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Harlem on the Rise- Feb 18

Harlem is one of the most historic and iconic neighborhoods in New York City and the world. We’re Harlem bound this week to attend the Harlem Hospitality & Culinary Conference and will catch up with two personalities in the restaurant and bar world.

Chef de Cuisine JJ Johnson
Chef de Cuisine JJ Johnson

JJ Johnson, Chef de Cuisine  The Cecil Harlem and sister jazz club Mintons, had an awfully good 2014, and 2015 has started out pretty stellar.  In 2014 JJ was on both the Forbes and Zagat “30 Under 30” lists, was named an Eater Young Gun, and The Cecil was named Esquire Magazine‘s Restaurant of the Year.  This year, StarChefs named JJ the Rising Star for Community. And we are only in February.

JJ’s culinary spark was lit from the expressive Caribbean flavors and influences he learned cooking at his grandmother’s side. From home hearth to classical training, Johnson made the move to the Culinary Institute of America, giving a technical backbone to a well laid foundation of food love. He honed his skills in New York restaurant kitchens including Centro Vinoteca, Jane, and Tribeca Grill. Constantly in search of new flavors, Johnson also spent time in Ghana, studying West African cuisine and cooking at Villa Monticello, Ghana’s Premier Luxury Boutique Hotel and Spa.

Now he helms the kitchens for two of Harlem’s top hospitality  which he helped open under the auspices of Restaurateur and Executive Chef and owner, Alexander Smalls.  #HarlemontheRise

Connect: 

https://twitter.com/chefjoejohnson 

https://instagram.com/chefjj

www.thececilharlem.com

https://www.facebook.com/TheCecilHarlem

www.mintonsharlem.com

https://www.facebook.com/MintonsHarlem

 https://twitter.com/MintonsHarlem

 

Charles Hardwick
Charles Hardwick

Charles Hardwick began his bartending career humbly in 1992, at Acme Bar and Grill in New York City. It was here that he quickly grasped the most important fundamentals of the trade; understanding that even Lynchburg Lemonades and Oreo Cookie shots taste much better coming from the hands of a skilled and attentive barman. In those years before the current Cocktail Renaissance, he worked at a wide variety of bars and restaurants in the New York City area, among them such noteworthy venues as: Pravda, Mercer Kitchen and The Odeon.

A turning point in his career came whilst working alongside Jason Kosmas and Dushan Zaric at Pravda as part of a beverage program created by King Cocktail, Dale DeGroff. From the aesthetics of the bar to the crafting of a well-balanced libation, his vision of Utopia in a glass began to take shape.

In 2006 he reconnected with a former colleague and opened Blue Owl, the first of what would be many resurgent cocktail bars in the East Village. Voted NYC Best Cocktails 2 years running in 2006-2007 along with several features in the New York Times, The Daily News, The New York Post. 

Charles has most recently turned his attentions to the drinks program at the New York Times 3 star-reviewed and Michelin Star-rated Betony Restaurant in Midtown Manhattan, and he now currently operates drinkmärkt beverage consulting, a company that seeks to further relationships between brands and consumers through spirits consultation and the management of beverage programs for luxury clients including: Stolichnaya Vodka, Hendrick’s Gin, Remy-Martin, Art Basel Miami, Vogue, Interview Magazine, Esquire, Victoria’s Secret, the TriBeCa Film Festival, Diageo and many more.  He continues to evangelize on the nobility of the bartending profession and the pursuit of the perfect cocktail, served at the perfect moment.

Connect:

http://boozeforthought.net/

https://twitter.com/drinkmarkt

https://www.facebook.com/artmarkt

 

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

Join Melanie Young and David Ransom on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays 2pm ET/ 11 am PT on W4CY.com and on demand any time at iHeart.com (under Shows & Personalities). Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple who bring you the dynamic people working front and center and behind the scenes in food, wine, spirits and hospitality.

Connect:

Link to show on iHeart.com

http://www.iheart.com/show/209-The-Connected-Table-Live

https://www.twitter.com/connectedtable

https://www.facebook.com/theconnectedtable

www.theconnectedtable.com

 

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Doing the Texas Two Sip

Fresh off his trip to the San Antonio Cocktail Conference, The Connected Table LIVE’s David Ransom connected with two Texas distillers making kick-ass spirits. We invited them on our show January 21.

