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Archive for 2017

The Wake-Up Call That Changed This Chef’s Life

The Wake-Up Call That Changed This Chef's Life
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Many people have a wake-up call after experiencing a health setback. The call came to Chef Jean- Christian Jury after experiencing heart failure, not once but twice. Jean-Christian attributes his poor health to his erratic eating habits and relentless 16- hour day work schedule combined with the stress of running several restaurants and kitchens in London at the time. He heeded the call and changed his diet to plant based. In 2007, he opened his first vegan restaurant in Berlin, Mano Verde. Today, he’s based in Los Angeles and teaches vegan cooking around the world. His comprehensive new book, “Vegan The Cookbook,” […]

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From Dietitian to Winemaker- Denise Shurtleff- Cambria Wines

From Dietitian to Winemaker- Denise Shurtleff- Cambria Wines
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It’s all about chemistry. Cambria Wines’ Denise Shurtleff was studying for a degree in dietetics and food administration with the intention of focusing on a career in nutrition when she decided to apply for an internship at a winery. She never looked back, and the chemistry of winemaking became her calling.   Denise spent 16 years working at Corbett Canyon Vineyards as Winemaker and Winery Manager before joining Cambria Estate Winery in 1999 as Assistant Winemaker. Today she’s Head Winemaker. Located in Santa Barbara County, Cambria is part of Jackson Family Estates. Jess Jackson and his wife, Barbara Banke acquired what […]

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Six Degrees of Siperation

Six Degrees of Siperation
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When you’ve been in the beverage and food business as long as we have – 30 years for each of us – you find yourself reconnecting with people over and over. Those people connect you to others in the industry. Your circle widens and yet becomes closer as your relationships deepen. We call it “Six Degrees of Siperation.” Chatting with Steve Olson on a recent edition of The Connected Table LIVE! that term bubbled into my head. We counted the many ways we’ve connected with Steve over the years including: The James Beard Awards, Sherries from Spain, Greek wines, Windows of Hope […]

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Two Grapes Get a Makeover

Two Grapes Get a Makeover
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Recently we attended two tastings that sparked our interest. Neither of the varietals spotlighted were front and center in our minds, and we welcomed the chance to educate our palates and try the wines. Alicia Lini‘s family has been making Lambrusco wines in Emilia-Romagna since 1910. A fourth generation family member, Alicia was recently in New York at i Trulli restaurant to share her family’s portfolio of LINI 910‘s sparkling wines, one produced in the metodo classico style and the other through the charmat process. She joins us June 7 to discuss why she feels the time is now for Lambrusco     Meunier Steps Out  The invitation […]

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Beaujolais at Its Best

Beaujolais at Its Best
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We have a soft spot in our hearts for Beaujolais Crus wines. They’re always overshadowed by their flashy younger sister, Beaujolais Nouveau. We become annoyed when people confuse Beaujolais Nouveau with Beaujolais Crus and don’t give either a chance. Beaujolais Nouveau is like the bright holiday sweater you bring out for the season to have some fun; Beaujolais Cru is the fine cashmere you wear year-round. They both have their place…and style. Just don’t let anyone confuse them. There are some many fine Beaujolais wines from the ten cru regions From north to south, each has its own subtle style: St-Amour, Juliénas, Chénas, Moulin-a-Vent, Fleurie, […]

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Talking True ‘Cue with Matt Moore – The South’s Best Butts

Talking True 'Cue with Matt Moore - The South's Best Butts
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We share a pet peeve with Matt Moore: We get annoyed when people refer to a summer cookout or grilling as a “barbecue” or “barbecuing.”  It’s like calling Prosecco “Champagne.” It’s not the same. Barbecue is a sacred tradition in the Southern states. Like real Coca-Cola, pimiento cheese and biscuits, we don’t like poor knock-offs or misuse of the word. In other words Don’t screw with the ‘cue. In his book, “The South’s Best Butts: Pitmaster Secrets for Southern Barbecue Perfection,” Matt says, “Southern BBQ is its own religion. And to experience it is akin to hearing the Gospel for the […]

