Chef Alison Negrin & Associates
Menu development and consulting
Alison is a broker for Oliveto Bakery/Community Grains as a way of furthering her mission to connect restaurants and institutions to local, sustainable food suppliers. Community Grains is one of the few local sources of whole grains in the bay area.
Community Grains: "Our mission is to help restore a thriving local whole-grain economy in Northern California through the power of great tasting food.
The idea for Community Grains first began in the kitchen of Oliveto Restaurant— Bob and Maggie Klein’s James Beard award-winning restaurant in Oakland, CA. Known for its focus on whole-animal butcher, rustic northern Italian inspired, seasonally based cuisine, Oliveto models its cooking on traditional Italian practices of resourcefulness, seasonality, and simple farmhouse cookery. When looking to extend this philosophy to the flour the kitchen was using for pastas and pizza, simple inquiries about wheat varieties, milling techniques, and sourcing led to much larger, complex questions.
Today, Community Grains offers whole grain flours, dried pastas, corn polentas and a variety of heirloom beans. All of our products are produced with grain that is 100% grown, milled and produced in Northern California. Our products are shelf stable and distributed nationally in retail and foodservice channels."
Michael Pollan writes, "There's a really good local flour, Community Grains, that I use. Conventional milling technology splits off the bran and germ right at the beginning. If they are selling the whole grain, they just add those parts back in later, which apparently is not as good as keeping them in the whole time. That's the Community Grains premise. Whole grain is one of the important things missing from the Western diet." The video below shows Michael Pollan speaking at a conference this year in his amazingly concise way, about why it's so important to change the way we grow and mill grains.
Contact Alison if you are interested in hearing more about this endeavor to bring local whole grains to restaurants and institutions. Telephone (925) 588-9150, or use email form below.