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Sunday, January 27, 2013

02/05 - A Celebration of Chile

Francisco Correa
Senior Trade Commissioner
Trade Commissionof Chile in Los Angeles

Lilian Rodriguez Walker, Deputy Trade Commissioner
Francisco Correa, Chilean Trade Commisioner
ProChile  Los Angeles

 Chile: A Surprising Country

A long sliver of a country in southwestern South America, Chile’s striking, diverse geography never ceases to surprise. Its bountiful agricultural valleys lie at the foot of the imposing Andes Mountain Range, looking down on the Pacific Ocean. This long, thin country captivates visitors with its warm, efficient and enterprising people, as well as with its democratic institutions.


A mere 180 km wide on average, Chile is 4,300 km long from the border with Peru on the north to the Strait of Magellan on the south. Sheltered by the Andes on the east and the Pacific Ocean on the west, Chile is all but impervious to foreign pests and disease.

 Chile borders on Peru to the north, Bolivia and Argentina to the east, the South Pole to the south and the Pacific Ocean to the west. The north is rich in mining and marine resources. Central Chile, home to the nation’s capital, is a major agricultural and industrial hub. In the south, rich fisheries and forest resources are managed under stringent conservation and environmental protection standards.



A seemingly limitless coastline, deep-blue lakes, tall volcanoes, soaring glaciers, green valleys, lush native forests and parched deserts are just some of the vistas that surprise visitors to this land of marked contrasts. To the north, the bone-dry expanses of the Atacama Desert. To the south, breathtaking Patagonia. In between the majestic Andes and the vast Pacific Ocean, vineyard-dotted green valleys and vast native forests.

This remarkable range of climates and sceneries make Chile an unsurpassed destination for nature lovers, who can choose from mountain climbing, horse riding, skiing, archaeological trips and wildlife observation to swimming and diving, white-water rafting, kayaking in rivers and fjords, navigation amongst ice floes or visits to ritual Easter Island sites.

In 2012 Chile welcomed more than 3,5 million visitors. Most came from Argentina (1,232,915), Brazil (348,827), and Bolivia (315,897). Some 349,652 visitors came from Europe and 158,419, from United States of America.


Lori J. Tieszen
Executive Director
Wines of Chile USA


Chile’s Unique Wine Geography

Chile’s geographic barriers make Chile a veritable agricultural island. Together they help maintain healthy conditions and protect vineyards against pests and disease.

The combination of beneficial natural barriers and a benevolent Mediterranean climate make sustainability and organics a logical choice in Chilean winegrowing. In fact, Chile has some of the largest organic vineyards in the world.

Chile’s Mediterranean climate features the warm, dry summers and cold, rainy winters that vines love. Even better, the interaction between the effects of the sea and those of the Andes result in a growing season that revels in bright sunny days and temperatures that take a dramatic dip each night to create the broad daily temperature oscillation that wine grapes need to develop fresh fruit flavors, crisp acidity, and in the case of red wines, ripe tannins, deep color, and high levels of antioxidants and flavonols.

Altitude with Attitude

All things Chilean seem to bear an indelible mark imprinted upon them by the omnipresence of the ice-capped mountains that tower over the valleys below. In recent years, more and more vineyards creep closer and higher to the peaks, where the sun is slow to appear over the eastern peaks and makes up for its late arrival with the intensity that comes with altitude. Currents of wind climb and descend over the course of the day to create a daily pendulum of temperatures that swings broadly between daytime highs and night time lows. This is just what rich red grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon thrive on.

 Cruising down the Center

Chile’s long stretch of Pan American Highway cruises straight through the Central Valley, over the rivers that flow westward from the Andes and around the sections of the Coastal Mountains that jut inland from time to time. Varieties such as Carmenere adore this even keel of an environment, where the weather is stable and the land is generally rich.

