Friday, February 24, 2012
Friday, February 17, 2012
Friday, February 10, 2012
Chef Azmin Ghahreman is a citizen of the world. Born in Iran, educated in Switzerland, having lived and worked all over the world. Over the last 20 years, this widely-traveled industry star has immersed himself in the cooking styles and cuisines of: classic and nouvelle French; Mediterranean, Hawaiian Pacific Rim, Asian, Middle Eastern, Modern Australian, American Southwest and American Pacific Coast/California.
He now calls Southern California his home and base for his various culinary projects which have been lauded by guests, customers and media from far and near. In fact,OCMETRO BUSINESS listed Ghahreman as one of the “2007 Hottest 25 People in Orange County” and dubbed him ‘rock star chef’.
He is an actively involved with local school efforts to educate children about healthy and sustainable foods, as well as a supporter for cause-related organizations, including The March of Dimes; Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation; National Kidney Foundation; Miracles for Kids, and the AIDS Foundation.
This 47-year-old resident of San Juan Capistrano shares his life and culinary passions with his wife and their three young children. His hobbies are very much related to his profession and include gardening, everything about wine, learning more about the worlds of spices and cheese.
Martin Diedrich - Kéan Coffee
Martin Diedrich grew up in Guatemala where his family owned a small coffee farm. In 1983, Martin left behind a blossoming career in Mayan archeology and came to Costa Mesa to help his parents with their small custom coffee roastery. During that year his vision emerged to create community meeting places where folks could gather and enjoy his family's high quality coffee. He founded the first Diedrich Coffee coffeehouse in Costa Mesa in 1984. Under Martin's direction, Diedrich Coffee grew to nearly a dozen locations over the next ten years and earned the reputation as "The Best Coffeehouses in Orange County". These original coffeehouses were exciting, creative hives of activity and the most popular gathering places in their respective neighborhoods.
In September of 1996, Diedrich Coffee went public. Within a few years there were more than 30 Diedrich Coffeehouses in California, Colorado and Texas. Martin Diedrich is now considered one of the pioneers of the coffeehouse phenomenon. Martin has been a Master Roaster for 21 years and is an internationally recognized coffee expert. In 2005 Martin was presented with the Specialty Coffee Association's Lifetime Achievement Award an award only bestowed on a handful of other individuals, including, Alfred Peet the founder of Peet's Coffee, Jerry Baldwin the founder of Starbuck's, George Howell the founder of Coffee Connection in Boston, Dr. Illy the family patriarch of the Illy Coffee.
In June of 2004, Martin resigned his position at Diedrich Coffee, and began to manifest a new vision: a state-of-the-art, cutting edge coffeehouse that would bring back the community feeling, coffee connoisseurship, and cultural atmosphere of his early Diedrich coffeehouses, as well as embrace his ideal that businesses should model community and global responsibility and awareness, both environmental and cultural. In December of 2005, Martin and Karen Varese Diedrich opened the doors of Kéan Coffee in Newport Beach, California. Named for their only son, Kean, Kéan Coffee is just a stones throw from the first location where Martin had originally joined his parents Carl and Inga. Kéan Coffee has already developed a loyal following of customers with its high quality artisan coffees fresh roasted onsite daily by Martin himself, in a world-class roaster built and manufactured by his brother Stephan Diedrich in Sandpoint Idaho. Through Kéan Coffee, Martin Diedrich is taking his community coffeehouse vision to the next level.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Dan Karlsen - Winemaker and GM Talbott Vineyards
Dan Karlsen is a renowned Chardonnay and Pinot Noir specialist, who brings three decades of winemaking, viticultural and management experience to his role as winemaker and general manager for Talbott Vineyards. Guiding the winery’s dedicated team, Dan champions a meticulous approach to farming, designed to coax the full potential from Talbott’s storied estate vineyards. In the winery, he combines technical skill and know-how with intuitiveness and artisan techniques to create benchmark Monterey County wines—wines that embody the lush elegance of Santa Lucia Highlands’ Sleepy Hollow Vineyard, and the compelling purity of Carmel Valley’s Diamond T Estate.
As the winemaker and general manager for Talbott, Dan’s passion for estate viticulture has helped to usher in a new era for Talbott’s legendary vineyards. From his belief in sustainable practices to a focus on meticulous pruning and vine homogeneity, Dan champions a vineyard-first approach to winemaking. In the winery, his comprehensive knowledge of both Old World and modern winemaking techniques has inspired a renaissance for the Talbott winemaking program. By emphasizing whole cluster pressing and cross-flow filtration for the Chardonnays, and warmer fermentations, punch downs and select amounts of new French oak for the Pinot Noirs, Dan is guiding a subtle stylistic evolution for Talbott—crafting wines that fuse the grace of cool-climate viticulture with the ripe, vibrant appeal of great California winemaking.