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Guy Fieri and Bella Andre triumph; French Flea Market; Nathan’s Hot Dog contest; Olive Press’ Picual EVOO wins big; John Ash in Sonoma next Wednesday

Kathleen Hill has the inside scoop on food and wine.

Kathleen Hill has the inside scoop on food and wine.

Kathleen Hill

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Sonoma’s resident romance author Bella Andre just brought another of her books onto The New York Times’ “combined print and e-book best sellers” list with “A Sweet Life,” a collection of 14 short romances by her friend Barbara Breethy and others. Last weekend as well, Guy Fieri, of Santa Rosa, appeared to “own” Parade magazine with a feature on his home lifestyle.

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Chateau Sonoma presents its 11th annual classic French Flea Market this Saturday and Sunday, May 24 and 25, in its garden courtyard with lots of new vendors who search flea markets in France and bring their finds to Chateau Sonoma. I have found some bargains in the $8 to $20 range, but don’t buy them before I get there. Just kidding. Tiny decorative and useful antiques and collectibles to large French tables and chairs, all topped off with truly French-style jambon (ham) and butter sandwiches and Tyge William Cellars Sauvignon Blanc. Michel Saga plays his French barrel organ. Free. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. 153 W. Napa St., Sonoma. 935-8553.

Meanwhile, three merchants on East Napa Street discovered this is a good thing and are holding an “antique and collectibles Flea Market” the same days. The French Nest will sell “French flea market finds, curiosities and collectibles” only on Saturday, and J. James and Tiddle E. Winks will offer trophies, typewriters, books and other collectibles while Tiddle E. Winks sells games, puzzles, vintage pennants, Sasso Bars will be sampled, said organizer Heidi Geffen to be “fluffy nougat and coffee caramel covered in dark chocolate. Similar to the old Mars bar, but with more grown up taste.” 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

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“Chef” is one of the most talked-about movies on this spring’s horizon and has big ties to Sonoma.

Jon Favreau wrote, directed and stars in the family movie, for which the San Francisco Chronicle reviewers have “the little man” jumping out of his chair (a good thing).

Favreau is married to Joya Tillem, an internal medicine doctor at Cedars Sinai hospital in Los Angeles, and mother of their three children, all of whom frequently visit grandma Susan Tillem here. Susan says, “You will love it. Don’t go hungry.” Or eat lots of popcorn. Can hardly wait.

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Sweetwater Spectrum farmer and instructor Rachel Kohn Obut will hold their final spring plant sale Saturday, May 24, featuring 12 varieties of pumpkins, winter squash, six-packs of corn, beans, tomatoes and lots more. Obut will gladly discuss the “Three Sisters” theory of gardening and eating that involves corn, beans and squash. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 730 W. Spain St., Sonoma. 494-9210.

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The Olive Press’ Picual Extra Virgin Olive Oil just won a string of medals during the current olive oil award season, contributing to its 43 medals so far this year.

Nancy and Fred Cline’s Picual EVOO won Best of Class and was voted one of the World’s Best Olive Oils at the recent New York International Olive Oil Competition, and then went on to win gold, Best of Class and Best of Show at the Yolo County Olive Oil Competition. According to their press release, Jean Chevalier farms and hand picks these special olives in Yolo County’s Capay Valley.

The Clines were also featured in the May, 2014 issue of Sonoma-Marin Farm News as “dedicated farmers and conservationists,” winning the Sonoma County Farm Bureau’s 2014 Luther Burbank Conservation Award. The Clines were among the first to use sheep to eat weeds instead of killing the greenery with pesticides. Besides, the sheep poop on vineyard soil and fertilize everything.

The Clines take the root conserve seriously, both in farming and politics, owning two wineries, Green String Farm (run by Bob Cannard) and Dillon Beach. Cline is a grandson of Valeriano Jacuzzi of the Jacuzzi Whirlpool family. In fact, my closest kid neighbor growing up was Kenny Jacuzzi, for whom the family developed the whirlpool. 24724 Highway 121 (Arnold Drive), Sonoma. Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. The olivepress.com.

