Where else? 
 March 2016 Issue | Vol. 4, No. 5          
Lead by example. Be the hardest working person.




Chef Tournant
Brandon Duley

Chef de Cuisine
Brandon Gauthier

So you want to write a cookbook?

Wine Educator Gary Spadafore on Napa Valley

See how Chef Kuklewski learned patience on our Facebook Page!

Spirit Works Distillery
Grain-to-Glass Spirits

Il Terrazzo:
Simple becomes Special.

Letherbee Distillers
World-class Gin, Fernet, Bësk & Seasonal Gin

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Kyle Kuklewski, Executive Chef, Ramekin's Sonoma, California Every member of Kyle Kuklewski’s family, is, he said, “a self-proclaimed chef”. His mom competed in chile cook-offs. His dad makes ribs. His grandfather on his mom’s side makes the best barbecue brisket Kuklewski has yet tasted. His dad’s family makes Italian sausage and does an assembly-line production of 25 dozen pierogis at a time. “Cooking is always something that’s been very central for my family,” Kuklewski said. “It’s always been important to me, but it wasn’t what I originally started out with.” Kuklewski majored in corporate finance and international business at St. Vincent College, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ training camp near Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Though he graduated with that degree, he decided in his junior year during an externship at a stockbroker company in London, that he hated it. “It wasn’t enough energy for me,” Kuklewski explained. “I need to keep moving. And that’s what I love about this job. You’re constantly in motion. It’s wonderful.” During his time in London, he also figured out that cooking was calling. “I was in a program where they took us out to restaurants,” Kuklewski said. “They had us do a couple of culinary classes. I was cooking for my suite-mates. We all shared the same kitchen. I realized, One, I don’t want to do the corporate-finance thing, and two, I need to find something that I love. And that’s the first thing that came to my mind, cooking. It’s natural for me.” And of course his family supported him. What with all the cooking talent they had. “They did,” Kuklewski said, “but my aunt, who I’m really close to, said, You realize you’re not going to make a ton of money. This is not a big-bucks career. I said, I know that. But everyone in my family were all extremely hardworking, and we pushed through whatever it is to become more successful.” The apple didn’t fall far from the tree. Six months into the culinary program at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh, Kuklewski got a job with Fairmont Hotels. He was the first cook the Fairmont Pittsburgh hired.