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May 27 We Grill Elizabeth Karmel on Mastering the Flame

We love to grill! Ours is a big silvery grill from Home Depot, but we equally enjoy the earthy aroma of charcoal and smoke. While Melanie is more inclined to grill  fresh vegetables or an old fashioned Girl Scout S’More over a small campfire, David loves a plump blackened butt or a fat weiner dog. (I just had to inject my smart ass sense of humor). Of course my first “grills” were a starter George Forman and second-hand hibachi grill on my New York City apartment terrace.

Elizabeth Karmel
Elizabeth Karmel

But we want to discuss Big League Grilling. We invited Grilling Expert Elizabeth Karmel, to join us May 27, 2:28 pmET  on the Connected Table LIVE! to discuss grilling tips. A native of North Carolina, Elizabeth is a chef, author restaurateur, television personality and entrepreneur. She writes a bi-monthly column for the Associated Press called The American Table and is the author of three books: ”Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ”, “Soaked, Slathered & Seasoned: A Complete Guide to Flavoring Food for the Grill,” and “ Pizza on the Grill: 100 Feisty Fire-Roasted Recipes for Pizza & More

Pizza on the GrillSmoked and SlatheredTaming the Flame

 

Elizabeth is the founding Executive Chef of Hill Country Barbecue Market in New York and Washington, DC and Hill Country Chicken in New York. And she is co-founder of CarolinaCueToGo.com, an “online barbecue shack” e-commerce site specializing in North Carolina whole-hog barbecue seasoned with her own signature Lexington-Style Vinegar Barbecue

As a sought after media personality, Elizabeth is frequently featured in an array of national magazines from Bon Appétit to Better Homes & Gardens, and was named one of the top 100 chefs by Saveur magazine. She appears regularly on all three network morning shows and is a guest judge on Chopped and Iron Chef. She has appeared on a number of Food Network shows and hosted her own special on The Cooking Channel. – posted by Melanie Young

Connect:

http://www.elizabethkarmel.com/

http://www.facebook.com/ElizabethKarmel

http://twitter.com/grillgirl

https://twitter.com/CarolinaCueToGo

Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart
Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart

Here’s the link to listen to all our shows on iHeart and the IHeart App anytime, anywhere, Please Like and Share

http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

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Rum vs Rhum vs Rhum Agricole

Question: Do you know the difference between Rum and Rhum? Answer: They are both “Rum.” Rhum is from the French speaking part of the Caribbean. Rum from the English part. Then there’s Ron covering the Hispanic Caribbean.

Question: Do you know the difference between Rhum  and Rhum Agricole? Answer: Rhum is made from molasses; Rhum Agricole is made from fresh sugar cane juice.

Oh, there’s more to it. And other designations. including rhum traditionnel, rhum grand arôme.

rhum

According to the Ministry of Rum’s Ed Hamilton, “The French made rhum from molasses and rhum from sugar cane juice. This rhum is called rhum agricole and is very different from rhum, ron or rum made from molasses.”

Martinique has long had the reputation of having the best terroir for sugarcane cultivation. One of the most notable producers was Martinique businessman and former mayor, Homère Clément who had the  idea to press sugarcane to produce Rhum Agricole. Mssr Clément purchased a rundown sugar plantation, Domaine de l’Acajou, in 1887 at the peak of the sugar crisis. The introduction of sugar beets and the increasing availability of cheap South American sugar lead to the collapse of the Martiniquean sugar commerce.

Mssr Clément made the necessary investments and transformed one of the island’s most prestigious sugar plantations into a producer of world-class Rhum Agricole.

hOMERE
Homère Clément

 

Today, Rhum Clement has sealed its place in the top tier of rhum agricole production. Ben Jones, a fourth generation member of the Clément family, has helped bring Martinique’s liquid gold to the USA under the importing and marketing company, Rhum Clément USA. Looking at Ben, who towers north of six feet, you’d expect him to be palming a basketball rather than a snifter of sipping rhum agricole or a craft cocktail. But rhum runs in his veins, and Ben travels extensively to spread the good word.

