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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

12/19/2016 - A San Francisco Reflection from the Kleins

Thomas and Barbara
(photo SF Examiner)

Slow Living Radio welcomes back Thomas Klein of the Fairmont San Francisco as he prepares for his next journey to Fort Worth Texas to work with Canyon Ranch.  We talk to him and his lovely wife, Barbara about their reflections and favorite things to do in San Francisco. Lorenzo Logoreci, the owner of one of their go to restaurants, the popular Italian Restaurant Allegro Romano, also joins us to tell his story and celebrate this wonderful couple.

We asked Thomas and Barbara a few questions about San Francisco favorites:

What is your favorite spot to enjoy a glass of wine (or cocktail).        
In our home surrounded by family!!    Also, Cavallo Point – love the rocking chairs sitting on the porch

Cavallo Point Lodge

 What is your favorite restaurant for a relaxed friendly vibe and great food?     
Allegro Romano on Jones Street in Russian Hill, and Shakewell in Oakland .

Shakewell Restaurant

Buena Vista Café for Irish Coffee

Historic shot, enjoying Irish Coffee
at Buena Vista

Waterbar  /  Epic Steak /  Park Tavern /  Farallon / Spruce  /  A16    / Kokkari


On the beach………

Walking our dogs along the beach at Crissy Field

Tamalas bay! We go to Tony’s for oysters and champagne….  On the Harley Davidson

 Carmel Valley Ranch, Post Ranch Inn for lunch  or dinner  

Post Ranch Inn restaurant Sierra Mar

Friends, diversity, weather – beauty great Food & Beverage – proximity

World Series Win, Super Bowl 50, Americas Cup (Kiwis / Aussies ) and  Tony Bennett

Allegro Romano

Located in the gorgeous Russian Hill, Allegro Romano is the quintessential small neighborhood restaurant.  You will feel as if you have walked into a local eatery in Rome, where our owner and chef Lorenzo grew up.  Our classic Roman cuisine will delight your palette and Lorenzo will provide an experience not to be forgotten! 
Chef Lorenzo and his wife Kelly Steckelberg
Chef Lorenzo grew up in world renowned, family-owned Tre Scalini Restaurant in Piazza Navona, Rome. After opening a successful restaurant in Heidelberg, Germany, he moved to the USA where he worked as Sous-Chef a the Ritz-Carlton in Buckhead, Atlanta. In 2004, Lorenzo opened Allegro Romanot. With the atmosphere of a small Roman restaurant, hidden from the tourist tracks, Allegro is where local San Franciscans enjoy dining in luxury. The secret of Allegro has slowly escaped and has now become a standard for restaurant connoisseurs, politicians and celebrities looking to have a truly wonderful dining experience. Visits from well known people are common, as Allegro has become of Clintons, George Schultz  Willie Brown, Barry Bonds, Brat Pitt, Demi Moore, Ashton Kutcher, Bob Dylan, Ben Stiller, Joe Torre, Rudolf Giuliani, Conan O'Brian, Omar Visquel, World Champion GP and Superbike Max Biaggi, Miss Italia Eleonora Pedron, and many more.

12/12/2016 - Wine Tales: Anthony Giglio, Jeff Prather, Kari Auringer

We begin our episode with the inspirational and witty story of Anthony Giglio's rise to fame: a marvelous entertainer and wealth of wine knowledge.  Then to tackle some wine issues, we invite Jeff Prather, educator and writer, and Kari Auringer, winemaker, to join Anthony to give their views on our challenges.

Anthony Giglio is one of the most entertaining wine and spirits authorities on the planet. He is a writer, educator and raconteur who motivates countless imbibers to trust their own tastes and relax the rules. Giglio’s witty, unpretentious style can be discerned in the weekly Ask the Wine Wise Guy” column he wrote for several years for’s Food + Drinks” section. Anthony is also the Wine Director for The CenturionSM Lounge, a groundbreaking network of premium airport lounges by American Express. Giglio has written ten books, including three editions of the annual FOOD & WINE MAGAZINE Wine Guide review of 1,000+ wines; five editions of the enormously popular Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide, and his highly-regarded first book, Cocktails in New York. Giglio contributes articles regularly to FOOD & WINE, Travel + Leisure and Departures.
Throughout his career Anthony has attracted countless fans and admirers nationally, all of whom appreciate his sense of humor as much as they do his insight and his perspective, which is that wine is best regarded as a pleasure, not a problem. Giglio is currently a wine reporter for CBS News Radio and, as well as the longtime Online Sommelier” for the FOOD & WINE Magazine’s Connoisseur Club, as well as for Departures Magazine’s Reserve Wine Club. Giglio has written for numerous publications, including Food & WineTravel + Leisure, New York, Esquire, Details, The New York Observer, Robb Report, Worth, Every Day with Rachael Ray and Parade. He has appeared on NBC’s Today ShowFood NetworkCNBC, and FOX Business News and been featured in The New York TimesAnthony is also the Resident Sensualist” blogger at, as well as the Official Vino Blogger” for, a commercial site for the Italian Trade Commission. He is also an occasional guest on American Public Media’s The Splendid Table” with Lynne Rossetto Kasper. Giglio has been invited twice to speak at The Moth, a Peabody Award-winning not-for-profit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling.

