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Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Proudy brought to you by Complexity: representing 21 of New Zealand’s great wineries, 8 wine regions and 59 fine wines.  The wines showcase the diverse nature of each region, which you can discover by going to and clicking on a region.


(Northern region of South Island)
Nautilus Estate

Clive Jones
Winemaker and winery manager

"Marlborough is really the heart of the New Zealand wine industry and what a great place to bring up a family".  Clive Jones originally trained as a chemist before being drawn to the wine industry. He completed a Wine Science degree from Charles Sturt University, and worked with Selaks Wines prior to joining Nautilus in August 1998.

Clive is leading Nautilus' two key projects.  The first is the clonal and vineyard block designated Pinot Noir Program followed by the intense viti-focus of the Serious Sauvignon Program.  Together, these projects are putting Nautilus at the forefront of New Zealand's wine industry.

On Pinot Noir, Clive's program has involved clonal research, trialing and international benchmarking, traveling to Oregan for a Pinot Noir study trip and to Burgundy to work a vintage at Domaine Dujac.

On Sauvignon Blanc, Clive's passion for the distinctive Marlborough characteristics leads the way for developmental dialog on style differences and bottle development.  He refers to to signature styles: Nouveau Sauvignon Blanc vs "Serious" Sauvignon Blance. 

(Northern region of North Island)

Kumeu River Winery
Michael Brajkovich, MW. ; B.App.Sc.Oenology

Michael studied Oenology at Roseworthy Agricultural College in South Australia, now part of the University of Adelaide. He graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Oenology (Wine Science) as dux of his year, and returned to the family vineyard and winery in Kumeu to take responsibility for wine production. Since then he has travelled extensively through the world’s wine areas and had the opportunity to spend the 1983 vintage in France.

Based on this experience a new range of wines was developed under the Kumeu River label. In particular, the Chardonnay has enjoyed critical acclaim and success in international markets. Two new single vineyard Chardonnays were released in 2007, and exciting developments have been taking place with Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris from Kumeu.

In 1989 Michael passed the Examination and became New Zealand’s first member of the Institute of Masters of Wine, London. He has many years experience in judging at the Air New Zealand Wine Awards, and at several Australian Capital City Wine Shows.

Michael has been involved with the New Zealand Screwcap Wine Seal Initiative, of which he was Chairman in 2001-2003. He currently sits on the Wine Science Board of Studies for the University of Auckland, and has been collaborating with the University in recent years on a study investigating indigenous yeast fermentations.

 (Southern South Island)

Felton Road Wines
Nigel Greening

A grammar school education was followed by a term at college, before Nigel left to follow the more attractive route of blues guitarist. A singular lack of success led to an early career in printing, before starting a design company in the early 70’s. A spell doing special effects and presentations predated the establishment of an agency: Park Avenue, in 1979.

Park Avenue became established as one of the world’s leading presentations and production companies, over the following 20 years, a period where Nigel divided his time between working on international brand marketing for clients such as BMW, Porsche and British Airways, directing film projects with the occasional effects and engineering projects, such as dark rides (Disney, General Motors, The Millennium Dome), Expo Pavillions and global car launches.

Nigel first visited Central Otago in 1996, living there for a year in 1998-9 while working for BMW. During that time he acquired a taste for the newly released first vintage of Felton Road (1997), and purchased his own vineyard land at Cornish Point in Bannockburn. He purchased Felton Road in 2000 following the retirement of Stuart Elms, the founder.

Married (Kharis) with 3 children (Nicola, 41; Hamish, 11; Lara, 9) he lives in Wanaka NZ. Past-times are cooking (he is executive chef at the nefarious “Panini Noir” Restaurant at Felton Road), fly fishing, Jazz Guitar and Burgundy.

(Southern tip of North Island)

Palliser Estate Wines

Pip Goodwin,
Associate Winemaker,           

Pip describes her winemaking job as being her dream job.  She used to be an accountant/management consultant.  That was not her dream job!  After working vintages in New Zealand and the United States and completing her Postgraduate Diploma at Lincoln, Pip joined Palliser in 2004.

