Specialties Yvonne Horn  
Travel Writer Yvonne Horn
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And what is the color of flavor?” Chef Frank Brigtsen asks. “Brown,” we chorus, for already the twelve of us perched at the cooking school counter have learned from Chef Brigtsen that a deep brown-colored roux (pronounced “roo” ) is the essential first step in the layering of flavors involved in the creation of the dish that shouts “New Orleans” – gumbo.

Chef Brightson should know .....

" New Orleans Cooking Experience" www.BucketTripper.com



Don Sebastiani, family patriarch of the venerable family that has been making wine in Sonoma County for over 100 years, describes his daughter Mia as an “old Italian soul.” If so, they don’t make old Italian souls like they used to. This one arrived for our scheduled meeting on her skateboard.

We were meeting so that Mia could talk with me about a new division for the Don Sebastiani Family of Companies, Mia’s Kitchen, a collection of specialty food products for which 25-year-old Mia is director. “How could I not be enthusiastic when my dad suggested I head the division,” she said. “It had my name on it!”

"Mia's Kitchen" Quarterly Review of Wines

Food, A Taste of New England

Say New England cuisine and I'm immediately transported to a shoreline shack glorying in the incredible edible delight of succulent pink and white lobster meat dribbled with drawn butter and stuffed into a butter-grilled hot dog bun. No recipe needed; as with so many of the foods of New England, sublimity lies in simplicity. Some toss the lobster in mayonnaise before stuffing it into the grilled bun. That's alright with me. But don't even think about adding such artsy ingredients as jalapeno peppers or lemon grass, as some are wont to do - culinary fussing around adds up to lobster roll ruined.

Down to earth, straightforward - words that describe New England's cuisine also describe well the character of New Englanders themselves...... 

"A Taste of New England" World of Cruising


The marriage of food and wine is immediately apparent as one approaches the entry of Robert Sinskey Vineyards' tasting room.  Left and right of the double doors are raised beds of herbs and vegetables.  Heirloom tomatoes tumble over bouquets of basil, beets, carrots, pole beans and onions elbow each other for space; butternut squash hangs from arched trellises; rosemary, thyme, sage and oregano add heady culinary aroma.  All are destined for Maria Helm Sinskey's kitchen where her talents are now turned to non-stop dinner parties that casually mix, friends, family and winery-business visitors.  "As a restaurant chef, she couldn't seem to scale down to cooking for two," Sinskey explains. "Our answer was to invite guests."......

"Doing What Comes Naturally" 
Quarterly Review of Wines


Of course, I ordered the cassoulet. Who could resist, when noting among the daily specials on the blackboard menu, that it had been simmering away for 9,360 jours? “We add a little to the pot each day,” my waiter explained, as he lifted the lid of the diminutive casserole that held a portion for one......

“Let’s Go to San Françaisco!”

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