NORTH BAY: Honors for North Bay cheeses
The American Cheese Society has announced the best of show winners of its 2014 Judging and Competition, awarding the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. second place for its Point Reyes Bay Blue.
Other North Bay cheeses taking home awards include:
Foggy Morning by Nicasio Valley Cheese Co., second place for fromage blanc made with cow’s milk
Triple Creme Brie from Marin French Cheese Co., second place for triple creme, all milks
Loma Alta from Nicasio Valley Cheese Co., second place for soft-ripened made from cow’s milk
Fat Bottom Girl from Bleating Heart Cheese, first place for an American original made from sheep’s milk.
Point Reyes Bay Blue from Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co., first place for blue-veined with a rind, cow’s milk
Moolicious Blue from Bleating Heart Cheese, third place for blue-veined with a rind, cow’s milk
Eyelicious Blue from Bleating Heart Cheese , first place for blue-veined with a rind, sheep’s or mixed milks
Pepato from Bellwether Farms, third place for fresh sheep cheese with flavor added
Nicasio Square from Nicasio Valley Cheese Co., third place for farmstead aged 60 days or more, cow’s milk
Atika from Tomales Farmstead Creamery, second place for farmstead aged 60 days or more, from sheep or mixed milk
Saint Rose from Weirauch Farm & Creamery, third place for farmstead aged 60 days or more from sheep or mixed milk
Redwood Hill Farm Bucheret, second place for goat’s milk aged 31 to 60 days
Redwood Hill Farm Kefir, second place for kefir and other drinkable culture products
Plain Sheep Yogurt from Bellwether Farms, third place for yogurts made from sheep’s milk
The results were announced in late July at the 31st annual ACS Conference in Sacramento. The ACS is the leading organization supporting the appreciation and promotion of farmstead, artisan and specialty cheeses produced in the Americas.
For a list of all the winners, go to cheesejudging.org.
SONOMA: Oso nears opening
Chef David Bush is getting ready to open his new restaurant, Oso, on the Sonoma Plaza in early September.
Bush, who raised the profile of St. Francis Winery after it was recognized as the best restaurant in America in 2013 by Open Table, plans to serve small plates for sharing in the front and a five-course tasting menu in the rear.
“The place is going to be casual, fine dining,” he said. “I don’t like people to be intimidated by food and wine. Just relax and enjoy yourself.”
The former real estate office, which was the town livery in the 19th century, has been renovated from the ground up. The restaurant features a long bar and an open kitchen with bar stools in front of the kitchen.
Bush plans to offer some eclectic dishes that draw upon local produce and proteins and the flavors of Asia, Mexico, Spain and France.
“I call it ‘New California,’ because I think as Californians, we’re just as comfortable with a bowl of pho or sushi as we are with a cheeseburger,” he said. “We’ll do a lot of seafood and raw fish and oysters.”
Oso will open for dinner first, then add lunch and a Sunday brunch. The restaurant will be open until 11 p.m. on weekdays and midnight on the weekends.
California’s Elephant Seals
— Seals spend 10 months a year foraging in the Pacific Ocean, separated by gender.
— Males and females come together on land only between December and February, when they drop their pups, mate again and return to the ocean.
— Females give birth within days after arriving and gather in harems of up to 50 seals, dominated by an alpha male.
— Pups weigh about 70 pounds at birth and gain 10 pounds a day.
— Mothers starve while nursing and lose up to 40 percent of their weight.
— Adult males are 16 feet long and can weigh 5,000 pounds. Females are a third that size.
— Their population is roughly 220,000, descended from as few as 20 seals on Guadalupe Island off the coast of Baja California in the early 1900s. They were hunted nearly to extinction for their blubber until hunting was banned in 1920s.
— California has 7 rookies that span the coastline from the Channel Islands to Point Reyes.
— Seals arrived on Año Nuevo Island in 1955; the colony now contains 10,000.
— About 2,000 seals are now ashore at Chimney Rock at Point Reyes National Seashore.