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Kathleen Hill: A cookbook donation drive, patisserie and more


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Cookbookraiser for fire victims

As we know, nearly 5,000 Sonoma County homes burned to the ground, depriving their owners of many comforts.

One of those home comforts has been cookbooks or family recipes collected for decades, whether in a card file, one cookbook or a whole collection of cookbooks. As a collector of all things kitchen, especially those with nostalgia and meaning, I know intimately how devastating some of these losses can be.

Sondra Bernstein of the Girl & the Fig, Laura Havlek of Sign of the Bear and this writer have started a cookbook drive to get donations of comfort cookbooks that more fortunate locals might happy to give to our neighbors and friends who lost their homes.

Donate cookbooks in English or Spanish in very good condition. Donors may drop off cookbooks at these locations:

The Girl & the Fig (110 W. Spain St., any day before noon)

The Sign of the Bear (435 First St. W., any day before noon)

The Rhône Room (20816 Broadway, Friday to Sunday, noon to 3 p.m.)

Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau (453 First St. E., any day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Ramekins Cooking School (450 W. Spain St., Tuesday to Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

The Girl & the Fig Caters (21800 Schellville Road, Suite C, Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 2p.m.)

If you would like to add your location to this list, email Bernstein at figgirl1@gmail.com.

According to Bernstein, “fire survivors in wine country” will be welcomed to replenish their burned cookbook shelf April 8 at Suite D on Schellville Road and Eighth Street East from 9 a.m. Deliciousnewchapters.org.

El Dorado Kitchen’s winemaker dinner

El Dorado Kitchen will host an unusual multi-course meal by Chef Armando Navarro, paired with Marimar Estate Vineyards & Winery wines. Marimar Torres founded her west county Marimar Vineyards and Winery in the elegant Catalan style of her heritage.

Expect a reception with seasonal tapas, and a starter of octopus with piquillo aioli, puffed rice, wild greens and pioppini mushrooms. The entrée will be rack of lamb with a Balsamic tangerine glaze, fennel purée with sofrito and panisse, and a dessert of tres leches with lemon curd and orange sorbet. $130 inclusive. 6:30 p.m. Reserve at edkmarimarwinedinner.bpt.me, lsommier@eldoradokitchen.com, or 996-3030.

Dunkin’ Donuts openS in Petaluma

If you are a Dunkin’ Donuts fan or are curious because you have never experienced their stores or their donuts, the company will cut the ribbon on its Petaluma store on Tuesday, Feb. 6 with doors opening at 5 a.m. for early birds.

Get free samples of food and beverages, giveaways to the first 100 customers, a $250 gift card to the first person in line, and an appearance by Dunkin’ Donuts mascot Cuppy. Petaluma Mayor David Glass will help cut the ribbon at 8 a.m.

This Dunkin’ franchise is the second for Petaluma residents Nick Bhatt and Disha and Yogesh Trivedi who hope to open 10 more outlets in the area in the next few years. Based in Canton, Massachusetts, the Dunkin’ Brands Group, Inc. has more than 12,400 outlets in 46 countries.

Meanwhile, Sonoma’s Donuts & Danish is back open after a week’s vacation.

Stone Edge Farm Edge dinner

Stone Edge Farm Estate Vineyards & Winery’s Culinary Director John McReynolds and his crew offer a Thursday night dinner at Edge on Thursday, Feb. 8. Previously open only to wine club members, these new public dinners are served with Stone Edge Farm cabernet sauvignon wines crafted by Jeff Baker, with all dinner vegetables from Stone Edge’s 16-acre organic farm.

Next Thursday’s three course tasting menu includes cacao e pepe tagliatelle, River Dog chicken, winter greens, roasted apples and Cippolini onions, and Pavlova with Armagnac granite and orange ice cream. $150. 139 E. Napa St., Sonoma. Contact Larry Nadeau for reservations at larry@stoneedgefarm.com or call the winery at 935-6520.

Chili Bowl Express arriving

Sonoma Community Center ceramics participants are making a mere 600 artisanal chili bowls for next Saturday’s Chili Bowl Express, an annual event where guests select their favorite hand-sculpted bowl and then get it filled with a choice of local chefs’ handmade chili and cornbread, all to raise money for the Community Center’s ceramics program, according to director Kala Stein.

Chefs who will make chili to fill the bowls will include those from the Girl & the Fig, Chef John McReynolds, Sonoma Golf Club, Valley of the Moon Winery at Madrone Estate, the new Salt & Stone in Kenwood, Sonoma Market, HopMonk Tavern, chefs Lisa Lavagetto and Kyle Kuklewski of Ramekins, Sheana Davis of the Epicurean Connection, Wild Thyme Catering, Isa Jacoby, Jacob Talbert of Sushinoma, and Napa’s Oenotri.

Valley of the Moon Winery at Madrone Estate will also pour Lake Sonoma and Valley of the Moon wines for purchase. Funds raised will help launch youth and family ceramics classes and a preschoolers’ Clayground. Chili Bowl Express $30 advance, $35 at door. Three seatings at 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Reserve at sonomacommunitycenter.ogr or 938-4626, Ext. 1. More info at kala@sonomacommunitycenter.org.

Les Pascals pâtisserie coming

“After months of hard work, challenges, and unexpected events — I am delighted to say that everything is coming into place for Les Pascals, the patisserie slated for the “yellow building,” said building owner Christine Hansson. Les Pascals is a reference to both pastry chef Pascal Merle and his wife, Pascale, 40-year hospitality and food service manager, who will operate the new venue. The bread baker will be Sean Perry.

Chef Pascal has served as pastry chef in French patisseries such as Boulangerie Follet, Pâtisserie Vial, and Henon after earning his degree in Bakery and Chocolate making in 1981.

Christine Hansson, owner of both the “yellow building” and the Chauvet Hotel next door in downtown Glen Ellen, said, “We are excited to share with the residents of Glen Ellen and the greater Sonoma area that we plan to open our doors this coming March.

Starting in March, gear all your senses to take in the early morning aromas wafting around the village of Glen Ellen. Then follow your nose to the bakery at 13758 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen.

Flatbed Farm pop-ups

Flatbed Farm across from Audubon Canyon Ranch (Bouverie Preserve) on Highway 12 will open for two farm pop-up sales of their produce, eggs, pastries and Valentine’s flower arrangements on Saturday, Feb. 10 and Saturday, March 10, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both dates.

Farmer Rachel Kohn Obut and owners Sophie and Chris Dolan say they are recovering from the fires that melted and collapsed the Flatbed barn and burned much of the terrain, and enjoying seeing grasses and other plants rise again. Having ordered thousands of seeds to plant, they are planting to produce loads of vegetables for the spring and summer. Flatbed will also hold its third annual Plant Sale and Spring Event on Saturday, April 21,

Amie Pfeifer is making pastries, preserves and pickled Flatbed vegetables for sale as well. 13450 Highway 12, Glen Ellen.

Nutella riots in France

While France has suffered milk surpluses and shortages for nearly a century, 2017’s butter shortfall abbreviated the production of croissants, the French breakfast and tea-time staple.

Now it’s Nutella riots in France caused by supermarket chain Intermarché offering a 70 percent discount on the chocolate and hazelnut spread used on toast, baguettes, and bananas everywhere, and as a crêpe filling on the streets of Paris.

Nutella was created accidentally by confectioner Pietro Ferrero from the Piedmont region of Italy around 1950 when he combined a local nut with rationed cocoa after World War II. Now Nutella is spread around the world. But around France, people were screaming, hitting, and pulling hair last week to stock up on the momentarily discounted chocolate goo.