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Exploring AOC Costières de Nimes, Rhône Valley

Costières de Nîmes was a pleasant discovery for us, far from the more heavily visited areas of Provence to the east. The Rhône Valley’s southernmost wine region sits on a plateau that stretches north from the Camargue delta region 50 kilometers to the south. From some hilltop vineyards, one can see Arles and an outline of the Frank Gehry-designed The Luma Arts Foundation complex, which has turned that ancient Roman city in Provence into a contemporary arts destination.

View from a Costières de Nimes vineyard

Vines have been cultivated in Costières de Nimes since the days of Ancient Greece. The area was also occupied by the Romans after they conquered Egypt during the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. The region and its namesake city, Nîmes, display the imagery of a crocodile tied to a palm tree, from the pavement to street signs and a few whimsical sculptures positioned here and there. The crocodile represents Egypt, and the palm tree is the Roman symbol of victory.

You can find the crocodile and the palm tree throughout the city of Nîmes.

Winemaking began to flourish in Costières de Nîmes during the Middle Ages, and the region’s wines became the preferred selection of the 14th century Papal Court when it occupied nearby Avignon. A boost to the viticultural economy occurred in the 20th century with the construction of both Pierre-Paul Riquet’s Canal du Midi and Philippe Lamour’s Canal du Bas-Rhone which facilitated transportation from the region.

An AOC since 1986, Costières de Nîmes‘ production is red wines (55%), rosés (40%) and whites (5%).  Mourvèdre, Grenache, Syrah are the dominant red varieties (80%); Carignan and Cinsault are also used.  Grenache Blanc, Marsanne and Roussane are the three main white grapes, followed by Bourboulenc, Clairette, Vermentino and Viognier. The reds are sultry and juicy with dark blackberry and raspberry notes; the whites are aromatic with a touch of salinity thanks to the region’s proximity to the sea and the soil. The climate is classic southern France – Mediterranean Sea breezes mixed with cool mistral winds from the north and more than 200 days of sunshine.

Rockin the vineyards with Jérôme Castillon, Château L’Ermitage, AOC Costières de Nîmes, Nimes, Rhône Valley

Our first visit was Château L’Ermitage. Owner Jérôme Castillon took us on a bumpy open-air Land Rover ride through the hilly vineyards to shows us the rocky terrain covered with garrigue, a particularly herbaceous Mediterranean brush that contributes to the earthy herbal character of the wines. Thanks to the proximity to the Rhône River, the soils are alluvial with many large pale pebbles, called galets.

More rocky vineyards with Costières de Nîmes vignerons, Anne and François Collard, Château Mourgues du Grès

Later, we visited more, even steeper and stonier vineyards at Château Mourgues du Grès with proprietors François and Anne Collard. At their winery, which was formerly a convent, a few other local producers joined is to present their wines along those from  Château Mourgues du Grès, including: Maison Gabriel Meffre (Anthony Taylor), Mas des Bressades (Cyril Marès), Château de Valcombe (Nicolas Ricome).

A tasting with Costières de Nîmes vignerons. (left to right): Nicolas Ricome (Château de Valcombe), Cyril Marès (Mas des Bressades), Anthony Taylor (Maison Gabriel Meffre), Ann Collard, François Collard (Château Mourgues du Grès)

In the evening, we had dinner in Nîmes at the Museum of Roman History (Musee de la Romanate. This is a newer addition to the city of Nîmes. It’s a large modern edifice with a rooftop garden and panoramic views. We read in this article that the architect, Elizabeth de Portzamparc, was inspired by a Roman toga. We’re not sure we get that, but we did get – and enjoyed -the wines we tasted during our meal at museum’s on-site restaurant, La Table du 2 Brasserie by Michelin Star-rated Chef Franck Putelat. The producer was fourth generation vintner Fanny Boyer, Château Beaubois.

