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Archive for the Melanie Young Category

Graham Elliot Makes Rhythm in the Kitchen & Harmony in the Home

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He grew up as a Navy brat, dropped out of high school to join a punk rock band and has been to all fifty states.  Graham Elliot  fell into cooking while working menial jobs in restaurants to support his musician’s life on the road. Inspired, he enrolled in Johnson & Wales to receive his formal training and considers Rick Tramonto, Dean Fearing and the late Charlie Trotter among his mentors. Graham first made a name for himself at Avenues restaurant at The Peninsula Hotel in Chicago where at age 27 he was the youngest chef to earn four-star ratings from the Chicago Tribune, […]

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Aurelio Montes: Chile’s Father & Son Winemaking Duo

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Fascinated by the winemaking business at an early age, Aurelio Montes, Sr. has spent a lifetime raising the bar for Chilean wines. First as a winemaker at Undurraga, and then as founder of his own eponymous winery, Viña Montes, where with the release of his now legendary Montes Alpha M, he was the first to make what the Chileans refer to as an “Icon” wine, a high end Bordeaux style blend made from the classic French varietals of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Others have certainly followed, and Chilean Bordeaux-style blends have become a benchmark for South American wine. It all […]

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Joanne Weir: Kitchen Gypsy. Global Culinary Ambassador

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Waiter! There’s a fly in my wine!  This is just one of the serendipitous stories in Joanne Weir ‘s new memoir, “Kitchen Gypsy: Recipes and Stories from a Lifelong Romance with Food.” I particularly loved this story because Joanne ends up in her tender 20s as a guest at a famous Bordeaux Chateau as a result of mailing the dead fly to the producer. That’s gumption! I’ve known Joanne for years. We connected annually at The James Beard Awards where her PBS TV series such as “Weir Cooking in the Wine Country” and “Joanne Weir’s Cooking School” were honored.  I enjoy […]

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Homemade Kitchen Wisdom from Alana Chernila

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“Do Your Best, and Then Let Go” So reads one of the 13 chapters- and morsels- of kitchen wisdom in Alana Chernila‘s new cookbook, “The Homemade Kitchen.” This is a book whose message is as much about how to approach life at a slow, measured and pleasurable pace as it is about about cooking with the same intentions. “Start Where You Are.” “Feed Yourself.” “Put Your Hands in the Earth.” “Do the Work.” “Slow Down.” Alana has these phrases and others taped to her refrigerator. I do the same thing on mine with inspirational quotations such as: “Just as the […]

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Happy 80th Birthday Jacques Pépin! – The Connected Table LIVE Sept 23

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There are many well-known chefs in television thanks to the proliferation of cooking shows and culinary competitions. But Jacques Pépin, stands in a league of his own. He’s an Emmy Award and James Beard-winning host of 14 cooking shows series on PBS-TV and is author of dozens of acclaimed books, including his newest,  Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen, (Rux Martin Books/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt/Oct 6, 2015). He teaches on cruise lines, and makes guest appearances at many industry and charitable events, but his teaching “home” is  the International Culinary Center (formerly French Culinary Institute) where he serves as Dean of Special Programs. Jacques has taught and inspired many […]

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A Napa Wine Starr

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We met vintner Pam Starr through mutual friends and were instantly drawn to her engaging personality and highly pleasurable Bordeaux-style wines. Pam has been the co-owner, manager and winemaker of Crocker & Starr since its inception in 1997 when she helped resurrect the vineyards on the Crocker Estate in St. Helena and established a winery to create world-class wines. After toiling as a winery employee for 18 years, Pam’s transformation at a relatively young age into owner, manager and winemaker was unique and remarkable. It required a special mix of skill, passion and dedication. Originally destined to go to dental school, […]

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Monet’s Palate: From Garden to Table with Aileen Bordman

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If you’ve ever visited the lush bucolic home of the painter, Claude Monet. you will be transformed by its beautiful gardens. Located in a the tiny and very pretty town of Giverny, France, it’s an easy day trip everyone must take from Paris and, please, allow plenty of time to savor it. Another way to savor Monet’s gardens is through Aileen Bordman‘s book Monet’s Palate Cookbook: The Artist & His Kitchen Garden at Giverny (Gibbs-Smith Publishers). Written with garden writer, Derek Fell, this book includes 60 recipes linked to Monet’s two-acre kitchen garden near his home in Giverny. With a forward […]

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A Tale of Tequila with Chantal Martineau

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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 and its breadth of styles. Sipping an añejo or a reposado with a sliver of fresh lime was all I needed to enjoy tequila as a responsible adult. No tutti frutti drinks for me. My tequila style went from naughty to neat. Tequila is a […]

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

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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 Trentino/Alto Adige in Italy’s north, where arguably the best wines from this varietal are made. “When I took over the company in 1997 after my uncle passed away, Pinot Grigio as a category had become dominated by cheap agro-industrial mass-produced wine that didn’t require, or […]

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

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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 Carolyn O’Neil, MS, RD, on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesday August 5th, 2pmEST to chew the fat on what’s both lean and lusciously good. Carolyn’s philosophy is “The More You Know, The More You Can Eat!” We’re all about eating good food and enjoying it more! […]

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Do You Know What Defines Cuban Rum?

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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. Aging must take place in American oak Bourbon barrels. 4. The liquid must undergo the Carta Blanca process: Once distilled it must age for three years in barrel under the supervision of a master blender.  After 3 years it may be called rum. Anything aged less […]

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The Secret To Cuban Rum…Made in Panama

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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 for many years previously, this was a natural choice for Don Pancho. However, it was not with the idea that he would continue to make rum or launch his own brand. That came later, after he met and became friends with one of Panama’s most […]

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The Connected Table has offices in New York and Tennessee

Main Phone: 212.620.7027
Mobile: 646-270-4031

Connect with us via email:
melanie@theconnectedtable.com
david@theconnectedtable.com