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.

World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards - London, June 1

Looking Ahead, OTM notes that this exciting event has moved quite a lot in the calendar (last year the date was late April).  Location, London's Magnificent Guildhall, remains the same.  Organization of the Event still being done by the founder, William Reed Business Media, Main Sponsors S. Pellegrino & Acqua Panna.  This year for the first time a Professional Services Firm, Deloitte, will be handling the adjudication.  For more information,

Shaya Restaurant - Great New Option for Passover Dining in NOLA

At OTM we're great fans of Chef Alon Shaya. of Domenica, Pizz Domenica and now Shaya.  It's easiest if we just quote Chef himself describing this new Dining Experience.  "Shaya is an innovative restaurant with a warm and welcome approach to the dining culture inspired by my Israeli upbringing.  I see modern Israeli food as a grand mosaic, drawing influence from North Africa, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, Turkey and Greece. The food of my heritage represents a country rich in diversity of cuisine and culture, inspired by years of tradition while also looking to its contemporary future. The menu at Shaya reflects the ongoing evolution of Israeli food, while celebrating the abundance of Louisiana and a personal close relationship with local farmers ....... through ongoing work with the Crescent City Farmer’s Market. In keeping with the the ethos of all of the Besh restaurants, Shaya uses seasonal, responsibly- and locally-sourced ingredients".  We'll be there for sure on our next trip to the Crescent City.

RIP Dick Brennan of Commander's Palace NOLA

The family of legendary Restaurateur Richard J. Brennan Senior announced the passing of their beloved Father a few days ago.  OTM sends condolences to his family.  We cannot let this Historic Moment pass without recognizing Dick's invention of Jazz Brunch as a way to attract more customerrs to Commander's Palace.  Many have copied the combination of Food and Jazz, but (in our humble opinion) the original as still the best.  On our first visit Peter forgot to bring a jacket, but our hosts arranged for him to get a loaner AND we got to pick a Jazz selection - our choice "St. James Infirmary" (a Turk Murphy signature) received wide applause from patrons which made us feel like true Jazz afficianados.  A series of outstanding Chefs began their culinary careers at Commander's.  As the family notes in the press release, Dick will be deeply missed, OTM would like to add that he certainly will never be forgotten.  The last word goes to the family "It's only natural to raise a glass and toast in his honor, to a life wll-lived!!.  Please join us in doing so!!

"First Ever" Cultivated British Truffle Found in Leicestershire

Dr. Paul Thomas, Chief Scientist of the American Truffle Company (ATC) reports this recent discovery, which comes after six year's work to establish Truffle Orchards in Britain.   It's reported that Dr. Thomas has rewarded his partners in Spain and Australia with cultivated Truffle Crops.  Needless to say Dr. Thomas and his colleagues at ATC are really excited and hoping for this to be just the start of a Truffle Industry.  OTM visited with a successful Cultivated Truffle business in the Pemberton region of Western Australia, more than 10 years ago, so we know that it can be done.  We have not yet seen a report on who bought the Truffle in question and what it smelled-tasted like.  For more information

Celebrate Marc Vetri's New Cookbook at Domenica NOLA, March 22

Chef Marc Vetri is venturing from Philadelphia to New Orleans to celebrate the publication of Mastering Pasta, his 3rd Cookbook .... more of the secrets that have made Marc one of America's favorite Exponents of Cucina Italia, US-style.  OTM can tell you what ptobably influenced this decision,  It just happens that Alon Shaya, Chef at Domenica, is one of (if not the) best young creators of Italian Cuisine in the USA.  So you can expect Italian Dining at its best.  And while you're in NOLA be sure to visit Alon's Pizza Domenica, where we last enjoyed his more casual side.  For details about the dinner,, about Marc Vetri,, and Alon Shaya, & 

Gaggan, Bangkok, tops Asia's 50 Best Restaurant Awards

Indian Cusisine in Thailand - is this a "Recipe for Success".  You could be forgiven for having doubts unless you were at the World's 50 Best when Chef Gaggan Anand's Bangkok restaurant crashed the top 50 at #17.  OTM remembers chatting with him about this very subject at the 2014 World's Awards.  We congratulate Chef Gaggan, and the winners in the many other categories.  Get all the details at  And we'll look forward to seeing you at the 2015 World's in London, June 1.

OTM now on US Eastern Daylight time

Non-USA listeners please note that until your country advances its clocks, OTM's new program will be available one-hour earlier.

