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Drink Eat Explore

Road Trip To Western NY – Buffalo and Niagara Falls

Greetings from “Roam.” That is our current state of being….wherever we roam on an indefinite road trip. In August we sold our house in the Hudson Valley, which we referred to as “Camp David.” That is one reason you have not heard from us in several weeks. Selling your home and most of your possessions and packing what is left into a 16 x 10 -foot storage Pod is a job unto itself. Watching the Pod leave our driveway August 11 to rest somewhere in upstate New York until we plot a permanent move was emotional. But seeing an “open road” ahead is exhilarating!

Camp David sets up at the Residence Inn located in downtown Buffalo. Western NY is known for its exceptional stone fruits, and these peaches were some of the juiciest we tasted. The Niagara region wines exceeded our expectations, especially the Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir we tasted. Here are a few selections we picked up at Schultze Vineyards, Chateau Niagara and Arrowhead Springs.

We kept a few key things for our #TheConnectedTableRoadTrip culinary survival kit: Riedel glassware, utensils, cooking knives, cookware and spices. Our handy VinGardeValise® wine suitcase is packed with select bottles. And we have our computers and radio equipment to write and broadcast from the road. What more do we need? Oh, right, the dog… Yes, @sazeracsays is with us and posting as we #roamNewYork.

Currently we have been spending time upstate in the beautiful Finger Lakes region having just returned from a visit to the Niagara region and Buffalo, where David’s family settled some two centuries ago. We visited Ransomville (named for the family) and David was able visit the town historical society which had a section dedicated to his ancestors.

David at Ransomville Historical Society
David explores his family roots at the Ransomville Historical Society.

Dubbed the Queen City of the Great Lakes back at the turn of the last century, Buffalo’s stunning architecture and Frederick Law Olmstead-designed parks impressed. We also visited David’s grandparents’ (Ransom) home, now occupied by a law firm which has an appointed “house historian” named Amanda who was thrilled to meet an original Ransom!

Lobster Ramen
Lobster Ramen at Dobutsu Buffalo which focused on dishes from the American and Asian Pacific. Chef/Owner James Roberts is from New Orleans.

Buffalo restaurants are starting to serve inside – safely socially distanced- and continue to offer patio, takeout and delivery options. We visited Dobutsu, which serves an Asian-Pacific menu, and tried the lobster ramen and the spicy rice with pork. Owner/Chef James Roberts also owns Toutant, which focuses on specialties from Louisiana. Roberts resettled in Buffalo after Hurricane Katrina. www.dobutsubuffalo.com www.toutantbuffalo.com

Sea Scallops Ceviche at Marble & Rye, Buffalo www.marbleandrye.net
Sea Scallops Ceviche at Marble & Rye, Buffalo www.marbleandrye.net

The other was Marble & Rye, where the menu was gastropub with a twist. Standout dishes for us were the spinach ricotta dumplings with pan-fried smelts tossed in a spicy puttanesca sauce, Asian noodles in peanut butter sauce and sea scallops ceviche with rice crackers. The beverage program, overseen by bar manager Megan Lee, would rival any in the country, and as the establishment’s name suggests, there is a strong focus on Rye spirits.

Beef on Weck at Colter Bay Grill www.colterbaybuffalo.com
Beef on Weck at Colter Bay Grill www.colterbaybuffalo.com

Of course, David enjoyed the classic Buffalo sandwich, Beef on Weck (thinly sliced roast beef on a kummelweck roll (sometimes spelled kimmelweck) served with horseradish and beef jus) and Buffalo chicken wings. While The Anchor Bar can lay claim to inventing this spicy dish, good wings can be found all over the city, and there is considerable debate on who makes the best. Our pick? Let’s just say that those in the know head to Gabriel’s Gate in the Allentown neighborhood for theirs. www.gabrielsgate.page.tl

Mushrooms
Mushrooms from the Elmwood Village Farmers Market

Western New York is known for its stone fruits, and the bag of fresh peaches we bought were some of the juiciest we have tasted. We also purchased some gorgeous mushrooms and vegan burgers at the Elmwood Village Saturday farmer’s market. We also stopped in at several wineries (will report on that separately) and visited Niagara Falls.

at Niagara Falls
We were misted at Niagara Falls after taking the Maid of the Mist boat ride practically into Horseshoe Falls. Tip: Arrive at 8 or 8:30 to snag a first boat out and to avoid very long lines, especially now during COVID-19.

Taking the Maid of the Mist boat ride practically into Horseshoe Falls – and getting seriously misted in the process! – was a bucket list experience for both of us. We stayed on the New York side since Americans currently cannot travel to Canada due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Also, not to miss is a visit the to Martin House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. This home, built in the early 1900s, belonged to Larkin Soap executive, Darwin D. Martin,  at the time one of Buffalo’s wealthiest citizens (he moved into the home in 1905). The design is Lloyd Wright’s “prairie style” with expansive. lean horizontal lines and open room layout. The Treesof Life glass windows are masterpieces in glass art design; we even saw one on display st the Corning Museum of Glass Design.

The Darwin D. Martin House in Buffalo is one of Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpieces and a must-see when visiting Buffalo.
The Martin House interior once you walk in. Notice the open room format  horizontal lines.

We want to give a special shout out to Karen Fashana at Visit Buffalo Niagara for sharing tips on what to visit and where to dine www.visitbuffaloniagara.com and to Jennifer Redmond, General Manager at the Residence Inn by Marriott in downtown Buffalo, who arranged our spacious room, complete with a kitchen that offered real wine glasses and coffee mugs. Working on the roam, this hotel provided us what we needed both to relax and to work, and it is pet friendly! This hotel is located across the street from the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historical Site and is convenient to many attractions.

Sazerac, our Maltese pup, gave the Residence in Buffalo 4 tail wags!

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Cookbook Eat Explore THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Secrets of the Southern Table with Virginia Willis

Our August 14 edition of The Connected Table LIVE comes with a southern drawl and a discussion about food that left listeners (and us) drooling, courtesy of  Virginia Willis, author  of "Secrets of the Southern Table" and southern food chronicler.

The South is a delicious hodgepodge when it comes to its culinary heritage and it is one of the most fascinating places to visit because of it. Many customs are rooted in traditions that blend diverse cultures: Irish, Scottish, English, French, African, Hispanic, Vietnamese and Greek, just to name a few. In fact, the upcoming Les Dames d'Escoffier International Conference October 24-27 in Nashville has a seminar focused on sorghum and honey and another on the culinary influence of immigrants past and present in the state of Tennessee. Diversity is the fabric of the south, and it's delicious. Hopefully this unique cultural heritage will endure and achieve greater appreciation.


In Secrets of the Southern Table (Houghton Mifflin), Willis introduces us to the farmers, producers and fisherman who supply the foods many of us enjoy at the restaurants throughout the south. Some are multi-generational families; others are (relatively) newer enterprises born from the dedication of immigrants who settled in pockets of the south. It’s a culinary tour that runs the gamut from sweet potatoes and grits to gospel birds and game birds to sweet shrimp and sausages. Throughout the book you can’t help but ponder about what truly defines “heritage” in the new south. It’s a richer place today thanks to the many cultures you find there. We should never take that for granted.

Willis has written cookbooks covering everything from single subjects (okra and grits) to the complete southern table with Bon Appetit Y’all and Basic to Brilliant, Y'all. And then after filling us all up with rich delicious recipes, she taught us how to “Lighten Up Ya’ll” with a tailored approach to preparing southern dishes. - trimming the fat without losing the taste. Her  articles and recipes can also be found at her  "Cooking with Virginia" column in Southern Living magazine.

Read more about Virginia Willis on her website and blog: www.VirginiaWillis.com

Listen to The Connected Table LIVE with Virginia Willis here. Click image below:

 

Buy Secrets of the Southern Table Here. Click Image below.

