London's Michelin Star Indian is BACK

Get details at  Chutmey Mary, Amaya, Veeraswamy, Multilocation Masala Zone - WELCOME BACK.  Don'r miss these exotic Taste Treats,

Pandemic Compliance - British Version

Not wjhat may be required here in the USA, but may be worth studying

Spork Pitsburgh Reopening

Here;s more detail about Chef Chris' plan.  Lots of new developments. After beginning the year with a brief closure for redesign and a James Beard Best Regional Chef nomination in February, followed immediately by the forced closure in March, Chef/Owner Christian Frangiadis is thrilled to reopen Spork after spending the last few months working on creative development and refining the restaurant experience.

During the closure, the team finished construction on a secondary kitchen where the culinary team mill  their own flour and makes bread and pasta for the restaurant, including a new 80% hydrated sourdough rye bread that Frangiadis perfected during the shutdown. The restaurant will also be continuing the new $65 seven course tasting menus (available both for meat eaters and vegetarians) introduced just before the closure which promises a full taste of Spork’s menu, in about 90 minutes, offering great value without sacrificing a lot of time. One new menu item on  the tasting menus will be the “Spork Garden  Ramen,” available either vegetarian or non, with the restaurant’s own milled rye soba noodles, garden vegetables (both fresh and pickled) and house-made rye bread miso, with braised pork cheeks for meat eaters. An a la carte menu will still be available. The team is also excited to introduce a new sommelier and beverage manager, Carrie Clayton, who will oversee the restaurant’s wine list and cocktail program. Carrie, a WSET (Wine & Spirit Education Trust) Certified Educator, will provide training to the Spork team as well as be available to help guide guests’ wine selection. Three year Spork veteran Mike Bickel has been promoted to Chef De Cuisine.

Make it Last: Spork at Home

Recognizing that many guests have upped their at-home dining game, the restaurant is now offering number of their signature items available for guests to take home for tomorrow’s lunch or dinner. Selections may vary nightly and will be available until they run out. Items include:

● Individual loaves of Spork’s house-made rye sourdough bread with house cultured seaweed butter

● Fresh pasta with Chef Frangiadis’s Bolognese Sauce

● Spork’s signature cocktails, premade and ready to chill and serve


In the Garden

This will be the restaurant’s first summer season with the newly expanded garden and greenhouse, which will be providing about 80% of the vegetables used on the menu during peak season, as well as flowers for the tables and dining room. According to Jonathan Corey, Spork’s gardener, there are well over 2,000 plants, all cultivated following integrated pest management procedures and absent of any chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Currently the garden is producing over 15 varieties of beans, baby greens, edible flowers, and much more, which will find their way onto the restaurant’s menu.

Post-Covid Procedures

Upon opening, the restaurant will be operating at 50% capacity to ensure safe social distancing between

guests and the service team will be in masks, as according to government regulations. The team was brough back two weeks prior for special training on new operating procedures including following all health and sanitation protocols suggested by the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and local public health   regulations. Reservations are suggested.  Spork is located at 5430 Penn Avenue, at the corner of Penn Avenue and South Graham Street. Hours of operation are 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday. For more information,


Coya Monte Carlo to reopen

Our good freinds from Coya just gave us this great news.  Guess they'll be reopening worldwide soon.  Here's how to reach them.

Ireland's Ballynahinch Castle reopens,July 1

OTM just received this great news. In the mood for Charming Accomodation, Fine Food and Drink,Impeccable Service, Magnificent Rugged Scenery?  This may be just the place for your long overdue resuption of Your Travels.  Check it out at, and tell them OTM snt you.

London's Ledbury to Close

OTM remembers the thrill of lunching at The Ledbury, soon after it opened in 2006.  As the years went by our only problem was being able to score a reservation.  We confidently forecast that in addition to being the top UK restaurant in World;s 50 Best. Chef Brett would carry off a 3rd MIchelin Star.  We are truly saddened to read from Eater that instead The Lebdury will becme a Pandemic Casualty.  Here's thecomplete  Eater story.   

The Ledbury, the era-defining, two-Michelin-starred Notting Hill restaurant owned by chef Brett Graham, has no current plan to reopen. Graham has not said that the restaurant would permanently close, but did confirm that all staff began the formal redundancy consultation process yesterday and that he could see “no route to reopening.” The news was first posted to Twitter by Bloomberg’s Richard Vines. The restaurant opened in 2005.

Graham told Eater that he and his business partners simply did not know what was going to happen with government policy, scientific advice, and the future of hospitality. He therefore had to act on the basis that the restaurant could not reopen and operate as it did before the novel coronavirus crisis forced non-essential businesses to close at the end of March. “We can’t keep customers and staff safe,” he said. “If there was an outbreak at the Ledbury, then it would be devastating. I just can’t think of any way to [reopen].”

He added that any form of social distancing wouldn’t work at his restaurant and that he had no confidence that The Ledbury’s customer base would be able to revisit in the near future. “We can’t operate the restaurant with any form of social distancing — even if it was a one-metre. The economy is smashed; there are no customers in hotels, no international flights,” he said. “The [existing] business model is not viable.”

He said the economic recovery would be long and hard and that he didn’t want to make compromises for anybody: customers, staff, and suppliers.

Graham was keen to emphasise that there were no underlying business reasons for the decision, and that all suppliers, including the landlord on the property, had been paid in full. He said that when the next quarterly rent payment was due, at the start of July, his current plan was to make that payment, because that money is owed. He confirmed that the business would maintain the lease on the property, because he couldn’t say for certain what would happen in the future. “I just don’t know what the plan is,” he said.

“I’m gutted. It’s been 15 years. There’s no winners in any scenario. I just don’t want to put anyone at risk,” he said. But added that fine-dining restaurants like the Ledbury “can’t reopen and then have three or four chances of reopening” pending any future lockdowns or changes to the social distancing guidance. “We think it’s better like this,” he said..  We can only hope that Brett will be back soon.

James Beard Foundation REsponds to Black Lives Matter

For the last few weeks OTM has been featuring stories about how some of our Guests have been responding to the pandemic crisis which has decimated the Food and Drink Business.  As is we needed more, now we face the enormity of massive demonstrations and crimes against Americas Black and Brown communities. For the last couple of days, the sky over the neighborhood we have called home for almost 50 years (and where Ann was born and raised) has buzzed with Helicopters monitoring demonstrations in support of Black Lives Mattter  We are horrified by this manifestation of Racism in the USA, which we thought was a thing of the past.  We ARE pleased to report that The James Beard foundation, an organization dedicated to the advancement of the business of Food and Drink, and the People who dedicate their careers to it, has just announced that it intends to put their support behind Black Lives Matter.  Here’s how JBF described their intentions

“It’s past time to acknowledge that the White privilege that keeps us safe is a weapon used against our Black colleagues and community. It is imperative for White people to face our privilege, to gather our White family members, friends, coworkers, and community members and fight for the rights, freedoms, and self-determination of Black people. In a time of economic uncertainty and political division, facing a global pandemic, brave people around the country have risen. We join them and we commit to make real, substantive change in our organization and in our industry so that their efforts will not have been in vain. We will be sharing updates over the coming weeks on the James Beard Foundation’s priorities, funding, and programs, as well as resources for our audience to join Black Lives Matter in an effort to dismantle systemic racism. Racial equity must be at the core of any and all of our efforts to build back a better industry, as humble, open partners.”

Latest from OZ Food Icon, go here.  

