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Saturday, October 9, 2010

10/12 - Stanley Cheng of Meyer Corporation & Hestan Vineyards

Stanley & Helen Cheng of Hestan Vineyards

On Tuesday, October 12, 2010 we welcomed Stanley Cheng, CEO of Meyer Corporation and owner of Hestan Vineyards and learned about the passion of an engineer and international industry innovator in cookware design turned Napa Valley winemaker. 

Stanley Cheng was one of seven children, born in 1947 in Hong Kong. He attended the University of Oregon where he received his degree in mechanical engineering.  Stanley returned to Hong Kong in 1971 to work in his family’s aluminum products manufacturing plant, which he auspiciously converted to crafting cookware.  Stanley’s first line of cookware was launched one year later in 1972 in London, England. Within a few years, distribution centers were established in Liverpool, England and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

In 1981, Stanley Cheng founded Meyer® Corporation, U.S., presently the nation’s largest cookware company.  The company is headquartered in Vallejo, California, 30 miles north of San Francisco and a stone’s throw away from Napa wine country.  Widely recognized cookware brands distributed by Meyer® Corporation, U.S. include: Circulon®, Anolon®, Farberware®, KitchenAid® Cookware, Rachael Ray®, Paula Deen® and SilverStone®.  Additionally, the company’s growing roster of housewares product includes distribution of BonJour® and FineT by IQ Innovations® brand goods. 

Stanley Cheng shares the Meyer story
Meyer® affiliates around the world include cookware factories in Asia and Europe. The numerous factories worldwide together comprise the world’s second largest cookware manufacturing operation with over 100 cookware  lines distributed in more than 30 countries.  The combined factories employ some 7,000 people, producing more than 40 million pans per year.

In addition to managing the business, Stanley Cheng is actively involved in product development and marketing.  With an engineer’s penchant for developing technologically advanced products, and a food and wine lover’s passion for cooking tools, Stanley Cheng is always focused on enhancing the experience of home cooking. He is credited with revolutionizing the cookware industry with his invention of nonstick hard-anodized cookware and the “Hi-Low” circular grooves -- patented under his name -- that significantly increase the durability of nonstick. Introduced in 1985, Circulon® -- the first hard-anodized nonstick cookware -- forever changed the way in which high-end nonstick cookware is made.  The cookware brand will be celebrating its 25th anniversary next year.

Stanley Cheng with his two passions - Meyer & Hestan
At the heels of the successful launch of Circulon®, Stanley Cheng introduced Anolon®, a gourmet cookware brand designed for home cooks seeking optimum performance, versatility and convenience. The brand’s best-selling collection – Anolon Advanced™ Cookware – is constructed of extra-thick, hard-anodized aluminum for fast and even heating, and features an exclusive multiple reinforcement technology for excellent nonstick durability.  The cookware’s stainless steel with silicone Anolon SureGrip® handles provide a durable, soft and secure grip.  Last year, the popular collection was expanded with the addition of Anolon Advanced Bronze™ Cookware and Anolon Advanced Bronze™ Bakeware.  This year, two new clad metal cookware collections, Anolon Ultra Clad™ Cookware and Anolon Chef Clad™ Cookware were introduced at retail. These high performance lines are dishwasher-safe and compatible with all types of cooktops, including energy-efficient induction ranges. 

Befitting a gourmet cookware brand, Anolon® recently launched Creating a Delicious Future with Anolon®, an educational campaign to foster a return to eating delicious foods prepared simply at home using fresh, seasonal, local ingredients.  As part of the new campaign, Anolon® became the exclusive kitchenware sponsor of Slow Food USA, the esteemed nonprofit national organization dedicated to ensuring a delicious future for all Americans.  This summer, Anolon® is the major sponsor of The Edible Garden at The New York Botanical Garden.  Anolon® gourmet cookware, bakeware, cutlery, kitchen tools and gadgets are on display and used by celebrity chefs cooking in the event’s Conservatory Kitchen, prominently staged on the Conservatory Lawn through mid-September.

In the midst of building a world-class cookware enterprise, Stanley Cheng, who also received the 2002 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Housewares Charity Foundation, cultivated his growing passion for wine.  In 1996, four years after moving his family and the cookware company’s headquarters to Vallejo, Stanley and his wife Helen purchased a 127-acre property in Napa Valley.  Hestan Vineyards®, named after both owners, is situated in the rolling hills of eastern Napa Valley.

In 2005, after spending years carefully grooming the vineyard’s reputation by selling grapes to prominent Napa Valley wineries, the Chengs released their first wines from the property, the 2002 Hestan Vineyards® Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2002 Meyer Cabernet Sauvignon; both made by consulting winemaker Mark Herold. The wines were a critical success with the 2002 Hestan Vineyards® Cabernet Sauvignon garnering a 95-point rating from Robert Parker of the Wine Advocate.  Also released in 2005, the 2003 Hestan Chardonnay earned a 94-point review from James Laube of the Wine Spectator.

Last year, the Chengs launched Stephanie, a new line of critically acclaimed red Bordeaux blends made by consulting wine maker Jeff Gaffner, and named after their daughter.

In total, the winery produces just over 5,000 cases annually, comprised of the Hestan Cabernet Sauvignon, Hestan Chardonnay, Stephanie Cabernet Sauvignon, Stephanie Red Wine, Stephanie Merlot and Meyer Cabernet Sauvignon.

Stanley and Helen Cheng live in Hillsborough, California, where they raised their two sons and daughter.  Weekends and vacations are spent at their Hestan Vineyards® in Napa Valley.

~ Recipes Hot Off the Stove from Slow Living Radio's
Co-Host Sally James ~

Shitake mushrooms simmer in sake in the EarthPan

Squash and Ginger Soup with Sake Flamed Shitakes
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, chopped
1 tablsepooon grated ginger
3 cups diced pumpkin or squash (kaboocha is ideal)
2 cups chicken stock
Sake Flamed Shitakes
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups small shitake mushrooms
2-3 tablespoons sake (or vodka)
½ sheet nori, torn into strips

For the shitakes, heat oil in the EarthPan over medium heat and add mushrooms.  Cook for 2-3 minutes then pour in the sake.  Set alight and allow to flame until alcohol evaporates.

Squash soup cooks in the BonJour saucepan
Heat oil in BonJour 3 quart saucepan, add the onion and ginger, and sauté over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until golden.  Add the squash and cook 1-2 minutes further, then pour over the stock. Cover and cook for 15-20 minutes or until squash is soft.  Tip off some of the liquid, and reserve, then puree the remainder using an immersion blender, or in a blender, until smooth and creamy.  Add more of the cooking liquid to bring to desired consistency. Keep warm.

Voila! A finished presentation!

To Serve...

Spoon soup into bowls, add the mushrooms and some of the liquid and scatter with some nori.  Enjoy!


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