Gingerbread Galore, Cooking Shows, Olive Blessings, and More

The 2007 gingerbread creation crafted by Pastry Chef Carlos Sanchez of Parcel 104.

If you missed seeing last year’s incredible gingerbread creation by Pastry Chef Carlos Sanchez of Parcel 104 in Santa Clara, you really missed out.

His gingerbread dreamscape of the world was the stuff of sweet dreams (see photo above). But this year, he’s turning over the hard work to students at the Professional Culinary Institute in Campbell. The students are tasked with creating gingerbread houses at the school, then carefully transporting them to Parcel 104, where they will be put on display in the lobby of the Santa Clara Marriott at 5 p.m. tonight.

Let’s hope they survive the move, because 10 houses are expected to be on display. Sanchez, members of the local Chaine des Rotisseurs, and Marriott guests will get to cast votes for the best house based on creativity, festiveness, and attention to detail.

First place will win $250, second place $150, and third place $100. Winners will be announced in a ceremony later in the month at the school.

Tune into KTEH Public Television (channel 54) in San Jose at 7 p.m Dec. 3 to watch “KTEH Cooks with Garlic.” Nine local amateur cooks will be strutting their culinary skills live on TV as they cook with — you guessed it — garlic. The nine were selected from 40 videotapes submitted.

These recipes and others will be included in a future “KTEH Cooks with Garlic Cookbook.” To submit your own recipe for the cookbook, go to

Sonoma olives. (Photo courtesy of the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau)

If you prefer olives to garlic, head to historic Mission San Francisco Solano de Sonoma in Sonoma at 10 a.m. Dec. 6 for the start of a three-month long Sonoma Valley Olive Festival that kicks off with the blessing of the olives. Admission is free.

That will be followed at 10 a.m. that day by an open house and tasting at the Olive Press in Sonoma. Noon to 3 p.m., author Carol Firenze wil sign copies of her book, “The Passionate Olive — 101 Things to Do with Olive Oil.” Admission is free.

For more information, call the Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau at (707) 996-1090.

Meet Clark Wolf, food and restaurant consultant, and one of the wittiest and most articulate guys around, 2 p.m. Dec. 7 at the Sonoma Valley Women’s Club in Sonoma, when he signs copies and answers questions about his new book, “American Cheeses!” (Simon & Schuster).

Guest cheesemakers from Jasper Hill, Franklin’s Teleme, and Rogue Creamery also will be on hand. Tickets are $20, and includes an American Cheese plate and a glass of wine. For tickets or more information, call (707) 935-7960.

The local Dungeness crab season has gotten off to a slow start. But you can get a better understanding of the Dungeness crab situation, as well as enjoy a crab dinner with wine and beer at the Dec. 6 “Slow Food Crab Festival.”

The dinner, at the County Fair Building in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco, will be prepared by student chefs from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. Additionally, listen to live music, and to seafood expert Paul Johnson, proprietor of the Monterey Fish Company and author of “Fish Forever.”

Regular admission is $60. VIP admission is $100, and includes preferential seating, a culinary gift bag, and a copy of “Hungry Planet.” Purchase tickets at, or by calling Slow Food San Francisco at (650) 589-7569.

The event benefits the University of Gastronomic Sciences Scholarship Fund. 

Share and Enjoy
Print This Post

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *