Quenelles of Steel- Barbara Lynch on Living Life Out of Line

Reading Barbara Lynch‘s new memoir, “Out of Line: A Life Playing With Fire,” I was gripped with emotion and fascination. The term “Southie” was unfamiliar to this southern girl. So were the housing projects where Barbara grew up in South Boston next door to the notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger. Life in the hardscrabble ‘hood produced a gritty, gutsy gal with a loyal gang of pals. Success was not a straight shot for Barbara but rather a roundabout map with a few crazy detours, hard work and hard knocks.  But she made it. Big time. Moxie rules.

Barbara Lynch

Wednesday, May 3, 2pm EST, on The Connected Table LIVE! we speak with Chef Barbara Lynch (Barbara Lynch Gruppo), whose restaurants, all in Boston, including No. 9 Park, B&G Oysters, Drink, Sportello and Menton. Barbara is only the second woman to win a James Beard Foundation Award for Outstanding Restaurateur and is recipient of the Amelia Earhart Award for success as a woman in a male dominated field.


Barbara shares her story in her memoir with a funny frankness, and heartfelt sincerity that leaves you inspired. Her slogan is “Quenelles of Steel.” You better believe it!

Buy this book on Amazon. Click here:



Wednesday, May 3, The Connected Table LIVE! on Podcast to

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Mark Oldman Shares His Two Cents on Drinking Like the One Percent

Our motto: “Drink wine. In moderation. Make it good wine.”

Mark Oldman says he is a passionate proponent of drinking richly without spending extravagantly.” Let’s face it. You can have an expensive bottle of wine that ends up being as enticing as smelly socks. And you can have an inexpensive bottle of wine that may knock your socks off. Money doesn’t buy class, and true class doesn’t need money.


Author of “Oldman’s Guide to Outsmarting Wines” and “Oldman’s Brave New World of Wine,” Mark’s new book is entitled, “How to Drink Like a Billionaire: Mastering Wine with Joie de Vivre.” Now, usually we have more joie and vivre than big bucks in the bank, so we were intrigued to hear what Mark had to say when he joined us December 14 on The Connected Table LIVE.

You can listen to the interview here and anytime on and the free iHeart App:


Buy Mark’s new book here:



Miss Ella Shares Her Story

“I Don’t Want a Restaurant Where a Jazz Band Can’t Come Marching Through.”- Ella Brennan

Many of you know we have love affair with the City New Orleans and its very special way of life. Well, no one embodies “New Orleans Living” more than Miss Ella Brennan, matriarch of the Brennan family. And no one defines New Orleans hospitality like a Brennan. The Brennan family truly is America’s dining dynasty. If you’ve never seen this 2014 Silver Spoon Award feature on the Brennan family in the late Food Arts Magazinehere is a link.


Miss Ella of Commanxder's Palace- book

“Miss Ella reveals what makes her strong, ambitious and occasionally a blubbering mess”

Miss Ella turned 91 this month. There’s a new book and a new documentary film out about her life called “Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace.” It’s a great read with a frank, sometimes funny and very poignant voice featuring Miss Ella, her co author and daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, sister Dottie and various Brennan siblings and cousins, as well as food industry luminaries like Danny Meyer, Jeremiah Tower, Emeril Lagasse and Tim and Nina Zagat sharing stories. Ti said it took some convincing to  get Ella to write the book! Trust us! It’s a love letter to New Orleans with lesson on what sharing and giving true hospitality really means.

Ti Adelaide Martin
Ella Brennan’s daughter, Ti Adelaide Martin, is co-proprietor of Commander’s Palace, SoBou, Cafe Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar, all in New Orleans

Both Miss Ella and Ti Adelaide Martin, joined us December 7 for a delightful and spirited visit. Listen at this this link or click below.

Buy “Miss Ella of Commander’s Palace” here:



The Wines Held Up Better Than the Men in Her Life


“Love, Loss and What I Drank”- The Exes in My Glasses

This came to mind after reading Lisa Mattson’s delightful book, “The Exes in My Glass: How I Refined My Taste in Men & Alcohol.” This book is a fun read that documents Lisa’s progression as a young adult hell bent on leaving rural Kansas (Hello, Dorothy!) by escaping to Florida to “catch rays and men.” Working various jobs to get by (obituary writer, Cheesecake Factory waitress, bartender), Lisa earned a degree in communications and studied wine at Florida International University (FIU).

The wines held up better than the men.
The wines held up better than the men.

Along the way she fell in and out of love with an odd lot of men. Each chapter is punctuated by the type of beverage they (or he) imbibed at the time of the liaison. Like a fine wine, Lisa’s career, choice

of men and selection of beverages improved as she matured. She edited articles for Wine News Magazine, moved to California to run E&J Gallo’s events marketing division and then jumped back into writing and communications joining Wilson Daniels Ltd.

Lisa produces an award winning blog and video series for Jordan Vineyard & Winery.
Lisa produces an award winning blog and video series for Jordan Vineyard & Winery.

