Our visit to China: Pandas, Peking duck — and Mandarins

WE FEATURE THE SWEET MOUNTAIN MANDARIN in our fall issue, so it’s fitting we’re writing the introduction while vacationing in China — where a version of the seedless, easy-to-peel fruit likely originated centuries ago. It’s “fall break,” and we decided to visit this exotic destination to explore its rich culture, enjoy the cuisine and see […]

Our holiday gift ideas

EMILY’S CATERING A first-rate, full-service caterer with imaginative dishes made from scratch using fresh, local ingredients. Some of Emily’s pies were used in the 2019 film “Pie–The Movie not 3.14.” Emily’s also offers delicious homemade baked goods, desserts and gift packages at its “pop-up” bakeries: November 26-27 for Thanksgiving; and December 20-23. 421 Colfax Ave., […]

Mountain Mandarins: A Sweet Crop

WHEN ORGANIZERS IN NEWCASTLE — nestled in the foothills near Auburn — held their first Mountain Mandarin Festival 26 years ago, they never imagined that it would grow to a three-day event that now attracts up to 35,000 people from throughout the West. Visitors to the Mountain Mandarin Festival — held on the weekend of […]

Shop at Briarpatch for barbecues and picnics

AH, SUMMERTIME! LONG, WARM DAYS, camping trips, lakeside picnics and backyard dinner parties. In growing numbers, people are turning to BriarPatch Food Co-op for whatever they need for their summer adventures. BriarPatch’s food is nutritious, organically grown and free of artificial additives — good for our health but also the environment. Shopping at “The Patch” […]

Twelve 28 Kitchen: “We get asked for our recipes all the time”

LIKE MORE AND MORE LOCALS, we have enjoyed our dinners at Twelve 28 Kitchen in Penn Valley. Under Chef Zach Sterner, who has been cooking for 18 years as a private chef at small restaurants and at a Michelin-starred dining room, Twelve 28 Kitchen turns out imaginative and memorable meals. Though a relative newcomer to […]

Longtime Carpe Vino chefs to open Josephine in Auburn

AUBURN HAS GONE FROM A quaint outpost for antiques to a vibrant city bubbling with young doers and creative outdoor types making Auburn happen,” according to ExploreAuburnCA.com, an economic development website dedicated to the foothills town. Josephine is a shining example — a restaurant that Chefs Eric Alexander and Courtney McDonald plan to open in […]

FoodWineArt Insider: Sacramento Shake Shack, world traveler Lexie Alford

LEXIE LIMITLESS An adventurous local woman — 21-year-old Alexis Alford of Nevada City — this spring announced she had become the youngest person to travel to every sovereign nation. “I traveled to all 196 countries by 21 years old. My ultimate goal is to show people that the world is not a scary place and […]

Foraging at the Farmers Market

ALICE WATERS HAS BEEN a champion of the farm-to-table movement for over four decades. Alice and her world-famous Chez Panisse restaurant in Berkeley have ties to our region, thanks to local chef Alan Tangren, a 22-year Chez Panisse veteran. Alice credits Alan “for foraging our relationships with scores of mostly local growers and suppliers who […]

Al Fresco Dining

Enjoyable outdoor dining spots in our region: TOFANELLI’S GOLD COUNTRY BISTRO Tofanelli’s handsome outdoor patio is a popular spot in the historic downtown. In summer, a stainless steel, slow-cook smoker is cranked up to offer barbeque ribs, chicken, tri-tip steak or pulled pork. 302 W. Main St., GV. Tofanellis.com IKE’S QUARTER CAFE Ike’s tree-covered patio […]

Our Local Bounty

NEVADA AND PLACER COUNTIES are home to a growing, healthy and vibrant base of local farms, rivaling the Central Valley, Sonoma and San Luis Obispo. From fruits and vegetables (Riverhill Farm and Machado Orchards, for example) to grass-fed beef (Nevada County Free Range Beef and Sinclair Family Farm) — from olive oil, jams and honey […]

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