Monthly Archives: July 2013

Cookbook obsessed!

It stands to reason that a public relations agency focused on wine, food, and travel would be managed by a group of foodies and die-hard cooks.  But we at Parker Sanpei are SO cookbook obsessed you’d think we bought stock in Stewart, Tabori & Chang (or for that matter…).  Here, we profile a handful of our favorites, as chosen by members of our team.  Buon appetito!

A Year in a Vegetarian Kitchen: Easy Seasonal Dishes for Family and Friends, Jack Bishop

Most of the recipes are really simple, plus the ingredients are easy to find in a normal grocery store or farmer’s market.  Everything I’ve made from this book is super tasty, fresh and unique. – Jen Hamm, Account Manager

The Gourmet Cookbook: More than 1000 recipes, edited by Ruth Reichl

This is the classic, most beloved and worn cookbook of my collection.  For those of us who still mourn the death of Gourmet Magazine, it is a source of consistently delicious, flavorful, and time-honored recipes culled over the course of Gourmet’s 65 years in print. – Jaime Lewis, Copywriter

Parmesan Chicken 
From The Gourmet Cookbook

Serves 6

  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon white-wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 (5-oz) skinless boneless chicken breast halves
  • 1 1/2 English muffins (not sandwich-size)
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 450°F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Whisk together mustard, vinegar, salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl and add chicken breasts, tossing to coat well.

Pulse English muffins in a food processor until finely ground. Add cheese, butter, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper and pulse until combined well. Transfer to a shallow soup plate or pie plate.

Dredge chicken, 1 piece at a time, in crumbs, coating completely and pressing gently to help crumbs adhere, then transfer to baking sheet. Bake in middle of oven until golden brown and cooked through, 15 to 20 minutes.

Cooks’ note: · Chicken can marinate in mustard mixture, covered and chilled, up to 2 hours before coating.

The Moosewood Cookbook, Mollie Katzen

If I had to choose a desert-island cookbook, it would be this. I simply love my Moosewood.

Linda Sanpei, Founder

Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet, Jane Brody

This book is great for hearty, wintry meals – good for harvest time, too. It’s fantastic for basics like stock, and it emphasizes health without resorting to the use of weird “light” ingredients. – Jen Hamm

Southwestern Harvest Soup
from Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet

6 servings

  •  1 c dried black beans, picked over, rinsed, soaked 10 hrs or longer in water to cover by at least 4 inches, and drained
  • 6 to 7 c chicken broth, divided
  • 1 28-oz can plum tomatoes, drained with juice reserved and finely chopped
  • 2 tbl tomato paste
  • 2 C finely chopped onion (2 large), divided
  • 1 whole jalapeno
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced, divided
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 3/4 tsp oregano, crumbled
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • pinch ground cloves
  • 1 tbl olive or canola oil
  • 3/4 c long-grained brown rice
  • 1 large or 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 large or 1 small red pepper, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 1/2 tbl chopped fresh basil or 1 1/2 tsp dried
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

1. Place the beans in a large heavy saucepan. Add 5 cups of broth, tomatoes with liquid, tomato paste, 1 c of onion, jalapeno, celery, carrot, 1 tsp of garlic, bay leaf, cumin, oregano, coriander, 1/2 tsp black pepper and cloves. Bring ingredients to boil, reduce heat, cover the pan almost completely and simmer the beans, stirring them occasionally for 2 hrs or until done.

2. Meanwhile, heat the oil briefly in a heavy skillet, add rice with the remaining 1 c of onion, 1/2 tsp garlic, zucchini, chopped red pepper and basil (if using dried basil), and saute 5 to 7 minutes or until onions are translucent.

3. Add rice-vegetable mixture and 1 c broth to cooked beans. Bring soup to boil, reduce heat to low, cover the pan and simmer for 25 to 30 minutes or until rice is tender. Add more broth if needed.

4. Stir in basil (if using fresh), and season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste. Simmer 10 minutes longer. Remove jalapeno and bay leaf from soup before serving it.

Garnishes: plain nonfat or low-fat yogurt or sour cream, grated Monterey Jack or queso blanco, sliced scallions, minced cilantro.

Prep tips: The soup “sits” well, so can be easily made ahead. Substitute vegetable broth for a completely vegetarian dish.

Roy’s Fish and Seafood: Recipes from the Pacific Rim, Roy Yamaguchi

For anyone who loves seafood or the fresh, bold flavors of the Pacific in unique preparations, this is the cookbook non pareil. It’s also just gorgeous to flip through, even if you’re not planning or cooking a meal. – Linda Sanpei

It’s All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great, Gwyneth Paltrow

I have friends who make fun of me for buying into Gwyneth’s cookbook projects, but I have found her recipes to be chock-full of flavor and generally pretty easy.  They also emphasize health and simplicity.  After the birth of my second child, I needed to clean up my eating, and this book was the impetus. I make something from it at least a couple times per week. – Jaime Lewis


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Get Your Groove On!

We at Parker Sanpei LOVE to shimmie, shake, and dance the night away (though we usually do it with the curtains closed…). So we’re excited to learn the “Everybody Dance” routine designed to celebrate National Dance Day this Saturday, July 27.  National Dance Day was launched in 2010 by “So You Think You Can Dance” co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe, and encourages people worldwide to dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity. To learn the “Everybody Dance” routine, watch an instructional video, and download the official song for the dance, visit the Dizzy Feet Foundation website at

Of course, Nigel is also the co-owner of Villa San-Juliette Vineyard & Winery, where National Dance Day will be celebrated in style this Saturday from 1 to 4 PM.  Join us on the lawn at Villa San-Juliette with a blanket or lawn chair while enjoying performances by the North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation, along with delicious “Cha Cha Sliders” off the grill and discounts on tasty VSJ reserve wines.  And, in honor of National Dance Day, ten percent of all proceeds from the day will be donated to the North County Dance & Performing Arts Foundation.

To put the rubber to the road (or the feet to the dancefloor?) the VSJ staff learned the “Everybody Dance” routine and made this charming video about National Dance Day.  (Check out winemaker Matt Ortman’s sweet moves at 00:28!)

Interested in lacing up your dancing shoes?  Just come by the winery this Saturday (6385 Cross Canyons Road, San Miguel, CA 93451, 805.467.0014) No tickets necessary, but please leave all food and drinks at home.

See you there!

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Paso Robles CAB Collective at the California Wine Festival

If you’ve ever tasted a Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, you’ve experienced the magic that this region imbues its wines.  But if you haven’t, one of the best ways to taste through a spectacular cross-section of Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon is by attending the California Wine Festival panel discussion featuring several members of the Paso Robles CAB (Cabernet and Bordeaux) Collective this Friday, July 19, from 5 to 6pm at Fess Parker’s Doubletree in Santa Barbara.

Fess Parker’s Doubletree Inn

This discussion, entitled “Get Me A Cab! Cabernet Clinic and Tasting” will take place between winemakers from Paso Robles’ best longstanding and up-and-coming producers, and will offer tastings of a comprehensive selection of wines, including:

Moderated by Matt Kettmann, Senior Editor of the Santa Barbara Independent, and sponsored by Enartis Vinquiry, this clinic and tasting promises to shed new light on Paso Robles Cabernet for devotees (us) and newbies (you?) alike. Tickets for the Cab Clinic are $40 in advance, $60 at the gate, and can be purchased at

Matt Kettmann

If you’re also interested in sticking around for a romantic evening of rare wine under the stars, the Sunset Rare & Reserve event follows the CAB Clinic at Chase Palm Park that night from 6:30-9pm.

This romantic evening of rare wine tasting begins with a champagne reception under the stars at Santa Barbara’s charming old-world carousel at Chase Palm Park Plaza. Extremely limited reserve level wines are matched with gourmet appetizers from top local chefs, artisan cheeses and gourmet chocolates and truffles while live bluesy jazz keeps things super cool. Ticket price includes all wine and food samples and an 18 oz keepsake wine glass.

Advance sale tickets for the Sunset Rare & Reserve event are $110 each (gate price is $140) and can be purchased at

Happy summer tasting!

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Summer is in full swing, which means longer days, chilled white wine, firing up the BBQ, and plenty of outdoor summer music festivals.  And this year, we at Parker Sanpei are most excited to attend the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park August 9 through 11!

outside lands logo

Headliners for this year’s festival include Sir Paul McCartney, Nine Inch Nails, Red Hot Chili Peppers, D’Angelo, Phoenix, and Band of Horses, along with loads of other incredible performers.  But the part we like best is the epicurean side of this festival: “A Taste of the Bay Area,” which includes hundreds of SF’s best indie eateries; Wine Lands, where our buddies Field Recordings and Hartley-Ostini will be pouring their wares; Beer Lands, where folks like 21st Amendment Brewery and Bear Republic Brewing will be on display; and even a farmstand with fresh produce from Full Belly Farm.

The festival is characteristically eco-friendly, educating the public about eco-friendly movements and making use of solar power stages, a refillable water program, a waste diversion program, a recycling program, and bike valet parking program.

The term “outside lands” is a 19th-century reference to SF’s present-day Richmond District and Sunset District. With few roads and no public transportation, the area was covered with sand dunes and was considered inaccessible and uninhabitable. Of course, the Outside Lands were owned by Mexico before the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848, which ceded the area to the U.S. The city of San Francisco was growing rapidly as a result of the Gold Rush, and petitioned for the space until it was granted in 1866. The establishment of Golden Gate Park came several years thereafter in 1871.

Check out these pics of prior Outside Lands festivals:

Wine Lands

Named one of Fodor’s Best American Summer Food Festivals

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29 Years of the Central Coast Wine Classic!

Central Coast Wine Classic Dinner at Hearst Castle

Central Coast Wine Classic Dinner at Hearst Castle

For those who’ve been acquainted with California’s Central Coast wine culture for any length of time, the Central Coast Wine Classic is a sort-of granddaddy of wine events.  And 2013 marks the event’s 29th year!

The “Wine Classic,” as it’s come to be known, will celebrate the wine and cuisine of the Central Coast and Napa Valley this Thursday, July 11 through Sunday, July 14, 2013 in some of the region’s most idyllic coastal spots, including Avila Beach, Shell Beach, and San Simeon.

The Wine Classic’s television spot from 2012:

2012 Central Coast Wine Classic TV Ad from Jack Hutchinson on Vimeo.

The Wine Classic schedule is chock-full of must-do activities, including

  • Plenty of barrel and reserve tastings from the Central Coast’s finest wineries
  • Various symposia on specific wine types, such as San Luis Obispo County Chardonnay, Santa Barbara County Syrah and Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as well as a special tasting of wines from the Burgundy region of France
  • An outdoor winery dinner dance at the Avila Beach Resort featuring the cuisine of Chef Maegan Loring and exhilarating music
  • A Justin Winery dinner at Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa in Shell Beach
  • Chef John Cox of the Post Ranch inn

    Chef John Cox of the Post Ranch inn

    The Annual Black-Tie Dinner at Hearst Castle, featuring Central Coast Chefs Kurt Grasing of Grasing’s in Carmel, Levi Mezick from 1833 in Monterey, John Cox from Sierra Mar at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, Percy Whatley of the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, James Sly, Chef-Owner of Sly’s in Carpinteria, and Michael Hutchings of Michael’s Catering in Santa Barbara, coordinated by Chef James Sly’s Team, six courses with matching wines from Vintner Dignitaries

  • The exciting annual Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction at the Avila Beach Golf Resort, featuring an array of fine wines and unique lifestyle excursions around the world to countries such as France, Italy, Spain, India, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and Borneo.

At Parker Sanpei, the aspect of the Wine Classic that we enjoy most is its charitable heart.  Over the last nine years, the organization has conferred $2,101,055 to 103 non-profits whose missions include the healing, performing or studio arts; and Wine Spectator Magazine has named it one of the top ten charity wine auctions in America.

The Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation is pleased to announce the grantees for funds from the 2013 Twenty-Ninth Annual Central Coast Wine Classic, to be held from July 11th through 14th, in Avila Beach, Shell Beach and San Simeon on the Central Coast of California. From net proceeds from the Wine Classic, specific projects are funded for 501(c)3 non-profit corporations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties whose missions are in the Healing, Performing or Studio Arts. Over the past nine years the event has conferred grants $2,101,055! to 103 such non-profits. Grants for 2013 will be conferred in early October in San Luis Obispo.

equine rescueThis year, the Wine Classic Foundation Board has chosen the following beneficiaries: Domestic Violence Solutions of Santa Barbara; Heaven Can Wait Equine Sanctuary in San Miguel; Los Osos Middle School PTSA Music Supporters; Meathead Movers Wrestling Club from San Luis Obispo; San Luis Obispo Child Abuse Prevention Council; Sansum Clinic Cancer Center in Santa Barbara; Santa Barbara Botanical Garden; Symphony of the Vines from Atascadero; Women’s Shelter Program of San Luis Obispo County in San Luis Obispo and Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo. Additionally, the annual Fund-A-Need Auction Lot proceeds will inure to the benefit of MUST! Charities in Templeton.

The Central Coast Wine Classic website is For further information and reservations, please contact Archie McLaren, (805) 544-1285; fax (805) 595-2742;  Hope to see you there!

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