Good news from Gardener Greg (he needs a better nickname, this one’s a little too wholesome)–the last few days of sun have dried out the soil enough that Jose, the vineyard manager, can till the back 40, which will be planted with a cover crop that then gets plowed in again as green manure before the vegetables go in. The back 40 looks out on the Napa River (click the link for the unvarnished truth), such as it is all the way up in Calistoga, and is surrounded by vines and a fields that have lain fallow for a few years. The fava blossoms are going crazy and the first seedlings with be planted in the hoop house this week.
Looking towards the summer, solbar will be doing our char siu bao–which have been off the menu for over a year but are still requested–at the Taste Napa Valley portion of Auction Napa Valley 2010 at Rubicon. Always a fun, wine-soaked day, especially for the cooks. Sous chef Gustavo Rios (above, making fresh merguez) will be there in person. That night, I’ll cook a private dinner for sixteen with Ted Osborne and Suzanne Phifer-Pavitt at the estate, just down the road from Solage. And then in July, we’ll make an appearance at Far Niente‘s 125th anniversary celebration. Menu TBD, but of course we’re swineophiles and will make it known.