Browsing articles in "wine festivals"
Apr 19, 2014
Terri Judson

Paso Robles wine region is a quieter alternative to California’s more famous …

Anyone looking to holiday in a California wine region with all the sophistication of Napa and Sonoma without their crowds—and prices—should consider a visit to Paso Robles, a small coastal city, halfway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Especially this year as Paso Robles celebrates its Quasquicentennial, or 125th anniversary.

We wanted only to stop there for lunch but ended up spending the afternoon exploring its downtown, captivated by its fine restaurants, art galleries and funky shops, including a jewelry store with a wine-tasting area in the back. Unfortunately, we didn’t have more time to poke around as the region offers many mostly undiscovered treasures, especially when it comes to eating well-prepared local produce and drinking excellent local wines.

Our Lonely Planet guidebook recommended we exit Highway 101 to sample the food at Thomas Hill Organics Bistro and Wine Lounge, just off the city’s historic town square. We ate al fresco under its awning-covered patio, first sharing a kale salad prepared with a variety of crispy fresh greens, no doubt all harvested that morning from the restaurant’s own nearby garden. Our freshly baked ciabatta sandwiches, goat cheese with poached persimmon and fresh basil for me and, for my wife, smoked salmon with avocado and sunflower sprouts, were distinctive—and tasty. The local Denner winery’s Viognier was fruity, refreshing and also crisp.

Thomas Hill Organics is one of about two-dozen restaurants within a few blocks of the town square, all specializing in locally-grown food and seasonal menus.

We skip dessert at the restaurant for lavender honey gelato at Powell’s Sweet Shoppe, one of 20 shops and restaurants on the square, also home to a weekly farmers’ market and bandstand concerts every Friday evening during the summer. Among the other tempting sweet-tooth choices on the square are cocoa mint cookies from the Brown Butter Sea Salt Cookie Company or English Toffee apples from the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Also worth a visit is Studios on the Park, an open studio to watch artists at work in various media and to check out their latest exhibit. The studio sponsors monthly evening art walks that take in other galleries as well as wine-tasting rooms. And there’s Siegel’s, a family jewelry store that may be the world’s only full-service jeweler and pawnbroker with a wine-tasting area. Customers can sample reds and whites from the prize-winning nearby Frolicking Frog Winery as they consider diamond sizes.

Just two decades ago, the area had some 30 wineries; today there is almost that number of tasting rooms around the city square. There are 200 vineyards nearby. Last year, Wine Enthusiast declared Paso Robles Wine Region of the Year. Originally, known for its Rhone varietals, the current offerings include much more, from cabernets to zinfandels.

But wine is not the only liquid here for tasting. The Pithy Little Wine Company, in addition to its own wines, lets visitors sample its homemade sodas. For families, it’s ideal: the kids quaff orange cream and vanilla sodas while the grownups check out the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Olives are another major regional crop, and there are a number of nearby growers who offer tours and tasting rooms. Visitors can taste different blends or fruit-infused olive oils such as tangerine or lemon. One benefit of olive oil tasting tours: no need for a designated driver.

Still, wine reigns supreme. There are two major wine festivals every year, one in the spring and the other in the fall. On the third weekend in May (May 15-18, 2014), some 130 wineries put on Wine Festival events while about half of the producers gather in the town square to show off their best vintages.

During October, on that month’s third weekend (Oct. 17-19, 2014), regional vineyards celebrate the annual grape picking during Harvest Wine Weekend. The wineries report that it’s their busiest time of the year. Some stay at inns in the vineyards, others in town where accommodations range from boutique luxury to motels.

The “big blowout� 125th birthday party this year occurs on Pioneer Day, October 11, an annual celebration of the community’s heritage. It starts off with a morning parade featuring antique tractors and marching bands that ends at noon with a baked bean feed for everyone. And it’s free. Volunteers start stirring the beans in 12 huge kettles before dawn. The recipe includes some 1,200 pounds of beans, 500 pounds of beef, 100 pounds of bell peppers and some 70 pounds of secret seasonings.

Says Quasquicentennial organizer Shonna Howenstine: “Our community has always had a pioneer spirit. It’s coming out of the recession quite well, and this year our birthday will truly be a time to celebrate all that we now have to offer.�

Recommended Reading

Apr 18, 2014
Terri Judson

2 wine festivals next Friday

If you’re looking to get out and about as the weather warms up, there are two great opportunities next Friday.

