Bangkok's Gaggan Stays Atop Asia's 50 Best List

OTM congratulates Gaggan Anand, Gaggan, Bangkok, www.eatatgaggan.com; hear his interview with this Chef-Owner at the 2014 World's 50 Best where be won "highest new entry" honors.  Quite a series of achievements for an Indian Restaurant in Thailand's Capital!!


Frangiadis is Finally Back - SPORK in Garfield opens March 3

Back in November we heard from Chris(tian) that he was working on a new Dining Destination in Pittsburgh's East End.  We got confused about the name - now we know it's SPORK - named for the easting implement that combines Spoon & Fork.  Overall SPORK is an elegant space, with seating at a beautifully crafted custom wooden counter. If,  like OTM, you enjoy chatting with the Chefs in the open kitchen, that's where you'll want to sit.  What's on Chef Chris' menu? It's going to change daily, but will always include small plates, medium-sized plates (for sharing if you like), and mains if you're hungry.  We dined at SPORK last evening and quickly realized how much we had missed the bold flavors and wide-ranging ingredients that have always been Chris' signature.  And everything is done in-house including the truly great bread, charcuterie, pickles, sauerkraut.  Not sure they have a web page yet, but you can find SPORK on Facebook, or call (412) 441-1700.  Open every day at 5PM.  Best wishes Chris, welcome back!!


FRESH Turmeric - add this unique Spice to your Food AND Drink

Writing about Turmeric in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, Ann uses the word "tantalizing" to describe this really great ingredient.  Check out Ann's article at http://triblive.com/lifestyles/fooddrink/10018663-74/turmeric-cup-teaspoon.  Not to be outdone Peter invented a new cocktail using FRESH-T, Recipe in OTM News, February 15 2016.  We just tried a new version using White Rum instead of Gin, and we think Cocktail Lovers who like a sweet-sour combination will enjoy a RUM-TUMERINI.


OTM Loves Carciofi - and it's the Right Time in Italy

Italy’s Carciofi (Artichoke) season is about to begin, can spring be far behind?  OTM was reminded by the announcement of a special menu dedicated to this relative of the Thistle – from our Great Good Friend Valter Scarbolo at La Frasca, near Udine in Friuli. Just a 90-minute drive from Venice.  http://www.lafrasca.com.  Coming up in April the village of Ladispoli not far from Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci airport celebrates with an Artichoke Festival that OTM happened upon when we stayed at luxurious La Posta Vecchia - http://www.lapostavecchia.com/en/ & http://theartichokeblog.com/ladispoli-artichoke-festival/.


Missed Meatopia 2016? Chef David Guas talks to OTM about the Meatopia Event, Cuba & much more

David Guas is the much lauded Chef-Owner of Bayou Bakery Coffee Bar & Eatery - 2 locations: Arlington VA, www.bayoubakeryva.com, & Capitol Hill, Washington DC www.bayoubakerydc.com. Proud of his Cuban Ancestry, David recounts the highlights of the memorable trip he took there with his father. He also talks about: his New Orleans upbringing, his recent participation in Meatopia at the South Beach Wine & Food Festival, http://www.sobefest.com/meatopia, his lifelong love of honey, and more. Tune in to the OTM program on February 28 for his fascinating insights.


World's 50 Best Restaurants Announces Details of the 2016 Awards in NYC

Attendees at the 2015 Awards in London heard the exciting news that W50Best was going "on the road", with NYC as the first stop away from its original home.  Now we know details of their plan; the date June 13th, the location Cipriani Wall Street.  Get more information at www.theworlds50bestresturants.com.  And you may be sure that OTM will be there to cover this exciting event.  We plan to bring you a conversation about this new direction for the Awards, which will celebrate the 15th Edition in the Big Apple, and maybe a sneak preview of what's in store for 2017 and beyond.


Aussie David Thompson Voted Lifetime Achievement Award by 50 Best Asia's Lifetime Achievement Award

Back in 2000, before we started OTM, Ann covered Sydney Restaurants for Olympics Visitors, and we were surprised to find not just 1 but 2 Thai Restaurants owned by a young Chef called David Thompson.  But this was only the beginning.  He then launched Nahm in London, winning a Michelin Star (first ever for a Thai restaurant); took Nahm to Bangkok in 2010 and opened Long Chim in Singapore last year.  Enough for a Lifetime!  But surely we can expect there'll be more achievements.  OTM congratulates Chef Thompson - who'll receive his Diner's Club Lifetime Achievement Award at the 50 Best Asian Restaurant Awards ceremony in Bangkok on Leap Year Day. For more info; www.theworlds50best..com/asia.