We Hear from Jamison Farm wins Book Award; Lamb growing too

Wow, it’s been an exciting few weeks here at the farm. Summer is almost here. On 212 acres with just Sukey, myself, three dogs, one cat and a few hundred ovines, we are naturally socially distanced. But it’s been anything but boring. Ewes have been lambing left and right on the green pastures, asparagus is now growing like crazy since the weather is warming up, and that’s just outside on our beautiful farm. On May 6, we found out that we won an IPPY award for our book, Coyotes in the Pasture and Wolves at the Door from The Independent Publisher Book Awards which is very exciting for us as First Time Authors and “Self-Publishers." Many of you have read our book, but it’s great news for us to receive recognition from such a wide audience.

Spork Pit to Reopen June 1

BBQ Fans can look forward to this date.

We wanted to let you know that Spork Pit, the popular Texas-style barbecue restaurant will be reopening for summer on June 1. The restaurant will initially be open for take-out, curbside pick-up, and delivery, offering new family meals in addition to their regular menu, including the ten hour smoked brisket, signature jerk chicken and local draft beer by the growler. (The restaurant’s popular frozen cocktails may also  be available pending legislation. For detaiils go to

Latest from Latrobe (PA) Jamison Farm


GOLD: Spy Sites of New York City: A Guide to the Region’s Secret History, by H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace with Henry R. Schlesinger (Georgetown University Press)

SILVER: A Century of Honor: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, by Philip Bigler (Apple Ridge Publishers)

BRONZE: Coyotes in the Pasture & Wolves at the Door: Stories and Recipes from Our Farm to Your Table, by John & Sukey Jamison (Word Association Publishers)



 Then, on May 12, we started processing again. This past week we shipped a lot of products that you our loyal customers have been asking for. We were happily able to rescue a few Memorial Day Picnics even in these subdued times. Summer is on it’s way and better times are ahead; the summer grilling season calls for lots of outdoor dining, easily socially distant!


Take a look at the website. We are, “Up and Running.” Chops, Racks, Legs, Shoulders, Shanks, and shoulders are all available as well as sausages, lamb pies, soup and stews. We were somewhat overwhelmed at the response we had and the shipping we did last week. The great thing about our business is that it’s still Sukey and me, with Sukey packing each box and shipping Home Delivery, from our farm to you, the same way as we have for the past thirty five years. Thank you very much for your support of this family farm.



So that’s our latest Scoop. We’re back in business! Please feel free to peruse our website to order whatever you wish. If there are any delays, they will be minor and Sukey or I will let you know when any product may ship. We look forward to supplying you with any of our lamb cuts for fancy dinners as well as any of our prepared soups, stews, lamb pies and one of our sausages for an easy supper at home.


Cocktails are Back for Pennsylvanians

Governor Tom Wolf has signed a bill that will allow officially allow licensed restaurants and bars to serve alcoholic cocktails to go in Pennsylvania.

The HB327 bill, which was unanimously approved by the Pennsylvania Senate last week, is a temporary measure that will be in effect until bars and restaurants are able to reach 60% of seating capacity.

The bill’s passing has been welcome news to Adam Henry, who co-owns popular Pittsburgh spots Hidden Harbor, Lorelei and the Independent..  Here are Adam's thoughts on the subject.

“This is something that we’ve been publicly calling for since really a couple days after the shutdown,” Henry says. “It was apparent that as a state we needed to be creative to find new revenue for bars and restaurants, especially when the state liquor stores were shut down. Even now that liquor stores are mostly reopen, it’s an important step to take.” Hidden Harbor can now offer to go cocktails in Pennsylvania.

Hidden Harbor can now offer cocktails to go in Pennsylvania.Photo: Hidden Harbor.Since the state’s initial restaurant shutdown order, Hidden Harbor pivoted hard to become a takeout operation, offering a variety of mocktails to go, including Night Rippers, with fresh-pressed lime, pineapple and orange juices, coffee, honey, passion fruit, vanilla and allspice, and just-add-rum Painkillers.hose to-go offerings have allowed Henry to keep a significant portion of his staff employed (“Basically, everybody who wants to work,” he says), prepping citrus juices and bottling mocktails. Depending on the demand for cocktails, additional team members may be added. Because the tiki bar had not done a lot of takeout business prior to the pandemic, the process of setting up the systems – online ordering, delivery operations – was difficult. But now, says Henry, all three of his restaurants are fully ready to begin offering to go alcoholic drinks. “This really opens up a whole new world of beverages for us,” he says. “You would think that a non-alcoholic tiki mocktail is just a tiki cocktail with the rum taken out, but it’s not that simple. Tinctures, liqueurs, all of those contain alcohol, and so now we’re able to open up a huge new number of classic and original recipes that we can now do to go.”

First on Hidden Harbor’s list of available to-go cocktails will be their Hidden Harbor Rum Barrel, a house variation on a classic mid-century tiki recipe.“That felt appropriate to us, to celebrate the return of rum, the return of spirits generally. We could have sold a non-alcoholic Rum Barrel, but it never felt right to serve something with rum in the name, and not have rum in it,” Henry says. The Independent and Lorelei will also be serving to-go cocktails, with the Independent focusing on whiskey-based cocktails, and Lorelei offering drinks with an Alpine-type spin.More at,

A Message from Pittsburgh's Fairmont Hotel


I hope you are doing well and staying safe! Less than two weeks ago, we celebrated the launch of the ALL Heartist Fund, a special purpose reserve set aside by Accor to provide critical financial support to those members of our Accor family hit hardest by the COVID-19 crisis. We are proud to share that grants have already helped to buy food and groceries, secure housing, cover utility bills, and assist with medical expenses for nearly 200 families in need across North & Central America. But as the travel industry remains at a standstill, the need continues. We have received more than 2,000 applications for support, a number which grows daily.

Many of our guests, partners, and friends and family have been asking how they can help, so we created a fun opportunity with up to 35 chances to win a luxury stay at Fairmont Pittsburgh, valued at $4,500, plus more! The Sweepstakes will run through 3:59pm on May 20, 2020. A winner will be chosen on May 25, 2020. Enter for a chance to win a (3) night stay in a Grand Luxury Suite with breakfast for (2) daily, a 6-course chef's Tasting Menu for two at fl.2, (2) 60-minute Spa treatments, a Love, Pittsburgh welcome amenity, and complimentary valet parking included.To enter, visit the RallyUp link, here: [$10 per (1) Entry; 15 Entries for $100; or 35 Entries for $200]Please join us in celebrating the first ALL Heartist Day this Saturday, May 16th in an effort to assist our Accor family during these trying times. We appreciate your support in any capacity and look forward to serving you again soon!

Yves Carreau s Death, a Sad Loss for Pittsburgh Diners

RIP France-born Chef-Restaurateur Yves Carreau, our long-time colleague and friend. Pittsburgh diners and the scores of hospitality professionals he trained and mentored will long remember his talent, engaging spirit and generosity. OTM observed his pioneering spirit as he popularized Downtown Dining, first on Penn Avenue, then in and around Market Square. Asked to contribute an obituary note describing Yves, Ann just said: describing this wonderful and complex man in a single sentence--impossible! Our sympathies to Jennifer and his family. What a deep loss for fall of us<

James Beard Awards Announcement set for May 4

It won't be quiite the same, but at least the suspense will be over.  Here's the Beard Foundation's Announcement.

The restaurant industry hasn’t begun to recover from the coronavirus pandemic, but the James Beard Foundation is moving ahead with its annual awards: On May 4 (the original date for the annual James Beard Awards ceremony in Chicago) the Foundation will announce the 2020 James Beard Awards finalists during a live-streamed, virtual event.

