Martini Madness

Martinis galore at last year's cocktail celebration. (Photo courtesy of Douglas Thompson)

If you’re feeling a little hung over from all that revelry on New Year’s Eve, martinis might not be exactly what you want to see right now.

But just think: You have eight days to recover before the Martini Madness Challenge 2009 rolls around at the Saddles Steakhouse at MacArthur Place Inn & Spa in Sonoma.

The Jan. 9 event (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.), part of the Sonona Valley Olive Festival, will feature 10 bartenders from various Sonoma Valley restaurants and bars presenting their top martini for judging.

Enjoy the fruits of their labor (shaken or stirred?), along with appetizers and live music. Tickets are $40 per person ($45 at the door). There’s also an $85 option that includes entry to the Martini Madness festivities, plus a three-course dinner at Saddles.

Purchase tickets here.

For more fun Sonoma Valley Olive Festival events, head to Ramekins Culinary School’s Vineyard Room in Sonoma on Jan. 24 to partake in the annual Feast of the Olive Dinner. A host of chefs will prepare a five-course feast inspired by olives, with matching wine pairings. The chefs will work in teams of two to prepare each course using local, artisan olives and olive oils.

Among the chefs participating are: Chris Jones of the Girl & the Fig; Manuel Azevedo of La Salette Restaurant; and Norman Owens of Cafe La Haye.

Tickets are $150 per person and available by calling  (707) 996-1090 ext 108 or clicking here.

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