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Wine, food, people — What does a wine director do?

Wine, food, people — What does a wine director do?

TURLOCK — Creating the ideal dining experience is Jayton Gates’ primary objective as the wine director and restaurant manager at Turlock’s Bistro 234 Restaurant and Bar.

Whether diners prefer red or white, sweet or dry, Gates helps guests select the right wine to accompany their meals.

“I want them to make the best decision but also I make the decision for them and after a while they actually build trust with me,” said Gates... Read More

Challah French Toast with Caramel Sauce and Crème Fraiche

Challah French Toast with Caramel Sauce and Crème Fraiche

For the ultimate in “special” breakfasts perfect for the holiday season, I give you my recipe for Challah French Toast with Caramel Sauce and Crème Fraiche. Sounds fancy and tastes delicious, but is surprisingly simple to throw together.

This recipe became a fast favorite after a visit to see my best friend in Seattle for my 30th birthday. She and her husband whipped this up for my birthday breakfast and my husband and I couldn’t get over how impressive – and absolutely delicious – it was. I begged for the recipe and have now made it for my husband for breakfast on his birthday every year since.

Whether it’s breakfast on Christmas morning or another special moment this holiday season, you won’t be disappointed serving this at your breakfast table. ... Read More

For this potato, life couldn’t be sweeter

For this potato, life couldn’t be sweeter

By BOB BALGEMANN
Business Journal writer

A typical Thanksgiving meal includes turkey, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes, while being topped off with a hefty slice of pumpkin pie.

There’s a good chance that most, if not all, of those ingredients for a holiday feast are produced right here in the Central Valley.

Turkeys? You bet. Potatoes? Yup. Pumpkins? Most certainly. And sweet potatoes? Well, they’re a mighty presence locally. Ninety-five percent of the state’s sweet potatoes are grown in Merced and Stanislaus counties. And, overall, California is second only to North Carolina among the nation’s leaders in growing that Thanksgiving staple. Louisiana is No. 3.  

But sweet potatoes are not just for the holidays anymore.

Evidence of that can be found locally where both the acreage devoted to that crop and the gross production value are steadily rising as farmers work to meet the increased demand... Read More

Blog – Modesto turkey to get Presidental pardon

Blog – Modesto turkey to get Presidental pardon

It’s not often I get to write two blog posts in one day,but there’s just too much exciting business-related news out there.

I just got an email notifiying me that the turkey President Obama will pardon this year will come from Modesto’s Foster Farms.

The winning gobbler will be chosen from among 20 finalists in what I’m assuming is a turkey version of a beauty pageant on Nov. 19. Reporters, photographer and a group of fifth-graders from Eisenhut Elementary School will get to watch the selection... Read More

9 Make-Ahead Dinners To Win the Week

9 Make-Ahead Dinners To Win the Week

Megan Myers

Baked Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Pasta Shells

While I absolutely love cooking, trying to get dinner together after a busy day is more hustle and noise than calm slicing and beautiful music. Those of you with kids know what I’m talking about – getting dinner on the table can be a feat!

 ... Read More

Gallo gulps down another vineyard

Gallo gulps down another vineyard

MODESTO – E. & J. Gallo Winery is continuing its expansion binge. The winery announced Thursday that it has agreed to purchase Talbott Vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation near Monterey Bay.

The move comes on the heels of Gallo’s purchase last month of Asti and the Souverain brand, and the March purchase of J Vineyards and Winery, both in Sonoma county.

Talbott Vineyards produce a variety of wines, specializing in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from 100 percent estate-grown wines.

Galo will acquire the Talbott brand, the winery south of Monterey Bay and the 525-acre Sleepy Hollow Vineyard. Gallo will also continue to operate the Talbott Vineyards tasting room in Carmel Valley... Read More

City of Tracy brings Blues, Brews & BBQ to Downtown Plaza

City of Tracy brings Blues, Brews & BBQ to Downtown Plaza

City of Tracy brings Blues, Brews & BBQ to Downtown Plaza

Tracy, Calif. - Head to Downtown Tracy for an afternoon filled with live music, food and family fun! Tracy’s first Blues, Brews & BBQ event is scheduled for Saturday, September 12, 2015 from noon - 6:00pm. The Blues, Brews & BBQ event will be held at the beautiful Downtown Plaza located on the corner of 6th Street and Central Avenue. This event will include a barbecue contest, home brewed beer contest, children’s entertainment, food trucks and three live bands on stage.