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Oakland's Magic Kitchen is back!

Children’s Fairyland brings you another season of Oakland’s Magic Kitchen, a fun-filled cooking show for kids – and their grownups! Join us as we explore the world of food, ingredients, and cooking basics alongside esteemed local Guest Chefs and everyone’s favorite furry friend, Quercus. 

Our Guest Chefs will guide you through exciting kid-friendly recipes while Quercus asks all the curious questions to uncover the secrets behind how it all works together to make a delicious, nutritious treat or meal! Get ready to experience a taste of Oakland with us!

Join us for the first cooking show of the year on June 15, where you’ll meet, greet, and eat to your heart’s content!

Whip Up Fun on June 15 with ACRE's Hummus Recipe!

Who: Executive Chef and Owner, Dirk Tolsma, and Quercus
What: Special Hummus Recipe for Kids!
When: Saturday, June 15 at 11:30 a.m.
Where: Aesop’s Playhouse

For one day only, Chef Dirk Tolsma, the mastermind behind ACRE Kitchen and Bar, teams up with Quercus to get your littles juiced about being in the kitchen.

Watch in awe as Chef Dirk whips up a unique, flavorful hummus recipe that will leave your taste buds dancing with delight! Chef Dirk will demonstrate how hummus can be dressed up in different ways: paired with bread, vegetables, or a spicy kick for a variety of options. Quercus will be on hand to uncover the magic behind this delicious, nutritious, and versatile treat. Plus, after the show, you can taste the hummus and take home the recipe! 

Don’t miss out on this magical experience, brought you you by Visit Oakland and SaveMart. See you there!

Next Dates:

  • Saturday, July 27: Chef Juan Hormiga, Parche
  • Saturday, September 14: Chef Intu-on Kornnawong, Joe's Modern Thai
  • Saturday, October 26: Chef to-be-announced!

Chef/Owner Dirk Tolsma, ACRE

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Acre's Executive Chef and Owner Dirk Tolsma delivers an unpretentious experience inspired by seasonal ingredients, cooked well and eaten leisurely. Special, not because it's fancy, but because of its cherished guests and its remarkably simple appreciation of the present.

Dirk's career reflects his eclectic interests. Starting at Auberge du Soleil under famed chef Robert Curry, Dirk's journey was led by passionate curiosity. He honed his craft in the North Bay at Barrelhouse Tavern and Eloise Restaurant, and in San Francisco at Baker and Banker, Grand Cafe, and EPIC Steak. His love of working with live fire and unique local ingredients shines through his joyful embrace of traditional techniques that honor the past and elevate the present. 

A long-time Bay Area resident, Dirk was born and raised in the Great Central Valley–a vast agricultural area where community and commerce are led by the seasons. Childhood memories of playing in cottonseed at Uncle Bill's dairy on Easter, Christmas Carols and fresh pistachios from the Wylie family, apricot picking at the Hadley's in the summer, all grew Dirk's gratitude for ingredients as gifts, a core value present in the local, ingredient-driven menu at Acre. 

Dirk is excited to work with and within the Rockridge community, engaging guests and staff to build together a place where we all belong. 

About ACRE:

Thoughtful Cooking & Cheerful Dining.

ACRE is the place for life to slow down so you can relax, breathe, and enjoy the spirit of our hospitality.  Centered in the Market Hall, our all day café downstairs is weaved within the hustle and bustle of the market. Upstairs you’ll discover our fully stocked bar and lively dining room perched above College Ave. No matter what seat you choose, you can expect local ingredients cooked with love and sincere service that will make you feel right at home.

Our Fairyland Family is Growing! Meet Quercus – our brand new puppet mascot!

Our Fairyland Family is Growing!

Meet Quercus – our brand new puppet mascot!

Once upon an oak tree, there perched a mythical creature of the most curious kind. With its ears and tail mimicking the shape of oak leaves, it camouflages among the trees and casts a silhouette and shadow unlike any other ever seen before. Its wings are curiously sized and while they aren’t large enough for flight, they are just the right size for gliding gracefully between branches and trees.  

This curious creature has a curious name: Quercus! And Quercus is curious in every way. 

Quercus is observant, inquisitive, playful, and incredibly alert! Their ability to camouflage in the oak trees allows them to see, hear, and feel the world around and below them very easily. Quercus is always learning from their surroundings because they’re always listening. They know so much because they ask so much! They ask so much because they see so much! They see so much because they’re present with all of their senses! Quercus is always learning by watching, listening, feeling, smelling, touching, tasting, and being one with the world around them. 

Fun Facts: 

Quercus is an omnivore living in a symbiotic, harmonious relationship with the grove in which they dwell feasting on invasive plants, fungi, and insects harmful to the trees. Bark beetles and termites are their favorites! 

Quercus can be quite the rodenty little rascal, never missing an opportunity to chase a squirrel–it’s great exercise! If Quercus ever catches up to a squirrel, they’ll likely ask for a hug! Quercus loves a cuddle. 

There’s only one thing Quercus loves more than a cuddle, and that’s a question! Quercus loves to learn new things so they’re always asking questions and sharing what they’ve learned!

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