Archive | Fall 2014

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Dipping into Spain’s Alt Empordà

THE EDIBLE TRAVELER

Ancient Ruins, Wineries, Local Food and Dalí

BY GEORGEANNE BRENNAN

The Costa Brava, a coastal region in the north of Spain which encompasses the Denominación de Origen (DO) Empordà wine region, has it all—from ancient ruins to fine wineries and fresh local food, plus Salvador Dalí’s extraordinary home and museum.

Around every corner there are opportunities to stop for a café cortado, an icy beer or a glass of wine, and tapas are always available if you need a little something to keep you going—or to encourage you to linger. And then there are the expansive breakfast spreads, the latenight multi-course dinners and the briny air of the Mediterranean.

A good place to start exploring is from the Hostal Spa Empúries built on the edge of a pine forest fronting the sea and only a five-minute walk from the Greek and Roman ruins of Empúries. The hotel is a somewhat curious mix of very modern and vintage buildings. The earliest part of the hotel, constructed at the beginning of the 20th century, was built to feed and house the archeologists excavating the Empúries site.

The fine-dining restaurant, Portixol, is in the original building and the wood-paneled … Read More

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Farmers’ Market & CSA Directory

FARMERS’ MARKETS

MARIN COUNTY

CORTE MADERA CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Wednesdays, noon–5pm, the plaza at Town Center shopping center, Corte Madera, 415.382.7846

Downtown San Rafael Certified Farmers’ Market Festival

April–September, Thursdays, 6–9pm, Fourth St. between B St. and Cijos St., San Rafael, 415.492.8007

FAIRFAX COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKET

April 30–December 17, Wednesdays, 4–8pm, Bolinas Park, 124 Bolinas Rd., Fairfax, 415.999.5635, CommunityFarmersMarkets.com

Gospel Flat Farmstand

Year round, daily, 24-hour farmstand, 140 Olema-Bolinas Rd., Bolinas, GospelFlatFarm.com

MARIN CIVIC CENTER FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Thursdays and Sundays, 8am–1pm, Veterans’ Memorial Auditorium and Civic Center parking lot, San Rafael, 800.897.FARM, AgriculturalInstitute.org

MARINWOOD COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Saturdays, 9am–2pm, Marinwood Plaza, 101 Marinwood Ave., San Rafael, 415.999.5635, CommunityFarmersMarkets.com

Marin Country Mart Farmers’ Market

Year round, Saturdays, 9am–2pm, Marin Country Mart, 2257 Larkspur Landing Circle, Larkspur, 415.461.5700

MILL VALLEY CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET

Year round, Fridays, 9:30am–2:30pm, CVS Pharmacy parking lot, 759 E. Blithedale Ave., Mill Valley, 415.382.7846

DOWNTOWN NOVATO COMMUNITY FARMERS’ MARKET

May 6–September 30, Tuesdays, 4–8pm, Historical Downtown Novato, Grant Ave. between 1st and 4th Sts., Novato, 415.999.5635, CommunityFarmersMarkets.com

Point Reyes Farmers’ Market

June–November, Saturdays, 9am–1pm, Toby’s Feed Barn, Hwy. 1, Point Reyes Station, PointReyesFarmersMarket.org

ROSS VALLEY CERTIFIED FARMERS’ MARKET

May–October, Thursdays, 3–7pm, Ross … Read More

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Sonoma Raceway

Thinking Outside the Oval

BY KATHLEEN THOMPSON HILL

PHOTO: COURTESY OF SONOMA RACEWAY

When Steve Page became president of what had been the old Sears Point Raceway, he found a dustbowl of brown hills, gas-guzzling and exhaust-spewing race cars, traffic jams, drag racers, racy car fans, neighbors who opposed any expansion of the raceway or its activities, and a very rocky road course.

The legendary Franklin Sears long ranched the property that begins at the southern end of the Sonoma Mountains and juts out into San Pablo Bay, giving the area its name, before ground was initially broken for a road-racing course on part of the site in August of 1968. Leading that effort were Marin County residents Robert Marshall Jr., an attorney from Point Reyes, and Jim Coleman, a developer from Kentfield, who completed work in December of the same year. One year later they sold their new development to Filmways Corp. of Los Angeles for a few million dollars. Filmways closed the track in May 1970.

L to R, Victoria Campbell, Jake Mickus, Kathleen Thompson Hill and Steve Page

PHOTO: MIKE DORAN

A group of new investors, including Hugh Harn of Belvedere and Parker Archer of Napa, leased … Read More

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River’s End

Ride Off into the Sunset in Style

BY FERRON SALNIKER

PHOTO: DAVID COLLIER

We take Highway 1 past Bodega Bay to get to Jenner. It’s one of those rare June days on the Northern California coast when the fog sits far off on the horizon. The dried grass stretching from the two-lane highway to the edge of the Pacific Ocean is so brilliantly golden I think it might be beaming the fog away.

My friend, just back in the Bay Area after 12 years away, sits in the passenger seat. Green shrubs hug weathered fence posts as the wind whips through them and the blue-green ocean expands to its full vastness alongside us.

“I’m never leaving California again,” she says, and the white waves crash victoriously.

After we pass a tiny trailer with a hand-painted sign for fresh salmon, the hills and cypress trees fade out, the landscape flattens, the dried grass turns to purple and yellow wildflowers, and suddenly the emerald Russian River is flowing under the bridge we’re driving on.

