Congratulations to Food & Wine's 2010 Top Chefs

OTM is pleased to recognize the following on their selection: Roy Choi of the Kogi BBQ truck in Los Angeles, Matt Lightner of Castagna in Portland, Ore, Clayton Miller of Trummer's on Main in Clifton, Va. Missy Robbins of A Voce in New York City, Jonathon Sawyer of The Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland, Alex Seidel of Fruition in Denver, Mike Sheerin of Blackbird in Chicago, John Shields of Town House in Chilhowie, Va. Jason Stratton of Spinasse in Seattle, James Syhabout of Commis in Oakland, Calif. Read more: http://www.nrn.com/breakingNews.aspx?id=381786#ixzz0kh8Jrbdt


    OTM is Blogging again!!

    Hello to all you Bloggers!!  Peter decided it was time to resume blogging and has chosen Wordpress for its ease of use, so blog on to http://onthemenuradio.wordpress.com from now on.  The old blog, http://onthemenuradio.blogspot.com will remain in place. The Blog click-through on the website has not been changed over, but you can use the wordpress link above to access the new Blog - we'll announce when the click-through is in place.


    Celebrate Earth Day with the Sterlings at Iron Horse

    Join Joy, Audrey & Barry at their glorious Green Valley CA vineyard and enjoy an important occasion, April 18th, with some great wine and good company.  Several local wineries are joining, and John Finger of Hog Island Oysters leads a group of food providers.  General admission is $50; a VIP Sparkling reception featuring California farm-raised Osetra caviar for $250 precedes the main event in Audrey & Barry's magnificent home on the vineyard (eat your heart out, when OTM visited we had lunch there).  They're 2 of the most fascinating people we've ever met.  There'll be music, a speaker about underwater exploration, and an eco-exhibit (whatever that is).  To reserve or for more information http://www.ironhorsevineyards.com/events/


    Australia's Tahbilk celebrates 150 year with dinner at London's Ledbury - May 12 is the date

    This item has been amended - the event is open only to the wine trade, except for the 2 places available through Decanter.

    And as part of their birthday celebrations, Tahbilk is offering a Decanter Magazine/decanter.com reader and guest the chance to attend the 150th Anniversary dinner in London on May 12th, hosted by Alister Purbrick, CEO and 4th generation Winemaker at Tahbilk. The prize also includes an overnight stay in London for the winners.  This once-in-a-lifetime dinner will be held at the celebrated Ledbury Restaurant, and will be attended by wine trade, press, dignitaries and friends and family of the Purbricks. Michelin 2-star chef Brett Graham of The Ledbury (Newcastle, NSW born) will prepare a menu to match the very special and rare wines Tahbilk will be bringing from their cellar.  If you don't win the prize, go to The Ledbury at another time for a great dining experience, and be sure to look for Tahbilk's great wines on wine lists and at your local wine merchants.  You can find out more about these two great guys, Alister Purbrick & Brett Graham by listening to their OTM interviews in OTM Audio Archive, program dates May 11, 2008 & April 1, 2007 respectively


    (Paso Robles) California here we come!!

    Thanks to the wonderful cooperation of the Paso Robles Wine Alliance and Travel Paso Robles Alliance OTM is heading for a week of exploration of his area located practically 1/2 way between SF & LA.  Interviews with all the food, wine & travel personalities we meet will start airing in programs beginning April 4.  We know we'll be tasting wines from several of the leading vineyards, some of the pioneers of the PR wine community, and some of the new enthusiasts as well - names too numerous to include here.  Two great restaurants, Artisan & Cass House Grill are included and we're staying part of the time at Hotel Cheval, then at Bella Sera.  We'll be visiting an Abalone farm, tasting local Olive Oils & fresh local produce, and more - we don't have all the details yet - but you'll be sure to have them after we return to the Studio.


    What's a NOWFE? - May 25-29 in New Orleans!!

    When OTM cracked the abbreviation we said right way - that's for us!  One of our favorite dining destinations, and great wines to match...  The 19th Annual version of the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience happens May 25-29 in the Crescent City - find out more at www.nowfe.com, and plan to join OTM "where the good times roll".


    Girasole in Shadyside - 10 years old & going strong!!

    It's hard to believe been that Girasole Restaurant opened its doors in Shadyside 10 years ago. The family-owned favorite will present three special Mondays in April to highlight a decade of serving the community with good food and hospitality. "We are so thankful for our loyal customers and local businesses who support us," says Patti Girasole tells OTM. "Every single day we open our doors, our priority is great food at fair prices in an upbeat atmosphere. Our passion for family, friends and excellent food is at the heart of our business."

    April 12, 2010, 7pm: Taste seven excellent wines from various regions of Italy. Vito Girasole, director of Girasole's wine program, will host this fun and informative evening. Each wine will be paired with small plates of specialties from their corresponding region to tantalize the palate.

    April 19, 2010, 6:30pm: Years ago, Brent Young worked at Girasole as a line cook, before heading to New York, where he became a founding member of The Meat Hook at the Brooklyn Kitchen Labs, which specializes in charcuterie. Join Brent's dinner of 6 petite plates highlighting the meats from his shop and including salad, soup, pasta and dessert.

    April 26, 2010, 6:30.pm: When she was just a "kid", Haley Zelicoff started out picking parsley leaves for the chefs in the kitchen at Girasole. After completing four years at the prestigious Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY, Haley is returning to Girasole with a fabulous 5-course meal, finishing with a dessert of lemon cornmeal cake and olive oil gelato.