The Summer Fancy Food Show ranked high by Bizbash

Bizbash, leading trade media organization, recently ranked the NYC FFS to its Top 100 most powerful Events, and #2 in 6 Food & Restaurant category.  For those like OTM this is hardly a surprise, but it does reflect the increasing interest in Specialty Foods.  June 28-30 are these year's dates, the location Javits Convention Centre, and it's sure to be another packed house.  Expect the 2015 show to exceed last year's record 2,700 Exhibitors and 22,000 Attendees.  Ann Daw, President of the Specialty Food Association, organizer of the Show notes that "The Food scene is thriving, and our Show continues to attract important buyers eager to make new connections with Food Artisans and Entrepreneurs.  Note that this is a "trade-only" event; registration is already open at  Learn more about the Association and its SOFI Awards Program at

Melbourne Food Wine Fest runs February 27-March 15

This isn't just one of the World's Best Festivals devoted to Food & Wine, it also has what must surely be the longest duration.  17 Days!!!  When those Aussies party they don't know when to stop!  Seriously, the Festival is bigger and better than ever this year - too many events to list here - go to  And in addition to the Festival itself allow some extra time to explore this charming and cosmopolitan city and the surrounding region - will help you plan your visit

10th Anniversary Charleston Wine & Food Festival promises to be "Best Ever"

Charleston Celebrates a Decade of Fine Wine & Food Events with the 10th Version, March 4th through 8th.  The Combination of the History and Charm of this graceful Southern City and an Exciting Food Scene (both Innovative & Traditional ) make this an Event that you shouldn't miss!!  There's so much in this year's program, the organizers added a 5th Day, and they just released more tickets for some of the most popular individual dinners and other events.  Learn more at, and by listening to OTM's interview with Cathryn Zommer, Director of Communications for the Festival in our February 15th program.

Lucky New Yorkers - Slanted Door Pop-up Feb 15-17 in Brooklyn

San Francisco's legendary Slanted Door is coming to Williamsburg NEXT WEEK.  Chef Owner Charles Phan is joining forces with Andrew Tarlow to offer a "Pho Pop-Up" from 6-11PM on February 15-17 at the Wythe Hotel, for details.  Note that no reservations will be taken, so be sure to go early.  For more about OTM's great friend Charles see  And whether you make it to the Pop-Up, be sure to add Slanted Door to your MUST DINE AT list for the city by the bay.

Tetsuya Wakuda named Diner's Club Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Our friends at Asia's 50 Best Awards just announced this award, which will be presented at the 50 Best Awards Program, March 9 at Singapore's Capella Hotel.  From 1989 when Chef Tetsuya opened his first restaurant in an out of the way corner of Sydney, Australia, fine dining afficianados considered it one of the World's Best (with a ranking as high as #4).  OTM had the opportunity to dine there in 2000. when we were doing coverage of Sydney dining for Olympics visitors, and marveled at the innovation and excellence represented in every dish - the Sydney Morning Herald called it "magical dining".. Tetsuya moved to a much larger space in the heart of Sydney, and also serves  as Head Chef at Waku Ghin in Singapore.  So now you have 2 more places to add to your Dining Bucket List!

Mourad Lahlou in San Francisco - 2 is better then 1

Just opened in the heart of the City is Mourad, a Larger, Grander Space than Chef Lahlou's hugely popular first venture, Aziza, out in the Richmond area of SF. Traditional Moroccan ifluences meet California's bountiful harvest at both restaurants, which are designed to have the feel of a Moroccan home (Says Eater).   More information at and respectively.  Having interviewed Mourad when he published his first cookbook, OTM knows this Chef knows his stuff!!  OTM Audio Archives, January 1, 2012, if you'd like to listen,  We're just going to go.

OTM Congratulates Team USA on Bocuse d'Or Silver Medal

Let's hear it for Team USA, for the first time medaling at this prestigious event which takes place every other year in Lyon France.  OTM's good friends and culinary favorites Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud headed our country's team, which included Philip Tessier and Skylar Stover from Chef Thomas' French Laundry Team.  Chef Daniel must be proude of this achievement in his home town.  Gold in 2017!!!  And let's not forget to congratulate Norway & Swden which took home Gold & Bronze respectively.

Dreadnought Wines is moving, but Not Far

OTM and everyone else thought Dreadnought Wines & Palate Partners were Fixtures on Penn Avenue in Pittsburgh's Strip District.  And we loved everything about what owners Deb and Mike have been doing for 35 years - except looking for a Parking Spot.  Now they're moving - for more space. maybe easier access - so February 1 they'll be at 3401 Liberty Avenue, across from the old Iron City Brewery and in the same block as Church Brew Works.  Who knew they were so in love with Beer, thought they were winos!  Seriously Folks, more & more accessible wine storage, more classroom space, the same great range of gifts & accesories fo the Wine Afficiando who thinks they have everything, and of course Great Wines carefully selected by Deb & Mike.  So we wish them the very best for a successful launch in their new home, and raise a glass to wish them a Happy & Prosperous 2105.  More information of course at

Long Awaited Opening of Kimpton Hotel, Pittsburgh & The Commoner Restaurant, January 20

