9 Haute Happenings to Add to Your December Agenda

Spark's 2015 Holiday Bash
Spark’s 2015 Holiday Bash

Tis the season for celebrations and whether you want to party with athletes or indulge in a fancy caviar and champagne dinner, there is something to satisfy all tastebuds this December. While we’re huge fans of a quiet night in, if you’re not going out and enjoying San Francisco at least a couple of evenings per week, you’re missing out. To inspire you to take advantage of all that this beautiful city has to offer, we’re listing this month’s haute happenings. Here are the parties, dinners, and benefits that are on our December calendar.

Kick start the holiday with sport’s greatest stars at the seventh annual Holiday Heroes Extravaganza on Monday, December 5. The kid-friendly event takes place at AT&T Park and benefits the Wender Weis Foundation for Children, an organization that helps underserved children from low-income families develop confidence and self esteem. Athletes who are scheduled to attend include Olympians Kristi Yamaguchi, Jonny Moseley, and Natalie Coughlin, along with San Francisco 49er Shayne Skov, San Francisco 49er alum Eric Heitmann, San Francisco Giant Mac Williamson, San Francisco Giant alum Noah Lowry, San Jose Earthquakes Chris Wondolowski and Khari Stephenson, and Golden State Warrior alum Adonal Foyle.

If hanging out with over 700 kids isn’t your cup of tea, here’s another not to be missed event on Monday, December 5: the Commissary’s open kitchen series caviar nightRoland Passot from La Folie and Brett Schaubin from Reddwood are joining the Commissary’s Rogelio Garcia in the kitchen. Enjoy a four-course prix fixe menu cooked by the different chefs—each dish incorporates caviar.  California Caviar’s Deborah Keane will be on hand to supply the caviar and discuss sustainable practices of the luxe ingredient.

Guests at last year's Spark Holiday Bash
Guests at last year’s Spark Holiday Bash

Help #SparkChange at Spark’s Holiday Bash on Thursday, December 8 at the Empire Room. The networking group consists of 14,000 young professionals who promote gender equality and invest in women’s causes. All of the funds raised at the holiday party are donated to Spark’s grantees. Local grantees include Willpower Woman, an organization that supports women who have been abused and AnnieCannons, a group that teaches human trafficking survivors tech skills. At the holiday bash there will be small bites, dancing, open bar, and surprises.

We can’t get enough of Recchiuti Confections delicious chocolate treats and on Friday, December 9 we’re not going to miss their Christmas tree making workshop. Chocolate master Michael Recchiuti is hosting the event and will show guests how to assemble a 3D tree. During the workshop, chocolate basics will be taught, so you’ll learn the techniques behind melting, tempering, and moulding chocolate. Small plates, cheese, charcuterie, pickled vegetables, and wine will be served. When you leave, you’ll take a festive edible sculpture home with you.

A cocktail inspired by Jerry Thomas
A cocktail inspired by Jerry Thomas

Bars across San Francisco are paying homage to Jerry Thomas, the father of American mixology on December 12-16. 14 of the city’s top bars—like Comstock Saloon, Absinthe, The Treasury, and Café du Nord—will be offering a special menu of drinks inspired by Thomas’s legacy. All of the cocktails will use Bols Genever, a spirit from Holland that predates gin and was featured predominately in Thomas’s 1862 book, How to Mix Drinks or The Bon-Vivant’s Companion.

On Thursday, December 15, Gather restaurant in Berkeley is turning seven years old. To celebrate the anniversary, Gather is having a little party that starts on Friday, December 9 and lasts seven days. The entire cocktail menu and glasses of champagne will be just $7. Plus, there will be a special menu of dishes that highlight the restaurant’s favorite local purveyors. The items, like sea urchin risotto with matsutake mushrooms and yuba pappardelle with mushroom bolognese, sound innovative and delicious.   

A tin of caviar from the Caviar Company
A tin of caviar from the Caviar Company

Three of our favorite things—Krug, caviar, and Mourad—come together for one spectacular night on Friday, December 16. The Caviar Company sisters have joined forces with Krug champagne and chef Mourad Lahlou. This holiday season, the trio is inviting guests to indulge in a luxury dining experience. This four-course dinner and wine pairing is not to be missed.

The Guardsmen have been providing Christmas trees to San Franciscans since 1947. The all-male volunteer organization runs an annual tree lot and uses the proceeds to send at-risk youth to summer camps. The tree lot is open daily from now until SaturdayDecember 17 and that night, the Guardsmen celebrate their sales with a fabulous party.

Not getting a tree this year? You can still give back to the community at Roka Bar’s holiday toy drive on Sunday, December 18. Compass Family is a nonprofit that helps families that face homelessness. Bring a new unwrapped toy or article of clothing (for a recipient up to 18 years old) and get a free drink. Musicians from the San Francisco Symphony will be on hand to keep the atmosphere festive and light.