There is so much to say about Cheri Puig. She is a lovely neighbor, friend, fan of the Market, frequenter at our weekly community dinner, and a great cook. One evening we were invited for a dinner at her house… long before 20 Mile Radius was even a thing. As we sat there admiring her artwork, scanning her amazing cookbook collection, and chatting about how she and her partner Mike ended up in the area it dawned on us. Within less than 10 miles of the front door at Big Bottom Market, these amazing people with some much history right in their very home are living and enriching our community. It was right then and there that the idea for 20 Mile Radius was born.

Thanks to Cheri and Mike for being good friends and a great part of our community and we hope everyone will enjoy learning Cheri’s story.

How did you land in Monte Rio?
Rich, former partner, and I were living in Woodside; I worked in San Francisco and he worked in San Jose. We were looking for something different to do. A friend invited us to his vacation home in Guernewood Park for the weekend. We liked the area, prices were affordable—so we bought the house I still live in. It was intended to be a temporary stop until we decided what we really wanted to do and where we wanted to be.

Why did you decide to make the area your home?
I have never consciously decided to make this my home. I have just never felt like going somewhere else.

What is your favorite part about living in Western Sonoma County?
One of my favorite things is that it is very hard to pre-judge people in West County based on their address or manner of dressing—or much else! I think I enjoy a more diverse community of friends and acquaintances living on the River than I would most other places.

I also like that I am close to San Francisco, that music of all kinds is easily available, that a change of scenery happens quickly–ocean, redwoods, vineyards….

What is your favorite restaurant?
Probably Terrapin Creek, but I enjoy lots of them! (I like to eat.)

What is your favorite winery?
Paul Mathew.

What about your favorite outdoor activity?
Golf and gardening.

Tell us about your amazing cookbook collection?
I didn’t realize I had one until you told me. The books have just accumulated over the years. When I think of tossing one, I find a recipe in it that I want to try—so I seldom toss a cookbook!

What about the post it notes and bookmarks?
They are just marking pages in the books I want to try or that I have tried. Recently I try to circle pages in the index of each book to indicate that I have tried the recipe. I make notes on the recipe page when I have tried the recipe (good, not so good, bad…) and my thoughts of what might make it better if I choose to make the recipe again.

What is your favorite recipe from the vast collection of cookbooks that you have?
I really don’t have a favorite. I think the recipe I just found is generally the one I get the most excited about—before I have made it. Hard to share a favorite recipe when I don’t know what it is!