Benjamin Melin- Jones Fourth Generation Family member, Rhum Clement USA
Benjamin Mélin- Jones
Fourth Generation Family member, Rhum Clement

We’ll be clinking glasses over the airwaves and discussing more about rhum, rhum agricole and Ben’s family’s history shaping Martinique’s rhum economy on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesday, May 27, 2pm ET on www.W4CY.com  (iHeart Radio). As with all our shows you can listen any time, anywjere on www.iHeart.com and the iHeart App under Shows & Personalities. Here is the direct link: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

 

Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart
Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart

Connect with Ben Jones:

http://www.twitter.com/RhumClement

http://www.facebook.com/rhumclement

http://www.rhumclementusa.com/

Connect with Melanie and David:

http://www.connectedtable.com

http://www.facebook.com/theconnectedtable

http://www.twitter.com/mightymelanie

http://www.twitter.com/ransomwrites

 

 

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The How of TAO- Secrets of a Top Grossing Restaurant

TAO: the process of nature by which all things change and which is to be followed for a life of harmony (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tao)

 Tao (pronounced “dao”) means literally “the path” or “the way.” It is a universal principle that underlies everything from the creation of galaxies to the interaction of human beings. The workings of Tao are vast and often beyond human logic. In order to understand Tao, reasoning alone will not suffice. One must also apply intuition.

What’s it like to oversee the kitchens at the highest grossing independent restaurant in America? We’ll ask Ralph Scamardella, Executive Chef and Partner for The TAO Group. Ralph joins us on The Connected Table LIVE! May 20th 2pm ET on W4CY and iHeart Radio.

After three decades cooking in kitchens at some of the most esteemed restaurants on the world, Chef Scamardella divides his time between his home base in New York and Las Vegas where he oversees all daily menu and kitchen operations. His is a culinary vision that pairs old and new inspired by travels in Southeast Asia combined with classical French training and nostalgic Italian roots (His father grew up in Naples, Italy.)

 

TAO Group_Corporate Executive Chef and Partner_Ralph Scamardella
Ralph Scamardella, Chef/Partner, The TAO Group

Hot restaurants. Even hotter cities New York-Las Vegas-Sydney.  According to the unofficial 2014 RB rankings (from Restaurant Business magazine), TAO Asian Bistro in Las Vegas was the highest-grossing independent restaurant in America with $64.6 million in sales in 2013. LAVO Italian Restaurant in Las Vegas ranked 5th, and TAO New York at 7th.

OK, what are we talking about? 20 restaurants and nightclubs. To name a few: LAVO Italian Restaurants, TAO Uptown, TAO Downtown, Dream Downtown and Arlington Club (all NYC); LAVO at The Palazzo, TAO and TAO Beach at The Venetian, Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub at The Cosmopolitan (all in Las Vegas). Beautifully designed restaurants and bars populated with beautifully accentuated people.

TAO Las Vegas
TAO Las Vegas

We want to know: How do you keep the crowds coming, from moguls to rock stars to hip hoppers to brides-to-be? Consumers are fickle, and the nightclub crowd even more so. What’s the secret of The TAO Group? How does it find harmony with new generations of restaurant and club goers? How do you keep your concepts fresh?

And we want to know how in the crazy world of restaurants and nightclubs how Chef Ralph Scamardella finds his TAO (a life of harmony).- posted by Melanie Young

LAVO Nightclub Las Vegas
LAVO Nightclub Las Vegas http://lavony.com/

Connect:

http://taogroup.com/

https://twitter.com/taogroup

https://www.facebook.com/TAOGroup

 

Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart
Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart

Tune in Wednesdays for The Connected Table LIVE on www.W4CY.com and any time on demand at iHeart.com (under Shows & Personalities). Each week Melanie Young and David Ransom bring you the dynamic people in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.

Direct link (Click “Episodes” and scroll down to find the show you want to hear) http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

Connect:

http://www.twitter.com/connectedtable

http://www.facebook.com.theconnectedtable

 

 

 

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Tannat’s the Night- A Love Affair with Uruguay Wines

One of the things we enjoy about hosting our radio show is taking our listeners and followers to regions of the world where great wine and food are produced. We are passionate travelers and- as we like to say- insatiably curious.

Last week we “traveled” to Greece to taste wines and talk with Chef Maria Loi (Proprietor of NYC’s Loi Estiatorio and Co-Author of “The Greek Diet”) and Vintner Yiannis Voyatzis, (Boutari Vineyards and Director of New Wines of Greece). If you missed the live interview you can listen on iHeart anytime at this link.

