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April 2013

April 1, 2013

Adventures with Mack the Knife in the Rhone Valley and Other Stories

The Decouvertes has such a fond place in our hearts that it is almost like going home when we visit the Rhone Valley every other year.  This March was no different.  Two years went by quite quickly, but upon arrival it seemed like we were just there last week.
This year, we got to meet a precious new baby girl and received the news that another winemaker friend has one on the way. We were lucky to be in attendance to a rockin’ band that headlined Yves Gangloff, Pierre Jean Villa and Paul in contrast to a 12+ person Horn Band playing Rugby Songs (I think). We made our pilgrimage to the Vahlrona Chocolate Factory Store in Tain Hermitage (I think they saw us coming)! Pastis reemerged with the question, “why I don’t drink this on a regular basis?”
To put this event in perspective, imagine — every day for four days straight –going to a party where over 50 amazing winemakers are pouring your favorite wines,  and long tables are filled with the most decadent spread of French cheeses, pates, crudites, bread, and desserts. Heaven!  Add another layer of activity at night: dinners, parties, singing Mack the Knife, and conversation. Okay – you may think I am boasting about the decadence of this trip – but seriously, this is hard work and it must get done!
 1. Vicki & Howard Carroll 2. Sondra & Phillipe Cambie 3. Yves Gangloff 4. Vicki, Howard, John Lancaster, Sondra, John 5. Yves Cuilleron & Baby Ysia
NEWS ALERT!!!! Amazing Flea Market Finds in Lyons Les Puces du Canal. A must do when visiting Lyons – AWESOME – could have spent all day there.
Plats du Jour – the theme of our last cookbook and our weekly menus – continues to inspire me in France. Such an important way of eating and the opportunity to taste the Chef’s newest creations and the best of the season.
Black Truffles on Toast
One last word (two words) FOIE GRAS
For more pictures from our recent trip click here!
Notes from our Intern, Durae:

I was able to spend a lot of time this month working on updating the girl & the fig’s website to include new retailers carrying our fig food line of goodies.  It was amazing to me to see how far and wide our fig products travel!  Across the country, the girl & the fig can be found in off-the-beaten-path locales to downtown urban hubs.  Locations vary from rural mom and pop shops like Valley Shepherd Creamery, sheep ranchers who cave-age their cheeses and proudly define their endeavors as “an experiment that defies U.S. ‘big food’ traditions,” to historic urban neighborhoods like Seattle’s Pike Place or New York’s Flatiron District, where Beecher’s Handmade Cheese is found.In the bigger scope of things, what makes me happy is to realize that there are so many people out there who love good food.  And not just that, but who care about their food, where it comes from, what’s in it, and whether it’s made with care and goodwill.  We’re blessed in Sonoma County to live amongst farmers and artisans and crafters of good food–so much so, that it can be easy to take for granted.  It’s wonderful to see places all over the country supporting local producers and purveyors, and to see that people everywhere are supporting independents in a way that we all know matters on a scale both big and small.  Discovering these retailers also made me realize there are so many places out there that I’d like to go eat!  If I had my pick, I’d start in one of my most-loved towns: Austin, Texas.  Antonelli’s Cheese Shop looks divine…
We are getting ready to COOK, ROCK and ROLL. Not sure what we will be serving yet but we will keep you posted! If you like Rock & Roll, Concerts, Food and Wine – this is a Music Festival not to be missed!Listen to my Bottlerock Artist Playlist
The internet has changed many things including the way we make restaurant reservations.  We are excited to announce that we are transitioning over to CityEats, a new platform presented by the Food Network.  Already in Miami, Washington DC, Phoenix , and a few more areas, the CityEats website for the San Francisco Bay Area/Wine Country is scheduled to launch later this year.CityEats will bring a new look to Restaurant Reservations. The website itself is full of content and luscious looking food photography. You can also readabout the CityEats Rewards plan where you can earn giftcards to Amazon and itunes or even donate your loyalty dollars to Share our Strength.For the OpenTable members that have been making reservations through OpenTable, you will still be able to do this for a few months — but as soon as CityEats website launches in our area, our presence on Opentable will be minimal and we encourage you to make reservations via CityEats on our website.


Cooking Class Thursday, May 23rd Chef Bryan Jones the fig cafe & winebar~MENU~ Bryan’s White Sangria Quinoa Salad, Sweet 100’s, Roasted Poblano Chile & Queso Fresco Guacamole Taquero, Chips Grilled Corn, Cumin Butter Highway 12 Grilled Chicken, Tomato & Serrano Chile Salsa Coconut Tapioca Pudding, Grilled Pineapple & Toasted Coconut
Bottle Rock 2013 May 9 – 12 Napa ValleyMOTHER’S DAY the girl & the fig the fig cafe & winebar May 12
Cooking for Solutions Monterey Bay Aquarium May 18 Monterey
Cooking Class  with Chef Bryan Jones Ramekins May 23 Sonoma
Broadway Under the Stars Jack London State Park Glen Ellen  Many dates to choose from starting in June.
DO NOT MISS SEEING ONE OF THESE SHOWS if you are going to be in Sonoma this summer.
We keep our Public Event Calendar current with new events as they are confirmed. Check the calendar or our Facebook page to keep up with us and get in our 2013 Sonoma groove!
The Toy Box Some of Sondra’s latest favorites …
It took some old friends visiting from the East Coast to introduce me to the beautiful Sonoma Overlook Trail. Funny as I get ready to set sail across the world, they guided me on a lovely hike in my own backyard. ~ – post your favorite food pictures and find other yummy dishes near you
~ During my trip in France I started reading an inspirational book called,“The Monk who Sold His Ferrari” Since I am only half way through I can only halfway recommend it. ~ Ever want to publish your own magazine?  Here are 2 options: MAGCLOUD – physical magazine & online version FLIPBOARD  – online app for iphone and ipadHAVE A GREAT MONTH!
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