Behind the Kitchen Door: Maria Helm Sinskey's Wine Lovers Kitchen - FineCooking.com

My Recipe Box

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

Video Length: 6:25
Produced by: Robyn Doyon-Aitken; Photos by Charles Miller, except where noted.

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
     
     
posted in: drinks, Behind the Kitchen Door, wine, Maria Helm Sinskey
Comments (22)

JulieHenriksen writes: The center island looks great! Awesome! Posted: 2:35 pm on June 2nd

alexpaul writes: click here Posted: 1:00 am on February 25th

Tedroy writes: There is nothing like friends and wine. Posted: 6:16 pm on August 1st

SandySpector writes: Wine is like love...it needs to be nurtured and shared selflessly. I keep my dearest wine loving friends on speed dial. Posted: 2:08 pm on July 31st

ndchef writes: great kitchen! Posted: 8:15 pm on July 28th

finechef writes: 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. Posted: 8:44 pm on July 27th

EmilySmith writes: This looks like a beautiful urban country kitchen pulled out of the South of France. I love all the details ( spray hose, ex lrg stove, custom hutch) and especially the island it was meant to be. This type of kitchen you can get dirty and make scratches which only add to the character. A perfect family and entertaining space. Posted: 6:40 pm on July 26th

ICDOCEAN1 writes: I'm so jealous! That kitchen is fabulous and I even had my husband watch the video, he said that we have a better chance of making our own wine again unless I get a winning lottery ticket. Posted: 11:53 am on July 26th

shazzzz writes: This is lovely, a great recipe and a chance to win a fantastic selection of well needed gadgets. Posted: 1:39 pm on July 24th

kindman writes: Talk about a "Dream" kitchen... Love it. Posted: 11:08 am on July 24th

ferness writes: It all looks so magnificently summery - and delicious! Posted: 9:25 am on July 24th

SaskatoonSK writes: Great kitchen, always interesting to see how chiefs design
thier personal kitchen spaces. Posted: 9:06 am on July 24th

dgmlsmith writes: Thanks for sharing these great ideas. I love finding unusual ways to use items - like the blanket rack and the cart. This looks like a kitchen where a lot of good times are had and memories are made. Posted: 6:21 am on July 24th

magicaustin writes: Your home-grown kitchen is both inspiring and comforting. Your comments about creating an environment filled with things you love so that you can use it to nurture others is very poignant. Thanks for that! Posted: 11:01 am on July 22nd

abbyj writes: Love the kitchen and in particular the blanket rack. What a wonderful idea not only for a decorative piece but storage.
Posted: 8:30 am on July 21st

CookFromCanada writes: I love your Viking stove. I would love to have the room in my kitchen for one as well. Posted: 9:29 pm on July 20th

FC_Editors writes: Hi everybody: Leave your comments about Maria's kitchen here, but be sure to head over to the giveaway post if you want to be entered to win Maria's favorite wine tools. Thanks guys!(http://www.finecooking.com/item/44507/win-maria-helm-sinskeys-must-have-wine-tools) Posted: 2:21 pm on July 20th

NBrush writes: I'm so happy that you were able to get the baking table after all. Posted: 10:24 am on July 19th

kristywilce writes: love all the cucumber salads!

readyin5weeks.blogspot.com

Posted: 10:05 am on July 19th

Jessad writes: Seeing in side other families homes is a great privilege - I look at things in a similar way -having grown up traveling the US and visiting antique shops and flea markets I have my own "eye" at what can work for our home too! I like not being "traditional" and creative w/things that have multiple uses! Your blanket rack is a nice tool for your uses. I have always wanted a ceiling rack but have held off since I fear the dust accumulating! Have a wonderful summer and thanks for the insight!
Posted: 9:48 am on July 19th

SherryesKitchen writes: Wow! I would LOVE to win some Riedel glasses! Posted: 9:19 am on July 19th

Pielove writes: The shaved summer squash salad with almond salsa verde is delicious-- and the only way my husband will eat his zucchini! Posted: 10:31 am on July 18th

You must be logged in to post comments. Log in.

Cookbooks, DVDs & More