When I lived in Palo Alto, Calif., in the seventies, Oakland was not a place to visit – too druggy, too scary, too violent. Now, the reinvigorated city is almost unrecognizable. It is bursting with exciting restaurants and artisanal producers making fabulous pasta, tofu, chocolates and more. Cheaper real estate, easy access to Northern California's vast bread basket and ethnic diversity all helped to foster the burgeoning foodscape; indeed, The New York Times recently voted it the fifth-best food destination in the United States. Here are a couple of my favourite Oakland recipes.