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Drink

Life of the Party- A Pinot Grigio with Personality

Selecting wine for a party is like inviting the ideal guest: You want someone fun with an easy-going personality who helps bring the party to life and keeps the conversation going without dominating the group.

Wine is the same way. As a host, you want to serve a wine that appeals to even your pickiest guests, works with the different dishes being served and is agreeable on the palate. You want it to be tasteful  and within your budget. You want something under $15 that is a quality wine with an attractive and not-too-kitschy label that looks nice on the table or bar.

© Catalina Zaharescu Tiensuu | Dreamstime.com

For many hosts that wine is Pinot Grigio. It complements many foods without overpowering. It appeals to people who prefer a white wine that’s refreshing and fruity and not overly oaked. Maybe that’s why Pinot Grigio is a popular house wine at bars and restaurants, as well as a go-to wine for at-home entertaining. It’s likeable without being intimidating.

So, why do some people still turn up their noses to Pinot Grigio when it’s one of the top-selling white wines? It’s probably because Pinot Grigio became a victim of its own success. As more people consumed this easy-to-drink white wine, more producers rushed to make larger volume wines to seize the opportunity to sell more bottles. Quantity overtook quality. There was more mass and less class to the wines.

Maybe you are rolling your eyes as you read this because you think you are not a Pinot Grigio drinker. Maybe you’ve tried a few that just tasted unremarkable with no sense of place. Perhaps some were too fruity or a tad astringent. Maybe you felt it was time to graduate to another grape.

PInot Grigio grapes on vine ©Chiyacat -Dreamstime.com

But, remember this…..

Pinot Grigio is grown around the world and there are different styles. It’s like Chardonnay and Merlot. Some scoff at these wines because they’ve tried wines from specific production areas that may not appeal to their personal taste. Yet, Chardonnay is the main grape in France’s prized Burgundy white wines, and Merlot is one of the noble red grapes used to make Bordeaux wines. Scoff no more!

The same goes for Pinot Grigio. Why knock an entire category of wine just because you’ve tasted a few that did not suit your palate? What’s important is to think about where the grapes are cultivated and how the wine is made.

Like all good wine, it starts with a sense of place.  Italy is the best-known producer of Pinot Grigio. The country practically put this wine on the world map, and it produced Pinot Grigio in several areas.

If your preference is for a soft, fruity style of Pinot Grigio with crisp acidity and minerality, look to wines made in Trentino- Alto Adige, located south of the Austrian border. Frequently referred to as simply “Alto Adige,”another local name for this area is Süditrol,(a.k.a. “south of Tyrol”). This is a nod to the region’s Germanic heritage. A critical passageway on the early trade routes between Italy and the rest ofEurope, Alto Adige was under the Austro-Hungarian empire for a long time until itwas annexed by Italy after World War I. Even today, residents speak a dialectthat blends Italian, German and Ladin (a traditional vernacular of the local mountain dwellers).

Alto Adige at Dusk

Alto Adige is a visually stunning area. Steep, craggy peaks of the snow-capped Dolomite Mountains frame rolling hills dotted with farms, vineyards and apple orchards. While AltoAdige produces its fair share of red wines, those made with the local Schiava and Lagrein varieties, the white wines are the standouts, notably Pinot Grigio. 

Some of Italy’s Best Pinot Grigio is made in Alto Adige 

Pinot Grigio wines from Alto Adige have ripe stone fruit and delicate floral notes that deliver a pleasant mouth-popping acidity. One reason is the favorable growing conditions which combine warm sunny days, chilly nights and nutrient-rich glacial soil (also referred to as morainic).

Val Lagarina Vineyards

An example is Lagaria Pinot Grigio Delle Venezie made in Val Lagarina, a small valley tucked between the Dolomites and Lake Garda. Lagaria’s vineyards are located between 600 and 1600 feet above sea level. The higher altitude and brisk winds from the nearby mountains bring pure, cool air to nurture the vines. The vineyards face south, allowing grapes to ripen in just enough sunlight to bring out their lush fruit, and are planted in gravelly soil which helps retain heat from the sun and soak in rain water. The gravely volcanic soil contains sediment and fossils to enrich the vines. 

The perfect combination of sun, wind and soil provide an ideally balanced microclimate forgrowing the grapes. Of course, mindful of sustainability, Lagaria’s winemakingteam employs renewable energy in every phase of production.

