Trinchero Family Estates

They now have a Hospitality Center to house Trinchero's internationally recognized Vine to Dine® wine and culinary education programs. The Hospitality Center features a Tuscan-style culinary center with indoor and outdoor kitchens and dining, vinegar solera, woodburning ovens, reserve tasting room and cellar, and culinary gardens.

The dinner table they setup in one of the barrel rooms.


The barrel room with French oak barrels. These barrels cost about $1,200 and are only used once.


Fermentation tanks.


Tasting room.


The new kitchen in the Hospitality Center. The kitchen opened two days before we arrived.


Myself in the kitchen. I'm really uncomfortable in any kitchen without my whites.

I thought this was cool, right outside the kitchen was a wall with hundreds of burning candles.


A view from outside the kitchen.

Balsamic "Air"

I was experimenting with balsamic vinegar and inadvertently crossed over several different science basics and came up with “Balsamic Air” [Y x B / K° = WTwow!]. This is a cross section view of two large slabs stacked on top of each other. You can see the air-like texture that makes it eat like meringue. A 12”x 12” x ½ “piece barely weighs 5 oz. The applications for this are….well, I’ll get to that later.


76 Years In The Making

I have a booklet that was printed in 1940 by the Fleischmann Yeast Company. This booklet was geared towards the restaurant industry. The large batch of basic sweet dough is a 210 lb. recipe.

Who used this booklet? Whose hand written notes are those in the pages? Where did they work? Did they like their job? What type of ovens did they use?.....my imagination takes me to a time gone by. In 1940 Hitler and Mussolini formed an alliance against France, Paris & London were being bombed, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected president and the world was in turmoil. Yet, somewhere, someone was making bread that perhaps brought some normalcy and comfort to peoples lives; these breads were probably viewed as luxuries and reserved for special occasions like the holidays. I have to believe that no matter how hard conditions were that people could find some solace in honest food that was made by passionate people.

After looking at this book for several years and imagining who might have used it I decided it was my turn, 76 years after the original owner. I resurrected the sweet dough formula and made the Dutch cake, which is not a cake but a sweet bread with brioche characteristics.

The master recipe has an ingredient called "Sugar Yolks" which do not contain sugar. One pound of sugar yolks is 22 to 24 yolks. Two lbs of sugar yolks can be replaced with 3 pounds of whole eggs. Old recipes contain some interesting terminology like "C", this is what brown sugar is called in old baking books. I can only assume this terminology was used to avoid confusing one ingredient for another.

This is the dough from a small 18 lb batch. We added black currants, golden raisins and candied orange peel to the master recipe.


The dough divided into 1 lb. loaves after proofing for 2 1/2 hours.




The bread was egg washed and baked at 350° for 30 minutes. After the loaves cooled icing or powdered sugar was applied.


This is the genuine article. This recipe needs to be made more than once every 68 years.



The Fleischmann's Basic Sweet Dough Formula booklet.


Small batch is 33 lbs, large batch is 210 lbs.


The Dutch cake recipe using the dough formula.


A similar holiday recipe for stollen.

Grasshopper Taco

In Washington, D.C., at José Andrés' Oyamel restaurant I of course ordered the Chapulines, a legendary Oaxacan taco specialty that features sautéed grasshoppers



Not Your Mom's Spaghetti

A departure from the pasta-norm but definably not a departure from flavor!

Lemon-herb marinated chicken spiedini, romano spaghetti squash, tomatoes, basil infused olive oil, garlic toast, grilled lemon.