Fig Fun, Killer Tomatoes and More

Attend Fig Fest to sample lovelies like these.

This little figgy went to market.

Actually, a lot of figs will be at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market in San Francisco, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 15, just in time for Fig Fest.

With August the peak season for these delicate, sugary delights, what better time to meet eight fig farmers who will be showing off their different varieties, including Black Mission, Brown Turkey, Adriatic, and Kadota.

Learn all about the cultivation and nutritional benefits of figs. Pick up a hand-made fig bar (for a $1 donation), learn how to grow your own fig tree from garden designer Maria Finn of Prospect & Refuge, and watch free cooking demos.

Tune in 10 p.m. tonight as San Francisco’s own Chris Cosentino, chef of Incanto, debuts his own show, Chef vs. Cityon the Food Network. He’ll be joined by New York chef Aaron Sanchez.

Each week, the duo will challenge two local foodies to find the “biggest, boldest, most unexpected” food places in each city they visit.

The ever-chic Masa’s Resaurant in San Francisco will host “A Tasteful Pursuit” on Aug. 17. The star chef-studded dinner is a benefit for Share Our Strength, the organization dedicated to ending childhood hunger in America.

Masa’s Executive Chef Gregory Short and Executive Pastry Chef John McKee will be joined in the kitchen that evening by Xavier Salomon of the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay, Mark Dommen of One Market Restaurant in San Francisco, and William Werner of Quince in San Francisco.

Tickets for the five-course dinner with wine pairings are $150 per person. Live and silent auctions also will be featured.

Foreign Cinema in San Francisco celebrates its 10th anniversary on Aug. 20 with an extravaganza of magicians, dancers, henna artists, acrobats, and jugglers. Of course, there will be cocktails and tasty bites to nibble, as well.

Tickets are $65 per person. Proceeds benefit DrawBridge, a Bay Area non-profit that provides creative programs for homeless children.

Scott Beattie's "Blackberry Lick'' cocktails. (Photo reprinted from "Artisanal Cocktails,'' published by Ten Speed Press)

Master Mixologist Scott Beattie will conduct a hands-on cocktail class, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at San Francisco’s Ferry Building.

He will be joined by Lou Bustamante of Hangar One/St. George Spirits in Alameda. You’ll learn how to make two signature cocktails, while enjoying snacks. Beattie also will sign copies of his book, “Artisanal Cocktails” (Ten Speed Press), which will be for sale for $25 each.

Tickets to the event are $40 each.

Killer tomatoes, anyone? Not homicidal ones, but just the very best tasting ones will be featured in the fourth annual “Heirloom Tomato Dinner” on Aug. 23 at Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar at the Lodge at Sonoma.

The five-course tasting menu will be paired with Etude Wines. Among the dishes will be “Pineapple Tomato Poached Halibut with Yellow Taxi Cab Hollandaise,” and sweet tomato pie with basil whipped cream.

Price is $95 per person. If you can’t make it that night, you’ll still have a chance to try some of these special tomato dishes, as they’ll be featured on the regular menu through Aug. 29.

Yountville might not be the first place you think of when you think of “street food.”

But one Thursday night a week for the next three months, Brix restaurant in Yountville will showcase Executive Chef Anne Gingrass-Paik’s love of global street food in “Brix Unpaved.” The restaurant will be transformed into a lively, outdoor street festival. Guests will enter the restaurant through the gardens, where they’ll find food stalls set up with the tasty morsels. Each night will feature a whole roasted animal, along with additional items.

Aug. 20 will be “Mumbai Fare, Bollywood Flair”; Sept. 17 will be “One Night in Bangkok,” and Oct. 15 will be “Street Feasts of Sicily.”

Tickets are $35 in advance; $40 at the door.

As further incentive to explore Northwest Sonoma County, the Wine Road (an association of vintners and lodgings) has created “Ticket to the Wine Road.”

The discount program allows you to indulge in complimentary tastings, discounts on wine purchases, private barrel tastings with winemakers, and cave and vineyard tours. You also will find discounts on lodging, along with complimentary breakfast and in-room treats such as a bottle of wine or cheese plate.

The passes come in one-day and three-day increments, and retail for $25 and $50, respectively.

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