Lagaria’s winemaker is Franco Bernabei, one of Italy’s most respected consulting oenologists. Bernabi’s approach to making Lagaria is to allow the wine to have prolonged contact on the lees well into the early spring after harvest and just before bottling. This crucial step creates a soft complexity that other styles of Pinot Grigios may lack.

© Monkey Business Images | Dreamstime

This is why anyone who usually says “No” to Pinot Grigio, may have a second opinion once they taste Lagaria. This pale, straw-colored wine delivers a pleasant kiss of apple, apricot and pear aromas and doesn’t smack your palate with heavy fruit.  With just a few sips, you’re dreaming about gathering with friends after a day on the ski slopes or sunning at the beach.

Lagaria Pinot Grigio Belle Venezie is a versatile wine that pairs with everything from pizzas and salads, to light pasta dishes and raw or cooked seafood, even southern-fried chicken. At $11 a bottle, it’s the ideal reception wine when you need an agreeable well-priced white wine to serve to a group.

Lagaria wine is imported by Empson USA.

Lagaria’s chic label is designed by one of Italy’s top illustrators, Stefano Riboli. Look for the bella donna (beautiful woman) perched on a Vespa. Perched on your table, she’s a conversation opener and an Instagram photo opp even before you pop the screwtop.

You simply can’t go wrong with the right Pinot Grigio for any occasion. Give it a try!

A white wine for any occasion. ©-Karin-Hildebrand-Lau-Dreamstime.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TCT- Sips! brought to you by Lagaria 

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Drink Explore THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Malbec Match Made in Heaven: Alain Dominique Perrin and Michel Rolland

One made a name for himself running one the world’s most renowned luxury brands. The other is a world-renowned oenologist. When Alain Dominique Perrin, formerly CEO /Chairman of Must de Cartier and Cartier International, purchased the historic 16th century Chateau Lagrézette in Cahors, France, he tapped Michel Rolland to oversee construction of the new wine production facility. Using his eye for detail and design, Perrin oversaw Chateau Lagrézette’s restoration, and Rolland tended to the vines.

Michel Rolland recalled a first meeting with Alain Dominique Perrin. “We drove through the vineyards in a convertible car that belonged to Brigitte Bardot. That was classy!”

At the time (1988) Chateau Lagrézette was still a winery cooperative. Says Rolland, “This was a first for me: to consult for a private client with wines vinifed in a ‘kolkhotz’! I quickly discovered the drawbacks of the cooperative and immediately warned Alain that my intervention would useless. Not being a man to take ‘no’ for an answer, he told me, ‘I promise you a beautiful Lagrézette winery in just a few years.'”

Alain Dominique Perrin (right) Michel Rolland (left)

Construction on the new winery was completed in 1992. The first two vintages of Le Pigeonnier and Cuvée Dame Honneur became flagships of the appellation. Chateau Lagrézette has three vineyards. Caillac Vineyard, located between the winery and the Atlantic Ocean, and Landiech Vineyard, to the west of Chateau Lagrézette, both produce Malbec, the estate’s main focus. Rocamadour Vineyard, sixty kilometers from Caillac, produces Viognier.

Michel Rolland, Maguy LeCoze and Alain Dominique Perrin at Le Bernardin

Thirty years later, the two are still close and toasting to their success and good health. We had the chance to join them at a dinner September 27, 2018, that Perrin hosted in honor of Rolland at the New York Times four-star-rated Le Bernardin. Pairing two of Chateau Lagrézette’s silky Malbec wines with two of Chef Eric Ripert‘s sublime seafood dishes, Octopus with Tomato Salsa with Red Wine Molé Sauce, and a combo of Hawaiian Walu and Seared Waygu Beef with a Tomato Summer Roll in Spiced Red Wine Sauce, were both unexpected pleasures.  www.chateau-lagrezette.com 

Chateau Lagrézette aerial view. The estate dates back to 1503.

 

Listen here to our show with Alain Dominique Perrin

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Drink

Peter Lehmann: The Man Who Saved Barossa’s Grape Growers

Peter Lehmann could be considered the man who rescued the Barossa Valley. His reputation and name are legendary through the region and Australian winemaking history.