Here in Greenville, The Reedy River Jazz Wine Festival will feature food and wine tastings in the Wyche Pavilion while local and regional musicians perform on the TD Stage at The Peace Center. Proceeds will support the Ronald McDonald House in Greenville. This is the fifth year the event has been held.

“In the pavilion we will have six wine vendors,” said Kate Venuto, director of development and marketing for Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Carolinas. “These vendors will be giving a kind of wine flight. At each table, you’ll receive a taste of each of their wines.”

In addition to three wine-distributing companies, Victoria Valley Vineyards from northern Greenville County and Hutton Vineyards from North Carolina’s Yadkin Valley will be pouring, as will Oz Winery from Wamego, Kan.

“Oz Winery is a neat winery because everything revolves around ‘The Wizard of Oz,’ ” Venuto said.

Each attendee will receive a tasting ticket, Venuto said, that wine vendors will validate. Representatives from wineries will be on hand to discuss the wines.

“This is about creating a night that fuses together the arts, wine and music, and supports the Ronald McDonald House,” she said. “We hope this year is going to be the best yet.”

Wine in the garden

Maybe you’ve attended The Reedy River Jazz Wine Festival in the past and want to try something different this year. If so, consider the Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden in Columbia.

Now in its 11th year, this event will feature more than 100 wines, food from seven restaurants and a beer garden for those who prefer hops to grapes.

“It’s an intimate setup,” said Susan O’Cain, a communications and public relations specialist for Riverbanks Zoo and Garden. “You get to sample a variety of wines and pick and choose from different cuisines from a variety of our restaurants and caterers.”

The Reedy River Jazz Wine Festival

6:00 p.m. April 25

Gates open at 6 p.m. Music performances are 6:15-10 p.m. The wine and food tasting is 6:30-8 p.m. Tickets are $60 ($45 for military and seniors over age 60) and may be purchased online or at the gate. A listening-only ticket is $25.

Visit www.reedyriverjazzandwinefestival.org.

Wine Tasting at Riverbanks Botanical Garden

1300 Botanical Parkway, West Columbia, S.C.

7-9:30 p.m. April 25

Advance tickets are $50 to the general public and $40 to Riverbanks Zoo members. Limited tickets will be available for $60 at the gate.

Visit www.riverbanks.org/events/wine-tasting.shtml.

Recommended Reading

Apr 16, 2014
Terri Judson

Kelis What’s Cooking with Kelis?

To hear Kelis tell it, rolling into South By Southwest in a food truck smothered in the sounds and images of new album Food and stocked full of gourmet dishes (duck confit sliders with ginger sesame glaze, jerk BBQ goat ribs and shredded beef sliders with cherry BBQ sauce) for hungry folks in Austin this year wasn’t so much a promo stunt, as a declaration of who she is right now as both a superstar singer and certified chef. By smashing up her two favourite arts — culinary and musical — people came for the food, but they stayed for the vibes.

“It just felt like the right thing to do. I’ve been doing a lot of food and wine festivals lately, anyway — it was like, yeah, why not?” she says in her inimitably husky voice. “They are both creative and take your thought process to another level. You can really express yourself with them. But quite frankly, I didn’t even see the parallels until journalists started asking me about it. Only then, I started to think about the parallels.”

Food arrives at a time when the “alternative” RB singer-songwriter finds herself divorced (from hip-hop star Nas), a single mother of young son Knight, host of a television cooking show, Saucy Sweet with Kelis, and a businesswoman with a bunch of food-related projects in the pipeline. “I love my album. I think that it’s really poignant and where I’m at in my life.”

Being emotionally impetuous likely describes Kelis at various moments in her life and 17-year musical career. Born Kelis Rogers in Harlem to a black Pentecostal preacher and Puerto Rican/Chinese fashion designer, she was kicked out of the house at the age of 16 for being strong-willed and not getting along with her mother. On her own, she attended Manhattan’s Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music Art and Performing Arts by day, working in a clothing store and bartending in the evenings. Having grown up singing in the church choir, and learning to play violin and piano, her passion for music led her to form an RB girl group, BLU, with classmates.

It was a friend who introduced her to Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo, the then-emerging production team known as the Neptunes. Williams helped her land a record deal with Virgin Records and was the driving force, along with Hugo, behind 1999 debut Kaleidoscope and the hit “Caught Out There,” featuring the signature scream “I hate you so much right now!” “Caught Out There” was a solid first effort, but second and third singles “Good Stuff” and the underrated “Get Along With You” suffered diminishing returns.

