Kathleen Hill: Festival food shorts, Oscar nibbles and pot brownies from Alice B. Toklas
‘Delicious Shorts’ coming to film festival
Those of us who are food and wine fans will enjoy a food and wine film orgy at the upcoming Sonoma International Film Festival, running Wednesday, March 21 through Sunday, March 25.
There actually is a film package called “Delicious Shorts,” a collection of short films about food and wine to be shown together on Thursday, March 22, at 2 p.m. at Burlingame Hall, and again on Friday, March 23, at the House of Docs & Shorts at the Veterans Memorial Building.
The Filipello family of Wild Thyme Catering & Events and Deborah Del Fovo are preparing nibbles pertinent to the short films.
The shorts include “Bacon and Greens,” about Ireland’s oysters, bacon, poetry and greens; “The Chef at The Palace, a Polish film about a chef and historian who researches early Polish cookbooks; and, from Spain, “Excellence,” about chef Quim Casellas who invites leaders of castell groups (who stand on each others’ shoulders to create human towers) to cook local products and talk about food and human towers. Then there’s “The Miracle of Alto Adige,” an Italian film about a remote part of Italy that produces unusually good wine that hardly anyone has heard of; and, from Germany, “Saffron: The Search for Red Gold,” which shows saffron as the “the golden spice and soul of Iran” traded for thousands of years and revealing an insider’s view of the valuable saffron business.
Feature-length food films at this year’s SIFF will include “Grand Cru: The Quest of Alain Ducasse,” “Jacques Pépin: The Art of Craft,” “Patisserie Coin de Rue,” “Food on the Go,” and “Off the Menu,” all of which this writer will present. Tickets and passes at sonomafilmfest.org.
Glen Ellen Star’s new schedule
Chef and co-owner Ari Weisswasser announced that Glen Ellen Star is now open for dinner daily through 2018. It opens at 5:30 p.m. and serves until 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and until 9:30 Friday and Saturday. Get on their email list to hear about Locals’ Wednesday Night specials. Glenellenstar.com.
‘Secret Life of Mrs. London’ at Readers’ Books
Rebecca Rosenberg will bring her fun and suspenseful novel, “The Secret Life of Mrs. London,” to a large crowd at Readers’ Books on Thursday, March 15, along with a magician to remind us of Charmian London’s alleged affair the famous Houdini.
Rebecca and her husband Gary have been generous donors to various causes, including serving as co-chairs of Worth Our Weight (WOW), a culinary apprentice program for at-risk young adults in Santa Rosa. WOW will provide some of Jack London’s and Houdini’s favorite foods including Houdini’s deviled eggs, Houdini’s cherry bread pudding in little fancy red papers, Jack London’s duck gumbo, Jack’s Roquefort stuffed celery, and his lomi-lomi salad. Rosenberg will hand out fliers that included recipes for these dishes.
Rebecca is also an active member of the ChaChas, the auxiliary of Valley of the Moon Children’s Center. She and Gary sold their Sonoma Lavender company and a few months later lost their lavender farm, home and barn off Highway 12 to the October fires.
Her “Secret Life of Mrs. London” novel has already been selected for Reese Witherspoon’s book club. Call Readers’ Books at 939-1779.
‘Cork Dork’ uncorks, undorks March 16
Bianca Bosker, a respected national tech reporter who became slightly obsessed with tasting wine, brings her book “Cork Dork: A Wine-fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught me to Live for Taste” to Readers’ Books next Friday, March 16.
According to Readers’ Books, Bosker is currently a contributing editor to The Atlantic and co-founded Huffington Post’s tech section. Rhône wines will be poured and the Epicurean Connection’s cheeses will be served. Free. 5:30 p.m. 130 E. Napa St., Sonoma. 939-1779.
Eating like the stars at the Academy Awards
While you watched the Academy Awards at the Sebastiani Theatre or at home, the movie glitterati were greeted at the post-event Governors Ball in the Ray Dolby Ballroom by a 2,600 pound sculpted ice bar loaded with caviar parfaits topped with 24 karat gold, king crab legs, lobster, and scallop crudo (with citrus juices and soy sauce). Just like home.
Academy members found another 59 star-studded dishes from culinary star Wolfgang Puck as they swooped and elbowed around the ballroom, such as Miyazaki Wagyu beef tartare on black rice, caramel passion fruit lollipops, little taro tacos with spiced eggplant and lime pickles, truffle-baked cavatappi and cheese, and spinach campanelle with English peas, Cipollini onions and roasted tomatoes. Puck and friends have catered the Oscar parties for 24 years. Some of his regulars include Wagyu beef sliders, pizzas and chicken pot pies, the latter supposedly Barbra Streisand’s favorite.