Tess’ Kitchen is a palace for culinary browsing

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Tess’ Kitchen Store in Grass Valley, Ca. is the place to be this Saturday, November 14, as Steve Rosenthal and his culinary team will host an open house, complete with Artisan Purveyors sampling their products, for culinary enthusiasts to enjoy. The culinary extravaganza runs from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The lure of Tess’ is a massive selection of utensils, appliances, table linens and dinnerware along with gourmet food and accompaniments.
The lure of Tess’ is a massive selection of utensils, appliances, table linens and dinnerware along with gourmet food and accompaniments.

The store is special. It began in 1930 as a ski shop, transformed into a soda fountain and had a few other reincarnations before it blossomed into a kitchen store. Rosenthal bought the operation 5 years ago and has expanded over the past years.

New found destinations and backroad trips to get there excite me. A benefit of our recent relocation from Sonoma to the Sierra Foothills offers new adventures regularly. For those who seldom traverse Northern California’s tiny towns with big history you will be surprised. I was.

Not ever having visited the Foothill town of Auburn for much more than lunch at Awful Annie’s, it was exciting to learn Auburn, Grass Valley and Nevada City compliment each other with storefronts boasting classic architecture and high-end owner-operated retail.

The retail world in these historic hamlets is comprised of quality products, caring customer service and unique quality selections that are enjoyably affordable.

Chef Alan Tangren
Tess’ cooking classes, continually created by in-house chef Alan Tangren, is a popular monthly Grass Valley event.

The Hamptons, Aspen, The Vineyard and Kennebunkport have nothing on the small towns of the Sierra Foothills.

Tess’ Kitchen Store is one of my newest finds. It’s a palace for culinary browsing. I came across it this Spring when I first went to Grass Valley to shop. If you’ve ever had any doubts about Northern California’s status as the epicurean epicenter of the country, make a point of visiting the kitchen stores that prosper in popular towns along the road from Sonoma to Tahoe. I’ve done it and while many of these stores — see accompanying directory — offer unique and interesting products, Tess’ tops the list.

The historic building that graces the center of the first block on 115 Mill St. is now home to Tess’ Kitchen Store. Upon entering the double doors you can’t help but notice the multi-story spanse boasting an open two story foyer. Tess’ relocated to this 6000 square foot space in 2012 having outgrown their original location.

A fondness that former restaurant owners can never shake is their fascination with kitchen stores. And the best store to feed that need is the small town kitchen store. Tess’ feeds the need in numerous ways.

Tess' Kitchen has just launched their own line of gourmet products, including mouth-watering Artichoke Parmesan Bruschetta  Topping and other unique sauces dressings.
Tess’ Kitchen has just launched their own line of gourmet products, including mouth-watering Artichoke Parmesan Bruschetta Topping and other unique sauces and dressings.

First off, Tess’ has one of the most interesting gourmet product selections in the area. Highlighting many artisan purveyors, the products compliment one another while being uniquely different.

Aside from a great product selection, Tess’ Oil and Balsamic tasting bar is a wonderful touch as it is customer-friendly and offers an interesting selection.

The lure of Tess’ is a massive selection of utensils, appliances, table linens and dinnerware along with gourmet food and accompaniments. The experience is heightened by the unique product mix and presentation, ambiance and caring customer service. The knowledge the sales staff shares is another plus for Tess’.

Along with a superior selection of unique products comes Tess’ cooking classes. Continually created by in-house chef Alan Tangren, the cooking class series is a popular monthly Grass Valley event. Although sold out for December, the January classes are filling up fast.
Begin the new year with a bit of French food at your table. On Tuesday: January 12th, 2016 at 1 PM chef Alan Tangren will be hosting a crêpes class for a New Year class.

After the busy time of holiday entertaining we all look forward to easier days and (possibly) lighter meals. Crêpes can be the answer. They are so easy to make ahead and leftovers will seem new again. How about Italian-style Baked Crespelle with Spinach and Prosciutto, moving on to Julia Child’s Tower of Crêpes with shrimp and mushrooms, and ending in a blaze with Flaming Apple Crêpes? Recipes may contain: gluten, dairy, nuts, egg, night shades and seafood/shellfish.

But, if you can’t wait for the New Year, and you have kitchen essentials on your Christmas gift list, join the folks at Tess’ tomorrow. You will have a flavorful experience in Tess’ culinary world.

John Foley is Publisher of foodiedaily.com

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