Saturday, August 6, 2011

Farm Day

Eastside Road, August 6, 2011—
FARM DAY IN DRY CREEK, at Preston Vineyards: a tour of the fields and groves, a workshop in the blending of wines, and then a fine meal prepared by a man I consider to be a real artist and a master chef, Mateo Granados.

Granados has mastered the complex cuisine of his native Yucatan, a cuisine whose depth rivals that of India, with flavors ranging from bright to meditative, textures from crisp to grainy. But he is cooking in Sonoma county, and his philosophy is to use local produce — and to use all of whatever he's dealing with. Today he cooked a lamb and a pig, both raised at the vineyard; and he used all of the pig, so we had delicious headcheese and blood sausage as appetizers.


My plate was crowded, as you see. Huge helpings of the roast lamb and pig, very nicely done; two salsas involving tomatoes, tomatillos, peppers, and cucumbers; lentils with chopped vegetables; beets; romaine with peaches — all from the Preston gardens. Tortillas, of course: we'd already dipped Lou Preston's masterly whole wheat bread — made from wheat he'd grown on site — in his equally first-rate olive oil.

I call Granados's kind of cooking Californio cuisine, Californio with an “O”: this is how we'd all be eating here, most every day, if those pesky Americanos hadn't stolen the state from Mexico all those years ago. Local, clean, organic, sustainable, interesting, nutritious, and best of all delicious.
Syrah, Preston Vineyards (of course), 2008 (barrel sample, and very sound and rewarding)
• Preston Vineyards, 9206 West Dry Creek Road, Healdsburg; CA 95448
Mateo Granados's pop-up restaurant will be in residence at Preston Vineyards Sept. 8 and 9: reservations, 707 837-0774 or email

No comments: