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Meeting Chef Joanne Weir and Giveaway

Copita's Shrimp Aguachiles

What do you get when you cross a bona fide celebrity chef with over 20 cookbooks, two cooking shows on PBS and a James Beard award to her name (Joanne Weir) with a well known restaurateur (Larry Mindel) and add a couple of margaritas to the mix?  A tequileria and authentic Mexican eatery in Sausalito called Copita!

Copita - Tequileria y Comida

According to Joanne, it all started when Larry challenged her to a “margarita off” and hers won, hands down.  Given that Larry has wanted to open a Mexican restaurant in Sausalito for the past 40 years, he asked Joanne to help…  and after two margaritas, she said “Sure!”

THE Copita Margarita

What makes Copita such a fun place is not only its laid back California vibe and wall of tequilas (yes, the bar is a showcase for the yummy stuff!) but also its passion for local, artisanal ingredients and a menu that changes on a seasonal basis.  Our favorites included the hand pressed tortillas with Joanne’s special tomatillo sauce, 24-hour carnitas, the wild mushroom tacos and the Copita salad topped with chicken fresh from the wood-fired rotisserie all served on Heath ceramics (also local!)

Joanne Weir's Chardonnay

The best part of our meal was meeting Joanne, who came up and started chatting with us as we oohed and ahhed over the best margarita ever (see recipe here.).  Full disclosure:  we didn’t recognize Joanne at first but as soon as she introduced herself, we knew exactly who she was since Cynthia’s been cooking her “Pork Roasted the Way the Tuscan Do” for ages.  This, of course, lead to a discussion of Joanne’s numerous cookbooks and her latest work, Tequilas: A Guide to Types, Flights, Cocktails and Bites, as well as her pouring us a glass of her brand new Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley.  Needless to say, Joanne was the cherry (or lime) on top of an already fabulous day!


We’re thrilled to be giving away a signed copy of Joanne’s book today!  All you need to do to enter is leave a comment below or send us an email at with “Tequila” in the subject line by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, June 17, 2012 and we’ll choose a lucky winner on Monday, June 18.  Additional entries will be given if you “like” us on Facebook, or tweet about the giveaway using @DianeJamesHome and @JoanneWeirCook.

Carolyn, Joanne Weir and Cynthia

P.S.  We’re thinking about joining Joanne on one of her culinary journeys – which one would you pick?

Photos via Joanne Weir and Copita

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  • Reply The enchanted home June 13, 2012 at 6:48 am

    Wow sounds like my kind of restaurant!! I love Mexican food and this one sounds like a winner. Would love to win the book as I believe you can never ever have too many great cookbooks! And why did you have to share the link to the culinary journeys……now I want to go. Seriously. How amazing, it would be Provence or Tuscany for me, probably Tuscany because I know the food will be that INSANE!!!!
    Hope to win:)

  • Reply pve June 13, 2012 at 7:50 am

    How fun would that be to go on one of those extraordinary culinary journeys!
    I would love the Italian Riviera….or perhaps Spain. Thanks for a fun give-away~

  • Reply Kate @ Party Resources June 13, 2012 at 8:08 am

    What fun and I love a good margarita!

  • Reply Katie Gunter June 13, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Love me some mexican! That margarita looks fantastic! What a fun give away! I love cookbooks, and this would be a fun one to add to my collection!

  • Reply stitchfork June 13, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Tuscany, have always wanted to see Tuscany! Which would you choose?
    xo Cathy

  • Reply Stephanie @ La Dolce Vita June 13, 2012 at 10:12 am

    How fun! And you girls look so cute! I enjoyed seeing your instagram snapshots – looks like a great get-away!

  • Reply Teresa @ Splendid Sass June 13, 2012 at 10:27 am

    You ladies show up in more places!! I know that you had a wonderful time.
    Such a fabulous giveaway!
    Happy Wednesday.

  • Reply Katie O"Keefe June 13, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Oh, I would go to the Culinary Journey to Marrakech, Morocco. I see it’s not scheduled until 2013, so maybe in the meantime you should go to Tuscany too. How fabulous! Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

  • Reply Barbara@HausDesign June 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    You two sure know how to have fun on your business trips! I love a great margarita so I’m taking note of the recipe as well as the restaurant for an upcoming trip to the Bay Area to visit relatives. 🙂 I looked at the list of locations and I really can’t choose – I’d love to do any of them!!!

  • Reply Kelly Market June 13, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    How fun! I’m always looking to expand my cookbook library and I would love to go on one of the culinary journeys….I’m leaning towards Spain : ) Looks like such a fun trip! xx

  • Reply quintessence June 13, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    I love everything about this post!! Good food, delicious wine, new friends and travel!! What could be better. And it looks like a former extremely talented colleague might just be the designer of her wine label – Louise Fili!! Well of course I “like” you everywhere and will tweet out a notice about this fabulous giveaway!!

  • Reply pretty pink tulips June 13, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Margaritas? Mexican food? I was in before I saw that you got to meet the chef!!! How much fun. I think your West Coast swing was tasty from start to finish!!!

    xoxo Elizabeth

  • Reply Faith Boggio June 15, 2012 at 9:17 am

    How much fun is this!!! I love Margaritas and Mexican food. Would love to win!!

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