The Connected Table Live! New Years Eve Edition

We continue our Families in the Industry series with the father-daughter duo of Tony and Marisa May, proprietors of SD26 in New York City. Both are like family to us and we have spent many evenings savoring delicious meals and decadent white truffle dishes at both SD26 and the Mays’ prior restaurant, San Domenico.

Marisa and Tony May SD26, New York (photo: Robert Caplin)
Marisa and Tony May
SD26, New York
(photo: Robert Caplin)

Tony May is one of the nation’s most respected restaurateurs and the ambassador for authentic Italian food. His knowledge about Italian cooking is encyclopedic, and his enthusiasm is translated into every dish at SD26 and in his book, “Italian Cuisine: Basic Cooking Techniques.” Tony’s commitment to uphold the quality of true Italian cooking led him to establish Gruppo Ristoratori Italiani(GRI), an organization of leading Italian restaurants which offers scholarships to culinary students to study in Italy.

His restaurant track record reads like a history of New York fine dining: General Manager then Owner of the Rainbow Room (1968-1986), Owner of critically acclaimed Palio, Owner of San Domenico, which flourished on Central Park South for 20 years. SD26, which opened five years ago just north of Madison Square Park, represents a contemporary flavor and feel and the new generation of authentically May.

And that new generation is daughter, Marisa, who brings a sparkling flair to SD26 and is a refreshing, sophisticated image for Italian- American women entrepreneurs. Marisa has worked side by side with her father since graduating from New York University. Marisa energetically works the dining room and frequently appears at charity events and on television, including: NBC Today, The Couch, LX TV and Food Network. “Esquire Magazine” named Marisa “the Restaurateur We Love” in its “Women We Love” issue. A member of Les Dames d’Escoffier, Marisa actively supports many charities including C-CAP (Careers in the Culinary Arts Program), which honored Tony in 2013, Citymeals-on-Wheels and Susan G. Komen NY.

SD26 continues to thrive with critical acclaim receiving four stars from “Forbes” and named one of Zagat’s “2014 Top 50 Restaurants.”

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

Join Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays 2pm ET live on W4CY and on demand anytime at iHeartRadio (under Shows and Personalities). Meet the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, fine beverage and hospitality.


Christmas Eve Special: Our Favorite Things!

Jon Rowley

Jon Rowley’s career has been a fascinating life-long exploration and quest to improve the flavor, quality and understanding of fish, shellfish, fruits and vegetables.

After travel to Europe and attending Reed College, Jon began his career as a commercial fisherman in Alaska. In 1981, as a life-long scholar of the seafood industry from harvest to table, he began consulting to restaurants, retailers, seafood companies and other businesses. Jon has received national marketing awards and considerable media coverage for programs he has initiated such as Bruce Gore’s “Signature Salmon” and Copper River and Yukon River King Salmon.

Sparked by an Ernest Hemingway passage in the The Moveable Feast on eating oysters and a subsequent seminal platter of oysters at Le Dome in Paris, Jon developed a career-influencing passion for oysters. He does marketing and various consulting work for fifth generation Taylor Shellfish Farms and has organized restaurant oyster programs and promotions across the country. He produces the Pacific Coast Oyster Wine Competition, an annual dating service for West Coast wines and oysters.

In addition to his consulting and marketing work for seafood producers and buyers, Jon works with farmers, restaurants and retailers to improve the quality, flavor and distribution of fruits and vegetables. Anthony’s HomePort’s seasonal, local strawberry program based on just-picked local berries and the much-acclaimed Metropolitan Market’s Peach-O-Rama promotion are examples of this work. He is also an accomplished forager of wild mushrooms and other wild foods.

Jon has taken a personal interest in reviving American heirloom apples. To give expression to several years of research on heritage apples, Jon embarked, with his wife Kate McDermott, on what turned into a two year quest to develop the “quintessential American apple pie”. Mission accomplished, Jon and Kate co-founded Art of the Pie.

A perceived correlation between organic matter in soil and flavor led Jon to the Seattle Master Composter training, several courses on soil and soil ecology and to the Interbay P-Patch Community Garden where he served as Site-Coordinator. His work at Interbay has been featured in a number of publications including the Christian Science Monitor and Organic Gardening. One of his proudest accomplishments was the Seattle P-Patch Program’s “Most Beautiful Vegetable” award for his P-Patch grown leeks in 1999.

Jon was inducted into the prestigious “Who’s Who of Cooking in America” in 1987 for his work improving seafood handling, quality and information. He served as a Contributing Editor to Gourmet magazine and currently serves a Contributing Editor to SAVEUR. He was the recipient of the Seattle Weekly’s first annual Angelo Pellegrini Award and is a member of the Shaw’s Crab House’s Oyster Hall of Fame in Chicago.

What would it take for you to walk away from a lucrative banking career to pursue a passion? For Joan Coukos it was the allure of chocolate.

Joan Coukos
Joan Coukos

Joan majored in Russian and French at Duke University and received an MBA from UNC Chapel Hill before beginning a banking career that spanned New York and Moscow. On a trip to Brussels in 2000, she fell under the spell of old world, hand made chocolates and began creating recipes back in her tiny Manhattan kitchen. Her bank coworkers became the first enthusiastic guinea pigs, and upon receiving repeated accolades, she began taking formal steps to becoming a chocolatier, studying chocolate and confectionery arts with a coterie of world-class French, Belgian, American and Swiss chocolatiers in New York and at The World Pastry Forum in Las Vegas.

In 2003, she founded Chocolat Moderne® with a mission to create visually stunning, hand-crafted confections filled with perfectly balanced, on-trend flavors. Joan believes that chocolate will always be in style – especially luxe gourmet chocolate. Like fashion design, Chocolat Moderne’s chocolate assortments are a vibrant, ever-changing, delectable collection wrapped in distinctive packaging.

It starts with a base of quality ingredients: Valrhona French chocolate with a high cocoa content and emphasis on growing regions; European style butter; cocoa butter; full cream; granulated pure cane and specialized confectionery sugars. Then you add luscious fillings such as five different varieties of dark chocolate, pistachios, hazelnuts, fruit purees, fruit preserves, premium liqueurs, honey, essential oils, teas, spices, fresh squeezed citrus juices and zest. The chocolates are covered with extra bitter dark chocolate of 61% cocoa content. Everything is natural and free of preservatives or artificial flavors.

Chocolat Moderne® has received top honors in the specialty food industry by winning multiple sofi™ Gold and Finalist Awards from the Specialty Food Association. Joan’s chocolates and her personal story have been featured on The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Food Network and The Cooking Channel. In 2013, Joan was inducted into the NY Chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a philanthropic society of women leaders in food, beverage and hospitality. Later that year, she was named one of Dessert Professional Magazine’s Top Ten Chocolatiers of North America.

How sweet it is!

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

Join Hosts Melanie Young and David Ransom, the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple, Wednesdays 2pm ET/11 am PT on The Connected Table LIVE! Each week we bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, find beverage and hospitality.

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Listen on demand anytime/anywhere: (under Shows and Personalities)


Family First: Bill and Peter Deutsch on the Connected Table Live Dec 17

December 17th on The Connected Table LIVE! Melanie and David will start a new series entitled “First Families of Wine, Food and Hospitality.” Many businesses, from wineries to restaurants to the vendors who supply them, are often multi-generational. The business may have started small, possibly in a garage or a storefront. Over time it grew beyond with family members stepping in work to the lines, build the enterprise and eventually taking over the reins.

Peter and Bill Deutsch- Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits
Peter and Bill Deutsch-
Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits

A perfect example is the father-son team Bill and Peter Deutsch ofDeutsch Family Wine & Spirits, one of the country’s leading wine and spirits importer -distributors. Bill founded Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits in 1981 with the vision of running a family-owned company that would import and market fine wines from family-owned producers around the world. Thirty-three years later the dream is successful reality and thriving business. The White Plains-headquartered company has grown to include a prestigious roster of internationally renowned, award-winning wine and spirit brands serviced by over 200 employees who have helped grow DFWS into the number one imported wine company in the U.S. and the sixth largest wine company overall.

With family-owned labels that include [yellowtail], Les Vins Georges Duboeuf, Barone Fini, Josh Cellars, and The Calling, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits is one of the true pioneers in bringing affordable, quality wines to the U.S. market and, while doing so, has changed the concept of wine marketing. Much of the company’s success comes from the values set forth by Bill, who touts what he calls the “Six P’s model for building brands.” They are: People, Product, Package, Price, Promotion, Potential; and it is through these that Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits identifies and builds brands that it thinks will have success in the marketplace.

