Great Leaps Forward for Eleven Madison Park & Brooklyn Fare - 3 Michelin Stars apiece!!

In the just published Michelin Guide NYC Chef's Table at Brooklyn Fare advanced from 2 to 3 Stars - Congratulations to Chef Cesar Ramirez.  OTM is delighted and also surprised - who knew a Frenchman could find his way to Brooklyn?  Eleven Madison Park made an even greater leap, from a mere single Star all the way to 3 - OTM is thrilled for owner Danny Meyer & Chef Daniel Humm - Congratulations indeed!!  But that not the end of the 11MP news.  We read rumors that Danny is planning on selling the restaurant to the Chef & Manager Will Guidara.  What great news for diners who know just how SUMPTUOUS is dining at 11MP!! OTM will be catching up with Chef Daniel soon, as he has a Cookbook out too.

October 5 - OTM is Wild about Hank Shaw & Derek Stevens at Pittsburgh's Eleven

Mark your calendars and make your reservation (412 201 5656) for a truly WILD FEAST.  Hank Shaw, Forager Extraordinaire Hank Shaw will be working with Eleven's Executive Chef Derek Stevens to produce a Unique Dinner event you won't want to miss!  OTM interviewed Hank when his book Hunt, Gather, Cook was published.  Hear his interview in OTM Audio Archives, program date July 17, 2011, or just click  Hank's interview is towards the end of the program.

On the Menu is Going Green - our VERY first trip to Ireland - here's what we have in store!!

Starting off we’ll be Sightseeing & Dining in Dublin; on the agenda Chapter One,; The Winding Stair,, O’Connells,; L’Ecrivain,  Then we head for the country outside Dublin, staying and dining at Barberstown Castle,; then Powerscourt,  En route to make an in person visit at Darina Allen’s famous Ballymaloe Cooking School,, we’re lunching at Dunbrody House,, and staying overnight at Ballymaloe House,  Then as we wend our way back to Dublin we’re breaking the journey at Castle Durrow,, and for our last night in Ireland an overnight stay and delicious seafood dinner at King Sitric, Eat your heart out……… And of course we’ll be bringing you interviews from all these places, beginning with the September 25th program.  Ireland's Blue Book,, proved a wonderful resource for us in planning our visit.

"Woolly Jumpers" are the Stars as Jamison Farms hosts Fred Rogers Center Fundraiser

Mark your calendars and plan to head for Latrobe PA on September 24 for the 2nd annula "Ewe are Special" event.  With a reception at the Fred Rogers Center followed by Dinner at the Jamison Farm, you'll be sure to see some of the famous Sweaters and some of the Sheep too.  For further information call Jamison Farm at 800 237 5262, email john at or the Center at 724 805 2750,

Congratulations Sean Brock, Chef-Owner of Husk, Charleston SC - Bon Appetit's #1 New Restaurant

One of OTM's favorite Chefs, Sean Brock's formula for Husk is deceptivley simple.  Serve the foods of the South in the South - and by the way only ingredients that are in season.  For example most of the year Tomatoes will appear only as pickles, because they won't be on the menu when they're not available from Southern Farms.  And all of the attention he's receiving hasn't changed modest Chef Sean even the tiniest bit.  Well done Seanm we can't ewait to come to Husk again.

We agree with Cotogna's David Lynch - Keep the wine list simple

Not only did David Lynch set up Cotogna's wine list as a deliberately simple thing - All bottles are the same price, $40, their all Italian in origin, and there are just 50 on the list. Admittedly sister restaurant Quince has a somewhat more ambitious selection.  But David explains in "Goodbye Big Fat Wine List in this month's Bon Appetit.

And as if you needed more reasons to go Cotogna has been offering Sunday Supper, a fixed menu offering, and recently added Brown Bag take-away as well.  And don't forget Quince's James Beard Best Chef Pacific win at the 2011 James Beard Awards.  Here's to you David, Lindsay, Chef Michael and GM Katrina. 

OTM has this thing about Portland - so we're headed back!

