I think lavender is one of the prettiest herbs out there. It smells and tastes great both fresh and dried. Dried ones last a long time since it is such a strong herb to use in food. I bought a bundle of dried ones to make lavender ice cream and salmon couple months ago, and I still have over half a bundle left.
I was lucky that I caught the very first annual Lavender Festival in Sonoma this year! The festival was a fundraiser for VOICE Youth Center (voicesyouthcenter.org) and was held at a lavender barn in Kenwood, CA, just right below Chateau St. John winery. The lavender barn was made available to the public only for that weekend of the event. The admission was $20 for 5 food tickets, OR $20 for 8 wine tasting tickets at the door (originally it was listed $30 for 5 food tickets and $40 for wine and food on the website). My boyfriend and I bought 2 sets of food tickets and one set of wine tickets. It was well worth it since it is for charity.
The restaurants that participated were Girl & the Fig, Hana Sushi, Kenwood Restaurant, Sea Thai Bistro, SIFT, Sugo Trattoria, Sur La Table, Syrah, Viola, Kenwood Yacht Club, Sonoma Cheese, Sonoma Lavender Chef.
Many wineries participated too. Since it was really, really hot there, so all I could say is that I enjoyed all the wine there were chilled and didn’t really care too much about the vintage, acidity, sugar content and so on. I will elaborate more on the wine when I am better at it. Asked for now...just food! I could clearly remember them all or at least how they looked or tasted.
We went got a Thai Lettuce Cup from Sea Thai Bistro. I like it very much too. The noodle and cashews were crunchy and so was the crispy lettuce. The noodle and cashews were drizzled with lavender infused sweet and sour sauce...so good!
So I emailed one of the events coordinater the other day and she told me that they raised $13,000 for VOICE, which was over their target. I'm glad I contributed a little and had a fun and delicious day!
They already started planning next year and it should be around the same time. Keep an eye for it!