Best New Chez Panisse Spin-Off

Pop-Up General Store

Samin Nosrat and Christopher Lee, both Chez Panisse alums, started this farmers’ market-meets-online fancy food catalog, where people order prepared, restaurant-quality food online, then pick it up at the makeshift store when it “pops up” every two to three weeks, then finish frying or baking at home. They started it in January to keep alive beloved recipes from Eccolo, their now-shuttered Berkeley Italian restaurant, and keep loyal customers sated with boudin blanc sausages and bronze-cut rigatoni. They’ve since lassoed a posse of their friends, current and former Alice Waters ducklings, to sell their own caramels, English muffins, mole, and gratin. When the quasi-spontaneous, quasi-underground market where purveyors and consumers are able to co-mingle was launched, it rose to foodie-craze status after an article in the San Francisco Chronicle, with hundreds of impatient customers complaining about lines. But organizers hope the crowds will thin back down to the forgiving culinary explorers who just want to have a conversation with the chef who cooked their food.

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