Michael Chiarello - Hawaii Food & Wine Festival

TENTH ANNUAL - SAVE THE DATE – OCTOBER 2-25, 2020

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Michael Chiarello

Bottega Napa Valley - Yountville, CA

Michael Chiarello is an award-winning chef and owner of the critically acclaimed Bottega restaurant in Napa Valley, Coqueta restaurant in San Francisco, ottimo marketplace Napa Valley, Platform 8 Napa Valley, Coqueta restaurant Napa Valley (in pre-construction) , three-time Emmy-winning Food Network host, highly rated vintner, noted author of five award-winning cookbooks plus his sixth award winning book Michael Chiarello’s Bottega cookbook (Chronicle Nov.), and owner/tastemaker of NapaStyle (recently sold) which showcased handcrafted and exclusive artisanal foods and home goods through its catalogue, website and retail stores. From his earliest childhood memories, Chiarello knew he wanted to be a chef. Some three decades later, he has accomplished his dream, and much more.

Chiarello incorporates his personal passion for seasonal, sustainable living into all that he does. From the growers that he supports as chef and owner of Bottega and his product designs for past NapaStyle and current ottimo, to his earth-friendly farming practices for his vineyards and the storylines for his Emmy-winning Food Network shows, Chiarello shares his unique perspective on what comprises good food and healthy living in an old-world lifestyle.

Since the beginning, Chiarello has made his mark by combining the traditions of his Southern Italian roots with the distinctive hallmarks of a contemporary Napa Valley lifestyle. At the core: showcasing seasonal, sustainable ingredients and products, and supporting the artisan purveyors who produce them.  At the heart: inspiring friends and family to gather around the table and create meaningful memories of their own – through every meal, every glass of wine, and every moment.



 

WHY DID YOU BECOME A CHEF?
Its all I ever wanted to do since kindergarten. Growing up in a frugal household of five with a disabled father, I always felt wealthy. We celebrated growing, gathering, curing, preserving and cooking as my family did in Calabria, Italy. As I was taught, when your hands are busy, your mind and soul are free! I made a life of bringing that happiness to others, to tell stories and bring families together to inspire them to create their own flavor to each meal at the family table. Plus, I love cooking more than anything (other than my family) in the world. No astronaut for this Italian..

HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COOKING IN THREE WORDS?
Soulful, storied, flavorful.

WHAT’S THE BEST HONOR YOU’VE RECEIVED AS A CHEF?
Chef of the Year, Culinary Institute of America and Runner-up Best New Restaurant in America (Coqueta San Francisco).

WHAT IS YOUR GO-TO MEAL AFTER A BUSY DAY?
Garganelli e Tonno. (Previously) hand-rolled tube pasta with Italian canned tuna, Calabrian tuna, vineyard greens…glass of Chiarello family Zinfandel.

HOW DO YOU SPEND YOUR TIME WHEN YOU’RE NOT IN THE KITCHEN?
I have four children and one grandchild! Three daughters who are older and scattered from Napa Valley, Mexico and Barcelona, where my granddaughter is. My youngest is a 13-year-old boy who gets a big chunk of Pop’s time.

I stay busy farming 20 acres for my family winery and a very large country garden for my home and the restaurants.

Fly fishing, if ever I can find the time again.

WHAT THE ONE LOCAL INGREDIENT YOU’RE EXCITED TO COOK WITH DURING HFWF19?
Local produce.

HAVE YOU BEEN TO HAWAII BEFORE? WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO DURING YOUR VISIT?
I have, but only once for vacation. The other four to five times were for cooking. I am most looking forward to cooking along side my chef friends, meeting and hearing the stories of new chef friends, and sharing one local meal with local beverages and locals!

IF YOU WERE NOT A CHEF, WHAT WOULD YOU BE AND WHY?
A farmer! The future of our world is largely centered upon farming smartly and making sure we all have a relationship with our food and ingredients. It’s an honor to be allowed to steward a piece of property and leave it better, organically of course, for the next steward.