I’ve spent most of my life surrounded by food. Whether I am at an artisan chocolate festival in San Francisco or an IQF herb manufacturing plant in Turlock, I either seek out or am sought out by a plethora of culinary-related events almost every day of the year. The energy and effort involved in connecting with food is minimal in the Bay Area—you just bump right into it without even trying. This year has been all about cherry picking, visiting organic farms, attending a slow food conference, tasting 1971 vintage ports, a Spanish food and wine event, learning the technical aspects of olive oil, going to a produce conference, fancy food shows, and of course, drinking sake with Mr. Hideo Wakamatsu, my favorite Japanese luggage designer!
Hideo Wakamatsu was in town last May, visiting his only U.S. store on Valencia Street in the Mission. The creator of the shiny retro new age laptop backpack (I own three, red, silver and cherry blossom!) and other exciting luggage designs, he threw a sake party at the store to celebrate his visit to the U.S. I was excited to meet him, my only non-food-industry manufacturing hero!
don’t remember the sake, but I do remember that in addition to the store having a great 20% off sale that day, they were also featuring the work of Tomoko Maruyama, a Japanese graphic design artist living in San Francisco. Tomoko’s art is inspired by San Francisco scenes, animals, people … and food! I loved her series of personified food that shows smiling potatoes, happy fried eggs and tea cups that appear to be good friends with sugar cubes. Tomoko’s art is cheerful, uncomplicated and fun, and brings a much needed artistic simplicity to our sometimes rather complicated and stressful food industry world.