Sean Timberlake is the founder of Punk Domestics.
What was the food highlight of your year?
There were many things that stick with me: Revelatory kombucha (which I previously hated) at Kookoolan Farms in the Willamette Valley in Oregon; hauntingly delicious parsnip cake from Fable in the Castro; super-umami zosui at Nabe in the Sunset; mind-bending fermented tofu that was reminiscent of bleu cheese at ICHI Sushi; eating worms, grasshoppers and ant eggs in Guadalajara. But two of my favorite meals were in our own home, honoring two food legends who left us this year. In October we commemorated Marcella Hazan with an Italian dinner featuring lasagne with bolognese from her recipe. Then just over a week ago we made Zuni roast chicken and caesar salad to pay respect to Judy Rodgers. Our friend made the gateau victoire, the recipe for which she long ago wrested from the staff at Zuni. (It’s not in the cookbook.)
What was the music highlight of your year?
Two things: We went to see Caravan Palace perform at Bimbo’s 365 in July. I’ve enjoyed their music just generally, but they brought incredible energy to the stage. Infectious and imminently danceable. On the opposite side of the coin, we attended the funeral services for Jose Sarria, a.k.a., the Widow Norton, at Grace Cathedral. It was a moving affair, full of the most illustrious and illustrated folks San Francisco has to offer. At the end, though, for the retiring procession, the organist played Jean Langlais’ “Incantation pour in Jour Saint,” which is the most apocalyptic piece I’ve ever heard in my life. Deeply discordant, it shakes your body to the core.
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
We went to Juhu Beach Club, Preeti Mistry’s restaurant in Temescal, Oakland, shortly before it opened to the public. As we entered and sat, “I Will Survive” was playing. Preeti came over to our table and said that she had told the hostess to quickly put on the gayest music possible to make us more comfortable.