Cindy Pawlcyn, a pioneer in the development of wine country cuisine, is the owner of three of Napa Valley’s beloved restaurants: the legendary Mustards Grill and the eclectic Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen. Since Mustards opened in 1983, Pawlcyn has been involved in the creation of over a dozen new restaurants in the Bay Area including, Fog City Diner, Bix, Roti, Betelnut, Buckeye Roadhouse and Tra Vigne. Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Pawlcyn grew up in an accomplished culinary family where fresh, seasonal ingredients were an integral part of every meal and supper-time was always family-time. “My parents raised me to appreciate good cooking,” she fondly says of her mother and her father.
Pawlcyn entered Napa Valley’s burgeoning restaurant culture as the opening chef at Meadowood in St. Helena and from there joined Bruce LeFavour at his acclaimed Rose et LeFavour. Armed with extensive kitchen leadership and regional culinary expertise, she successfully launched Mustards Grill in 1983, her now landmark and legendary restaurant.
With over 30 years of experience working and living in the Napa Valley, Pawlcyn remains firmly involved in the kitchen operations of her flagship Mustards Grill, which has its own gardens that supplement the other locally sourced produce used in her dishes. A visit to Pawlcyn’s own one acre organic garden at her St. Helena home reveals the culinary spitfire’s solid commitment to seasonal inspiration and the use of the region’s bountiful harvests as the fresh ingredients for brilliantly delectable creations.