Grove Gourmet Picnic Contest with Anchor Brewing, 2017

There are few things more “summer” than Stern Grove Festival, but beer and picnicking comes pretty close. This weekend, we’re teaming up with our sponsor Anchor Brewing Company for the first Grove Gourmet Picnic Contest of the 80th season.

Bring your favorite beer-inspired picnic to the San Francisco Symphony’s performance at the Grove on Sunday, July 9. First place wins a private VIP brewery tour and tasting for 8 adults at Anchor Brewery. Second place will take home an Anchor merchandise gift basket.

Come prepared with enough to share with our judges! Anchor brewers in white coveralls will be in the Grove to judge picnic spreads between noon and 1:30 p.m. Be sure to let us know you’re entering into the contest by sharing an Instagram or tweeting a picture of your picnic and tagging #sterngrovefest and #RaiseYourAnchor.

Not sure what to bring? Here are some of delicious recipes for Anchor Brewing beer-centric bites, courtesy of Chef Kenneth Hernandez, Culinary Engineer and Founder of Collective Green SF.

If you’re of age, you can find the following tasty brews and others with Anchor Brewing’s Beer Finder.


Anchor Summer Wheat Potato SaladServes 10
Ingredients:

3 12 oz. cans of Anchor Summer Wheat® 3 cups vegetable stock or water
3 lbs. Yukon gold potatoes or red potatoes cut to medium dice
2 bay leaves
1/2 red onion diced and quickly pickled in red wine vinegar
2 stalks of celery diced
2 tablespoons chopped dill
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
4 oz. of mayo or vegan mayo
2 tablespoons mustard Salt pepper, mustard powder and paprika to taste
Lemon juice or red wine vinegar to taste

Instructions:

  1. Soak diced red onions in red wine vinegar for at least 1 hour.
  2. Bring Anchor Summer Wheat® and vegetable stock or water to a boil and simmer for 3 minutes with bay leaves. Add potatoes and cook until soft.
  3. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl (red onions should be removed from red wine vinegar), add potatoes.
  4. Add salt, pepper, mustard powder, paprika, and lemon juice/red wine vinegar to taste.

 


Anchor IPA Beer Bread – Serves 12

Ingredients:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
1/4 brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sea salt or salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon fresh dill
1 12 oz. cans/bottles Anchor IPA™
1 tablespoon lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or lime juice
1/4 Ghee, Butter or Vegan Butter

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees, grease baking pan (9” x 4.5” pan or similar)with preferred fat (ghee, butter or vegan butter).
  2. In a bowl or standard mixer add self-rising flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, garlic powder, dill. Mix until evenly combined.
  3. Add beer and lemon/lime juice or apple cider vinegar and mix until moist.
  4. Transfer dough to baking pan. Top with preferred fat (ghee, butter or vegan butter).
  5. Bake 40 minutes to 1 hour until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to cool.
  6. Top with fresh dill, herbs and sea salt.

Anchor California Lager Kebobs – Serves 10

Ingredients:
3 lbs. of boneless organic chicken breast
Chicken Marinade: 1/4 cup chopped parsley, mint, cilantro, basil; salt, pepper, lemon juice, red chili flakes to taste; dash of grape seed oil and 2 12 oz. cans/bottles Anchor California Lager®.
1 lb. red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch square pieces
1 lb. red onion, cut into 1-inch square pieces
1 lb. wild mushroom or crimini mushroom, cut into 1-inch square pieces
10 10-inch wood skewers (soak in cold water for up to an hour)
Aluminum foil

Instructions:

  1. Combine all ingredients for marinade in a large bowl, whisk until emulsified
  2. Cut chicken breast into medium size squares. Add to marinade and let sit for 2 hours (8 hours maximum)
  3. Pre-heat grill or oven at 375 degrees
  4. Wrap foil around bottom of skewers up to 4 inches (this will prevent skewers from breaking apart on grill)
  5. Skewer vegetables and meat in desired order (red pepper, chicken, red onion, chicken, mushroom, chicken, red pepper)
  6. Grill skewers on each side until cooked (internal temperature for chicken should be 165 degrees)