In mid-March, as the coronavirus shutdown began, the Foundation postponed the announcement originally scheduled for March 25 to focus on “[using] our voice and platform as a resource for our community to face the current challenges that exist as a result of this crisis.” Those efforts included launching a survey to track the effects of COVID-19 on the restaurant industry and establishing a relief fund for business owners. However, soon after the fund opened, the Foundation suspended applications due to overwhelming demand.

James Beard Foundation CEO Clare Reichenbach will cohost the new virtual nominee announcement with Visit Philadelphia president and CEO Jeff Guaracino (the announcement was originally planned for an event in Philadelphia). The livestream will also feature guests and presenters from the city, including Mayor Jim Kenney and Kalaya Thai Kitchen chef Chutatip Suntaranon, presumably all appearing from separate locations.

The announcement will cover nominees from all of the usual restaurant and chef categories, as well as nominees for the book and media awards. And plans for some kind of awards ceremony are also moving ahead. A spokesperson for the awards told Eater that “details regarding the date, format and location of the awards will be shared as soon as possible.” Whether or not the public will be able to see the restaurant design that wins this year or dine at the restaurants of 2020’s best regional chefs when that time comes is an open question.

Will the winnners be awarded asterisks?

What will Post-Corona be like for Restaurants?

This article from Eater London looks beyond just switching to take-out.

Chef;s Garden Veggies now available Direct to your Door

Farmer Lee Jones is devoutly committed to the chefs he works with in all corners of the world and takes great pride in the relationships he has with the people who have become his mentors, guiding light and inspiration. These are the bonds that have inspired the highest quality, most flavorful and extraordinary vegetables in the world and for Farmer Lee Jones, every day promises a new opportunity to connect with the chefs who have helped to make the farm the pioneering leader in sustainable agriculture that it is today.for more about this unique agricultural enterprise, go to

Now you can skip crowded lines and let The Chef's Garden be your personal shopper. You’ll receive the same high quality vegetables, bursting with flavor and nutrition as world class chefs use in their kitchen’s every day. Order one of our vegetable boxes and get fresh harvested, nutritious, antioxidant-rich vegetables and herbs delivered to your front door.  For a limited time they’re offering free shipping on all home delivery vegetable boxes. Order one for yourself, or send one as a gift to family, friends, or colleagues!
Read about the beautiful versatility, flavor and nutrition of their vegetables, ones regeneratively farmed with love, harvested fresh and shipped directly to you

Contact them by email or by phone 800-289-4644.. And tune in to an upcoming OTM episode when we’ll be interviewing the man in charge, Farmer Lee Jones, an amazing American,

50 Best Restaurant Awards postponed till 2021

Today 50 Best announces that it is postponing The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020. The event in Antwerp, Flanders will take place in 2021, circumstances permitting

The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2020 awards, sponsored by S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna, will not take place on 2nd June in Antwerp, Flanders. Neither will 50 Best release its annual list in ranked format this year.

50 Best has taken the decision to postpone the event programme in Antwerp, Flanders until 2021, if the situation allows. Its destination hosts, Visit Flanders and the City of Antwerp, look forward to welcoming the gastronomic community next summer, when we sincerely hope that restaurants will be well underway in a process of rebuilding and recovery.

William Drew, Director of Content for The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, says: “Given the circumstances globally, in 2020 we will put all our efforts into helping the restaurant sector to fight for its future, as well as assisting in the work that chefs and restaurateurs are themselves doing to help others.”

In place of the global gastronomic gathering, 50 Best will design and develop impactful initiatives that will help the world work together in this time of need. It will also use its network to support and amplify programmes that will bolster businesses, while continuing its editorial campaign to support restaurants, restaurant workers and chefs.

This decision has been made as a result not only of current international travel restrictions and severe health concerns, but also in light of the horrific toll that the pandemic is taking on the restaurant and hospitality sectors worldwide, not to mention the suffering of millions of individuals at the hands of the virus.

“We stand united with the restaurant sector at this unprecedented time,” says Drew. “Today we make a pledge that even though there will be no celebration of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants this year, we will act to support and defend restaurants today and in the future. We ask for the community to join us in the initiatives that will take the place of our planned event programme in Antwerp, Flanders this year.

“Our heartfelt thanks go to the restaurant sector and all those who have stepped up to support the community. From offering meals and delivery services, to those liaising with government officials to protect restaurants and their future, we stand with you all.”

Jamison Farm Lamb is ready for your table - at Easter or any day

OTM just spoke with our Good Friends Sukey and John Jamison, of Jamison Farm. about  the economic slowdown caused by the Pandemic.  Here's their first reaction, you can hear more in next Sunday's episode.

During this time of uncertainty, we get the overriding feeling that we are all in this together so we can weather this storm in a proactive/positive manner. Being farmers, we have faced our share of uphill battles over the years but have endured this ever challenging journey in our peaceful beautiful Western PA. There is always something to do on a farm, no matter the time, the weather, the conditions, in sickness and in health My best "go to" remedy in any situation is cooking. My kitchen is my safe harbor. It gives me great comfort to be able to provide meals for our family as well as our long time customers and friends. I have an endless supply of recipes as well as ultimate ingredients in my ever ready farmhouse kitchen! We love sharing our stories as well as our lamb.

Just rereading the chapter, “Mama’s Stew,” from our book, Coyotes in the Pasture & Wolves at the Door. It’s a rather amusing account of making one of our prepared products with two culinary luminaries guiding us with various do’s and don’ts. When we started selling fancy cuts of lamb like racks and saddles to restaurants in the late 1980’s, we found we needed to find a way to utilize the lower cuts we weren’t selling on a weekly basis. Because we were working with such great chefs, we were able to come up with some amazing products. As I recently wrote, we dealt with Jacques Pepin among other French Chefs when we made our Merguez. In the case of Mama’s Stew, we had Jean-Louis Palladin and Julia Child kibitzing on seasoning and product prep. Pretty Heady helpers in the kitchen!

We have made these prepared products ourselves for years in our own USDA Plant. These products are not co-packed. They are made directly by Sukey and our manager, Donny. We were finalists in a group of seven out of several thousand for “Best New Product” with our Lamb Pie at New York’s, “Fancy Food Show.” We have had journalists write about both of our prepared stews, Mama’s Lamb Stew and Sukey’s Lamb Stew, as well as our Lamb Stock & Sukey’s Lamb Barley Soup. So during these turbulent times, when you can’t go out for dinner, please remember you can get lamb from a farm that supplies Michelin Starred and James Beard Awarded Restaurants delivered directly to your door. And, if you don’t want to cook, we can include prepared products developed by Sukey, John and a host of famous chefs.

Please see our website for more information or to order our special lamb packages. Spring is coming.  We and UPS are ready to make your dinners easy and delicious! For recipes, party ideas and/or questions, please email Gift certificates are available.

For more stories please see our blog:

Shop "the house that Duck Built - Dartagnan"

Try something differeent!!  So easy to cook, so deicious to taste.  Go to to get yours,,,,,,  We got ours.

Sid Wainer Steps up with Food Rescue Pop Up

OTM is keenly aware of the issues challenging the Food & Drink sceneas a result of the Virus Pandemic.  We'll bring you some of the stories that we hear as folks try to adapt. - starting today................. 