    Girasole is a small family-owned restaurant located in the heart of Shadyside in Pittsburgh. Its charming European-style atmosphere complements the innovative and traditional cuisine which features seasonal menus, and includes appetizers, salads, pastas and daily meat, chicken and fish specials. Call 412-682-2130 for more information.


    Charleston Dining Rocks!

    Charleston South Carolina that is... OTM is here for the 5th annual Food & Wine Festival, a magnet for food & wine enthusiasts from around the country - we met a foursome from Cleveland last evening. Star attractions included OTM's good friend Daniel Boulud and star Pastry Chef-Restaurateur Elizabeth Falkner of Citizen Cake & Orson, San Francisco. We found time to visit what local's name as the latest & greatest eatery, Amen Street, where Chef Todd Garrigan is playing to a packed house - emphasis is on the freshest possible seafood. Mike Lata of FIG and Sean Brock of McCrady's, everyone's to pick for the city's best, were so busy we didn't even have chance to say hello. We did hook up with Frank McMahon at Hank's Seafood (after failing to include this in previous visits). This 10-year-old Seafood Bistro was packed, and we can tell you why - traditional (and a bit untraditional) seafood preparations are just great! The best Bouillabaisse broth we've tasted in decades is just one example. Sommelier-Manager Joey Ryan took great care of us and Frank found time to help us choose our menu. Listen for our interview with Frank and other conversations in next week's program. Thanks to Laura Brightof Maverick SouthernKitchens for finding us a spot to do some interviews during a delicious (and boisterous) Low Country Breakfast. Mark your calendars for next March to head for Charleston and enjoy what is fast becoming one of America's best Food & Wine celebrations. On a sad note iconic Restaurateur and Opera singer Robert Dickson is closing his restaurant in June after 34 years of delighting the palate and ears - do go here before June for a unique experience!


    Dateline - London is for Lovers!!

    Close OTM followers will know that being in London for Valentine's Day is our tradition for more than a decade.  So despite 3 feet of snow in our home town and some travel planning ingenuity - here we are again.  We'll be spending Feb 14 with cousins who live here, because they tell us V-Day menus lack gourmet interest. 

    But in the days before OTM has been out and about as usual.  Corrigan's Mayfair was superb, living up to all the accolades and awards they've received.  Richard C is in fine form, as you'll hear in the Feb 21 program, and Chris MacGowan's lusty food is all that it was at Lindsay House.  Octopus Salad with Black Truffle shavings, long-braised Shin of Beef with Snails in Spinach sauce and an inspired portion of Peppered Bone Marrow, Goose Fat fried Potato Chips to die for and much more....

    Sir Terence Conran is a serial restaurateur with 51 openings "under his belt", and his latest venture Boundary does not disappoint.  Peter Prescott, his partner, helped create and now runs this multi-function/purpose establishment in a lovingly restored industrial building in previously gritty - now trendy Shoreditch, just over the eastern boundary of the City of London's financial district.  Chef Ian Wood is master of Boundary's Basement fine dining room - and in season Rooftop Grill, with the Albion Cafe and Bakery at street level in between.  OTM overdosed on native British Oysters here, and at Corrigan's so our Zinc level is where it needs to be for the 14th.  Ian is a Charcuterie Master as well.  Heirloom breed Manx Loaghtan from the Irish Sea's Isle of Man was a Lamb-lover's delight.  Oh and by the way you can stay at Boundary in elegantly designed rooms all with great views over the city.

    Oz (Hobart, Tasmania) native Paul Merrony and spouse-partner Tracey serve a packed house at Giaconda Dining Room on tiny Music-instrument intensive Denamark Street on the edge of the West-End Theatre district and Soho - hearty dishes with Offal features like Tripe & Kidneys plus Seafood which arrive overnight from England's SW fisheries.  Michelin noticed and gave them a Bib Gourmand designation.

    And in the cosmopolitan Notting Hill-Bayswater area, native-Syrian Mohammed Bader-Alden Antabli serves outstanding Lebanese-Syrian specialties at Al Waha, widely praised and award winning - and OTM now knows why!!  And creditable Lebanese wine is the beverage must.  Come with a group to enjoy bounteous meze and grilled mains - or as we did enjoy a table for 4 entirely covered with delicious dishes.  Stylized Arabic sayings by Lounner al-Shaarani grace the walls.

    OTM doesn't "circle back" often, but our good friends Sam & Eddie Hart demand an exception.  Back in 2004 one of our very first "out of studio" interviews featured their Tapas restaurant Fino, and we returned to catch up with the Harts to find all was the same if not better.  Sam & Eddie, we congratulate you on this, plus Barrafina and Quo Vadis.  Pork belly to die for, Fried Artichoke Hearts, Calcots a mysterious seasonal Catalan vegetable similar to a Green Onion on a bed of Romesco sauce, great Quail Ann ate single-handed and a fine Ribera del Douro red recommended by Anna Mateo who just happens to be from Vallidolid.

    And we're not done yet, today we join Bernard Yeoh to sample new dishes at Kai Mayfair.

    So be sure to tune in February 21 and 28.........


    Saints Rule, was there a Secret Ingredient?

    OTM Congratulates the Superbowl 44 Champions!!!  "Back in the day" it was rumored that the great 1950s Hungarian National Soccer team fortified themselves with Goulash at half-time in their matches.  Was there a similar Culinary Secret behinds the Saints' Success?  Perhaps we'll never know - but a visit to the Crescent City is recommended nevertheless.  We love NOLA and plan on attending the 2010 New Orleans Wine & Food Experience in May - there must be a culinary equivalent to successful recovery of a 2nd half on-side kick-off, and we can't wait to find out what it is!!!