Her 2001 follow-up, Wanderland, was critically lauded but poorly supported by Virgin Records, although it had success overseas. It was on 2003′s Tasty that Kelis and the Neptunes would regain their winning form, and off the strength of massive hit single “Milkshake,” Kelis enjoyed huge success once again.

Her first outing without the Neptunes was the Grammy-nominated Kelis Was Here in 2006, featuring hit single “Bossy.” It was around this time that Kelis and hip-hop’s Nasir Jones would marry, after a courtship that started in 2002. It would be a reportedly tumultuous relationship fraught with alleged infidelities, culminating in a 2010 divorce court order for Nas to pay Kelis child and spousal support. It was a learning experience, she says, and one that she has moved on from. Even when her green wedding dress and relationship fallout was so prominently featured as fodder on her ex-husband’s Life Is Good album in 2012, she kept it moving. She talks about it freely, but it’s clear she moved on from that part of her life, save for her son Knight.

Unlike her previous, more processed projects, Food is organically grown; it reflects the mature and positive mindset that she has in her life. This first album for Ninja Tune was produced by TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek and serves up soul, funk and Afrobeat flavours under soul food-themed titles such as “Cobbler,” “Biscuits n’ Gravy,” and first single “Jerk Ribs.” Kelis worked with the rock-oriented Sitek and trumpeter/arranger Todd M. Simon to craft vintage soul-pop that could be termed retro with a modern feel. “For me, the span between each record is usually three or four years,” she says. “I make no attempt to rush the situation. This particular body of work took no time. Me and Dave, we were done in the span of a couple of months.”

Recommended Reading

Apr 16, 2014
Terri Judson

Iron Chef Elm City set for April 27 at Gateway Community College



Chef Alex Morales of Mambo Cocina Latina
contributed photos










Greater New Haven seems to welcome spring with a plethora of food happenings. People love food, watching food television and attending food events. My spring rendezvous began with Flavors of Connecticut. I am now busy organizing the seventh annual Iron Chef Elm City which takes place at 11:45 a.m. April 27. Gateway Community College, where I am on the faculty, and Visit New Haven will turn up the heat once again at Viking Distributing East, 4 Laser Lane, Wallingford, where the audience will be in the center of it all, cheering on three New Haven chefs, as they vie for the title of Iron Chef Elm City.

The event format is based on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” program and features culinary experts as judges. I hope you can attend. Gateway hospitality and culinary students will be on hand assisting the chefs.

Chef Alex Morales of Mambo Cocina Latina, Chef Frank Proto of Barcelona and Chef Manuel Romero of the recently closed, but beloved, Ibiza in New Haven will compete.

They will be given a list of five possible “secret” ingredients a week before the event. At the competition, the “secret” ingredient will be unveiled, and the chefs will have 1 hour to create an appetizer, entree and dessert using the ingredient. Pantry items the chefs will have on hand will be provided by Elm City Market.

And now, a bit about the competitors.

Chef Alex Morales was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He traveled to the United States in 1999, in the hopes of pursuing a new adventure. He found a passion for food once he started working in the kitchen of Mezzaluna in Rye, N.Y., as a dishwasher. Quickly, he climbed to a line cook position because of his skills and talent. Then, he moved to Gaia restaurant in Greenwich. He then met and mentored with Chef Rafael Palomino who took Alex under his wing and showed him the way to prepare Latin cuisine.

Alex was given the opportunity to run Palomino in Old Greenwich. He then opened Pacifico in Center Valley, Pa., where Alex received rave reviews. When relocating to Connecticut, Chef Alex stayed with the Pacifico group and worked at the New Haven location. With 15 years of working and learning Latin, Italian and French cuisines, he ventured to take on the new role of owner and opened Mambo Cocina Latina on State Street in October 2013.

Frank Proto’s Italian upbringing gave him his passion for food. After receiving his A.S.S. degree in restaurant management from Nassau Community College, Proto went on to receive his A.O.S. degree from the Culinary Institute of America. For the next 10 years, Frank’s career path was in many well-known New York City restaurants, including sous chef in Scarabee and Quantum 56, now Q56. He worked as chef de cuisine at Chinoiserie and then as sous chef at Tonic. He moved on to the executive chef role at Layla. For six years, Proto worked for Chef Marc Murphy’s Benchmarc Restaurants, opening four restaurants, where he managed, trained, created and executed menus for all restaurants. Chef Proto then joined the Barcelona Restaurant Group as executive chef in New Haven. Watch WTNH-8’s “CT Style” at 12:30, April 23 when Proto will join me and cook an interesting dish.

