From Our Blog

A Super Week For Restaurants & Food Delivery Feb. 7-14

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Restaurants will score well this week starting with Super Bowl Sunday February 7 and ending with Valentine’s Day February 14 with Chinese New Year (starts Feb. 8) and Mardi Gras (culminating Feb. 9) in between. A few statistics we found: On Super Bowl Sunday Americans will consume 1.3 billion chicken wings 278 million avocados 325 million gallons of beer 11.2 million pounds of potato chips and 31% will order takeout Source: Time.com/money (2/6/2016) Restaurant and retail spending for Chinese New Year exceeds Thanksgiving: Last year Americans spent around $60 billion during the four-day Thanksgiving holiday. In contrast the week of Chinese New Year generated […]

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Armagnac: The Heart & Soul of France’s Brandies

France is well known for producing some of the world’s best (and most famous and expensive) wines. Yet, it is also known for producing some of the world’s greatest brandies, most notably Cognac, Armagnac, and Calvados, the latter being not a grape spirit, but one made from either apples or pears. For grape-based brandies, Cognac and Armagnac rule the roost. Both are made in the Southwestern part of the country, below Bordeaux. While Cognac, made in the region of the same name, is probably the best known – and certainly most widely distributed – of France’s spirits, it is Armagnac, made […]

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Vitalie Taittinger on the Art of Her Family’s Champagne- Jan 27

Sometimes, if your name is on a product, you’ll do anything to make sure you own it. That’s certainly the case with Champagne Taittinger, the venerable producer of one of the world’s most sought after sparkling wines who famously in 2005 lost their interest in the family winery only to buy it back in 2007 after much resulting debate within the Champagne community (and wine-drinking public) over what parameters constitute the foundation for making Champagne what it is. Yet, for all the news that story generated, it’s the wine and family behind it that is what keeps Taittinger on the […]

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A G’Day To Frankland Estate’s Hunter Smith in Western Australia

When your wine is called Isolation Ridge, it’s a pretty sure bet that getting to where its made will probably include a lot of driving, and not necessarily on major roads. Of course, once one leaves the relatively few major cities on the world’s smallest Continent, that can be said for much of Australia. That said, driving to Frankland Estate, situated in a remote region of Western Australia about 250 miles Southeast out of Perth, one gets the feeling that reaching it may never happen (helicopter, please!). But it’s the wines that keep you driving, as Frankland Estate, founded in […]

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The Katz Out of the Bag About NY Distilling- Jan 20

As the revival of cocktail culture has seen its bloom blossom over the last decade, and more and more people have hopped on the bandwagon to learn about, and make cocktails, one of the people they have turned to to help educate themselves has been Southern Wine and Spirits of New York Director of Spirits Education and Mixology Allen Katz. A longtime member of the cocktail community and one of the industry’s great speakers, Katz has been at the forefront of making sure the industry has gotten its methods and spirits right. Yet, somewhere along the way, Katz decided he […]

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Marathon Woman: Banfi Vintners’ Cristina Mariani-May

Over the years, the name Banfi has become one of the top names when talking about Italian wines. Yet, Banfi Vintners, founded in 1919 by John Mariani, and now run by third generation family members Cristina Mariani-May and her cousin James, is actually an American company, started right in New York City. So how did a little NY importing company that had the misfortune of starting a wine importing business a year before Prohibition (it survived, of course) grow to become one of the true icons in the world of wine? Well, somewhere in the second half of the last […]

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Has Amanda Cohen Ever Met A Vegetable She Didn’t Like?

New York City has seen its fair share of vegetarian restaurants over the years, like Zen Palate, Blossom, Candle Cafe and Angelica Kitchen, but none have ever garnered the accolades that Amanda Cohen’s Dirt Candy has. Opened in 2008 with only 18 seats, Dirt Candy wasn’t just a fresh look at how to create a meat free menu, it was more like the Le Bernardin of vegetarian cooking: a veritable temple to the possibilities of where one can take a chef’s chosen medium, in this case vegetables, in the kitchen. When it was reviewed, finally – after four years, by Pete […]

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The Wizard of Cheese- MaxMcCalman

Some people crave chocolate. Others love smoky bacon. Admittedly, I go weak at the knees over cheese. My love for cheese is so intense that at home David often hides the cheese from me. Once I start slathering a runny Camembert over toasted pieces of baguette, slivering Stilton to pair with my pears, putting slices of English Cheddar with a crisp country apple or shaving Parmigiano-Reggiano over my pasta, I cannot stop. I’m crazy for all goat cheeses, especially in a salad chevre chaud. I’ll take a few pieces of cheese with my wine at the end of a meal over anything […]

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Baking a Difference- Hot Bread Kitchen’s Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez

Wandering through the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City, you’ll discover a stand with a range of international breads made by a community of women who work at Hot Bread Kitchen in East Harlem. Hot Bread Kitchen is more than just baking great breads. It’s about building lives, fighting poverty and changing the food landscape. This not-for-profit builds lasting economic security for low-income, immigrant and minority individuals by creating pathways to professional opportunities for women and men in the culinary industry. Its programs include employer-driven workforce development and business incubation programs, Bakers in Training and HBK Incubates. But back to the breads. They raise […]

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Southern Y’All-Tide Greetings with Virginia Willis- Dec. 23

Count on one hand the ambassadors of Southern Cuisine, and Award-winning writer, chef, TV personality, and cookbook author Virginia Willis will invariably own one of those five fingers. Georgia-born and French-trained, Virginia has been the go-to expert for such chefs and lifestyle experts as Bobby Flay, Paula Deen, and Martha Stewart, and has appeared on numerous TV shows such as Food Network’s Chopped, Fox & Friends, and NBC’s The Today Show. She’s also cooked with culinary world Grand Dames Julia Child and Nathalie Dupree (who gave Virginia her first job). She’s cooked for President Bill Clinton and, who knows, maybe she’ll cook […]

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