With almost two dozen restaurants scattered throughout the U.S., Bermuda, and across Scandinavia, a handful of cookbooks, and a growing list of media and philanthropic interests, Chef Marcus Samuelsson’s reach in the culinary world crosses multi-cultural boundaries
Born in Ethiopia, adopted and raised in Sweden, from an early age Marcus was taught to appreciate and respect food by parents who were driven to instill those values in their children.
“I feel like I’ve been cooking all my life,” he says. “Growing up, my sisters Anna and Linda and I spent summers in Smögen, on the west coast of Sweden. Every morning I went fishing with my dad, Lennart, and my uncles. We caught crayfish, lobsters, and mackerel, and often smoked and preserved the catch. My grandmother, Helga, would gather us in the kitchen to teach us how to pickle fresh vegetables, and make meatballs, ginger snaps, cookies, and apple jam. These experiences taught me to love and appreciate fresh and local food.”
Some people crave chocolate. Others love smoky bacon. Admittedly, I go weak at the knees over cheese. My love for cheese is so intense that at home David often hides the cheese from me. Once I start slathering a runny Camembert over toasted pieces of baguette, slivering Stilton to pair with my pears, putting slices of English Cheddar with a crisp country apple or shaving Parmigiano-Reggiano over my pasta, I cannot stop. I’m crazy for all goat cheeses, especially in a salad chevre chaud. I’ll take a few pieces of cheese with my wine at the end of a meal over anything sweet.
Yes, I smile for cheese. I break for a snack of cheese, nuts and fruit. But I haven’t learn to put on the brakes eating too much cheese in a sitting. “Moderation!” I remind myself. But, hey! It’s the holidays and my birthday. I love giving and receiving cheese as gifts, especially cheeses that someone may not have tried. When people visit our home and ask “What can we bring?” We answer with three choices: ” an artisan cheese, dark chocolate or Champagne.”
For that reason and many more, we’ve invited the Wizard of Cheese, Max McCalman, to join us at The Connected Table LIVE December 30th. I first met Max when he created the widely lauded cheese presentation at Picholine Restaurant in 1995 in New York City. Back then, a stop at the restaurant’s tiny bar for a small plate of cheese and glass of wine was my treat before attending the Met Opera or NYC Ballet across the street at Lincoln Center. Later in 2001 Max opened the cheese-centric restaurant, Artisinal, with Chef Terrence Brennan and the giant Artisinal Cheese Center on Manhattan’s West Side in 2003. I remember attending a James Beard Foundation Awards party there and patting baby goats.
Max is a sought after cheese expert by top cheese makers, distributors, restaurants, retailers and end consumers. He is author of four acclaimed books on the subject of cheese: “The Cheese Plate;” “Cheese, a Connoisseur’s Guide to the World’s Best;” “Mastering Cheese, Lessons for Connoisseurship from a Maître Fromager;” and “Max McCalman’s Swatchbook of Wine & Cheese Pairings.”
Max is a Maître Fromager as designated by the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers de St. Uguzon and is a Cavaleiro in the Confraria dos Viños do Porto. He won an award for Entrepreneur from l’Esprit Alimentaire Française, and an Odyssey Award for Lifetime Achievement from Hendrix College. Max has been an active member of the American Cheese Society since 1996 and was one of the founders of its Certified Cheese Professional program launched in 2004 – a program which helped to revolutionize cheese education in the United States.
Max’s expertise has led him to be a judge in U.S. and world cheese competitions and in the Sofi Awards. He presents seminars at conferences, festivals, culinary schools, and on cruise ships. He is also a guest educator for cheese-themed tours for Cheese Journeys and, as of 2015, serves on the faculty at Institute for Culinary Education. He is a contributing editor to Cheese Connoisseur and Deli Business magazines. Connect and follow: www.max-maccalman.comTwitter@maitrefromager Facebook.com/themaitrefromager – posted by Melanie Young
With more than 35 years of diversified experience in TV broadcasting, a background in wine, food, spirits, and craft beer reporting, and a burning passion for food and wine, Emmy award-winning producer and host Dave Eckert’s “Culinary Travels with Dave Eckert” has logged more than 275 episodes to date. Eckert’s extensive knowledge of food, wine, and spirits, and his desire to take viewers to “the source” of indigenous products and personalities around the globe, has made “Culinary Travels With Dave Eckert” a huge success.
Recognized twice by the Academy of Wine Communications for his work, Dave has also built a loyal audience for “Culinary Travels,” which currently airs on AWE-TV on cable, and previously ran on Public Broadcasting affiliates across the country along with Direct TV, The Dish Network, and can also be seen in the air on Delta, U.S. Air, and Northwest Airlines.
For the past three years, Dave has also been a regular contributor to Kansas City Chowtown, the food blog for the Kansas City Star. His contributions were part of the blog being awarded second place in a recent national competition for newspaper food blogs. Dave contributes local, regional, national, and international pieces on the people, places, events, and products that make our world such a delicious and diverse place.
We’ll talk with Dave on The Connected Table LIVE! on September 30 at 2:25pm, to discuss his unique take on wine, wine regions, and food. We’ll also get a sneak peek at the 2015 American Royal World Series of BBQ, an event three times the size of Memphis in May, which is taking place in Kansas City Oct 3-4, and at which Dave will be judging.
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
If you have tuned into our iHeart Radio show, The Connected Table LIVE!, you know that we love New Orleans. Maybe it’s the sweet southern air. Maybe it’s the moist hot humidity. Maybe it’s the iconic food and drink culture. Maybe it’s spirit of the city that conveys “Pleasure is Good.” We consider New Orleans our spiritual- and spirited- home.
It there is one name in New Orleans dining that stands heads above others it is “Brennan.” There are several branches of the Brennan family tree running different restaurant operations. Two of our favorite ladies of the Brennan family are Lally Brennan and first cousin Ti Adelaide Martin, who together oversee Commander’ s Palace, Café Adelaide and the Swizzle Stick Bar at the Loews hotel and Sobou at the W Hotel in the French Quarter, as well as Brennan’s in Houston. Visiting with them is like seeing family.
When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans 10 years ago this September, our hearts ached for all our New Orleans friends and family. Lally gamely led David and me through the debris left at Commander’s Palace, and we all envisioned a stronger more defiant city and a sparkling rebuild of the restaurant.
On March 17, 2007, we were married in Commander’s Palace’s dazzling courtyard. When it was time to promote my first book, Getting Things Off My Chest, Ti and Lally hosted my party at Café Adelaide. Giving back and generously supporting the city, the industry and friends is part of the Brennan family DNA.
He’s been called “the godfather of Nuevo Latino cooking” by media and food industry cognoscenti. His dishes pack a “pow” in flavor, texture and color.
I first became familiar with Chef Douglas Rodriguez’s muy sabroso culinary style when he was still in his tender twenties cooking “upscale Cuban” food at his restaurant YUCA (an acronym for “Young Cuban Americans”) in Miami. The James Beard Foundation Awards took notice early on and nominated him twice for Rising Star Chef of the Year; he won the award in 1996.
Doug exploded into the competitive New York City restaurant scene with Patria, where he honed his Nuevo Latino style. The New York Times awarded Patria three stars, and other restaurant developers came calling on Doug.
More restaurants followed: Chicama, a Peruvian restaurant and Pipa, Spanish tapas, both in NYC’s Union Square neighborhood; and Alma de Cuba in Philadelphia with restaurateur Stephen Starr. Today, Doug continues to run Alma de Cuba.
The son of Cuban immigrants, Doug was raised in Miami and starting cooking in his early teens, landing his first job at age 14 as a summer apprentice at the Four Ambassadors Hotel in Miami. Now, with his restaurants, a successful catering company and four books, DRod (as he refers to himself) is still at the top of his game.
We’re excited about his culinary trips to Cuba. With U.S.-Cuban relations opening back up and the tourism industry in Cuba looking at a renaissance, you may want to book a trip with DRod soon!
May 4, 2015 – David Ransom and I have a special place in our hearts for New Orleans, the city where we were married in 2007. That’s why it’s a treat to have native New Orleanian David Guason our May 6th show.
This Harley-riding southern chef brought his love for New Orleans up the road North to Arlington, VA, where he owns and operates the Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery. A second location opened this month in an historic carriage house on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Both offer discerning eaters a range of comforting options in a leisurely, rustic, counter-service hangout.
It’s grilling – or should we say grilling chefs behind the grill- where many of David’s fans around the country know him best. He’s host of the high stakes grilling competition television show, American Grilled (Travel Channel).