Manuel Romero, formerly executive chef of Ibiza Restaurant in New Haven was born in A Coruna, Spain. He came to New York at the age of 14. His first job was at the Hyatt Hotel in New York City. He returned to Spain for several months, perfecting his culinary skills. Upon returning to the U.S., he worked at Cafe Pika Tapas in New Haven, which became Ibiza. Chef Romero was named “Best New Chef” by Connecticut Magazine, and has participated in culinary events, including Flavors of CT, Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Food and Wine festivals, appeared on Connecticut TV shows and has been featured in magazines and cookbooks. Keep an eye out for Manuel’s next venture.

Jocelyn Maminta of News Channel 8 will emcee. Over her distinguished 20-year broadcast career, the Emmy Award-nominated medical reporter has anchored and reported for television stations in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas and Connecticut. A political science graduate from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Jocelyn works tirelessly for nonprofits across the state. She serves on the boards of Friends of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.

Maminta, who has been honored numerous times for her volunteer efforts, is cofounder of Caroline’s Room, a safe haven for families coping with the challenges and uncertainties surrounding the birth of a premature baby. There are Caroline’s Rooms in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. She is also CEO of Frangi Pangi, fine hosiery for that bare-legged look for women of every color. Made in the USA, a portion of the proceeds benefits Caroline’s Room.

Kitchen commentators reporting on the chef’s progress are Mike Devlin and Todd Lyon. Mike graduated from Scottsdale Culinary Institute and has been a part of the Gateway faculty since 2008. His extensive resume includes an apprenticeship at the Phoenician Resort, lead pastry chef at the Beverly Hills Hotel, pastry chef at the Governors Club, and executive pastry chef at Universal Studios Hollywood. He is developing both savory and dessert items at Perk on Main in Durham for their new prepared foods and catering businesses.

Todd has covered the New Haven restaurant scene for 20-plus years, writing for the New Haven Register, Connecticut Magazine and the New Haven Advocate. She currently pens the monthly “Players” column for New Haven Living magazine and is co-owner of Fashionista Vintage Variety, a clothing store for eccentrics on Whitney Avenue in New Haven.

Celebrity judges include Foodie Fatale Jocelyn Ruggiero, a freelance journalist, passionate Connecticut locavore and author of the blog www.FoodieFatale.com. Her writing has appeared in Saveur, The Boston Globe, Relish Magazine, Yankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine. She produced and hosted the radio pilot “Foodie Fatale,” which broadcast on public station WPPB (Southampton, N.Y.) in July 2013, with Michael Stern as her guest and appears regularly on WFSB’s “Better Connecticut.”

Layla Schlack, associate editor of Fine Cooking, where she produces and edits feature stories. Layla has been a magazine editor for seven years and found her way to food through travel writing. She was senior editor at Hemispheres, United Airlines’ inflight magazine. She took classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, while writing about food for Hemispheres, and blogging for ReadyMade and several smaller outlets, including her own website. When she was offered a job at Fine Cooking, Layla packed up her pets and moved to New Haven, where she’s been eagerly eating her way around the city for close to two years.

Last but not least, Jane Stern, co-author of dozens of books is best known for her “Roadfood” series and column in Gourmet magazine. She was inducted into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

The reception includes tastings from competing restaurants, samples by the “secret ingredient” provider, as well as Bertolotti Desserts, Calabro Cheese, Chabaso Bakery, Deep River Snacks, Elm City Market, Gelato Giuliana, Holly’s Oatmeal, Lyman Orchards, Sabra Hummus, Sweet Pea-Real Food to Go and Willoughby’s Coffee. There will be a raffle for a chance to taste dishes prepared at the competition, as well as a silent auction. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/iron-chef-elm-city-2014-tickets-10528132929. More at 203-777-8550 or 203-415-3519. Proceeds benefit scholarships for hospitality management and culinary arts students at Gateway Community College.

Do join us on April 27 for a fun and food-packed afternoon.

Culinary Calendar

Cheese 101: Cheese in Paris, 6:30-7:30 tonight, Elm City Market, 777 Chapel St., New Haven, 203-624-0441. Cheese monger Robin Williams will show you a variety of cheeses right from the City of Light. These cheeses make a special appearance only once a year. Come and taste the individual flavor accents for yourself. If they pass the “test,” they will be available for purchase.

Pepper Dinner: 6:30 p.m., April 17, Madison Beach Hotel, 94 West Wharf Road, Madison. Reservations required, 203-350-0014, $85 plus tax and gratuity. Hors d’ oeuvres followed by a four-course dinner with a unique taste of a variety of peppers paired with wine. Complete menu at www.madisonbeachhotel.com/files/964/Pepper_Dinner_Menu_at_the_Madison_Beach_Hotel.pdf

Wine on the Water: 6-8 p.m. April 24, Amarante’s Sea Cliff Inn, 62 Cove St., New Haven, 203-946-2459, tickets $35, 203-466-1596. No tickets will be sold at the door. Wine tasting to benefit Fort Nathan Hale restoration projects.

Send us your requests

What restaurant recipes or other recipes would you like to have? What food products are you having difficulty finding? What cooking questions do you have? Send them to me at the contact info below.

Contact Stephen Fries, professor and coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College, at gw-stephen.fries@gwcc.commnet.edu or Dept. FC, Gateway Community College, 20 Church St., New Haven 06510. For more, go to www.stephenfries.com.

Recommended Reading

Apr 16, 2014
Terri Judson

Iron Chef Elm City set for April 27 at Viking Distributing East in Wallingford



Chef Alex Morales of Mambo Cocina Latina
contributed photos










Greater New Haven seems to welcome spring with a plethora of food happenings. People love food, watching food television and attending food events. My spring rendezvous began with Flavors of Connecticut. I am now busy organizing the seventh annual Iron Chef Elm City which takes place at 11:45 a.m. April 27. Gateway Community College, where I am on the faculty, and Visit New Haven will turn up the heat once again at Viking Distributing East, 4 Laser Lane, Wallingford, where the audience will be in the center of it all, cheering on three New Haven chefs, as they vie for the title of Iron Chef Elm City.

The event format is based on the Food Network’s “Iron Chef” program and features culinary experts as judges. I hope you can attend. Gateway hospitality and culinary students will be on hand assisting the chefs.

Chef Alex Morales of Mambo Cocina Latina, Chef Frank Proto of Barcelona and Chef Manuel Romero of the recently closed, but beloved, Ibiza in New Haven will compete.

They will be given a list of five possible “secret” ingredients a week before the event. At the competition, the “secret” ingredient will be unveiled, and the chefs will have 1 hour to create an appetizer, entree and dessert using the ingredient. Pantry items the chefs will have on hand will be provided by Elm City Market.

And now, a bit about the competitors.

Chef Alex Morales was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He traveled to the United States in 1999, in the hopes of pursuing a new adventure. He found a passion for food once he started working in the kitchen of Mezzaluna in Rye, N.Y., as a dishwasher. Quickly, he climbed to a line cook position because of his skills and talent. Then, he moved to Gaia restaurant in Greenwich. He then met and mentored with Chef Rafael Palomino who took Alex under his wing and showed him the way to prepare Latin cuisine.

Alex was given the opportunity to run Palomino in Old Greenwich. He then opened Pacifico in Center Valley, Pa., where Alex received rave reviews. When relocating to Connecticut, Chef Alex stayed with the Pacifico group and worked at the New Haven location. With 15 years of working and learning Latin, Italian and French cuisines, he ventured to take on the new role of owner and opened Mambo Cocina Latina on State Street in October 2013.

Frank Proto’s Italian upbringing gave him his passion for food. After receiving his A.S.S. degree in restaurant management from Nassau Community College, Proto went on to receive his A.O.S. degree from the Culinary Institute of America. For the next 10 years, Frank’s career path was in many well-known New York City restaurants, including sous chef in Scarabee and Quantum 56, now Q56. He worked as chef de cuisine at Chinoiserie and then as sous chef at Tonic. He moved on to the executive chef role at Layla. For six years, Proto worked for Chef Marc Murphy’s Benchmarc Restaurants, opening four restaurants, where he managed, trained, created and executed menus for all restaurants. Chef Proto then joined the Barcelona Restaurant Group as executive chef in New Haven. Watch WTNH-8’s “CT Style” at 12:30, April 23 when Proto will join me and cook an interesting dish.

Manuel Romero, formerly executive chef of Ibiza Restaurant in New Haven was born in A Coruna, Spain. He came to New York at the age of 14. His first job was at the Hyatt Hotel in New York City. He returned to Spain for several months, perfecting his culinary skills. Upon returning to the U.S., he worked at Cafe Pika Tapas in New Haven, which became Ibiza. Chef Romero was named “Best New Chef” by Connecticut Magazine, and has participated in culinary events, including Flavors of CT, Mohegan Sun Casino and Foxwoods Food and Wine festivals, appeared on Connecticut TV shows and has been featured in magazines and cookbooks. Keep an eye out for Manuel’s next venture.

Jocelyn Maminta of News Channel 8 will emcee. Over her distinguished 20-year broadcast career, the Emmy Award-nominated medical reporter has anchored and reported for television stations in North Carolina, Wisconsin, Texas and Connecticut. A political science graduate from the University of Missouri in Columbia, Jocelyn works tirelessly for nonprofits across the state. She serves on the boards of Friends of Yale-New Haven Children’s Hospital and the Arts Council of Greater New Haven.

Maminta, who has been honored numerous times for her volunteer efforts, is cofounder of Caroline’s Room, a safe haven for families coping with the challenges and uncertainties surrounding the birth of a premature baby. There are Caroline’s Rooms in Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, Texas and Virginia. She is also CEO of Frangi Pangi, fine hosiery for that bare-legged look for women of every color. Made in the USA, a portion of the proceeds benefits Caroline’s Room.

Kitchen commentators reporting on the chef’s progress are Mike Devlin and Todd Lyon. Mike graduated from Scottsdale Culinary Institute and has been a part of the Gateway faculty since 2008. His extensive resume includes an apprenticeship at the Phoenician Resort, lead pastry chef at the Beverly Hills Hotel, pastry chef at the Governors Club, and executive pastry chef at Universal Studios Hollywood. He is developing both savory and dessert items at Perk on Main in Durham for their new prepared foods and catering businesses.

Todd has covered the New Haven restaurant scene for 20-plus years, writing for the New Haven Register, Connecticut Magazine and the New Haven Advocate. She currently pens the monthly “Players” column for New Haven Living magazine and is co-owner of Fashionista Vintage Variety, a clothing store for eccentrics on Whitney Avenue in New Haven.

Celebrity judges include Foodie Fatale Jocelyn Ruggiero, a freelance journalist, passionate Connecticut locavore and author of the blog www.FoodieFatale.com. Her writing has appeared in Saveur, The Boston Globe, Relish Magazine, Yankee Magazine and Connecticut Magazine. She produced and hosted the radio pilot “Foodie Fatale,” which broadcast on public station WPPB (Southampton, N.Y.) in July 2013, with Michael Stern as her guest and appears regularly on WFSB’s “Better Connecticut.”

Layla Schlack, associate editor of Fine Cooking, where she produces and edits feature stories. Layla has been a magazine editor for seven years and found her way to food through travel writing. She was senior editor at Hemispheres, United Airlines’ inflight magazine. She took classes at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York, while writing about food for Hemispheres, and blogging for ReadyMade and several smaller outlets, including her own website. When she was offered a job at Fine Cooking, Layla packed up her pets and moved to New Haven, where she’s been eagerly eating her way around the city for close to two years.

Last but not least, Jane Stern, co-author of dozens of books is best known for her “Roadfood” series and column in Gourmet magazine. She was inducted into Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America.

The reception includes tastings from competing restaurants, samples by the “secret ingredient” provider, as well as Bertolotti Desserts, Calabro Cheese, Chabaso Bakery, Deep River Snacks, Elm City Market, Gelato Giuliana, Holly’s Oatmeal, Lyman Orchards, Sabra Hummus, Sweet Pea-Real Food to Go and Willoughby’s Coffee. There will be a raffle for a chance to taste dishes prepared at the competition, as well as a silent auction. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/iron-chef-elm-city-2014-tickets-10528132929. More at 203-777-8550 or 203-415-3519. Proceeds benefit scholarships for hospitality management and culinary arts students at Gateway Community College.

Do join us on April 27 for a fun and food-packed afternoon.

Culinary Calendar

Cheese 101: Cheese in Paris, 6:30-7:30 tonight, Elm City Market, 777 Chapel St., New Haven, 203-624-0441. Cheese monger Robin Williams will show you a variety of cheeses right from the City of Light. These cheeses make a special appearance only once a year. Come and taste the individual flavor accents for yourself. If they pass the “test,” they will be available for purchase.

Pepper Dinner: 6:30 p.m., April 17, Madison Beach Hotel, 94 West Wharf Road, Madison. Reservations required, 203-350-0014, $85 plus tax and gratuity. Hors d’ oeuvres followed by a four-course dinner with a unique taste of a variety of peppers paired with wine. Complete menu at www.madisonbeachhotel.com/files/964/Pepper_Dinner_Menu_at_the_Madison_Beach_Hotel.pdf

Wine on the Water: 6-8 p.m. April 24, Amarante’s Sea Cliff Inn, 62 Cove St., New Haven, 203-946-2459, tickets $35, 203-466-1596. No tickets will be sold at the door. Wine tasting to benefit Fort Nathan Hale restoration projects.

Send us your requests

What restaurant recipes or other recipes would you like to have? What food products are you having difficulty finding? What cooking questions do you have? Send them to me at the contact info below.

Contact Stephen Fries, professor and coordinator of the Hospitality Management Programs at Gateway Community College, at gw-stephen.fries@gwcc.commnet.edu or Dept. FC, Gateway Community College, 20 Church St., New Haven 06510. For more, go to www.stephenfries.com.

Recommended Reading

Apr 15, 2014
Terri Judson

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Draws SoCal VIPs and Celebrity Chefs

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Lexus Grand Tasting

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Lexus Grand Tasting

Heralded as one of the world’s premiere food and wine festivals, the 7th Annual Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival wowed guests and fulfilled all of their epicurean fantasies during the recent whirlwind 4-day extravaganza, held April 10-13th in Pebble Beach, California. Sponsored by Food Wine Magazine, Lexus, The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, Jenn-Air, and a number of other top brands and businesses, the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival has quickly become known as the ultimate food and wine event in California. Just a short hour flight from Los Angeles, this renowned travel destination is home to some of the world’s most elite golf courses, luxurious hotels, and spectacular natural vistas.

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Celebrity Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Celebrity Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes

{Celebrity Chef Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes}

About Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival

Featuring hundreds of top wineries (such as DolceNickel NickelRombauer, and Cultivate Wines), dozens of celebrity chefs (including Roy Yamaguchi of the Roy’s restaurant chain, Duff Goldman of the hit television show “Ace of Cakes“, Andrew Zimmern of the Travel Channel’s adventurous show “Bizarre Foods America“, and the Italian heartthrob, Fabio Viviani from Top Chef), and a plethora of restaurants, the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival provided guests with a seemingly never-ending array of decadent food and wine tastings that delighted their senses and captivated their attention.

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Cooking Demonstration

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Cooking Demonstration

Seen snapping photos with hoards of foodie fanatics, Robert Irvine (host of The Food Network’s “Restaurant Impossible” television show), the brawny culinary expert talked recipes, cooking techniques, and more with all his salivating fans.

Known for stirring up the pot with his in-your-face personality and rocker cool style, the always unpredictable Guy Fieri created quite the demand with his scrumptious Macaroni Cheese Burger. Guests stood in line for a considerable amount of time just to taste his hearty creation and get up-close-and-personal with this standout celebrity chef.

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Cooking Demonstrations

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Cooking Demonstrations

In addition to the two-day Lexus Grand Tasting (which was held in a palatial tent in picturesque Pebble Beach), the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival also offered guests the opportunity to attend several unique cooking demonstrations (by celebrity chefs such as Carla Hall and Donatella Arpai), educational wine pairing seminars, exclusive lunches and gala dinners, and over-the-top after parties (that went into the wee hours of the night).

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Fesival Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Fesival Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani

{Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani of Top Chef}

As the upscale and stylish guests (who flew in from all over the world) took part in the weekend’s festivities, they not only enjoyed dining on sensational meals and wine pairings, they felt good knowing that a portion of the proceeds from the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival were being donated to worthy charitable organizations. Benefiting the Boys Girls Club of Monterey County, Voices for Children – CASA of Monterey County, and the Pebble Beach Foundation), the event has continued to give back to the community since it’s inception seven years ago.

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Driscoll's Berries

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Driscoll's Berries

The Team Behind Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival

Created by the illustrious Coastal Luxury Management team (founded by entrepreneurs and lifestyle experts, David Alan Bernahl, II and Robert Weakley), the expansive duo has triumphed year after year in throwing one of the Monterey Peninsula’s most celebrated and buzzed about events. And they haven’t just stopped with the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival.

The ever-expanding CLM group (who partnered with Santa Monica-based Dick Clark Productions several years ago), has gone on to create the hit Los Angeles Food Wine festival, in addition to opening several popular restaurants in up and down the California Coast. Starting in Monterey (with Cannery Row Brewing Company and Restaurant 1833), the team has since launched a fully-experiential, entertainment-oriented restaurant (otherwise known as a ‘grand social experiment’) at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas (called Rose.Rabbit.Lie.), and most recently opened an elegant and posh restaurant in the heart of Los Angeles (named Faith Flower).

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Celebrity Chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's

Pebble Beach Food and Wine Festival Celebrity Chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy's

{Celebrity Chef Roy Yamaguchi of Roy’s Restaurants}

In his traditional debonair bow-tie and tailored suit, the always impeccable co-founder of Coastal Luxury Management (David Alan Bernahl, II) took the time to chat with me about his on-going love-affair with the food and wine industry, and his expansive vision for future endeavors for both the Pebble Beach Food and Wine festival and CLM’s other food-related ventures.

“We’ve been so fortunate to build this amazing community of people who care about food and wine. With 125 chefs around the country, 250 wineries and winemakers from around the world, almost 100 sommeliers from the best beverage programs, and 8,000 guests that are just really passionate about this, we feel this is a great time to look at this as a launching platform to do more trade-focused components that start to address some of the issues that face food in our country (whether it’s hunger issues or sustainability). With so many brilliant minds from food and wine here in one place for one weekend, we want to start to develop more of an intellectual overlay or DNA to the weekend, that can start to address or bring awareness to topics that are really important to us here in the United States.”

From creating one of the most hedonistically-charged food and wine events in the country, to establishing trendy, upscale restaurants that continue to attract patrons and press from the around the globe, Coastal Luxury Management has only just begun to make their mark on the infinitely growing world of food.

[Image Credit: Inspirations Celebrations]

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Apr 15, 2014
Terri Judson

Showcasing Australia’s top female winemakers

Updated

April 15, 2014 14:03:34


Sips in the Sticks

Photo:

Glen Roy Shearing shed was the location for the second instalment of Sips in the Sticks, part of the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival. Read more
here. (Clint Jasper)

A dozen of Australia’s most talented female wine makers gathered in South Australia’s Coonawarra recently, for a celebration of food, wine and regional produce.

The idea for the Sips in the Sticks event came about when Coonawarra winemaker Sue Bell, of Bellwether Wines, noticed a lack of regional events on the line ups of food and wine festivals.

Now in its second year, the event is chance to build relationships between consumers and producers, according to the creator and director of the Adelaide Food and Wine Festival, Amanda Jane Pritchard.

“The Festival is about putting the farmer right in front of the consumer.

“I want people to have drink with the wine maker, chat with the sausage maker, that’s what is so important.

“It’s about forging connections, meeting the people behind the produce and hearing their story.”

The host of the event, Sue Bell of Bellwether Wines agrees, adding the event is chance for women from different parts of regional Australia to catch up.

“It’s hard work living in the country, there’s all those extra things we complain about, but we live here because we love the lifestyle and the community.

“So this event is about celebrating that.”

Topics:
rural-women,
rural-tourism,
viticulture,
coonawarra-5263,
renmark-5341

First posted

April 15, 2014 13:13:23


Contact Clint Jasper



More
stories from South Australia

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Apr 14, 2014
Terri Judson

Search for missing Brent Little continues

Police will continue the search for a man who went missing while swimming in the Murrumbidgee River, Wagga Wagga on Friday.

  • Brent Little: Supplied by NSW Police

  • Brent Little: Supplied by NSW Police

  • Emergency services are searching the Murrumbidgee River at Wiradjuri Reserve after a man disappeared on Friday night. Picture: Les Smith

  • Emergency services are searching the Murrumbidgee River at Wiradjuri Reserve after a man disappeared on Friday night. Picture: Les Smith

  • Emergency services are searching the Murrumbidgee River at Wiradjuri Reserve after a man disappeared on Friday night. Picture: Les Smith

  • Emergency services are searching the Murrumbidgee River at Wiradjuri Reserve after a man disappeared on Friday night. Picture: Les Smith

  • Emergency services are searching the Murrumbidgee River at Wiradjuri Reserve after a man disappeared on Friday night. Picture: Les Smith

Police will continue the search for a man who went missing while swimming in the Murrumbidgee River, Wagga Wagga on Friday.

About 8pm Friday, 23-year-old Brent Little and a woman visited Wiradjuri Reserve on Narrung Street, when Mr Little went for a swim in the river fully-clothed.

Soon after the woman heard him struggling in the water and attempted to help him. She was unable to and Brent has not been seen since.

He is described as being of Caucasian appearance, about 190cm tall, of medium build and with light brown hair.

Police, together with the SES, Ambulance Rescue and Police divers searched the river on Saturday.

Police are urging anyone with information about this incident to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or use the Crime Stoppers online reporting page.

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