Liberty Ale Peanut Butter Brownies – Makes 3 dozen cookies (medium-sized)

Ingredients:
5 Eggs
1/3 cup Peanut Butter
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet or dark chocolate roughly chopped
1/2 Cocoa Powder
2 cups flour
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar or coconut sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or fresh vanilla bean
1 1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup Liberty Ale®

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a bowl mix cream, peanut butter, butter, Liberty Ale® and a dash of salt
  3. Beat eggs and vanilla extract (or vanilla bean) until combined
  4. Add flour, cocoa powder and a dash of salt
  5. In a greased baking pan pour brownie butter and bake for 25 minutes or until toothpick test comes out clean.

All photos credited to Joseph Phillips Photography.

Local Food Trucks at Stern Grove Festival’s 80th Season

A big part of Stern Grove Festival’s mission is to provide a space for local artists to showcase their talents. In a city with cuisine this diverse and impressive, San Francisco knows that art isn’t limited to the stage—it can often be found on our plates.

Back by popular demand, the Festival is partnering up with local food trucks throughout the season to bring you great local cuisine. Each concert Sunday from July 2 to August 27, visit the West Meadow to peruse the offerings from some of the Bay Area’s favorite trucks. We’ll also have classic Festival favorites from our longtime local partner, Tante’s, in the Esplanade (knishes and garlic fries, anyone?). Read on below to learn a bit about the food trucks, and check out some of our favorite items!


El Sur

July 2, July 30, and Aug 27
Handmade, locally sourced empanadas by Marianne Despres, a classically trained chef with roots in Argentina and France. When you're there (obviously ordering the empanadas, see below) be sure to admire the craftsmanship of their truck, a fully restored vintage 1970 Citroen H-Van that is the first of its kind in the SF Bay Area.

Our pick? As nothing pairs quite as well as music festivals and handheld food, we're obviously fans of the empanadas. Particularly, the Traditional: hand-cut Five Dot Ranch Beef, Onion, Oregano, Pimentón, Olive, Egg.



Empanadas in Menlo Park tonight! Find us @thewillowsmarket from 5-8 pm! #elsursf #empanadasargentinas


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The van looking good at Fort Mason A post shared by El Sur (@elsursf) on



Frozen Kuhsterd
July 2, Aug 6, Aug 20
West Coast Style frozen custard is Frozen Kuhsterd's "scoop-able experiment in indulgence." They partner with the best artisan purveyors to create magical desserts by taking frozen custard and adding fun, joy, and mischief.

With flavors like white coffee, spiced caramel apple, maple butter, and dozens more, it's honestly hard to go wrong. Frozen Kuhsterd also switches up their specialty offerings pretty often. Specifically, this Cornbread Sundae with a cornbread muffin and topped with whipped maple Butter and burnt caramel caught out eye:


Sajj Mediterranean
July 23, Aug 13
Mobile Mediterranean food brought to you! Nothing will warm you up on a cool Stern Grove morning quite like a shawarma wrap or falafel bowl (see below).

National Falalel Day is Monday, June 12th! Come celebrate with us and receive a free Falalel order with any meal purchase.

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Curry Up Now
July 9, Aug 20
Curry Up Now is taking traditional Indian cuisine and flipping the script by presenting the flavors in more approachable ways. Think deconstructed samosas, Indian-inspired poutine, and this tikka masala burrito:

#myhappyplace 🙏🏼

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The longest day of the year means you get to eat four meals, right? #firstdayofsummer #summersolstice #sexyfries

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Slider Shack
July 16, Aug 13
Slider Shack specializes in delicious sliders and other healthy Californian classics, with a Hawaiian twist. Outside of the intensely delicious flavors and high-quality ingredients, the best part about Slider Shack is the fact that you can hold two of these delicious babies in your hands at all times.

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Humphrey Slocombe
July 16
Whether it's 70 degrees without a breeze or Karl the Fog decides to hang, it's always #icecreamweather in San Francisco, and the amazing creators behind Humphry Slocombe know this. From their insane icy offerings to their more tame treats like this mango and strawberry margarita duo, there is surely a flavor out there for everyone.

