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MOUTHFUL

Alliance Francaise Mardi Gras fun

Published: Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 3:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 at 10:52 p.m.

More Mardi Gras Fun: On Feb. 23, the Alliance Francaise de Santa Rosa hosts Fete du Mardi Gras at the Vista del Lago Clubhouse (3150 Lakeview Drive, Santa Rosa).

Chef and instructor Christine Piccin, students of the culinary arts department of Santa Rosa Junior College, La Gare French Restaurant, Madame de Fromage , Galaxy Desserts and Fabrique Delices will offer crepes, a selection of main dishes, cheeses, desserts, hard ciders and wines.

There will be a silent auction, raffle, music and more. Guests are encouraged to wear masks and costumes.

All ages are welcome, but anyone under 21 must be accompanied by an adult.

Cost is $35 in advance and $5 at the door. Sonoma State University and SRJC students pay $20 and children under 16 pay $10. To secure your spot, mail a check to AFSR, 4525 Montgomery Drive, Suite 2A, Santa Rosa, 95409. To qualify for the advance price, your check must be received by Feb 19.

All proceeds benefit the activities of the Alliance. For more information, visit afsantarosa.org.

Hula & Homicide: This year's Cloverdale Citrus Fair (1 Citrus Fair Drive, Cloverdale), taking place Friday through Monday, has an island theme, “A Polynesian Affair.” In keeping with the theme, the fair's Murder Mystery Dinner features “Hula and Homicide.”

The dinner takes place in the Citrus Fair auditorium on both Saturday and Sunday evening.

The doors open at 6:30 p.m with a no-host bar of tropical cocktails. Dinner, catered by a member of the local Rotary Club who lived in Kauai for a time, is a traditional luau, with kalua pig, macadamia nut chicken, pineapple cake and more on the menu.

There will be appetizers, as well, and a bottle of wine on each table.

The murder and its solving takes place on stage and begin when a popular leader of a hula competition is founded dead on Kikiwi Beach. A retired surfer, two competing dancers, a judge and others are among the suspects. The audience helps solve the crime, and the first table to figure out who did it wins a prize.

There will be a mother-daughter hula performance during the show. There will also be a performance of Polynesian dance at the fair on Sunday by a group based in Rohnert Park.

Cost is $40. For tickets, call 894-3992 or visit cloverdalecitrusfair.org, where you'll find a complete schedule for the 2013 fair.

Visiting Chef Series at WOW: Next Thursday marks the beginning of a monthly series of dinners at Worth Our Weight Culinary Apprenticeship Program (1021 Hahman Drive, Santa Rosa).

There will be one seating, at 6 p.m., and a $55 prix fixe menu. Guests may bring their own beverages, including wine, if they like.

The first dinner features Liza Hinman of The Spinster Sisters and Franco Dunn of Franco's One World Sausages.

These monthly dinners will be hosted by Clark Wolf and Marcy Smothers and will continue indefinitely. If you or someone you know is interested in participating as a guest chef, call (212) 571-7080.

Each dinner is limited to 50 guests, so if you'd like to join in make your reservation soon by calling 544-1200.

Pu-erh Tasting on Saturday: This month's tea tasting at Many Rivers Books and Tea features what may be most alluring teas in the world, those known as pu-erh.

Pu-erh teas are powerfully flavored aged green and black teas. Most have an earthy richness that other teas lack and layers of flavor and aromas evocative of the forest floor, spinach, mushrooms and more. Some even have suggestions of sweet spices. Black pu-erh tends to be remarkably smooth, as the aging process tames astringent tannins. These teas also are said to have a host of health benefits, some unique to pu-erh, others common to many camellia leaf teas.

The tasting, conducted by the Many Rivers staff, gets started at 2 p.m. and is a lively affair, with a flight of teas and lots of conversation.

There is no charge, but donations to cover the cost of tea are appreciated.

Many Rivers Books and Tea is located at 130 S. Main St., Suite 101, in downtown Sebastopol.

Farmhouse Inn Guest Chef Dinner: Next Thursday evening, Ken Tominaga of Rohnert Park's Sushi Hana teams up with executive chef Steve Litke for a very special and very delicious evening.

Dinner kicks of with an amuse bouche of Dungeness crab flan with ginan sauce and salmon caviar. Next comes chirashi, rice with raw yellow tail, salmon, shrimp, mackerel, octopus and micro shiso. This course is followed by Kobe Beef prepared three ways with uni, truffles and winter vegetables. An entree course features Kurobuta pork two ways, smoked loin and braised belly, with hon-shimeji mushroom and dashi-braised daikon.

For dessert, its green tea ice cream with black walnut shortbread.

Five premium sakes, selected by the inn's wine director, Master Sommelier Geoff Kruth, will accompany dinner.

Cost is $150 plus tax and gratuity. For reservations; call 887-3300.

The Farmhouse Inn is at 7871 River Road, Forestville.

Look Out, It's Monster Salmon Time: Next Tuesday, The Seed Bank (199 Petaluma Blvd., Petaluma) will host a special screening of “Monster Salmon” at 7 p.m.

The documentary focuses on AquaBounty, a biotech firm based in Massachusetts that wants their super-sized genetically engineered salmon to be widely available but critics warn that there could be dire consequences to the environment, to wild salmon and to human health.

Currently, the FDA is taking public comments on this issue but the last day to submit your opinion is Feb. 25. This screening offers an opportunity to look at both sides and decide for yourself what is best.

While you're there, you might want to take a look at The Seed Bank's selection of heirloom tomato and reserve your starts now, as there will not be an unlimited supply.

For reservations for the screening and for more information, visit rareseeds.com, email paul@rareseeds.com or call 773-1336.

Booksigning with Rebecca Lawton: Next Thursday, Readers Books (130 E. Napa St., Sonoma) welcomes writer Rebecca Lawton, author of a new novel, “Junction, Utah,” inspired by the author's years as a whitewater guide.

The evening begins with a reception at 7 p.m., followed by a reading and slide show at 7:30 p.m. Bosonoma will provide live music.

Lawton was one of the first female guides on the Colorado River and other rivers in the West, a pursuit that led, in part, to “Reading Water: Lessons From the River,” a collection of essays. She is also the co-author of “On Foot: Twelve Hikes in the Valley of the Moon.” Lawton has also worked with the Sonoma Ecology Center and other agencies dedicated to sustaining the health of our watersheds.

Michele Anna Jordan hosts “Mouthful” each Sunday at 7 p.m. on KRCB 90.9 & 91.1 FM. E-mail Jordan at michele@micheleannajordan.com. You'll find her blog, “Eat This Now,” at pantry.blogs.pressdemocrat.com

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