We’re hosting our third Thanksgiving at Camp David here in the Hudson Valley. Last week Nathalie Dupree shared her time-tested tips for entertaining a group. 1. Take control and have specific seating times and limited “drinks time” 2. Stay organized with a flow chart 3. Two smaller roasted -not brined- turkeys in the oven are better than big one.
Here’s the link to last week’s show with Nathalie which also featured Hervé Deschamps Chef de Cave and Cellarmaster for Champagne Perrier-Jouët who is only one of seven to hold this position in the company’s 200+ year old history.
Melanie attended Citymeals-on-Wheels 29th Annual Power Lunch for Women at The Plaza Hotel November 20th attended by more than 350 women including many in our industry. This year’s lunch raised $1.2 million to help feed NYC’s home bound elderly. 100% of contributions go toward meals. Congratulations to Citymeals’ Fearless, Fabulous Founder Gael Greene. Here’s a link to our Connected Table show with Gael. To support Citymeals and make sure NYC’s most frail residents receive the nourishment they need, please visit www.citymeals.org.
This week’s showvisits Beaujolais which celebrated the annual arrival of NouveauNovember 19 at one minute past midnight. Due to a schedule change last week we are spotlighting the region this Wednesday. Joining us isCaroline Von Klitzing (née de Roussy de Sales), owner ofChâteau de la Chaizein Brouilly, one of the oldest and most historic estates in Beaujolais.
Our longtime friend in the wine world, Josh Wesson takes a break from helping out during the last minute Thanksgiving rush at his Upper West Side store, Best Bottles to share some of the latest projects he’s working on. Josh always has an anecdote or two up his sleeve.
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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, Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago magazine, as well as a AAA Five Diamond Award. Along the way, Graham also was named one of Food & Wine’s Best New Chefs (2004), Crain’s (Chicago) 40 under 40, and received two Michelin Stars for his restaurant – one of only fifteen U.S. restaurants to receive that honor.
He’s owner of Graham Elliot Bistro, opened in 2008, a popular dining destination for Chicagoans and foodies from all over the world, a testament to Elliot’s inventive cuisine and engaging personality.
The dedicated father to three sons, Mylo, Conrad and Jedediah, Graham splits his time between his home base Chicago and his TV home in Los Angeles where he co-hosts alongside Gordon Ramsey on Fox Network’s wildly popular MasterChef and MasterChef Junior series.
So where did he find time to write his first cookbook? Cooking Like A Master Chef – 100 Recipes To Make The Everyday Extraordinary is just released, Designed to make any home cook a star in the kitchen, it’s based on Graham’s belief that A) food is best when it “tastes like itself” B) eat with seasons when possible C) there is no right or wrong when it comes to creativity in the kitchen.
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 started with the shared vision of Aurelio and his partner Douglas Murray, who founded Viña Montes in 1988 with the dream to elevate Chilean wine in the eyes of the world, through the shared vision that Chile had the climate and terroir to create wines that would not only stand the test of time, but would stand up to, and possibly surpass, their more well-known European counterparts.
Twenty five years later, Montes has done just that and become one of the truly legendary brands in the world of wine, and Aurelio, now with his son Aurelio, Jr., who helms the family’s interests in Argentina, namely the Mendoza-based Kaiken winery, remains at the forefront of South America’s winemaking industry.
Both Aurelio Sr. & Jr. join us on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesday October 21, 2:28pm, EST, to talk about their family’s winemaking legacy and wines, both in Chile and Argentina. We’ll also discuss their newest ventures in California: Napa Angel, a Napa Valley Cabernet; and Star Angel, series of wines from Paso Robles Syrah and Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir.
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 visiting her Mexican restaurant Copita in Sausalito, just a short walk from where dear friends, Valerie and David live. Joanne’s the original “Agave Girl” and serves a fabulous selections of tequilas at Copita and a mighty fine margarita.
Joanne’s a fourth generation professional chef who grew up on a farm in Massachusetts. Originally destined for a career in fine arts, she refocused on the art of the table. Joanne trained under the notoriously tough teacher Madeleine Kamman to receive her Master Chef Diploma. She spent five years cooking with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse (Alice wrote the forward to Kitchen Gypsy.)
