The Great Paladar Cook-Off

Thanks to all of the generous Paladar members who have chosen to participate in my quest to lower the seat prices at Polly’s Paladar! My first goal is to generate $1000/month using the patronage platform, PATREON.COM. We are 10% funded! This income will go directly toward making seat prices lower which will open up the supper club experience to more people. My costs are rising, and it pains me to charge any more than I already do! Consider giving us as little as $1/month. Read this: If 17% of followers who love Polly’s Paladar (in all of our platforms combined) gave $1/month, we could lower prices dramatically. That’s incredibly do-able! I have composed some great rewards as well. You can hear interviews I have recorded with past chefs; you can see menus before anyone else, you can get a free beverage at Paladars, you could even grab some of Megan’s house-made shrubs. We also have a reward to receive VIP access to early ticket releases! And for you die-hards, we have a tier giving you automatic seats and drinks to every Paladar as long as your donation is active!

The story of the Great Paladar Cook-Off is a fun one. After all this time planning, what I have discovered surprised me. I’ve been developing this supper club design over the last six years gradually. Mindfully mapping out each experience taught me all I understand today. Honestly, I think I got bored! So I called some great minds together last summer, and we hammered out the format over several meetings. I put out the call for participants and hoped that at least someone in the community wanted to play. It worked! Fifteen cooks from Nevada County enrolled in our preliminary tasting, and ten individuals from the Nevada County food scene who I hand-picked came to judge. The day was so much fun and a testament to exactly what I had hoped the “competition” would become. I want it to be a time when anyone who loves cooking could hang out and team up with other like-minded individuals. The food was fantastic, and the folks who turned up to cook were so happy. At the end of the day, we tallied the numbers and had our final four. I couldn’t be more proud of these sweethearts. Working together for the last month to design this event has been a wonderful experience. The menu is gorgeous, and the hearts are all in the right place. This dinner is going to blow your minds.

Amuse Bouche

Local IPA Cured Salmon, Pine Needle Emulsion, Wasabi, Buttermilk Crisp Bread

Rhubarb textures, Pancetta, ricotta, flax

Pork Belly, Sour Cherry Chutney, Yukon Gold Gnocchi, Kalamata Olives, Cherry Tomatoes, Pistachio Gremolata

Saffron Chicken Breast, Golden Balsamic Glaze, Leeks Braised in Vanilla Burre Blanc, Seared Pink Strawberries, Fennel Pollen

Honey Yogurt Panna Cotta, Stonefruit, Shortbread, Flowers

Menu substitutions politely declined.
No tipping.
No refunds.

A word about phones. I use mine a lot. Too much, perhaps. The argument for or against is a mute point as far as I’m concerned. However, the reasoning behind wishing for an interpersonal connection and a desire for my guests to completely relax in the present moment when they are at my supper club holds water. I will do my job and hire the photographer to take the pretty pictures. I will promote the Paladar as best I can during an event, and I want you to do the same. Foodies take photos of their meals. It’s fun. It’s real. It’s a thing. I get it. I love it when the supper club is tagged on someone’s social media because it gives me a chance to view their experience from their perspective. In over six years, I’ve been blessed to sit at one Paladar long ago, and it was terrific! I would like to propose not necessarily a “no-phone zone,” but perhaps a “less phone zone.” Give it a try! It’s okay to keep the mystery alive at Polly’s Paladar!

Alan Gosker:
Alan Gosker earned the highest score in our primary competition. His dish was a surprising combination of elements in an unusual design. The judges were pretty much speechless. A native of Galway, Ireland, and a graduate of the Galway Culinary School, he began cooking in continental Europe before moving to Australia. Alan spent three years with the acclaimed vegan, pay as you feel restaurant Lentil as Anything in 2007. Once home, Alan took over a successful farm to table project as Head Chef of Dela on the West coast of Ireland in 2013 with his wife, Delilah. There he married his international experiences with progressive modern Irish cuisine. In 2016 he co-founded the non-profit pay as you feel One World Tapestry, empowering asylum seekers to express their food culture, promote integration, and visualize a multi-cultural future for Ireland. In 2017 Alan trained at Michelin Star Loam under Enda McEvoy and was nominated for Best Chef in Connaught, Ireland. Alan is now a Nevada County resident.

Megan Ward:
Megan Ward is a Nevada County native, new to the professional kitchen game, the youngest contestant in this adventure, and the only lady-chef in the mix! Her dish was one of the earliest tastings that our judges ate that day, but it left a lasting impression because it put her in second place in our top four elite. A life-long passion for cooking led her to join the Twelve 28 Kitchen culinary team in Penn Valley, CA and she jumped at the chance to join their team when given the opportunity. Working her way from morning prep to garde manger to then slaying the hot side, Megan has made an impression on her company kept. The dedication shows in each dish she prepares from the heart. She’s ready to delight your palate with her course at her first time in the culinary spotlight.

Noah Palmer:
Growing up in Montana, Noah developed a compelling relationship with food. Foraging for wild mushrooms in the springtime, ice fishing for Northern Pike in the winter with his father, or hunting whitetail deer and elk in the autumn; the message was clear. When someone has a direct connection with the food on their plate, it changes and enriches their entire dining experience. He believes that dining, not just eating, should influence the way people perceive, treat, and prepare food. Given the tools to elevate cuisine, we have an opportunity to tell a story with ingredients, to honor tradition, and also, to be artists.

During his time at the Le Cordon Bleu culinary institute in Portland Oregon, while working full time in some of the cities most prestigious kitchens, Noah found comfort in the intensity of kitchen life. He loved the structure and discipline. After years of cooking in resort towns in Colorado and a small stint at MOTO in Chicago, he found himself immersed in the Portland farm to table movement. Creating dishes became less of a showcase of culinary prowess, and more of an opportunity to illustrate the bounty of the landscape. These formative years helped to shape his view on the integral position of a chef in the modern world. He believes a chef should be a proponent of slow food, of heirloom seeds, of healthy ecosystems, of sustainable farming practices, of responsible foraging, and ultimately a steward of the land. Now residing in Nevada County, CA Noah finds himself cooking private events, supper clubs, festivals, and the occasional pop-up, bringing uniqueness, and careful thought to each meal.