Cool on the Coast
Anyone who’s ever had a dip in the Pacific Ocean knows that it is cold! And when it smacks up against the coast it makes its presence known. It blankets the land with a thick cool fog each morning and then blows it away again by noon to allow the bright sunshine… just the type of conditions that cool-climate grapes such as Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir thrive on.

Whichever direction you look, Chile’s highly diverse geography and beneficial climate makes Chile the Logical Choice in Wine for today’s consumers who demand high quality and ecologically sound practices.


 Wine is always best with food, and wine lovers will have no problem finding great dishes to go with whatever is in their glass. Chile is an agricultural country with a long coastline, so the supply and variation of fresh ingredients from land and sea is vast. Most Chilean cuisine consists of simply prepared, hearty fare based on beef, lamb, fish, shellfish, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Typical dishes include pastel de choclo, a meat and corn pie served in clay bowls; empanadas filled with beef, cheese, or shellfish; and machas, razor clams on the half shell. Grilled meats are popular, and restaurants offer mixed grill parrilladas served on braziers, and a wide assortment of seafood is available in every form imaginable.

Eating in Chile is not all about tradition, however. Many chefs put the wide range of excellent ingredients to use in impressive gourmet dishes. And today, many wineries have charming restaurants that offer fine dishes inspired by fresh local ingredients especially prepared to highlight the house wines.

Whatever your food choice, in Chile, you will always find an ideal selection of wines to pair beautifully with your meal.


Fernando Carrasco Spano
Gerente Comercial
Deleyda Olive Oil

The founding partners searched for, explored, and considered some twenty properties before arriving at Huerto La Marquesa de Leyda in Chile’s V Region. They were captivated by the emerging valley’s characteristics, took a bet on this essentially untapped area of Chile, and began planting the first 100 hectares in 2006. From their very first harvest in 2008, the fruit (olives) have shown a pronounced concentration of aromas and flavors due to the cool climate and slow ripening of the olives. With a total of 205 hectares, the property has the capacity to produce 2 million kilos of olives per year.

Planting began at second property in Pumanque (VI Region) called El Cerrillo in late 2008. There are now 160 hectares planted in this area with a strong Mediterranean climate and many hours of sunlight. Yields are somewhat higher than those in Leyda, but the fruit is of very good quality.

El Cerrillo also has a small, high-tech mill that allows processing on site for extracting special characteristics in certain varieties.

Located 90 km (56 mi) from Santiago, and just a short distance from the sea, Leyda lies between the Coastal Mountain Range and the Pacific Ocean and is known for its rolling green hills and sea breezes.

Its name comes from a derivation of the Spanish typically spoken in Chile’s central zone. From 1912 to 1987 the train between San Antonio (on the coast) and Santiago (the capital) passed through the area “a la ida” (along the way), and local residents eventually shortened it to “le ida.” The name was later “Frenchified” to Leyda, as we know it today.

This cool climate sector with clearly defined seasons and a low daily temperature oscillation has earned fame in recent decades for producing wines with tremendous aromatic and gustatory complexity, putting this corner of Chile on the map. It now also produces exceptional quality extra virgin olive oil.


Anamaria Carrillo
Olv Olive Oil

OLV oil comes from three groves located in the Central Valley of Chile.  Optimal weather and luminosity derived from long sunny summers and short mild winters, are part of the Valley’s exceptional conditions for olive culture.  Natural geographic barriers at all four cardinal points protect the olives from pests:
To the East, the Andes, the second largest mountain chain in the world
To the North, the Atacama, recognized as the driest desert,
To the West, the Pacific Ocean, the deepest ocean in the World and ,
To the South, Antarctica, land of the coldest glaciers

These state owned groves cover more than 2500 acres, hence allowing the company to maintain absolute control of their olives quality starting from the moment each tree is planted.

Olives are harvested between April and June, when the olives are half colored after the long and warm summer. The harvest is manual and each olive is handpicked and carefully selected.

The press, inside the plantation, processes olives within 24 hours of harvest, preserving all the natural, rich, herbal flavors, minimizing rancidity and ensuring acidity below 0.5%. All the oil is extra virgin, using no heat or solvents in the process and the short time which elapses from harvest to extraction ensures minimal oxidation.

Olv is proud to be environmental friendly as all the oil is produced during the first press and the waste product is used as fertilizer for the grove or as fuel for the process.

Paulina Peñaloza Montealegre
General Manager-Founder
Domo Foods is a Chilean Specialty Food Company that specializes in Latin/Italian Food. Domo manufactures and distributes premium food products for the specialty food consumer combining old Italian recipes and native Chilean ingredients. Its Mission is to deliver a Fusion of Old World Tradition and New World Taste.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

01/22 - The Post Ranch Inn Story

About Post Ranch Inn

Nestled on the cliffs of Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn is a sanctuary of natural luxury – small, serene, seductive. High atop the California Coast, the inn offers an unforgettable escape for a honeymoon, anniversary, romantic getaway or relaxing vacation. With endless views of the Pacific Ocean in one direction and mountains in the other, the rest of the world seems blissfully far away. Here, romance and connection thrive.

Acclaimed by guests and the media, Post Ranch is renowned worldwide for its natural luxury, fine dining, transformative spa treatments, gracious service and green initiatives.

Organic architecture embraces the dramatic beauty of the Big Sur coastline. Accommodations, distinctive and unique, combine rustic elegance with luxury and comfort.

Sierra Mar restaurant offers acclaimed dining, a vast wine list and a breathtaking setting overlooking the Pacific coast. Guests can relax by the pools and take in the splendid views; rejuvenate with an in-room massage, spa treatment or daily yoga class; or explore what nature has to offer. Picturesque Monterey and Carmel are a short drive away.

Post Ranch Inn is a member of Preferred Boutique hotels.

Our first guest is Mike Freed, Managing Partner of Post Ranch Inn, the visionary behind the potential of this iconic property, renowned worldwide and a haven of peace, luxury and charm.

Chef John Cox

 Chef John Cox is the Executive Chef at Sierra Mar. Chef Cox’s start in July 2012 marked a return to Sierra Mar, where he began his professional career in 2001. He joined us from his position as executive chef at La Bicyclette and Casanova restaurants in nearby Carmel, where he initiated dynamic, daily changing menus focused around locally sourced ingredients. The successful concepts and menus soon earned recognition as some of the finest in Carmel by publications ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle to Food & Wine magazine.

Prior to his time in Carmel, Chef Cox spent time immersing himself in Hawaii’s island cuisine and the bold, spicy flavors of the southwest in New Mexico. He trained at the New England Culinary Institute, where he is still a board member. Be sure to follow Chef Cox’s blog by clicking here.

Dominique DaCruz
Wine Director

Wine enthusiasts can spend hours reading the acclaimed wine list from our vast Grand Award-winning wine cellar, with over 13,000 bottles and 2,600 selections. Diverse offerings feature new- and old-world wines from prestigious estates and desirable small producers with limited availability. The philosophy and expertise of Wine Director Dominique DaCruz is the guiding force behind our acclaimed cellar. He shares sommelier duties with Restaurant Manager Wanda Straw.

For those who share a passion for wine, we offer VIÑA. This special wine retail program enables guests to recreate at home the memorable wine experiences they’ve enjoyed at Sierra Mar. To inquire about VIÑA, please email

After a massage on your deck,how about a balancing Shaman?

The Post Ranch Inn Shaman Sessions

John Rasmussan, Shaman

Post Ranch Inn’s shaman calls on nature and ancient wisdom to help create physical, mental and emotional well-being.

Balances and cleanses imprints that predispose us to negative conditions. Boosts energy, vitality and immunity.

Uncovers the source of past trauma, retrieves lost energy, removes limits and incorporates the energy of your power animal.

