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A.M. Intel: Arab Bakery Headed to Oakland, New Omakase Chef, More

Six things to know today

John Storey

Oakland’s Arab street corner bakery one step closer to fruition

Oakland chef Reem Assil is the winner of OpenTable’s Restaurant OPEN 2016 contest, after raising more than $50,000 during a 40-day Kickstarter campaign, which means OpenTable will give her another $15,000, as well as a full set of All-Clad pans, 25 Hedley & Bennett aprons, and more. That money will go toward opening Reem’s, an Arab street corner bakery, in Oakland.

Omakase hires a corporate chef

You know you’ve hit it big time — ahem, Mina-style — when it’s time to hire a corporate chef. That’s exactly what Omakase Restaurant Group (Omakase, Okane, Live Sushi, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) did with the hire of Edgar Agbayani, the former West Coast regional chef for Roy’s and chef partner of Roy’s San Francisco, who will now oversee culinary operations for all five Omakase Restaurant Group restaurants. His role specifically will be to oversee culinary operations, menu and recipe development, staff training, and develop future restaurant concepts.

This is your final chance for International Smoke

If you haven’t yet been to Ayesha Curry’s pop-up collaboration with Michael Mina, then this is your last chance. October tickets go on sale this Friday, September 16 for the globally-influenced barbecue joint, after which the concept will once again morph.

The Hall’s new Vietnamese vendor

Chez Bobo’s spring rolls
Chez Bobo’s spring rolls
Chez Bobo/Facebook

The Hall has a new vendor, and it’s Vietnamese. Chez Bobo serves spring rolls, banh mi, pho, and vermicelli noodle bowls from owner Thuy Diep.

Tiburon Tavern has a new executive chef

Chef Mo L’Esperance is now leading the kitchen at Tiburon Tavern, maintaining the California coastal cuisine with sustainable sourcing. So far she’s added dishes like a blackened fish sandwich with avocado, coleslaw, tomato, and garlic aioli on ciabatta, as well as a super food breakfast pudding with coconut milk, chia seeds, strawberry, and house-made granola.

Master sommeliers scientifically benefit from all that juice

Napa Valley wine geeks have a leg up on the rest of us: According to a new study from the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, the brains of Master Sommeliers seem to be more resistant to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s than those of the average person. The study found that sommeliers have “heightened activation in the right olfactory and memory regions of the brain” while performing an olfactory task — i.e. smelling and tasting wine. Read more here.