Blog

The Breakers Palm Beach- Ageless & Timeless

I’ve been fascinated with grand hotels ever since my father took me to New York when I was five to visit Eloise at The Plaza. The front desk told us she was with her Nanny in Central Park. Eloise mailed me a thank you postcard for stopping by.  A girl with manners! One of the ...

The Wake-Up Call That Changed This Chef’s Life

Many people have a wake-up call after experiencing a health setback. The call came to Chef Jean- Christian Jury after experiencing heart failure, not once but twice. Jean-Christian attributes his poor health to his erratic eating habits and relentless 16- hour day work schedule combined with the stress of running several restaurants and kitchens in London at ...

From Dietitian to Winemaker- Denise Shurtleff- Cambria Wines

It’s all about chemistry. Cambria Wines’ Denise Shurtleff was studying for a degree in dietetics and food administration with the intention of focusing on a career in nutrition when she decided to apply for an internship at a winery. She never looked back, and the chemistry of winemaking became her calling.   Denise spent 16 years ...

Six Degrees of Siperation

When you’ve been in the beverage and food business as long as we have – 30 years for each of us – you find yourself reconnecting with people over and over. Those people connect you to others in the industry. Your circle widens and yet becomes closer as your relationships deepen. We call it “Six Degrees ...

Two Grapes Get a Makeover

Recently we attended two tastings that sparked our interest. Neither of the varietals spotlighted were front and center in our minds, and we welcomed the chance to educate our palates and try the wines. Alicia Lini‘s family has been making Lambrusco wines in Emilia-Romagna since 1910. A fourth generation family member, Alicia was recently in New ...

Beaujolais at Its Best

We have a soft spot in our hearts for Beaujolais Crus wines. They’re always overshadowed by their flashy younger sister, Beaujolais Nouveau. We become annoyed when people confuse Beaujolais Nouveau with Beaujolais Crus and don’t give either a chance. Beaujolais Nouveau is like the bright holiday sweater you bring out for the season to have some fun; Beaujolais Cru ...

Talking True ‘Cue with Matt Moore – The South’s Best Butts

We share a pet peeve with Matt Moore: We get annoyed when people refer to a summer cookout or grilling as a “barbecue” or “barbecuing.”  It’s like calling Prosecco “Champagne.” It’s not the same. Barbecue is a sacred tradition in the Southern states. Like real Coca-Cola, pimiento cheese and biscuits, we don’t like poor knock-offs or ...

Quenelles of Steel- Barbara Lynch on Living Life Out of Line

Reading Barbara Lynch‘s new memoir, “Out of Line: A Life Playing With Fire,” I was gripped with emotion and fascination. The term “Southie” was unfamiliar to this southern girl. So were the housing projects where Barbara grew up in South Boston next door to the notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger. Life in the hardscrabble ‘hood produced a gritty, gutsy ...

The Sweet Smell of Success – Our Maple Syrup Weekend

After a week of intensive wine tasting in Napa Valley, we decided to treat ourselves to a maple syrup weekend in the Hudson Valley. We picked two farms to visit in nearby Dutchess County: Madava Farms, producers of Crown Maple Syrup, and Soukup Farms. A “farm” can be many things much like a “country house.” ...

Spring (Bud) Break In Napa

The spring buds are breaking in Napa Valley which puts everyone in a good mood after recent rains. Driving along Highway 29 gazing out at expansive wine estates, it’s hard to envision the ranch towns of the 1960’s when Napa Valley’s earliest vintners scooped up farmland for a fraction of what it would cost today. ...

“Phenomonal Femmes”- Women Making History

In our March Women Making a Mark spotlight we have two very dynamic guests March 15th on The Connected Table LIVE!  Both are passionately devoted to promoting diversity and collaboration within the industry and to giving back. First up is Karen Hoskin, president and co-founder of Montanya Distillers based in Crested Butte, Colorado. Montanya utilizes old ...

Sonoma Stars

It had been awhile since either of had spent much time in Sonoma Valley, so we felt lucky to add three nights for a visit following our stay at Meadowood in St. Helena for the Professional Wine Writers Symposium. Where Napa feels gentrified and sophisticated, Sonoma feels bucolic and achaten-suisse.com laid back. It’s like comparing cashmere ...

A Restaurant Star in the City of Stars

City of stars Just one thing everybody wants There in the bars And through the smokescreen of the crowded restaurants It’s love – Lyrics from “La La Land” My last big trip to La La Land involved supplying George Duboeuf Poully-Fuisse to P Diddy’s Fourth of July White Party in Beverly Hills in 2009. White ...

Love, Italian Style

When it comes to passion, the Italians are brimming with it. Oh, the French are incredibly romantic, and the Greeks will tell you they created passion (as well as comedy, tragedy and democracy). But Italian passione just seems to overflow with abbondanza. So, it’s been a pleasure to indulge our passion for Italian wine which has ...

