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Archive for the INSPIRE Category

The Food & Beverage Industry Nourishes Souls in Times of Sorrow

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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 so many people have died, are displaced or hungry. Hearts are heavy; souls are aching, and we try to be sensitive to it all while going about our daily business. While politicians talk among themselves to try to work out answers, the nation simmers and […]

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New Orleans Pays It Forward To Houston

New Orleans Pays It Forward To Houston
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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, Alex Brennan Martin from Brennan’s Houston and Southern Foodways Alliance Director John T. Edge to create a relief fund to help restaurant and hotel workers displaced by  Katrina. This time it’s New Orleans rallying to help Houston. I reached out to Ti Adelaide Martin and […]

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Hail To The Chef!

Hail To The Chef!
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While many Americans may be gnashing their teeth and biting their nails as we head into the last week of the Presidential campaign, I’m ready to cast my vote for the most impressive women-as-culinary-activists after attending last week’s Les Dames d’Escoffier International Conference in Washington, DC. Not intending to sound political, but just proud of my tribe: “If you want to get something done, ask a woman to do it.” Hats off to the Dames of the Washington DC Chapter who made this annual conference a fabulous success. The conference speakers addressed some very substantial topics that had everyone thinking about the role of food, […]

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Culinary Diplomacy: Peace on a Plate

Culinary Diplomacy: Peace on a Plate
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The role of food as a cultural identity and brand builder for a country, how food can be used as both a weapon of war and vehicle for peace, and how ethical cooking and a borderless kitchen factor into international relations were among the topics addressed in a presentation by Dr. Johanna Mendelson Forman. With more than two decades of experience in the international arena, working on post-conflict transition and democratization issues, Johanna holds a wealth of expertise and insights into the role of food in driving conflict and connecting people and communities. An Adjunct Professor at American University’s School of International Service where […]

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Remembering Julia Child

Remembering Julia Child
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Julia Child‘s birthday is August 15th. On the August 10th edition of The Connected Table LIVE! we share memories of Julia with her grand-nephew, Alex Prud’homme, who collaborated with Julia on her memoir, “My Life in France. ” When Julia passed away at the age of 92, he continued to work on the book with editor, Judith Jones. The book was a huge success and served as the inspiration for Nora Ephron’s movie, “Julie and Julia,” starring Meryl Streep as Julia Child, a role that earned her an Academy Award. Alex has written a sequel called “The French Chef in America” about Julia’s life […]

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Harlem’s Queen of Comfort Food: Melba Wilson

Harlem's Queen of Comfort Food: Melba Wilson
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“The way I see it,” says Melba Wilson, “Soul food is the foundation of American comfort food.” She’d know. For Melba, a Harlem native, or as she likes to say “I am Harlem born, bred, and buttered,” owns one of  most influential soul food restaurants in New York City’s most exciting dining neighborhood, aptly named Melba’s. Like many children, she grew up watching her mother and grandomother cook and learned to love food, and soul food, in the process. But, Melba actually went into marketing and sales after school, anything from cosmetics to limo driving, finally entering the restaurant business […]

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Peter Lehmann’s Ian Hongell: Barossa’s Straightshooter

Peter Lehmann's Ian Hongell: Barossa's Straightshooter
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It seemed like the perfect plan: Help out Barossa Valley grape growers unable to sell their fruit in a changing market by making wine from their grapes, sell it off in bulk to those who need wine to sell and go play golf for the rest of the year. Well, something like that, anyways… A champion of the little guy, Peter Lehmann, a fifth generation Barossa native who grew up surrounded by vineyards, was originally a winemaker and buyer for a large British-owned Barossa Valley wine company. In 1979 when told by his superiors not to buy fruit he had […]

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Casa Dragones Tequila Raises The Bar

Casa Dragones Tequila Raises The Bar
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    She’s called “The First Lady of Tequila” and is the first female “Maestra Tequila” certified by the Academia Mexicana de Catadores de Tequila. And she makes a pretty amazing tequila called Casa Dragones. After years building the Cuervo brand globally, Bertha Gonzáles Nieves stepped out in 2009 to create her own style of tequila to rave reviews. Casa Dragones is an ultra premium, 100% Blue Agave, hand -crafted sipping tequila that’s smooth, soft and warm with no bite – the way a good tequila should taste. From the sea blue blue packaging and perfume bottle design to the platinum-hued liquid inside, everything […]

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Distilling’s Whisky Master – Dave Pickerell

Distilling's Whisky Master - Dave Pickerell
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There’s probably nobody in the world today with a better handle on the pulse of the whisky industry than Dave Pickerell.   A veteran of the industry, Dave has spent a career moving the craft of making whisky forward through his knowledge and expertise in distilling. First at Makers Mark, where as Master Distiller for 14 years, he was in charge of making sure that the legacy of the Samuels family’s 19 barrel-at-a-time distillation recipe was kept true, and then as head of Oak View Consulting, the company he founded upon his departure from Makers Mark to help bring his […]

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Drinking Aloha: Carta Coffee’s Scott Burr

Drinking Aloha: Carta Coffee's Scott Burr
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A lot of people yearn to get into the wine business, where aside from the pretty hard work (winemaking is not romantic, only drinking wine is), a life of good food, good wine, travel, and mostly beautiful surroundings carry the day, pretty much every day. It’s rare, however, to find someone who leaves it. Carta Coffee Merchants Founder Scott Burr is one of those people. A longtime member of the wine industry, Scott grew up in a agriculturally focused family that had grown grapes and farmed its Northern California land for generations. Always interested in wine and winemaking, Scott eventually got a […]

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