Jonell Nash, the longtime food editor for Essence Magazine, and a fellow member of Les Dames dEscoffier, left this world after a short illness. Outside of her immediate circle of family and friends, most of the people who knew Jonell were unaware she had been ill. Jonell would have wanted it that way; she was never about attracting attention, only giving of her self.
Jonell lived life on her own quiet, refined and gracious terms. She took life slowly and savored it like a perfectly cooked dish. Cooking was her calling, but it was more than just about creating precision recipes; it was about styling the perfect table setting, from fresh flowers to china, the right light and music. Eating was not about “grabbing a bite,” squeezing in lunch over a desk, or eating plastic food on paper plates with disposable utensils. Good things didn’t have to be complicated, time consuming or expensive, just well presented and with thought.
Jonell put a lot of thought into everything she did, un-hurried; not harried, calm and centered. How many of us take the time to set a table with flowers and sit down for a meal by ourselves or with a significant other and have real conversation? No TV, no text, no tech at the table.
Jonell focused on attention to every little detail in her life and in the lives of those she loved. Sadly was there was detail she may have ignored – that of keeping up with her health. I don’t know the circumstances of the cancer that took Jonell’s life other than it seem to have been discovered when it was too late to do anything. This was particularly poignant for me as a cancer survivor who has seen this happen with many women who are gifted and giving of themselves. I have made it my mission to educate women that making your self-health a priority is not selfish; it is self-sustaining.
Tune in October 22 for our featured guest and good friend, Kevin Zraly, internationally acclaimed wine educator and best-selling author of Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, with over 4 million copies sold.
Kevin Zraly has been described as a naturally gifted speaker who is both refreshingly humble and candid. His passion for wine and his engaging teaching style helps demystify the ever-changing world of wine. He began his career at age 19 as a waiter and bartender in a New York Times four star rated restaurant in the Hudson Valley, New York. In the years that followed, Kevin journeyed to vineyards in New York, California, and Europe learning his trade and developing his expertise as a sommelier.
After graduating college Kevin moved to New York City and a chance meeting with author Barbara Kafka and legendary restaurateur Joe Baum led to his hiring as the first cellar master and eventually wine director for the renowned Windows on the World restaurant atop One World Trade Center. Windows soon became the country’s top grossing restaurant and, with Kevin at the helm of its highly acclaimed wine list, sold more wine than any restaurant in the world. It was there that he established his Windows on the World Wine School now in its 39th year graduating more than 20,000 students ranging from wine novices and aficionados to top chefs and culinary professionals. Kevin worked at the Windows on the World Restaurant from the day it opened in 1976 until September 11, 2001.
With his first book, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course published in 1985 (an updated annually), Kevin began translating his classes onto the pages of books where his quick wit and capacity to communicate takes the reader through his worldwide journeys from grape to glass. He is also author of the first book that covers wineries and vineyards in all 50 states, Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide and The Ultimate Wine Companion, a compilation of 40 world-renowned wine writers.
His numerous awards and accolades include both the 2011 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and 1993 Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year; the 2006 Wine Literary Award, the 2009 Wine Professional of the Year from Santé, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Wine Council, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Wine Educators.
He is has served as a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Board of Trustees since 1990 and director of the Sherry-Lehmann/Kevin Zraly Master Wine Classes and the Sherry-Lehmann/Kevin Zraly Wine Club in New York City. He has been featured in The New York Times, People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, GQ magazine, Newsweek, and USA Today and co-hosted the Food Network’s Wine A to Z.
We will dedicate the full 50 minutes to Kevin and will open our chat room to take your questions. To participate, log on to: www.w4cy.com
Hosted by Melanie Young and David Ransom, the insatiably curious culinary industry couple,
The Connected Table Live airs Wednesdays, 2p.m.ET/11a.m. PT on www.w4cy.com. Podcasts are also available at www.iHeartRadio.com and everywhere the iHeartRadio app is available under the Shows & Personalities section.