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Monday, November 12, 2012

11/13 - The Chef and His Local "Family" - Brad Farmerie

Slow Living Radio continues its toast to chefs who search their local fields, farms, wineries and aritisans to build a family, and adorn their tables with their locality, bringing the diners a closer connection with community and embracing the Slow Food ethic of supporting small, local and sustainable.  Hear their stories and be inspired to go in search of your local family!

After Sally had tasted the cheeses and wine on offer, she just had to create something in their honor - scroll down to see!

Brad Farmerie, Executive Chef
The Thomas and Fagiani’s at The Thomas
Napa, California

Brad Farmerie grew up in Pittsburgh in a food-loving family. His mother, an avid home cook, exposed him to a variety of cuisines and insisted on home baked bread and vegetables straight from the family garden. Farmerie enrolled at Penn State, intent on completing a degree in mechanical engineering. Two years into his studies it became apparent that the cooking he did to pay his tuition was the real source of his collegiate contentment. Thus he took a year-long hiatus from studying the principles of physics to exploring first-hand the cuisines and wines of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, Southeast Asia and the Antipodes.
This travel inspired Farmerie to follow his love for food to the U.K. and then earn his “Grand Diplome” at Le Cordon Bleu in 1996. He further rounded out his education and technique at acclaimed restaurants Coast, Chez Nico and Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons. Most influential to his own style was his experience working with Peter Gordon at the Sugar Club, and he went on to assist Gordon and Anna Hansen in opening the critically-acclaimed The Providores and Tapa Room in 1996.

In 2003, Farmerie moved back to the States to head up the kitchen of the first AvroKO-designed, owned and operated restaurant, PUBLIC, where his culinary magpie method takes cues from broad source material, looking to Asia, the Antipodes, and Europe for inspiration. The New York Times described this global approach as one that “swings for the fences with each and every dish,” and Michelin has awarded the restaurant a coveted star every year since 2009. 2006 saw the opening of The Monday Room, a 20-seat wine bar inside of PUBLIC; and in 2008, AvroKO Hospitality Group opened a gin den, Madam Geneva, which quickly became one of New York City’s most compelling drinking destinations.

 In Fall of 2011, Farmerie focused his lens on traditional American grill fare to open Saxon + Parole with AvroKO Hospitality Group. The restaurant showcases domestic meat and seafood, as well as seasonal and sustainable produce, marked with Farmerie’s signature global twist in flavors and cooking methods. In March of 2012, Farmerie and AvroKO Hospitality Group opened The Daily in the space adjacent to PUBLIC. The small plate- and cocktail-focused concept offers a rotating menu, which changes daily. In August 2012, Farmerie once again teamed with AvroKO Hospitality Group to open The Thomas and Fagiani’s at The Thomas in a historic building located in Napa, California. There, Chef Farmerie showcases a menu that is enlivened by a wood-fire grill and enriched by Farmerie’s unique style using international flavors and culinary twists.
Brad Farmerie has been featured across a wide range of international media platforms, including The Martha Stewart Show, the CBS Early Show, and NBC’s TODAY Show. He is also an acclaimed author, who has written for many publications such as Food Arts. Among his numerous awards and accolades, Farmerie was named a StarChefs “Rising Star Chef” in 2005; one of Food Arts’ “Emerging Tastemakers” in 2006; and has been touted as one of Global Magazine’s Top 50 “Chefs to Watch.”