This week we will “virtually” travel to Uruguay to discuss the country’s wine culture and visit with Daniel Pisano, a fourth generation vintner at Bodegas Pisano Vineyards. Daniel says he is “a farmer born in the vineyard” as were his ancestors dating back to great grandfather Francesco Pisano who first planted his vines in 1870 on a plot of land north of Montevido. Today, Bodegas Pisano is among a group predominantly family-owned vignerons producing wine in Uruguay. He works alongside his two brothers, Gustavo and Eduardo.

Gustavo, Daniel and Eduardo Pisano. Bodegas Pisano
Gustavo, Daniel and Eduardo Pisano, Bodegas Pisano

We’ll discuss Daniel’s family winery as well as wine making in Uruguay which is most renowned for Tannat, the country’s signature varietal. According to the trade organization Wines of Uruguay, more Tannat is grown in Uruguay than anywhere else in the world; at last count 7,200 acres. The Tannat varietal hails from the Madiran region near Bordeaux. It was introduced into Uruguay by Basque immigrants.

Tannat Varietal
Tannat Varietal

 

Uruguay is home to over 3,000 growers and 200 wineries with 22,000 acres of vineyards. The Uruguayan climate is influenced by Atlantic breezes, much like Bordeaux, although warmer and with more intense sun (220 days of sunshine annually). Refreshing cool air comes up from the Antarctic. The ripening period is long, and the wines are usually lower in alcohol, averaging 12% to 12.5%.

Uruguay is located south of Brazil off the Atlantic Ocean. It is blessed with 220 days of sunshine and cool breezes from the Antarctic. Wine growing conditions are favorable to those in Bordeaux.
Uruguay is located south of Brazil off the Atlantic Ocean. It is blessed with 220 days of sunshine and cool breezes from the Antarctic. Wine growing conditions are favorable to those in Bordeaux.

 

In addition to the Tannat varietal, winemakers have also found success with reds: Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Syrah and whites: Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Albariño and Viogner. Today, Uruguay produces over 10 million cases, much of it for export to the U.S. Canada and throughout South America and elsewhere. – posted by Melanie Young

Connect:

http://www.pisanowines.com/

http://www.winesofuruguay.com/

https://twitter.com/winesofuruguay

https://www.facebook.com/Wines.of.Uruguay

 

Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart
Join Melanie and David on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET on W4CY.com and anytime on iHeart

Melanie Young and David Ransom are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple who profile the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality and explore the places you want to visit and savor.

Listen to all our show episodes on iHeart and the iHeart App anytime, anywhere.  Just click to Episodes and look for the show by guest name: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

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Maria Loi – Greece’s Culinary Ambassador- May 13 TCT Live

Strolling West 58th Street recently I peeked into Loi Estiatorio, a sliver of a restaurant owned by renowned Greek chef, Maria Loi. “Peeked” is an understatement. Maria was at the entrance and welcomed me in for a visit with her at the bar. It was pre-service, so the restaurant was quiet (for a short time). Maria offered me a selection of Greek wine plus a delicious Feta-Greek yogurt dip with hard crackers. When I told her I wanted to learn how to make yogurt she went back to her kitchen and brought me a printout of her recipe plus a small bowl of the most luscious yogurt I’ve ever tasted. And more wine.

Greeks are known for their hospitality and passion for their culture and food. Maria is no exception. The global Chef’s Club of Greece has recognized Maria as the official Ambassador of Greek Gastronomy. In addition to Loi Estiatorio in Manhattan, Maria owns an exquisite gourmet restaurant in idyllic Nafpaktos, is a popular television chef and has a line of dinnerware and kitchen appliances.  She’s author of dozens of books including The Greek Diet (with veteran health journalist,Sarah Toland) which was the official cookbook of the 2004 Greek Olympics. The Greek Diet outlines Maria’s 12 Food Pillars for a healthy diet. It’s a simple diet based around fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, chicken and eggs, whole grains, beans and plenty of olive oil and  yogurt,herbs and spices. And wine – Greek of course!

Chef Maria Loi
Chef Maria Loi

 

I’ve been in a “Greek state of mind” for quite some time since olive oil, yogurt, beans and steamed greens (akin to Cretan style horta) are my dietary staples along with water, coffee and tea (she discusses the benefits of Greek coffee and mountain tea)…..and wine.  Maybe it stems from my years as a young girl devouring stories from Greek mythology (Athena, Goddess of Wisdom, was my personal favorite.) It’s no myth that the Greek diet is among the healthiest, and Maria’s glow and energy are a testament.

Listen to our May 13 show with Chef Maria Loi Here

– Melanie Young

Connect:

https://www.facebook.com/LoiEstiatorio

https://twitter.com/loiestiatorio

THE CONNECTED TABLE BANNER WITH TIMES

Join Melanie and David Wednesdays 2pm ET for The Connected Table LIVE! Each week we bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Listen live on W4CY and anytime on iHeart.com and the iHeart App under Shows and Personalities . Connect:      Twitter (connectedtable)   Facebook  (the connected table).

 

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How’s Bayou! Chef David Guas- May 6- The Connected Table

May 4, 2015 – David Ransom and I have a special place in our hearts for New Orleans, the city where we were married in 2007. That’s why it’s a treat to have native New Orleanian David Guas on our May 6th show.

Chef David Guas
Chef David Guas

This Harley-riding southern chef brought his love for New Orleans up the road North to Arlington, VA, where he owns and operates the Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery. A second  location opened this month in an historic carriage house on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Both offer discerning eaters a range of comforting options in a leisurely, rustic, counter-service hangout.

David is also the author of two top-rated cookbooks, DamnGoodSweet: Desserts to Satisfy your Sweet tooth, New Orleans Style, and Grill Nation: Surefire Recipes, Tips, and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro. His newest book, Grill Nation: 200 Surefire Recipes, Tips and Techniques to Grill Like a Pro, just came out in time for Summer grilling season.

 Grill Nation

It’s grilling – or should we say grilling chefs behind the grill- where many of David’s fans around the country know him best. He’s host of the high stakes grilling competition television show, American Grilled (Travel Channel).

 

Connect:

http://www.chefdavidguas.com/

http://www.bayoubakeryva.com/

https://www.facebook.com/bayoubakery

https://twitter.com/ChefDavidGuas

https://twitter.com/BayouBakery

THE CONNECTED TABLE BANNER WITH TIMES

Join Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays 2pm ET for The Connected Table LIVE!  on W4CY radio and listen to all our podcasts on iHeart Radio and the iHeart App. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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Early Years of JBF Awards Remembered

JBF MEDALLION

May 4, 2015 – The 25th annual James Beard Foundation Awards take place tonight in Chicago.  This year is the first time the Awards have taken place away from the Foundation’s home base of New York City. It’s also the first time I’ve written my own personal remembrances about the start of The James Beard Foundation Awards and my significant role from the beginning and for more than 16 years. Looking back is bittersweet and filled with pride at the history we made and the lives we impacted.

Keeping in mind that the history of the Awards in those early years may be lost as those associated from the start are no longer with us or with  the Foundation-I share this article on  Eater.com:  http://www.eater.com/2015/5/4/8539409/james-beard-awards-history-early-years-melanie-young#4733440 –

Follow the news and find out who takes home this year’s honors here.   – Melanie Young

 

 

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A Man and His Ham- Allan Benton

posted by Melanie Young

In Tennessee we have special terms to measure distance like “yonder,” “up the road” and “down a ways.” This can mean anything from a short drive or a long haul.

Just up the road about an hour or so drive north of my hometown Chattanooga, Tennessee, is Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country Ham in Madisonville. Some of the nation’s best country ham and bacon comes this relatively small facility in operation since 1947. It’s easy to pass by the unassuming building  when you’re driving along the highway. But you’ll never pass up a serving of Benton’s ham and bacon once you have a taste.

Allan Benton
Allan Benton

I first discovered Allan Benton thanks to my mother, Sonia Young. She promised Chef Daniel Boulud a Tennessee country ham one night after a particularly indulgent dinner at Restaurant Daniel in New York City. After we sent Chef Boulud a Benton’s ham we made it our tradition to send thank you hams to every chef who took care of us at a dinner in their restaurants.  Over the years I’d send packets of Benton’s bacon to friends and colleagues as thank you gifts.