For 45 years, Louis Bryan, 78, a self-described San Francisco sock model and fruit connoisseur, has loved giving homemade jams and jellies to those who least expect it. Over the years he’s befriended purveyors at every SF farmer’s market, friendships that continue to inspire his creative canning. “My life revolves around what’s in the market — I prefer to make what’s in season,” says Bryan, as he inspects a batch of tayberries from his Segway.
During quarantine, his canning has been a salve. “I’ve been making jams and jellies so fast now I’m running out of shelf space to put them all,” he says as he hands two neighbors this week’s Meyer Lemon Marmalade.
A veteran and retired technical writer who also goes by Matte Gray, Bryan publishes his recipes (e.g. “Flavor Grenade Pluot Jam” and “Nectarine Curry Jalapeño Jam”) alongside an annual production log; both are full of wit and wisdom.
There’s no doubt that Louis Bryan “Matte Gray” has one of the sweetest gigs in San Francisco.