Click a show title or use the red Streampad player at the bottom of our frame to listen now.

Monday, February 27, 2012

02/28/2012 - Americans with Italian Hearts

As the Slow Living Crew can attest, it is easy to leave your heart in Italy.  We all want to bring a taste of it back home to keep the memory alive.  Our guests in this show have not only done that for themselves, but have created something to share with others - so we can all enjoy a taste of Italy - from artisan cookies and confection, to a marvellous book set in Umbria, and some amazing Italian-inspired wines from a family-owned, small St Helena vineyard.

Suzanne Carreiro and William McBain
From Napa, Inc
Something other than wine,
Artisan Italian Cookies and Confection

We’re a small artisan bakery, makers of authentic Italian cookies and confections. Our recipes come from Italy, but we hand make everything in small batches at our St. Helena, California commercial kitchen. We currently have four Italian sweets. We’ll soon have two beverage mixers–Vin Brulè (Hot Spiced Wine Mixer) and Bellini (Raspberry Peach Sparkling Wine Mixer).

You might have noticed that our cookie and confection packages say, “Look for Suzanne’s book, The Dog Who Ate the Truffle…” If you like our sweets, we think you’ll also like the book that’s based on the people Suzanne met and the recipes she collected while living in Italy’s region of Umbria for 1-1/2 years. The book, published by Thomas Dunne Books, is available at most major bookstores, and online. To see the book’s trailer, get travel tips, and learn more,

An inside glimpse from the Slow Living "investigative crew"........ We found out that the couple were actually first time sweetheasts back in school, before "re-finding" each other, falling in love all over and uniting to build this business - really a business of love and a perfect Slow Living story!  Here's the two lovebirds back in the day!

About Suzanne Carreiro and her book,
The Dog Who Ate the Truffle: A Memoir of Stories and Recipes From Umbria.

by Suzanne Carreiro,  August,  11, 2009

Ciao a Tutti,

During my long culinary career, I had always wanted to write a cookbook, but my life as a single mother kept me too busy to do it. Finally with my son off to college, I decided to move to Italy to write a book and to fulfill my teenage dream of immersing myself in a foreign language and culture.

So a couple of years ago, I shipped twelve boxes of personal items to Italy, rented out my house in the Napa Valley, and moved to Umbria to do research for my book. (Note: Umbria is bordered by Tuscany on the west. The Marche region and the snow-capped Apennines form the eastern boundary, and Lazio surrounds Umbria in the southern region.)

Before moving to Italy for a year, I had previously spent six months in Umbria–during which time I fell in love with the region. I adored my adopted Umbrian family, and I was especially fond of Mario (my Umbrian “son”) who had patiently tutored me in Italian during my first five-month stay. When I returned to stay for a year, I was welcomed by Mario, his partner Michela, and his family like a lost parente (relative). During those twelve months of living as part this old Umbrian family, I cooked with the family and dozens of other people.

While I lived in Umbertide, I was immersed in the daily lives of my adopted family. I gained insight into the cuisine, customs, and lifestyle that few outsiders are privileged to have. I attended birthday, holiday, and graduation celebrations. I was one of the first to visit Michela in the hospital, just hours after she gave birth to a baby boy. I went into forests inhabited by wild boars and poisonous viper snakes to gather truffles and wild asparagus. I harvested grapes to make vinsanto wine. With a family who lived up the hill from me, I picked olives and watched them being pressed. So many adventures—and they’re all in my book.

Benessere Vineyards
Jack Stuart

Benessere is the Italian word for well-being. We are a small, family-owned, quality producer of Italian varietals, located north of Napa Valley where the soil is well suited for growing grapes.

In 1994 John and Ellen Benish acquired the property, restoring the winery and residence. Their first release was 135 cases of 1995 Sangiovese. Since then they have added other Italian varietals, including Pinot Grigio, Moscato di Canelli, Sagrantino, and Aglianico. We make two proprietary blends, Sorridente (“smiling”), and Phenomenon. Oh, and we produce two awesome Zinfandels.

The property is steeped in local history. Originally a cattle ranch, the land was converted to a thoroughbred horse operation, complete with racetrack. Occasionally we discover horseshoes in the vineyards. The next owner planted most of the 42 acres to grapes and transformed the barn into a wine cellar, leaving old stall doors as a reminder of the past. Local Indian tribes used obsidian from a nearby formation for tools and arrowheads. Our “Black Glass” Zinfandel vineyard is aptly named, as fragments are still found between the rows of vines.

