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Toddy Tales

When the cold or flu hits me (as it did last October), I crave a warm Toddy. By definition a Toddy is a hot drink of  whiskey, sugar and water. But in the right hands, it is much more. It’s hot magic in a glass.

According to cocktail historian and author, Dave Wondrich, the Toddy originated in 18th century Scotland. You can read more in this article he wrote in Saveur magazine entitled “Thank God for Toddies!”

from "Thank God for Toddies" by Dave Wondrich, Daveur Magazine. Photo: Sarah Karnasiewicz
from “Thank God for Toddies” by Dave Wondrich, Saveur Magazine. Photo: Sarah Karnasiewicz

Thank God, indeed! Drinking a Toddy when you feel like hell can be a heavenly thing. The whiskey opens the sinuses; the warm liquid soothes the chills; the sugar (or honey) makes everything go down a little softer.

We’re talking Toddies with two masters of the bar who are participating in the 10th Annual Tales of the Toddy taking place December 17th at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans: Chris Hannah, French 75 at Arnaud’s Restaurant, and Cole Newton, Twelve Mile Limit. – Melanie Young

Chris hannah
Chris Hannah
Cole Newton
Cole Newton

 

Tune in Wednesday, December 16, 2:28pmEST (That’s 1:28 CST for our New Orleans friends) live on W4CY.com. Show podcasts can be found anytime on iHeart.com and the iHeart App.

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A Beer That Is Good for What Ales You

Remember that college mantra  “beer makes you smarter?” Memory hint: it was usually uttered by someone with beer goggles on.

We did a little research asking if drinking beer made you smarter. A 2012 study at Oregon State University reported that xanthohumol in hops, a main ingredient in beer, has been found to increase brain function in high doses. Here’s the catch: “High doses” equals about 3,520 pints or 2,000 litres of beer. And, the study was conducted on “young animals” and not “young men.” Maybe the folks in Oregon should stick to studying coffee. You can read this article on the subject

Here’s a more intelligent rationale for drinking beer according to this article in OrganicFacts.net:

The health benefits of beer include anticancer properties, a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases, increased bone density, the prevention of dementia and coronary disease, aid to the digestive system, and anti-aging properties, as well as treating diabetes, gallstones, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and hypertension. Beer also acts as a serious stress buster and a diuretic.

Okay, that’s more like it. What’s more intelligent is drinking better beer, sustainably produced and organically made.  Just ask Gabriel Heymann, founder of Smart Beer, New York State’s first certified organic beer.

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An avid beer drinker, farm advocate, and certified yoga instructor, Gabriel felt he wanted a beer he could feel good about drinking, and that wouldn’t compromise his health conscious, environmentally-inclined lifestyle. When he couldn’t find it, he decided to make it.

SMART BEER

Made in the Hudson Valley (near us!)  from sustainably farmed and sourced ingredients, Smart Beer is made for those who don’t want to compromise their food philosophies to drink a few suds. “I wanted to enjoy both my social life and my healthy, active lifestyle,” Gabriel says, adding. “You shouldn’t have to sacrifice your lifestyle or values in order to celebrate, and that’s what this beer is about.” www.smartbeercompany.com

We welcome Gabriel to The Connected Table LIVE! on Wednesday December 16, 2pm  EST to talk about striking a balance between  health and healthy imbibing and Smart Beer, a which he says proves the fact that “we can have it all.”

Listen live Wednesdays, 2pmEST on W4CY.com

Listen to show podcasts anytime on iHeart.com and the iHeart App.

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His Wine Reporting Rates 100 Points- Tom Matthews- Oct 7 The Connected Table LIVE

What’s it like to oversee one of the world’s most read wine magazines? How much wine can you taste in a week?

Wine Spectator Executive Editor Thomas (Tom) Matthews has spent the better part of thirty years reporting on the wine industry. He joined the magazine in 1988 starting as a reporter in the London office and moved to New York in 1989.  Appointed to executive editor in 1999, Tom oversees the magazine’s staff of writers, editors and art directors for both the print and online operation. He is the lead taster for Spanish wines and one of the magazine’s principal restaurant reviews and travel writers.

Tom’s passion for wine began back in the vineyards picking grapes in Bordeaux during the 1979 vintage. He learned the business side as a wine buyer for New York restaurants, Odeon and Cafe Luxembourg, in the 1980s.  His book, A Village in the Vineyard, written with wife Sara, a photographer, chronicles their life in France.

