Chef Marcus Samuelsson- Pushing Boundaries; Uniting Cultures


With almost two dozen restaurants scattered throughout the U.S., Bermuda, and across Scandinavia, a handful of cookbooks, and a growing list of media and philanthropic interests, Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s reach in the culinary world crosses multi-cultural boundaries

RR HS by Monika Sziladi

Born in Ethiopia, adopted and raised in Sweden, from an early age Marcus was taught to appreciate and respect food by parents who were driven to instill those values in their children.

“I feel like I’ve been cooking all my life,” he says. “Growing up, my sisters Anna and Linda and I spent summers in Smögen, on the west coast of Sweden. Every morning I went fishing with my dad, Lennart, and my uncles. We caught crayfish, lobsters, and mackerel, and often smoked and preserved the catch. My grandmother, Helga, would gather us in the kitchen to teach us how to pickle fresh vegetables, and make meatballs, ginger snaps, cookies, and apple jam. These experiences taught me to love and appreciate fresh and local food.”


Roman Roth on Long Island Wines- March 23- The Connected Table LIVE

If you’ve had the good fortune to go out to The Hamptons on Long Island’s East End recently, you’ve most likely had one of Roman Roth’s wines. As winemaker at the celebrated Wölffer Estate Vineyard whose deliciously pale and dry Rosé is a Hamptons restaurant and Summer party staple, Roman has been a leader in the Long Island wine scene for almost three decades, and his wines are some of its best.

Roman and Barrels 2
Roman Roth

Born and schooled in Germany, Roman made wine in his home country and also California and Australia before finding his perfect fit on Long Island’s South Fork, where he’s been winemaker at Wölffer Estate Vineyard since 1988. During that time, he’s seen his local region grow from about 12 wineries to over 40, and New York State as a whole, surpass the 400 winery mark, bringing it to #3 in wine production nationwide. Twitter Facebook


Yet, for all the wine making regions in NY, Long Island is probably its most diverse. Most-Southerly, Coastal maritime influence, mildest of New York’s Winter weather, all lead to the ability to make world-class wines, particularly Merlot and Chardonnay, two of the region’s most well-known offerings. For more information on Long Island Wines visit the Long island Wine Council website Follow on Twitter@LIWineCountry   Facebook Page

Along with his work at Wölffer, Roman also consults with a number of other wineries in the region and makes his own award-winning Grapes of Roth wines, a sort of think-tank, if you will.  Facebook Page  A small-output label that allows him to experiment with Merlot and Riesling in ways that he finds well-suited to what Long Island grows, but may not be as commercially viable as what he needs to make in his other duties.  Oh, and in case making wine for two labels and consulting with a variety of other local wine producers wasn’t enough, he also makes cider!


One of Long Island’s great ambassadors, Roman joins us on Wednesday March 23, 2:25pm ET on The Connected Table LIVE!. We’ll have a glass of Long Island Merlot in-hand, and can’t wait!

Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple

Ashby Marshall Goes Grain to Glass At Spirit Works Distillery

Though the profession of wine making has had a fairly large contingent of women at the helm for decades, the spirits making game has long been male dominated, and it’s only recently that women have started turn their eye towards running a still. And, while we may be able to only count female distillers on a hand or two, the list is growing, with more women jumping in the distillation game than ever before.

Ashby Marshall in Distillery
Ashby Marshall

Ashby Marshall, distiller and co-owner of Sonoma County California’s Spirit Works Distillery is one of them, and she’s making some wonderful and unique products in her Sebastopol distillery. Not least, is a Sloe Gin, one of only a few made in the U.S. (or world, for that matter), and a testament to a longtime heritage on her husband’s side of family time spent gathering Sloe berries in coastal England to make their own version.

Ashby and Timo Marshal with Bandit
Ashby and Timo Marshal with Bandit

Of course that’s not all she makes, Ashby’s growing list of products includes a Vodka, two other Gin interpretations, (including a barrel-aged), and two Straight Whiskies: a Rye and Wheat. In keeping with Ashby’s and husband Timo’s ideals (they were both in environmental non-profit work when they met), The Spirit Works utilizes a Grain–to-Glass policy, using only California-grown organic Red Winter Wheat to make their spirits, and control everything – milling, fermenting, distilling, and bottling – at their facility. A rarity these days among the ever growing segment of “craft” spirits brands, so many of which are custom-labeled or finished, but initially come from industrial-sized custom spirits-making facilities.


Ashby Marshall joins us Wednesday March 23, 2pmET on The Connected Table LIVE!  We can’t wait to talk to her about her wonderful spirits and her vision, and hopefully her take on the future of women in distilling. Tune in live LIsten anytime on and the iHeart App.


Instagram: @Spiritworksdistillery 

FB @Spiritworksdistillery 

Twitter: @spiritworks

Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple


Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple who connected you to the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.

Irish Whiskey – Beyond The Basics

Irish Whiskies

Long thought of as a two brand country when it came to whiskey  those brands being Bushmills and Jameson (and we’ll leave religion out of it, here, because I’ve always believed in the separation of  Church and Still) – the Emerald Isle actually has close to 100 different whiskies in distribution around the world, and while not all are available in the United States, most of the best ones are, and the list is growing.

In other words (for those people who’ve been living under a rock), Irish whiskey is HOT! There are more brands now than ever in the marketplace and more diversity in the whiskies being made, both by established distilleries and startups, due to a new generation of distillers who are leading the charge in experimentation and quality. And the world, ever in search of new flavor profiles to learn about and enjoy, has taken notice.