Let's still hope for that sun... though.


Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos
July 23
OMG. Ice cream tacos? Made with local and organic ingredients? DIPPED IN CHOCOLATE? We're in. To top it off, Rocko's Ice Cream Tacos' business practices are a product of their core beliefs: that they should produce sustainable products while building strong relationships within the community. We're definitely in.

Look at all that delish! Available tonight at Off the Grid Haight market til 9p!

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Hey SF peeps! Did you miss us at Outside Lands? No worries. Make good tonight at Spark food truck park! #tacotuesday #🍦🌮

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Mattersons Jamaican Cuisine AKA Scotch Bonnet Food Truck
Aug 6
There's a special place in our belly for comfort food like jerk pork and fried plantain (see below). The Scotch Bonnet Food Truck serves up daily specials to ensure its followers get a wide range of popular, traditional, and exclusive Jamaican cuisine.

The term 'scotch bonnet' refers to the bonney pepper, a super-hot chili pepper that is found mainly in the Caribbean islands and is commonly used in jerk dishes. With a heat rating of 100,000–350,000 Scoville units, we can only imagine their offerings will warm you up on a chilly day.

Jerk Pork! SF LUNCH @ 25 Montgomery St. 12:30p-2:30p. AND @offthegridsf El Cerrito 5p-8p #jerkpork

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Chairman
Aug 6, Aug 27
An SF favorite, The Chairman food truck is the mobile alternative to Chef Hiroo Nagahara's popular brick and mortar spot by the same name. Nagahara was formerly restaurateur Charlie Trotter's executive chef at Bar Charlie in Las Vegas and partnered with food truck rental agency Mobi Munch to bring his food to the masses.

The food truck specifically offers Chinese bao, a steamed bun that can be filled with seemingly anything. Check below for their latest addition to the bao menu.


Johnny Doughnuts
Aug 27
Johnny Doughnuts' artisan doughnuts are handcrafted with the finest organic cool milled wheat flour and ingredients from locally sourced vendors. They produce a wide range of delicious things, from fritters, to raised doughnuts (light and fluffy), to crodoughs (croissant + doughnut), and more.

They love making doughnuts as much as we love eating them. A match made in heaven.

Get your jam on this Tuesday 💃🏽🎶🍩🍓

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Welcome New Executive Director Bob Fiedler

Much of Stern Grove Festival’s longevity can be attributed to one thing: heart. The heart of its founder, who shared her vision for access to the arts for all. The heart of its audiences and patrons, who have fueled the Festival with applause and donations for eight decades. The heart of its volunteers, who make a gift of their time and hard work. The heart of its dedicated staff and Board of Directors, who are committed to the organization’s success. And last, but not least, the heart of a leader.

Stern Grove Festival is excited to welcome (just in time for its 80th Season!) the organization’s new leader, Executive Director Bob Fiedler.

Read on to learn more about Bob and join us this summer to welcome him to the Grove!


SGFA: What makes a great leader?

BF: I think a leader is someone who can inspire groups of people around a mission – and that’s easier to do when you’re working with a tremendous mission like that of Stern Grove Festival. I think that if you burn with passion on the inside, hopefully you can get others to also come along for the ride and become advocates for the organization. Other important traits are being a great listener, being empathetic, and having strong emotional intelligence in order to care deeply about people and the organization that he or she is serving.

How do you think you will have the greatest impact on the organization?

I think first and foremost my passion for music will have a great impact on my time here. Music is an extremely important part of my life—it’s borderline sacred. It’s been hugely important to me in many, many moments of my life and has brought me some of my happiest times, as well as helped me through many difficult periods.

In addition, I think my overall non-profit experience will be a benefit. I’ve been around the block a little bit now, having run two different arts-based non-profit organizations and having over 20 years of experience in the non-profit sector. I think that all of those experiences have shaped me and given me exposure to lots of different situations that hopefully will serve me here.

What are you most looking forward to in your new position?

I feel extremely honored to have found myself in this position. In the last few days I’ve visited Stern Grove and have found myself pinching my arm, wondering how I got so lucky to be entrusted to work in such a magical place that is an important San Francisco cultural institution. Everything about the Festival—the music, the space, the tradition—it’s all of those things that I’ve been entrusted to take care of and shepherd into its next phase of existence…and I couldn’t be more excited and honored to do so.

