Chef Richard Blais Cooks In A Peach Orchard, Whole Foods Fund-Raising Days & More

A beautiful Suncrest peach. (Photo courtesy of Frog Hollow Farm)

A Peach of a Time with “Top Chefs Masters” Champ Richard Blais

Get ready for “Peaches & Tango: A Dinner in the Orchard’ on July 23 at Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood.

Farmer Al Courchesne, owner of the organic Frog Hollow Farm, has always dreamed of pairing his juicy, wonderful peaches with the drama of tango. Now, he’s doing just that — with the help of recent “Top Chef Masters” victor Richard Blais.

Meet Chef Richard Blais. (Photo courtesy of the chef)Blais will cook a feast using locally grown produce, featuring such delights as beet tartare with candied wasabi, grilled pork belly with cauliflower and peaches, and liquid nitrogen ice cream cones. Sit down to enjoy it all in the orchard, amid rows and rows of Suncrest peach trees.

To top the evening off, Trio Garufa, a company of contemporary Agentine tango dancers, will be performing, then teaching guests how to do the tango, themselves.

Tickets are $200 per person. Proceeds benefit the Chez Panisse Foundation and the Edible School Yard, both dedicated to fostering school curriculum and lunch programs in which students learn to grow, cook and share food at the table.

Whole Foods Community Fund-Raising Days

At least four times a year, each Whole Foods store sets aside a day in which 5 percent of the day’s net sales goes to a non-profit.

For June 22, the San Jose Whole Foods, 1146 Blossom Hill Road, has chosen as its recepient, the San Jose Police Foundation, which is the prime source of private support for the San Jose Police Department. And if you’ve been following the city’s budget woes of late, you know those funds are needed more than ever.

For those who live in San Francisco, if you shop on June 23 at any Whole Foods locales in that city, 5 percent of net sales will go to Project Open Hand, which provides meal and nutrition services.

While you’re there, pick up a tub of homemade Project Open Hand peanut butter. Each peanut butter purchase enables Project Open Hand to provide one meal to those in need. The peanut butter is all natural and contains only one ingredient — peanuts.

To learn more about the peanut butter, you’re invited to a video party, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 21 at Madrone Art Bar in San Francisco.  Watch “The Peanut Story” and enjoy peanut butter treats. RSVP to Hannah Schmunk at (415) 447-2412.

Chef Dominique Crenn visits Macy's Union Square. (Photo by Carolyn Jung)

Celeb Chefs Headline at Macy’s Union Square

Join Chef Dominique Crenn of San Francisco’s Atelier Crenn when she comes a cooking to Macy’s Union Square Cellar in San Francisco, 2 p.m. June 25.

“Eye on the Bay” host Liam Mayclem will interview Crenn afterward in this free event.

Chef Tyler Florence cooks up lasagna and rice pudding at Macy's. (Photo courtesy of Macy's)Next up, Chef Tyler Florence shows how to make lasagna and peach rice pudding, 6 p.m. June 29.

Afterward, Florence will sign copies of his cookbooks if they are purchased at Macy’s. Because attendance is expected to be high for this free event, reservations are suggested. RSVP by calling (800) 786-2665.

If you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss “Top Chef” contestant Marisa Churchill, when she makes lemon bars and tangy frozen yogurt during her demo, 2 p.m. July 9.

This event is $25 per person and includes an autographed copy of her book, “Sweet and Skinny” (Clarkson Potter). RSVP here.

Skywalker Ranch Teams Up with Absinthe in San Francisco

Yes, there’s more to director George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch in Marin County than being the birthplace of Ewoks, Chewbacca and a slew of other iconic characters and films.

Besides being the headquarters for LucasFilm and Skywalker Sound, it’s an actual working farm and ranch with organic apple and peach groves, honey bees, livestock, an olive grove and a vineyard.

June 22 at Absinthe Brasserie in San Francisco, you can get a taste of all of that when the restaurant hosts an exclusive dinner featuring those local, organic ingredients from the ranch.

Absinthe’s Executive Chef Adam Keogh and Executive Bill Corbett will prepare a three-course meal that will include Skywalker Ranch Wagyu beef with whipped potatoes, rainbow chard and roasted shallots paired with Pinot Noir Viadante Del Cielo ‘Skywalker Ranchâ„¢ Vineyard’ Marin County 2009.

Price is $82 per person. Reservations are recommended.

Dining Deals in Downtown San Jose

Enjoy some fabulous deals at during Dine Downtown San Jose 2011,” June 22 to July 3, when participating restaurants will be offering three-course prix fixe menus for $20, $30 and $40.

Among those participating are: 19 Market Restaurant, Los Gatos Brewing Company, Mezcal, Paolo’s, and the Silicon Valley Capital Club (which is normally open only to members). For a complete list with menus, click here.

To get the party started, downtown restaurants will be offering gourmet bites, 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. June 22, for sampling. For a map of participating restaurants, click here.

Ladies Night Event at Hotel Valencia in San Jose

Gals, doesn’t a night of rosé sparkling wine tastings, appetizers, live music and a preview of glam women’s accessories from Santana Row shops sound like a fun time?

Then, head to the third floor courtyard of the Hotel Valencia at San Jose’s Santana Row, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. June 29, for “Rosé on the Row.”

Price is $20 per person. For reservations, call (408) 423-5405.

More: A Visit to Lucasfilm in San Francisco

And: My Q&A with Pastry Chef Bill Corbett of Absinthe

And: Learn More About Chef Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn

And: A Taste of the Silicon Valley Capital Club

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