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Healthy Soil means Flavor Up, Carbon Down

Whenever we talk about how food can reverse climate change, we hear one important question:

What can I do to help? 

The answer starts with a food system focused on Healthy Soil, which draws down CO2, boosts flavor, and restores nutrients. 

As a step toward rewarding farmers and ranchers who are building Healthy Soil, we invite you to consult and participate in the Healthy Soil Guide launching today.

Chefs know that the best food comes from Healthy Soil. Watch the short-short film "Chefs for Soilto see Chefs Dan Barber, Dominique Crenn, Jeremy Fox, Tanya Holland, Corey Lee, Yotam Ottolenghi, and our own Anthony Myint waxing poetic and political in a beautiful video created by our friends at Soil Solutions.

If you're a farmer, we have a portal to share your info and to connect with scientific advisors. If you're a restaurateur, we'd love to include you. If you're a home cook, make this your Monterey Seafood Watch for everything grown on land. 

Check out Civil Eats for more details on the inspiration behind both guide and film. 

The Healthy Soil Guide created by and in consultation with: 

The Perennial Farming Initiative

SNAPP: Managing Soil Carbon Working Group

RSF Social Finance

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So! Many! Events!

Our greenhouse in October, when Sunset Magazine came for a FB Live video.

Our greenhouse in October, when Sunset Magazine came for a FB Live video.

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 WeekWe'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.

If you haven't ordered a turkey yet, may we recommend Root Down Farm's heritage birds?

If you haven't ordered a turkey yet, may we recommend Root Down Farm's heritage birds?

 

 

Please note:

We will be closed November 9 (Thursday) for a private event and Nov 22-23 (Weds-Thurs) for Thanksgiving.

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Chef Nick Balla at The Perennial November 14

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).

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New Chefs!!!! Anthony Myint and Michael Andreatta

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. 

Anthony as a young chef--circa 2009.

Anthony as a young chef--circa 2009.

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.

Michael Andreatta, joining Anthony as co-chef of The Perennial.

Michael Andreatta, joining Anthony as co-chef of The Perennial.

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.)

Two chefs, two kernza bread recipes, two kinds of butter. (Expanded Kernza bread offerings coming soon.)

Two chefs, two kernza bread recipes, two kinds of butter. (Expanded Kernza bread offerings coming soon.)

Just a couple of co-chefs sharing a vegetarian barbecue platter. Smoked meat also available. 

Just a couple of co-chefs sharing a vegetarian barbecue platter. Smoked meat also available. 

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! 

 

 

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Drawdown Getdown

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.

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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!

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"Will Chefs Be Part of the Climate 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.

Learn more at ZeroFoodprint.org or by emailing zerofoodprint@gmail.com.

Anthony Myint is the co-founder of the Perennial, Mission Chinese Food, and Commonwealth Restaurants, and the non-profit Zero Foodprint.

Photo: Alanna Hale

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Learn more about the JBF Impact programs.

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August Events

EAT DRINK SF - FRiday VIP ROOM

Friday 8/25 

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.)

 

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1/2-OFF TAPATIO TEQUILA

Saturday 8/26

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. 

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GROWING A REVOLUTION Book Party

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GROWING A REVOLUTION Book Party

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

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Rising Star Chef!!!!

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!

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Earth Day 2017: Two ways to Celebrate

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Earth Day 2017: Two ways to Celebrate

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!

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