Sunday, June 28, 2009
We don't often see temperatures like that so air-conditioning is not needed most of the year. This weekend was definitely an exception.
I think what we should have done was found some wonderfully cold bubble like the ones in Thomas Arvid's painting "Something Worth Celebrating." Just looking at this wonderful work of art makes me feel cooler already. :) Offered as a limited-edition canvas print, signed and numbered by the artist, this affordable luxury will serve as a constant reminder to celebrate the good times and enjoy life!
We have so much to celebrate. Our lives, our families, our beautiful gallery and you, our adoring fans. ;)
We'll be announcing a new artist very soon, so keep checking our New Art page or sign up to receive our monthly gallery newsletter via secure e-mail.
Our gallery continues to grow and bring you the best in Romantic Realism. Drop us a line and let us know who your favorite artists are; we'd love to hear from you. Write to us: art (at) cordair.com
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Ok, it has been a while since I posted a tasty temptation. Those who know me well are quite familiar with my love of comfort food. Here's one of my favorite recipes for when you want something really decadent. Paired with a nice beef fillet and a beautiful side salad, this dish never disappoints. Great for company or complete self indulgence and definitely not on the Weight Watcher's menu. ;)
Roasted Asparagus and Red Pepper Lasagna
Serves 6 to 8
- 1-1/2 lbs. fresh asparagus
- 1 large red pepper
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil or neutral oil such as canola of safflower
- Salt and pepper
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/3 cup flour
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 8oz of goat cheese
- Salt, to taste
- 3 or 4 large fresh lasagna noodles or parboiled regular lasagna noodles (no boil lasagna noodles work too, but I soak them in water for 15 minutes first)
- 1 packed cup grated mozzarella cheese (about 4 oz.)
- 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Trim woody ends from asparagus and discard. Cut asparagus spears into 2” lengths. Toss with olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Lightly brush red pepper with olive oil.
- Spread asparagus pieces on a baking sheet in one layer. Lay red pepper on rack next to baking sheet. Roast in the oven for 12 minutes, until vegetables are just beginning to soften. Remove from the oven and let them cool slightly. Peel and seed red pepper, then cut into 2" lengths.
- While asparagus and peppers are roasting, prepare sauce. In a large saucepan, heat butter on medium heat until fully melted and beginning to bubble slightly. Add flour and whisk briskly until incorporated into butter.
- Cook butter and flour mixture for about 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, whisking constantly. As the mixture begins to thicken slightly (about 2 minutes), add the goat cheese and the heavy cream. Continue to stir sauce until smooth.
- Season with salt to taste. Remove sauce from the heat.
- In a dish approximately 9” X 12” X 3”, spread 1/3 of the roasted asparagus spears evenly on the bottom. Drizzle 1/3 of the sauce over asparagus, top with 1/4 of the parmesean cheese and 1/4 of red pepper strips. Top with a layer of fresh lasagna noodles, cut to fit the pan.
- Repeat the layers: asparagus, peppers, sauce parmesean and noodles, asparagus, peppers, sauce. Make sure the final layer is sauce. Top with shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses.
- Bake at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
- To serve: let the lasagna cool for about 20 minutes. Use a very sharp knife to slice through the asparagus. Accompany with a salad and crusty bread.
If you’ve been considering a visit to see us in Napa, we’re pleased to entice you with a special partnership we’ve developed with the new AVIA Hotel – opening July 1 – just 1 block from the gallery. AVIA is downtown Napa’s newest retreat and is pleased to offer guests of the gallery 20 percent off their best available rates and a host of other benefits. This boutique hotel combines understated elegance with the enthusiasm of a local host – eager to share savvy local connections and the best of Napa Valley.
Ornate, wrought-iron doors open to reveal an enchanting living room complete with knotty, blackened oak and tufted sofas with a modern flair. The overall aesthetic borrows from the winemaking tradition – it's natural and not uptight, but perfect for a sophisticated palette. Guests can sample regional fare and local vintages inside the AVIA Kitchen + Wine Bar or host a gathering amid striking and sophisticated event space. The hotel features an outdoor Terrace - an urban oasis with hardwood decking, porch swings and fire pit.
At AVIA Napa, you’re exactly where you want to be after visiting the gallery and a full day of tasting, in the very walk-able heart of downtown Napa, steps from world-class wine tasting venues, celebrated California cuisine and the new Oxbow Public market with artisanal food and shopping. To learn more, visit www.aviahotels.com or to book our special rates, www.aviahotels.com/packages/quentcordairfineartgallery.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I love my life! Each day I celebrate who I am, who I'm with and what I do. I have a wonderful husband, two great kids and I get to spend my days (and some evenings) in the world's most beautiful art gallery. Sure, many days bring with them a variety of challenges, but I have learned that I am capable of most anything I set my mind to and that most obstacles are indeed surmountable. Now, if only I had the means to resurrect the economy. ;)
This week, like so many, was extra special. I'm almost positive that the man who delivered our latest gallery arrival, did not enjoy a warmer welcome anywhere else on his route that day. After months of anticipation, "Unbound" by Karl Jensen is finally here. Cocooned in her custom built crate, tailored just for her like a designer gown, she arrived in perfect condition. I could hardly contain my excitement. It was like being 5 years old and the proud recipient of a real live pony.
