Kathleen Hill: French Laundry kitchen for sale; Bubbles & Blooms rising; Blue Moon sets in the west

Taking out the Laundry

If you have a few extra dollars sitting around and need a celebrity kitchen, Thomas Keller is selling his French Laundry’s temporary kitchen made of four shipping containers that add up to 1,120 square feet. The containers fed lots of people during the French Laundry’s long remodel in Yountville. In the package the purchaser gets Chef Keller’s five brass stars, a “Sense of Urgency” plaque and a blue apron. The price is available to people seriously interested by emailing

Bubbles, blooms and more

Gloria Ferrer’s first Bubbles & Blooms Festival will attract fans of Gloria Ferrer bubbles fans and beautiful gardens on Sunday, April 9. Experts from Flower magazine will demo floral arranging, displays, wreaths and flower art installations, and give advice on spring flower and vegetable gardens and outdoor living spaces. And of course they will have plants for sale.

As guests arrive they will receive a glass of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine and watch a floral arranging presentation at 12:15 p.m. by Kiana Underwood and editor Margot Shaw.

Johanna Silver, senior garden editor of Sunset magazine will update progress on Sunset’s test gardens to grow across Highway 12 at Cornerstone.

At 2:45 p.m. Deborah Thomas of Sonoma Mission Gardens will impart tips on how to create fun flower filled baskets and containers. See seed planting demos at 12:30, 1:30 and 3 p.m., and Mike Crumly will lead walks through the Gloria Ferrer vineyards at 12:15 and 1:15 p.m.

Beth Sogaard will serve lobster stuffed mini potatoes, duck and vegetable spring rolls, scallop skewers, curries, and “deconstructed samosas.” $95. Noon to 4 p.m. 23555 Highway 121, Sonoma. 933-1917.

Easter fun, no waiting...

Larson Family Winery suggests you bring the family down for a photo and an egg hunt for kids 12 and under with the Easter Bunny at 11 a.m. The Easter Bunny will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for photos. RSVP for the egg hunt, or make a table reservation and bring your own picnic (or choose items from their deli case) by visiting 23355 Millerick Road, Sonoma. Contact Joe Ohman at, or 938-3031 Ext. 25.

El Dorado Kitchen will serve a prix fixe meal for $45 per person.

Moon breakfast waning

Harvest Moon Café has closed its breakfast attempt, sorry to say. Jen Demarest’s breakfast pastries were superb, and even the decaf coffee was fabulous. Harvest Moon is trying to get the appropriate license to sell at the Friday Farmers Market in the Depot/Arnold Field parking lot. Stay tuned. For other pastry options try Crisp Bakeshop’s at its West Napa Street baking location or on weekends at Sonoma’s Best. And there is always Scandia Bakery and the Basque Boulangerie.

Liquid Moon breakfast waning

Thousands homeless, as the Blue Moon Saloon fades into the sunset. Word is that Rossi’s 1906 will pick up the slack and offer its stage for local bands, and maybe even karaoke to go with its historic bar and barbecue.

The new owners of the Blue Moon, to be reborn as the Starling, hope their farm-to-glass version will remain the “neighborhood bar.”

Raise your hand if you remember Pasali’s cardroom and bar at the same location, same building. The sign used to profess “legal poker,” with only an occasional bar fight and shooting.

Tickled, pickled

Wondering what all the fomenting fuss about fermenting is? How do you do it, why would you do it, and when can I learn? Chef Karen Diggs brings all the answers and techniques to Ramekins Culinary School on Sunday, April 10.

Fermenting doesn’t just mean vinegar. This “new” fad includes cabbage, other vegetables, and Chef Diggs will first teach some factoids on how to make brine such as an “anaerobic environment,” temperature, water quality, salt and time.” You will try your hands at making classic sauerkraut, pickles and kimchi, followed by tastings of fermented veggies with charcuterie, wine, and cocktails made from the brine of fermented vegetables.

Fermenting is so old that explorers sailing the oceans looking for new continents used to ferment cabbage to keep themselves from getting scurvy.

According to Ramekins, in addition to the “complex and tantalizing flavors,” lacto-fermented vegetables are superfoods that provide abundant vitamins, minerals and probiotics; helping to strengthen our immune system, improve digestion and increase energy.” $65. 3 to 6 p.m. 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma. 933-0450.

In the morning of the same Sunday, April 10, Chef Denis Lambert will teach how to make “The Perfect Croissant.” It is a real art and skill to make a croissant with the perfect flakiness, and our tastes are all different. Chef Lambert will teach guests to make plain, chocolate and ham and cheese croissants. $95. 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. 450 W. Spain St., Sonoma. 933-0450.

Antiques, tea and tasties

Sonoma Country Antiques hosts former antiques shop owner Annie Paynter on Wednesday, April 6, with afternoon tea and tasties. Bring a small antique or collectible of your own and she will tell you a little of its history and value. $10. 3 p.m. 23999 Arnold Drive, Sonoma. RSVP required to 938-8315 or info at

He’s got a certain ‘edge’ to him

Stone Edge Farm and Edge dining venue have snagged one of the best, Larry Nadeau, as its new director of dining and private events for Edge and Stone Edge Farm. Nadeau was maître d’ at the French Laundry for 15 years.

Co-owner Leslie McQuown has designed the fun and elegant Edge dining space, and Culinary Director John McReynolds is well known for his superb cooking with local and foraged ingredients, having traveled the world to learn many countries’ cuisines. Edge reservations are now available to the public at lunch and for dinner to wine club members for parties of six or more with a minimum of two weeks’ notice. The dining room can accommodate up to 27 guests and can be booked Tuesday through Saturday.

Nadeau said by phone message that, “This is not a restaurant. This is a way for guests to try our wines.” Tasting menus $95 to $295 per person; three-course lunch $120 with three Stone Edge wines. Contact Larry Nadeau at 287-5090 or at for reservations.

Bon appétit!

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