Making an exit: Less than a year after his arrival at Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen, Chef Andrew Wilson is leaving. According to Palmer reps, the executive chef has given notice and a search is on for a replacement (most likely within the Palmer restaurant group). Until Palmer finds a new toque, he’ll be spending some time in the Healdsburg kitchen. Stay tuned to see who’ll be tapped for the position.

Fighting waste: Dumpster Dining? Sort of. Instead of letting perfectly good, farm-fresh produce go to waste, Forestville’s Backyard restaurant is teaming up with local farms for a multicourse dining experience featuring the stuff that might end up as landfill. That’s not to say it’s garbage — instead, a nod to the under- utilized, over-ripe and maybe a little ugly fruits and veggies. Food-champion CropMobster hosts this supperclub Nov. 18. Limited seating, $80, details at

Inn’s new chef: The Village Inn and Restaurant in Monte Rio has tapped Chef Chris Ludwick from Earth’s Bounty Kitchen and Wine Bar and Grapevine Catering as its executive chef. Owners Judy Harvey and Roger Hicks have been restoring the historic property over the past six months, and hope to upgrade their restaurant offerings with input from Ludwick. The popular catering chef will continue with his current ventures in addition to the new gig. The post was most recently held by Chef William Oliver.

CIA at Copia: Robert Mondavi’s long-empty food, wine and art center Copia, finally has a new resident, the Culinary Institute of America. The 80,000-square-foot building includes a theater, two restaurants, demonstration kitchen, classrooms, library and retail space, along with an outdoor theater and gardens. Though the details of what stays at Greystone and what moves to Copia are still in the works, it sounds like the downtown Napa space may be used for public events and classes, as well as the Vintners Hall of Fame and the CIA’s Food Business School. There will be plenty more news in the months ahead, but the acquisition of this Napa Valley gem is great news for the culinary scene.

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