Sonoma County, California places to eat: Chef Kyle Connaughton's five dishes you must try

Chef Kyle Connaughton spent five years with Heston as head chef of research and development at the Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen. Kyle previously worked with acclaimed French chef Michel Bras in Japan for three years. See singlethreadfarms.com. His farm-driven restaurant and inn Single Thread has caused a culinary sensation since opening in November.

FERMENTATIONS, SHED

With an ever-changing menu from Shed's own Home Farm as well as the bounty of Sonoma, there is no one dish that lingers long enough to become the standard favourite. Each dish celebrates the season and the best of the best of what Sonoma has to offer.  Equally delicious on the menu are the items coming from the Fermentation Bar such as house-made shrubs and kombuchas. See healdsburgshed.com

SUGO CALABRESE, CAMPO FINA

This beautiful braised dish is my go-to on very infrequent nights off when we are closed on Mondays. It has all the comfort of an Italian grandmother cooking for you in her home and all the sophistication of a highly trained and skilled chef. See campofina.com

STRAWBERRY MISO ICE CREAM, NOBLE FOLK

This combines a salty Japanese comfort flavour with the fruity burst of summer. This is my favourite dad-and-daughter date treat served in a delicious waffle-style cone. See thenoblefolk.com

JAPANESE CHEESECAKE, MOUSTACHE BAKERY

The Japanese Cheesecake manages to be richly dense and light as air at the same time.  I missed this confection from living in Japan and was happy to see this beautiful rendition available dangerously close to my house. See moustachebakedgoods.com

WINES, IDLEWILD TASTING ROOM

Come to taste the Arenis, Cortese, Rose and Barbera and stay for the awesome cheese and charcuterie plate with fresh crusty local bread. See idlewildwines.com

MOLE, CASA DE MOLE

In the back of this local Mexican market lies an Oaxacan restaurant that's discreetly hidden. They serve amazing mole and other seasonal Oaxacan dishes, and always have something different happening from what is arguably Mexico's most culinary-rich region.  See casadelmole.com  

FISH TACO, EL MOLINO CENTRAL

The fish taco (along with the entire menu) is worth the drive from Healdsburg to Boyes Hot Springs. This unassuming James Beard nominee is putting out some of the most incredible Mexican food in the entire state of California. The fish tacos alone are worth a drive from anywhere. See elmolinocentral.com

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