 

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OTM invents a New Cocktail - the Turmericini

Also known as the Turmeritini. Add about 7or 8 wafer thin slices of fresh Turmeric root, to 1 1/2 oz.English Dry Gin, in a Martini glass, preferably Artisinal Gin such as Langley's No. 8, Sipsmith's, Opihr, Bloom & Greenalls, add ice cubes, shake and/or stir depending on your preference; allow 5 minutes for the Turmeric to infuse -  liquid takes on an orange tint.  You can eat the Turmeric when you've drunk up.  Enjoy in good health - lot's of Antioxidents!!


London's Coya Restaurant celebrates the centenary of the Pisco Sour

Who knew that this iconic cocktail was created 100 years ago?  I suppose that we should have known tahe London's Peruvian-focused Coya would be "on the ball".  And you can sign up for a Class to learn the finer points of Pisco Sour imbibing and snacking - RSVP to sherene@coyarestaurant.com.  And we highly recommend that you start with lunch or stay for dinner to enjoy the GREAT dining at Coya - reservations@coyarestaurant.com.   


Gelinaz Walk with Us London - Feb 28

The first of 4 planned “Walk with Us” unique dining events will happen in London’s Shoreditch.  Chef-Owners Isaac McHale of The Clove Club & Hames Lowe of Lyle’s are the Host Chefs, who’ll be joined by 12 Top Chefs from around Europe,  Details are deliberately sketchy,  We do know that dinner will consist of 8 Starters, 4 Mains & 4 Desserts.  The actual menu items and chef assignments won’t be revealed until the evening of February 28th.  Gelinaz’s leader Andrea Petrini (hear his OTM Interview in OTM Audio Archives, program date September 15, 2013) promises “ a cross-cultural plethora of Flavor & Style”, “Guests should be prepared to have their evening shaken up”.  For more information and online ticket purchase – www.gelinaz.com.


Bon Appetit loves Beans Too!!

This month's issue of Bon Appetit contains lengthy feature article on these luxurious legumes.  But to get some really fascinating insights, tune in to today's program to hear OTM's interview with Steve Sando, Founder of Rancho Gordo, whose business offers literally hundreds of different heirloom varieties of Beans.  For example did you know that almost all varieties of beans were native to the American continent (like Potatoes and Tomatoes).  And the answer to the important questions - to soak or npt to soak & if you soak should the water be discarded or used in cooking.  Steve is alwys adding new varieties, so check www.ranchogordo.com to see what's in stock.  And never buy another can....................


Asia's 50 Best Restaurants names 2 Winners already

The suspense is over for two of Asia’s Star Chefs at the 4th Annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants.  Florilège in Tokyo is the recipient of the 2016 One To Watch Award sponsored by Peroni Nastro Azzurro.  Florilège’s owner-chef Hiroyasu Kawate will formally accept the award at the fourth annual Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants awards ceremony on 29th February 2016, hosted at the W Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.  Margarita Forés, respected chef and owner of an acclaimed group of restaurants in Manila, has been named Asia’s Best Female Chef 2016. Sponsored by San Pellegrino. Forés will receive her award at the Leap Year Day event.  For more details http://www.theworlds50best.com/asia/en/asias-50-best-restaurants.html.


Randall Grahm christened "Rock Star" Winemaker

Randall is one of OTM's Favorite Wine People, and recent news shows we aren't the only ones.  Iconic Wine Writer Stewart Pigott, an Englishman now residing in NYC, recently paid Bonny Doon Vineyard's creator this enormous compliment for his Le Cigare Volant.  Read his story on the subject at http://www.stuartpigott.de/?p=7946, and for more about Randall and his wines, https://www.bonnydoonvineyard.com/.  Listen to Randall talking to OTM at OTM Audio Archives, program dates August 9 2015, March 24 2013 & September 3 2009.


Changed Access to 2004-2006 Programs

Online OTM Archive of programs from 2004-2006 has been discontinued – but Guest identities & Subjects will continue to be listed.  Listeners who would like to hear Interviews with Specific Guests, please send your request to onthemenu@onthemenuradio.com, and we will send you an MP3 if available in our back-up.  Please specify Program Date(s) & Guest Name(s) you're interested in.  Expect response within 24 hours.  Note that not all interviews are available.


70 Years On, Brennan's NOLA is BACK!!

Tears were shed when the legendary Brennan's closed its doors in 2013, Smiles and Cheers greeted News of Reopening under new Management, Ralph Brennan (a different branch of the family) and partner Terry White.  Slade Rushing, formerly Co-Chef of MiLa heads up he Kitchen at the New Brennan's, and he will be featuring a rotation of vintage favorites throughout the 70th Anniversary of Brennan's opening in 1946.  Get more details at http://www.brennansneworleans.com/, and be sure to head there to sample "a tradition restored". 


Extra Lucky New Year's Day Pork & Kraut

OTM's Recipe Created January 1, 2016.  Serves 4-6 people, or Great Leftovers.  More Good Luck!!