This year it's Portland OR again (last time 2 years ago), last year it was Portland ME.  So what's on this year's agenda?  Dining of course, and 4 places new to OTM, Nostrana, Park Kitchen, Clyde Common, Laurelhurst Market plus a celebrated new Chef at Jory at The Allison in Newberg, checking out the highly recommended Clear Creek Distillery, and some wine tasting at Elk Cove, Panther Creek & other vineyards.  Don't you wish.......  Check out the early September programs and eat/drink your heart out!!

Save September 1!! Join OTM at Savor Pittsburgh, one of the best outdoor parties of the Year!

To learn more tune in to next Sunday's program to hear an interview with event spokesperson Christina Dickerson, but here are the essentials.

A collection of Pittsburghs finest chefs will gather September 1, 2011 to share their favorite recipes in a culinary competition for the coveted Dish of the Year honors. Savor Pittsburgh: A Celebration of Cuisine, presented by MOSAIC Consulting and sponsored by McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurant and Southside Works will benefit the National Pancreas Foundation of Western Pennsylvania, You'll benefit because this is one great party! Ann & Peter will both be among the judges as we were last year, so be sure to come over and say hi. Participating restaurants include: Alma Pan-Latin Kitchen, Andora, Braddocks, The Capital Grille, Chef Marks Palate, Church Brew Works, Cioppino, Donatos, Habitat, Jacksons, Meat and Potatoes, McCormick & Schmicks Seafood Restaurants, Mitchells Fish Market, Osteria 2350, Savoy, Silk Elephant, Spoon, Steelhead Brasserie & Wine Bar, Table, Walnut Grove and Wooden Nickel. Guests will enjoy unmatched cuisine and cocktails and vote for their favorite dish. dancing and a silent auction are also part of the fun.   

Savor Pittsburgh will take place within SouthSide Works, on vacant land at 26th & Sidney outfitted with elegant white canopies as some of Pittsburgh's Best Chefs and restaurants come together for one special night. The National Pancreas Foundation supports the research of diseases of the pancreas and provides information and humanitarian services to those people suffering from such illnesses. More information can be found at Savor Pittsburgh tickets are $75 per person, and the event begins at 6:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, guests should visit or call 412-996-4684

Ann's definitive review of the Fancy Food Show in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review

Be sure to check out this lavishly illustrated article which appeared during the week.  Access it at

An Interesting Way to Support Your Local Farmers!!!

OTM just heard about a pretty unique event, we thought you'd like to know about. Restaurants across the country eager to show their support for local farms and food can enrol in American Farmland Trust’s 2nd annual Dine Out for Farms™ event, which will take place October 16-22. This is a national, weeklong event that brings together restaurants and consumers to support a sustainable future for America’s farms. Participating restaurants educate their customers about the importance of farms, while raising funds to protect farmland from sprawling development. "We’re thrilled that restaurants across America are showing their commitment to local farms and ranches by participating in Dine Out for Farms™," says Jane Kirchner, senior director of Marketing and Communications for American Farmland Trust. Chefs and restaurant owners get the message that protecting local farms is key to serving the delicious, locally grown foods that customers crave. Restaurants can participate in Dine Out for Farms™ with a special dish, by donating a percentage of sales, or by making a straight donation. Participants receive a suite of educational materials that encourage consumers to dine out often and make a difference.

To date, seven restaurants that participated in last year’s inaugural event have reenrolled, including The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm in Lovettsville, VA; Cock & Bowl in Occoquan, VA; The Supper Club Greenburg Train Station in Greensburg, PA; Ray’s Boathouse Café and Catering in Seattle, WA; Full Circle Catering in Lexington, VA; The Sheppard Inn in Hanover, PA; and Founding Farmers in Washington, DC.

Interested in learning more about Dine Out for Farms™? Go to and click on "enroll" or contact Gretchen Hoffman at 202-378-1251 or Individuals interested in recruiting their favorite farm-friendly restaurant for Dine Out for Farms™ can click on "get involved."

You CAN go home again - Peter takes Ann to his home county of Yorkshire for very special reasons

Yorkshire is England’s largest county, and like residents of mainland USA’s largest state (Texas in case you were wondering) Yorkshire-men & women take great pride in being the biggest and considering themselves the best as well! So Peter is a proud Yorkshire-man, and still returns frequently to visit the sights. However, Yorkshire hasn’t commonly been considered a leading area for "The Pictorial Arts "; English masters like Turner, Gainsborough & Constable drew their inspiration and painted scenes & people elsewhere.

