Chef-A-Palooza! Insane Eats at North Coast Wine and Food Festival

Seriously amazing chefs come out at this annual event. Oh, and there's lots of wine, too.

90 gold medal wines. 20 of Wine Country’s best chefs. And you’re invited.

The North Coast Wine and Food Festival happens next Saturday, June 10 from 1-4p.m. at SOMO Village in Rohnert Park.

What we’re especially excited about, besides tasting all that great wine, are the top-notch chefs from some of Sonoma County’s absolute best restaurants (and a few from further away) serving up tasty seasonal bites from buttermilk fried chicken and abalone tostadas to Hawaiian ahi poke and summer melon gazpacho. You can also check out live music, a grilled pizza demo by Chef John Ash and fascinating speakers hosted by culinary consultant Clark Wolf.

Tickets are $50 to $135 per person. Details online at

Here’s a preview to the chefs, and what they’ll be serving. Get ready to drool…

Backyard Kitchen: Candy cap mushroom kettle corn and buttermilk fried chicken sandwiches on brioche. Chef Daniel Kedan is a Biteclub fave, and always worth checking out for his hyper-local West County cuisine.

Boon Eat + Drink: Chili Braised Pork Shoulder Slider on Brioche with Napa Cabbage Slaw and summer melon gazpacho with creme fraiche and piment d’ville. Crista Luedtke is a Guerneville restaurant institution focused on comforting seasonal classics.

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Duck Ginger Custard Brulée with Grass-fed California Beef Tartare, Wasabi Root Aioli. No fish? Chef Matt Beaudin looks for sustainable solutions outside the ocean at this event.

Dry Creek Kitchen: Liberty Duck Ham Ravioli, Palmer Estate Heirloom Tomatoes, Pecorino & Petit Basil, Lemon Tartlets, Berry Compote, Bruleed Meringue. Chef Scottie Romano is bringing a whole new point of view to Charlie Palmer’s Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg (the two chefs are old friends), while pastry chef Lisa Kaufman takes on the sweets.

El Dorado Kitchen: Coconut Tapioca (gluten & dairy free), Fruit Salsa, Salmon Rillette Tacos, Crostini, Crème Fraîche. It may sound crazy, but Chef Armando Garcia’s simple tapioca with coconut milk was a favorite from last year — refreshing and light.

Frozen Art Ice Cream: Merlot Chocolate Chip, Honey Lavender, Salted Caramel, and Spicy Mexican Chocolate ice cream. Jorge Alcazar has elevated ice cream to, well, an art in Santa Rosa. A family history of great ice cream brought from the Michoacan — Mexico’s most famous ice cream-making region.

Glen Ellen Star/Stellar Catering: Abalone tostada. Chef Ari Weiswasser has a flair for local food, making his small Glen Ellen eatery one of the most popular in the Sonoma Valley.

Handline: California Halibut Ceviche with Cucumber, Lime, Jalapeño, Cilantro and Mint on a Tostada. Do not miss Chef Natalie Goble’s insanely fresh ceviche and homemade corn tostadas. Her new Sebastopol restaurant, with partner Lowell Sheldon, is making big waves.

Hog Island Oysters: Hog Island Oysters Dripping fresh from Tomales Bay, Hog Wash mignonette, citrus, hot sauces. You know the drill here. Slurp, repeat.

Peter Lowell’s: Vegetarian Dumplings with Green Garlic Créme Fraîche. Chef Joe Zobel is a whiz, and this vegetarian dish doesn’t make you miss what’s missing.

Ramen Gaijin: Rabata Grill: Tori Tsukune with Miso Cured Egg Yolk and Tare ( chicken and pork fat meatballs). Another BiteClub favorite, Matthew Williams and Moishe Hahn-Schuman have elevated ramen and Japanese bar cuisine to new heights.

SHED: Apricots with Burrata, Olive Oil, Thai Basil, Honey Vinegar. A simple dish, but Chef Perry Hoffman is one of Wine Country’s most talented (and humble) culinarians.

Silverado Resort and Spa: Smoked Beef with Pickled Beets and Pea Shoots. Chef Jeff Jake brings a little of Napa to Sonoma.

The County Bench: Grilled Bavette with Horseradish Cream Pickled Red Onions on a Brioche Bun. Chef Ben Davies is doing wonders at this downtown Santa Rosa restaurant. Come see what the buzz is about.

The Girl and the Fig: Cauliflower Sformato, Crispy chicken skin. Chef John Toulze understands Wine Country cuisine better than almost anyone, and after 20 years, Sonoma’s Girl and the Fig has become legendary for its spot-on dishes.

The Pullman Kitchen: Za’atar Eggplant Fries with Yogurt Dipping Sauce. Chef Darren McRonald is an under-the-radar favorite in Santa Rosa, and never, ever disappoints with his ability to make even the simplest dishes elevated.

The Spinster Sisters: Kimchi and Bacon Deviled Eggs, Thai spiced watermelon soup with crab. Chef Liza Hinman’s SOFA restaurant is one of our favorite spots for flavorful mashups where East, West and everywhere in between collide beautifully.

Valette: Hawaiian Ahi Poke, Soy Kombu Emulsion, Wakame Salad, Sesame Snow. Chef Dustin Valette makes fancy food approachable. This dish adapted from his Healdsburg menu will be our first, last and in-between stop at the event.

Worth Our Weight: Simply Sweets. Chef Evelyn Cheatham runs a culinary training program for teens that teaches more than just kitchen skills. With thousands of graduates, Cheatham is one of Sonoma County’s true treasures.

Zazu Kitchen and Farm: In VIP room: Bacon Wrapped Dates, Rodeo Jax (bacon caramel popcorn), and Pork Belly Bun with Pickled Cherries. You’ll have to upgrade to check out Chef Duskie Estes’ delights, but as the Queen of Pork, you always know she’s bringing piggy goodness.

This event is presented by the Press Democrat.