Quantcast

Santé makes Chronicle Top 100; Glen Ellen Star + Park Ave. Catering team up; Losing Michael Ghilarducci and Bob Sessions; Busy Sonoma weekend

Kathleen Hill has the inside scoop on food and wine.

Kathleen Hill has the inside scoop on food and wine.

Kathleen Hill

By

Late breaking: The new Dutch Bros. Coffee at Andrieux and Broadway (formerly Hot Shots) will serve all coffee drinks free today, Friday, May 16. On Saturday, when they will charge for drinks, “proceeds” will be donated to the Boys & Girls Club of Sonoma Valley. Dutch Bros. Sonoma is owned by Bob Fulton, who discovered the company in Oregon, and will be operated by his daughter and son-in-law, Sonoma residents Mackenzie and Joey Shoemaker. 5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 11 p.m. Saturday. 711 Broadway, Sonoma.

HHH

Santé at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn returned to San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Michael Bauer’s coveted Bay Area Top 100 Restaurants” list for 2014. The restaurant was on the 2012 list but missed 2013 because it and the hotel lobby were under construction. You can hear chef Andrew Cain this morning on my radio show at 10 a.m. on KSVY.org or 91.3 FM.

Bauer says of Santé, “Andrew Cain has always been an underappreciated chef, but a recent remodel of the restaurant gave him a more appropriated stage for his intricate, fresh creations.” 100 Boyes Boulevard, Boyes Hot Springs. 939-2415. santediningroom.com.

Santé is the only restaurant in Sonoma Valley that made the list. On the other hand, Napa is represented by, Angele, Bistro Don Giovanni, Bottega, Oenotri, Redd, Redd Wood, The Restaurant at Meadowood, and Terra, in addition to Ad Hoc, Bouchon, and The French Laundry owned by Thomas Keller, who apparently is planning an ice cream shop at another Yountville location.

HHH

Today (Friday) is the last day to order Soroptimist International of Sonoma Valley’s annual lobster sale, with lobsters to be picked up live or cooked tomorrow, Saturday, May 17. All profits go to women and children of Sonoma Valley, from scholarships to Sonoma Overnight Support’s effort to acquire a house for women and children in crisis. Pick up your 1.5-pound lobster ($25) at the Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce, 651 Broadway, Sonoma between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. To order last minute, call Juliette Andrews at 338-1874.

HHH

Glen Ellen Star co-owner/chef Ari Weisswasser and Park Avenue Catering owner/chef Bruce Riezenman just “married” their businesses into Stellar Catering that will feature wood-fired cooking.

 

Riezenman, who also owns the popular Park 121 restaurant at CornerStone Sonoma, brings his expertise in memorable food events, while Weisswasser works specially with local foods, roast suckling pigs and other meats, all cooked in terra cotta casuelas or iron pans in a wood-fired oven. Combining their efforts into Stellar Catering will allow them to provide family-friendly fun food buffets or family-style meals for 40 or more guests. stellarcaters.com.

HHH

Bangkok 9, Sunee Petprasert’s new Thai restaurant next to Whole Foods, that has been a hit since she opened it, will close briefly May 26 to 29, re-opening May 30. Sunee is closing for a few days to complete the decoration and renovation of her new restaurant, having moved from her 599 Broadway location. Watch for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 5 to 8:30 for dinner on weekdays and until 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

HHH

Several newsy items got cut from my column last Friday due to lack of space, so let’s try them again.

HHH

John Ash, founder and former owner of John Ash & Co. restaurant in Santa Rosa, won the coveted James Beard Award for single subject cookbooks with his new “Culinary Birds: The Ultimate Poultry Cookbook.” John Ash is known as “the father of wine country cuisine,” teaches cooking everywhere, including at Ramekins and at the CIA, and was named “IACP Cooking School Teacher of the Year.”

