Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Food & Wine Events: East Bay and Beyond

Bay Area News Group

Moe's Cookbook Series -- 7:30 p.m. May 25. Bay Area pop-up chef Suzanne Drexhage will discuss her favorite cookbooks during this new discussion series, moderated by Stanislaw Sobolewski, a Moe's cookbook buyer for the last decade. The series includes guest speakers, featured books and food samplings. 2476 Telegraph Ave., Berkeley. 510-849-2087.

Olson's 15th annual Cherry Festival -- 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. May 28-29. This annual festival at historic Sunnyvale cherry stand features orchard tours, cherry pit-spitting contests, cherry pancakes and live music. "The New Green Grocer" author Pete Carcione will sign books noon-2 p.m. May 28. Birthday cake at noon May 29. Free. C.J. Olson Cherries, 348 W. El Camino Real.

Rocks and Rhones Festival -- 11 a.m.-4 p.m. May 28-29. Plan a fabulous weekend of gourmet food and wine pairing with the winemakers and owners of four family owned and operated wineries in the heart of the El Dorado appellation wine country. Choose one day to visit all four wineries, Holly's Hill, Miraflores, Narrow Gate and Sierra Vista. $30-$35. 530-344-0227,

Jamaican Jerk Cook-Off -- Noon- 5 p.m. May 30. Jerk Masters will compete for the winning title, with live entertainment, music featuring New York's DJ Winston, and a Kids' Zone. Libations from Linden Street Brewery, New Belgium

Brewing Company and Periscope Cellar. Feed your inner fashionista with stylish gear from Oaklandish. Linden Street Brewery, 95 Linden St., Oakland. $10 per entry includes two tickets for wine, beer, or jerk tasting. Limited tickets available for entry, advance tickets can be purchased online at. Additional food and beverage tickets sold at the door. This is a family friendly event, free admission for children 12 and under.

Pasta Shop's Third annual Festival of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil -- Noon-3 p.m. June 4. Enjoy tastings, panel discussions, cooking demos and conversations with olive oil producers. In addition to tasting the oils, recipes will be prepared using different oils to show how flavor profiles directly change the taste of the finished recipes. And not to be missed on the patio, The Ice Cream and Olive Oil Bar, offering a variety of combinations, such as vanilla gelato with a robust olive oil, topped with sea salt. Tasty snacks made with olive oil will be offered including signature recipes from The Pasta Shop -- olive oil brownies, olive oil cake and challah. 1786 Fourth St., Berkeley. 510-250-6004,

Le Vin Au Jardin -- 12:30-5 p.m. June 4. This wine and garden party celebrates the release of Rodrigue Molyneaux Winery's new Château Molyneaux label. Stroll the gardens, enjoy music by Les Farrington and savor elegant French food created by executive chef Tracy Flores. $10. 3053 Marina Ave., Livermore. 925-443-1998,

Wine Rodeo -- 4-8 p.m. June 11. Pair Rock Wall's handcrafted wines with some of the best barbecue from award-winning barbecue chef Ray Green, while enjoying great country music entertainment. 2301 Monarch St., Suite 300, Alameda. $30-$45. 510-522-5700.

Taste of Mendocino -- 1-5 p.m. June 13. Sip, sample, taste and buy "all things Mendocino" at this exclusive marketplace-meets-showcase event. The marketplace will include more than 60 wineries, organic beer, artisan olive oil, preserves, eggs, cheese and grass-fed beef and lamb producers as well as favorite dishes from local restaurants. Festival Pavilion at Fort Mason Center, Buchanan Street and Marina Boulevard, San Francisco. $35-$45.

Truckee RibFest -- 1-6 p.m. June 19. This casual event will offer folks the chance to sample delicious ribs prepared by the best chefs in the Tahoe area -- a perfect afternoon outing for hungry dads and their families. 12047 Donner Pass Road, Truckee. $10-$15. 530-550-2252,

Chocolate Extravaganza -- 6:30-9 p.m. June 25. Taste delicious chocolate treats and enjoy the chocolate fountain during this benefit that features entertainment by the musicians of the Pinole Valley High School West County Conservatory of the Arts. 592 Tennent Ave., Pinole. $20-$25. 510-724-9141.

Connoisseurs' Marketplace -- 10 a.m.-6 p.m. July 16-17. Enjoy chefs' demos, festive food and drink, microbrews, margaritas, mojitos and more. Santa Cruz Avenue between El Camino Real and Johnson Street, Menlo Park. 650-325-2818,

SF Chefs 2011 -- Aug. 1-7. This weeklong celebration highlights Northern California chefs, winemakers, mixologists, farmers and artisanal food producers. Enjoy the Grand Tasting Tent and savor tastes at smaller, special events all week. $25-$150. San Francisco Union Square;

Millbrae Art and Wine Festival -- Sept. 3-4. Two sun-splashed days of festive food and drink, live music, art exhibits, Chinese dragon dance and taiko drum performances, and children's activities. Broadway Avenue between Victoria and Meadow Glenn, Millbrae. 650-697-7324,

Lake Tahoe Autumn Food and Wine Festival -- Sept. 9-11. Lake Tahoe's premier gourmet event includes chef battles, outdoor grilling demonstrations, a celebrity chef luncheon, gourmet marketplace, grape stomp and more.

Mountain View Art and Wine Festival -- Sept. 10-11. A massive multicultural celebration featuring festive food and drink, live music and an action-packed Kids' Park. Castro Street between El Camino Real and Evelyn Avenue, Mountain View. 650-968-8378,

Lake Tahoe Restaurant Week -- Oct. 2-9. Enjoy three-course, prix fixe menus at more than 60 participating restaurants throughout the Lake Tahoe region for $20, $30 or $40 per person;

Brunch, lunch, dinners

Dine About Town San Francisco -- Lunch and dinner June 1-15. Diners may select from more than 100 San Francisco restaurants offering a two-course lunch menu for $17.95 and/or a three-course dinner menu for $34.95, excluding tax and gratuity.

Cooking Matters Brunch -- 10 a.m.-noon June 12. Fresh Approach's "Cooking Matters" program teaches free cooking and nutrition classes to low-income families around the Bay Area. Share a delicious farmers market brunch in the beautiful new market building at Jack London Square. $10. Webster Street and Embarcadero, Oakland.

Festa del Papa -- 11 a.m.-8 p.m. June 19. Celebrate Father's Day with a special three-course, summery brunch. There's a children's version, too. $68 for grown-ups; children younger than 12 pay their age. Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley 2050 University Ave., East Palo Alto. 650-566-1200.


Foster Farms Second annual Fresh Chicken Cooking Contest -- Deadline to enter is May 31. The winner will receive a grand prize of $10,000 plus a one-year supply of Foster Farms fresh chicken. Submit your favorite, original chicken recipes for consideration. Recipes must feature Foster Farms fresh chicken and should be inspired by ingredients grown on the West Coast as a testament to Foster Farms' commitment to foods that are fresh, locally grown and always natural. Contest will culminate with finals Sept. 30 at the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena during National Chicken Month.,, Foster Farms, Cooking Contest, P.O. Box 306, Livingston, CA 95334.

Bake On and Give Back with the Duncan Hines 1 Million Cupcake Challenge -- July 24 deadline. Duncan Hines invites bakers across the country to join its 1 Million Cupcake Challenge to help end childhood hunger. Working with Share Our Strength's Great American Bake Sale, Duncan Hines hopes to inspire passionate bakers with a national baking and fundraising movement.

So You Think You Can Cook With Garlic -- An all-comers cooking competition on Facebook and culminating before a live audience July 29 in the Cook-Off Theater. The contest is open to amateur chefs age 18 and older who post a video of themselves preparing their recipe, on the Gilroy Garlic Festival Facebook page at Contest rules are available on the festival Facebook page and at The winning chef will receive $810 in cash from KGO radio and the runner-up a $250 gift card from Raley's/Bel Air Markets/Nob Hill Foods.

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