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'Tis the Season to Save the Date

Just as I'm getting back from my trip to Chiapas, I find I'm hitting the floor running. We have lots of events and it looks like it's going to be awhile before I get sleep in. If you knew how much I loved sleeping in, you'd feel my pain!

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Mini-me Nico frolics in a lake with mushroom maven and forager to the stars, Connie Green.

This weekend, we're participating in the Eat Real festival in Oakland. Normally I hate these kinds of scenes but almost to a person I heard that this was a gas last year and I think Anya Fernald is all kinds of swell and I'd follow her anywhere. We're part of the Craft Collaborators section and we've been teamed with Chris Cosentino's Boccalone. They've come up with a great dish using their nduja sausage and our runner cannellini. We're there all weekend and I'll personally be there Sunday.

We're closed here in Napa and at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market on Labor Day. I've always felt the point of labor day was not to work and honor the good work your employees, plan ahead. Here in Napa, we'll be closed on the Monday as well. So no Rancho Gordo September 4, 5 or 6!

On 9-18, I'll be the "celebrity" judge at the Hoedown Showdown Chili Cookoff and Auction here in Napa at Connolly Ranch to benefit Brown's Valley Elementary School.

On 9-25, we'll be having our first cooking class at Rancho Gordo. Sarah Scott, co-author of The Wild Table, and I will be demonstrating the New World Pantry, focusing on beans, chiles and corn. More details to follow.

I'll be in Boston (for the first time!) in early October for the Chef's Collaborative summit on a panel about beans with Chef John Ash. Also in the works are demos and classes at South End Formaggio and Formaggio Kitchen.

My Angelino friends should save October 9th for a big party at Cube in LA, with my fellow Napans, the Fatted Calf.

Please do everything you can to save October 30th and help me pay tribute to the great Diana Kennedy. We're having a huge book party for her and we're working out the details now but it will include music, hootch and good food. I don't think anyone has influenced me as much as Kennedy and I want to say thank you, with your help.

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