2 ½ Ilbs Boneless Loin Pork Chops (or 3 lbs Bone In)

¼ cup Grapeseed or other High Smoke Point Oil

1 Tablespoon BBQ Dry Rub (Stubbs preferred)

1 Tablespoon Fennel Seed

2 Tablespoons Juniper Berries

1 Large Onion, Coarsely Chopped

I Head Garlic, broken into individual Cloves and Crushed

Dry Vermouth & Gin, 1 Cup, more to taste or if more liquid required, 4:1 ratio Vermouth to Gin

32-Oz jar Organic Sauerkraut

15.5 Oz Can Black-eyed Peas, rinsed

Salt & Freshly Ground Pepper to taste

Lightly dust both sides of Chops with BBQ Rub, knead into meat surface, cover & refrigerate 4-24 hours.

Heat a large Cast Iron or Ceramic Dutch Oven. Add Oil and heat until smoking slightly. Add chops and brown on all sides – 2-3 minutes per side/edge. Remove chops and set aside.  Add Fennel Seed to pot stirring constantly for 45-60 seconds.  Add Onion, sprinkle with Salt, and stir vigorously to incorporate “brown bits.” After 10 minutes add Garlic, then continue stirring occasionally for another 10 minutes. 

Add Vermouth & Gin, and after about 5 minutes add Kraut, then freshly cracked Pepper to taste – continue stirring occasionally for another 5 minutes.  Return Chops to Pot, submerging them in the Liquid.  Cover and Simmer about 10 minutes (check Chops with meat thermometer until reading 140 degrees.)  Turn over Chops, again submerging them in the liquid. Allow dish to stand at room temperature for up to 4 hours, or refrigerate if not serving until later than 4 hours.

When ready to finish, add Black Eyed Peas stirring to distribute.  Over low heat, simmer about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Check seasoning and adjust with salt, pepper, vermouth and gin. Recover the pot and simmer 10 more minutes.  Serve with Mashed Potatoes & a Green Vegetable like Collard Greens or Kale.

 


Are Alon Shaya & David Kinch :hogging" this year's Awards?

Seriously Alon Shaya and David Kinch are THAT GOOD.  EATER, the online newsletter, picks Alon's new venture Shaya in NOLA as Best New Restaurant of the year adding even more to the reputation he earned for Domenica & Pizza Domenica.  David Kinch's Manresa, reopened after major fire damage, is recognized as Comeback of the Year, on the heels of the James Beard Rising Star Chef win by then Executive Chef Jessica Largey.  The entire Awards list is worth studying - go to www.eater.com.  And if you want to hear Alon, David & Jessica in person talking with OTM, of course you'll find them in OTM Audio Archives.


2015's been quite a year for Alon Shaya - now Esquire Best New Restaurant

OTM recognized that Alon Shaya was one of this country's outstandingly talented Young Chefs the first time we dined with him at NOLA's Domenica.  Domenica Pizza showed a more casual aspect, but we knew that Alon wouldn't really be satisfied until he could showcase the cuisine of his native Isreal.  So after winning Best Chef South at the 2015 James Beard Awards (4th time as a semi-finalist) he's now been recognized by Esquire for Shaya as Best New Restaurant.  Congratulations Alon, we can't wait to come.!!! 


SUSHISAMBA is coming to town - NYC that is

Claudio Cardoso, Head Chef at London's version of SUSHISAMBA and colleagues are doing a James Beard House Dinner, November 17, 2014.  If you love diverse, creative "world cusine" wth exciting Japanese-Brazilian-Peruvian flavors, grab the chance to sample the fare - at what is one of London's toughest tables to reserve, with a magnifient view of the City of London besides.  On a clear day the view extends all the way to the Olympic Sports Complex. In NYC they're featuring a new "Culinary Cocktail" concept.  Listen to Claudio in OTM Audio Archivess, program date April 11, 2014, recorded after a truly "sumptous repast"  For reservations in NYC phone 212-627-2308, for more about the restaurants www.sushisamba.com.


Gabe Kreuther has 2 spots in NYC 2016 Red Guide

The Modern, where Chef Kreuther initially made his name in NYC,  is the only restaurant to advance from 1 to 2 Stars (with Chef Abram Bissell now at the helm).  Gabe's own namesake restaurant is one of 10 places to win a star for the first time.  OTM remembers forecasting that Gabe & The Modern would win best new restaurant (the toughest of all the James Beard Award categories) when nominated back in 2006.  We lunched there on the very day of the awards and assured Gabe that The Modern would be the winner.  Later in the evening we asked Gabe if he had phoned his mother (in France) - he said - yes - he had phoned, but she said "I don't believe you".  Madame Kreuther perhaps you'll believe him now!