In 1977 the Barossa Valley was hit with a severe grape surplus. At the time Lehmann was working as a winemaker/manager for a large multinational wine company. Just before Christmas his employer decided to stop buying grapes and asked Lehmann to notify the growers. Lehmann, a fifth-generation member of one of the Barossa’s pioneering wine families, knew this decision could wipe out the livelihoods of the 140 family growers he’d worked with for more than twenty years.

Founder Peter Lehmann and wines. Photo credit: www.peterlehmannwines.com

In a bold move to support his community of growers, Lehmann refinanced his house, took out a loan, assembled equipment and launched a small winery, initially as a side business to his day job. He called the project Masterson, a nod to the famous gambler, Skye Masterson. Lehmann also took a gamble with a “pay now and we’ll deliver in two years” approach to selling his wines. It worked. When the money started coming in, Lehmann made sure to pay his growers first. The first vintage was 1980.

Renamed Peter Lehmann Wines, the winery is a leading producer in Barossa Valley, working with the same 140 family growers, says Chief Winemaker Nigel Westblade. Recently we had the chance to sit down with Westblade to taste some of the wines in the Peter Lehman range and discuss the winery’s namesake and the different subregions of Barossa Valley.

Photo credit: www.peterlehmannwines.com

Here’s what we tasted:

Peter Lehmann Clancy’s 2015 – A soft blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Westblade calls this rich full-bodied wine “your everyday pizza wine.” SRP: $10

Peter Lehmann Barossa Portrait 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon. Fruit is taken from four different points of the Barossa, reflecting some of the 14 different microclimates in this vast area. A perfect match for steak, lamb or burgers. SRP: $15

Peter Lehmann Barossa Portrait 2015 Shiraz Westblade culls grapes from parcels throughout the Barossa to make this 100% Shiraz. Spicy and elegant without being heavy on the palate. Barbecue and smoked meats, please! SRP: $15

The Barossan 2015 Shiraz. A more contemporary-style Shiraz with silky tannins and generous dark fruits with a hint of spice. Aged in American oak seasoned for three years. Roasted meats and savory stews. SRP: $20

www.peterlehmannwines.com   www.deutschfamily.com

 

Listen to our SIPS podcast with Winemaker Nigel Westblade here:

 

With Nigel Westblade
(October 2018)

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Drink

We Raise a Glass to Dave Pickerell. RIP

We were shocked and saddened to learn of the sudden passing of Master Distiller Dave Pickerell on November 1. A West Point graduate, Dave was one of the most knowledgeable individuals in the spirits industry and an ardent voice for American Whiskey.

Dave was the master distiller at Maker’s Mark for 14 years before leaving in 2008 to become a sought-after consultant. Following his tenure at Marker’s Mark, Dave helped launch Whistle Pig in Vermont and consulted for other brands including Hillrock in upstate New York and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Distillery in Virginia. Dave was touring to promote Blackened, a whiskey he made in collaboration with the band Metallica. The band posted this message on the Blackened website:

Thank you for sharing your optimism, your passion, and your joy with us. You’ve left a mark on the world, and it’s a better place for it. It’s been an honor to have shared the journey with you. Rest in peace Dave.

Dave was a beloved and familiar figure throughout the beverage alcohol industry, always wearing his signature Stetson hat and always ready to share a story, a drink or a few laughs. “Larger than life” was how many have described Dave. He lived well and radiated passion and pride for his work and for the industry.  We just wish it had been a longer life. We raise a glass to you, Dave!

Read David Ransom’s profile on Dave Pickerell at Inside F&B here.
Or click below

 

Listen to our show with Dave here:

 

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Sipping with Matías Cruzat, Winemaker, Viña San Pedro

We recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Matías Cruzat, the young winemaker turning heads and impressing palates at Viña San Pedro, which was founded in 1985 by the Correa Albano brothers who brought grape varieties from Chile to Spain.

Matias Cruzat

One of the largest and oldest exporters of Chilean wines, Viña San Pedro’s main winery is in Molina in the Curicó Valley south of Santiago where it has one of the largest stretches of vineyards in that country at 1,200 hectares.  Viña San Pedro also has vineyards throughout Chile including: Elqui, Casablanca. San Antonio-Leyda, Maipo, Cachapoal, Maule and Bio-Bio.

Cruzat is primarily responsible for making Viña San Pedro’s 1865 and 1865 Limited Edition wines, which are crafted from select single older vineyard plots: Sauvignon Blanc from Leyda Valley, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Elqui Valley, Cabernet Sauvignon from Maipo Valley, Carmenère and Malbec from Maule Valley and Syrah from Cachapoal.

 

What we tasted:

1865 Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (Elqui Valley). This wine was like a burst of sunshine in your mouth. Fresh flavors of pineapple, grapefruit and sea salt. It had us thinking about a platter of fresh cooked seafood or a homemade “real” Caesar salad with anchovies.

1865 Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 (Maipo Valley). A dense velvety wine with black pepper, tobacco and dark cocoa accents. Time to sizzle up some steaks or fresh game meats.

1865 Carmenère 2015 (Maule Valley). Spicy and silky on the palate field with ripe black cherries, blackberries and dark plum. Perfect for a Sunday night roast chicken with sautéed wild mushrooms.

All of the 1865 wines are available in the U.S.A. and priced under $20.  www.sanpedro.cl

Listen to our conversation with Matias Cruzat on The Connected Table SIPS! Click the photo/link below:

 

 

With Matias Cruzat at Colangelo Partners office in New York

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Drink

Michel Rolland Embraces Malbec in Argentina

Michel Rolland has been called “The Flying Winemaker.” The Bordeaux-based oenologist consults for more than 80 estates and in 13 countries around the world. When he’s not boarding planes to another far-flung wine region, you may find him riding a horse surveying his vineyards in Argentina.

Photo source: www.michelrolland-argentinaexperience.com

Rolland is a partner with four Bordeaux familiars in Clos de los Siete, seven estates located on 2000 acres in Argentina’s Uco Valley  Mendoza at the foothills of the Andes. Here, temperatures vary widely from day to night which helps produce wines with high tannins and concentrated color. The pebble and clay soils help drain the melting snow coming from the Andes, while the vineyards’ south to southwest locations soak up the sun.

All of Clos de los Siete wines are Malbec blends known for their refined style, ageability, and value. All are priced under $20/bottle. They are imported by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits are the number one Malbec blend from the Argentina in the U.S.A.

Recently we sat down with Michel to taste of a few of the wines, including a 2015, 2011 and 2006. All were well-structured and less fruit intensive than many Argentine Malbecs. What struck us about the 2006, and even the 2011, was how well the wines aged.

Rolland said 2011 was a tough year since many of the vineyards were destroyed by hailstorms. Yields were low but overall, the vintage was good with strong aging potential. He noted that the 2011 was the first vintage to use a little Cabernet Franc in the blend. The younger 2015 was from a cooler year and showed ripe fresh fruit. The 2006, a warmer year, showed the wine’s ageability and potential to enjoy for perhaps another four years. Info: www.closdelossiete.com 

Listen to Michel Rolland here on The Connected Table SIPS on iHeart.com/iHeart App

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Cookbook David Ransom Eat Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

A Visit with Amanda Hesser, Co-Founder & CEO, Food52

Amanda Hesser, Food52 co-founder and CEO,

For anyone who aspires to build a brand that embraces the culinary lifestyle from all sides and seasons, look no further than Food52. The brainchild of journalists and authorsAmanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Food52 has amassed a devoted community of culinary enthusiasts who engage and share recipes and appoint their kitchens with carefully curated products. And with the mission of “eating thoughtfully and living joyfully,” visualized in stunning photography and video shots, it’s no surprise that Food52 has hit two million followers on Instagram alone.

We first came to know Hesser when she worked as a reporter and food editor at The New York Times, where her The Essential New York Times Cookbook was a NYT bestseller. One of her “star” moments was playing herself in Nora Ephron’s movie, “Julie and Julia.” She’s also the author of Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover’s Courtship, with Recipes and The Cook and the Gardener, and several Food52 cookbooks, including her newest (with co-author, Merrill) A New Way to Dinner.

The story behind the creation of Food 52 in 2009 is a case study in a successful digital enterprise that took foresight and calculate risk. The co-founders parlayed a cookbook advance into a successful destination website which has grown substantially to become an experiential experience. Hesser has been named one of the 50 most influential women in food by Gourmet, created the Twitter app Plodt, and served on President Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Listen to our show with Amanda Hesser here:

 

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Drink Events

Celebrating a 30-Year Collaboration and Friendship

Michel Rolland, Maguy LeCoze (Le Bernardin) and  Alain Dominique Perrin

September 27Alain Dominique Perrin, owner of Chateau Lagrézette hosted a dinner at Le Bernardin to celebrate his 30-year collaboration with oenologist, Michel Rolland. It was an evening of  toasts between friends.