Randall Metting, Dulce Vida Tequila – Austin

RANDALL-METTING
Randall Metting Dulce Vide Tequila

Randall Metting is often referred to as “The Mayor of The Sweet Life.” His website http://randallmetting.com/ is a go- to resource for anyone who wants to know the ins and outs of red-hot, rockin’ Austin Texas. Randall is also marketing and brand development manager forDulce Vida 100 percent organic tequila. Dulce Vida is handcrafted, 100 percent Navy Strength; it sources its 100% organic agave from the Los Altos highlands in the Tequila region of Mexico. Because of the unique climatic characteristics and the air & soil, this area is well known for producing larger, fruitier agave, ideal for tequila. This organic agave ensures Dulce Vida makes tequila the way tequila has always tasted best: pure and powerful, free of any additives.

Connect:
http://www.dulcevidaspirits.com
https://twitter.com/DULCE_VIDA
https://www.facebook.com/DulceVidaTequila
http://instagram.com/dulcevidatequilaaustin/
https://twitter.com/randallmetting
https://www.facebook.com/randall.a.metting

Trey (Richard) Azar, Founder, Cinco Vodka, San Antonio

trey-and-kimberly-azar-dragon-spiritsAccording to Trey (Richard) Azar, founder of Cinco Five Star Vodka , the devil is in the details when it comes to overseeing each batch of his San Antonio-distilled spirit to ensure its clean, clear smoothness. Cinco Vodka starts with gently hand-made from bushels of the finest amber wheat from the Idaho. Using water naturally filtered through the Cordova Creme limestone that lies far beneath the surface of San Antonio, the liquid is distilled five times then blended and filtered in small batches in copper pot stills. Azar calls Cinco Vodka a “martini lovers’ vodka.” Critics have given it a High Five. Cinco Vodka received a gold medal at the Los Angeles International Spirits Competition. As for its Five Star name…..Cinco is a lucky number for Trey and his wife, Kimberly who are parents of five children. Cinco Vodka is his sixth “baby.”

Connect:
http://www.cincovodka.com
https://www.facebook.com/CincoVodka
https://twitter.com/CincoVodka

 

Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!
Melanie Young and David Ransom, Hosts, The Connected Table LIVE!

Join Hosts Melanie Young and David Ransom on The Connected Table LIVE! Wednesdays, 2pm ET/11am PT on W4CY Radio and on demand anytime at I Heart Radio, 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.

Connect:

https://twitter.com/connectedtable

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Toasting New York State Wines & Spirits Nov. 26 on the Connected Table Live!

finger_lakesWe live in New York’s verdant Hudson Valley where we will spend our Thanksgiving. Our November 26 show is dedicated to New York State wines, spirits and cideries which produce not only wonderful products loved by restaurateurs and consumers alike but also produce jobs for many people. Thanks to initiatives like NY State Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Taste NY marketing campaign, New York is spreading the news about its locally produced wines, ciders, spirits and artisan foods and farm products.

We’ll be speaking with Jim Trezise, president of the New York Wine & Grape Foundation and Jason Grizzante and Jeremy Kidde, owners at Warwick Winery & Distillery.

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NY_Country_MapRecently, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named New York State “Wine Region of the Year.” From Long Island’s East End to the Hudson Valley to the Finger Lakes, the New York wine industry is a major engine of economic development, generating well over $3.76 billion in economic benefits to New York State annually, according to the New York Wine & Grape Foundation. Wineries—which mean new investment, new jobs, new tourism, and new taxes—have spread from the traditional regions to places never envisioned as wine regions. The New York grape, grape juice and wine industry generates more than $4.8 billion in economic benefits annually for New York State. 1,631 family vineyards… 373 wineries… 175,000,000 bottles of wine… $408 million in state and local taxes.

With a rich history and a range of styles, NY State wines are food friendly and versatile. Critics agree. Last year alone New York wineries won over 700 gold medals or above at competitions around the world.

Connect:

http://www.newyorkwines.org/

https://www.facebook.com/NYWineGrapeFdn

https://twitter.com/NYWineGrapeFdn

Hard cider is the fastest growing beverage alcohol category in the U.S. According to Nielsen’s tracking of cider sales off-premise, sales of hard cider increased 89% or about $280 million in sales. Data compiled by end of April 2014 shows an increase of 78%. Cider Journal projects at the rate cider sales are growing the retail business for this category could top half a billion dollars.

Warwick Valley Winery & Distillery is located among the apple orchards of the Lower Hudson Valley. Taking advantage of the abundant apple crops, owners Jason Grizzante and Jeremy Kidde applied for a farm winery license and cider producer license in 1993; doors opened to the public in 1994. Warwick’s Doc’s Draft Hard Ciders, named after Grizzante’s father, are some of the first hard ciders brought to market in the current renaissance of the cider industry and are marketed in a variety of styles and from a variety of different fruits, including both Apple and Pear.

