5 Questions with Cookbook Author & Food Writer Annelies Zijderveld
ANNELIES ZIJDERVELD is the author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea, selected by the Los Angeles Times as one of their favorite cookbooks in 2015. She writes about food, culture, and the arts with work appearing in Porter House Review, PASTE, Edible East Bay, the Kitchn, and San Francisco Classical Voice with photography appearing in the Los Angeles Times and other publications. Her poetry appears or is forthcoming in Ethel Zine, the Racket Reading Series Quarantine Journal, and Alexandria Quarterly. She is on the board for the International Association of Culinary Professionals and a contributing editor for Harpy Hybrid Review. She teaches cooking classes around the Bay area and lives in Oakland. Find her online at @anneliesz.
BFiO: Whose food in Oakland do you enjoy as much as your own?
ANNELIES: Cosecha has my heart and I miss the Swan Market bustle. Nido is a favorite for brunch as is Sequoia Diner (though early breakfast is more like it there—especially for hot out of the oven sticky buns). Pollo adobado at El Tio Juan never does me wrong (ditto Guadalajara for caldo) and I miss lingering over ridiculously good Everything Bagels and Flying Goat coffee at Beauty's. Then, again, lingering over chai at Awaken Cafe downtown was always a favorite too. Cholita Linda's fish tacos and plantain chips with aji can't be beat and I crave the cilantro sauce (used for dipping in my house!) of Sliver Pizza. When will I get to sink my teeth into a slice of chocolate zucchini bread from Chocolate Dragon again? Or, eat a tea leaf salad from Burma Superstar? Or, even get a deep dish with roasted garlic from the Star? My last meal out before sheltering in place was for biscuits and breakfast at Brown Sugar Kitchen. I still miss the fries and pickle mayo at Clove & Hoof (though their sleeper hit on the menu was hands down their salads—I've always liked the way they think about flavors and creating dishes). One day I'll make it back to get another black sesame boba from One Zo. Or, a breakfast sandwich from Sweet Bar Bakery, or the maple cronut from Firebrand... I could go on! I miss dining out.
BFiO: What food do you think is overrated?
ANNELIES: Anything with a lot of hype and little substance.
BFiO: What’s missing in the Oakland food scene?
ANNELIES: Good question! We have so much available in terms of diversity. I'm going to say that what's missing right now are the diners amid shuttered restaurants. I worry about what that beautiful culinary diversity will look like once indoor dining becomes a possibility again.
BFiO: At what local Oakland markets do you shop for ingredients/food?
BFiO: What does The New Normal look like for Oakland restaurants & food businesses in the age of COVID-19?
ANNELIES: We have been doubling down on where we put our dollars. We want to know that the restaurants we love will weather this time and come back stronger than before. I think the new normal has to appeal to customers as the people behind the restaurants—who is making your food? What makes them indispensable to the community? We have to support one another for us to get through this. I believe that 100%.