Carnicerias tour; Heart of Sonoma Valley; Important farm forum Tuesday at Estate; Glen Ellen and Kenwood 'Crush' event this weekend
Carnicerias tour: A few places remain for our second tour of The Springs' carnicerias on Saturday, Sept. 17, sponsored by Slow Food Sonoma Valley. Gather in the parking lot behind Palms Grill at Verano Avenue and Highway 12 and enjoy coffee, pastries and a passionate tour at La Mixteca bakery, and then move on to Carniceria Chapala. The day includes lunch at Rancho Viejo and visits to La Morenita #3, La Favorita, mid-afternoon ice cream at Michoacana Natural Ice Cream, and finally El Brinquito, where everyone can purchase a half or whole barbecued chicken to take home for dinner. $50. 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Quickly email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit slowfoodsonomavalley.com to sign up.
Backyard farmers alert:
Sonoma Mission Gardens hosts a free seminar tomorrow, Sept. 17, telling us what veggies to plant now, with lots of suggestions from onions, garlic and shallots, to broccoli and kohlrabi. 11 a.m. 851 Craig Ave., Sonoma. Reserve your space at 938-5775.
Heart of Sonoma Valley (Kenwood and Glen Ellen) wineries present their 2011 Crush experience this weekend, Sept. 17 and 18, featuring hands-on experiences with food and wine tastes at Audelssa, Deerfield Ranch, Enkidu, Eric Ross, Family Wineries, Kaz, Kenwood, Ledson, Little, Loxton, Mayo, Muscardini/Ty Caton, Paradise Ride, VJB and Valley of the Moon wineries. Many wineries offer tours and dinners at extra cost. $35. heartofsonomavalley.com. (866) 764-9463.
Peter and Betsy Spann officially and grandly open their Spann Vineyards tasting room at 111-A East Napa St., Sonoma, this Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 17 and 18, from noon to 5 p.m. Spann shares the storefront with highly regarded Saret Gallery.
The Spanns major in classic red Bordeaux varietal wines and Bordeaux-style blends, many with limited production. Betsy makes a multiple gold medal-winning chardonnay-viognier and a blend of sangiovese, cabernet and syrah from their vineyard high in the Mayacamas Mountains.
Estate restaurant will host a fascinating, "A Late Summer Farm Forum," presented by Marcy Smothers and esteemed restaurant and food consultant Clark Wolf on Tuesday, Sept. 20.
Panelists will include John Toulze, of Estate and managing partner for all the girl & the fig enterprises; Eric Sheffield, of Gold Ridge and Luther Burbank Experiment Farm; myself for Sonoma's school gardens, Sonoma Index-Tribune and SONOMA magazine; Yannick Phillips, of the Grange; Sheana Davis, of The Epicurean Connection and Sonoma Cheese Conference; Steve Garner, of KSRO; Chris Silva, CEO of St. Francis Winery; egg farmer and state leader Arnold Riebli; Kristee Rosendahl, of smartgardener.com; Rachel Friedman, M.D., of Veggie Rx and SAVOR magazine; and ag commissioner Dave Whitmer.
Proceeds will go toward a new orchard at one of our schools. $15 at the door includes nibbles and sips. 5 to 7 p.m. 400 W. Spain St., Sonoma. RSVP to email@example.com.
Wild Thyme's Dining Club Rive Gauche next Wednesday, Sept. 21, includes Hot Ribs & Hot Music with Tommy Thomson and Ron Hacker and a four-course dinner. Enjoy melon with smoked duck; eggplant rolls; smoking hot ribs with cornbread, slaw and Cajun potato salad; and Keith's Apple Pie with ice cream. $35 or 25 euro. BYOW. 19030 Railroad Ave., El Verano. Reserve at 996-9453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Future Farmers of America (FFA) fundraiser at Larson Family Winery was a huge success last Saturday, with loads of old Sonoma Valley farm families represented.
The Barry Shone family, with Sonoma Valley High School agriculture teacher Danny Aschwanden and his father on oysters, cooked the entire meal of food from Sonoma Market.
Two of the Valley's great farm families were represented by Pam Millerick Hellen, whose parents and grandparents used to own this property, and the Broccos including Mike and Pina, Rich and Michelle, Darla Brocco Kobza and son Ryan Kobza (now a graphic designer) and Corinne Sklar.
Apparently the irrepressible and hilarious Gene Daly stole the show at Sonoma Valley Mueseum of Art's "Wet Paint" fundraiser Saturday.
Daly appeared in full Elvis regalia, sang several songs, and coaxed attendees out of $30,000 for the fund-a-need to replenish the Charlotte Lamb Exhibition Reserve Fund. He also offered to match anyone who raised their paddle at $100.
Daly stayed in character and costume on Sunday to surprise his 95-year-old mother, Mary Jane Erickson, and anyone else in the Oakmont dining room with a grand Elvis entrance, performance, and lei for mom.
After my teasing remarks about deep-fried Twinkies sold at Infineon Raceway, I came across a story I wrote for the Boston Globe in 2008 in which I referred to "deep-fried haggis, pizza and Mars bars, along with deep-fried ice cream and pineapple rings" as best sellers in Scotland. And then there is deep-fried butter at county fairs in at least Iowa and Texas.
Black Cat Cabaret features great Cirque de Soleil-like acrobats, dancers and entertainers, along with singer and actress Thelma Houston to benefit Pets Lifeline, both Friday and Saturday, Sept. 16 and 17, at Sonoma's Field of Dreams.
