Archive | Fall 2014

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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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Edible Events Calendar

SEPTEMBER

Janet Fletcher’s World Cheese Tour: What’s Up with that Rind? September 2 (Hall Wines, St. Helena, JanetFletcher.com)

19th Annual Wine Country Cajun Festival

September 6 (Sebastopol, WineCountryCajun.com)

LEXICON OF SUSTAINABILITY POP-UP AT SHED

September 7 (The Grange at Healdsburg Shed, HealdsburgShed.com)

TRIBUTE TO JUDY RODGERS OF ZUNI CAFÉ

September 7 (Ramekins Culinary School, Sonoma, Ramekins.com)

Calistoga Harvest Table

September 7 (Calistoga, VisitCalistoga.com)

Napa Valley Artisan Festival

September 8 (Veteran’s Park, Napa, DoNapa.com)

Full Moon Hike at Tuteur Lake with Napa Land Trust

September 8 (Napa, NapaLandTrust.org)

4th Annual National Heirloom Festival

September 9–11 (Sonoma County Fairground, Santa Rosa, 707.773.1336, RareSeeds.com/resources/festivals)

Marin Organic: Farming 101—Mentoring the Next Generation of Farmers

September 9 (Petaluma Seed Bank, 415.663.9667, MarinOrganic.org)

BLADEMASTER KNIFE SKILLS WITH MASTER CHEF ADAM BUSBY

September 11 (Napa Valley Cooking School, St. Helena, 707.967.2900)

THE BOOK OF BREAD: DISCUSSION AND TASTING WITH AUTHOR SAMUEL FROMARTZ

September 12 (The Grange at Healdsburg Shed, HealdsburgShed.com)

THE ART OF THE CUPCAKE WITH KARA’S CUPCAKES: THE FORK AT POINT REYES FARMSTEAD

September 12 (Point Reyes Station, 800.591.6878, PointReyesCheese.com/thefork)

HEIRLOOM TOMATO EXTRAVAGANZA

September 13 (Ramekins Culinary School, Sonoma, Ramekins.com)

Petaluma River Craft Beer Festival

September 13 (Petaluma, 707.762.2785, PetalumaRiverCraftBeerFest.org)

Field to Fork Italian Harvest Supper … Read More

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What our Bees Bring Home

The Results of the Marin Pollen Project

BY M.E.A. McNEIL

PHOTO: BONNIE MORSE

The Marin County Beekeepers club members are into food, from creation to cuisine. That night they’d laid out a feast, pollinated by their tiny livestock, on the long barn table. But the mood of the gathering was not festive. So many of their colonies were dying, and they didn’t understand why.

Their dinner guest, Maryann Frazier, an entomologist from Penn State University, had found agricultural chemicals in Eastern beehives. Could that be their problem, too?

Marin County, like the rest of the country, has seen a surge of interest in beekeeping—bees being the new chickens. From some 15 beekeepers meeting monthly, membership in the Marin County Beekeepers has grown to over 300; most came out of curiosity and stayed, fascinated by the insects that pollinate a third of our food.

Bonnie Morse, a member who keeps bees around the county with her husband, Gary, had been gathering statistics on Marin hive losses yearly since 2009. At an annual average of 42%, local losses are even higher than the news-making national averages of 30% that are widely agreed to be unsustainable. It’s not a pretty sight: desiccated bees … Read More

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Pit Crew

Adopt-a-Tree Program Yields Bounty of Insight—and Peaches

BY ELISABETH PTAK

PHOTO: GOSIA WOZNIACKA, GOSIAWOZNIACKA.COM

For a week in 2009, I ate almost nothing but peaches.

Even when I knew I’d had enough, my hand would drift to the plate of dried peach slices on the kitchen counter, or I’d crave peach jam and French toast, or I’d feel an urge to scoop peach salsa onto whatever we were having for dinner.

Some mornings, I baked a galette or two before breakfast and took them with me to work. On one typical West Marin evening (chilly, foggy), I topped a slice of peach pie with a scoop of peach ice cream and garnished it with a grilled peach half.

There were no limits.

That was the first year we harvested organic Elberta peaches in the Adopt-a-Tree program at the Masumoto Family Farm near Fresno in the Central Valley. It works much the way a CSA does: You pay in advance to provide working capital for the farm during the growing season, then reap the benefits or—as was the case this past summer—share the disappointments at harvest time.

PHOTO: GOSIA WOZNIACKA

To become an adoptive parent, you apply in February. You must … Read More

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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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