Heads up, Q Fans! On Saturday, Sept. 10, the Kansas City Barbecue Society takes wine country by smoky storm, with a barbecue extravaganza and competition at Sonoma Academy (2500 Farmers Lane, Santa Rosa, off Kawanas Springs Road.
Twenty-five pitmasters from throughout the country will compete in several categories, with $7,500 in prize money awarded to the winners. There will also be a "Firehouse Bold Bean Challenge" and "Winery Big Beef Challenge." To explore the details of each of the challenges, visit winecountrybigq.com.
The Q takes place from 1 to 5 p.m., with live entertainment provided by the Blue Rock Country Club Band and Pete Stringfellow.
Admission is $45 in advance and $50 at the door and tickets are available at the web site, where there is a click-through to Brown Paper Tickets, which adds a service fee to each ticket. A portion of the proceeds benefit WOW, the Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprenticeship Program.
The ticket prices includes tastings of a pound of barbecue per person; the 'q will be served in 2-ounce portions.
Last Tendejon of the Year: As chef Mateo Granados gets ready to launch his new restaurant (any day now), he is hosting the final Tendejon de Calle--his roving dinners--of the season, this one at Preston Vineyards of Dry Creek.
It's actually a two-day event, with dinner served from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on both Thursday and Friday nights.
The menu includes a crisp tortilla cone filled with guacamole, shrimp, squashes and raw-milk feta; chilled tomato essence soup with Preston olive oil and baby shrimp; grill Dry Creek Farm peaches, watercress, raw-milk feta and local honey; Preston lamb braised with herbs, Preston pork picadita and tomato salsa and crispy Bodega Bay sanddabs with cherry tomatoes, Preston olives, corn, salsa verde and greens. For dessert, Sebastopol Berry Farm ice cream will be paired with Preston strawberry salsa.
Items are priced a la carte and payment is by cash or check only, no credit cards. The menu is designed for pairing with Preston wines. If you want to bring your own wine -- but, really, why would you take wine to a winery? -- there's a $20 corkage fee.
For reservations, call 837-0774 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Love Your Laguna: It's time for one of late summer's best events, the Eighth Annual Garden Art Gala, a benefit for Laguna de Santa Rosa Foundation, taking place this Sunday, Sept. 11, from 2 to 6 p.m. at Vine Hill House (3601 Vine Hill Rd., Sebastopol). This event is at the top of Ms. Mouthful's to-do list this week.
Part of what makes this such a great event is its size. It is not at all crowded and so there is plenty of time to relax, chat with friends and enjoy the exquisite location. The art--more than 40 pieces by local artists--is a joy, too, and includes traditional painting and photography, outdoor sculpture and whimsical bird feeders and nesting boxes. All art is sold by silent auction. There are several lots of wine in the silent auction, as well.
There's a live auction, too, that focuses on experiences, such as long-distance getaways, special dinners, adventures on the Laguna and more.
Through it all, there is plenty to eat and drink, with wine from several of the area's best boutique wineries pouring. Pizza Politana and Bay Laurel Culinary are among those contributing food to the event.