Relish Culinary Adventures offers experiences that highlight Sonoma County's finest farms and ranches, bakeries, cheese makers, and other artisan goods. Though Relish Culinary Center in Healdsburg serves as headquarters for public and private events, a wide range of tours and hands-on cooking experiences take place offsite at a variety of local epicurean destinations. Focusing on seasonal, locally grown, and locally produced ingredients, the program's events match locations with skilled chefs to create cheese or craft elaborate meals.
From season to season, dedicated foodie and owner Donna del Rey works with chefs to alter the menus that fuel Relish Culinary Adventures' expeditions and classes. Special guests vary, including chefs Louis Maldonado of Top Chef and Spoonbar; Todd Knoll of Jordan Winery; producers from Bernier Farms, Twisted Horn Ranch, Preston of Dry Creek, and Valley Ford Cheese; and wine makers from Longboard, Kelley and Young, and Preston Vineyards.
Within the historic Cottage Grove Hotel--where Buster Keaton once stayed while filming "The General"--Buster's Main Street Cafe is serving up fresh-made breakfast, lunch, and dinner using local ingredients. Burgers crowned in such accouterments as bacon, cheese, and avocado are made from locally-raised, grass-fed beef sourced from Knee Deep Cattle Company. In the morning, omelets and several styles of eggs benedict reward early-risers. Later in the day, guests make way for a huge selections of drinks--the menu features hundreds of craft brews and ciders, as well as more than 200 craft sodas, including 50 varieties of root beer.
Within the inviting milieu of a family-owned eatery, Pizza Gourmet's disc forgers bake hand-tossed pizzas topped with such epicurean ingredients as gruyere and whole roasted garlic cloves. The Five Star pizza ($15.50−$21.75) mixes it up with a blend of five cheeses including fontina, feta, and parmesan, and the elegant Barcelona pizza ($17.75−$23.95) evokes Spain’s cultural capital with seasoned chicken and artichoke hearts, brought to the table by stampeding bulls. Patrons can garnish a plain New York–style pizza ($11.50−$15.50) with a slew of sauces ($2−$3) including barbecue, ranch, or salsa; herbs and vegetables ($1−$1.50) such as cilantro, basil, and zucchini; meats ($1−$1.50); and 23 specialty toppings such as yellow squash and bleu cheese ($2−$3). Pies are available in 12-inch or 16-inch varieties and can be ordered without cheese.
Romeo’s Pasta & Pizza's pie slingers orchestrate medleys of toppings atop sourdough crust, which is crafted fresh daily on the restaurant premises. Pore over the menu of create-your-own pizzas and specialty creations, such as the roasted vegetable pie, which sports zucchini, red onions, sweet peppers, and feta. On the playground of the meat combination pizza, canadian bacon, pepperoni, salami, and sausage huddle up for a game of two-hand touch against diner's taste buds. Diners quaff soft drinks, domestic or premium beer, or Salmon Creek white zinfandel and pinot noir to cleanse the palate without having to glide open-mouthed down a slip ‘n’ slide.
Big Jim’s BBQ entrances diners with a menu of tempting contemporary and barbecue cuisine arranged by chef Jim Modesitt. Like the annual westward migration of wood-smoking grills, the sauce-slathered bill of fare unites gourmet California treats with rustic southern cooking traditions, pairing juicy pulled pork, chicken, ribs, and brisket with hearty risottos, traditional cornbreads and beans, assorted cheeses, and crostinis. As clients sup on the tasty bounty or enroll in courses to learn the dark arts of cookcraft from the kitchen’s professional chefs and caterers, rich flavors and aromas lavish the nose and palate with a sensory celebration of fine food.
This 100% Latino-owned business uses 100% organic flour and 100% natural ingredients to assemble sweet and savory empanadas with a multilingual blend of Caribbean, Latin American, and Californian points of view. Herbivores and herbivoyeurs can delight their senses in the flavors of mushrooms with brie, onions, and spices ($45 per dozen), while their meat-minded brethren can tear into a savory, roasted chicken poblano with onion, poblano chile, red bell pepper, tomato, cilantro, and spices ($45 per dozen). To keep the taste buds on the other side of your tongue from rebelling and making everything taste like burnt hair, keep them happy with the apple-cinnamon-with-chocolate empanada infused with Turbinado sugar ($30 per dozen). These fresh and healthy treats come in both meal and cocktail size. As with square dancing, mixing and matching fillings is encouraged, as are odd-numbered orders.