The original Wise Sons location on 24th Street in San Francisco. (Photo/Courtesy Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen)
The original Wise Sons location on 24th Street in San Francisco. (Photo/Courtesy Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen)

Wise Sons, Sababa, Proposition Chicken join Mountain View hub

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Food coverage is supported by a generous donation from Susan and Moses Libitzky.

Elaine Corn, the Sacramento-based food journalist and ceramicist whose menorah was on the cover of J.’s Hanukkah issue in 2019, has donated her papers and archives to UC Davis Library, according to an article in Sacramento Magazine.

We profiled Corn in December 2019 when she took up ceramics after finding it helped her deal with anxiety and stress around her Parkinson’s disease.

As we wrote then, “before she became enamored with ceramics, Corn had a long and varied journalism and food writing career, starting at the Dallas Morning News where she was ‘ripping the wires during Watergate and Vietnam,’ followed by a stint at the Austin American-Statesman where she inaugurated its food section, and then the Sacramento Bee, which hired her as its food editor in 1986. That’s how she met her husband, David SooHoo, a Cantonese chef. They recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. ‘I met him on a story and married a conflict of interest,’ she likes to say.”

Elaine Corn at an event in Emeryville in December 2019. (Photo/Lydia Daniller)
Elaine Corn at an event in Emeryville in December 2019. (Photo/Lydia Daniller)

She became a food editor in the ’70s, right when newspapers were expanding their ideas of what food coverage could be. While it used to be considered a topic for “the women’s pages,” Corn was among a pioneering group of editors who pushed the boundaries open, writing about the politics of food, nutrition, access, health and other related topics.

After leaving the daily newspaper world, she started writing cookbooks, winning Julia Child and James Beard awards for “Now You’re Cooking: Everything a Beginner Needs to Know to Start Cooking Today.” She says her mother was an excellent cook, but “one Polish-born grandmother cooked straight from the Bible; her best dish was a burnt offering.”

Corn’s collection includes her articles from the Statesman, the Louisville Courier-Journal and the Sacramento Bee, plus from her 20-plus years as a freelancer. She believes she was the first person to ever write about fajitas.

While she used to be able to find her recipes easily in her own organizational system, now she’ll have to visit the library to do that. Also, all of her work on paper will be digitized.

“I have final drafts of most of my Bee op-eds and freelance work in Word. I have my books, and often follow my own recipes,” she said. “It’s just weird not having my work with me.”

With the opening of a Local Kitchens in Mountain View, the city has upped its Jewish offerings considerably. Now the food of Wise Sons Jewish Delicatessen and Sababa, made by Local Kitchens chefs, are available through the “micro food hall,” according to the Los Altos Town Crier.

The Jewish-owned Proposition Chicken is also available at the Mountain View outlet and several others, and Wise Sons and Oren’s Hummus are on the Local Kitchens map at additional Peninsula locations.

Local Kitchens allows customers to order food from a slate of restaurants in one food hall, for pickup or delivery, sometimes with an eat-in option. And it allows restaurants to test their concepts in a new market at a low cost. As we reported last year, Canter’s Deli in L.A. is doing a similar concept through DoorDash Kitchens in Redwood City.

Mountain View’s Local Kitchens is located at 1711 W. El Camino Real, Suite B. Hours are 11 a.m. to midnight daily.

Alix Wall
Alix Wall

Alix Wall is a contributing editor to J. She is also the founder of the Illuminoshi: The Not-So-Secret Society of Bay Area Jewish Food Professionals and is writer/producer of a documentary-in-progress called "The Lonely Child."