A la carte: Special bites, sips, on the menu in early June
North Coast Food and Wine festival uncorks
The North Coast Food & Wine Festival will feature the local foodshed from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, June 8, at SOMO Village, with 25 of Sonoma County’s best chefs putting together a smorgasbord of tasty, global flavors.
The festival, which will also feature more than 90 gold-medal winning wines from the North Coast Wine Challenge, opens at 12:30 p.m. for VIP ticket holders, who also get special bites in the Subaru Wine Lovers Lounge, which includes sparkling wine from JCB and bites from Duskie Estates and John Stewart of the Black Piglet Food Truck.
“It’s going to be fun,” said Estes, who plans to serve a trio of small plates: Korean chicken wings; corn cobettes with smoked paprika butter, cilantro and Redwood Hill feta: and fried Liberty Duck bologne with pickled cherry.
“The duck dish got its inspiration from a trip to North Carolina to one of Ashley Christensen’s restaurants,” Estes said. “She had a fried bologne dish there ... served with grain mustard. I came back and asked John if he could make a bologne out of Jim Reichardt’s duck, and it is one of my favorite things he has ever made!”
While the pickled cherries give the dish a seasonal flavor, the duck provides the perfect foil for a glass of Russian River pinot noir.
The flavors of Sonoma County will be woven into many of the food offerings, which also includes bites inspired by Indian, Italian, Mexican, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Middle Eastern cuisines.
Chef Mark Stark of Stark Reality Restaurants will be grilling up Niman Ranch pork belly shawarma, a Middle Eastern preparation of grilled meat served in a flatbread.
Chef Liza Hinman of the Spinster Sisters will serve up a twist on Vietnamese lettuce wraps, giving it a sustainable boost with Monterey Bay squid served with zucchini, cabbage, mint, peanuts and nuoc cham chili sauce. Chef Michael Degan of the Grove Cafe will be serving up vegetarian banh mi sandwiches.
Chef Niven Patel of Bollywood Bar & Clay Oven, will be handing out tastes of tuna bhel, a twist on the Indian street snack; as well as fusilli with tomato vodka sauce, representing Mercato Pasta & Produce.
Seafood lovers will enjoy Gulf shrimp a la plancha with cocktail sauce and kale salsa verde from Chef Shane McAnelly of Chalkboard; baby Oregon shrimp tacones from Chef Mateo Granados of Mateo’s Cocina Latina; and seared ahi tataki with soy kombu, wakame and sesame snow from Dustin Valette of Valette.
Hog Island Oyster Co. will return with their signature raw oysters with hog wash mignonette, perfect with a glass of sauvignon blanc; and Plaza de Caviar will be serving up classics tastes of caviar on blini, ideal for a sparkling wine pairing .
From 1 to 3:30 p.m., celebrity chef John Ash will provide a hands-on cooking experience on how to make exotic mushroom street tacos using locally farmed fungi.
“Most think of tacos as something that requires meat of some kind,” said Ash, who will be helped out by folks from the Kitchen Table Project, a nonprofit benefiting from the event. “We are doing tacos using exotic mushrooms from our friends at Gourmet Mushrooms (mycopia.com).”