Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Holidays


Where does the time go? I can hardly believe that it is December already. And, like the months that preceded it, this one is packed full. We have a lot of beautiful new art for you to enjoy, our son Josh, graduates with his Master's degree from Florida State University, our daughter, Sarah, is coming for a visit and Christmas is only a few weeks away.

The cold and rain have arrived in northern California so I'm cooking up a storm of comfort food whenever I get the chance. Just the other night, I prepared a dozen beef short ribs using among other things, a bottle of Honig Wine Cabernet Sauvignon. Yumm!

More exciting news: We hired a new employee last month who is looking forward to meeting and working with all of you. Christine McMillan is from St Augustine, Florida and recently relocated to Napa with her family. She is proving to be a valuable addition to our team. Together with Shawn and myself we recently completed this year's holiday window display at the gallery. Lots of work and lots of fun. Like the art in the gallery, it is difficult to capture a really good image with a camera, but for those of you who can't make the trip to see the windows in person without the replections, here is a glimpse into our "Vintage Christmas."

I am still struggling to find enough time to post here on a more regular basis, so if I don't get the chance in the next few weeks, (our schedule is packed), I want to wish you and yours a spectacular holiday season filled with joy, laughter, good friends, amazing food & wine, and of course, the finest Romantic Realism.

Happy Holidays My Friends!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Everything

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Well, it is for me anyway. The first pumpkin sighting of the season always makes me smile, giggle like a little girl and gets my creative juices flowing. I LOVE pumpkins. I love the way they look, the way they taste and the way they make me feel. Combine that with cooler weather, fall foliage, hot beverages (pumpkin lattes come to mind), and lots of comfort food and you have my favorite season of the year.

Pumpkin is so versatile. You can stuff it, (see my recipe for savory stuffed pumpkins), make pumpkin bread, cookies, currys, soups, cake, gnocci, pasta and so much more!

In addition to decorating the house with this colorful seasonal fruit, I will be cooking up as many pumpkin recipes as I can find time to do over the next few weeks. Pumpkin muffins graced our breakfast table this week as well as the palates of a few of my friends this week. While I enjoy and prefer cooking with fresh pumpkin, I had some canned pumpkin in the cabinet that is perfect and a lot faster for morning baking.

Pumpkin Muffins

1 14 oz. can pumpkin

3/4 cup white sugar

1 egg beaten

1/3 cup melted unsalted butter

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1 1/2 cups flour

raisins (optional)

nuts (optional)

toasted pumpkin seeds

Whisk the pumpkin, sugar, egg and butter together. In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking soda, baking powder, salt and flour. Stir the wet and dry ingredients together. Do not over stir. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds. For this batch, I used honey roasted sunflower seeds instead, because it's what I had in the pantry. Bake in a 350 degree oven for approximately 20 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. This recipe makes approximately 12 large muffins.

Serve warm, with or without a bit of butter or softened cream cheese. Leftover muffins (if you have any) can be stored in an airtight container. The flavors are often even more intense the next day.

Check out "Pumpkin Fesitval" at Quent Cordair Fine Art by Dale Momii. I really think this painting should be hanging in my kitchen.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Good Times with Good Food, Good Wine & Good People

Sunday night was an evening filled with food, friends, fun and yes, soup! Thanks to Chef Robin White's brilliant idea to have a world-wide virtual soup tasting, aka #soupweek, we spent a lovely evening with great friends by the fire on the patio, while we enjoyed among other things, some delicious carrot-ginger soup that I made from one of Robin's recipes. Sure, Robin's picture see below) looks better than mine, but we were so excited to eat the soup that we stirred in the garnishes before we took the pictures. ;-)

We paired the soup with two Napa Valley wines. Cynthia Cosco and Margo brought Cynthia's bright and beautiful unoaked 2009 Passaggio New Generation Chardonnay. Marissa Holmer and Chris Foster brought an abundantly fresh and fruity 2009 Goosecross Viognier. Both wines went very well with the soup, a beautiful salad prepared by Deidre Bourdet, a sumptuous cheese plate brought by Michael and Christine McMillan as well as some very sexy chevre-stuffed figs and chevre and orange corn muffins made by yours truly. With all the fuss about #SoupWeek, dessert seemed to take a back seat, but several spoons, a pint of vanilla ice-cream and some figs turned out to provide the perfect ending. Yes, life is very good - especially in Napa!


What does any of this have to do with art? Everything! We would not have met any of these wonderful people, had it not been for our having moved the gallery to Napa in 2008. Here's to life's tasty choices.

If your a foodie and you love art, check out some of the paintings on our website by Alfredo Gomez, Dale Momii and Jerry Rough. Some of their paintings are sure to have you thinking about that next wonderful bite.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Are You Ready for Soup Week?

Where do you find comfort? Is it in a nice cozy pair of slippers, on your favorite chair, while cradling your favorite book in your hands? What if you added being in the presence of your favorite piece of art while enjoying a bowl of home made soup? Now that's what I call comfort!

“Soup Week” is an online event and it's almost here. For 8 consecutive nights, (October 2nd – 9th) Chef Robin White will host a LIVE twitter conversation around her original soup recipes and wine pairings. I am honored to have been asked to be a sponsor of what promises to be a fun and well attended virtual event. As one of Chef Robin's foodie and Twitter friends, I've been given Sunday, October 3 and will be preparing her Fresh & Local Carrot with a Ginger Creama.

I'm going to invite a few of my Twitter pals over to celebrate, to help eat the soup and to Tweet about our soup and wine pairing experience. Now all I have to do is round up the ingredients and do her recipe justice.













Here is the Soup Week line up:

Saturday, Oct. 2 – @thedailybasics | www.thedailybasics.com
“Jutta’s Elegant Chicken Soup” with Mango Curry Cream

Sunday, Oct. 3 – @CordairGallery | www.cordair.com
Fresh & Local Carrot with a Ginger Creama

Monday, Oct. 4 –@smalllotsbigwine | www.smalllotsbigwines.com
Lentil Rustica

Tuesday, Oct. 5 –@gimmeMoreWine | www.gimmemorewine.com
Authentic Sicilian Swordfish Stew

Wednesday, Oct. 6 — @NatalieMacLean | www.natdecants.com
Vegetarian Black Bean with Lime
Serve with Syrah

Thursday, Oct. 7 – @BostonWineDiva | www.cocktailsforeveryone.com
Sexy Six Mushroom Soup

Friday, Oct. 8 — @MyFoodThoughts | www.athoughtforfood.net
Chef Robin’s Law New England Clam Chowder

Saturday, Oct. 9 – @Passagio | www.passagiowines.com
Roasted Butternut Squash and Grilled Corn Chowder

Meet us online every night at 8pm Eastern and use the Hashtag #SoupWeek if you are Tweeting with us. Bring up our website and enjoy the art too. Why should we have all the fun?

Chef Robin's recipes will be available on her web site and I will post the Fresh & Local Carrot with Ginger Creama recipe here on Sunday.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

My Other Passion

All work and no play makes me, well shall we say, a little cranky. So I am going to do something about it. If you know me, you know I love food and wine. When I originally started this blog, I managed to get a little food blogging in here and there, but the landlord likes to receive a monthly check, so I spent much more of my time focusing on the gallery. Oh, I'll still blog about my "Galt's Gulch," but I am also going to tease you with some of the yummy things that please me. After all, I do live in one of the most wonderful food and wine destinations in the world. Why shouldn't you benefit from that too? Some of the posts will feature my culinary creations, while others will be about my culinary experiences that were prepared by others.

We're going to kick things off this week with one of my favorite new places in downtown Napa, Dim Sum Charlies. Sure, we have plenty of places where you can go to enjoy a decadent meal, complimented by some of Napa Valley's finest fermented nectar and a bill that will set you back a few bills. But what we really needed was a Dim Sum Truck. Yes, I said Dim Sum Truck. Technically it's an airstream trailer, but you get the idea and so do these guys. Clayton and Andrew have delivered an Indian Summer gift to those of us who enjoy this traditional preparation of Chinese food consisting of a variety of items usually steamed and served in small portions.

I have to admit, I've already been there several times and made it through most of the menu. Everything is wonderful. I'm even the current mayor on Four Square. We'll see how long that lasts.


In honor of their arrival, I've even thrown together a last-minute, Dutch-treat party at their place. It's Thursday night and everyone is invited. What a great way to welcome Dim Sum Charlie's to the neighborhood. It's BYOB, so grab a bottle of your favorite liquid refreshment and RSVP so the guys will prepare plenty of food.



The lovely pictures are courtesy of my good friend and fellow foodie Deirdre Bourdet, aka @HedonismInk, who had the good sense to go during the day when the sun was out. If you are passionate about food, be sure to follow her blog too. Now she's a foodie!

Stay tuned for more food, more art and more fun. Remember there are no calories in the written word. I'll enjoy those for you too!

Better Late Than Never

After years, yes years, of Quent cajoling me to do so, I have finally completed and posted the first in a series of videos for the gallery. Why did it take so long you ask? It was mainly a time and know-how issue, and the fact that I wasn't ready to spring for the software. Then, low and behold, thanks to my assistant Karen, I found out that I already had adequate software that came pre-loaded on my laptop. Duh! The frosting on the cupcake? Karen knew how to use it. The result, no more excuses. I found myself being catapulted into the 21st century - no kicking, no screaming.

So without further adieu, I bring you the first video sneak peek into our wonderful sunlit world. Enjoy!



Stay tuned for the next installment. It's no where near as wonderful as being in the physical gallery, but we hope it will enhance your experience with us and maybe even tempt you to come for a visit.

Mean while, our virtual doors are always open and the welcome mat is always out.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A Peek Inside

We understand that not everyone can make it to Napa to experience the gallery, so we are working on some visual treats for you. The next gallery update will feature the first of our new video series. We will be creating videos that are mini tours of the gallery's interior, as well as videos that focus on individual artists and their work. They will be posted in our gallery updates, on Twitter and on our Facebook page. Until then, I will treat you to a picture one small corner of our 3600 square foot gallery; an amuse-bouche. Maybe these lovely images will tempt you to come visit us in wine country. We would love for you to come stay and play with us. Our friends in the wine industry would love to meet you and treat you to some of what they do best and our friends in the hotel industry will gladly extend a "Cordair" discount to you. Let us know if you are headed our way and we will make sure you have a wonderful Napa experience.

It us easy to keep in touch with us. You can check out new arrivals in the gallery, sign up for our gallery updates and send us the occasional e-mail to let us know how we can assist you.

Most importantly, if you enjoy our collection of Romantic Realism, share us with a friend. You'll both be glad you did!

Check back for more images, videos, random thoughts and yes, I will eventually get beck to the recipes. Life is keeping me very busy these days. :)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bubbles Galore!

It doesn't get any better than sharing the art with our friends and fans. Our monthly social media events bring in an average of 100 people each month who enjoy celebrating life with art and wine. Last month's event was all about bubbles. We enjoyed tasting sparkling wines from all over northern California as well as some from as far away as South Africa.
video The AVIA Hotel in downtown Napa provided some delicious appetizers to pair with the wine. Needless to say, a good time was had by all!

Join us for our next social media event on August 12, 2010 where we will be celebrating Pinot Noir. http://twtvite.com/CelebratePinotNoir

Saturday, July 10, 2010

We Won & It's All Thanks To You!

We have been named Best Wine Country Art Gallery by the San Francisco Chronicle. Our thanks to everyone who voted for us.

