Awards I've won
House of Sandeman
In 1995, while attending the California Culinary Academy,
I entered and won a wine and food pairing contest
sponsored by The House of Sandeman. The House of
Sandeman has been making and shipping wines from
Spain and Portugal for over two hundred years.
Sandeman specializes in Port and Sherry wines.
The Grand Prize was all expenses-paid tour of The
House of Sandeman's operations in Portugal. We stayed
in Oporto and enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of George
Sandeman and his staff as they showed us the
Sandeman Lodge near Oporto as well as their vineyard
estate on the Duoro River about 90 miles east of Oporto.
You can get a glimpse of the House of Sandeman at their
Now in it's 7th generation of leadership, current Chairman
George Sandeman was brought up in England and
Spain. He began his apprenticeship in the wine business
in 1971, working in Oporto, Portugal, and Jerez, Spain,
as well as several different wine companies before
joining The House of Sandeman in London in 1977. In
1990 he was appointed General Manager for The House
of Sandeman and in 1991 he became Chairman of The
House of Sandeman, following the retirement of his
father, David Sandeman
My winning menu consisted of four courses, each to be
either paired or prepared with a Sandeman Port or
Annual Quady Wine and Dessert Pairing Contest
At the 12th annual and Dessert Pairing Competition, held
Monday August 2, 1999 at San Francisco's Hotel
Monaco. I entered for Walker's Restaurant, my place of
employment at that time. I took Second Place honors
among the 24 restaurants participating. My
Pineapple-Rhubarb Sorbet with a Coconut Meringue
Shell was unique amongst the group, in that it was the
only dessert to feature pineapple as its main ingredient.
That years contest featured Quady's Elysium dessert
wine made with Black Muscat grapes. Open to restaurant
chefs who then tasted the wine and determined which
ingredients or combination of ingredients would best pair
with this wine for a dessert course. I knew that I wanted
something with nice acidity. Originally, I thought of tart,
green apples. But, I wasn't confident of getting the kind of
apple that would best suit me at that time of the year.
Then I ran across some rhubarb juice I had frozen since
we made rhubarb pies at Christmas. That was it, I knew I
where I had to go!
The competition was stiff. Restaurants from all over
northern California entered the prestigious contest,
including the Awanee Hotel in Yosemite and Auberge Du
Soliel in the Napa Valley. Top Bay Area restaurants were
represented by Rubicon, the Cypress Club, the Clift
Hotel, Lalime's and Pastis to name a few. The First Place
prize went to the Park Hyatt Hotel.
KGO radio host, Gene Burns, a judge at the event, raved
about my dessert: "Nothing we tasted of the 24 desserts
... in my view, married the Elysium better than the
combination of pineapple and rhubarb." His comments
were heard on his weekly "Dining Around" show on
Saturday August 7. "It absolutely sang a symphony on my
Bio, Chef Michael Reining
Who cooked this up?
June, 28, 1989
Hi, I'm Michael Reining, Host and Producer of The Radio
Kitchen. That's me cooking my favorite, lobster! I usually
don't wear that cheesy Chef hat too much. Makes me look
like a pizza guy!
Where I've Worked
Currently, I am doing in-home catering in the San
Francisco bay area. If you are interested in having me
cook for you and your guests in your home, click on the
link just to the right. More recently, I served as Executive
Chef at Piacere Restaurant in San Carlos. I've also
worked on a ship in the Bering Sea in Alaska, consulted
at Jasper's Corner Tap and Kitchen as well as catering
events at the South Beach Yacht Club and the Golden
Gate Yacht Club (the home club of the Americas Cup). I
was the Chef at Postrio Café and Bar in San Francisco.
I have been honored to work with some great chefs and
business owners, like the Fifth Floor Restaurant in San
Francisco, the Pleasanton Hotel Restaurant in
Pleasanton, California. And some of the top caterers in
the bay area including Paula Le Duc, Trumpetvine and
Gimanelli's. I was the Chef at the Richmond Yacht Club.
And I have cooked at numerous restaurants in the San
Francisco Bay Area including The Claremont Resort &
Hotel, Lulu, Barones, Walkers and New Rochelle.
Before attending and graduating from the California
Culinary Academy in San Francisco, I was in radio
broadcasting for over 15 years. Taking my radio
experience along with my culinary background, I
developed The Radio Kitchen. On the program I talk to
the current movers and shakers in the food biz and
present their stories to you.
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