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I’m excited to finally say that my newest book PLUM GORGEOUS: RECIPES AND MEMORIES FROM THE ORCHARD, releases this week. I’m having a LAUNCH party at Mrs. Dalloway’s on College Ave. in Oakland, this Friday, July 15th and hope you will come. We’ll be serving wine and cheese and a few sweet and savory pleasures from the book. I’m giving a way a special gift with each book purchase, not to be missed.

If you can’t make Friday’s LAUNCH, my family and NEPENTHE restaurant is throwing a huge RELEASE party on the restaurant terrace the following day, Saturday, July 16th, along with food, wine and dancing into the night. Check out my new website under HAPPENINGS for a complete listing of the days events.

There are several favorite spots on my list of appearances, like Nathan & Co. on Piedmont Ave., Thursday July 21st, where I’m masquerading as resident artist at their second Piedmont Avenue Art Walk (food and drink will be served), and Omnivore Books in SF’s mission district on July 22nd, 6-7 pm. Look for my book at your favorite independent bookstores–both Books Inc. here in the East Bay and on the peninsula will carry PLUM GORGEOUS, as well as Book Passage in the SF Ferry Building, and at Readers’ Books in Napa who are hosting me in August .

Further afield, I have an event at the Carmel Bay Company on Sunday, July 24th–a perfect browsing spot for the afternoon and minutes from the beach–and at River House Books at noon in the Carmel Crossroads, on Monday July 25th. Come by for a talk about orchard life, Big Sur, food and the wonders of bringing all of these things together in book form. I’ll be at Tecolote Book Shop in Montecito on July 28th, and in August I’ll be in Hawaii–yes, the land of tropical orchards–where I have 2 events scheduled.

And finally, I’m putting together a Harvest Dinner in September at Grace Street Catering–not to be missed–so if you would like to know more or be put on the reservation list, be sure to give a shout out. Stay tuned also for a potential dinner at NEX restaurant here in Oakland–a fabulous little spot at the edge of downtown with an outdoor patio and great art vibes.

In the meantime, check out my FACEBOOK page to keep up with events and notices–where you’d learn that PLUM GORGEOUS is a top pick in MORE magazine for summer reading–and stay tuned for my new blog…up and running, just waiting for the slip of the pen.

Until soon.



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Hungry? Be Fed at The Commonwealth Club

Just as I think I’m ready to move on from my own drama, embrace new work, and look down the road to summer, the publication of my forthcoming book, Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Tales from the Orchard, and my daughter’s high school graduation (and what that means for her, as well as me), My Nepenthe has a way of drawing me back in to the fold, caressing memories I had forgotten or relegated to the back burners of my mind.

Since January, I’ve wracked up some serious book mileage, from Berkeley to Carmel, and south to Santa Barbara for events, where I was well feted, fed, and cared for. At each there is always someone that tells me a story about their Nepenthe that brightens my day, whether it’s happily landing there after driving through a harried storm on their first visit to Big Sur only to discover a fog shrouded paradise, or dancing all night under the stars on the terrace back in the day, to –get this–”I think we are related.”

And naturally, a longer, more winded story about family, and my grandfather’s Fassett family roots in Elmira, New York unfold. That story had to be pursued, at a Monday night dinner, soon after, at the esteemed Bay Wolf restaurant in Oakland, whose owner, I may be related to, via a marriage and two kids. You can see where this is going.

And yet, this is how it goes.

That is, the layers of connectedness that is Nepenthe, and that is also writing, putting yourself out there, making new friends, and discovering the power of food and words to tell a story and draw us in. And so, the grand theatre of My Nepenthe, of food, family, and gathering around the table, continues, this time at San Francisco’s venerable Commonwealth Club. I’ll be speaking along with fellow authors who craft their own delicious stories with food at the centerpiece.

Join us.

Thursday, March 31st.

The Art of the Food Memoir

M.F.K. Fisher set the standard for food memoir with her collection of essays, The Art of Eating, and Ruth Reichl continues to entertain us with her culinary escapades. Food memoirs delight and inspire us. These three Bay Area authors will share their journeys in writing and eating with us.

Dayna Macy, Author, Ravenous: A Food Lover’s Journey from Obsession to Freedom
Kate Moses, Author, Cakewalk: A Memoir
Romney Steele, Author, My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family and Big Sur
Davina Baum, Managing Editor, Chow – Moderator

MLF: Bay Gourmet
SF Club Office
Date: March 31, 2011
Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program
Cost: $8 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)
Program Organizer: Cathy Curtis


Above Photo Credit: Richard Friedman
See more of his photos from the BPLF Dinner here.

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Spring Gorgeous: Book Notes


Photo by Sara Remington

Greetings to all this new year. Only 3 weeks into January and it’s sunny and bright in California..who knew that spring could arrive so early? I spent yesterday afternoon walking on the beach in San Francisco–san even a sweater–with a million happy dogs and their keepers. Fine by me, I thought, though this seems to be up for debate in that dog friendly town.

At any rate, wanted to update you as to my whereabouts and goings on, after months in the trenches writing a new book: Plum Gorgeous, Recipes and Memories from the Orchard. Once again, it’s part cookbook, part storybook about my year living at a friend’s mountain-top orchard when my kids were young, and features gorgeous photographs by Sara Remington. The book will be out this summer. Stay tuned for my summer book launch party, and a new website incorporating all my work.

Meanwhile, I continue to ramble on about My Nepenthe and my childhood home on the cliffs of Big Sur. I will be speaking at several locations throughout the spring; here are a few of the highlights, in case you are in the neighborhood.


I’m thrilled to say that I am one of the honored guests at the Berkeley Public Library Foundation’s Annual Authors Dinner on Feb 12th, and am in awesome company–the likes of Dave Eggars of McSweeneys; the poet, playwright, and novelist Joyce Carol Oats; and Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio, authors of What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets. There are a limited amount of reception tickets still available. See their website for details.

Later in the month, I will be speaking at  Carmel’s Harrison Memorial Library (Carmel, CA), as part of their local history series.


Down the coast aways (March 19th in Santa Barbara), you can find me at the Celebrity Author’s Luncheon, a fundraiser for CALM, a non-profit organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of child abuse.

On March 31st, I’ll be speaking at The Commonwealth Club as part of a food memoir panel with authors Dayna Macy and Kate Moses, moderated by Davina Baum of Chow. Imagining this will also be aired on radio, as is typical for their programs. Purchase tickets to be in the audience here.


And if cooking and/or eating is your thing, join me at Draeger’s Cooking School (Menlo Park) on April 13th for a cooking demo of spring favorites, such as fava bean crostini, lamb, and rhubarb crisp.

For more info and updates on particular events and exact times, link through to my events page.

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