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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

3/29 - A TRIBUTE TO JAPAN: Featuring Hiro Sone & Lissa Doumani of Restaurant Terra in St. Helena and Ame in San Francisco

Hiro Sone & Lissa Doumani

A Tribute to Japan

Two years ago a group of chefs from the US were on an adventure to Sendai Japan led by Sho and Jiro Kamio.  Together they explored the culinary background of Sendai and parts of Miyagi prefecture.  This was an eye opening experience for these chefs, most having never been to Japan and none to the area of Sendai. They visited a small Sendai Miso producer, a Japanese beef farm; they experienced the quality of Miyagi Wakame (seaweed), uni and scallops in Matsushima.  They tasted sake at Ichinokura and got to understand the process of making sake. They learned of the Sendai Oyster farms which are the parents of almost all the oysters raised on the west coast of the US.  Many of these farms are now gone and the families have lost everything. 

Having met the families and employees behind the products they got to know has motivated these chefs to create a dinner inspired by the products they found on the trip to honor the loss the area has experienced and to hopefully help these farmers reestablish their livelihood.  Details on the dinner are below for those interested in attending.

Our guests tonight, are not only active participants in this dinner, one of them, Hiro Sone, is a native to the region of Meyagi.  Together they will bring us a taste of Japan, its food, lifestyle and culture, from 2 very different perspectives. Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani are world famous restaurateurs with 2 Michelin-starred restaurants, and have an amazing and inspirational story to tell of how their paths met and cultures melded.  Hiro will bring us an insider’s view of this beautiful and bountiful region and how he has brought a taste of the Japanese palate to the US. Come on this journey with us, honoring one of the world’s oldest and most diverse cultures; and in tribute to those who have lost their lives family, friends, homes and livelihood.

About our guests:

Hiro Sone is the chef-owner of Terra restaurant in St. Helena, CA, and Ame in San Francisco, CA. Hiro has come a long way from his beginnings on a premium rice farm in Miyagi, Japan. The cuisine of the three-time nominee and 2003 winner of the James Beard Foundation's Best Chef of California subtly pay homage to his Japanese heritage. But years of disciplined training, cooking experience, and global travel have had equal influence over refined and eclectic cooking style. Hiro and his wife Lissa opened Terra in 1988 to overwhelming acclaim and it remains one of the Napa Valley's top restaurants. Their newest restaurant, Ame, brings the signature taste of their wine country restaurant to appreciative San Francisco diners. Hiro received a James Beard award for "Best California Chef" in 2003, and in 2008 Terra received the "Best Serve Award" from the James Beard Foundation. Terra has received a Michelin star every year since 2007, and Ame has received a Michelin star every year since 2008. Hiro is the co-author of Terra: Cooking from the Heart of the Napa Valley, a cookbook that was nominated for a James Beard "Best American Cookbook" award in 2001.

Lissa Doumani’s luscious desserts may have earned her the nickname “Pastry Princess,” but the fortysomething pastry chef is anything but a prima donna. As the restaurants front-woman, accounting maven, and dining room and pastry manager she hardly has time to perch on fluffed pillows and eat bonbons while her prince, husband/Terra chef Hiro Sone works the pots and pans.

Co-owner Lissa was born into the world of food and wine. As the daughter of Carl Doumani, owner of Stags’ Leap Winery and one-time restaurateur, she spent the first half of her childhood in Los Angeles where her father owned Mexican restaurants. The second half of her youth was spent surrounded by the vineyards and culinary culture of Napa Valley. In both locales she and her family cooked together with regularity. Lissa enjoyed the closeness, bantering, and bickering that went on in the kitchen. By the time she was 12 she knew a restaurant was in her future.

Lissa’s gregarious and confident nature came in handy long before she began welcoming customers at Terra. Upon graduating from high school she started college and briefly worked her way up from dishwasher to pantry in a Yountville restaurant owned by original French Laundry owner Sally Schmitt. But 1982 was the fateful year that she talked her way into a pastry apprenticeship at Wolfgang Puck’s renowned restaurant Spago Hollywood—despite the fact that she had little formal training. Under the tutelage of famed chef and baker Nancy Silverton, she came into her own and secured a position as pastry chef. 

Her job at Spago provided Lissa with more than newfound skills. It was in Wolfgang Puck’s kitchen that she met her future husband and business partner, Japanese chef Hiro Sone, who was training to open Spago Tokyo.