Sid Wainer & Son®,, the leading food service distributor of New England’s finest specialty foods, has announced an immediate emergency Food Rescue Pop Up for the local New Bedford, Massachusetts community: in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Allie Wainer says: “During these challenging times, we must stick together and provide support to stay healthy, eat well, and be well. For over 100 years, the Sid Wainer & Son family has been here for our community, and while we navigate the changing food environment, it is our duty to provide fresh product to our community. We are working diligently to support our teams, our families, and our neighbors. Together, we will make it through this tough time.” The first Food Rescue Pop Up will take place at their historic Friendly Fruit retail location, located at 2301 Purchase Street, New Bedford, MA. The Food Rescue Pop Up will be available to the community from 7:30 AM - 5:00 PM, Saturday, March 21, 2020. The Pop Up will provide a wide variety of vegetables, juice, and dairy items: all for only $1.00 each. Some items include: a 5 LB bag of carrots, 3 LBS of cauliflower florets, 1 Gallon orange juice, 3 LBS of salad mix, and much more. Sid Wainer & Son urges the local community to Please take advantage of their Food Rescue Pop Up and stock up on vegetables, juice, and dairy. 


Closures and Postponements, OTM Still On the Air

Two Iconic Food Events, the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and the James Beard Foundation Awards have annonced cancellation. but that they hope to reschedute.  Most restaurants have announced that their dining rooms are closed, some planning take-out menus and deliveries - but be sure to check before you head for your favorite watering hole.  And if you plan to go shopping expect shortages, stock-outs. and long check out lines.  Peter experienced this yesterday  Here at OTM we're social distancing, and hoping our larder will hold out.  We hope that all of you, our listeners, will manage these inconveniences. And you can be sure that our Weekly Episodes will broadcast every Sunday.. 


RIP Michele Roux of the Waterside Inn

We read with sadness of the passing of Michele Roux, Co-Founder of the Waterside Inn in Bray, England. Chef Michele's career is highlighted by the Michelin Guide rating of 3 Stars, uniterrupted since 1985.  Michele's son Alain has continued the family tradition, and we know from our conversations with each of them how proud they were of each other.  Our lunches in Bray remain highlights of OTM's dining adventures.  Michele, we will miss you!.

IACP Conference Postponed

WE have just received notice that this event has been postponed  It will still be in Pitsburgh and the dates are iin October 2020.

Pitsburgh Welcomes IACP Annual Conference March 27-29

 Pittsburgh will Host The International Association of Culinary Professionals—a global group of food leaders, communicators, marketers, educators, historians, corporate food titans, food artisans, and chefs—will celebrate its 42nd annual conference with an impressive convening of global food and thought leaders from around the country  We spoke with Executive Director Tanya Steel, so for more  about IACP and the Conference, tune in to in next Sunday,'s OTM Esipode.

Tanya says that attendees will have three tracks to choose from—Empower, Engage, and Eat—as well as attending keynotes and conversations with visionaries like Padma Lakshmi, Julia Turshen, Rocco DiSpirito, Dorie Greenspan, Barry Estabrook, Toni Tipton-Martin, Melissa Clark, Michel Nischan, Sam Sifton, Laurie Woolever, Kim Severson, Joe Yonan, nationally renowned journalists and Pittsburghians Beth Kracklauer, Hal B. Klein and Melissa McCart, and 15-year-old chef Rahanna Bisseret Martinez. Panels, cooking demos, presentations, workshops, signings, screenings and more will round out the weekend..

“We are thrilled that once again, we’ve assembled a powerful group of tastemakers and trendsetters to our annual conference,” said IACP’s Executive Director & CEO Tanya Steel. “This annual conference aims to enable collaboration between members, provide access, inspiration and influence, and help each of our members enrich their careers, lives and communities.”

IACP is pleased to provide day passes available to local Pittsburghers so they can attend the day parts of the conference—have breakfast, lunch, and snacks, sip and sample, attend cookbook signings, panels, keynotes and more. A limited amount of day passes are available only for locals. Go to

The Omni William Penn Hotel in Pittsburgh, PA, will be the site of the conference, with walking tours, workshops, and classes kicking things off Friday, March 27th. The Welcome Cocktail Party, Taste of Pittsburgh Celebrity Chef Dinner, and an exclusive screening of Padma Lakshmi’s new Hulu series will cap off the first evening. Saturday and Sunday get started with a group meditation, followed by keynotes, panels, presentations and cooking demos. On Saturday night the prestigious IACP award winners will be announced.

IACP thanks sponsors, including Cuisinart, Beef, It’s What’s For Dinner, DaTerra Cucina, Kerrygold, La Tourangelle, Nueske’s, Niman Ranch, Melissa’s, Viking, ,the Pennsylvania Wine Association and Wigle Whiskey.

For a schedule and to purchase tickets, Questions? Contact Tanya Steel at Follow IACP on Twitter at @iacpculinary, on Instagram at @iacppix, and on Facebook at, for conference updates. Our conference hashtag is #IACP2020 and #IACPPittsburgh.

Davies and Brook - Mayfair's New Superstar

The Elegant Fine Dining Restaurant originally created for Gordon Ramsay is once again Winning RAVE REVIEWS with Daniel Humm at the helm.  Founding Chef of NYC 11 Madison Park,. Swiss-born Humm is living up to his reputation for Food  best described as EXQUISITE.  In the meantime our good friend Simon Rogan, who was Chef at Fera, the previous manifestaion  of the Claridge's Room, is staring at Roganic.  OTM suggests that both Daniel and Simon will soon climb  in Michelin's Ratings. Wondering why Davies and Brook - itt's the street intersection.  More info at and

James Beard Award Semifinalists Announced, is where you'll find the details.  OTM salutes them all.  The Big Event, theGala Awards Ceremony, is scheduled for May 6 at the Lyric Opera in Chicago

Stephanie Alexander's Latest Adventures

We wanted to pass along Stephanie Alexander's recent Newsletter, packed with interesting information.  We've been known to describe her ast the Aussie equivalent of the US' Julia Child and Alice Waters - read on and you'll reallize.why..  Contact iStephanie Alexander <> to get on her newsletter mailing list so you can get the photos

I have been very quiet as I have been hugging a couple of exciting things to my chest and was sworn to secrecy until now...

No images? Click here


Newsletter 65, February 2020

Wow, so much to share!

Curtis Stone and Stephanie Alexander with three school children in a Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden

I have been very quiet as I have been hugging a couple of exciting things to my chest and was sworn to secrecy until now. 

For eighteen years I have been working my hardest to expand the awareness of the power of delicious food for young Australians via my not-for-profit Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation. I still believe that the way to convince young people to choose great fresh food is to expand their food experiences and offer an enjoyable educational program that complements their general curriculum. Our mantra has been Growing..Harvesting..Preparing..Sharing.

And it is always a joy for me to visit one of our schools and see this in action. Anyone engaged with a not-for-profit foundation will know there is always so much more that can be done with extra resources. Already our family includes over 2000 schools and centres, representing around 250,000 children and their families each year.

In traversing this long road we have had marvellous support from corporate bodies, from philanthropic organisations and many generous individuals. In some years we have been well-supported for specific programs by government. 

I am excited and proud to announce a three-year partnership with Coles which will support our efforts nationally in all Coles stores. The fresh food department in every store will announce the partnership and encourage families to participate in promotions that will in turn support our efforts. At the same time Coles are announcing their own national healthy eating program called the Coles Fresh 5 Challenge, which encourages kids to eat all the five food groups every day through collecting Stikeez. I have also been delighted to renew my friendship with Curtis Stone, whom I first met when he was a young chef starting out.

For almost every family in the country a visit to a supermarket is at least a once-weekly experience. To now have the biggest supermarket in Australia reinforce our messages about choosing fresh seasonal food is game-changing for the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Foundation.

