May 2008 Archives


Submitted by Chef Antonio Ghilarducci

Depot Hotel Restaurant and Garden

This recipe is easily among my favorite ways to prepare pork.  Also, this can be easily adapted for a party of four to a banquet of forty.  The pork loin is slow roasted till moist and tender and served with a lightly sweet sauce and beautiful bitter endive.  This combination makes a truly elegant main course suitable for any meal.  Enjoy!

Serves 6 as a main course


  • 1 3# Piece of Boneless Pork Loin trimmed and tied
  • 12 Heads of Belgian Endive
  • 1 bottle good, but not great Vin Santo
  • 3 Shallots
  • 5 Large Cloves of Garlic, peeled
  • ½#  Shelled Walnuts
  • Good quality olive oil
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Kosher Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper


Antonio Ghilarducci, the son of owners Mike and Gia Ghilarducci will be permanently joining the team at the Depot Hotel as Executive Chef.  As a young boy Antonio often helped his father in the kitchen and often returned over the years to work special functions.

Antonio graduated high school in 2000 from Justin-Siena in Napa and moved to San Jose to study at San Jose State University.  Before long, Antonio began working in the kitchens at the university, cooking for faculty and students there.  Cooking quickly became more important than academics and he left both to study at San Francisco City College in the Culinary Arts Department.  This is the oldest cooking school on the West Coast and the same school that his father attended thirty years earlier.  He graduated among the top five in his class in 2002 and obtained his Associates Degree in Culinary Arts and Hospitality Studies.

Lunch Like a Local

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lunchLikeLocal.jpgby Courtney Cochran

Brenda and Dylan had The Peach Pit. Rachel and Ross had Central Perk. Even Carrie and Samantha shared many a gab fest in the same sunny Manhattan diner (what was it called??).

Whether we're talking 90210, 10010 or right here in wine country, there's an undeniable fascination with dining haunts frequented by our favorite locals. And, lucky for wine country travelers, the spots in our own backyard are much more accessible than their fictional TV counterparts.
tea_cookies.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

Tea & Cookies
"It is the intersection of food and life that I find most fascinating," Seattle-based food blogger "Tea" explains of the MO behind her popular blog, Tea & Cookies, which focuses as much on the stories behind food as the good stuff itself. In a recent post, the professional writer - who goes by the pseudonym Tea to remain anonymous - chronicles her quest to make the perfect pita, a process that begins with a Sunday morning itch to bake and follows the author as she grapples with a fear of yeast and failed attempt at making her pita dough rise.
By Courtney Cochran

As the chorus of tirades against trans fats swells to an almost deafening roar, it seems only just to pen a counter piece on fried foods.  After all, Americans still splurge - some more often than they'll admit around calorie-obsessed pals - on fare that's seen the fryer.

If the Fare Fits
And it just so happens that when it comes to the universe of food, fried items are among the most in need of a glass of wine to lend levity to their full flavors.  That's right, trans- or no, fats of all stripes are responsible for making dishes seem rich and filling thanks to fats' savory taste profile, while the highly seasoned (and yes, highly caloric) breading batter in which fried foods are often immersed prior to cooking packs some seriously intense flavors, as well. 

And the Ivy Goes to Dry Creek Kitchen

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In the culinary world, the term "award-winning" is tossed around like so many mushrooms sautéed in a skillet. But sometimes the term actually means something, and some restaurants and chefs just seem to rack up the awards faster than others. Especially in Wine Country, where the competition is fierce, the awards and accolades a particular place earns can mean the difference between good and great.

DIY Gourmand

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how_works_body.jpgBy Courtney Cochran

IKEA got it right:  Give design conscious customers appealing, easy-to-assemble furniture at reasonable prices, and - presto! - they score designer-caliber furnishings, a feeling of accomplishment and even cross the finish line with enough dough left in the bank to splurge on the matching ottoman.

Everyone wins.

Wine Country Personality: Jeff Cox

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JeffCox.jpgFrom Farm to Table

"I want to help people discover their unique preferences in fine wines so they become their own experts," says Jeff Cox, author and owner of From Farm to Table.

Jeff Cox has a very colorful background in wine and food, especially when it comes to writing. During his time as managing editor of Organic Gardening magazine in the 1970s, Jeff planted a vineyard on his property, learning to grow the vines, prune them, harvest the grapes, and make wine. In 1983, he put this hard-won information into a book, From Vines to Wines, that has become the standard work on the subject of do-it-yourself winemaking - from planting the grapes to aging the wine. It sold well over 100,000 copies and continues to sell well today.

Mat to Table

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By Courtney Cochran
Leave it to wine country dwellers to divine a venue where you can master downward dog, realign your chakras and dine on sustainably farmed eats and drink all in one place.  At Napa's new Ubuntu Restaurant & Yoga Studio (, a daily roster of classes including Ashtanga, Hatha, prenatal and Vinyasa techniques is complemented by - what else? - vegetarian-inspired cuisine crafted from goods sourced from local farms and the spot's nearby biodynamic gardens.
Gillian's Famous Oatmeal Cookie Recipe
Submitted from Gillian Kite - Innkeeper/Owner of Craftsman Inn

by Courtney Cochranoxbow.jpg

If the flurry of construction that's been underway along the waterfront in downtown Napa is any indicator, the once-sleepy city is on the brink of becoming a major tourist destination. And the Oxbow Public Market ( - at just three months' old one of the newest additions to the downtown area - may be one of the city's most promising new arrivals.  Read on for the scoop on our favorite purveyors in this venue that looks poised to become the next big thing in a whole new Napa.