Grokfeast in San Francisco, California

On September 8th I asked my readers to host picnics and to send me the results. The following is one of 27 amazing submissions, the best of which will win an entire cow, courtesy of US Wellness. Vote for your favorite on October 8.

What We Did

  • Moved Frequently at a Slow Pace
  • Sprint Once in a While
  • Lift Heavy Things
  • Swimming in the cold SF Bay
  • Play
  • Rest!

We started off the NorCal Paleo Grokfeast at our local rockclimbing gym in San Francisco. While we waited for participants to show up we weightlifted, did pull-ups, sit-ups and stretching. Sophia and Justine both unexpectedly showed up in their Vibram Five Finger Toe Shoes — Toe mates!

Next, we headed to Aquatic Park about 2 miles away for our cold water swim. We lightly jogged while chatting and at some points sprinted. We arrived at the location, stripping down to our swimsuits/wetsuits (while tourists nearby were gawking) to do laps. We came out of there shivering but warmed up with the sun at our backs.

As we walked back to the rockclimbing gym (2 miles), Igor carried Sophia on his back while walking — a good heavy weight workout which caught the attention of strangers walking by. We then held a primal picnic outside the gym.

We tried out Wooly Pig products (heritage mangalitsa pigs) which was donated by Heath Putnam (some pig fat that was cured and pig pork belly bacon). We were surprised at how good the fat tasted raw and how flavorful and creamy it was. The fish cakes were eaten very quickly and I think was one of the most favorite dishes. Sophia is trying to sell her own line of paleo products and she shared her beef jerky and dried fruits. After such a meal we felt satiated, and also pretty tired from the cold water swimming.

However, we continued our fun-filled day by rockclimbing at the gym with some additional friends that showed up. Alas we were so pooped from all the days activities that we conked out in the sauna and just relaxed. I think our ancestors would approve!

Throughout the day, we talked about other activities we wanted to try next: archery, bow-hunting, trapeze, and more. Our Grokfeast gave us a great excuse to get together and find others that liked the same activities.

What We Will Do with the Cowshare

We will hold a BBQ at one of our member’s homes or at a park nearby to cook a portion of our winnings. Celebrating with friends and family and getting them excited about living primally.

Sophia would use it to make jerky to send to troops in Afganistan, where there is no access to primal food. Igor would take a week off work to eat his share lol!

Others plan on using the meat to eat more healthily throughout the next months, using sous vide cooking techniques. We all need to get larger freezers!

The Challenges

It was difficult to get all participants to be part of an all-day event like the Grokfeast. Luckily, folks were able to drop in and out throughout the day.


The Feast

  • Cauliflower and Cucumber Dish
  • Fruits (apples, plums, bananas)
  • Beef and onion
  • Raw meat from bacon belly fat and lardo
  • Fish Cakes and Lemon Caper sauce*
  • Strawberry and nut dessert (Raw fruit pie)*
  • Snacks: dried apples and home-made beef jerky

Recipe: Fish Patty Cakes and Lemon Caper Sauce (From Primal Blueprint Cookbook)

  • 2 cans wild caught salmon
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 c. minced onion
  • 2 Tbsp chopped dill
  • 1 tsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. coconut flour
  • Bacon fat for cooking

Place drained fish in a large bowl and flake with a fork.

Add eggs, onions, herbs, mustard, salt, and black pepper.

Stir to mix well. Add coconut flour a little at a time, stopping with the mixture will hold together in patty shape.

Heat a wide skillet with some fat over medium heat.

Shape mixture into 3 inch patties. Keep them the same diameter and thickness.

Place patties in hot pan (don’t crowd them) and cook until golden brown about 5-7 minutes. Try not to disturb them or turn prematurely for the best outer crust formation.

Use flexible thin pancake turner to flipover fish cakes. Cook the other side.

Serve with Lemon Caper Sauce (mayonaise, capers, lemon juice, dijon mustard to taste)

The Tribe

Justine Lam, Sophia Dubrovina, Dave Johnson, Luke Ekkizogloy, Igor Markorov, John Gabriel, Jason Cyril, Chris Chan, Cheryl Cline

About the Author

Mark Sisson is the founder of Mark’s Daily Apple, godfather to the Primal food and lifestyle movement, and the New York Times bestselling author of The Keto Reset Diet. His latest book is Keto for Life, where he discusses how he combines the keto diet with a Primal lifestyle for optimal health and longevity. Mark is the author of numerous other books as well, including The Primal Blueprint, which was credited with turbocharging the growth of the primal/paleo movement back in 2009. After spending three decades researching and educating folks on why food is the key component to achieving and maintaining optimal wellness, Mark launched Primal Kitchen, a real-food company that creates Primal/paleo, keto, and Whole30-friendly kitchen staples.

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43 thoughts on “Grokfeast in San Francisco, California”

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  1. Great job everyone! I was wondering if you guys had an email list going of people in the SF area. My husband and I are in Santa Rosa and would love to hear about any future get togethers. Thanks!

  2. Yes! Join our Norcal-Paleo Meetup here in the Bay! We are always excited to welcome more Paleo enthusiasts!


    1. I vote for more pics of the homemade jerky! And also for my beloved Bay Area!

    1. Oooh, thanks for the link! Signed up and put the Nov South Bay potluck on my caledar. I can hardly wait!

  3. Sounds like a great. I guess we could have swam in lake erie at out grokfeast, but the would require the use of antibiotics…

  4. Is that at Planet Granite? I’ve been climbing there several times and it’s an awesome gym!

  5. Very cool. The presentation is very professional-looking. Nice job putting that together!

  6. Took me awhile to get the hang of the little applet this is presented using. Lots of variety here, and I definitely think that the finish in the sauna would be the best part after a chilly day of outdoor activity in SF!

  7. Very cool, and thanks for the recipe — I haven’t made fish cakes since going primal, but I’m gonna try these out soon.

  8. that looks like a blast! as a Bay Area girl, I know just how freakin’ cold that water is – impressed y’all jumped in! should I ever get out of AZ, I’ll have to look for you folks. I’d love a community of primal folks.

  9. Fun stuff. I’d like to see a recipe for the raw fruit pie. Just berries and nuts mixed together?

    1. Raw strawberry crumble

      1 cup soaked raw almonds

      1 cup soaked walnuts

      1 1/2 lbs strawberries

      4 dates, pitted and soaked for 15 minutes

      A pinch of sea salt

      To make the crust, use S blade in a food processor to finely grind the almonds, walnuts, and dates to a crumbly powder. Press the crust to an even thickness inside a pie plate. Dice organic fresh strawberries and spread evenly over the crust.

  10. i would like to do something like this but dont you need to shower after all that movement, oh yea you swamm nice,

  11. My favorite city in the whole world! Great to see it used so primally 🙂

    Surprised how much I noticed the civility of plates!!

    Awesome production.

  12. Did Grok have saunas? …
    Sounds like fun day. All this talk of creamy pig fat is making me want to buy some…

  13. You all seem like good, kind friends and your future planned outings sound like they are going to be great fun.

  14. Are you going to still meet up afterward? I really like climbing, but I wonder if caveman would ever climb.

  15. As long as a caveman doesn’t climb in a loin cloth I am ok with this! Great job!

  16. Awesome! The more I watch these videos, the more determined I’m becoming to find others to grok with.
    P.S. Nice presentation!

  17. As a Finn, I have to say it’s awesome you used a sauna! Even though it’s not exactly primal…

    I’m so jealous of all these Grokfests going on across the pond. Hopefully Europe will start catching up with you guys on this stuff! Is anyone else in Finland reading this?

  18. wow guys, that sounds like a ton of fun. I wish I had been in san francisco!

  19. Swimming in the freezing water then rock climbing sounds like a blast. Good luck in the contest, hopefully you get to ship a load of beef jerky very soon.

  20. might have an internship in the norcal area next year…nice to know i wouldn’t be a lonely grok

  21. i climbed at mission cliffs once, great gym! i’ll have to get back there…sounds like a fun day by the bay

  22. Great job fellow Bay Area Grok-heads!
    Looking forward to the next meetup.. had to go out of town that weekend 🙁