In 1983 the adventurous chef headed to Sydney, Australia, where she designed pastry programs for two hotels over six months, then headed to Tokyo to teach pastry techniques to the Japanese chefs at Spago Tokyo. After a two-month stay and a rekindling of her budding romance with Hiro she and the Japanese chef returned to Los Angeles to embark on life together. Hiro oversaw the kitchen at Spago Hollywood, while Lissa wowed diners and received rave reviews as pastry chef at Roy Yamaguchi’s restaurant 385 North.

Soon afterward, Lissa’s entrepreneurial spirit and a stunning available restaurant space in Napa Valley beckoned her to return to Northern California. In 1988 she and Hiro opened Terra, a nationally acclaimed restaurant celebrating the couple’s culinary expertise, travel experiences, and preference for intimate, world-class dining. Since then she has greeted guests, made sure the bills are paid, orchestrated the d├ęcor and staff, and wowed guests nightly with gorgeous and decadent yet refined desserts such as a dense Chocolate Brownie with Bourbon Ice Cream, Orange Risotto in a Brandy Snap with Passion Fruit Sauce, and seasonal tarts, all of which she oversees.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Lissa co-authored with Hiro Terra: Cooking from the Heart of Napa Valley (Ten Speed Press) in 2000 while overseeing the dining room and pastry program. Today her precision management and attention to detail is a primary reason that after 22 years in business Terra is still one of the most cherished dining experiences in Napa Valley.  ###

 A very special dinner at Prospect for

Chef’s United for Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami Farm Aid

Dinner April 3, 2011
Starting at 6:00 with Sparkling and passed appetizers
Sit down at 7:00
Cost $300 per person, 100% of proceeds go to Charity
To Purchase Ticket go to:

The north coast of Japan and specifically the Miyagi Prefecture was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.  The dinner that will take place at Prospect is a very personal reaction to this catastrophe.

Featured chefs:
Bruce Hill, Bix, Picco, Zero Zero
Ravi Kapur, Prospect
Paul Canales, Former Executive Chef of Oliveto
Staffan Terje, Perbacco and Barbacco
Sho Kamio, Yoshi’s
Hiro Sone and Lissa Doumani, Ame and Terra, honorary chef’s whose family live in Miyagi Prefecture

Monday, March 21, 2011

3/22 - A TOAST TO COLOR!: Featuring Muralist & Color Consultant Angela Tirrell and Amy Myrdal Miller of the Culinary Institute of America

Color plays a very important role in our lives, whether it’s the colors that surround us, what we wear or what is on our dinner plates and in our glasses.  In this episode of Slow Living Radio, we’ll explore the realm of color, the impact it has and how to manipulate it to improve our quality of life.

Angela Tirrell, renowned Bay Area muralist and color consultant will explain the effects of color in our home and how it can affect the “emotional ambience," giving us insight into building an environment to suit your lifestyle.

As we all know, America is facing an obesity crisis with rampant chronic health problems.  This has led to a move from the food industry to create more nutritionally sound products and from restaurants to try to meet the growing demand for healthier choices.  The Culinary Institute of America has spearheaded a number of programs to address this need and Program Director, Amy Myrdall Miller, will explain some of these initiatives.  Amy will also help us understand the role of color in our diet, its impact on our bodies and health, what are the best sources and how to use color to gain better health.

So, raise your deep red wine or acai smoothie and let’s toast Color!

Angela Tirrell directing her team
from the scaffold!

Angela Tirrell, Uncommon Muralist & Color Consultant with TIRRELL DECORATIVE PAINTING

After years and years of studio art and art history classes on both coasts, and secret painting at night, at age 27 Angela Tirrell (pronounced "teer- uhl") left a
desk job at a Performing Arts Center in Brooklyn to begin her life!

Six months later, as head of her own mural company and a team of eight international painters, Tirrell won a contract to paint the Lobby and sales office of the Trump Parc Hotel, New York -- and has researched, designed and painted murals for residential, commercial and public spaces throughout the US and abroad for 26 years.  The artist also makes serious studio pieces -- mostly large abstract paintings.

Tirrell's love of color and the needs of various clients caused the creation of full-service color consulting 12 years ago as an adjunct to mural design--and the technical, practical, emotional concerns that color elicits continue to make the work fresh.  Tirrell Decorative Painting uses superb-quality "eco" paints--or paints that do not shed toxins once dry.  Clients end up with beautiful, healthful and practical living and working environments!

