food

Solano County legalized home food popups. But 6 months later, chefs still can’t sell

When Solano County approved a new California law that would legalize home-based kitchen operations in April, it seemed like Cheska Kistner’s plans to open a restaurant in her Benicia home would finally come to fruition. The measure, California’s AB 626, allows for what are known as microenterprise food businesses, which Alameda County also made inroads toward legalizing yesterday. But no Bay Area county has yet fully implemented the 2018 law, leaving entrepreneurs like Kistner in limbo.

Under AB 626, cooks can legally sell up to 30 meals a day or 60 per week from their homes when their counties opt in and they have received a permit; their annual gross sales are capped at $50,000. The law has only been implemented in one county so far, Riverside. In Alameda County, many home kitchen operations have proliferated during the pandemic without the option to get proper permitting, leading to the health department cracking down on some.

Solano County is one of the furthest along in the Bay Area, even though the coronavirus pandemic caused officials to delay in-home inspections and permitting until shelter-at-home orders are lifted. What many people thought would be a short delay has lasted six months – and counting.

For Kistner, a personal chef and caterer on and off for nearly 30 years, that means waiting to expand her business beyond the current small number of carry-out orders she makes for family, friends and clients. She would like to recreate the model of her Philippines restaurant, Bale Ku Café, which means “my house” in her local dialect and is operated out of a home. Her Asian fusion dishes — including japchae, with sweet potato noodles and ribeye steak, and ningnang manuk, a grilled chicken and rice dish — generally cost $25 and feed two to three people.

With

Brookside’s new Macho Taco: Mexican food to-go or delivery

Brookside’s Michael Forbes Bar and Grille has launched a “ghost kitchen.”

Macho Taco operates out of the Michael Forbes kitchen but is only available for carryout or delivery through DoorDash.

Macho Taco offers a combination of traditional Mexican dishes with its own house specialties. That includes queso dip, nachos with a choice of steak, chicken or taco meat, chicken wings with house-made sauce, tacos, enchiladas, burritos, fried chicken tenders salad and taco salad, and the “Best Smoked Salsa on the Planet.”

“We make it from scratch — fresh tomatoes smoked in our smoker. Fresh onions and fresh poblano peppers charred over a live grill. Then blended together with cilantro and served with fresh tortilla chips,” said Forbes Cross, owner.

Cross was a founder and partner in Michael Forbes Grill, which operated in Waldo from 1985 to 1999. He opened Michael Forbes in early 2012 at 128 W. 63rd St.

He said about half his customers are dining on the patio, the other half want carry-out. And Mexican, pizza and barbecue seem to be the top choices to take home.

“We already had a lot of good Mexican items on our menu so we expanded it,” Cross said. “Restaurants run on a pretty thin margin and we are doing about half the sales during the pandemic. We’re trying to get some traffic to stay afloat.”

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Joyce Smith has covered restaurant and retail news for The Star since 1989 under the brand Cityscape. She appreciates news tips.

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Rice-Plant Shaped Bamboo Decor And The Food Culture In Tripura

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An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated

The Naadan Kitchen delivers Kerala food in Delhi-NCR

Two entrepreneurial lads have brought us the joy of Kerala food to Delhi, with coconut, chillies, and more than a whiff of home

A photograph of a food-laden table — gleefully forwarded by the partaker of the meal — kept me busy for a few hours last week. The food, I was told, had come from a new Kerala delivery service called The Naadan Kitchen, based in Ghaziabad. I asked for the number (7042255534, 81530384084, 0120-4348258), called them up — and was happy with the first information report: They had various kinds of Kerala dishes, including all kinds of meat; and they were willing to deliver to my neighbourhood.

I was happier still with the food — which I had over two glorious days. We asked for some Malabari parottas, pothu fry, duck curry, and a vegetable thhali, which consisted of red rice, aviyal, thoran, sambar, moru curry, pickle and payasam. I paid a total of ₹1,300 for all this.

The next day, Nadaan’s founder, a young man called Elvin Joseph, insisted that I try out a small portion of his fried pork and chicken biryani.

But let me start at the beginning. The Naadan Kitchen (thenaadankitchen.com) emerged out of a conversation that two friends were having one day, a couple of months ago. One of them was a chef, who had come to Delhi before the lockdown to visit his family, and then stayed back, as his restaurant in Bengaluru shut shop. The other was a marketing executive. They talked about food, and then suddenly thought: Hey, why not start delivering food?

So they created a logo — a picturesque image of a Kerala boat and a coconut tree — and then drew up the menu. They started the service on August 15. Elvin looks after

Vegan Kitchen: Support Black-owned food businesses

Shanna-Kay Wright uses simple ingredients to make the vegan dishes at Yardie Ting in Portland. The owner of the Jamaican restaurant in the Public Market House, Wright says the menu’s many vegan choices reflect the influence of Ital food on the island.

Ital food, eaten by members of the Rastafari religion and movement, is usually vegetarian and always minimally processed. However, Wright points out that Yardie Ting’s vegan dishes don’t qualify as Ital, since to suit local tastes she uses non-Ital ingredients such as salt and garlic powder.

“All my years growing up in Jamaica, you would not use any all-purpose seasoning,” explained Wright, who has run a catering business in Portland since 2013. “Ital means food that is from the earth. No powder seasonings. No salt. All organic. All natural.”

The jerk tofu at Yardie Ting in the Portland Public Market House comes with black beans and a kick of spice. Photo courtesy of Yardie Ting

Ital or not, the Yardie Ting vegan dishes, including jerk tofu, coconut curry, the Mon Hungry sandwich, spinach patties, and the fried plantains, taste great and sell well.

But Wright reports foot traffic at the Public Market House remains slow, with many of the surrounding office buildings still empty. Even so, the brand new restaurant is “staying afloat.”

I’d like to see Yardie Ting doing better. And it’s not just because I like the food.

It’s also because Wright is Black, and I want to take action to promote equity and demonstrate that Black Lives Matter. As a white ally in one of the whitest states in the nation, one of the simplest actions I can take is to spend my money at Black-owned businesses, such as Yardie Ting.

In Maine, we’re blessed to have the new directory blackownedmaine.com, which allows users to