Seasonal. Artisanal. Local. Fresh. Organic. From Alice Waters to Bill Niman to Wolfgang Puck, California cuisine forever changed how Americans eat. In her authoritative new book, Inside the California Food Revolution: Thirty Years That Changed Our Culinary Consciousness, celebrated author and chef Joyce Goldstein traces California food culture from the 1970s to the present, when farm-to-table, foraging and fusion cuisine have become part of the national vocabulary.
Harvard’s Ruth R. Wisse, author of The Modern Jewish Canon, bridges Yiddish and American culture, literature and politics, and Israel and the diaspora. Her latest book, No Joke, applauds spontaneous Jewish wit as well as comic masterworks – from Heine to Roth, Agnon to Babel – but asks readers to consider whether “leave ‘em laughing” is the wisest motto for a people whom others have intended to sweep off the stage of history.
Slate is bringing its award-winning Political Gabfest to the JCCSF for a live show. Acclaimed as “the best political podcast” in America, the Slate Political Gabfest is an irreverent, witty, no-holds-barred discussion of the week’s political and current events. Hosted by Slate senior editor Emily Bazelon, chief political correspondent John Dickerson and editor David Plotz, the show reaches an audience of almost 250,000 people every month.
An original voice in American cooking and an advocate for the home chef, David Tanis (A Platter of Figs, Heart of the Artichoke) writes the weekly “City Kitchen” column for the New York Times and was chef at Chez Panisse. His new book, One Good Dish: The Pleasures of a Simple Meal, offers creative but accessible recipes – from delicate cornmeal popovers, to tartare made from beets – that redefine comfort food.
Fans of Wally Lamb (She’s Come Undone, I Know This Much Is True) have come to appreciate his honest, intimate talks nearly as much as his powerful writing. His latest novel, We Are Water, set early in the Obama presidency, is a disquieting yet ultimately uplifting portrait of a marriage, a family and human resilience in the face of tragedy. Lamb turns his unflinching gaze on modern America, exploring issues of class, changing social mores, the legacy of racial violence, and the nature of creativity and art.
With winemakers David Hirsch, Hirsch Vineyards & Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines
A revolution is afoot in California winemaking. In The New California Wine: A Guide to the Producers and Wines Behind a Revolution in Taste, Jon Bonné introduces us to the iconoclastic young winemakers who are rewriting the rules of contemporary winemaking. Hear innovative “new generation” producers discuss their techniques, and taste their delicious products.
In his new book, Far from the Tree, Solomon examines families coping with children who have extraordinary disabilities as well as children who are prodigies, who are conceived in rape and who become criminals. Showing that differences within families are universal, Solomon expands our understanding of what connects us as humans.
Join us for an evening with Garrison Keillor (A Prairie Home Companion, Lake Wobegon Days), one of America’s most beloved radio hosts and humorists. A longtime poetry advocate who presents a daily poem on The Writer’s Almanac on public radio, Keillor‘s first poetry collection, O, What A Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic and Profound, contains his characteristic humor and insight on love, modernity, nostalgia, politics, religion and other facets of daily life.
Join us for an intimate evening with actor Hal Holbrook, whose memoir, Harold: The Boy Who Became Mark Twain, recounts his troubled boyhood, his experience during World War II and how he found refuge onstage, eventually winning a Tony Award for his role as Mark Twain, with whom his career would forever be associated. Holbrook also starred in All the President’s Men, Wall Street and The Firm.
Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz (Chutzpah, The Case For Israel, Reversal of Fortune) has led or been part of the defense team for Bill Clinton, Julian Assange, O.J. Simpson, Claus von Bulow, Mike Tyson and the former presidents of Ukraine and Pakistan. His new memoir, Taking the Stand, reveals how his thinking has evolved on fundamental issues like the First Amendment, civil rights, abortion and homicide.