Instead of Fighting the Crowds at Big-Box Stores Over the Next Few Days…

Meet brothers Michael and Byran Voltaggio at Williams-Sonoma. (Photo courtesy of Williiams-Sonoma)

Meet Chefs Michael and Bryan Voltaggio

Michael and Bryan Voltaggio — sibling chefs who strutted their culinary prowess on “Top Chef” before younger bro, Michael, walked away with the title — will be making appearances at two local Williams-Sonoma stores next week.

First up, they will be at the Stanford Shopping Center store at 5 p.m. Nov. 28. The next day, 5 p.m. Nov. 29, they’ll be at the San Francisco Union Square store.

At both events, they will be signing copies of their new cookbook, “Volt ink.” (Weldon Owen). The books must be purchased at Williams-Sonoma in order to be signed.

Give the Gift of A Restaurant Gift Certificate

San Francisco’s Treatful makes gift-giving for the foodies on your list a whole lot easier.

Founded by two Stanford Business School grads, the online site allows you to purchase gift certificates to more than 250 restaurants in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. Among them are Aziza in San Francisco, Jar in Los Angeles, Rye in Brooklyn, and the Girl & the Goat in Chicago.

Once you purchase the gift, your recipient receives an email on the date you request it to be sent. The email, which includes details of the gift, then can be printed and presented to the restaurant for use. There are no expiration dates.

Support Foie Gras at a Special Dinner at Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco

With California’s looming ban on the sale of foie gras expected to go into effect in July 2012, restaurants are not sitting quietly on the issue.

The latest to show its support for the decadent delicacy, is Alexander’s Steakhouse in San Francisco, which will host a foie gras dinner and benefit on Nov. 26.

The six-course dinner, featuring the fattened liver of goose or duck in appetizer to dessert dishes, is $150 per person and includes paired wines.

All profits from the dinner will be donated to the Artisan Farmers Alliance and to Keep Food Legal.

Enjoy Tastes From Provenance Winery and Citrus Restaurant in Santana Row

Winemaker Tom Rinaldi of Rutherford’s Provenance Winery will join Executive Chef Robert Sapirman of Citrus restaurant in the Hotel Valencia in San Jose  for a five-course wine pairing dinner, 6:30 p.m. Dec. 1.

The dinner will include an entree choice of either tomato-braised short rib, arbequina olive oil-potato puree, and pearl onions with Hewitt Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007; or black cod, dungeness crab fideua and piquillo espuma with Provenance Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2008.

Price is $75 per person.

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