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By Liam Mayclem, the KCBS Foodie Chap
Chef Owners Mauro and Nancy Pando opened their “Global Kitchen” Grace’s Table, Napa in 2009 . The focus is on comfort foods from many heritages of our collective American Table.
While both Pando’s are chefs in their fields, they have also found themselves honoring diversity through food and a comfortable approach to service and hospitality in the community.
“Being a chef is hard, fun and fulfilling. I would not have it any other way. You are after all only as good as your last dish!”
– Chef Mauro Pando, Owner
In Mauro’s career, he established himself as a quick study of a myriad of cuisines, grounding himself in their historical and technical aspects, while tapping into the soul of each. He creates menus at once authentic, yet thoughtful and fresh.
He has most recently come out of the kitchens as Executive Chef of The Grand Cafe, S.F. a Classic French Brasserie, Red Star Tavern and Roast House, Portland Or. a regional American tavern. Prior to his stint in Portland, Mauro served as Chef de Cuisine at Scala’s Bistro, with a strong Italian and country French background. Earlier in his career he served as the opening team and Executive Chef for Reed Hearon’s Restaurant LuLu, S.F. Italian/French Riviera food and cooked alongside Bradly Ogden in the early years of Lark Creek Inn, an American regional restaurant.
With Pando’s background in his fine dining career that spans the globe, so does his personal and family background. His extensive travels through Europe and South America brought his understandings of authentic cuisine to a palatable honesty. His family’s background from Argentina and Peru has landed some very authentic dishes onto his approach to a Global Kitchen.
While figuring out what this new space needed, the Pandos felt as if they were birthing yet another child to be embraced. With all of their passion for food, history and the world the restaurant was born. With the feeling of “Grace” and simplicity in their lives, while honoring their past, they felt the need to represent all of who they are by bringing together the authentic American Table. One filled with memories of their past and history with contemporary sensibilities to sustain a changing world. With flavors from around the world Grace’s Table was born.
To dine at Grace’s Table is to pull up a chair, break bread at a family gathering and enjoy global cuisine and world class wines. The downtown Napa restaurant is enjoyed by locals as well as visitors and all are served with the warmth and hospitality extended always by Mauro and wife Nancy.
Mauro has been a fond friend for many years and it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to him, his family and his stunning global cuisine.
Enjoy the podcast and be sure to try the recipe for his delicious Frogmore stew.
Frogmore Stew is considered a classic Low Country South Carolina dish. This dish is also known as Low-Country boil and Beaufort Stew. The dish gets its name from a place that has only a post office on one side of the road and a two-story white country store on the other. Frogmore is the mailing address for the residents of St. Helena Island just off the South Carolina coast.
2# White Fish Bones
1 ea Onion, Peeled and Quartered
5 ea Garlic Cloves-crushed
2 ea Lemon- cut in Half
3 Tbl Old Bay Seasoning
2 cups Amber Ale Beer
5 ea Bay Leaf
1 Tbl Tabasco
1 Tbl Worcestershire Sauce
Water – enough to cover by 4 inches
Put all the ingredients into a pot together, bring to a simmer for 40 Minutes, strain through a fine strainer and chill.
Frogmore Stew Procedure
24 ea Carolina White Prawns (5-6 prawns per person)
12 pcs Corn Wheels-cut in 1.5 inch wheels-Blanched
30 pcs Andouille Sausage-split in half, half inch wide cut
1.5 cups Mixed Color Peppers- large dice of mixed color bell peppers
1 Tbl Chopped Garlic-chopped
½ cup Sweet Onion-Large dice
1 bu. Green Onion- chopped
½ bunch Cilantro
2 cups Frogmore Stock
3 Tbl Butter
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbl Old Bay Seasoning
7 ea Fingerling Potatoes-sliced and blanched
2 Tbl Canola Oil
In a large hot skillet start to brown the potatoes slightly, add the peppers, onion, garlic and prawns. Saute for1 minute, add the old bay seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to sauté for 30 more seconds. Add the Frogmore stock, butter, extra virgin oil, corn wheels and Andouille sausage. Bring to a simmer for a few minutes until the shrimp is done and the sauce is emulsified slightly with the oils. Add the green onions. Pour out onto a platter and garnish with cilantro leaves and a dusting of old bay seasoning.
1400 Second Street
Napa, CA 94559
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