What a wonderful surprise when On the Menu received this announcement - "Yorkshire Hailed as Europe’s Cultural Heartland - New Openings include England’s largest Art Gallery outside of London. The Hepworth Wakefield

Also featured in a special campaign is the Yorkshire Sculpture Park,, a mostly outdoors attraction which has been expanding its collection in the last several years. Notable to Peter is that the Motorway interchange adjacent to YSP includes "The Haigh Roundabout". Who knew his family was so influential? OTM will soon be visiting these venues and we hope to bring back conversations with people who can tell you more about them first hand.

Peter was reminded of his homeland by the inclusion of William Blake’s short poem (set to music later) in the recent Royal Wedding ceremony. It is widely believed that when the poet wrote "….among those dark satanic mills………" he was referring to the grim industrial landscape of Peter’s home town of Huddersfield, and expressing some surprise that "..Jerusalem (was) builded here…"

Despite the smoky past of Yorkshire’s industrial towns & cities Yorkshire is also home to some magnificent countryside, especially The Yorkshire Dales, and great historical cities such as York, Roman capital of the Northern region and later the Capital of England when it was conquered by the Danes. Next month OTM will be taking the opportunity to visit York to see its magnificent Minster, fully intact City walls and Gates (known as Bars for reasons unknown) and Museums showing the Roman & Danish past. We’ll be enjoying the luxury of lodging and dining at The Dean Court Hotel, Then on to the aforementioned Dales, Wharfedale to be precise, where The Devonshire Arms Country House & Spa will be taking care of us, Local sights here include the ruined Bolton Abbey and the delightfully situated and picturesque village of Burnsall. We’ll be bringing you interviews with the fine young chefs at these establishments.

And if you can’t wait to follow in our footsteps, is the Welcome to Yorkshire website, or you can drop us an email or Tweet with your questions.

Let's Hear it for Dave Racicot & Notions!!

OTM frequently disagrees with Steve Plotnicki at  But his latest issue positively raves about our Good Friend Dave Racicot.  And we share his enthusiasm about this Singularly Talented Young Chef.  OTM listeners in the Pittsburgh area - You have no excuse - Go to Notions if "modern" food interests you, and consider yourselves fortunate that he's so close by.  The rest of you - read the Blog - it may just convince you Notion is worth the journey!!  Chef Dave, congratulations & keep up the great work!!

Cleveland Does it Better - 5Star Sensation Raised $2MM for Cancer Research

OTM's home city can Boast about The Steelers & the newly Rejuvanated Pirates, but when it comes to Fundraising Events we have to hand it to Cleveland.  And it was a GREAT PARTY as well.  OTM caught up with just a few of the busy Chefs and you can hear them in July 3 & July 10 programs.  Not only will you hear the Chefs - Roy Yamaguchi, Sam Choy, Kelly English, Joe Miller etc. you'll hear Clevelanders in full voice having a great time.  Congratulations to the organizers, especially founder Carole Carr & Chef Patron Wolfgang Puck.  Cleveland, OTM will see you again in 2013!!

Daniel Boulud & NYC Chef Friends "do Lunch" July 3 in Kamaishi, Japan

Lunch for 1,000 people in an area devastated by the Eartquake & Tsunami will be prepared by Daniel & other good friends of OTM.  Daniel (OTM Audio Archives, program date May 9, 2010), David Bouley, Floyd Cardoz (July 15, 2007), Francois Payard (August 19, 2007), Bill Telepan (August 26, 2007), Craig Koketsu, Tadashi Ono, Michael Romano & Patrice Martineau (now Chef at Tokyos's PETER Restaurant).  Chef Daniel conceived the idea in collaboration with Ernie Trasher of Xcoal Energy, a businessman with lots of contacts in Japan including Nippon Steel - they're sponsoring & staffing the event with Volunteers.  OTM is pleased to recognize all of the above for their Great Goodwill Contribution.

