Taste of Himalayas to rise again; Diabetic IndyCar driver talks food
the girl & the fig gives to WillMar; Valley of the Moon Winery sold; Paul’s Produce open Saturdays
The ever-popular Taste of Himalayas restaurant across the alley from Murphy’s Irish Pub in the Guerra family’s Place des Pyranées off First Street East, suffered a fire during their afternoon closing hours between lunch and dinner last Thursday.
Apparently a Murphy’s customer sitting at a patio table fortunately saw smoke coming out of the roof vent and then noticed the windows of the restaurant’s kitchen getting progressively darker. Firefighters doused the fire, called the county health inspector, slowly opened up side rooms to let smoke out and tossed burned materials out into the alley.
According to restaurant co-owner Chirring Sherpa, the health inspector made notes to make certain the family didn’t serve customers at dinner that evening, not that they had even considered it.
Always stoic and optimistic, the Sherpa family gathered to load chilled and frozen food into their pick-up truck to try to salvage something. We thoroughly expect them to come back better than ever. Meanwhile, try their new restaurant in St. Helena.
Taste of Himalayas has been a strong supporter and customer at our Sonoma School Garden Project farmers market Thursday afternoons at Murphy’s, as is resident chef Sarah Pinkin. Sheana Davis of the Epicurean Connection is a new chef customer who last week made school gardens grilled green pepper and white bean soup, which sold out instantly. Pinkin makes a school garden soup and school garden wraps on Fridays.
A certain percentage of race fans go to Sonoma raceway, formerly known as Infineon, for their favorite stick foods or other delectables they don’t get at home. Check it out this weekend for the big Izod IndyCar GoPro Indy Grand Prix of Sonoma (all that means hot Indianapolis 500-style races).
If you lust after deep-fried Twinkies, fried dough, corn-dogs, Teriyaki-covered meats on skewers, new Niman Ranch burgers and pie and ice cream booths, a trip out there is definitely worth the price of admission. And then there’s the beer. It’s like a big picnic with fast cars, women, men, big-time revved up rumble bumble noise and the occasional accident.
Speaking of the raceway, you know the women’s saying about men in uniforms? Well it applies here too. Most drivers are relatively small and lean, at least compared to other super sport athletes. And those snug outfits, even covered with endorsement emblems, make them look even better.
I had the special privilege of an exclusive interview with driver Charlie Kimball, known for his on-track prowess as well as for having type 1 diabetes, about what he eats and what he consumes during a race. Three weeks after surgery, Kimball will drive this weekend with a splinted broken finger and doesn’t think it will slow him down one bit.
Kimball was accepted to Stanford but passed it up to race cars and follow his passion. He had to skip the 2007 racing season to get his then newly diagnosed diabetes under control. He also is the first diabetic driver to qualify, start and finish the Indianapolis 500.
Partnering with Novo Nordisk, which continuously monitors his blood sugar throughout a race, Kimball is a totally nice, gentle person who is eager to share his experience with others to show how you can succeed by working to manage diabetes.
During the race, his Novo Nordisk gives him an alarm that tells him if his blood sugar is high or low. He keeps a bottle of water and a bottle of orange juice in the car. When asked how he manages the bottle on the raceway, he chuckled “Well, the straight-aways give me a chance to drink it, fast.”
Asked if he cooks at home, he answered, “My girlfriend is a great chef. Most of us are real athletes, we are very conscious of nutrition and we work hard to keep in shape. It takes me two or three days to recover, with insulin and a good diet. I have to be careful not to eat super fatty foods, so I eat chicken, vegetables and pasta. Then I start back working out at the gym after I’ve rested.”
Kimball concluded, “We’re kind of like the mechanics who work on the cars. They prep and fuel the cars and try to get them working perfectly. We
do the same thing for our bodies.”
This weekend’s IndyCar Grand Marshal Kevin Johnson, who will proclaim “Drivers, start your engines,” is a former NBA all-star basketball player and current mayor of Sacramento. He says his standby “pre-game meal” was always “a club sandwich, fruit and a PowerBar.” So if that is your standard lunch, be sure to play lots of basketball afterward.
Johnson will be joined in starting the race by 2012 Olympic gold medalists Tyler Clary (200 meter backstroke) and Erin Cafaro (United States rowing women’s eights).
You can enjoy this Saturday’s Amistad (Friendship) Awards, honoring those who have especially helped our Latino neighbors, with fine Mexican food from Rancho Viejo at Robledo Family Winery. Reynaldo and Maria Robledo, Antonio and Genni Barrios of Rancho Viejo, Arturo and Martha Ulloa of Chapala Market, all great success stories, Supervisor Valerie Brown and Claudia Mendoza-Carruth of MC(2) Multicultural Communications will be honored by Mexican Consul General Carlos Felix Corona and Mayor Joanne Sanders. Josué Solis, Jamie Resvem and Musical Surprise present the music. Robledo wines, including its double gold winning tempranillo, will be served. $85. 5:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Nuestra Voz Center or at the door, or call Alejandra Cervantes, producer and executive director of Nuestra Voz, at 939-9369.
Depot Restaurant offers a Ghilarducci family class on Monday, Aug. 27, called 2012 New England Lobster Clambake Portuguese-Style, and what a dinner!
You will learn how to replicate the Ghilarducci’s favorite dinner from a trip to coastal Massachusetts with steamed whole lobster with clams, mussels, shrimp, sausage, corn and potatoes; Portuguese pepper salad; grilled tropical fruit and Gia’s pasties de coco, meaning a crunchy coconut tart. Bring an apron and a towel or bib. $120 includes class, lobster dinner, wines and beer. 5:30 p.m. Reserve now at 938-2980.
Great news: Following Gloria Ferrer’s generous gift of $25,000 to WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center, Sondra Bernstein of the girl & the fig and her staff decided to forgo their 15th anniversary party and present WillMar with a $15,000 check. Great precedent.
Candi Edmonson and Paul Wirtz of Paul’s Produce now have their busy vegetable stand open on Saturdays next to Romberg’s and across Arnold Drive from Brocco’s Old Barn. The LisRobin Ranch horse group held a delicious bake sale (great peanut butter cookies) at Brocco’s last Saturday, after which I carefully crossed the road like a chicken to Paul’s Produce.
Saturday specials: Every Friday Candi and Paul put out a sign that says what the bargain veggie will be on Saturday. Last week it was gorgeous romaine and little gem lettuces for $1 a head. Marvelous!
Ledson Hotel’s Centre du Vin and its new executive chef, Anthony Schumaker, will feature Labor Day weekend specials including a classic Niçoise salad, lamb lollypops with spring mix salad, pan-seared ahi tuna with brown butter new potatoes, avocado and heirloom tomatoes, and a coppa and prosciutto sandwich with Gruyère cheese and pommes frites ($15 to $24), all to be paired for a charge with Ledson and Zina Hyde Cunningham wines. 480 First St. E., Sonoma. 996-9779.
Jonathan Sebastiani just appeared with Jonathan Redford (nephew of RR) live on QVC to introduce and sell his Krave jerky to QVC’s viewing millions. All Virgin Airline planes now feature Krave as a snack choice.
F. Korbel & Bros., owned by Gary Heck, just sold Valley of the Moon Winery and Lake Sonoma Winery to West Coast Wine Partners of British Columbia, Canada, according to the Press Democrat. Korbel’s previously announced sale of Kenwood Winery to Banfi Vintners fell through. West Coast Wine Partners is a combined effort of Tony Stewart of the Okanagan Valley’s Quail’s Gate Winery and Dan Zepponi of a deep-rooted Sonoma family.
Sonoma Valley Democrats will enjoy beer, wine and nibbles at their monthly “Thank Goodness It’s Thursday” gathering at Murphy’s Irish Pub on Aug. 30, 5 to 6:30 p.m. Stop by the school gardens’ farmers market in Murphy’s Snug just before the gathering.
Sunflower Caffé has new bar tables from Steele Geisha Designs and will celebrate the “works on paper” of Will Combs with Dutton Estate wines on Friday, Sept. 7. Combs is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
Recent local fundraisers highlight the enormous generosity in our community toward nonprofits and projects attendees believe in.
For La Luz’s Noche de Casbah, headed by the magnificent Marcelo Defreitas, Highway 12 Winery, meaning Paul Giusto, Michael Sebastiani and Doug Offenbacker, donated all of the abundant red and white wine, while Skyy Vodka donated vodka, both for the second year. Elaine Bell served a Moroccan buffet on butter plates of lamb with pita and condiments, falafel, chicken and dried plum skewers, grilled veggie skewers, mezze with couscous, hummus, flatbreads and baba ghanoush, and the finale of rice pudding and dark chocolate mouse cups.
With many dressed in their finest Casbah attire, attendees included JaMel and Tom Perkins, Alber Saleh and Dean Sereni, Cherie and Keith Hughes, Vicki and David Stollmeyer, Kimberly and Simon Blattner, Ellen and Drew Bradley, Buffy and George Miller, Laurie and Bill Hake, Troy and Steve Hightower, Kristen McFarland and Bill Jasper, Judy and Chuck Young, Martha and Steve Rosenblatt, Harriet and Randy Derwingson, Noreen and Stan Feig, Phyllis and John Gurney, Linda and Jim Kuhns, Suzanne Brangham and Jack Lundgren, Ed Stolman, Mabeth and Bill Sanderson, Brian Sebastian and Richard Mabe, Beth and Joe Aaron, Tery and Dan Parks, and Jane and John Robb. Sharing emcee duties were outgoing La Luz Executive Director Yvonne Hall and new board President Claudia Mendoza-Carruth.
In addition to the other winemaker dinners mentioned here last week, Susan and Richard Idell will host one at their Idell Family Vineyards on Friday, Aug. 31, as part of the Sonoma Valley Vintners and Growers and general Wine Country Weekend events. They are fascinating people who grow grapes, apples in Sebastopol, and lots of other good deeds. Reserve at sonomawinecountryweekend.com.
The Idells poured lots of their syrah and no-oak chardonnay at the San Francisco Outside Lands Music and Arts Festival’s Wineland Pavilion last weekend.
Today is National Peach Pie Day. Enjoy your neighbor’s finest if they still have some. We are so fortunate to be able to share the abundance of foods we can grow in our own gardens or even pots on balconies.