The Benish family chose the name Benessere to convey the unique qualities of the wholesome lifestyle found in their charming corner of the northern Napa Valley. To hear the Italian pronunciation go to

Jack Stuart, General Manager and Winemaker

Jack Stuart was General Manager and Winemaster of Napa Valley’s Silverado Vineyards for 25 years.  He is recipient of the Robert Mondavi Trophy for Winemaker of the Year of the International Wine and Spirit Competition, as well as accolades from the Wine Spectator, the Los Angeles Times, the Wine News and numerous other journals. 

Stuart established Silverado as a national brand known for the quality of its wines.  He directed four major winery building projects and developed seven different vineyard properties in Napa and Sonoma counties.  In his management capacity, he oversaw production, public relations and marketing, finance, personnel, and government relations.  He is now Winemaker and General Manager of Benessere Vineyards.

Active in industry affairs, Jack Stuart is past president of both the Napa Valley Vintners and the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association; he is co-founder of the North Coast Pierce’s Disease Task Force.  Stuart was instrumental in the development and passage of two important industry bills in the state legislature.  He sits on the Enology Committee of the American Vineyard Foundation and chairs the Projects Committee of the Land Trust of Napa County.

Stuart is a fifth-generation Californian who grew up among Santa Clara Valley orchards.  He received a bachelor’s degree from Stanford and took his graduate study in viticulture and enology at the University of California at Davis.  He lives in St. Helena with his wife, Loraine, a community advocate and director of St. Helena Family Center.   

Sunday, February 19, 2012

02/21/2012 - A Taste of Livermore with the Restaurant at Wente Vineyards and Olivina Olive Oil

Matt Greco
Executive Chef at Wente Vineyards

Beginning October 1, 2011, the fall season introduces a new talent to the kitchen at Wente Vineyards. Looking forward to putting his spin on California cuisine, Chef Greco brings excellent technique, passion and creativity to his new role.

Born and raised in Texas, Chef Greco began his career at an organic market in his hometown.  His insatiable hunger continued to propel his budding chef talents and he moved to New York to study at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. 

Following culinary school, Matt was offered a job at Cafe Boulud, Daniel Boulud's restaurant on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  There he spent four years learning and perfecting the art of French cuisine under the guidance of Andrew Carmellini, before assisting in the launch of Café Gray.  Working as a Sous Chef at the prestigious restaurant, A Voce, for a year, Chef Greco then returned to Café Gray in 2007 where he was appointed Sous Chef.  There he played an integral role developing the menus and running the kitchen.

During this time, New York’s casual dining scene was starting to gain ground and Matt was inspired to embrace his Southern roots for a casual dining concept.  In June 2008, Matt launched the southern inspired restaurant, Char No. 4 in the trendy Brooklyn quarters.  Designing both kitchen and menu, Matt let the kitchen operations and launched the restaurant to great acclaim, earning a spot in New York Magazine’s ‘Top Ten Best New Restaurants 2009’, and Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand 2009-12.

Following three years at the helm of the kitchen, Chef Greco was inspired to move west and try his hand at California cuisine.  “I have always been extremely influenced by the Bay Area food Scene,” says Greco.  Excited to begin his life and career in the Bay area with his wife and son by his side, Chef Greco joins the team at the restaurant at Wente vineyards with new ideas and creativity. 

“I love that the restaurant has its own garden and am excited to source unique local products and take full advantage of California’s bounty,” says Chef Greco.  His role as Executive Chef will include working closely with Master Gardener, Diane Dovholuk to decide what produce to plant and source for the seasonally changing menu.

Matt’s warm demeanor is a perfect fit for the family owned and run Wente Vineyards.  The restaurant at Wente Vineyards is delighted to bring Matt’s creativity, love of food and new ideas to the restaurant.  His enthusiasm for food and hospitality will be a great addition to the team, where he will collaborate with Carolyn Wente to continue delivering a memorable dining experience for guests at The Restaurant at Wente Vineyards.