Maison Carrée (“square house”) is a perfectly preserved Roman temple in the heart of Nîmes

If you visit the region, seeing Nimes is a must. It’s filled with history and is nice for strolling and spotting crocodile and palm tree imagery. Among the many sights of historical note, two include the giant ancient amphitheater that now serves as a performance space and the Maison Carrée,  a completly preserved the ancient Roman.  More on visiting Nimes here.

We also recommend this article in The New York Times Style Magazine

Domaine des Clos was formerly a winery. Now it is a lovely hotel restored and owned by Sandrine and David Ausset.

A note on where we stayed…We loved our two nights at Domaine des Clos, a boutique apartment-hotel with spacious grounds and very good food (we had three meals there- breakfast, lunch and dinner). Owners Sandrine and David Ausset, both native to the region, left their corporate jobs in Paris to spend years renovating this abandoned 18th century wine estate. Sandrine is passionate about ayurvedic health and offers special retreats.

We came; we saw; we tasted- and enjoyed- the wines of Costières de Nîmes, Rhône Valley

Our trip was arranged by Inter-Rhône which has very helpful information on the Rhône Valley on its website www.vins-rhone.com. We also recommend www.costieres-nimes.org

Listen to The Connected Table SIPS with Anthony Taylor, Maison Gabriel Meffre, who discussed the region and styles of wine produced in Costières de Nîmes.

Ir’s considered Good Luck to touch the nose of the crocodile in Nimes.

 

 

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Drink Eat The Connected Table SIPS

A Visit with Bona Frescobaldi, Laudemio Frescobaldi

Bona Frescobaldi is a member of storied Frescobaldi family, whose history in Tuscany dates back over 1000 years and 30 generations, and whose wine estates are world-renowned. She serves as a global ambassador for the family to strengthen international relations. Frescobaldi has made it her life’s mission to support and preserve the art and culture of Tuscany, as well as its agricultural bounty, especially wine and olive oil.

Marchesa Bona Frescobaldi

In 1986, the family created the Laudemio Consortium, the first private Italian institution fully dedicated to expressing the art and terroir of Tuscan olive oil. The family has more than 300 hectares (750 acres) of olive groves and has been harvesting olives and producing olive oil since the 1300s. It wasn’t until 1989 when they produced their first harvest of Laudemio extra-virgin olive oil, a special cru representing the highest expression of terroir and quality.” In the Middle Ages, Laudemio was the name of the best part of the harvest, reserved for the “lord’s table.”

Much like picking grapes, harvesting olives takes place during a carefully monitored window of time in October to capture both the olives’ green color and fresh flavors. The olives are then pressed right after picking within 24 hours in a proprietary mill to ensure the ideal acidic composition and aromatic profile and optimum nutrients in the oil. Frescobaldi manages 100 percent of the entire production process, from plant-picking to packaging to maintain quality control.

Laudemio’s prestigious reputation even has a royal audience. During our conversation, Frescobaldi shared that HRH Prince Charles of Great Britain is a fan of Frescobaldi Laudemio extra-virgin olive oil drizzled over toast. She sends him bottles for his birthday.

 

In addition to her work in wine and olive oil, Frescobaldi is a member of the Friends of Florence, an organization dedicated to preserving and restoring Florentine artifacts; a cofounder of the Committee of the Friends of La Pietra, an association of New York University, whose goal is to maintain and improve relations between Florence and New York. She is also active in numerous civic and social causes around both the arts and women’s health.

What we tasted:

Laudemio Frescobaldi 2018 extra-virgin olive oil, a 30th anniversary special edition packaged in golden bottle that resembles a fine perfume. The olive oil has deep fruit and earthy aromas and flavors with a spicy finish and a deep emerald olive hue Just a few drops drizzled over crusty bread, salad, pasta or chicken is all you need. We even tried it drizzled in plain Greek yogurt for breakfast!

