/ˈkaləˌbaSH/ a fruiting vine found around the world, humans have been in relationship to this plant for millennia, finding creative ways to make use of it.
The calabash is known by many names in many places–drinking gourd, jicara, long melon, New Guinea bean, Tasmania bean, opo squash, and calabaza to name just a few. People use it to gather and carry water, pour and drink libation, smoke ceremonial herbs, eat, build homes, make music, create art, and light their dwellings. Like its namesake, Calabash, a restaurant, market and bar in Uptown Oakland opened by Chef Nigel Jones in December 2022, is a place of global innovation. Like the container it is named for, Calabash is a home for creative local chefs and producers to bring the uniqueness of their culture and flavors to The Town. Nigel Jones and his talented crew of chefs in partnership with Hanif Sadr (Komaaj, San Francisco) are bringing flavors and food ways from regions from Iran to Mexico to the Caribbean, and more. Rather than offering mediocre bland interpretations of global food, Calabash partners with chefs to interpret and innovate their native flavors, in both a dine-in or grab-and-go format. Calabash’s local market and hot/cold case features local bakeries, coffee roasters, chocolatiers, and chef-made ingredients for the home cook. With a dedicated wine bar plus a full bar and lounge, Calabash is a gathering place where people are introduced to the new and familiar and encouraged to stay awhile. Whether grabbing something for your next lakeside picnic, a weekday breakfast or epic weekend brunch, a leisurely wine tasting, or dinner with friends, Calabash has something for everyone whenever they need it.