French Laundry founder subject of documentary screening

Also, Halloween-themed cheese from a local cheesemaker and a new outdoor bar accessible only by train|


French Laundry founder doc screens in Carneros

Before there was Thomas Keller, there was Sally Schmitt, the original owner and chef of The French Laundry. The late Schmitt, who died in March at age 90, is the subject of Academy Award winner Ben Proudfoot’s documentary “The Best Chef in the World,” which will screen at Carneros Resort and Spa Friday. Schmitt’s grandson will introduce both the 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. screenings of the 20-minute film. Food inspired by Schmitt’s cookbook, “Six California Kitchens: A Collection of Recipes, Stories and Cooking Lessons From a Pioneer of California Cuisine,” will be available for purchase beginning at 6 p.m. Admission is free. 4048 Sonoma Highway, Napa.


Local cheese sets spooky mood for Halloween

Marin French Cheese Co. has just released a limited-edition Petite Boo triple crème brie, just in time for a Halloween-themed charcuterie board. The spooky makeover of their Petite Ash is dyed naturally with annatto (a natural food coloring made from seeds of the achiote tree) and coated with a thin layer of vegetable ash for a striking orange-and-black cheese. Sold only at the cheese shop at 7510 Pt. Reyes-Petaluma Road. Open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.


Halloween family date night at Bricoleur

No babysitter? No problem! Bricoleur Vineyards welcomes the whole family for a Halloween-themed dinner Oct. 28, at their Russian River Valley estate. Tickets are $85 for adults and $35 for children and include salumi boards, salad, wood-fired pizza, handmade pasta and wine. Pets are welcome, too, and everyone is encouraged to dress up for the costume contest. Tickets available at


Only way into this bar is by locomotive

All aboard for a Halloween party at the Glen Blair, an outdoor bar nestled deep in the redwoods and accessible only by train. Catch the Skunk Train at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Fort Bragg Depot for the nighttime journey along Pudding Creek to this one-of-a-kind watering hole serving local beer, wine and signature cocktails along with light nibbles. Cozy up around the fire pits while competing in group games and listening to live music. If Halloween weekend doesn’t fit your schedule, this adults-only train runs every Friday night through the end of the year. Tickets are $35 and available at 100 W. Laurel St., Fort Bragg.


Chef smackdown for inaugural Sonoma Family Meal fundraiser

Three of Sonoma County’s top chefs will compete for the title of star chef and food waste warrior at Sonoma Family Meal’s Knife’s Edge Fundraiser 5 to 9 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Moose Lodge at 3559 Airway Drive. Chefs Marley Brown (Single Thread), Dustin Valette (Valette and The Matheson) and Justin Wangler (Jackson Family Wines) will square off in a smackdown judged by chef and restaurateur Mark Stark. The evening includes a whole pig dinner and live auction. Tickets are $200 and available at Heather Irwin, The Press Democrat’s dining editor, is the founder of Sonoma Family Meal.

You can reach staff writer Jennifer Graue at

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