the carbon footprint of the feedlot burger is four times that of fried chicken, then choosing between the two becomes less abstract. Likewise, we know that the sashimi shipped from Japan is a bad choice for the environment, but wine imported by boat, cellared below ground, and produced from a vineyard that has been biodynamic for decades, has a much lower carbon footprint than the local wine that’s been air-conditioned and chemically fertilized.
Chefs can educate themselves, make changes, and can implement energy-saving measures like turning down their water heater to 140°F, but there will still always be some environmental impact: there are still ingredients and they are still cooked.
The last thing diners want to talk about is how a restaurant is saving energy by cleaning the compressors more often, or how switching the steak dish to a pork chop reduces the carbon footprint: it’s too incremental of a conversation. But diners can grasp the big idea that a restaurant is carbon neutral in the same way that they are happy to pay a premium for free-trade coffee or an electric car.
We started Zero Foodprint with the goal of inviting chefs and restaurants to be carbon neutral and then to get enough places on board to make that a search category through Yelp, OpenTable, Resy, and more. In the same way that infrastructural changes, like building the electric charging stations necessary to power electric cars, help to take alternative fuel mainstream, achieving a critical mass of tweaks in choice for diners would shift the restaurant industry.
We already have 30 restaurants that have pledged to be carbon neutral every day, and to celebrate Earth Day, we got 100 restaurants to be carbon neutral for one day. We’re starting a movement to align sustainability and dining in a way that can include any restaurant, whether you’re fast food or craft barbecue. At Mission Chinese Food in San Francisco, we contribute about 10 cents per diner to greenhouse gas reduction projects in the food system to offset our entire carbon footprint. At Corey Lee’s three-Michelin-starred restaurant Benu, the contribution is about 35 cents per diner, which makes the entire luxurious 25-course meal of a lifetime also environmentally responsible. I can’t imagine a single person choosing not to go to Benu over an additional 35 cents, and neither can Corey. He’s committed all of his restaurants to being carbon neutral.
This is the other commonality among chefs that I’ve come to appreciate: pride. We earn the right to charge appropriately for something with integrity: food that is truly good. This is more or less the highlight of our work—making food as good as we can make it. Food can be part of the climate solution, and I’m calling for more leaders to join the movement to make our food system better. Let’s establish sustainability as a culinary virtue.
Anthony Myint is the co-founder of the Perennial, Mission Chinese Food, and Commonwealth Restaurants, and the non-profit Zero Foodprint.
Photo: Alanna Hale
EAT DRINK SF - FRiday VIP ROOM
Eat Drink SF is back August 24 - 27! Eat Drink SF is San Francisco's premier food and drink festival celebrating the Bay Area's world class culinary community. Tickets are on sale now and selling fast. Get yours today: http://eatdrink-sf.com/
(We'll be offering up tastes of The Perennial in the VIP area on Friday.)
1/2-OFF TAPATIO TEQUILA
Check out our new beet shrub cocktail Sick Beets, Bro (pictured) featuring Tapatio Anejo or our Perennial favorite (see what we did there?) Grapefruit Three Ways made with Tapatio 110, house-made grapefruit syrup, distilled zest, and of course fresh, grapefruit juice (both $6 for the night).
Plus $4 shots of Tapatio Blanco andTapatio Reposada, or Tapatio Anejo for $5. Compare and contrast and find your tequila sweet spot. Bar and dining room. 4pm-close.
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
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."