Chili Bowl Express the hottest ticket in town

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One of the most fun and nutritious events Sonoma Community Center stages – the Chili Bowl Express – is this Saturday, Feb. 23 with three seatings. Each is a little different.

The Chili Bowl Express combines the culinary and ceramic arts along with loads of community conversation everyone seems to enjoy. The whole day benefits the Community Center’s ceramics program, organized by ceramicist Kala Stein.

Ceramicists actively using the center’s facilities and those who have in the past all make close to 700 bowls and donate them for the fundraiser. The bowls are laid out on a long table in the hallway and new selections are put out for each dining session. Guests choose their favorite bowl, and then proceed through the kitchen to select their chili and cornbread.

This year’s chili chefs from Café La Haye, Delicious Dish, Oso, Sonoma Hills Retirement Center, Ramekins, the Epicurean Connection, the Girl & the Fig, Wild Thyme Catering, Lovin’ Oven, Sonoma Market, Scribe, Hopmonk Tavern, Harvest Moon Café, Murphy’s Irish Pub, the Knights of Columbus, Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, Schellville Grill, Whole Foods and Picazo Café along with John McReynolds, Tom Jenkins, Linda Goudy, Sarah Brwon, Ed Metcalfe and Laura Hinerfeld. Both meaty and vegan options are available at each seating. 428 Kitchen will bake several pans of cornbread to go with the chili.

Other food donors include Laura Chenel Cheese, Ritual Coffee, Artisan Bakery and Scandia desserts.

Wine and beer for sale will be provided by Valley of the Moon Winery at Madrone Estate and Lagunitas Brewing Company. Music at the sold-out 11:30 a.m. lunch will be by local country singer Mike Lounibos, at the 1:30 p.m. late lunch by Eden Llodrá with a teen from Valley Vibes orchestra on cello; and by Kristen Pearce at the 6 p.m. dinner following the 5 p.m. cocktail hour.

There are still seats available for the 5 p.m. cocktail dinner ($60). You can enjoy live music, a raffle, fund-a-need, and silent auction, along with tea or coffee and dessert, ceramic studio demonstrations and a gallery exhibition, all to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Chili Bowl Express.

Ceramics director Stein says that the money raised at the Chili Bowl Express will help rebuild the soda kiln, “a special atmospheric kiln that will provide alternative firing options to our community.” Tickets at sonomacommunitycenter/chilibowl19/ or call 938-4626, ext. 1.

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