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Monday, February 13, 2012

2/14/2012 - Valentine's Day Celebration of Heart Month at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, San Francisco

This Valentine's Day, the Slow Living crew return to their friends at San Francisco's beautiful and iconic Mandarin Oriental to join them in their support for the American Heart Association's Heart Month.  Ehler's Estate wines have partnered with the crew from the MO Bar and proceeds from purchases of their wines will go to support the Leducq Foundation (see below).

Nicole and Priscilla
Food and Wine Director extraordinaire, Nicole Kosta, is back to fill us in on the event, the wines and suggestions for wine pairing for your special date, and we are delighted that the vivacious Mixologist, Priscilla Young, will once again join us for some healthy creations to bring a touch of romance to the occasion. Then we'll hear about the hotels' glorious weddings from wedding planner, Tere Garcia, for those considering making the move with their Valentine!

  Heart Association volunteer and Kitchen Wizard/Author, Mari Suzuki, will then give us the scoop all about the work of the Association and her new book about simple ways to prepare healthy global meals.

And for a final touch, we'll hear from the hotel's concierge on hidden romantic gems around the city, as well as some interesting concierge stories.

Mari Suzuki
Healthy Kitchen Wizard

Mari Suzuki, author of “Kitchen Wizard Flexipes: Simple Time-Saving Secrets for Tasty Global Cuisine” is not a chef, nor a nutritionist, but a Kitchen Wizard. 

She whips up an infinite variety of delicious dishes out of thin air (her fridge), in no time -- just like a magical Wizard. She considers herself a Cooking Optimization Expert, not because she has a fancy culinary degree, but because she’s just plain passionate about eating great food from all over the world, and figuring out how to make them at home with the least amount of time, effort, and money. A quick and cheap alternative to travelling across the globe! Having grown up in Tokyo, Japan, the love of efficiency and delicious nutritious food runs in her blood.

Applying what she learned as Global Logistics Consultant at Federal Express, and as a Systems Engineer at IBM, she perfected the most simple, flexible and efficient home-cooking process -- good for any kitchen, cuisine, or diet. 

According to her father-in-law, a former-quarterback from University of Wisconsin, Mari can eat like a football player, yet amazingly she still keeps her tiny figure and the vibrant energy of a 25 year old -- even though she's now 50.  She believes the secret to her health and happiness is a balanced diet, food made at home from whole ingredients, and most of all, her Flexipe (flexi-ble reci-pe) bases.

About Mari’s Book
Amazon link for Kitchen Wizard Flexipes:

Imagine making one simple base, and having a variety of dishes for the week… “Kitchen Wizard Flexipes: Simple Time-Saving Secrets for Tasty Global Cuisine” unlocks the secret of how to whip up delicious meals in minutes night after night, from what you already have on hand.  Mari’s Flexipe (flexible recipe) bases and recipes are a flexible formula for freshly-made dinners that cuts your prep time in half and multiply the variety. Unlike regular recipes, which require you to re-invent the wheel every time, with Flexipes, your entire cooking process will be streamlined. You will re-purpose the base to invent new variety simply by mixing and matching and having fun.  Distilled down to the essence, this book is your key to more efficient cooking and better eating in this busy world.

All the recipes are tested, tasty, and global. You will find unique, simple, and practical secrets you’ve never seen anywhere else — inspired by the culinary wisdom that home cooks from her native Japan rely on every day to create a healthy feast — yet applicable for any kitchen, cuisine, or diet. By using Mari’s Flexipes and tricks, you too will soon feel like a wizard in the kitchen!

“ As an athlete, eating right is a must, but finding time to cook is always a challenge. Mari’s beautiful new cookbook not only delivers easy, healthy, and delicious recipes with a Japanese twist, but walks you through the entire process of meal planning, shopping, and preparation. Her simple “Flexipes” technique will be indispensable building blocks to a healthier lifestyle for years to come.”

— Natalie Coughlin Hall
Three time Olympic gold medalist

“ Flexipes may become a common culinary term as well as the hottest new cookbook to hit the shelves. Mari Suzuki’s beautiful book demystifies meal planning, as you learn to fill your freezer with building blocks of healthy international flavors. This book will be a great resource for both the culinary expert or educator and the interested novice.”

— Alison Negrin
Executive Chef, John Muir Health System
Former Chef, Chez Panisse
Founding Executive Chef, Bridges Restaurant

And finally, a bit about the Leducq Foundation who will benefit from the hotel and Ehler's generosity.

The mission of Foundation Leducq is to improve human health through international efforts to combat cardiovascular and neurovascular disease. 
Recent developments in cardiovascular and neurovascular medicine have been impressive.  New therapeutics, from technological and surgical interventions to innovative pharmaceuticals, have prevented the deaths and eased the suffering of many. Yet there is still much to be done.

Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death and disability worldwide.  Once believed to predominate in the population of wealthier nations, cardiovascular disease is now recognized as a one of the major public health problems of the developing world.  The numbers speak for themselves; for example, more than one billion people on the planet are believed to suffer from hyptertension.  

The Fondation Leducq was created with the idea that the battle against cardiovascular and neurovascular disease should be waged at the international level.  By forging scientific alliances that transcend national borders, and promoting the education of young researchers who thrive in an international context, we hope to be able to promote innovative research, an efficient use of research resources, and the development of long term collaborative relationships that will allow us to continue to meet the challenge of cardiovascular and neurovascular disease in the future.

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