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Drink Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Thomas Waugh’s Cocktails Dazzle at The Pool Room Lounge

Normally, we are not Cocktail Lounge Lizards. My idea of bellying up to a bar is heading to a barre class. I am more l downward dog than hair of a dog when it comes to recovering from a night out imbibing. But, who can resist an invitation to check out the swanky new cocktail lounge at one of NYC’s hottest restaurant openings, The Pool Room at the former Four Seasons Restaurant? The place is hopping with a mosaic of New York’s stylish deal makers, debutantes and downtown-heads-uptown types.

Thomas Waugh tends the bar at The Pool Room Lounge, NYC
Thomas Waugh tends the bar at The Pool Room Lounge, NYC

And we know why. Director of Bar Operations Thomas Waugh makes cocktails that build on a single ingredient without overdoing it. The cocktails are based on a vegetable, fruit, spice or herb, and then he layers. Cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, chamomile and cinnamon are just a few examples. Of course Thomas switches it up with the seasons, so who knows what may be up his bar sleeve next.

Originally destined for culinary school, Thomas caught the bartending bug working at Harry Denton’s Starlight Room in San Francisco as a means to earn money for school. His industry mentors, Jacques Bezuidenhout and Marcovaldo Dionysos, taught Thomas to mix his culinary inclinations into his drinks.  Prior to joining Major Food Group, which owns The Pool Room restaurant & lounge among many other NYC restaurants,Thomas was Head Bartender at Death & Co.

“The Millionaire’s Old Fashioned.” It’s fashioned around the flavor of cinnamon.

Listen to our show with Thomas Waugh, The Pool Room Lounge on iHeart.com. Click image below.

 

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Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Isabel Legeron MW on the Appeal of Natural Wine

Isabel Legeron is France’s only female Master of Wine and only one of 354 MW’s worldwide. She’s been named “Wine Woman of the Year” in Paris and is recipient of the Madame Bollinger Award for Excellence in Tasting. Her website refers to her as “That Crazy French Woman,” which is also the name of a TV show she’s hosted and her blog.  Isabel is Founder of RAW Wine and author of “Natural Wine: An Introduction to Organic and Biodynamic Wines Made Naturally.”

Isabel Legeron, Founder of RAW Wine

By day, Isabel, consults for London’s Bibendum Restaurant & Oyster Bar in Kensington, Elliot’s in Borough Market and The Richmond in Hackney. She also founded the wine education program at Divertimenti Cookery School, in London, and has consulted for several luxury hotels and resorts. Isabel’s latest claim to fame is the creation of RAW Wine, a two- day independent wine fair showcasing more than 100 vintners from around the world, whose mission is “to make natural wines  made from sustainably farmed, organic or biodynamic grapes, with nothing removed or added during wine making, bar at most a dash of sulfites.”  Info here:www.rawwine.com

 

Listen to our visit with Isabel Legeron on The Connected Table LIVE! on iHeart.com.

 

Purchase Isabel’s book here:

 

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Drink Explore THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

From Valpolicella- Raffaele Boscaini, Masi Agricola

We visit Valpolicella, the “land of many cellars,” with Raffaele Boscaini, General Coordinator of Masi Technical Group and Director of Marketing, who represents the seventh generations of this venerable 200-year-old wine estate.

The name Masi comes from “Vaio dei Masi,” the little valley purchased by the Boscaini family in the late 18th Century.  Masi Agricola also manages the most historic estate in Valpolicella, which once belonged to descendants of the legendary 14th Century poet Dante, the noble Serego Alighieri family.


Sandro and Raffele Boscaini (front row left) with the MASI Technical Group team

You can call the Boscainis one of the “noble families” of wine making in Valpolicella. Wine Writer Hugh Johnson has called Masi wines “milestones of enology in Verona.” We’ll discuss the family’s history and role in the production of Amarone and Recioto and evolution of MASI’s trademarked APPAXXIMENTO® (appassimento) method of drying grapes. In 1964 MASI introduced a “supervenetian” category of wine, Campofiorin. Masi also has projects outside the Veneto in Tuscany and Argentina, in collaboration with Serego Alighieri.

Listen to Raffaele Boscaini on The Connected Table LIVE! on iHeart here:

 

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Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Laura Bianchi, Castello di Monsanto, Chianti Classico

We met the lovely Laura Bianchi last July when she came to New York to present a vertical tasting of Castello di Monsanto‘s iconic Il Poggio Chianti Classico Cru dating back to the 1960s. This wine is only made in the best vintages using only estate grown fruit, and hand-picked grapes, Monsanto owns the largest reserves of Chianti Classico in Tuscany, and it was the first winery in the region to make a Chianti Classico Cru.