OTM Guests Making the News - Dominique Crenn, Joshua Skenes, George Mendes, Michael Tusk

Kudos to Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn in San Fran on some very kind words from Alan Richman in the current issue of GQ.  OTM's advice - Go There!!  You can hear what Dominique had to say about her new venture in OTM Audio Archives (program date Jan 2, 2011) - and it's all come true!  Joshua Skenes of Saison, also in SF won recognition as one of Food & Wine's Best New Chefs for 2011 (hear Joshua, program date January 9, 2011).  Joining Joshua in this Elite Company is George Mendes of Aldea, NYC (hear George, May 9, 2010).  And for all you Michael Tusk Fans (Quince & Cotogna, SF), know that Cotogna has just launched "Sunday Suppers" - OTM is so "Mad for Michael" we'll probably go 2200 miles just for a Sunday dinner with Michael, David, Lindsay, Katrina and the rest of the Team. (Michael's latest interview May 22, 2011 celebrating his JBF Best Chef Pacific Win.

Taste of London Food Festival, June 16-19 - Great Restaurant Line-up including many OTM Interviewees

Check out OTM Audio Archives for Interviews with Chefs/Owners of these participating restaurants; Barrafina, Fino & Quo Vadis (programs dates March 6 2011, February 28 2010, March 22 2009); Benares (to be scheduled, we dined there February 2011); Bentley's (April 17, 2007); Club Gascon (March 6, 2005); Corrigan's Mayfair (February 21, 2010); Kai Mayfair (March 8, 2009); Lainceston Place )February 27, 2011); Le Gavroche (February 27, 2011); L'Etranger (March 6, 2005); Roux at The Landau (see Le Gavroche); The Modern Pantry (February 20, 2011).  More at

OTM in the Crescent City

We're pleased to report that the Fuss in New Orleans is about Food & Wine not Flooding!  Great lunch at Restaurant August yesterday, also a Champagne dinner with JoAnn Clevenger and new Chef Anthony Spizale, formerly Executive Chef of The Rib Room.   Today Dinner at Chef John Besh's "Italian interpretation" at Domenica, an interview with the Chef from La Provence, and the Festival Fun starts in earnest tomorrow.  We'll have some great interviews coming up, so be sure to "tune in" to OTM Audio Archives for the June 5 program.

Denmark Bans Marmite - No Taste & No Sense of Humor!!

Brits beloved Marmite spread is subject to Discrimination!  This product has practivally "cult" status, although Ann admits that she's not sure why.  But for whatever reason the Yeast extract spread falls foul of Danish law restricting products fortified with added vitamins, joining Horlicks, Ovaltine and Farley's Rusks.  OTM suspects that "bootleg" Marmite will emerge............  No word on whether Aussies' favorite Vegenite will suffer the same fate.

Reidel Stemware, Fine Wines, Taste Treats - All Together June 3, 6PM at Morton's Pittsburgh

Join OTM and our good friends from Morton'e at an interactive event featuring fine quality stemware from Riedel Wine Glass Company. You'll get to explore whether the shape of the glass really makes a difference in wine appreciation - AND enjoy signature hors d’oeuvres, like Chicken Goujonettes, Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches and Broiled Sea Scallops wrapped in Bacon and served with Apricot Chutney. You'll also get to take home a tasting set of four (4) Riedel Wine Glasses valued at $116. Featured wines of the evening include: Lunetta, Prosecco; Chateau Ste. Michelle, "Horse Heaven Vineyard," Sauvignon Blanc, Horse Heaven Hills; Chateau Ste. Michelle, "Canoe Ridge Estate," Chardonnay, Horse Heaven Hills; Villa Maria, "Cellar Selection," Pinot Noir, Marlborough; Chateau Ste. Michelle, "Cold Creek Vineyard," Cabernet Sauvignon, Columbia Valley. Tickets are $95 per person, which includes tax, gratuity, hors d’oeuvres, tasting wine, and a set of 4 Riedel ‘Vinum’ wine glasses (retail value $116). Riedel has become a favorite among wine connoisseurs, hospitality professionals, and is a leader in producing "wine specific" wine glass shapes & sizes. For more information, please visit Morton’s The Steakhouse Pittsburgh is located at 625 Liberty Avenue. For tickets and additional information, please call 412-261-7141. The fun gets under way at 6PM.  We'll see you there!

