A la carte: An opportunity to boost your Thanksgiving IQ


Are you ready to talk turkey but feel like you need some guidance?

Both Kendall-Jackson Wine Estate and the Healdsburg Shed can provide inspiration on everything from decor and drinks to gravy and savory sides. Here are the details:

— The Cooking with K-J series offers a hands-on Thanksgiving cooking class at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Santa Rosa winery featuring turkey, sides and perfect pumpkin pie. $120. To RSVP, call 800-769-3649. 5007 Fulton Road.

— Talking Turkey at Shed on Nov. 14 is a free, all-day educational event that allows you to bone up on your Thanksgiving skills while picking up recipes and supplies. The event includes a floral decor demo at 10 a.m., aperitif orientation at 11 a.m., and an “SOS” session with Sunset Magazine at noon that will help you fix your cooking mistakes. The day continues with a workshop on how to prep produce at noon, an oyster shucking demo and pie class at 1 p.m., wine pairings at 2 p.m. and a turkey-and-gravy brush-up with Chef Perry Hoffman at 3 p.m. Finally, the winners of the Pie Contest will be revealed at 4 p.m. The contest is open to the public. To enter, email, 25 North St.

GLEN ELLEN: Takeout for Thanksgiving

Too tired to cook for Thanksgiving? Need a few extra pies and sides? Here are some of our favorite places to find yummy takeout for turkey day with the family:

— Della Fattoria in Petaluma is your go-to bakery for to-go pastries, dinner rolls, spicy cheddar crackers, a wide range of tarts and galettes, plus cranberry compote. Deadline for orders is Nov. 22. Order form can be downloaded at when you click on weekly newsletter. Email, or print and drop it off at the cafe at 141 Petaluma Boulevard North.

— Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen offers a special Thanksgiving pickup menu, for those who are too busy to cook.

The dinners include an autumn salad, wood oven-roasted Willie Bird turkey with gravy, sage and mushroom stuffing, cranberry compote, brussels sprouts with brown sugar bacon marmalade, sweet potato puree, apple cobbler with gingersnap crumble and vanilla maple bourbon ice cream. Cost is $50 per person with an eight-person mininum order. Deadline for orders is Nov. 19, and pickup is 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 26. 13648 Arnold Drive.

— Jimtown Store in Healdsburg offers wide array of to-go Thanksgiving dishes, including starters such as cornmeal empanadas, sides such as roasted garlic mashed potatoes and best ever giblet gravy, soups such as roasted butter squash along with three pies, a gingerbread cake and a cranberry pumpkin bundt. Deadline to order is Nov. 20. Pickup is noon to 2 p.m. Nov. 25. To see a menu with prices, go to Email orders to, or call 433-1212. 6706 Highway 128.

— Ruthy’s Real Meals in Cotati offers a choice of a traditional or vegetarian/vegan Thanksgiving dinner feast, which features dishes such as roast turkey, gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, vegetarian shepherd’s pie, scalloped potatoes, carrot salad with rosemary and currants and pecan pie. For a full menu, go to Orders must be made by Nov. 18, and meals will be delivered on Nov. 25. 888-0128.


BOYES HOT SPRINGS: Cochon Volant BBQ opens

Rob Larman, who has been running Cochon Volant catering for the past seven years, has opened his own barbecue shack, Cochon Volant BBQ Smoke House, in the former Hot Box Grill space at 18350 Sonoma Highway.

Cochon Volant BBQ Smoke House serves ribs, brisket, pork shoulder, chicken and more, smoked in a J&R smoker from Texas and priced by the pound. Starters include the macaroni and cheese fritters, sandwiches include a catfish sandwich, and sides include Larman’s signature “Killer” french fries, garlic mashed potatoes and heirloom baked beans.

There is also fried chicken and some “Big Ass” salads, familiar to those who used to eat at Rob’s Rib Shack, the Sonoma Valley restaurant Larman operated for 10 years, starting in 1984.

