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Italy’s Marche- Birthplace of Verdicchio

Central Italy’s Marche region, with its rolling hills that spill into the Adriatic Sea, is an agricultural breadbasket for food and wine. Here, olives, mushrooms, truffles, fresh fruits and vegetables and, of course, grapes to make wine are a few examples of the region’s bounty.

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Cupramontana in the center of the Marche is considered the world capital of the white grape varietal, Verdicchio. The word “Verdicchio” is derived from verde, or green, which refers to the yellowish-green skin of the grape. The grape produces crisp, dry wines with naturally high acidity. Aromas consist of delicate citrus fruits and almonds. The Verdicchio varietal is used to make both still and sparkling wines, and the Marche makes some of Italy’s finest.

verdicchio2
The Marche, and specifically the town of Cupramontana, is considered the world capital for growing the Verdicchio grape varietal.

Cupramontan it also where Colonnara Winery, founded in 1959 by a group of 19 farmers, produces a range of elegant still and sparkling wines.  Export Manager for Colonnara Winery, discusses what makes the Marche unique to growing the Verdicchio grape as well as other varietals  and the winery’s role in region on this edition of The Connected Table SIPS!

sparkling-and-box

Click here to listen on iHeart.com

Or cut and paste this link:  https://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-SIPS/?episode_id=27898938

We had the chance to dine with Emiliano Bernardi on November 29, 2016 at a dinner hosted by Theresa Rodgers at Horseneck Wines, a popular wine shop in Greenwich, CT.  Held at elegant L’Escale restaurant, our favorite pairing was the Colonnara 2015 Cuprese Verdicchio with Squid Ink Linguini “De La Mer.” We asked for seconds of both the pasta and the wine!

 

David and Melanie with Emiliano Bernardi November 28 at L'Escale Restaurant in Greenwich, CT. The dinner was hosted by Teresa Rodgers, proprietor of Horseneck Wines, a popular Greenwich based wine shop.
David and Melanie with Emiliano Bernardi November 29, 2016 at L’Escale Restaurant in Greenwich, CT.

 

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Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Mark Oldman Shares His Two Cents on Drinking Like the One Percent

Our motto: “Drink wine. In moderation. Make it good wine.”

Mark Oldman says he is a passionate proponent of drinking richly without spending extravagantly.” Let’s face it. You can have an expensive bottle of wine that ends up being as enticing as smelly socks. And you can have an inexpensive bottle of wine that may knock your socks off. Money doesn’t buy class, and true class doesn’t need money.

how-to-drink-like-a-billionaire-photo

Author of “Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wines” and “Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine,” Mark’s new book is entitled, “How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine with Joie de Vivre.” Now, usually we have more joie and vivre than big bucks in the bank, so we were intrigued to hear what Mark had to say when he joined us December 14 on The Connected Table LIVE.

You can listen to the interview here and anytime on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App:

 

Buy Mark’s new book here:

 

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A Walch on the Wine Side

Elena Walch
Elena Walch

An architect by training, Elena Walch found her prince in a storybook castle. Actually, it was a castle she was helping to restore. The prince was Werner Walch whose family owned Castel Ringberg, an edifice built by the Hapsburg dynasty in 1620 located in the village of Tramin in Italy’s Alto Adige wine region. In addition to its rich history, the castle had expansive vineyards that at the time focused on quantity over quality.

castle
The castle is calling!

Elena traded her well honed skills for restoring historic buildings and set about renovating the Walch family vineyards including ripping out and replanting vines, despite having no formal training in viticulture. But architects have a vision for what can be, and cialis generique a talent to build. And build she did with an eye for greater things to come from her vineyards.

Karoline,  Julia and Elena Walch
Karoline, Julia and Elena Walch

Today Elena Walch Winery is considered a top estate in the region. Daughters Karoline and Julia now work side by side with their mother. Elena and Karoline shared the Walch family story, past, present and future with us December 14.

Karoline Walch
Karoline Walch and her sister are committed to Elena Walch Winery’s tradition of quality with a nod to contemporary winemaking.
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Cookbook Eat RESTAURANTS AND CHEFS THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Chef Franklin Becker Talks Fat and Slimming Down

After a career preparing dishes to die for at restaurants like Abe & Arthur’s, Brasserie and Capitale, and working for Starr Restaurant Group and Grand Hospitality, Chef Franklin Becker needed to make changes to save his own life. Diagnosed at age 27 with type 2 diabetes, Franklin realized he had to change his diet. Around the same time Franklin’s oldest son was diagnosed with autism and celiac disease. Franklin wanted to cook foods that would help his son with his food sensitivities.

