Show 444, September 25, 2021: Winemaker Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa Part One

Steve Matthiasson of Matthiasson WInes

“Winemaking at Matthiasson Wines (Steve and Jill) is a natural extension of farming. The Matthiasson’s have both worked for many years in the sustainable agriculture and local food movement, and in 2003 they started Matthiasson Wines based on those values. The wines are classical expressions of different grape varieties, some well-known like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and some rare like Ribolla Gialla and Refosco. The wines are refreshing, complement food, and are moderate in alcohol.” Matthiasson Wines is a 6-time James Beard Award nominee.

“Matthiasson fervently believe the old maxim that “wine is made in the vineyard,” and consider themselves farmers first. They carefully tailor organic viticultural practices to each vineyard — this is how Matthiasson harvests healthy and fully ripe fruit with balanced levels of alcohol and acidity. They do their best to protect and enhance the natural environment in the process.”

“Matthiasson Winery in Napa is open for in-person tastings at the winery and vineyard! They host a limited number of outdoor tastings by appointment 7 days a week. The tastings are approximately 60-75 minutes in length and include a comprehensive lineup of 5 to 6 wines.”

Winemaker Steve Matthiasson is with us to pull the cork on all that is Matthiasson Winery.

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Show 444, September 25, 2021: Winemaker Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa Part Two

Steve Matthiasson of Matthiasson WInes

“Winemaking at Matthiasson Wines (Steve and Jill) is a natural extension of farming. The Matthiasson’s have both worked for many years in the sustainable agriculture and local food movement, and in 2003 they started Matthiasson Wines based on those values. The wines are classical expressions of different grape varieties, some well-known like Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon, and some rare like Ribolla Gialla and Refosco. The wines are refreshing, complement food, and are moderate in alcohol.” Matthiasson Wines is a 6-time James Beard Award nominee.

“Matthiasson fervently believe the old maxim that “wine is made in the vineyard,” and consider themselves farmers first. They carefully tailor organic viticultural practices to each vineyard — this is how Matthiasson harvests healthy and fully ripe fruit with balanced levels of alcohol and acidity. They do their best to protect and enhance the natural environment in the process.”

“Matthiasson Winery in Napa is open for in-person tastings at the winery and vineyard! They host a limited number of outdoor tastings by appointment 7 days a week. The tastings are approximately 60-75 minutes in length and include a comprehensive lineup of 5 to 6 wines.”

Winemaker Steve Matthiasson pours a glass of his 2019 Napa Valley Ribolla Gialla, Matthiasson Vineyards, and continues with us.

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Show 310, February 9, 2019: Chef Robert Sulatycky, Head Coach, Team USA 2019, Bocuse d’Or Continues…

Robert SulatyckyAfter over a year of intensive training, Team USA, comprised of Chef Matthew Kirkley, Commis Mimi Chen and Head Coach Robert Sulatycky, represented their country in Lyon, France on January 29th at the world’s most prestigious culinary competition, the Bocuse d’Or. Team USA was defending the Gold statue from 2017.

“Every two years, the heart of the Sirha trade exhibition in Lyon, France beats to the beat of the final of the prestigious Bocuse d’Or contest. After many months of preparations, twenty-four of the most promising chefs in the world experience two days of intense competition during which they will have to give their very best in order to try and win the most beautiful trophy in the world of gastronomy.”

For Team USA it’s now looking ahead to 2021. Applications will be going out in April for 2021. Finalists will then be evaluated and selected. A competition will be held late this year in Las Vegas or Napa to then select Team USA 2021 and the training will start anew in the ment’or BKB Bocuse d’Or training kitchen at CIA’s Copia campus in Napa.

Ment’or BKB welcomes your contributions in support of Team USA and young culinarians.

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Show 279, June 30, 2018: Steve Sando, Rancho Gordo

Steve SandoIn a few short years, Steve Sando has taken the lowly bean from a healthy but neglected, over-bred member of the vegetable family to a near superstar-status ingredient. Sando’s company Rancho Gordo, grows heirloom and heritage varieties and works with influential chefs like Thomas Keller, Deborah Madison, Paula Wolfert and Annie Sommerville. His new book is The Rancho Gordo Vegetarian Kitchen – Everyday Cooking with Heirloom Beans, Vegetables, Greens, and Grains.

