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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

04/02 - A Domaine Chandon Retrospective

Domaine Chandon recently celebrated it's 40th anniversary.  To mark the occasion, its celebrated Yountvile restaurant, Etoile, held an exquisite dinner where Perry Hoffman, the current Executive Chef, crafted a menu honoring each of the past chefs, adding his own new sensibilities to pair with a range of their sparkling signature wines.  Slow Living Radio joins the celebration this week with guests spanning the past 20 years. 

Robert Curry worked as sous chef under Philippe Jeanty in much of the 90's and was coincidentally the Executive Chef in 1999 when Slow Living's Sally James featured the restaurant for an Australian publication, Wayne Donaldson, who became the winemaker the following year, came from Chandon in the Yarra Valley, Australia.  Also, coincidentally, Sally and Stephen Andrews met Wayne when in the Yarra Valley,  just before he left there to move to Yountville.  Small world indeed! 

We also welcome the outstanding and multi-celebrated young chef, Perry Hoffman who has won the restaurant a Michelin Star, a rising star chef award and many other accolades. And finally the current winemaker, Tom Tiburzi will bring us up to date on what's new at Napa Valley's Domaine Chandon.

What is your favorite Sparkling wine and food pairing?
P.H.  Sparkling and anything Asian.

W.D.   It sounds trite but I love sparkling wine and oysters. I love the oysters from Judd Cove (Orcas Island, WA).

R.C.   Onion rings. The real thin and crispy ones. There's something magical about onion rings and bubbles.

T.T   Etoile brut and seared scallops or etoile rose and paella

What did you love the most about working at Domaine Chandon?

P.H.  It’s amazing to work here on such an estate. We have freedom to have a thriving garden and forage from the Domaine Chandon property -  it just makes it feel such a connection to the property and what ends up on the plate throughout the seasons.

W.D.   Other than creating the wines, the opportunity to travel within the Chandon network was amazing.
R.C.  Besides the spectacular beauty of its location? The team I worked with, our guests and my own personal/professional growth. Oh, and I love sparkling wine.

T.T.  First the opportunity to keep my career growing. Second, the opportunity to travel


What is your favorite Napa Valley relaxed day out?

P.H.  A good sunny day of fishing on the Napa River on my boat along with a Fatted Calf sandwich for lunch.

W.D.   Hiking out to Table Rock in the Palisades near Calistoga.
R.C.  A nice hike with my dog. Then come home, grill something delicious for dinner and dine with my family outside in our back yard.

T.T.  To visit one or two wineries, have good bread and cheese for the drive around, then finish the day at one of the great Napa Valley restaurants.
What's your favorite weekend getaway?

P.H.  Tomales Bay, Cabins at Nicks Cove, a hike down to Shell Beach near Inverness.

W.D.   We are blessed with so many opportunities. Check out Shelter Cove in Humboldt County for a romantic getaway.

R.C.  Honestly, I just like to go to the city - head to San Francisco and eat some great food, maybe see a ball game or go for some live music.

T.T.  Seattle
Champagne, France
Favorite International wine growing region?

P.H.  Champagne, Epernay is just amazing. I spent two weeks working with the Chef from Dom Perignon last year. Just incredible history and heritage.

W.D   South Africa or the Alta Adige region in NE Italy
R.C.   Champagne/ Burgundy-It's a toss up
T.T   Champagne, specifically to stay in Epernay!


Perry Hoffman
Chef étoile Restaurant
A Napa Valley native, Perry Hoffman literally grew up in fine dining wine country kitchens, as his grandparents, Sally and Don Schmitt were the original owners of The French Laundry in Yountville. He first became interested in cooking by helping his grandmother in the kitchen, assisting her with tasks such as making croutons, roasting bell peppers and chopping parsley.
He took his first formal restaurant job working as a pantry chef at his neighborhood restaurant at age 15. Three years later, he moved to Anderson Valley to work as a sous chef at the Boonville Hotel, where he learned to cook seasonally, sourcing produce from the restaurant’s vegetable garden. From there, Hoffman became sous chef at Santé Restaurant at Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn, where he remained until getting courted by Chef Robert Curry at Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford in 2005. During his two years at Auberge, Hoffman helped the restaurant achieve its first Michelin star rating.
After joining the culinary team at étoile Restaurant at Domaine Chandon in 2007, Hoffman was quickly appointed Chef. There he captured critical attention in 2010, as the youngest American chef to be awarded a Michelin Star at age 25. Since then, étoile has maintained one Michelin Star for three consecutive years, in 2010, 2011 and 2012. Hoffman was also named a “Rising Star Chef” by the San Francisco Chronicle in 2010, and was a James Beard Foundation Semifinalist for “Rising Star Chef of the Year” in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, Hoffman was named one of Zagat’s “30 under 30,” and also received recognition from Food & Wine, as he was voted “The People’s Best New Chef: California.”

At étoile, Hoffman enjoys creating fresh, seasonally-changing dishes, drawing on the restaurant’s extensive gardens, located throughout the property’s 300-acre estate, which Hoffman describes as a “foragers dream of wild ingredients.” By drawing upon locally-grown resources to create étoile’s menu, “nature tells us what to cook,” he adds. In crafting his dishes, Hoffman also pays special attention to wine pairings, yielding dishes that are balanced and harmonious. étoile’s unique position within a winery allows for daily interaction with Domaine Chandon’s winemaking team, resulting in truly innovative, wine-inspired cuisine.
Hoffman lives in Napa, Calif. Combining his passion for food with his love of the outdoors, when he is away from the kitchen he enjoys fishing and gardening.

Robert Curry
Executive Chef, Auberge du Soleil

 Curry brings to the Auberge a passion for Wine Country cuisine cultivated at award-winning restaurants in the Valley, on both coasts and in Europe.  Prior to joining Auberge du Soleil in spring of 2005, he served as Executive Chef at the Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant at the Culinary Institute of America in St. Helena, Calif.  There, his menus showcased ingredients harvested daily from Greystone’s own organic garden and the bounty of local farmers and purveyors.  Prior to that, he launched the Flying Fish Café, the fine-dining seafood restaurant at the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla.  Curry made a name for himself early on among Northern California food lovers during his eight years at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, Calif., first serving as Executive Sous Chef under Philippe Jeanty and ultimately succeeding him as Executive Chef.

A native of Los Angeles, Curry began his culinary career there in 1986 at Ma Cuisine, Wolfgang Puck and Patrick Terrail’s cooking school, during which time he received his degree from the Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, N.Y.  Following graduation, he was recruited by Michael Richard and Alain Giraud for Citrus Restaurant.  In the late ‘90s, he traveled the world to study cuisine, working with Alain Ducasse at his three-star Louis XV in the Hotel de Paris; with Joseph Thuet at the Moët & Chandon Résidence de Trianon in Epernay, France; and in Paris at the two-star Michel Rostang.
Tom Tiburzi
Winemaker, Sparkling Wine

Tom's love affair with wine began long before coming to Chandon. The son of an Italian immigrant chef and retail wine-and-spirits merchant, food and wine are in his blood. Tom worked in the family stores since early childhood, and along with family and friends, made wine at home using a shared press in the garage. After earning a degree in Environmental Studies and Biology from the University of California at Berkeley, and an early foray into microbiology, Tom reconnected with the family's passion and parlayed his scientific training into a professional winemaking career. He's now spent the last 21 years mastering the art of sparkling winemaking at Chandon. His expertise in the science of sparkling winemaking along with his creative blending skills have played a key role in the creation of Chandon's diverse sparkling-wine cuvées. Currently, Tom continues to demonstrate his exceptional talents as he oversees Domaine Chandon's sparkling program, carrying on a tradition of crafting the finest and broadest range of sparkling-wine styles in America.
Wayne Donaldson
Wayne Donaldson has been a leader in the international wine industry for 27 years. His career began in his homeland of Australia where he earned an enology degree from the prestigious Roseworthy Agricultural College. Following graduation from college, Wayne began his career working as assistant winemaker at high-end table wine producer Brokenwood Wines. In 1988, while earning his Graduate Diploma in Management from Deakin University in Victoria, he became a founding member of the Domaine Chandon Australia winemaking team. Over the next eleven years, he rose to Chief Winemaker and Operations Manager, creating both a sparkling wine and still wine portfolio, which garnered numerous domestic and international awards including “Best Sparkling Wine of the Year” at the 1998 International Wine Challenge held in London.
In 2000 he was promoted to vice-president of winemaking and vineyards for Domaine Chandon California, and parent company, Moet Hennessy USA. This new position, headquartered in Napa Valley, broadened his role to direct all of the company’s sparkling and still wine programs. It also afforded him the opportunity to elevate the quality and prestige of the American sparkling wine brand, with success evidenced by two consecutive years of double-digit growth and doubled profits. During five years in the position he also led the development and launch of the winery’s first varietal still wine program, designed several new sparkling wine styles, planted new vineyards, and reconfigured the winery and winemaking program for higher quality at lower overhead. In 2003 Newton Vineyards was acquired by Moet Hennessy. Wayne joined the board of Directors for Newton Vineyards advising on the strategic development of Newton’s Spring Mountain vineyard and winery facility.

Chandon, Yarra Valley, Australia

After five years at Domaine Chandon, in 2005 Wayne seized the opportunity to become director of north coast winemaking for E&J Gallo Winery, the largest privately owned wine group in the United States. Responsible for all Bordeaux varietal brands, all Pinot Noir brands, the William Hill Winery brand and the Louis Martini brand, Wayne oversaw all elements of the business, including wine style development, wine quality, grape supply, portfolio communication and budget control. By 2008 he was promoted to senior director of coastal winemaking, which held Wayne responsible for all wine grape varietals across all of Gallo’s premium portfolio brands; the winemaking facilities in Napa County, Sonoma County, and Santa Barbara County. During that time, Wayne was responsible for the winemaking, wine style development, and launch of three new successful wine brands: Starborough, a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc: Ghost Pines, a Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay from Napa and Sonoma: and Red Rock, a Merlot and Malbec from California.
With experience in many of the world’s finest wine growing regions including Champagne, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, and California and knowledge of all aspects of he wine business, Wayne decided to expand his repertoire to launch his own winery consulting business. When he’s not making wine, Wayne enjoys cooking and mountain biking the rugged mountain trails of Napa Valley.


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