May 2008 Archives

Ed Cherries.jpgRecently I dropped in on Ed to pick up cherries for the upcoming Slow Down on the Delta fundraiser for Slow Food Nation (we're serving our Bourbon-Cherry Tart with House-Made Vanilla Ice Cream to two hundred guests along side several other exicting courses from chefs representing three other counties).  What a fun trip!  These cherries were the best looking cherries I've seen outside of Washington. Big, trophy-sized, proud bings.  Ed works with old family farms that have become neglected over the years and he rehabilitates them, saving these old farms and producing very special fruit.   When we talked about my interest in finding trophy fruit to feature as part of our dessert program, Ed's eyes lit up and he insisted we visit his orchard.  The trophies are there- ping pong-sized cherries.  I saw them with my own eyes.  Look for them on the dessert menu soon.  Dry-farmed Royal Blenheim Apricots are next.

Robert Mondavi.jpgI wasn't ready for it when I read the news and I didn't realize I felt so strongly about Mr. Mondavi (whom I never had the chance to meet).  But I feel a loss equivalent to when I lost my grandfather who guided me (and inspired me) with his wisdom through some of my most important decisions in life.  What is it about Mr. Mondavi that strikes such a deep feeling in me? 

First, Mr. Mondavi is directly responsible for the life I lead today (and I speak for  thousands of other professionals in the food and wine industry).  It was a Napa Cab that made me redirect my life towards the wine industry.   This Napa Cab, while not a Mondavi wine, was a result of Mondavi's work.  In fact,  well before there was Robert Parker, there was Robert Mondavi, who raised the bar on wine for all the world to follow, even France and Italy.  Apart from believing in Napa (which really represents any region outside of the "chosen" regions in Europe) at a time when few believed, Mr. Mondavi drove to improve wine through technological advancements which is what that Napa Cab was that I fell in love with.

Next is Mr. Mondavi, as a visionary, marketer, and, ultimately, a liberator.  His efforts influenced the rest of the world to take wine more seriously and to raise the bar on their own wines offering consumers much better wines at much more affordable prices. I wouldn't be here today, writing this article, if wine had stayed in the "chosen" regions, with funky tastes explained away as terroir, and at inaccessible prices. We have Mr. Mondavi to thank.  He is the Simon Bolivar of wine.

Finally, it was Mr. Mondavi's generous heart that will tatoo him forever on my own heart.  His focus- sharing, perpetuating, advancing the arts and sciences which ultimately result in us living happier, healthier, longer lives.

Farewell Bob.  Thank you so much for being such an active contributor to planet Earth.  You've inspired so many of us to try to contribute, even if only a fraction of what you did, Thank you.  Farewell.

Congratulations Joel!

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Joel Dobris.jpgThis week Joel Dobris, distiguished professor of law at UC Davis and long time Tucos friend, retired after 30+ years at the university.  Joel and his wife Linda have been a part of the Tucos community almost from day one and have helped us discover wonderful local sources of food (and inspiration) including helping us discover Fra'Mani Salumi in Berkeley only days after they opened for business. Congratulations Joel (and Linda).  Have a wondeful retirement, full of great food, great wine, and great fun.

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This page is an archive of entries from May 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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