John Lee Simpson:
With over 20 years of experience in the culinary world, John Lee wowed our judge panel landing him the fourth and final spot in the qualifying round of our Cook-Off. John Lee can do it all. His dish was beautiful. He has experience in fine dining, casual dining, and catering. It’s quite clear that he is a dynamic and resourceful chef. A graduate of Bear River High School, John went on to pursue an Associate of Arts degree in the Culinary Arts from Otis Parsons School of Art & Design in Los Angeles, CA. He then moved on to Zoey’s NY – New York, Christine’s Catering in Davis, CA, and to our own beloved Three Forks Bakery and Brewery. Currently enrolled in the solar program at Sierra
College, John Lee is excited to work in an industry that focuses on renewable energy as well as sustainability for our planet.

Our resident Babysitter, Amani Mudd (15.5 years old) is once again available for the Saturday 5 pm seating. Please email to request this service. She can only watch the littles during this specific time! She charges $9/hour/kid and prefers cash. Let us know!

IG Contest:
Each month, we give away two seats to one lucky winner whose name is randomly drawn from a mixing bowl (cuz we old school). If you are interested in learning more about how YOU can enter, go visit us over on the ole Instagram at @pollyspaladar.

Nevada County Midwives Collective:
This event marks our final month with the midwives of Nevada County! As a woman, a mother, and a business owner, I get to decide who I want to support with Polly’s Paladar. Having the chance to give back to the women who helped my family and so many more families in our area felt incredible the last two months! The quality of care they bring to so many people is unparalleled! Currently, the percentage of home-births in Nevada County is a surprisingly low 12%. Their goal is 20% by 2020. I believe that is a reachable incentive and whatever I can do to help more women become empowered by the completely safe and effective path of home-birth, I’ll be there as a witness and an advocate. Midwives, they help people out.

Wheyward Girl Creamery:
Barbara Jenness, the owner of Wheyward Girl Creamery, is an award-winning master cheesemaker, member of the American Cheese Society, and an ACS CCP. (American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional). Her whole staff enjoys imparting cheese consciousness to their shoppers. It’s a way of life. Stepping into their little space and inhaling the aroma of Formaggio can make anyone with a brain, salivate for inevitable samples sliced right there. They even have suggestions for pairings and cheese plates. With all this cheesy knowhow, I needed them on board for this Italian inspired feast. Barbara and Heidi Bergman (her fierce comrade) will assist Chef Aaron in all things dairy. I am wild with anticipation for what they create. Do yourself a flavor, stroll into their shop and tell them Megan sent you.


Oh Canada

Season’s Greetings! Well, we did it! We made it to 2018! You’ll have to forgive me for getting this invitation out so late in the game. I meant to do so before the holidays, but….. that obviously didn’t happen. Instead, I spent my time ravishing in my deliciously beautiful family, listening to live music, and road tripping. You might have read my writing about this before, how I don’t buy much stock in this human construct of the new year. I will say that I do enjoy using it to my advantage regarding goal setting. That said, I also have a notably informal and magnanimous nature as far as goals are concerned! I hope that you move forward into your year with grace and maybe a little mercy. We could all use a little mercy.

Love and Blessings,
Megan Hart


Rob Brown spent his childhood in the mountains outside of Calgary. Born into an outdoorsy family imbued Rob with a love of nature. The Boy Scout organization further fostered this penchant. His early adulthood was spent working various jobs to pay for his climbing, hiking, camping and scuba diving in Southern Alberta and Southern California.  He spent the better part of a decade deflecting questions as to why he was not a chef. Eventually, it was his Uncle Don who put Rob on the path. After preparing a meal for the family at the time of his grandmother’s funeral, Uncle Don put his arm around Rob and said,“That was one hell of a meal! You have to do what you love in life, and clearly, you love to cook. Go to Culinary School.”  The rest was, as they say, is history.

Rob enrolled in the Professional Cooking Program at the Southern Alberta School of Technology (SAIT). While striving for the Red Seal Certification, he had the privilege of working at the Canadian Rocky Mountain Resorts in Banff. There Rob assisted renowned chef, Dany Lamote of Todos Santos, Mexico. Later, he spent the 2013 and 2014 seasons as the Sous Chef at the Lake O’Hara Lodge in Yoho National Park. He completed his hours, aced his exams, and received his Red Seal. Rob graduated with Honors in 2012. After that, Rob was set free into the wild world of the Canadian restaurant industry. He subsequently worked as a Saucier at Blink Restaurant and Bar under Chef Chris Dewling (one of the top restaurants in Calgary), a slew of eateries across the land, and lastly at Ox and Angela in Calgary before going to the Num-Ti-Jah Lodge. Rob originally came to Polly’s Paladar with the aforementioned Chef Dany Lamote in the Fall of 2013.  It was the very first time that Dany had been to the foothills to cook food for Paladar members.  He needed a trusty sous chef, so he brought Rob.

That was nearly four years ago.

Then it was Rob’s turn. In the Fall of 2015, Rob conceived a classical style, multi-course meal utilizing the best available local ingredients.  It was a reflection of what he took home from culinary school as well as his time at Blink, where the menu changed weekly according to seasonal produce.  This feast was the first time a Paladar chef traveled in to stay for a week and learn the local food scene to develop a menu strictly based on what he found.  A worthy challenge indeed.

In the year following his stint in Nevada City, Rob was headhunted to take over at Num-Ti-Jah Lodge (founded by Jimmy Simpson in 1923). Chef Michael Allemeier, who became Canada’s 3rd Master Chef in June of 2017 (also a professor from Rob’s alma mater) collaborated with the current lodge owner for possible chefs to take over. The goal was to have the best food in the Park. Allemeier brought in Rob Brown. He changed what was a heat and serve, pre-made Sysco kitchen into a “from scratch” one. Leaning towards using game meat and going local, whenever possible in their remote location, meant adding in the closest “local” produce available to them, 250 miles away in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley. They certainly make the best of it. Rob has just finished his Summer season and is bringing along HIS trusty sous this time: Adam Coates. Thus the enduring heroic saga of Polly’s Paladar proceeds with mystery, intrigue, and a forever pleasantly surprising abundance of talented chefs from across the land.