Incorporates the energy of who you want to become and reveals the obstacles and opportunities along the path.

Installs energetic bands that filter energies directed towards you so that they nourish your body.

Let go or invite in, purify, transform. Your shaman leads you through the journey, drawing on the fire to heal, renew and energize, and open the possibility of change.

The ancient voice of the drum beats as your shaman guides you to gather energy from the past and future and help you focus on being fully present in the now. The shaman provides simple but potent set of tools to enhance health, happiness, and relationships.

And drift into sunset....

What is a Shaman and Shamanism?

The actual word, Shaman, comes from the medicine people of Siberia and has been widely adopted throughout the western cultures to describe someone who facilitates a coming into power and freedom, which is often referred to as healing, and which fully uncovers our core nature of love, compassion, and joy. Ideally, someone who practices shamanism has been trained in techniques and initiated in a way that allows them to safely and effectively mediate between the physical and non-physical worlds in order to bring about some desired change on all layers of our being: literal/physical, psycho-spiritual/mind, mythic, and essential.

While western medicine diagnoses or maps and intervenes only on the physical or psychological layers, the shaman engages the healing process on all four layers and preferably intervenes at the essential energetic layer and maps the new healed state at the mythic layer. So there are shamans who will stop the bleeding, set bones, prescribe herbs, and help change thoughts and beliefs, but then they will help empower you and help you to create more desirable experiences in the future, no longer repeating the same old patterns and wounds that you or your ancestors have experienced.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

01/29 - Australian Winemakers Take America by Storm!

Slow Living is delighted to support Wine Australia's initiative to bring the US a taste from Australian wine regions, highlighting the diversity, free spirit and fine quality.  We welcome four winemakers to the show today, from four distinct and unique regions to tell their story and give us an insight into their terroir.  Angela Slade, Regional Director, North America, joins us at the end of the show, to give us the big picture!

The event, a San Francisco tasting to over 350 sommeliers, media and retailers - in a word, a huge success!

But first, some valuable insight with this Q and A with Iain Riggs of Brokenwood in the Hunter Valley, and John Duval of John Duval Wines in the Barossa.

What do you love the most about your region?

Iain Riggs:  The Hunter Valley is Australia’s oldest commercial wine region and has such a magnificent history, that we (Hunter winemakers) are proud caretakers. Beautiful landscape, magic, unique wine style and close to breaches and Sydney. What’s not to love??

John Duval:  Access to some of the oldest vineyards in the world (Shiraz, Grenache, Mourvedre in particular). Diversity of terriors, able to produce elegant mineral whites, eg Riesling in Eden Valley, to the more structured, but vibrant, old vine shiraz from the Barossa Valley

What makes you most proud to be an Australian?

IR:  Aussies are an independent, happy lot and what we have achieved in a short space of time is amazing. Thinking back on the history of the wine industry, there were grapes planted within a year or two of First Fleet and vineyards with before 1800!!

JD:  The Australian spirit. Very open and honest; always prepared to give something a go, and a society that makes it possible.

What is the most exciting trend you are seeing in the Australian Wine Business now?

IR:  Regional styles that are unique and distinct to Australia.

JD:  The availability of new varieties and wine styles.

What is the most unknown or underestimated fact about Australian wine to the American audience?

IR:  Definitely our history. Especially grapes/wine industry established by Englishmen who had no viticulture experience. Wine was used to try and get the early Colony off hard spirits. Wine was exported back to London in 1823 and exhibited in a competition.

JD:  The quality, diversity of style and regionality of Australian wine has never been better. I get frustrated by stereotypical views that generalise, inferring one style of big red wine, and neglects regionality and diversity of style and terrior. I am sure there would be equal frustration if people generalised about all American wine being similar in character. I could equally talk about the long history of our industry, the number of 100 year old vineyards, or the aging potential of our wines.