Changing his diet also changed Franklin’s life. He is committed to spreading the word about healthy cooking and enjoying it!

 

franklin-headshot
Svelte and healthy- Chef Franklin Becker

 

Like anyone who loves food and makes a living preparing it, you never want to sacrifice the pleasures of the palate and great quality and flavor. Franklin’s mission is to pack his healthy recipes with as much flavor without the calories and added sugars and fat. Speaking of fat; Franklin has a lot to say on this topic and wrote a book with Peter Kaminsky called “Good Fat Cooking,” which he will discuss on our show. Franklin is also author of “Eat & Beat Diabetes,” and “The Diabetic Chef.”

 

This book has a recipe for the best salmon dish ever! See photo on the cover.
This book has a recipe for the best salmon dish ever! See photo on the cover.

 

Franklin is also proprietor of the healthy prepared foods company, Hungry Root, which offers fresh, vegetable-based foods that are packed with protein and fiber and ready-to-eat in under seven minutes.

Hungry Root's Carrot Noodles with Tangy Sriracha Peanut Photo: Mark_Jordan
Hungry Root’s Carrot Noodles with Tangy Sriracha Peanut Photo: Mark Jordan

 

Buy a copy of “Good Fat Cooking” here:

 

 

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Miss Ella Shares Her Story

“I Don’t Want a Restaurant Where a Jazz Band Can’t Come Marching Through.”- Ella Brennan

Many of you know we have love affair with the City New Orleans and its very special way of life. Well, no one embodies cialisfrance24.com “New Orleans Living” more than Miss Ella Brennan, matriarch of the Brennan family. And no one defines New Orleans hospitality like a Brennan. The Brennan family truly is America’s dining dynasty. If you’ve never seen this 2014 Silver Spoon Award feature on the Brennan family in the late Food Arts Magazinehere is a link.

 

Miss Ella of Commanxder's Palace- book

“Miss Ella reveals what makes her strong, ambitious and occasionally a blubbering mess”

Miss Ella turned 91 this month. There’s a new book and a new documentary film out about her life called “Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace.” It’s a great read with a frank, sometimes funny and very poignant voice featuring Miss Ella, her co author and daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, sister Dottie and various Brennan siblings and cousins, as well as food industry luminaries like Danny Meyer, Jeremiah Tower, Emeril Lagasse and Tim and Nina Zagat sharing stories. Ti said it took some convincing to  get Ella to write the book! Trust us! It’s a love letter to New Orleans with lesson on what sharing and giving true hospitality really means.

Ti Adelaide Martin
Ella Brennan’s daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, is co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace, SoBou, Cafe Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar, all in New Orleans

Both Miss Ella and Ti Adelaide Martin, joined us December 7 for a delightful and spirited visit. Listen at this this link or click below.

Buy “Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace” here:

 

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The Smithsonian Serves a Generous Helping of Food History

food-sign

What is it about food history and culture that keeps us craving more? Recently, I visited the National Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington,DC, to experience its first major exhibition on food history – “FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000.” I enjoyed my visit so much I went back for a second helping two days later.

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First, there’s Julia’s Child’s kitchen which is like a shrine. Then there are the focused exhibits touching on historic milestones and the changing landscape of what we eat and drink in post World War II America. So much to digest!

Paula Johnson, Food Historian 
Paula Johnson, Food Historian

Food Historian and Museum Curator Paula Johnson, who serves as Project Director and Co-Creator of this fascinating exhibition,  and  shares her insights on how food shapes our culture November 23 on The Connected Table LIVE! W4cyRadio

We bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.
We bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.
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She Bet the Farm and Reaped Success.

I first met Paulette Satur over a game of tennis. She was pretty good as I recall. At the time she worked in wine sales for Martin Scott. But this Pennsylvania born farm girl had a bigger vision. After 12 years working in wine she decided to buy a farm on the North Fork of Long Island.