But Joanne’s first love is teaching, and she does it around the world. She’s a true global culinary ambassador, in this case being one of 80 chefs appointed by Hilary Clinton and the State Department in 2012 to promote world relations through food. We’ve always known better decisions are made on a happy and full stomach than an empty one, no matter side of the political table you sit on. – Melanie Young
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 Caterpillar thought the world was coming to an end, she became a butterfly.” “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” This latter quote is the lead in my second book, “Fearless Fabulous You! Lessons on Living Life on Your Terms.”
Feeding your body also nourishes your soul. The kitchen is both heart and hearth for many home cooks, including Alana. She says, “The process of cooking at home is my window into what I want to create in life as a whole.”
If the kitchen is the heart of her home, her gardens are the arteries. Alana looks to nature for inspiration in the kitchen and shares practical insights to working with and not against it, from honoring the ingredients to utilizing bits and pieces and not being wasteful.
I’m a fan of the section of “The Homemade Kitchen” that address waste and re-purposing different foods, something I am just learning to do in an effort to be more respectful of the fact than we live in a nation of abundance where too many still go hungry.
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 on the techniques and pleasures of cooking. I swear by his method for cooking omelets. In fact his book, La Technique, is still used today as a textbook for teaching the fundamentals of French cooking and also launched the PBS series and companion DVD”The Complete Pépin”
Born in Bourg-en-Bresse near Lyon, in 1935, Jacques grew up in a restaurant family. His parents, Jeanette and Jean-Victor Pépin, owned the restaurant Le Pélican, where Jacques worked before furthering his training in France at establishments that included the Plaza Athénée. He served as the personal chef to three French heads of state including Charles de Gaulle. In 1959 he came to the U.S. to work at Le Pavillon restaurant. One of the restaurant’s regular customers, Howard Johnson, took notice of Jacques and recruited him to work alongside fellow fellow French Chef Pierre Franey, to develop the food line for his Howard Johnson’s restaurant chain.
Since then, Jacques has gone on to be one of our nation’s- and world’s- most influential and inspiring teachers and chefs. While his toque may stand tall, his kindness has the common touch. You always feel welcome in Jacques’ presence; there are no PR shields or security detail surrounding him. He is approachable. He often travels to events with longtime pal, Jean-Claude Szurdak, or daughter Claudine, who has both co-hosted shows and co-written books with her father, including KQED’s “Jacques Pépin’s Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine” (1998) “Jacques Pépin’s Kitchen: Encore with Claudine “(1998).
Of course some of our most beloved shows are those with his friend, the late Julia Child. The twenty-two episode series, “Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home,” was the winner of The James Beard Foundation’s award for Best National Cooking Show — 2001, and the duo received a 2001 Daytime Emmy Award from The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Julia may be gone but the books and videos remain.
Some of my earliest memories of Jacques are working with The James Beard Foundation. He oversaw the Celebration of French Cooking reception theme for the 1993 James Beard Foundation Awards. Jacques was the consummate perfectionist, calling me frequently to check in and to weigh in on the menu and progress. He was a guest presenter every year of the awards, and many of his books and TV shows have received award medallions. He was given the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.
When I served as President of Les Dames d’Escoffier New York we honored Jacques at a lavish dinner to fund raise for the organization’s scholarship program for women. Jacques also taught me to saber a bottle of champagne during the Food & Wine Classic years ago.
Jacques is also a talented artist, and his work has graced many special event menus and been donated to raise funds for several worthy causes.
You can also see Jacques’ illustrations in Claudine’s, book “Kids Cook French.” For more on Claudine listen to my June 8th edition of Fearless Fabulous You! here.
While his wall of awards and drawer of medallions mark the milestones of his career, it’s the milestones in his close knit family that matter most to this dedicated husband and father: Claudine’s marriage to Chef Rollie Wesen, the birth of granddaughter Shorey, and the recent 49th wedding anniversary with wife Gloria.
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, her career path switched to wine after Pam worked a harvest as an intern. A life of drilling teeth turned to pruning vines. Pam enrolled in the University of California at Davis to study oenology, graduating in 1984. She worked her way through different roles and wineries at Edna Valley Vineyard, Carmenet Winery, Spottswoode Vineyard before partnering with Charlie Crocker to start Crocker & Starr.- Melanie Young
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 written by none other than Meryl Streep and recipes beautiful photographed by Steven Rothfeld, Monet’s Palate Cookbook transports you to the French countryside in the days of the Impressionists when farm to table was the only way to eat.
