Friday, March 29, 2013



Dave Hull, aka "The Hullabalooer", is a Los Angeles radio personality voted one of the top ten LA radio personalities of all time. Born Jan. 20, 1934, he admits to being 77 with his personal addition herewith dated Mar. 3, 2011.

Hull began his radio career in Armed Forces Radio in Casablanca, Morocco and in commercial radio in 1955 at KGFL in Roswell, New Mexico. He reached Los Angeles' KRLA in 1963 as weekend relief and full time there on Jun. 6, 1964.

By the end of 1964, Hull's increasing popularity prompted one young female fan, Suzie Cappetta, to write and record a song entitled "Dave Hull The Hullabalooer", which quickly reached the local top 40 charts by early 1965. Hull became close with The Beatles during their 1965 and 1966 American tours. During that time, Hull taped approximately fourteen interviews with the band. He, along with Bob Eubanks, planned The Beatles' 1966 concert at the Chavez Ravine-Dodger Stadium. His work with the band earned him the honorary title of "fifth Beatle." Hull worked closely with The Beach Boys, The Dave Clark Five and The Rolling Stones during that period. In December 1965, Hull opened his "Hullabaloo" teen club on Sunset in Hollywood.

He got his nickname while working at WONE in Dayton, Ohio. Los Angeles radio historian Don Barrett quotes Hull as saying: "A woman wrote me from a hotel outside Dayton to say she couldn't stand all that hullabaloo. Well, Webster's defined it as a 'tumultuous outroar,' so I used it." Dave appeared (using the name David Hull) as a talent contest manager in an October, 1966 episode of "The Monkees".
Dave Hull was the first guest host on the nationally syndicated American Top 40 program, week ending November 6, 1971. ] He was heard in Los Angeles at the time on KGBS.

Hull hosted the nationally syndicated TV show "Matchmaker" in the late 1980s, reportedly seen in over 100 markets, a video version of his late 1970s "Lovelines" program heard on KMPC.

Today, Hull lives in Palm Springs, California and is now retired. He held the 6-midnight slot on one of the country's few remainingbeautiful music stations, KWXY, from 1994 until his announced retirement in 2010. He also remains active as a voiceover for national radio and television commercials. Hull's book, Hullabaloo!: the (Mis)Adventures of L.A. Radio Legend Dave Hull was released in January 2013

Jennifer Marion - Winemakerfor Anaba Wines  

Anaba winemaker Jennifer Marion believes the art of winemaking finds its soul in the vineyard. "I've always said you cannot trust a winemaker with clean shoes and soft hands," she says. "My winemaking philosophy is defined by attention to the details in the vineyard as well as the winery." She coddles each cluster, protecting the unique character of the fruit, and strives to cultivate balanced vines. The entire process — from grape to glass — comes from both her hands and her heart. Jennifer's devotion to the vineyards began when she worked with Napa Valley-based Crop Care Associates, one of California's largest independent agricultural technology consulting firms. At the time, she was completing her Viticulture and Enology degree at the University of California at Davis.

"At Crop Care, I learned what a meticulously farmed vineyard should look like," she explains. As her career advanced and she assumed the role of assistant winemaker at MacRostie Winery in Sonoma, the same high standards she set for growing the grapes also became her mantra or making the wines. At Anaba, Jennifer is director of both winemaking and vineyard operations, enabling her to put her distinct fingerprint on the wine while staying firmly rooted in her beloved vineyards. In addition to overseeing Anaba's estate vineyards, she also works hand-in-hand with many of Sonoma County's most esteemed growers who own such legendary properties as Sangiacomo Vineyard, Windsor Oaks, Ferguson Ranch and Bacigalupi Vineyard. "Anaba is a winemaker's dream," she says. "I have been given access to the best fruit that the north coast soils can grow. We use state-of-the-art tools to hand craft this fruit into beautiful wine and we're committed to all aspects of environmentally responsible winemaking. With John's dedication to absolute quality and his ability to assemble a team of people who bring rare and spectacular talents to the table, Anaba has all the makings of world-class wine."



Thursday, March 28, 2013

03/28 Jennifer Costa - The Lodge at Torrey Pines, Chef de Cuisine: Daniel Boling, Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Jennifer Costa - The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Jennifer Costa always knew she wanted to be a chef and right out of high school she left the comforts of her home on the west coast to attend Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island. During her time there she completed an internship that sent her further east…to Bray, England as part of the pastry team at The Waterside Inn under three Michelin starred chef Michel Roux. While at The Waterside Inn she really began to fall in love with and learn the ins and outs of French cuisine.

Upon completion of her internship and graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Pastry Arts she headed back west where she joined the team at the two Michelin starred Cyrus in Healdsburg, California where she was an assist to the wonderfully talented Annie Clemmons. Cyrus was focused on using the best
and highest quality ingredients with farmers often coming right from the farm to the back door to deliver fresh produce.

Two years later she got the itch to get back into a French kitchen, leaving Cyrus to move to Las Vegas where she really started to fine-tune her pastry skills at the two Michelin starred Restaurant Guy Savory working with Chef Uyen Nguyen. Learning to take a fresh and modern approach to some of the classics.

Finally trading in Las Vegas for San Diego, and taking with her the knowledge of both the French classics and the importance of celebrating what the seasons have to offer she made her way to The Lodge at Torrey Pines where a marriage between the two seem to fit right in.

Since joining Jeff Jackson’s culinary team at A.R. Valentien as Pastry Chef, Jennifer has been sweetening the dining experience of the restaurant's guests with her innovative and creative desserts. Her charismatic, outgoing personality makes her a favorite among guests and staff alike, and is reflected in her baking demonstrations posted regularly by The Lodge on YouTube.

Chef de Cuisine: Daniel Boling - Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Daniel Boling, Chef de Cuisine for The Grill at The Lodge at Torrey Pines, was born and raised in Michigan, where he learned the importance of local and seasonal ingredients.  This understanding has helped create his simplistic approach of allowing great product to speak for itself.

From early on Daniel was dedicated to a life in the fast-paced world of restaurants, which led him to obtaining an associates degree in culinary arts at the young age of twenty. After Graduation he went on to travel through Europe and satisfy his thirst for different cultures and cuisines.

After falling in love with the Sicilian lifestyle, Daniel decided to take on an internship at an upscale resort outside the city of Palermo.  This affirmed his belief in the importance of local and seasonal ingredients, and how the contributed to the outcome of a great dish. 

Eventually, Daniel returned to the States and worked for three years as a Banquet Chef for the James Beard Award winner Janos Wilder in Tucson, AZ.   After enduring the heat of Arizona he moved on towards Southern California and The Lodge at Torrey Pines.  He made this decision because it was  the closest
match to the beauty of Sicily.

Currently, Daniel is twenty seven years old, and has been continuing to educate himself in all aspects of food and wine.  He teaches culinary classes and participates in a special seasonal event at Palumbo Winery called The Chef, the Farmer, and the Winemaker.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

03/27 Frederick L. Dame, Master Sommelier, Richard and Michelle Laver, Kate Farms

Frederick L. Dame, Master Sommelier -  OPENING DAY PAIRINGS

Frederick L. Dame, Master Sommelier brings an impressive blend of experience, expertise and enthusiasm to the world of wine and cuisine. He is the first American to have served as President of the Court of Master Sommeliers Worldwide and assists restaurateurs and hoteliers in developing their wine programs in his role as Director of Prestige Accounts for Beam Wine Estates. He is currently the President of the Guild of Sommeliers Education Foundation.
Dame's ability to transmit his passionate interest in wine make him a natural teacher. One of just seventy-three Americans to have passed the Master Sommelier Examination, Dame was the first to successfully pass all three parts in a single year. This feat and his high score won him the coveted Krug Cup of the British Guild of Sommeliers in 1984. Dame founded the American Branch of The Court of Master Sommeliers in 1986 and has played an active role in the expansion of the Master Sommelier program throughout America since that time.

As Cellarmaster of The Sardine Factory in Monterey, California for twelve years, Dame created a wine list which won the Wine Spectator Grand Award. With the many wine events held in the brick and wine lined Wine Cellar, Dame turned The Sardine Factory into a wine destination restaurant of world renown. He is also active in the culinary arts serving as an Honorary Trustee of The American Academy of Chefs, the honor society of The American Culinary Federation. He was awarded the Antonin Careme Medal and was made a Supreme Knight of the Knights of the Vine in 2000. He has been elected to the prestigious National Restaurant Association College of Diplomates for 2004.

