Darrell Corti is still ‘cool’

Gourmand grocer Darrell Corti has once again made the list of “The 60 (Plus) Coolest People in Food & Drink.”
Gourmand grocer Darrell Corti has once again made the list of “The 60 (Plus) Coolest People in Food & Drink.” Sacramento Bee Staff Photo

For the second year in a row, Sacramento gourmand-grocer Darrell Corti of Corti Bros. Market has been included among “The 60 (Plus) Coolest People in Food & Drink” by For the complete listing, click here.

The editors at the all-things-food-and-drink site define “cool” as “a way of behaving, a bearing, an attitude. Cool people are true to themselves and don’t serve the masters of fad or fashion.”

Corti’s entry reads in part: “Corti is simply one of the most deeply knowledgeable food and drink experts in America, able to expound with equal authority on Chinese tea, Spanish vinegar, Central Asian wine, Italian pasta and about 30,000 other gastronomic topics. Corti knows everybody worth knowing in his chosen field, and everybody knows him. They call him ‘The Professor.’ If you’ve never heard of him, well, that sort of makes him even cooler, you know?”

I called the market to get a reaction from Corti himself. Store manager Rick Mindermann answered the phone. “He’s at the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition in Los Angeles this week, tasting more than 500 oils,” he said. “But his likely response would be something like, ‘Who, me? I’m just a grocer...’”

Which is pretty cool, no?

Corti is listed with some good company, sharing the “cool” honor with such famous chefs as Jacques Pépin, Mario Batali, Bobby Flay, Rick Bayless and Daniel Boulud.

The list also include Cindy (Mustards Grill) Pawlcyn and Thomas (French Laundry) Keller of the Napa Valley.

Pawlcyn’s entry reads: “Pawlcyn was doing local and sustainable before a lot of today’s local and sustainable apostles could put their Pop-Tarts in the toaster by themselves.”

Keller’s entry calls him “almost certainly the finest American-born chef in the country, (who) has dedicated his life to learning how to practice his art to near-perfection.”

Corti Bros. Market is at 5810 Folsom Blvd., Sacramento; (916) 736-3800,