About me

“Primal Cuisine provides a clear and straightforward guide to any beginner ofthe primal lifestyle and a fabulous tool for any well-seasoned primal aficionado.”

“…the purpose of eating, when it is done consciously, enables the body to absorb the life presence that is inherently in the food.”

“…Our part is to listen to our bodies, which requires deep inquiry, to find out what our body is really asking for, and this might be different for each person. This is obviously not a ‘one size fits all approach’ and respect must be given to whatever choice someone has made. There is no right and wrong. But there is inquiry and dialogue, dialogue with your body and dialogue with others. There will be modifications and changes as we go along. Eating sustainably is eating just what your body requires in that moment so that the nourishment will carry you and support you in living a life of usefulness.”

Pauli Halstead began her culinary career in 1973 at a tiny vegetarian restaurant, Ma Goodness, in Berkeley, California.  In 1975, she put her name on the window of Pauli’s Café at the corner of Fillmore and Washington Streets in San Francisco.  Pauli’s was one of those wonderful neighborhood restaurants for which San Francisco is famous, and it soon became the place to have a delicious  week-end brunch  and read The San Francisco Chronicle.

An old farmhouse in Oakville, Napa Valley, was the weekend retreat of choice for Pauli and friends.  A crew of wonderful folks would typically show up to share in the cooking of great food and enjoy wines produced by soon to be famous wineries such as Chateau Montelena, Caymus, Grgich Hills, and Stags Leap. Of course, those were the days just prior to the famous French wine tasting which made California wines world class. Eventually, the Napa Valley became too strong a lure and Pauli purchased a circa 1880 farmhouse in St. Helena and in 1981 launched her catering company, The Best of Everything, at Beringer Vineyards.

The Best of Everything became recognized for the high quality of its cuisine and artful presentation. Over the years, Pauli worked with many well known Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley wineries, businesses, event planners and wedding consultants to create elegant and memorable events.   For many years The Best of Everything was also the exclusive wedding caterer at The Kenwood Inn, a beautiful Italian style village, in Sonoma Valley.

Quality ingredients were always a priority for Pauli, and she regularly shopped for organic produce at the local farmers markets in addition to having her own garden.  She also made it a point to utilize the available bounty of The Napa Valley, such as its local stone crushed olive oils and small batch balsamic vinegars.  The Best of Everything also produced popular spreads, Fig and Olive Tapenade, Sundried Tomato Pesto and Magical Muhamara, which were marketed in local stores.

After retiring from catering in 2003, Pauli moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico. While there she had the opportunity as executive chef to open a café at the idyllic,  Inn of the Five Graces, located in the historic section of the city. The café opened to rave reviews in the Pasa Tiempo newspaper.

Pauli has brought her many years of experience with fine California wine country cuisine and organic, whole, natural foods into her first cookbook, Cuisine for Whole Health, Recipes for a Sustainable Life. Her focus on fine food, lovingly prepared, is coupled with her philosophy that organic vegetables and fruits, grass-fed meat, sustainably caught wild fish, “pastured” poultry and dairy are the basic building blocks to optimum physical and mental health.

With her first cookbook, Cuisine for Whole Health, Pauli integrated her many years of experience with California wine country cuisine, farmers market ingredients and her philosophy of using organic ingredients, grassfed meats, wild caught fish, and “pastured” poultry and dairy as the building blocks to optimum physical and mental health. Not to stop with just one book, with the publication of Primal Cuisine, Cooking for the Paleo Diet, Pauli further educates on the topics of GMO’s, gluten and casein intolerance, and how our food choices impact the environment. Pauli has included many new recipes and wonderful photos in Primal Cuisine.

On a recent trip to Europe, Pauli hiked in the Swiss Alps where herdsmen are still pasturing their cows and goats in the lush, grass covered, high alpine meadows as they have done for many hundreds of years. In the Perigod region of France, Pauli traveled to the Valley of Man, known as the ‘cradle of mankind’ due to its wealth of prehistoric sites. Pauli visited the caves of Lascaux and explored the ancient cliff dwellings, occupied by humans for 55,000 years. This area was rich hunting and fishing territory with a mild climate where our ancestors thrived by consuming the rich protein and high animal fat diet Pauli advocates in her book.

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