Recalls Michel, “In 1988, after a brief telephone conversation with Alain Dominique Perrin, then President of Cartier, I went to Château Lagrézette in Cahors. We drove through the vineyards in a convertible car – one that had belonged to Brigitte Bardot. That was classy! The vineyards were less so… the vigor of the vines suggested an over abundant harvest. Alain told me then: “I do not have a cellar; my wine is made at the cooperative. I would like you to oversee the production.

“This was a first for me: to consult for a private client with wines vinified in a “kolkhoz”! I quickly discovered the drawbacks of the cooperative system and immediately warned Alain that my intervention would be useless: “I can’t perform miracles!” Not being a man to take no for an answer, he told me: “I promise you a beautiful Lagrézette winery in just a few years”. The construction of a state-of-the-art gravitational cellar was completed in 1992. A rigorous selection policy was applied, and two vintages were born, Le Pigeonnier and Cuvée Dame Honneur –  which became flagships of the appellation.”

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Everything is Coming Up Vermentino in Sardegna

The wisp of a fresh sea breeze and the soft scent of wildflowers and Mediterranean brush remind me of a recent trip to Sardegna just before summer crowds of tourists flooded the island and just in time to taste some newly released wines. My trip was an immersion experience to learn about Vermentino, a light-skinned white grape that produces vibrant citrusy high-acid wines that make you salivate for a plate of fresh shellfish or just-caught, lightly grilled branzino with fresh herbs.

Vermentino grapes. Photo courtesy of LAORE

Vermentino is also cultivated in Corsica, where it’s called Vermentinu and in parts of Languedoc-Roussillon, where it’s called Rolle. In Liguria, it’s known as Pigato, and in Piedmont, it’s called Favorita. In Hungary it is related to Furmint. Recently I even tasted a Vermentino from Australia.

Seventy percent of Italy’s Vermentino is from Sardegna, where its production is strictly regulated to assure the highest quality wines. The characteristics of Vermentino wines vary slightly by appellation, thanks to different soils and vineyard elevations. All the wines I tasted reminded me somewhat of a Loire Valley Sancerre but with a tad more, albeit pleasant, salinity.

Hills of vineyards at Siddura Winery in DOCG Vermentino di Gallura

Vermentino is cultivated throughout Sardegna, but the wines of Vermentino de Gallura DOCG in the region of Olbia to the north of the island are considered the jewels in the crown. Here, the soil is more granite and limestone which lends a flinty character to the wines.

Overlooking the vineyards at Auduraya Winery in DOC Vermentino di Gallura in Southern Sardinia

To the south in Vermentino di Sardegna DOC the soils are more calcareous (clay, chalk) . Tasting these wines, I detected a much more floral and herbaceous character, much like the Mediterranean wildflowers I kept smelling throughout my trip.

The Vermentino wines had a lovely essence of wildflowers and herbs like this wild fennel

Vermentino wines should be served chilled, but not too cold. Given their Mediterranean provenance, they pair beautifully with seafood. Fatty tuna, octopus, langoustines and sea bream are just a few of the seafood dishes I enjoyed during my stay in Cagliari.

Fresh from the sea and perfect with a glass of chilled Vermentino

A special thank you to the agriculture marketing agency LAORE, who organized the trip. We all had the chance to taste a range of wines Vermentino wines from the north (Gallura and Alghero) and to the south around Cagliari, a bustling seaport and popular tourist destination. We met with dozens of producers at organizing tastings and meals. I found their local pride was as captivating as the wines.

Three generations of the Auduraya family at Auduraya Winery

Sadly, there was not enough time to visit Sardegna’s world-classes beaches and take a dip in the sea or tour its many archeological ruins (we did visit one). That’s another trip, and I look forward to returning and exploring this beautiful island more extensively.

This is the closest I came to the sea. the view was stunning!

Meanwhile, I will savor the memory of the sea breeze, sun and wildflowers when I order a glass of Vermentino.

Spiral pasta fusilli with tuna fish, tomato sauce, olive oil and basil is a typical Mediterranean dish which people eat especially during the summer and hot days. With white wine Vermentino from Sardinia final sensation is fantastic. ©-Loran-Zutic-Dreamstime.com_

 

In this edition of The Connected Table SIPS! Donatella Muscianese, Agenzia Laore Sardegna, discusses key growing areas and styles of Vermentino: DOCG Vermentino di Gallura.

