[Image borrowed from www.michaelchiarello.com]
Right now, it would be Michael Chiarello (and a guest of his choosing)…
Why? This is a chef who not only cooks up a storm with wonderful flair, but he also has a winery that produces Petite Sirah. It’s called Chiarello Family Vineyards, and has been in his family since 1999. From his site:
“Tending 100-year-old vines, I’ve been fortunate to craft highly rated, small production, estate grown wines since 1998. A labor of love, our wines are sustainably farmed, carry the story of my family in every glass and are simply the most satisfying of all my personal endeavors. ” –MICHAEL CHIARELLO, Chef/Farmer/Winegrower
Check out his bio… he’s so accomplished. “What hasn’t he done, besides have dinner with me?” said she, tongue in cheek. A girl can dream, right?
I’ve tried everything to get his attention, save standing on my head and spitting nickles. If I could just get him to dinner for a couple of hours, I’d cook up something of my own and we’d drink some amazing Petites. I know I could have him come to understand his passions are mine are the same, including the importance of Petite Sirah and PS I Love You, and we’d laugh and laugh about great things that make life worth living.
He’s really busy now, but I still can’t help but think about the day we could bump into each other, for the sake of Petite Sirah. I so want Petite Sirah to get the respect it deserves as a heritage variety, and I know I’m still light years away from that. The endorsement of those who “get that,” like Chiarello, is always a great boost for credibility… These are all the things we’d talk about, while we dined…
This blog story was prompted by seeing Michael Chiarello in my latest Food & Wine magazine, the February issue. F&W is gearing up for their (now) three annual events. I’ve spent many years going to the Aspen Food & Wine Classic; and this year, Michael’s packed in with other major luminaries, standing there with a glass of red wine. P-l-e-a-s-e tell us it’s Petite Sirah in the glasses that Michael brought with him!
And, if Aspen wasn’t enough, there he was again on another page, participating in the Pebble Beech Food & Wine event on April 4 – 7, 2013.
I remember when I first started to reach out to Micheal about six or seven years ago… I’ve also been delighted to see the hoopla about his award in Food & Wine Magazine: Chiarello Vineyards Winemaker, Thomas Brown, named 2010 Winemaker of the Year… And then… Wine Spectator’s 7 Intense California Reds…Petite Sirahs scoring over 90 Points, Dec 27, 2010, by MaryAnn Worobiec.
MaryAnn’s a great friend to Petite Sirah, so I’m not surprised that she fell in love with his PS…
Yeah… I’d love to have Michael to dinner. We’d have a lot to talk about, and he wouldn’t have to do the cooking!
[Someone once asked me when I was preparing a meal for a famous chef, “Aren’t you intimidated?” I answered, “No.”
Cooking is also a passion of mine; simple and delicious is how I fly…