Sunday, August 26, 2007

Zuni, Quince buy their produce in Berkeley

Tonight Anne and I watched the engaging documentary "Eat at Bill's," about Monterey Market in Berkeley, and learned that chefs from Zuni, Quince, Foreign Cinema and other San Francisco restaurants cross the bay to buy vegetables and fruit there, a mile from our home.

I knew Monterey Market as the place where Anne could get sour cherries for pie at certain times of year, and as the neighborhood place with better variety than Berkeley Bowl, which is a much longer drive away (albeit with longer hours).

What I didn't realize is that Monterey Market has become a key supporter of pioneering farmers and a hub for some of the most interesting produce out there. Nor did I realize how many culinary maestros slip in its back door every morning.

I was pessimistic that a documentary about a produce market could fill an hour. Eat at Bill's is an uplifting and fun movie that unexpectedly brought me close to tears.

I checked the movie out from the library, another option is to buy the DVD online for $20. They also carry it at Monterey Market.

The filmmaker, Lisa Brenneis, wrote more about the movie in Edible East Bay.

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