Listen to our SIPS podcast with Bona Frescobaldi on iHeart/iHeart App. Click here:

 

 

 

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Drink Explore

Tuscany Less Traveled: Hidden Wine Gems from Western Tuscany #RoadTrip

When thinking of Tuscany and its wines, a few regions immediately come to mind, like Chianti Classico, where the most sought-after wines of the eight classified Chianti regions are produced; Montepulciano, home to the famous Vino Nobile wines, and of course, Montalcino, where Brunello is produced.

Yet, aside from these three well-known regions, there are many smaller areas in the Tuscany  producing wonderful wines that are worth seeking out. The Connected Table recently went on a road trip, zig-zagging through the backroads of Tuscany’s west side and found a number of producers making wines the equal of their more famous neighbors.

Here are a few of our favorites and where they are located.

Gianni Moscardini, owner of Sator, in one of his vineyards

Sator Wines. Situated in the relatively small (20 producers total) Montescudaio DOC in the coastal hills just south of Pisa (west of Florence) and just north of Bolgheri, Sator is owned by Gianni Moscardini. The winery sits on rolling farmland owned by his family for over 150 years. While grapes have been grown on the property for many years, only recently did Moscardini, a consulting agronomist for a number of well-known Tuscan wine producers, start making his own wine from them. Unlike in Bolgheri, where much of the wines are made from international grape varieties, Moscardini focuses on indigenous grapes at Sator including Fiano and Vermentino for white wine production, along with Sangiovese and Cilegiolo for his red wines. www.satorwines.com/en

Selection of Sator Wines

Some favorites for us included Satur Bianco IGT, a delightfully crisp everyday white made from 85% Vermentino/15%  Fiano, and  Satur Artume, a wonderfully complex white blend of 67% Fiano/33% Vermentino aged in oak for 10 months before bottling.  For reds: Satur Rosso Montescudaio a Sangiovese /Teroldego blend that we could drink all day long (well, not really, but it sure was easy on the palate), and Sileno Sangiovese Montescudaio DOC, a ripe and structured wine that shows great balance and ageing potential.

Podere Marcampo vineyards and view

Podere Marcampo  Further south and a bit inland, near the ancient walled city of Volterra, lies the estate of Marcampo. Relatively new to the region’s wine scene, Marcampo was started in 2004 by one Volterra’s most prominent restaurant families, the Del Ducas. Claudia Del Duca runs the wine production while her mother,Ivana, runs the Entoeca Ristorante Del Duca in town. Father, Genuino, a retired carabinieri, makes wine and some amazing salumi.

There is also an agriturismo (Bed & Breakfast) on the property so one can also book a night there to stay and enjoy the incredible vistas from the ridge on the outskirts of town where the winery is located. www.agriturismo-marcampo.com

Selection of Marcampo Wines

Marcampo’s wines are also made from mostly native grape varieties, including Sangiovese, Cilegiolo and Vermentino. We loved the Terrablu Vermentino, and Genuino Sangiovese (made from 80% Sangiovese/20% Merlot), both of which were very well-made everyday drinking wines. Also not to be missed were the Severus 100% Sangiovese (named for the Roman Emperor who built Volterra’s coliseum), and Giusto alle Balze, Marcampo’s signature red “Super Tuscan” made from 100% Merlot.

60- year- old vineyard, still in production, at Poggio Al Grillo in Bolgheri

Poggio Al Grillo Leaving Volterra and heading back towards the coast and Bolgheri, we next went to the village of Castagneto Carducci to taste the wines of Poggio Al Grillo. While tiny (they currently produce only 5000 bottles per year), This producer boasts one of Bolgheri’s oldest known vineyards, a sixty- year old 1.25 acre plot of Aleatico, Petit Manseng (one of TCT’s favorite white grapes), and Cabernet Franc – all co-planted as was the norm back then since most wine was made into blends, not bottled varietally.

