Three San Francisco Bay Area food movements you haven’t heard of… yet

by Kelly Chen
10.07.2014

By now you’ve heard of Alice Waters, the Slow Food movement and Meatless Mondays. But even hardcore Bay Area foodies may not know about the following individuals who are about to radically change the way we think about and eat food.

At this year’s Uncharted: The Berkeley Festival of Ideas, meet and hear from Saru JayaramanDouglas Gayeton and Laura Gayeton-Howard, and Tanya Holland on how they’re revolutionizing the food industry. Tickets are on sale here.

The food worker justice movement

Saru-photo-660x555San Francisco is known for innovation, food and, of course, innovations in food (ie: the experimental chef Daniel Patterson of Coi and, who could forget, the ramen burger). But how are we innovating the food industry itself? Behind the kitchen door, how are we changing the lives of the people who prepare our food?

As the co-founder and co-director of the Restaurant Opportunities Center United, Saru Jayaraman fights for fair wages and safer workplace environment for the 10 millions restaurant workers in America. She is also the Director of the Food Labor Research Center at UC Berkeley, where she researches food and labor issues such as low wage work, mandatory sick days and sexual harassment prevention.

Jayaraman, who was also named one of CNN’s Ten Visionary Women in 2014, will be in conversation with Frances Dinkelspiel at the Uncharted Festival on Friday, Oct. 24.

The lexicon of sustainability

By now, eating locally and sourcing sustainably is baked into almost all menus in the Bay Area, but what do the words actually mean? Filmmaker, artist and writer Douglas Gayeton and his wife Laura Gayeton-Howard make it their mission to educate us on the words and definitions of sustainability. Grayeton’s latest book “Local: The New Face of Food and Farming in America,” introduces more than 200 agricultural terms and ideas as explained by top leaders in the food industry like Alice Waters, all to create a better food system for people and the environment.

The Gayetons will be speaking at Uncharted with Tracey Taylor on Saturday, Oct. 25.

Cooking with soul out of West Oakland

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Holland’s new book, Brown Sugar Kitchen, was co-written with Jan Newberry.

Soul food comes from the heart with love, but for Tanya Holland the executive director and chef at Sugar Brown Kitchen and B-Side Barbecue, soul food comes out of West Oakland with seasonal ingredients and exceptional service. Holland, who is also the host of the Food Network show “The Melting Pot,” just released her second cookbook, “Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland.”

You can catch Tanya Holland in conversation with Twilight Greenaway at Uncharted on Friday, Oct. 24.