Festa Sonoma; Zucchini Race results
Future Farmers of America BBQ; Wet Paint; Rumor Department
Rotary's Festa Sonoma tonight, Aug. 26, at the Sonoma Valley Veterans Memorial Building raises funds for all sorts of good deeds around Sonoma Valley and polio eradication around the world. The Italy-in-Sonoma dinner follows the 20th annual Louis Minelli Golf Tournament.
BackTrax, playing not-so-oldies and goodies, will bring attendees to their feet so wear your dancing shoes if you can.
Rotary member Ron Lawson (grower and owner of Field of Greens) and his son, Matthew, will prepare the six-course feast that includes a rich antipasti platter, green salad with excellent vinaigrette dressing, braised short ribs with roasted red potatoes, orange chicken thighs with thinly-sliced orange tucked under the skin, spicy lentil beans, abundant citrus prawns and Parmesan asparagus, finished off with fresh cookies. Expect all sorts of auctions and chances to donate. Tickets $65 at the door. 6:30 p.m. Reserve for dinner, golf, or both at 996-9694 or festasonoma.com.
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Nicholson Ranch Winery has a few seats left for its annual finger-licking, elbow-dripping lobster feed on Saturday, Aug. 27. Enjoy lobster, shrimp, artichokes, corn on the cob and potatoes, all paired with fabulous Nicholson Ranch wines and accompanied by breathtaking westward views. $120 public, $95 wine club members. 7:30 to 8:30 wine and cheese, dinner 7:30 to 10 p.m. 4200 Napa Road, Sonoma. Tickets at nicholsonranch.com or email Ramona@nicholsonranch.com.
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The original Zucchini Races, held last Friday at Sebastiani Winery, drew hundreds of contestants and fans for a jolly fun time. If we were to name a grand champion racer, it would be Ed Cebula, who won both farmers markets' races.
Other winners included Carlos Medina, Charlene Hunger, Hunter Belleville, Ian Joost, Susan Royce, Chetty Chetnews, Kari and Lindsey Gessberger, Gwen and Charlie Morgan and Maggie and Russ Bedord in the creativity and design division.
Speedy race winners were Cebula, Pat Plowman, Charlene Hunter, Denise Wilbanks, Ian Joost, Julia Belleville, Kari and Lindsey Gessberger, Gwen and Charlie Morgan, Giovanni Hernandez and Baxter Bhansal.
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Several Sonomans loved the food at Studebaker Cheesecake's Pan African dinner last Friday night, even though the Chef Soleil was an hour late. All appear to have had a wonderful time anyway. Bringing your own wine obviously helps. Give it another adventurous try tonight.
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Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Café and Bakery opens for its last semester at Santa Rosa's Brickyard on Wednesday, Aug. 31, serving surprisingly good salads, soups, sandwiches, pizzas, entrées and desserts, all prepared by culinary program students. Age 60-plus receives a 15 percent discount at lunch. This café's re-opens at its new location in January. Open 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Reservations suggested. 576-0279. santarosa.edu/café.
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Julie Atwood Events says that she needs volunteers for the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers hilariously fun and yummy Harvest Wine Auction at Cline Cellars on Sunday, Sept. 4. Give yourself if you are an "expert champagne pourer, expert busser or kitchen assistant," front of the house hosts, table setters and after party servers and bussers. If you can help, contact Atwood at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, join in the fun fundraiser, enjoy some of the Valley's best food, and watch winery representatives perform in some delightfully outrageous skits.
If you act quickly, you can still get winemaker lunch tickets over Labor Day weekend at Hamel, Hook and Ladder, and Lynmar wineries, and dinner party tickets at Benziger, Ravenswood, Dutton Ranch, Balleto and Meadowcroft. If the $500 ticket to the auction doesn't appeal, try the cool barbecue at Little Vineyard on Sunday afternoon ($85).
At the auction, SVVGA wants to raise $200,000 in the Fund-A-Need to split between two worthy causes: the Redwood Empire Food Bank, which delivers food to those in need in our Valley; and the Sonoma Valley Hospital Foundation. Dress for your high school homecoming, with great auction items for food fans, such as a pizza party at DeLoach winery and a cooking class with John McReynolds at Stone Edge Farm. $500. sonomavalleywine.com.
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Wet Paint, the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art fundraising gala that becomes more fun each year, sneaks up on us on Saturday, Sept. 10, with a "cosmopolitan Las Vegas flair." There will be no prolonged auction, and there will only be a Fund-A-Need to replenish the Charlotte Lamb Exhibition Reserve Fund that helps bring top level big-city works of art to Sonoma.
Barbara Pascoe of Barbed Oak Vineyard chairs the event committee, with help from members Jeff Zimmerman, Michael Muscardini, Frank Cavez, Rick Tackett, Christine Curry, Jane Milotich, Gerry Snedaker, Jackie Lee, Lance Walker, Jim Lamb and museum Director Kate Eilertsen. Kristi Amoroso is the event planner.
Enjoy entertainment by Sheila Whitney, Stan Pappas, John Simon on piano and DJ Jason Aquino, as well as Las Vegas-style gaming by 21 Fun Casino including 21, craps (we can print that), roulette and mini Baccarat with great prizes.
Linda McCulloch of Cuisine by Lela will provide passed hors d'oeuvres, salads of roasted white corn and arugula, pork sausage ragu with fennel confit, slow roasted pork carnitas and roasted chicken salad in butter lettuce cups. The dessert buffet includes mini-cupcakes, chocolate-chocolate-chip cookies, white-chocolate-cranberry-oatmeal cookies, brownie bites and Peet's coffee. Barbed Oak Vineyard, Hughes Family Vineyards and Muscardini Cellars have donated great wines. $250 includes $50 funny money. 7 p.m. to midnight. 551 Broadway, Sonoma. Reserve at svma.org.
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Harvey's Gourmet Donuts has been rolling 'em out recently at the V Foundation Wine Auction at Nickle and Nickle Winery in Rutherford (raffle was a 2012 Bentley), with Doobies in person. The same night, Harvey also did dessert donuts for San Francisco Giants owner Peter McGowan's son's birthday, then at the Gravenstein Apple Faire, producing their first apple pie donuts introduced Tuesday at our farmers market, and moving on to Pebble Beach's Concours d'Elegance and YouTube's in San Bruno. For hire at 246-5928
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Larson Family Winery will host this year's Sonoma Valley High School FFA and Agriculture Program fundraiser on Sunday, Sept. 11. With the theme "Growing our Future," the party will include great barbecue with triple cheese polenta (whew!), wine, live music by the Rich Little Band, silent and live auctions by auctioneer Ed Vaughn, oysters and beer.
This is a terrific program that includes studies in animal science, plant and soil science, agricultural mechanics and business, agro-science, forestry and natural resources, and includes the high school's School Garden Project. $40 includes two drink tickets. 4 to 8 p.m. 23355 Millerick Road, Sonoma. For tickets, questions or donations email email@example.com or call Becky Larson at 938-3031, ext. 24.
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Whole Foods Sonoma, which already gave salad bars to four Sonoma Valley schools, will hold a special benefit for the Sonoma Valley School Garden Project on Wednesday, Sept. 14. Shop at Whole Foods anytime that day, and the store and its Whole Kids Foundation will give 5 percent of sales to the garden project. Thanks for your help.
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Hormel Foods has changed up its historic Spam recipe to make it "meatier" with less "juicy meaty satisfaction" to compete with lunch fare such as horse and pulled dog meat in China, where foreign meats are often deemed healthier than domestic.
In Japan, slices of Spam top rice or are rolled with seaweed for a dish called Spam musubi. In Tokyo, apparently Burger King sells spam burgers.
Yes, this is that canned blend of chopped pork shoulder, ham, salt, sugar, potato starch and sodium nitrate, just in a different ratio of meat to fat.
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Did you know?
Homegrown Bagels manager Angela Wilson is always loaded with information on a wide range of topics and there is a reason: she holds a B.A. in botany, a B.A. in biology, and an M.A. in biology. And she loves running Stuart Teitelbaum's bagel café.
Garden Court Café manager Linda Miller is off to Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa, for two safaris in September. Her daughters and several others will try to fill her fast-moving shoes while she joins a friend who had an extra ticket.
With great thanks to our supportive community Karen Adelson and Marcelo DeFreitas co-chaired La Luz's recent jazzy Noche de Copacabana, which netted a fabulous $300,000 to continue programs that serve our neighbors.
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Nibs & Sips:
Approximately 700 guests attended this year's rejuvenated and highly successful Red and White Ball benefiting the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation. The food was remarkably good and hot, a true feat under our unusually cool weather conditions last Saturday evening ... Nick Rupiper now sells his Nix Chix eggs at the Friday farmers market and at Sonoma Garden Park on Saturday mornings ... Peter Stonebraker, Carneros Inn's culinary gardner, now offers hotel guests a basket full of biodynamic and organic produce grown on site to take home after their stays ... Have received a couple of reports of greatly improved food at Plaza Tequila (old Amigos), which now hosts Latino Karaoke on Friday nights ... Comcast taped a series of Newsmaker interviews of local nonprofit and community leaders recently at Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, all to run on CNN at 25 and 55 minutes past the hour throughout September.
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We suddenly have three motorized cable car wine-related trolley services. Jonnie and Ed McCormick's Sonoma Wine Country Trolley has a full kitchen for catering and is looking for a chef. Others include the new Sonoma Valley Wine Trolley owned by Tom Buck, Craig Haskell and Rose Kapsner; and the newer Vine Line Hop on-Hop off Shuttle. Even more suddenly we have two pedi-cab services, which are a great idea. First out of the blocks was Sonoma Pedi owned by Codi Binkley of the Whiskey Thieves, and then came Adrian Palenchar's Plaza Pedicab.
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Local "Love in the Wild" star Heather Pond reportedly watched the final episode with friends in a San Francisco apartment and dined on blue cheese burgers, sweet potato fries and baked beans. Maybe a little ice cream from her parents' Chocolate Cow would complete the feast.