7/12/2013: E1:PC: Carey Watermark Investors Inc. acquired 75 percent of the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa. The Fairmont recently completed renovation to the lobby. (photo by John Burgess/The Press Democrat)

A La Carte: Food news and events


Sonoma Mission Inn's historic roots honored: The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa has been awarded membership in the Historic Hotels of America organization.

Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 to preserve the authenticity of America's best destinations. It identifies quality hotels that have faithfully maintained their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance.

The Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa was considered a sacred healing ground by the Native Americans who discovered the hot mineral waters and built a sweathouse that stood for generations.

In 1840, San Francisco physician T.M. Leavenworth was the first to commercially develop the hot springs. In 1895, Captain H. E. Boyes bought the property and built the Boyes Hot Springs Hotel on the site.

In 1923, a disastrous fire struck the hotel, but the current resort rose from the ashes in 1927 as an architecturally accurate replica of a California Mission. The resort was closed during the Great Depression, but was reopened in 1933 by hotelier Emily Long. During World War II, the hotel became an "R & R" site for sailors and marines.

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Spice up 2014 with culinary adventures: The Savory Spice Shop in Santa Rosa has a series of international cooking classes to look forward to in 2014.

Kicking off the global fun Jan. 12 is The Argentinian Parilla, featuring Grilled Chorizo with Chimichurri Sauce, Matambre (stuffed flank steak) and Humita (corn pudding.)

Chinese Favorites to celebrate the New Year will be held Jan. 26, with explosive flavors offered by Hot and Sour Soup, Pork and Ginger Pot Stickers and Kung Pao Chicken.

Students will learn about the foods of North, Central and Southern Chile on Feb. 9, with dishes ranging from Oven Baked Maduros (plantains) to Turr? de Vino (red wine mousse).

Head down to Brazil on Feb. 23 with Carnavale!, a menu spanning Brazil's national dish of Feijoada (pork and black bean stew) and Pao de Queijo (the ridiculously delicious cheese bread).

Classes begin at 4:30 p.m. and cost $30, including recipes. To sign up, call 284-1310. 317 D St.


Get fresh, local with Shed's CSA program: Healdsburg Shed is launching a monthly CSA (community supported agriculture) program in the new year for those who like to eat local.

Subscribers will receive a monthly crate of produce from HomeFarm and treats from Shed such as freshly milled polenta and heirloom beans, house-made pickled vegetables, bread, cheese or olio nuevo. Each crate will offer $70 worth of products.

There is a three-tiered subscription system, ranging from $210 for three months, $420 for six months or $840 for 12 months. Subscribers also receive a variety of store discounts and free beverages.

Healdsburg Shed is at 25 North St. 431-7433.


Festival celebrates truffle in all its glory: Ready, set, dig! The fourth annual Napa Truffle Festival, a celebration of cutting-edge science and world-class cuisine, will be held Jan. 17-20 at various Napa Valley venues.

The festival kicks off Jan. 17 with a Scientific Grower Truffle Cultivation Seminar, which includes a Truffle Dog Seminar and truffle orchard tour at Sinskey Vineyards in Napa.

Other highlights of the weekend include a wild mushroom forage, truffle lunches and a Truffles and Wine dinner at La Toque in Napa. A free Marketplace will be held Jan. 20 at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa.

Tickets can be purchased separately or in packages and range from $200 to $1,250.

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

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