Initially the sustainably grown produce and herbs harvested at Satur Farms was intended to supply the restaurant where Paulette’s chef husband worked. Chef Eberhard Müller was known for his exacting standards when it came to his raw ingredients and wanted better than what was  available at the time. Eberhard shot to fame at Le Bernardin, took over the kitchen at Lutece after Andre Soltner retired and then moved on to Bayard’s when Lutece closed.

Paulette Satur caught Eberhard Müller's eye when she was dining at Lutece where he was the chef.
Paulette Satur caught Eberhard Mueller’s eye when she was dining at Lutece where he was the chef.

As the saying goes, “If you grow it they will come.” Other chefs wanted what Eberhard was serving and asked who his produce purveyor was. Satur farms took off. Now Eberhard works full time as a partner with Paulette at Satur Farms which now includes 250 acres on Long Island and another 500 acres in Florida during the winter months. Satur Farms provides millions of people in the Northeast and Florida area locally grown produce in season.

Satur Farms at Sunrise
Sunrise over Satur Farms on the North Fork of Long Island
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A Life Seasoned with Sentiments

Two annual events always signal the holiday season for me aside from Thanksgiving. Both are seasoned with sentiments of delicious years past and take place the same week.

The first is the third Thursday of November with the arrival of Beaujolais Nouveau. For four years I had the honor- and challenge- of creating and staging Beaujolais Nouveau arrival happenings for Les Vins Georges Duboeuf. Preparation started months in advance well before the first grapes started to bud on the vines. Each year we attempted to stage an uncorking ceremony more inventive and outrageous than the last. By Thanksgiving I felt like I’d given birth and was flat out exhausted from pulling off all the multiple events, but, oh, what fun!  Here’s the list:

beaujolais-biker-brigade
Franck Duboeuf is escorted by motorcycle brigade of chefs and Harley “Hogs”

The Beaujolais Biker Brigade (2008): The wine was delivered/escorted by chefs and Harley Davidson Hogs on motorcycles from the southern tip of Manhattan to Bouley Restaurant in Tribeca. A similar event was held in Miami the same day.

Fra
Franck Duboeuf and his Peace Love Beaujolais Nouveau bus

Peace, Love & Beaujolais Nouveau (2009): The wine was delivered by hippies escorting vintage Volkswagon buses and staging Sip-Ins in New York and Miami.

A trapeze artist delivers the first Nouveau
A trapeze artist delivers the first Nouveau

Cirque Nouveau (2010): The wine was dropped into Franck Duboeuf’s arms by a trapeze artist in a room filled with contortionists and acrobats.

cadillac

Year 4: Art Nouveau (2011): A vintage Cadillac custom painted by graffiti artist, Kaves, delivered the wine into giant warehouse turned art gallery filled with hip hop dancers.

These days the celebrations lean toward tasteful wine and food events with more refined fanfare. The dinner we attended November 17 at Bouley Botanical in Tribeca featured a spectacular menu by Chef Daniel Eddy of Rebelle and an evening of festive toasts amidst wine industry friends. We had the chance to catch up with Franck Duboeuf and his wife Anne. Georges Duboeuf was in Japan for the arrival celebration which is one of the largest in Asia. It’s a wonderful tradition that always puts us in the mood for the holidays, toasting friends and being thankful for our deliciously abundant life. Kudos to our friends, Marsha Palanci, Cornerstone PR, and Kimberly Charles, Charles Communications, who now carry the PR torch for Duboeuf’s very special delivery.

With Franck and Anne Duboeuf at Bouley Botanical
With Franck and Anne Duboeuf at Bouley Botanical

The second event is Citymeals on Wheels Power Lunch for Women held at The Plaza Hotel November 18 attended by a Who’s Who of leading ladies in NYC, including many who work in the wine and food industry. This year’s 30th annual lunch honored Citymeals on Wheels Co-Founder and Chair Gael Greene who has been a guest on this show (Here is the link).

gael-greene

Gael Greene has raised over $410 million for Citymeals on Wheels in its 35 year history, and she never stops. This year’s Power Lunch for Women has raised over $1 million providing 136,000 meals for New York’s homebound elderly.