BOTTLE-SHOT-WARWICKIn 2001 Warwick applied for and received a grant to develop New York’s first fruit micro-distillery. Warwick’s fruit brandies and liqueurs have received numerous accolades. Warwick Valley Distilling partners, Jason Grizzanti and Jeremy Kidde expanded their production to spirits with the founding of Black Dirt Distillery in 2012, which produces Gin, Bourbon, and its signature Apple Jack. Named after the famous “Black Dirt” region of the Hudson Valley’s Orange County farmland more famous for its onion production, the new distillery also does custom work for fledgling spirits not yet able to make their own products.

Visit: 14 Little York Rd, Warwick, NY 10990
(845) 258-4858

Connect:

https://www.facebook.com/warwickvalleywinerydistillery

http://www.wvwinery.com/

http://www.pinterest.com/warwickwinery/

The Connnected Table LIVE! airs Wednesdays 2pm ET /11 am PT onW4CY Radio. Podcasts are available at IHeartRadio

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Oct 29 on The Connected Table Live

We have another spirited lineup this week from coast to coast Wednesday, October 29, on The Connected Table Live on www.W4CY.com, 2p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT.

Our first guests are the bartending world’s dynamic duo, Lynnette Marrero and Ivy Mix, who have built the largest female bartending competition in the USA- and soon the world…. Speed Rack. Along the way Speed Rack has raised over $250,000 for breast cancer charities.

Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, Founders, Speed Rack
Ivy Mix and Lynnette Marrero, Founders, Speed Rack

Speed Rack showcases not only the growing number of talented women in mixology while providing for the #1 women’s health issue in the country. One in 8 women is diagnosed with breast cancer.

The competition judging is based precision, time and accuracy. Contestants compete in timed heats to make rounds of cocktails culled from a list of accepted industry-standard classic recipes in front of a panel of judges and a crowd of spirited supporters.

The U.S. judging world panel includes such cocktail world luminaries as Julie Reiner, Dale DeGroff, Audrey Saunders and David Wondrich with a few noted chefs like Johnny Iuzzini, mixed in. The national winner is crowned Miss Speed Rack USA and received a scholarship to BAR (Beverage Alcohol Resource) five day program and industry glory.

Speed Rack’s fourth national tour kicks off in Washington DC November 10 and will travel to eight cities before crowning the Miss Speed Rack national winner at the U.S. Finals taking place in New York June 7. The first international Speed Rack competition will start in Canada in March 2015 followed by Paris in June and concluding in the U.K. next October.

Connect:

http://www.speed-rack.com

http://www.facebook/speedrackinfo.com

https://www.Twitter.com/speed_rack

http://www.speed-rack.com/videos

We’ll be switching gears to talk saké in the second half of our show with Steve Vuylsteke, Founder and CEO of SakéOne. A native Oregonian, Steve’s family founded Oak Knoll Winery, one of Oregon’s pioneer wineries, in 1970. Steve has worked tirelessly to promote Oregon craft beverages, working for his family’s winery, as general manager and sales manager for Erath Vineyards and serving on the Oregon Wine Marketing Board and Willamette Valley Wineries Association.

Steve Vuylsteke Founder/CEO, SakeOne
Steve Vuylsteke
Founder/CEO,
SakeOne

He turned to saké in 1992 founding SakéOne, the only American operated sake brewery focused exclusively on premium sake in Oregon’s wine rich Willamette Valley, and importer of some of Japan’s finest saké. SakéOne has been crafting strictly junmai ginjo quality saké at its state-of-the-art kura (brewery) in Forest Grove, the heart of the Willamette Valley: Oregon’s craft beer-brewing and wine making mecca, since 1998.

In 2010, SakéOne’s Momokawa “Ruby” Junmai Ginjo earned a silver medal at the prestigious U.S. National Sake Appraisal 2010, no small feat for an American producer in a crowd of more than 300 Japanese entrants and a judging panel held to precise Japanese standards.

Shanken News Daily recently reported that “Marketers of top saké brands say the category is now making inroads into the mainstream, while also benefiting from marked expansion in its core Asian restaurant account base.”

We’ll discuss why saké is gaining popularity here in the USA and talk the ins and outs of enjoying saké with Steve. Fun fact: Portland, Oregon boasts the highest per capita consumption of saké in the U.S. A home run market for the state SakéOne calls home.

