Emmy Award-winning Chef Michael Chiarello added one more segment to his menu of creative projects Saturday with the opening of a 3,800 square foot Napa Style store in Berkeley, California. Located in the upscale shopping district of naturally organicville, Chiarello has once again combined taste and flavors to create a venue of home furnishing lifestyle accessories that exude his creativity.
Chiarello reached stardom long ago, both behind the stove and on T.V. As the founding chef of famed Tre Vigne, the author of multiple cookbooks, and the host of his own cooking show, Chiarello has made his mark in the world of food. Now, he has broadened his vision to encompass the lifestyle of it all.
His flagship store is filled with home furnishings-comfortable leather couches, country side chairs, fabulous dining room banquettes that capture the entrepreneurs taste for the casually elegant. His line of products-many designed by the celeb of St. Helena himself-not only has eye appeal but bodes well in the functionality department. I couldn’t wait to get my chicken on the ceramic vertical cooking stand. It made me want to open a roast-a-rante in this available space in Sonoma.
And that’s the point- don’t ever stop thinking creatively. Chiarello, I would imagine has more visions created from the thoughts that he ponders while designing, writing, cooking, or as he was doing Saturday before arriving at the store- picking grapes from his vintage vines- than most people. However, he has developed that talent to create. I’ll bet it surfaced that busy Saturday night while he was standing over the six burner wolf range a week after Tre Vigne opened. He had the vision. He saw the cooking show. He visualized the cookbook. He thought of that perfect vertical chicken roaster. He saw his flagship store. It was a distance down the road, but he definitely saw it.
And, on Saturday, another one of Chiarello´s dreams came true. And he was the perfect host. As Peggy Thomas awed at his presence as he signed her recently purchased cookbook, you could see the joy in both their eyes. Thomas thankful that she could capture the celeb´s autograph within the newly purchased pages, Chiarello pleased to be able to please.
Restaurateurs are some of the most creative people in the world. And, obviously, we are adventurous. Explore the next avenue. Add a segment to your life that you never thought you could actually accomplish. Take the step into the water that seems a bit icy. The list of accomplished owners who have gone on to achieve great success is getting longer everyday. Food is hot right now. Don´t think for a moment that every idea has been thought of. Don´t think that you can´t market that product, or thought, or show.
Use your ability in your restaurant to expand your business and increase your product line.
It may be time to design that perfect pot holder you´ve been working on. You know that apricot-horseradish sauce everyone loves? Bottle it. How about the Randy´s Steakhouse Barbecue Sauce? It could be the perfect label on Whole Food´s shelf. Or, it could be a cookbook that you begin to write that turns into a best seller.
Keep thinking. Keep creating. Don´t ever become bland. And, if you have a moment, take a look at Napa Style, it´s inspiring. It makes you want to move there.