Charles D. Crohare
Olivina Olive Oil, Livermore
In 1881, Julius Paul Smith purchased more than 2000 acres on the south-west portion of Livermore, California noted by the historic Olivina stone gateway. The gate marked the beginning of a tree-lined drive leading towards the creek bed of the Arroyo del Valle. The driveway led to the other side of the arroyo to Julius Paul Smith’s home and winery. Mr. Smith was one of the Smith Brothers who developed a borax mining claim in Nevada into an industry whose product became known, eventually, as the world famous Twenty Mule Team Borax.
Olivina was planted in wine grapes, olives, walnuts till Mr. Smith passed away in 1904 and Mrs. Smith ended the wine operation in 1908. Many of the olive trees that were planted back as early as 1881 are still on the property today producing olive oil, making them over 100 years old.
Matt, Charles (jnr) and Steve with
Olivina Oils

Charles D. Crohare purchased a large portion of the estate around 1940 that was west of the arroyo and utilized primarily for cattle operation till “ Olivina” of Olivina Ranch was established and later started planting additional olives in March 2000. Charles F. Crohare and Alice have owned and operated Olivina since 1951 oversees the operation to ensure the highest quality.
A History of California Olive Oil

The simple olive has a very majestic place in history. First cultivated by the Sumerians and the Greeks, the olive was an important part of their diet and their folk lore. The earliest harvesters of olive oil considered their product to be nothing less than ‘liquid gold’
But it was not until 1769, that Spanish explorers brought olive growing to California. To their delight, the Spanish soon found that California provided a wonderful climate for growing olives and producing olive oil. Olive trees flourished in California and today, the state produces 97% of all the olive oil made in the U.S.
A California Olive Oil Renaissance

In the mid 1990’s, the California olive oil industry began to see the beginning of new times. A renewed interest in producing finer, high-quality California grown olive oils began to take hold. Ten years later, California olive oil has the reputation of being some of the best tasting, well made olive oils available in the world.
Continuing a California Olive Oil Tradition

Today, the Crohare Family continues the tradition harvesting the finest California olive oil. Current cultivars consist of Mission, Arbequina, Lucca, Frantoio and Picholine.

Many of the olive trees are over 100 years old and still producing some of the best California olive oil. The historic arched gateway still stands at the corner of Wetmore and Arroyo Roads and Olivina is still producing some the finest California olive oil for you and your family to enjoy.


Monday, February 13, 2012

2/14/2012 - Valentine's Day Celebration of Heart Month at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, San Francisco

This Valentine's Day, the Slow Living crew return to their friends at San Francisco's beautiful and iconic Mandarin Oriental to join them in their support for the American Heart Association's Heart Month.  Ehler's Estate wines have partnered with the crew from the MO Bar and proceeds from purchases of their wines will go to support the Leducq Foundation (see below).

Nicole and Priscilla
Food and Wine Director extraordinaire, Nicole Kosta, is back to fill us in on the event, the wines and suggestions for wine pairing for your special date, and we are delighted that the vivacious Mixologist, Priscilla Young, will once again join us for some healthy creations to bring a touch of romance to the occasion. Then we'll hear about the hotels' glorious weddings from wedding planner, Tere Garcia, for those considering making the move with their Valentine!

  Heart Association volunteer and Kitchen Wizard/Author, Mari Suzuki, will then give us the scoop all about the work of the Association and her new book about simple ways to prepare healthy global meals.

And for a final touch, we'll hear from the hotel's concierge on hidden romantic gems around the city, as well as some interesting concierge stories.

Mari Suzuki
Healthy Kitchen Wizard

Mari Suzuki, author of “Kitchen Wizard Flexipes: Simple Time-Saving Secrets for Tasty Global Cuisine” is not a chef, nor a nutritionist, but a Kitchen Wizard. 

She whips up an infinite variety of delicious dishes out of thin air (her fridge), in no time -- just like a magical Wizard. She considers herself a Cooking Optimization Expert, not because she has a fancy culinary degree, but because she’s just plain passionate about eating great food from all over the world, and figuring out how to make them at home with the least amount of time, effort, and money. A quick and cheap alternative to travelling across the globe! Having grown up in Tokyo, Japan, the love of efficiency and delicious nutritious food runs in her blood.

Applying what she learned as Global Logistics Consultant at Federal Express, and as a Systems Engineer at IBM, she perfected the most simple, flexible and efficient home-cooking process -- good for any kitchen, cuisine, or diet. 