Lucky us: Ash will be our next guest at the 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. Ash is one of the nicest people on earth. I have known him ever since I introduced him to introduce M.F.K. Fisher at the Sonoma Community Center about 25 years ago.

HHH

John Birdsall, whose mother Barbara Birdsall lives in Sonoma, also won a Beard Award in the Food & Culture category for his Lucky Peach magazine article called “America, Your Food Is So Gay.”

An Oakland resident, Birdsall currently is online editor of chow.com and, as a chef, cooked previously at Greens and Ironwood and interned in the kitchen at Chez Panisse.

HHH

Sheana Davis’ Epicurean Connection now offers a bottle of white, rosé, or red wine to-go on Tuesday farmers market evenings, complete with cups and an opener for $10. And, the great Justine Filipello, who grew up in the food business with her parents’ Wild Thyme catering, will staff Epicurean Connection’s booth at the market.

HHH

Jean Arnold Sessions took the occasion of her seventh annual P.J. Party at EDK to announce her departure as president of Hanzell Vineyards. She will begin an advocacy group to mentor women in the wine business and stay on as a board director and brand consultant to Hanzell. Arnold Sessions succeeded her husband, Bob Sessions (now “winemaker emeritus”) in 2002. We regret to say that we lost the revered Bob Sessions this week to Alzeheimer’s. Our deepest thoughts, prayers, and sympathies flow to his devoted wife, Jean.

HHH

This week, we also lost executive chef and co-founder of Depot Hotel Restaurant, Michael Ghilarducci, who enjoyed a fabulous dinner prepared by his son, Antonio Ghilarducci, and then passed away in his sleep the following morning. Sometimes we just don’t know.

Wife Gia and son Antonio will keep the restaurant open daily to honor this gentleman, a purist researcher of his Italian heritage cuisine. Gia told me, “Michael would never have wanted us to just give up. He always had such a cheerful, courageous, happy outlook on life … We have loyal customers and 10 families that work here depending on us to carry on, just as Michael himself would have done.”

HHH

Nion McEvoy, president of the lovely McEvoy Ranch in Marin County west of Petaluma, just announced that Deborah Rogers has become McEvoy’s olive oil production manager. Nan Tucker McEvoy planted 1,000 olive trees from Italy on a former dairy farm in West Petaluma in 1991 with the goal of creating California olive oil that could rival that from Italy.

The multi-award-winning master olive miller co-founded The Olive Press in Sonoma in 1995, where she served as managing partner for 13 years.

Rogers serves on the UC Davis Olive Center Taste Panel, frequently judges olive oil competitions around the world, and attended the first Culinary Diplomacy Initiative Partnership launch in 2012 at the invitation of the U.S. Department of State. McEvoy Ranch includes 80 acres of organic olive trees, 25 acres of vineyards, and huge flower and vegetable gardens and fruit orchards. McEvoyRanch.com.

HHH

Glen Ellen Star now waves corkage on bottles of wine from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. daily.

HHH

Lots going on this weekend:

Reminders about the Quarryhill Botanical Garden’s fundraiser with a tour and Asian food by Bruce Riezenman of Park Avenue Catering on Saturday, May 17 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. to benefit children’s nature education. $125 members, $145 non-members. 5:30 to 8 p.m. 12841 Sonoma Highway, Glen Ellen. Reserve at 996-3166 or quarryhillbg.org.

HHH

Nicholson Ranch hosts what they call “Dance Party of the Year” on Saturday, May 17. Music will be by Loosely Covered, which covers Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Bruno Mars and Maroon 5, to accompany Santa Maria BBQ by Smoke Open Fire Cooking, including tri-tip, grilled chicken, lots of sides and sauces and chocolate pot de crème for dessert. Wine included. $50 wine club members, $75 non-members. 6 to 11 p.m. 4200 Napa Rd., Sonoma. Tickets at 938-8822, Ext. 15.