James Beard Foundation 2011 Award Winners and their OTM Interviews

OTM is delighted to recognize JBF Award Winners who are Good Friends and OTM Interviewees – listed here in the order of the JBF Announcement.  Restaurant Design Award - Aidlin Darling Design, San Francisco for Bar Agricole SF, hear our interview with Joshua Aidlin coming up May 22; Best New Restaurant – ABC Kitchen, NYC, Chef/Owner Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Partners Paulette Cole, ABC Home & Phil Suarez); Outstanding Chef – Jose Andres, Chef/Owner, Minibar by Jose Andres (& several other places) (for reasons which escape us we have never recorded Jean-Georges & Jose who are good friends we have talked to many times); Outstanding Restaurant – Eleven Madison Park, NYC, Owner Danny Meyer (OTM Audio Archive program dates June 22, 2008 & November 12, 2006; Outstanding Service Award – Per Se, NYC, Chef/Owner Thomas Keller (December 14, 2008) & Co-Owner Laura Cunningham; Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional – Julian P Van Winkle III, Owner, Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery, Louisville KY (upcoming May 22); Outstanding Wine Service Award – Belinda Chang, Wine Director, The Modern NYC (our interview with Chef Gabriel Kreuther May 28, 2006); Rising Star Chef – Gabriel Rucker, Chef/Owner, Le Pigeon, Portland OR (October 4, 2009); Best Chef Midwest – Isaac Becker, Chef/Owner, 112 Eatery, Minneapolis MN (May 22, 2011); Best Chef NYC – Gabrielle Hamilton, Chef/Owner, Prune, NYC (April 4, 2011); Best Chef Pacific – Michael Tusk, Chef/Owner, Quince, San Francisco (February 6, 2011); Best Chef South – Stephen Stryjewski, Chef/Partner, Cochon, New Orleans (our interview with Partner Donald Link, January 4, 2009); Best Chef Southeast – Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill NC; Bets Chef Southwest (tie) – Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin TX (upcoming but no schedule date yet); Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees – Lee Jones, Farmer/Owner, Chef’s Garden, Huron OH (March 14, 2010); Charles Phan, Owner, The Slanted Door, Out the Door & Heaven’s Dog, San Francisco (July 19, 2009); Frank Stitt, Chef Owner, Highland Bar & Grill, Birmingham AL (April 25, 2010). America’s Classics Award – Louise, Michael, Michael Jr. & Louis Esposito, Chef Vola’s, Atlantic City NJ (May 22, 2011); Lifetime Achievement Award – Kevin Zraly (April 18, 2010).  OTM’s Heartiest Congratulations to these and all the other Worthy Winners who will surely appear on the Program in the Future.


OTM Guests "clean up" at James Beard Cookbook Awards

Congratulations to these Winners, announced last Friday.  Cookbook Hall of Fame - Harold Magee, On Food and Cooking: The Science & Lore of the Kitchen, OTM Audio Archives program date April 3, 2005; Cookbook of the Year - Diana Kennedy, Oaxaca al Gusto: an Infinite Gastronomy, October 17, 2010; American Cooking - James Villas, Pig: King of the Southern Table, May 23, 2010; Beverage - Rajat Parr, Secrets of the Sommeliers: How to Think & Drink Like the World's Top Wine Professionals, April 17, 2011; General Cooking - Amanda Hesser, The Essential New York Times Cook Book: Classic Recipes for a New Century, November 14, 2010; Single Subject - James Peterson, Meat: A Kitchen Education, March 14, 2010; Writing & Literature - Paul Greenberg, Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food, October 3, 2010.  Rene Redzepi of acclaimed restaurant Noma won 2 awards for his Noma: Time and Place in Nordic Cuisine for Cooking from a Professional Point of View & Photographer - we have this beautiful book, and we're hoping to catch up with Rene for an interview in the near future - but he is a very busy man.  Well done all of you!!! 