Iain Riggs
Brokenwood Wines
Hunter Valley, New South Wales

Iain at the Tasting Room with Geoff Krieger Brokenwood General Manager
Iain Riggs, Managing Director, Chief Winemaker and part owner of Brokenwood, has taken Brokenwood from a small “hobby” winery and into the national and international arena.Iain’s skills in white winemaking revolutionized Brokenwood, which, when Riggs joined, produced only red wines. A year into his tenure, with the 1983 vintage, production levels changed to 70% white wine and 30% red.

Iain is immediate Chairman of the Hunter Valley Wine Show, having taken over from Len Evans in 2002 and is currently Chairman of Judges at the Macquarie Group Sydney Royal Wine Show as well as the Shanghai International Wine Challenge. His strong interest in ‘improving the breed’ of Australian wine sees him as Chairman of Trustees of the Len Evans Foundation that conducts the week long Len Evans Tutorial. On the wine industry political side, Iain was an inaugural Board member of the Winemakers Federation of Australia, its Vice-President and President of the Australian Winemakers Forum. For relaxation, Iain is currently President of the Pokolbin (Reds) Rugby Club.

In 2001, Iain Riggs was nominated by Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine as a finalist in the Winemaker of the Year feature. In 2003, Iain was awarded the Graham Gregory trophy for outstanding service to the NSW wine industry.

Born in Burra, South Australia in 1955, Iain’s first insight into the wine industry was through relatives who lived in the Riverland region of South Australia. These were very much ‘brandy and dry’ times, but the allure of table wine drew the young Riggs. The experience that set him on the path that was to become his life was a bottle of 1970 Leo Buring DW110 Riesling – he has been tied to the power of the vine ever since.

Iain studied at Roseworthy College between 1972 and 1975, graduating with honours. At this time, the industry was undergoing a major change – namely the emergence of white wine. He first worked at Bleasedale and Hazelmere in McLaren Vale. At Hazelmere, he sparked his interest in varietal blending and was one of the pioneers of the now-famous combination of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon. At Hazelmere, Iain, as Chief Winemaker, focused on white wines, and was crowned McLaren Vale Bushing King in 1982 with his multi-trophy-winning Chardonnay.

The owners of Brokenwood, keen to grow their business and expand into white wine production, offered Iain the job of Chief Winemaker in 1982. That year, a new winery was built. Iain’s skills in white winemaking revolutionised Brokenwood, which, when Riggs joined, produced only red wines. A year into his tenure, with the 1983 vintage, production levels changed to 70% white wine and 30% red.

The Graveyard Vineyard

Brokenwood’s committed to a program of regional blending from 1978 in an attempt to even out some of the more difficult Hunter Valley vintages as well as continuing a long held tradition in Australian winemaking. As such Beechworth was identified as one of the most exciting up and coming regions with Riggs and Brokenwood assisting in the establishment of the Indigo Vineyard in the late 1990s. The brokenwood winemaking team now has premium Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Gris and newer varietals that include Sangiovese, Nebbiolo, Rousanne and Viognier available. McLaren Vale and the Orange region add more quality fruit.

As vintage 2012 is the 30th with Iain at the helm, the premium region focus and Single Vineyard philosophy is as strong as ever.

For some more Hunter Valley Finds, click here.

Brokenwood and John Duval Wines are available through Old Bridge Cellars 

John Duval
John Duval Wines,
Barossa and Eden Valley, South Australia

John Duval has long ruled the world of wine in the land down under. After nearly 29 years with Penfolds, one of Australia's most celebrated wineries, he left the company in late 2002 to fulfill his ambition of making his own wine. Over the years, John has earned a series of awards, certificates and trophies around the globe, distinguishing himself among the winemaking greats of all time.

He grew up on fertile lands just south of Adelaide, where his parents cultivated a small vineyard and ran a world famous sheep stud. After completing his studies in agriculture and winemaking, he started with Penfolds in 1974 and was appointed Chief Winemaker in 1986.