Aileen joins us on The Connected Table LIVE! August 26, 2:30PMEST, to share her own personal journey through Monet’s Garden as filmmaker and culinary historian. President and Founder of Monet’s Palate, Inc, she has been immersed in the world of Claude Monet since 1980 and has more than 35 years of firsthand experience at Monet’s home and gardens. Her knowledge and passion with respect to Claude Monet’s lifestyle, cuisine, gardens and art prompted the creation of the Monet’s Palate concept.
Aileen is the creator and producer of the acclaimed documentary film titled “Monet’s Palate: A Gastronomic View from the Garden,” which has been broadcast nationally through American Public Television to all 350 PBS stations. She independently wrote and produced the film Monet’s Palate with Meryl Streep, Alice Waters, Daniel Boulud, Michel Richard and Steve Wynn. The film has been screened from Cannes to New York, and was featured during the six-month “Monet’s Garden” exhibit at the New York Botanical Garden in New She lives just outside New York City in New Jersey. Website: www.monetspalate.comTwitter@monetspalateFacebook/Monets.Palate.Claude.Monet
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 $2 billion industry, and the U.S. gulps up 80% of global exports. Much of the tequila consumed is “mixto,” a cruder hybrid of the true spirit. But appreciation and sales of real tequila, made from 100 percent pure blue Weber agave is growing muy rapido.
Chantal Martineau, author of “How the Gringos Stole Tequila” (Chicago Review Press) joins us August 26, 2pm EST, on The Connected Table LIVE! to discuss the story of tequila, how it’s made and monitored by Mexico’s Consejo Regulador Tequila, and how it’s been exploited by global marketers. She’ll explain the differences in tequila and its lustier sister, mezcal. Through her descriptive detail Chantal practically takes us in her backpack to meet producers, jimadores and the colorful characters behind this spirit so sacred to both the almighty dollar of big booze brand marketers and the agave activists who fiercely protect its heritage.
Hers was a five year immersion into the world of tequila. Reading Chantal’s book makes me want to book a flight to Jalisco to see the dusty blue agave plants under a piercingly bright blue Mexican sky and soak it all in down to the last chilled shot with fresh lime. Melanie Young
Chantal Martineau has written articles about food, drinks, and travel for numerous publications, including Allure, the Atlantic, Decanter, Edible, Islands, Maxim, Redbook, Saveur, Time Out, Village Voice, the Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, and Women’s Health. She grew up in Montreal and currently lives in New York City. Connect: www.chantalmartineau.comTwitter@chantytown Facebook:HowtheGringosStoleTequila
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 warrant, much respect.” says Giovanni. “Our family, along with a few other like-minded producers, had seen this trend and set out to re-build the perception of what Pinot Grigio could be, and prove the potential of Italy’s most important white grape to make one of the world’s best, most versatile, and food friendly white wines.”
Cultivating vineyards has been a family business since 1497 when the two noble Venetian families of Bonmartini and Fini united in marriage and began producing wines in northeastern Italy. Today, the Bonmartini family, direct descendants of the Barone Finis, continue to manage this venerable property producing 150,000 cases per yer. In the U.S. Barone Fini wines are marketed by Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits, a company committed to working with family owned wineries around the world. Follow Barone Fini wines on Facebook .
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! And we bet you agree!
Carolyn is a registered dietitian and award-winning author and journalist who reported on food and travel at CNN for nearly 20 years. Carolyn is the co-author of The Dish on Eating Healthy and Being Fabulous! (Simon & Schuster, Atria Books) – Winner “Best Health and Nutrition Book” at the World Food Media awards.
Her most recent book is Slim Down South: Eating Well in the Land of Biscuits and Bacon(Oxmoor). Yes, you can have your pimiento cheese and other Southern specialties. Carolyn dishes her dining and eating tips and stories her blog and weekly Atlanta Journal Constitution food columns. And she’ll dish with us August 5th.- Melanie Young Follow @mightymelanie
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 than 3 years is aguardiente.
5. The aging indicated on the bottle is based on 3 years plus the amount of time the rum continues to be aged. Therefore, an 8 year old rum is actually 11 years old.
Esquivel has teamed up with longtime friend, Francisco Don Pancho Fernandez, former master distiller for Cuba’s Havana Club rum, to produce Origenes Don Pancho, Cuban style rum made in Panama.