May 4, 2015 – The 25th annual James Beard Foundation Awards take place tonight in Chicago. This year is the first time the Awards have taken place away from the Foundation’s home base of New York City. It’s also the first time I’ve written my own personal remembrances about the start of The James Beard Foundation Awards and my significant role from the beginning and for more than 16 years. Looking back is bittersweet and filled with pride at the history we made and the lives we impacted.
We have many friends in the food and beverage industry but none as dear to us like family as the Jammets. Parents Rita and André Jammet were proprietors of the La Caravelle restaurant, continuing the restaurant’s legendary reputation for exceptional French food, wine and service. Always, an evening at La Caravelle was delicious and memorable, and we had many. At the helm of La Caravelle, Rita and André truly “walked with kings” while keeping the common touch. Everyone who dined at La Caravelle was treated like royalty. The Champagne flowed as generations of couples and families celebrated special occasions and moguls inked deals over classic French food served with quiet refinement.
It was the end of an era when the Jammets decided to close La Caravelle in 2004. The socio-economic fallout from the September 11th attacks had not been kind to many New York City restaurants. The closing of La Caravelle was a terrible loss to the city and to the legions of customers who relished every moment dining at this amazing restaurant. But doors shut and others open. In Rita’s case, it wasn’t just doors opening; it was champagne corks popping.
Rita decided to carry on the torch and name with line of exceptional La Caravelle Champagne. The portfolio includes a blanc de blanc, brut cuvée and rosé, as well as a red Bordeaux from the Listrac-Medoc appellation. Her wines are now sold in dozens of NYC restaurants and elsewhere.
Rita applies the same dedication and hospitable nature to selling her champagne as she did to running her restaurant. On any given night she is out and about trying new restaurants, supporting charitable events and posting Tweets to acknowledge and praise chefs and sommeliers for their hard work and dedication. Even without her own bricks and mortar restaurant to oversee Rita is an indefatigable brand ambassador for exceptional hospitality, wine and food and all things fabulous and French. We are delighted that the spirit of La Caravelle continues with this sparkling reincarnation. And we are delighted to have Rita join us, followed by son Nicolas on March 25th on The Connected Table LIVE! as part of our Families in the Business series.
We were pleased to see Rita and Andre Jammet and entrepreneurial sons Patrick and Nicolas on the cover of the recent Restaurant Business Magazine. Third son Christophe, also an entrepreneur, was on a holiday that included a marriage proposal on a mountain-top at the time of the photo shoot,
On March 25th we also chat with son Nicolas Jammet, Founder and Co-CEO of sweetgreen, the much-loved, organic, farm-to-table salad shops originating in Washington, D.C. To say “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” is an understatement with any of the Jammet sons and especially Nicolas. His is a classic success story of three college buddies with an idea and a business plan. Nicolas graduated from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in 2007, where he met his business partners, Jonathan Neman and Nathaniel Ru.
The three entrepreneurs founded sweetgreen during their senior year, opening their first location in Georgetown in August 2007 – just three months out of college. The idea was born from their belief that the community would benefit from a healthy, delicious, and eco-friendly dining option. They passionately believed it was possible to create “food that fits” – your values, your budget, your tastes, your imagination, and your community.
Since then, they have built sweetgreen to become the market leader in local, organic, healthy fast food, with over 1,000 employees and 29 stores throughout Washington, D.C., New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Virginia, and Maryland. 2015 will see a West Coast launch with stores opening in Los Angeles and Santa Monica in early spring. sweetgreen has become a local favorite not only for its delicious, healthy, high quality and affordable fast food, but also for its commitment to local farmers, the community, sustainability, and an outstanding company culture.
In 2010, the sweetgreen partners founded sweetlife, which over the last four years has grown to become the Mid-Atlantic region’s largest music and food festival. The event features a curated selection of cutting edge and high profile artists and attracts 20,000 attendees – not to mention outstanding food from top chefs, food trucks, local purveyors and farmers. The event embraces good living, along with health and well-being, community and sustainability, and leaves a gentle footprint as a carbon-neutral event – a party with a purpose.
Nicolas and his partners have been selected as Forbes magazine’s “30 under 30: Food & Wine” and Food & Wine magazine’s “40 Big Food Thinkers 40 and Under.” The brand has received numerous accolades from the press, including The Washington Post, USA Today, Food & Wine, Forbes, Bloomberg, Washingtonian, CBS, and CNBC, among others.
