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<strong>SANTA ROSA: Southern style on way to Fountaingrove</strong>

Dennis and Ann Tussey plan to open Sweet T's, a Southern restaurant featuring the regional cuisine of South Carolina, next month in the former Santi space in Santa Rosa's Fountaingrove Village, 2097 Stagecoach Road.

Although there are plenty of Southern barbecue joints in Wine Country, Sweet T's will highlight the fresh seafood and farm-to-table cuisine from the Low Country, a defined region of South Carolina's coast.

"It's where Low Country meets Wine Country," said Dennis Tussey, who has been working in the mortgage business. "We're going to do Shrimp and Grits and Frogmore Stew" (boiled shrimp with potatoes and corn).

The restaurant will also feature Southern staples like smoked meats and sides of okra, collard greens and mac'n'cheese.

Former Santi Chef Doug Richey has signed on as the executive chef of Sweet T's, after eating his way through restaurants from Charleston, S.C., to Savannah, Ga., a few months ago.

The Tusseys hope to open the restaurant in late October. They are currently remodeling the space, adding a smoker for meats, a pressure fryer and a couple of TVs for folks who want to watch a game at the full bar.

"We're going to try to make it more of a neighborhood bar," he said. "We'll have five or six beers on tap, and some microbrews, including a few from the South."

The restaurant will be open continuously from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday, Sunday and Monday. It will be open until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Brunch will be served at 10 a.m. on Sundays. It will be closed Tuesdays.

<strong>HEALDSBURG</strong>: <strong>Villa Chanticleer canning workshop</strong>

Do you have too many tomatoes? You can share your surplus and learn how to preserve it, too, during Let's Preserve, a community canning event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at Villa Chanticleer in Healdsburg.

Merrilee Olson of CAM FoodWorks will lend her expertise to the canning event, and jars of freshly preserved tomatoes will be taken to the Healdsburg Food Pantry for distribution.

Participants are asked to drop off tomatoes and canning jars in advance from 8 a.m. to noon Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Healdsburg Food Pantry, 1505 Healdsburg Ave.

The canning will be done in two shifts, with a potluck lunch served from noon to 1 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Soroptimists of Healdsburg and Farm to Pantry.

<strong>SONOMA</strong>: <strong>Cocktail artists go head to head</strong>

The 5th annual Sonoma Bar Battle will take place at 6 p.m. Saturday Oct. 8 at the Sonoma Veterans Building in Sonoma.

There will be a dozen local bars and restaurants battling it off in the cocktail competition, which includes a Sparkling Cocktail Contest hosted by Gloria Ferrer. Food and spirits, live music by Train Wreck Junction and The Gentlemen Soldiers and a silent auction rounds out the evening.

Tickets are $30, to benefit The Native Sons of the Golden West Parlor #111 and Jack London American Legion Post #489. sonomabarbattle.com.

<strong>FORESTVILLE</strong>: <strong>Shone Farm hosts Fall Harvest Festival</strong>

Shone Farm, the 365-acre learning lab for agriculture students at Santa Rosa Junior College, will hold a Fall Harvest Festival from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Forestville ranch.

Activities include u-pick pumpkins, hay rides, tours, scarecrow-building, chicken races and wine tasting of the new Shone Farm wine releases.

Students will be cooking up "Shone Grown" beef burgers and grilled veggies for sale. For directions and a map, go to shonefarm.com.

<strong>SONOMA COUNTY</strong>: <strong>Burbank creations in pop-up dinners</strong>

A series of pop-up restaurant dinners will be held this month in support of Luther Burbank Fruit Tree projects throughout the county.

The Chosen Spot dinners will be held on Oct. 15 at Bloomfield Farm, 12550 Valley Ford Road in Petaluma, and on Nov. 12 at the Victorian Farmstead, 1220 Gravenstein Highway North in Sebastopol.

The six-course dinners, prepared by a culinary team led by John Lyle, are made with fruits and vegetables developed by Burbank throughout his career as a botanist.

The dinners cost $55 and are all byob. To purchase: chosenspotssonomacounty@gmail.com.

<strong>WINE COUNTRY</strong>: <strong>Cooking Light honors Bellwether</strong>

Cooking Light magazine has recognized Bellwether Farms of Petaluma as a winner in its second annual Taste Test Awards, also known as "The Tasties."

Bellwether Farms' Whole Jersey Ricotta ($30 for 3.5 pounds) was recognized in the artisanal category for Best in Cheese. The panel praised its flavor as "sweet milk with rich, creamy mouthfeel."

Napa Valley Vodka ($65 for 750 ml) was recognized in the artisanal category for Best in Beer &amp; Spirits. The vodka, made from sauvignon blanc grapes instead of potatoes or grain, is described as "sweetly sippable with hints of herbs and grass."

In the artisanal category, a team of regional food experts sampled everything from burrata to gluten-free baking mixes, selecting 26 winning products in six categories.

In the healthy grocery store products category, Amy's Kitchen of Petaluma was honored with a Taste Test Award for their Margherita Pizza.

For more information on the contest, go to cookinglight.com.

<strong>SANTA ROSA</strong>: <strong>Bergin to hold private lessons</strong>

Mary Bergin, former culinary director of Sur La Table in Santa Rosa, has launched her own series of cooking classes in private homes.

Bergin, who helped open the original Spago in Los Angeles with Wolfgang Puck in 1982, is offering one-on-one classes, group classes, couples classes and a Professional Chef Course that covers everything from the salad to the dessert station.

"This is an intensive 15-session course, designed for the passionate home cook who wants to learn to cook like a professional chef," said Bergin.

Bergin is also offering her Professional Pastry and Advanced Pastry courses, where she will introduce students to every aspect of the sweet kitchen. She has taught the baking and pastry classes in Southern California over the past six years.

For more information on the classes, go to chefmarybergin.com.

<strong>SANTA ROSA</strong>: <strong>White Barn benefit by Tierra Vegetables</strong>

Tierra Vegetables will throw a Barn Warming party from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Santa Rosa field as a fund-raiser for the rebuilt White Barn.

There will be tours of the barn, hay-ride tours of the field, music by the Hubbub Band and games for kids.

Chef Mateo Granados will serve pit-roasted lamb and roasted chiles from the farm, or vegetable tacos. Cost is $12 per plate. Feel free to bring your own beverage, or try the Kombucha Revive on tap.

The field is located at 651 Airport Blvd. tierravegetables.com.

<strong>ST. HELENA</strong>: <strong>Harvest party at Benessere Vineyards</strong>

Benessere Vineyards will throw a harvest party from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the St. Helena winery.

The afternoon includes a glass of pinot grigio, harvest contests (de-stemming, grape-stomping and grape-squeezing) and a catered, rotisserie lunch.

Tickets are $90. To reserve, call 963-5853, ext. 107. The winery is located at 1010 Big Tree Road, off Highway 29, where they farm 32 acres of estate vineyards. benesserevineyards.com.

<em>Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com.</em>