Highway 49--Gold Rush Country
Tess’ Kitchen 115 Mill St., in historic downtown, (530) 273-6997. This gigantic gourmet kitchen store sprawls over three levels. It is by far the largest such store I have seen, and stocks both the latest and the greatest as well as the tried and true. Among the goods are a large selection of knives, locally-made wood cutting boards, and pots and pans galore.
A refrigerated cheese cooler-case has the perfect pick-ups for a picnic, plus crackers, olives, and more. The shop also carries goat milk personal products from local Nightingale Farms, my favorite being the thick ginger-lime body lotion.
In addition to the hands-on cooking classes scheduled in the basement kitchen, Chef’s Dinners are offered one per month by reservation. These expansive dinners are prepared by multi-talented chef Alan Tangren, who formerly was on the staff at Chez Panisse, taught meteorology at U.C. Davis, and was raised on a local farm! Dinners are limited to ten participants and consist of five courses that are paired with local wines, plus a concluding course paired with coffee. Diners sit on stools at a high marble counter—all the better to watch the preparations, listen to interesting stories between courses, and eat each item as it is ready. Dinners sell out fast so plan ahead. My dinner consisted of:
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images ©2014 Carole Terwilliger Meyers