With Power Lunch Emcee Carla Hall and Alison Price Becker
With Power Lunch Emcee Carla Hall and Alison Price Becker

It is always an honor to be among such talented and well meaning leaders of our city to support this important cause. New York City is home to over 1.4 million seniors. 66% of them are women since we ladies tend to outlive men. But, 73% live alone; 40% never leave their homes; 8% have no one to talk to. Citymeals on Wheels fills the void of isolation and provides physical and emotional nourishment through meal deliveries and conversation. Just $1,200 covers the cost of a full year of meals for one person. These days that’s four dinners at a top NYC restaurant if you carefully order your wines.

chefs-deliver
Chef Cesare Casella paying a visit and delivering a meal.

Citymeals on Wheels’ “Chefs Deliver”program brings together a rotating cast of culinary stars who, once a month, lend their talents to Citymeals – cooking and often personally delivering meals right to the doors of homebound elderly New Yorkers.

To learn more or contribute visit www.citymeals.org

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Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Remembrance of Wines Tasted

Sometimes it’s your first taste of something that you remember forever. Other times it’s the experience you were having, or you you were with, that creates that palate memory,

My first wine memory and taste- at age 15- was my Dad teaching me how to properly serve and taste wine. he wanted me to learn that good wine existed from many parts of the world. My only experience with wine was sipping Mogen David at Passover, so any wine would be an upgrade. With my Dad it was an adventure.

Proudly wearing his tastevin around my neck, I demonstrated to my classmates how to open and serve a bottle of wine in my public speaking class. The only issue was my teacher would not actually allow me to open the wine since we were all underage. The first wine I actually tasted was Mogen David during a Passover seder. But that doesn’t really count! Fortunately, I had nowhere to go but upgrade in my wine life.

Rajat Parr with his new wine from Oregon
Rajat Parr with his new wine, La Source, from Oregon

Sommelier-turned vintner Rajat Parr‘s early wine memories came from his uncle in London. Born in Calcutta and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Rajat apprenticed with Larry Stone at Rubicon in San Francisco, whom he credits as his mentor. He brought his expertise to Fifth Floor restaurant and became wine director for The Mina Group. He’s traveled the world to visit the finest vineyards and has a special affinity for the wines of Burgundy.

But it’s stateside where he’s making his mark as a vintner. Rajat has transitioned from working the restaurant floor to tending the vines. In 2011 he launched Sandhi, a partnership with Charles Banks and Sashi Moorman, to produce Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from select vineyards in the Santa Rita Hills. In 2013 he released wines from his estate vineyard Domaine de la Côte. We recently saw Rajat at Wine Spectator’s New York Wine Experience where he was debuting Seven Springs Estate “La Source” from the Eola-Amity Hills of Oregon.

rajat-parr-and-larry
Rajat Parr with Mentor and Friend Larry Stone at the New York Wine Experience

Here’s our November 9th show with Rajat Parr on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.

 

Want to learn how to enjoy great wine from a world’s top sommelier? Purchase a copy of Rajat Parr’s book, Secrets of the Sommeliers : How to Think and Drink Like the World’s Top Wine Professionals. Winner – 2011 James Beard Cookbook Award – Beverage Category

 

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Cookbook Eat

The Bitter and the Sweet

The month of November is both bitter and sweet for us. Both David and I lost our fathers in November. Both our fathers inspired our lives in wine. Jack Ransom owned Rivendell Winery in Ulster County where all three of his sons worked. Mel Young taught wine classes for more than 30 years in Chattanooga and had me tasting wine with him when I was in my teens. Both of our fathers served in the U.S. military, and we will remember them on Veteran’s Day this Friday and toast them when we host Thanksgiving later this month.

dads-books
Four books on the Civil War by Mel Young

With the Presidential election now over, half of Americans woke up with a bitter taste in their mouths and half now relish sweet victory. To distract myself from the news and look for home-baked holiday gift ideas, I’ve been poring over Dorie Greenspan‘s gorgeous new book, “Dorie’s Cookies” Maybe her cookie called “World Peace” (pp 335-337) would be most appropriate right now.

Dorie says., "The World Peace cookie has a long history, starting sometime before the turn of the millennium, when Pierre Hermé, recently named the Best Pastry Chef in the World (something I knew decades earlier), created it for Korova, a then-new, now gone restaurant in Paris. Revolutionary when it was born and beloved ever since, the cookie is a chocolate sablé, a French shortbread cookie, but because Pierre was inspired by the all-American chocolate-chipper, it has brown sugar and so it’s chewier. It also has a generous amount of chopped bittersweet chocolate and an immediately discernible amount of fleur de sel, moist, French sea salt. While we take salt in a cookie for granted now, sprinkling cookie-tops with flake salt and adding more than a pinch of salt to just about every cookie, it was startling then and still so appealing."
Dorie Greenspan’s World Peace Cookie. From “Dorie’s Cookies”

The story behind the World Peace Cookie, from “Dorie’s Cookies”…

 The World Peace cookie has a long history, starting sometime before the turn of the millennium, when Pierre Hermé, recently named the Best Pastry Chef in the World (something I knew decades earlier), created it for Korova, a then-new, now gone restaurant in Paris.
Revolutionary when it was born and beloved ever since, the cookie is a chocolate sablé, a French shortbread cookie, but because Pierre was inspired by the all-American chocolate-chipper, it has brown sugar and so it’s chewier. It also has a generous amount of chopped bittersweet chocolate and an immediately discernible amount of fleur de sel, moist, French sea salt. While we take salt in a cookie for granted now, sprinkling cookie-tops with flake salt and adding more than a pinch of salt to just about every cookie, it was startling then and still so appealing.

dories-cookies-cover

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She Dreams of Cookies

Baking Expert Dorie Greenspan says she dreams of cookies in her sleep. She notes she has at least 300 cookie recipes to her name. Dorie managed to narrow her recipes down and create even more….to 170 for her just released 12th cookbook “Dorie’s Cookies,” including some very interesting savory cookies (not crackers, she notes!)

 

dories-cookies-cover

Who doesn’t have a cookie memory? My favorite is a crunchy white meringue made with whipped egg whites, sugar, almond extract and cream of tartar. The recipe was passed down from my grandmother, Mimi. My mother calls them “forgotten cookies” because she says she puts them in the oven and just forgets about them. For years, there wasn’t a holiday homecoming for me where my mother didn’t have meringues waiting. Dorie’s version of “Meringue Snowballs” is on pages 224-25.

 

Meringue Snowballs
Meringue Snowballs

Dorie joins us November 9, 2:25pmET, to discuss her passion for baking and cookies. She’s a multi-James Beard Award recipient and the “Everyday Dorie Columnist” for Washington Post who divides her time between homes New York, Connecticut and Paris. Life sure is sweet!

 

Living the sweet life: Baking Expert and Journalist Dorie Greenspan
Living the sweet life: Baking Expert and Journalist Dorie Greenspan

Dorie shared her cookie memories with us November 9th on The Connected Table LIVE! Listen to our show on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.


 

 

Dorie’s Cookies is a great gift for cookie lovers and bakers. Buy it now!

 

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The First Lady of the Organic Food Movement

Chef and restaurateur Nora Pouillon is Washington, DC’s- and the nation’s – Forever First Lady in the world of organic food and sustainability. When she arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s from her native Austria, our country was on a diet of processed foods and agricultural products treated with chemicals -and in too many communities still is. Determined to feed both her family and her customers healthy, farm fresh food like she grew up eating in Europe, Nora set out to find local farmers to supply her food. It wasn’t easy but Nora was committed to finding a better and healthier solution to serve

local, seasonally prepared meals.
nora-photo-in-chair
Restaurant Nora opened in its 19th century red brick building in 1979 (the same year McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal just to give you an idea of what many Americans were eating). Twenty years later in 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant, which means 95% of all ingredients must be produced by certified organic farmers, growers and suppliers. Thank goodness Nora stuck to her guns; many restaurants don’t even last 20 years.

Nora has received countless awards, too many to list here. But what struck me at the panel discussion where she spoke about Chef-Activism is how she cultivated farmers and helped nurture their businesses by organizing bus tours to introduce DC area chefs to the farmers. In the process she sustained both their businesses and hers by helping ensure the viability of their farms. Nora also initiated DC’s first producer-only farmer’s market, FRESHFARM Markets, which now includes eleven markets in the metropolitan area.

nora-in-market

These days “Farm-To-Table” is a frequent phrase in restaurants around the nation. Sustainability and ethical cooking are top of mind. We all have Nora Pouillon to thank for leading the way. She recently announced plans to pass the torch at Restaurant Nora. Somehow we know there’s an interesting new chapter to be written. If you haven’t read Nora’s full story, check out this book. And listen to our show here: