February 2012 Archives

Steven Snook, Executive Chef

wcPersonality_KenwoodSpa_snook1.jpgAfter six years in the Michelin Star-rated kitchens of the esteemed, charismatic and outspoken British chef Gordon Ramsay, Steven Snook has traded in the big city, pressure cooker life working in such critically acclaimed, high profile restaurants for the Executive Chef position at the much slower-paced, award-winning, guests-only Restaurant at the Kenwood Inn and Spa. Opened in 1989 as a luxury hideaway in Sonoma's Valley of the Moon, the Kenwood Inn and Spa offers 29 Mediterranean-styled guest rooms flanked by courtyards, three saline pools, and vineyard views. The Spa at Kenwood features cutting edge, results-oriented skincare treatments and body treatments utilizing vinotherapy -engaging the exceptional rejuvenating and protective powers of the grape. 

What Chef Snook brings with him from those priceless years under such a talented and exacting chef is expertly sharpened culinary chops, exceedingly high standards and a profound respect and connection to the bounty provided by local artisan food growers and producers.

During his tenure as Sous Chef at Gordon Ramsay at Claridge's and Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, both in London, Chef Snook stood out to Chef Ramsay's team for his impeccable standards and discriminating palate, which allowed him some very interesting experiences not afforded to most chefs.

WineCountry.com Personality - Perry Hoffman, étoile

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personality_Chandon_PerryHoffman1.jpgThough he literally grew up in fine-dining kitchens (his grandparents Sally and Don Schmitt, were the original owners of The French Laundry in Yountville, which was later made famous by current owner Thomas Keller), Chef Perry Hoffman, still chooses a hamburger as one of his favorite meals. Although what he describes certainly isn't a typical fast-food burger: an 8oz rare hamburger with prosciutto di Parma, forme d'ambert, and tarragon aioli, with a brioche bun. Moreover, he would pair it with a glass of Shafer Cabernet - a true indication he grew up in wine country.

A Napa Valley-native, Hoffman first became interested in cooking by helping his grandmother in the kitchen at The French Laundry making croutons, roasting bell peppers and chopping parsley. After taking his first formal restaurant job in a local restaurant working as a pastry chef at age 15, Hoffman learned quickly that working in professional kitchens wasn't always glamorous. He recalls an embarrassing moment his first day on the job, when he literally passed out as a result of being sick and dehydrated. 

Decadent French Toast Souffle

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recipe_SonomaOrchid_FrenchToastSouffle.jpgSpark the start of a terrific day with a Sonoma Orchid Inn breakfast inspired by eggs from our own organically fed chickens, our own fruits and vegetables and seasonally fresh local ingredients prepared by the inn's professional chef owners. We're known for our breakfasts and guests often leave with a cookbook or recipes.

Decadent French Toast Souffle

  • Serves 16 in ramekins or 12-14 in 10x8 baking pans. We serve with Ham Steaks or a savory sausage.
  • A croissant bread-pudding like breakfast treat.

pressRestaurant_NewWineCellar.jpgSt. Helena, CA - PRESS Restaurant, one of Napa Valley's most acclaimed fine dining experiences, celebrates the debut of its newly constructed wine cellar with over 25 of the valley's pioneering vintners and the best of their older vintages. The cellar, designed by renowned architect Howard Backen, can house up to 10,000 bottles and is stocked with a groundbreaking collection of rare and older wines exclusively from Napa Valley. PRESS sommeliers Kelli White and Scott Brenner have been scouring the valley to find the best wines from as far back as the early 1960s, and are proud to announce that the restaurant now has the largest all-Napa collection of wines in the country.
 
Joining PRESS and Rudd winery owner Leslie Rudd for the private opening event, which celebrates the new space and collection, are several of Napa's most legendary vintners. These vintners include Peter Mondavi Sr., Robin Lail, Bill Phelps, Paul Draper, Warren Winiarski, Boots Brounstein, Kathleen Heitz, Carl Doumani, David Ramey, and John Kongsgaard among others.
 
In addition to showcasing the new cellar, PRESS will also debut an interactive wine list hosted on iPads. Uncorked Apps has developed custom second generation iPad software to allow PRESS customers to engage more easily with the extensive wine list, and for improved inventory management. The restaurant will soon offer an iPad for every table - 30 in total - with the ability to sort the wine list by price, varietal, and winery.

Braised Pork Belly

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recipe_DryCreekKitchen_Pork-Belly_Credit-Bill-Milne-(2).jpgBraised Pork Belly
Caraway Sauerkraut & Potatoes

Wine Pairing: Dry Creek Kitchen Sommelier Drew Menro recommends the 2009 Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir.  Freeman strives to make wines of elegance and is able to achieve wines with body and concentrated fruit flavors without high alcohol levels. Their 09 Sonoma Coast Pinot displays brooding flavors of black cherry, plums, and roasted strawberries with hints of mushroom and tobacco. Plus, it has the firm acidity that is needed to match up with the tangy sauerkraut.

