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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

11/27/2012 - The Waterford Crystal Story

Slow Living Radio was delighted to find the charming Jim O'Leary, Director of Design for Waterford Crystal, appearing and signing his marvellous crystal creations in downtown San Francisco.  Hear his inspirational story of starting with the company as a boy of 15, and how he progressed through the ranks over a span of 53 years, living the entire time in the quaint namesake town of Waterford, Ireland.  A truly "slow living story" indeed!

Waterford then....
....and now


Jim O'Leary, Director of Design
Waterford Crystal
As Director of Design for Waterford Crystal®, Jim O'Leary is the curator of a design tradition that stretches back to 1783.
Under his direction, Waterford has become known to the world as an enduring symbol of quality, tradition and modernity with timeless designs that add significance and beauty to the home. Jim has played a pivotal role throughout the decades with his artistic eye and inspired view of the world. He continually brings fresh perspective to the Waterford Design Studio in Ireland, always providing the brand with new interpretations of what it means to be modern today. Mr. O'Leary describes Waterford's enduring legacy and design leadership well. "It is only by being of its time that Waterford Crystal can aspire to be timeless. What endures is not a single look or style, but a way of putting ancient skills to new uses in order to create designs that move beyond mere fashion to achieve lasting style.
The Araglin Design
After beginning his career as a Waterford apprentice in 1960, Jim O'Leary quickly achieved Master Craftsman status by age 24. In 1980 he joined the ranks of the legendary design team and thus began his travels to the United States where he has charmed generations of collectors ever since. Among his most important designs are the Araglin, Carina and Castlemaine patterns; The Romance of Ireland collection; and the Star of Peace, which were the first Waterford Crystal panels to be placed on the famous Millenium Ball in Times Square in 1999.

The Carina Design
Serving as Waterford Crystal's international brand ambassador, Jim spends an average of five months each year visiting consumers and collectors around the world. At the scores of events he attends, he puts his creativity to work on a more practical level by inscribing his signature on Waterford Crystal pieces with an electronic signing pen. Through his travels he gains valuable insights and inspiration from consumers which he then brings back to the designers and craftsmen on the Waterford Design team to develop and refine existing and new product lines. His understanding of the ever-changing market and consumer ensures Waterford Crystal remains the global leader in crystal design.
About Waterford Crystal
Waterford Crystal designs, manufactures and markets an extensive range of crystal stemware, barware and giftware for distribution throughout the world. In recent years, Waterford has built upon its reputation as a leading source of prestigious tabletop and gift products by expanding into several new businesses. Significant expansions into tabletop and gifts have occurred with the launch of the Marquis by Waterford, the addition of Waterford Fine China, Waterford Fine Flatware, and Waterford Holiday Heirlooms. Each of those initiatives reflects the company's commitment to creating prestigious products -- for gift giving, entertaining, and home decorating -- whose classic designs transcend time.


The company of Waterford was first established in 1783 on land adjacent to Merchants' Quay in the heart of the Irish harbor town of Waterford. Its founders were two brothers, William and George Penrose, who were important developers and principal exporters in the city. Their vision was to "create the finest quality crystal for drinking vessels and objects of beauty for the home." More than two hundred years later, the reputation they established for creating glass of unsurpassed beauty and quality has transcended the intervening centuries.
The beginnings of glass making in Ireland are lost in the mists of time but there is sufficient archaeological evidence to show that, from the early Iron Age, glass was regarded with respect. Indeed, medieval documents can prove glass making existed in Ireland back in the middle 13th century.
However, the Waterford Crystal story started to blossom in 1783 when two brothers, George and William Penrose, founded their crystal manufacturing business in the busy port of Waterford. They were important developers and the city's principal exporters. The development, they told the Irish Parliament, cost £10,000 - a great deal of money in the 18th century.
They employed 50 to 70 people, led by a fellow Quaker, John Hill, from Stourbridge in England, and succeeded in producing crystal with a purity of colour unmatched in Ireland or England. Merchant ships sailed regularly from the port of Waterford with cargoes of crystal bound for Spain, the West Indies, New York, New England and Newfoundland.
Another century passed before the enterprise was revived. In 1947, while Europe was still in ruins after the second World War, a small glass factory was set up in Waterford just 11/2 miles from the site of the original glass factory.
Waterford Crystal today has very strong links with its illustrious predecessor. There is today the same dedication to the purity of color, to the same design inspiration and to the same pursuit of highest quality levels possible. The traditional cutting patterns made famous by the artisans of Waterford became the design basis for the growing product range of the new company.
Products which have extended the power of the Waterford brand beyond its core crystal products include Waterford China, Waterford Table & Bed Linens, Waterford Stainless Flatware and Silver Gifts, Waterford Writing Instruments, Waterford Holiday Heirlooms and Waterford Crystal Jewellery.


The Lismore Design

Waterford Crystal, today, is the leading brand of premium crystal. Its products - superb handcrafted crystal stemware, giftware and lightingware - are designed and manufactured to the highest standards.
The brand's reputation among its target market - upscale men and women - in its major markets is such that it has taken the brand to the heights that it now occupies. The target consumers simply regard Waterford Crystal as the best for self and gift purchase.
Recent research has confirmed the standing of Waterford Crystal in both the US and the UK.
In November 2000, Waterford Crystal was named as the top world class brand in the United States by a survey conducted among 30,000 people by the Princeton, New Jersey, based independent market research company, Total Research Corporation. Total Research said that Waterford Crystal was judged by American consumers as the brand with the highest quality out of 19 world class brands in the US market. Other brands in the league table below Waterford include Rolls-Royce Bentley, Bose stereo and speaker systems, Philadelphia cream cheese, Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Kodak, Heinz ketchup and National Geographic magazine.
In 2002, Waterford celebrated the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the Lismore pattern of crystal. Almost every year since its inception, Lismore has topped the popularity list and has been the biggest selling pattern of crystal in the US and the world. But there are others among the repertoire of Ireland's most famous export that have gained their own following - Alana, Carina, Araglin.
Waterford Crystal has become almost a synonym for the finest quality crystal sought after by collectors and connoisseurs around the world. Each piece of Waterford is watermarked with the word "Waterford", a signature indicating the name of the finest crystal in the world.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

11/20 - Slow, Happy and Healthy "Holidays"

As we draw dangerously close to that time of year when holidays, parties and festivities seem to bring more stress, anxiety. fatigue and bad tempers each year on, Slow Living Radio tries to restore a sense of what it should be - a time of joy, playfulness, relaxation and celebration of life, friends and family.


Our guests this week all hail from the wonderfully therapeutic California Health and Longevity Institute, nestled appropriately amid the peaceful waterfalls and landscaped grounds of the beautiful Four Seasons Hotel in Westlake Village.  They each will bring a new dimension to self care, relaxation, balance and preventive health care.  Sit back, enjoy, and hopefully be inspired to make this years celebrations full of beaming energy and laughter.


California Health & Longevity Institute, Inc
Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village

Barbara E. Savin
Clinical Hypnotherapist and Healing Energy Specialist

Barbara E. Savin, author of “Reclaiming Your Health with Self-Healing” and “Reclaiming Your Power,” is the Clinical Hypnotherapist and Healing Energy Specialist for California Health & Longevity Institute, Inc. Her goal at California Health & Longevity Institute, Inc. is to help people through the use of preventive and natural health care methods. Barbara has many years of clinical experience as a natural healthcare practitioner. She is educated as a Gentle Energy Touch master/teacher, a certified Reiki master/teacher, a Magnified Healing master/teacher, a pranic psychotherapy practitioner, a healing touch practitioner, and a visualization and meditation instructor and is a certified clinical hypnotherapist. Previously, Barbara owned her own successful vitamin and supplement distribution company, and she also worked for Blue Cross and Roosevelt Hospital in New York City. As a regional sales director with General Nutrition Center, she won “Regional Director of the Year” for three consecutive years.

Barbara is a member of the National Guild for Hypnotherapists, the American Board of Hypnotherapy and the International Association of Counselors and Therapists. She is currently working toward certification in emotional freedom technique.


Ilana Kukoff, Ph.D.
Lifestyle Consultant and Workshop Facilitator

Dr. Ilana Kukoff is an educational entrepreneur and founder of several companies. Ilana is the founder and CEO of Cognition Builders, an education company that teaches students how to learn. Cognition Builders is the parent company of Mind Over Marriage, a marriage education company that is currently developing a reality show. Dr. Kukoff is also the co-founder, and former Chief Scientific Officer, of Rethink Autism, an internet-based autism service provider.

Dr. Kukoff is a graduate of Columbia University and has a Ph.D in Behavioral Psychology. She has been a featured speaker on NPR, at UCLA and a TED: Ideas Worth Sharing event.

Roger Thai, D.D.S.
Director of Dentistry

Dr. Roger Thai has transferred his personal core belief for doing what is best for his clients without compromise into the practice of dentistry. His style of dentistry has a rare combination of both artistry and technicality. His love for cosmetic dentistry and “anti-aging” preventive dentistry is what he is best known for throughout California. Dr. Thai loves educating his clients as well as advising them appropriately to make the best decision about their oral health. In his personal time, Dr. Thai gives back to the community by providing pro-bono dental work quarterly at the Watts Clinic in Los Angeles and coaching Little League baseball and basketball.
Dr. Thai graduated from the Dugoni School of Dentistry at the University of the Pacific in San Francisco and was awarded a scholarship from the United States Air Force Health Professional Program. Upon graduation, he completed studies in Advanced Education in General Dentistry. For the next three years, he worked one-on-one with specialists in the field of dentistry to gain further mastery of his profession. Dr. Thai continues to pursue excellence through staying current with technology, participating in continuing education and surrounding himself with renowned experts in the field of dentistry.


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


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

11/6 - Historic Hotels

This week, Slow Living Radio goes on location to explore the preservation of historic hotels as we visit the iconic Ojai Valley Inn & Spa during the Historic Hotels of America Conference.  First, we'll talk with Thierry Roch, executive director for Historic Hotels of America, part of the Preferred Hotels Group.  We'll learn about the mission of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and its role in the restoration and re-purposing of America's great legacy properties into some of the country's classic hotels.  Next, we'll discover the history and magic of the conference's host property, the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, as we visit with managing director Pete Ells, executive chef Chad Minton, and director of spa Gloria Ah Sam.

Theirry Roch, Executive Director
Historic Hotels of America ®

Since joining HHA in July of 1999, Roch has directed the growth of the organization from 128 member hotels (representing 24,000+ rooms) to more than 220 members (representing over 36,000 rooms).

Previously, Roch served as vice president of corporate and industry affairs at the American Hotel & Motel Association in Washington, D.C. 

He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and graduated from the United States Chamber of Commerce Institutes for Organizational Management program, an association management professionalization program.

Historic Hotels of America is a brand of Preferred Hotel Group.

About Historic Hotels of America

Historic Hotels of America was founded in 1989 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation with 32 charter members. To be nominated and selected for membership into this prestigious program, a hotel must be at least 50 years old and listed in or eligible for the National Register of Historic Places or recognized as having historic significance.

Members of National Trust Historic Hotels of America represent the heritage and development of America. One of the earliest hotels, Hotel El Convento in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico is a former Carmelite Convent dating to 1651. Another, The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, dates to 1773 and was originally established as a stagecoach stop.

A program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation®, Historic Hotels of America® identifies quality hotels that have faithfully maintained their historic integrity, architecture and ambiance. Historic Hotels of America preserves the authenticity of America’s most prominent lodging addresses and offer visitors a remarkable travel experience to savor, celebrate and share. Member hotels are promoted nationally and internationally to those who prefer historic settings for their leisure and business travel.

Rooms at any of the member hotels can be reserved by visiting or calling 800.678.8946. Reservations made through Historic Hotels of America support the National Trust, a private, nonprofit membership organization dedicated to saving historic places and revitalizing America's communities. For more information, visit the National Trust's website at -

Pete Ells, Managing Director

In 1923, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa began as a private country club and golf course built to harmonize the unspoiled beauty of the rural paradise just half an hour's drive out of Santa Barbara. Today, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa retains its sense of place nestled into the beauty of the valley hills, and staying true to the people who first built it.