New features include two-tiered ticket pricing for both nighttime shows at "Top Dog" for $250 to "Cool Cat" at $175. The $250 tickets entitle holders to back stage passes and preferred parking at the Vets Building, in addition to the Cool Cats' lounge and gardens, seat-side beverage service, reserved seating. Saturday and Sunday evenings gates open 6 p.m., show at 8 p.m.
Attendees will enjoy a great grazing menu of Gypsy Girl duck and bacon corn dogs, flying fish taco with squash blossom slaw, saffron potato and squash blossom tacos, smoked chicken wings with Pt. Reyes Blue Cheese dip, veggie sliders with paquilla peppers, mushrooms and goat cheese; Willie Bird turkey bacon BLT sliders, Sonoma Dry Jack and blackberry salad, and ostrich burgers with caramelized onions.
On the sweet side, watch for truffle popcorn, cotton candy, old-fashioned candy, lollipops and Clover-Stornetta mini ice cream cones, plus Sorrento's Gelato cart.
Le PeTIT CiRqUe is designed for kids with a children's matinee performed by kids. Adults must accompany children in attendance. $50. Gates open noon, show at 1 p.m. 151 First St. W., Sonoma. For tickets call Sonoma Community Center's Box Office at 938-4626, ext. 1.
Former Sonoma Valley High School principal Bob Kruljac organized 110 fellow 1961 graduates to celebrate their reunion last Friday evening at La Casa restaurant. Apparently the Kruljacs dine there every Friday night and love it. The ole gang enjoyed a huge fajita buffet on the back patio of El Paseo.
Sheana Davis, who will move her Epicurean Connection shop downtown to 122 W. Napa St. as of Oct. 15, is the only local store that ordered extra copies of Culture - The Word on Cheese magazine that includes an eight-page feature on my cheese grater collection photographed gorgeously by local Rebecca Gosselin. Davis remains open in Boyes Hot Springs until the move is complete.
Davis just got back from visiting 12 master cheesemakers' production facilities and cheese shops in Wisconsin, and served as guest cheesemaker and instructor for her sold-out home cheesemaking class. They paired Carr Valley cheeses with Wisconsin beers and served a Wisconsin cheddar and beer mustard sandwich on a pretzel roll, which looks something like a chocolate profiterole.
Chris Kettler will not be joining Davis as a business partner after all.
Carneros Bistro's new chef, Andrew Wilson, reprises the restaurant's "Attack of the Killer Tomato." Wilson and sommelier Christopher Sawyer have planned a seven-course dinner focused on tomatoes, some from the restaurant's organic garden.
Available à la carte or as a three-course tasting menu will be gazpacho, fried green tomatoes, tomato tarte tatin, sea bass, Waygu ribeye with warm tomato salad, or handkerchief pasta for $45, Sept. 19 through 25, with the "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes" movie running continuously in the bar. 1325 Broadway, Sonoma. 931-2042.
The Lodge at Sonoma will host a welcome party for Wilson on Monday, Sept. 19, and will pour wines from Benziger, St. Francis and Domaine Carneros to accompany tastes from Wilson's new menu. 5:30 to 7 p.m. Open to the public.
Sonoma's Best, the active food and wine child of Tom and Gayle Oberti Jenkins, will feature Tom's brother, Jack Jenkins, singing for a dinner and cabaret evening, with Tom cooking on Thursday, Sept. 22.
Jack and his late wife, Sally, performed with Guy Lombardo, appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and in many musicals.
Tom will prepare arugula salad, choices of Moroccan chicken or pork tenderloin, vegetables from the store's garden and dessert selections of toffee pudding or hot espresso over vanilla bean gelato. Dinner and cabaret $39, wine and other beverages extra. Reserve at 996-7600.
Santa Rosa International Film Fest Justine Ashton's latest film festival incarnation, will show the important film, "The Cove," at Deerfield Ranch Winery Friday, Sept. 23. The movie focuses on thousands of dolphins killed annually in a Japanese cove. The film first screened locally at the Sonoma International Film Festival two years ago.
The organic Deerfield Ranch Winery will release a new label of Cove cuvée, syrah and zinfandel, with half of proceeds going to the Ocean Preservation Society. 10200 Sonoma Highway, Kenwood. 833-5215. sriff.org.
Darryl Ponicsan, the highly-successful novelist, sculptor and painter, has moved his Doorway Gallery & Artist's Studio from near Pizzeria Capri to the old cement building across from Depot Park, and will host a reception on Saturday, Sept. 24, featuring Roessler Cellars' wines. The large space launches with a four-man show exhibiting the work of George Dawnay, Earl Turner, Vince Zukowski and Ponicsan. Free to invited guests. 4 to 7 p.m. 254 First St. E., Sonoma. For more information contact Lori McGovern at 415-309-7440 or email@example.com.
Hopmonk Tavern will have a brew master's dinner featuring five beers from Dogfish Head Brewery on Sunday, Sept. 25, paired with executive chef Billy Reid's fresh crudo with butter sauces; butternut squash risotto; potatoes three ways: petit Sheppard's pie with creamy potatoes; slow roasted pork ribs; and beer glazed bacon over baked sweet potato; followed by spiced beignets.
Dogfish's motto is "off-centered ales for off-centered people." $55. 6 p.m. Reserve at 935-9100.
Check out Kathleen's retro recipes, culinary collection, and other food news at kthill.com.