In previous blogs, I’ve given all the details about Sergeant First Class Cheryl Dupris coming to California to taste just Petite Sirah, after returning from the Middle East’s war. I’m not going to reinvent those details. They’re below in the first paragraph of the next blog entry (if you’ve not read any of this continuing story).
Interestingly, getting the restaurants into the loop was my greatest challenge in organizing Cheryl’s trip. In all fairness, it was because I was able to seamlessly organize the wineries and inns in no time. I’ve got a prolific database with the PS I Love You members, and then Circe Sher of Hotel Healdsburg picking up the inn ball and ran with it to her associate colleagues. Once I got positive confirmations, I had to process all of that info, then I turned to the restaurants… with not much time left.
By the time I approached proprietor/chef Patrick Martin of Charcuterie, he jumped on the band wagon so instantly, I thought that getting the restaurant community on board was going to be another slam dunk. That was quite the opposite, though. After my instantaneous score with Patrick, I began chasing a second prominent Healdsburg figure… for many days. When I finally talked with him, I quickly realized that someone who asks, “What’s in it for me?” didn’t get the big picture. It was good for me to experience this, because it made me take off my rose-colored glasses, and just finalize details that were working. Cheryl was just about to arrive, and I didn’t have much time left.
SIDE BAR: If this appears to be gossipy; it’s not. It’s wroth sharing, because we all have to be prepared for organizing something like this and having a door or two slammed in our faces in the process. Up to this point in my writings about Cheryl’s adventures, I’ve made it sound like there were no challenges. There are always challenges, and knowing what they might be ahead of time will help anyone else who might want to do something similar. It makes it a lot easier going into this kind of event planning knowing that not everyone has our same vision or need to share, and there will be challenges. Cut your losses as quickly as possible. Don’t take it personally, because your intent is pure and correct. And, for every one negative that’s encountered, there will be 99 positives actualized, reminding you that you’re on the right track.
CHARCUTERIE: I can’t say enough good things about Patrick Martin, and his delicious restaurant just off the Healdsburg Square. French cuisine is perfectly prepared, because Patrick is meticulous in all that he does. This is evident in all presentations. They’re not over-the-top grandiose, showcase food items. They’re hearty, pleasing in colors and aromas, delicious sauces complement each entrée, and you’ll have just enough food to be very satisfied. I never walk away feeling like I need to join Over Eaters Anonymous.
The success of any restaurant is easily judged by those who are already dining, as you scan a room. In a tourist community, you’d hope to find a good mix of locals, as well as those just passing through. Charcuterie has that perfect blend. The locals know what’s great in town, and visitors can read the menu, and also know they’ve found a great dining choice.
The dinner was made perfect, because we locals (Louis Foppiano, Susan Foppiano Valera and Tony Valera, Jose and I) were accompanying Cheryl for this evening feast. Presented by Patrick and his staff, his crew was all well-informed of why we were there, attending to each detail as if Cheryl was the Queen of England; but, it wasn’t done in a patronizing way. It was the same sincere appreciation that Patrick felt in his heart and soul.
It’s to Patrick’s credit when I asked if he’d host this meal for Cheryl that he said to me, “Jo, I’m happy to host her throughout her entire stay in Healdsburg, if you need me to.” Although we didn’t need him to, this kind of generosity demonstrates that Patrick Martin of Charcuterie is a jewel in the Healdsburg crown of gastronomy!