2011 Oyster Wine Winners

Taylor Shellfish Farms is pleased to announce and congratulate the 2011 "Oyster Award" recipients (listed alphabetically):

*Brassfield Estate Winery 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (CA)

Cadaretta 2010 SBS (WA)

**Chateau Ste. Michelle 2009 Columbia Valley Sauvignon Blanc (WA)

*Hogue Cellars 2009 Pinot Grigio (WA)

**King Estate Signature Collection 2009 Pinot Gris (OR)

**Kunde Family Estate 2010 Sauvignon Blanc (CA)

Pine Ridge Vineyards 2010 Chenin Blanc + Viognier (CA)

**Robledo Family Winery 2009 Sauvignon Blanc (CA)

Three Pears 2010 Pinot Grigio (CA)

*Van Duzer Vineyards 2010 Estate Pinot Gris (OR)

*Prior "Oyster Award" winner.

**Multiple prior "Oyster Awards"

With oysters on the half shell enjoying increasing nationwide popularity, "Oyster Award" winners receive immediate and substantial sales benefits. Oyster Award-winning wines enhance a restaurant's oyster culture. Servers are quick to recommend wines that exalt the oyster experience. The right wine makes all the difference. "The search for wines to go with oysters adds to the excitement of and culture of oysters", says Taylor Shellfish Farms President, Bill Taylor.  OTM salutes these worthy winners!!

Recent OTM Guest Barhyte wins Top Mustard Awards

Barhyte Specialty Foods and its signature brand, Saucy Mama, is adding more trophies to its case after the recent announcement of the World Wide Mustard Competition winners. The Oregon-based company took the gold medal in the Organic Specialty Foods and nabbed four World Wide Mustard Competition awards including one of two golds for its Henry Weinhard's Dark Pub Beer Mustard, with its Barhyte Select Organic Yellow Mustard, and nabbed a second gold for its private label Henry Weinhard's Pub Beer Mustard. The gourmet food experts further took home silver awards in the Herb/Veggie as well as the Fruit Categories with its Willamette Valley Dill Mustard and its Saucy Mama Apricot Ginger Mustard, respectively. You can hear Head Honcho Suzie Barhyte in OTM Audio Archives, program date April 17, 2011. 

Exclusive Wine Dinners tied to the Pittsburgh Wine Festival, May 4 & 6

The 9th annual Pittsburgh Wine Festival kicks off with exclusive wine dinners in select restaurants, all except McCormick & Schmicks on May 4. Here are some of the details: The Common Plea restaurant downtown will host Ferrari Carano Winery. Featured guest will be the winery’s Mid-Atlantic States Regional Manager, Randy Holden; The Sonoma Grille downtown will host Marc Mondavi, Wine Maker, Charles Krug; The Hartwood Restaurant in Glenshaw will host Concannon Vineyards and John Concannon, Proprietor and Vintner; Monterey Bay restaurant on Mt. Washington will host winemaker Jon Emmerich of Silverado; Hyeholde in Moon Township will focus on wines and food from the Mendoza region of Argentina with Julia Zuccardi and Chef Rodriguez Armesen of Familia Zuccardi; On Friday, May 6, McCormick & Schmicks in the South Side Works will host winemakers Lee Flourentzou of Aramis, Patrick Gehrig of Rutherglen, Hunter Smith of Rocky Gully & Frankland Estate, and Michael Tiller of Isabel Estate. Contact the individual restaurants for further information & reservations...............and enjoy!! Cheers

OTM stayed at The Goring where the Middleton Family are Esconced!

Back in 2009 we had the pleasure of staying at this Fine Hotel, still family owned and managed.  Every little detail is taken care of, AND there's a stuffed Sheep "mascot" in every room - maybe Kate will carry one to Westminster Abbey or Buckingham Palace.  A photograph of the Goring's private garden is at OTM Pictures - probably the Middleton family's view.  Also you can hear interviews we recorded at The Goring, OTM Audio Archives, April 27, 2008.

New Orleans Wine & Food Experience only a month away!!