Manresa, Los Gatos CA joims the select compnay of Michelin 3-Star Restaurants

OTM joins Gourmet Diners around the world, not just around California, in congratulating David Kinch and his Great Team on this recently announced recognition.  Considering that Manresa re-opened olyn New Year's Eve 2014 after complete rebuilding from the effects of a fire which destroyed the original building, this is an amazing achievement, although not the only one in 2015  (Chef Jessica Largey won the Beard Award for Rising Star Chef 2015, then departed) .  It was only a few years ago that even savvy diners were surprised to see Chef David awarded 2 stars in  Michelin's first Red Guide for the region. Was it a  wonderful surprise for Manresa?  Kimch is such a modest man, he'd probably say so.  It certainly is no surprise to OTM and the many others who have journeyed to its home town of Los Gatos.  Go here - and before you go listen to David's interview wih us  in OTM Audio Archives, program date June 19, 2009.


Pittsburgh's Casbah Restaurant Turns Twenty

Little did the fans of Casual Eatery Mad Mex expect that 20 years after the founding of Casbah, it would still be going strong.  Like many others On the Menu whispered "you must be kidding" , when Big Burrito Founder Tom Baron and Chef Bill Fuller launched a white table-cloth "Mediterranean" restaurant just down our street.  Today on this sunny Fall Sunday valet parking is full even at Brunch-time.  With Eli Wahl now heading the kitchen, Casbah is still Ann'e favorite lunch spot, and Chef pops over to pick fresh herbs from our garden.  Tom and Bill, we salute you for your bravery, providing Pittburgers with a totally new dining experience; and for the attention to detail that has been at the heart of Casbah's success.  Here's a testament to this - Casbah is now surrounded by a dozen or more good dining options - but still holding its own.  Here's to twenty more..................  For more about Casbah, Mad Mex & the other BB restaurants go to www.bigburrito.com. 

 


Rattling OTM's Sabre takes on New Meaning

A "ceremonial" Cavalry Sabre optimized for opening Chanpagne Bottles is one of OTM's prized possessions - an unusual birthday gift at Peter's age 50 or 60 (can't remember which).  The Sabre saw its very first public appearance last weekend at the Children's Hospital Gala event, recorded for posterity by WPXI Television.  Catch the momentary glimpse of the the Sabre in action in this video stream - http://www.wpxi.com/news/news/local/joe-manganiello-serves-honorary-chair-childrens-ho/nns7x/. 


Lidia Bastianich in the News in NYC and Pittsburgh

Lidia is one busy Chef-Restauranter!!  We recently joined her for dinner at Lidia's Pittsburgh to celebrate the renovation now going on - hard to believe they've been open for 10 years - on your next visit you'll appreciate the new design of the bar area and notice the centrally placed table for large groups - bring your friends!!  We enjoyed Lobster Salad, Truffle Risotto & a beatifully cooked & sauced Pork Chop.  Lidia jetted back to NYC where she had been selected to prepare 2 diinners and a lunch for Pope Francis.  Lidia worked with Chef Angelo Vivolo, the Chefs from Felidia & Becco and her children Joe & Tanya. Lucky Pope Francis!!   All the dishes in the specially designed menus were paired with wines from Lidia & Joe's vineyards in Friuli, NE Italy, close to where Lidia was bron & raised.  OTM had the pleasure of visiting these Cantinas and the Luxury B&B Orso last fall.     For more about Lidia, her activities and restaurants, www.lidiasitaly.com & www.lidias-pittsburgh.com.


Great News from Galway, Ireland - new Michelin Star for Loam, Star retained by Aniar

Kudos to Chef Enda McEvoy on receiving a Michelin Star for Loam in Galway CityCi.  We interviewed Enda in October 2013 (OTM Audio Archives, program date October 27, 2013) when the restaurant was just a dream.  How thrilling for it to become reality and receive such early recognition!!  And we shouldn't forget an to mention J  P McMahon at Aniar (also in Galway City & previous restaurant spot for Enda) who retains its Star, the first ever awarded to a restaurant in Western Ireland.  It's time for OTM to go back!  And you should make your way there.....  www.loamgalway.com & www.aniarrestaurant.ie/ for further details.


Grapery Grows the BEST Table Grapes-You'll LOve the Fabulous Flavors

Here's what they say -  Grapery's product offerings include mouth watering red, green and black grapes, plus several amazing new varieties. In addition, Grapery has some very exciting, new varieties in trials that are extraordinarily unique and delicious. These varieties will lead the way in the next generation of grapes that live up to our flavor promise standards: to be simply the best grapes you'll ever taste.  OTM wholeheartedly agrees - we've been wolfing them down & sharing with friends.  And the best news just now - our local Whole Foods has several flavors on display right now.  www.grapery.biz will keep you posted on what's available when.  Listen to Jim Beagle, Partner in this All-American Success Story in last Sunday's (September 6 2015) program in OTM Audio Archives.


