Foodie Shops with Classes in Sonoma County
Feeling inspired by Sonoma County’s creative and world famous cuisine? Want to duplicate that experience when you return from your visit?
You can, of course, have your favorite foods shipped to your home. OR… you can make them yourself with a little help from some specialty shops that offer everything from tools and recipes to hands-on classes, learning the ropes alongside local experts in the field.
Here are just a few to tempt you into expanding your cooking, brewing, and baking repertoire. And, of course, each store will happily ship your supplies home if you like, so they’ll be waiting for you when you return.
There’s no reason to leave Sonoma’s rich artisan cheeses, locally made ciders, world class wines, and craft beers just because your vacation is over. Let The Beverage People in Santa Rosa enable your fondest dreams for creating all things fermented, with everything from starter kits to professional tools – as well as classes for beginners to advanced students.
This unassuming little store is the oldest and most famous of its kind in the west coast. So what can they help you with? Cheese making – beginners can start with making their own fresh (think mascarpone and creme fraiche), mozzarella, and chèvre. The more advanced can opt for those that require aging, such as blue cheese, camembert and feta.
Beer - they have a multitude of recipes, two of which were created in collaboration with Vinny Cilurzo, award -winning brewmaster of Pliny The Younger. Then pick your tools, take a class in brewing and even choose your rhizomes for the hops you might want to grow.
And there you have it. Start to finish home brew stardom. In addition to extensive wine making supplies and classes you can also try your hand at fruit wines, ciders, Kombucha and vinegars.
Healdsburg SHED defines itself as a modern grange. It’s that vibrant and creative link of land to table that inspired this cafe/shop/community gathering space. You’ll find beautiful kitchen tools designed to last a lifetime; uniquely local, small batch provisions for a well-stocked pantry and, of course, the inspiration and information you need to journey confidently into the realm of innovative kitchen artistry.
Everything is so well curated and so beautifully presented that one could easily find oneself entertaining multiple food fantasies. For example, the combination of a perfectly crafted mushroom foraging knife, Meyer lemon olive oil, and a gleaming copper risotto pot could inspire you to greatness. If that’s the case, you might also consider taking the “Foraging in the Wild” workshop offered by Shed’s culinary director, Chef Perry Hoffman.
But you could just as easily fall in with any of their other seasonal workshops, including one on making your own shrub drinks and one on herbal wellness. And, of course, beautifully illustrated cookbooks abound, including one next to the Japanese donabe clay smoker that explains the specific cooking techniques you may have discovered at the Single Thread Restaurant.
One of the things Sonoma County is justly famous for is their fabulous artisan breads. You’ll find them in almost every town – each one unique, according to that particular baker’s treasured recipes. So how can you duplicate that artistry at home? One suggestion: visit Keith Giusto Bakery Supply in Petaluma.
Hidden outside of town, this shop was founded by third- and fourth-generation Italian bakers who wanted to accommodate the needs of the county’s artisan bakers. Lately, they’ve been focusing their services and products toward the home baker.
To that end, you’ll find over 30 different kinds of organic flours, all in easy to manage 5 pound bags. They also sell a mill that attaches to your mixer, so you can grind your own wheat or rye berries to create your own fresh, organic flours. Finish your bread off with a dusting of any of their custom seed blends on top.
Keith Giusto Bakery Supply also stocks all the tools you could think of for bread baking, plus a library of cook books to inspire you, such as one by Petaluma’s award-winning Della Frattoria. And coming soon: a Bake Lab that will offer classes with local professionals for the beginning baker to the most advanced.
Ready for a culinary adventure? Check out your options:
The Beverage People, 707-544-2520
Healdsburg SHED, 707-431-7433
Keith Guisto Bakery Supply, 707-778-1073