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Monday, June 11, 2012

06/12 From Culinary Adventures to Wine Controversies

Fast living and the need for quick fixes, has brought a great demise to the culinary skills of Americans, with many young people having no ability to cook unless it's in a box with instructions.  Our first guest has devoted her life to tackling this problem.  Lili Rollins, has forged a career in all things culinary - global adventures, television, education and ....bread.  Now she has responded to the huge need in the US to get kids back in the kitchen, through classes at Air Force Bases, and classes to instill passion for cooking in her local schools.

We then welcome Master Sommelier, Peter Granoff back to the show, to demystify some controversies on wine, and bring some new light to expand your wine world!

Lili Rollins
Lili's Culinary Adventures
Lili with a basket of Bread from her
favorite bakery, The Feel Good Bakery
in Alameda.

Lili Rollins, Principal at Lili's Culinary Adventures has been a food professional for over 20 years. Based in Alameda, Ms. Rollins started her cooking career as an assistant in Martin Yan's Cooking School. As her passion for food and cooking grew, she took her talents with her to Danville where she became the Director of Cooks N Books, a cooking school. Over the next several years she found herself working on a local TV show called, "The ShortCut Cook", creating and running the R.S.V.P. Cooking School and becoming the representative for the Capezzana Wine and Culinary Center in Italy and Lili's Culinary Adventures came into being.

Since that time Ms. Rollins has continued her passion for the culinary arts through her continuous culinary education and involvement in the San Francisco Professional Food Society, the International Association of Culinary Professionals and the Bread Project.   The Bread Project still thrives, bringing underprivileged people the skills to enter the food service and bakery industry, through training and outreach, with their own cafe in Emeryville.

More recently, seeing a need to teach children cooking basics, Ms. Rollins became an instructor for CHEF-K (Culinary Health Education for Kids) where she teaches a five-day program to the youth at Air Force Bases across the country.  She also took her Culinary Adventures into the kitchens of two Oakland Public Schools where she has developed her own program to teach children basic cooking techniques and to instill the passion for food that has been instilled in her by many wonderful professionals along her way.

Matters of Wine with Peter Granoff, M.S.

The topic of corkage is a one that is hugely controversial and makes for lively discussion.  Peter will shed light on the reasoning behind corkage fee in restaurants, and give us the low down on what the fee actually covers. 


Next we'll do battle over the dilemma of wine closures.  Are you a "cork-purist", a "screw-cap-convert" or do you like the new boxes and pouches?  We'll see what Peter has to say and some of the science behind the transitions. 


Greece is suffering from it's tragic economic crisis and not only is tourism and quality of life suffering.  Peter brings us the story of Greece’s wine industry, which was on the cusp of a revival when hit by the crisis.

Peter Granoff, M.S.
Co-Owner, Oxbow Wine and Cheese Merchant

In 1991 Peter Granoff was the 13th American to earn the coveted title Master Sommelier, and is one of the 16 Americans to date that have earned the Krug Champagne Cup by passing all three parts of the exam on the first attempt. He is active today as an examiner and lecturer for the Court of Master Sommeliers Introductory, Advanced and Masters level programs. In 1991 Peter also received the James Beard Foundation Sommelier of the year Award.

In January of 1995 Peter and his brother-in-law Robert Olson, a software engineer, launched Virtual Vineyards, an ecommerce pioneer and the first US entity to sell wine on the Internet. According to Wells Fargo Bank, Virtual Vineyards was the first business ever to process a secure credit card transaction over the Internet. It was also the subject of a Harvard Business School Case Study, and was cited in numerous business and e-commerce marketing journals & texts as a pioneer during that heady (headless?) era. The company had a good six-year run and grew to $28 million in annual sales before what Peter calls “the era of ludicrous expectations” caught up with it.

Prior to Virtual Vineyards Peter spent 25 years in the hospitality industry as a food & beverage director, wine buyer, sommelier, bartender, waiter, box schlepper, dishwasher, and busboy, including two years in the Burgundy region of France, and a year with a Relaix & Chateaux hotel in Switzerland. He even “faked it as a chef” on several occasions. He is active as a speaker, panelist, judge, and educator in numerous consumer and industry settings, and has presented at professional wine and e-commerce conferences at American universities such as Harvard, Wharton, Rhodes, and UC Berkeley, and as far away as Switzerland, France, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.

In 2002 Peter joined the Adjunct Faculty at the Culinary Institute of America’s new Professional Wine Studies Program, and was an active instructor until the demands of his latest business ventures forced him to take a hiatus.

Since 2003 Peter has been co-proprietor of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar in San Francisco’s acclaimed Ferry Building Marketplace. In January of 2008 Peter and his current business partners opened Oxbow Wine Merchant & Wine Bar, and Oxbow Cheese Merchant, in the newly created Oxbow Public Market in downtown Napa, California. These three businesses benefit from Peter’s accumulated business experience, down to earth perspective on wine, great sense of humor and thoroughly gray hair.
Twitter: @oxbowwine • @oxbowcheese • @fpwm

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