Connect

www.sakeone.com

https://www.facebook.com/SakeOneOregon

https://twitter.com/SakeOne

Melanie Young and David Ransom
Melanie Young and David Ransom

Each Wednesday food and beverage industry insiders Melanie Young and David Ransom bring you the people who work front and center and behind the scenes in the industry on The Connected Table Live. Melanie and David are the Insatiably Curious Culinary Couple. Follow them on https://twitter.com/connectedtable
https://facebook.com/theconnectedtableNEW-W4CYPROOF3

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Meet Two Spirited Women on The Connected Table Live Oct 15

Melanie and David talk with two spirited women on Wednesday’s edition of The Connected Table LIVE Wednesday, October 15th, 2pm ET/6pmPT W4CY www.W4CY.com.

Lizzie da Trindade Macchu Pisco
Lizzie da Trindade
Macchu Pisco

Our first guest is Lizzie da Trindade-Asher, President of Macchu Pisco, who with her sister, Melanie, have helped share Peru’s national drink with the world. A lawyer by training Lizzie directs the legal, marketing, and importing side of Macchu Pisco and its sister brands, La Diablada and Ñusta Pisco. Melanie oversees production in Peru. Together, Lizzie and Melanie have achieved 30 percent growth annually since founding the company in 2004. “Every day, I am inspired by my sister’s dedication to creating authentic pisco,” says Lizzie, who graduated magna cum laude from Duke University, worked for the 1992 presidential campaign for Bill Clinton, and earned a degree with honors from Harvard Law School.

Their pisco is an un-aged 80 proof clear spirit derived from a single distillation of fresh fermented grape juice (wine). It takes at least 4 bottles of wine to produce one bottle of pisco. It is from this costly process that an elegant spirit is born, one which most closely captures the essence of the grape. According to Lizzie, pisco is traditionally a sipping spirit. Because denomination rules require no additives whatsoever, pisco can be considered organic and thus should not produce a hangover, the mark of a real pisco.

Lizzie and her sister are active in supporting and improving Peruvian working conditions and women’s rights, as well as Latinas in business and education both in Peru and the U.S. Macchu Pisco established a precedent in Peru to support traditionally underpaid farmers by paying fair wages to the women who harvest their grape crops. They also ensure their socioeconomic goals are met from ground to glass by employing a vertical integration model—the only pisco company to hold such credentials—owning and overseeing each step of the production process. They also formed the Asher-Ezra Scholarship Fund, which provides financial aid to underprivileged Latino children in the Bronx.

Connect: http://www.macchupisco.com

https://www.facebook.com/macchupiscodrinks

https://twitter.com/MacchuPisco https://twitter.com/MadAboutPisco

Allison Patel Brenne Whiskey
Allison Patel
Brenne Whiskey
Our second guest is Allison Patel, founder and owner of Brenne Single Malt Whisky produced in Cognac region of France. Allison’s professional background combines arts and smarts. As a young girl she was a professional ballerina performing with the Joffrey Ballet in New York City. After retiring from the corps de ballet she worked in national sales and marketing for EXHALE Spa, setting and exceeding sales goals.

Her move from the ballet barre world to the cocktail bar world is just another sign of her entrepreneurial spirit. Traveling in France pursuing her passion for good food and drink and blogging about whiskey for pleasure at www.whiskeywoman.com, she discovered a single malt whiskey being produced from grapes in the Cognac region of France. Fond of fine whiskeys from lesser known areas, Alison’s interest was piqued. She researched the potential to import smaller production “world whiskies” to the U.S. eventually establishing an import/export company to focus on this category of distilled spirits.

Brenne (rhymes with men) is produced by a third generation cognac producer who was growing estate barley as well as grapes. The cognac was matured in French Limousin oak barrels imparting a smooth taste and fruit forward notes that captured Allison’s attention. Her talent for persuasion and sales helped Allison strike a deal with the producer who had only producing this special cognac whiskey for the family. Over a three and a half year period she refined the process with the producer finishing the spirit in XO cognac barrels after five – six years aging in the Limousin oak ones. The result is smooth, aromatic, spicy yet mellow and unlike any other whiskey we’ve tasted.

Allison was named one of the Top 10 Women in Whisky by Drinks Business Magazine and awarded Highly Commended in the Icon of Whisky award for Brand Innovator of the Year for 2014.

Connect:

www.DrinkBrenne.com

https://www.facebook.com/BrenneWhisky

The Connected Table Live airs live Wednesdays at 2 p.m. ET/11a.m. PT on W4CY Radio http://www.W4CY.com. The show is available on demand at www.iHeartRadio.com and everywhere the iHeartRadio app is available under the Shows & Personalities section.

Link to show: http://w4cy.com/radio-shows/the-connected-table/
Bookings and advertising inquiries: info@www.theconnectedtable.com