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa offers an abundance of luxurious amenities and special services to make each guest's stay enjoyable and worry-free.
The Ojai Valley runs along an unusual mountain range. Each day at sunset, the fading sunlight creates brilliant shades of pink for several minutes. Most intensely reflected over the rocky ridge of the Topa Topa Mountain range, this spectacular phenomenon creates a mystical beauty and signals the end of another day in this spiritual valley.

The Chronology of Ojai Valley Inn & Spa

In 1923, Edward D. Libbey's dream for his beloved Ojai Valley began to take shape as his private country club and golf course were built to harmonize with the unspoiled beauty of this rural paradise.  Mr. Libbey died in 1925 and never saw his hotel built, however, the architectural plans were safely archived.
In 1934, architect Austin Pierpont added 22 guest rooms per the original drawings of architect Wallace Neff. These rooms are now known as the Wallace Neff Historical Rooms.
In 1942, a different kind of glory distinguished the Ojai Valley Country Club when it was transformed into Camp Oak for a military training center for a battalion of 1,000 Army troops. Two years later, the Army turned the base over to the United States Navy for a rest and recuperation facility. When the government finally auctioned off the last of the Quonset huts and barracks, the property was returned to private ownership.
Don Burger, along with some influential investors, purchased the Ojai Valley Country Club in 1947 and the resort was reopened as Ojai Valley Inn and Country Club. This began the Glamour Era of the Inn, and Hollywood's brightest stars sought the tranquil pleasures of the resort.
Golf was a pleasure that brought many celebrities to the resort
In 1985, the Crown family of Chicago purchased the property and completed a $50 million dollar renovation, followed by another renovation in 2003.  And in 1997, the Spa Ojai was completed under the direction of architect Bill Mahan. The resort became known as Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.
Early 2006, with the opening of the Artist Cottage and Apothecary, this major renovation was completed. The legendary Ojai resort debuted 308 guest rooms and suites, a new lobby and entrance, new golf shop, new restaurants, and new ballrooms and meeting spaces, while preserving its original charming architecture and unique sense of place.
The resort was first awarded the coveted Five Diamond Award for excellence in the hospitality industry and has achieved this distinguished accolade annually since 2006.
Throughout the years, hosting many celebrities, musicians, dignitaries and politicians, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa retains its sense of place staying true to the people who first built it. Amid an unsurpassed natural landscape with diverse appeal to families, couples, golf getaways, girlfriend getaways and multi-generational guests, the Inn remains one of the finest resorts in North America.

Chad Minton,
Executive Chef, Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Chef Minton has been recognized by the Los Angeles Times, Santa Barbara News Press, 805 Living magazine, and a bevy of others.
Minton's passion for our environment and local community is evident in his lifestyle. Minton tends to the herb garden and many of the vegetables and tomatoes on Maravilla's menu are from the Inn's garden. He's a regular at the Sunday Ojai Farmer's Market and is an advocate of the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Sea Food Watch Program, a strong supporter of sustainable seafood practices.

 Gloria Ah Sam, Director of Spa

A Moroccan fountain, 50-foot bell tower and inviting outdoor fireplace welcome you to the charm and ambiance of the Spa Village courtyard. Surrounded by the inspiring Topa Topa Mountains of Southern California, the 31,000 square-foot resort Spa is the focal point of this serene resort village which includes two pools, a fully-equipped workout room, Mind and Body Studio, Spa Boutique and Artist Cottage & Apothecary.
At the Artist Cottage and Apothecary, guests will learn from local artists to work creatively in a variety of media, including oils, pastels, watercolor, precious metal jewelry making and silk scarf painting just to name a few activities.

Apothecary - Aroma Custom Blending
An experience that will awaken your senses, the custom blending class will rely on your unconscious to create your own uniquely personal scent. Enjoy your scent as a classic perfume or have your apothecary specialist blend it into a customized product line.

Personal Mandala
At times of transition or when seeking clarity, Ojai provides a Personal Mandala session. Drawing a Mandala (Sanskrit word for center and circle) is a creative path to self-discovery and an introspective way to look back and dream forward. An insightful feedback reading reveals a deeper meaning to what lies on the paper.