Film about Foothills’ Poet Gary Snyder coming in May

Will Hearst and I have known each other for years, starting when he ran the S.F. Examiner and I worked at The Chronicle. We also got together when he left the Examiner for Kleiner Perkins, the Silicon Valley venture-capital firm. Here’s a pioneering multimedia clip with Will, circa 1996, when I was Editor at CNET. […]

Follow Solune’s winegrower on Facebook in Paris

Solune Winegrowers of Grass Valley has started a Facebook page, with a unique twist. “We thought that a fun way to kick this off would be to follow Jacques (Mercier) during his upcoming trip to France, where he was invited in Paris to judge at Vinalies Internationales, France’s largest wine competition (in Paris). “Look for […]

Nevada County wineries praised in S.F. Chronicle tasting contest

NEVADA COUNTY WINERIES WERE BIG WINNERS in the S.F. Chronicle’s annual wine tasting contest, one of the most prestigious regional contests. The winning wineries included Avanguardia, Indian Springs, Lucchesi, Montoliva, Naggiar, Pilot Peak, Sierra Starr, Smith, Solune and Szabo. Pilot Peak won the prestigious “Best of Class: Judge’s Choice” award for its port. A list […]

Black Bean Chile

2 cups black beans, washed 2 Tbsp. olive oil 2 cups diced onions 3-5 garlic cloves, minced 3 (or more) diced tomatoes 2 bay leaves 2 tsp. cumin powder 1 tsp. chile powder 1-2 Tierra chipotles, cut up 3 Tbsp. vinegar 1 Tbsp. brown sugar Cook beans in boiling water. Let sit, covered, for an […]

South Pine Café for “breakfast, lunch or beer”

THE SIGN IN FRONT of the South Pine Café sums up its mission with humor: “Breakfast, lunch and beer.” The family run restaurant, with locations in Auburn, Grass Valley and Nevada City, has been dishing up fresh, homemade comfort food for years—making it a Sierra Foothills institution. Locals and out-of-towners line up for the good […]

Where to get a comfort food fix in the Foothills

LIKE NEW ENGLAND OR THE PACIFIC Northwest, the Sierra Foothills and its surroundings is an ideal place for comfort food cooking. Some of our favorite comfort-food recipes come from dog-eared James Beard cookbooks or newer ones from chefs such as Guy Fieri of Northern California, whose “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives” is a popular show on […]

Old 5 Mile House for roadhouse eats

ROADHOUSES HELPED PUT COMFORT food on the map, with simple, hearty fare for passing travelers, often in front of a roaring fireplace. Their bars provided a gathering spot, with music and dancing. Early roadhouses also provided lodging. About five miles outside of Nevada City on Hwy. 20, the newly opened Old 5 Mile House is […]

The best artisan chocolates around

THOUGH THE RECESSION HAS FORCED people to cut back on some luxuries, artisan chocolate sales are booming. It is an affordable indulgence. Boutique, premium chocolate makers are popping up all across America, challenging established European chocolatiers. Two of the best are right here in the Foothills: Dorado Chocolates in Grass Valley (and now Reno), as […]

“A few of our favorite things” for foodies

HERE ARE “A FEW OF OUR FAVORITE THINGS” from food merchants in the Foothills: Champagne and a cheese torte from BackPorch Market Champagne and French Triple Creme cheese are an indulgent pairing, and BackPorch carries a wide selection. Its new cheese torte, with homemade Boursin, sun-dried tomato pesto and basil pesto is sumptuous. It also […]

California Organics a stalwart organic grocer and grill

ORGANIC GROCERY STORES HAVE GROWN exponentially, thanks to the shift toward a healthier lifestyle. More than half of Americans now buy some organic food at least once a month, according to the Food Marketing Institute. California Organics, located in Nevada City, is a stalwart organic grocer in the Foothills. Its meat counter is the only […]

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