There are 20 seats inside, and 30 outside. On the roof, look for the a whimsical “Cochon Volant” (flying pig), custom made by metal sculptor Bryan Tedrick.

The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday through Monday, closed on Tuesday and Wednesday. 509-5480.


HEALSDBURG: New dinner menu debuts at Shed

The Shed Cafe will introduce a new dinner menu beginning Nov. 20 that showcases the clean and simple cooking of its new Culinary Director and Chef, Perry Hoffman,

Shed will serve dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday (closed Tuesday). Hoffman’s new dinner menu is inspired by the gardens and global influences of California, including a selection of savory dishes for sharing, braised meats, local seafood, a daily garden vegetable pizzette and other “from the garden” dishes featuring fall produce such as apples, wild fennel, chanterelles, grains and root vegetables.

“I’m excited to be incorporating both a casual and refined dining sensibility in my new dinner menus,” Hoffman said. “It’s in our DNA here.”

Most dishes will be in the $9 to $15 range, with a few larger dishes in the mid-$20 range. There will also be wine pairings for each dish, selected by the new Food and Beverage Director Brandon Gonsalves.

Diners can watch Hoffman and his team plate dishes in the open kitchen near the wood-fire oven. Most of the tables are set aside for walk-in seating, but a handful (including the outside table for 10) can be booked at

Breakfast and lunch service is still offered from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with a menu including dishes such as a chilled fennel vichyssoise with house-smoked trout and duck salad with pears, Sibley squash and chestnuts. The afternoon menu features cheese, charcuterie and small plates until nearly 5 p.m. 25 North St.


HEALDSBURG: Lappé talks to Grain Alliance

Guest speaker Frances Moore Lappé, best-selling author of “Diet for a Small Planet” and 17 other books, will speak at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at the Healdsburg Shed during the debut meeting of the North Coast Heritage Grain Alliance.

The alliance is a new nonprofit uniting grain farmers, millers, bakers, brewers and distillers to bring back grain growing on the North Coast. Lappé will discuss her new book “World Hunger: 10 Myths.”

Tickets are $25, available at Seating is limited. For more information, go to


SANTA ROSA: WOW gala at Paradise Ridge

The Season Gala for Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprentice Program will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 19 at Paradise Ridge Winery in Santa Rosa.

The dinner hosted by Clark Wolf and Marcy Smothers features food by the award-winning Chef Thomas Schmidt of John Ash & Co. and a performance by the Transcendence Theater Co.

Tickets are $150. To reserve, call 544-1200. 4545 Thomas Lake Harris Drive.


NAPA: CIA purchases Copia complex

The Culinary Institute of America, based in Hyde Park, N.Y., has purchased the building and adjacent land that once served as Copia: The America Center for Wine, Food and the Arts in Napa.

The Culinary Institute of America at Copia will continue the center’s original goal of providing excellence in culinary education as well as food-based experiences for tourists. Copia opened in November 2001 but closed in November 2005 because of financial difficulties.

“The Culinary Institute of America has a long history with Copia. In fact, we were one of Robert Mondavi’s original partners in the effort,” said Dr. Tim Ryan, president of the CIA. “We decided instead — and with Bob’s blessing — to acquire and develop the historic Greystone property in St. Helena on our own.”

The Copia complex includes a 280-seat theater, two restaurant spaces, a 100-seat demonstration kitchen and theater, library, retail space, classrooms and exhibition spaces. There is also an outdoor amphitheater and an array of outdoor gardens.

Plans call for the campus, which is located next to the Oxbow Public Market, to provide a public museum, dining venues, special events and all kinds of programs focused on food and wine. Programming is expected to begin in the spring of 2016.

The college’s new Food Business School, the world’s first business school for food entrepreneurship, will be headquartered there.

Staff writer Diane Peterson can be reached at 521-5287 or On Twitter @dianepete56.