 

Recommended wines

Vermentino di Gallura DOCG

Surrau  This winery mays sparkling and still Vermentino. Try Sciala Vermentino di Gallura DOCG Superiore which is aged one year, (ID Beverage)

Cantina Tani (Monti, Gallura) Family owned winery. Mother is a chef in the family winery restaurant Try Taerra 2008 (Importer: Artisan Wines)

Tenute Olbios. I really like this winery’s selections, especially the no dosage sparkling Vermentino called Bisso.

Vermentino di Sardinia DOC

Argiolas – Founded by wine legend Antonio Argiolas in 1906, the winery is now run by his granddaughters and celebrates 80 years in 2018. Try Costamolina. (Winebow).

Antonella Corda – Vintner Antonella Corda is a granddaughter of Antonio Argiolas who decided to create her own namesake label.  Try Antonella Corda Vermentino di Sardegna.

Cantina Auduraya -The word “auduraya” means “nobility of the soul.” This lively winery hosted a tasting of delicious local Argiolas cheeses as well as their wines which include other native varieties like Monica, Bovale, Nuragus and, of course Cannonnau and Vermentino. Try: Auduraya Vermentino.

Cantina Santa Maria La Palma – Located in Alghero, this cantina is the largest producer of Vermentino in Sardegna. This winery produces a few Vermentino wines. Its bestseller is Aragosta (“lobster). I was partial to Vermentino Blu. Another interesting wine is Akènta is a sparkling Vermentino that is ‘cellared’ deep in the sea in the Porto Conte Natural Park. (MS Walker Imports and Bacchus Imports).

Sella & Mosca – Sella & Mosca is an expansive winery that produces wines from several native varietals, including a significant amount of Torbato, a white varietal, and Nasco, which produces a sweeter wine. Try: Sella & Mosca Monteoro Vermentino de Gallura Superiore. (Palm Bay Imports)

Cantina Trexenta -All the wines tasted were exceptional. in addition to Vermentino, Cantina Trexenta produces wines from the indigenous Monica, Nuragus and Cannanou varietals.  Try Contissa Vermentino di Sardegna.

 

Akènta is a sparkling Vermentino that is cellared beneath the sea. The bottle is a mosaic of sea creatures.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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SHAREing the Spirit to Help Women with Breast & Ovarian Cancer

More than two dozen of NYC’s leading chefs and pastry chefs and dozens of wines and spirits producers will come together September 17 to help raise money to support women diagnosed with breast or ovarian cancer at the 15th annual A Second Helping of Life to benefit SHARE.  Barbara Sibley, La Palapa, is the event ‘s Executive Chef.

SHARE Cancer Support is a non-profit organization of survivors who volunteer to provide helpful peer support to women diagnosed with this life-changing diseases. SHARE also provides educational programs and a hotline. All program are bilingual. This event will take place Monday, September 17, at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan. Info: www.sharebenefit.org  For information call (212) 937-5581.

 

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What Will You Be Eating in 2019? #TheNextBigBite

Curious what the next food and drinks trends will be for 2019? Why wait until January when everyone is talking about this topic. Get an early forecast at The Next Big Bite, What We Will Cook, Eat, Drink and Crave in 2019in Four One-Act “Bites”  presented by Les Dames d’Escoffier New York (LDNY) on Monday, October 1, 5:30-9 p.m. at New York Law School, 185 West Broadway. (link for information and tickets)

 

LDNY has assembled an impressive a lineup of speakers who have their fingers – and palates- on the pulse of the food and beverage industry, from what we drink and eat to how we approach cooking, dining and imbibing. Participants include: Master of Ceremonies, Joe Yonan, and panelists Jacques Pepin, Gesine Bullock-Prado, Dame Carla Hall, Molly Yeh, Lettie Teague, Natalka Burian, Dorie Greenspan and Christina Tosi.