HHH

Audubon Canyon Ranch, which includes the Bouverie Audubon Preserve in Glen Ellen where both owner David Pleydell-Bouverie and M.F.K. Fisher lived separately, will hold its annual “The Art of Eating” fundraiser as a Vintage Country Picnic, on Sunday, May 18. Great food by members of Les Dames d’Escoffier and local cheesemakers to benefit the Audubon Canyon Ranch’s effort to give more than 6,000 third-, fourth- and fifth-graders an opportunity to experience nature-based educational experiences at no cost to schools. Tickets $150. 12:30 to 4:40 p.m. More info at (415) 868-9244 or acr@egret.org.

HHH

The Sonoma Historic Motorsports Festival lights up Sonoma Raceway Saturday and Sunday, May 18 and 19, with 350 vintage and historic race cars and presentations on history of racing and famous drivers. The fun part for locals who may not want to watch the races will be the parade of 30 historic cars from Sonoma Raceway to Sonoma Plaza, circling the plaza and parking in front of City Hall.

Those who attend that part of the festival will sample foods from Basque Boulangerie Café, Maya, Murphy’s Irish Pub, Burgers & Vine, The Red Grape, and the Swiss Hotel.

Kenwood Vineyards, Deerfield Ranch, Eric Ross Winery, Highway 12, Larson, Matanzas Creek, Robledo, and Bartholomew Park wineries will pour wine tastes. All funds benefit Speedway Children’s Charities, which supports everything from our Boys & Girls Club to the Sonoma School Garden Project. $30 advance, $35 at door. 5:30 p.m. in front of Sonoma City Hall.

HHH

Flapjacks flip at the Schellville Fire Station this Sunday, May 18, to help the Sonoma Valley 4-H Club. They will be cooking and serving their light and fluffy pancakes again this year, along with sausage, fruit, milk, juice and coffee. Clo the Cow from Clover Stornetta will make an appearance, and there will be a silent auction from 4-H crafters and local businesses. Lots of kids’ activities at the pancake feed. Sonoma’s 4-H chapter has more than 60 members. $6 advance, $7 at the door. 8 to 11:30 a.m. More info at 529-6085.

HHH

Gloria Ferrer and WillMar Family Grief & Healing Center offer a special pinot noir tasting and bluebird box painting event at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards on Sunday, May 18. Young Willmar artists will paint in Gloria Ferrer’s Glorious Studio, with the colorful bluebird boxes available as a fundraiser for WillMar.

Adults can enjoy tastes of Gloria Ferrer’s 2011 WillMar Artist Series Pinot Noir (labels designed by WillMar artists), along with sparkling and estate wines at this open studio event. All proceeds from wine, bluebird boxes and poster sales benefit the children, teens and families who participate in WillMar activities. Tasting tickets $15 donation. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tickets at gloriaferrer.com or via Barbara Cullen at 935-1946.

HHH

The Red Grape has lots of new menu items, and May’s specials include a roasted red pepper bisque, seared sesame crusted Ahi tuna salad, orecchiette with garlic scapes, charred red cabbage and Laura Chenel Chèvre, a tres jalapenos pizza with Petaluma’s Zoe’s Meats’ salami, pepperoni, pickled jalpenos and pineapple, and Stella’s Birthday Kids Pizza with creamy peanut butter topped with strawberry jam and sliced banana.

Remember that you can purchase your Red & White Ball automobile raffle tickets at the Red Grape with a bonus if you buy $100 or more.

HHH

Don’t panic, but….

Oklahoma residents have been warned about impending earthquakes due to fracking, a virus is attacking coffee plants, young pigs are dying of diarrhea, Mexican cartels are rumored to be controlling lime exports, cattle are starving or being slaughtered during the current drought in lots of the U.S., and California salmon are jumping over rocks and being trucked downstream from spawning grounds to the ocean – all reasons for food prices to escalate. Enjoy good local salmon now while you can, advises the Golden Gate Salmon Association.

HHH

Bon appétit!