Pigs & Pinot returns this fall in Sonoma County


Pigs & Pinot benefit set for September

Chef Charlie Palmer will hold a Celebration of Pigs & Pinot dinner at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 10 at Hotel Healdsburg and the Dry Creek Kitchen after having to postpone the popular Pigs & Pinot benefit twice in 2020.

The celebration will feature a multicourse dinner hosted by Palmer that will showcase some of Sonoma’s most perfect pinot and pork pairings.

James Beard award-winning Chef Nate Appleman and Dry Creek Kitchen Executive Chef Wyatt Keith will make the pork pairings alongside Palmer. Each course will be paired with two limited-production pinot noirs from Sonoma County wineries, including Gary Farrell Vineyards, CIRQ, Bob Cabral Wines, Arista Winery and Sonoma-Cutrer.

Tickets to the dinner are $400. To reserve:

The Celebration Package is $2,415.63, which includes a two-night stay for two at Hotel Healdsburg, a welcome reception Thursday evening with Palmer and two tickets to the Friday dinner.

The 15th annual Pigs & Pinot will take place on March 18 and 19, 2022. Proceeds from the fundraiser benefit Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry program and local charities.


Last House Writing Contest accepting entries

Audubon Canyon Ranch in Glen Ellen has announced the second annual Last House Writing Contest, honoring the style and spirit of food writer M.F.K. Fisher, who lived on the ranch’s Bouverie Preserve for the last two decades of her life.

The theme of this year’s contest is the power and magic of survival skills, based on Fisher’s wartime book “How to Cook a Wolf.” That cookbook continues to inspire courage and creativity during modern times of crisis.

Emerging writers of all ages are invited to submit original, unpublished essays, stories or articles that examine and explore how leaning into nature, inside and outside of ourselves, helps us during challenging times.

Winners will be announced Aug. 23 on There are three age categories: children 8 to 12, youth 13 to 17 and adults 18 and older. Registration fee is $35 adults; or you can join Audubon Canyon Ranch with a donation of $65 and entry fee is waived.

Judges include Traci Des Jardins, Alice Waters, Ruth Reich, Marion Nestle, John Ash and M.F.K. Fisher’s daughter Kennedy Golden, among others.

Entries will be accepted through 5 p.m. Aug. 2. Register at


Backyard, Black Piglet at Davis Family Vineyards

If you are missing the farm-to-table fare of Backyard Forestville, you still can taste some of their iconic foods at the Backyard Food Truck on weekends at Davis Family Vineyards, along with The Black Piglet.

The Backyard Food Truck will be serving Summer Squash Fritters, Peach and Burrata Salad, Buttermilk Fried Chicken and homemade flatbreads out of the pizza oven from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on July 31 to Aug. 1, Aug. 7- 8 and Aug. 28-29.

The Black Piglet Food Truck will be serving their pork-centric fare July 24-25 and Aug. 21-22.

Wine tastings are $30 per person, waived with a bottle purchase per person. Parties of more than four people require a reservation: 52 Front St.


Barbecue sauce benefits state firefighters

Blakey’s Original Firefighters’ BBQ Sauce, available on the shelves of Safeway, has been created by the packing firm Frank’s Famous Foods to benefit California firefighters through the California Fire Foundation.

“In the fall of 2017, my family lost our home in the Mendocino Complex Fire. Then the following year, we came close to losing our cabin in the Mendocino National Forest,” said Dana Geimer of Frank’s Famous Foods. “We are so incredibly thankful for all that the firefighters do, and we want to give back.”

The 18-ounce bottle has a photo of Geimer’s son on the label because he loves to put barbecue sauce on everything and was the inspiration for the sauce. All of the profits will go to the foundation.

To order online, go to

Staff Writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 707-521-5287 or On Twitter @dianepete56

Diane Peterson

Features, The Press Democrat

I’m interested in the home kitchen, from sheet-pan suppers to the latest food trends. Food encompasses the world, its many cultures, languages and history. It is both essential and sensual. I also have my fingers on the pulse of classical music in Sonoma County, from student mariachi bands to jazz crossover and symphonic sounds. It’s all a rich gumbo, redolent of the many cultures that make up our country and the world.

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