Cheese, Chocolates, Wines, Tributes and San Jose Eats On TV

Delights from the California Artisan Cheese Festival. (Photo courtesy of Karen Preuss)

Deliriously delicious events you won’t want to miss:

*3rd Annual California Artisan Cheese Festival: The Sheraton Sonoma County in Petaluma will host this cheese extravaganza, March 20-23. Meet artisan cheesemakers at the March 20 reception and tasting. March 21, listen to a panel of experts including Laura Werlin and Clark Wolf.

Kelsie Kerr, director of the cooking school at Cavallo Point, will teach a cooking class about incorporating artisan cheese into everyday cooking. The March 21 gala dinner will feature five courses by a bevy of Bay Area chefs. At the Artisan Cheese Marketplace gets underway March 22, look for cooking demos by chefs such as Joey Altman.

Ticket prices range from $40 to $170. Ten percent of ticket sales will benefit five non-profits that support the artisan cheese-making community and its sustainability.

(Photo courtesy of the International Chocolate Salon)

* 3rd Annual International Chocolate Salon: Yes, chocolates, chocolates everywhere. That’s what you’ll find at this decadent event, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. March 21 at the Fort Mason Center’s Herbst Pavillion in San Francisco. Stroll through 30,000-square-feet of chocolate, wine, and confections to discover and taste. Chocolate demos, chef talks, and author signings also will be spotlighted.

More than 50 confectioners and wineries will be there, showing off their ware.

Yours truly, the Food Gal, will be there, too, as one of the tasting panel judges. Oh my. I better start fasting now in preparation.

Tickets are $25 for adults; $10 for children ages 6-12; and free for children under age 6 (limit two children per adult).

Chef Laurent Manrique of the Aqua Restaurant Group. (Photo courtesy of Justin Lewis)

* James Beard Foundation Benefit Dinner: Chef Laurent Manrique and his culinary friends will honor esteemed cookbook author Paula Wolfert at a special dinner, March 16, at the Fifth Floor in San Francisco.

Joining Manrique in preparing this six-course feast will be Ariane Daguin of D’Artagnan, Jean Pierre Moulie of Chez Panisse, Jennie Lorenzo of the Fifth Floor, Gerald Hirigoyen of Piperade, and Lionel Walter of the Fifth Floor and Aqua. Each chef will prepare one course inspired by Wolfert’s newly updated book, “The Cooking of Southwest France” (Wiley).

Yours truly will be a guest that night, too, enjoying every last bite.

Tickets are $150 for James Beard Foundation members; $165 for non-members.

Master Sommelier Emily Wines (Photo courtesy of the Fifth Floor)

* Vegetarian Showdown: Ever wanted to figure out which wines, beers, and cocktails pair best with vegetarian dishes? Then head to the Fifth Floor on March 18 when the restaurant’s Master Sommelier Emily Wines (yes, that is her real name) will pit her wine selections against beer selections by Craig & Beth Wathen of City Beer Store in San Francisco and cocktails by Marco Dionysos’ of the Clockbar in San Francisco.

The beverages will be paired with a five-course Gascony-inspired vegetarian dinner. Price is $125 per person. Please specify “Beverage Battle” when making a reservation.

* 16th annual Taste of Yountville:  March 21, head to downtown Yountville to enjoy tastes from 15 area restaurants and 20 local wineries. Tasting tickets are $1 each. Tours also will be given that day of  the two-acre French Laundry garden.

* Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food”: Bay Area foodies will want to tune in to that show, 5 p.m. March 14, when San Jose is spotlighted. Host Adam Richman pits his appetite against the the baby back ribs at Henry’s Hi-Life, mauls the Iguana’s Burritozilla and faces the Hellfire Challenge: a dozen wings drenched in SmokeEaters‘ lethal hot sauce.  He gets some special advice, too,  from the crew at San Jose Fire Station 33.

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  • Those are some great events. I wish I could go to the cheese and the chocolate event. I will look forward to your post about the chocolate judging – how fun!

  • Thanks for the heads-up. I just watched the Man vs Food vlogs from San Jose. He’s got a lot of really nice things to say about our fair city. Now I really wanna try out these iconic eateries (not the Hellfire challenge, though!).

  • Wishing I wasn’t on the other coast – a tour of the French Laundry garden? YES PLEASE!

  • All of those events sound amazing. I agree with Anna, I wish I wasn’t on the East Coast. I constantly have this longing to move to CA because of the food scene there (among other things) and you are confirming it for me.

  • I loved the show. We are STILL eating that Burritozilla we got from Iguana’s on Saturday. We plan on going to Smoke Eaters next week.

  • Mrs. L: Wow, that must be SOME burrito if you’re still noshing on it. Maybe it’s some sort of Willy Wonka-version that never ends. 😉

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