Castello di Monsanto was started by Laura’s grandfather, Aldo Bianchi, a native of San Gimignano, who left Tuscany before the Second World War to seek fortune in the North of Italy. In 1960, he came back to the area for a wedding and was enchanted by the view from the terrace of Castello di Monsanto, encompassing the Val d’Elsa with the backdrop of the Towers of San Gimignano.

He purchased the property within a few months. But if Aldo was bewitched by the landscape, Fabrizio, his son, immediately fell in love with the wines he found in the cellar. Thanks to a passion for wine handed down to him by his grandmother, who came from Piedmont, and to an innate entrepreneurial spirit, Fabrizio, together with his wife Giuliana, started to plant new vineyards and convert the numerous farmhouses. Today, Castello di Monsanto remains a family owned and operated company, overseen by Fabrizio and daughter, Laura.

Laura studied law and brefly worked in law before joining the family business where she works side by side with her father. She unwinds by practicing yoga.


Laura Bianchi, Castello di Monsanto


Bottles of Il Poggio from our tasting

Listen to our interview with Laura Bianchi December 20tth now on iHeart. Click below.

 

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Eat

The Feast of Seven Fishes (and Pastas)

Even though neither of us grew up in an Italian-American family, we both have adopted the celebration of the Feast of Seven Fishes as one of our holiday traditions. Called “Il Cenone or La Vigilia,”  the emphasis on fish comes from the Catholic religion’s centuries-old rule against eating meat on Fridays to honor the sacrifice of Jesus. The number “seven” refers to the seven sacraments, although there are varying opinions on why this specific number matters.

To our delight, we attended a dinner hosted by Santa Margherita USA with wine writer, Anthony Giglio, at Aunt Jake’s in Soho. It was a small group of industry friends, and Anthony kept us engaged with amusing stories about growing in a very traditional Italian-American family. We always enjoy seeing Anthony and his entire family at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, and this dinner was a wonderful way to catch up in a more intimate setting.

The dinner was abundant with the appropriate number of fish dishes and almost as many pastas, all paired with different wines. While we know the Feast of Seven Fishes has nothing to do with the “seven deadly sins,” this meal was sinfully delicious! Our special thanks go out to Lisa Friedman at Santa Margherita and to Anthony Giglio for putting us in the holiday spirit.


Whether your holiday feast centers around fish, meat, game or vegetables, we hope you enjoy it pleasure. And, save room for dessert!

Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!

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Drink Eat

Happy Hanukkah! And Lots of Latkes

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, starts December 12. For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, we hope the upcoming eights days are filled with joy and plenty of latkes, the traditional pan-fried potato pancake served during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle that a single jar of oil found in the Temple lasted for eight nights.

Last week we received this helpful free wine and latke pairing guide from our friends at Israel’s Yarden Wines, which includes Golan Heights Winery and Galil Mountain Winery. Here are some of their suggestions (link to download free guide):

Classic potato latke with sour cream with Gewϋrtztraminer: “The spicy off-dry notes of the Gewϋrtztraminer will accentuate the subtle spices of the latkes.”

Sweet potato latke with applesauce with Viognier. “The floral notes will accentuate the round sweet tones of this dish, while the notes of lychee and apricot will match and accentuate the crisp sweet tones of the applesauce.

Cheesy vegetable latkes with sour cream: “A Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend has earthy, spicy and pepper notes that will match the earth and cheesy flavors of the latke.”

ID 64362913 © Oksana Kiian | Dreamstime

 

We’ve interviewed both Victor Schoenfeld, Golan Heights Winery and Micha Vaadia, Galil Mountain Winery on our podcast series, The Connected Table SIPS! In case you missed them, here are the iHeart.com links:

Victor Schoenfeld, winemaker at Golan Heights Winery, is a pioneer in the application of new technology and wine making techniques who has developed some of Israel’s most sophisticated viticultural advancements, from irrigation management to wind generated electricity. Founded in 1983, Golan Heights Winery has had a major role in developing and nurturing Israel’s modern wine culture Podcast link.

Micha Vaadia is chief winemaker for Israel’s Galil Mountain Winery located in the Upper Galilee, an ancient region with a new wine culture. Established as a joint venture in 2000 by Golan Heights Winery and Kibbutz Yiron, green living is a way of life at Galil Mountain. Podcast link.

Wishing you Happy Hanukkah and Lots of Latkes!

 

The Connected Table SIPS podcasts series spotlights vintners, distillers and producers in 3-5 minute recorded podcasts on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.
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Cookbook Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

The Art & Science of Making Bread

What’s your favorite childhood bread memory? For David it’s his mother’s cinnamon toast, most likely sweetly dusted homemade English Muffin Bread.  For me, it’s my Aunt Rachel’s homemade challah, braided into a shiny brown loaf and all pillowy inside. My mother made challah French toast for every holiday brunch and still does for Christmas (challah + Christmas? That’s right.)

Making good bread is both an art and a science. And Modernist Bread is a 2,642-page tome on the craft of baking bread as well as bread’s future.  The five-volume masterpiece is the culmination of over four years of nonstop research, photography, experiments, writing, and baking. The books cover the science, history, cultures, and personalities behind bread, along with tools you can use to shape its future.

 

The authors are Nathan Myhrvold and Chef Francisco Migoya.

After retiring from Microsoft in 1999 as its Chief Technology Officer, Myhrvold established Intellectual Ventures and pursued several lifelong interests in photography, cooking, and food science.  The Cooking Lab is his state-of-the-art research kitchen in Bellevue, WA. Nathan is lead author of Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking and Modernist Cuisine at Home and author of The Photography of Modernist Cuisine. 

Nathan Myhrvold

Chef Migoya grew up in Mexico and studying art (painting, sculpture and drawing). But a stage (internship) at a restaurant at age 16 sparked his passion for cooking. He attended culinary schools in Mexico and France and went on to work at some major restaurants in the USA such as French Laundry, Bouchon Bakery and most recently, as a professor at the Culinary Institute of America. Chef Migoya is author of three books on pastry: “Frozen Desserts”  (2008), “The Modern Cafe” (2009) and “The Element of Dessert” (a 2014 International Association of Culinary Professionals  cookbook award recipient.

Chef Francisco Migoya

So, besides four years of research with over 230 recipe testers and expert contributors, what other fun facts should you know about Modernist Bread? Statistic nerds take note:

Number of pages: 2,462

Weight of book:  50 lb.

Weight: of ink: 4 lb

Words: 1,000,000+

Number of recipes: 1500

Photos: 3,000+

Loaves baked: 36,650+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modernist Bread’s Chef Francisco Migoya joined us November 29, The Connected Table LIVE! Here is the show:

 

 

 

We bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Listen anytime on iHeart.com and the iHeart and live Wednesdays, 2pm EST onW4CY.com. Connect with us on Twitter@connectedtable,Instagram@theconnectedtable and Facebook@connectedtable

 

Photo credits: Nathan Myhrvold / The Cooking Lab, LLC.

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Drink Eat

Thanksgiving: Traditional or with a Twist?

Are you a Thanksgiving traditionalist or do you like your meal with an exotic twist?  We’re hosting 18 family members. Everyone brings dish. The next night we have a “Friendsgiving” dinner and invite neighbors to bring their leftovers for a mash-up meal.

Every year when we plan the menu, I always sound like the odd man out. While most people are traditionalists when it comes to the Thanksgiving meal. I’m usually the lone voice suggesting something new. Yes, we have turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, etc. But, as a non-turkey eater who likes her greens, I’m always looking for a tasty and healthy side option.

This year we’re trying Melissa Clark‘s Wild Mushroom and Rice Casserole, a hearty dish of mixed mushrooms, leeks, spinach, wild rice and beans. Here is the recipe, recently featured in the New York Times(link)

I’m always in charge of making a salad. Yes, I like a simple salad amid the holiday carb -fest. After years of tossing up kale with fresh apples, dried cranberries, walnuts and assorted seeds for an autumn harvest salad, I am going rogue. Researching this week’s edition of The Connected Table LIVE, I was drawn to a salad of baby greens with grapefruit and mint in Debi Mazar and Gabriele Corcos‘ cookbook “Super Tuscan.” I’m adding pomegranate seeds and sliced almonds for some added pop and crunch. The lightness of the greens and citrusy zip of the grapefruit seem like a nice twist to the heartier side dishes.

Whether you plan to enjoy your Thanksgiving meal at home, in a restaurant or traveling elsewhere…served traditional or with a twist….we hope it is abundantly delicious and flavored with love.

Categories
Cookbook Drink

120 Turkish Recipes. Many Published for the First Time in English

We’re talking about Robyn Eckhardt’s new book, “Istanbul & Beyond- Exploring the Diverse Cuisines of Turkey.” In the book’s introduction, Robyn says she traveled some 15,000 miles, village to village and market to market to chat up local farmers, fishermen, groups of women making grape molasses, families on a picnics and other local folks to learn about Turkish food traditions.

More than 120 recipes. Many published in English for the first time.

Robyn’s sidekick is husband, David Hagerman, the incredibly talented photographer, who captures Turkish landscapes and foodscapes with equal finesse. If you are not familiar with Robyn’s work, check out her award-winning blog “Eating Asia.” It’s on our short list for inside information when we finally plan our trip. They lived on Asia for many years and are now based in Italy. (wanderlust envy alert!) Robyn’s articles have also appeared in The New York Times, Travel & Leisure and Saveur.

