San Francisco Social Diary: Festival del Sole – Napa Valley Part III

In 2013, the annual Festival del Sole once again drew artists and audiences to the Napa Valley with unique venues and a tradition of vintner hospitality.

FESTIVAL DEL SOLE – NAPA VALLEY PART III

The annual ten-day Festival del Sole celebrates the fine arts in life, including music, dance, visual art, culinary arts, and wine making, with spectacular events held throughout the Napa Valley.

Part I and Part II of my coverage describe some of the food, music, and wine events. The story continues:


DARIOUSH WINERY: CELEBRATING PERSIAN AND RUSSIAN DYNASTIES

Credit Shahpar and Darioush Khaledi and Tatiana and Gerret Copeland with the clever idea of highlighting the culture of two great dynasties, Persia and Russia, to create one of the most exotic of the Festival’s parties.

The lavish experience took place against the stunning architectural backdrop of the Darioush Winery. Its founder, Darioush Khaledi, was raised in the Shiraz region of Iran, and the building evokes the ancient city of Persepolis, the ceremonial capital of Iran (formerly Persia) from 550–330 BCE.

The entrance of the Darioush Winery, built of Persian straw travertine stone, is flanked by 18-foot columns topped with depictions of bulls.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Festival del Sole – Napa Valley Part II

In 2013, the annual Festival del Sole once again drew artists and audiences to the Napa Valley with unique venues and a tradition of vintner hospitality.

FESTIVAL DEL SOLE – NAPA VALLEY PART II

The annual ten-day Festival del Sole celebrates the fine arts in life, including music, dance, visual art, culinary arts, and wine making, with spectacular events held throughout the Napa Valley.

Part I of my coverage describes some of the food, music, and wine events. The story continues:

FESTIVAL GALA AT MEADOWOOD NAPA VALLEY

During the Festival del Sole, local vintners open their famed wine estates to guests, hosting fabulous soirees and meals prepared by local celebrity chefs and featuring local produce. Sunday Night was the Festival’s Annual Gala at St. Helena’s Meadowood Resort, a 250-acre private wooded estate.

Surrounded by meadows and rolling greens, with not a grape in sight, one guest said, “I feel that I’ve been transported some place other than Napa.” As he was intended to be: the party’s theme was “The Great Gatsby,” from the F. Scott Fitzgerald novel set on the coast of Long Island.

Meadowood Napa Valley is a luxury resort with golf, tennis, croquet, swimming, spa, and a three-star Michelin restaurant; many of the local vintners use it as their country club.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Festival del Sole – Napa Valley

Napa Valley celebrated its eighth annual Festival del Sole with a number of performances by the Russian National Orchestra, joined by a variety of high-profile soloists and conductors.

FESTIVAL DEL SOLE – NAPA VALLEY

Every July since 2006, the cognoscenti who enjoy music, food, wine, and culture have headed to Napa Valley’s Wine Country for the international Festival del Sole, an event The New York Times has very accurately dubbed “a feast for the senses.”

In the course of the ten-day festival, over 10,000 attendees enjoy a roster of international musicians, dancers, artists, and thespians in spectacular performances as well as exceptional culinary experiences with notable wines.

In 2013, the annual Festival del Sole once again drew artists and audiences to the Napa Valley with unique venues and a tradition of vintner hospitality.

For eight years, the Festival has offered not only a varied musical repertoire but also a diverse program of theater, opera, and dance.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Culinary Icon Cecilia Chiang at 94

Cecilia Chiang accepting her 2013 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award in New York City.

This has been a banner year for San Francisco culinary legend Cecilia Chiang, still gracious and energetic at 94. She received the 2013 James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in New York City and was the subject of the biographical documentary Soul of a Banquet, which premiered in San Francisco.

Often credited with introducing Americans to authentic Chinese cuisine and hailed as “the Julia Child of Chinese food” by chef Alice Waters, Chiang is the founder of legendary San Francisco Chinese restaurant The Mandarin, which remained under her stewardship from 1961 to 1991.

Cecilia Chiang with her son Philip Chiang, founder of the popular chain, P. F. Chang Chinese Bistro, at the James Beard Awards Ceremony.

Cecilia Chiang accepted her James Beard Lifetime Achievement Award in an authentic Qing-era red brocade qipao.

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Shanghai Social Diary: Chinese Cooking School

I’m always tempted by the local street food stalls in Shanghai.

Back from another extended stay in endlessly fascinating and ever-changing Shanghai, I’m posting another installment of some of the social, cultural, culinary, and travel highlights.


TRAVELING TO EAT

Travel is my passion. It’s a chance to experience other cultures, traditions, art, music, history—and especially food. I can’t think of a better way to get the flavor of a country than by sampling its cuisine.

From haute cuisine to street food, all around the globe I love the adventure of being introduced to unfamiliar dishes … well, not too unfamiliar. I don’t just love tasting everything, but also learning about the local markets, exotic ingredients, and indigenous cooking methods.

It’s fun to sample the many varieties of food and dishes.

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Shanghai Social Diary: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Visits China – Part II

The second half of the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s art tour of China featured stops at stunning historical sites, including the Summer Palace, where colorful dragon boats ferry tourists around a pagoda-dotted lake.

MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART SAN DIEGO VISITS CHINA – Part II

BEIJING—I was thrilled be part of the first trip to China with the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego’s (MCASD) Collectors Circle. The trip introduced members to the burgeoning art scenes in Beijing and Shanghai.

Having already written extensively about the Shanghai art scene, I reported on the Beijing leg of the tour for New York Social Diary. I have already filed a report on Part I of the ten-day trip. Part II was equally spectacular.

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Shanghai Social Diary: Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego Visits China – Part I

An outdoor sculpture by Wang Guangyi in the 798 Arts District in Beijing, one of many stops on an exclusive art tour of Shanghai and Beijing organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego.

BEIJING –When I learned the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) Collectors Circle was making its first trip to China so the members could acquaint themselves with the burgeoning art scenes in Shanghai and Beijing, I knew it would be the best of the best.

I’d once served on the Museum’s board, and I was living in Shanghai, so I offered to help. Since I’ve extensively covered the Shanghai art scene for New York Social Diary already, it was the Beijing leg of the tour I wanted to report on.

The well-honed trip included a dream schedule of meet-ups with top artists, visits to galleries and studios, and tours of historic sites and restaurants that could be the blueprint for any art lover’s visit.

This China trip was one of two annual excursions organized exclusively for the Collectors Circle, MCASD’s premier support group. Members enjoy access to a range of art institutions, attend private dinners and special events, and even get to vote on which works the Museum will acquire. Learn more at http://www.mcasd.org/join-give/collectors-circle.

The ten-day trip was too eventful to cover in a single story. So here’s the first of two parts.

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San Francisco Social Diary

From the de Young Museum’s blockbuster costume exhibit The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier: From the Sidewalk to the Catwalk, celebrating the Parisian enfant terrible of haute couture.

ANN AND GORDON GETTY HOST UCSF BENEFIT

Children’s laughter filled the Pacific Heights manse of philanthropists Ann and Gordon Getty at the annual Snuggly Soirée they co-hosted with friends Pam and Dr. Richard Glogau in March.

The event raised over $200,000 for the Glogau Teddy Bear Rescue Fund at the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Benioff Children’s Hospital.

The festoons of blue and white balloons hung from the front door gave a hint of what a good time was in store.

Ann and Gordon Getty hosted the benefit for the Glogau Teddy Bear Rescue Fund at the University of California San Francisco’s (UCSF) Children’s Hospital.

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San Francisco Social Diary: Spring Events

The Bay Area American Red Cross celebrated at Union Square. Here, Raghu Shivaram and Harry Denton mingle with a pair of San Francisco 49ers cheerleaders.

SEEING RED AT THE BAY AREA RED CROSS GALA

SAN FRANCISCO –– Everyone was seeing red (or wearing it!) at the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter Gala to fund disaster readiness and response efforts.

Some 580 guests, men in black tie and women in red gowns, as custom demands, partied in a clear tent under the stars. Co-chaired by Susan Atherton and Gwyneth Borden, the event put $615,000 into the organization’s coffers.

Joseph Saunders, Chairman and CEO of Visa Inc., was honored as the CEO Humanitarian of the Year.

Honoree Joseph Saunders, co-chair Gwyneth Borden, co-chair Susan Atherton, and Harold Brooks.

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Shanghai Social Diary: Dining in Shanghai

On the Sky Lounge Patio at the Shanghai restaurant Mr. & Mrs. Bund, guests can take in a breathtaking view of the skyline.

DIN TAI FUNG RESTAURANT

In China, a land of many traditions, I’ve created one of my own. Every time I return to Shanghai, I enjoy my first lunch at Din Tai Fung (DTF), a restaurant across the street from where I live in the Xintiandi neighborhood. I think of it as my kitchen, really, and I often return for a quick and delicious meal.

I always order the same Shanghai specialty—the divine soup dumplings called Xiao Long Bao (shall-long-bao): transparent dough wrapped around juicy pork or crab roe filling that yields a shot of tasty broth when you bite into it.

One of my favorites, the restaurant Din Tai Fung (DTF) is in the Xintiandi area, inside a modern shopping mall.

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