Chew on This: Oakland Food Writers Dish on Oakland Dining

Picture of steak and eggs

In the past two years, Bon Appetit Magazine named two Fruitvale eateries on its coveted Top 10 Places to Eat in the U.S. lists, marking Oakland cuisine on the national map. With San Francisco snagging more Michelin stars than New York, the Bay area food scene’s on fire, gaining recognition around the country and world.

But, what defines Oakland food right now and what makes its restaurants stand out? And, how does the rich history of Oakland eating not get gobbled up by gentrification? As our city grapples with displacement, how can we make sure we don't leave out or leave behind an Oakland food mecca all can experience?

Join us for a lively dialogue with Oakland-based food writers, including Momo Chang, Nik Sharma, Christina Mitchell, and Luke Tsai, moderated by Annelies Zijderveld, where we will dig into what differentiates Oakland dining and how it’s a celebration of its people.


Momo Chang is a freelance journalist based in Oakland. Her work focuses on telling cultural stories through the lens of healthcare, immigration, and food. She has written for the East Bay Express, San Francisco Chronicle, KQED Bay Area Bites, and WIRED. She is a contributing editor for Hyphen magazine and is the Content Manager at the Center for Asian American Media.

Food writer, photographer, and recipe developer Nik Sharma curates the award-winning blog A Brown Table and the featured food column, A Brown Kitchen in the San Francisco Chronicle. He has also written for numerous publications, including Saveur, Taste, Jarry, Extra Crispy and many more. Nik's first cookbook, Season was named one of the best and most anticipated cookbooks of the year by the New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Epicurious, Eater, Grub Street, The New Yorker, The Kitchn, The Food Network, The Forward, Delish, The Library Journal, The BBC Food Programme, The U.K. Sunday Times, The Independent U.K., The Telegraph U.K., The New Zealand Listener among others.

Christina Mitchell started her blog, East Bay Dish, over nine years ago to share her adventures eating in Oakland restaurants. Her writing has also appeared in Berkeleyside, Edible East Bay Oakland Magazine and East Bay Express.

Annelies Zijderveld is the author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea, selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of their favorite cookbooks of 2015. Her food writing, poetry, and photography has been printed in Edible East Bay, allrecipes Magazine, Gluten-Free & More Magazine, the kitchn, Paste Magazine, and others. She regularly teaches cooking classes around the Bay area. Her literary food blog, the food poet, was selected by Alimentum Journal as one of their favorite food blogs and combines her passions of poetry, food, books, and art.

Luke Tsai is a senior editor at San Francisco magazine, where he covers food and restaurants. Previously, he was the restaurant critic and food editor at the East Bay Express. His work has also appeared in publications such as Hyphen magazine and the China Post and has been anthologized in Best Food Writing (2016, 2017). When he isn't writing and editing, you'll find him eating most everything he can get his hands on.




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