From Our Blog

A Napa Wine Starr

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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. Originally destined to go to dental school, […]

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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. 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 […]

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A Tale of Tequila with Chantal Martineau

Tequila was always my “nasty spirit” in college. There was something about drinking tequila than made me want to dance barefoot for hours, preferably on a beach. I stopped drinking it for a long period of time until my former agency started working with Frida Kahlo Tequila, and I was properly educated on true tequila and its breadth of styles. Sipping an añejo or a reposado with a sliver of fresh lime was all I needed to enjoy tequila as a responsible adult. No tutti frutti drinks for me. My tequila style went from naughty to neat. Tequila is a […]

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New Orleans Strong- A Visit with Ralph Brennan

It’s hard to believe that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast with its eye on New Orleans 10 years ago August 29th. At the time we were planning a major dining and wine event for following February the following year which sadly was cancelled. The aftermath left many of our restaurant friends recovering for months, and people were still living scattered here and there. Flash forward to 2015: New Orleans is back on its game and its restaurants are better than ever as noted in this New York Times article. Media outlets around the country are focusing their eyes on “The Storm’s […]

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A Nobler Pinot Grigio- Visiting with Alto Adige’s Giovanni Bonmartini Fini

Summer is the perfect time for exploring the lighter side of wines, but often people think that this means wines that are less expressive and flavorful. Pinot Grigio gets that bad wrap probably more than any other varietal offering. Enter Giovanni Bonmartini Fini, proprietor of Italy’s Barone Fini wines, a producer premium Pinot Grigio from Trentino/Alto Adige in Italy’s north, where arguably the best wines from this varietal are made. “When I took over the company in 1997 after my uncle passed away, Pinot Grigio as a category had become dominated by cheap agro-industrial mass-produced wine that didn’t require, or […]

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I Dream of Africa

In 2006-2007 David and I spent a blissful pre-wedding-New Years-Birthday-“Bucket List” trip traveling through Botswana and South Africa. It was my first time visiting the African continent, but not the last. In 2012 we went to Morocco to cross “dancing under the stars in the Sahara Desert” off my bucket list. Our travel bucket list is continually being rearranged and we’re forever dreaming of trips to destinations where the culture, the language, the food and the people are uniquely different and special. One of the places we dream of visiting in Africa is Senegal. Situated on the western coast of Africa, Senegal is […]

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Chewing the Fat on Eating Lean with Carolyn O’Neil, RD

This summer David and I have been busy getting our hands dirty making clean food, from fresh vegetable juices to pulp crackers to zesty dinner salads and fresh seafood boils. With a thirst for knowing how to eat healthier without sacrificing delicious decadence, we’ve invited noted nutrition expert, award winning food journalist and television personality Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesday August 5th, 2pmEST to chew the fat on what’s both lean and lusciously good. Carolyn’s philosophy is “The More You Know, The More You Can Eat!” We’re all about eating good food and enjoying it more! […]

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Do You Know What Defines Cuban Rum?

Carlos Esquivel, CEO of PILSA, distillers of fine rums made in Panama, gave us a short primer on what defines authentic Cuban rum during his interview on The Connected Table LIVE! July 29th. Link: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/?episode_id=27300770 1. The rum must be made from molasses, not sugar cane. 2. The liquid is column stilled, not pot stilled. 3. Aging must take place in American oak Bourbon barrels. 4. The liquid must undergo the Carta Blanca process: Once distilled it must age for three years in barrel under the supervision of a master blender.  After 3 years it may be called rum. Anything aged less […]

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The Secret To Cuban Rum…Made in Panama

When Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, master blender for Havana Club for 35 years, decided to leave Cuba after the sale of the brand to an international spirits conglomerate, it was to Panama that he went. Already having a long history of travel to that country, and having worked in Panama to make his “Cuban style” rum for many years previously, this was a natural choice for Don Pancho. However, it was not with the idea that he would continue to make rum or launch his own brand. That came later, after he met and became friends with one of Panama’s most […]

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In the Land of Cocktails with Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin

If you have tuned into our iHeart Radio show, The Connected Table LIVE!, you know that we love New Orleans. Maybe it’s the sweet southern air. Maybe it’s the moist hot humidity. Maybe it’s the iconic food and drink culture. Maybe it’s spirit of the city that conveys “Pleasure is Good.” We consider New Orleans our spiritual- and spirited- home. It there is one name in New Orleans dining that stands heads above others it is “Brennan.” There are several branches of the Brennan family tree running different restaurant operations. Two of our favorite ladies of the Brennan family are Lally […]

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