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Quenelles of Steel- Barbara Lynch on Living Life Out of Line

Quenelles of Steel- Barbara Lynch on Living Life Out of Line
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Reading Barbara Lynch‘s new memoir, “Out of Line: A Life Playing With Fire,” I was gripped with emotion and fascination. The term “Southie” was unfamiliar to this southern girl. So were the housing projects where Barbara grew up in South Boston next door to the notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger. Life in the hardscrabble ‘hood produced a gritty, gutsy gal with a loyal gang of pals. Success was not a straight shot for Barbara but rather a roundabout map with a few crazy detours, hard work and hard knocks.  But she made it. Big time. Moxie rules. Wednesday, May 3, 2pm EST, on The […]

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The Sweet Smell of Success – Our Maple Syrup Weekend

The Sweet Smell of Success - Our Maple Syrup Weekend
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After a week of intensive wine tasting in Napa Valley, we decided to treat ourselves to a maple syrup weekend in the Hudson Valley. We picked two farms to visit in nearby Dutchess County: Madava Farms, producers of Crown Maple Syrup, and Soukup Farms. A “farm” can be many things much like a “country house.” The large stone sign at the entrance to Madava Farms was followed by a long driveway opening up to a vast property still covered with snow and surrounded by a forest of maple trees linked by sap tubing. The large sap production building and company […]

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Spring (Bud) Break In Napa

Spring (Bud) Break In Napa
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The spring buds are breaking in Napa Valley which puts everyone in a good mood after recent rains. Driving along Highway 29 gazing out at expansive wine estates, it’s hard to envision the ranch towns of the 1960’s when Napa Valley’s earliest vintners scooped up farmland for a fraction of what it would cost today. It was an investment that paid off, and a gamble that hit the jackpot with international media attention from promotional stunts like the 1976 Judgement of Paris and numerous accolades for Napa Valley wines.  Still, in spite of its international reputation, Napa Valley is still […]

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“Phenomonal Femmes”- Women Making History

"Phenomonal Femmes"- Women Making History
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In our March Women Making a Mark spotlight we have two very dynamic guests March 15th on The Connected Table LIVE!  Both are passionately devoted to promoting diversity and collaboration within the industry and to giving back. First up is Karen Hoskin, president and co-founder of Montanya Distillers based in Crested Butte, Colorado. Montanya utilizes old world artisan traditions to make its collection of rums which have been awarded 18 Gold and Silver Medals in International Competitions. In 2013 the company was named Craft Distiller of the Year by the American Distilling Institute (ADI) who has tapped Karen to be its […]

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Sonoma Stars

Sonoma Stars
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It had been awhile since either of had spent much time in Sonoma Valley, so we felt lucky to add three nights for a visit following our stay at Meadowood in St. Helena for the Professional Wine Writers Symposium. Where Napa feels gentrified and sophisticated, Sonoma feels bucolic and achaten-suisse.com laid back. It’s like comparing cashmere to fleece; they both feel great and will keep you warm outside, and you want both for different reasons. The first two nights were spent at Jordan Winery in Alexander Valley tasting wines, exploring the expansive estate and enjoying a quiet dinner with Lisa Mattson […]

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A Restaurant Star in the City of Stars

A Restaurant Star in the City of Stars
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City of stars Just one thing everybody wants There in the bars And through the smokescreen of the crowded restaurants It’s love – Lyrics from “La La Land” My last big trip to La La Land involved supplying George Duboeuf Poully-Fuisse to P Diddy’s Fourth of July White Party in Beverly Hills in 2009. White wine for a white party hosted by a hip hop/rap music mogul. It was hotter than Hades, and there was no shade for the wine bars or gift bags.  P Diddy may be a music impressario, but his stiletto-shod, mini-dress clad event production team didn’t […]

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