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RD - Program Director, Strategic Initiatives,
The Culinary Institute of America

Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RD
Amy Myrdal Miller, MS, RD, is the program director for strategic initiatives at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. A registered dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition communications from Tufts University School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Amy has focused her career on nutrition research, education, and communications with a focus on promoting the health, flavor, and culinary benefits of whole foods.

An invited presenter at state, national, and international conferences, Amy is also frequently interviewed by national print and online media outlets for stories related to culinary nutrition, trends, and sustainability. Amy’s newest responsibilities at the CIA including leading planning for Healthy Flavors, Healthy Kids, the CIA’s national initiative focused on food education, culinary strategy, and flavor insights that will improve children’s access to fresh, flavorful food in a variety of environments.

Prior to joining the CIA, Amy led domestic marketing and health research efforts for the California Walnut Commission, directed nutrition education and nutrition marketing programs for Dole Food Company, and conducted cardiovascular health research studies at the Rippe Lifestyle Institute in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.

Amy was the 2003 recipient of the Produce for Better Health Foundation Diamond Crystal Award for her leadership in developing an online children’s nutrition education program. Amy is the co-author of The Healthy Heart Cookbook for Dummies and the executive editor of the Dole 5 A Day Kids Cookbook.

Amy is a member of the American Dietetic Association (ADA), the 2010-2011 Chair of the Food & Culinary Professionals Dietetic Practice Group of the ADA, a member of the Cooking Light Nutrition Advisory Board, and a member of the Northarvest Bean Growers Association Nutrition Editorial Board. She is also a member of Les Dames D’Escoffier, San Francisco Chapter. Amy and her husband, Scott Miller, live in Sacramento.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Slow Living Radio heeded the call to "Live in Italian" as we broadcast live from the opening reception of the 9th Annual Almost Famous Chef competition at Yountville's own V Wine Cellar.

Chef Fabio Viviani
We first spoke with Jorge Torres of S. Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, who shared the 9-year history of this fabulous competition that seeks the top young chef talent from culinary schools throughout the Unites States and Canada.  Much more than a competition, the Almost Famous Chef program is a platform for continued learning and mentorship that is in a class all its own!

Chef Ralph Pagano

Next, we visited with star chefs Ralph Pagano, Fabio Viviani, and returning Almost Famous chef-ambassador Jonathan Lynch to hear inspiring stories of high pressure competition and high calibre camaraderie!

Chef Jonathan Lynch

Sunday, March 6, 2011

3/8 - NORTH MEETS SOUTH: A Taste of Victoria, Australia at Cavallo Point The Lodge at the Golden Gate

Join us on Tuesday, March 8, 2011 as Slow Living Radio celebrates a special northern-meets-southern-hemisphere event - Victoria, Australia: Taste It! from the beautiful Cavallo Point Lodge.

Cavallo Point is an understated San Francisco Bay area luxury lodge in one of America's most popular National Parks. Set in an idyllic location on the San Francisco Bay at the foot of the Golden Gate Bridge – just minutes from San Francisco excitement, Sausalito charm and Marin Headlands activities. Kid-friendly and dog-friendly, Cavallo Point Lodge is the perfect location for an intimate escape, fun-filled getaway or great family vacation. Named one of the Top 10 New American Landmarks by Travel+Leisure, this LEED Gold Certified eco-resort is one of the most romantic destinations in the San Francisco Bay Area and a springboard for Northern California adventures.
Murray Circle, Cavallo Point's Michelin Star restaurant was the chosen venue for two esteemed chefs to showcase their craft using ingredients sourced from the South-Eastern Australian state of Victoria.
Chef Guy Grossi

Guy Grossi, one of Australia’s most celebrated chefs, entrepreneurs and television hosts, brought the magic that he delivers daily at his flagship restaurant Grossi Florentino in Melbourne, and his four other venues.  And Chef Joseph Humphrey infused the ingredients with his modern Californian style of fine dining that guests enjoy at Murray Circle.

(left to right)
Peter Heinemann & Mike Freed of Cavallo Point
Our show tonight brings you a taste of the dinner. First, Cavallo Point's Peter Heinemann welcomes us to The Lodge, educating us on its unique history, environmental mission and many “pleasure factors”.

Next, we welcome back Victor Perton, Victoria’s Commissioner to the Americas who gives us a taste of Victoria; its food, wine and many charms. (for more with “Victor and Victoria”, listen to our program from December 2010 -

(from left)
Chef Joseph Humphrey, Victor Perton & Chef Guy Grossi
Rugby Wilson,  Marketing Director for Meredith Dairy, tells us the story behind the exquisite marinated cheese on the menu
Southern Rock Lobster - A Star of the Show!
and Matt Muggleton, Market Development Manager for Southern Rock Lobster gives us a taste of the highly sustainable Australian seafood industry, particularly the succulent Rock Lobster.