I've known about her for a while. I'm honored that Karl Jensen created her after I suggested to him some time ago that a larger version of "Dream Flight" or something similar would be a wonderful addition to the gallery. She is incredible; even more beautiful than I imagined she would be. Thank you Mr. Jensen for the tears of joy and the smile that continues to decorate my face.
So, while writing this post, I have enjoyed another delightfully fun day at QCFA. Last week, a local vintner and his wife inquired if they could include the gallery as one of several stops in a treasure hunt that they were planning. Rather than a back yard BBQ or a sit down dinner, the happy couple decided to celebrate their 10 year anniversary by sending their family and friends on a downtown adventure. There were to be four groups, of around 20 people each, that would visit the gallery between 2 and 4pm.
As each group arrived they were to browse the gallery and find a piece of art that reminds them of love, makes them smile and perhaps even laugh out loud. They had several other stops on their list and could only stay a short while, but while each group was here, the gallery buzzed with excitement as the participants discovered and enjoyed their favorite paintings and sculpture.
Prior to the event, Mr. and Mrs. Mahaffey (a.k.a. the happy couple) delivered 80 spectacular roses to the gallery. Well over two feet long, each rose was perfect. Half of them were a lovely shade of pink the others were reminded me of the orange that you see in a very memorable sunset. Once each group was finished enjoying the art, my instructions were to present each person with a rose. Their next task was to find a complete stranger outside the gallery and gift them their rose. Kathryn (our new gallery intern) and I, very much enjoyed watching these random acts of kindness and the resulting smiles from the unsuspecting passers by. In between groups, I strolled outside for a little sunshine and noticed that one shy participant had left their rose with "Carefree" who stands outside the gallery doors each day to greet our gallery guests. :)
What fun! Some of their other stops included a local wine tasting room, where the proprietor would pour two tastings of wines made in 1999. (the year that they married) A local candy shop where each participants received a hand-made truffle bearing the Mahaffey's initials and a local thrift store where they were to spend no more than $10 on a "romantic gift." I managed to see some of $10 gift bags. Each of them contained some very clever and amusing items.
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Mahaffey. Thank you for including us in your anniversary celebration!
So much to smile about! What a fun day!
Friday, June 5, 2009
QCFA has partnered with the Napa Valley Festival Del Sole which is being held July 17-25, 2009. The Festival features concerts by some of the world’s most celebrated musical artists, five-star cuisine, art exhibits, and wines from Napa’s top vintners, blended in a unique celebration of the art of life. Concert tickets and VIP packages are on sale now. Tickets for Festival del Sole concerts range from $35-$125. Mention Quent Cordair Fine Art and receive 15% off your tickets.
This year’s festival kicks off with an opening night concert July 18 at the Napa Valley Opera House featuring three remarkable young artists – violinist Sarah Chang with pianist Andrew von Oeyen, and 14-year old pianist Conrad Tao. The concert is followed by a twilight dinner on the terrace overlooking Napa Valley at Palmaz Vineyards, a new Festival Partner Winery.
Chang performs again on July 19 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas under the baton of its conductor and director, Alondra de la Parra. Founded in 2004 to promote the work of talented young soloists and composers, the New York-based Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas has since performed around the world to critical acclaim. The evening’s program includes Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony. Historic Far Niente Winery opens its doors for a dinner following the concert, featuring a special private performance.
On July 20, Darioush winery welcomes guests for an “Evening of Persian Hospitality,” a night of Persian cuisine and music that is fast becoming a favorite Festival del Sole tradition. Anoushirvan Rohani, one of Iran’s finest composers and pianists, performs.
Festival del Sole teams up with Robert Redford for a concert benefiting the Redford Center on July 21. The benefit concert takes place at Castello di Amorosa, vintner Dario Sattui’s dramatic medieval-style Tuscan castle and winery. Patrons and artists will be treated to a post-concert dinner at Agustin and Valeria Huneeus’ home on the grounds of Quintessa winery.
On July 22, Alondra de la Parra and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas perform at Castello di Amorosa with violinist Nikolaj Znaider, followed by dinner in the caves at Rudd Vineyards & Winery.
Renowned soprano Renée Fleming makes her Festival del Sole debut on July 23, in a recital at Castello di Amorosa. Festival del Sole’s star power continues throughout the evening, with pianists Leif Ove Andsnes and Antonio Pappano, cellist Nina Kotova, and violinist Nikolaj Znaider performing. Following the performance, a dinner honoring Ms. Fleming takes place at The Napa Valley Reserve. Proceeds from this evening benefit Napa Valley performing arts organizations.
On July 24, Festival del Sole guests will be treated to an intimate jazz performance at the Robert Mondavi Winery, along with dinner in their historic vineyards.
On July 25 Antonio Pappano, in a rare North American appearance, conducts the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, pianist Leif Ove Andsnes and cellist Nina Kotova in Mozart’s Magic Flute Overture, Haydn’s Cello Concerto No. 1, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Mozart’s 31st Symphony. The concert takes place at Lincoln Theater, followed by the Festival’s closing night dinner on Signorello Vineyards’ dramatic terrace overlooking Napa Valley.
Join us for the fun. Quent and I will be attending several of the events. We hope to see you there!