Home Cooking To Go


FOOD IS LOVE. Just ask anyone who spends hours preparing a sumptuous meal. But judging by what some of us put in our bodies, eating is a love/hate relationship. One day, we might eat an organic salad — the next day, we’re snacking on pork rinds.

And dinner can be the biggest challenge. We’re strapped for time and looking for fast food solutions. That’s where two women from Montclair come in — with a food service called Café Villanova.

Sarah Chance came up with the idea after cooking and caring for her terminally ill husband.

“When he passed away, I rented out my downstairs to Rebecca (Clark) and wanted to develop a business to franchise for women in transition,” she said. The two single mothers thought cooking would be the perfect plan. “We were already going to Berkeley Bowl and putting thought and time into menus, so we wanted to give it a shot.”

Their service area is small (just Manzanita and Villanova drives at the top of Montclair) but they hope their neighbors will embrace the idea that Chance calls a labor of love. Organic fruits and vegetables, cage-free eggs and hormone-free meats — most folks don’t have time to eat this way. But these moms do the shopping, cooking and delivery.

“It’s from the heart,” says Chance, “and we really want to do something to help people.”

DOG DANGERS: Are dog attacks more common, or are we just hearing more about them? Reader Kathleen Witt says her dog has been assaulted twice on the trails in Redwood Park, by the same Doberman. In the second encounter (which was two months after the first attack), she tried to protect her pet by picking it up.

“He grabbed my dog by the leg,” she says, “and pulled us both to the ground.”

Witt and her pet had to be treated for bites and the Doberman ended up in quarantine. He’s reportedly out, now, and back with his owner. Witt hopes he won’t attack her, or anyone else.

“Hopefully, he’ll be muzzled and on a short leash,” she says.

PARK PARKING: The stumps are slowly disappearing from the lumpy lot next to the soccer field at Shepherd Canyon Park. Thanks to a soggy spring, the ground has been soft enough for the Conservation Corps to dig out the eucalyptus trunks that have been there since the trees were cut last year.

The next step, once the money is there, is to add more parking at the popular park. The city had the cash (some of which was donated by the Monclair Soccer Club) but now says the work bid has doubled. Still, there’s hope the lot will be paved and in place by the fall soccer season.

TALKING TURKEY: There’ve been more wild turkey sightings in the hills, including reports of a rather large flock on Pinehurst Road. Reader Roland Wong says he also encountered a rafter of turkeys strolling up Melville Drive the other day. “Two males and two females,” he noted, saying they made quite a squawk when he started his van in the drive-way.

LOOKING GOOD: A half-dozen dads strutted their stuff at the annual fashion show/luncheon for Corpus Christi School this past Sunday. Modeling everything from golf shorts to swim trunks, the guys looked buffed as they sauntered down the runway in front of an appreciative all female audience.

But what really whipped the women into a frenzy was the martini glass and shaker that dad Bill Powers pulled from his fanny pack. My moles at the party say he stirred up the crowd in more ways than one!

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