Alastair Bland

Alastair Bland

Alastair Bland

In addition to working the weekly newspaper circuit, Bland is the city editor of Dining Out‘s S.F. edition and also writes occasionally for Sunset Magazine. But when he’s not hammering away at the keyboard or on his cell phone doing interviews, Bland, 29, is usually out riding his bicycle-which he just equipped with a pedal-powered cell phone charger-or foraging for food in the city. So why olive oil? “Hell, I love putting it on everything,” he explained over the phone this week while picking blewit mushrooms in the Presidio. But unlike those mushrooms, you can’t just eat a fresh-picked olive because it’s too bitter, and that fascinated Bland ever since he first saw groves in Spain years ago. “They always stood out as unique fruit,” he said. “There’s a whole industry behind making them edible.” But it’s not just the olive, for Bland explained, “I think it’s important that we recognize the people who make our food.”

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