Robyn Eckhardt explores the world, and we are hungry to learn more

 

Listen to our show with Robyn here on The Connected Table LIVE – iHeart.com

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David Ransom Drink Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Some Like It RAW And It’s Pretty Hot

We recently spent a damp Sunday afternoon navigating wine tables and elbowing hipsters in Bushwick, Brooklyn, to taste a global sampling of natural, biodynamic, organic and other low intervention wines at RAW WINE New York.  The event was conceived by Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron, author of “Natural Wine,” and featured over 150 producers, with just over 50 seeking representation.

We’ve been curious about natural wines after attending a dinner at Rouge Tomate hosted by Wines of Georgia and led by Pascaline Lepeltier who was wine director there at the time. Recently on separate editions of The Connected Table LIVE!, organic wine producer, Phil LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards, and Pascaline, discussed natural wines. Isabelle Legeron will join us December 13.

Link to our show with Pascaline

Link to our show with Phil LaRocca

 

Stefano Menti (left) is a 13th generation farmer for his
family’s Menti estate in the Veneto

RAW WINE is like a Woodstock for wine with two days of peace, love and waxing poetic about going natural. Over vegan sandwiches and Roberta’s pizzas, we sat with some consumer attendees who swapped stories and spouted knowledge about natural wines with an intentisity of a seasoned and somewhat nerdy wine writer. One actually chuckled when I mentioned we wrote about wine. As if! Whatever! The producers we chatted with were proud to point out what wasn’t in their wines as much as what grapes they used to make it.

Spanish superstars René Barbier (Clos Mogador) and Sara Pérez Ovejero (Mas Martinet) at RAW WINE NY
Spanish superstars René Barbier (Clos Mogador) and Sara Pérez Ovejero (Mas Martinet) at RAW WINE NY

Some of the wines were kind of funky, like that guy or gal you know who doesn’t wear deodorant or shower every day. Some were fizzy,  cloudy, barnyardy and earthy and, of course, there were orange and apricot-tinged wines. And there were many standouts, like Italy’s Gravner and 1701 Franciacorta, Anderson Valley’s Donkey & Goat, Georgia’s Gotsa Wines and Spain’s Clos Mogader and Mas Martinet.

Mateja Gravner, Gravner, Collio, Italy
Mateja Gravner, Gravner, Collio, Italy

RAW opened our eyes to the range of styles and possibilities ahead for this niche of the industry. If the size and scope of the enthusiast attendees at this sold-out two day event is an indicator, RAW has a hot future.

Wine Writer Alice Feiring and Master Sommelier Pascaline Lepeltier at RAW WINE

Suggested reading about Natural Wines:

Wine Writer Alice Feiring is a longtime advocate for natural wines. Pascaline Lepeltier wrote the introduction.
Master of Wine Isabelle Legeron explains the terms and shares vintners’ stories.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our radio show with Pascaline Lepeltier:

Our radio show with organic winemaker Phil LaRocca, LaRocca Vineyards, California:

 

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Eat

The Seafood Professor Is In…Meet Barton Seaver

“Seafood Professor.” That’s what we’ve decided to call Barton Seaver after receiving an advance copy of his new book, American Seafood, which covers ever species of fish on earth. It’s encyclopedic and a fascinating read.

 

And Barton’s a fascinating person. After serving as executive chef for a group of restaurants in Washington, DC, he now leads the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at the Center for Health and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and is Senior Advisor for Sustainable Seafood Innovations at the University of New England.

He’s been a National Geographic Explorer and was apponted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to served on the U.S. Culinary Ambassador Corp. He grew up in the Chesapeake and now lives in Maine. We discussed sustainability and why regional identity is important starting with his backyard (back sea?) lobsters from Maine.

Listen to our show with Barton Seaver here:

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Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

What’s The Recipe for Running Good Housekeeping’s Food Dept.?

Susan Westmoreland

What’s the recipe for running the food department at one of the most respected magazine brands in the nation? We receive an inside peak from Susan Westmoreland, Food Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), one of the most trusted sources for consumer product evaluation for over a century (GHI was established in 1900). GHI evaluates thousands of products for Good Housekeeping magazine which reaches 24 million readers each month.

At the Good Housekeeping test kitchen at Hearst Tower, Susan and her team produce all content, create recipes and test, taste and test again and again (an average of three times)  for the magazine, special issues, cookbooks and special projects. And we’re wondering: How does she keep turkey topics fresh year after year for the Thanksgiving issue? We discuss in this edition of The Connected Table LIVE!

Listen to our show with Susan Westmoreland here: