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Jonesin' for Jaxon

By Clark Wolf

Splitting his time between Guerneville and Manhattan, acclaimed consultant Clark Wolf graces these pages with Napkin Notes, the occasional diatribe from the periodic local.

I'm hungry for Steve Jaxon. What the heck were they thinking at Maverick Media when they decided to help "turn the boat around" at KSRO 1350-AM by shooting great big, honking holes in the hull that was Jaxon's afternoon program "The Drive"? Retire the golden goose? I was a guest on Steve's show nearly every week for more than a year, in the studio or from wherever the heck I was—my place in New York, a basement in Banff, a store room on the Gulf Coast, an airport security line or a ferry boat on the Bay of Naples. I wouldn't miss it. And I have missed it.

The guy can talk about anything with anyone and make it fun, useful and real. He never minds learning in public and he knows how to stay curious; and for a great talker with a classic, timeless radio voice that's no mean trick.

Don't get me wrong, there are lots of good food talk on the radio, from Steve Garner and John Ash (also on KSRO with their "Good Food Hour" Saturday mornings) to KGO's Gene Burns and "The Kitchen Sisters" on NPR, but Steve Jaxon lets food climb right in there with other real-life parts of an ongoing weekly chat.

What I love about Steve is what I love about a really good restaurant: able to be appreciated by the most sophisticated in the community, while equally loved by your aunt from Iowa. Or Fresno. Or Windsor.

And now it seems that the big boys in Connecticut have gotten the message that Sonoma County loves and wants a little nibble of Steve. By the time this gets printed in soy ink on recycled paper he'll be back in the studio—same time, same station—talkin' up a storm and making sure the broad range of voices that are America get heard (between some pretty hilarious header music). And I'll be right there with him—usually Thursdays—whenever he lets me, because we need to keep this conversation going. And Steve's the guy to stir that pot. Clark Wolf is a Sonoma County– and New York–based food and restaurant consultant, the author of 'American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses.'

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