Twitter / Instagram: @anthonygiglioFacebook:

Jeff Prather
Jeff Prather - Certified Master of the Obvious

With decades of experience in the food and wine business, Jeff Prather shares his wealth of knowledge through engaging, and often amusing, wine content for the website and wine shop. Having been an actor in his earlier years, Jeff is a natural as one of our entertaining tasting class instructors. 

After opening the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley in 1995 as the Restaurant Director and Cellar Master, Jeff served as Director of Wine Education at Shafer Vineyards, Flora Springs Winery, as well as the historic Beaulieu Vineyard. After serving as Senior Wine Merchant for the original with Peter Granoff and Bo Thompson, Jeff was the managing Director of Azalea Springs Winery. 

Jeff became known for his decade of work as Wine Director for Ray’s Boathouse in Seattle which merited him several awards, including four James Beard Award nominations, Restaurant Hospitality Magazine’s Best American Wine List, Wine Spectator’s Best of Award of Excellence, and Restaurant Wine Magazine’s Wine Marketer of the Year nominee. 

Jeff judges at wine competitions and is a frequent speaker and guest sommelier at national wine events. As a writer, he has been published in several magazines, was a correspondent for the Microsoft Online Network (MSN), a contributor to Oz Clark’s Microsoft Wine Guide CD-ROM and is co-author of the book “Northwest Wines.”

Kari Auringer

After a successful career as a graphic designer and entrepreneur, Kari’s desire to begin a career as a winemaker lured her from Chicago to the Bay area and eventually to Napa Valley. She was determined to make the transition from designing wine labels and drinking great wine to her ultimate goal of making wine.

With the purchase of half a ton of grapes and a book on winemaking, she embarked on a whole new adventure.  While experimenting with winemaking at home, she began working with some of California’s great winemakers and also managed to put herself through enology school. She spent six years working with vintner-consultant, Celia Welch, who is responsible for some of Napa Valley’s most impressive wines: Scarecrow, Lindstrom, Hollywood & Vine, Keever, Kelly Fleming, Jim Barbour and Celia’s brand, Corra. 

Kari describes herself as a hands-on winemaker and has expertise in all aspects of the process from vineyard to bottle. Her style is all about rolling up her sleeves and staying intimately involved with every step of the intricate process, from vineyard sourcing and hands-on berry sorting to the myriad details of winemaking, sensory analysis and the infinitely nuanced art and science of blending. If you don’t find her tasting barrel samples in the winery, she is probably out kicking the dirt in a vineyard.

As a consulting winemaker for boutique estate programs, she has spent the last decade crafting ultra-premium wines from some of the best vineyards in Napa Valley and Sonoma. Along with Pedras Wines, Kari also is the consulting winemaker for Napa-based Silver Trident Winery, Bryter Estates, Madrone Estates Pinot Noir program in Sonoma, and Plume Napa Valley.

Kari is a rising star and believes her success is a combination of dedication, hard work, talent and working with great people. Kari puts it best when she says, “As I look back on a career that has included several highly regarded cult wines, making really good wine is definitely a team sport, and I’ve been on some fantastic teams.”  

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

12/05/2016 - The Chocolate Show

What better way to celebrate the holidays than showcasing the world of chocolate.  We feature two renowned chocolatiers, both self trained, and both breaking boundaries when it comes to flavors and presentations.

Michael and Jacky Recchiuti 
San Francisco-based Recchiuti Confections was founded in 1997 by husband and wife team, Michael and Jacky Recchiuti. Committed to meticulously sourcing ingredients and hand- crafting small batches of product, using traditional European techniques, Recchiuti Confections has become renowned for its inventive and unparalleled quality. Modeled after the long-standing European chocolate houses, Recchiuti strives to offer excellent, elegant, and complex chocolates without pretense. 
At the forefront of the “artisan” chocolate movement, self-trained chocolatier Michael Recchiuti lives by the philosophy that once someone is introduced to truly exquisite chocolate, they will be won over instantly and forever. As such, Recchiuti continues to source the finest ingredients available, partnering and using Valrhona Chocolate and family-owned Guittard Chocolate throughout its creations. Additionally, Michael was one of the first American chocolatiers to design a custom couverture with Valrhona based on his own discerning palette. 
Deriving inspiration from the bounty of fresh herbs available at farmers’ markets, like lavender and lemon verbana, Recchiuti uses local fare to create signature infusions, and blends single origin chocolates to create complex and unique tasting experiences. All of Recchiuti’s confections are made by hand in the company’s production facility, and the company is proud to offer product lines spanning from classic boxed chocolates and caramels to burnt caramel and chocolate sauces, chocolate bars, Pâtes de Fruits and dragées, and baked goods such as the S’Mores Kit and Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. 
Recchiuti’s flagship retail store opened in 2003 in San Francisco’s historic Ferry Building Market, followed by Little Nib, a boutique shop in Dogpatch, in 2011. In 2014, Michael and Jacky opened theLab, an experiential space for food and craft artisans to come together, located next door to Little Nib. In November 2016, Recchiuti renovated theLab to créate a new and larger retail shop to showcase its confectionary creations; this space took the place of the Little Nib boutique which is now closed. Recchiuti products are also available to chocolate lovers nationwide online at

