I dedicate this blog to my friend Chris Valterza. His contribution to my life since I've been 17 has helped to create and nurture my love of food and wine and service. Way back in the day he came to my apartment (while we were at NAU) with his mom's famous red sauce recipe and it was the first time I had used FRESH HERBS! He later introduced me to the delights of a perfectly cooked steak (Ruth's Chris) and great glass of wine. He and Grobstein treated me like a princess when I was a mere marketing assistant in Chicago -- by taking me out to extravagant dinners like I'd never seen before! He taught me about eating in courses and many elements of great service that have stayed with me. He always kept -- and continues to keep me near the best things in life. He moved to Chicago and is now one of the owners of the 3rd Coast -- one of Chicago's best and most legendary cafe's (25 years and still rocking). When I moved to Portland, he took me to the Coast (the Oregon Coast) for a pep-talk, built a big bonfire and we talked for hours about our mutual passion for food and libations and ingredients and cooking and every other element that is associated. He continues to keep me encouraged and inspired with his everlasting friendship, love, brains and ideas.