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Drink Eat The Connected Table SIPS

A Visit with Bona Frescobaldi, Laudemio Frescobaldi

Bona Frescobaldi is a member of storied Frescobaldi family, whose history in Tuscany dates back over 1000 years and 30 generations, and whose wine estates are world-renowned. She serves as a global ambassador for the family to strengthen international relations. Frescobaldi has made it her life’s mission to support and preserve the art and culture of Tuscany, as well as its agricultural bounty, especially wine and olive oil.

Marchesa Bona Frescobaldi

In 1986, the family created the Laudemio Consortium, the first private Italian institution fully dedicated to expressing the art and terroir of Tuscan olive oil. The family has more than 300 hectares (750 acres) of olive groves and has been harvesting olives and producing olive oil since the 1300s. It wasn’t until 1989 when they produced their first harvest of Laudemio extra-virgin olive oil, a special cru representing the highest expression of terroir and quality.” In the Middle Ages, Laudemio was the name of the best part of the harvest, reserved for the “lord’s table.”

Much like picking grapes, harvesting olives takes place during a carefully monitored window of time in October to capture both the olives’ green color and fresh flavors. The olives are then pressed right after picking within 24 hours in a proprietary mill to ensure the ideal acidic composition and aromatic profile and optimum nutrients in the oil. Frescobaldi manages 100 percent of the entire production process, from plant-picking to packaging to maintain quality control.

Laudemio’s prestigious reputation even has a royal audience. During our conversation, Frescobaldi shared that HRH Prince Charles of Great Britain is a fan of Frescobaldi Laudemio extra-virgin olive oil drizzled over toast. She sends him bottles for his birthday.

 

In addition to her work in wine and olive oil, Frescobaldi is a member of the Friends of Florence, an organization dedicated to preserving and restoring Florentine artifacts; a cofounder of the Committee of the Friends of La Pietra, an association of New York University, whose goal is to maintain and improve relations between Florence and New York. She is also active in numerous civic and social causes around both the arts and women’s health.

What we tasted:

Laudemio Frescobaldi 2018 extra-virgin olive oil, a 30th anniversary special edition packaged in golden bottle that resembles a fine perfume. The olive oil has deep fruit and earthy aromas and flavors with a spicy finish and a deep emerald olive hue Just a few drops drizzled over crusty bread, salad, pasta or chicken is all you need. We even tried it drizzled in plain Greek yogurt for breakfast!

Listen to our SIPS podcast with Bona Frescobaldi on iHeart/iHeart App. Click here:

 

 

 

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Drink Eat Explore

Miami On and Off the Beach

Just about now watching the snow fall steadily all day and awaiting another deep freeze on Thursday, we look at each other and say, “At least we had Miami.” If you live anywhere in this week’s polar vortex, you know what we mean!

With Chef Norman Van Aken, who the late Charlie Trotter called “The Walt Whitman of American Cuisine.”

We celebrated New Year’s in Miami Beach. Actually, we were off the beach more than on it, catching up with friends and trying local restaurants. If you go, make sure to visit the Wynwood Arts District and take in the colorful street art and local cafes. That’s where we caught up with Chef Norman Van Aken at Three at Wynwood Arcade. We were glad to see him back in South Florida after closing Norman’s in Coral Gables. If you go, sit at the chef’s counter. Van Aken also has a cooking school and rooftop bar that is an Arts District hot spot.

Scallop Ceviche at Three at Wynwood

We continued checking out locally owned spots like Stiltsville Fish Bar on Sunset Harbor, owned by Chefs Jeffrey McInnis and Janine Booth. We enjoyed the well-prepared fish dishes and casual, no-attitude atmosphere. Our one Cuban restaurant was Bella Cuba, a small family-run spot opened in 2005 that serves authentic dishes and a popular blueberry mojito.

Mojitos at Bella Cuba

Lunch at Joe’s Stone Crab is always fun. Of course, we partook in the restaurant’s namesake menu item, along with the signature creamed spinach and key lime pie. We never would have considered ordering fried chicken at Joe’s, but one of our lunch mates did. The excellent one-half free-range fried chicken is one of the best bargains on the menu at $6.95!

Conch Fritters at Joes Stone Crab

Miami is filled with great restaurants. Just about every well-known chef has an outpost in one of the hotels that line the beach or downtown. As much as we’d love to try them all, there something about smaller locally-owned places that draw us in.

We left Miami in sunny spirits and ready to book another trip.

One of the many outdoor art displays at the Wynwood Arts District

 

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Drink Eat Explore

Chattanooga Chews- The Connected Table #RoadTrip

Market Street Bridge over the Tennessee River with the Chattanooga Aquarium in the background Photo credit: Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Burea

Chattanooga, Tennessee used to be a backwater for restaurants, but now it’s hopping. Whitebird at The Edwin Hotel, part of The Autograph Collection, is near the Hunter Museum of American Art and scenic Riverwalk. The hotel’s Whiskey Thief bar has become an evening hotspot.

Grilled salmon, vegetables and kale at Whitebird, The Edwin Hotel (The Autograph Collection by Marriott), Chattanooga, TN

We celebrated David’s birthday lunch with fried chicken drizzled with honey, served with a giant Cruze Dairy buttermilk biscuit at Daily Ration.

A perfect Cruze buttermilk biscuit at Daily Ration, Chattanooga, TN
Puffy Pancakes at Daily Ration, Chattanooga, TN

 

Breakfast of Champions: Kale, Black Beans, Crispy Mushrooms, Avocado Mash and Fried Egg, Chattanooga, TN

We noshed on and spicy okra chips, burnt romaine salad and wood-grilled salmon at Lawton Haygood’s Sidetrack. Haygood, who has been a guest on The Connected Table Live, also owns Sugar’s Ribs and The Boathouse, one of our favorite places to enjoy generous portions of both freshwater fish and seafood overlooking the Tennessee River.

Burnt Romaine Salad at Sidetrack

We also enjoyed meaty lobster rolls at the Bar and Billiard Room in the newly renovated Read House Hotel (where Melanie’s mother was married over 50 years ago).

Lobster roll and fries at The Bar and Billiards Room, Read House Hotel, Chattanooga, TN

We also discovered 405 Bistro, which features Middle Eastern dishes and a nice wine list (rare for Chattanooga). The lobster bisque cous cous with seared scallops was the big hit as were the mezze.

Lobster Bisque Cous Cous and Seared Scallops at 405 Bistro, Chattanooga, TN
David gets carded at 405 Bistro. It’s the law no matter your age.

 

Other terrific restaurants on prior visits to see Melanie’s mother include: Easy BistroPublic House and Feed Table and Tavern. Melanie’s favorite smoothie and juice bar is Southern Squeeze. Every time we visit Chattanooga, more restaurants are opening.

Just like the story of the Little Engine, Chattanooga has become the little city that could…and has…become a fabulous destination for food lovers!

Wood-grilled fish, The Boathouse, Chattanooga, TN
Best Bloody Mary, The Boathouse, Chattanooga, TN

 

Sunset view from The Boathouse, Chattanooga, TN. Best riverside dining!

For more information on visiting Melanie’s hometown, Chattanooga, Tennessee, visit the Chattanooga Convention & Visitors Bureau website www.ChattanoogaFun.com

 

Listen to our show with Chattanooga restaurateurs Lawton  and Karen Haygood, owners of Sugar’s Ribs, The Boathouse and Sidetrack, on The Connected Table @iHeart

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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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Cookbook Drink Eat

What Would Julia Say?

I’m a bit clumsy in the kitchen and have a habit of making a big mess. David just shrugs his shoulders and grabs my knife to save my fingers.

But when I’m really inspired, I put my hands together, look upward and ask, “What would Julia say?” Will I ever be a good cook or just better at making reservations?”

“This is my invariable advice to people: Learn how to cook – try new recipes, learn from your mistakes, be fearless, and above all have fun!” ― Julia ChildMy Life in France

“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” ― Julia Child

And when I spend a week eating greens after a weekend of what feels like gluttony, I wonder, “What would Julia say?” Is it worth giving up food with taste to trim my waste?