The Fat Duck comes home to Bray September 29

After a 9-month “Sabbatical” in Melbourne, Australia Heston Blumenthal’s iconic Fat Duck is back in Bray.  Reservations (online only at www.thefatduck.co.uk) will open September3 at Noon Greenwich Mean Time, for dates from September 29 onwards.  Have your credit card handy because the 255 British Pounds fixed price for the food part of your meal must be charged to a credit card when you make your reservation.  Service & Beverages will be due when you actually go.  What to expect?  Heston’s ideas and imaginings, and a vision of the future as exciting as a past that gained Fat Duck the title of #1 in the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and acclaim around the World.  Expect it to be the proverbial “tough ticket” and a totally unique dining experience.  Looking for more clues?  OTM had the opportunity to talk at length with Chef Heston a decade ago – OTM Audio Archives Program Date April 3, 2005 – for unique insight into what makes this Culinary Superstar “tick”.  And we extend our very best wishes to the whole Fat Duck team. 


More Music & Food at Nashwille's Food & Wine Festival - Gospel Brunch

Sunday September 20 will feature a Gospel Brunch at Music City Food & Wine, combining the Culinary Talents of 404 Kitchen's Matt Bolus and Steel Pedal Guitarist Robert Randolph with the Nashville Friends Choir.  A first time addition to the Fetival, now in year 3, the Brunch will celebrate Nashville as one of America's Great Music Towns, says Robert Randolph,.  Get more info & tickets at www.musiccityfoodandwinefestival.com, and look for OTM among the throng that's sure to gather.
 


Pittsburgh Annual Irish Festival - 25 years old & going strong

September 11-13 at Riverplex-Sancastle, near those Chimneys!  Lots of Music, to Eat & Drink. Irish Ancestry NOT required.  More info at http://pghirishfest.org/. Recipes for

some of the Irish Dishes that will be available:

Laughter is brightest where food is best - Irish Proverb

Irish Stew

1 1/2 lbs. beef or lamb, cubed

3 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. oil

4 potatoes, quartered

3 onions, quartered

4 carrots, quartered

3 Tbsp. parsley

2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

3 c. water

Coat meat with flour and brown in a heavy pot with oil.  Add potatoes, onions, carrots, parsley, water, salt, and pepper.  Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.  Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 2 hours, or until meat is tender. Yields 6 servings. Serve with dumplings or Irish Soda Bread.

Shepherd's Pie

2 Tbsp. oil

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef

2 carrots, sliced

1 c. peas

2 Tbsp. flour

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

1 pinch rosemary

1 pinch thyme

2 c. stock or water

4 medium potatoes

2 Tbsp. butter

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. white pepper

1/4 c. milk

Sauté onion in oil.  Add beef and brown.  Add carrots, peas, flour, spices and stock and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 45 minutes. Peel, quarter, boil, and mash potatoes with salt, pepper, butter, and milk. Pour stew into a buttered casserole dish and carefully layer mashed potatoes on top. Bake at 375º for 15 minutes or until potatoes are golden brown. Ingredients may be substituted to accommodate leftovers. Yields 4 servings.

Irish Soda Bread

4 1/2 c. flour

1 tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 c. buttermilk

1 egg (optional)

Mix flour, salt, sugar, and baking soda together. Beat egg into buttermilk and stir into the dry ingredients until well blended.  Turn dough out onto a floured board and knead lightly. Shape dough into a round loaf and place in pie or cake tin. Cut an "X" 1/2 inch into the top and bake 350º for 45 minutes. Yields 1 large loaf or 2 smaller loaves.

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food."

George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright (1856-1950)


Chutney Mary announces Breakfast, Brunch & Lunch

OTM enjoyed a Fabulous Feast for Dinner at Chutney Mary, on our last London trip.  This iconic Indian Restaurant had opened the very night we were there, at swanky New Digs on St. James,  and we had the opportunity to get the Chutney Mary story from Founder & Chairman Ranjit Mathrani.  Tune in to the broadcast which includes this interview - OTM Audio Archives, program date June 21, 2015.  And now enjoy the Chutney Mary experience all day, beginning September 7 -  http://www.chutneymary.com.  You'll be so glad you did!!

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Nashville Hosts Music City Food & Wine Festival Sep 19&20 - OTM has the Scoop from Organiser Chef Time Love in Sunday's Program

Music City Food & Wine Festival, at only 3 years old, is one of the top events of its type, and OTM found out some of the main reasons why, talking with Chef Tim Love, one of the Founders.  Top Chefs from around the country as well as local Culinary Stars will offer specially created dishes with Country Music Headliners for accompaniment – Kings of Leon are among the Festival’s Founders – at Harvest Night, the ultimate Outdoor Extravaganza.  Saturday AND Sunday Grand Tastings feature Foods & Beverages combined, and there’s a great program of Cooking Classes & Demos.  Get more details & tickets at http://www.musiccityfoodandwinefestival.com/, and look for us there!!


