A la carte: Food news and events around Sonoma County

HEALDSBURG: Cooking classes with local chefs

This winter, Relish Culinary Adventures will bring back the Healdsburg Chef’s Table, a Monday night cooking class and four-course dinner showcasing some of the best chefs in Sonoma County.

The series kicks off Feb. 9 with Billy Reid of Hopmonk Tavern in Sonoma, Sebastopol and Novato. The chef, who worked in Las Vegas restaurants before moving to Wine Country, has helped make the restaurants a success with his big-flavor comfort food. Each course will be paired with beer.

On Feb. 16, Louis Maldonado of Spoonbar and Pizzando in Healdsburg will be sharing the innovative secrets of his regular and live-fire kitchens. The chef made a name for himself in such San Francisco restaurants as Aziza and Cortez and was discovered by the world last year on the Bravo TV series, “Top Chef.”

On Feb. 23, chef and restaurateur Mark Stark, owner of five (soon to be six) restaurants in Sonoma County, will share the secrets of his restaurant empire and his savvy with seafood and small plates.

On March 16, Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery will provide a preview of a Sonoma spring dinner, featuring delicacies such as Sonoma lamb, baby vegetables, asparagus and morel mushrooms. The chef is known for his exquisite, private events at the winery.

Classes start at 6 p.m. and cost $99, including one glass of wine per person and recipes. or 431-9999. 14 Matheson St.


SANTA ROSA: St. Francis kicks off new “Tastemakers”

St. Francis Winery & Vineyards will kick off a new series of “Sonoma Tastemakers” at 1 p.m. Saturday with Bloomfield Organics, an award-winning organic vegetable, fruit, herb and egg farm in west county that offers a year-round community-supported agriculture program.

The series will continue on Feb. 28 with Costeaux French Bakery of Healdsburg and continue on March 28 with Laura Chenel’s Chevre of Sonoma.

The series celebrates the best of “Made in Sonoma” products, from award-winning Sonoma County producers and companies. The monthly programs are scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m. and are free to the public.

For more information, go to The winery is located at 100 Pythian Road.


BODEGA: Benefit dinner for long-time chef Malicki

Long-time Sonoma County chef Mark Malicki, who worked at Truffles and Iron Horse Vineyards in Sebastopol before opening his own restaurant, Cafe St. Rose in Santa Rosa and Sebastopol, has recently been cooking at the Casino Bar & Grill in Bodega.

Malicki was recently diagnosed with late-stage Crohn’s disease and has been hospitalized for several weeks. Family and friends, who are optimistic about his recovery, will throw a benefit dinner for the chef at 5 p.m. Saturday at the Casino Bar & Grill in Bodega.

Cooking the three-course, prix-fixe dinner will be chefs Brian Anderson of Bistro 29 in Santa Rosa, Josh Silvers of Jackson’s Bar and Oven in Santa Rosa and Jenny Malicki, pastry chef at Zazu in Sebastopol. There will also be a raffle and silent auction.

Suggested donation for the dinner is $50, cash only, but no one will be turned away. Reservations are not required. If you would like to help and you can’t make it to the dinner, you can make a donation to Malicki at


SANTA ROSA: SRJC cafe, bakery now open

The Santa Rosa Junior College Cafe and Bakery at 1670 Mendocino Ave. has opened its doors for the spring semester.

The Culinary Cafe opens for lunch at 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, serving a menu of seasonal salads, soups, sandwiches, pizzas, entrées and desserts prepared by Culinary Cafe students. Reservations: 522-2796.

The SRJC Bakery serves morning pastries and Bella Rosa coffee between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Baked goods, breads and desserts for take out can be purchased until 2 p.m. those days. All the baked goods are prepared by the students in the school’s baking and pastry program.


GLEN ELLEN: Italian wine dinner at Aventine

Chef/owner Adolfo Veronese will present a five-course dinner paired with Masi wines from Italy at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 5 at Aventine Glen Ellen.

Masi wines have roots in Valpolicella, one of Italy’s best wine regions, located in the northern province of Verona.

The menu includes appetizers such as Sautéed Prosciutto Wrapped Jumbo Shrimp, Veal Tartar with Quail Egg, Risotto Radicchio e Pancetta, Osso Bucco di Agnello, followed by Fat Bottom Girl Sheep Cheese and Humboldt Fog Goat Cheese, with condiments.

The dinner costs $85, plus tip and tax. Reservations: 934-8911. 14301 Arnold Drive, Glen Ellen, in Jack London Village.


SANTA ROSA: Crab feed benefits Montgomery foundation

Montgomery High School’s Education Foundation will hold its annual crab feed at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at St. Eugene’s Becker Center.

Tickets are $50. To reserve seats, stop by the Becker center from 3 to 5 p.m. on Saturday. 2323 Montgomery Drive.


SONOMA: B.R. Cohn Music Festival moves to Sonoma

The B.R. Cohn is moving its fall music festival to downtown Sonoma after 28 years of hosting it at its Glen Ellen winery.

Event producer Bruce Cohn said he applied to the city of Sonoma for permission to move the music festival fundraiser to the Field of Dreams because it had outgrown the winery. Permission has been granted, and the fundraiser has been renamed the Sonoma Music Festival. The event is scheduled for Oct. 2-4, and the performers will be announced soon.

Current plans include working with Northern California based charities and national and local veteran’s causes. Regional wineries will be offered the opportunity to participate in the weekend events.

B.R. Cohn Charity Events has raised $6.5 million for local and national causes over the past 28 years. In addition to the Doobie Brothers, hundreds of national acts have performed for Cohn including Journey, Willie Nelson, Peter Frampton, Sammy Hagar, Bad Company and Huey Lewis and the News.

For more information, visit


NAPA VALLEY: Restaurant week moves to February

With many Napa restaurants revamping in January, Napa Valley’s annual Restaurant Month has moved to February, when more than 30 of the celebrated restaurants and resorts will showcase multi-course menus and special discounts.

The weekend of Valentine’s Day, Feb. 13 to 16, will be excluded from most of the special offers and discounts. For a complete list of menus and packages, go to


NAPA: La Toque welcomes back foie gras

Chef Ken Frank of La Toque restaurant in Napa has put foie gras back on the menu, celebrating the fact that the ban of foie gras in California was overturned.

The menu items on the Michelin-starred restaurant include a Duck Burger and Foie Gras with a Persimmon, Cherry Vinegar Oolong Broth.

Frank, a long-time supporter of foie gras, is also a member of the Coalition for Humane and Ethical Farming Standards, which opposes California’s ban on the production and sale of products from farmed ducks and geese and support standards for ethical treatment of animals and humane farming practices.

La Toque is The Westin Verasa Napa hotel.


ST. HELENA: V. Sattui offers cheese classes

V. Sattui Winery is offering new wine and cheese classes with Napa Valley chef Andy Wild and the winery’s cheese expert Keith Idle.

The St. Helena winery has a cheese case filled with 200 cheeses from around the world, and the goal of the classes is to make the world of cheese as accessible as its wines.

The classes, which cost $60, include “Fondue You Can Do!” on Feb. 15, from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., and “Grown Up Grilled Cheese and Wines that Play Nicely with Them,” March 15 from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, visit The winery is at 1111 White Lane.

Compiled by Staff Writer Diane Peterson, who can be reached at 521-5287 or, and Peg Melnik, who can be reached at 521-5310 or

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