Michael Jordan

In his Costa Mesa kitchen, the accomplished sommelier shows he’s pretty handy on the cooking side, too

Mouthful Published June 2010

You don’t expect ginger-and-soy sauce tropical raw fish from the kitchen of someone who describes himself as “undeniably southern Italian.” But it’s typical fare at Michael Jordan’s Costa Mesa home. “I was raised in Hawaii, so at my house, you get a weird mishmash of Italian and Hawaiian,” says the veteran restaurateur, pouring wine, above. Between keeping up with his “What’s Cookin’ on Wine” show on CRN Digital Talk Radio, his gig as president of the Beachcomber Cafés in Crystal Cove and Malibu, and launching his Word Vineyards winery, Jordan regularly cooks for friends and family. “I love the chemistry of it and how people enjoy it.”

“I have this giant chunk of Himalayan pink salt. It’s a little milder than regular salt and has a great flavor. I think if there were such a thing as healthy salt, this would be it.” 

“We have tons of corkscrews, but my favorite is the one the Guild of Sommeliers gave me when I passed the master exam. I wear it every day on my belt.”

The entrepreneur and wife Teresa grow nearly 120 heirloom tomato plants every summer in a local community garden. “We use a little hand-crank tomato processor. I’ve had it for two years and I don’t know how I survived without it.” Afterward, the tomatoes are frozen, canned, or jarred.

“Both my wife and I love pinot noir. It’s a very pretty style of wine with perfume, great acidity, and a flavor profile that can work with seafood or meats.”

“Teresa and I don’t believe in amassing a giant collection of rare, amazing wines just to sit around and look at them. We go to great lengths to make sure that we’re drinking the greatest bottles in our cellar before they go over the hill.”

In his spare time, Jordan plays the guitar. “I have two from the C.F. Martin Guitar Co. One has an inlay of the Court of Master Sommeliers seal. I also have a wine-stained Fender Stratocaster. It’s pretty neat.” 

Word Vineyards

Beachcomber Café
15 Crystal Cove
Newport Coast

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