Tastemaker Collective Dining Series

Mashups, for the most part, are pretty great. Why have only one good thing when you can have two, simultaneously? Just look at The Grey Album — Danger Mouse mixing Jay-Z and the Beatles — or sushirittos. Rap-rock we can forget about; let’s all try to erase rap-rock. But starting today, an epic series of once-in-a-lifetime culinary mashups will be taking place throughout San Francisco, courtesy of the Tastemaker Collective. The group is bringing together prominent international Taste Festival chefs and pairing them with the best chefs in the Bay Area, creating gastronomical magic and an intimate dining experience for guests. Dinners will be hosted at buzzy establishments including Cala, Rich Table, Tartine Manufactory, Atelier Crenn and Fort Mason, where an event dubbed as the first-ever “Nightclub of Food Lovers” will be taking place.

Among the international chefs flying in for the event is Yardbird’s Matt Abergel. Yardbird, a modern izakaya in Hong Kong, specializes in yakitori dishes of skewered grilled chicken. The food menu, created by Chef Matt Abergel (middle), focuses on the many different parts of a chicken, from neck to tail, that are grilled over traditional Binchotan charcoal. In addition to yakitori, Yardbird also features smaller and bigger dishes that incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients. We had a chance to chat with Abergel about his upcoming dinner with Evan Rich (bottom) at Rich Table.

MM: What’s your take on the Bay Area food scene?
MA: It's amazing — there's so much diversity, incredible produce, and hardworking focused chefs.

MM: What’s your favorite place to eat in SF?
MA: Can't name just one, so here's a few — Benu, Rintaro, Liholiho Yacht Club, La Taqueria, Al's Place.

MM: What excites you the most about cooking with Evan Rich?
MA: It's always fun to cook with someone new and I've heard a lot of great things about Rich Table.

MM: What advice do you have for young chefs who want to open their own restaurant?
MA: Work for people whose business and cooking you respect — learn as much as you can on someone else's dime.

MM: What are some misconceptions you hear about izakaya?
MA: That izakayas serve sushi.

If You Go:
When: Tuesday, September 26 through Sunday, October 1
Where: Various locations
Cost: Varies per event