5 Questions with Savannah O'Neill
SAVANNAH O'NEILL is an Oakland social worker and baker who bakes dreamy cakes at Riot Bakes as seen on Instagram. Initially, baking was a practice of catharsis and continues to be a refuge. It has grown into a way to express care, joy and celebration and is rooted in traditions of sharing food with people you love.
BFiO: Whose food in Oakland do you enjoy as much as your own?
SAVANNAH: There is so much incredible food in Oakland and I live with a chef so I am spoiled. But my staples are Pho Ao Sen, Hawking Bird, Enssaro, and Shan Dong. I love a meal at Mama, brunch at Sequoia Diner, and pizza from Dimond Slice.
BFiO: What food do you think is overrated?
SAVANNAH: Oysters. Steak & eggs for breakfast.
BFiO: What’s missing in the Oakland food scene?
SAVANNAH: I'd love to see more black owned grocery stores in East Oakland that provide affordable and local produce for people to easily cook with.
As for restaurants, sometimes I crave fine dining that is seasonal, vegetable forward and all shared plates and I haven't found that here as much as I would like.
BFiO: At what local markets do you shop for ingredients/food?
SAVANNAH: I almost exclusively shop at Farmer Joe's and farmers markets.
BFiO: What does The New Normal look like for Oakland restaurants & food businesses in the age of COVID-19?
SAVANNAH: I don't come from the restaurant industry, but I hope the incredibly dedicated, passionate, brilliant people who serve us the food we all love so much are not exploited and that some changes are implemented in the industry that might not have been working in the past.
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