Season One, Episode Eight The Wine Country of California

With Donna Pacheco at Achadinha Cheese Company

Maria winds up season one by staying in California and touring the famous wine country, visits a farm to see fresh cheese produced, and cooks with famous Chef Manuel at his Sonomo Restaurant

recording a podcast with Angela Simoes and Chef Manuel

Our first stop, Tasca Tasca, is right in downtown Sonoma. We met with world class Chef and entrepreneur Manuel Azevedo to show us his restaurant as well as be a guest on “Our Portuguese Table” podcast, co hosted by my good friend Angela Simoes. We rarely get to do these while in the same room, and Chef Manuel was an amazing host and guest.

We next go to the Pacheco Family Dairy, home of Achadinha Cheese Company. This has been a family farm since 1955, and it’s now being operated by it’s third generation. Jim and Donna Pacheco and their four children have evolved the operations to become an award winning producer of amazing cheeses. This Petaluma, CA farm is just beautiful and I left feeling like a member of the family. The tour of the property was unforgettable.

St. Jorge Winery in Lodi is named after one of the Azorean Islands. Owner Vern Vierra is growing world class grapes and producing world class wines amidst a stunning vineyard. The wines and pairings he shared with me were heavenly.

Earlier in the show we hung out at Chef Manuel’s Tasca Tasca restaurant in Sonoma, but later in the day we went to his other location Cafe Lucia in Healdsburg. we made the Francesinha Sandwich together, a Cafe Lucia special. It’s a dish I’ve never tried nor cooked, so Chef Manuel wasted no time in putting me to work. (Note: Since filming the episode Chef Manuel and his sister, co owners of Cafe Lucia, have decided to close this location.)

And here our season ends! Thank you so much for watching, we hope you enjoyed it as much as we did!