I can hardly believe that we have been in Napa for two years already. We celebrated our two year anniversary with an amazing fireworks display at Louis Martini Vineyards. No, the fireworks weren't just for us, our Napa anniversary happens to fall on July 4th. And yes, that was completely intentional. It is so much fun to commemorate the birth of our country each year with our decision to relocate to Wine Country.

Now that we have 3600 square feet to display the art in, we are hosting even more events in the gallery. Among them is our Summer Nights Wine Tastings. Every Friday & Saturday night from 6-9pm we have a different winery pouring complimentary tastes of their pride and joy. We have also become one of the places downtown for Social Media events. Each month we host a TweetUp that celebrates a different kind of wine. This month we are celebrating sparkling wine with a BubbleUp Tweetup. Of course, we still make the gallery available for private events and by private appointment.

So, what are you waiting for? Get out here and celebrate life with us. You'll be surrounded with some of the finest art, wonderful people and great wine. That's about as good as it gets!

Let me know if you need any assistance with your travel arrangements. We have lots of friends in the valley who would love to meet you.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Don't forget to vote for us; there are only a few days left!


We're still in first place but another gallery is hot on our tail. You can guarantee that our gallery gets the recognition that it deserves by casting you vote today! http://baylist.sfgate.com/quent-cordair-fine-art/biz/413758/contest


And, there will be a great big "Thank You" in it for you too!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Art, Wine & Fun

One of the many things that they know how to do well in the Napa Valley is celebrate life! That's why living and relocating the gallery here was such a good idea. It is truly a perfect fit.

Last summer a friend convinced me to try Twitter. With my hands already full, I argued that I really did not need anything else in my life that was going to take precious time away from what was already a very full plate. "Just try it" was but the beginning. I tried it and I liked it; very much! What a wonderful way to "reach out and touch someone." Many of you are too young (I can't believe I said that) to remember the old telephone jingle "Reach out, reach out and touch someone." One tweet led to another and then to another and now I have "Tweeted" over 4000 times! Often it is about the gallery but sometimes it is just a random comment about what I am up to, where I am going or a reply to another user's tweet. Every day I tweet at least one work of art as the "Art Du Jour" QCFA style, an uplifting new arrival in the gallery and sometimes an old favorite.

Tweeting eventually led to TweetUps which are social media events where those who tweet can get together, meet, socialize & promote their businesses. What do most people in the Napa Valley tweet about? Wine of course! What goes great with wine? Art! I noticed these TweetUps being held around the valley and thought it would be fun to have one in the gallery. I did and it was! So much so, that we have now had four of these social media events in the gallery, with each one bringing in around 100 guests. Each month we feature a particular kind of wine at the event. Our last TweetUp was held on May 6 and was all about Chardonnay. Everyone brought with them at least one bottle of Chardonnay to share and tweet about while surrounded by the largest and best art collection in the Napa Valley. Can you say fun? Next month's event is Jun 9 and the theme is Celebrate Rose'.

If you think you might enjoy following my posts, follow me @CordairGallery. And if you are tweeting in our area, here is an invitation to our next TweetUp. http://twtvite.com/CelebrateRose Cheers!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Best Wine Country Art Gallery - Vote For Us, Our Artists and Our Beautiful Gallery

Moving to Napa was one of the smartest things we've ever done. What a wonderful place. We have made some wonderful friends, created an amazing gallery space and feel more and more at home every day.

Our efforts to be the best and most beautiful art gallery in Napa have not gone unnoticed. The San Francisco Chronicle has an annual "Best of" contest and we have been nominated for Best Wine Country Art Gallery. We are currently in first place and would really love to stay there. You can vote for us too at http://baylist.sfgate.com/quent-cordair-fine-art/biz/413758.

There is a great comment section under the ballot too. Feel free to sing our praises there and copy and paste them as comments here on the blog if you're so inclined. We'll just love you even more for it. ;-)

Cheers!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Our Artists Continue To Make Us Proud






















We have wonderful news! Two of our artists have been recognized by the Art Renewal Center for their beautiful work. Karl Jensen for his sculpture Unbound and Bryan Larsen for his painting Contrast.


Unbound
was awarded first place in the Art Renewal Center's 6th International Salon competition. This wonderful 45" bronze sculpture is a limited-edition of only 50 castings. Order yours before they "break the mold."

Contrast was named as a finalist in the oil painting category . The painting is a 18" x 30" oil on linen that has been custom framed by the artist. It would be a lovely addition to a home or office.
Since this is an original, we will be happy to reserve "her" for the first person who places a deposit on the painting.

The Art Renewal Center strives to provide impetus for the reestablishment of high standards of performance in the visual arts of painting, drawing, and sculpture, and to promote the concept of recognizable quality as a primary criterion for the judgment of Fine Art. The ARC also works to promote a return of training, standards and excellence in the visual arts and to advance the understanding that great art begins with great themes and expresses them poetically through mastery of all aspects of technique.

Congratulations gentlemen! Quent Cordair Fine Art is proud to represent you.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Finishing Touches!


It took a while, but it was worth the wait. Our new logos have been installed on the exterior of the gallery. Created by the one and only Quent Cordair, our beautiful friend anchors the gallery name and adds a touch of elegance to our downtown Napa location.

With her face up-stretched, she warms herself in the Napa sun and sets a tone for the lovely art to be found inside. Nothing abstract, nothing impressionistic, just uplifting & inspirational, life-affirming art. Romantic Realism at its very best!

The signs were created by one of our new Napa friends and gallery enthusiasts, Toby Gewertz. Toby owns MetalFormz, www.metalformz.com, in Napa and specializes in metal design & fabrication for both commercial & residential use.

Our gallery is located on a busy corner in downtown Napa. Having the signage complete on both sides of the building should help us attract the attention of passers by, both on foot and by car. I think it looks great and I am very happy to have made another positive step towards becoming a landmark in our new Napa Valley home.

Next step, better lighting for our exterior signage! :) Stay tuned.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Springing Forth with New Ideas

The rains have ceased for the most part and the Napa Valley is bright with the color of mustard blossoms. Bud breaks are beginning to appear on what were dormant vines and the tourists are returning to help us drink the many barrels of wine that have been patiently aging in cool dark places. Someone pinch me; I live in Napa!

See what I mean? This beautiful picture was taken by one of my new Napa friends, Bob McClenahan. He is a very talented photographer and fellow wine enthusiast. Check out some of his favorite shots on his web site.

Yes it's true. As you can tell by a lack of recent posts, I have been cheating on my blog by experimenting with some other forms of social media these days. (blush) As you know, we are always looking for more ways to tell the world about our amazing gallery and the wonderfully talented artists that we represent. In an effort to find those who share our passion, I spend a considerable amount of time on line researching various forms of marketing and advertising possibilities. In spite of being encouraged by several web savvy friends, I swore off Twitter for the longest time. I finally succumbed to the peer pressure and now I find myself completely immersed in this, the most recent phenomenon in social media. Armed with my laptop or my iPhone, I am now in near constant touch with people near and far, sharing thoughts, ideas and marketing strategies.

Follow & be followed is the primary premise. Read 140 character or less quips by people you find interesting, follow news, see what your friends are up to etc. On the flip side you can post comments, share thoughts, keep track of your friends, promote your business and so on. So far I have posted nearly 2300 times. Who knew I had so much to say? lol

We have hosted some very successful Twitter events (Tweetups) in the gallery, with plans for more. The next one is scheduled for April 1. We expect around 100 people from all over the Napa Valley to attend. They will be here to meet their fellow Tweeps, network, drink wine and of course, enjoy the art. If you're close by, a Tweeter and would like to attend, here is the invitation. The event promises to be a lot of fun.

You can follow me on Twitter via CordairGallery. If you're already a friend and/or interesting, chances are that I will follow you back. I have made a lot of wonderful new friends since venturing into Twitter land and have found some new art customers too.

Here's to social media and to spreading the word about our sunlit world. Cheers! >clink<