Tom Matthews
Tom Matthews

Tom and his team have helped build Wine Spectator into the world’s #1 wine focused magazine, by not just reporting on trends, but often, through its superlative journalism, helping to forecast them through in-depth interviews with industry mavericks and the lifestyle they help invoke to readers. While many look to Wine Spectator for the extensive wine ratings in the back of the magazine, it’s the profiles and destination reports of places we long to visit that fill our files.  Some of the most highly anticipated issues of Wine Spectator each year include the annual “World’s Greatest Wine Lists” dining guide published in August and the upcoming “Top 100 Wines” guide.

WS RESTAURANT

Tom joins The Connected Table LIVE October 7, 4pmEST, to discuss his career, wine trends, his recent cover story on Spain and give a hint or two about the Top 100 Wines to be unveiled later this month.

We’re deciding what glass of wine to have with this interview! We know it will be Spanish since this show will air from Wines from Spain’s Great Match in Manhattan and in anticipation of our second guest, Alvaro Palacios, the esteemed winemaker whose, in the words of Wine Spectator’s October 15th cover story, “leads Priorat to new heights.”

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Joanne Weir: Kitchen Gypsy. Global Culinary Ambassador

Waiter! There’s a fly in my wine! 

This is just one of the serendipitous stories in Joanne Weir ‘s new memoir, “Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food.”

kitchen gypsy cover

I particularly loved this story because Joanne ends up in her tender 20s as a guest at a famous Bordeaux Chateau as a result of mailing the dead fly to the producer. That’s gumption!

I’ve known Joanne for years. We connected annually at The James Beard Awards where her PBS TV series such as “Weir Cooking in the Wine Country” and “Joanne Weir’s Cooking School” were honored.  I enjoy visiting her Mexican restaurant Copita in Sausalito, just a short walk from where dear friends, Valerie and David live.  Joanne’s the original “Agave Girl” and serves a fabulous selections of tequilas at Copita and a mighty fine margarita.

COPITA RESTAURANT

 

Joanne’s a fourth generation professional chef who grew up on a farm in Massachusetts. Originally destined for a career in fine arts, she refocused on the art of the table. Joanne trained under the notoriously tough teacher Madeleine Kamman to receive her Master Chef Diploma. She spent five years cooking with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse (Alice wrote the forward to Kitchen Gypsy.)

But Joanne’s first love is teaching, and she does it around the world. She’s a true global culinary ambassador, in this case being one of 80 chefs  appointed by Hilary Clinton and the State Department in 2012 to promote world relations through food. We’ve always known better decisions are made on a happy and full stomach than an empty one, no matter side of the political table you sit on. – Melanie Young

Joanne Weir
Joanne Weir

Joanne joins is at The Connected Table LIVE!  September 30 on www.W4CY.com (iHeart.com). Link to all show episodes is: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable
Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable

 

 

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Jacques Capsouto: A Life Reinvented

Couples and families alike spent many memorable meals at Capsouto Frères, a gem of a restaurant in Manhattan’s Tribeca neighborhood owned by Jacques Capsouto, his mother, Eva, and his two younger brothers, Albert and Samuel. Opened in the 1980s when Tribeca was still a “fringe” neighborhood, the restaurant survived three decades of New York City’s highs and lows, from Wall Street bull and bear markets and the September 11th terrorist attacks which put Lower Manhattan businesses in a standstill, to the loss of Jacques’ beloved mother and youngest brother, Albert.

Jacques Capsouto in front of Capsouto Freres (photo: David Ransom)
Jacques Capsouto in front of Capsouto Frères   (photo: David Ransom)

Through it all, Jacques stood front and center at events that supported the industry,  generously giving his time to various causes from charity dinners, to festive Compagnons du Beaujolais celebrations and Capsouto Frères’ enormously popular Passover Seders.

Jacques Capsouto (far right) with fellow members of the Compagnons du Beaujolais with Franck Duboeuf, Les Vins George Duboeuf
Jacques Capsouto (far right) with fellow members of the Compagnons du Beaujolais with Franck Duboeuf, Les Vins George Duboeuf

After Hurricane Sandy demolished Capsouto Frères in 2012, Jacques decided not to rebuild the restaurant. After 32 years as a restaurateur and at the age of 68, he decided to reinvent his life as a full time vintner in Israel.

You can read more about Jacques and his decision to close Capsouto Frères in an article David and I co-wrote for the January 2013 issue of Tasting Panel Magazine on how the industry came together after Hurricane Sandy.

Jacques’ interest in Israel’s growing wine industry was sparked after he attended a family function there in 2004.  In 2006 he decided to pursue planting vines in the Holy Land and in 2010 found what he was looking for in Peki’in, an area about 20 miles from the Mediterranean. During that time he traveled back and forth from York, where he was overseeing to his restaurant, to Israel where he tended to his vines.

