Stephen Yafa, author of Grain of Truth, with Craig Ponsford of Ponsford’s Place

GrainofTruth Final Cover - 200x300



In his latest book, Grain of Truth, investigative journalist and award-winning screenwriter Stephen Yafa gives us back our daily bread. At a time when gluten is being denounced as the new asbestos, he sets out to separate truth from fiction. He discovers scientific evidence that mass-production processing methods and monoculture are the culprit, not the inherent genetic make-up of wheat itself. But there’s much more to the story. Artisan whole wheat impresarios like Craig Ponsford form an expanding national movement made up of young, enthusiastic stone-ground millers, growers and renegade bakers who are re-introducing strains of wheat with distinct flavorful personalities and proven health benefits. Their baked goods are probiotic; they break down bulky gluten molecules, provide vital nutrition and fiber, and above all, they’re delicious. But don’t take our word for it. Craig will provide ample samples of the masterworks that he bakes at Ponsford’s Place in San Rafael and talk about why he converted from white to 100 percent whole wheat flour. In addition, Yafa lets us in on a discovery that may change your life — there is in fact a perfect solution for non-celiac gluten-sensitive bread lovers, after all.

Yafa will be discussing his book together with baker Craig Ponsford. Copies of the book will be available; a book signing and sample tasting will follow.

Oliveto Restaurant & Café
Saturday, June 6, 2015 from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Oakland, CA


2017-09-12T15:46:57-07:00May 20th, 2015|Commons Past Events|0 Comments

Real Food Real Stories Picnic with The Local Butcher Shop


We are excited to host Real Food Real Stories and Aaron and Monica Rocchino of The Local Butcher Shop, a high-quality, sustainable whole animal butchery in Berkeley, CA.Aaron and Monica met at Oliveto, and we’re enormously proud of them and consider them part of our family. They will share with you stories of their journey and why they dedicate their lives in this challenging and important work. The Local Butcher Shop sources pasture-raised, antibiotic- and hormone-free meats from local farmers and ranchers located within 150 miles of the Berkeley shop.

Real Food Real Stories creates storytelling gatherings in the Bay Area — the group works to empower the sustainable food movement by facilitating an intimate connection with food changemakers.


A delicious, rustic brunch will be prepared, using meat from The Local Butcher Shop and grains from Community Grains. Come eat,  commune, and hear The Local Butcher Shop’s authentic story.

$30 per person
Saturday, June 20, 2015 from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Oliveto Restaurant & Café
Oakland, CA


In Discussion with Mary Berry


Mary Dee Berry, the Executive Director of The Berry Center, puts to work the writings of her father, Wendell Berry, the author of The Unsettling of America — a book that was, and still is, a rousing cry to protect our land for small farmers and a more sustainable food system. For the whole of her adult life, Mary has been farming organically and sustainably, raising cattle, heirloom pigs, non-GMO hay, and harvesting lumber on 300 hundred acres of mostly wooded land in Kentucky. She brings first-hand experience, expert knowledge of the fundamental thinking behind today’s sustainable food movement, and the wit, charm and good sense that remind us of her father.

What is a good farmer? How do we preserve farm land from agribusiness?? How do we protect the marketplace so that small farmers might thrive? All of these questions will be food for thought.

We are oh so excited to have her here.

Sunday May 3rd, 1 pm – 3 pm


2017-09-12T15:46:59-07:00April 26th, 2015|Commons Past Events|0 Comments

Oliveto Commons: Knife Skills 101


Chef Jonah Rhodehamel’s knives.


Oliveto Commons Event: Knife Skills 101

Jonah’s knives are objects of beauty. They were beautiful to begin with, but their subsequent care and use have made them a reflection of both their owner, a skilled craftsman in his own right, and the knifemakers.

Our kitchen holds a special respect and love for knives, and part of that is caring for them. In our knife class, Jonah will share his  knowledge of the craft of knifemaking and the care and use of knives. We’ll discuss what different knives can do, different materials, and practice sharpening and other skills.

Sunday, April 19th, 1:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $20 and are available at Eventbrite.


From left to right, the knives above are: a custom yanagi (Japanese single-edged slicer) made by Carter, from white super steel, crafted by Murray Carter as a gift; a sujihiki made by Misono, from Swedish steel; a gyutou (Japanese Western-style chef knife) made by Carter, made from white super steel; a deba (Japanese knifer for rough dressing fish) made by Hon Kasumi, from white carbon steel; honesuki  (Japanese poultry knife) made by Misono, from Swedish steel; a hankotsu (Japanese boning knife) made by Kikuichi, from high carbon steel; a Western beef skinner made by Forschner, from stainless high carbon steel. The stones, from left to right, are: a Japanese whetstone made by Takenoko, 6000 grit; a natural Japanese whetstone from the Narutaki District near Kyoto; a whetstone made by King, 1200 grit.


This event is part of  Oliveto Commons, a series of classes, discussions, presentations, events designed to better engage with the neighborhood and offer a venue for a connected community. You can learn more about the Commons and see a calendar of upcoming events here.



Chanticleer Dinner: Menu


Chanticleer in performance at Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes. Photo by Michel Garnier.

Chanticleer in performance at Abbaye aux Dames, Saintes. Photo by Michel Garnier.

Chanticleer Dinner: Menu

Chanticleer, the world-renowned men’s ensemble which has sung in performance halls and cathedrals with the finest acoustics in the world, will be performing here in our state-of-the-art, acoustically-enhanced dining room designed by Meyer Sound.

Taken by our dining room’s being able to mimic the unique acoustic qualities of  different environments at the click of a switch, Chanticleer plans to use the dining room to replicate world-class concert venues. For Chanticleer, this will be a step into the future of musical performance spaces. For us, this is our first foray into using our dining room for musical performance. We hope to have more concerts in the future — this time, our menu will be particularly delectable.

We still have a few seats left for what we think will be a remarkable event! Tickets for the evening are $250 dollars, including tax and service charge, and includes a multi-course meal, beverages, Chanticleer’s 30-minute performance, and an opportunity to meet members of the ensemble. Cocktails will be available for purchase. Proceeds for the evening go to Chanticleer’s education program, which includes 30 East Bay schools.

May 12th, 6 p.m.

To purchase tickets, visit Chanticleer online or call (415) 252-8589.


Passed Appetizers

Antipasti platter of Italian cheeses, house-cured salumi, and prosciutto
Spicy pork polpettini with tomato sugo
Kushi oysters on the half shell
Smoked mozzarella-stuffed arancini


Chilled vellutata of English peas with salad of mint, asparagus, and Fava beans

Acquerello Carnaroli risotto of Porcini mushrooms, saffron, and Fontina Val D’Aosta cheese


Charcoal-grilled Paine Farm pigeon two ways with barlotto, spring onions, and charred strawberry salsa


Pan-roasted halibut with brown butter, capers, and parsley, roast Yellow Finn potatoes, and Bloomsdale spinach


Farrotto of early summer vegetables with a poached farm egg and Pecorino cheese

Fig leaf biancomangiare: panna cotta made with almond milk

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