Dan Jablow's Meat Awakening, and Hayes Valley Farm Bees Rise Again

Dan Jablow's Meat Awakening

By Alex Hochman

What does a Bronx-raised former finance professional who goes to cooking school but then figures out that he hates working in a restaurant kitchen do with his future? Well, if you're Dan Jablow, you start a smoked meats pop-up. Jablow, who trained at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and had short stints at Boston's Evoo and as a prep chef at America's Test Kitchen, landed a spot at Fatted Calf upon returning to the Bay Area recently and had what he calls a "meat awakening." "My wife and I were so tired of the same old deli meats until we wandered into Fatted Calf one day and, since working there, I've wondered, 'How can I put my stamp on meat?'" he says.

Dan Jablow puts his stamp on smoked meat at a recent Underground Market.
Alex Hochman
Dan Jablow puts his stamp on smoked meat at a recent Underground Market.

That "stamp" is Jablow's Meats, which debuted a few weeks ago at the New Taste Marketplace. Using a newly purchased charcoal smoker and a trusty Berkel slicer, Jablow is serving up bacon, pastrami, and ham at local pop-up events and hopes to be selling to retail outlets soon. I can vouch for the pastrami. After 15 hours over a pile of mesquite and cherry wood, it was moist, extrasmoky, and, when paired with a healthy smear of grainy mustard and a few slices of Della Fattoria pan levain, made for an excellent sandwich. Jablow's next outing will be a return to the New Taste Marketplace on June 11.

You Can't Keep Good Bees Down

By Jonathan Kauffman

Last July, the volunteers at Hayes Valley Farm discovered that someone — probably an irate neighbor — had broken in overnight and sprayed insecticide into three beehives on the site. A quarter of a million bees died, several thousand dollars' worth of honey was ruined, and the young urban farm suffered its biggest shock to date. When SFoodie spoke to beekeeper Karen Peteros the day after the discovery, she wasn't sure she was going to install new colonies.

Less than a year later, though, Peteros hasn't just tripled the amount of hives on the farm — she's about to start offering biweekly beekeeping classes. We asked Peteros, cofounder of local group SF Bee-Cause, what happened. "Since what we call the 'insecticide,' the leadership of the farm consulted with the neighborhood association and the city," she says. "There had been other security issues at the site, so they garnered community support to provide better security."

The new neighborhood watch, combined with the public outcry over the deaths, persuaded Peteros to give the farm another chance. She installed the new hives several months ago, and has been working to secure bee suits for students.

Hayes Valley Farms' first beekeeping class, Inspection & Management of the Urban Honey Bee Colony, will be held on Saturday, June 18, and Peteros and SF Bee-Cause plan to hold subsequent classes every other Saturday. "You can take hands-on beekeeping classes in San Francisco through the bee clubs, which hold them once or twice a year in the early spring," she says. "But there's no place you can go on an ongoing basis. So if you want to undertake beekeeping but are nervous about opening boxes filled with tens of thousands of stinging insects [she laughs], we'll have hive inspection classes every other week so you can follow the seasonal changes of the populations of the hive."

Each class costs $20 and requires signing up a week in advance through the farm's website; the class limit is six people. You can also sign up to receive notices about events and volunteer opportunities related to beekeeping.

Hayes Valley Farm: 450 Laguna (at Fell), www.hayesvalleyfarm.com.

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