Stephen Calen is a musician and chef at Pott Wine.
What was the food highlight of your year?
My food highlight of the year was courtesy of The Flower Vato, Larry Rodriguez. Lalo’s Restaurant in Sacramento. The most stunningly awesome mexican food I have EVER had. One of a kind, the most incredible salsas I have ever put in my mouth. This is no small feat. I have taken at least 20 trips to Mexico, Yucatan to Tijuana, and grew up in California. I am all about this food and Lalo’s makes me feel like a pretender. I’m a devout atheist and I pray ten times a day that the recipes are committed to a book before the grandma passes.
What was the music highlight of your year?
My musical highlight this year is a bit harder to conjure because for most of it, I worked as a line cook (happily, I have stepped away from that!) which isn’y very compatible with live music. I had a dinner with Greg Winter during the year. He drums for Spot 1019 and also makes wine. This band had a pretty special appeal to me and Greg gifted me a CD, most of which I had not heard, In Her Satanic Majesty’s Secret Service Entrance. It was played loudly and frequently and made me feel giddily young every time!
Was there a moment when food and music came together in a memorable way?
Food and Music came together for me best at Nellie Dorn’s May Party in July. Lot’s of folks got together at the Dorn Cabin at Dorn Bay on Clear Lake and ate, drank, and made music. Scott Powers (El Camino Cha Cha Orquestra, Los Super Elegantes, Link Wray, The Residents) invited a bunch of friends to play and many of the invitees were Bay Area musicians. I hauled up my Smoker and did up about 12 Racks of Ribs. ‘Nuff said!