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Architect and designer Marga Friberg has returned to Sonoma, after a long stay in Santa Fe, to serve as innkeeper and manage the Birmingham Bed & Breakfast in Kenwood, recently purchased by early-retired lawyer and Sonoma resident Maggie Kaplan. Kaplan has many worldly interests, and is sometimes seen at events around town with her tiny dog in her large purse.

Friberg, well known here as the designer and co-founder of the Cottages Inn & Spa on First Street East, with her then partner and the now late Robert Behrens, and Kaplan have lovely plans to enhance the inn, originally built in 1913 as the Monroe Ranch and currently a Sonoma County Historic Landmark. As a B&B, the Birmingham features Craftsman-style furniture and two-course breakfasts with estate and locally grown produce.

Now living in Napa, realtor Michael Crain, longtime friend of both Friberg and Kaplan, with his wife, Anya, put the deal together via his Michael Crain Properties.

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For hints of the state of farming and how to farm locally, Sonoma Community Garden will screen Casey Beck’s terrific, “The Organic Life” film, about boyfriend Austin Blair’s organic farming life (with Paul’s Produce) and the difficulties of modern ethical farming on Saturday, May 24, at the Community Garden on Seventh Street East, Sonoma, 8 to 9:30 p.m.

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If you like fun music, specifically boogie woogie, do not miss Wild Thyme’s next Dining Club Rive Gauche on Wednesday, June 4, featuring the “world renowned Queen of Boogie Woogie, Wendy Dewitt,” who just returned from the International Boogie Woogie Festival in Lugano, Switzerland. She starts the evening looking somewhat intellectual and totally covered and ends up discarding jackets and sweaters and ripping up the keyboard.

All of this and an Italian Spring Menu of crostini with cannellini beans and tomato; spring greens with Balsamic and herbs; pasta primavera; apricot glazed grilled game hen; and strawberry tiramisu, all served at your place under the oak trees at FAHA on Verano Avenue. $40 or 35 euro. BYOW, no corkage. 7 p.m. 197 W. Verano Ave., Sonoma. Reservations required at 996-0900 or wildthyme@vom.com.

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Everyone wants to know: A catering company called Delicious Dish is preparing to move into the Arnold Drive location whose immediate past tenant was Cary’s Sports Bar & Grill. Several establishments have failed there, but Delicious Dish owners Lauren and Charles Cottner will not depend on retail business. According to a staff person, they will simply use it as a catering kitchen. Most recently they have been cooking on Railroad Avenue at the Westerbeke property formerly occupied by Wild Thyme. No word yet on the future of the windy and dusty driving range.

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Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog contest at Sonoma Raceway:

If you go to the NASCAR race on Sunday, June 22, you can watch or join in a new qualifying round of Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest, culminating in the finals, July 4, on Brooklyn’s Coney Island. The only 10-minute eating contest takes place at 10:30 a.m. on the pre-event stage at the raceway.

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Sonoma’s Lucky Market, and all Save Mart grocery stores, offer the “lowest price ticket” to the Toyota/Save Mart 350 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at Sonoma Raceway, June 22. That means a Turn 9 adult ticket will go for $45, a savings of almost $30 according to Sonoma Raceway officials. Remember that NASCAR just gave 90 fruit trees for our Sonoma School Garden Project to nourish our children for generations and to offset NASCAR’s carbon footprint in our area.

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Steve Ledson’s Centre du Vin has a new spring menu, adding a duck confit salad, oven-roasted sun chokes, asparagus and prosciutto, ratatouille en croute, Balsamic-braised airline chicken breast, chicken cordon bleu, a pork chop and a duck duo. And always their French onion soup. ($5 to $28).

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Unbelievably, McDonald’s catered lunch at a recent annual conference of the California Dietetic Association (dieticians) at the Marriott Hotel ballroom in Pomona, while the California Beef Council gave out pamphlets on how to lose weight by eating steak, all according to Kiera Butler in Mother Jones.

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Community Café & Annex Wine Bar now offers its special Burger Night both Thursdays and Fridays, with a choice of turkey, Portobello mushroom, beef or “fillet o’fish,” with the works including a choice of fries, onion rings or side salad. $10 with drink purchase. Owner Margie Brooke now carries the Ceja family’s Carneros Brewing Company’s beers. From 6 p.m. 875 W. Napa St., W. Napa St., Sonoma. 938-7779. ccsonoma.com.

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John Ash, founder and former owner of John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, brings his new James Beard Award-winning “Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook” to our Last Wednesday Food Group at Readers’ Books on May 28 at 7 p.m. Get your book now so you can try some recipes. Remember, Readers’ gives a 15 percent discount for our cookbook club books to keep your business local. If you feel like it, cook something for us all to sample, but don’t worry if you don’t want to. Come anyway and enjoy the evening. Free. 7 p.m. 130 E. Napa St., Sonoma.

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Quarryhill Botanical Gardens’ fundraiser last Saturday was a huge success, with tours of the gardens and giant sculptures, and stations of Asian food to feast on. Most of us nibbled while standing in another line for another taste. Bruce Riezenman’s Park Avenue Catering produced garlic ginger shrimp, beef tenderloin bites, crab and vegetable Vietnamese rolls, grilled teriyaki chicken skewers, udon noodles with coconut and miso sauce, a crisp short rib spring roll, vegetable and duck won tons, jade rice cakes, Vietnamese pork loin and pork belly sliders with fresh condiments, and mini desserts.

Among the hundreds of guests enthralled all evening by Asian female aerialists were Stanley Abercrombie and Paul Vieyra, Yvonne Hall, Beth and Joe Aaron, Laura and John Benward, Gerry and Bill Brinton, Nancy and Hank Bruce, Katherine and Richard Bull, Deborah Bull, Mary and Mike Colhoun, Karen Collins, Christy and John Coulston, Katherine and Jacques Couture, Bill and Sylvia Crawford, Marcello Defreitas, Jeanette and Whitney Evans, Martin Forbes, Sherry and Michael Franchetti, Ann Funsten, Desiree and Danny Garon, Racquel and Chuck Harris, Kathe and Fred Hodgson, Jean Hopeman, Pom and Ambassador Pancho Huddle, Cherie and Keith Hughes, Diane and Ken Jacobson, Kathleen Kiernan and some grandchildren, Linda and Jim Kuhns, Marcia and Jim Levy, Rich Little, Richard Mabe and Dr. Brian Sebastian (returned from Japan a 1 p.m. same day), Carole and Bob Nicholas, Terri and Dan Parks, Helen and Blair Pascoe, Darren Peterie and Tom Rusert, Nancy Ramsey and Rusty Schweikart, Toni Rothschild, Mabeth and Bill Sanderson, Deborah and Harvey Shein, Leslie and Owen Tuttle, Marcie and Dave Waldron, Cathy and Chuck Williamson, Doug Wilson, Patsy and Rick Wynne, Peter, Van, and John Van Slyke, and Troy and Quarryhill board president Steven Hightower.

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Caution: KRAFT just recalled 1.2 million cases of cottage cheese packed under the brand names of Knudsen, Breakstone, Simply Kraft, and Daily Chef that apparently weren’t stored at proper temperature standards at a California manufacturing facility, according to ABC7 News. Don’t eat any of these with the dates May 9 through July 23.

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Watch that ratatouille:

Na Young Ma, married to our son Mack Hill, spent last Sunday walking back and forth to their corner farmers market and carefully prepared ratatouille during most of the afternoon. After a healthy repast, she woke up in the wee hours in labor and delivered a healthy big boy on Monday. His name is Linus and of course he is handsome. Joy.