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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 sweet.

Yes, I smile for cheese. I break for a snack of cheese, nuts and fruit. But I haven’t learn to put on the brakes eating too much cheese in a sitting. “Moderation!” I remind myself. But, hey! It’s the holidays and my birthday. I love giving and receiving cheese as gifts, especially cheeses that someone may not have tried.  When people visit our home and ask “What can we bring?” We answer with three choices: ” an artisan cheese, dark chocolate or Champagne.”

For that reason and many more, we’ve invited the Wizard of Cheese, Max McCalman, to join us at The Connected Table LIVE December 30th. I first met Max when he created the widely lauded cheese presentation at Picholine Restaurant in 1995 in New York City.  Back then, a stop at the restaurant’s tiny bar for a small plate of cheese and glass of wine was my treat before attending the Met Opera or NYC Ballet across the street at Lincoln Center. Later in 2001 Max opened the cheese-centric restaurant, Artisinal, with Chef Terrence Brennan and the giant Artisinal Cheese Center on Manhattan’s West Side in 2003. I remember attending a James Beard Foundation Awards party there and patting baby goats.

Max McCalman
Max McCalman

Max is a sought after cheese expert by top cheese makers, distributors, restaurants, retailers and end consumers. He is author of four acclaimed books on the subject of cheese: “The Cheese Plate;” “Cheese, a Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Best;” “Mastering Cheese, Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager;” and “Max McCalman’s Swatchbook of Wine & Cheese Pairings.”

CHEESE-A CONNOISSEUR'S GUIDE

MASTERING CHEESE BY MAX MCCALMAN

book3

 

Max is a Maître Fromager as designated by the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers de St. Uguzon and is a Cavaleiro in the Confraria dos Viños do Porto. He won an award for Entrepreneur from l’Esprit Alimentaire Française, and an Odyssey Award for Lifetime Achievement from Hendrix College. Max has been an active member of the American Cheese Society since 1996 and was one of the founders of its Certified Cheese Professional program launched in 2004 – a program which helped to revolutionize cheese education in the United States.

speaking

Max’s expertise has led him to be a  judge in U.S. and world cheese competitions and in the Sofi Awards. He presents seminars at conferences, festivals, culinary schools, and on cruise ships. He is also a guest educator for cheese-themed tours for Cheese Journeys and, as of 2015, serves on the faculty at Institute for Culinary Education. He is a contributing editor to Cheese Connoisseur and Deli Business magazines. Connect and follow: www.max-maccalman.com  Twitter@maitrefromager  Facebook.com/themaitrefromager  – posted by Melanie Young

The Connected Table LIVE airs Wednesdays, 2pmEST on W4CY.com and is podcast to iHeart.com and the iHeart App. Here is the cut and paste link: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/

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Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable
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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.

Photo: https://hotbreadkitchen.org/bakers-in-training/
Photo: https://hotbreadkitchen.org/bakers-in-training/

But back to the breads. They raise important dough to make a difference in the lives of others: 67% of Hot Bread Kitchen’s operating budget is funded through the sale of multi-ethnic breads and rental of commercial kitchen space.

The bread-winner behind Hot Bread Kitchen is Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez, a native of Ontario who moved to New York to pursue a Master Baker Certificate at The New School. She became the first female baker at Daniel Boulud’s eponymous restaurant.  Along the way, she nurtured her other passion of supporting human rights, education and immigration issues, eventually leaving Daniel to work at various positions that address them, including the United Nations.

Jessamyn Rodriguez Headshot Jennifer May
Jessamyn Rodriguez. Photo Credit: Jennifer May

In 2007, Jessamyn opened Hot Bread Kitchen, out of her apartment (where many great NYC businesses get their start!). Her mission was to train low-income immigrant and minority women in the baking arts to help open doors for them in the culinary industry. Hot Bread Kitchen’s assortment of breads can be found at leading retailers like Whole Foods and Dean & Deluca in addition to Union Square Greenmarket. There is also an online store.

For her work Jessamyn has received numerous awards and accolades, including the Global Citizen Award from the Clinton Global Initiative, Crain’s “40 Under 40,” and was named one of the “Most Innovative Women in Food” by Food and Wine Magazine in 2015.

HOT BREAD KITCHEN

Most recently she published  “The Hot Bread Kitchen Cookbook,” (Clarkson Potter) which has been named 2015 Cookbook of the Year by Yahoo Food. This beautifully photographed book is filled with recipes for Hot Bread Kitchen’s bounty of breads and stories of the people who bake them.

David Ransom and Melanie Young, The Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple. Follow: www.theconnectedtable.com Twitter@connectedtable Facebook/theconnectedtable
David Ransom and Melanie Young, The Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple. Follow: www.theconnectedtable.com Twitter@connectedtable Facebook/theconnectedtable

We break bread with Jessamyn Waldman Rodriguez Wednesday, December 23, 2pmET on The Connected Table LIVE on W4CY to our show on Wednesday Dec 23, 2015 to talk about her work, her platform, and her delicious book. Podcasts for this show will be available on iHeart.com and the iHeart App.

Connect:

Twitter@hotbreadkitchen  Facebook/hotbreadkitchen  Cookbook hashtag: #HBKCookbook

Website: www.hotbreadkitchen.orghttps://hotbreadkitchen.org/product/the-hot-bread-kitchen-cookbook/ (if people buy the book through our site they receive a copy signed by Jessamyn)

Selections the Hot Bread Kitchen online store

Trio of ryes
Trio of ryes
Flatbreads from around the world
Flatbreads from around the world
Moro ccan M’smen
Moroccan M’smen
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David Ransom Drink Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

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.

Virginia Willis

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 for the first women president next?

Virgina’s five cookbooks embrace the culinary spirit of the south from “having it ‘ya’ll” to a single subject book on Okra. Her books include “Bon Appétit, Y’all,” “Basic to Brilliant, Y’all,” and her latest, released in 2015, “Lighten Up, Y’all.”  as well as the aforementioned book “Okra” and another entitled “Grits.”

Virigina's newest book. Who says southern food has to be fattening? http://www.virginiawillis.com/cookbooks.html
Virigina’s newest book. Who says southern food has to be fattening?
IACP Cookbook Award Winner
IACP Cookbook Award Winner

 

She is also the blogger for Down-Home Comfort  for Food Network. Named by the Chicago Tribune as one of “Seven Food Writers You Need to Know,” Virginia is also a contributing editor for Southern Living and writes for Eating Well, Fine Cooking, and countless other culinary publications.

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

Virginia joins us at The Connected Table LIVE!  Wednesday December 23, 2:25 pm EST to talk about her life in food and her special take on southern cuisine.

Y’All tune in now, Y’Hear?

VIRGINA IN FIELD
Virginia in living collards. Read more about Virginia on her website: www.virginiawillis.com
Connect with Virginia:
http://www.virginiawillis.com
Facebook/VirginiaWillis
Instagram/VirginiaWillis 
Twitter@VirginiaWillis
Pinterest/VirginiaWillis
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Drink

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.

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

 

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David Ransom Drink Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

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.

20150918-gabesmartbeer_headshot2_SSP

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.

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

 

 

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Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

The Voice in the Wine World

Long before there were any “women and wine” organizations or symposiums and back when the wine trade was a man’s world there was one woman whose voice stood out: Roberta Morrell.

You can’t miss that voice. Roberta is a force to be reckoned with whose tenure in the wine industry spans 30 years as President and CEO of New York’s venerable wine retailer, Morrell & Company.

Roberta Morrell
Roberta Morrell
The daughter of founders Sam and Charlotte who started with a small Manhattan liquor store in 1947, Roberta grew up in the business and later helped that business grow in leaps and bounds.  After college she married and moved with her young family to southern Spain where she lived for over six years, traveling extensively to vineyards in Spain, France and Italy to further her wine knowledge.
After her return to the U.S. in 1976, Roberta rejoined Morrell & Company, which by then had become a destination for wine-lovers in Manhattan. Working with her brother Peter, now retired, she became involved in the marketing and administrative aspects of the business.
Over the years Morrell moved to larger retail spaces, build an impressive wine auction business and added a wine bar and restaurant adjacent to Rockefeller Center that is the best place to gaze at the holiday tree and sample an extensive selection of wines by the glass. In 2012 the family sold the business to an investment company. Roberta remains the “Face” of the business as its global ambassador.
But, back to that voice. Roberta happens to be a professionally trained singer.
And although her stage is different, her voice commands attention when she lectures and conducts workshops on wine with corporate customers. What she knows about wine and whom she knows in the business are vast.  She’s an engaging storyteller full of anecdotes about her life in wine which she is finally putting to paper in an autobiography.
Recently Lettie Teague profiled Roberta in the Wall Street Journal as the Matriarch of Morrell Wine Group. We think of her more as “Auntie Mame” who savors every sip and shares with others. Life is a banquet, and Roberta always has a prime seat at the table.  She’s generous with her wisdom as well as her contributions to the many nonprofits she supports including Les Dames d’Escoffier New York.
Roberta joins The Connected Table LIVE! December 7, 2:28pmEST, and we know it will be an engaging episode! W4CY.com live and iHeart.com podcast.
Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable
Follow us on Twitter@connectedtable and Facebook/TheConnectedTable

 

New York, NY - MAY 19, 2014: Morrell Wine Bar and Restaurant and wine store on Rockefeller Plaza. Interior Design by Coffinier Ku Design. CREDIT: Photographs by Bruce Buck.
New York, NY – MAY 19, 2014: Morrell Wine Bar and Restaurant and wine store on Rockefeller Plaza. Interior Design by Coffinier Ku Design. CREDIT: Photographs by Bruce Buck.

A New York institution since 1947, Morrell Wine Group has expanded from a small wine store on East 49th to a flagship retail store and wine bar at One Rockefeller Center and fine wine auction division. Today, the wine bar features 100 wines by the glass, one of the largest in the city, and the company’s massive Rare Wine Vault includes some of the most difficult-to-find bottles in the world.