A sixth generation Californian, Dame graduated from Washington and Lee University with a degree in journalism and communications. A European trip after high school piqued his curiosity about wine and food. Since then, he has applied his considerable persuasive skills to the service and appreciation of fine wine.

Richard and Michelle Laver - "Kate Farms"

Anaheim, CA (March 5, 2013) – Kate Farms, the world’s first dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free ready to drink meal replacement shake™ introduces their flagship line ofcertified made with organic ingredients, Komplete Ultimate Shakes at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, Calif. on March 8th – March 10th at booth #5095. Kate Farms will also be at the Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, tabletop #119. Bringing you everything your body needs without unwanted ingredients in a convenient on-the-go shake, Komplete is now available in three deliciously tasting flavors including Cocoa Fudge, Vanilla Bliss and Jav’a Latte. With a one year shelf life expectancy, Komplete’s creamy blend of all-natural ingredients will satisfy the entire family. Chill it, shake it and drink up to experience a healthy and Komplete life, with love from the farm to you.

 As a former tennis professional and the cousin of world famous tennis legend Rod Laver, Richard Laver and his wife Michelle founded the Santa Barbara, Calif. company Kate Farms for the sole purpose of their daughter, Kate Laver. At the age of four, Kate was failing to “thrive” and was faced with numerous difficulties. The meal replacement beverage her doctors prescribed was overloaded with sugar and dairy for calorie enhancement. As a result, Kate had many complications, including bottle rot, sleep apnea and digestive problems.

With their daughter not living an ideal life, the Laver’s decided it was time to take matters into their own hands. With the help of an industry expert they started to develop their own hypoallergenic meal replacement shake in their very own kitchen. Together they blended 21 superfoods including but not limited to acai, mangosteen, black currants, raspberries, green tea extract, etc., with antioxidants, high protein and vitamin rich ingredients to fuel the body with the nutrition it needs and removed all the things that the body doesn’t need. Within weeks Kate’s condition improved greatly and she no longer needed breathing treatment for sleep apnea, her digestion problems were a thing of the past and her mouth was once again healthy.

“We are very excited to debut Kate Farms at Expo West,” says Kate’s father, CEO and founder Richard Laver. “In today’s hectic world, it’s easy to lose track of what truly matters, our health. Kate Farms functional whole foods is delighted to be at the forefront of the superfood revolution. Combining 21 superfoods in an on-the-go shake was one thing, but to make it taste great is what excites us the most. Superfoods is the future of a healthy diet and we plan on working hard to create breakthrough nutritional products that taste great and optimize the quality of people's lives.”
Natural Products Expo West is produced by New Hope Natural Media and is the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products trade show, taking place from March 8th – March 10th, 2013 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, Calif. For more information on Kate Farms at Expo West, or if you’re attending Expo West and would like to speak with Michelle or Richard Laver directly, please contact Brian McIver or Jacqueline De Berry of 5W Public Relations, 242.999.5585. For additional details and information on the brand, please visit

About Kate Farms: Kate Farms, the world’s first certified made with organic ingredients dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free ready-to-drink meal replacement shake™ bringing you everything your body needs, including a blend of 21 superfoods with antioxidants and without unwanted ingredients in a convenient on-the-go shake. Kate Farms’ mission is to create breakthrough vegan foods and drinks to ensure the best opportunity for optimum health. The company has been inspired to create products with integrity out of love for the founders Michelle and Richard Laver’s sick little girl, Kate and how much good nutrition has improved her life. The goal at Kate Farms is to help people who are clinically “failing to thrive” get the necessary nutrition they need along with helping healthy people with busy lives get proper nutrition to live life to the fullest. For additional information or to purchase Kate Farms products, please visit

Monday, March 25, 2013

03/25 Bird’s Eye, Chef Michael Christiansen, Paul Colantuoni, Rocca Family Vineyards

Bird’s Eye Executive Chef Michael Christiansen

NJ-based Bird’s Eye turned from the finger-wagging approach of telling kids to “eat their veggies” (and guilt to moms) on its head through some innovative and not-done-before approaches – including reaching kids directly.

Whether syndicated kid-friendly content and contests, partnership with Nickelodeon’s popular iCarly Show, leveraging the huge social media reach show star Jeannette McCurdy, or coupons for moms online, all were all aimed to get kids talking to other kids (and their moms) about vegetables.
All while focusing on what kids will and won’t eat. In fact, Bird’s Eye will be introducing new SKUs based on the input of more than 16,000 kids who submitted recipe concepts from their marketing efforts.  

Paul Colantuoni – Winemaker for Rocca Family Vineyards

Paul Colantuoni works closely with Mary Rocca to craft world-class wines with a non-interventionist approach. “My goal is to faithfully express the personality of Rocca’s vineyards,” he comments. “These sites have wonderful rocky soils with excellent drainage. Both vineyards have great climate conditions and sun exposure. All of the pieces are already in place to make world-class wine, so my job is mainly to stand out of the fruit’s way,” he adds.

Paul has spent much of his life between the US and Europe, and his winemaking style is the perfect mix of old-world finesse and new-world exuberance. “My goal is to make charismatic wines with lots of flavor and aromatics, but without sacrificing elegance,” he explains. “I try to soften the tannins and make wines that are very intense, but they must also be balanced and authentically convey the character of the vineyards.”

Paul was born to Italian parents in New Jersey. At the age of 13, his family moved to Belgium where they were first exposed to the top wines of France and Italy. “Those wines were a revelation,” he states. “Being introduced to such beautiful wines at a young age had a profound impact on me, and those wines continue to influence my winemaking style,” he adds.

In 1990, Paul returned to the United States to study Chemical Engineering and Molecular Biology at Princeton University with the goal of becoming a doctor. At the beginning of his senior year he took a year off to travel and spend time with his family in Europe. While living in Italy, a roommate introduced Paul to some family friends associated with a local winery. Paul was instantly drawn to the intellectual challenges and the visceral pleasure of winemaking, and he quickly found himself spending most of his free time at the winery tasting and learning about wine. When he returned to Princeton in 1994, he was determined to pursue his new passions and to build a life as a winemaker.

“When I resumed my senior year, I changed my major to Romance Languages and started looking for a wine job in Napa,” Paul explains. “I had never even been to California, but I knew that Napa was America’s wine Mecca and that there was no better place in the world to start. I wrote a blind letter to Tim Mondavi and explained that I had no experience in wine but that I was motivated and would get the job done. I guess it worked, because he ended up offering me three different positions,” he says.

After working as a Wine Educator and a Lab Technician at Robert Mondavi Winery for two years, Paul set his sights on securing a position that would offer him hands-on involvement in winemaking. He eventually crossed paths with a talented young winemaker named Ehren Jordan, who received his training in the town of Cornas in France under the renowned vintner Jean-Luc Colombo. In 1998, Ehren brought Paul on as Assistant Winemaker at Neyers Vineyards, a small winery located in the Pritchard Hill area of Napa Valley.

“Ehren had a big impact on me,” states Paul. “He’s an exceptional winemaker with a very traditional, vineyard-focused, hands-off approach. That continues to influence my style to this day. I believe that 90% of great winemaking is done in the vineyard. It is a fundamental principle. My job is simply to realize the full potential of Rocca’s amazing fruit,” he says.

Paul further refined his vineyard-focused approach by working in Europe for several years, beginning in 2002 at Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, France, and in 2004 as the Cellar Director for Brancaia in Maremma on the Mediterranean coast of Tuscany. It was during these formative years in Europe that renowned winemakers Frédéric and Daniel Brunier and Carlo Ferrini helped Paul develop a talent for honing in on and faithfully expressing the signature qualities of great vineyards.

After returning to the United States in 2006, Paul started Colantuoni Consulting. In addition to Rocca Family Vineyards, he currently works with CONSTANT-Diamond Mountain Vineyard in Calistoga, and Alanté Vineyard in St. Helena.

Friday, March 22, 2013


RICK KUSHMAM - El Dorado Winery Association

Passport 2013 – Hollywood Wine Tour of Fame Experience the magic of Hollywood! Choose between two dates:  April 13-14 or April 20-21.