While most wines in Israel are made from international varietals (e.g., Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc), Jacques looked closer to the Mediterranean to source rootstock from southern France. He selected Grenache, Mourvedre, Cinsault and Syrah and Counoise for his reds, and Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussane and Marsanne for the whites.  Planting began in 2011.  The first harvest started in August 2014.
Jacques Capsouto vignes

Working with wine consultant, Jean-Luc Colombo, Jacques has introduced his first vintage. The Jacques Capsouto Vignobles Côtes de Galilée Villages portfolio includes an entry level white and rosé called Cuvée Eva (named after Jacques’ mother), an entry level red called Cuvée Samuel (named after Jacques’ grandfather), a reserve white, Cuvée Albert (named after Jacques’ youngest brother) and a reserve red, Cuvée Marco (named after Jacques’ father). All wines are certified kosher. The U.S. importer is Roadhouse Wines. www.roadhousewines.com

Jacques’ life is a story of love, family, loss, survival and reinvention. The two wines we tasted, Cuvée Eva Rosé and Cuvée Eva White, are expressive and soulful, much like the spirit of their creator.

Jacques Capsouto paid The Connected Table LIVE! a visit from Israel where his vines were in full harvest on September 9th. Hear the full interview at this iHeartRadio link: Or, sut and paste here:  http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/?episode_id=27336381

 

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A Napa Wine Starr

We met vintner Pam Starr through mutual friends and were instantly drawn to her engaging personality and highly pleasurable Bordeaux-style wines. Pam has been the co-owner, manager and winemaker of Crocker & Starr since its inception in 1997 when she helped resurrect the vineyards on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena and established a winery to create world-class wines. After toiling as a winery employee for 18 years, Pam’s transformation at a relatively young age into owner, manager and winemaker was unique and remarkable. It required a special mix of skill, passion and dedication.

Pam Starr
Pam Starr

Originally destined to go to dental school, her career path switched to wine after Pam worked a harvest as an intern. A life of drilling teeth turned to pruning vines. Pam enrolled in the University of California at Davis to study oenology, graduating in 1984. She worked her way through different roles and wineries at Edna Valley Vineyard, Carmenet Winery, Spottswoode Vineyard before partnering with Charlie Crocker to start Crocker & Starr.- Melanie Young

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We visited with Pam Sept. 2 to discuss her wines and this year’s harvest. Connect: www.crockerstarr.com. Listen here or here where you can follow all our show episodes filed by guest’s name: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/?episode_id=27330235

Follow up on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable
Follow us Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable

 

 

 

 

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Monet’s Palate: From Garden to Table with Aileen Bordman

If you’ve ever visited the lush bucolic home of the painter, Claude Monet. you will be transformed by its beautiful gardens. Located in a the tiny and very pretty town of Giverny, France, it’s an easy day trip everyone must take from Paris and, please, allow plenty of time to savor it.

Taken on my trip to Giverny in August 2014
Taken on my trip to Giverny in August 2014

Another way to savor Monet’s gardens is through Aileen Bordman‘s book Monet’s Palate Cookbook: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny (Gibbs-Smith Publishers). Written with garden writer, Derek Fell, this book includes 60 recipes linked to Monet’s two-acre kitchen garden near his home in Giverny. With a forward written by none other than Meryl Streep and recipes beautiful photographed by Steven Rothfeld, Monet’s Palate Cookbook transports you to the French countryside in the days of the Impressionists when farm to table was the only way to eat.

Monets-Palate-Cover-02

Aileen joins us on The Connected Table LIVE! August 26, 2:30PMEST, to share her own personal journey through Monet’s Garden as filmmaker and culinary historian. President and Founder of Monet’s Palate, Inc, she has been immersed in the world of Claude Monet since 1980 and has more than 35 years of firsthand experience at Monet’s home and gardens. Her knowledge and passion with respect to Claude Monet’s lifestyle, cuisine, gardens and art prompted the creation of the Monet’s Palate concept.

Aileen Bordman
Aileen Bordman

Aileen is the creator and producer of the acclaimed documentary film titled “Monet’s Palate: A Gastronomic View from the Garden,” which has been broadcast nationally through American Public Television to all 350 PBS stations.  She independently wrote and produced the film Monet’s Palate with Meryl Streep, Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud, Michel Richard and Steve Wynn. The film has been screened from Cannes to New York, and was featured during the six-month “Monet’s Garden” exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden in New She lives just outside New York City in New Jersey. Website: www.monetspalate.com  Twitter@monetspalate  Facebook/Monets.Palate.Claude.Monet

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Listen live on www.W4CY.com and on demand at iHeart.com and the iHeart App. Direct link: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/ Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable
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In Maui’s Upcountry- Our Favorite Dining Destination

David and I are big fans of the Hawaiian island Maui, We are longtime Starwood Vacation Property owners at the Westin Kaanapali, and we try to visit at least once a year. While many people who visit Maui hang out on the beach or enjoy the multitude of water sports, we like to venture upcountry around the slopes of Haleakula and beyond to visit the local farms, hike and explore the cowboy town of Makawao.

