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Dining and Dashing

If Chef Cindy Pawlcyn ever slows down, she might just find time to enjoy the sweet smell of success.



On a warm afternoon in June, chef Cindy Pawlcyn, her crew, and hundreds of their best friends celebrated the 25th anniversary of Napa Valley’s iconic Mustards Grill with a fête featuring fresh oysters, grilled meats, live music, and fine wines—some poured by the winemakers themselves in the shade of a flotilla of white market umbrellas. Twenty-five years in one place is quite an accomplishment for the restless Pawlcyn, who seems to launch a new project every 25 minutes, and who’s been so busy this year that she barely had time to attend her own soirée. Only weeks earlier, she was in Minnesota getting married to John Watanabe at the home of her nearly-90-year-old mother, then flying off to New York to cook at a James Beard Award event. Two days after the Mustards celebration, she set sail on a two-week Mediterranean cruise. The honeymoon of course ended up being half romance, half research. “It was quite the adventure,” she reports. “I visited markets in every town. On Corsica, they make delicious salami from donkeys, goats, or wild boars. The people were so sweet and friendly and they love to talk to people about their food.”

A chef since her teenage years, Pawlcyn has written three cookbooks, helped create such Bay Area dining icons as Fog City Diner, Bix, and Tra Vigne, and in addition to Mustards, is the owner of Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen and Go Fish in St. Helena. And she’s not done yet. “I’d love to open an inexpensive place for breakfast,” she says. She didn’t have time to explain. She was heading out the door for a week of cooking for winemakers in Colorado. “What threw me for a loop was that I’ll be cooking at 9,500 feet,” she mused. “It’ll be interesting to see if my biscuits cook. It’s a new adventure every day!”
 

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Final Twist

Festival Napa Valley 2016

Weill’s Season Opening Gala

The opening of Weill Hall’s fourth season was celebrated with a festive cocktail reception at Prelude Restaurant

Napa Valley Film Festival

The third annual, four-day extravaganza wowed locals and visitors with celebrity appearances, red-carpet screenings, a VIP gala at Copia, and a grand finale awards ceremony at the Uptown Theatre

Ninth Annual Pigs and Pinot

Held at the Hotel Healdsburg and Dry Creek Kitchen, the extravaganza drew pork and pinot enthusiasts from near and far.

Power Duos

Meet a few of Wine Country’s most impressive teams of two, from father-and-son wine-making duos to smitten sommeliers.

Giant Steps Charity Classic

Grgich 90th Birthday Gala

Friends, family, and wine club members gathered at Grgich Hills Estate Winery for a private dinner to toast Miljenko “Mike” Grgich’s 90th birthday

Designing Organic

A Napa Valley couple design the home of their dreams by blending indoors and out.

New in St. Helena

Always a center of style and deliciousness, St. Helena has added to its riches.

Green Music Center Fall Opening Gala

Classical music aficionados flocked to Weill Hall at Sonoma State University to hear a concert featuring soprano Renée Fleming, with dinner prepared by celebrity chef Charlie Palmer

Patterns of Light and Movement

Two San Francisco architects use texture and light to create a modern vineyard retreat.
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