Allison Arevalo Celebrates New Book at Benchmark Oakland

The special dinner features dishes from Pasta Friday.


Image courtesy of Allison Arevalo

Mac-and-cheese maven Allison Arevalo, who co-founded Homeroom, is now an author — of The Pasta Friday Cookbook: Let's Eat Together.

She'll be the special guest during an author dinner at Benchmark Oakland on Thursday, Sept. 26.

Tickets to the three-course meal are available here

Under the supervision of Benchmark Oakland's executive chef and co-owner Peter Swanson, its menu will allow guests to taste recipes from Arevalo's book — including Grandma's Tomato Salad and Buttery Crostini; Strozzapreti with Pesto, Potatoes, and Green Beans with baked cavatelli, sausage, and herbs, and greenest garlic bread; and Olive Oil Cake with citrus and whipped cream.

These dishes will be paired with Italian wines selected for the event.

Guests will also receive signed copies of Arevalo's book. 

As she explains on her website, Arevalo sank every penny into opening Homeroom eight years ago. The restaurant was an instant success, "featured on The Food Network, The Cooking Channel, The Travel Channel, The History Channel, QVC,, the Wall Street Journal," and other prestigious venues.

But "then I sold it. I sold the business that I literally built from the ground up. My dream was always to open a restaurant. Turns out, it was never to run a big business.

"Homeroom grew big, and it grew fast. ... I was miserable. Stressed. I turned into an insomniac. My dream was killing me."

She soothed her sore soul by creating "an event called Pasta Friday where every week I'd cook a giant pot of pasta and a big salad, and invite all my friends over for dinner.

"Pasta Friday changed my life. And it became a feast! Just like my grandmother would do every Sunday, I now spend the entire day in the kitchen preparing. Every Friday my two young boys wake up yelling, 'It's Pasta Friday; it's Pasta Friday!' I have 90 people on my email list, and every week I cook for around 30 adults and 15 kids."

She then explains that she's planning to open a small pasta shop soon in Brooklyn, where she now lives. 

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