I’ve been to a lot of concert venues around the country and I think the Grove is one of the most gorgeous settings in which you could listen to music. It’s that beauty—and the community—that make Stern Grove Festival such a special experience. I think there’s something wonderful about art and musical performance, in that it brings people together. It bridges cultural gaps, it bridges generational gaps, it’s the universal language, and it’s a very unifying thing. I am just so geeked that I get to be a part of this.

As a recent transplant, what do you like most about living in the Bay Area?

The Bay Area…what a special and unique place this is. Having traveled to over 30 countries, I’ve been to a lot of the major cities around the world. There’s no other place that quite combines such a desirable climate with this level of physical gorgeousness (the mountains, the redwood, palm and eucalyptus trees, the ocean, and the bridges) and with great people.

California is a pretty progressive place, but I think that San Francisco is the epicenter of that. There is a lot of amazing innovation and thinking that goes on here, and I couldn’t be happier to be here.

And last but not least, what concert are you most looking forward to this summer?

Well, I’m looking forward to all of the concerts for different reasons. But from a purely musical standpoint I think I’m most looking forward to our second concert of the season, July 2 with Nicki Bluhm & the Gramblers and Fantastic Negrito. I love that they’re both local artists, and both have really great reputations within the music world. I’m also really excited for The Big Picnic on June 25th with Kool & the Gang, because it’s going to be a big shindig and a very well-attended show. That being said, I am truly looking forward to each and every show.


About Bob Fiedler

Bob brings over 20 years experience in the nonprofit sector, 13 at the executive level for two different arts performance/educational organizations. Most recently he served as the Executive Director of the Chicago Human Rhythm Project (CHRP), a nonprofit performing and educational arts organization that presents dance performances and dance festivals, runs the American Rhythm Center dance school, and provides weekly dance education to public school students.

Previously, Bob was the Executive Director of The People’s Music School (TPMS), a prestigious community music school that provides ongoing music lessons for thousands of young people completely free of charge. TPMS also provides free concerts to the public, featuring nationally recognized artists and was on the forefront of bringing the innovative “El Sistema” music education methodology to the United States. While at TPMS, Mr. Fiedler worked very closely with the Ravinia Festival to bring hundreds of children to their summer concerts and help TPMS build orchestral programs in public schools. Prior to his tenure at TPMS, Mr. Fiedler was Development Director for REST, a community-based homeless services agency in Chicago. He began his nonprofit career with the Chicago Muscular Dystrophy Association, serving first as a District Director and then moving up to Regional Coordinator.

Quinn DeVeaux with “Down in the Grove” Commission

If you ask any one of our Festival patrons at random, chances are that they’ve been attending admission-free concerts at Stern Grove Festival for years — maybe even decades. The same goes for many of our local performers like singer/songwriter Quinn DeVeaux, the opening act for this summer’s Big Picnic Concert, who returns to the Grove.

“Playing at Stern Grove is such a pleasure. I’m happy to be doing it again,” says Quinn. “I love performing with trees — it’s like you have an extra thousand audiences members.”

Since his 2011 performance at the Grove, DeVeaux has released not one, but two albums that perfectly express his old-timey soul and blue beat music – but with a modern kick. He’s bound to play a number of these tunes at his upcoming performance when he opens for Kool & the Gang at Stern Grove Festival’s Big Picnic Concert on June 25, as well as his brand new, never-before-heard song, “Down in the Grove”, produced as part of this season’s Local Artist Commission Series.

We met with Quinn to hear about his life as a musician in the Bay Area and his creative process behind the new piece, as well as learn what inspires him as a musician and what has helped craft his sound since his last Stern Grove Festival performance.

“I continue to be influenced by the amazing musicians around me,” says Quinn. “New stuff blows through me and I catch some it and meld it into my style. I’ve started to explore more funky rhythms and slower tunes. I’ve gotten very much into Bill Withers and his churning groove-based songs. Also Al Green, and that smooth haunting quality he has.  I turn it all into Blue Beat!”

Watch the below interview to learn all about Mr. Quinn DeVeaux, set on the foreground of “Shame”, a new song off his upcoming record. Stay tuned to the end to hear a clip of the unfinished “Down in the Grove”.

RSVP for this admission-free concert on Facebook and learn more at sterngrove.org.

Interplay – Astronauts, etc. with “In the Park Dilated”

Aug21_Astronauts etcOne of the most difficult parts of fulfilling a commission request is finding the middle ground between being too literal or too obscure when following a theme or topic.

Within our 2016 local artist commission series, where 10 bands and dance groups have been asked to create new works of art based on the theme “In Concert with Nature”, it could be easy to head down the literal route (it’s tempting to throw in mentions of trees, sunshine, and grass). To avoid this road bump, the next and final group in the 79th season’s series chose to ignore the fork in the road altogether by writing a stimulating instrumental piece that envisages nature without verbalizing it.

Read on below to hear how Astronauts, etc‘s Anthony Ferraro came up with the new piece and to listen to a demo recording of “In the Park Dilated”. Visit Stern Grove Festival this Sunday, August 21, when they open the stage at 2 p.m. for The New Pornographers in the final concert of the 79th Season!


“In the Park Dilated” sheet music

Stern Grove Festival: This commission is a new experience for you as an artist. What do/did you anticipate being the most challenging aspect of it, and what are you most excited about with this process?

Anthony Ferraro: Initially what made me anxious was the idea of writing the words for the commissioned song. Writing directly about nature seemed potentially trite, but interpreting the theme more abstractly seemed potentially disingenuous. So I opted instead to write a song without words, with pen and paper, on the stage where it would be performed. This allowed me to believe I was following the theme as faithfully and simply as possible.

SGF: The commission focuses on the relationship between the artist and the environment. How does the environment/venue you perform in influence your creative choices and how does it influence how you interact with the audience?

AF: It is a tricky business to delineate the border between external environment and internal experience. All that I can say is that, sometimes, being in a beautiful place makes you more explicitly aware of a beauty that is always present and waiting to be noticed no matter your surroundings.

SGF: A major part of Stern Grove Festival’s mission is providing free access to the performing arts for the public, often to artists whose work they are unfamiliar with. How will this focus on accessibility (in terms of free admission and exposure to unfamiliar artists or genres) influence your creative process or performance?

AF: I like the idea of playing to a different crowd and in a different setting than usual. Normally your audience is restricted to those people of drinking age who don’t mind staying up very late, often on a week night, in very loud room with a lot of commotion.

SGF: Stern Grove Festival is committed to artistic diversity and San Francisco is known for its vibrant and diverse arts community. How would you describe the sound of San Francisco?

AF: Sonically, I think San Francisco is still trying to figure out what it wants to say right now. On one pole is a cohort of artists disenfranchised and disillusioned by the financial difficulty of living here, and on the other you find a group energized by the new collaboration of music and technology. Sometimes I feel I exist on both poles at once.

Interplay – Afrolicious

Aug14_Afrolicious1What started out as a club night in the famed Mission district Elbo Room in 2007, Afrolicious has since grown into a collective of dynamic and skilled funk, soul, and electronic musicians. Since 2010, the group has been playing for packed crowds with a party-ready combination of soulful vocals, funky bass, and lively horns and beats with classic funk, soul, disco, Latin, and Afrobeat.

“As a club night we hosted so many amazing bands, musicians, and DJs from the Bay Area and the city, as well as international,” said Afrolicious’ co-founder Joe ‘Pleasuremaker’ Mcguire, reminiscing on the group’s early days. “We had the honor of building with many amazing musicians over the years and we continue to see new artists come up and blow it up, and it remains super inspiring.”

As the next participating act in Stern Grove Festival’s Local Artist Commission Series, Afrolicious has been asked to create and debut a new song inspired by the theme “Interplay: In Concert with Nature” that doesn’t stray away from their usual funkiness.

“It can be challenging to write a song in general,” says Pleasuremaker, “but the subject matter makes so much sense in the context of our modern times – the need for a relationship to nature. So the subject makes the challenge all more the interesting.”

