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Kathleen Hill: Paul’s Produce, Buena Vista fair and more


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Where’s Paul’s Produce?

Paul’s Produce here in Sonoma is not opening its Arnold Drive stand on Saturdays this year, due to late planting, restaurant demand, and labor shortages. So catch them at either the Tuesday Farmers Market in Sonoma Plaza or at the Friday morning farmers market at the Arnold Field parking lot, 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Altimira’s School Garden students will be back in August at the Friday morning farmers market selling vegetables, and maybe eggs, that they have raised, thanks to the leadership of Garden Coordinator Kimberly Weber.

Sonoma Farm at Sweetwater Spectrum’s farm stand is open every Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 730 W. Spain St. Right now they have summer squash, cucumbers, peppers, eggplant, broccoli and cabbage. They are also at the Friday farmers market with microgreens.

Fifth Street Farm’s Tyge and Kate sell farm and backyard produce Thursdays 3 to 5 p.m. on Fifth Street below Napa Road. Watch for yellow umbrella.

Flatbed Farm offers whatever is ripe, from eggs to pastries, to kale Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., other days as happens. 13450 Highway 12, Glen Ellen.

Green String Farm and other farm stands

Nancy and Fred Cline’s Green String Farm has reopened after a delay due to the heavy rains last winter, which left many small farms in swampy conditions. Open Friday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the corner of Old Adobe and Frates Roads in Petaluma. Best entrance is off Old Adobe Road.

Buena Vista’s Living History Faire

Jean-Charles Boisset’s Buena Vista Winery will hold its annual Living History Faire Saturday, July 15.

The Faire depicts major events in Buena Vista’s history with an emphasis on Paris.

France native Boisset wants to honor the 150th Anniversary of the 1867 Paris Universal Exposition and “Buena Vista Winery will be transported to Paris,” according to the press release.

Boisset himself will perform as the Sun King, Napoleon the Third of France. He will be joined by actor Jeffrey Weissman portraying Mark Twain, and others as Queen Victoria, Captain Nemo, Princess Auoda, Mary Grant, Professor Phinias Flockmocker III, Jaques D’Oge, Edouard Manet, and more characters.

Wine industry guests will see a performance of the “Story of Buena Vista” in the winery’s wine museum from 6 to 7 p.m.

Enjoy Buena Vista wines, music and entertainment by Bruno Band and Can Can Bijou, and food available for purchase. $40 general or $25 wine club members up to 3 people. 2 to 6 p.m. 18000 Old Winery Road, Sonoma. For more info and reservations contact staci.sheets@buenavistawinery.com.

Figgy piggy happenings

Suite D will host a Sonoma Fest & Pig Roast on Sunday, July 16 with live music by the Butterdishes featuring poke salad, a whole roasted Kalua pig, Spam fried rice, sweet potato fries and an ice cream sundae bar. $50 or $42 for Social Club members. Reserve at figsuited.com.

SVVGA Barbeque at St. Francis Winery honors Chris Silva

Sonoma Valley Vintners & Growers Alliance holds its annual Member Barbeque at St. Francis Winery on Wednesday, July 19 with live music by Sonoma Valley’s Creatures of Habit band and barbecue stations by Olive & Vine/Cuvee Catering. No matter what it’s called, you know that if the food comes from Catherine Venturini it will be good. Bring a bottle of wine to share. $40 adults, $12 children. Reception 5:30 p.m., dinner served at 6:30. 100 North Pythian Way, Santa Rosa. For more info contact Abigail@sonomavalleywine.com.

Passaggio vineyard luncheon with Cindy Cosco

Cindy Cosco, former law enforcement person and now popular winemaker at her Passaggio Wines, will host a luncheon in Thomson Vineyards deep in the Carneros region on Saturday, July 22.

Jennifer Thomson of Thomson Vineyard, where Cosco sources her merlot, will pour her wines to just 18 guests.

Chef David Walker will prepare a five-course menu that starts with appetizers, then an arugula and fennel salad with prosciutto in a lemon vinaigrette, followed by an artisan cheese platter. Chicken medallions over a bed of mashed root vegetables topped with mushrooms and wine reduction will be the entrée followed by a walnut cake. Since Passaggio only makes 1,700 cases of wine, this is a rare chance to taste them paired with food. $125. Noon to 3 p.m. 1605 Los Carneros Road, Napa. Reservations at Passaggio’s Vine Alley tasting room in Sonoma or call 934-8941.

Oreo cookies multiply

Remember delicately pulling one layer of dark chocolate Oreo cookie off so you could lick the white frosting in the middle?

