Chiarello, Michael 1962–
Chiarello, Michael 1962–
PERSONAL: Born January 26, 1962, in Red Bluff, CA; son of F. Harry (a banker) and Antoinette (Aiello) Chiarello; married Ines Bartel; children: Margaux, Felicia, Giana. Education: Culinary Institute of America, A.O.S.; Florida International University, B.A. Religion: Roman Catholic.
CAREER: Chef and writer. Tra Vigne, St. Helena, CA, executive chef, 1986–2001; Napa Valley Kitchens, chairperson and culinary director, 1992–2001; Caffe Museo (San Francisco, CA), owner, 1994–; Ajax Tavern, owner, 1995–2001; produces line of gourmet foods under the brand name Consorzio; founder of food-based Web site NapaStyle Inc.
Television cooking shows have included Season by Season, KQED, San Francisco; NapaSytle with Michael Chiarello, Fine Living Network; and Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello, Food Network.
MEMBER: Culinary Institute of America.
(With Penny Wisner) Flavored Oils: 50 Recipes for Cooking with Infused Oils, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1995.
(With Penny Wisner) Flavored Vinegars: 50 Recipes for Cooking with Infused Vinegars, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1996.
(With Penelope Wisner) The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in the California Wine Country, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 1999.
(With Janet Fletcher) Napa Stories: Profiles, Reflections, and Recipes from the Napa Valley, photography by Steven Rothfeld, Stewart, Tabori, and Chang (New York, NY), 2001.
Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking: Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends—A Napastyle Cookbook, photographs by Deborah Jones, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2002.
At Home with Michael Chiarello: Easy Entertaining, Recipes, Ideas, Inspiration, photographs by Karl Petzk, Chronicle Books (San Francisco, CA), 2005.
SIDELIGHTS: Michael Chiarello has owned restaurants, created a line of gourmet foods, and hosted his own cooking shows on television. Sharing his insight and the secrets of his recipes in a handful of cookbooks, he premiered with two books dealing with flavored oils and vinegars. Chiarello told CA: "I wrote Flavored Oils: 50 Recipes for Cooking with Infused Oils simply to inspire people to cook. I wanted to take food down from its pedestal so people can understand it, hold it in their hands, and enjoy in their own homes the creativity that a chef has with his food. I wanted to share some of my passions about cooking and, more importantly, explain how a recipe is conceived and how it can be adapted by the home cook and entered into a permanent repertoire of cooking."
A Publishers Weekly contributor called Flavored Oils a "festive book" and noted that the author provides "simple and clear recipes."
The author also told CA: "Over the years we have created a number of food products at my restaurant, Tra Vigne, to take some of the difficulty out of creating food that has creative flair. Many of these products became part of a line that I created for Napa Valley Kitchens; six different infused oils named Consorzio, a line of flavored vinegars called Vignette, and a line of risotto mixes named Tavalozza. All of these products were created to bring convenience to the home cook."
In The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in the California Wine Country, the author provides a series of recipes from the restaurant, which he organizes by seasons. Joanne Charles, writing in American Salon, called the book "an excellent guide." San Francisco Chronicle contributor Nicholas Bundy noted, "In the book, Chiarello draws on his sumptuous culinary heritage … to create a distinctive cuisine that is rich with tradition and seasonality."
Chiarello presents more recipes in Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking: Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends—A Napastyle Cookbook. Writing in Publishers Weekly, a reviewer commented that the book is "as much a pleasure to page through as it is to cook from." In At Home with Michael Chiarello: Easy Entertaining, Recipes, Ideas, Inspiration, the author outlines many recipes from his Food Network show Easy Entertaining with Michael Chiarello. A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that it is a book "sure to make even cooks who are apprehensive about hosting a party keen to try."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
American Salon, November, 2000, Joanne Charles, review of The Tra Vigne Cookbook: Seasons in the California Wine Country, p. 50.
Business Week, December 6, 1999, review of The Tra Vigne Cookbook, p. 152.
Catalog Age, June, 2001, Thom Weidlich, "Napa Valley Dreaming," includes discussion of author's company NapaStyle, Inc., p. E4.
Nation's Restaurant News, November 6, 2000, Bret Thorn, "Michael Chiarello: Taking the Media by Storm NapaStyle, Season by Season," profile of author, p. 38.
Publishers Weekly, April 17, 1995, review of Flavored Oils: 50 Recipes for Cooking with Infused Oils, p. 50; July 1, 2002, review of Michael Chiarello's Casual Cooking: Wine Country Recipes for Family and Friends—A Napastyle Cookbook, p. 50; September 19, 2005, review of At Home with Michael Chiarello: Easy Entertaining, Recipes, Ideas, Inspiration, p. 61.
San Francisco Chronicle, January 5, 2000, Nicholas Bundy, review of The Tra Vigne Cookbook, p. 7; April 5, 2000, Janet Fletcher, "Done to a Turn / St. Helena Chef Chiarello Creates a Style-Packed Retreat," p. 1.
Vegetarian Times, September, 2000, "Someone's in the Kitchen with Michael Chiarello," profile of author and recipes, p. 46.
Michael Chiarello Home Page, http://www.napastyle.com (January 27, 2006).