Don't miss this once a year, all-access pass to wine-and-food pairings, music and friendship in our region-wide party. During two glorious spring weekends each year, 32 El Dorado wineries host the region's annual wine and food event. Wine Tour of Fame feature plenty of luscious wine and food pairings, barrel tastings, enjoyable art and music, and fun-loving participants. Warm weather and green surroundings along the wine trail add to the excitement of this springtime event

California's Gold Rush began in El Dorado County 1848 with James Marshall's discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill, on the South Fork of the American River in Coloma. As legions of people flocked to California to claim their fortunes, the region's winemaking industry was born.

By 1870, El Dorado County was among the largest wine producers in the state, trailing only Los Angeles and Sonoma counties. The local wine industry flourished until just after the turn of the century when there were approximately 2,000 acres of vines in the county. Shortly thereafter, El Dorado began a gradual decline, brought about by poor economic conditions and a diminishing local population. Prohibition was but the last straw.

Between 1920 and 1960, viticulture virtually disappeared from the county. It wasn't until the late 1960s that winegrowing made a resurgence. Following the development of several experimental vineyards, it became apparent that both the climate and soil of El Dorado County were ideally suited to the production of high quality, dry table wines. With the opening of Boeger Winery in 1973, El Dorado was once again on its way to becoming an important winegrowing region.

Today, the county has more than 2,000 acres of vines, is home to approximately 50 wineries, and produces some of California's most sophisticated wines. El Dorado was designated an American Viticultural Area

Executive Chef Diego Ortoli - Portofino Cucina Italiana

Diego Ortoli | Owner and Executive Chef - I was born and raised in Naples, Italy, a city of fresh ingredients, hidden restaurants and delicious dishes.  While the food culture of Naples is in my blood, I discovered my true passion for Italian cuisine when I started working in restaurants in America.   For several years I shared my passion by running a small Italian restaurant in West LA, but the real showcase for my expertise and simple but elegant vision of Italian wines and food came when I opened my own space in Downtown .

Now, Portofino Cucina Italiana brings the spirit of Italian gourmet culture to Los Angeles.  Just like the city it is named after, Portofino blends tradition and simplicity to make you feel at home the second you walk through our door.  Inside you’ll find a selection of Italian dishes and amazing Italian wines, some of which are difficult to find in the U.S. For me the spirit of Italian hospitality means taking the invaluable traditions and taste of my hometown and sharing them with you through elegance and authenticity.

DOC HENDLEY - Wine to Water

Doc is the Founder and President of Wine To Water, a non-profit aid organization founded in 2007 focused on providing clean water to people in need around the world. Hendley was a top-10 finalist for CNN’s 2009 Hero of the Year and was featured on AC 360 with Anderson Cooper during the Haiti earthquake coverage as he was in Port-au-Prince providing and installing clean water filters for Haitian orphanages. He is an avid public speaker with many major speaking engagements lined up for the coming year.

Doc lives in Boone, NC with his wife and two children. Balancing family life and the demands of building Wine To Water, Doc Hendley continues to travel to underdeveloped, war-ridden nations, working in the field bringing clean water to those in need and also traveling and speaking around the country to raise awareness and advocacy for the worlds water crisis. 



Thursday, March 21, 2013

03/21 Paul Lopez, Villa Creek Cellars, Chef Jerrett Joslin, The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse

Paul Lopez - Assistant Winemaker for Villa Creek Cellars

On Thursday, March 21, wine enthusiasts are invited to raise their glasses with one of the Villa Creek Cellars  winemakers on the rooftop Skydeck of Shade Hotel during the boutique hotel’s March edition of its monthly Wine Academy.

From 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., guests will have the opportunity to meet and hear from Paul Lopez, Villa Creek Cellars assistant winemaker and enjoy a variety of Paso’s popular Villa Creek wines along with tray-passed hors d ‘oeuvres created by Executive Chef Chris Garasic. The event is designed to be fun, informative, build wine appreciation and tasting skills and provide a perfect socializing opportunity to bring or meet up with friends.

Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate has described Villa Creek among a handful of growers who  represent a rare level of ambition and are at “the cutting edge of the adventurous, pioneering spirit that is the essence of Paso Robles, and also in many ways, the heart of what makes the United States a great country.” 

“Villa Creek specializes in blending Rhône and Bordeaux varieties together and the wines regularly receive above 90 point-ratings in Wine Spectator, often selling out due to their popularity and artisan-scale production,” said Shade Owner Michael Zislis. “It is a treat to have winemakers who have a passion for the greatness to showcase at my hotel for Wine Academy guests to enjoy, here in the South Bay.” Tickets to the event are $25 per person in advance and $30 at the door.

The Wine Academy takes place monthly on every third Thursday, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., providing wine lovers of all experience levels the opportunity to enjoy an intimate, casual, wine-centric  social gathering.  Afterwards, Wine Academy guests are invited to adjourn to zinc@shade to enjoy a complimentary wood-fired margherita pizza with a beverage purchase. Savory snacks, innovative American small plates, tapas for two and more are also available on the zinc menu. For more information or to make reservations, visit or call 310-546-4995.

Wine enthusiasts will also want to make plans to attend Shade Hotel’s annual Ultimate Wine Festival on Sunday, April 28, when more than 30 notable wineries will present their latest vintages. Attending winemakers so far include: Michael Silacci of Opus One; Heidi Barrett of La Sirena; Amelia Morán Ceja of Ceja Vineyards; Violet Grgich of Grgich Hills Estates; Zeke Neeley of Trefethen; Dominic Chappellet of Chappellet Vineyards; Jean Hoefliger of Alpha Omega; Marcelo Freitas of Quintessa ; Mario Monticelli of Trinchero, and Sam Baxter of Terra Valentine.

The Ultimate Wine Festival will run from 2-5 p.m., with a special admission price of $200 per person for the Reserve Magnum Tasting between 2-3 p.m., and a $125 admission per person for those arriving between 3-5 p.m. A percentage of proceeds will benefit the Manhattan Beach Middle School. This special event is limited to 350 guests and is expected to sell out quickly.

Shade, Manhattan Beach’s premiere luxury boutique hotel, intertwines California beach culture and contemporary sophistication just 15 minutes south of LAX. Merely two blocks from the beach, it is surrounded by thriving upscale dining and shopping destinations in the heart of downtown Manhattan Beach. The hotel’s energized yet refined interior was designed by Christopher Lowell, and boasts stainless-steel and natural touches that include river rock, running water and exotic bamboo to encourage an environment of balance, harmony and spiritual well-being. Guests will enjoy accommodations that will allow them to host their dream beach wedding, host a business meeting or enjoy a refreshing California coastal living experience at the hotel’s spa, incredible indoor and outdoor dining at zinc@shade, and relaxation poolside at the rooftop Skydeck bar and pool.
In the spirit of the great wine producers of the southern Rhone and the bodegas of Rioja and Priorat, blending is what Villa Creek does best. The area's finest Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre and Tempranillo Vineyards are just a stone's throw from the west Paso Robles winery where these blends are lovingly produced from grapes that come from some of the region’s most progressive vineyards, such as James Berry, Denner, Ohana and Booker, which currently grace the wines of Villa Creek Cellars. Per acre contracts insure that the fruit comes off the same blocks each vintage. Proprietors Cris and JoAnn  Cherry's own 70-acre estate on the west side of Paso Robles boasts elevations of 1400-1800 feet, calcareous soils, south-facing slopes and ample water.  In the spring of 2012, the Cherry's finished planting their first grapevines, 3.5 acres of Grenache, planning to plant Mourvèdre and Carignan in the months to come.

Chef Jerrett Joslin - The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse

Since opening its doors in 2009, The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse has been a dining destination for locals and tourists alike.  Co-owned by John Shepherd and Chef Jerrett Joslin (An Award of Excellence Winner from Wine Spectator), the duo boast nearly two decades of experience in the restaurant industry and have mastered the task of offering delicious, upscale cuisine in an intimate atmosphere for a one-of-a-kind experience.   The restaurant showcases an ever-changing menu that combines astonishing creativity with gourmet classics as well as a plethora of cutting-edge cooking techniques. The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse is located at 1917 Martin Drive in Weatherford, Texas and can be reached at (817) 599-4935. Find them on Facebook at “The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse & Lounge.

As a historical melting pot and magnet for diversity, the United States boasts a wide variety of cuisine that changes both regionally and locally. American multiculturalism, along with an innovative and competitive restaurant industry, has made for a long list of amazing restaurants serving unique cuisine across the country. Co-Owner and Chef Jerrett Joslin of The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse in Weatherford, Texas, has compiled a list of his top five not to miss restaurants in every city—here are his top five picks nationwide.

•         Gautreau’s, New Orleans: A fusion of contemporary Louisiana cuisine with modern French influences, Gautreau’s is a unique staple of New Orleans, nestled in a lush garden spot in Uptown. Gautreau’s was badly damaged during Hurricane Katrina and closed for a year and a half to undergo repair and renovation. Once it reopened in February 2007, Executive Chef Sue Zemanick was able to put her mark on the new Gautreau’s, offering elegant fare using only fresh ingredients.

•         The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse, Weatherford, Texas: A dining destination that boasts creativity and innovation, The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse showcases an ever-changing menu of gourmet classics. The upscale cuisine, cutting-edge cooking techniques, and an intimate atmosphere make for a one-of-a-kind experience. From perfectly grilled steaks to fresh wild salmon filets, a meal here becomes a story to remember.

•         iNG, Chicago: Chef and Owner Homaro Cantu is an innovator in post-modern cuisine and an internationally recognized leader in molecular gastronomy. His work at iNG is science-based and high-tech, making for the most interesting flavor combinations. iNG uses only the fresh, pure and exotic ingredients to create menu items. They specialize in a flavor-changing experience utilizing the Miracle Berry to twist flavors from sour, spicy, salty, or bitter. It’s a cutting-edge restaurant that shouldn’t be missed.

•         Congress, Austin, Texas: This upscale, prix fixe-only restaurant makes dinner more of an experience than a meal. The menu focuses on local and sustainable cuisine, and you can opt for a three-course menu or seven-course chef’s tasting menu, both with excellent wine pairings. Menu items change daily, making it a truly unique dinner experience. With a refined, upscale atmosphere, Congress is a no-brainer for fine dining, thanks to executive Chef David Bull and his “Natural American” cuisine.

•         Canlis, Seattle: The family-named Canlis offers a contemporary take on Northwest cuisine. The menu is both comfortable and cutting edge, showcasing six generations dedicated to refinement, restraint, technique, and creativity. As executive chef, Jason Franey set a new course by keeping Canlis relevant and at the forefront of fine dining in Seattle, providing a dining experience and menu that are second to none.

 Since opening its doors in 2009, The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse has been a dining destination for locals and tourists alike.  Co-owned by John Shepherd and Chef Jerrett Joslin (An Award of Excellence Winner from Wine Spectator), the duo boast nearly two decades of experience in the restaurant industry and have mastered the task of offering delicious, upscale cuisine in an intimate atmosphere for a one-of-a-kind experience.  The restaurant showcases an ever-changing menu that combines astonishing creativity with gourmet classics as well as a plethora of cutting-edge cooking techniques. The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse is located at 1917 Martin Drive in Weatherford, Texas and can be reached at (817) 599-4935. Find them on Facebook at “The Wild Mushroom Steakhouse & Lounge.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013



Les Kincaid has appeared on various network and local television shows where he shares useful tips for viewers and hosts alike!  A special, interactive dinner or meeting like no other where everyone gets involved, has fun, and learns about wine and food.  He is also the host of his nationally syndicated wine radio show “Wines Du Jour” for well over ten years.  His comfort on stage and in front of the camera draws audiences and classes in and keeps them laughing while they learn.  Clubs and organizations that need a wine speaker call Les because he appeals to all audiences, whether fellow wine connoisseurs or complete novices!

Chef Les Kincaid writes for magazines about food and wine.  He shares his expertise on a broad range of topics for everyone with his knowledge and tips on everything from groups, clubs to corporate wine tasting events.  Perhaps the single most important quality that Les shares his belief that it’s not only the food on the table that makes the meal, it’s the people who join around the table who bring the meal to life.

Check out the possibility of upgrading your scheduled meeting to feature Les and soak in some of his knowledge about both food and wine.  Email at: or call 702-871-5145.


LOUISVILLE, Ky., March 12, 2013 – It was difficult for chicken fans to find authentic bite-sized chicken made for grown-ups until last summer when KFC introduced Original Recipe Bites – big bite-sized pieces made with 100 percent breast meat and freshly prepared every day using the Colonel’s Original Recipe of 11 herbs and spices. This week KFC introduces a match made in heaven, pairing its modern grown-up Bites with a classic grown-up sauce: Original Recipe Bites with Dipping Gravy.

“When we introduced Original Recipe Bites last year, KFC set the standard for what bite-sized chicken should be,” said Jason Marker, Chief Marketing Officer for KFC US. “Pairing Original Recipe Bites with Dipping Gravy is not only an homage to Colonel Sanders and the high standards he put on gravy taste, it’s also a direct response to the thousands of ‘fanatics’ that rave about our gravy every day.”

Almost immediately upon its introduction, Original Recipe Bites became a chicken cult phenomenon and a hot item on KFC menus from coast to coast.  In fact, KFC has sold more than 300 million Original Recipe Bites since launching the product in July of last year. This positive response came with only one request: fans asked for another delectable dipping sauce for KFC’s Original Recipe Bites. It didn’t take long for KFC to decide that its world famous gravy was the perfect pairing.
The chefs in the KFC test kitchen expect gravy to be a popular dipping sauce for Bites, since it is served hot and features the signature flavor fans rave about. In addition, sauce lovers have other dipping options at KFC, including Creamy Buffalo (which debuted in 2012), Honey BBQ, Ranch and Honey Mustard.

Original Recipe Bites with Dipping Gravy are available in a six-piece combo for only $3.99. Also available is the KFC Eight-Piece Meal, which includes eight pieces of chicken, two large sides and four biscuits for just $15.99. Visit for more information. (Both promotions available for a limited time at participating restaurants. Tax extra).

The Influence of KFC Gravy Fanatics

The very first gravy “fanatic” at KFC was the Colonel himself.  In the early days of his franchise, Colonel Sanders was known to always carry a silver spoon in his jacket pocket to exclusively taste test gravy at hundreds of restaurants across the country. The spirit of his gravy fandom lives on today; it is embodied by the more than 300,000 fans of KFC gravy on a (non-KFC sponsored) Facebook community page and by the dozens of tweets about KFC gravy posted every day to Twitter. These fans are both loyal and creative about their love for gravy. They suggest new ways for KFC to serve gravy and often express disbelief in anyone who does not share in their fanaticism.
This KFC Gravy loyalty was the inspiration behind the Original Recipe Bites with Dipping Gravy marriage. Today, KFC is helping continue the social movement by engaging gravy lovers with a number of activations, including a call to action to get consumers to join “the gravy train,” and a dedicated hashtag – #withgravy – that will allow consumers to share their love of gravy and celebrate this perfect pairing.

 KFC Corporation, based in Louisville, Ky., is the world's most popular chicken restaurant chain specializing in Original Recipe®, Extra Crispy™, Kentucky Grilled Chicken® and Extra Crispy™ Strips with home-style sides, Hot Wings, and freshly made chicken sandwiches. There are more than 17,000 KFC outlets in more than 115 countries and territories around the world. Each week, more than 13 million people visit a KFC restaurant in the United States. KFC Corporation is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, Inc., Louisville, Ky. (NYSE: YUM.) For more information, Follow KFC on Facebook ( and Twitter (

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

03/19 Dana Merrill, Barrie Lynn

Pomar Junction Wine Report - Dana Merrill (Owner)

The Merrill Family’s agricultural heritage and grape growing history dates back at least 8 generations on California’s Central Coast. A former family ranch still is home to a grape arbor planted in the 19th century. Today Dana and Marsha Merrill and son Matthew farm the vineyards, while Matthew's winemaking is complemented by winemaker par excellent, Jim Shumate.

After nearly 30 years of growing grapes for many of the finest wineries in California, ranging from ultra premium small producers to the largest international brands, the  Merrill’s decided to produce their own wines.  In addition to the family estate, the finest blocks of grapes from Santa Barbara and Monterey Counties are selected from vineyards managed by a sister firm, Mesa Vineyard Management, Inc. All wines produced are exclusively farmed by the Merrills who believe that control from planting and pruning through harvest, fementation and cellaring is critical for success. It also ensure a uniform dedication to Sustainability, which led our recent Certification to the  SIP program within the Central Coast Vineyard Team.

