Here I am in Sonoma, CA.. a few miles west of Napa.. Full of just as many great wineries.. But no not with a French Laundry.. But it was the house of William. 1956.. Right off of the main plaza of Sonoma, Chuck Williams started his first store William-Sonoma. After trips to France of purchasing beautiful copper pots he decided to start the beginning of his first store. His second store was placed in San Francisco, where most of the shoppers came from. He revolutionized the cooking industry.
This October he will turn 96. He is one of the greats! I was fortunate to teach in his “Grand Cuisine” stores and also co-guest on the Tom Fitzmorris radio show in New Orleans.. Don’t ask me what we talked about. I was just excited to be sitting next to the icon.
I am here again teaching and sharing the love of food here at Ramekins. It’s a unique location with a number of kitchens, patio and the top level is an Inn with 6 rooms. It’s as close to Tuscany/Provence you can get. It has been 10 years since I have taught here and this trip I am more in the moment.. Walking the plaza, enjoying the city and the people. Last nights class was Fast and Easy Appetizers from my 650 Best Food Processor Recipes book. Tonight’s Class is on Sauces. Funny. Joannie Weir will be teaching in the kitchen next to mine.. We both for years crisscross the country teaching but never in the same city unless it’s a convention.
Here is a recipe from last night: