The Great Petaluma Chili Cookoff, Salsa, and Beer Tasting celebrates its 20th anniversary on Sat, May 6. With more than 50 chilis, 30 salsas, at least two dozen microbreweries, live entertainment and a panel of local celeb judges, this event has been a Petaluma icon for two decades now.
The most amazing thing is that it is not uncommon for non-restaurant teams to take home top honors, so anyone with a decent chili recipe should nab one of the few remaining competitor spots. Proceeds help fund Cinnabar Theater’s Young Rep program. Visit www.greatchilicookoff.com for more info.
Craft Beer Appreciation
There are still a few seats remaining in SSU’s Craft Beer Appreciate certificate program. The “Business of Beer” segment starts on March 22, with classes meeting every Wednesday through April 5, from 6 to 9 p.m. at Lagunitas Brewing. Other upcoming courses include beer appreciation, beer making and how to start a craft brewery.
Herlinda Heras runs the program, as well as being a local homebrewer, beer expert, writer and judge, and hosts KSRO’s weekly Brew HaHa radio show. More info at www.sonoma.edu/exed/beer
Greek Independence Celebration
Yanni’s Sausages of Penngrove honors Greek Independence Day, March 25, by offering their Spartan sausage sandwich as March’s special. The Spartan is Yanni’s Greek Sausage served with grilled onions, spinach feta pesto and red chile apricot glaze, all wrapped in bread from Full Circle Bakery.
Upcoming food events
Petaluma Hills Brewing Company kicks off its 2017 Homebroots program with the unveiling of Bob Peak’s black lager “Dark Energy.” An homage to “Death and Taxes” from Moonlight Brewing Company, both Peak and JJ Jay, Petaluma Hill’s owner/brewer, brewed Peak’s recipe side-by-side on their respective homebrew kits, using identical ingredients, yet I can guarantee that there will be enough subtle differences that you’ll want to taste them both.
Both beers will be tapped on Thur, March 9 at the Petaluma Hill’s taproom, and because these beers usually sell out within the evening, I recommend getting there early. You can learn more about the beer, the brewers and the Homebroots program at Petaluma Hills’s website. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to Peak’s charity of choice, which is Cinnabar Theater.
Della Fattoria will host a special Cassoulet dinner on Saturday, March 11, with 5:30 and 7 p.m. seatings. To-go dinners are also available. Cassoulets originated in France but have become popular throughout the world. They are named for the vessel they are cooked in, which is usually a “cassole.” Cassoulets are a rich slow-cooked casserole, usually of meat and white beans, but that’s just a starting point.
Dinner will include a citrus salad, cassoulet, and a tarte tatin, which is an upside-down pastry in which the fruit is caramelized in butter and sugar before the tart is baked. Having had only the best of dining experiences at Della, I’m ecstatic to see what Chef Weber’s take is on the traditional cassoulet and tarte tatin.
The Penngrove Social Firemen will hold their annual Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner on Sat, March 11, from 4 to 7 p.m., at their Penngrove Community Clubhouse. Having grown up in Penngrove myself, we attend as many PSF events as we can, and this dinner is no different. This event is quite informal, with guests showing up and eating whenever they want, so take the whole family for a relaxing Saturday evening.