Pip works alongside Allan Johnson, Chief Winemaker, in the winemaking process but also has the responsibility of being the Environmental Manager.  She was the driver behind Palliser being the first winery in the world to be CEMARS certified (Certified Emissions Measurement and Reduction Scheme).

In her spare time, Pip enjoys hanging out with her two small children and, time permitting, playing sport or walking the naughtiest dog in town – time isn’t often permitting!

(Southern Tip of North Island)

Neudorf Vineyards

Judy Finn

Judy and Tim Finn, circa '78
1978  and the New Zealand fine wine industry was almost non existent. We (Tim and I) were fresh from the “back to the land” movement of the late sixties. We wanted to make beautiful wine. We figured Tim’s masters in Animal Behaviour along with my unimpressive journalism career would be beneficial. Wrong.  However we did have youth (temporary), self belief (unwarranted) and friends.  At one stage we had four mortgages and three jobs each. The old house at Neudorf had electricity in two rooms, an outside long drop, an inefficient wood stove and no hot water. I look back with no regrets.
Because there was so little known about basic viticulture in New Zealand we planted many varieties to see which ones were best suited to our soils. Merlot came and went as did Cabernet Sauvignon, Chenin Blanc and the dreaded Muller Thurgau. We were a  bit hasty in rejecting Gewürztraminer and may look at that again.

But we did it. We, and a whole heap of people – neighbours, family, friends and some fantastic staff. Each left a mark and many have gone onto work in  bigger wineries or plant their own vineyard. Today 31 years  later and we never  feel we have it all sorted. But we love it and we are still learning, not just about viticulture and wine-making but  exporting, currency exchange, the internet, human resource issues, distribution, yeasts and barrels, clones and crop levels.

Very few misgivings. Making wine is constantly scary and stimulating. We survive on hard work, high hopes and a dollop of common-sense and cunning.

Campaign Manager, Janet Pouchet

Janet Pouchot, with over a decade in the wine business, having held positions such as sommelier for Restaurant Daniel, US Brand Development Manager for Peter Lehman Wines and Sales Manager for Negociants USA.  She is ambassador, campaign manager and sales opportunity creator for the wines of Complexity

Monday, May 23, 2011

5/24 - SWEDEN MEETS ITALY: Staffan Terje and Umberto Gibin of San Francisco's Perbacco Restaurant

Staffan Terje & Umberto Gibin
This week on Slow Living Radio -  the culinary excellence that's created when a Swedish chef meets an Italian restauranteur!

When asked why a Swedish-born chef would choose to open an authentic Italian restaurant, Staffan Terje, chef and owner of Perbacco in San Francisco, replies,
“Italian food is the food that talks to me. You don’t choose who you fall in love with. It just happens.” Staffan grew up on his grandfather’s farm outside of Stockholm, Sweden, where he discovered his passion for food and eating at an early age. Surrounded by farm fresh produce and a family that loved to cook and eat, entering into the restaurant industry was an easy decision later in life.

During high school, Staffan chose to do his mandatory apprenticeship at the local slaughter house. “At that stage I was a punk rocker and naturally wanted to shock my class mates, who mostly apprenticed as teachers’ assistants.  It worked, they thought I was crazy.” However, he soon discovered that he had a knack for butchering and he learned quickly how to handle a knife properly from the butchers. 

