Blog

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

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 ...

Prayers for Our Friends in Napa and Sonoma

We’re heartsick over the devastating fires that are still burning in Napa and Sonoma counties and southern California. So many industry friends have been impacted, and we’re still learning which wineries have been destroyed.  I was just in Calistoga a few weeks ago celebrating at The Harvest Table with the local vintners. Despite the surprise ...

The Food & Beverage Industry Nourishes Souls in Times of Sorrow

It seems like the last several weeks have delivered us one disaster after another starting with Hurricane Harvey in Texas; then Hurricanes Irma and Maria in the Caribbean and Florida, and now the tragic massacre in Las Vegas. It’s hard to be rah rah about this and that culinary event or new product launch when ...

“Flying Winemaker” Michel Rolland Touches Down with The Connected Table

He’s called “The Flying Winemaker” and his international influence in the world of wine is unparalleled. Bordeaux-based Oenologist Michel Rolland consults for more than 100 estates in 14 countries. Another 400 estates utilize the services of his laboratories located in France and Mendoza for analysis and advice. And at an age when many contemplate slowing down to stop and ...

Chef Ana Sortun’s Inspiration

A trip to Turkey while studying in Paris at La Varenne Cooking School as a young girl inspired Chef & Restaurateur Ana Sortun to specialize in the foods of Turkey and the Middle East in her three restaurants, Oleana, Sofra Bakery & Cafe and Sarma, all located in the greater Boston area. Ana is author ...

Meet the Man Whose Botanical Beverage is on Everyone’s Lips  

Ben Branson must be on to something. It seems like he’s popping up everywhere including a recent Food52 profile and last week’s Wall Street Journal feature story on “sophisticated mocktails.”  It’s not just a great public relations blitz. He really is on to something. Not drinking alcohol is now as fashionable as drinking it. Everyone, from chefs ...

A Cider House Rules – Meet Angry Orchard Cider Maker Ryan Burk

We live in apple country in the Hudson Valley. The trees have blossomed and are now heavy with fruit. You can smell the scent of apples in the air. Last week we attended a farm-to-table dinner at Angry Orchard in nearby Walden. It’s a 60-acre farm dating back to the 1700s that today makes both ...

New Orleans Pays It Forward To Houston

It’s hard to believe that twelve years ago this week Hurricane Katrina walloped New Orleans creating widespread destruction, and here we are again watching Houston being pummeled by a hurricane, lingering rains and flooding of historic proportions. I remember that Labor Day weekend in 2005 planning a fund raising campaign with The James Beard Foundation, ...

This Herbalist Does Not Waste Thyme- The Connected Table LIVE! August 23

Herbalist Brittany Nickerson teaches people about the health attributes of herbs and how to use them in cooking in her workshops at Thyme Herbal.  She also offers a three-year Herbal Apprentice Program, teaches at the University of Massachusetts and is author of The Everyday Living Series for your home. We’re all about trying to simplify and create a healthier ...

Behind the Scenes at OSU Food Innovation Center with Sarah Masoni

What is the recipe for becoming a successful food entrepreneur, and in what direction is food innovation heading? We discuss August 23 with Sarah Masoni, who manages the Product & Process Development Team working at the Food Innovation Center at Oregon State University, I met Sarah at this summer’s Fancy Food Show in New York presented by the ...

What Pairs with Dishes from 35 Chefs? Champagne, Of Course!

Recently we spent five days on the East End of Long Island visiting friends. Luckily for us the visit coincided with The James Beard Foundation‘s 27th annual Chefs & Champagne July 29 which featured more than 35 chefs from New York City and Long Island. We had not attended Chefs & Champagne for several years ...

Hey Lisa, When Are You Publishing Your Book?

Some say people working in public relations should be seen and not heard. Others say they should be heard and not seen. I say the rules have changed entirely. Much of that is thanks to powerhouses like Lisa Ekus who redefined the rules starting in 1982 when she opened the first public relations agency solely devoted to publicizing ...

The Breakers Palm Beach- Ageless & Timeless

I’ve been fascinated with grand hotels ever since my father took me to New York when I was five to visit Eloise at The Plaza. The front desk told us she was with her Nanny in Central Park. Eloise mailed me a thank you postcard for stopping by.  A girl with manners! One of the ...

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

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 ...

From Dietitian to Winemaker- Denise Shurtleff- Cambria Wines

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 ...

Six Degrees of Siperation

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 ...

Two Grapes Get a Makeover

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 ...

Beaujolais at Its Best

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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

The Sweet Smell of Success – Our Maple Syrup Weekend

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.” ...

Spring (Bud) Break In Napa

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. ...

“Phenomonal Femmes”- Women Making History

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 ...

Sonoma Stars

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 ...

A Restaurant Star in the City of Stars

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 ...

Love, Italian Style

When it comes to passion, the Italians are brimming with it. Oh, the French are incredibly romantic, and the Greeks will tell you they created passion (as well as comedy, tragedy and democracy). But Italian passione just seems to overflow with abbondanza. So, it’s been a pleasure to indulge our passion for Italian wine which has ...

Kenwood Winemaker Pat Henderson on the Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

Recently we met with Pat Henderson, Chief Winemaker at  Kenwood Vineyards in Sonoma to taste through some vintages of the Artist Series, the winery’s portfolio of carefully blended Cabernet Sauvignon produced from the very best vineyards in Sonoma County. Every picture tells a story as does the vintage in the bottle. Pat shared anecdotes and aging information with ...

Wine Wonders from Down Under: Moollydooker and Bird in Hand

In 1989 I left my corporate agency job and went on a solo “walkabout” of sorts to Australia. It took 30,000 frequent flyer miles and 30 hours to land in Sydney where I stayed at a friend of a friend’s apartment near Bondi Beach. I spent the next six weeks hopscotching Australia on a cheap ...

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. Cupramontana in the center of the Marche is considered the ...

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 ...