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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.

10 things you need to know about gray foxes

1. Both male and female gray foxes take care of their offspring.

2. The kits practice their hunting skills by pouncing and stalking, much of which is taught by the father.

3. The scientific name of a gray fox is Urocyon cinereoargenteus.

4. Gray foxes usually live 6 to 8 years.

5. While they are most active at night, they can be seen in the daytime.

6. The main predators of gray foxes are bobcats, golden eagles, great-horned owls, and coyotes. They are also hit by cars, and hunted and trapped by humans.

7. Gray foxes are thought to be monogamous.

8. Gray fox kits are born blind and nearly naked. Their eyes open about 9 days after birth.

9. Gray fox kits begin to hunt for themselves around the age of 3 months.

10. Gray foxes are also call grey foxes or tree foxes.

Oso is located at 9 E. Napa St. on the south side of the plaza. ososonoma.com.


PETALUMA: Taste of Petaluma

The 9th Taste of Petaluma will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at various downtown restaurants, wineries, breweries and food purveyors.

You can use a street map and menu to plan your dine-around menu.

Ticket packages are $40, to benefit the Cinnabar Theater. Tickets are available the day of the event at Putnam Plaza. Packages include 10 tickets, a street map, a menu and a plastic glass. tasteofpetaluma.org.


BODEGA: Art, wine, seafood

The Bodega Seafood, Art & Wine Festival celebrates its 20th anniversary this Saturday and Sunday at Watts Ranch, 16855 Bodega Highway.

The festival includes all kinds of seafood, a wine and microbrew tasting, arts and crafts, and three stages of live entertainment.

This year, the festival will hold its first-ever night concert on Saturday evening, featuring blues legend Robben Ford and opener Eric Lindell.

Tickets are $12, to benefit Stewards of the Coast and Redwoods and the Bodega Volunteer Fire Department. bodegaseafoodfestival.com.


KENWOOD: Mayo summer hours

The Mayo Family Winery’s Reserve Room in Kenwood has expanded its summer hours to 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. seven days a week, through October.

Under chef Clayton Lewis, the Reserve Room changes its menu seasonally. The tasting takes about an hour and includes seven food-and-wine pairings.

The Mayo Family Reserve Room is located at 9200 Sonoma Highway in Kenwood. mayofamilywinery.com.


SANTA ROSA: Seafood throw-down

Rosso Rosticceria + Eventi will hold a Maine Lobster and Oyster Bake Throw-down on Aug. 27 at the Santa Rosa restaurant.

The dinner is $58, and RSVP is required at 526-1229. The restaurant is located at 1229 N. Dutton Ave.


SANTA ROSA: Paradise venue debuts

The open-air amphitheater at Paradise Ridge Winery will have its debut performance on Aug. 28 with the Transcendence Artist Series’ “Oh, What a Beautiful Mashup.” Stephan Stubbins and Leah Sprecher are well known to Broadway Under The Stars audiences for their medleys. They are both founding members of the Transcendence Theatre Company and the Broadway Under The Stars concerts.

The doors open at 6 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m. The price per person ranges from $29 to $75. For more information, visit www.transcendencetheatre.org/tas.html#Stephan or call 877-424-1414. The Santa Rosa winery is at 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive.


SONOMA COUNTY: Wine Country Weekend nearing

Sonoma Wine Country Weekend, Aug. 29-31, is goodwill sipping at its best. It is Sonoma County’s most successful food and wine charity endeavor. The string of events features Sonoma Starlight, a dinner at Geyserville’s Francis Ford Coppola Winery Aug. 29, the Taste of Sonoma at Healdsburg’s MacMurray Estate Vineyards Aug. 30, and the Sonoma Harvest Wine Auction at Kenwood’s Chateau St. Jean Aug. 31. To purchase event packages, which vary in price, visit www.sonomawinecountryweekend.com. For more information, call 855-939-7666.


NAPA: Tasting menu at Lulu’s

LuLu’s Kitchen at 1313 Main has added a five-course, Chef’s Tasting Menu paired with wines.

The wine tasting restaurant charges $65 for the tasting menu and $39 for the wines.

The restaurant menu also offers a la carte selections from Executive Chef Isaac Coles.

Lulu’s Kitchen serves dinner from 4 to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday and Saturday, and 4 to 10 p.m. Sunday. 1313main.com or 258-1313.


FORT BRAGG: Narsai David at benefit

Winesong 2014, a benefit for the Mendocino Coast District Hospital, will welcome back celebrity chef Narsai David as its master of ceremonies to celebrate its 30th anniversary on Sept. 5 and 6.

David currently serves as food and wine editor for KCBS radio.

Winesong kicks off Sept. 5 with a tasting of Anderson Valley Pinot Noir at the Little River Inn. On Sept. 6, guests can stroll through the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens and enjoy wine and food from 100 wineries and 50 restaurants. The celebration continues with a live and silent auction and Celebrity Chef lunch.

Tickets are $250 for the auction, lunch and food and wine tasting; $150 for wine and food tasting alone: and $50 for the pinot celebration. winesong .org.

Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or diane.peterson@pressdemocrat.com, and Peg Melnik, who can be reached at 521-5310 or peg.melnik@pressdemocrat.com.

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