BiteClub: Farewell to a biscotti pioneer

It’s a goodbye and a hello this week. Plus, some great news for hospital patients.

First off, the food world lost a gourmet pioneer this week. Bonnie Lynn Tempesta, credited with introducing the biscotti to the American food scene in the 1980s, died on Sept. 25 in her Sonoma home.

After founding La Tempesta Bakery Confections in the Bay Area in 1982, she became the largest biscotti producer in America, selling to Neiman Marcus, Starbucks, Macy’s and Dean and Deluca. The entrepreneur sold her business in 1997, devoting her life to art, animals and a program for disadvantaged youth. In 2012, she started a small, philanthropic baking company in Kenwood named Boncora, donating a portion of every sale to her favorite cause, Pets Lifeline of Sonoma Valley.


Moving on from Woodfour Brewing is Jamil Peden. The creative chef, whose resume includes Petite Syrah and Healdsburg’s Campo Fina, says he doesn’t yet have any plans, but welcomes the change. You’ll still find him at Woodfour’s Monday Ramen pop-up, Ramen Gaijin.

There are some whispers about the new chef, who we hear is coming from a highly-respected Marin restaurant, but no official word yet.

A hearty hellooooo to the forthcoming Yeti Restaurant, slated to open in the former Lyon’s near the intersection of Farmer’s Lane and Highway 12 in Santa Rosa. Yeti has been a popular Himalayan/Indian restaurant in Kenwood for several years, with some of the best naan BiteClub’s ever had. More details on when they’ll arrive soon.

We’re also loving the new “hotel-style” room-service menus at soon-to-open Sutter Hospital in Santa Rosa.

Executive Chef Tood McNeive, formerly of Oliver’s Markets, has created an extensive menu that includes plenty of heart-healthy foods for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as comfort foods like a cheeseburger, macaroni and cheese, pot roast, pot pie and pizzas.

There are also doctor-approved liquid-diet selections for patients (popiscles, ice cream, soup) and plenty of desserts including apple crisp, brownies and, of course, tapioca pudding - because it is a hospital, after all. It’s a welcome change from the industrial foods we’ve come to expect in hospitals.

We’d be remiss, however, not to mention the incredible food choices at Kaiser, as well, that include locally sourced produce, organic meats and breads. There are daily specials that include soups and curries at a ridiculously affordable price. (Stay tuned for more on that). Seems like being a patient doesn’t have to be a gastronomic punishment anymore.

Still hungry? Check out Heather’s always updated food and dining blog at

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