Join the Insatiable Curious Culinary Couple Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays on The Connected Table LIVE! 2pm ET/11 am PT on W4CY.com Shows podcasts are available on demand anytime at IHeart.com. Each week we bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. Connect with us at:
Give a man to fish and you feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime. – Chinese proverb
This week’s show spotlights two individuals whose culinary careers are rooted in education and who have served as mentors to many in the industry.
Southerners are very proud of their culinary heritage; recipes are carefully passed down generation to generation, and nothing beats a southern spread of country ham and biscuits, pimiento cheese on toast and a deep dish casserole served with sweet tea. Melanie grew up in Chattanooga and started her career in Atlanta in the early 1980s. Back then there was one go-to person to learn about southern cooking….Nathalie Dupree.
For nearly a decade Nathalie founded and ran a cooking school in Rich’s Department Store in Atlanta which turned out more than 10,000 students in classes and apprenticeship programs, attracted a stellar list of guest instructors and produced graduates who’ve gone on to earn their own acclaim in the food industry. In 1984 Nathalie was elected president of the International Association of Cooking Schools, now the International Association of Culinary Professionals, with an agenda to set standards for the accreditation of cooking schools across the country.
Nathalie became the first women to have more television cooking shows than Julia Child– over 300 shows for The Food Network, PBS, and The Learning Channel. She is a best-selling author with 13 hardback and two soft back cookbooks. Her best selling book, NewSouthern Cooking, started an entire culinary movement. She has won James Beard Foundation Awards for Southern Memories and Comfortable Entertaining as well as her most recent book co-authored with Cynthia Graubart, Nathalie Dupree’s Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking.
In addition to hosting her own television shows, Nathalie has appeared on “NBC Today,””Good Morning America” and CNN, among others. She has been featured in the New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Bon Appétit, Food and Wine, Southern Living, Coastal Living, Better Homes and Garden,Cosmopolitan, and Good Housekeeping.
A native of South Carolina, Nathalie lives in Charleston with her husband, Jack Bass, who is author of nine books on the American South. She is The Founding Chairman of the Charleston Food and Wine Festival, a founder of the Atlanta and Charleston Chapters of Les Dames d’ Escoffier, the American Institute of Wine and Food and the International Association of Culinary Professionals, of which she was two- time President. Nathalie was awarded the prestigious “Grand Dame” recognition by Les Dames d’Escoffier and 2013 Woman of the Year by a prestigious organization of French Chefs in America. She is also a founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance which established a Nathalie Dupree Graduate Fellowship program in 2014.
Richard Grausman, one of America’s most respected culinary educators, credits cooking lessons with late James Beard with inspiring him to turn what had been an extra-curricular hobby while working in the import business into a full fledged career. Richard has “paid it forward” through the non-profit he founded, Careers through Culinary Arts Program (C-CAP) whose students find rewarding careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry.
In 1967, Richard enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where he decided on a career in teaching. He earned the coveted Grand Diplôme and so impressed the school’s owner, Madame Elizabeth Brassart, that she made him Le Cordon Bleu’s first exclusive ambassador for Le Cordon Bleu. In that role Richard taught in major cities across the United States, conducted travel seminars in Paris and the French Riviera, made television appearances and write recipes for top U.S. food and lifestyle magazine.
After the school changed ownership in 1985 Richard spent the next few years teaching and writing independently. His cookbook, At Home with the French Classics (Workman, 1988) was met with commercial success. After eight printings, it was redesigned, revised and released in 2011 as French Classics Made Easy.
In 1990, Richard piloted a program in twelve New York City high schools to teach French cooking in home economics classes. His intention was to teach American youth about the satisfaction and value of home cooking. The schools were all inner-city high schools filled with under served students. He soon realized that many of these students lacked job skills or college prospects.
To fulfill this need, Richard created C-CAP with the mission to enhance the culinary arts curriculum in public schools and better prepare under served students for college and career opportunities in the restaurant and hospitality industry. C-CAP provides teacher training, cooking competitions for scholarships, job training and internships for outstanding students, college and career advising, and product donations to classrooms. C-CAP works with over 165 public high schools, and the more than 220 teachers we support through professional development reach some 18,000 students annually in their classrooms.
Since its inception in 1990, C-CAP has operated continuously for two decades and awarded over $43 million in scholarships. While New York City remains the headquarters and flagship program, the C-CAP National Network now includes Arizona (statewide); Chicago; Hampton Roads, Virginia; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; and District Of Columbia/Prince George’s County, MD.