Enjoy this culinary journey of Victoria from Cavallo Point The Lodge at the Golden Gate!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

3/1 - FROM THE GRIDIRON TO THE VINEYARDS: A Conversation with Carmen Policy

Gail & Carmen Policy at Casa Piena in Yountville

Slow Living Radio visited with former San Francisco 49ers Football executive-legend turned vintner, Carmen Policy. 

Carmen Policy 's personal and private lives characterize a commitment to providing the best possible effort driven by an extraordinary sense of passion.

Carmen Policy currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Gail.  They presently split their time between San Francisco and the Napa Valley where they are actively involved with their working vineyard.  Policy has established a wine under the label of Casa Piena, Italian for “full house”, in recognition of his five children: James (a pediatric-orthopedic surgeon); Daniel (an attorney); Edward (an attorney); Kerry Rae (an MBA graduate); and Kathleen (an attorney).

Policy recently served as president & chief executive officer of the Cleveland Browns from 1998-2004.  He joined the Browns after being named an equity partner by Owner and Chairman Alfred Lerner when Lerner and he were awarded the franchise on September 8, 1998. The formal transfer of ownership from the Browns Trust to Lerner and Policy occurred on October 23, 1998. Despite having to hire a front office and coaching staff prior to the ensuing expansion draft in February of 1999, the shortest time frame between confirmation of ownership and the initial season of play for any recent expansion franchise, Policy helped the Browns reach the post-season in 2002 - the club’s fourth season.

While serving as President & CEO of the Browns, Policy was a member of the NFL Business Ventures Committee (which deals directly with the business and for-profit activities of the NFL) as well as the Super Bowl Advisory Committee and the Los Angeles Market Advisory Group. He also previously has served as a member of the NFL Finance Committee and the Committee on Opportunities and Challenges.

Policy earned a reputation as one of the preeminent executives in professional sport during eight years as president and chief executive officer of the San Francisco 49ers. Both The Sporting News and Pro Football Weekly named him NFL Executive of the Year in 1994, the latter award having been determined by a vote of NFL owners and executives. The Sporting News and GQ Magazine have also named him as one of the most influential people in professional sports. Known for his swift, decisive style, rapid grasp of complex issues and adept problem solving abilities, Policy played a role in all five of the 49ers’ Super Bowl winning teams and helped shape the course for a 49ers organization that became widely viewed as the hallmark sports franchise of the 1980s and ‘90s.

While practicing law in Northeastern Ohio, Policy served the 49ers front office in 1983 as vice president and general counsel. Upon becoming executive vice president in 1989, he took on added responsibility for the team’s front-office activities and represented the 49ers on league matters. He became president and chief executive officer in 1991, at which time he moved to the San Francisco Bay area.  One of Policy’s biggest challenges came during and immediately after the 1993 season, when he was given a mandate to build and maintain a championship team. Creatively applying the NFL’s new salary cap rules, he helped retain key veterans and signed top-quality free agents and draft picks to create a team that responded by winning Super Bowl XXIX (1994 season). The 49ers remained Super Bowl contenders for the four years following Super Bowl XXIX.

An ardent believer in public service, Policy formerly served for several years on the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation and has maintained a high level of civic and charitable involvement in the communities in which he lived and worked. Those efforts earned him numerous honors, including the prestigious Silver Cable Car Award from the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau for contributions to the development of the city’s business community. He also received The Mayor’s Fiscal Advisory Committee Award in recognition of his managerial experience. He presently serves on the Georgetown Law Center’s Board of Visitors and the UCSF Boards of Trustees.   Until recently he served  on the Board of the California Academy of Sciences and had the privilege of doing so from the start of its construction of the magnificent new building until 3 years after it opened. 

Policy is a 1963 graduate of Youngstown State University, which honored him as Alumnus of the Year in 1997. He earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1966. While he was practicing law, he was listed in all of the existing editions of the highly respected publication, The Best Lawyers in America. Inclusion in the publication is a significant honor since it is based on peer evaluation.  Policy and his wife, Gail, have personally designed and endowed the Carmen and Gail Policy Clinical Fellowship at the Georgetown University Law Center which promotes advocacy in the area of civil rights. ###