Sonoma Meals

After many years of working in the catering industry, Sarah Pinkins needed a break from the busy and chaotic schedule of the culinary world. With an ambition to fill a need in Sonoma, she reached out to Victoria Fontana, an expert in ethnic cooking from years spent traveling. Together, the duo founded Sonoma Meals, a small meal delivering service specializing in from scratch, seasonal meals for busy people and families.

“Sonoma Meals allowed me to continue doing what I love to do while also feeding busy families and people. It filled a need for both myself and our eventual clients.” –Sarah

Sonoma Meals |
Sonoma Meals |

With menu options ranging from lasagna to kale salads, Sonoma Meals offers fresh and healthy food options for families of all sizes and taste preferences. Sarah and Victoria work with local farmers and artisans so that each meal they deliver represents the very best of Sonoma’s produce.

“I am lucky to be living in such an incredible town with amazing friends, surrounded by some of the best food in the world.” -Sarah

Each week, the menu is updated to reflect the available produce as well as the chef’s of-the-moment inspiration. Sarah and Victoria love working with local suppliers, like Paul's Produce, as well as drawing inspiration from their previous culinary professions & experiences. 

“Before becoming a mother, for seven straight years I traveled to each and any wine-producing zone in the globe! That exposure completely changed my perspective on how we eat, and what we eat. I also cook many of my grandmother's recipes; she was from Valencia and emigrated to Argentina as a teenager.” -Victoria

Sonoma Meals |

Since first founding the business, Victoria and Sarah have created a much appreciated meal service for busy, on-the-go parents in the Sonoma Valley. Using seasonal and local ingredients makes it easy for moms to trust that Sonoma Meals is the next best thing to a home cooked meal.

Sarah and Victoria both agree that word of mouth advertising is what has helped them grow the business into what it is today. As it grows, Victoria and Sarah have visions of opening pickup locations within the Sonoma areas. This would allow them to serve their healthy, on-the-go meals to more families within the Sonoma Valley.

Orders can be placed on-line or emailed directly to Sonoma Meals.

To sign up for weekly menus, head to their website

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In The Kitchen with Ari Weiswasser of Glen Ellen Star

Just outside of Sonoma, you will find Glen Ellen; a charming town with a population of less than 1,000, and one of Sonoma's best kept secrets. Home to the Benzinger Family WineryJack London Lodge, and of course, Glen Ellen Star

Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen, CA |

Established in 2012 by Ari Weiswasser and his wife Erinn Benziger-Weiswasser, Glen Ellen Star specializes in wood-fired cooking methods that bring out the unique flavors of the restaurant's creative menu items. Known as one of the best dining experiences in Sonoma County, we were excited to chat with Ari about his journey as a restaurant owner in Wine Country. 

Prior to his years at the CIA in New York City, Ari lived in Colorado, where he obtained his business degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder. After spending 8 years in and out of New York City, he decided to move from the bustling streets of New York City, to Wine Country. He had no idea of the successful restaurant that would come to be, but was drawn to the produce and product availability in the area. He began his new journey with a job at Thomas Keller's The French Laundry, but after two years, decided to pursue his lifelong dream of opening his own restaurant. With his wife's family's business being located in Glen Ellen, the couple decided to open up a restaurant in the quiet town. 

Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen, CA |

When he first moved to California, he knew that Napa and Yountville were hotspots, but had little knowledge of Sonoma and the surrounding areas. He says that he believes the success of the restaurant has not only hinged on the amazing product available, but also the passion of his staff. 

"The chefs are cooking, plating, and feeding the guests, so the attention to detail and desire to do things the right way has been innate since day one." 

The restaurant's open-kitchen concept allows the chefs to perform almost as if on stage, which creates an environment for the highest level of service and quality. In addition, weekly menu planning meetings inspired by local farmer's market produce spark creativity and collaboration. 

"Our ability to grow, and our success, is a collaboration of the incredible staff of the restaurant."

As the business has grown, Ari developed a new leg of the restaurant: Stellar Catering. Together, he and chef Bruce Riezenman began Stellar catering as a way to serve more guests off-site. Serving family-style wood fired meals, Stellar catering is, "perfect for the occasion where the formality or cost of a plated meal isn’t the right feel." While Glen Ellen Star can accommodate roughly 70 guests on a nightly basis, Stellar can serve anywhere up to 1000. 

Throughout the month of September, Glen Ellen Star will be donating all corkage fees to Jack London State Park. Additionally, Wednesday nights are neighborhood nights at the restaurant, where you can enjoy complimentary corkage and a $30 two-course meal prepared with Sonoma-grown ingredients from surrounding farmer's markets. 

Glen Ellen Star is located at 13648 Arnold Drive | Glen Ellen, CA • Dinner service nightly, 7 days a week

photos courtesy of glen ellen star

Uncle Val's Botanical Gin Recipe

Today, we're sharing a simple recipe featuring Uncle Val's Botanical Gin. You already know how much we love 3 Badge Beverage Corp, but now we want to share just how much we love 3 Badge's Uncle Val's Gin

Blackberry gin lemonade recipe |

Gin can be a funny alcohol, often with a heavy taste and strong flavor. Let's just say, cheap gin is not for the faint of heart, but Uncle Val's has the power to erase any preconceived feelings you might have with gin. Smooth, herbal, and hand crafted, Uncle Val's is the best gin on the market. Maybe we're biased because of its Sonoman roots, but we're standing by our word. 

Uncle Val's comes in three different varieties: Botanical, Peppered, and Restorative, each offering slightly different flavor notes, but all delicious. The botanical gin has hints of lavender and sage, with notes of lemon which makes it perfect for a boozy lemonade! 

Starbucks may have brought back the pumpkin spice latte, but it's still summertime-hot in Sonoma. This boozy blackberry lemonade is the perfect libation to enjoy this weekend! We used blackberry thyme syrup, but really, any fresh fruit syrup will suffice.

Blackberry gin lemonade recipe |

Blackberry Gin Lemonade 

Combine gin, lemon, and syrup into a shaker and shake well over ice. 

Strain into a glass and top with soda water. Enjoy! 

Blackberry gin lemonade recipe |

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