Blog

A Tale of Tequila with Chantal Martineau

Tequila was always my “nasty spirit” in college. There was something about drinking tequila than made me want to dance barefoot for hours, preferably on a beach. I stopped drinking it for a long period of time until my former agency started working with Frida Kahlo Tequila, and I was properly educated on true tequila ...

New Orleans Strong- A Visit with Ralph Brennan

It’s hard to believe that Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast with its eye on New Orleans 10 years ago August 29th. At the time we were planning a major dining and wine event for following February the following year which sadly was cancelled. The aftermath left many of our restaurant friends recovering for months, and ...

A Nobler Pinot Grigio- Visiting with Alto Adige’s Giovanni Bonmartini Fini

Summer is the perfect time for exploring the lighter side of wines, but often people think that this means wines that are less expressive and flavorful. Pinot Grigio gets that bad wrap probably more than any other varietal offering. Enter Giovanni Bonmartini Fini, proprietor of Italy’s Barone Fini wines, a producer premium Pinot Grigio from ...

I Dream of Africa

In 2006-2007 David and I spent a blissful pre-wedding-New Years-Birthday-“Bucket List” trip traveling through Botswana and South Africa. It was my first time visiting the African continent, but not the last. In 2012 we went to Morocco to cross “dancing under the stars in the Sahara Desert” off my bucket list. Our travel bucket list ...

Chewing the Fat on Eating Lean with Carolyn O’Neil, RD

This summer David and I have been busy getting our hands dirty making clean food, from fresh vegetable juices to pulp crackers to zesty dinner salads and fresh seafood boils. With a thirst for knowing how to eat healthier without sacrificing delicious decadence, we’ve invited noted nutrition expert, award winning food journalist and television personality ...

Do You Know What Defines Cuban Rum?

Carlos Esquivel, CEO of PILSA, distillers of fine rums made in Panama, gave us a short primer on what defines authentic Cuban rum during his interview on The Connected Table LIVE! July 29th. Link: http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live/?episode_id=27300770 1. The rum must be made from molasses, not sugar cane. 2. The liquid is column stilled, not pot stilled. 3. ...

The Secret To Cuban Rum…Made in Panama

When Francisco “Don Pancho” Fernandez, master blender for Havana Club for 35 years, decided to leave Cuba after the sale of the brand to an international spirits conglomerate, it was to Panama that he went. Already having a long history of travel to that country, and having worked in Panama to make his “Cuban style” rum ...

In the Land of Cocktails with Lally Brennan and Ti Adelaide Martin

If you have tuned into our iHeart Radio show, The Connected Table LIVE!, you know that we love New Orleans. Maybe it’s the sweet southern air. Maybe it’s the moist hot humidity. Maybe it’s the iconic food and drink culture. Maybe it’s spirit of the city that conveys “Pleasure is Good.” We consider New Orleans ...

Frank Pellegrino Jr.- Bringing Rao’s To the People

Being a successful restaurateur is never easy. Being the son of a legendary restaurateur sounds like it might be easier but not always. This is especially true when your name is Frank Pellegrino Jr. and your dad, Frank, Sr., runs New York City’s toughest table-to-book in town, Rao’s (pronounced RAY-ohs). We’ve never snagged a table at Rao’s ...

Connecting with Chef Alon Shaya

Chef Alon Shaya was born in Israel, raised in Philadelphia and now lives in New Orleans where he oversees the kitchens at Domenica, Pizza Domenica and his namesake Shaya Restaurant, and is a partner in both with Besh Restaurant Group. He credits cooking with his mother and grandmother for fueling his career in food and the Culinary Institute ...

El Jefe of Nuevo Latino Cuisine- Chef Douglas Rodriguez

He’s been called “the godfather of Nuevo Latino cooking” by media and food industry cognoscenti.  His dishes pack a “pow” in flavor, texture and color. I first became familiar with Chef Douglas Rodriguez’s muy sabroso culinary style when he was still in his tender twenties cooking “upscale Cuban” food at his restaurant YUCA (an acronym for ...

In Maui’s Upcountry- Our Favorite Dining Destination

David and I are big fans of the Hawaiian island Maui, We are longtime Starwood Vacation Property owners at the Westin Kaanapali, and we try to visit at least once a year. While many people who visit Maui hang out on the beach or enjoy the multitude of water sports, we like to venture upcountry ...

Vision Through a Glass – Ann Tuennerman, Tales of the Cocktail

New Orleans has long been considered the birthplace of the cocktail. In fact there is a Museum of Cocktail located in the city.  Eating and drinking is an essential part of New Orleans’ rich culinary culture, from its storied bars and restaurants and iconic Creole and Cajun dishes to the cocktails that were created there: the ...

Modern Mixology with Tony Abou-Ganim

He’s a Modern Mixologist and creator of numerous signature cocktails featured on bar menus throughout the U.S. and elsewhere. What are the craft and creative process for developing a memorable and perfectly balanced cocktail? We pose this question to Tony Abou-Ganim (a.k.a. The Modern Mixologist) on The Connected Table LIVE! June 10th. Tony’s amazing career has ...

Lettie Teague’s Wit & Wisdom on Wine- June 10

She’s the wine columnist for The Wall Street Journal and former executive wine editor for Food & Wine Magazine, Lettie Teague is one of the most articulate and straightforward wine writers in the industry, and her numerous James Beard Foundation Journalism awards attest to this. We visit with Lettie June 10th on The Connected Table ...

