Making Jeropiga

In the autumn, the tradition in Portugal is to make a fortified wine called Jeropiga. Fresh grape must is mixed with distilled grape spirits to halt fermentation and preserve sweet fruit character. On Sao Martinho day the Jeropiga is served with chestnuts to celebrate the life of the Saint as well as the end of the harvest season.

I made some here in Berkeley last year and it brought back echos of the recently finished grape harvest, capturing the juicy, vibrant flavor of fresh pressed grape must along with a boozy kick from the aguardente.


Easter Eggs

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My upcoming cooking class at Kitchen On Fire is on traditional Spanish recipes for vegetables.  In Spain, seasonal  traditions and regional recipes abound featuring vegetables of all types. Often overshadowed by their more well known animal based table mates, demoted to the rank of side dish, Spanish vegetable recipes hide in plain sight.
On Tuesday June 5th we are bringing the flavors of Spain to Berkeley. This class features several recipes where a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs create flavor combinations that are satisfying as well as healthy and nourishing.


  • Romesco Sauce with Grilled Vegetables
  • Mushrooms with Garlic & Herbs
  • Almond Stuffed Eggplant
  • Spinach with Pine Nuts and Golden Raisins
  • Watermelon Gazpacho


Cazuela Class

My Cazuela cooking class is happening again at Kitchen On Fire Cooking School in Berkeley on Monday July 11th at 6:30 pm. Come learn the secrets of making traditional Spanish recipes using the earthenware cooking vessels called ‘cazuelas’. We will be making several different dishes, from quick cooked appetizers to slow braised and baked dishes, even dessert, all cooked in cazuelas.

All the details are on Kitchen On Fire’s web site. Here is the location:


Cans and Canaries

I am very excited about the latest Spanish wine tasting (the first one in the East Bay!) that I am organizing. Tickets are at Brown Paper tickets, http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/171886. Here is what I have by way of a description:
“Salon del Vino is at Barlata on Sunday May 8th (Mothers Day, Yeah!). This time it is Canary Islands wines and Catalan tapas featuring wines from José Pastor Selections and Daniel Olivella’s signature ‘latas’ from Barlata in the Temescal neighborhood in Oakland.
The wines of the Canary Islands offer an intriguing perspective on a a unique wine region featuring numerous distinctive varieties (Gual, Vijariego, Negramoll, Baboso), challenging growing conditions (volcanic craters!) and fabulously complex flavor profiles (pomegranate and wet bricks?).
We will be tasting 5 Canary Island wines (a sparkler, a rosado, a white and two reds) alongside a few of chef Olivella’s creations inspired by the great canned and preserved foods of Spain (possibilities include braised wild mushrooms, stuffed squid in its own ink, roasted piquillo peppers, dry cured chorizo and jamón serrano).
Come and experience the wines of the Canary Islands and the food of Barlata on Sunday afternoon at 3 pm, May 8th 2011.”

The first day of Spring brought heavy rains to Sonoma but could not dampen the spirits of seventeen guests at La Salette Portuguese restaurant where we enjoyed a traditional three course meal accompanied by several fabulous Portuguese wines. Here are a few snapshots from the lunch.

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I’ve put together a new event featuring the flavors of Portugal. “Sopas Sunday in Sonoma” is what I am calling this food and wine event taking place at La Salette restaurant in Sonoma on Sunday March 20th at 2 in the afternoon.

Chef Manuel Azevedo will prepare his fabulous Sopas along with his Pate de Sardinas to start the meal, finishing with a traditional Arroz Doce for dessert. Vinos Unico, local distributor of excellent Portuguese wines,  will present a flight of four wines (red, white and sparkling) showcasing the grapes varieties, regions and wine making styles coming out of Portugal now.

I am using eventbrite for tickets and further details which can be found here: http://sopas-sunday-in-sonoma.eventbrite.com/