Brendan Phillips, son of Utah Phillips, wears his influences on his sleeve. For the better part of a decade, Brendan has been traveling and touring with a rotating and eclectic cast of musicians; he dubbed Fast Rattler. Drawing from his pop’s catalog (including songs Utah never recorded or performed) and the universe of American Folk music that he grew up listening to around campfires and at festivals all over the US and Canada, Brendan Phillips and Fast Rattler represents a collaboration of kindred spirits, inspired by all things Utah. Encompassing a wide range of musical influences; from Americana and Bluegrass to gypsy-jamming’ wood-punk, Phillips and Fast Rattler pay homage to the songs of Utah while also adding their spin, reimagining Utah’s songs in a string band format. Sometimes they all play together, and sometimes a song is sung alone, it’s an ebb and flow, tied to the moment, always attentive to what the song needs. This format lends itself to a dynamic performance, at times intimate, at times raucous, but still in keeping with the spirit of collaboration and always true to the music.

Fast Rattler made its record debut on the 2009 Grammy-nominated album “Singing Through the Hard Times: A Tribute to Utah Phillips” which included artists like Emmylou Harris, Ani DiFranco, Pete Seeger and Tom Paxton. The release of 2011“Linger On: Celebrating the Songs of Utah Phillips” marked Fast Rattler’s first full-length debut. In 2006, Fast Rattler played Winterfolk for a capacity audience at Portland’s historic Aladdin Theater. In 2007, they joined Utah at the Vancouver Folk Festival, playing the songs while Utah told the stories. After Utah passed away, Fast Rattler returned to the Vancouver festival to perform as part of a Utah Phillips memorial. In 2011, Fast Rattler played at the annual Kate Wolf Memorial Music Festival alongside acts like Mavis Staples, Great American Taxi, and Los Lobos. Since the release of Linger On, Fast Rattler has played on stages large and small all over Oregon, Washington, and California.

Current Line-up
Brendan Phillips, guitar, banjo, vocals
Travers Clifford (Dakota Sid and Trav) on Mandolin and Dobro
Cedar Henning (Belfry Brothers) on upright bass.


Heather’s inspiration for her paintings come from lines, patterns and shapes she sees in the natural world around her. She leans toward the decorative and has been dramatically influenced by the Japanese Edo period, especially the panel screens and art of Ogata Korin, Watanabe Shiko, and Sakai Hoitsu. Klimt, Vuillard, Bonnard, and Van Gogh have also influenced her work.

“I love it when a finished painting “feels” right, but it is the process of painting that is my focus. The process is intuitive. I usually start with a basic idea or image, but then let the painting itself and my feelings dictate what happens next.”

Creating art has always been a part of her life. Born and raised in the greater Bay Area of Northern California, both of her parents are artists, and her father taught at California College of Art. She has always leaned toward the unconventional and finding her way, with no formal training except for lessons from her dad. When it came time for college, he encouraged her to keep doing her art. Heather became serious about painting in 2003 and showed work in many venues in Northern California.

She paints acrylic on wood panel. She likes the durability and hard surface of door skin (what is used to make hollow core doors). It also keeps the paintings themselves relatively light. She uses a lot of irridescents, which don’t necessarily translate in the photographs.
What she is interested in is exploring the texture, color, and form of her inner world, dipping her paintbrush into her essence. Heather wants the painting to speak of the emotional tone, the pure and raw perspective of her inner emotions, imagery, and nature. It is not realism that propels Heather, but her interpretation of life.

Bear Yuba Land Trust is a private, non-profit, membership-supported group promoting voluntary conservation of natural, historical, and agricultural resources in the Bear and Yuba watersheds of the Sierra Nevada. With community support, BYLT has permanently protected and enhanced more than 12,000 acres of forests and meadows, farms and ranches, and riparian areas; built 30 miles of local trails and each year gets hundreds of people outdoors to connect with the natural world through guided treks and lectures. Bear Yuba Land Trust exists to create a balance between nature and the needs of the people who call this place home. BYLT’s mission is to enrich a broad community connection with the land − today, tomorrow, and forever.

Currently, BYLT is working to preserve high country lands in the Grouse Ridge area, permanently protecting these places from future development. In coming years, BYLT will monitor 12,000 acres in the upper watershed protected by conservation easements on PG&E lands: Lindsey Lakes, Grouse Ridge Forest, Bear Valley and Bear River, Fordyce, Meadow, Sterling and White Rock Lakes. Conserving these areas will support the long-term health of the Bear and Yuba River watersheds, providing a place for native plants and animals to thrive, act as a natural buffer against climate change, enhance world-class outdoor recreation opportunities while keeping the cultural heritage of this place intact. Polly’s Paladar is partnering with BYLT to help preserve these wild spaces.


Newfoundland and New Brunswick
A shot of rum.

“Quite fond of the rum they is.”

British Columbia, Nova Scotia & PEI
Smoked Salmon Blini:
Smoked Salmon, Buckwheat Blini, Whipped Chevre, Chive, Roe.

“What maple syrup is to the east of the country, smoked salmon is to British Columbia. Sounded like a srumptralencent way to round out a trio.”

Halifax Style Donair Pita:
Halifax Donair – Pita, Roasted Beef Donair, Onion, Tomato, Halifax Sweet Sauce.

“Made the official food of Halifax, Nova Scotia a couple of years ago! In the early 1970s, a Greek immigrant changed up the Gyro to make it more accessible to the locals. A legend was born.”

Marinated Mussels & Potato Bread:
PEI Style Mussels Escabeche – Marinated Mussel, Potato Bread Crostini, Local Inspired Chutney, Herb Pistou.

“Prince Edward Island is known far and wide for their awesome mussels and potatoes. Thought it would be a fun way to bring those tastes together.”

Pork Tourtiere:
Pork Meat Pie, House-made Ketchup, Green Onion, Salad.

“Tourtiere was the original nationally known dish from Quebec. Long before poutine was a thing, people have been getting down on this piece of yummy business.”

Manitoba & Saskatchewan
Pierogi with Seared Cabbage & Kielbasa:
Seared Cabbage & Kielbasa in Caul Fat, Golden Beet Pierogi, Crème Fraiche.

“Those two Provinces have high populations of European Settlers and loves them the pierogi and Koo-bah-saw, as the locals pronounce it. Adam is from Manitoba and said this course was a no-brainer.”

Carrot Sorbet.

“…famous for Carrotfest. We couldn’t refuse.

Strip Steak, Fanciful Potato:
Strip Steak, Horseradish Duchess Potato, Cowboy Butter, Seasonal Vegetables.

“Besides oil, what we are famous for is Alberta beef and the Calgary Stampede (which is a party and a half). Essentially, we are hicks who like steak and potatoes.”

Maple Bacon Beavertail Doughnut:
Doughnut, Maple Bacon Caramel, Bacon Cream Cheese Frosting

“We felt doing the most stereotypical Canadian dessert we could do would finish it up right.”


Chef Ben Spiegel
Our dear Bread and Bones Paladar darlings (Gracie Schatz and Alana Eckhart) first introduced me to Ben Spiegel.  Anyone and I mean ANYONE they bring to me already has my attention. But then the more conversations I had with Ben, the more impressed I left. Do you know people who keep stacking grand achievements on top of other equally impressive monumental accomplishments? You may think, “Surely, this is as tall as this tower of talent can rise,” but nope. Ben keeps stacking. A proud resident of Sonoma County, he currently works with Water 2 Table. He is the former chef at Revival at the Applewood Inn and chef of Skal in New York City. Previously sous-chef at The Willows Inn on Lummi Island. Ben has worked in restaurants across Europe including time spent at noma and AOC in Copenhagen, Denmark. Also, he has interned in Kyoto, Japan,  France’s Loire Valley, Reykjavik, Iceland and London, England. Originally from Toronto, Canada, Ben grew up cooking in some of the city’s top restaurants before moving abroad. He is passionate about local food issues, sustainable agriculture and fisheries and foraging wild foods. A perfect fit.


Sorrel and Whey Cocktail

Cured Double Smoked Lamb Leg with Juniper and Crispy Bread

Creamy Herring with Dill, Sour Onions and Rye

Trout Graxlav, Creme Fraiche, Roe and Skyr

Traditional Icelandic Meat Soup and with Garnishes

Slow Cooked Rye Bread with Whey Butter

Skate Wing with Crushed Rutabega and Lamb Jus

Crispy Skin Pork Belly with Sweet Pickled Red Cabbage, Blueberries and Caraway

Potatoes in Brown Butter Caramel

Cherry and Caramelized White Chocolate Triffle

“Risalamande” Traditional Rice pudding with Almond

Ginger Cookies and Caramels

Allowable dietary preferences:

Gluten Free
Dairy Free

Please indicate these preferences on your TOCK account
in the reservation questions section.BOOK NOW

Mobil Ave
Mobil Ave is an electronic music duo comprised of California-based musicians Eric Bevel and Richard Jones. Stepping outside of their primary musical focus (future-soul group FlyTiger), they come together to form a much more chill, loop-based project. Focusing on ambient textures and rhythms, the duo brings a soulful blend of both light and dark melodies.  Mobil is an anagram for limbo and represents a construct for the looping of time. Mobil Ave explores the melodic stories within this construct through the creation of rhythmic loops which serve as the mechanism for traveling from each.

Lucia LaFerme
Lucia walks. When you walk, an entire world opens up that you might not otherwise notice. The walking world can leave a person enchanted and overwhelmed with feelings of how small we are or how big we are. It all depends. When Lucia walks, she not only takes notice of the tiniest petal or the vibrancy of earthen hues, but she somehow manages to compose another world within this space on film. Her photography wraps itself around leaves, the bones of the forest, and the interplay between this sylvan existence and our bodies. She finds the rich moss and the angles of trees only possible by resting herself deep in the forest bed. The light makes it all glow with inherent sensuality and a sense of mystical reverence can overcome the observer. This event is Lucia’s very first photography show. It’s a peek into her heart. It’s a rarity to dine among such a maiden voyage. I am honored to have her exhibit at Polly’s Paladar.

Karouna Thompson
Karouna has been a florist for the Paladar for years now. Whenever I need the house to blossom, I call her. She constructs the perfect centerpieces for our tables and even goes above and beyond the call of duty to transform the dining room and front porch so that you can walk up to the decadence you expect from such a night at Polly’s Paladar. I want to show the world all of the little brilliant talents we have and Karouna is one of the best. She first designed pieces for us back in 2012 at Alicia Funk’s “Into the Wild” Paladar, and she has graced us with her “gift of stem” (I just made that up, could you tell?) ever since. Soil Sisters Farm is so lucky to have her on their team, and so are we. Also, Karouna helped guide me through the arrangements of last December’s Paladar (which ended up being the best table decor in the herstory of the Paladar, hands down). She will be bringing the forest with her, as always, and making your Paladar experience even that much more amazing.

Frenchtown Farms
Aaron & Cara Mockrish ended up in North Yuba County with the intention of establishing a farm, but a bottle of Clos Saron Black Pearl 2008 sent them off on an unexpected path to winemaking. Having tasted the wine, they found that the man who made it lived near to their farm, and so they made it their mission to meet him. It was there, in Oregon House, California, that they found Gideon Beinstock, his tiny home vineyard, and their future. They began learning from Gideon, everything from working in the vineyards to the winery and everything in between, and it was clear that not only was this the life for them but that this place was a singular place and the wines were unlike anything else. They managed to make a connection with Renaissance Winery (where Gideon had made his earliest, incredible wines, as well as many of the first vintages of Clos Saron), which was no longer producing their wine and leased their oldest producing vines. You may find Frenchtown Farms products around these parts, but they are few and far between. Mostly, the wine heads to the East Coast. Three Forks Bakery and Brewing Company featured their lamb this spring and last. The Cotillion wine was there last March, and now we get to flaunt four varieties of their wine at Polly’s Paladar. These extraordinary bottles are not available locally solely due to such small amounts produced.  It’s not often that we have a chance to showcase a single winemaker, and the opportunity is exciting! Primarily based in Oregon House and founded in 2016, they grow wine in several places across the Northern Sierra Foothills. Their grapes are grown unconventionally and are wholly terroir-driven, as nature intended, with soil, sun, and hands.

“Natural wines themselves, however, have existed since time immemorial. First made 8,000 years ago, it was not by using packets of yeasts, vitamins, enzymes, Mega Purple, reverse osmosis, cryoextraction or powdered tannins – some of the many additives and processes used in winemaking worldwide. The wines of these bygone days were natural: they were from crushed grapes that fermented into wine. The natural wine movement, however, is a relatively new phenomenon. There is no single individual to whom the movement is attributable; instead, dozens of people contributed to the consciousness that ballooned as winemaking and viticulture became increasingly industrialized. Among the earliest visionaries were agriculturalists such as Austria’s Rudolph Steiner and Japan’s Masanobu Fukuoka, and wine gurus like Burgundy’s Jules Chauvet.”
by Isabelle Legeron MW.

“The talented and tireless team of Cara and Aaron Mockrish have somehow managed to both take over farming prime slopes of Renaissance in North Yuba (Sierra Foothills) and combine Sauvignon Blanc and Viognier — two of the wine world’s most misunderstood, yet potentially lovely, varieties — into something we can all agree on.”
~Ariana Rolich, Chambers Street Wines,
Manhattan, New York, NY

South Yuba River Citizen’s League
Have you heard about the controversial plan to build Centennial Dam on the Bear River? I am committed to using Polly’s Paladar as a vehicle for aid in the action against it. I want our rivers to stay wild, and I bet I’m not the only one. If created, this 275-foot dam would block the last six miles of publicly accessible free-flowing river on the Bear River. It would destroy fish and wildlife habitat, favorite swimming holes, and sacred Native American sites. The local water agency says they need this dam because climate change is reducing snowpack in the Yuba headwaters, but we can increase our water supply by restoring our forests and meadows and use the water we do have more wisely. Why is this so difficult to understand? Why do we need to eat at supper clubs to help raise money for non-profits that educate communities about such obvious solutions? Did you know that more than half of the water in the upper Middle and South Yuba River watersheds diverts to the Bear River? Will they take more in the future when Centennial doesn’t fill? We don’t need a new dam generating more polluting sprawl and traffic. We need a wild nature.

Every drink you order at Matur will go towards raising funds for SYRCL to continue opposing this ridiculous monstrosity. I am totally dedicated to help in anyway I can, so drink up folks! Cheers!


Here’s the rub:
Follow us on Instagram at @pollyspaladar

Tag a bestie on a recent post. Perhaps someone you would want to bring with you. The more people you tag, the more YOUR name gets thrown in the hat.
Extra credit to folks who “regram” one of OUR photos with the hashtag

You could win two seats to Matur. $140 value!

Contest winner will be announced on December 7th, 2017

*Service charge, fees, and taxes do not apply*

A quick word about The Great Paladar Cookoff:

The Great Paladar Cook-Off dreams to be an annual phenomenon in Nevada City, California, produced by the good folks at Polly’s Paladar Supper Club. We want to inspire home and professional culinarians who love the art of making food. Each player will explore new and uncharted flavor profiles encouraged by working in a group dynamic. Fostering a safe and supportive environment for personal growth within each participant’s food design and application is the goal. Another purpose is to have fun and flip the script on what a “food competition” can be. We are creating a space of inclusiveness and inspiration for all participators. That said, are you a home cook who plays well with others? Do you love learning about food and sharing tips or tricks you know? Here is your chance to participate on a level most folks don’t get to experience at the Paladar. With over 2K members and only 12 months in a year (allowing us to feature just 12 chefs/year at most), we aim to open up one month a year to the community at large. We want YOU to cook with us! The entree form for this event is​:

You may keep up to date on the Facebook event page as well:


Application Deadline: February 14th, 2018
(Yup, Valentine’s Day)
Judged Dish Competition: March 4th, 2018
Final Four Paladar: Mid-May, 2018 


Matur and the Fire

The Tock ticket link  for Matur has been updated and posted. If you missed out getting your last month, now you have a rare second chance. Visit the Ticket link today.


November 17th and 18th
Chef Andreas Wittstock
Live Music with Michael Padilla
Art by Miles Toland
Tasting with Maestro del Mezcal
Proceeds to Bear Yuba Land Trust

It sure doesn’t seem as though the commotion will ever stop, huh?
Honestly, the overwhelm is so real that I can’t find many words and I certainly don’t want to spread the feeling with an endless email no matter how well accustomed to them you are. Thank you for being so accommodating to our sudden cancellation of “Matur” with chef Ben Spiegel. Thank you for supporting the efforts of many who make Polly’s Paladar a reality. Thank you for making our loving community so beautiful in every way.

We are still booking participants for The Great Paladar Cook-Off 2017. If you are interested, please fill out the form below and email it to You may also send it via snail mail to:

Polly’s Paladar
c/o Megan Hart
107 Mill St.
Unit A.
Nevada City, CA


We are officially rescheduling TGPCO 2017 for next Spring. I plan to personally contact all of you who have entered as soon as possible. In its place, we will hold October’s original Paladar, “Matur” (Icelandic cuisine with Chef Ben Spiegel).


Chef Andreas Wittstock:
The multicultural experience started early for Andreas.  He was born and raised in Mexico City to German/French parents.  Exposed to their native languages, as well as Spanish and English at home, only widened his worldview.  Once Andreas left home at 19 to live in New York, his path of the professional cook began. Andreas has operated out of Mama’s Fish House in Maui and Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health in Massachusetts. He was sous chef at Austen Riggs Psychiatric Center, Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in New York, and the executive chef at Earthdance Creative Living Project.  Currently, his home is in Nevada City building Tiny Houses. When not in a kitchen, he is in his studio doing just that. Andreas works internationally as a private chef for professional artists and dancers around the globe as well. He sold out a 2016 Paladar entitled “The Middle Way,” wowing his guests with mouthwatering Asian influenced cuisine. With all of his experience, Andreas is capable of building cuisine and interpreting flavor on a vast scope.  Touring with an appetite for food affords an educational training not taught in culinary academies. It’s a risky endeavor, but you can savor the results in every bite.  Don’t take my word for it. Others have appreciated Andreas’s culinary capacity. Here is what they had to tell:

“The best meal I have ever paid for.”-Ruby Turple
“Scrumptious, eclectic, complex, & wholesome.”-Isha McCaskey
“Seductive.”-David Cooper
“Mouthwatering and lively.”-Samantha Hinrichs

Miles Toland:
Miles Toland grew his roots in the artistic city of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Artistic juices, squeezed from the fruits of graffiti culture, quenched his creative thirst. He holds a BFA in painting and video from Cornish College of the Arts, live paints at music festivals, & produces street art, traveling around the planet. His painting style merges naturalistic human forms with intuitive designs structured by mandalas and geometric patterns. Miles treats his craft as a spiritual practice of bringing resistance into resonance, honoring the beauty in the decay, and finding wisdom in nature’s forms. We are thrilled to hang his work and encourage questions about it all while you dine.

Michael Padilla:
It was the music his parents loved. The Boleros. These are the things that form a person; growing up, hearing a style of song. Michael’s fusion of romantic Boleros from Mexico and Flamenco from Spain can transport the listener. They rescued him as well. Being an indie-rock/band-leader/singer-songwriter doesn’t always fulfill the heart of an artist capable of so much more. From The Soft Bombs, Dora Flood, and currently Michael and The Machines, our musical accompaniment for this Paladar has many talents. The harmonies between all the elements will be difficult to miss. Michael started playing Boleros on the side about 3 and half years ago, and it is all making quite the local impact. The two realms don’t continually connect, but he ended up falling in love with them both anyway, and we are glad for it. As always, please consider tipping the talent at any Paladar! It remains a grand gesture of gratitude and invariably leaves a positive impact on any musician. Heck, that’s an excellent standard to live by anyway! Tip the talent!

Maestros del Mezcal:
Maestros del Mezcal is an organization composed of hundreds of producers in various regions within all the Mexican states that make Mezcal. Through social structure, they maintain, promote and protect the rich culture, history and natural resources behind TRADITIONAL MEZCAL. Maestros del Mezcal provides financial and technical support to better palenques – or distilleries, reforest agave in danger of extinction and reforest trees used as fuel for production. Another purpose of the organization is to gain access to foreign markets, establish price standards, and better the standard of living in the Mezcal producing regions in general. They will be bringing incredible product currently unavailable in the United States, to Polly’s Paladar for you to sip. Discover the rich flavors with your meal, and you will feel the authenticity right here in Nevada City all while supporting the effort of a local non-profit, the Bear Yuba Land Trust.

Bear Yuba Land Trust:
Bear Yuba Land Trust is a private, non-profit, membership-supported group promoting voluntary conservation of natural, historical, and agricultural resources in the Bear and Yuba watersheds of the Sierra Nevada. With community support, BYLT has permanently protected and enhanced more than 12,000 acres of forests and meadows, farms and ranches, and riparian areas; built 30 miles of local trails and each year gets hundreds of people outdoors to connect with the natural world through guided treks and lectures. Bear Yuba Land Trust exists to create a balance between nature and the needs of the people who call this place home. BYLT’s mission is to enrich a broad community connection with the land − today, tomorrow, and forever. They are currently working with PG&E to preserve high country lands in the Grouse Ridge area into conservation easements, permanently protecting these places from future development. In the coming years, BYLT will monitor 12,000 acres in the upper watershed including Lindsey Lakes, Grouse Ridge Forest, Bear Valley and Bear River, Fordyce, Meadow, Sterling and White Rock Lakes. Conserving these lands will support the long-term health of the Bear and Yuba River watersheds. These are the high country lands they are working to protect. Polly’s Paladar is partnering with BYLT to help keep these places wild.


Sopa :
Roasted Chipotle Pumpkin Soup with Crema Fresca

Aperitivo :
Huitlacoche Sope, Tamarind Ball, and Esquite

Grilled Cactus and Panela Cheese with Grasshoppers

Plato Principal:
Chicken Mole or Tofu en Salsa Verde*, Herbed Jasmin Rice, Greens  and Hibiscus Flower with Sunflower Seeds and Avocado Dressing

Cacao and Chilli Water with Hierba Buena, Cajeta Flan Cake with Roasted Pecans


*Our chef is accommodating those who prefer gluten-free and /or meat-free meals only. This dinner will include dairy, peanuts, seeds, and shellfish (grasshoppers count as shellfish, although they will be served on the side so can be removed). If you require a vegetarian and/or a gluten-free meal, please let us know on your reservation via the TOCK TICKET LINK. That is where you will make your guest card for us to access with all the pertinent information. Please answer the questionnaire on Tock as soon as possible. We cannot accommodate dietary changes in-house. Lastly, we will accept drink orders in-house, so do not worry if you miss the opportunity to pre-purchase.

No refunds. Ticket transfer through Tock is perfectly acceptable and a total breeze, if that is what you need to do.

No tipping. We have added an automatic service charge to your ticket purchase so that you can attend empty handed. Freedom!


This June 2017 is brimming with talent.

Chef Tom Cloutman of Musa Musa is joining us solo for the first time, BrightSide Blue has never performed at Polly’s Paladar as a duo before, my daughter (Amani Mudd) will be hanging original art for the first time at a Paladar, and I have been wanting to raise money for Sierra Harvest for years and it finally worked out.  I am thrilled to have the opportunity to raise awareness and funds for this incredible local organization that brings so much value to our community, locally and ultimately globally…  because it’s all one, right?

It’s also a “first” for something else that, honestly, brings me to tears every time I write or talk about it and it is that my grandmother, the one and only POLLY will be joining us for the first time. Yes, that’s right, folks.  She is flying in all the way from Kansas City to experience Polly’s Paladar (obvious namesake).  I literally don’t think I could be more excited.

I know that I say that I’m excited about each month’s Paladar, but this takes the cake, ya’ll. The whole damn pie.

More about Sierra Harvest coming soon.


Ladies and Gentlemen, I am absolutely HONORED to announce that our dear Stag Dining Group is coming back! Take a moment to sign up for the newsletter on our member ship page so that you can get the FULL description of what the weekend will hold.  Can’t wait!



Polly’s Paladar Presents:


A multi-course and multi-chef dinner as tribute to our tributaries.


It is a month shy of 5 years that Polly’s Paladar has been furnishing the foothills with supper club nights. That totals 51 Paladars. As Director, I have poured my very heart and soul into each dinner I have curated. Building relationships within my community and forming friendships has been such a happy accident. I am inspired by the generosity and talents we have here. I try to live by a goal where each side of the equation walking away feels as though they got the better deal. My guests are a part of that equation. The farmers I purchase product from are a part of that equation. My staff is part of the equation. The truth is, that I often forget that I should be a part of that equation too. I open my very home up to my community, I iron my Grandmother’s linen napkins to share, the china I serve dishes on are not from any thrift store (they are my parent’s wedding china), and I go way beyond the call of duty to find specific ingredients for my chefs to use as a garnish. It can take me up to a week to recover from a Paladar and it is NOT a moneymaker for me in the slightest. I mention all of this because I know that I am not the only one who makes these kinds of leaps into what any financial advisor would run far away from. I know that I have had staff members who have worked twice as many hours as I can pay, but who would rather do it for the love of the Paladar than not at all. What about that goal, you ask? Well, I believe, with all my heart, that we all still walk away feeling as though we got the better deal. We might be poorer, more haggard than before, and we certainly might lose a vintage piece of china or two, but it’s all for a reason. And a good one at that. We got to be a piece of a story only happening here and now in our beloved Nevada City with our beloved community. So to all of you who come and experience the Paladar as a guest, thank you for showing us what we can do when we are determined and adventurous enough to try.


If you have been following the story of Polly’s Paladar even slightly, you will have noticed how often January’s chefs are featured. Honestly, I don’t believe that I could possibly feature them too often.   They literally never fail the Paladar and they never fail the guests. It’s a dream come true to have them ALL decide to tag team one Paladar together. You see, I often wonder if they, as city dwellers and “culinary outfitters”, really just use ME to get to the Yuba. They are obsessed with our river! They will do literally anything to be able to visit the Yuba as often as possible. These lunatics come up to feed over 120 people at Paladars and then they wake up before dawn on the morning of the event to go fly-fishing! That kind of endurance only comes from folks in the food industry, people, I’ll tell you that much! It is with that reverence that they are joining us again. They are donating their time and they have even rounded up product from other Bay Area businesses that want to keep the Yuba pristine so that we may donate as much as possible to the efforts of SYRCL.   If the heart and soul of Polly’s Paladar is what you love, than you must join us. It could be said that this Paladar has five times as much pulse as any other before. Together with Sommelier Ted Wilson of San Francisco (Fine & Rare, Metal & Match), we have rounded up a few darlings from the Bay for one medley of a meal, all in support of the mighty YUBA. This Paladar will be coupled with the Wild and Scenic Film Festival organized by SYRCL. Five different lords of flavor will be joining forces to create an ode to those crystal rapids, those glistening granites, and those tenacious gill-bearing aquatic wonders.



In collaboration with WSFF and SRYCL

January 13th and 14th, 2017


Fine and Rare

Pink Zebra

Metal and Match

Stag Dining Group

Bon Vivants



Fine & Rare:


In July of 2014, Chef Scott Peterson made a solid 50 Paladar guests cry with his surprise course of the most velveteen salmon dish humans have ever eaten. Since then he & Sommelier Ted Wilson spearheaded the most incredible gourmet food venue the Bay Area has ever sunk its teeth into. The Hall not only provided SF foodies with approachable, well-made food, but it completely transformed Market Street for the better. Then in May of 2015, we brought them back for a double nighter in honor of the treasures hidden in the Deep Blue, as a toast to springtime, and in observance of doers everywhere! That delicate dose of omegas: artfully plated, intricately designed, and delectably flavored solidified the Fine and Rare fan club here in the foothills. Their dinner reacquainted us with PERFECTLY prepared seafood and reminded us of the precious necessity to a balanced world our oceans remain. Fierce and nurturing. Bountiful and unforgiving. Scott & Ted brought the maritime to the mountains. Since then, they opened up a brick and mortar in the city and have been winning hearts and bellies ever since. It certainly doesn’t hurt having an amazing sommelier on hand to round out every bite! Ted Wilson has spent his entire professional life in the wine business. His career path began in vineyards and cellars in the Finger Lakes of Upstate NY, which then careened him up the ladder to working as a Sales Rep for a NYC- based distributor and later becoming the Senior VP and Director of Operations for that distributor. During his time as the Operations Director, Ted oversaw the production of an “in-house” brand that he helped grow to over 2,000 cases annually and increased distribution across multiple states. His varied wine industry background, from the winemaking process to executive positions, was driven by his ultimate goal: to launch a brand and apply all of his skills and past experiences into a label he could call his own. Which he has done with Wilson and Wilson Wine…. full disclosure, it’s delicious.


Jesse Koide is the chef/founder of Pink Zebra, a San Francisco based pop-up restaurant. His vast level of skill and experience in restaurants has taken him from pot wash, to sushi counter, and on to becoming head chef. His cuisine can be described as ‘Mediterrasian’, drawing from his love of Italian flavors and his disciplined roots in Japanese kitchens. This has resulted in a deep, umami rich, and technique-driven style that is genuine, curious, playful, and a bit rough around the edges, much like him. Pink Zebra was named one of the “Top 25 New Restaurants” by Bon Appetit and “Best New Pop Up Dinner” by the SF Weekly, both in 2015. As former head chef of Mission Chinese SF, Jesse has a massive fan base. He currently hosts Pink Zebra dinners at Namu Gaji, as well as events at various other locations in San Francisco. Jesse’s dinner at Polly’s Paladar this spring was our second into our 5th year. He had our guests totally amazed at what he was able to pull off in each dish. As an observer to it all, I can honestly say that it was one of the most entertaining Paladars I have ever been privileged enough to witness!


Metal & Match:


Sommelier Ted Wilson and founding chef Christine Wells are Metal & Match. They have been painted as a breath of fresh air in the catering world, a fusion of innovation plus years of restaurant experience, and a joy to work with. They come to Polly’s Paladar for the second time as this culinary tandem. We have felt the savoir-faire of Sir Wilson several times as half of Fine & Rare and half of this recently released culinary dream team. Both remarkable seasoned paladar darlings. Chef Christine Wells has been described as a magician who transforms traditional into radical. She has been a food photographer, attended the French Culinary Institute in NYC, worked at City Grit, was head chef at Brooklyn Winery, and then was head chef at Foxtail Catering. So, yeah…. she has been around the block. We are thrilled to have both of them with us. The Metal and Match Paladar (the 47th) was inspired by smoke, fire, and ash. They brought food back to its birthplace. Primitive techniques, our ancestors knew intimately, were their guides. Tender memories forged fireside and rooted in nature were translated onto the dinner plates with total grace. And who can forget those mason jars of smoke we sent out to the tables to play with? Crazy fun had by all.




Five years ago, I had the opportunity to dine inside of the publication headquarters of San Francisco’s “The Bold Italic” with The Stag Dining Group. Ever since then, I knew I would one day lure their chefs Jordan Grosser and Ted Fluery to Polly’s Paladar. Well, friends, the rest is history. It DID take a long time to nail down those SDG boys, but now they are all dear ole friends just itching for more Nevada County at any chance they get! And the food is simply BEYOND, people… So they came (April of 2013-The Stag of Spring) and wooed us all and then they came back again (May of 2014-Aloha Cerf Club) and made us all faint with flavor. They deserve a little introduction for sure:


Jordan Grosser and Ted Fluery have many years of experience and expertise in the culinary industry. Jordan’s passion and prowess in the kitchen was evident early in his career, assuming the role of sous-chef with Ted at La Soliel of Tucson. His career pursuits brought him to San Francisco in 2004 where he worked at Azie. After a stint at Campton Place and Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio where Jordan quickly propelled to the esteemed role of Chef De Cuisine at this San Francisco fine-dining institution, he re-joined Ted Fluery as co-executive chefs at Alembic (Where they worked with Ethan Terry of Bon Vivants as well). Jordan and Ted have a warm presence lighting up any room and their excellent cuisine has been known to invoke ‘slow clap’ ovations. As longtime friends and colleagues, Jordan Grosser and Ted Fleury first launched Stag Dining Group in December of 2010. In their mission statement, Grosser and Fleury define the heart and soul of their work not by the question of “why”, but “why not?” Their clandestine suppers are nationally known, lusted after, and delicious. They have been given accolades by: 7X7 Magazine, The Silentist, Refinery 29, San Fransisco Magazine, Behance, Thrillest, Clean Pates, The Bold Italic, Ewallstreeter, SF Weekly, Champagne and Heels, Umami Mart, SF Chronicle, The Styley, Sf Bay Guardian, and Urbandaddy… to name a few. Stag holds dinner parties on battleships, inside Heath Ceramics, the Bold Italic Headquarters, legendary hotels with legendary people like Jacques Pepin, they have them at shooting ranges and in vineyards…. and they have them at Polly’s Paladar.


Bon Vivants:


Ethan has this infectious smile that made me wonder, at first, if it was actually an act (one that becomes ingrained in any individual living for a certain amount of time in the service industry) or an endlessly sweet desire to not only give excellent service from behind a bar, but also make anyone feel important even from across a picnic blanket or at a casual party. What I eventually found out is that it’s both. Ethan is the most polite person I have literally ever met. And it’s not an act. He is ALWAYS polite.   He is the best bar tender on the planet and the sweetest guy who wants to make you an amazing drink even when he’s not technically working. It’s as though he literally lives to please you and I believe it’s true. He is a part of The Bon Vivants, a nationally recognized cocktail, hospitality, marketing, and design firm started by Josh Harris and Scott Baird in 2009. As Attaché of BV, Sir Ethan Terry will be mixing drinks for our guests with every penny going to SYRCL, so drink up! Obvi, only 21 and over at this dining event! Some of you locals may have seen him guest bar tend at the Golden Era some time ago and now we have him all to ourselves!


Allowable dietary preferences:


Gluten Free

Email if you require either or both of these kinds of meals.


Babysitting upstairs available!


Email if you would like to sign up for this separate service!





Pink Zebra – First: purple yam dashi purple yam chip, mushroom cream, uni, maitake


Stag Dining Group – Second: charred winter vegetables, sea urchin bagna cauda, trout roe

Stag Dining Group – Third: porchetta di testa, black trumpet naan, sunchoke mayo, sottocieniere, red frills


Metal & Match – Fourth: coho salmon, winter squash, smoked butter, frisee, Fresno chili, kale-pepita crisps


Metal & Match – Fifth: cowgirl creamery red hawk, togorashi seeded brittle, pickled banana puree, pear, house black pepper crackers


Pink Zebra – Sixth: purple yam, persimmon, konbo


Sponsoring businesses:



Banshee Wines

Wilson and Wilson

Deer Blood Rosé

Water 2 Table

Monterey Fish Co.


*Accompanied drink pairings to be listed ASAP and menu is subject to ch



Hen of the Woods


In collaboration with the Yuba Watershed Institutes 19th annual Fungus Foray. A {mostly} wild foraged Paladar from the local forests and glistening woods of the Sierra Nevadas.

Chef Aaron Thompson

Live Music with Mariee Sioux

Forest paintings with Jennifer Rain Crosby.



Bread + Bones

To say that I am excited about this Paladar would be an understatement.  I am on the edge of my friggin chair, people.  I CANNOT wait.


There are only SIX seats left (as of 12:13pm, Sunday, October 23rd)


Get yours HERE and TODAY!