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Behind the Kitchen Door: Maria Helm Sinskey’s Wine Lovers Kitchen

Robyn Doyon-Aitken; Photos by Charles Miller, except where noted.
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Text by Charles Miller

Twenty-five years ago, when Maria Helm Sinskey’s future husband, Robert, built a barn-like house (read, bachelor pad) near the winery that now bears his name, its kitchen was a sparsely outfitted scullery with a relic of a stove. Then Robert met Maria. One year with that stove and she knew that it, along with just about everything else, had to go.

Maria is the former executive chef of San Francisco’s award-winning Plumpjack Café, a cookbook author, and the “chief cook and bottle washer” for Robert Sinskey Vineyards. Her specialty is food that goes well with wine, so her kitchen is part laboratory where she tries out new recipes and part gathering spot for friends in the local winemaking and food-growing communities.

Like so many great kitchens created by chefs, this one grew organically, fitting into the existing space. But its welcoming ambiance and emphasis on pairing durable appliances, finishes, and wine accessories with antiques store treasures warrants a close look. So I swung by to check it out and left feeling inspired (and ready for happy hour).

Watch the slideshow to go Behind the Kitchen Door for a tour of Maria’s kitchen.

Giveaway & Recipes

Leave a comment on Maria’s Must-Have Wine Tools Giveaway post for your chance to win her favorite wine tools.

Maybe you won’t score an invite to belly up to Maria’s antique table, but you can still get a taste of some of the dishes she’s serving this summer. . .

Cucumbers
Cucumber, Basil, and Peanut Salad recipe Chilled Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup recipe
Cucumber, Basil, and Peanut Salad   Chilled Cucumber-Buttermilk Soup
Cucumber and Herb Salad with Crumbled Feta recipe Cucumber and Peppadew Grilled Shrimp Bites recipe
Cucumber and Herb Salad with Crumbled Feta   Cucumber and Peppadew Grilled Shrimp Bites
Green Beans
Green Bean and Israeli Couscous Salad with Pickled Red Onions recipe Green Beans with Parsley and Sesame Tahini Sauce recipe
Green Bean and Israeli Couscous Salad with Pickled Red Onions   Green Beans with Parsley and Sesame Tahini Sauce
Sautéed Green Beans with Water Chestnuts and Ginger recipe Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Niçoise Olives recipe
Sautéed Green Beans with Water Chestnuts and Ginger   Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes and Niçoise Olives
Summer Squash
Zucchini Tart with Lemon Thyme and Goat Cheese recipe Grilled Summer Squash with Pesto and Balsamic Syrup recipe
Zucchini Tart with Lemon Thyme and Goat Cheese   Grilled Summer Squash with Pesto and Balsamic Syrup
Roasted Squash with Pimentón and Manchego Cheese recipe Shaved Summer Squash with Almond Salsa Verde recipe
Roasted Squash with Pimentón and Manchego Cheese   Shaved Summer Squash with Almond Salsa Verde
     
     

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  • alexpaul | 02/25/2014

    click here

  • ndchef | 07/29/2012

    great kitchen!

  • finechef | 07/28/2012

    Maria
    Love your wine lovers kitchen. My husband and I are wine lovers also and your kitchen is our dream. We visit Napa about once a year from Southern Ca. and will be sure to visit the winery next time.

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