Notes from Durae

Summer is breezing by and if you haven’t already perused our chefs’ latest creations, you might like to have a glance at the menu, or, better yet, pay us a visit!  I recently hosted my sweet sister and her family from Juneau, and I can say that there’s no better way to find again your love for this season in Sonoma than to travel our back roads with an Alaskan! With an impromptu stop required at every market, farm, and roadside stand that we passed, I’ve sampled ripe cherries and apricots, cold-smoked salmon and raw oysters, crunchy carrots and sweet cloudberries, to name a few.

Besides the new potatoes, baby carrots, homemade apricot jam, and heirloom tomatoes that are gracing the menu from our own farm, you might have noticed the addition of some delectable locally caught salmon dishes. Fisherman Ray, of Bodega Bay (from whom we procure our salmon), is loving this year’s salmon season.  The hauls are ample, the fish and ocean healthy, and plump, pink salmon that were caught that morning are arriving in our kitchens.  Ray tells me that the bumper harvest we’re experiencing this season is due to the thick layers of krill in the waters that the salmon eat, imbibing the deep, red color that we know means a tasty salmon.

Our chefs are making use of those fresh fish in a house-smoked salmon dish, served with pickled beans, frisee, dill, fennel, and a farm egg vinaigrette, as well as a king salmon entree that is heavenly. We love to know where our food comes from, and thought that you might like to learn a bit about it, too. And if you’re craving some locally-grown goodness, come see us at “the fig.”  I recommend traveling the scenic route.


Notes from Durae

It seems that summer has arrived early this year, and with the gorgeous weather comes the bustle of the season in Sonoma County. After many years of heat infused and lackadaisical summers spent in Texas, the heightened activity in these parts still catches me by surprise.

This month, I was able to assist with the revamping and re-launching of our CATERS! website.  In case you’re wondering what fun offerings our talented chefs and catering staff have hatched for the summer, take a look here. (Spoiler: picnics, pizza parties, a brand new venue!). There are so many possibilities for enjoying all this lovely region offers this time of year, and celebrating the flavors of the season with food and wine is (I think) one of the best!

While working on the site, looking over new menus, studying beautiful wedding venues, and reading up on possible party ideas, I was inspired to take better advantage of all that surrounds us in wine country this summer. But with the excitement of the season coming on, events to plan and prepare for, visitors to anticipate, planting, gard-ening, and harvesting to attend to, there’s a certain feeling that it might all fly by too quickly—so amidst all the activity, I’ll have to slow down to a southern-summer pace once in a while…or, at least, try.

Happy almost-summer, everyone!