A new star in heavenly Genoa
Although not new to the Carson Valley, “Sierra Chef” formerly of Gardnerville, has moved into the corner store that once housed Sugar Plum Bakery in Genoa. Shop owner Cynthia Ferris-Bennett is the great-great-great-grandniece of George Washington Gale Ferris of 1893 Chicago World’s Exposition and creator of the Ferris Wheel fame. She moved to the new Genoa location about three months ago. The pantry side of the store captures the feel of walking into an Italian marketplace offering all the classic varieties of imported olive oils, tins and jars of olives, capers, etc. Also, it features a bakery with fresh bread, signature muffins, croissants, Italian pastries and filled-to-order cannoli.
Sierra Chef’s Epicurean “To Go Menu” boasts an array of fresh soups prepared daily such as beef burgundy, rosemary chicken, Albondigas, roasted garlic, ham and potato, Italian meat soups and other “anything but ordinary” combinations. You’ll want to think about stopping there to pick up dinner where you’ll also find, Bently Ranch beef, pork from a sustainable farm in Fallon, some fresh produce, freshly prepared and frozen house-made entrées and fresh pasta. Then for your sweet tooth, check out the “adult marshmallows” by BellaMallows in delightfully grownup gourmet flavors. Finally, you absolutely must taste the quality handmade chocolates supplied by an exclusive Markleeville chocolatier. They are sprinkled with gold dust and absolutely melt in your mouth. Sierra Chef is open seven days a week — yes, even on Mondays when the rest of peaceful Genoa appears to be asleep. Hours are Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-3 p.m.-ish; Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
All this and we’ve only covered part of this unique business. On the other side of the store is a Culinary Center where Sierra Chef offers an ongoing series of “hands-on” gourmet cooking classes for adults and children with specialty topics such as learning to make fresh pasta. Check their website http://www.SierraChef.com for updated schedules. They also will arrange private cooking classes for your family or group with your choice of menus.
Beginning this spring, you may book private events such as patio dinners, olive oil tastings, and cheese and wine pairings with various wineries on their patio. Be sure to ask about the popular “Barn Dinner Club” held at historic East Fork Ranch. They begin in March and continue on the last Thursday of every month starting with an Italian family-style night. Each monthly dinner features an outstanding local chef. For the latest schedule, please see their website, call Cynthia at the store 392-4417, or email Events@SierraChef.com.
If you frequent the Wednesday ‘Farm to Fork Farmers Market’ at Lampe Park, Gardnerville, you are probably already familiar with Sierra Chef. They proudly announce a new “Farmer’s Market” will debut in Genoa Town Park on May 12, and continue on Saturdays from 8 a.m.-1 p.m. through Sept. 15. The process of selecting certified growers and qualified vendors is currently underway. Please call 392-4417 if you are interested in participating.