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Archive for November 2016

The Smithsonian Serves a Generous Helping of Food History

The Smithsonian Serves a Generous Helping of Food History
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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. 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! Food Historian and […]

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She Bet the Farm and Reaped Success.

She Bet the Farm and Reaped Success.
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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 […]

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A Life Seasoned with Sentiments

A Life Seasoned with Sentiments
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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 […]

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Remembrance of Wines Tasted

Remembrance of Wines Tasted
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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 […]

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The Bitter and the Sweet

The Bitter and the Sweet
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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. With the Presidential […]

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She Dreams of Cookies

She Dreams of Cookies
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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!)   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 […]

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The First Lady of the Organic Food Movement

The First Lady of the Organic Food Movement
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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 […]

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Hail To The Chef!

Hail To The Chef!
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While many Americans may be gnashing their teeth and biting their nails as we head into the last week of the Presidential campaign, I’m ready to cast my vote for the most impressive women-as-culinary-activists after attending last week’s Les Dames d’Escoffier International Conference in Washington, DC. Not intending to sound political, but just proud of my tribe: “If you want to get something done, ask a woman to do it.” Hats off to the Dames of the Washington DC Chapter who made this annual conference a fabulous success. The conference speakers addressed some very substantial topics that had everyone thinking about the role of food, […]

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Culinary Diplomacy: Peace on a Plate

Culinary Diplomacy: Peace on a Plate
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The role of food as a cultural identity and brand builder for a country, how food can be used as both a weapon of war and vehicle for peace, and how ethical cooking and a borderless kitchen factor into international relations were among the topics addressed in a presentation by Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman. With more than two decades of experience in the international arena, working on post-conflict transition and democratization issues, Johanna holds a wealth of expertise and insights into the role of food in driving conflict and connecting people and communities. An Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service where […]

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