Posted on June 16, 2022 by Sonoma Valley Sun
Spread Kitchen, Christina Topham’s first traditional restaurant, opens today in Boyes Hot Springs.
Highway 12 Restaurant – the former site of Sonoma Eats – offers locally prepared Eastern Mediterranean dishes: Topham’s shawarma, falafel, salads and dip plates, made popular at the Friday Sonoma Valley herpop-up stand Farmers Market.
Spread offers take-out and dine-in options, indoors or on the sunny patio.
“Opening a cafe/restaurant is something I’ve been dreaming about for decades,” says Topham, a third-generation Lebanese-American. “I always loved coffee culture as a kid, growing up in San Francisco and Los Angeles as a teenager, then New York, and especially during my trip to Lebanon, I saw firsthand see how integral this culture is to a thriving community.”
Topham grew up in Burlingame before moving to New York for 15 years. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute in 1999, cut her teeth as a line cook at the Savoy in New York and as a chef at Tuller Premium Food in Brooklyn, before heading on a journey where she became the leader of the superyacht galley industry. in the whole world.
Back on earth and in Northern California, she started Spread Catering in 2016 as a tribute to her Lebanese heritage and love of travel. After losing most of its catering business in 2020 due to the pandemic, Topham has evolved Spread Catering into a ready meals, meal kit and catering business.
“Our menus will change seasonally as we source much of the ingredients from local farms and producers throughout the Bay Area,” says Chef Topham. “Respect – for the ingredients, my customers and the people I work with – is the cornerstone of my business.”
The head chef is Nick Urban. The two met through mutual chef friends during the pandemic when her deposit business started to grow and she needed extra help in the kitchen; it was ‘hummus at first sight’.
Urban was born in Hawaii and once he chose to pursue a career as a chef, he attended American River College in Sacramento, where he earned an AA in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. Nick and his family then moved to Wine Country where he joined the Health team. While there, he earned a Michelin star and was included in San Francisco’s 100 Best Restaurants.
Stays at Bottega and Dean & DeLuca followed.
“When I started working with Cristina, I was shocked to see how much lemon and garlic this kitchen contains!” said Urban. “’Need more lemon!’ echoed in the kitchen for our first two weeks working together until my palate adjusted. It clicked once I understood the ingredients, flavors and techniques that make this cuisine so beautiful. I look forward to continuing my culinary journey discovering Lebanese cuisine and sharing my love with the Springs community.
Spread Kitchen will offer counter service that can accommodate 14 people indoors and 30 outdoors. There’s also a retail area with spices, pita chips, loot, cookbooks, and more. Chef Topham will continue Spread Catering services as well as the Sonoma Friday Farmers Market and Napa Saturday Farmers Market, as staff permits.
There is free public parking one block south of the restaurant on Hwy 12 in East Thomson, across from La Michoacana.
Located at 18375 Sonoma Highway. Open Thursday-Monday 11am-6pm, with additional hours and days depending on staff. For more information, contact 707.934.7559. www.spreadkitchensonoma.com
Photo credit: Lauren Geoffrey