Above, from left: Rick Mindermann (Darrell Corti’s assistant), Ed Revak (a Houston-based spirits distributor), Darrell Corti, and Jeremy Parzen (Taste of Italy co-organizer and emcee).
Darrell Corti, says celebrated food writer Colman Andrews, co-founder of Saveur magazine, “is one of those people whose importance is far greater than the name recognition.”
The quote comes from a 2019 Los Angeles Times profile of Corti entitled “How Darrell Corti became a tastemaker in California food and wine.”
Not only is Darrell, the owner of the legendary Corti Brothers grocery store in Sacramento, one of the top Italian-focused buyers in the country. He is also a legacy “tastemaker” whose encyclopedic knowledge of world gastronomy has introduced generations of Americans to the joys of traditional balsamic vinegar, countless iconic Italian wines, Spanish olive oil-cured tuna, and myriad other culinary treasures.
“Darrell opened my eyes to products from around the world,” says Alice Waters, the founder of Chez Panisse in Berkeley and one of America’s farm-to-table pioneers. “He knows everything about everything.”
That quote comes from a 2008 Los Angeles Times piece, “Corti Brothers store began a gourmet-food revolution.”
On the occasion of his time in Houston for Taste of Italy, Darell also wanted to experience our city, enjoy our restaurants and food shops, and visit our museums. When the curator of Asian art at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston heard that Darrell, a noted collector of Japanese art, was coming to town, he insisted on giving Darrell a personal tour of the Asian collection.
Yesterday on the Corti Brothers blog, Darrell’s assistant Rick Mindermann published this extremely detailed dispatch about the trip.
We couldn’t have been more proud to welcome Darrell to our city. And it is with great joy that we share their notes from their time here.