A trip to upcountry often includes a visit to Beverly and Joe Gannon’s Hali’imaile General Store for lunch or a drink at the bar (voted the best Mai Tai on the island). It is a “must stop” on Maui’s culinary trail.  Just a 15 minute drive to Maui’s airport, we try to make an early dinner at Hali’imaile General Store before boarding the late night flight home.

Beverly Gannon is one of the 12  founding members of the Hawaii Regional Cuisine Movement and a multi-award winning chef whose acclaimed restaurants include the aforementioned Hali’imaile General StoreGannons Restaurant in Wailea and  Joe’s Nuevo Latino in Kihei. She also runs an extremely successful catering company

Bev photo 2
Beverly Gannon

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So how did a nice Jewish girl from Dallas, Texas, and a former road manager for Liza Minelli, Joey Heatherton and Ben Vereen end up cooking “eclectic American cuisine with Asian overtones” in a former pineapple plantation country store in upcountry Maui? And what does the word “Hali’imaile” mean?

THE CONNECTED TABLE BANNER WITH TIMESHear Beverly’s story from our July 1st interview on The Connected Table LIVE on iHeart.com and the iHeart App. – Melanie Young, June 30, 2015. 

Here’s the link to cut and paste:

http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/?episode_id=27277977

Connect:

Hali’imaile General Store    Gannon’s    Joe’s Nuevo Latino   Celebrations Catering 

 tuna salad HGAhi

 

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Vision Through a Glass – Ann Tuennerman, Tales of the Cocktail

New Orleans has long been considered the birthplace of the cocktail. In fact there is a Museum of Cocktail located in the city.  Eating and drinking is an essential part of New Orleans’ rich culinary culture, from its storied bars and restaurants and iconic Creole and Cajun dishes to the cocktails that were created there: the Sazerac, the Hurricane, the Grasshopper and New Orleans Ramos Gin Fizz.

Sazerac
Sazerac Cocktail (www.liquor.com)

New Orleans is also the birthplace of the largest gathering of people who work in and for the cocktail and bar profession.  Tales of the Cocktail® is the world’s premier cocktail festival, bringing together the international spirits community for five days of what’s now, what’s new and what’s next in bartending.  The city heats up even more in July when the cocktail cognoscenti arrive. This year’s Tales of the Cocktail® takes place July 15-19.

The brains behind Tales of the Cocktail® is Founder Ann Tuennerman. A New Orleans native and marketing pro, she first started organizing walking tours of the city’s fabled bars in 2002. The following year she launched the first Tales of the Cocktail®. The rest is cocktail industry history. This event has grown into a global gathering with international offspring events in cities like Buenos Aires, Vancouver and Mexico City…and more to come.

Ann Tuennerman, Founder, Tales of the Cocktail
Ann Tuennerman, Founder, Tales of the Cocktail

 

David and I first attended Tales in 2008 and we haven’t missed one since. We’ve connected with so wonderful industry people through Tales, all in the spirit of supporting the industry while having an amazingly fun time. Hey! After all it takes place in New Orleans!

David and Melanie with Tom Bulleit, Bulleit Whiskey (2014 TOTC)
David and Melanie with Tom Bulleit, Bulleit Whiskey (2014 TOTC)

Throughout the year Ann and her team organize events like Tales of the Toddy and a Cocktail Film Festival. More recently they created Tales 365, an exclusive membership service providing  bartenders and spirits professionals access to special programs, networking events and distillery tours.

Tales also gives back to support the community who serves the industry. In 2006, Ann and her husband Paul founded the New Orleans Culinary & Cultural Preservation Society (NOCCPS), which has funded more than half a million dollars in programs to support the hospitality industry through grants, scholarships, cocktail apprenticeships and other programs.

I like to say there are three kinds of people: Those who see the glass half empty; those who see the glass half full and those who seize the opportunity and drink up what’s in the glass. Ann saw opportunity in a glass, drank it up and served more to share with others. – Melanie Young

Ann Tuennerman and Melanie with Sazerac, our Maltese
Ann Tuennerman and Melanie with Sazerac, our Maltese

 

Connect:

www.talesofthecocktail.com

twitter.com/totc

facebook.com/TalesoftheCocktail

instagram.com/tales_of_the_cocktail/

Hear from Ann Tuennerman June 24 on The Connected Table LIVE, 2pmET/1pmCT on W4CY.com, iHeart.com and the iHeart App. Each week we bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Follow  ups on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable

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