In celebration of Epicurean Winter in Healdsburg and the annual Pigs & Pinot event, try this delicious braised pork belly recipe for dinner!

If you are planning a trip to Healdsburg in the next few months (and we encourage you to plan one!), then be sure to take advantage of the Pigs & Pinot Connoisseur Package offered by Hotel Healdsburg. For lovers of Pigs & Pinot that couldn't make Charlie's big event this year, Hotel Healdsburg has created a package for people with a passion for both.

This one-of-a-kind package includes:
  • Two nights in a Hotel Healdsburg premium king or double queen guest room.
  • Private tastings at esteemed Pigs and Pinot wineries - Williams Seylem and Merry Edwards. Tastings are extremely limited and subject to availability.
  • Pigs & Pinot Inspired Dining at Dry Creek Kitchen
  • Pigs & Pinot welcome amenity.

CLICK HERE for more details and to make reservations!

Epicurean Winter in Healdsburg: Culinary Mecca

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healdsburgChamber_olives.jpgHealdsburg is literally a food-lover's paradise; a culinary mecca where chefs have access to fresh, local produce, sustainable seafood, and organic meats throughout the year. The town is home to some of the country's most celebrated restaurants, including two Michelin Star recipient Cyrus, Charlie Palmer's Dry Creek Kitchen, and Zin Restaurant and Wine Bar, which uses produce and eggs from their own farm.

Now through March, "Epicurean Winter" offers an array of culinary festivals, special dinners, wine tastings and specifically geared toward the epicurean. There's something for every food and wine lover who wants to enjoy a relaxing, indulgent escape that's still close to home.

Seared Scallops with Citrus and Arugula

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recipe_Korbel_Scallops.jpgPlanning a visit to Sonoma County? Spend the day at Korbel Champagne Cellars...taste our delightful champagnes, tour our historic winery and gardens, and eat a delicious lunch at our gourmet Delicatessen. You are welcome to enjoy our complimentary tastings and winery tours.

RECIPE: Seared Scallops with Citrus and Arugula

  • Wine pairing: Enjoy this delicious seared scallop appetizer with Korbel Brut Rosé.  
  • Chef: Chef Robin Lehnhoff-McCray, Korbel Champagne Cellars

Filetto di Salmon Allo Dragonello

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Submitted By: Chef Antonio Ghilarducci at Depot Hotel Restaurant

recipe_DepotHotel_Salmon.jpg
This is a delicate salmon dish, quick and easy to make. Prior to working as Executive Chef of the Depot Hotel, Chef Antonio Ghilarducci also has worked at La Folie in San Francisco, El Dorado Kitchen in Sonoma, and Angele and the French Laundry in Napa.

Ingredients:

  • 4 fillets of fresh salmon, about 4 to 5 ounces each, with all visible bones removed
  • 1 cup water, or more as needed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 slices of lemon
  • Salt to taste
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  • 2 medium shallots, finely diced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • Juice from one lemon
  • Salt and white pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces sweet butter at room temperature
 
Garnish: Fresh chopped tarragon, lightly fried salmon skin, and puff pastry crescents
 



Scallop with Matsutake and Lotus Root

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Healdsburg's Epicurean Winter Recipes
Submitted by Executive Chef & Owner Douglas Keane

recipes_CyrusRestaurant_chefPic.jpgScallop with Matsutake Mushrooms and Lotus Root, Dried Scallop Broth
Wine Pairing: Chardonnay, Terrien, Sonoma Valley 2007

Ingredients - Dried Scallop Broth
  • 1 qt dried scallops
  • 1 cup dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 1 ½ qts dashi
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 bunch cilantro stems
  • 1 stalk lemongrass
  • ½ cup coriander seeds
  • Fish Sauce to taste (approximately ¼ cup)
Directions:
Combine scallops, shiitakes, lime juice, cilantro and lemongrass in a pot. Cover with dashi. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Add toasted coriander seeds to hot broth.  Remove from heat and steep for forty five minutes. Add fish sauce and lime to finish.  Strain through a cone filter or coffee filter. 

Chocolate Cabernet Truffles

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Submitted by Kenwood Vineyards Chef, Robin Lehnhoff-McCray

recipe_KenwoodVineyards_CabernetTruffle.jpgThis delicious recipe is easy to make and perfect for Valentine's Day. Enjoy with Kenwood Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Planning a getaway in celebration of romance this month? Why not stop by Kenwood Vineyard's tasting room for a complimentary tasting of their wines, including the wine suggested in this recipe

Ingredients:
  • 10 ozs. semi sweet (60%-70% cocoa)* chocolate (chopped small) <photo id="1" />
  • ¾ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Kenwood Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 6 T heavy cream
  • 1 ¼ cup confectioners sugar (sifted)

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