John led the winery through a dynamic period of development, ultimately establishing Penfolds as one of the world's great wine brands. He attributes part of his success at Penfolds to his family, who coincidently supplied their finest Shiraz grapes and vine cuttings to the renowned winery.

Looking back on his career to date, John lists the following highlights: In 1989, he was awarded the Robert Mondavi Trophy for Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London; in 1991, and again in 2000, he was named Red Winemaker of the Year at the International Wine Challenge in London; and in 1995, he accepted the Wine of the Year award from Wine Spectator Magazine for the 1990 vintage of Penfolds Grange.

John currently resides in the Barossa Valley, one of Australia's most famous wine regions, particularly known for its old vine Shiraz. An experienced wine judge, John also serves at many Australian and international wine shows.

Brendon Keys
BK Wines
Adelaide Hills, South Australia

BK Wines is a fresh face, one that pokes fun at the wine establishment. “Made with love, not money”. Proclaims the website, a pair of hands punching out at you with “handmade” tattooed across the knuckles. But this is no corporate ‘anti-marketing’ campaign – it’s the tiny project of a man named BK.

BK is Brendon Keys, a kiwi turned Aussie DJ, Chef and Winemaker. He sports a ginger beard and a wry smile and a lack of pretension, and given that he’s in the middle of vintage (and the father of one and three year old boys) he looks surprisingly well rested and relaxed.

Craig Holme
Winemaker, Proprietor
Mount Benson, South Australia

Craig Holme - Son of Lachlan and Janet Holme, Craig is the fourth of five children. Growing up on the farm Craig always knew he wanted to be involved in the family business. Helping his parents plant their vineyards developed his passion for viticulture. Working in wineries at home in South Australia as well as travelling to the Bordeaux region of France, California's Napa Valley and South Africa he learned different winemaking techniques. 

Craig met Julie while working harvest in the Napa Valley. Their relationship continued the next vintage in South Africa and the couple were married in Australia in 2006. Noticing the excellent quality of grapes the family's vineyard was producing, Craig and Julie decided to start their own wine label. Based in California, Craig travels back and forth to Australia, managing the vineyards and making the wine.

The Area

Mount Benson is a unique coastal geographical indication situated approximately 300 kilometres from Adelaide and halfway between the historic townships of Kingston SE and Robe in the south east of South Australia. As part of the greater Limestone Coast wine region, Mount Benson is cousin to other well-known winegrowing regions including Coonawarra, Padthaway, Wrattonbully, Penola, Mount Gambier and Robe.

The region’s first grapes were planted in the 1980s by local farmers well attuned to Mount Benson’s unique and rugged climatic conditions. These grapes would later make way for the region’s own style of delicate, cool-climate, maritime-influenced wines which have already begun to make waves within a very competitive Australian wine industry.

Pass through the region and you begin to appreciate the lifestyle that the people lead here, grazing sheep, tending to crops and fishing for crayfish, intermittently broken up with a trip to the beach to relax the mind and soul. This is the sense of place we aim to convey in every bottle of wine we produce.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hospitality Trends and Forecasts

A Prediction of How Hotel and Restaurant Trends Will Shape a New Reality in 2013

(San Francisco, CA—October 11, 2012) Andrew Freeman & Co. (AF&Co.), a leading hospitality and restaurant consulting firm based in San Francisco, is releasing Evolution: Revolution - a look at how hotel, restaurant, and marketing trends will shape the world of travel and hospitality in 2013. This comprehensive annual trend report taps into the pulse of top restaurants, hotels and hospitality marketing, identifying key influences in 2013.

Evolution: Revolution was developed by the AF&Co. team from a combination of close industry observations, coast-to-coast travel, discussions with industry experts, regular meetings with hotel and restaurant clients, conversations with press contacts, industry conferences, extensive media research and thousands of hours spent in hotels and restaurants around the country.

