Culinary incubator La Cocina has a lot of successes to look back on from its first decade in operation—its community of largely woman- and immigrant-owned food businesses has been hitting new heights, with Azalina's Malaysian snagging a brick-and-mortar, Clairesquares getting its own Haagen-Dazs ice cream, and El Pipila opening an outpost in The Hall, to name just three of the most recent headlines from the past few months. In honor of its 10th anniversary, the organization is now throwing a massive gala, featuring guest of honor Diana Kennedy, the grande dame of Mexican cooking.
To fete Kennedy, La Cocina has assembled an all-star lineup of female chefs to cater the meal, including Traci Des Jardins (Jardiniere), Mexico City transplant Gabriela Cámara (Contramar and SF's forthcoming Cala), and Lisa Donovan, the acclaimed former pastry chef of Husk Nashville. Rounding out the culinary crew are Karen Taylor (Primavera), Kelly Fields (pastry chef at New Orleans' Restaurant August), wine guru Shelley Lindgren (A16, SPQR), and 12 of La Cocina's homegrown talents, who'll be handling hors d'oeuvres. The event is going down on Monday, May 11 at Square's mid-Market headquarters; tickets to the dinner are $500, while a pre-meal cocktail reception with bites is $50-125.
There's also some other important ticket news in the La Cocina world: the organization's annual San Francisco Street Food Festival, which survived possible closure with a move from the Mission to Pier 70 for this year's events, has just released its passport tickets for the 2015 festival (August 15-16). They range from a $30 ticket that buys $35 worth of food and a drink token to a lavish $250 "We Came to Eat" passport that includes $200 in food and a ticket to an after-event chef's meal with whole roasted animals from 4505 Meats and Jim and Nick's BBQ. The event's full lineup hasn't been announced, but in addition to La Cocina alums like Zella's Soulful Kitchen, Los Cilantros, and Bini's Kitchen, Des Jardins and Thomas McNaughton have confirmed they'll be participating.