Michael Recchiuti Founder and Owner
Michael Recchiuti, a self-made chocolatier, has been experimenting in the kitchen all his life. A Philadelphia native, Michael got his start baking Italian wedding cakes alongside his grandmother as a boy, then creating plated desserts as a young man at the renowned restaurant Le Bec Fin, and even training with Alain Tricou (Maxim’s, Déjà Vu) for three years in sugar and chocolate. 
Drawn to San Francisco in 1987 by an exciting culinary, music, and arts scene, Michael found new inspiration in the year-round availability of fresh, local ingredients and international influences. Especially fascinated by the way traditionally savory flavors took on new dimensions and depth when combined with chocolate, his now famous chocolate flavors Tarragon Grapefruit, Lemon Verbena, and Star Anise & Pink Peppercorn were among his first “experiments.” An ongoing fascination along with a nostalgic nod to the tastes of his youth continue to inspire his more recent creations, like Peppermint Thins, Peanut Butter Pucks, and Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. 
In 1997, after years in the test kitchen, Michael founded Recchiuti Confections with his wife Jacky. Known for using traditional European techniques and equipment; and for hand-selecting every ingredient, Michael sources local California farmers’ markets for bundles of fresh herbs and fruits to create signature infusions and blends single origin chocolates together to create complex and unique tasting experiences. 
Taste and technique only tell part of Michael’s story. A life filled with art, music, and lots of friends has influenced the look of his chocolates, which act as a show-and-tell of his favorite things. Over the years, collections have showcased artwork from Creativity Explored, a San Francisco non-profit close to the Recchiuti’s heart, while others have been adorned with Japanese block prints, tiny love letters to his Hawaiian wife, Jacky. 
In 2005 Michael’s book Chocolate Obsession (Stewart, Tabori & Chang), co-authored with renowned pastry expert Fran Gage, was released to wide acclaim. The book was a finalist at the 2006 James Beard Awards and won high honors for photography and design at the 2006 International Association of Culinary Professionals annual conference. 
Currently, Michael keeps busy with Recchiuti’s three locations, the Ferry Building Marketplace, Little Nib, and theLab, always finding new ways to make the chocolate consuming public happy, and obsessed. 

Jacky Recchiuti

Jacky Recchiuti hails from Hawaii, but was drawn to San Francisco in 1985 after falling in love with the city during a family trip. Michael and Jacky were married in 1991, and moved to Vermont to work at Twin Farms. It was in 1997 that the couple was able to conceptualize their dream of starting a confections business in San Francisco, one modeled after traditional French chocolate houses in both the techniques and methods used to craft its confections. Having previously held managerial roles at several luxury boutique hotels and high-touch service restaurants, Jacky’s foundation in the hospitality industry has continued to drive the look and feel of Recchiuti Confections, even touching the standard in which the company values service. In her own words, “Recchiuti models itself around Michael’s Italian-American upbringing of warmth and welcoming, and my background in Hawaii, translating the ‘Aloha’ spirit, into the San Francisco culture.” A vital player in the success of Recchiuti Confections, Jacky oversees the sales, business, and design aspects, most recently spearheading the redesign of theLab retail space in San Francisco’s Dogpatch neighborhood.

Chris Kollar
Kollar Chocolates

From classic European-style chocolates, to new world flavors, Chris Kollar has brought a taste of something new to Yountville in the heart of Napa Valley, California. Surrounded by wineries and world-renowned restaurants, a visit to Kollar Chocolates perfectly rounds out the Napa gourmet experience.

Artisan Chocolatier Chris Kollar welcomes customers to watch and learn about quality handmade chocolate through a glass show kitchen, where he produces his small batch confections. On the other side of the glass, the Kollar Chocolates team offers pre-packaged and to-order chocolates, Gelato, and Espresso coffee.

Kollar Chocolates' packaging is recyclable and uses fair trade and local seasonal ingredients whenever possible. For instance, lavender and fennel pollen truffles are made with flowers from certified organic Peter Jacobsen’s Orchards in Yountville.

Chris Kollar is a chef with a particular passion for chocolate. Trained as a savory chef, Chris is a self-taught chocolatier. His inspiration is European classic chocolate making. He has traveled Europe extensively, particularly Switzerland, France, and Italy to study and learn about classic chocolates, bringing this knowledge back to his own practice. Before Kollar Chocolates, Chris had worked in kitchens across the country and beyond for 19 years, starting with his hometown of Atlanta, then working around the country and the Cayman Islands. In 2001 he settled in the Napa Valley and worked at Domaine Chandon, Tra Vigne, Pinot Blanc, and Go Fish and ultimately at Peter Michael Winery in Calistoga as Executive Chef, where his passion for chocolate flourished.