OTM is excited to welcome the Kimpton's Boutique Hotel to Pittsburgh, in what Old-timers like us will alwys know as the Duquesne Light Building.  Named for Wiiliam Pitt the Younger (known as The Great Commoner for his Parliamentary Skills, whose father William Pitt the Elder, 1st Earl of Chatham is more widely commemorated in Pittsburgh).  The Commoner Restaurant & The Commoner Corner Cafe will open January 20th for Breakfast & Dinner, with Lunch service starting February 3 and Sunday Brunch from February 21.  Expect American Classics with Modern Flare.  We're looking forward to meeting Chef Dennis Marron and will be bringing you an interview in the very near future.  For more details

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants names Best Female Chef 2015

It's a bit like George Clooney at the Golden Globes .  Vicky Lau of Hong Kong's Tate Dining Room knows she's won an major award, no suspense.  OTM adds it Congratulations to the many Vicky will receive for this revognition of her Culinary Achievements.  This Prestigious Award is sponsored by Veuve Cliquot. The entire Awards Event, sponsored by San Pellegrino & Aqua Panna, will take place March 9 at Capella Hotel, Singapore.  For more information about the entire event -


OTM, OTM Where have you been?

Well like most residents of the NE USA, we've been mostly "hunkering down" in the bitterly cold temperatures, snow & ice.  We did enjoy a great Family Christmas with Peter's brother Paul and his family in St. Agnes, Cornwall (about 40 miles from Port Isaac, the setting for the popular Doc Martin TV series carried by PBS).  Here the unusually cold temperatures iced over car windows, but did not deter the hundred hardy souls, and their dogs, who plunged into the North Atlantic at St. Agnes Cove.  OTM watched but did NOT participate.  En route we made a stopover in Winchester, capital of the Kingdom of Wessex, in the time of King Alfred, and with some (KIng) Arthurian connections.  And yes, this was the inspiration for the popular song of 1966, released by The New Vaudeville Band, a British novelty group established by the song's composer, Geoff Stephens.  The Cathedral was built in the 11th century, a full millenium ago, but the most popular attraction was an ice-skating rink and a holiday market.  Interesting history AND a bustling shopping centre!  We enjoyed excellent meals at River Cottage Canteen, recently opened by Famed Chef & TV Personality Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, and The Chesil Rectory, both in beautifully restored buildings, with innovative modern menus, and  Very comfortable and efficient overnight stay at The Old Vine,  Along the way we passed Stonehenge, surrounded by much vehicular traffic and a long line for admission, and looking perhaps even smaller then we remember from when we visited 50 years ago. Altogether a very interesting stopover traveling West from London, less than 2 hours from Heathrow.

Orsone, Friuli Italy just sent us their Menus for Natale & Capodanno

Still pondering where to spend the holidays; How about a Luxury Bed & Breakfast and Gourmet Restaurant in the midst of a Vineyard?  Only 90 minutes drive from Venice's Marco Polo Airport will bring you to Lidia & Joe Bastianich's Dream Destination.  We had a great stay there in September; everything was marvellous.  So imagine what Christmas and New Year celebrations will be like.  And along the way there or back be sure to stop in at Valter Scarbolo's La Frasca for more wonderful food and wine.  But HURRY!!  Christmas is coming............. fast and there's a good chance they'll be sold out.  And of course tell them On the Menu sent you.  For more information and reservations. &  And we wish you all a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR wherever you choose to celebrate them.

Pittsburgh's Dining Community Gathered to Recognize Chef Leonard Pisano's Career & Contribution to the Culinary Scene

Chefs and Diners alike gathered in big numbers for a Memorial to Chef Leonard Pisano at Up Modern Kitchen on November 13.  Jared "Red" Lordon of Allegheny City Smokehouse took the lead in organizing the event.  A group of Pittsburgh's best known Chefs contributed fine food themed for New Orleans; Chef Leonard loved NOLA cusisine, working there for several years and most recently bringing it to Pittsburgh at NOLA on the Square.  Here's who took part; Cory Hughes & Martin Hamilton of  6Penn, Neal Heidekat of  Sonoma Grill, Dan DeRight a retired chef now is going to law school, Derek Stevens of Eleven & Ben Sloan of Kaya.  Chefs and Servers who worked with LP spoke about how he had inspired them.  Altogether it was a great evening, a suitable tribute to a great Chef and a fine young man who will be sorely missed.  T-Shirts imprinted LP Is My Man said it best.  RIP LP!!!

FYI for Pittsburgh area Allegheny City Smokehouse is offering its fine Smoked Pork Products at Up Modern Kitchen, Sundays 4-9PM, until they can organise their own eat-in location -



News from Joy Sterling of Iron Horse

OTM's good friend, and a leader in the production of American Sparkling Wine, Joy reports that Iron Horse's Wedding Cuvee achieved  number 10 ranking in the Wine Enthusiast 100 for 2014. Also they're vinting Pinot Noir again after the re-plant of the entire vineyard in California's Green Valley - small production, single vineyard block Pinot Noirs Joy describes as "...our rising stars".. We need to get some.  And BEST OF ALL it's raining in Wine Country....... Joy, great to hear from you, give out regards to Audrey & Barry, and young Barrie.  We saw Barrie at the Pittsburgh Wine Festival earlier this year.  For more information, ordering online,, or better still head there for a tasting.

Rogue Creamery Caveman Blue Wins BIG at 2014 World Cheese Awards

Caveman Blue won a Super Gold Medal at the 2014 World Cheese Awards as one of the World's top 60 Cheeses.  Their Echo Mountain Blue won a Bronze Medal.  David Gremmels, Co-founder & Cheesmaker at Rougue Creamery is quoted " I'm honored to have our Caveman Blue selected as Super Gold............ It's an honor to be amongst this group of judges and industry's good to see a blue take the prize."  For more information about Rogue's entire line-up of great cheeses, We interviewed David and his partner way back in 2005.

Back in the "burgh" - Chris Frangiadis

OTM's old friend Chris(tian) Frangiadis is back in Pittsburgh working on a new restaurant, "Taste" , in space formerly occupied by Quiet Storm, 5400 Block of Penn Avenue in Garfield.  Great to have you back Chris, and keep us posted.. 

Talenti Gelato & Sorbetto In Fortune - Surprise, Surprise

At OTM we're used to seeing our interviewees in Michelin Guides, Bon Appetit, Conde Nast, Food & Wine.  Josh Hochshuler of Talenti may not be the first of our guests to grace the pages of the premier business magazine, but its the first we've seen in almost 11 years.  Check out the Fortune story in the October 27, 2014 issue.  Better yet listen to our interview with Josh - OTM Audio Archives, October 8, 2010.  And by the way we think Talenti makes THE best Gelato,and Josh named the brand after Italian Chef Bernardo Buontalenti who invented Gelato (and ice cream we think) for his boss Catherine de Medici, who married the King of France and took Chef BB with her to Paris, starting the spread of "ice cream, ice cream, we all scream for ice-cream" - no we don't know how to say this in Italian or French, but it probably doesn't rhyme anyway.  And by the way Josh, we're delighted to read that you're doing so well!!

Damian Samsonetti, Daniel Doherty, Tandy Wilson, Old & New Friends of OTM Cooking at Beard House

Native Pittsburgher Damian Samsonetti, now teamed with his wife Ilma Jeil Lopex at Picocolo, Portland ME, via a stint at NYC's Bar Boulud, will be returning to his roots with a menu inspired by Calabria & Abruzzo, the date November 8, so do hurry!

We delighted in the "Playfull" menus devised by Chef Daniel Doherty at London's Duck & Waffle, high atop the 40 story Heron Tower.  Take advantage of this opportunity to sample Daniel's innovative interpretation of British cooking classics, and some fascinating cocktails as well - the waiting list at D&W London for prime time reservations typically exceeds 3 months.  The Beard dinner is November 19.

Only a few weeks ago during our first visit to Nashville for the Music City Food and Wine Festival we met Chef Tandy Wilson & sampled the liquors produced by Nashville city center Corsair Artisan Distillery.  They're joining forces with local micro-brewer Carey Bringle of Peg Leg Porter on December 8

For more information including ticketing -

To hear what these fine Chefs had to say when they appeared On the Menu - Damian, June 15, 2008; Daniel, May 11, 2014; Tandy & Corsair, October 12, 2014.

Their websites,,,,



Snails from England's Dorset County go with everything

The Wall Street Journal reports this unusual story.  Dorset Snails began farming snails in 2006, and now has a large customer base of fine restaurants across England.  But some of the concotions, like snails in Pizza & Paella, Snails & Chips, Snails & Baked Beans, and all-day Snail Breakfast would surely draw groans of "quelle horreur" from across the English Channel.  OTM is reminded of Arnold Wesker's 1962 play "Chips with Everthing".  John Fowles, Dorset resident & author of the acclaimed 1969 Novel "The French Lieutenant's Woman" is probably "turning over in his grave".  Stars of the movie version, Meryl Streep and Jeremy Irons could not be reached for comment!  Seriously listeners we will try to track down some Dorset Snails and give a tasting report.

Let's Hear it for San Francisco's 2 New MIchelin 3Star Spots

When we dined at Saison just a little less than 4 years ago, we sensed that Chef Joshua Skenes and his Partner-Sommelier Mark Bright were going places, even though the restaurant was still just a "pop up".  Along came Michelin 2-star rating.  When the restaurant was named "The one to watch" at the 2014 World's 50 Best Awards, we knew.......... and chatted with Mark during the proceedings; although at that moment he knew only that they'd been invited to attend, and Joshua didn't even make the trip.  Now Saison has just received the coveted 3rd Star.  And we were talking wirh England's Sat Bains recently, who named Benu as one of his American favorites - and prophetically Chef Corey Lee also advanced to 3-Star rating.  Congratulations to these great young Chef-Restaurateurs.  Our ground-breaking interview with Chef Skenes can be heard at OTM Audio Archives, program date January 9, 2011.


Where OTM goes, others follow - Saveur features the wine country of Umbria

In the latest issue of Saveur you can read the story of the Sagrantino grape, rich, red, but notoriously difficult to vinify.  In the area around the elegant and well-preserved Medieval hill town of Montefalco in Southern Umbria (Palazzo Bontadosi is a fine place to stay right on the main piazza), Marco Caprai continues the pioneering work of his father Arnaldo - Arnaldo-Caprai's 25th Anniversary celebration wine is Ann's absolute favorite Vino Rosso.  In nearby Torgiano Chiara Lungarotti heads the operations of her family which include a spa-hotel as well as a fine modern cantina.  You can hear what Marco & Chiara had to say - OTM Audio Archives, program date July 1, 2012.  For more information,;;


OTM, OTM where have you been?

And the answer, Spain, for the great San Sebastian Gastronomika Festival, now in its 16th Year.  Great Chefs from Spain, Italy (the featured country) and as far away as Peru,  Next week's program will bring you interviews with old OTM Amigos like Virgilio Martinez, Massimo Bottura, Quique  DaCosta, Carme Ruscalleda, Elena Arzak......, and some new ones, Carlo Cracco, Juan & Jordi Roca; and the interesting news straight from the lips of Event Director - next year's featured cuisine - Singapore and Hong Kong.  And in the November 2 program when we'll also be celebrating Peter's birthday, 3 Chefs & Restaurants that combine traditional & contemporary Andre Mari (50 years old and MIchelin Star holder since 1983)  from the Basque country, Ocurradaparra on a tiny street in old town Santiago de Compostela (going strong after just 4 years & ranked the city's best table) and Casa Gerardo from the green countryside of Asturias (where the kitchen is headed by the 5th generation).  So forgive us for being so silent, we think you'll find these next 2 programs to be well worth the wait.

Chef Dave Racicot of notion restaurant offering Cooking Classes

This "Just in" from Dave's PR

In the Kitchen with: Chef Dave Racicot

notion Introduces Bi-Monthly Class Series

WHAT:                 Dave Racicot, chef & visionary at East Liberty restaurant notion, is first and foremost a student of fine dining. As a self-taught chef, he has relied on research, practice, experimentation and excellent mentors to hone his skills. Dave now seeks to share all he knows with guests in his signature bi-monthly cooking classes, proving that home cooks can master the art of fine dining too. The classes lift the veil on Dave’s meticulous approach to the plate, providing a front row seat to his ingenuity in the kitchen – the place where Dave feels most at home. Guests experience the thought that goes into each dish and the discipline required to create what Dave describes as his “edible expression of art.”;  The intimate classes of six will include an interactive cooking demo with a chance to ask questions (and sip champagne!) throughout the process and see firsthand how dishes evolve from simple ingredients to intricate plates. Following the demo is a four-course meal based on items prepared in class showcasing how to apply the techniques learned, all paired with hand-selected wines.

Vegan Cooking

Tuesday, October 7

Prepare satisfying meals using fresh, local vegetables and alternative protein sources

Kitchen Tips & Techniques

Tuesday, October 21

Master the fundamentals of food prep including proper knife handling, kitchen setup, plating composed dishes and other skills to cook with confidence

Root Vegetables

Tuesday, November 11

Incorporate seasonal root veggies – like carrots, parsnips and rutabaga – into everyday dishes as purees, roasted sides and hearty main courses

Fish Fabrication & Cooking

Tuesday, November 18

Demystify cooking fresh fish at home with lessons on identifying types of fish and seafood, cleaning, filleting and best preparation methods

Soups & Sauces

Tuesday, December 2

Whip up homemade soups – Dave’s specialty – and sauces with layers of flavor for warming wintertime meals

Sous Vide

Tuesday, December 16

Slow-cook any protein or vegetable to tender perfection a water bath or temperature-controlled steam environment

WHEN:                 Two Tuesdays a month through December 16. Classes begin promptly at 6:00pm, followed by dinner at 7:30pm.                       

WHERE:               notion restaurant,   128 South Highland Avenue,  Pittsburgh, PA 15206

TICKETS:               $125/person, includes cooking class, champagne and a four-course dinner with wine pairings.

RESERVE:             Reservations are required and can be made by calling the restaurant at 412-361-1188 – a credit card number is required to reserve a spot in the class.

For further information, visit, like notion on Facebook, follow notion on Twitter or call the restaurant at 412-361-1188.

Pittsburgh's Severinos gain more National Attention

When not "Curating" special Chef Dinners at his Cure restaurant OTM's good friend Justin Severino & his Spouse-Partner Hilary are alwys up to something else of interest.  This time it's a Beard House Dinner at the James Beard Foundation's New York City Dining "Temple".  The JB organization dubs Cure as "Urban Mediterranean", we just call it Lusty & Delicious.   Special features of the dinner, October 20, include Justin's Signature Charcuterie & Innovative Cocktails, and beverages matched with dinner include Hard Cider with one of the courses.  Way to go Justin & Hilary, Pittsburgh is Proud of you.  More information & tickets at

Virgilio Martinez's Central takes Top Spot at Latin America 50 Best Restaurant Awards

Great News; Our heartiest congratulations to Virgilio & his spouse-partner Pia.   Not a big surprise following Central Lima's leap from 50th to 13th place in the World's 50 Best between 2013 & 2014.  Legendary Peruvian Restaurateur Gaston Acurio didn't drop far, to 2nd place.  He was also named Chef's Choice Award winner.  His subsequent announcement that he intended to retire came as quite a surprise.  Alex Atala's D.O.M and Helena Rizzo's Mani, both in Sao Paulo Brazil took 3rd and 4th,. Borago in Santiago Chile rounded out the top 5.  Alex Atala's ongoing contribution to all things culinary in Brazil, including his great work with remote peoples & ingredients, was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award.  More about the Awards & their Sponsors at www.theworlds50best/latinamerica/en.

US Wine Journalists Impresssed with Pinot Grigo based Wines from Friuli

Both the WSJ and SF Chronicle recently tasted and reported on Wines made from this much-maligned grape variety - and concluded that Pino Grigio based wines from Friuli in NE Italy were among the best examples and deserved the attention of the wine-drinking public.  OTM recently conducted its own tasting with Valter Scarbolo, a top quality producer close to Udine.  We wholeheartedly agree with the aforementioned reporters, and interestingly we just had the opportunity to taste wines they recommended.  You can see our tasting "in action" at Valter's La Frasca Trattoria under OTM in Pictures.  His "Ramato" style is copper-hued resulting from skin contact during fermentation, an unusual but very successful winemaking practice in Friuli.  We called it delicious!!  Valter's red wines are equally distinguished.  More at, or just go there - less than 90 minutes by car from Venice Maro Polo.


Nashville hosts Music City Food & Wine Festival, Sep 20-21, Join us There!!

Emerging as on of America's new & exciting Food cities, Nashville celebrates Food, Drink, and of course Country Music.  Two action packed days will feature three sets of different Chefs, Local Toques (Saurday 11-4), Top Chefs from around the USA (Saturday evening), and a 2nd group of Tennesseans (on Sunday).  The Music program is headed by Kings of Leon.  Hear Celebrity Chef Tim Love talking about the proceedings in today's program at OTM Audio Archives.  We hear that tickets are going fast so get yours right away at

Leading Ladies team up in Chicago, September 22, for Friends of James Beard Benefit Dinner

Star Chefs will align for a night of food, wine and fundraising. Moto restaurant and Executive Pastry Chef Claire Crenshaw will host a stunning array of female talent: Chef/Owner Rohini Dey of Vermilion Chicago and New York; JBF Winner and Charlie Trotter’s alum Chef Debbie Gold in Kansas City, Mo.; JBF Winner Chef Stephanie Izard of Girl and The Goat and Little Goat; Charlie Trotter's alum Chef Anistar Meffert of Crop Bistro and Bar in Cleveland, Ohio; Chef/Owner Iliana Regan of Elizabeth; JBF Winner and Charlie Trotter's alum Mindy Segal of Hot Chocolate Restaurant and Dessert Bar; and Proprietor and Master Sommelier Alpana Singh of The Boarding House. 

Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the James Beard Foundation’s scholarship program for advancing women in the culinary industry.  Claire Crenshaw notes:  The James Beard Foundation has a long, celebrated tradition of honoring the hard-working, dedicated women in the culinary world with empowerment and support to become successful. Although the path to success is paved with challenges, the James Beard Foundation is a beacon of hope and support for women everywhere. It’s a true honor and privilege to join forces with this group of talented ladies for a magical night that supports a culinary scholarship to advance women.

This special dinner strikes a special chord, since one of Charlie Trotter’s many legacies is his support of women in the industry.

For more information about the Foundation, please visit

The venue, Michelin- starred Moto Restaurant has consistently been ranked as one of the nation’s premier dining establishments.

Olli Salumerias's Salumini recognized in Food & Wine September issue

Food & Wine calls them "cute", we call them delicious.  Olli Salumeria's "Salumini" are just the size for snacking; no slicing, no peeling, just pop in your mouth.  Various Italain regional flavor are available., also at fine food stores including Whole Foods.  Hear our interview with Olli in OTM Audio Archives, prpgram date July 27, 2014. 

Alex Atala Wins Lifetime Achievement Award at 50 Best Latin America

Not a surprise to Alex's friends all over the world of Gastronomy well beyond has native continent.  Chef Atala's contribution extends well beyond the kitchen of his Sao Paulo restaurant D.O.M, where he set himself the challenge of chaging the modern history of Brazilian cuisine.  He works with native tribes in remote areas of Brazil to create both a new "larder" for Chefs & Diners, and a source of income for an impoverished population.  Accepting the award, Alex modestly says "I also hope that with this award people see the power of ingredients to drive social change....structuring the food place greater value on our culture & environment".  Congratulations Alex!!!!  To hear Alex talking to On the Menu, go to OTM Audio Archives, program date, May 12, 2013.  The Lifetime Achievement Award is sponsored bt Diner's Club, and the 50 Best Latin America Awards ceremony (organized by William Reed Business Media) will take place September 3 in Lima, Peru -, dor details

Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants announces Best Female Chef Award

50 Best doesn't keep some of the winners in suspense, Best Female Chef is named in advance and this year the honor goes to Elena Reygada of Mexico City's Rosetta restaurant, celebrating "her outstanding work, as well as the innovationand creativity that she serves to her diners" to quote from William Reed Business Media's announcement.  This prestigious award is sponsored by Veuve Cliquot, inspired by the life & achievements of its founder.  The 50 Best Latin America Awards ceremony will take place in Lima, Peru, on September 3, 2014.  More at

Vermont Creamery a Big Winner at 2014 American Cheese Society competition

We hear that our good friends at Vermont Creamery carried off 7 awards, including 2 first places (for Bijou & Feta products).  VC was one of only 5 cheesemakers to earn this many.  The annual competition is considered one of the world's top events for artisanal & specialty cheeses.  Well done Vermont Creamery - what can we say except "more cheese please".

"Taste of" Food Festival lands in Toronto July 24-27

It’s taken 10 years for IMG’s Taste Festivals to make it to North America.  Next week, July 24-27, in Toronto Canada you’ll find out it was worth the wait when Taste-Of makes its Debut on this continent.  With 6 sessions (lunch/ dinner depending on the time of day), there will be 14 Food Stations manned by Toronto’s Top Chefs, offering small plates of 3 favorite dishes from their restaurant menus .  There’ll be about 50 other food and beverage producers as well, guaranteeing a grand gustatory experience – all located together at the Fort York historical site in central Toronto.   For further details and tickets go to  Sign up and learn first-hand why Toronto’s modern food scene is attracting worldwide attention.



Helen & Lisa Tse of Sweet Mandarin Restaurant, Manchester, invited to cook for China's Premier & UK's Prime Minister

OTM will have upcoming an interview with Helen Tse, 1 of 3 sisters who are 3rd generation restaurateurs in Manchester.  We heard they got a very special invitation - to cook for China's Premier Li, Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron & 65 guests at 10 Downing Street.  Premier Li noted that their meal was the best Chinese Food he had every tasted in the UK.  They shared a photograph - and we have it on our OTM in Pictures page.

Justin Severino orchestrating Cure'ated Dinner Series - July to October

Justin's always up to something new. The Cure'ated Dinners--a Cure-hosted series of dinners created by Justin and a dazzling array of guest chefs from around the US--represent perhaps his most ambitious project to date.  Kicking off the series July 27: Jamie Bissonette of Coppa (Boston) & Toro (NYC) with Scott & Rachelle Vivian of Beats (Toronto); September 14 Scott Drewno of The Source by Wolfgang Puck (Washington DC) & Mike Isabella of Graffiato, etc (DC & VA); October 12 Tarver King, Patowmack Farm (VA) & Brian Voltaggio, Volt etc. (MD & DC); October 26, George Sabatino, about to open Aldine, (Phildelphia) & Mike Solomonov, Zahav etc. (PA); November 9 Ned Elliott, Foreign & Domestic (Austin TX) and a "player to be named later."  Quite a Line-up & big excitement for both chefs and diners!!

Get more details at  Make reservations  (beginning 2 months ahead of the event date) at 412 252 2595.  Using the reservation request form on the website might work, but phone will be better beacuse these dinners are expected to sell out quickly.  Listen to Justin talk about Cure'ated in OTM's June 29 program through OTM Audio Archives or direct link at, but not before June 29 at 8AM. 

Brooklyn Brewery Mash makes a Pittsburgh Stop Next Week

Brooklyn's famous Craft Brewery is making a stop in Pittsburgh, about halfway through its Worlwide progession.  There's a whole week of events too lengthy to list here - go to for details and ticketing.  And for our Listeners throughout the USA & around the world, check for cities and dates so that you can participate.  A quick peek into Mash future - London is the next stop.  And a personal recommendation from Peter, BB's Brown Ale is Truly World Class!!

Whiskey Revival may result in a Shortage of Jack Daniel's

From 1980 to 2000 American's lost their taste for domestic Whiskey, as they switched to Vodka, Rum & Tequila.  This trend has now reversed  with major brand Jack Daniel's and a new group of Craft Distillers all enjoying the rapid increase in demand - and not just in the USA, but also European countries and (surprisingly) Turkey.  It's not yet a crisis, but OTM will be following events closely.  And we'll be keeping an extra one of the distintictive white on black labeled bottles in our cocktail bar.................. Perhaps even their newest "Single Barrel" release.

Knob Creek Sweepstakes is no Horserace & You can Play

Here's the Scoop - A unique chance to Camp Out at  Bourbon Distillery Knob Creek®, the Ultimate Distillery Experience.  The Lucky Sweeps Winners from various regions of the country will gather in Clermont, KY for an on-site campout and full-flavored grilling experience.  Each winner will receive round-trip airfare for two, ground transportation to the distillery and a Big Green Egg®, courtesy of Knob Creek® Bourbon.  There'll be one lucky winner from the Pittsburgh area.

This exclusive weekend long campout will include:
> Fred Noe, 7th Generation Master Distiller and 2013 Bourbon Hall of Fame Inductee, will host a fireside chat on the seasoned history of Knob Creek®, followed by a pig roast dinner
> VIP BBQ cookout with Celebrity Chef Michael Symon, who will prepare his exclusive Knob Creek® bourbon-inspired recipes
> Performance by an authentic Kentucky bluegrass band

You can enter for a chance to win by visiting, and entry is open to All legal US residents, 21+ who reside in the following ten states can enter the Sweepstakes: California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia. Entries will be accepted from May 15, 2014 to July 31, 2014
The actual Campout will take place from September 26th - 28th, 2014.  Fred Noe interviewed with OTM, and you can listen to his genial conversation in OTM Audio Archives, program date October 25, 2009.

Fourth of July in London means Art Week not Independence Day

July 4th has never been  a Day of Celebration in Britain!  In fact Peter's always felt like a bit of a stranger on that date, even after 38 years of US Citizenship.  Now London has found an event sure to attract the World's Art Lovers.  London Art Week actually launched last year, combining Master Drawingd & Sculpture Week and Master Paintings Week.  This year it kicks off July 4, until July 11.   50 Specialist Dealers & 3 Major London Auction Houses, so a wide range of fine art from 15th-20th centuries will be on show and on sale - "a cornucopia of the finest works of art.........." to quote the press announcement.  With great exhibitions and collections at the Tate & Tate Modern, National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Courtaulds and Wallace Collections also available London on July 4th seems like a must for Art Lovers, whether their celebrating Independence or not.................  More at



Heston Blumenthal to offer Food Perfection at London Heathrow Terminal 2

Heston Blumenthal’s new restaurant, The Perfectionists’ Café, is set to open its doors today with the unveiling of the multi-million pound new Terminal 2, The Queen’s Terminal, at Heathrow.   The Café takes inspiration from Heston’s In Search of Perfection television programs & books in which he explored and reinvented Britain's favorite dishes but he is quick to point out "You cannot achieve perfection as it’s entirely subjective,  As a perfectionist, you can continually try to improve things, even if that means just turning everything upside down and starting again.  We have had some incredible fun trying to make the best ever versions of these dishes."  Knowing Heston as we do, OTM anticipates that Heathrow Terminal 2 dining will reach a far greater degree of perfection than is found in typical Airport dining.   We shall certainly try it when we are next in London.  More at


Massimo Bottura Opens in Istanbul

OTM good friend and favorite Chef Massimo Bottura of the three Michelin starred Osteria Francescana just announced an exciting new venture Ristorante Italia, his first restaurant outside of Italy.  Here traditional Italian flavours and contemporary cooking techniques come together to bring the very best of the past into the future. Massimo has reworked 100 classic recipes from all over Italy to embrace the diversity and bounty of the Italian kitchen. Mozzarella in Carrozza, Spaghetti Cetarese, Bollito Misto and Tiramisu are just a few of the these treasures.  Ristorante Italia not only uses the very best imported Italian products but, in the pursuit of excellence, the kitchen sources many of its ingredients from Turkey (in last Sunday’s OTM program we interviewed a Producer of Fine Turkish foodstuffs, which were a real “eye opener” for us) and takes advantage of the in-house dairy production of the Eataly Food Market Centre where it’s located.  Staff from Osteria Francescana's team head up the restaurant whilst Massimo Bottura will make regular appearances at the restaurant, which is only a two hour plane ride from home.  More at


Summer Solstice Sessions at Pittsburgh's Legume & Butterjoint - June 22

Chef & co-owner Trevett Hooper isn't satisfied just to run a local favorite restaurant.  He wants to raise your food & beverage IQ.  So with a few freinds and local experts he's planned a whole day from Coffee at 8AM to a Buffet Dinner at the end of the day.  From starting a Garden to CSAs, Permaculture and "Your Foodshed" to how to make beer, mead, wine & vinegar, to butchering a steer, this promises to be an action-filled day for Foodies.  Get more details and make reservtions at  OTM will be celebrating a very special "life event"  at the dinner, on the day that is coincidentally our wedding anniversary.  No prize for guessing the number, but we'll be pleased to see you there.