The river springs from about five miles east of Willits in Mendocino County, travels 110 miles through Mendocino and Sonoma counties before it descends westward towards the Pacific … Read More

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Escoffier Questionnaire

Todd Shoberg

TEXT AND PHOTOS BY MARISSA L A BRECQUE

In a small town like Mill Valley new narratives tend to interweave with layers of history.

Molina, the current resident of the downtown space that long housed local favorite Small Shed Flatbreads, has a freshly scrubbed hipness that is beguiling: esoteric animalia murals adorn the walls and the playlist for the evening—on vinyl, of course—is delivered with your menu.

Molina’s proprietor and chef, Todd Shoberg, is young with an open face and an open kitchen. Coats of history in the building add an authentic patina. The Alan Scott brick oven remains, though the surface surrounding it has been gussied up. Ged Robertson, owner of Small Shed Flatbreads, remains as a partner in the new venture.

Chef Shoberg also has a long-running Mill Valley plot line as the highly regarded former executive chef at Piatti Mill Valley. Shoberg’s commitment to supporting local food producers, as reported in the Spring 2012 issue of this magazine, has only intensified in this new endeavor.

Labels of traditional vs. innovative, tried and true vs. leading edge aside, listening to Miles Davis’s Miles in the Sky and biting into a buttery, taut, peak-of-the-season pea is forever … Read More

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A Man With A Pan

(a very BIG pan)

BY JOHN GROSSMANN

PHOTO: ERIC ZEPEDA, ERICZEPEDA.COM; PHOTO STYLING: KEVIN CRAFTS, KEVINCRAFTS.NET

Gerard Nebesky, chef and former owner of the Bohemian Café in Occidental, has essentially cooked only one dish professionally for the last decade: paella, the beloved Spanish rice creation that varies from cook to cook but typically simmers a beguiling medley of seafood and chicken and vegetables.

Gerard, 48, cooks in pans as large as 10 feet across as many as 200 days a year at outdoor events and galas. He’s as much a regular at the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass festival in Golden Gate Park as singer Emmylou Harris. The last couple years he’s shipped his huge pans as far as Queens, New York, serving 1,800 at the World Maker Faire.

If there’s a Prince of Paella, it’s Gerard, who prevailed against star chef Bobby Flay in a televised paella throwdown in 2008.

Gerard endeared himself to me two years ago, tending two steaming paella pans in a vest pocket park in Calistoga. That night, he was cooking for 100 or so wedding rehearsal dinner guests that my wife and I were hosting as parents of the groom. Our son, Jeff, and daughter-in-law-to-be, Grace, … Read More

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The Croft at Nick’s Cove

Local Sourcing on a Whole New Level

BY KIRSTEN JONES NEFF • PHOTOS BY STACY VENTURA

Farm Manager Ross Barlow and Executive Chef Austin Perkins in the Croft at Nick’s Cove.

Imagine a row of small cottages perched above a remote and misty cove. They are simple, colorful structures, some sitting on stilts above the shallow sea. Vines wander along fence posts and up the cottage eves, and beds of nasturtium bloom bright against a backdrop of blue-grey bay.

To the east, picture rolling hills, lustrous green grazing pastures that rise to meet the white sky.

This might be a depiction of pastoral Scotland, but I am painting a picture of Nick’s Cove, the much-heralded resort and restaurant nestled into the eastern shoreline of Tomales Bay, just north of Marshall.

After years of hearing rave reviews of Nick’s Cove—“it is the place to go for an anniversary” or “you feel like you’re in a different world”—it was time for a visit. Now there were new rumors to spur my journey: the addition of a farm and kitchen garden on the hillside above the cottages. As a gardening teacher and fervent farm-to-table devotee, I am always eager to investigate when a … Read More

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Cherry on Top

Find the little fisherman dropping his line into a delicious California Pinot in this photograph by Matthew Carden that has been hidden in another location within this issue and enter the page number of the hidden location on the Edible Marin & Wine Country homepage. The first five people to enter a correct answer will receive a $20 gift card good at any Whole Foods Market location in Marin, Napa or Sonoma county. WholeFoodsMarket.com

Enter to win at EdibleMarinandWineCountry.com

Entries are due by midnight on September 30, 2014 Winners will be notified by email.

Experience all of Matthew Carden’s unique “food as art” pieces that have been published in Edible Marin & Wine Country, and more, in person at his Super Fresh Art Gallery, 906 Grant Ave., Novato. MatthewCarden.com and Facebook.com/SuperFreshArtGallery

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Teaching, and Learning, White Space

Doing What You Love and Making a Difference

BY YASMINE McGRANE • PHOTOS BY CLAY McLACHLAN

It’s something we all know we want more of. But not something we all know how to describe. White space. Slowing down the pace of our lives so we can enjoy the moment. Curbing our urge to overcommit so we can be creative and do more of what we love.

One ordinary day last year, I was given the chance to bring more white space into my life. At my son Finnegan’s back-to-school night, the volunteer sign-up sheets circulated. I had to physically stop myself from overcommitting. This year I wanted to be a human being not a human doer. In all aspects of my life, I would try to focus on a few things I was passionate about and enjoy them deeply.

So I asked myself, “What do I love to do that may be needed?”

One thing I love is cooking. I mentioned that to Finnegan’s teacher, Mrs. Devol, and suggested that it would be great to use the school’s gardens more and develop a culinary farm program. Because she is an amazing teacher, she listened. The next day she asked if … Read More

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