Cindy Pawlcyn

Mustards Grill
Cindy's Backstreet Kitchen
Cindy Pawlcyn's Wood Grill and WIne Bar
Monterey Bay Aquarium
Cindy Pawlcyn Cathering
Cindy's Supper Club
Cindy Pawlcyn Big Small Plates
Mustards Grill Napa Valley
Cindy Pawlcyn's Appetizers


What are the 3 - 5 most important ingredients every aspiring chef should have?
Good sea salt, Tellicherry black peppercorns (and a grinder), good quality extra virgin olive oil (California Ranch Arbequina is my favorite), butter (unsalted, high fat - I love Clover Organic).
What chef has most ispired your cooking?
So many chefs have inspired me, but Sally Schmidt (the original owner/chef at The French Laundry) was the one who taught me that a woman could (and should!) become an executive chef.
What skills have helped you become successful in a male dominated field?
Tenacity, hard work, a mad passion for what I do, and a sense of humor.
If you were preparing a meal for the First Lady of the United States, what would you prepare?
A nice three-course vegetarian meal out of the garden (the garden at Mustards Grill, my own or the White House).  I would love to prepare a meal for Michelle Obama!
What hints can you give for pairing food and wine? 
Taste the wine first. Read about what other people have paired with the varietal and what the winemaker recommends to make sure you're reaching a broader audience than just what comes to mind from your own palate.
When one is entertaining for business, what suggestions can you give for ordering wine off of the your restaurant(s) menu?
Pick a budget and don't go over it. There's something great on the wine list at every price point. Call the wine person at the restaurant earlier that day to discuss your budget, the other guests, variety of dishes/courses, and get their recommendations beforehand.
Others hobbies or interests: 
Ceramics. I have my own pottery studio and kiln and I love making dishes. I make the olive and salt dishes, and some of the dessert plates for the restaurants. I also love gardening, making jams and jellies, hiking and reading cookbooks.