News of the Food
By Gretchen Giles
The folder of odds and sods fills, bulges and finally storms onto the page, bursting forward first with news of Bastille Day celebrations, that July day 214 years ago when the good peasants of France decided that gateau simply wasn't enough and a revolution was needed. The Michel-Schlumberger Winery holds a daylong celebration of populist culture on Saturday, July 16, from 11am featuring a French country luncheon replete with festivities and the usual staggering flagons of wine. Priced more for Marie Antoinette than her subjects, this $70 day includes all delights. 4155 Wine Creek Road, Healdsburg. 800.447.3060. . . .
Thomas Keller's Bouchon breaks out the frog's legs as well as crêpes and frites and all manner of other good things to celebrate on Bastille Day proper on Thursday, July 14. From 2pm to 9pm, expect a special menu and wines. At 5pm, face painters, an accordionist and a caricaturist join the fun. The event is free; food and wine sold separately, and les enfants are welcomed. Bouchon, 6534 Washington St., Yountville. 707.944.8037. . . .
Meanwhile, the 142 Throckmorton Theater offers a full cabaret night with performer Moana Diamond, promising the cheapest ticket to Paris possible. And indeed, it's a ticket back to the glorious ex-pat days of Paree, with Diamond channeling Edith Piaf, Josephine Baker, Cole Porter and even the tunes of Jacques Brel and Maurice Chevalier. Theater co-owner Danny Slomoff and cabaret regular Chris Walkey offer more than capable assistance on Thursday, July 14. A dessert and wine reception begins the evening at 7:30pm; music at 8pm. 142 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley. $30 with reception; $25 cabaret only. 415.383.9600. . . .
Meanwhile, on Aug. 5, the first American team to ever compete in the Taipei World Culinary Contest includes pro James McDevitt of Napa's Restaurant Budo. Working with four other Bay Area chefs, McDevitt and team will race to prepare a seven-course modern Chinese meal in under four hours using only the ingredients presented to them at the challenge's start. And, yes, they'll be judged on hygiene, even given the frantic pace. . . .
Motley Crüe's Vince Neil released the first of his private-label wine Vince Vineyards on July 8, varietals made and bottled here in Whine Country under the direction of Napa vintner Russ Dale, who owns Ringside Vineyards and specializes in boutique vodkas. Neil launched his new project at Las Vegas' Pussycat Doll Lounge, performing a unique rendition of the Crüe's "Girls, Girls, Girls" with the in-house talent, the Pussycat Dolls. When he's not suing NBC for his right to spit out the f-word on live TV or knocking fans about in Dallas nightclubs, Neil lives in Las Vegas. . . .
At the other end of the spectrum, the Seaweed Cafe in Bodega Bay is fairly floored that its intimate Writer's Reading series, which has already drawn a steady number of award-winning authors, will this week be graced by newly named California Poet Laureate Al Young, who will read from his work on Thursday, July 14. Come early for schmoozing, wine and tapas from 6pm; Young begins his magic at 7:45pm. Reservations are recommended for this tiny coastal gem. 1580 Eastshore Road, Bodega Bay. The poetry is free. 707.875.2700.
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From the July 13-19, 2005 issue of the North Bay Bohemian.
© 2005 Metro Publishing Inc.