Stern Grove is an extremely unique concert setting, so naturally the commission focuses on the strong relationship between the artist and the venue’s environment. Those who attended one of Afrolicious’ early Elbo Room club nights or one of their more recent concerts know that the show is more than just a fun musical experience: it’s a raging party. Stern Grove Festival has welcomed musicians from almost every genre out there, but it is always particularly interesting to see how these high-energy, funky groups plan their show around the fact that it is an outdoor concert in the middle of the day – not in a nightclub per their usual show. Understanding these hurdles, their goal is still the same: to wake up the crowd and bring the party to Stern Grove.

“The venue plays a crucial role in how we feel and interpret the music as the sound, dynamics, visual elements, size and if it’s indoor or outdoor greatly affect the sounds and the intimacy,” said Pleasuremaker. “A venue that is inviting, relaxing, beautiful can create much more harmony between us on stage and the crowd. We love playing outdoors when the sound is truly dialed. It’s a magical feeling.”

A major part of Stern Grove Festival’s mission is providing free access to the performing arts for the public, often to artists whose work they are unfamiliar with. Some artists focus on this accessibility (in terms of free admission and exposure to unfamiliar artists or genres) when creating their commissioned piece, and Afrolicious in particular thinks of this as an opportunity to perform for groups of people who otherwise wouldn’t make it out to one of their shows (think children, the elderly, or people who can’t make it to shows in the evening).

“We LOVE that there is no admission,” said Pleasuremaker on behalf of his group. “I came to Stern Grove when I first moved to San Francisco and it was such a great way to be welcomed to the city: great music and open to all. We love this event and have each attended many shows over the years. We get the most excited to share what we do at free daytime events because we can play for everyone!”

A Stern Grove Festival crowd may be pretty diverse, and this depth of character matches that of the Bay Area where people of all kinds flock and frolic. It’s only natural that this diversity seeps into the performance scene. From funk and electro to brass and jazz, the SF Bay Area is home to a vibrant arts and music community.  As Pleasuremaker puts it, “San Francisco music scene is ever evolving. Change is the one constant, and that was a great influence on Afrolicious over the years.

“Hard to say there is one sound of San Francisco, it feels more like San Francisco can absorb any genre and flip it into new sounds, and that would be a long term legacy of [it] that continues today.”

Visit our website to learn more about the concert and Afrolicious. Visit Stern Grove Festival this Sunday, Aug 14 to hear them live when the open the stage at 2 p.m. for a cast of musical performers paying tribute to West African synth legend William Onyeabor in “ATOMIC BOMB! The Music of William Onyeabor”.

Interplay – MJ’s Brass Boppers

Next up in this season’s #sgfInterplay Local Artist Commission Series, MJ’s Brass Boppers share their experience in creating a piece inspired by the theme “Interplay: In Concert with Nature”, and the similarities between performing at Stern Grove Festival and in their home town of New Orleans.

The swinging and singing brass-line is the Bay Area’s only New Orleans-style brass band whose founding members were born and raised in NOLA itself. This eight-piece group’s sound has been meticulously formed over years of practicing and experimenting together, fusing classic NOLA performance with funk, jazz, modern pop, and a second line twist. Since 2008, the tight knit musicians have written, practiced, and performed together at festivals, community events, nightclubs, and street corners around the Bay Area.

Make your way to the admission-free #sterngrovefest this Sunday, Aug 7 to witness the never-before-heard song and others when MJBB opens up for R&B legends, The O’Jays at 2 p.m.

Grove Gourmet 2016: Cooking with Anchor Brewing

There are few things that say “summer” quite like Stern Grove Festival – but cooking with beer comes pretty close! This Sunday, we’re partnering with our friends and contest judges at Anchor Brewing Company to bring the Grove Gourmet Picnic Contest to the SF Ballet’s performance this Sunday. Anchor Brewmasters will roam the Grove in search of the best picnic out there (extra points for incorporating Anchor brews, now available in cans!).

