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Kosta Browne

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One Week in August

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new dishes

from chef de cuisine Danny Giromolo

It is midsummer and everyone here, in the kitchens and at the farm, feels the increasingly relentless pace. Boxes upon boxes of fat ripe figs arrive, delicious dishes in luminous colors sail out into the dining room, weddings get prepped, pump problems get solved, glorious blooms fade and are replaced. Fatigue and pride live side by side. We all know that to make it to winter when things might slow down we first need to surf through harvest, when things are bound to get even crazier. Watching new faces settle into our existing Barndiva family, there are small moments, honest and kind - Lynn baking a cake for someone’s birthday, the chefs all shaking hands at the end of service- that remind me the only way to embrace change is to bring our best selves forward. The challenge is not to survive, but to thrive.

With laser focus and a super abundance of talent Danny Giromolo has taken command of the Barndiva kitchens this summer with a renewed dedication to expanding our small farm partners that has been a joy to watch. It helps that his wingman, Randy Dodge, brings an incredible skill set of his own along with remarkable kindness and patience. The food coming out of our kitchens right now is brighter and lighter than ever, bursting with summer flavors. The buzz you are hearing around town is all true. Come in and meet him.

Above: Jackson Family Green salad with shaved roots, roasted pistachios, strawberries, society garlic flowers and Johnny Jump Ups from the gallery gardens. Below: salmon rillette with whipped house made boursin, frisée salad, Danny’s parmesan focaccia; heirloom tomato gazpacho with chive oil drizzle, feta, and watermelon rafts meant to be pushed overboard, eaten before they sink.

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fête blanc

40 incredible white wine producers pour their hearts out

Our midsummer fête next Sunday promises magnums of 2009 Cristal from our esteemed friends at Maison Louis Roederer, a Caviar Co. bicycle cart, Randy vertical spit roasting chickens in the garden, heirloom fig tarts, Barndiva ‘classic’ goat cheese croquettes with honey, Blondies with white wine scented spices, and plenty more delights. The big news, of course, is that 40 of the best white wine producers from Sonoma and Mendocino Counties will be pouring in the two gardens. The most gratifying news is that, like our other two fabulous fêtes, spring’s Pink Party and winter’s Fête Rouge, mixed cases of all wine being poured is donated by the winemakers for a raffle to benefit our neighbors and co-workers who depend upon the expertise and largess of Corazón Healdsburg. This is going to be a great day in the gardens you will not want to miss, and it’s almost sold out. The champagne will (obviously) run out, as will (I suspect) the caviar as we are bad bougies after all, but goodwill, good eats, and great white wines will be available in abundance.

All of Barndiva’s wine events are curated with passion by wine director Chappy Cottrell. Find out what he’s tasting (and thinking) as he builds our award winning lists @sommtablehealdsburg.

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dan’s dahlias

our seasonal, weekly floral show continues

With Dan out of town for his birthday last week, I was happy to jump back into the joyful job I held for many years, but boy had I forgotten how much work it is to harvest and arrange flowers for every corner of the Barn, plus one or two big ones for The Gallery! He is back now and not a moment too soon. Be sure to ask our host if you want to know the names of some of the more exotic blooms in his arrangements, all grown at the farm. You can book Dan for your next private event here at the Barn, or elsewhere as his busy schedule allows. Follow this talented young man’s extraordinary journey through the seasons here in Philo and on his many garden travels. @daniel.james.co

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House Party! (Barndiva style)

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We throw parties all year round - telling a visually stunning, delicious story to people who travel from near and far to celebrate singular events is written in Barndiva’s DNA. The Fêtes, public events we throw three times a year, are different.

We host them because we relish the opportunity to say thanks to the local wine community that has supported, and in many ways, grown up with us the past 15 years. We’re honored that winemakers are here in person to meet their fans, and to hang with fellow winemakers, many of whom are close friends.

We host the Fêtes because, as in-house parties, we get to kick back and have some fun, Barndiva style. What is that exactly? Depends on the season. For Fête Blanc, mid summer, with the gardens resplendent, we’re thinking vertical spit-roast chickens, platters of Barndiva Farm heirloom fig Tartines, a bicycle caviar cart with all the fixings. A Tracebox challenge where you can test your sense of smell.

As a special treat, Champagne Louis Roederer and Maison, Marques & Domaine USA will be joining us with magnums of 2009 Cristal to enjoy.  One bottle of 2002 Cristal will be included in our silent auction.

As a special treat, Champagne Louis Roederer and Maison, Marques & Domaine USA will be joining us with magnums of 2009 Cristal to enjoy.

One bottle of 2002 Cristal will be included in our silent auction.

But perhaps the most compelling reason we love having the Fêtes here in our gardens is the opportunity it affords to support Corazón Healdsburg through funds raised with an exciting wine library raffle - every winery pouring at Fête Blanc contributes. Corazón is a vibrant non-profit that serves the northern Sonoma County Latino community providing educational, legal, and cultural resources. They have also been a relentless voice in support of affordable housing in Healdsburg.

So. Great times, incredible wines, delicious food, a meaningful sense of community. If that ain’t the makings of a great party, we don’t know what is. Come celebrate the vibrant white wines of summer with us.

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