Thursday, June 21, 2018, 3:00pm: Preferred Sonoma Caterers.
Chef Amber Balshaw is the owner/chef of Preferred Sonoma Caterers. She began her career at 17, and by 18 was an apprentice in Austria, and by 21 had graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in New York. In her early career as a pastry chef Amber had the distinction to cook for several past US Presidents and celebrities. Since founding PSC she has proudly received numerous awards including Small Business of the Year from the Chamber, Best Caterer of the Year from several publications, and recognition of the many non-profit organizations PSC supports.
In her personal life Amber spends a great deal of time volunteering with her favorite group, the International Order of Rainbow for Girls; a philanthropic youth group for teen girls, dedicated community service and building a foundation for a successful life. In her spare time (insert guffaw from husband) Amber and Jim enjoy travel and finding the best new restaurants.
Friday, June 22, 2018, 3:00pm: Artisan Baking Center.
Arielle Giusto has worked in nearly every part of the culinary world – from line cook to sous chef to chef, in restaurants and catering, along with teaching culinary education classes and working in wholesale distribution. She has two restaurant openings under her belt – Mill Valley Beerworks and M.H. Bread & Butter where she created the menu and led the team. Thanks to three years working in distribution with Cowgirl Creamery, she has an expertise in cheese, which combined with her devotion to the farmer’s market helps craft her local and seasonal mentality. She is currently working with her husband’s family – all bread bakers – to run their new Artisan Baking Center in Petaluma, CA.
Craig Ponsford graduated from the California Culinary Academy with top honors and opened Artisan Bakers with his family in Sonoma California in 1992. In 1996 his breads won the Gold medal at the Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie in Paris. He then went on to coach the US Team to victory in 1999. He has coached each U.S. team since and served as U.S. judge at the 2002 and 2005 Coupe du Monde and 2007 Louis LeSaffe Cup held in Argentina. He currently is an instructor at the Artisan Baking Center in Petaluma, California and has his own bakery/innovation center, Ponsford’s Place, in his home town of San Rafael. Craig was an early member of the Bread Baker’s Guild of America and has volunteered as the guild’s chairman for the past eight years. In his teaching at various culinary institutions and in his international consulting for product development and systems optimization he emphasizes quality of ingredients, techniques and product.
LALA’s JAM BAR and URBAN FARMSTAND
720 E. Washington Petaluma, Ca.
Owner: Leslie Goodrich
Established in the spring of 2013, LALA began making jam in her home as a cottage food operator and purchased in July, 2017, her own retail store and commercial kitchen on East Washington Street in Petaluma. LALA’s JAM BAR carries her in season jams, marmalades, and fruit butters as well as herb salts, vinegars, preserved lemons and mostarda ( an Italian mustard condiment made with fresh and dried fruits). ‘Made in Sonoma County’ food products from chocolates to bar-b-que sauce to salamis and organic pastas share the shelves of her store.
People often ask how LALA learned her craft. She began making jam with her grandmother when she was six. Grandma Non came to California from Glasgow, Scotland with a $5 bill and her family’s jam and marmalade recipes sewn in the lining of her valise. She was a wise and fabulous teacher.
Non’s small batch recipes used local, tree ripened fruit, small amounts of sugar, and no artificial pectins. Today, LALA’s products still use her grandmother’s recipes and techniques.
In addition, LALA has created new recipes such as Mango Lime, Sriracha Pear, and Winter Strawberry Jams. She makes jams sweetened only with raw honey and other jams and fruit butters using no sugar at all. Is ‘LALA’ her real name? No. Her brother, unable to say ‘Leslie’, gave her the name when they were little. And she’s been LALA ever since.