Curtis Stone and Stephanie Alexander with school children in a Stephanie Alexander kitchen garden

Our Strange Summer

Enough has been written about the horror of the fires and now many of us are trying to find some way to help. 

I was having makeup done before a photoshoot and the makeup artist told me she had spent the last week knitting caps and rugs needed for injured animals. I joined with many other authors on the ‘AuthorsforFireys’ website and put together a collection of hardback copies of all of my out-of-print titles. The lucky auction winner bid a handsome price for this and she is coming from Sydney to personally collect her prize. I look forward to handing it over.

One of our delightful small schools Clifton Creek was completely destroyed. I have lovely memories of lunching with the staff and students (all 16 of them If I remember correctly) and being stunned by the gorgeous garden with its crop of tomatillos. They will rebuild we are told by the school principal. Other schools have reported considerable damage – we wish them well and hope that communites are rallying.

L–R: The Secret Garden during one of my visits; the Secret Garden after the fire, image Courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd

Above left: Clifton Creek's Secret Garden during one of my visits. Above right: the Secret Garden after the bushfire (image courtesy of Guardian News & Media Ltd).

The smoky air has been difficult and I have felt constricted in the chest and can only imagine how much worse it would have been for residents in fire-struck towns. Like other Victorians I have a serious layer of red dirt all over all external paving and furniture. My gardener and housekeeper are combining to clean this for me and I thought the least I could do was to make them a lovely cake.

Did I mention I have been very stressed lately? Well I made a complete mess of it. A recipe I have used many times. I am enclosing a sad picture to reassure all those tentative cooks that even a very experienced one can stuff up. The problem was that my super-clever scales had moved themselves from metric to pounds and ounces and I did not notice (need that specs appointment) and was in a great hurry and I used far too much flour. I have made a sort of lemon shortbread rather than a cake.

Image of a Stephanie Alexander cake recipe that failed

Time to unwind

I did get to have my annual late January holiday and enjoyed my beach walks. The breeze does help to blow away the stress. How about this beautiful pattern in the sand!

Australian coastline beach and sand patterns left by wave

I had two lovely meals at local restaurants, Captain Moonlite at Anglesea where I had the most stunning hapuku dish cooked with garlic crisps and chopped broccolini (below left), preceded by perfectly shucked oysters brimming with their juices. And at Aireys at A la Grecque two standouts for me were the fresh fig and hazelnut salad, and on an earlier visit, grilled kefalograviera with grilled peaches and drizzled with honey (below right).

Hapuku with broccolini and kefalograviera with peaches and honey

My role every year is to be chief cook and we ate very well but quite simply. I had a lovely trip down memory lane when Brian Stroschien, a former much-loved waiter from Stephanie’s restaurant and his partner came to lunch. I made my version of the Chinese classic white-cooked chicken which we all loved.

Most days lunch involved a salad like this...

Photos of Stephanie Alexander's White-cooked Chicken dish and Salade aux Lardons

I'm currently in India at the request of the Media and Communications School of Melbourne University to enthuse to would-be students about the delights of Melbourne as a great food city. Plus of course discussing what I know about publishing and how things have changed in our city.

I feel sure that my next newsletter will have a very Indian flavour. 

Photos of an Indian block print quilt and a map of India

 Until next time.

And do pass this on to any friend who may be interested.



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Happy 30th to the James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation< just announced that the 2020 Awards will celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the James Beard Awards, which began in 1990. Additionally, for the first time in Awards history, the Foundation will bring the Beard House to life with a two-day activation at Chicago’s Old Post Office: The James Beard Awards House presented by Capital One. The 2020 James Beard Awards will mark the 30th anniversary of America’s most coveted and comprehensive honors for chefs, restaurants, journalists, authors, and other leaders in the food and beverage industry. Throughout their three-decade history, the Beard Awards have both sparked and reflected trends in America’s food culture. To commemorate the past, honor the present, and look to the future, the Foundation is celebrating the semifinalists, nominees, winners, events, and milestones that have created the dynamic and ever enlightening food and restaurant community we have today.

Embodying the Foundation’s Good Food for Good™ mantra, the James Beard Awards support sustainability, gender equality, inclusion, equity, and access for all. As the preeminent benchmark for culinary excellence, the Awards will continue to support the James Beard Foundation’s mission to make America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone: celebrating the past while championing the future.

“We are really excited to use this milestone moment of the 30th anniversary of the James Beard Awards to reflect on how the industry has evolved, who has pioneered change, and what lies ahead for the profession, the community, and our impact in the world,” said Clare Reichenbach, chief executive officer of the James Beard Foundation. “We’ve seen improvements in restaurant work culture, in gender equality, in diversity, and in sustainability, but there is so much more to do. It is galvanizing to register the increasing importance that food, and the food community has in society today, and we thrilled to be celebrating the industry’s leaders and standard bearers this anniversary year.”

The James Beard Awards House Presented by Capital One, official credit card and banking partner of the Foundation, will be a dynamic, central gathering place during the Awards weekend, open Sunday, May 3, and Monday, May 4, 2020, at the Old Post Office (433 W. Van Buren Street, Chicago, IL). The Awards House will offer guests attending the awards, members of the industry, and general public a chance to engage in programming that will include talks focusing on issues that affect the community such as racial equity, sustainability, wine tariffs, and more. Local partners Choose Chicago, The Illinois Restaurant Association (IRA), Chicago Council on Global Affairs, and multiple Chicago-based restaurant groups and chefs will take up residency in fun and delicious ways. A co-working space, a media lounge, hospitality and bar areas, and one-off events with sponsors and friends of the Foundation will be plentiful A special 30th anniversary photo exhibit created by photographer Melanie Dunea featuring past James Beard Award Winners and milestones will be open to guests. The full list of events and programming will be continually updated on the Foundation’s website, and ticket information is forthcoming.

“As a proud partner of the Foundation, we are excited to be the presenting sponsor of the James Beard Awards and support their impactful work through the James Beard Awards House in Chicago,” said Lauren Liss, Vice President of U.S. Card at Capital One. “By partnering with the Foundation, we’ve been able to broaden our reach and support in the culinary world, while bringing our cardholders exclusive access to memorable dining experiences.

Restaurant and Chef Awards semifinalists will be announced on Wednesday, February 26, 2020. Nominees for all award categories will be revealed on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The celebrations will begin in New York City on Friday, April 24, 2020 at the James Beard Foundation Media Awards presented in association with HOUSTON FIRST©, an exclusive event honoring the nation's top cookbook authors, culinary broadcast producers and hosts, and food journalists that will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers.

The events then move to Chicago with the Leadership Awards Dinner taking place on Sunday, May 3, 2020, where honorees will be recognized for their work in creating a more healthful, sustainable, and just food world. The James Beard Awards Gala will take place on Monday, May 4, 2020, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. During the event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards Lifetime Achievement, Design Icon, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.

The 2020 James Beard Awards are presented by Capital One, the official credit card and banking partner of the James Beard Foundation. Through this first-of-its-kind partnership, Capital One cardholders enjoy exclusive access across signature James Beard Foundation programs including the Taste America tour, JBF Greens: Foodies Under Forty, and the iconic James Beard House.

UpCyclers Members Use Food Waste in Products

Recent OTM Guest  Michael Oraschewsky of TBJ Gourmet Tells us interesting News.  UpCyclers, those food and ingredient manufacturers who incorporate food waste into products, have formed the UpCycled Food Association. Launched in October 2019, the nascent group’s goal is to develop a formal definition of upcycling and advocate for policies that will inform consumers and accelerate marketplace acceptance of finished products and ingredients.