The family believes in community and industry involvement. Dana Merrill was the first San Luis Obispo County Chair of the California Assn of Winegrape Growers,  a charter member of the pioneering vineyard Sustainability group, the Central Coast Vineyard Team and is a past two term Director of the Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance.

Barrie Lynn - The Cheese Impresario

Here we are going to talk about all kinds of cheeses from all around the world. We will learn together and I will help you bring the world of cheese closer to your heart and learn the great enjoyment that it can bring to you, your family, and your guests.

I am the cheese columnist forThe Beverly Hills Timesand write the monthly "Cheese Matters" column that covers all things cheesy. I will keep you posted on events that I will be covering and other cheese events in your local area. Stay tuned for the next up coming event!

Monday, March 18, 2013

03/18 Frank Pellegrino, Rao's

Frank Pellegrino - Owner of Rao's

Frank Pellegrino is owner of Rao's, the East Harlem Italian eatery that is virtually impossible to get into. He's something of an actor, too. Rao's was founded in 1896 on the corner of East 114th Street and Pleasant Avenue by Charles Rao. It's been there every since, although these days the man in charge is Rao's great-nephew, Frank Pellegrino. Despite its age and its not-so-savory location in East Harlem, a reservation at Rao's remains one of the toughest gets in town. The ten small tables are "owned" by regular patrons such as Woody Allen, Tony Bennett, Al D'Amato, Michael Douglas, Rob Reiner, Ron Perelman, Donny Deutsch, and Bo Dietl: show up with an insider and you can expect Frankie to be friendly and chatty (and possibly offer up a bottle of anisette on the house). Appear sansreservation and you'll face a decidedly colder reception. If you can't snag a table at the original, though, you can always head to Las Vegas, where a Rao's now resides within Caesar's Palace. Or you could just stay home, too: Rao's now produces a line rather tasty marinara sauces.

Pellegrino had a recurring role on The Sopranos as FBI agent Frank Cubitoso. He's also had parts in a number of movies and TV shows, including jailbird Johnny Dio in the Martin Scorsese/Nick Pileggi film Goodfellas, and as a detective on the Fox show New York Undercover. [Image via Getty]

Friday, March 15, 2013

03/15 TROY ROBERTS, CBS, 48 HOURS, Tom Silberkleit, Wine House Press, Tim Herlihy, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, STEVE EVANS


48 HOURS - "Ambushed" Saturday, March 16, 2013 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT)  It was Donna Velasquez’s first case as a detective.  In 2003 the Pembroke Pines police department was initiating a cold case missing person unit and Velasquez, a 40-year-old road patrol officer, was going to lead it.  The oldest case was the unsolved disappearance of David Jackson -- missing for more than 15 years.   Jackson was a 24-year-old divorced father when he went out for cigarettes one night in June 1988 and never returned.  Detective Velasquez didn’t know how she would find David all these years later.  She posted a missing persons poster on her office wall and had an artist draw a picture of what Jackson may look like now.  But beyond that, as Velasquez admits to correspondent Troy Roberts, she had no idea where to start.  And then a 19 year old boy wandered into her office. 

John Henry Wolfe, 19 at the time, was part of the Police Explorers program.  There was nothing John liked better than hanging around detectives.  One day, he hoped to be a police officer too.  One evening he saw the missing person’s poster on Detective Velasquez’s wall.   John Wolfe couldn’t stop staring.  David Jackson, he told her, was his father.  For years John, who had been adopted by his step father Michael Wolfe, told Detective Velasquez he wondered what became of his biological father but never got any good answers from his mother.  Detective Velasquez would spend the next several years trying to prove John’s mother Barbara, John’s grandfather Harry, and his step father Michael Wolfe, murdered David so that Barbara wouldn’t have to share custody with him.   Barbara was beautiful, soft-spoken – hard to believe she could mastermind a murder.  Wolfe and Barbara had divorced and he was on his 7th wife and she was on her 4th husband.  And then Detective Velasquez got lucky again– Wolfe’s ex-wives revealed that when he drank he’d reveal details about murdering David with Barbara’s help.  Wolfe was convicted.  Within days he confessed to the murder and implicated Barbara.  But Barbara isn’t behind bars.  That’s where the aspiring teen detective, John, comes in.  Troy Roberts has the story about how John would eventually help investigators crack the case.

Tom Silberkleit - Publisher Wine House Press

TOM SILBERKLEIT is the award-winning editor and publisher for Wine House Press in Sonoma, California. His books have been featured in USA Today, People, and on Good Morning America.

Tom Silberkleit of Wine House Press in Sonoma is the Publisher of The California Director of Fine Wineries which recently released the 4th edition focusing on destination wineries in Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino and the brand new Central Coast edition devoted to Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Paso Robles. With each edition update, Silberkleit aims to present wineries that standout due to their architecture, gardens, museum-quality art exhibits, gourmet experiences, wine tours and tastings, combined with exemplary wines. Find thoughtful ideas for holiday destinations and contact information for each wineries cited.

Brand Ambassador Tim Herlihy - Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey 

As far as whiskey experts go, they don’t come more Irish True than Tullamore Dew Brand Ambassador Tim Herlihy.  From his humble beginnings in the small farming town of Termonfeckin in Ireland’s County Louth, to his work as the North American representative for one of Ireland’s most beloved and storied products, Tim’s life and career have been marked by the kind of passion, warmth and love of whiskey that typifies the Irish True character.  His current role as Tullamore Dew Brand Ambassador sees him bringing his career to a new level, as he travels the country, educating, entertaining and sharing his passion for the most Irish True of Whiskeys.



Thursday, March 14, 2013

3/14 Anna Boiardi, Candice Kumai, Stiletto Chef, Deputy Mike Ascolese, Tip- A Cop, Margaret Jeffares, Good Food Ireland

Anna Boiardi’s Former model Candice Kumai - Stiletto Chef

We’re serving up a guest list of some of the HOTTEST movers and shakers in the NYC food/restaurant industry and nightlife/party scene, who’ll share fresh and innovative cooking ideas and tips and reveal industry secrets on how to plan/host a small, elegant gathering or throw a slammin’ party/event!  PLUS, get the lowdown on what really goes on behind-the-scenes in restaurants. SIZZLING HOTCHEFS/COOKBOOK AUTHORS & TASTEMAKERS GIVE YOU THE DISH with tips on how to plan an intimate gathering or a buzz-worthy party!

Anna Boiardi’s family name is prominent in every American supermarket.  The granddaughter and niece of the founders of the Chef Boyardee company (that’s her uncle on the can!) is not only a brand ambassador,  she is also a cookbook author, renowned hostess and teacher through her Cucina Academy classes.  While born in Italy, she attended the University of Denver and lived and  Former model Candice Kumai –known as the “Stiletto Chef” --was a “cheftestant” on Top Chef and hosted several TV shows including Home Made Simple and CookYourself Thin. Currently, she is a judge on Iron Chef America. The author of several best-selling cookbooks, she is an advocate of healthy eating and believes we can do this by literally thinking ‘outside the box’—putting that packaged food down and rediscovering real food.

Deputy Mike Ascolese - Tip- A Cop   

On Thursday, March 14, 2013 Deputy Mike Ascolese is participating in Tip-A-Cop at the Hamburger Hamlet in Sherman Oaks (4419 Van Nuys Bl. Sherman Oaks, CA 91403). The waiters for the evening will be Los Angeles County Deputy Sheriffs, raising money from customer tips to give to the Special Olympics! Deputy Mike Ascolese has been coordinating this event for eight years.

Margaret Jeffares - Founder of Good Food Ireland

Good Food Ireland™ is the only brand standard for food experience in the island of Ireland, putting Irish ingredient led cuisine at every point from farm to table. Founded in 2006 by Margaret Jeffares, Good Food Ireland™ has pioneered the link between the agri-food and tourism sectors by bridging the gap between Irish food produce, to an authentic Irish cuisine. Today it has some 600 Approved Providers; Ireland’s top restaurants and cafes, culinary accommodation, food shops, pubs and bars, cookery schools and food producers.

Good Food Ireland™ provides visitors with an authentic food experience that is unrivalled in Ireland and demonstrates how Irish food is entwined in our culture, our heritage and our people. It is the Number 1 food experience resource for domestic and global visitors.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

03/13 Tim Reuling, Reuling Vineyard, Larry Lipson, Julie Webster

Tim Reuling  -  Reuling Vineyard  

The Reuling wines are officially shipping on April 1st, and the first offering letter goes out any day. Now is the time to get on the list for this wine—the vineyard has gone into Peter Michael and Aubert in the past, and every vintage was scored from 92-99 points by Wine Advocate and Wine Spectator.  Reuling Vineyard—a new winery which is about to launch its first Pinot this April. 

At its core, the story of Reuling Vineyard is a love story 60 years in the making. Tim and Jackie Reuling, Midwesterners by birth, first met at pre-school in Morton, Illinois and dated in junior high school. They parted ways for college, with Jackie attending the University of Iowa to study special education and psychology, and Tim attending Colorado College and then Virginia for his MBA.
A serendipitous reconnection in 1978 while both Jackie and Tim were back in Illinois visiting their families re-kindled an old romance, resulting in their marriage the following year.

As they made their first home together in Tucson, Arizona, Jackie delved into her life-long passion for cooking. She received a culinary diploma, worked in catering, and owned a restaurant with partners. While in Tucson, Tim was active with real estate syndications and in time moved to pension fund management. The two shared a love of travel and would regularly take trips to Latin America and Europe.

It was, in fact, one of their trips, to a culinary course in Provence, France that would inspire the Reulings to move to California. Encouraged by the slow food culture of France, Jackie realized that her dream of having a large garden, surrounded by a beautiful countryside, farmers markets and an artist community, could all be a reality in Sonoma County. Her parents had retired nearby, and it was the perfect place to raise the couple’s young children, Josh and Whitney.

The two moved to Sonoma County in 1990, and in 1998, purchased the property in Forestville that is now home to Reuling Vineyard.

Jackie and Tim’s partnership is at the root of Reuling Vineyard. Committed to creating a thriving vineyard on the 16-acre property, where they also live, Jackie and Tim worked to restore and revitalize the soil. The two started with a neglected apple orchard and, through the use of historic clones and organic farming methods, transformed it into one of Sonoma’s great vineyard sites.
Today, Jackie attends to the farm animals, her garden, and manages the farming plan. Her large organic garden provides inspiration for her culinary endeavors and provides produce for Food for Thought, the Sonoma County AIDS food bank. Whether painting in her studio or cooking in her professionally designed kitchen, she expresses herself through a broad palate. The art and relics in her home chronicle a lifetime of travel and exploration, and her love for life leaves an impression with anyone who enters her home.

Tim shares Jackie’s sense of adventure, and is an avid fly-fisher and outdoorsman. His years of business experience prepared him well for shouldering the risk and responsibilities of developing and managing a world-class vineyard. Tim carefully monitors the vineyard on a daily basis, which is an important aspect of organic farming.

The Reulings sought out select clones, and from the outset, believed the vineyard held great promise—the soil, the gentle north/south exposure, and its climate. Over the past ten years, the fruit from Reuling Vineyard has produced some of the most critically-acclaimed Chardonnays and Pinots in the country by Aubert and Peter Michael.

The Reuling’s commitment to the vineyard is steadfast. Jackie and Tim have raised their own children on the property, along with a few pigs, sheep, and more produce than they could ever imagine consuming. When searching for their winemaker, Matt Taylor was the perfect fit. Matt understands that the entire vineyard is a living organism and works with organic farming methods to ensure the vineyards’ health.

Jackie and Tim feel their greatest accomplishment in life is to have parented two young people who are happy, healthy, and contributing to life, and who want to share in Reuling Vineyard and the winery. Josh is a juvenile public defender in Boston and will be married in the vineyard in 2013. Whitney has followed her mother’s passion for food and community and is Program Manager for The Sylvia Center, a NYC food education non-profit




Our Napa story started with our wedding in April 1989 when we were married at Auberge du Soleil in Rutherford. As we looked out over the beautiful, romantic vineyard countryside, we fell in love – not just with each other but also with the beauty of the area. At that very moment, we vowed that, someday, we would find a way to live in the Napa Valley. That day came just five years later, in 1994, when Bob was looking to purchase a horse as a gift for Lauren, an avid rider. It just so happened that the horse he found was located on a beautiful 16-acre vineyard property in the eastern hills of southern Napa (now known as Coombsville) that happened to also be for sale. Karma being what it is, Bob bought the house and vineyard and the horse became part of the deal – at that moment, our dream of living in the Napa Valley became a reality.

We have learned a lot about grape growing since we bought the property that fortuitous year of 1994. We spent the first two or three years just getting to know the vineyard and what it needed to thrive. We learned that living on a vineyard meant workers coming and going at all hours of the day (and sometimes at night). We learned to mend fences to keep marauding deer at bay or, at times, how to herd them off the property via a posse of ATVs. We walked the vineyard to check irrigation lines, straighten posts or sample the fruit as harvest got closer. Our vineyard lifestyle took some adjustments, but each step was a new discovery and a deepening passion for the winemaking process that grew with each season.

Over time, as we learned what the vineyard needed, we began to fine-tune it through new trellising, pruning, and replanting. We replanted the entire vineyard with a drought-resistant rootstock and changed the trellis system to open the canopy, exposing the fruit to more sunlight in our more temperate region of Napa. We began to farm sustainably, using cover crops and compost, while also installing hawk boxes to keep rodents out. Eventually, we started farming organically and became a California Certified Organic Farm (CCOF) – a label we are very proud of.

Initially, we sold most of our grapes to local wineries and kept enough to make a couple barrels of wine (named “Stonehaven”) for ourselves, family, friends and a few of our favorite restaurants. Finally, after nine years of learning our vineyard’s attributes, we decided to produce our first commercial vintage – a decision made easier by the feedback we received from various vintner friends who simultaneously said “it was time.” Our first release was our 2003 vintage of 100% cabernet sauvignon in October of 2007. Since then, we have continued the tradition of releasing each new vintage every October.

As we learned about our vineyard over time, we also learned about the style of wine it likes to produce -- balanced, smooth, deep berry flavors with a hint of spice and lower alcohol levels (13.2% to 14.5%) that blends well with food -- not competing with it. After more than 18 years of producing wines from our corner of Napa Valley, we know our wines can be enjoyed now or fifteen years from now – they only get better with age.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013



Napa Valley produces only four percent of California’s wine but that four percent is deliciously impressive enough to garner the region recognition as a world winemaking capital. The 240-page hardcover publication Napa Valley Iconic Wineries (Panache Partners, December 2012, distributed by Independent Publishers Group) offers an inside look at this vibrant wine scene. The cherished stories and progressive ideas of nearly 40 wineries are presented through eloquent profiles, scenic color photographs, and professionally produced video presentations by local winemakers. Published by Brian Carabet and John Shand, the book is Panache’s ninth title on wine and the inaugural edition of a series slated for international expansion.

Napa Valley Iconic Wineries includes a foreword by celebrity chef Michael Chiarello, a locally based, nationally recognized television host, who has a deep love of good food, fine wine, and Napa Valley’s alluring lifestyle. Cakebread Cellars, Caymus Vineyards, Chappellet Vineyard & Winery, Gargiulo Vineyards, Joseph Phelps Vineyards, Rombauer Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Staglin Family Vineyard, and Vineyard 29 and are among the featured wineries.

Within the book, award-winning vintners tell of their fascinating winemaking techniques, chefs share their recommendations for pairing food and wine, and grape growers reveal what inspires them about Napa’s unique terroir. While exploring wineries throughout the 15 verdant regions of Napa Valley, you will see how complexities of soil, methods of bottling, and winemaking philosophies intermingle to create cabernet sauvignons, merlots, zinfandels, chardonnays, syrahs, and many more wines of inimitable quality.

Showcasing signature wines created by a wide variety of establishments, from historic vineyards that helped shape the region to budding boutique wineries, the beautiful Panache book Napa Valley Iconic Wineries presents a singular portrait of Napa’s unparalleled wines. Pioneering an industry and turning dreams into reality, the featured grape growers and winemakers have rightfully earned their reputation for bold, brave, and unique approaches to winemaking. With more than 300 color photos, nearly 40 insightful winery profiles, and dozens of videos accessible from most mobile devices through QR codes, the book is ideal for novices and aficionados alike. It is intended for those planning a trip to Napa Valley and a general audience fascinated by the imagination of California’s finest winemakers.


Our limited production of PATEL wines are allocated and sold first to those on our mailing list, followed by selected fine wine retailers around the US as well as several distinguished restaurants. Our mailing list continues to grow by word of mouth endorsements from our loyal clients. We will release our 2010 Red Wine  and 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon for sale on March 1st, 2013. Mailing List clients can log on to our secure web site to purchase your allocation after release date. If you would like to add your name to our mailing list, please visit our "Mailing List" page and provide the requested information. Each mailing list client is ranked on the date of your first request to be added to our mailing list.  Please note, we only send a few emails each year reminding our clients when your allocation is available for purchase and when the wine ships. Once again, thank you for your continued enthusiastic support of our wines. Our goal is simple: strive to produce the best wines from Napa Valley's finest vineyards.

Monday, March 11, 2013

03/11 Stephanie Oswald, Travelgirl Magazine, Rebecca Griffin, Sciandri Family Vineyards, Willie Degel, Restaurant Stakeout, Dandy Don's Homemade Ice Cream

Stephanie Oswald - Editor-In-Chief of Travelgirl Magazine

International Travel Expert Stephanie Oswald Provides Insider Tips  on Where to Go, What to Pack, and Getting the Most for Your Travel Dollar…

 As the Editor-in-Chief of travelgirl magazine, a Web Correspondent for The Weather Channel, and seasoned travel correspondent for CNN, she has reported on everything from stress-relieving spa treatments and unique escapes around the world to the human side of a hurricane. She is the co-founder of travelgirl -- the first national travel magazine to launch after the events of 9/11. The travel and lifestyle publication was chosen by industry leader Mr. Magazine as one of the "most notable" launches of 2003. Oswald is a native New Yorker who spent 13 years globetrotting as CNN's travel correspondent and host of the weekend program, CNN Travel Now. In 2003, she also launched a groundbreaking series called The Weather Channel Road Crew that showcased the "fun" side of weather. In 2004, she filed written and audio reports during Hurricanes Ivan and Jeanne as the very first Web Correspondent for  As anchor and correspondent for CNN Travel Now, a weekly program on worldwide destinations, travel trends and cuisine, Oswald specialized in adventure travel, filing reports from Europe, South America, Asia and the Caribbean. One series took her into the depths of Papua New Guinea for a rare and eye-opening look at the Huli Wigmen. Her reports also appeared on CNN Headline News, CNN in-flight programming for Delta Air Lines, CNN International and the CNN Airport Network. Immediately after 9/11, she filed human interest stories on the crisis for CNN, and covered the impact on the travel industry during live studio reports on CNN Headline News.

Rebecca Griffin - Sciandri Family Vineyards 

Sciandri Family Vineyards is a small family owned and operated winery in the heart of Coombsville in the Napa Valley. Drawing from it's roots in a small village in Italy, Quercia, the Sciandri Family is excited to begin a new venture into the world of wine.

We welcomed 175 members of the wine trade and media to come explore the wonderful wines of Coombsville. A big Thank You to all those who were able to make it out, and if you missed it we hope to see you next year. Special thanks to Porter Family Vineyards for hosting the event in their amazing caves. Marks the Spot and Oxbow Cheese Merchant for supplying the wonderful bites to eat, and CVG board members Curtis Strohl with Ancien, Rebecca Griffin with Sciandri Vineyards and Tim Porter with Porter Family Vineyards for chairing the event. Coombsville Vintners and Growers are proud to have participated in Premiere Napa Valley 2013, donating 900 bottles of wine with 10 lots and raising over $127K as a group.

Willie Degel - Restaurant Stakeout

RESTAURANT GURU WILLIE DEGEL CONTINUES TO SAVE RESTAURANTS ONE EMPLOYEE AT A TIME IN RESTAURANT STAKEOUT! Season Three Premieres Wednesday, March 13th at 10pm ET/PT. New York restaurateur Willie Degel is back for the third season of the hidden camera series Restaurant Stakeout, premiering Wednesday, March 13th at 10pm ET/PT on Food Network. Using his infamous and covert surveillance tactics, Willie shows struggling restaurant owners what really happens when their employees think no one is watching. Willie has built his success on his "customer is king" philosophy, which remains the key to saving restaurants around the country from closing their doors. From lazy, neglectful managers to feisty, rude waitstaff Willie needs to whip these employees into shape before their appalling customer service drives business away for good. 

FOOD NETWORK is a unique lifestyle network, website and magazine that connects viewers to the power and joy of food. The network strives to be viewers' best friend in food and is committed to leading by teaching, inspiring and empowering through its talent and expertise. Food Network is distributed to more than 100 million U.S. households and averages more than 9.9 million unique web users monthly. Since launching in 2009, Food Network Magazine has tripled its rate base and delivers a circulation of 1.5 million. Headquartered in New York, Food Network has a growing international presence with programming in more than 150 countries, including 24 hour networks in Great Britain, India, Asia and Africa. 

Don Whittemore - Dandy Don's Homemade Ice Cream

In 1981 Don and his lovely wife Linda (pregnant with their second child) bought an ice cream shop in Tarzana, California called The Creamery. They thought it would be a gold mine. They were wrong. So they worked their keesters off, got into the wholesale business, and began a catering division. These are photos of Don (photo on the left, 3rd from the left) and Linda (photo on the right) at one of their first hot fudge sundae bar catering gigs at the Directors’ Guild of America. This is how the catering division of their company—now with over 1,000 customers—got its start.  He loves talking to his clients, making ice cream with them, and helping them promote their businesses. He loves selling his ice cream to new clients, finding out what they want, tempting them with great service. He just loves people. And he loves making people happy. Good thing he makes great ice cream

Friday, March 8, 2013



On August 19th 2011, Jack McCullough was charged with the abduction and murder of seven-year-old, Maria Ridulph. The crime occurred in 1957, reportedly making Maria’s murder the oldest American cold-case ever prosecuted.

December 3rd, 1957: Sycamore Illinois. Maria and eight-year-old Kathy Sigman were out playing after dinner. A young man approached them, introduced himself as Johnny, and asked if they wanted piggyback rides. A while later Kathy went home to get her mittens; when she returned Maria and “Johnny” had disappeared.

For five months the FBI investigated the kidnapping. Their only eyewitness, an eight-year-old, was shown lineup after lineup. Five months later, Maria’s partially clothed body was found in a wooded area about 90 miles from Sycamore. The FBI turned the case over to the Illinois state police and, two years after Maria was kidnapped, the case went cold.

Decades later, a longtime resident of Sycamore made a stunning accusation on her deathbed. It was her son, she claimed, who had snatched and killed Maria Ridulph. It took ten more years but Jack McCullough’s sister, Jan eventually convinced the Illinois State Police to investigate her brother’s involvement in Maria’s murder. But it was when they showed eyewitness Kathy Sigman a new photo lineup that investigators became convinced they had Maria’s killer. Kathy looked at a photo of McCullough when he was18-years-old, and identified him as the Johnny who took little Maria, 54 years ago. After a six-hour police interrogation with McCullough, in Seattle where he was living, Illinois State’s Attorney Clay Campbell charged the now 72-year-old man with the kidnapping and murder of Maria. McCullough was brought to Illinois to stand trial.

The case against McCullough is highly circumstantial. It consists of a daughter’s testimony of her dying mother’s confession—an eyewitness identification of the suspect more than a half-century after the crime—and three jailhouse informants. There is no physical evidence, and the small amount of evidence that existed in 1957 is now missing. In addition to that, McCullough has an alibi. Back in 1957 the 18-year-old was questioned by the FBI. According to their case file, McCullough had several witnesses who placed him 40 miles away at the time of the kidnapping, registering to join the Air Force.

In an exclusive interview with 48 Hours Correspondent Erin Moriarty, McCullough speaks for the first time, and denies any involvement in the crime. 48 Hours also had complete access to all the other players involved in this case, and the report includes interviews with eyewitness Kathy Sigman, Maria Ridulph’s brother, Jack McCullough’s family, the investigators who helped crack the case and the prosecutor who took it to court.


The development of our Family’s Estate has been a 30 year love affair with our 650 acre ranch. Chosen for its beauty, wonderful surroundings, amazing history, but most importantly for its potential as a site for a world class vineyard. Our approach is to develop our estate in a harmonious manner with our surrounding ecosystem and community.

30 years ago, Arturo Keller and his wife Deborah were driving the meandering Sonoma roads in a vintage car when they fell in love with the site. In 1989, the first Chardonnay vineyard was planted and La Cruz vineyard was born. Our first vintage was sold to Rombauer, who rapidly became excited with the potential of the site. By 1999, a few acres of Pinot Noir had been planted, and we knew we had the potential to make some very interesting wines.

Ana Keller, a biochemist by training  joined the family affair with the goal of producing the most exquisite wines their vineyards could produce. With Arturo's constant vision and encouragement,  Ana's passion has established Keller Estate as a benchmark for producing some of the best wines in the Sonoma Coast and putting the Petaluma Gap firmly on the map as the most promising region within this appellation. Constant hard work and education are part of the way at the Keller family and through many years of dedication, the wines of Keller Estate represent the family's values and passion.

The Keller Estate label became a reality in 2000. Soon after, the family in collaboration with the prestigious firm of Legorreta+Legorreta, designed and built our stunning, functional and gravity flow winery, that have served as inspiration to many  wineries.

The terroir at Keller Estate is defined by an area known as the Petaluma Gap, which is subject to two major maritime influences. The San Pablo Bay lies immediately to the south, while to the northwest is an opening in the coastal hills which allows masses of fog from the coast to flow freely towards the Petaluma Valley. This geographical signature is unique and creates a cool and long growing season for our vineyards.

BOBBY & JAMIE DEAN - Cooking Channel’s “Not My Mama’s Meals"

In 2012, Paula Deen announced she has type 2 diabetes and that she and her sons, Bobby and Jamie Deen, have teamed up with Novo Nordisk on Diabetes in a New Light®, a national initiative that aims to help adults tackle common challenges associated with type 2 diabetes management. The website features the Deens’ diabetes-friendly recipes and cooking tips, along with other resources for diabetes management.

Bobby is the host of the Cooking Channel’s “Not My Mama’s Meals.”  While Bobby loves traditional Southern food, he is committed to living a well-balanced healthy lifestyle. Jamie is the host of the Food Network’s “Home For Dinner.” Jamie makes an effort to create healthy recipes for families, including his young children. Through their partnership with Novo Nordisk and Diabetes in a New Light® they are creating delicious diabetes-friendly dishes to help people living with type 2 diabetes, like their mama, stay on track with diabetes management without feeling like they are sacrificing taste for healthier food. Bobby and Jamie have been visiting diabetes expos and events across the country, spreading the word about Diabetes in a New Light® and bringing inspiration to those affected by diabetes.



Thursday, March 7, 2013


Mayim Hoya Bialik – CBS - THE BIG BANG THEORY

Mayim Hoya Bialik is known for her lead role in the 1990s NBC sitcom Blossom, as well as for her portrayal of the young Bette Midler in "Beaches." She has also appeared in Woody Allen's "Don't Drink the Water" and HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm.  Bialik was born to first-generation American teachers and documentary filmmakers and was raised in Los Angeles, attending both public and religious school. Bialik has guest starred on some of the most beloved TV shows of the 1980s and 1990s including MacGyver, The Facts of Life, and Webster. She has appeared numerous times on The Tonight Show, the Arsenio Hall Show, and on Conan O'Brien and Jon Stewart's early forays into late-night.

Bialik gave birth to a son in 2005, and a second son (born at home, largely unassisted) in 2008. She is a Certified Lactation Educator Counselor and is devoted to a lifestyle of attachment parenting, homeschooling, natural family living, and vegan cooking. Bialik is the co-founder and chair of the youth branch of the Jewish Free Loan Association (Genesis) and enjoys speaking on a variety of topics, including her journey to embracing traditional Jewish values. 

Recent appearances include recurring roles on "Secret Life of the American Teenager" and FOX's "Til Death." She portrayed 1960's activist Nancy Kurshan in "Chicago 8," and she appears regularly on CBS's "The Big Bang Theory" as Sheldon's friend who is not his girlfriend, Amy Farrah Fowler. Bialik is currently writing a book on holistic parenting, to be released by Simon & Schuster in early 2012.

The Emmy-Award Nominated Actress Wants To Motivate Young Women To Think Like Innovators And Pursue Their Education and Career Dreams in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM). Fans of actress Mayim Bialik may not realize she holds a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA in real life. Mayim has said she fell in love with science during her role on the TV show Blossom. During this time, one of her tutors showed her creative ways to learn about science and gave her the confidence to pursue an education in the field.

Mayim is passionate about motivating young women to think like innovators and become inspired by their own potential education and career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). In a recent interview Mayim said she sees the importance of STEM education for all students, but especially for young women who may think such “boy” subjects are not for them.


Jim’s family came to the San Francisco Bay Area when he was seven from Bethesda, Maryland. They remained in Burlingame when his dad retired from the Navy three years later. He received his BA in Mathematics from Pomona College and an MS in Computer Science from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In graduate school he tutored basketball players in mathematics.
Jim discovered wine as a teenager through forays with friends and relatives into Napa and Sonoma and then as a summer exchange student in Germany. While in the systems department at Bank of America, Jim took numerous UC Extension wine classes just several blocks away. From wine country trips to Caymus, Phelps, Flora Springs, Navarro, JW Morris, and others, he became familiar with numerous styles and varieties and developed a particular liking for fruit-driven, high acid wines. Soon, his apartment had both esoteric and typical wines from the then known wine producing regions. Interesting, carefully chosen wines became a big part of dinners out or in.

While exploring various wine regions, Jim would always be on the lookout for grape-growing property where he could eventually retire and grow a few acres of grapes. It was on a vacation in the fall of 1984 when he found the perfect property in the heart of California’s Shenadoah Valley – a property big enough to grow enough grapes to start a commercial venture. While Jim’s parents had escaped rural, agricultural roots in he South and mid-West, Jim was driven to escape back.

After fourteen years with BofA and a third child on the way, Jim joined a Berkeley banking software firm as an executive. He retired from that just five years ago, completing a 34 year career in banking computer systems. He has led the grape growing and winemaking operations and has driven Vino Noceto’s strategic direction. He defined Noceto’s Chianti direction with a California style from a 1985 harvest trip to Tuscany with help from many others, especially Darrell Corti.

Jim just completed a three year stint as chair of Family Winemakers of California, the leading trade association for smaller California wineries. He is currently treasurer of the Amador County Winegrape Growers Association and active in the Wine Institute and the California Association of Winegrape Growers.

Jim and Suzy have been married for 34 years. He is very excited that his Vienna, Virginia daughter-in-law has her masters degree and that Lindy, his and Suzy’s youngest, is pursuing her Ph.D. at NYU. Elder son, Randy, works as a software project manager and consultant in Washington, DC. Middle child, Bobby, can frequently be seen in the Tasting Room.

Jim and his wife founded a small winery with the first vintage of 1990.  They are the last standing of the serious Sangiovese pioneers in California.  They now produce almost 10,000 cases annually, except for 500 cases of old vine zin, all Cal-Ital wines.  6,000+ cases are Sangiovese based, 2,000 are a Moscato d’ Asti style wine.


"I called it Progressive American cuisine because every time I stepped into the kitchen, I felt things moving forward." 

Since the beginning of his celebrated career, master Chef and hospitality entrepreneur Charlie Palmer has received critical acclaim for his signature Progressive American Cuisine, a style built on rambunctious flavors and unexpected combinations with a deep and lasting infusion of classical French technique. Influenced by his childhood experiences working in his family's vegetable garden, Palmer was an early advocate of farm over factory food. In 1988, he made a landmark commitment to creating dishes featuring regional American ingredients at his sublime three-star Aureole, once situated in a historic town house off Manhattan's Madison Avenue. Today Palmer's flagship Aureole is strategically located within New York City mid-town's dramatically modern Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park.

Over the years, Palmer combined his creative cooking spirit and flair for business to open thirteen notable restaurants across the country, a growing collection of food-forward wine shops and award-winning boutique hotels. But even today, the chef still steps in the kitchen with reinvention on his mind. "Without a doubt, people eat with their eye long before they put fork to food, so I continue to look for a playful yet respectful way to create excitement on the plate." 

A frequent guest on NBC's Today Show, Charlie Palmer is also the author of four cookbooks, Great American Food (Random House/1996), Charlie Palmer's Casual Cooking (Harper Collins/2001), The Art of Aureole, (Ten Speed Press/2002), and Charlie Palmer's Practical Guide to the New American Kitchen (Melcher Media/2006).

Visit Charlie's outdoor cooking blog for recipes, tips, methods of cooking in the outdoors.