Of course, what is a Les Dames d’Escoffier event without food? A delectable selection of wines and hors d’oeuvres  will be served courtesy of Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships

Brussels Waldorf by Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships

Harvest Lobster Rolls by Abigail Kirsch Catering Relationships

Founded more than 35 years ago by longtime food editor, Carol Brock, Les Dames d’Escoffier is the premier, invitational, non-profit organization of women leaders dedicated to education, advocacy, and philanthropy-through the support of its partners and members in the food, fine beverage and hospitality industries. One of the organization’s most important missions is to provide scholarship and mentoring to women pursuing careers in food, fine beverage and hospitality. A percentage of the ticket admissions from The Next Big Bite will go to Les Dames ‘d’Escoffier New York’s scholarship program. Info: New York (www.ldny.org) International (www.ldei.org)

Click here to purchase tickets   Share #TheNextBigBite.

This evening is generously sponsored by

Don’t forget to purchase your ticket a snag a seat at #TheNextBigBite.  Click this link

The Connected Table Live is pleased to support The Next Big Bite as a Media Sponsor, and Melanie is proud to serve as a longtime member since 1993 and a past- president in 2012 and 2013.

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Happy 40th Anniversary to Inn at little Washington!

I once spent the right night with the wrong man at the Inn at little Washington in the 1990s. It was oh-so-right because the meal was beyond fabulous; the rooms were decorated down to the littlest detail. Even the stair railings wore pretty sleeves. The big claw-foot bathtub in our room was a sensual experience for a long soak. I was thrilled to be checking off a place I always wanted to visit on my lengthy travel and dining bucket list (thanks to my boyfriend’s credit card).  Too bad “William” passed out after imbibing  copious amounts of wine and Armagnac at our dinner and complained about the cost when we checked out. That’s a Big No No in my Code of Conduct.  We broke up soon after.

A member of Relais & Châteaux the list of awards and accolades both Patrick and Inn at Little Washington have received in 40 years could fill an entire wall, or maybe a room!

Flash forward to 2018. The Inn at little Washington celebrates its 40th year with a series a over-the-top events that guarantee an extraordinary experience for those lucky enough to snag tickets (details at this link). But anyone who stays and dines at Inn at little Washington has won the extraordinary experience lottery.

The Inn at Little Washington is a setting for romance. It’s like listening to a soft sonata after spending a work week amidst the loud percussion of the city. Forty years after opening in a former garage in tiny Washington, Virginia in 1978, Patrick O’Connell keeps a watchful eye over every detail. And that’s why he’s been referred to as “the Pope of American Cuisine.” Not King, but Pope!

Patrick O’Connell, Proprietor and Executive Chef, Inn at Little Washington. He is a self-taught chef who shared in our radio show that he once worked flipping burgers and called it a “great learning experience.”

Patrick’s vision begun 1978 is being celebrated this year as his “magnificent dream.” When we’re talking about Inn at Little Washington, it’s “go big or go home.” On  June 16 he hosted a “garden party” at George Washington’s Mount Vernon which also fêted culinary pioneers from around the world. In September he’s planned two more. Wish we were going but, alas not. Maybe you are one of the lucky ones!

But, honestly, I’ll be happy to settle in for another night (or two)  at the Inn at Little Washington for any occasion to enjoy another fabulous meal and a dreamy stay in one of the Inn’s gorgeous rooms. This time it will be with the Right Man, my husband, David.

 

Patrick told us he actually attended the original Woodstock Festival. We’re trying to envision this well-tailored chef as a hippie. INNStock will be a Day of Peace, Love & Feasting with Fireworks, of course!

September 2: Innstock. It’s not quite three days of peace, love and food. But, the town of Washington will be smoking hot with even more great food and entertainment. This event is a “family reunion” of 20+ alumni chefs of the Inn; each will prepare a signature dish at a two-hour reception that will be followed by a magnificent buffet. The evening will end with fireworks. Pow! https://www.theinnat40.com/innstock

 

Feast like a King! Patrick O’Connell is recreating one of France’s most historic, and decadent, meals at this Chateau.

September 30: For a truly decadent three-day experience, consider the “Spectacular Soirée” which will take place in France at the 17th century Château Vaux le Vicomte, just outside Paris. The inspiration for Versailles, it’s where King Louis XIV (“the Sun King”) hosted a gluttonous 6000-person feast prepared by Chef François Vatel. Only 150 guests will be able to relive this extraordinary experience which includes touring the magnificent gardens over cocktails and dining by candlelight in the grand ballroom with a feast inspired by the actual menu served to Louis XIV. Info & tickets:
https://www.theinnat40.com/chateau-de-vaux-le-vicomte

Listen to our show with Patrick O’Connell here: