<strong>NORTH BAY</strong>: <strong>James Beard finalists announced</strong>
The James Beard Foundation has announced the finalists for the 2014 James Beard Awards, with several notable names from Wine Country making the cut.
For the cookbook awards, John Ash's "Culinary Birds" was nominated in the Single Subject Category, along with The Fatted Calf of Napa's Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller for "In the Charcuterie."
Chad Robertson of Tartine in San Franciso was nominated for "Tartine Book No. 3" in the category of Baking and Desserts.
For the restaurant awards, The Restaurant at Meadowood in St. Helena made the cut for Outstanding Service, along with Quince in San Francisco.
Cindy Pawlcyn of Mustards Grill in Napa and Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen in St. Helena was nominated for Outstanding Restaurateur. Belinda Leong of B. Patisserie in San Franciso is in the running for Outstanding Pastry Chef.
The Slanted Door in San Francisco was nominated for Outstanding Restaurant, Bar Agricole in San Francisco was nominated for Outstanding Bar Program, and A16 in San Francisco got the nod for Outstanding Wine Program.
Several San Francisco chefs were nominated for Best Chef in the West: Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski of State Bird Provisions, Corey Lee of Benu and Daniel Patterson of Coi.
The 2014 James Beard Awards will be held in New York in early May. The Book awards and Restaurant and Chef awards will be announced May 5. <a href="http://jamesbeard.org" target="_blank">jamesbeard.org</a>.
<strong>SANTA ROSA</strong>: <strong>Pop-up Grilled Cheese</strong>
St. Francis Winery and Girl -amp; the Fig are joining forces to celebrate National Grilled Cheese Day with a special pop-up event from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday at the winery.
As a kick-off to the winery's annual Grilled Cheese Contest, the Girl -amp; the Fig's Sondra Bernstein and John Toulze will serve Tomato Confit Grilled Cheese Sandwiches paired with St. Francis wine.
Cooks who want to enter the contest can submit their signature grilled cheese recipe, with a St. Francis wine pairing, to the winery's Facebook page from April 12 to May 17 for a chance to wine a four-day trip to Sonoma.
The recipes will be judged by St. Francis Winemaker Katie Madigan and cheese expert Jason Sobocinski on creativity, originality, overall taste and how well the wine pairing works.
St. Francis Winery is located at 100 N.Pythian Rd. <a href="http://stfranciswinery.com" target="_blank">stfranciswinery.com</a>.
<strong>SANTA ROSA: Taste of Olivet</strong>
The Taste of Olivet, a wine tasting at nine wineries located on Olivet Road, will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday along this back road in west Santa Rosa.
Participating wineries include Battaglini, DeLoach, Gamba Vineyards, Harvest Moon, Hook -amp; Ladder, Inman Family, Inspiration Vineyards, Sunce and Tara Bella wineries.
Tickets are $40, including logo glass and discounts, $5 for designated drivers. To reserve: <a href="http://eventbrite.com" target="_blank">eventbrite.com</a>.
<strong>HEALDSBURG: Pigs -amp; Pinot winners announced</strong>
There were quite a few local winners at Chef Charlie Palmer's sold-out Pigs -amp; Pinot celebration in March, which raised money for local and national charities.
For the 2014 Pinot Cup, judges chose MacPhail 2010 "The Flyer," Russian River Valley in a blind tasting competition among 60 handpicked pinot noirs. The runner-up was Twomey 2011, Bien Nacido Vineyard, Santa Maria Valley.