According to her father-in-law, a former-quarterback from University of Wisconsin, Mari can eat like a football player, yet amazingly she still keeps her tiny figure and the vibrant energy of a 25 year old -- even though she's now 50.  She believes the secret to her health and happiness is a balanced diet, food made at home from whole ingredients, and most of all, her Flexipe (flexi-ble reci-pe) bases.

About Mari’s Book
Amazon link for Kitchen Wizard Flexipes:

Imagine making one simple base, and having a variety of dishes for the week… “Kitchen Wizard Flexipes: Simple Time-Saving Secrets for Tasty Global Cuisine” unlocks the secret of how to whip up delicious meals in minutes night after night, from what you already have on hand.  Mari’s Flexipe (flexible recipe) bases and recipes are a flexible formula for freshly-made dinners that cuts your prep time in half and multiply the variety. Unlike regular recipes, which require you to re-invent the wheel every time, with Flexipes, your entire cooking process will be streamlined. You will re-purpose the base to invent new variety simply by mixing and matching and having fun.  Distilled down to the essence, this book is your key to more efficient cooking and better eating in this busy world.

All the recipes are tested, tasty, and global. You will find unique, simple, and practical secrets you’ve never seen anywhere else — inspired by the culinary wisdom that home cooks from her native Japan rely on every day to create a healthy feast — yet applicable for any kitchen, cuisine, or diet. By using Mari’s Flexipes and tricks, you too will soon feel like a wizard in the kitchen!

“ As an athlete, eating right is a must, but finding time to cook is always a challenge. Mari’s beautiful new cookbook not only delivers easy, healthy, and delicious recipes with a Japanese twist, but walks you through the entire process of meal planning, shopping, and preparation. Her simple “Flexipes” technique will be indispensable building blocks to a healthier lifestyle for years to come.”

— Natalie Coughlin Hall
Three time Olympic gold medalist

“ Flexipes may become a common culinary term as well as the hottest new cookbook to hit the shelves. Mari Suzuki’s beautiful book demystifies meal planning, as you learn to fill your freezer with building blocks of healthy international flavors. This book will be a great resource for both the culinary expert or educator and the interested novice.”

— Alison Negrin
Executive Chef, John Muir Health System
Former Chef, Chez Panisse
Founding Executive Chef, Bridges Restaurant

And finally, a bit about the Leducq Foundation who will benefit from the hotel and Ehler's generosity.

The mission of Foundation Leducq is to improve human health through international efforts to combat cardiovascular and neurovascular disease. 
Recent developments in cardiovascular and neurovascular medicine have been impressive.  New therapeutics, from technological and surgical interventions to innovative pharmaceuticals, have prevented the deaths and eased the suffering of many. Yet there is still much to be done.

Cardiovascular disease remains a leading cause of death and disability worldwide.  Once believed to predominate in the population of wealthier nations, cardiovascular disease is now recognized as a one of the major public health problems of the developing world.  The numbers speak for themselves; for example, more than one billion people on the planet are believed to suffer from hyptertension.  

The Fondation Leducq was created with the idea that the battle against cardiovascular and neurovascular disease should be waged at the international level.  By forging scientific alliances that transcend national borders, and promoting the education of young researchers who thrive in an international context, we hope to be able to promote innovative research, an efficient use of research resources, and the development of long term collaborative relationships that will allow us to continue to meet the challenge of cardiovascular and neurovascular disease in the future.

Monday, February 6, 2012

2/07/2012 - Slow Money Celebrates Tara Firma Farm and Capay Valley Farm Shop

Marco Vangelisti
This week, Slow Living Radio welcomes back Marco Vangelisti, a founding member of Slow Money, to talk about the importance of supporting our local communities, farmers and a return to a sustainable food system.  He'll also update us what some new and exciting developments for Slow Money and a fun, informative event coming up.  (see Marco's full bio and details on Slow Money, on our October 4, 2011 show archive)

We then have the pleasure of hearing from a representative of one of Slow Moneys successful investments. Thomas Nelson, of the Capay Valley Farm Shop, who proudly support their local farmers and deliver a marvellous range of food to Bay Area customers, will tell us how they came to Slow Money and their uplifting story.

 But firstly a few words from Slow Money founder, Woody Tasch.....

Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

…..a beautiful excerpt from Woody Tasch Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: investing as if food, farms and fertility mattered”

"…Let us dare to imagine an investor who has the sacred passion of an earthworm, slowly making his or her way through the soil of commerce and culture, playing a small, vital role in the maintenance of fertility.