Kenwood Winemaker Pat Henderson on the Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Recently we met with Pat Henderson, Chief Winemaker at  Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma to taste through some vintages of the Artist Series, the winery’s portfolio of carefully blended Cabernet Sauvignon produced from the very best vineyards in Sonoma County. Every picture tells a story as does the vintage in the bottle. Pat shared anecdotes and aging information with ...

Wine Wonders from Down Under: Moollydooker and Bird in Hand

In 1989 I left my corporate agency job and went on a solo “walkabout” of sorts to Australia. It took 30,000 frequent flyer miles and 30 hours to land in Sydney where I stayed at a friend of a friend’s apartment near Bondi Beach. I spent the next six weeks hopscotching Australia on a cheap ...

Italy’s Marche- Birthplace of Verdicchio

Central Italy’s Marche region, with its rolling hills that spill into the Adriatic Sea, is an agricultural breadbasket for food and wine. Here, olives, mushrooms, truffles, fresh fruits and vegetables and, of course, grapes to make wine are a few examples of the region’s bounty. Cupramontana in the center of the Marche is considered the ...

Mark Oldman Shares His Two Cents on Drinking Like the One Percent

Our motto: “Drink wine. In moderation. Make it good wine.” Mark Oldman says he is a passionate proponent of drinking richly without spending extravagantly.” Let’s face it. You can have an expensive bottle of wine that ends up being as enticing as smelly socks. And you can have an inexpensive bottle of wine that may ...

A Walch on the Wine Side

An architect by training, Elena Walch found her prince in a storybook castle. Actually, it was a castle she was helping to restore. The prince was Werner Walch whose family owned Castel Ringberg, an edifice built by the Hapsburg dynasty in 1620 located in the village of Tramin in Italy’s Alto Adige wine region. In addition ...

Chef Franklin Becker Talks Fat and Slimming Down

After a career preparing dishes to die for at restaurants like Abe & Arthur’s, Brasserie and Capitale, and working for Starr Restaurant Group and Grand Hospitality, Chef Franklin Becker needed to make changes to save his own life. Diagnosed at age 27 with type 2 diabetes, Franklin realized he had to change his diet. Around ...

Miss Ella Shares Her Story

“I Don’t Want a Restaurant Where a Jazz Band Can’t Come Marching Through.”- Ella Brennan Many of you know we have love affair with the City New Orleans and its very special way of life. Well, no one embodies cialisfrance24.com “New Orleans Living” more than Miss Ella Brennan, matriarch of the Brennan family. And no ...

The Smithsonian Serves a Generous Helping of Food History

What is it about food history and culture that keeps us craving more? Recently, I visited the National Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington,DC, to experience its first major exhibition on food history – “FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000.” I enjoyed my visit so much I went back for a second helping two ...

She Bet the Farm and Reaped Success.

I first met Paulette Satur over a game of tennis. She was pretty good as I recall. At the time she worked in wine sales for Martin Scott. But this Pennsylvania born farm girl had a bigger vision. After 12 years working in wine she decided to buy a farm on the North Fork of ...

A Life Seasoned with Sentiments

Two annual events always signal the holiday season for me aside from Thanksgiving. Both are seasoned with sentiments of delicious years past and take place the same week. The first is the third Thursday of November with the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. For four years I had the honor- and challenge- of creating and staging ...

Remembrance of Wines Tasted

Sometimes it’s your first taste of something that you remember forever. Other times it’s the experience you were having, or you you were with, that creates that palate memory, My first wine memory and taste- at age 15- was my Dad teaching me how to properly serve and taste wine. he wanted me to learn ...

The Bitter and the Sweet

The month of November is both bitter and sweet for us. Both David and I lost our fathers in November. Both our fathers inspired our lives in wine. Jack Ransom owned Rivendell Winery in Ulster County where all three of his sons worked. Mel Young taught wine classes for more than 30 years in Chattanooga ...

She Dreams of Cookies

Baking Expert Dorie Greenspan says she dreams of cookies in her sleep. She notes she has at least 300 cookie recipes to her name. Dorie managed to narrow her recipes down and create even more….to 170 for her just released 12th cookbook “Dorie’s Cookies,” including some very interesting savory cookies (not crackers, she notes!)   Who doesn’t have a ...

The First Lady of the Organic Food Movement

Chef and restaurateur Nora Pouillon is Washington, DC’s- and the nation’s – Forever First Lady in the world of organic food and sustainability. When she arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s from her native Austria, our country was on a diet of processed foods and agricultural products treated with chemicals -and in too many communities still is. ...

Hail To The Chef!

While many Americans may be gnashing their teeth and biting their nails as we head into the last week of the Presidential campaign, I’m ready to cast my vote for the most impressive women-as-culinary-activists after attending last week’s Les Dames d’Escoffier International Conference in Washington, DC. Not intending to sound political, but just proud of my tribe: “If you ...

Culinary Diplomacy: Peace on a Plate

The role of food as a cultural identity and brand builder for a country, how food can be used as both a weapon of war and vehicle for peace, and how ethical cooking and a borderless kitchen factor into international relations were among the topics addressed in a presentation by Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman. With more than two decades ...