Following high school, Staffan enrolled at the Hotel and Restaurant School in Stockholm, completing his apprenticeship at the Michelin starred restaurant, Gourmet.  In 1982, after working in Stockholm for a few years, Staffan was offered a job in Sarasota, Florida. “My friend and I planned to work there for a year and come home with bragging rights that we had worked in “The US”,” Staffan says.  “We’re both still here.” 
After a couple of years, Staffan headed west and worked in several restaurants in Orange County, CA, before ending up in Napa Valley in 1986. There he worked at Sherry Oven, a restaurant housed in a historic winery in downtown Napa. As the San Francisco Bay Area and Wine Country were the hotbeds for California Cuisine, Staffan was able to take his classic French training and apply it to the bounty of the west coast.
“At the restaurant we used produce from small farms and sometimes even peoples’ back yards,” he remembers.  Inspired by the vast array of local products, (“The first Meyer lemons I ever used came from a neighbor’s tree!” he says), he began to form the practice of sourcing ingredients from small farms and continues to do so today.  In 1988, the lure of Italian cuisine called and Staffan joined Piatti Ristorante in Yountville, Napa Valley. “We were doing some of the most authentic Italian food in the area,” says Staffan. Promoted quickly, he was soon responsible for new restaurant openings, menu development and training. Other career highlights include a seven-year stint at San Francisco’s famed Scala’s Bistro and cooking at The James Beard house in New York City. 
These days, chefs are taking back the skills required to master the craft of cooking,” Staffan explains. “For example, Perbacco has a curing room that we use to make our own salumi.”  The inspiration and passion for the food at Perbacco is driven by the rich history of northwestern Italy.  Formerly known as the Kingdom of Savoy, the region today encompasses Piemonte and Val d’Aosta.  Traditional dishes and recipes from the region are updated with seasonal ingredients found in northern California, supporting the integrity of the dish and preserving the authenticity of “la cucina Piemontese”.  Staffan continues his philosophy of buying produce from small, local farmers and artisan producers, picking up produce from the farmers market at the Ferry Plaza, only couple of blocks from the restaurant, in order to support the local growers. “It’s not only the best produce. It’s the right thing to do,” Staffan maintains.
Searching constantly for inspiration, Staffan travels to Italy on a yearly basis for full immersion eating and research. ”Every time I visit, I come home exhausted, recharged and inspired.  Eating in Italy is hard work and Italians are probably the most discriminating eaters on the planet. Italian food is about the quality of the ingredients and with what care they are prepared. You cannot hide as it is pure and direct to the point. Food cannot be more honest than that - which is why I love to cook Italian food.”
In January 2010 Staffan, along with his business partner, Umberto Gibin, opened barbacco eno trattoria, next door to Perbacco. At barbacco, he maintains the same quality-driven tenants to form the seasonally changing menu. 

Umberto Gibin / Owner
Born in Venice, Italy, and raised in Torino, in the Piemonte region, Umberto Gibin was naturally introduced to the pleasures and traditions of the Italian table at a very early age. Gibin began to learn the hospitality trade at several prestigious European restaurants and hotels, such as Villa d’Este in Como, The Palace in St. Moritz, and The Caprice in London. He arrived in the United States in 1979 where he began his U.S. career at the venerable Ernie’s and Ciao in San Francisco. Gibin says of his experience at the restaurants, “At Ernie’s, I learned how to meld my European style of service, and, at Ciao, I explored the more casual California dining.” 

After a stint as General Manager at Spectrum Foods
’ Chianti Restaurant on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, he returned to San Francisco as one of the founding team members of Il Fornaio. With Il Fornaio Gibin was instrumental in the successful opening of six restaurants. In 1999 he joined Kimpton Hotels, at The Grand Café, and later as a Director of Restaurant Operations, where he oversaw several restaurants including The Fifth Floor, Masa’s and Splendido. In 2004 he re-joined his old friend and mentor Larry Mindel to open Poggio in Sausalito as Managing Partner, where he remained through spring of 2006. 

To Perbacco, Gibin brings his Italian hospitality, enhancing the already authentic Italian experience.
“I am personally devoted to every guest's enjoyment. Every single person entering our restaurant is greeted as if they are our friends and family. The overall experience is enriched with personal touches, from a little complimentary "aperitivo" to ‘let me go to get your car for you.’ We want our guests to leave with the thought of ‘How soon can we return to Perbacco?’ ” 

At Perbacco, Umberto is able to really embrace his love of wine. Hours of research and countless tastings have resulted in a classical yet diversified wine list with an emphasis on the wines of the Piemonte region in Northern Italy, such as Barolo, Barbaresco, Dolcetto, and several fruity, aromatic whites. The extensive list is rounded out by a selection of bottles from elsewhere in Italy and an appealing collection of New World options. Gibin explains,
“The wine list at Perbacco is designed to enhance the overall experience. I have chosen wines that will complement the dishes that Staffan has created, particularly those from small producers and with a good balance of fruit, acid and tannin. At Perbacco, the wine service is simple yet sophisticated. It will give our guests the opportunity to enjoy wine in many different ways.  In January of 2010, he opened barbacco eno trattoria.  At barbacco, he runs a restaurant with a level of service consistent to that of Perbacco, despite the more casual atmosphere.

Gibin and his wife Leslie live with their daughter Shayna in the hills of Oakland. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

5/10 - CELEBRATING FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS: Tracy Hayward of The Perfect Puree and Kari Ruel of Napa Valley Life Magazine

This week we celebrate the success of two female entrepeneurs who have taken the giant step to pursue their dreams at great risk.  Tracy Hayward created the Perfect Puree starting in her parent's garage with no idea the company would become the US's leading producer of fruit and vegetable purees.  And Kari Ruel still produces here coveted magazine, Napa Valley Life in a room in her home, a magazine that graces hotels, restaurants and store counters all over the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond. Join us in raising your glasses to toast the success of these 2 brave and dedicated ladies!

As President & Founder, Tracy Hayward is the driving force behind The Perfect Purée of Napa Valley. Following in the footsteps of her entrepreneurial father, grandfather and great grandfather, Hayward, whose business acumen is self-taught, founded The Perfect Purée in 1988. Hayward nurtured her love of culinary arts at La Varenne Ecole de Cuisine in Paris, France. While completing the orientation course, Hayward became familiar with purees as an essential cooking ingredient which led to her decision to start the first U.S. based company producing quality purees for chefs. Her willingness to test her limitations led her to sell her home, providing her with the necessary startup capital.

The first 18 months involved using a back bedroom in her parents’ home as an office while doing the intensive preliminary work crucial to a successful business launch. Today, The Perfect Purée is the leading U.S. producer of premium fruit and vegetable purees, with nearly thirty exceptional flavors, ranging from staples like raspberry, strawberry and banana to exotics such as lychee, passion fruit and tamarind. Ms. Hayward’s responsibilities as President for the past 23 years have focused on guiding the business development of the company, having established a core team to manage the business needs at the Napa corporate office in all areas, including production, finance, and sales and marketing of the specialty gourmet product line. Ms. Hayward is now focusing her efforts and time to leading research and development.

In addition to her certificate from La Varenne, Ms. Hayward holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations from the University of Southern California. Although her time is at a premium, she makes a point of giving to charitable causes. Through her Casa del Niño Charitable Foundation, U.S.A., she supports her interest and desire to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged children. Since 2005, the Foundation has supported an after school English program, computer school and administrative offices at an orphanage in Unquillo, Argentina.

Locally, the company is active in the community through the Napa Valley Community Fund, with special focus on Cope Family Center and other local charities to support women and children. Proceeds from The Perfect Purée go to support the Foundation’s activities. Ms. Hayward enjoys current events, learning about early world history, hiking in the Sierras, opera, gourmet cooking, gardening and painting.

Kari Ruel is the founder and publisher of Napa Valley Life Magazine, a bi monthly lifestyle magazine aimed at the people who live, work and play in Napa Valley, CA.  She started the regional magazine in 1998.  In February of 2010 she created a Sustainable Life section to her magazine to provide useful information about living the good green life.
Ruel has a 25-year background in broadcast journalism and print media. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting and Journalism with a minor in Political Science/Public Relations from Central Michigan University. She has worked as a reporter for both radio and television and has been published by Associated Press. Kari has lived in the Napa Valley for 20-years and is active in the business and socially conscious community. She has two children and three step children.
Her passion is telling other people’s stories and motivating others to be the best they can be.  She is an avid outdoors woman and enjoys cycling, hiking, camping and gardening and going on extreme adventures.

Perfect Puree Recipes from Sally James

Passion Fruit Macaroons

Makes about 20 macaroons

3 cups shredded coconut
2 tablespoons Culinary Traditions Passion Fruit Concentrate
4 egg whites, at room temperature
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup superfine sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 300F.  Line 2 oven trays with parchment.

In a large bowl, toss the coconut with the Passion Fruit Concentrate and mix well to coat thoroughly.  Set aside.

Using electric beaters, whisk the egg whites and salt together in a large, clean, dry bowl until soft peaks form. Add the sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking well after each addition.  Beat for a minute longer until glossy and sugar is dissolved.  Add the vanilla and whisk just to combine. Gently fold the coconut into the egg whites using a large metal spoon. 

Place spoonful’s of mixture on lined trays leaving an inch between to allow for spreading. Bake in preheated oven for 15-17 minutes, swapping trays half way through cooking, or until golden and firm.

Leave on tray for 5-10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in a sealed and lined container.

Seafood Salad with a Passion Fruit Dressing

Serves 2 as a meal, 4 as a starter

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 peeled raw shrimp
2 small or 1 large calamari steaks, cut into chunks and scored with a sharp knife
¼ cup white wine
3 cups torn frisee lettuce
1 small bulb fennel, halved and shaved or sliced thinly
4 leaves basil, torn
1 tablespoon Perfect Puree Culinary Traditions Passion Fruit Concentrate
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Heat half the oil in a sauté pan and add the prawns.  Cook, stirring until just turning opaque, then add the wine and simmer for a minute.  Drain, reserve liquid and set aside.  Clean the pan and reheat the remaining oil.  Add the calamari, scored side down and cook for 20-30 seconds or until just starting to curl, turn and pour in the reserved liquid. Steam for 30 seconds then drain and add to prawns. Refrigerate and serve cold or warm.

To make the salad, toss together the frisee and fennel and add the basil.  Whisk together the Passion Fruit Concentrate, juice and oil, season to taste.   Toss half through the salad.  Whisk mustard into remaining dressing. 

To serve, place mounds of salad in bowls, top with the seafood, and drizzle with the remaining dressing.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

5/3 - Greg Sullivan of AFAR Magazine & Chef Suzette Gresham of Acquerello Restaurant

Slow Living Radio showcases two successful San Francisco residents, Greg Sullivan of AFAR Magazine and Chef Suzette Gresham of Acquerello Restaurant, who each bring a taste of Slow Living to those they touch. 

Greg Sullivan helps us to learn how to travel within a culture, rather than from outside, with his terrific magazine and multi-media company, AFAR.  You’ll learn about exciting new destinations, products and how to make the most out of your travel experience, while Chef Suzette Gresham shares the magic of Acquerello Restaurant and an insider's look at the renowned Slow Food Festival in Italy. 

Greg Sullivan - CEO, Editorial Director & Editor-In-ChiefAFAR MAGAZINE.  

Greg started his career as a corporate securities attorney and later an investment banker before launching a series of successful entrepreneurial ventures. In 1989, he started a business designing and manufacturing international arcade games, including the world’s largest selling coin-operated basketball game. After selling that company, Greg led a car retailing and finance company, growing it into a $750-million operation with 76 dealerships across the country. After selling his interest in that business in 2006, Greg began traveling the globe, searching for his next entrepreneurial opportunity. 

While on a trip to India, Greg and AFAR's co-founder Joe Diaz realized that there was no media voice for cultural explorers, those seeking to broaden themselves by going beyond the typical tourist haunts and connecting deeply with local people and places. Thus was born the inspiration to launch AFAR Media, a media company focused on experiential travel that helps people experience every destination as local residents do.

Greg relaxes during recording
The AFAR Mission

AFAR Media is a new multi-media company developing a series of complementary media, products, and services for people interested in experiential travel. Their mission is to inspire and guide those who travel the world seeking to connect with its people, experience their culture, and understand their perspectives. The company will pursue this mission by seeking to capture the true essence of experiential travel: connection between the traveler, a place, and its people.

AFAR co-founder Greg Sullivan with Nasif Kayed,
director of the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding

The Values of AFAR 
AFAR Media will adhere to the following values of experiential travel: Explore from the inside looking out. Provide a sense of cultural immersion. Offer the unexpected. Touch on a range of emotions. Be genuine, real, authentic. Promote connection. Feed the curious. Respect the earth and its people.  Celebrate global diversity.


Chef Suzette Gresham
Acquerello Restaurant 

Born in California, of French heritage, Suzette holds several degrees including an A.S. and A.A. She is also an Honors graduate from a Culinary Apprenticeship Program. Having achieved many “firsts,” Suzette was the first female Chef’s Apprentice to accompany the U.S. Culinary Olympic Team to Frankfurt, Germany in 1980. She was also the first to return four years later, as an individual competitor, to win a Bronze medal of her own.
After being the first Junior Member of the local ACF chapter, “The Chef’s Association of the Pacific Coast,” and Chairman of the same group for three successful terms, she was elected to the Board of Directors, and held various positions.

Suzette has been the recipient of many awards in the Culinary Arts Competition arena. She was honored in San Francisco with a Grand Award, and a Best of Show in Tucson, Arizona. One of few women to be elected “Chef of the Year” by the local ACF, she also is the holder of the prestigious Antonin Careme medal. Most of her experience had centered around hotels and airlines, until she met her current partner, Giancarlo Paterlini…and together they opened their restaurant, Acquerello, in July of 1989.
Suzette’s style of cuisine showcases Italy’s simple but elegant approach to time-honored, traditional dishes, as well as the more modern, interpretive applications. Acquerello has received much recognition for its fine Regional Italian cuisine, expansive wine list, and attentive service. The restaurant has received 2.5 stars out of a possible 3 in the San Francisco Chronicle, as well as a rave review by Carolyn Bates of Gourmet Magazine. In the March 1997 issue of Wine Spectator Magazine, Acquerello was named the number 2 Italian restaurant in the United States.

Suzette with partners, Giancarlo Paterlini, Gianpaolo Paterlini

Now in its 25th year, Acquerello continues to stay in the front line of evolving cuisine. The restaurant was featured on Check, Please! Bay Area in April of 2009, and has continued to receive outstanding reviews from many publications, including Zagat, San Francisco Magazine, and Bon Appetit Magazine. In August of 2009, Michael Bauer of The San Francisco Chronicle wrote a memorable piece in honor of the restaurant’s 20th anniversary. Finally, in October of 2007, Acquerello received its first Michelin Star, and remains a Michelin starred restaurant today. Acquerello is only one of eleven restaurants that have been continuously in the Chronicle’s “Top 100 Restaurants” since 1997.

After more than 25 years of cooking, Suzette enjoys teaching and has been involved in Draeger’s Culinary Center, Williams Sonoma and graduated over 50 externs through her own kitchen.  Her articles and recipes have been featured in various magazines, including an article on Italian style ragu in the November 2000 issue of Fine Cooking Magazine. She is a contributor to several cookbooks, and has packaged a series of Crostini toppings for the retail market. Suzette has also performed as a Guest Chef aboard the Seabourn Cruise line, and was featured at Kapalua Bay Wine and Food festival, Liguna Nigel Ritz Carlton, Pelican Hill Resort, and the San Diego Bay Wine and Food festival.

Acquerello, a long time supporter of Meals on Wheels, Share Our Strength and many  other individual fundraisers, continues to support the local community.

Suzette’s interest in stewardship and sustainability of all food sources has led to her recent attendance, in October 2010, at Terra Madre, in Turin, Italy. Whether gathering eggs or herbs from her garden, Suzette’s goal is to grow great culinarians and provide an excellent dining experience for her guests.