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An Acclaimed Seafood Farm Has Been Selling Some Fishy Caviar to Fine-Dining Restaurants

Plus, lab-grown sushi will soon be a thing in Dogpatch, and more intel

Passmore Ranch/Official

Welcome to p.m. Intel, your bite-sized roundup of Bay Area food and restaurant news. Tips are always welcome, drop them here.


  • A number of Bay Area chefs have cut ties with a longtime area caviar supplier, reports the SF Chronicle, following revelations that acclaimed Sacramento seafood farm Passmore Ranch has been selling product bought from other producers. In an interview with the newspaper, founder Michael Passmore admitted the farm hasn’t produced caviar in more than two years, instead buying it from France and China and repackaging it to sell to Michelin-starred restaurants such as Mulvaney’s B&L in Sacramento and Wayfare Tavern in San Francisco. The revelations first popped up on an anonymous Instagram account in June, amid news that Bay Area sustainable meat company Belcampo was mislabeling products as its own. [SF Chronicle]
  • Lab-grown sushi is officially a thing: San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood is now home to the first-ever production facility for fish cultivated from animal cells, and the lab plans to host public tastings at its in-house sushi bar within three months time. San Francisco startup Wildtype Foods will grow its sushi-grade salmon at the 7,700-square-foot Dogpatch facility, formerly home to a microbrewery, with the goal of being market-ready by the end of the year, according to the SF Business Times. In addition to the in-house tasting room staffed with professional sushi chefs, dubbed “The Dock,” Wildtype plans to partner with local sushi restaurants to get its product on menus. [SF Business Times]
  • The anticipated grand opening of Jo’s Modern Thai in Oakland has been pushed to mid-July, reports Berkeleyside, as the restaurant waits on approval for its liquor license. Chef-owner Kao Saelee, who runs the popular pop-up Intu-On, has been working on the forthcoming restaurant for the past seven months. Jo’s is tentatively scheduled to debut on July 16 for dinner service; see the restaurant’s Instagram account for updates. [Berkeleyside]
  • The annual Livermore Valley Taste Our Terroir food-and-wine festival returns for 2021 this July 22 to 25, offering a mix of winemaker dinners, virtual tastings, and an electric bike tour of four wineries on July 24. For tickets and details on all 11 events, visit the Livermore Valley Taste Our Terroir website.

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