About Andrew Freeman.....
“I was born with a fork in my mouth”

For many the Bar Mitzvah marks the coming of age, for Andrew it marked the start of a long path in marketing and public relations. He grew up in New Jersey (exit 153A) and graduated from Montclair State University with a Marketing
Degree, paying his way through school by working at a travel agency and performing in just about every community theater musical in the area.

Along the way he has worked with some of the finest restaurants, hotels, personalities and products in the world, and has loved every minute of it! He counts eating out every night and staying at wonderful hotels as part of his job duties and dedicates himself to doing a great job.
In 2010, Andrew was selected by the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) as one of the ‘Top 25 Most Extraordinary Minds in Sales and Marketing’.

Andrew's 2011 Trends predictions took the industry by storm, making it into

numerous publications and blogs. Andrew writes, “Move over cupcake,

make way for pie, as pies in all sizes move from the state fair to seriously
craveable fare. Decadence is endless with everything from savory, sweet, individual
deep-fried pies, bite-sized minis and even pies blended into shakes.”
He also predicts that Mom & Pop Shops, hot dogs and smaller portions will
be in vogue. Click here to check him out Andrew on talking
about how to optimize assets in the hospitality industry.
Here's a couple of note!
Box Steals -Package your party planning into special all inclusive deals. Offer out-of-the-box pre-packaged parties: weddings, birthdays, bar mitzvahs, etc. with inclusive pricing and all the details included.

A Wedding at the Renaissance Stanford Court

Example: Baker & Banker Bakery’s (San Francisco, CA) Cupcake Kit to Go gives you everything you need for your own cupcake decorating party; The Stanford Court Renaissance Hotel offers a special Wedding in the Box package including a ceremony “Under the Tiffany Dome,” cocktail reception, plated dinner, after party, a night for two in the Presidential Suite, and a bloody mary bunch for 50 the next day

Drunken Bar Snacks – The bar and the snacks are coming together with drunken bar snacks featuring classic bar foods flavored with ingredients from the bar. Just make sure to ask twice if you order the Scotch Egg.

Ex.: Campari infused popcorn at Perbacco (San Francisco, CA); Pigskin in a Blanket with house made Kielbasa, wrapped in pastry served with Dogtown Pale mustard and pickles along with a Dogtown Pale Ale at Aurea at the Renaissance Stanford Park Hotel (San Francisco, CA)



Michael Koenig

Chef de Cuisine
Aurea Restaurant,

Renaissance San Francisco Stanford Court

With nearly 15 years of involvement in the restaurant industry, Michael Koenig is no stranger to the kitchen.   Koenig enters a new kitchen as Chef de Cuisine at the Renaissance Stanford Court Hotel’s Aurea, a restaurant located in Nob Hill San Francisco that offers a delicious menu celebrating Bay Area and California cuisine. 

After completing a degree in Chemistry and Environmental Biology Studies at Michigan State University, Koenig began a love affair with food and was soon experimenting with different ingredients to create his own unique dishes. In 1999 he launched his career by leading the kitchen at Pasta Pomodoro as Manager and Corporate Chef Trainer. In 2001, Koenig became the Chef of Café Delluchi in San Francisco, running kitchen operations and developing new menu items and daily specials. 
After moving to Kuleto’s Restaurant in 2002, Koenig expanded his repertoire, becoming Sous Chef of the San Francisco eatery where he maintained preparation, quality, and presentation with a daily volume of approximately 1,000 meals per day.  Honing his ability to successfully create a fine-dining experience in large volume establishments, Koenig served as Executive Sous Chef at Scala’s Bistro for over two years, overseeing private dining and menu planning.  Transitioning to the South Bay in 2008, Koenig acted as Sous Chef at Palo Alto’s Restaurant Zibibbo and then returned to San Francisco a year later where until most recently acted as Grand Café’s Executive Sous Chef.
With his attention to detail, managerial prowess, and his love of fine food, Michael Koenig brings an indispensable skill set to the Aurea team.