First place takes home a VIP brewery tour and tasting for 10 adults at Anchor Brewing Company. Second place wins an Anchor merchandise swag bag. Be sure to make plenty to share with our judges, who will be in the Grove to judge picnic spreads between 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. Look out for their white coveralls to know who to wave down, and let us know you’re entering into the contest by sharing an Instagram or tweeting a picture of your picnic and tagging #sterngrovefest and #RaiseYourAnchor.

As inspiration for the weekend’s picnic contest, Chef Ken Hernandez and Anchor Brewing have come up with the following recipes, showing us all how delicious (and easy) incorporating beer into recipes can be.

If you’re of age, you can find the following tasty brews and others with Anchor Brewing’s Beer Finder.


Coffee Rubbed Steak Marinated in Anchor California Lager with Chimichurri Sauce
Yield: 6 Servings

Ingredients:CA Lager Steak- finished
2 lbs. flank steak
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoons black pepper

Rub:
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons coffee grounds
1 tablespoon chile de arbol
1 tablespoon turmeric, chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, chopped
¼ cup (2 oz.) Anchor California Lager
¼ cup parsley, chopped

Chimichurri Sauce:
⅓ cup parsley, chopped
½ cup cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons oregano, chopped
1 teaspoon jalapeno, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon shallots, chopped
¼ cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lime juice
Dash ground black pepper and salt

Directions:CA Lager Steak Marinade

  1. Combine flank steak, olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for the rub.
  3. Massage the dry rub into the flank steak and refrigerate covered in plastic for up to 2 hours.
  4. On a grill or hot pan, sear both sides until caramelized. 4 minutes on first side, 3 on the other side (medium rare).
  5. Combine all chimichurri ingredients. Finish off with ground black pepper and kosher salt. Serve with steak.

Anchor Mango Peach Galette
Yield: 1 Galette, 8 Servings

Mango Wheat Galette- finished

Filling:
1 large mango, peeled and sliced thin
1 cup peach, sliced thin
1 cup strawberry, sliced thin
2 cups (16 oz.) Anchor’s Mango Wheat
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract dash of salt

Crust:
1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
½ cup of almond flour
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup of butter, cubed
¼ cup (2 oz.) Anchor’s Mango Wheat (ice cold)
1 egg

Garnish:
Mint and granulated sugar

Mango Wheat Galette - fillingInstructions:

  1. Mix mango and peach together in a large bowl. Add Anchor’s Mango Wheat, vanilla and sugar. Stir and set aside.
  2. Whisk together all-purpose flour, almond flour, and salt in a bowl. Add the butter, creaming it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or for until the dough starts to form. (You can do this in a food processor by pulsing the mixture until blended). Add cold Anchor’s Mango Wheat and blend until the mixture is moist and emulsified. Feel free to add a bit more liquid if the dough is too dry. Once the dough is evenly mixed, roll into a ball and wrap in parchment paper or plastic wrap. Refrigerate for up to 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and cover with a thin layer of butter. Lightly flour surface and roll out a 12-inch round with dough.
  5. Separate the fruit mixture from the liquid and add the strawberries. Stir until blended. Spoon the fruit mixture on to the dough round, starting from the center and moving out, leaving a 2-inch outside border. Fold edges towards the center of the round.
  6. Beat egg in small bowl and brush a thin layer of egg wash on the folded dough crust. Sprinkle granulated sugar on the crust as well. Bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Enjoy!

Culinary Credit: Chef Ken Hernandez, www.kendemame.com
Photography Credit: Joseph Phillips, www.josephmichaelphillips.com

Interplay – La Misa Negra, “El Agua Ya Se Acabo”

Next up in this season’s local artist commission series is La Misa Negra, a eight-piece Oakland-based group that performs a mix of late 50’s style Cumbia and high-energy, Afro-Colombian dance music. With such diverse musical backgrounds among band mates it’s hard to clump their talents into one genre, but whoever branded them “hella bailable” was headed in the right direction.

Reflecting on the themes that inspired many mid-century Cumbia artists, guitarist/accordion player Marco Polo Santiago thought about what topic to base their new song around, acknowledging that the theme “In Concert with Nature” could take many routes. Being a California band, they came up with “El Agua Ya Se Acabo”, a timely piece that roughly translates to “the water ran out” and will (the band hopes) help people recognize the severity of the current drought.

Check out a preview of the song below and an interview with the band talking about the new song and their upcoming Stern Grove Festival performance.

La Misa Negra will perform “El Agua Ya Se Acabo” and more at an admission-free concert this Sunday, July 24, when they open the stage for the GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning Mexican singer/songwriter Julieta Venegas at 2 p.m.

Interplay – John Brothers Piano Company

There’s no doubt about it: San Francisco is a musical masterpiece. Whether known or not, residents and tourists experience tunes from the city’s natural soundscape (a hum of Muni buses or cheers from AT&T Park) and from the countless busking musicians posted on corners across the city. Few performing acts recognize this city’s potential as yet another instrument like John Brothers Piano Company (JBPC), who first grew their fan base by dragging a beat-up piano to BART stations around the Bay and making street corners a personal stage for the afternoon.

Although it is a unique setting for many artists, Stern Grove Festival is still a ready-made performance space like fellow Bay Area staples The Independent and Fox Theater, equipped with concert hall speakers and barricades. But unlike many venues, artists not only have to perform: they have to fire up the crowd and remind them that they are not just in a public park for the day, but at a live concert that demands the same energy as any other festival stage. For some artists, this can be a challenging task, but the men of JBPC are very familiar with this game:

“When we play on the street, we must, in essence, create the context for the performance as opposed to one that is readymade as in a club or venue,” explains JBPC pianist and trumpeter Arlo Perlstein. “Our show must be impressive enough to snap people out of their daily grinds, to turn the sidewalk into a venue. When we have an attentive audience in a jazz club or at festival, for example, we are much freer in the music we play because don’t need to be simultaneously performing and saying ‘this is a performance!’” It’s an unfortunate reality that people often equate quality of music or art with a performance’s setting and price point. This thought was well conveyed in an experiment by the Washington Post where one of the best concert violinists in the world performed in a subway station on a 3.5 million dollar violin, but only seven people stopped to listen to him play. JBPC is very familiar with this reality, as a good portion of their audience are pedestrians who did not expect to come across a concert on their commute, and often do not stop to listen at all. 

“To get people to even notice us we have to make the music interactive with the environment,” says drummer and pianist Jimi Marks, who notes that their performances often reflect the crowd’s energy. “We won’t play the same song to a street full of headphone-wearing commuters with their heads down as we would to an engaged crowd. But there are ways to engage people that may have otherwise walked straight past us, and part of that is playing to your surroundings, being part of the environment, and inviting others to stop and be a part of it too.”

Marks looks forward to having the freedom to play music with subtlety and nuance at SGF that “maybe would not fare so well at a busy BART station.”

We’re thinking some of that subtlety may show up in “Katabasis, the new piece JBPC has written as part of this season’s local artist commission series, where ten Bay Area bands and dance groups create new works inspired by the theme “In Concert with Nature” and debut them on the Stern Grove Stage. The band has been coming together to write this new work over recent months in preparation for their show this Sunday, practicing their craft outside in parks to really experience the theme.

“Feeling ‘in concert with nature’ is usually quite an inward, soulful experience,” says Marks. “The challenge will be to capture that experience on a personal level for such a large and diverse audience.”

Although they’ve been hired individually to create original works, the band as a whole has never participated in a commission series and are discovering that multiple voices can be both a blessing and a curse when creating something new.

“The most challenging aspect of this piece is, incidentally, what I also find to be most exciting: it is the process of creating together,” says Perlstein, noting that it can be easy to become attached to a part of a song that you’ve written, and difficult to abandon the part when it doesn’t work out in the final piece. “Each member of the band brings different musical sensibilities and ideas to the table and, invariably, some must be sacrificed for others when writing together. However it is also by this process that we as band can produce music of vibrancy and richness.”

And how vibrant and rich the music of JBPC is. Visit Stern Grove Festival’s 79th season this Sunday, July 17 to hear an admission-free performance by John Brothers Piano Company when they open for the legendary songstress Joan Osborne at 2 p.m., and keep your ears open for the debut performance of Katabasis.