Lawyers, MacArthur Place, Larson Walkabout

As many of you know, I have to turn in my column on Tuesday for the Friday edition of the Sonoma Index-Tribune.

Hours after learning of the suspension of avocado imports last Friday morning, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services ended the suspension of imports of Mexican avocados from the state of Michoacán to the United States.

There were some concerns about the first lawyers arriving after the suspension was lifted and whether the first lawyers arriving in California would have been inspected or “clean.”

Probably by the time you read this a week later, avocados in grocery stores in Sonoma might be fine.

Gala and darling auction next weekend

Our Boys and Girls Clubs’ major annual fundraiser, Sweetheart Gala & Auction, will take place on Saturday March 5th.

The event is later than usual due to Board and Staff decisions to postpone to March 5 out of COVID-19 caution, and now all are ready to go.

Each year, Boys and Girls Clubs honor the “beloved” locals who have helped keep the Club open through the toughest times we have all been through.

This year’s winners are Mike and Mary Schuh. Previous lovers include Deborah and Dr John Emery, Marchelle Carleton and Larry Krieger, the Sangiacomo family, Dub Hay, Matt Sevenau, Bob and Bill Lynch, Bob Stone, Helen Fernandez, Jeanette and Whitney Evans, Jim Lamb, Marcia and Gary Nelson , Judy and Les Vadasz, Don Sanchez, Kay and Kevin Austin, Holly and Steve Kyle and Lisa Sonnen.

With this year’s theme “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Elaine Bell will once again serve dinner at the Maxwell Clubhouse starting with a salad of French butter lettuce with shallots, herbs and Dijon mustard vinaigrette.

The main course will be a grilled Bryan Flannery burger with roasted root vegetables, trumpet mushrooms, hash brown, micro vegetables and cabernet demi-glace. The alternative entrée is seared cauliflower steak with chimichurri sauce, calabrian chili, creamy whipped potatoes and roasted rainbow carrots with micro celery, all served with an assortment of artisan breads and soft butter.

Bryan Flannery is the same premium meat purveyor that Elaine Bell donated over 100 pounds of ground beef to Sonoma Overnight Support (SOS) for Elaine and staff to turn into multi-weekend meals for feeding the homeless clients that SOS had placed in local hotels during the colder month of February.

Great wines to accompany the meal come from Stone Edge Farm, Patz & Hall, Ram’s Gate and Silver Oak.

Wines from Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Idell Family Wines and Gundlach Bundschu will be served at the opening reception.

Local sponsors include Michael and Mary Schuh, Lyn and Dub Hay, Carolyn Stone, The Lux, Vadasz Family Foundation, Silverado Contractors, Boden Plumbing Heating and Air, Sonoma Raceway, Dr, Judy Bjorndal, The City of Sonoma, Ginger Martin & Co . , and The Sonoma Index-Tribune.

Some tickets are still available, starting at $300. Cocktail and silent auction at 5 p.m., dinner, Sweetheart presentation and live auction at 7 p.m. Sweet and savory dessert bar and After Party with dancing at 9 p.m. Tickets on More information at 938-8544.

Knife sharpening today at Sign of the Bear

According to energetic Sign of the Bear co-owner Laura Havlek, Mike or Sean will be heading to our beautiful local cookware store this afternoon, Friday, February 25, after 2 p.m.

Bring your knives to be sharpened with care and expertise. They worked magic on the only knife I had in my bachelor days. 2:435 First St. W., Sonoma. Be patient to find parking. It’s worth it. More information at 996-3722.

Direction changes at MacArthur Place, again

MacArthur Place, the long-running inn developed as such by the great and sensitive local developer Suzanne Brangham, has again changed its chef and restaurant management. It could be a good thing.

The new culinary team includes Executive Chef Jordan Hoffman and Director of Catering Joshua Nudd.

Hoffman will develop new menus for Layla, The Bar and The Porch, while Nudd will attempt to improve operations for all three culinary businesses, as well as room service, weddings and other social events.

Originally from Michigan, Hoffman worked first in a small local restaurant and then in country clubs until high school. A graduate of Schoolcraft College in Detroit, he flew to Las Vegas. There he rose through the kitchen ranks partly in Joel Robuchon’s kitchen at the MGM Grand and later at The Iconic Collection. He is also an avid painter at home.

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