mad scientist of gourmet cookware - This is the man that
some call the mad scientist of gourmet cookware. Any average-and-above
average cook likely owns something of his, yet few know of Stanley
Cheng. At 58, he is chairman and CEO of Meyer Corp., and is anything
but mad. Based in Vallejo, Meyer is America's largest cookware
company, and second-largest cookware manufacturer in the world.
A native of Hong Kong, Cheng is at the apogee of the cookware
industry with a company that had projected worldwide sales last
year of $450 million. His plants in Thailand, China and Italy
produce a combined 30 million pans a year. He is a global entrepreneur
who built an empire out of a family business, a Renaissance man
of all things fine, including antique Italian tapestries and museum
collectibles and, above all, of wines. He is so passionate about
them that he is building his own winery in Napa Valley. When he
isn't madly engineering a new pan, Cheng moves in rarefied circles.
He passes a prototype to Thomas Keller at the French Laundry for
testing. He huddles with Rachael Ray on her private-label line.
Cheng's Meyer Corp. is the umbrella for a clutch of cookware labels:
Circulon, Anolon, NapaStyle and Bonjour; he owns the licenses
for KitchenAid and Farberware. In addition, he's created pans
for department stores such as Macy's and private-label cookware
carried at stores such as Sur La Table. For rest of this story
San Francisco Chronicle
Creative chef puts down roots, dishes up exceptional fare at new
Yountville restaurant - In today's fast-paced society,
the thought of preparing a meal at the end of a tiring day at
work can be daunting. That's why dining out is so appealing --
and a wonderful option for those of us who live in an area rife
with fine dining rooms manned by creative chefs. Over the years,
this restaurant habitu has tucked into many marvelous plates of
food all over the world. Memories of a few of those culinary happenings
can be recalled in minute detail, due in large part to the excellence
of fare paired with outstanding wines, as well as company kept.
A recent visit to a new wine country dining destination prompted
me to add to my roster. Now I can unhesitatingly top my list of
memorable meals with a spectacular dinner at Redd in Yountville.
Richard Reddington earned a well-deserved reputation in recent
years as one of the Bay Area's most talented chefs. He put together
creative menus and satisfying meals at numerous Bay Area dining
destinations, from La Folie in San Francisco to Auberge du Soleil
in Rutherford. For rest of this story please visit:
Uva's Trattoria is back in business
- Undaunted by floodwaters that swept through their restaurant
twice in less than four years, partners Sean Pramuk and Giovanni
Guerrera are once again dispensing tasty Italian fare that has
made their business one of downtown Napa's favorite dining destinations.
Despite heeding flood warnings issued prior to Napa Creek and
Napa River topping their banks on New Year's Eve, the partners
had to spend a planned early January vacation cleaning up and
renovating Uva Trattoria & Bar on Clinton Street. This was
not the first time the pair had cleaned up following a flood.
On Dec. 15, 2002, the business partners and staff -- relatively
naive about floods here -- "were not ready for Napa Creek
to spill into adjacent Behrens and Brown streets," says Guerrera.
"We'd done some token sandbagging," adds Pramuk, reflecting
on his first brush with floodwaters. "We didn't know what
to expect...not until you see that creek go over the top."
But this year, Guerrera insists, "we figured we were ready.
We were sandbagged to the hilt...we had three tons of sandbags
along the Brown Street side of the building." The Napa Fire
Department came by Uva around 8:45 p.m. on Dec. 30 to warn the
partners about the serious possibility of flooding in the downtown
area, Pramuk recalled. "By 9:30, a few stragglers were finishing
up and getting ready to leave (the restaurant). We were proud
of the sandbag job that we'd done. We kicked back and had a cocktail."
"I felt the water would come and recede," Guerrera adds,
"that we'd be able to take the plastic away (from the entryways)
and be open for our expected New Year's Eve crowd. With reservations
and walk-ins, we figured on doing at least 400 dinners that night...we
had food for that many."
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