The King of Cocktails and Master of Mixology- Dale DeGroff

When you ask almost any bartender in America who they admire most in the industry, one name tops them all- Master Mixologist Dale DeGroff, aka King Cocktail. Dale is credited with reinventing the bartending profession, setting off a cocktail revival that continues to flourish.  Dale’s enormous influence in the bar world has spanned three decades and many crafted cocktails. ...

She’s Got Game – D’Artagnan’s Ariane Daguin- June 3

One of the best things I’ve ever popped in my mouth is a D’Artagnan French Kiss (prunes soaked in Armagnac filled with silky foie gras mousse). I can’t resist them! On June 3 on The Connected Table LIVE! we visited with  Ariane Daguin, owner, Co-Founder, and CEO of D’Artagnan, the leading gourmet food purveyor of all-natural and organic ...

May 27 We Grill Elizabeth Karmel on Mastering the Flame

We love to grill! Ours is a big silvery grill from Home Depot, but we equally enjoy the earthy aroma of charcoal and smoke. While Melanie is more inclined to grill  fresh vegetables or an old fashioned Girl Scout S’More over a small campfire, David loves a plump blackened butt or a fat weiner dog. (I just had ...

Rum vs Rhum vs Rhum Agricole

Question: Do you know the difference between Rum and Rhum? Answer: They are both “Rum.” Rhum is from the French speaking part of the Caribbean. Rum from the English part. Then there’s Ron covering the Hispanic Caribbean. Question: Do you know the difference between Rhum  and Rhum Agricole? Answer: Rhum is made from molasses; Rhum Agricole is made ...

The How of TAO- Secrets of a Top Grossing Restaurant

TAO: the process of nature by which all things change and which is to be followed for a life of harmony (www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tao)  Tao (pronounced “dao”) means literally “the path” or “the way.” It is a universal principle that underlies everything from the creation of galaxies to the interaction of human beings. The workings of Tao are ...

Tannat’s the Night- A Love Affair with Uruguay Wines

One of the things we enjoy about hosting our radio show is taking our listeners and followers to regions of the world where great wine and food are produced. We are passionate travelers and- as we like to say- insatiably curious. Last week we “traveled” to Greece to taste wines and talk with Chef Maria Loi ...

Maria Loi – Greece’s Culinary Ambassador- May 13 TCT Live

Strolling West 58th Street recently I peeked into Loi Estiatorio, a sliver of a restaurant owned by renowned Greek chef, Maria Loi. “Peeked” is an understatement. Maria was at the entrance and welcomed me in for a visit with her at the bar. It was pre-service, so the restaurant was quiet (for a short time). Maria offered ...

How’s Bayou! Chef David Guas- May 6- The Connected Table

May 4, 2015 – David Ransom and I have a special place in our hearts for New Orleans, the city where we were married in 2007. That’s why it’s a treat to have native New Orleanian David Guas on our May 6th show. This Harley-riding southern chef brought his love for New Orleans up the road ...

Early Years of JBF Awards Remembered

May 4, 2015 – The 25th annual James Beard Foundation Awards take place tonight in Chicago.  This year is the first time the Awards have taken place away from the Foundation’s home base of New York City. It’s also the first time I’ve written my own personal remembrances about the start of The James Beard Foundation ...

A Man and His Ham- Allan Benton

posted by Melanie Young In Tennessee we have special terms to measure distance like “yonder,” “up the road” and “down a ways.” This can mean anything from a short drive or a long haul. Just up the road about an hour or so drive north of my hometown Chattanooga, Tennessee, is Benton’s Smoky Mountain Country ...

A Visit with Sonoma’s Ted Seghesio

Fourth generation owner and winemaker Ted Seghesio will be our guest April 29th on on the Connected Table LIVE! 2pm ET www.W4cy.com and iHeart.com.   Founded in 1895, Seghesio Family Vineyards is one of Sonoma County’s most enduring legacies. Built from years of growing grapes for making bulk wines to be finished by others, Seghesio only started ...

Food Politics with Marion Nestle- The Connected Table LIVE April 22

When the latest research on a food or nutrition comes out….when the U.S. Government shifts left, right or sideways on a topic concerning food or nutrition policy…..or when a journalist wants an authoritative quote from a respected and reliable source….Marion Nestle is on speed dial. Time Magazine included her Twitter among its top 10 in ...

Talking Irish Whiskey with Stephen Teeling, The Connected Table LIVE! – April 15

With a history of making spirits that dates back to the 1700’s, Stephen Teeling’s family has probably done more to shape the concept of what we call Irish Whiskey than any other family in Ireland. Now the Teeling family is about to open Dublin’s first new distillery in over 125 years, bringing the legacy of his ...

Award Winning Broadcaster Jennifer English on The Connected Table LIVE! April 15th

The table is always the liveliest where Jennifer English is seated.  One of our favorite – and most articulate- food and wine radio personalities, Jennifer joins us on The Connected Table LIVE! April 15th, to dish. The conversation will certainly be lively and varied! Jennifer is a multi-award winning broadcaster whom we first came to ...

Catching the Wholesome Wave with Food Activist Michel Nischan

Some people let change happen to them. Others see opportunities to make change happen for others. Chef and Food Activist Michel Nischan, President and CEO of Wholesome Wave, is a leading example of the latter. Michel joins us on The Connected Table LIVE April 8, 2pm ET on W4CY I first met Michel when he was a ...