Many C-CAP students find rewarding careers in the restaurant and hospitality industry. We’ll also speak with Kelvin Fernandez, C-CAP’s youngest Executive Chef at 22.
A former high school baseball player, Kelvin attended a cooking class at Long Island City High School in Queens and decided to make food his career In 2003 Kelvin entered the C-CAP New York Cooking Competition for Scholarships and was awarded a $40,000 scholarship to attend the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) in upstate New York.
Today, Kelvin is the Executive Chef of La Marina Restaurant. He also serves as a FitChef for the NBA, is a judge for the C-CAP Meatless Monday Recipe Contest and has appeared on Food Network’s “Chopped.” Kelvin regularly visits his high school culinary arts classroom to host cooking demos and also trains C-CAP students in his restaurant.
Kelvin says “C-CAP is one of the best things that has happened to the culinary industry. C-CAP gives young kids the opportunity to find a passion in life while still young. If it wasn’t for C-CAP’s guidance, I would never have become C-CAP’s youngest Executive Chef at age 22.”
Join Hosts Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays 2pm ET/11 am PT on The Connected Table LIVE! on W4CY radio and any time on demand at IHeart.com. Food and beverage industry insiders Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple who bring you the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.
The first of its kind in Texas, and now in its fourth year, the San Antonio Cocktail Conference was named one of the Best Cocktail Festivals in America by Fodor’s Travel. Like its predecessors the Manhattan Cocktail Classic and New Orleans’ Tales of the Cocktail every year we bring together top bartenders and cocktail aficionados for educational seminars, guided tastings and cocktail parties. Houston Street Charities and the Conference will once again donate 100 percent of all money raised during the Conference to benefit several local children’s charities.
Join The Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays 2pmET/11am PT on The Connected Table LIVE on www.W4CY.com as we talk with the dynamic people who work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality. The Connected Table LIVE is available anytime on demand www.iHeart.com under Shows and Personalities. Follow and connect:
Her Miami Herald “Dinner in Minutes” column is distributed on the McClatchy Wire Service to over 6 million readers each week. She is the “go to” source for all things culinary in South Florida and the Keys and is author of The Flavor of the Florida Keys (new!) and Keys Cuisine.
She is the producer and host of the weekly segment part of Topical Currents, “Food News and Views,” on WLRN 91.3 FM and National Public Radio where she dispenses great tips on cooking for the family and showcases well-known chefs and personalities from around the world, such as Francis Ford Coppola, Lee Iacocca, Paula Deen, Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse.
She is an award winning author of over 30 books, including three recently released books covering diabetes friendly cooking published in cooperation with the American Diabetes Association: No-Fuss Diabetes Desserts, Simply Smoothies: Fresh & Fast Diabetes-Friendly Snacks & Complete Meals, Fast and Flavorful: Great Diabetes Meals from Market to Table.
TV and Radio Personality, Syndicated Journalist, Best Selling Author, Spokesperson, and Food Consultant Linda Gassenheimer joins us December 3 to discuss her latest books, the culinary scene in South Florida and cooking for both your pleasure and for your health.
You have to love a woman whose Twitter description reads: Wife. Author. Speaker. Traveler. Biker. Fave hobbies: breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You have to love a woman who recommends bread, Champagne, chocolate and romance as key ingredients to a balanced diet and lifestyle,
You have to admire a woman who has written three international best-selling books on the art of living well: French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, Women for all Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes and Pleasure and French Women Don’t Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style & Attitude
You have to respect a woman who reached the top echelon of both the wine and spirits and luxury goods industries as CEO of Clicquot Inc. where she is credited with growing Champagne Veuve Clicquot’s market share in America grew from less than one percent to more than 25 percent.
We’re talking about Mireille Giuliano, who has been called “the high priestess of French lady wisdom” (USA Today), “an ambassador of France and its art of living” (Le Figaro), “an idea entrepreneur” (Harvard Business Review) and “an art-of-living guru” (The New York Times).
We call her uber-preneur. Her savoir faire lifestyle has been admired, adopted and followed by legions. Mireille is out with a delightful new book, Meet Paris Oyster, just in time to enjoy holidays on the half shell. We’ll be speaking with Mireille about all things we love about food, champagne and France and her approach to la joie de vivre
Join Melanie Young and David Ransom Wednesdays, 2pm ET/11am PT on The Connected Table LIVE! Each week this Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple features the dynamic people who both work front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits, cookbook publishing and hospitality. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook