Food & Drink: Spring Fling

Food & Drink: Spring Fling

The best local food & drink events this season

The California Artisan Cheese Festival, complete with cooking demonstrations, contests, tours and seminars, takes place in Petaluma from March 24-26. Photo by Derrick Story.

By Tanya Henry

After living in Marin for 15-plus years, I have never been more eager for spring to arrive! With glimpses of the new season popping up all around us—in gardens, on hillsides and at farmers’ markets, it’s high time that we shake off winter and welcome it in. Here are a few food-focused events that celebrate spring.

If you haven’t yet been on a Food & Farm Tour in West Marin with Elizabeth Ann Hill, now is the perfect time. The tours began on March 3 and continue every Monday throughout the month; an Oyster Lover’s Tour is offered from 1:30-5pm in Tomales Bay on Monday, March 13. The excursion includes a visit to Nick’s Cove, Hog Island Oyster Company, Tomales Bay Oyster Company and the Marshall Store. There will be plenty of luscious bivalves on the menu, of course. The cost is $195 per person. Learn more at foodandfarmtours.com/project/oyster-lovers-tour.

If you’re looking for an excuse to go to Sausalito’s Cavallo Point, mark your calendar for the lodge’s third annual Lexus Culinary Classic. This foodie-fest is a must-attend event for anyone who enjoys food and wine. The full affair stretches over three days, March 24-26, and includes multi-course menus, wine tastings and cooking classes. Last year’s highlight was a dish prepared by the uber-talented visiting chef Cassidee Dabney from Blackberry Farm in Walland, Tennessee, who will be teaching a cooking class this year. If you can only make one portion of the event, I highly recommend the Grand Tasting on Sunday from noon-3pm. For ticket information, visit lexusculinaryclassic.com.

Cheese-lovers take note! The annual California Artisan Cheese Festival, now in its 11th year, will take place at Petaluma’s Sheraton Hotel from March 24-26. Cooking demonstrations, contests, tours and seminars all make up this illuminating three-day extravaganza. The grand finale Artisan Cheese Tasting and Marketplace on Sunday from noon-4pm is under a big-top tent (in the hotel’s parking lot), and plenty of cheese samples, beer, wine and cider will be on hand. To buy tickets and learn more, visit artisancheesefestival.com.

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