“My first harvested heirloom bean was Rio Zape. They were pretty and easy to grow but I had no idea what to expect when I cooked them. They were similar to the pintos I liked but there was so much more going on. “Hints of chocolate and coffee mixed with an earthy texture made my head spin. I was blown away by Rio Zape and the other heirloom beans I was growing, but also really confused why they were such a big secret. I took the beans to the farmers market, organizing things on my kitchen table. Soon there was a warehouse, followed by more markets and mail order. It seems we had struck a nerve. People agreed that heirloom beans were worth saving, growing and cooking. Currently our warehouse, a retail shop and offices are in Napa, California and a stop here is part of many tours of the wine country. We were asked to open a store at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and as you can imagine, we jumped at the chance.”

“All of my agricultural pursuits have been based on being someone who likes to cook but gets frustrated by the lack of ingredients, especially those that are native to the New World. One of the things that originally drew me to beans was the fact that they are indigenous to the Americas. It seems to me these indigenous ingredients should be familiar, if not common. American cuisine is re-inventing itself and I’d love to include ingredients, traditions and recipes from north and south of the border as part of the equation. I love the concept of The Americas. I feel as if it’s just as important as the European heritage many of us share.”

On Sunday, July 8th, Rancho Gordo will hold is first-ever supper in Southern California at Alta Baja Market in Santa Ana. The event is “Rancho Gordo Goes to Alta Baja with More (Culinary) Stars than in the Heavens!”

The special event will feature three courses prepared by Steve Sando’s favorite SoCal chefs and restaurateurs. Two seatings for the supper at 3:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Optional Valle de Guadalupe wine pairings available.

All the food is donated by Rancho Gordo. All proceeds go to the arts program at Valley High School in Santa Ana.

Reservations a must. Call Alta Baja Market @ 714.783.2252.

We’re shelling heirloom beans with Steve Sando.

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Show 275, May 26, 2018: Chef / Proprietor Vincent Nattress, Orchard Kitchen, Bayview, Whidbey Island, WA

Vincent NattressChef Vincent Nattress actually grew up on Whidbey Island, WA and departed. In 2015 Vincent realized his dream of returning to Whidbey with his wife, Tyla, and creating a culinary destination there, Orchard Kitchen. It’s a teaching kitchen, destination restaurant and a five-acre organic farm in Langley, WA.

“An Omnivore’s dining destination with a farm-to-table ethos, our restaurant is located in the very heart of our organic farm. Collaborating with local farmers, vintners, cheesemakers, chefs and oystermen, we bring you an ever-changing, four-course menu showcasing the season’s best ingredients. We offer one seating for thirty-two guests at our community tables. We look forward to feeding you soon!”

Chef Vincent is also a proponent of “Whidbey Island Grown – Find the Freshest Our Island Has to Offer.”

In 2005, Vincent joined Meadowood Napa Valley as the Executive Chef with the express mandate of restoring the property to culinary glory. Vincent was a part of an amazing team, including Patrick Davila, Joseph Humphrey and Christopher Kostow, that set the stage for Meadowood to become a culinary Mecca.

We pull Chef Vincent away from a cooking class for a brief chat.

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Show 260, February 10, 2018: Young Yun, Executive Director, ment’or BKB Foundation

Young YunThe late Chef Paul Bocuse (Lyon, France) had a profound impact on creating and inspiring the ment’or BKB Foundation. Always a friend of the USA, he fortunately lived long enough to see his dream of Team USA winning the Gold at the 2017 Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. He even flies the American Flag at his flagship restaurant in Lyon. Young remembers the celebrated “Chef Paul.”

The ment’or BKB Foundation oversees, and funds, the USA’s participation in the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition. Inspired by Team USA’s unprecedented Gold Statue at the Bocuse last year ment’or is now funding, and building, a dedicated training kitchen for Bocuse d’Or Team USA located at the Culinary Institute of America at Copia’s campus in Napa. Scheduled to open in Spring 2018 ment’or’s hope is that this kitchen will become a permanent home for the Team.

The targeted fundraising goal is to raise $250,000.

The new space will replicate the kitchen at the Bocuse d’Or, so that Team USA can practice to compete as they would on the actual competition day. Most importantly, the kitchen will be outfitted with the necessary equipment to ensure that Team USA can continue to succeed on this international culinary stage. In addition, guests will be able to visit the training space to see the physical platters, tools. Photos, and memorabilia encompassing Team USA’s storied history and growing legacy.

Ment’or BKB’s Executive Director Young Yun provides the details.

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Show 254, December 30, 2017: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeWhat’s new or on the horizon of significance in the world of wine for the New Year? What impact will the tragic fires in the Northern California wine regions of Napa and Sonoma have on the California Wine Industry?

Oddly the USA has a much lower per capita consumption of wine than the European Countries. Where is that trend going? Where is pricing moving on domestic wines as well as imports?

What are the emerging countries to watch where the quality wines now represent a great value for the money?

Our resident wine authority, Kyle Meyer of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange, joins us with the needed insight.

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Show 252, December 16, 2017: Chef Mimi Chen, Commis, Team USA 2019, Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition

Mimi ChenIn our continuing coverage of the biannual Bocuse d’Or International Culinary Competition and Team USA 2019’s pursuit of defending the Gold for America we’ll meet Team USA 2019’s newly selected Commis, Chef Mimi Chen formerly a Line Cook at Daniel Patterson’s highly regarded COI in San Francisco.

On November 9th in The Palazzo Ballroom at The Venetian / Palazzo Resorts in Fabulous Las Vegas the spirited competition for the Team to proudly represent Team USA 2019 (under the aegis of the sponsoring Ment’or BKB Foundation) was held. Each finalist team had 5 hours and 35 minutes to prepare an exquisite meat recipe (Snake River Farms American Wagyu Whole Bone-In Rib Roast) presented on a platter as well as a Norwegian Seafood Steelhead Trout creation individually plated. Mimi was the Commis for the victorious team headed by Executive Chef Matthew Kirkley, ex-COI.

Both Chefs Matthew and Mimi will now train intensively in Napa, CA for the next year in preparation for the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon.

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Show 224, May 20, 2017: Russ Weis, President & General Manager, Silverado Vineyards

Russ WeisIn 1981, Ron and Diane Miller established Silverado Vineyards to make wine from the six historic vineyards of their estate. Napa pioneers first planted these ranches to vines between 1865 and 1895.

Each vineyard played an important role in establishing the reputation of their growing area: Carneros, Coombsville, Yountville, Soda Creek Canyon and Stags Leap District. The beautiful fruit from these six vineyards is the exclusive source of Silverado Vineyards’ Estate and Single Vineyard wines – the Miller family’s highest expression of the Napa Valley they love and admire.

“The beginning of vine planting is like the beginning of mining for precious metals: the winegrower also ‘prospects’.”

– Robert Louis Stevenson,
The Silverado Squatters, 1880

A century later, the Miller family began the journey Stevenson described, establishing Silverado Vineyards in 1981. “It was beautiful land, and it was land that was working,” observed the late Diane Miller of their first vineyards, purchased in the 1970s. Diane and Ron sold their grapes to some of Napa’s best vintners, who made award winning wines from them year after year. Encouraged, they struck out on their own with the goal of making the best wines the estate could produce at a fair price. This has remained the guiding philosophy over the years.

The winery’s name, Silverado, comes from the abandoned mining town at the top of the Napa Valley, where Stevenson stayed so many years ago. It is an appropriate symbol: three generations of the Miller family are still “prospecting” for wine, staying true to the idea of coaxing something precious from the soils we are privileged to care for.

Silverado Vineyards long-time President and General Manager, Russ Weis, is our guest.

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Show 179, July 9, 2016: Amelia Ceja, Ceja Vineyards and Executive Chef Danny Godinez, Anepalco and El Mercado Modern Cuisine, Santa Ana

Danny Godinez of AnepalcoOC Meets Napa and Baja on July 16th at Mission San Juan Capistrano will feature wines from premier wineries in Baja and from Napa’s own Mexican American Vintner Association (MAVA). The event will also include imaginative food from top Latin OC restaurants, live music, an exclusive wine auction and a few entertaining surprises!

All proceeds from the wine tasting benefit AltaMed OC Pediatrics and Breast Cancer Screenings.

Owner/Executive Chef Danny Godinez of Anapalco (and the just-opened El Mercado Modern Cuisine in Santa Ana) and Amelia Ceja of Ceja Vineyards join us with the preview. They are returning participants to The Benefit.

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