Well now those traditional Oreos are outnumbered by many other flavors.

Oreo makes 40 billion cookies a year in 18 countries, according to the New York Times. Has anyone seen or tried Jelly Donut, Mississippi Mud Pie, Firework, Birthday Cake, S’Mores, English Breakfast Tea, Peach Melba, Mermaid, Raspberry Danish, or Beignet flavored Oreos? Let me know.

And then there were those insipid Peeps Oreos at Easter time with pink filling that reportedly turn your tongue pink.

Aventine’s Veroneses back from Italy

Aventine Executive Chef and co-owner Adolfo Veronese, his wife Toni, and other family members are back from a wonderful sojourn in Italy and cooking up an Italian storm at Aventine.

They were in Italy because their mother Angela Alioto was “Knighted by the Republic of Italy,” presumably because of her devotion to St. Francis of Assisi. In fact, she is a member of the Secular Franciscan Order and Founder of the Knights of Saint Francis at the Porziuncola Nuova, and former president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.

Adolfo, Gian-Paolo, Toni and Rodrigo will all be at Aventine and at your service from now on.

Shiso’s fried rice honored in plateonline.com

Ed Metcalfe’s fried rice was highlighted in a plateonline.com story on blending of Italian and Chinese cuisines in what is being called “itmeshi.”

From plateonlin.com: “His fried rice is among the most popular items at his free-wheeling Japanese restaurant, an eye-opener for diners accustomed to thinking of the dish as a way to use up leftovers… Metcalf emphasizes the dish’s essential texture, beginning with the rice itself — he prefers short grain, which has more pop — and continuing on through to the sautéed add-ins: celery, onions and sugar snap peas.

While the flavorings might not be strictly Japanese — along with grated ginger, there is also jalapeno pepper and a housemade sambal — the starring elements of the dish are true to the Italian original: egg (in this case fried and laid atop the rice like a crown) and house-cured bacon (cut up into cubes that are scattered throughout, to add smoke and richness).”

Lisa Lavagetto at Marin County Fair

Lisa Lavagetto, Ramekins’ chef ambassador, just completed organizing the judging of the Marin County Fair’s Blue Ribbon Stage culinary contests for her 24th year there. She works with Charlie Barboni to come up with ideas for live contests where people can make an item, bring it in, and sit in the audience and watch it being judged. Scary.

This year’s contests included Classic Loaf Cakes, Soups On, Healthy Choices, Say Cheese (a cheese course), Retro or annual classic cakes, This Little Piggy pork cook-off, Luscious Lemon Dessert, Greatest Pies in the USA, Bread – The Staff of Life, All-American Fried Chicken Championship, Gone Fishing, Divine Dips, and Recetas Latinas.

Lavagetto pulls in chefs from Ramekins and Marin to judge 53 pies, for example. Lavagetto calls this annual effort her “working vacation” and loves her Marin Fair family. She also appeared on “Guy’s Grocery Games” on the Food Network.

Happy Bastille Day

Here’s a reminder of today’s and the weekend’s Bastille Day events with an addition from Chateau St. Jean.

Chateau Sonoma: As a real fan of France and things French, Sarah Anderson and her Chateau Sonoma team will host a Bastille Day fête at Chateau Sonoma today, JuJy 14, serving French 75s cocktails of sparkling wine, lemon juice, gin and simple syrup made by bartender Jeremy Sommier. Piaf-like French chanteuse Arabelle, who also sings at The General’s Daughter Pizza & Pinot nights, will entertain. 3 to 5 p.m. at Cornerstone.

Valley of the Moon Pétanque Club celebrates Saturday, July 15: Every year the Valley of the Moon Pétanque Club celebrates Bastille Day with a casual pétanque tournament (novices welcome) and a big lunch with Ravenswood wine to both drink and win.

If you want to play, just arrive before 10 a.m. Boules are provided if you need to borrow some, and you do not have to compete. If you prefer just to go for lunch, reservations are required. Show up by 11:00 or 11:30 and bring your own plate. Lunch to be served at 1 p.m. Tournament $10, lunch $22 including a glass of Ravenswood wine. Reservations at vompc.org or 934-4844.

Chateau St. Jean wine event Sunday: Chateau St. Jean will have a wine tasting event on its lawn to celebrate Bastille Day on Sunday, July 16. They expect live music and food trucks. Tickets include tastes of three wines and one actual glass of wine. $15 public, free to wine club members. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 8555 Sonoma Highway (12), Kenwood. Tickets at chateaustjean.com/events or 257-5784.