From the 2018 Soy Vey event (Photo/Courtesy Value Culture)
From the 2018 Soy Vey event (Photo/Courtesy Value Culture)

‘Soy Vey’ is back; Boichik Bagels seeks volunteer chickens; and more

Sign up for Weekday J and get the latest on what's happening in the Jewish Bay Area.

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

For the first time since 2019, Value Culture, the events nonprofit run by Adam Swig, will be putting on its “Soy Vey” event, a family-style Shabbat dinner celebrated during Chinese New Year, with a menu of hybrid Chinese-Jewish dishes.

It will be held at 6 p.m. on Feb. 3 at Fang Restaurant, 600 Howard St., S.F., where chef Kathy Fang, who became nationally famous after winning “Chopped” on the Food Network, will be cooking the dinner. (She runs the restaurant with her father, Peter Fang, who opened House of Nanking in Chinatown in 1988.) Saul’s Deli and Grand Bakery are also participating.

“This is one of my more popular events,” Swig said, noting that the evening will include conversations about how the two communities can be allies, and the similarities between Chinese and Jewish mothers.

Tickets are $75, with a cash bar and entertainment.

San Francisco has been named the second-best city for bagel lovers by an unlikely arbiter of such things — a lawn-care business called Lawn Love. Also established in the same study: San Francisco has more bagels per square mile than any other American city.

Lawn Love, which also does surveys on best cities for pastry lovers, sandwich lovers and more, has “an incredible, in-house data team, who is able to gather all the included data from the web,” said communications manager John Schmidt.

What is a lawn care business doing ranking food at all? “Some of our studies are more ‘on-brand,’ such as 2023’s Cities with the Most Green Space,” he said. “However, we recognize that our readers have interest outside of what our brand pertains to, so we like to throw in some more ‘fun’ and lifestyle type studies as well. It’s a great way to keep our readers entertained while getting our name out there.” I wrote back to him, “It worked.”

Speaking of bagels, we learned that sneaker giant Nike released this week what must be the first bagel-inspired sneaker, leading David Rudin of the Montreal Gazette to opine: “It looks a bit like a bagel and a lot more like we, as a culture, have officially run out of good ideas for sneaker designs.”

Nike's new Montreal bagel-inspired sneaker. (Photo/Courtesy Nike)alix wall,  organic epicure,  small bites
Nike’s new Montreal bagel-inspired sneaker. (Photo/Courtesy Nike)

The shoe, called “The Dunk Low,” is beige with a blue “swoosh.” It’s a tribute to the Montreal bagel, with dots that look like sesame seeds covering much of the surface. “The shoelaces are white and someone in Nike’s marketing department missed a real opportunity to claim they look like cream cheese,” Rudin wrote.

(I can’t compete with such wittiness, so I’m not going to bother trying.)

The shoes retail for $120. What’s missing from any of the press I saw about the shoe is, “Why?”

Edward Djan of the Toronto Star said that despite paying homage to the Montreal bagel, the shoes are only available on Nike’s American website, and Canucks might not even be able to procure a pair.

In more bagel news, it should be only a few weeks before Poppy Bagels opens in Oakland’s Temescal neighborhood (no date has been announced). According to its Instagram account, Poppy’s last bagels have been sold at the Grand Lake Farmers Market, and its massive oven has arrived.

And in even more bagel news, Boichik Bagels had a bit of an unusual request in its latest newsletter: It’s looking for a few volunteer chickens to try out the kosher by-product that comes from bagel-making (a mush of polenta and seeds) to see if it would make good chicken feed.

While the slurry currently goes in the compost, Boichik founder Emily Winston came up with the idea to upcycle it and use it for food. (She consulted an expert and learned that the onion bits shouldn’t be a problem.)

For those who have backyard chickens and want to give them kosher feed, come to the Berkeley location and ask for some.

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."