Chef challenge tests creativity as part of Sample the Sierra.

California’s beer industry all states with 242,000 jobs, according to a new report by the Beer Institute, the Washington, D.C.-based national trade association.

In a restaurant in Buenos Aires, I ordered a “half” parrillada, so they plunked down only about 5 pounds of beef on the hibachi grill on my table.

It took the people who make beer at home a few days to get around to this, but the American Homebrewers Association issued a statement Wednesday praising the enactment of a California law that will let them gather in San Diego next year, after all.

Specialty items such as pastrami and pumpernickel tend to sell out fast.

Ripe, plentiful blueberries are such a highlight of summer that some of us are prone to getting the blueberry blues during the rest of the year.

If you want a smokin’ good time over Labor Day weekend, get your hunger on for the 26th annual Best in the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off.

Winemakers chose the Paso Robles area to show the way for Rhone-Style wines.

Chef feeds 300 guests from “the bounty of the Sacramento Valley” today at Stanford Mansion.

After Sunday’s 6.0 earthquake, Napa Valley vintners are assessing damages – estimated at $100 million and rising – and hoping the shaker doesn’t deter wine tourists.

Sacramento County supervisors imposed emergency restrictions Tuesday on smoking along the American River Parkway and barbecuing in all county parks, citing increased fire risks from the ongoing drought.

The smell of spilled wine. The sound of broken glass swept into dustpans and dumpsters. The sight of widening puddles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the floor. This is Napa, a region defined by its wine and food, rattled by a 6.0-magnitude earthquake.

Sommelier Jeremy Reed is sharing his sentiment that some food is so good that he wants to eat it rather than photograph it for social media.

Kathi Riley Smith draws on her experience in highly regarded Bay Area restaurants and her familiarity with the late chef Judy Rodgers.

To use a food metaphor, the San Francisco 49ers got creamed by the Denver Broncos in last week’s preseason game, the NFL debut of the new $1.3 billion Levi’s Stadium.

The Burger Saloon is a large, casual and family-friendly restaurant where the food is solid and the burgers – 19 of them on the menu – are mostly $6.99 to $7.99. Even “The Heartstopper” is only $13.99, and it features three full-sized patties, two fried eggs, three kinds of cheese, thick strips of bacon, and pastrami.

The last DigIn! dinner, a summer-long charitable program of the West Sacramento Farmers Market, will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday at the city’s Civic Center, 1110 W. Capitol Ave.

As a mermaid in downtown Sacramento’s Dive Bar, Rachel Smith spends a fair amount of time wearing a bikini top and a heavy neoprene tail in a 40-foot-long fish tank suspended above onlookers. She became the head mermaid at Dive Bar after it opened in 2010, and now manages a half-dozen mermaids and one merman, coaching them on costumes, technique and navigating the waters separating whimsical performance and PG-rated exhibitionism.

SacTweetup, Sacramento’s largest social media mixer, returns Thursday with a 6 p.m. gathering at Capital Dime, the farm-to-fork eatery at 18th and L streets.

For millennia, ginseng has been used as an herbal “remedy” believed to rejuvenate the body and mind, alleviate fatigue and stimulate cognition.

Given that chef Julia Child was born in an August (1912) and passed away in an August (2004), it seems fitting that August should be the unofficial Julia Child Month.

Are you looking for a lobster roll, the New England specialty of Maine lobster heaped on a bun? Aren’t we all?

You can find the East Coast specialty in Northern California or the components to make your own.

Closed two years, iconic restaurant will stay at same Fulton Avenue location.

Sacramento has a new country music club and eatery.

Salute to old-fashioned varieties of watermelon, cantaloupes and more unusual varieties offers a lot of mouth-watering flavor.

C&H introduces pourable sugars with a difference.

Mary Ann Robinson of Davis loves the muffins at Ikeda’s Fruit Stand.

Eight of Sacramento’s best bartenders brought their A-game to Harlow’s Tuesday night for the Midtown Cocktail Week cocktail competition.

Learn preservation and canning techniques from UC Cooperative Extension master food preservers in this class, “Pick a Peck of Perky Pickles – Cucumbers, Peppers & Other Vegetables.”

Billy Ngo, the owner/chef of Kru, has hired a highly regarded chef from San Francisco as he readies for a major expansion in the coming months.

Chris Dooley of Ella Dining Room & Bar (pictured above) emerged from Midtown Cocktail Week’s cocktail competition $1,000 richer on Tuesday night at Harlow’s. His drink, an elaborately presented “Bloomsbury Bramble” which was surrounded by orchids and looked like a scene from “Fantasy Island,” topped all contendors.

Celebrations of Sacramento as America’s “Farm-to-Fork Capital” will run from Sept. 13 to Sept. 28, and a preview event will feature a parade of tractors. This procession of tractors showcasing farm machinery from the past and present will take place along the Capitol Mall at 11:30 a.m. on Sept. 12.

More than 40 varieties, mostly heirlooms, will be part of Saturday’s Melon Mania at Maple Rock Gardens.

When we talk about Spanish wines, it’s easy to think only of its reds – the flagship tempranillos of the Rioja region, the august wines of Ribera del Duero, the trendy new offerings from Priorato.

Whether you are having a get-together with friends or a party of one, this margarita will make your taste buds tingle with pure happiness.

In the spirit of spontaneity, we cruised the menu of events for Midtown Cocktail Week, which kicks off today and wraps up Sunday, keeping an eye on those pop-ups. Try this sampling, both shaken and stirred.

The film that likely launched a thousand hunts for Cuban sandwiches around the country when it was released in May will return to theaters Aug. 29.

Legendary rocker Sammy Hagar will re-open his namesake Roseville restaurant with a concert in September.

Midtown Cocktail Week kicks off today and wraps up Sunday. Here is your guide to the event:

Ready for another 180?

Check out the most interesting Tweets and Instagram photos from Sacramento's Midtown Cocktail Week and get in the mix by using the hashtag #MCWSac

To the Miraflores winemaker, the most original California wine is angelica.

Sacramento’s cocktail industry has bubbled over with acclaim during the past year, and Andrew Calisterio’s line of POP beverages captures the excitement in a bottle. The bartender’s sodalike cocktails include ingredients such as grilled blackberries, peaches and local herbs, and are capped inside quaint 187-milliliter bottles. The flavors change all the time.

Bartenders are challenged to balance craftiness and good service to the waiting customer.

Sacramento has been getting plenty of attention for its bars and cocktails in recent years – high praise in everything from the San Francisco Chronicle and Sunset magazine to a major thumbs-up from Playboy and extensive coverage in Imbibe magazine.

Crafted in the United States, these winning cheeses have roots in Europe.

On the Tuesday in June when the Assembly health committee killed a bill to require warning labels on sodas, 13 lawmakers and more than three dozen legislative staff members attended a reception inside California’s Capitol sponsored by PepsiCo.

You don’t use the term “craft cocktails” at Jamie’s, but if you’re looking for old-school done right – whether it’s the cooking or the drinks – you’ve come to the right place.

Fifty years ago, a Buffalo, N.Y., bar owner embarked on a bold culinary experiment by taking chicken wings initially intended for her soup pot and frying them in butter. After she coated them in hot sauce and garnished the plate with celery and blue-cheese dressing, appetizer history was made.

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