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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

07/20/2015 - Two in the Kitchen

Slow Living Radio welcomes husband and wife team, Christie Dufault and Jordan Mackay, who have a shared passion for wine, food, spirits and travel.  Both are multi-awarded, Christie as a Sommelier turned lecturer and Jordan as a writer and author. Together they co-authored a book, Two in the Kitchen and Jordan’s latest book, Franklin Barbecue, is a tome for all things “smoke”. A must have for anyone with a passion for the Texas-style barbecue!
Christie Dufault
Wine and Beverage Instuctor,
CIA Greystone

Christie Dufault is a San Francisco based sommelier and wine educator.  She is member of the faculty at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in the Napa Valley, where she has been an instructor for twelve years. Previously, Christie worked as the wine director for some of the Nation’s finest restaurants including Gary Danko in San Francisco, where she was featured on the Food Network and earned the Grand Award from the Wine Spectator.  As the head sommelier at Quince, Christie was awarded “Best Wine Director 2007” by San Francisco Magazine.  In 2009, Christie helped open RN74 in San Francisco, a Michael Mina restaurant.  She is a guest lecturer at the San Francisco Wine School and a regular contributor to the publication Somm Journal.  In 2012 Christie co-authored a cookbook, Two in the Kitchen, with her husband, the writer Jordan Mackay. 

Jordan Mackay
Author and Journalist

Jordan Mackay is a James-Beard-award winning writer on wine, spirits and food. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Texas Monthly, Decanter, The Art of Eating, Wine and Spirits, Food& Wine, Gourmet and many other publications. His first book, Passion for Pinot, was published in 2009. His second, Secrets of the Sommeliers, co-authored with 2-time James Beard Award-winner Rajat Parr, won a James Beard award in 2011. Two in the Kitchen, written with his wife Christie Dufault, was published in 2012. His latest book, Franklin Barbecue co-written with James Beard Best Chef Southwest Award-winner Aaron Franklin, was just released in April, 2015 and spent its first 5 weeks in print on the New York Times Best Sellers List. Jordan lives in San Francisco and travels extensively, writing and speaking about wine, spirits and food. 


Thursday, July 16, 2015

07/13/2015 - People Giving Back: A Malawi Story

Slow Living salutes Rob Hampton and Claudia Sansone for the work they have done in Malawi, and previously in Mexico.  Recognized by the Dalai Lama, Rob has brought dental health to thousands of villagers who would never have had a chance to see a dentist. His work in Malawi led his wife, Claudia, an accomplished culinary professional, to help a village build a school, farm, orchard and develop healthier eating habits to give a ray of hope for the future of their children, and their own quality of life. Truly an inspirational story!

Rob Hampton and Claudia Sansone
United Village Transformation

If you want to go quickly, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

— African Proverb

Since 2007 Rob Hampton and Claudia Sansone have been traveling to Malawi. Initially to establish the first ever dental clinic at Daeyang Luke Hospital but then on a recurring basis to administer dental care, deliver supplies, and otherwise support the ongoing efforts to improve quality of life for the people of Malawi. In 2014, Rob was among those honored by the Dalai Lama through the non-profit organization “Wisdom in Action" with the “Unsung Hero Of Compassion” award for his philanthropic endeavors.

When friends heard what Rob and Claudia were up to, they knew they had to get involved. What started as a conversation between friends has expanded into an opportunity to develop a scalable, repeatable model for modernizing a village in the developing world.  Thus  "United Village Transformation Foundation"  was born.

When Rob and Claudia began making their annual pilgrimage, these villages had almost no infrastructure. In Malawi there is an average of one dentist for every 1.5 Million people. Because of the efforts of Rob, Claudia, UVT and their supporters the Daeyang Luke Hospital is able to provide training for 32 Dental Nurses from rural villages annually. 

In the United States, we take for granted that the systems governing our lives--the production and availability of food, education, healthcare, sanitation, and arts & culture--are readily available and working in harmony.  For those living in rural, impoverished areas of the world, it has proven to be quite challenging to modernize their way of life, despite ample resources being invested in improving the lives of the world's poor.  At UVT, they apply a holistic approach to village transformation because they believe that it takes all of these systems, developing in an integrated manner, to truly transform lives and communities.