The founding group included eight members, but the association’s membership has more than doubled since its inception. TBJ Gourmet, is proud to be one of the founding members along another local Philadelphia brand, Abundantly Good by Philabundance who are all working to define the space and raise awareness about UpCycling for sustainability along with storied institutions like Drexel University. TBJ Gourmet rescued 80,00lbs of delicious bacon from being wasted last year and expects to double that figure this year. The group is based in Denver and led by Turner Wyatt, chief executive officer. Other founding members include TBJ Gourmet, Abundantly Good, Barnana, ReGrained and others. The group’s web site may be found at


Spork is Back. Just in time for Valentines

Hard to believe its February already.  Chris F and his team at Spork are back with new Menus and Swanky New Digs.  And a Very Special Menu for the 14th - see below.

While it feels like 2020 has just begun, the time of the year has come to reserve your table at Spork for an indulgent, romantic Valentines Day meal.  This year, Chef Christian Frangiadis doesn't disappoint, with the most sumptuous five-course Valentine's Day tasting menu, offered for $100 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), shown in detail below.  Guests will have the option to select one item  from each course, with delightful wine and cocktail pairings as an additional delight  Reservations can be made through Open Table or by calling the restaurant directly at 412-441-1700.  

SPORK Valentine’s Day Menu

 ~ 2020 ~


Riccota Gnudi Bolognese with crispy prosciutto

(*V) Fermented Mushroom Pierogi with ratatouille, fresh mozzarella


Octopus Taco with salsa verde, aji amarillo crema, spork garden kimchi

Seared Scallop with Koji trumpet mushroom, black shallot, buckwheat crisp

(*V) Carrot Consomme with chard gnocchi, leeks


Iceberg Wedge smoked Roquefort, roasted tomato, pickled onion, 'nduja, chives, bacon, duck fat potato crouton, buttermilk dressing

(*V) Green Salad crispy quinoa, spiced pecan, dried cherry, shallot vinegar,

buttermilk ice cream


(*V) Tagliatelle with greasy grits miso, pumpkin cream, chestnut, sage, evoo crumbs

Dry Aged Prime Ribeye with lobster arancini, bordelaise, peach béarnaise, breadso haricot verts

Fried Snapper with salsa verde, parsnip two ways, cricket mayonnaise

Duo of Duck Breast & Confit with radish watercress salad, blue corn polenta, pepitas

+add seared foie gras for $25

+add perigord truffles for $25


(*V) Profiteroles with espresso ice cream, caramel sauce, toffee bark

(*V) Chocolate Hazelnut Torte with peanut butter parfait, ganache, cassis crème anglaise


Josh Niland wins Prestige Book Award

OTM last spotted Saint Peter Chef-Partner at Food on the Edge in Galway.  Now we hear another big mention.

Sydney chef Josh Niland and "Chef’s Table" presenter Musa Dağdeviren were among those honoured at the André Simon Food & Drink Book Awards, which saw publisher Hardie Grant Books triumph with two awards.

The awards, now in their 41st year, showcase the best of contemporary food and drink writing. The ceremony took place on Monday (20th January) at the Goring Hotel in London. The judging panel was guided by this year’s independent assessors: award-winning author Niki Segnit for the food books and wine expert Dan Jago for the drink titles.

Josh Niland’s The Whole Fish Cookbook (Hardie Grant Books) won the 2019 Food Award. "In this book Sydney’s ground-breaking seafood chef Josh Niland reveals an original way to think about all aspects of fish cookery for every skill level,” organisers said. Segnit said: “Josh Niland applies nose-to-tail principles to seafood. This remarkably creative and surprising book encourages us to waste less seafood by making meat-inspired dishes, like fish black pudding, marlin ham and sea-trout Wellington. An instant classic."

We have been enjoying this toutstanding contribution  to Seafood Cooking.and hope to get Josh on the program again soon.  

Rogue Ales & Spirits Releases 2020 Rolling Thunder Imperial Stout and Rolling Thunder Stouted Whiskey

With our culture of relentless curiosity comes the desire to create, innoate and do things differently,  says Bliss Dake, Vice President of Marketing. At Rogue we come up with some wild idea and then we make them happen. We are makers with a Do It Yourself attitude and are always asking What .This pushed us to experiment and ultimately create something special with the Rolling Thunder family

One of the reasons the Rolling Thunder family is so special is because of the handmade barrels built at Rogue’ own Rolling Thunder Barrel Works. In 2015, Rogue acquired vintage French WWII-era coopering equipment and built a barreling facility. Longtime employee Nate Linquist was tapped to be Rogue’s first cooper and spent six months apprenticing, learning the ancient art of barrel making. Using Oregon Oak, Nate assembles, raises, toasts, chars, hoops, heads, hoops again, cauterizes, sands and brands each barrel, one at a time, all by hand.

Chef Magnus Nilsson at FOTE 2020

Food On The Edge 2020, which is taking place in Galway on the 19th and 20th of October, will host Nordic chef Magnus Nilsson once again, after he spoke at Food On The Edge 2017. JP McMahon, Symposium Director of Food On The Edge, comments,It's great to bring Magnus back to Galway. Not only is he a deeply inspirational figure, but he's also not afraid to change. With the closing of Faviken, he's set to begin a new chapter in his career. His work exemplifies the ethos of Food on the Edge: to constantly create the spaces for good food to flourish.”  Not only is Nilsson regarded as an authority on Nordic cuisine due to his purist and perfectionist approach to Nordic food culture, he is also regarded as a poet and philosopher. He has recently closed his two Michelin star restaurant, Fäviken, to pursue other ventures. Fäviken was located in remote Sweden, 375 miles north of Stockholm, and regarded as exemplifying the “new Nordic” food trend, which venerates regional and local food. Nilsson became a household name through the Netflix documentary Chef’s Table and his books Fäviken and The Nordic Cookbook, both of which are published by Phaidon.

Magnus Nilsson says, “I had such an interesting time in 2017 when I visited FOTE and I feel that  there is so much of interest said in such a short time. I look forward to coming back for that.”

More than 600 people attended over the two days of Food On The Edge 2019, which was held in Galway in the National University of Ireland, Galway More than 50 of the world’s best international and Irish chefs and food leaders took to the stage to share their food stories and debate topics, while Irish food producers showcased their produce in the Artisan Food Village. OTM was there for the 2nd year is a row.. Food On The Edge 2020 is taking place on the 19th and 20th of October in Galway, with the venue to be confirmed. Additional world-class chefs and speakers will be announced in early 2020.

It's not too early to plan your attendance.  The deadline for Super Early Bird Tickets is the 31st of January. The €250 reduced price two-day ticket includes admission and access to all talks and masterclasses, lunches, and entertainment on both nights. Tickets are available to book online at An Installment Plan will be available from the 1st of February. The Early Bird Price of €300 will be available to pay in two installments - an initial payment of €100, with a second payment of €200 due by the 31st of August. Student tickets will also be available at a cost of €300 from the 1st of February. For more information see Check out @foodonthedge on social and follow the official hashtag #FOTE2020 for updates and speaker announcements.


Pittsburgh's Spork Refreshes

The ownership group of Andrew Tepper, Chef Christian Frangiadis and GM Sean Enright of Spork in Pittsburgh have announced a refresh of their popular modern American small plates restaurant following its New Year’s Eve service on December 31. The restaurant will close for renovations and service upgrades from January 1-7.  Spork is expected to re-open on January 8, 2020 with a more elegant style of service and cuisine, while keeping the family feeling that Spork has become known for in Pittsburgh.

“The refresh provides a focused opportunity to enhance the sophistication of the Spork dining experience while maintaining the familial vibe that our customers appreciate,” said Enright. “We are always listening to what our loyal clientele love most about Spork and want to reflect what is most important to them as we start a new year.”

Earlier in 2019, the management team conducted a research and development trip to Mexico to identify additional service elements that would play a role at Spork.  A captain-style service will include all servers on the floor, resulting in a higher standard of service.  A vigorous training program led by manager Richard Stewart, a veteran on the Pittsburgh Restaurant scene, will take place during the restaurant’s closure.  Special attention will be given to education around wine service, tableside service, and spirit service as well as the new menu. Olivia Lindstrom will continue to lead the wine program with Wes Burdette overseeing the bar offerings.

“Our goal is to have the staff to be every element so they can properly convey the entire Spork experience with our guests,” says Stewart.

New, sleek and sophisticated black on black uniforms with maroon aprons for servers and bar staff will showcase a classic restaurant style. The bartenders’ uniforms will reflect the servers with maroon bar aprons while the new menu redesign will include a fold-out design and quite a few new items.

Spork will continue to offer the unique dining experience and interesting menu elements that initially put the restaurant on the map of the Pittsburgh dining scene, including in-house fermentation and pickling techniques as well as up-leveled dishes like the popular canard à la presse.  The overarching goal is to maintain the comfortable, friendly feeling that guests have come to enjoy since the restaurant’s opening, while bringing it to the next level. Interior and exterior painting will lighten and brighten the space while new art and lighting installations provide more elements of interest and more visible signage outside of Spork’s doors.

ABOUT SPORK: Spork is a chef-owned, modern American small plates restaurant in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, serving dinner Monday through Saturday. Executive Chef Christian Frangiadis leads a robust team that makes pastas, cures meats, bakes pastries and more entirely from scratch, every day. The menu at Spork changes nightly, based on what is in season at the farmer’s market or on-hand at the butcher, to showcase the diverse bounty of Western Pennsylvania produce. Seasonal craft cocktails, unique wines from around the world and local drafts are available, as well. Spork is located at 5430 Penn Avenue, at the corner of Penn Avenue and South Graham Street. Hours of operation are 5:00 pm – 10:00 pm Monday through Thursday and 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm Friday and Saturday. For more information, please visit Spork’s website

December 29 Episode

OTM is On the Road, The December 29 program will be Available at 8AM US Eastern Time

On the Menu for December 22 now onlne

OTM is landed safely from our Xmas Journey.  Happy Holidays to All Our Listeners

Pittsburgh's Loss is Jersey City's Gain

Congrats to Rick Easton! Grub Street's Underground Gourmet rated Bread & Salt , in Jersey City, NJ, as NYC best new pizza.

Celebrate Piedmont Truffle Season at Pittsburgh's DiAnoia’s Eatery'

WHAT: DiAnoia’s Eatery's beloved dinner series continues with a 5-course dinner inspired by the Italian Piemonte region. The dinner includes wine pairings hand-selected by Chef Dave and Chef Justin during their recent visit to Italy. Highlights of the menu include Barolo wine braised beef cheeks and two housemade pastas. A vegetarian option is available. It is priced at $225 per person including wine pairings, tax and gratuity.

WHEN: 6-9 p.m. Sunday, December 8th, 2019 

WHERE: DiAnoia’s Eatery 2549 Penn Ave, Pittsburgh, PA 15222

WHY: Chef Dave recently visited the Piemonte region of Italy for the first time and was able to enjoy the beginning of their truffle season. He felt the holidays would be a perfect time to celebrate this region and particularly their famous and rare white truffle “tartufi.” This highly sought after tartufi is featured in each of the dinner’s five courses.

FOR BOOKING and more information:


2020 Guide for Spain

2020 Michelin Guide includes an astonishing total of 12 for Martin Berasategui, Ola Martín Berasategui, in Bilbao, adding to the 3 Stars for his eponymous spot outside Bilbao, and Lasarte in Barcelona.  Cenador de Amós, in Cantabria, joins the roster of 3 Star holders.


2020 Guide for Italy

Good News for Fans of Massimo Bottura, and a new 3 Star.  Massimo's Osteria Franescana is known as a "tough ticket" OTM is fortumate to have lumched there more than once.  Now there's a chance for more Massimo - his Florence place, Gucci Osteria, which opened in its First Star in the 2020 GUide;  The Guide also christened the first 3-Star in MIlano, namesake of Chef Enrico Bartolini.

Changing Chefs at Chicago's North Pond

After 20 Years, Bruce Sherman Turning Over Kitchen To Chef de Cuisine Tim Vidrio. Since taking over what was then a casual park café in 1999, Bruce Sherman has been the only executive chef North Pond has seen. Now, as 2019 draws to a close, Sherman is turning over the kitchen to his longtime chef de cuisine, Tim Vidrio. “It’s with mixed emotions for sure…back then, I couldn’t have dreamt of all we’d achieve here, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished. The time feels right, there is a strong team in place and I look forward to seeing what the next twenty years bring – for the restaurant, and for me,” states Sherman. Under Sherman’s leadership, North Pond has been honored with many accolades, such as earning a Michelin star rating for seven consecutive years as well as multiple James Beard nominations, including a win for Sherman as Best Chef: Great Lakes (2012). While he’ll no longer be running the kitchen, he will, along with longtime business partner Richard Mott, remain a partner. “I want to thank Bruce for all he’s done here. He’s been a great chef, partner and friend and I understand his desire to start a new chapter. We will all miss him, and equally, we’re excited to see Tim grow into this role,” states Mott. Chef Sherman’s last day of service will be New Year’s Eve.

Vidrio joined the North Pond team in early 2011 and for the past three years has been chef de cuisine.  Prior to joining North Pond, Vidrio worked his way through Chicagoland kitchens, including Le Francais, Moto, and NoMi at the Park Hyatt Hotel. He shares Sherman’s philosophy of respectfully and sustainably working with the best of the season, while maintaining close relationships with farmers, producers and growers. John Arents, who worked at North Pond some fifteen years ago, returns in December as Managing Partner/General Manager, and longtime GM Natalie Boschert will return from maternity leave in spring in an operations role. So while Sherman has molded North Pond’s culinary philosophy over the years, Vidrio has been executing that philosophy and no major changes to the cuisine style and level of service are anticipated.


There are some other changes coming soon though…in early spring, the restaurant will close several days for some updating. The most notable change will be the installation of a very large, dramatic skylight in the main dining room, along with new seating and tables and a new kitchen. Details will follow at a later date.  North Pond serves dinner Wednesday -- Sunday beginning at 5:30 p.m.; Sunday brunch service begins at 10:30 a.m. Smoking is not permitted in North Pond. Valet parking is available on weekends at the corner of Lakeview and Deming Streets and reservations are recommended. For reservations or further information, please call 773.477.5845 or visit North Pond.



Thanksgiving Dinner from Pittsburgh's Spork Pit

Chef Christian Frangiadis is once more offering delectable pre-sale smoked turkeys from his custom smoker for Thanksgiving holiday through the Spork Pit Website.  For $107+ tax, a 13-lb. spatchcocked turkey will be served with a quart of cranberry-pepita-sage stuffing and a quart of foie gras gravy.  Guests can pick up hot turkeys on Thanksgiving from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. or cold, vacuum-sealed a day prior from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  In addition, a 12" eight-slice pumpkin pie can be ordered for $32.10.  A few notes on the meal:

  • The meal features fresh, hormone-free turkey from Strip District Meats. It will be brined for two days in rosemary-onion brine and then rubbed with smoked paprika, sage, white pepper, black pepper, red pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, and dried mustard. 
  • Orders will be taken online (links coming soon) for turkeys through Sunday, November 24. Please let me know if you are interested in covering. I would also be delighted to share information on brine recipes for anyone doing at home preparation. 

Bigger and Better Gelinaz, Worldwide on December 3

138 Restaurants, in 38 Countries- Wow!!  Many of the World's Outstanding Chefs, 148 of them, will be participating, Get details & Tickets at 


And the Winners are - Wine Star Awards Announced

  • Person of the Year – Linda Reiff, President & CEO, Napa Valley Vintners
  • Lifetime Achievement – Francis Ford Coppola
  • Philanthropy Award – The Bob and Marie Gallo Foundation
  • Wine Executive of the Year – Bob Torkelson, President & CEO, Trinchero Family Estates
  • Winemaker of the Year – Dave Phinney, Founder & Winemaker, Locations Wine
  • Social Visionary of the Year – International Wineries for Climate Action (Jackson Family Wines and Familia Torres)
  • Wine and Culture Award – Hampton Water (Gérard Bertrand, Jon Bon Jovi and Jesse Bongiovi)
  • Innovator of the Year – Oregon Solidarity (King Estate, Willamette Valley Vineyards, Silvan Ridge Winery and The Eyrie Vineyards)
  • American Winery of the Year – Bogle Vineyards, Clarksburg, CA
  • European Winery of the Year – Tasca d’Almerita, Sicily, Italy
  • New World Winery of the Year – Trapiche, Mendoza, Argentina
  • Wine Region of the Year – Sonoma County, California
  • Winery Experience of the Year – Viña Vik, Millahue, Chile
  • Importer of the Year – Maisons Marques & Domaines USA Inc
  • Sommelier / Beverage Director of the Year – Laura Maniec-Fiorvanti, Cofounder, Corkbuzz
  • Retailer of the Year –
  • Spirit Brand / Distiller of the Year – Nonino

The winners will be honored at the 20th annual Wine Star Awards Dinner in San Francisco, California, at the Palace of Fine Arts on Monday, January 27th, 2020. To attend or RSVP please contact Jen Cortellini at To read in-depth profiles of the Wine Star Award winners, pick up the Best of Year Issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine hitting newsstands December 10th, 2019 or online at To join the social conversation follow @WineEnthusiast on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook with the hashtag #WineStarAwards.

he 150th anniversary of Moët & Chandon Impérial Bru

From Napoleon Bonaparte’s rise to the emperor of France, Roger Federer’s status as the GOAT, Scarlett Johansson becoming the world’s highest paid actress, to Virgil Abloh’s ascent to the top of the fashion industry, Moët & Chandon has paid tribute to some of history’s most iconic figures and cultural moments. This holiday season, the pioneering champagne house is honoring another milestone by celebrating the 150th anniversary of Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut with a stunning limited-edition bottle and gift box of its flagship wine.Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut 150th Anniversary Limited Edition Bottle & Gift Box (SRP $39.99; available nationwide): Moët & Chandon Impérial Brut was first created in 1869, named Impérial in honor of Napoleon, a close friend of the Champagne House’s Moët family. A gift that exudes history and elegance, this limited-edition bottle or gift box will resonate with loved ones this he center adds a touch of inspiration as the year closes out. A graceful golden straw yellow in color, this wine has a lively palate combined with finesse with bright fruity aromas of apple, pear, white peach and citrus and notes of floral nuances.

Happy 90th Barry Sterling

Here's aToast to Barry Sterling, Founder of Iron Horse Vineyard.  When we lunched with Barry abd his LOvely Wfe Audrey a few years ago, we sampled all 10 of Iron Horse Cuvees.  Here's hoping Barry & Audrey will Celebratein in the Same Fashion.  And best wishes to all at Iron Horse,  From Ann and Peter.

Rogue River Blue Tops the World's Cheeses

Only One Cheese can be World Champion;

More than 3,800m Cheeses were in contention.

At the World Cheese Championships held recently in Bergamo, Italy, Oregon's Roguee Creamery's Rogue River Blue was named the Very Best,  OTM congratulates David Gremmels and his team on this singular achievement.  

Gravner’s Pinot Grigio named “Most Thought Provoking Wine”

GRAVNER AWARDED “BLACK SWAN OF THE YEAR” AT WINE PINNACLE AWARDS IN SINGAPORE Gravner’s Pinot Grigio Venezia Giulia IGT has received the outstanding result at the first edition of Wine Pinnacle Awards, held at Resorts World Sentosa Ballroom on October 10th. The Black Swan category aims at highlighting challenging wines which have been able to break through on the international wine scene, despite escaping traditional canons. Our visit several years ago to Jacov Gravner's Vineyard on the border between Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Slovenia was one of OTM's most fascinating Wine Adventures.

Gravner’s Pinot Grigio is made from 100% Pinot Grigio. Selected and hand-harvested grapes are fermented with ambient yeasts and no temperature control in buried kvevri, as are called the typical Georgian amphoras. The wine is then left on the skins before being racked the following April and ages for 5 months in kvevri and 6 years in large oak vessels. The wine is bottled, without fining or filtration, and ages for another 4 years before being released on the market.

“We are very proud of this award. It acknowledges the important work carried out by my father” states Mateja Gravner, Josko’s daughter. “With neighbouring winemaker Radikon amongst the nominees, I see this prize as an award to Oslavia wine-making community and the local group of producers who have strongly believed in recovering old maceration techniques and native varieties. Oslavia has a lot to say to the world”.

Along with Radikon’s Ribolla Gialla Venezia Giulia IGT (Friuli - Italy), Black Swan category nominees included also Arnot-Roberts’ Sonoma Coast Syrah (California - US), Luke Lambert’ Syrah (Yarra Valley - Australia) and Château Pierre-Bise’ Savennieres Roches aux Moines (Loire - France).

Presented by Genting Singapore, Wine Pinnacle Awards mark the first-ever prize based on nominations. Wines are nominated by a respected panel of leading professionals and experts, coordinated by Jeannie Cho Lee MW, Andreas Larsson 2007 World’s Best Sommelier, Doug Frost MW & MS, British wine writer Oz Clarke and Kenichi Ohashi MW. With this process, Wine Pinnacle Awards aim at producing results that are inclusive and representative, thus establishing the Awards as truly authoritative, prestigious and unique.

Le Bernadin's Aldo SohM Wins another World Sommelier Award

When we met Aldo for the 1st time he told us about winning the World's Top Sommelier Award. and that he wouldn't be able to Repeat - Once a Winner you can't do it again.  But Aldo added another Top Award just recently, Here are the details - which reached us in French language.  So we're passing it along the same way............

Prix du Meilleur Restaurateur des Grandes Tables du Monde

Birgit Reitbauer, Steirereck, Vienne, Autriche

Prix M. CHAPOUTIER du Meilleur Sommelier des Grandes Tables du Monde

Aldo Sohm, Le Bernardin, New York, Etats-Unis

Prix Valrhona du Meilleur Pâtissier de restaurant des Grandes Tables du Monde

François Perret, La Table de L’Espadon au Ritz Paris, France

Prix Mauviel 1830 du Meilleur Directeur de Salle des Grandes Tables du Monde

Cristiana Romito, Ristorante Reale, Castel di Sangro, Italie