Now, whether such notions have any practical import to the task of creating this new entity called Slow Money seems, at first, implausible. But it isn’t so. The success of Slow Money will depend upon a vision that dares to be playful; that dares to assert a connection between human and humus and humility and humor; that dares to push back against the dismal science of economics and the hegemony of market mind; that dares to put money in its place, that calms money, in much the same way that ‘traffic calming’ is becoming part of the agenda for ‘smart growth’ in progressive communities, so that healthy relationships can once again begin to flourish; that dares to put ‘taste’ and ‘flavor’ back into investing, moving from the Big Mac school of fatty and salty buy-low/sell-high investing to the Coleman Carrot school of investing that celebrates the subtle joys of terroir and authenticity.

The investor as earthworm versus the investor as Master of the Universe.

For my part, I would rather emulate an earthworm than an astronaut. I would rather enrich a plot of land than grow the portfolio of a quant.

Does this make me a bad investor? No, it makes me a different kind of investor. I would argue that an investor whose financial activity is predicated upon extraction—upon the linear take-make-waste methodologies of a world that had never seen the picture of the earth rising over the moon—is not really an investor at all. He is not truly investing himself in that to which he is applying his capital. Quite the opposite. He is keeping himself completely out of it, denying any personal connection to or responsibility for that to which his capital is lending its energy. How is it that something that is all about exists and liquidity and anonymity can really be called, in good faith, investing at all?"

Slow Money Farm Fest


February 25, 3pm-9pm, at Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma

Join Slow Money Northern California’s Farm Fest at Tara Firma Farms in Petaluma on February 25!  Learn more about how to support sustainable food systems, meet the Slow Money movers, and have lots of fun networking with entrepreneurs, investors and our local community!
From 3pm-9pm (rain or shine), you’ll:
  • Tour this locally owned and operated farm
  • Meet local entrepreneurs and learn how they enrich sustainable food systems
  • Talk with Slow Money founder Woody Tasch about our movement
  • Participate in a community potluck, enjoy live music
  • And have some down-on-the-farm fun!
Please bring a dish of homemade food to share (for 3-5 people).
Sign up now – space is limited!
Tara Firma Farms is located at 3796 I Street in Petaluma. The farm works in harmony with land and animals, offering delicious food that balances environmental, community and nutritional needs.

Thomas Nelson
Capay Valley  Farm Shop

Thomas Nelson is co-founder and president of Capay Valley Farm Shop, a social venture offering Bay Area families and institutions 100% local, seasonal food direct from over 30 small family farms.  Since 1991 Thomas has worked with farmers, NGOs, and small businesses to develop healthy communities and sustainable food systems.

Prior to his current position, he was founding executive director at Capay Valley Vision, a coalition organizer with Community Food Security Coalition, and a senior manager at Community Alliance with Family Farmers. Thomas earned his MBA at UC Davis where he focused on social entrepreneurship.

He serves on the boards of New Season Community Development Corporation and California Farmlink.Capay Valley Farm Shop offers a rare opportunity for families and institutions to buy 100% local, seasonal food direct from 30 small, family farms.

About Capay Valley Farm Shop

Capay Valley Farm Shop offers a rare opportunity for families and institutions to buy 100% local, seasonal food direct from 30 small, family farms.

Thohas shows Stephen some of the
Capay Valley Products
We are a collaborative of farms and ranches in the Capay Valley working together to bring fresh local goodness from our valley to your table.

The Capay Valley, part of the Cache Creek Watershed, is nested along the Coast Range in Yolo County between Sacramento and the Bay Area. Known for its beauty, warm summers, complex soils, and, above all, productive family farms, the land has been agriculturally vital for over a century. For three decades farmers in the Capay Valley have been at the leading edge of sustainable farming and the local food movement.

Capay Valley Farm Shop brings together our diverse partnership of enthusiastic and approachable family farmers who share a passion for growing food and community. We are proud to unite our products under a regional identity, Capay Valley Grown, and share an abundant harvest of high quality products — organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, meats, olive oil, wine, lavender, honey, flowers, and more.


The Team: (from left to right) Loren David,
Bonnie Scott, Roxanne Crittenden, Linda Deering, Gwen Green,
 Jesse Capitanio, Nikki Peronto,  Thomas Nelson. Photo by Brian Collentine
And here's some insight into those hard working farmers making it all possible for the Farm Shop: