Friday, November 5, 2010

Foodie in Paradise

This is my neighbor.
And this is his store.
And this is my neighbor in his store.
My neighbor and his lovely wife Tolan are very generous.  Quite often they invite me to their store to meet very talented chefs and cookbook authors.  I walk over from my house and they offer me wine and cheese when I arrive.  Can you imagine what a Foodie like me thinks about all of this?  AAAAAGGGHHH!

Last week I met a lovely woman named Cate Conniff who works here.
Cate was part of the team that helped open The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, California in 1995.  She has been the marketing manager at Greystone for over 15 years and in that time she has been working, cooking, eating, gardening and going to the farmers' market with many of the chefs and other food and wine loving members of the Greystone community.  I immediately felt a Foodie Kinship with Cate, and then found out we grew up in adjoining neighborhoods in the midwest.  I really like this woman.

Cate wrote this cookbook.
When Cate talked about food and cooking, there was a certain hush throughout the store.  Her words are mesmerizing.  You can almost taste the food she speaks about.  I quote from her book, "I had something of a Garden of Eden story in reverse:  I reached out to pick a perfectly plump and ripe fig from a one-hundred-year-old tree.  I still remember that taste of my first fresh fig."

And then, after describing how she "scraped the carmelized flesh of the butternut squash from the skin", Cate served us this.
And perhaps it was the amazing Cali 351 Chardonnay that Cate's husband Michael was pouring, or the heady fragrance of the toasted pumpkin seed oil steaming from the soup, but I ran to the register to call this book my own.

Given that I can walk to Tyler's beautiful store, or drive to Greystone in 45 minutes, I truly am a Foodie in Paradise.

Enjoy your weekend!


  1. Poppie, wonderful post. That description in the next to last paragraph is perfect. I can smell, see and taste it ;) What a wonderful store and inn you have to enjoy. Can't wait to hear what your are cooking from your new book.
    Happy weekend, Amy

  2. So cool,
    I've emailed a few times with Tolan after she saw my post on Tyler's store. I went to visit her Mom and Dad's new shop Moss and Moss a few months ago intending on blogging about it and then somehow lost all the photos I took. I need to come back. I'd love to meet you for lunch.
    It's always so fun to meet fellow bloggers and treasure hunters :)

  3. Really... a neighbor! You live in a much better neighborhood than I girl!


  4. Oh goodness I wish I had neighbors like Tyler and his wife....I think I'd want to visit OFTEN! What a wonderful post and like Amy ...I could almost taste and smell that soup as you described it. I hope one day you'll take pictures of Tyler's store..I'll have to check our past posts to see if you've already done that. Enjoy your Wednesday!
    Maura :)