Poggio Al Grillo makes mostly Rosé from Aleatico (aptly named Rosatico), and is tinkering with other wines as they plant new vineyards and increase production. One, Corvallo, is a delightful blend of Trebbiano, Malvasia and Petit Manseng. www.aziendaagricolapoggioalgrillo.it

Melanie & David on the tractor at Sator Winery

So, next time you have an urge to try something different, yet somewhat familiar, ask your favorite wine shop or restaurant if they carry any of these Tuscan gems. You’ll be glad you did.

Stay insatiably curious!

David and Melanie   – The Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple

Connect with us Twitter @connectedtable  and on Instagram@theconnectedtable

Next up: More wine gems from the opposite side of Tuscany.

Listen to our show with Claudia Del Duca, Podere Marcampo here:

With Claudia Del Duca, Podere Marcampo
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Cookbook David Ransom Eat Melanie Young THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

A Visit with Amanda Hesser, Co-Founder & CEO, Food52

Amanda Hesser, Food52 co-founder and CEO,

For anyone who aspires to build a brand that embraces the culinary lifestyle from all sides and seasons, look no further than Food52. The brainchild of journalists and authorsAmanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, Food52 has amassed a devoted community of culinary enthusiasts who engage and share recipes and appoint their kitchens with carefully curated products. And with the mission of “eating thoughtfully and living joyfully,” visualized in stunning photography and video shots, it’s no surprise that Food52 has hit two million followers on Instagram alone.

We first came to know Hesser when she worked as a reporter and food editor at The New York Times, where her The Essential New York Times Cookbook was a NYT bestseller. One of her “star” moments was playing herself in Nora Ephron’s movie, “Julie and Julia.” She’s also the author of Cooking for Mr. Latte: A Food Lover’s Courtship, with Recipes and The Cook and the Gardener, and several Food52 cookbooks, including her newest (with co-author, Merrill) A New Way to Dinner.

The story behind the creation of Food 52 in 2009 is a case study in a successful digital enterprise that took foresight and calculate risk. The co-founders parlayed a cookbook advance into a successful destination website which has grown substantially to become an experiential experience. Hesser has been named one of the 50 most influential women in food by Gourmet, created the Twitter app Plodt, and served on President Obama’s Commission on White House Fellowships.

Listen to our show with Amanda Hesser here:

 

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Drink Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

America’s Top 100 Wine Restaurants

Wine Enthusiast magazine has revealed its “100 Best Wine Restaurants.” Susan Kostrzewa, Executive Editor, joins us on The Connected Table Live! to discuss what goes into selecting the list and her approach to driving content for both the online and print editions of the magazine.

Meanwhile, in the same issue (August) we enjoyed the profiles of four “pioneers” who are making wines in areas where most people have no idea wine is even being made, and it is time to take notice! They include Chris Brundrett, William Chris Vineyards (Hye Texas); Charlie Edson, Bel Lago Vineyards & Winery (Cedar, MI); Jasper Riddle, Noisy Water Winery (Ruidoso, NM); and Deirdre Heekin, La Garagista Farm & Winery (Barnard, VT).

Susan Kostrzewa

Susan is a veteran journalist who joined Wine Enthusiast in 2006 after living and working in Sonoma. In addition to overseeing all editorial direction for both Wine Enthusiast and WineMag.com in addition to the tasting programs. At a panel discussion on Monday night, Susan addressed topics such as the #MeToo movement in hospitality, emerging U.S. wine and food cities (think Providence, R.I. and Burlington, VT) and whether rosé will be become passé (it’s still quite in bloom).

Panelists: Lauren Friel, Wine Director for Dirt Candy, NYC; Christopher Gross, Executive Chef, Geordi’s, Phoenix, AZ; Matthew Kudry, Flora Bar, NYC; Alexandra Cherniavsky, The Love, Philadelphia, PA, and Susan Kostrzewa. July 9, 2018 at The Landmark in NYC. Photo credit: www.scottruddevents.com © 2018 Scott Rudd

Listen to our segment with Susan in The Connected Table Live at iHeart.com and free iHeart app.

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Drink Events THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Meet Neal Bodenheimer and Meaghan Frank- The Connected Table Live!

Temperance at Tales of the Cocktail

Stress management, yoga and wellness activities are all on the menu for this year’s Tales of the Cocktail, July 17- 22 in New Orleans. As the collective consciousness about mental and physical health,  responsibility to each other and to the community and the #MeToo movement continue to drive the conversation, Tales of the Cocktail has introduced some significant initiatives. They include:

Beyond the Bar: free interactive programming designed to address mental health and physical wellness and its impact on the spirits community. Activities include: Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings; yoga and movement classes; health screenings; and discussions surrounding healthy lifestyles, nutrition, addiction, suicide, and stress management.

A collaboration  with Louisiana organization STAR (Sexual Trauma Awareness and Response) to offer a 24/7 hotline during the festival for all attendees to use if needed and to offer joint programming, free to all attendees, which includes a seminar on HR practices around sexual harassment the industry can discuss and bring back home to their bars and establishments.

Eliminating plastic straws: Given how many straws are used throughout this event with 16,000 people and half a million drinks, doing away with plastic disposable straws is a big move toward supporting this sustainable movement.

There is even a “dry” welcome party, courtesy of William Grant & Sons, who announced they will be “kicking off the week with a spirited, yet spirit-free portfolio party.”  But, of course, throughout the five days there will be plenty of cocktails and seminars to educate industry professionals on every aspect of the business of bar management and the craft of the cocktail. And there will always be revelry because Tales is a huge networking event after all, and it’s the best way for those who serve and those who sell to connect.

 

Tales of the Cocktail’s new logo

 

It’s a transitional year for this beloved industry conference. In February 2018, Tales of the Cocktail was purchased by Neal Bodenheimer, a native New Orleanian and owner of award-winning Cure Nola, in collaboration with The Solomon Group, who has been involved in producing high profile local and international events, including many for Tales of Cocktail such as the Spirited Awards and other brand activations. Neal and the Solomon family have created the 501c3 non-profit Tales of the Cocktail Foundation to advance and support the global hospitality industry. 

We chat with Neal on The Connected Table Live! about his career in the industry and his plans to help steer Tales’ new mission. Here is the link to the show on iHeart.com and free iHeart App.  

Or stream the show below. Neal is the second guest.

Neal Bodenheimer. Photo by Kevin O’Mara

 

New York State’s Father of Vitis Vinifera

New York State is one of the country’s top regions for producing wine in the USA. The Finger Lakes is home to some world-class Rieslings. On this same edition of The Connected Table Live! we visit with Meaghan Frank, fourth generation family member overseeing Dr. Konstantin Frank  the pioneering Finger Lakes, New York, winery.

 

Meaghan Frank

 

Meaghan’s great-grandfather, Konstantin Frank, an immigrant from the Ukraine spoke a handful of languages but not English when he arrived in the USA.  in 1951 He worked briefly as a blueberry picker where he saw the potential for planting vines in New York State. A professor of plant sciences with a Ph.D. in viticulture, he eventually took a position at Cornell University’s Geneva Experiment Station.

At the time, New York State wines were producing wines using local and hybrid grapes only.  Based on his experience in the Ukraine, Dr. Frank was convinced, that, despite New York’s cold weather, delicate Vitis Vinfera grapes could thrive with the proper rootstock. Communicating in French, he delivered the research to back this up and a plan to grow European vinifera in the Northeastern United States.

In 1962, a decade after coming to the USA, Frank established Vinifera Wine Cellars, which quickly earned a reputation for its exceptional Rieslings and its original rootstock plantings became the backbone of New York’s world-class wines.  Today Dr. Konstantin Frank has an extensive portfolio of wine including two made from traditional grapes found in the Republic of Georgia, Rkatisteli (white) and Saperavi (inky red) and a terrific sparkling wine. www.drfrankwines.com

 

Dr Konstantin Franl. pioneering oenologist

Here is the link to the show on iHeart.com and free iHeart App.  

Listen here:

 

 

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Drink Explore THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

A Little Joie de Vivre with Jean-Charles Boisset

Does Jean-Charles Boisset have a James Bond complex? Perhaps. He definitely blends dapper and debonair in his style and businessman-meets-bon vivant. The descendent of Burgundy wine producers, Jean-Charles oversees the family business on two continents. In France this encompasses: Jean-Claude Boisset Winery, Domaine de la Vougeraie, Bouchard Aîné & Fils, Ropiteau Frères, J. Moreau & Fils, Château de Pierreux, Mommessin (all Burgundy), Bonpas (Rhône Valley) and Fortant (Languedoc).

 

Jean-Charles Boisset, International Man of Mastery When It Comes To Making Wine an Experience of the Senses

In the U.S.A., Jean-Charles acquired Buena Vista Winery (Carneros) the first bonded winery in California, Raymond Vineyards and De Loach Vineyards. And he’s created the lifestyle “brand,” JCB by Jean-Charles Boisset.  The Boisset Collection also includes jewelry, home decor, fine goods, gifts and exclusive tasting events in addition to his wines.

 

Buena Vista Winery (est 1863) was acquired by Jean-Charles Boisset in 2011. Read the entire story here.

Jean-Charles has also recently published a book, co-written with Sommelier Marnie Old, entitled

Passion For Wine: The French Ideal and the American Dream

The book takes a sensory-and sensuous- approach to learning about and enjoying wine and we found it easy to read and very informative. We love how they compare certain styles of wine to screen sirens. What do you think is the “Elizabeth Taylor” of red wine? Or the Bridget Bardot of white?

 

Jean-Charles Boisset and Marnie Old. (photo from The Boisset Collection)

 

Listen to our edition of The Connected Table Live! with Jean-Charles Boisset here:

Or click and listen here:

 

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Cookbook Drink THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Lidia’s American Dream: Sharing Memories

I have three favorite personal memories of Lidia Bastianich. The first was a Sunday lunch at her home in Queens many years ago. Her son, Joe, and I had been chatting about Zinfandel wines and my desire to try more of them. So, he decided to host a lunch with Lidia with a selection of Zinfandels (a.k.a. a Zinful Sunday). It was small, and I was embarrassingly late due to Hamptons traffic. I remember an endless parade of amazing food dishes, copious amounts of wine and Felix, Lidia’s husband at the time, playing an accordion and singing. Bastianich family members were there, plus me, writer, Jerry Shriver, and one or two others.

I wondered to myself, “Is this a typical Sunday lunch at the Bastianich house?” I’d never experienced anything like at home in Chattanooga since my parents tended to hole away in the office or bedroom on Sundays, leaving me to fend for myself. Most Sundays in NYC I found myself worked extra hours or in transit from an airport or the Hamptons. But, that Sunday, I felt like a member of the Bastianich family.

I felt that same feeling of family at Joe Bastianich’s wedding at the Plaza Hotel February 19, 1995. It was a much bigger party with even more food, wine and music. I still have the commemorative bottle of wedding wine in our cellar (Joe told me it is probably great vinegar by now). I remember feeling very much like the single woman I was at the time being seated next to the wedding priest and chatting with very nice young gay man on the other side of me, while watching Lidia cut a rug on the dance floor. She was the Pride of the Party along with the Bride. What a wedding!!!

Finally, I recall running into Lidia at the Milan Airport in 2009. David and I were on a whirlwind wine trip and hauling our carry-on bags like two sherpas. Lidia glided down the stairs carrying absolutely nothing! I don’t think she even held a handbag. It was like she lived in the airport and never needed to lug her stuff around. I marveled at that free feeling. We embraced and chatted briefly before going our ways. She glided off. We trudged onward.

Lidia makes everything – from cooking to entertaining to running a restaurant or demonstrating a recipe on camera- seem effortless, and she makes everyone feel part of her family. I think that’s the secret sauce to her success.

Lidia has picked up an Emmy Award for her TV series, six James Beard Foundation Awards  (chef, books, broadcast, Who’s Who) and a Les Dames d’Escoffier International Grand Dame Award. She’s written best-selling books, produces a wildly successful specialty food line, LIDIA”s, and owns our acclaimed restaurants. She’s cooked for Pope Benedict (in 2008) and Pope Francis (in 2015) during their visits to New York City.

She’s living the American Dream! For all these reasons, it’s why her new memoir, “My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family and Food (Penguin Random House, is appropriately named. Born poor and living behind the unbearably restrictive Communist Iron Curtain in a small town on the Istrian Peninsula, Lidia’s family spent two years living in a refugee camp before escaping across the border to Trieste, Italy. In 1958, the family came to New York, thanks to the aid of Catholic Charities.

Resilience formed her backbone; cooking was her skill, family was her bond and gratitude lifted her up. She notes in her book, that complete strangers and nonprofit organizations reached out to help give her a family a home, fill their cupboards with food and help her parents find work.

There’s never enough time to spend with Lidia to hear her amazing story. We were grateful to spend a 30 minutes with recently on The Connected Table Live! You can listen here:

 

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Cookbook Drink Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

Chronicler of Chefs – Andrew Friedman

Talk about noshing down memory lane!  You must be living under a rock if you work in the restaurant business and have not heard about Andrew Friedman’s new book, Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession.

We read it with relish because we knew just about everyone in the book! Andrew is a detailed, disciplined journalist and storyteller, and this book is an engaging documentary about America’s culinary revolutions from the 1980s through the 2000s. It ends just around when the worlds come crashing down (both the World Trade Center after September 11th and the stock market crash a few years later).

Andrew spotlights chefs on his Heritage Radio show “Andrew Talks with Chefs,” and he has written over two dozen cookbooks, with the likes of Alfred Portale, Tom Valenti, Michael Lomonaco, Michael White, Bill Telepan and Jimmy Bradley, to name a few. Of course, being tennis buffs, we were impressed by his New York Times best seller with tennis champion, James Blake, entitled “BREAKING BACK: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life (2007). You can see them all here on his website, appropriately named Toqueland.

Andrew Friedman is author of “Chefs, Drugs and Rock & Roll: How Food Lovers, Free Spirits, Misfits and Wanderers Created a New American Profession.” The book explores America’s restaurant evolution from the 1970s to 2000s and the people who shaped it.

This show aired broadcast live on Wednesdays May 2 at 2PM ET on W4CY Radio – (www.w4cy.com) part of Talk 4 Radio (http://www.talk4radio.com/) on the Talk 4 Media Network (http://www.talk4media.com/).

Listen to our show with Andrew Friedman and Peter Mondavi Jr (Charles Krug Winery) at this permanent iHeart link:

 

Buy this book on Amazon:

 

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Drink Eat

Happy Hanukkah! And Lots of Latkes

Hanukkah, the Festival of Lights, starts December 12. For those of you who celebrate Hanukkah, we hope the upcoming eights days are filled with joy and plenty of latkes, the traditional pan-fried potato pancake served during Hanukkah to commemorate the miracle that a single jar of oil found in the Temple lasted for eight nights.

Last week we received this helpful free wine and latke pairing guide from our friends at Israel’s Yarden Wines, which includes Golan Heights Winery and Galil Mountain Winery. Here are some of their suggestions (link to download free guide):

Classic potato latke with sour cream with Gewϋrtztraminer: “The spicy off-dry notes of the Gewϋrtztraminer will accentuate the subtle spices of the latkes.”

Sweet potato latke with applesauce with Viognier. “The floral notes will accentuate the round sweet tones of this dish, while the notes of lychee and apricot will match and accentuate the crisp sweet tones of the applesauce.