Peter, who joined the company in 1985, offers a rare blend of creative and operational strengths. His strategic approach to building Georges Duboeuf into the #1 Beaujolais wine in the United States delivered impressive bottom line results. In addition, his accomplishments for successfully establishing [ yellow tail ] as the #1 Imported brand and the #1 wine brand at its price point in the United States led to record growth and profitability.

After almost 30 years working together, Bill, who serves as Chairman, and Peter Deutsch Family’s CEO, are a dynamic team and family success story, and Melanie and David look forward to connecting with them. Connect:

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

The Connected Table LIVE! airs Wednesdays, 2pm ET./ 11am PT on W4CY radio and on demand at IHeartRadio under Shows and Personalities. Hosts Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple who bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.


Tastemakers on the Connected Table Live! Dec 10

Two award winning cookbook authors and journalists who both bring their style of taste to all they do will be our guests on The Connected Table LIVE! December 10, 2pm ET/ 11am PT.

Maricel Presilla
Maricel Presilla

She is the first Latin American woman chef to have been invited to be a guest chef at The White House to cook during National Hispanic Heritage Month. Restaurateur and award winning cookbook author,Maricel Presilla is a culinary historian specializing in the foods of Latin America and Spain. .Maricel is author of The James Beard Award 2013 Cookbook of the Year Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America(W.W. Norton), an expansive book which also received a 2013 IACP Best General Book Award. Gran Cocina LatinaShe is owner of two restaurants in Hoboken, NJ: Cucharamama and Zafra, as well as Ultramarinos, a Latin American marketplace, bakery and chocolate shop.

Gran-Cocina-LatinaBorn in Santiago de Cuba, Maricel holds a doctorate in medieval Spanish history from New York University and has received formal training in cultural anthropology. She has done considerable research on Latin American agriculture – with special emphasis on tropical crops, cacao and vanilla agriculture, and chocolate production. She is the president of Gran Cacao Company a Latin American food research and marketing company that specializes in the sale of premium cacao beans from Latin America. She is author The New Taste of Chocolate: A Cultural and Natural History of Chocolate with Recipes (Ten Speed Press, 2001). She has led numerous trips to the cacao growing regions of Venezuela and has written three illustrated books for Henry Holt that explore the indigenous cultures and cuisines of Latin America.

She writes a weekly food column for the Miami Herald. Two of her articles for Saveur magazine were nominated for James Beard Foundation Journalism Awards. In 2012 The James Beard Foundation named her Best Mid-Atlantic Chef. The Foundation in 2012 appointed her chairman of the newly created Felipe Rojas-Lombardi Memorial Scholarship. Maricel also serves on the advisory committee for the Culinary Institute of America’s San Antonio Campus.


He encouraged us to rethink pairing red wine with fish and helped us explore the pleasures of the palate and good taste through his cookbooks, articles and award winning popular newsletter The Rosengarten Report.

David Rosengarten
David Rosengarten

David Rosengarten has been in the frontlines of the food industry for over 25 years as a journalist, television personality and cookbook author, He has written hundreds of articles and contributed as many original recipes to publications including Gourmet (where he was restaurant critic from 1996-2000), The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Harper’s Bazaar, Departures, The Wine Spectator and Newsday.

David perhaps may be best known for his work as the host of “Taste,” the award winning Food Network television show devoted to the principles of good taste in food and wine. David appeared on more than 2500 shows on Food Network and has been featured on a variety of other shows and networks, most notable NBC where he has regularly appeared on“The Today Show.” He appeared as a judge on the new season of “Iron Chef America” in 2012.

He is the author of multiple cookbooks including the seminal Red Wine with Fish (Simon & Schuster), Taste (Random House), an IACP Book Award winner in 2000; It’s All American Food(Little Brown & Co.), a 2003 James Beard Foundation Book Award winner; David Rosengarten Entertains (John Wiley) and the best-selling Dean & Deluca Cookbook (Random House).

This month David will relauch The Rosengarten Report after a hiatus. Like its predecessor the newRosengarten Report will chock full of tasty morsels of information from David’s greatest meals of 2014 to an in depth look at 25 stellar food products imported from Italy to a search for true Vindaloo, pitting two chefs against each other to prepare their renditions of this popular Indian dish. The new Rosengarten Report pops with David’s special inquisitive, intelligent insights on food and drink.


The Connected Table LIVE! Hosts Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple who bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Join them Wednesdays 2pm ET/11am PT on W4CY and download their shows on demand on I Heart Radio under Shows and Personalities.