Their pilot village transformation initiative in Dothi Village, Lilongwe, Malawi was designed in collaboration with the people of the community and other organizations actively working in the region.  

The program pillars are:

Adult, Early Childhood and Primary Education programming and facilities

Agricultural practices

Water Quality and Sanitation

Healthcare and Dental Care

Economic Development

We are seeking to make the following impacts:

Train dentists and nurses at the Daeyang Luke Hospital Dental clinic

Complete construction on Dothi Village’s very first preschool and early childhood education program

Provide books and resources for respective classrooms

Educate the children of the village on nutrition, gardening and farming at an early age

Provide women with solar cooking kits and instruction on safe, healthful cooking techniques

With your support, they  can truly transform the lives of the people in these communities.

In 2014 with funds raised from UVT volunteers  Dothi Vilage was able to construct a 24 foot by 30 foot building to house the villages first ever daycare center and preschool. Villagers volunteered to become teachers and the first class convened Sept 2014.

Also in 2014, Dothi Village developed the first garden grown during Malawi's dry season in 40 years. From April through October Malawians experience drought-like condition with no rain fall. Upon instruction from UVT volunteers Dothi villagers were able to dig a hole deep enough to hit water. Enough fertilizer and manure was purchased with funds from our volunteer fundraisers to help support the village food storage supplies.   In their next phase UVT will help the villagers establish a "bore hole" well to create an irrigation system for the garden and villagers.  



Wednesday, July 8, 2015

07/06/2015 - The Importance of Wine and other Beverages

Slow Living highlights the importance of beverages in society today, with new classes and summits at the Culinary Institute of America and private label wines by Karen Crouse of Mt Veeder Magic Vineyards.

 Culinary Institute of America, Greystone, St Helena

BILL BRIWA, C.E.C., C.H.E., is a chef-instructor at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone. Chef Briwa graduated top of his class at the CIA in 1980 and was the recipient of the Keating Award having been voted most likely to succeed by his peers. He has worked in a variety of culinary positions in Northern California, including the French Laundry, the Sugar House Bakery, and Domaine Chandon. He has held the position of executive chef at the CIA's Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant, the Hess Collection Winery, and his own bistro, Palmers Cafe. As the culinary chair of the Napa Valley Wine Auction in 2003 he helped raise more than $8 million for local charities and has been an active supporter of the local farmers’ market, having served on the board of directors for three years. Bill has traveled to study and teach cooking in Greece, Sicily, Tunisia, Turkey, Mexico, China, and across the United States. His writing on food and wine has appeared in Sunset magazine, the trade journal Flavor and the Menu, and Fine Cooking. (Napa, CA).

Traci Dutton is a sommelier, a wine judge, and the manager of public wine and beverage studies at the CIA at Greystone. She joined the CIA in 1998 as beverage manager and sommelier for the college’s Wine Spectator Greystone Restaurant. Over the course of more than 30 years in the wine world, Ms. Dutton has worked in high-end establishments such as Montrachet, The Striped Bass, and 231 Ellsworth, and has served luminaries as varied as Oprah Winfrey, Kevin Bacon, and Chef Paul Bocuse. She has studied and tasted great wines at vineyards around the world, from Portugal and Austria to Argentina and the United States. Her writing on wines and beverages has appeared in Kitchen & Cook, the St. Helena Star, iSanté.com, and many other publications. In 2011, she was named one of the top wine country sommeliers by Tasting Panel magazine.


 A Program and Career Choice worth toasting:

Beverages play a role in everyday life, combining culture, tradition, and history. They also drive a major percentage of an establishment’s profits. So to become a future leader in the foodservice and hospitality industry, a deep understanding of fine wines, beers, artisan spirits, coffees, and teas is vital to your success. Enrich your senses—and your career opportunities—by adding an Accelerated Wine and Beverage certificate (AWBP) to your resume. You’ll not only get a comprehensive overview of wines, spirits, and food parings; you’ll enhance your existing hospitality, culinary arts, or related degree with the expertise employers look for when hiring foodservice professionals. With the powerful combination of your college degree and CIA AWBP credential on your résumé, you’ll be prepared to pursue a wide variety of career in the beverage industry.


The Culinary Institute of America (CIA) at Greystone proudly presents Crafting Beer and Food, a summit for brewers, beer sommeliers, chefs, and all beer professionals. This fall, the CIA will launch the second round of its cutting edge beverage summit series, following the April 2015 CIA Sommelier Summit. Crafting Beer and Food is designed to expand the current dialogue surrounding the delicious and robust relationship between brewer and chef.

As the craft beer movement grows stronger across the country and the world, customers are expecting more from restaurants, chefs, and brewers. What makes a pairing work? How do you make beer recommendations that appeal to your customer base and complement your menu? How do you increase your staff’s beer knowledge, so it is on par with their wine expertise? What does the future hold for craft beer and food? How do you manage your business to ensure continued success with the ever-changing landscape of the craft beer movement?

The summit will focus on modern, innovative ways to create menus that reflect the quality ingredients and passion behind the world’s best craft brews—through hands-on interactive sessions, exploratory lectures, and presentations from beer and food experts. CIA chefs and beverage instructors will work alongside master brewers, as they delve into these subjects utilizing our state-of-the art facilities and culinary and beverage expertise.

There will be many opportunities for attendees, presenters, and sponsors to socialize and network, starting with a beer and food reception on the CIA’s Herb Terrace, where craft beer will be expertly paired with beer-friendly dishes. The following evening, there will be an interactive live-fire dinner, where the concepts discussed throughout the summit will come to life in a delicious exhibition of flavor. From toasty and smoked to fruity and floral, dishes and beers will be paired to create complex, bold combinations. On the final day in the CIA’s historic Barrel Room, barrel aged beer will be paired with foods that develop their character over time, such as cured meats, cheeses, breads, and fermented foods.

Crafting Beer and Food will provide a forum for brewers, beer sommeliers, chefs, and all beer professionals to roll up their sleeves and dig into the conversation surrounding quality food paired with quality beer.

Karen Crouse, Owner

Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards in the legendary Napa Valley will custom craft a boutique Cab for you.  The experience begins with grapes that are impossible to get as a consumer. After aging and refining in French Oak, the finished product is 288 bottles of ultra premium, limited production Cab with your custom label.
Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards has one of the most rare offerings in all of Napa Valley. Your dream of becoming a Napa Vintner can come true without having to spend millions.  With only 25 barrels available each vintage, there is simply no other way for a connoisseur to get closer to wine making.  This small selection of grapes will never see the lights of a retail shop, but as the owner of your barrel’s worth, you will have the opportunity to design the front and back labels for your 24 cases of ultra-premium Mount Veeder Cab.
Mount Veeder Magic Vineyards is located in the pristine mountains of The Mount Veeder Appellation.  The naturally low yield and highly concentrated fruit is hand-farmed, handpicked, and handcrafted. Each bottle is hand labeled. This is a once-in-a- lifetime experience that is on every wine lover’s bucket list.
At the helm of this unique experience, is Karen Crouse, Owner and one of the few female businesswomen on Mount Veeder.  Karen personalizes the experience for each of her elite clients.  Her passion for what she does and the obvious love of her vines is contagious. With a sophisticated Fortune 100 Corporation background, her Southern hospitality, and her wild yet feminine boots, she will melt your heart and make you feel like her only client.  When you visit, she will share a barrel tasting of her current vintage(s).  If you are up for a rugged adventure, she will take you through the rolling hills of her magical vineyard, showing you what great care and attention to detail she puts into getting the grapes from her vines to your bottles. 
Karen Crouse, Owner says, “This is one of the most personal experiences my clients will have in their lives. My favorite step in the process is working with them to create their labels.  I enjoy being a part of designing a label that imparts something significant in their world.”



Friday, July 3, 2015

06/29/2015 - The Essence of France - Through the Eyes of Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bistro

France!  A country steeped in history, culturally and culinarily. Few countries cuisines have not been touched by the essence of French roots, some even relying on it as their backbone, to which they craft local magic.

Such is the case with Bouchon Bistro, where the skills and finesse of Thomas Keller and his team, shines through brilliantly, transporting you to a street in Paris.  Ross Melling, Chef de Cuisine, hailing from London originally, joins us along with Pastry Chef Janine Weisman nand General Manager Gabriele Originaria, from Rome, to bring us their personal journeys to their home in this quintessentially French restaurant and TK family.  We'll also learn of their new menus, Bastille Day celebrations and what France and Bouchon mean to them.

In October 1998, four years after his successful debut in Napa Valley with The French Laundry, Chef Thomas Keller introduced Bouchon, offering authentic French bistro fare with Keller’s unfailing attention to detail in both ingredients and presentation.

Bouchon’s seasonal menu and raw bar selections change throughout the year, while staples like roast chicken, leg of lamb, and trout amandine remain as consistent, year-round favorites. The Vin en Carafe program at Bouchon features selections made exclusively for the restaurant from top wineries in Napa Valley and France.
The restaurant is located on Washington Street in Yountville, CA just steps from The French Laundry. Keller enlisted renowned designer Adam D. Tihany to create Bouchon’s interior featuring a French zinc bar, a vibrant mosaic floor, antique light fixtures, and an expansive mural, handpainted by French artist Paulin Paris. Guests may also dine outdoors on Bouchon’s patio, while enjoying a picturesque view of Yountville.

Since its opening, Bouchon has consistently received the highest of accolades from both the food industry and international press. The restaurant has been awarded a one-star rating from the France-based Michelin Guide San Francisco, Bay Area & Wine Country, a three-and-a-half star rating from the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, as well as a three star rating from the San Francisco Chronicle.


Ross Melling
Chef de Cuisine

Chef de Cuisine, Ross Melling leads the kitchen at the Michelin-starred Bouchon Bistro in Yountville, Calif.  In this role, he maintains the quality and high standards of the restaurant using the execution and techniques he acquired during his tenure six-year tenure working in Chef Thomas Keller’s kitchens.

Ross originally joined the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group (TKRG) for the first time after meeting Chef Keller in England in 2004 at which time he expressed devout interest in working for him.  Shortly after, Melling started at The French Laundry in 2005 as chef de partie.  

After 18 months with The French Laundry, Melling returned to England to work with Michael Caines and the Abode Group as they opened several boutique hotels.  In 2009, he became the executive chef for the National Welsh Rugby team for one season.  He returned to TKRG in 2010 as a sous chef at Per Se before moving west to assume his current position as Chef de Cuisine at Bouchon Bistro.  

Prior to joining TKRG, Melling was a sous chef at the two-starred Michelin restaurant Gidleigh Park in the UK.  

His accolades include the Southwest Young Chef of England Award in 2000 and the De Vere Hotels Trainee of the Year.  In 2007, Ross was awarded the Core Award at The French Laundry.  
The Summer Menu features this delightful Tuna Nicoise
with Quail eggs and Cherry Tomatoes

Gabriele Originario

General Manager

Hailing from Rome, Garbriele Originario previously worked at Farina in San Francisco, with Hubert Keller and Fluer de Lys and Burger Bar, and as General Manager at the Peruvian Restaurant La Mar.


Janine Weismann
Pastry Chef

As Pastry Chef, Janine Weismann is thrilled to lead the team that supports both Bouchon Bistro and Bouchon Bakery in Yountville, CA.  Weismann discovered her sweet tooth as a child growing up in Sarasota, FL where dessert was always a big part of her life.  She began working in local Florida bakeries at a young age and went on to pursue her interest at Johnson & Wales Culinary School; first at their Miami, FL campus and then in Providence, RI.  

After graduating with her Bachelor of Science Degree in 2005, Weismann worked as a manager for the pastry departments at the Nemacolin Woodland Resort in Farmington, PA and Vidalia restaurant in Washington, DC.  She then joined the pastry team at Chef Thomas Keller’s restaurant The French Laundry in Yountville, CA starting as a commis and later becoming a chef de partie.  In 2009 she moved to Bouchon Bakery as Pastry Sous Chef and was promoted to her current position in July 2010.  

Weismann is driven by her love of connecting with guests through dessert experiences that evoke their favorite memories of childhood and is happy to work with all the wonderful purveyors and products available in northern California.
The Bouchon Bakery New Peanut Butter Chocolate cookie.
The center consists of 72% and 64% chocolate ganache surrounding a nucleus of peanut buttercream, sandwiched between two peanut butter chocolate chunk cookies made with 72% chocolate chunks and salted peanuts.