Ehrin Jordan
Winemaker and Owner
Failla is dedicated to sourcing cool climate fruit from the extreme coastal areas of Sonoma County.  Winemaker Ehren Jordan began his career with a two-year apprenticeship in the Rhône, followed by years of making wines for Neyers Vineyards and Turley Wine Cellars. Ehren and his wife Anne-Marie Failla founded Failla in 1998 and since then have built a winery and caves in St. Helena, as well as a reputation around a growing portfolio of wines that include Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays influenced by Ehren’s viticultural training in France.  In 2008, The San Francisco Chronicle named Ehren “Winemaker of the Year”.
His wife, Anne-Marie currently manages the business side of Failla and the business end of our daughters Audrey, born in 2001 and Vivien, born in 2005.
"FAILLA is a top-notch source of high
quality, European-inspired wines
that combine flavor, intensity
and elegance."
-Robert M. Parker
The Wine Advocate
December 26, 2006


Debra Dickerson
Cowgirl Creamery
This is the story of two friends, a baby blue Chevy van and a lifelong love affair with food. Sue Conley and Peggy Smith took a hippy trip to San Francisco in 1976 after finishing degrees at the University of Tennessee. Both established careers in some of San Francisco’s most famous kitchens: Peggy spending 17 years at Chez Panisse, and Sue co-owning Bette’s Oceanview Diner in Berkeley.

By the early 1990s, Peggy and Sue were ready for a new challenge. They found it in Pt. Reyes Station, a picturesque postage-stamp-of-a-town on the coast about an hour north of San Francisco. With their first-hand knowledge of the restaurant business, they launched Tomales Bay Foods, a marketing vehicle to help West Marin’s farms and dairies get their delicious products into the hands of the Bay Area’s finest chefs. Their first location, a renovated hay barn in downtown Point Reyes, featured a small cheesemaking room at the entrance to the building. It gave them ideas. Using milk from neighboring Straus Family Creamery, they began making delicious fresh cheeses.

Two decades, dozens of awards, two creameries, four retail stores and two thousand tons of cheese later, it’s safe to say they’ve earned their 10-gallon hats.

Cowgirl Creamery cheeses are sold to over 500 stores, independent cheese shops, farmers markets and restaurants, and nationally through Whole Foods Markets. And true to their community ethos, Tomales Bay Foods continues to support and promote artisan cheesemaking, offering over 200 cheeses from all over California, America and Europe through their website and retail locations.


About Debra....

Sales and Sustainable Development
Tomales Bay Foods, Cowgirl Creamery
Founding Member Cheese Choice Coalition, for the continued production and sale of raw milk cheese in the USA.
Member Slow Foods + California Artisan Cheese Guild
Beloved companion of grumpy old dog Ruby.
Walnut and Honey Mille Fueille with Red Hawk Triple Creme
....paired with Failla Sonoma Coast Chardonnay
My two favorite tastings from tonight's show, the Red Hawk Triple Creme, with a wonderful rich pungency and a gorgeous rind!  Smooth like the Failla Chardonnay, which has a beguiling flintiness balanced by fresh citrus and soft jasmine.  A wonderful combination to compliment the cheese, so I added a Mille Feuille with walnuts, the nuts helping to bridge the wine and cheese with their toasty complexity.  I like to use spring roll wraps as their resulting transparency and fragile crispness are quite stunning.  You could also use won ton wrappers of filo.
Spring Roll Wrappers
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
finely diced raw walnuts
brown or palm sugar
Cowgirl Creamery Red Hawk Triple Creme
organic honey (I love the Tasmanian Leatherwood for it's fresh, foresty lift)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking tray with parchment. 

Brush a spring roll wrapper with olive oil and cover with a thin layer of walnuts.  Sprinkle with sugar to taste (not too much or it may burn).  Repeat with as many as you like as they will keep, sealed in a cool cupboard for several weeks.

Transfer to baking tray and bake for 5-6 minutes or until golden brown.  Don't forget as they burn easily.  Carefully lift onto a wire rack and cool.  Break into desired sized pieces.

Just before serving, slice cheese thinly and warm honey  in a dish set over hot water until runny.

Place one piece of walnut cracker on a plate, top with a slice of cheese and a light drizzle of honey to melt the cheese.  Repeat to as high a mound as you like, topping with cheese and final drizzle of honey.

Enjoy the interplay of textures - crisp, soft, gooey, crunchy and silky wine!

Bon appetit from Sally


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