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Kathleen Hill: NASCAR dinner, salmon dinner and more


NASCAR banquet and ‘Cars 3’

Racing legend Richard Petty, Pixar’s Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter of Glen Ellen, and NASCAR Grand Marshal Cristela Alonzo and former crew chief and team owner Ray Evernham, will headline the annual NASCAR Grand Marshal’s Banquet at Cline Cellars on Friday, June 23.

The dinner, which is benefits the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities (SCC), the charitable arm of Sonoma Raceway, is held each year as part of the NASCAR Cup Series weekend. The evening will offer a three-course dinner from Elaine Bell Catering, plus a fun panel featuring three of the voices from the “Cars 3,” which debuts in theaters tonight, Friday, June 16.

The dinner is the largest annual fundraiser for the Sonoma chapter of Speedway Children’s Charities, which has distributed over $5.5 million to Sonoma County youth organizations since 2001, including the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club, the Sonoma Valley Education Foundation, and the Sonoma School Garden Project.

Dress code for the gala is Sonoma formal — clean jeans. Tables for 10 guests are $2,500. Reserve at cplattner@SonomaRaceway.com.

Vino La Luz fiesta coming to Robledo Winery

Check out a fiesta with La Luz Center and Robledo Family Winery on Saturday, July 1, featuring Robledo’s finest wines, tacos according to Maria Robledo’s recipes, live Los Jiros Mariachi music, and dancing outside to a fun and lively DJ. All of this will be at Robledo.

All event proceeds go toward immigration programs and support at La Luz Center. Tickets include entry, food, and wine. $40 advance. $50 at door, 21 plus only. Doors open 5:45 p.m. Mariachi Los Jiros 6 to 8 p.m., dancing 8 to 9 p.m. with a DJ. 2190 Bonness Road, Sonoma. For more info contact Angie Sanchez at 938-5131, ext. 113 or email her at angie@laluzcenter.org.

Sondra Bernstein receives award

Sondra Bernstein was awarded the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Rhone Rangers.

Bernstein’s mother Janet and “little brother” Eddie flew across the country to be with her for this honor at a luncheon and live auction before a grand tasting of 69 wineries’ Rhone or Rhone-style wines.

According to Bernstein, the live auction featured large format bottles, unique wine experiences, and special dinners only available at the Rhone Rangers auction.

In an email she said, “They gave me a beautiful engraved decanter. The room was filled with about 80 different winemakers that were pouring for the event. And as always, we were serving our duck cassoulet!”

La Luz-Benziger-Imagery CSA

Beginning June 28, La Luz Center and Benziger Winery will launch their “Mercadito,” a summer Community Sponsored Agriculture Program.

Benziger vineyard workers will provide 12 weeks of vegetables, fruits, herbs, and flowers all locally cultivated on the Imagery Winery property and donated to La Luz for a fundraiser.

La Luz volunteers will assemble the weekly bounty for Wednesday pick up at La Luz Center from 9:30 to 11:30 am. Subscriptions are $350 for 12 weeks from June 28 to Aug. 28, with a limit of 30 total subscriptions. You can also sponsor a La Luz family with a subscription or you may designate a friend or family to pick up your allocation when you are away. Proceeds will support La Luz’s community health programs. For more information or to sign up email Sharon@laluzcenter.org.

Harvest Home re-opening

Fat Pilgrim and Harvest Home have re-opened on lower Broadway just north of Presentation School. Proprietor Craig Miller has added new space to the building with loads of outside furniture and decorative pieces, and situated Fat Pilgrim in the north side of the store and Harvest Home in the south end. There are great gift bags and tea towels that just say “Sonoma” to take home or send to family or friends. And I love the reused metal peace symbols.

Food-wise, he has a great selection of mostly healthy soft drinks and house packed little bags of soft licorice – some of the best licorice anywhere in my humble opinion. In fact I’m going out to the car (where I keep it) to get a piece now. 20820 Broadway, Sonoma. (415) 933-9044.

Sherpas opening second restaurant

Our local industrious Sherpa brothers who now run La Casa Restaurant on West Spain Street, are opening another restaurant.

This one is called Yak & Yeti (no relation to Yeti in Glen Ellen and Santa Rosa) and will be on Jefferson Street in Napa. Watch for interesting dishes such as Nepalese daal soup, various pakoras, Himalayan salad of organic greens, strawberries, cucumber and almonds, several momos, 11 curry choices, six tandoori choices served with buttered Naan bread or steamed Basmati or brown rice. Sides include mango chutney, flavored naans, Indian pickles. And rices. Prices range from $3.50 (sides) to $25.95 (rack of lamb) with many in between. 3150 Jefferson St., Napa. 933-6065.

Sushinoma corrections

Correction from last week about where you can find sushi chef Jacob Talbert. He will be at the Larson Park Farmers Market when it opens in July, and is currently selling at the Tuesday Night Farmers Market on the Plaza. Also, he will start serving his sushi at the Community Café.

Barbara Boxer to be honored by salmon lovers

Former U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer will be honored as the Golden Gate Salmon Association returns to Ramekins for its annual Sonoma Salmon Celebration dinner and fundraiser on Friday, July 21. Boxer will be honored with the GGSA’s Salmon Champion Award “for her career of advocacy for salmon fishermen, the California chinook salmon and protection of California’s environment needed by salmon,” according to host and emcee Michael Coats.

At past banquets, the group served meat, apparently leaving lots of salmon at home. This year is different.

Guests will enjoy salmon cooked five different ways by Ari Weisswasser of Glen Ellen Star, Carlo Cavallo of B&V Whiskey Bar & Grille, Adolfo Veronese of Aventine Glen Ellen, Yoshiharo Sogi of Zina Lounge and Kyle Kuklewski of Ramekins. Everyone will get tastes of all five.

The evening also includes cocktails, wine, silent and open auctions, and sharing of fish stories with some real characters of the industry.

This is always a fun learning experience. $150. 6 p.m. 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma.

Tickets available at (855) 251-4472 advance, none at door.