Today, Lisa oversees marketing and communications for Jordan Vineyard & Winery in Sonoma, and produces a multi-award winning blog, “The Journey of Jordan.” She’s become a thought leader in social media marketing for the wine business and is profiled in the July issue of Tasting Panel Magazine.

Lisa says the book took seven years to write. In it she shares a lifetime of lessons about selecting the right man and the right wine. And, yes, she finally found love with a lasting finish.

Lisa Mattson refined her taste in men and wines.
Lisa Mattson refined her taste in men and wines.

Lisa joined The Connected Table LIVE! August 17th on W4CY Radio Listen to her tips for selecting the right man and the right wine and learn more about her role at Jordan Vineyard at this link on  Or click here:


Buy Lisa’s book here:



Remembering Julia Child

Julia Child Kitchen Wisdom

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 when she and husband,  Paul, returned to the U.S.A.


The French Chef in America

Alex is a successful writer and author of several books including The Ripple Effect who also dives deep

in the the looming global water crisis.


Alex joined The Connected Table LIVE August 10th to share his memories of Great Aunt Julia Child and we share a few favorite quotes. Listen here and share!



David Ransom Drink Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

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.

Wine journalist and author, Lettie Teague.
Wine journalist and author, Lettie Teague.

We visit with Lettie June 10th on The Connected Table LIVE! fresh from being honored by the Wine Media Guild and on the heels of the release of her new – and third -book, Wine in Words (Rizzoli). This book is a collection of witty ruminations on wine from “Fun To Know,” “Need To Know” and “Who Knows?” It’s a pleasurable read best paired with a glass of milk(?) at bedtime (Ha! Ha! Not!).  Perhaps a port instead

Lettie believes insatiably curious oenophiles should drink what they don’t know versus just what they like to pleasure their senses and expand their palates (There is an essay on being “a palate” in Wine in Words.

Lettie Teague
Lettie Teague

This book is a great gift for wine lovers. Here are also some other wine gifting ideas from Lettie:

Lettie Teague’s Rules for Wine Gifting:

Give a magnum.

Better red than white

Avoid the obscure.

Sparkling is best.

Resist the gift set.

Connect with Lettie Teague on Twitter  and Facebook

– posted by Melanie



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The Connected Table Live Oct. 22: Window on Kevin Zraly

Tune in October 22 for our featured guest and good friend, Kevin Zraly, internationally acclaimed wine educator and best-selling author of Kevin Zraly Windows on the World Complete Wine Course, with over 4 million copies sold.

Kevin Zraly
Kevin Zraly
Kevin Zraly has been described as a naturally gifted speaker who is both refreshingly humble and candid. His passion for wine and his engaging teaching style helps demystify the ever-changing world of wine. He began his career at age 19 as a waiter and bartender in a New York Times four star rated restaurant in the Hudson Valley, New York. In the years that followed, Kevin journeyed to vineyards in New York, California, and Europe learning his trade and developing his expertise as a sommelier.

After graduating college Kevin moved to New York City and a chance meeting with author Barbara Kafka and legendary restaurateur Joe Baum led to his hiring as the first cellar master and eventually wine director for the renowned Windows on the World restaurant atop One World Trade Center. Windows soon became the country’s top grossing restaurant and, with Kevin at the helm of its highly acclaimed wine list, sold more wine than any restaurant in the world. It was there that he established his Windows on the World Wine School now in its 39th year graduating more than 20,000 students ranging from wine novices and aficionados to top chefs and culinary professionals. Kevin worked at the Windows on the World Restaurant from the day it opened in 1976 until September 11, 2001.

With his first book, Windows on the World Complete Wine Course published in 1985 (an updated annually), Kevin began translating his classes onto the pages of books where his quick wit and capacity to communicate takes the reader through his worldwide journeys from grape to glass. He is also author of the first book that covers wineries and vineyards in all 50 states, Kevin Zraly’s American Wine Guide and The Ultimate Wine Companion, a compilation of 40 world-renowned wine writers.

His numerous awards and accolades include both the 2011 James Beard Foundation Lifetime Achievement Award and 1993 Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional of the Year; the 2006 Wine Literary Award, the 2009 Wine Professional of the Year from Santé, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the European Wine Council, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Wine Educators.

He is has served as a member of the Culinary Institute of America’s Board of Trustees since 1990 and director of the Sherry-Lehmann/Kevin Zraly Master Wine Classes and the Sherry-Lehmann/Kevin Zraly Wine Club in New York City. He has been featured in The New York Times, People magazine, The Wall Street Journal, GQ magazine, Newsweek, and USA Today and co-hosted the Food Network’s Wine A to Z.

We will dedicate the full 50 minutes to Kevin and will open our chat room to take your questions. To participate, log on to:

Hosted by Melanie Young and David Ransom, the insatiably curious culinary industry couple,
The Connected Table Live airs Wednesdays, 2p.m.ET/11a.m. PT on Podcasts are also available at and everywhere the iHeartRadio app is available under the Shows & Personalities section.