Celebrating 'Edible Selby' at Bar Tartine, San Francisco

[Photographs: Wes Rowe]

If you're looking for a little food inspiration, you might want to look at Edible Selby. The recently released book (which you can preview here) from photographer Todd Selby is a mix of photographs and illustrations, layered with handwritten text (and typeset descriptions.) Each page is a collage that brings cooking spaces, food, and the ideas behind that food alive. It all feels full of activity—this isn't the styled plate as still life.


To celebrate the book's release, Bar Tartine in San Francisco hosted a series of events this week bringing together a few talented guest chefs who are featured on Edible Selby's pages. During the day, Bar Tartine's sandwich shop presented a series of Selby-inspired sandwiches to the public. Ignacio Mattos of Isa offered an open-faced toasted baguette topped with garlicky aioli, beef tartare, pickled cucumber ribbons, and a flurry of lemon-dressed cilantro and chervil.


Danny Bowien of Mission Chinese Food made a behemoth of an "Eel-L-T", stuffing crisp-battered buttery eel, tomato, lettuce, and creamy avocado between two jet black smoked potato buns made by Tartine's Chad Robertson. (The color was thanks to squid ink—they should make these again for Halloween!) There was also a kofte kebab sandwich from Russell Moore, a pork katsu sandwich from Sylvan Mishima Brackett, and a Bar Tartine special-edition langos 'banh mi' with duck liver pate.


Come evening, the space became a party for friends, family, and local press, featuring barbecue and other dishes from Danny Bowien and Bar Tartine's Nick Balla and Cortney Burns. The vast spread included sizzling cumin lamb, smoked brisket, Korean short ribs, and baguettes with house cured prosciutto and cultured butter, just to name a few.

We ate ourselves silly pretty much all day. Check out the dishes we tried in the slideshow above.