Cheesy vegetable latkes with sour cream: “A Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot blend has earthy, spicy and pepper notes that will match the earth and cheesy flavors of the latke.”

ID 64362913 © Oksana Kiian | Dreamstime

 

We’ve interviewed both Victor Schoenfeld, Golan Heights Winery and Micha Vaadia, Galil Mountain Winery on our podcast series, The Connected Table SIPS! In case you missed them, here are the iHeart.com links:

Victor Schoenfeld, winemaker at Golan Heights Winery, is a pioneer in the application of new technology and wine making techniques who has developed some of Israel’s most sophisticated viticultural advancements, from irrigation management to wind generated electricity. Founded in 1983, Golan Heights Winery has had a major role in developing and nurturing Israel’s modern wine culture Podcast link.

Micha Vaadia is chief winemaker for Israel’s Galil Mountain Winery located in the Upper Galilee, an ancient region with a new wine culture. Established as a joint venture in 2000 by Golan Heights Winery and Kibbutz Yiron, green living is a way of life at Galil Mountain. Podcast link.

Wishing you Happy Hanukkah and Lots of Latkes!

 

The Connected Table SIPS podcasts series spotlights vintners, distillers and producers in 3-5 minute recorded podcasts on iHeart.com and the free iHeart App.
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Eat THE CONNECTED TABLE RADIO SHOW

What’s The Recipe for Running Good Housekeeping’s Food Dept.?

Susan Westmoreland

What’s the recipe for running the food department at one of the most respected magazine brands in the nation? We receive an inside peak from Susan Westmoreland, Food Director at the Good Housekeeping Institute (GHI), one of the most trusted sources for consumer product evaluation for over a century (GHI was established in 1900). GHI evaluates thousands of products for Good Housekeeping magazine which reaches 24 million readers each month.

At the Good Housekeeping test kitchen at Hearst Tower, Susan and her team produce all content, create recipes and test, taste and test again and again (an average of three times)  for the magazine, special issues, cookbooks and special projects. And we’re wondering: How does she keep turkey topics fresh year after year for the Thanksgiving issue? We discuss in this edition of The Connected Table LIVE!

Listen to our show with Susan Westmoreland here:

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INSPIRE RESTAURANTS AND CHEFS

The Food & Beverage Industry Nourishes Souls in Times of Sorrow

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 questions starting with “Why?” and “How long?” and “How much more can we take of this?”  Congress could take months and years to make decisions. But the food and beverage industry can make a difference in just a few weeks.

Source World Central Kitchen  Website: worldcentralkitchen.org

Leave it to chefs like José Andrés and Jose Enrique to arrange a team to cook thousands of meals for the displaced and hungry in Puerto Rico while the island waits for food supplies to be adequately distributed in hard hit areas.

Leave it to Ti Adelaide Martin, and Alex Brennan- Martin to spearhead a fundraising effort with the Louisiana Restaurant Association and Greater New Orleans Foundation to help hospitality workers affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, raising over $160,000. And that amount does not include the nationwide Dineout that took place on October 2  with dozens of restaurants to raise even more funds for this cause.

Leave it to bar community activists like Speed Rack Co-Founder and Bartender Lynnette Marrero, Journalist Jenny Adams, and Alba Huerta, Owner/Operator of Julep in Houston, TX, to rally their colleagues to organize “NYC LOVES TX & FL”  on September 24 to raise over $60,000 for the John Besh Foundation for disaster relief.


These just a few small servings of the large effort this industry does, and continues to do, to help humanity. When tragedy strikes, the food, beverage and hospitality industry cooks up a plan to do something and does not drag its heels. We stir the pot where others cannot. Maybe the Executive Branch could learn a few management trucs from Executive Chefs, Restaurateurs and Bar Owners. Perhaps we need a Commander- in -Chef.