Chef Preeti Mistry of Juhu Beach Club writes about her inspiration for 2014, one of her featured Oakland Restaurant Week menu items, and what is special about Oaklands dining scene. Flying back from Mumbai this morning, my mind is brimming with new menu ideas and renewed spirit for the year ahead. Since opening Juhu Beach Club in Oaklands Temescal neighborhood in March 2013, Oakland has given us a unique sense of community that we feel each day from our neighbors as well as other chefs and restaurant owners. The year 2014 brings a record number of new restaurants participating in Oakland Restaurant Week, which is something we are especially honored to be a part of. A common thread Ive observed and share with many of Oaklands new restaurants is a place where chefs bring more of their personal backgrounds to their cuisinetheir ethnic background and personal history. This thread is leading to a rich diversity in style and cuisine in each of our new East Bay establishments. One item we are featuring on our restaurant week menu that I am quite proud of is our Moms Guju Chili. It is my interpretation of my mothers moong dal recipe that I grew up eating at home each week. It is earthy and warming and has turned out to be one of our most popular dishes, especially with our regular customers. This menu item is a true example of what you will find with much of our menua handcrafted approach, rooted in personal experience that involves several house-made and local elements. Moms Guju Chili takes the essence of the simple hearty dish I grew up eating and is topped off with house-made pickled red onions and a rich local Straus yogurt. Im looking forward to sharing our version of comfort food that feels like home with our current guests and those who may be new to Juhu Beach Club over Oakland Restaurant Week. Want to learn more about Preetis favorite Oakland hot spots? Missed this morning's Knifepoint chat with Visit California? Check out the sneak peek below and click here to see the rest. Until next time...nommm.