The only time to eat diet food is while you’re waiting for the steak to cook.” ― Julia Child

And, when I finished breast cancer treatment in 2010 and debated when and whether I could eat what I want and drink wine again without fearing for my health, I looked upward and asked, “What would Julia say?” She was a sister survivor who lived well, long and fearlessly.

…small helpings, no seconds, no snacking, and a little bit of everything. –  
― Julia Child

And when I realize every day that much of what I do is a labor of love working hard to monetize, and the time clock is ticking, I ask myself, “What would Julia say?” She found her greatest success in her fifties and well into her eighties. Can I do it?

I was 32 when I started cooking; up until then, I just ate.-  Julia Child

Find something you’re passionate about and keep tremendously interested in it.
― Julia Child

Julia Child photo courtesy of Schlesinger Library at Harvard University

Happy Birthday Julia Child! August 15, 1912- August 12, 2004

While researching an article I’ve written to remember Julia Child on her birthday that appears in Wine4Food this week, I spoke to a few people close to her. Each shared some delightful Julia memories. I could not include them all in the story. I am sharing a few more here.

Dorie Greenspan

Dorie Greenspan, co-author, “Baking with Julia” – At the end of a day of shooting, we’d sit on the set, which was her kitchen, eat Goldfish, drink wine and talk.  I’d never been a fan of (Pepperidge Farm) Goldfish before, but ever since, I’ve snacked on them to bring back the memories of those good times.

Julia Child and Sara Moulton. Photo provided by Sara Moulton.

Sara Moulton, Chef, TV Host of “Sara’s Weeknight Meals” (PBS) and and protégé of Julia Child – “One of my favorite Julia Child quotes hangs in my kitchen, ‘Never apologize. Never explain.’ You don’t have to strive for perfection. After all, there is almost nothing you can’t fix. If your soufflé falls, just call it pudding cake.”

 

Geoffrey Drummond

Geoffrey Drummond, Executive Producer, “Julia & Jacques: Cooking at Home,” “In Julia’s Kitchen,” and “Baking with Julia.” – She was forever curious…relentless in wanting to know how things were done, and why, and then wanted to share what she learned. 

 

Julia-and-Jacques-Cooking-at-Home. Photo courtesy of The Schlesinger Library at Harvard-University

Jacques Pepin, Co-Host, “Julia & Jacques Cooking at Home” – She thought you should enjoy eating as much as cooking. She used to say, “If you don’t eat it with gusto and happiness, you are missing out.

 

Chef Patrick O’Connell, Inn at Little Washington, serving Julia Child on her 90th birthday

 

At The James Beard Foundation Awards in 1997. From Melanie’s photo archive.

 

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Drink Eat Events

Playing with Fire!

We Came. We Saw. We Ate & Drank.

A Smoking’ Good Time! Chefs “Play with Fire” August 11, Hudson NY. With Zak Pelaccio (center in white hat) and team

A damp day and mud on our shoes didn’t stop us from heading to Fish & Game Farm in Hudson, NY Zak Pelaccio’s “Play with Fire” outdoor feast and music fest. Presented with Resy and Ketel One Vodka, this event combined open-fire cooking from visiting chefs, live music from an amazing band called Club d’Elf, badass Ketel One cocktails by Elad Zvi (Broken Shaker) and Yana Volfson (ATLA and Cosme) and some terrific natural wines from  Critical Mass Selections, Goatboy Selections, Zev Rovine Selection, Fifi Imports and Rosenthal Wines. This event benefited The Heirloom Foundation which helps employees of the hospitality industry deal with quality of life and other work-related issues.

Seamus Mullen with a giant pan of pork and snail paella. The the sweet surprise was the inclusion of fresh figs.

The food was all locally sourced, from Fish & Game’s smoked pork (Zak Pelaccio) and pork and snail paella (Seamus Mullen, El Colmado and Whirlybird + Greens) and corn-husked wrapped bluefin tuna with olives (Victoria Blamey) to heads of flame- licked cauliflower (Cortney Burns, TOURISTS wit Elise Kornack) and grilled peaches with candied cherry tomatoes with honey-chamomile ice cream. Oddest dish was, and we’re going to try it at home because we loved it: grilled whole kirby cucumbers.

Roasted cucumbers by the chef team at Estela,
Cafe Altro Paradiso and Flora Bar

The Ketel One cocktails also used locally sourced fruits.

“B*tch Don’t Kill My Vibe” Ketel One cocktail
created by Elad Zvi, Broken Shaker

 

Blackberry Bramble Ketel One cocktail
Perfect for blackberry season! Evan Sung photo

This is only the second Play with Fire event that Zak has produced. The last one was four years ago, and we hope it will continue. One of the most striking things about this event were the one-of-a-kind grilling stations at each cooking tent- actually works of art- created by Hudson Valley sculptor, Kris Perry.

Congratulations to Zak and his team and thank you to the chefs, sponsors and donors. Great idea for an event and for a good cause!

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Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

The Most Happy Fella in the Restaurant Industry- Drew Nieporent

Photo: www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com

Drew Nieporent always make you feel welcome, even if you are not entering one of his own restaurants, which include critically acclaimed Bâtard, Tribeca Grill, Nobu Downtown, Nobu 57 in NYC. Many of Drew’s restaurants, current and former, launched the careers of many top chefs; he continues to serve as a mentor and seasoned voice within the industry.

Service and congeniality have run in Drew’s DNA  ever since this born and bred New Yorker graduated from Cornell School of Hotel Management. He worked on cruise ships as a culinary student and then started his restaurant management career working for the late Warner Le Roy at Maxwell’s Plum and Tavern on the Green.

His Myriad Restaurant Group has opened and operated 39 restaurants around the world from New York to London, Seattle to Moscow, and consults for some major names in the hospitality industry (www.myriadrestaurantgroup.com). What’s next for number 40?

Drew donates his time and talent to myriad charities as well, including Citymeals-on-Wheels. Madison Square Garden’s Garden of Dreams Foundation, DIFFA, Share Our Strength and City Harvest. We hear he’s a pretty good auctioneer as well for charity events.

Show airing: Wednesday, August 8, 2pm EST on The Connected Table Live at www.W4CY.com

Listen to this this show on iHeart. Click this photo:

 

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Eat

San Francisco’s Jardin of Culinary Delights- Traci Des Jardins

Traci Des Jardins from www.tracidesjardins.com

We weren’t quite sure who to schedule after Drew Nieporent, if anyone, on the August 8 edition of The Connected Table Live! But, then David ran into Traci Des Jardins recently in the Aspen airport as they were heading home to opposite coasts from the Food & Wine classic and we said, “She’s the one!”

A protégée of Drew’s who worked at Montrachet in NYC and then opened Rubicon in San Francisco, Traci now runs her own group of restaurants which include her flagship, Jardinière, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last Fall. Eater SF named it among the most influential restaurants in the Bay area. Link to article. Her other restaurants include Mijita Cocina Mexicana and Public House in AT&T Park and The Commissary, Arguello and TRANSIT in the Presidio, and a cocktail bar called School Night SF.

Traci Des Jardins at the stove at Arguello. Photo provided by Traci.

Traci grew up in Firebaugh, California, to parents whose heritage was Louisiana French-Acadian on her father’s side and Mexican on her mother’s. Both influenced her sense of taste in food. A ski bum, working in restaurants paid for her passion, and cooking became Traci’s meal ticket into her professional destiny. She worked for Joachim Splichal at Patina in Los Angeles, who encouraged her to apprentice in France where she worked with Michel and Pierre Troisgros, Lucas Carton, Alain Ducasse, and Alain Passard and then in some notable restaurants in San Francisco. After working at Drew Nieporent’s Montrachet in NYC, Traci moved backed to the Bay area to helm the kitchen at Rubicon in 1994. That restaurant went on to have a successful 14 year run. In 1997 Traci ventured out to open Jardinière in 1998.

August 8, 2018 – The Connected Table Live @ www.W4CY.com

Listen to this show on iHeart. Click this link:

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Eat

Adieu! Joël Robuchon

We did not know Chef Joël Robuchon personally, but we have dined in his restaurants in Paris, Las Vegas, and New York, and his silky mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving tradition at our table. We adore them! Maybe a little too much sometimes!