So let’s dive in and learn about some of what I like to call the next-level tier of Irish whiskies: those that are a step above the entry level whiskies we liked enough to learn more about what the category has to offer. Mostly Single Pot Still whiskies (look it up, I did, and am still confused), these all beautifully show the art form that Irish Whiskey can be.


The Skinny on Corned Beef & Cabbage


While doing our research for Our March 16th radio show, we learned that the traditional St. Patrick’s day dish of corned beef and cabbage is really a Jewish specialty. New York City’s Irish working class  frequented nearby Jewish delis and food carts. Corned beef and cabbage was a flavorful and cheaper alternative to Irish bacon and potatoes, and was quickly adopted as their own. You can read more at TheKitchn.

As for the “skinny” part of corned beef and cabbage, that may sound like a bunch of blarney, but there are some healthy options. Cabbage is nutrient dense. That’s good. Trim the fat on your brisket.  Better.  We found this great homemade recipe from Wellness Mama. Click through for her nitrite free version of corned beef made from grass fed brisket


Wellness Mama’s Nitrite Free Corned Beef Recipe


“What butter and whiskey will not cure, there’s no cure for.”- Irish proverb

You’d have to be living under a rock not to know Irish whiskey is hot! There are more brands now than ever in the marketplace, and more diversity in the whiskies being made, both established distilleries and startups, due to a new generation of distillers who are leading the charge in experimentation and quality. And the world, ever in search of new flavor profiles to learn about and enjoy, has taken notice.

Jessamine McLellan
Jessamine McLellan

We’ll delve into a dram or two with the Mistress of Midleton, Jessamine McLellan, who after many years working in the bar business, now acts as the Ambassador for the Single Pot Still Whiskies from Pernod Ricard, owner and marketer of such iconic brands as Jameson, Redbreast, John Powers, and of course, Midleton itself, one of the great whiskies of the world.

single pot still

A wealth of information on Irish Whiskey and its storied history, Jessamine will help us get a better understanding of this great spirit, and maybe even help us unravel the mystery of just what “Single Pot Stilled” means! Tune in at 2pm EST to listen and make sure you have a glass of something ready to sip on and preferably Irish.

This soup reinterprets the Irish classic ‘colcannon’, a dish that is made of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. From "Clodagh's Irish Kitchen'" Recipe
This soup reinterprets the Irish classic ‘colcannon’, a dish that is made of mashed potatoes and kale or cabbage. From “Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen.”  Recipe

The modern Irish food scene is a far cry from corned beef and cabbage. Restaurateur, Chef and Cookbook Author Clodagh McKenna, shares some of her favorite recipes from her native Ireland and and shares her contemporary twist on classics.

Clodagh McKenna
Clodagh McKenna

Melanie first met Clodagh when she cooked at a Les Dames d’Escoffier dinner. This gregarious chef is the author of five best-selling cookery books, which include ‘Clodagh’s Irish Kitchen’ and ‘Homemade’. She is a familiar face on TV in Ireland (Fresh from the Farmers’ Market) and is resident chef on TV3’s Ireland AM.  Her restaurant, Clodagh’s Kitchen, is located on the second floor of Arnott’s Department Store in Dublin.

Clodagh is author of 5 best selling cookbooks
Clodagh is author of 5 best selling cookbooks

Clodagh created the menu aboard Aer Lingus’s transatlantic flights. She’s also US ambassador for KerryGold (Is there any better butter?) David’s been on a bread baking streak. We’re fans of Clodagh’s dense health loaf and love a toasted slice with a bit of butter. Recipe.

Clodagh's health loaf
Clodagh’s health loaf


Speaking of Irish toast:

There are good ships,
and there are wood ships,
The ships that sail the sea.
But the best ships, are friendships,
And may they always be.

Both Jessamine McLellan and Clodagh McKenna are guests on the March 16th edition of The Connected Table LIVE! The Connected Table LIVE airs Wednesday, 2pm EST on Shows are available to listen and download anytime on and iHeart App.  Find The Connected Table LIVE under Shows and Personalities. Episodes are filed by the names of our guests, and we encourage you to re-post and share. Here is a cut and paste link:

Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple
Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple

A Clever New Magazine Covering Cannabis and a Global Tea Ambassador- March 9- The Connected Table LIVE!

You asked. We listened!

We’re excited to announce The Connected Table® Sips on, our podcast series to provide more ways to spotlight people, brands and initiatives in the industry separately from our live show. The five minute podcasts are recorded, and guests can call in from anywhere in the world. They can be used for digital marketing & social media and will remain permanently on and the iHeart app. For information please shoot us an email:

March 8 is International Women’s Day!

Here’s some kitchen wisdom from one of our favorite women in food.

This Week on The Connected Table LIVE

March 9, 2pm EST we continue our salute to women in the industry as part of National Women’s History Month. Joining us is Meridith May, the dynamic Editorial Director and Publisher of The Tasting Panel Magazine, The SOMM Journal and The Clever Root. Meredith’s journalism career spans both print (Santa Barbara News Press) and radio (KIIS-FM & KLSX, Los Angeles, and KEYT, Santa Barbara).She joined Patterson’s Beverage Journal in 2000 as Senior Editor and advanced to Associate Publisher and Editor-in-Chief.

Meridith May
Meridith May, Editorial Director and Publisher, Tasting Panel Magazine, The SOMM Journal and The Clever Root