We’re excited to introduce Sally Kim, the new Beverage Director for the Delfina Restaurant Group. A South Korean born (though she’s lived all over), French Lit expert (by the authority of her alma mater), race car enthusiast (a career for another life) - Sally not only brings an eclectic history to her wine knowledge but also more than ten years of industry experience. Previous to joining our team, Sally was managing the floor or directing wine programs at Bay Area restaurant including Marketbar, Restaurant Lulu, Zibibbo and Pres A Vi here in San Francisco as well as Orsa & Winston and Terroni in Los Angeles.
A “supertaster” according to some of her peers, Sally’s philosophy is taste over prestige and gets her kicks introducing people to their new favorite wines. Sally will be overseeing and refining the beverage programs at all of our restaurants, but you’ll often find her on the floor during service helping you tailor your beverage selection to your meal. If you catch her, introduce yourself. We’re sure you’ll like her as much as we do.
Pizzeria Delfina (PD):In your own words, what is that you do?
Alexis and Gillies Roberston (AG):We are livestock graziers …. Grazier: meaning we believe in good stewardship of the land, humane treatment of animals and use farming and ranching practices that preserve clean water, encourage wildlife and build soil health.
AG:We both have backgrounds in environmental management and we come into agriculture with a land stewardship background. Ranching because we can grow food and still promote a healthy ecosystem. We use our livestock as a management tool.
PD:Who have you been influenced by? Famous, family or otherwise.
AG:I think first influence we had was Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. The River Cottage Cookbook tells you how butcher a chicken so that was what first, but most importantly we have had some really great farm mentors that have helped us get going and still help us to this day. We call our sheep mentors our Sheeple.
PD:We all agree on the need for sustainable food, but what does sustainable food mean to you?
AG:For us sustainable isn’t just about a label like organic or free range. It is more a of philosophy about land stewardship, humane treatment of animals and finally being financially sustainable. I think it is far more important to directly support a farmer that you know and trust than to go to a big store and buy something that has a politically correct label on it.
PD:How do you think we could bring sustainable/real food to the masses How can we work together to make of affordable?
AG:Affordability and access are both big issues that we think about all the time. It is really important for us to be able to pay ourselves, otherwise it isn’t sustainable at all. On the other hand we often have folks who can’t afford our product and I understand that as well. I think we as a society should eat less meat, but eat quality meat. Also there are cheaper cuts that we have an aversion to just because we are used to our meat being so cheap. Someone is losing when you can get a chicken for $1.89/lb.
PD:Favorite food? Favorite chef? Who’s doing it right and why?
Gillies:Anything cooked over fire.
Alexis:Something cooked by someone else. Toss up between Fergus Henderson and Francis Mallman, quality ingredients, simple using whole animal.
PD:What music do y’all listen to at the ranch?
AG:Celtic, Bluegrass, Americana, sprinkled with a bit of 90’s British Rock
PD:What would you say to a kid who wants to be you (a rancher/farmer) when they grow up?
AG:#1, Get an internship. #2, Don’t be afraid to ask for help. #3 When in doubt, try it and see.
PD:What does a typical day in your life look like?
AG:We get up between 3:30 and 7:00 depending on the days schedule. A typical day consists of coffee, we do the rounds of checking water and feeding, let the chickens out, second coffee, work a couple hours at our off farm jobs, work on a big project like setting up pig waters, moving sheep or chickens, gathering and washing eggs, scheduling slaughter days, planning feed availability, budgeting, paying bills, evening chores. beer, dinner, bed. repeat.
PD:What would your last meal be?
Gillies:Lamb Shanks over mashers
Alexis:Scallops and lobster just a giant plate of scallops and lobster. If only I could farm those!
PD:Ideal night out?
AG:Dinner at a nice restaurant and live music show
AG:Ability to clone ourselves
PD:If you weren’t a rancher, what would you be?
Alexis:Farm Adviser of some sort
PD:Favorite album of all time?
Gillies:John Martyn - Solid Air.
Alexis:Jayhawks - Rainy Day Music
PD:Anything else you’d like to say?
AG:It is amazing how much goes into producing the food on your table. It is challenging physically, 14+ hour days and heavy lifting, but also intellectually. As beginning farmers we have to learn how to be business people, environmentalists, animal scientists, grass farmers, marketers, and production managers. There are so many moving parts and when they are working smoothly we can bring our customers a high quality product. All this complexity make Ranching and Farming one of the most challenging and yet rewarding occupations out there. I think if more people knew what went into their food they would savor it a little more.
Farmers’ Markets are about to be full of them, so here’s one way Locanda uses spring’s bountiful fava bean.
— Pizza Bianca* | 1 loaf
— Fresh Burrata | 2 balls
— Parsley Leaves, picked | ½ cup, loosely packed
— Mint Leaves, picked | ½ cup, loosely packed
— Fresh, Tender Fava Beans, shelled | 2 cups
— High Quality Extra Virgin Olive oil | 1 cup
— Coarse Sea Salt, such as Maldon
— Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
*This recipe is delicious with Locanda’s Pizza Bianca, which is available for purchase at the restaurant. But you can substitute another favorite bread instead.
Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium-high heat, or substitute an oven preheated to 500°F.
Meanwhile, place the diced Guanciale in a saucepan, cover with a quart of water, and bring it to boil. Turn down the heat to a medium boil, and cook the Guanciale until it is soft, juicy, and tender, anywhere from 10-15 minutes. Strain the Guanciale from the water and reserve the cooking liquid for later use.