The news August 6th of Robuchon’s death from cancer at age 73 raced through the internet leaving many of us needing time to catch our breaths. With an accumulated 31 Michelin Stars and 20 fine-dining restaurants in 12 cities around the world, Robuchon, joins a seat at the angels’ table d’haute cuisine next to Paul Bocuse, Roger Vergé, and other great French chefs who served as mentors to many chefs around the world.

Maybe that’s why the night sky shined a little brighter on August 6. Heaven just gained some more Michelin stars. RIP Chef.

Chef Joel Robuchon (Photo from www.joel-robuchon.com/en)

 

Among the many tributes to Robuchon on Twitter:

The MICHELIN Guide‏ @MichelinGuideUK
Career Highlights of Joël Robuchon The legendary French chef, who died today at age 73, had a career spanning almost 60 years and more than 20 restaurants with a total of 31 Michelin stars….
“As the world takes in the news of the death of one of its most feted chefs, we look back at the career of the legendary Joël Robuchon. The French chef, who ran a chain of French fine-dining restaurants in 12 cities around the world, passed away in Geneva after a battle with cancer. He was 73 years old.” Link to article

Eric Ripert‏  @ericripert Aug 6
Shocked and very sad by the loss of my Mentor Joel Robuchon. The most rigorous, precise, demanding, ultra gifted King of all Chefs… RIP Monsieur Robuchon

French Embassy U.S.‏ @franceintheus
Joël Robuchon was a great ambassador of French cuisine. Named “Chef of the Century” in 1990, he was the world’s most Michelin-starred chef. Let’s honor his achievements by rediscovering one of his signature dish: potatoes purée, the best mashed-potatoes.

As for the recipe for his pomme purée, we selected this version and companion photo (beautifully shot by photographer, Bobby Fisher) from an article written by the late Anthony Bourdain in Food & Wine Magazine in 2016. We read it feeling sad knowing both Bourdain and Robuchon are now gone this year.

Robuchon’s vast creativity can be see in these stunning food shots on  his website. Here is a link: https://www.joel-robuchon.com/en/creations.php#

Mashed Potatoes, Kind Of Robuchon-Style”- link

Food and Wine Magazine 2016 © Bobby Fisher
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Drink Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

America’s Top 100 Wine Restaurants

Wine Enthusiast magazine has revealed its “100 Best Wine Restaurants.” Susan Kostrzewa, Executive Editor, joins us on The Connected Table Live! to discuss what goes into selecting the list and her approach to driving content for both the online and print editions of the magazine.

Meanwhile, in the same issue (August) we enjoyed the profiles of four “pioneers” who are making wines in areas where most people have no idea wine is even being made, and it is time to take notice! They include Chris Brundrett, William Chris Vineyards (Hye Texas); Charlie Edson, Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery (Cedar, MI); Jasper Riddle, Noisy Water Winery (Ruidoso, NM); and Deirdre Heekin, La Garagista Farm & Winery (Barnard, VT).

Susan Kostrzewa

Susan is a veteran journalist who joined Wine Enthusiast in 2006 after living and working in Sonoma. In addition to overseeing all editorial direction for both Wine Enthusiast and WineMag.com in addition to the tasting programs. At a panel discussion on Monday night, Susan addressed topics such as the #MeToo movement in hospitality, emerging U.S. wine and food cities (think Providence, R.I. and Burlington, VT) and whether rosé will be become passé (it’s still quite in bloom).

Panelists: Lauren Friel, Wine Director for Dirt Candy, NYC; Christopher Gross, Executive Chef, Geordi’s, Phoenix, AZ; Matthew Kudry, Flora Bar, NYC; Alexandra Cherniavsky, The Love, Philadelphia, PA, and Susan Kostrzewa. July 9, 2018 at The Landmark in NYC. Photo credit: www.scottruddevents.com © 2018 Scott Rudd

Listen to our segment with Susan in The Connected Table Live at iHeart.com and free iHeart app.