Fungus Photography: Mushroom hunting in Northern California (through a macro lens)

From Candy Caps to Witch’s Butter, the San Francisco Peninsula can be a field day for foraging—and photographing—fungi. Photos/Intro by Charles Russo. Reporting by Laura Ness A golden chanterelle mushroom, one of the most sought-after species for fungus hunters. Chanterelle mushrooms fetch a high price at grocery stores and are known to be very meaty, with a great flavor that is both nutty and fragrant. They are often found in the vicinity of ...

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Bubbles on the rise: Silicon Valley vintners open up to sparkling wine

Peninsula wineries are tapping into California’s forgotten knack for producing quality bubbly By Carol Maskus “Sparkling wines are pretty versatile with food, are great aperitifs and generally make people happy — what’s not to like?” (Image courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons) Most of us need a little nudge to open up a bottle of sparkling wine—celebratory occasions like a birthday or anniversary—but otherwise tend to dismiss it the rest of the year. In this regard, Valentine’s Day not ...

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The Six Fifty’s full-bodied guide to Beer Week on the Peninsula

From sours to stout, we’ve got everything you need to know about what’s brewing and where it’s hoppin’ Oh, the choices—Beer Week 2018. (Photo by Charles Russo) It’s Beer Week in the Bay Area, and while the massive list of events throughout the region has us hastily scheduling functioning alcoholism onto our calendars, the 2018 incarnation of this festival reads to us here at The Six Fifty like a victory lap for craft brewing ...

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Meet Silicon Valley’s French Master Chef

Talking bouillon, black truffles and Bay Area cuisine with Executive Chef Xavier Salomon of the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay Executive Chef Xavier Salomon pictured in the kitchen at Navio, in the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay. (Photo by Charles Russo) It’s not every day that you get to meet an esteemed French Master Chef, but a day when you can meet half a dozen of them stands out like a civet of duck leg with ...

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“An island of sobriety”: getting to the bottom of Palo Alto’s non-alcoholic history

On Leland Stanford’s orders, PA was dry for a really, really long time. Oh man…if Leland knew: Stanford students drinking up (presumably on a remote section of campus) in 1938. (Courtesy of the Stanford Photo Archive) A few months back I was chatting with my father-in-law, who grew up in Palo Alto back in the 1950s. It’s funny talking with him about the area back then, because he doesn’t so much tell me stories ...

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What? The Shuck: The Six Fifty’s guide to getting your oyster fix on the SF Peninsula

From seafood shacks to high-end hangouts, our list for eating bivalves by the Bay By Charles Russo A double dozen at Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay. (Photo courtesy of Julie Shenkman) Human beings have been eating oysters since forever. In modern times, these fleshy morsels of the sea have gone from a poor man’s staple to a pricey culinary delicacy, farmed to odd deliciousness and shipped live all over the world for consumption. Here ...

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The road less traveled: how one Bay Area chef left the kitchen and embraced #vanlife

Local chef Peter Rudolph packed up his knives and took the family on the open highway. #vanlife: scenes from the road (and the dinner table) via the Instagram accounts of the Rudolph family. (Courtesy of Kristie and Peter Rudolph) Kristie Rudolph was camping in Yosemite with her son Logan when she got a fateful call from her husband Peter. A longtime Bay Area chef, Peter Rudolph was ready to do something his wife had long been ...

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The Six Fifty’s six most offbeat stories about Silicon Valley in 2017

Off-the-beaten path and under-the-radar in Silicon Valley The Six Fifty’s most popular stories of 2017 By Charles Russo “Surreal.” That’s the big-picture adjective we keep coming back to in our effort to sum up the 365 that were 2017. It’s a term that is just broad enough and plenty weird enough to encompass the very long, very strange trip of these past 12 months. At the same time, when it came to our charge of covering the San ...

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Presents for Procrastinators: our local guide to last-minute holiday gifts

Running behind? Out of ideas? Peninsula artists and artisans have a lot to offer. By Laura Ness The third week in December can have the holiday clock looming over you like sugar plum fairies with a disapproving gaze. Yes, it is crunch time for gift buying this holiday season, but fear not, we have compiled an eclectic guide to last-minute presents, which will not only meet the difficult standards of your mother-in-law, but support ...

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Short and sweet: our list of luscious (and local) dessert wines for the holiday

Silicon Valley wineries offer up some fantastic finishes to your feast By Carol Maskus Merry and bright: we found six local dessert wines to keep your holidays festive. (Photo by Charles Russo) Chocolate torte, Buche de Noel, rugelach, sweet potato pie: a big part of holiday feasting is the dessert. And while we often go all out for dessert over the holidays, we typically neglect to properly pair our sweets with appropriate drinks. This can leave ...

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