Chef Jacques Pepin honored by Julia Child Foundation

Julia will surely be smiling about this.  The Julia Child Foundation just announced that Julia' longtime friend and collaborater is the recipient of its first award.  The Award announcement cited Pepin's mastery of the kitchen and dedication to teaching and writing about the Culinary World; also his positive influence on the way Americans cookm eat & drink.  OTM would like to go on record about the appropriateness of the selection.  We'll be interviewing Chef Jacques about his latest book within the next few weeks and we'll announce the Program Date as soon as it's scheduled to broadcast.  For more information about the award - www.juliachildfoundation.com, and for more about the foundation - www.juliachildfoundation.org. .  


Crowd Funding for Randall Grahm's Popelouchum-vineyard

Details of the Crowdfunding initiative that we talked with Randall about during today's interview at: https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/popelouchum-vineyard-10-000-grapes-for-a-new-wine#/story.  Command your own Space Craft: Le Cigar Volant (the Sculpture), is a one of a kind at $50,000, some great dining opportunities, a Private Piano Recital by Randall's friend & Brilliant Pianist Lara Downes, with Dinner Cooked by Randall Himself - Take a Look!!  and Tune-in long term to Track the Fascinating Popelouchum Project.  And you may be sure OTM will be talking with RG as it progresses.


SFF Foundation honored for support of Food Recovery

Congratulations to the SFFoundation for its work to reduce Hunger by increasing Food Recovery.  OTM already reported on the Huge effort to distribute food left over at the end of the recent Fancy Food Show at NYC's Javits Center, and we're delighted to report that someone else noticed - the American Society of Association Executives awarded SFF a Power of Gold Award in recognition of all the work it does to advance the cause... More at www.specialtyfoodfoundation.org


August 29 brings another 10 year anniversary - NOLA Restaurateur Ralph Brennan Remembers it well

A spokesperson for NOLA Restaurateur Ralph Brennan sent OTM this timely reminder.  We had the pleasure of dining with Ralph when we visited the city for the first time after Katrina - it was Christmas time, and we were responding to NOLA leaders like Ralph call for visitors to return to The Crescent City was "Back in Business" - and we found that it was.  You can hear our landmark interviews in our Januray 4, 11 & 18 2009 programs.

Ralph's Redfish Grill was the first Restaurant in NOLA to get an FDA license to reopen after the storm, Bacco (a Brennan Restaurant now closed) hosted President George Bush when he arrived to survey the storm damage.  When the BP OIl Spill caused another challenge to the region, worked as an advocate (including testimony before the US Congress) for Gulf Seafood.  But he hasn't neglected "Brennan Business" recently opening/reopening Brennan's and Napolean House, two historical Dining Landmarks.

So if you want some of the best in updated tradifional NOLA cuisine get details of Ralph Brennan's version at his restaurants - https://www.neworleans-food.com/


La Quercia Prosciutto Americano will soon be 10 years old - the business not the Hams!

It's hard to believe that La Quercia, Iowa’s award-winning cured meat company, is getting ready to celebrate 10 years of producing Prosciutto Americano --  the first cured meat to be released from their Norwalk aging rooms. Just as hard to believe is that OTM tasted this great product, and interviewed the Founder as long ago as 2007.

But on September 12st , La Quercia will host a Birthday Party at West End Architectural Salvage < http://www.westendsalvage.com/  > in Des Moines from 6-11pm. Local restaurants will serve bites made with La Quercia meats, and guests can feast on hand sliced Acorn Tamworth Prosciutto and Prosciutto Americano. Entertainment will include games with prizes, as well as local band Cousin Eddie. Tickets are on sale at https://tikly.co/events/582 now for $30.00: 100% of the proceeds of this event to be donated to United Way of Central Iowa’s Women’s Leadership Connection (WLC). View invite at http://laquercia.us/la_quercia_anniversary_10.html. The entire Eckhouse family will also be at the Des Moines Farmers market on the morning of September 12 selling their signature sandwiches (challah, sweet butter, prosciutto) to raise funds for WLC.

Cofounder Herb Eckhouse says: “For our family, making Prosciutto Americano was a huge risk and has been a huge personal effort.  We are celebrating to show our appreciation to all those who have contributed to helping us make it to this milestone -- eaters, customers, suppliers, colleagues”..  OTM will be bringing you an updated interview with Herb within the next few weeks.

Since 2005, La Quercia has been making handcrafted prosciutto in Iowa using humanely raised pigs from family farms in the Midwest. There was no artisan American prosciutto on the market when they opened their plant. Eckhouse remembers: “We were worried.  I told Kathy—‘there goes a thousand pounds of prosciutto.  It just hit me that it's going to be sliced thin and served about an ounce at a time.  A lot of people are going to have to like it’.” The company’s products, which now include several varieties of prosciutto, pancetta, coppa, guanciale, lardo and salami, have been embraced by taste-making chefs and retailers, and hailed by The New York Times, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Vogue and many other publications. They are now distributed throughout the US and Canada.

 

About La Quercia

Husband and wife Herb and Kathy Eckhouse began La Quercia with the goal of making uniquely delicious cured meats from humanely raised American pork. Several years living in Parma, Italy, sparked their appreciation of fine cured meats, but it was the bounty of the Midwest that inspired them to start curing meats in their Des Moines, Iowa, basement a decade ago. Although the company now operates in a much larger facility in nearby Norwalk, Iowa, they still salt, turn and trim each piece by hand in their aging rooms.  Learn more at www.laquercia.us.

      

 

La Quercia’s products are now available directly to consumers via mail order and can be found at specialty retailers nationwide. The full lineup of products is here: http://laquercia.us/order_cured_la_quercia_meats


What has 267 companies & 1,779 Products? Cheese Camp!

Providence RI, July 29-August 1 is the American Cheese Society's 32nd Annual Conference & Competition, AKA Cheese Camp.  If you're a "Cheese-o-Phile" don't miss this celebration of the flourishing US Cheese Scene.  Get more details at www.cheesesociety.org


Laphroaig wants Your Opinion - it's a Contest!

It took several years of sampling for OTM Co-host Ann to develop a taste for this deeply "Peaty" Scottish Mail Whisky - now it's among her Favorites among the hundreds of different Malts.  Now Laphroaig is running a Contest in celebration of 200 Years of Laphraiog.  Dubbed "200 Opinions Wanted" it will give you the chance to express your opinion, favorable or not.   Go to www.laphroaig.com/opinions, be sure to type the URL carefully!  200 prizes will be awarded - the winning opinions being immortalized on a Tiled Wall at the Distillery.  AND two entrants will be selected to win a trip to Islay in September for a unique "Distillery Experience) - and a dram or two...............  Best wishes to all our friends at Laphroaig. and congratulations on this landmark anniversary.


Glitch with today's program

We are pleased to report that OTM's July  5, 2015 program is now available.  We apokogize for any inconvenience resulting from the delay, 


Banning Tipping pays off for Bar Marco Pittsburgh

Changing waitstaff compensation to Straight Salary - No Tips is a new trend in US restaurants, and Pittsburgh's Bar Marco, www.barmarco.com, was an early adopter.  Co -Founder Bobby Fry tells OTM about an unexpected "dividend" - their business is "booming".  Of course simplifying bills probably isn't the only reason for their success.  Chef Jamilka Borges' great food, the innovative cocktail program undoubtedly contribute............... But it's nice to be able to report on a "win-win" situation.


Back from London & World's 50 Best Restaurants

Perhaps the most intriguing news of all - 50 Best will be leaving London after spending its first 14 years there.  Revealing the 51-100 rankings a few days ahead of the Big Night, brought varying reactions.  OTM had a chance to talk with Will Reed, Founder & Head of 50 Best about both of these topics - OTM Audio Archives, program date June 14, 2015.  In the same program we captured the real-time reactions of some winners and some old friends.  And of course we had the chance to enjoy some of London's top new tables, including 2 "reincarnations",  Bruno Loubet's Grain Stote Unleashed in his previous Bistro space, and pioneering Gourmet Indian Leader Chutney Mary moving uptown in a big way to splendid new "digs" just around the corner from swanky Mayfair and Buckingham Palace.  Catch both in our June 21 program.


Hurry, hurry, London's National Gallery Exhibit on Impressionists ends May 31

OTM is going to get to London just in time for this great exhibit devoted to Paul Durand-Ruel, the entrepreneurial art dealer who discovered the Impressionists.  You shouldn't miss this first ever exhibit of this great art movement that focuses on how this dealer succeeded in gaining attention for the Impressionist movement.  It's one of our favorite eras in the pictorial arts.  To get more information, tickets to this show and other details of the great collection at the National Gallery - http://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/inventing-impressionism.


Iron Horse Cuvees Celebrate Earth Day and Aid US Diplomacy

Joy Sterling, her parents Audrey & Barry, and daughter Barrie are stars at the art of celebrating with their great sparkling wine cuvees.  At the Earth Day party Govenor "Moonbeam" Jerry Bronw stopped by, as did Yosemite Climber Kevin Jorgeson - OTM couldn't make it, but we're sure a good time was had by all.  And both the White House & State Department have used Iron Horse to lubricate the wheels of diplomacy - April 28 at the White House Iron Horse was poured for the President of Japan, and the week before John Kerry toasted members of the American Chef Corps with 2010 Classic Vintage Brut.  During our visit to Iron Horse a few years ago we lunched with Audrey & Barry, and managed to sample all 10 of the then current cuvees with some great food & conversation.  This Green Valley vineyard is a must visit!  www.ironhorsevineyards.com/.

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Daniel Boulud wuns 2015 LIfetime Achievement Award for World's 50 Best

Congratulations to OTM's "bon ami" Daniel, now a worldwide Restaurateur.  From humble beginnings in Lyon, France, tthrough his years as Chef, the Owner of several fine restaurants in NYC, Chef Boulud has distinguished himself, and has always sought improvement (even where perfection was already achieved).  For more about this Diner's Club Lifetime Achievement Award and the entire 2015 Awards program, www.theworlds50best.com.  


Just back from James Beard Awards in Chicago - Interviews coming in next 2 weeks programs

Chicago certainly spread the "Red Carpet" for attendees at the first-ever JBF Awards outside of NYC.  We enjoyed the hospitality, and the dynamic Awards Event at the Lyric Opera.  OTM's May 17 & 24 programs will bring you interviews with honorees, so be sure to tune in.  We received the big news that JBF Awards will return to Chicago in 2016 & 2017.  Apparently the Mayor of Chicago was directly involved in persuading JBF leadership thatthe city was deserving, and the Chicago Restaurant Community certainly showed us.  To get details of all the winners http://news.yahoo.com/2015-james-beard-restaurant-chef-123039675.html;_ylt=AwrC1CjiY09VhToARiXQtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByOHZyb21tBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg--


Helene Darroze named World's Best Female Chef 2015

The World's 50 Best organizers keep the restaurant winners in suspense until the last possible moment, but not the recipients of Best Female Chef and Lifetime Achievement Awards.  The Veuve Cliquot sponsored Best Female Chef as announced a few days ago and the Lifetime award will be announced soon.  Winning the Best Female award this year, Helene Darroze who has not just one but two, in Paris (founded 1999) and London (2008).  Chef Darroze boldly set forth for Paris after closing her family's restaurant in the Landes region of SW France to found her first place on Paris' Left Bank, where it quickly gained critical acclaim.  9 years later she opened in London's Connaught Hotel, in Mayfair.  She is known for impeccable Contemorary French dishes, but always letting seasonal, authentic ingredients to take precedence.  For more about the World's 50 Best http://www.theworlds50best.com/, and Chef Darroze at www.helenedarroze.com/.


Rooftop Biergarten to Open at Pittsburgh's Hotel Monaco

Hotel Monaco keeps on making news - Good News.  Taking advantage of the beautiful Rooftop Space, with a great vistas across the city, Biergarten will offer a wide range of European Beers, as well as American Brews (of which The Commoner has such a fine selection) and German-influenced bites - appropriate to its name!  Dennis Marron, Executive Chef of The Commoner, will serve as Exec of Biergarten, so won't lack for fine noursishment.  A great addition to the Pittsburgh Scene!!  Go to www.monaco-pittsburgh.com/restaurants.


Food & Wine names Cory Bahr People's Best New Chef 2015, Justin Severino of Pittsburgh's Cure repeats as Regional Winner-Midatlantic

OTM sends heartiest congratulations to both Cory & Justin, also the other regional winners.  Get more information through www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2015/04/09/.


USA Pavilion at Milan Expo announces the James Beard American Restaurant in the heart of Milan

The Restaurant will occupy space atop Milan's magnificent & historic Galleria Vittorion Emanuele II, adjacent to the city's glorious Duomo.  It will operate in much the same manner as the James Beard House in NYC, but with a specil mission to be a centerpiece of culinary programming & gastronomic activity in combination with the USA Pavilion at Expo Milano 2105, from May to October.  The line up of Chefs includes many that you can hear interviewed in OTM's Audio Archives - the list is too long to include here - imagine that practically great American Chef that you know iwill be cooking 2 consecutive days.  Sundays will feature Brunch.  And "Wow" OTM's favorite non-American Chef Massimo Bottura from Modena will be cooking on July 4!!  Reservations will open on-line within a few days.  If you want to jump the gun contact restaurant@usapavilion2015.net.  For more about Expo Milano 2006 and the USA Pavilion - http://www.expo2015.org/en/; http://www.usapavilion2015.net/


Belle Meade Bourbon on top again after 5 Generations

Nelson's Green Brier Bourbons won TWO Double Golds (highest medal rating) for their Limited Edtion and Sherry Cask Finish at the recent World Spirits Competition in San Francisco.  This Brand was a Market Leader after its founding by the 5th Generation Grandfather of today's young Nelsons, Andy & Charlie, who rediscovered the Nelson Bourbon tradition just a few years ago.  We met these remarkable young men at the 2103 Greenville SCarolina Euphoria Festival.  Our interview with Andy, program date December 29, 2013, tells more of the story.  www.greenbrierdistillery.com.