When I think of Mediterranean-Rustic design and gourmet indulgence, the first name that comes to mind is Chef Michael Chiarello. Known for his exquisite taste and culinary expertise, Chiarello brought the essence of Napa Valley to kitchens nationwide. Sadly, Chiarello died on October 6th from an allergy which led to anaphylactic shock. But we remember him well.
Don’t have time to read it now? Pin it for later!
Beyond his renowned cooking skills, he curated a Napa Style catalog and store, offering a unique selection of gourmet foods, tabletop treasures, and beautiful entertaining essentials. It was a haven for those seeking to infuse their homes with the same warmth and elegance that permeated Napa’s rolling vineyards.
Chiarello’s influence extended far beyond his store’s shelves. His popular Food Network show, Easy Entertaining, invited viewers into his kitchen, demystifying the art of hosting with effortless charm. He penned several cookbooks, each a testament to his dedication to bringing the flavors of Napa to the masses.
One of Chiarello’s most enduring legacies is the iconic Tra Vigne restaurant nestled in the heart of Napa Valley. Though he eventually passed the torch, the restaurant is a mainstay for those seeking an authentic taste of the region’s bounty.
Now, let’s dive into the recipes, all infused with that unmistakable Napa Style:
White Wine California Citrus Sangria – Experience a sip of Napa with this refreshing twist on a classic sangria. Blending the bright citrus notes of California with the crisp elegance of white wine, it’s a toast to Chiarello’s enduring legacy.
Non-Alcoholic White Sangria – This is the only non-Chiarello recipe in today’s round-up For those seeking the same burst of flavor without the alcohol, Chandice from The Vivacious Life delivers this non-alcoholic white sangria.
Grilled Shrimp with Italian Salsa Verde – Infused with the bold flavors of Italy, this dish showcases succulent shrimp kissed by the grill and adorned with a vibrant salsa verde. This sauce would be perfect on other seafood or any type of poultry and would add zesty flavor to any boring veggie.
Individual Cups of Very Green Broccoli Soup – Embrace the verdant vitality of Napa with these individual cups of broccoli soup. Creamy, yet vibrant, this captures the essence of the region’s abundant produce. I often make this soup and add an extra crown of steamed, chopped broccoli at the end for texture.
Calabrian Cracked Olives – Elevate your happy hour with these piquant Calabrian cracked olives. A perfect marriage of spicy and briny, they’re a nod to Chiarello’s love for bold, Mediterranean flavors. We have made these often and they are truly addicting.
Hazelnut, Ricotta & Lemon Pesto – This hazelnut, ricotta, and lemon pesto is a revelation. Paired with a colorful crudite platter or some toasted baguettes, it’s a celebration of contrasts, creating a symphony of flavors and textures.
Crispy White Beans with Chili Oil – Experience the irresistible crunch of crispy white beans, kissed with the subtle heat of chili oil. It’s a delightful snack that keeps you coming back for more.
Apple and Blueberry Hand Pies – End your Napa Style happy hour on a sweet note with these delectable hand pies. The marriage of juicy apples and plump blueberries is a fitting tribute to Chiarello’s devotion to flavor.
As my husband and I celebrated a milestone anniversary with our BFFs in the heart of Napa, we found ourselves immersed in a culinary reverie that mirrored Chef Chiarello’s devotion to Napa Style. Our meal at Tra Vigne was nothing short of enchanting, with each bite of the vibrant salad etching a memory we hold dear. It was a masterpiece, an ode to the very freshest ingredients and a profusion of colorful tomatoes that danced on our palates.
The Napa Style store, a treasure trove of gourmet delights, beckoned us with its array of caponata, truffle salt, and chili oil, each jar and bottle a testament to the flavors that define this region. In the wake of our visit, we understood, just as Chiarello did, the magnetic pull that Napa exerts. It’s a place that seizes your heart and palate, beckoning you to return, time and time again, to savor the very essence of life’s most exquisite flavors.
Get your hands on a Michael Chiarello and starts cooking up a storm…you’ll be glad you did.