Grab your fork and your corkscrew and join OTM at the New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. The five-day bacchanalia, which will take place May 24 – 28, features dozens of local chefs, many of whom are nationally known, and aims to place a spotlight on the region’s many indigenous ingredients.  OTM attended for the first time last year, and we can report that NOWFE is further proof that the Crescent City knows how to party!!  Thousands of wines and champagnes from over 175 wineries will be paired with food from more than 75 restaurants at various events throughout the extravaganza. "The culinary power of our region is so outstanding that we want to showcase our chefs and our food for the world to see," says incoming NOWFE President Kevin Kimball. "The Wine & Food Experience gives us the opportunity to do just that, while sharing a love of wine in our beloved city."

The 2011 event will kick off on Tuesday with the Ella Brennan Award Dinner & Live Auction, followed by wine dinners in some of New Orleans’ most notable restaurants on Wednesday, the traditional Royal Street Stroll and Vinola Tasting on Thursday, and culminating with Grand Tastings on Friday and Saturday. Highlights of this year’s event include Chef John Folse, with renowned Chef Rick Tramonto, who will present a revolutionary take on Creole cuisine inspired by their new local venture; and special tastings from the Chianti Region presented by the Culinary School at Badia a Coltibuono.

Other featured seminars and events of the 2011 schedule include: Effervescence Everyday: Discover world-class sparkling wines made in the Champagne method and see how they measure up; Eat, Stay, Love: Join local chefs as they prepare culinary delights from their unique restaurants that just happen to be situated in hotels. Kindred Ingredients: Louisiana Crawfish and Rice seminar presented by Chef Donald Link (Cochon, Herbsaint, Cochon Butcher) Honing your Craft: Forever change the way you think about serving and enjoying craft beer presented by Spiegelau & local brewmasters. Bubbly Personalities: A comparison look at the Champagne House’s personal style and some of the Vintages they have created. Get more information at, and we'll see you there!!  

San Pellegrino World's Best Restaurant Awards recognize some of OTM's Favorites

The suspense is over, and here's how some of OTM's guests fared.  Top recognition must go to Juan Mari Arzak, whose illustrious culinary career won him Lifetime Achievement Award.  Although he's now sharing the kitchen with daughter Elena (a Best Female Chef Finalist), we expect continued culinary creativity from Juan Mari - and we'll go back to check it out you can be sure.  We're trying to schedule Noma's Rene Redzepi, who remains at #1, about his remarkable cookbook published a few months ago.  Andoni Aduriz's Mugaritz climbs 2 spots to #3 - the quality of what's happening in this kitchen is indicated by the number of top chefs from around the world who go there!  Massimo Bottura (perhaps our absolute favorite.......) gained 2 spots, and reconition as Chef's Choice - we've been to his Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy twice with a gap of 8 years in between - and both times it was "Stellar", with Chef's continued creativity perhaps the most startling aspect of the dining experience. Several top US restaurants slipped in the rankings, Daniel & Le Bernadin each dropping 3 spots to #11 & # 18, but Alinea climbed one place to #6 and claimed Top USA award.  Per Se dropped and The French Laundry exited.  Martin Berasategui is up 4 places to #29, more reconition for Basque country's innovative cuisine (for those not familar Mugaritz & Arzak are in the same area).  Le Calandre (near Padova), a restaurant we have greatly enjoyed, fell 12 spots to #32, Milan's Cracco rejoins the list at #33.  Current London "hot table", The Ledbury, is the highest new entry at #34 - we found Chef Brett Graham 5 years ago, ahead of the crowd.  Two other London Favorites, Fergus Henderson's St. John and Claude Bosi's Hibiscus each advanced, up 2 to #41 & up 6 to #43 respectively.  So as with all awards there were winners & losers, but just to be included in the top 50 is great recognition, so be sure to visit and enjoy......... !!!

World's Top Women Chefs Honored

New this year (and a companion to the San Pellegrino Top 50 Restaurants) the Veuve Cliquot Award for World's Best Women Chef was just announced.  Ann-Sophie Pic of France's Pic, Valence was the eventual winner; Finalists were Elena Arzak of Arzak, San Sebastian, Spain and Nadia Santini of Dal Pescatore near Mantua, Italy.  All 3 hold Michelin's top ranking, but at Arzak it's currently recognizing Elena's father Juan Mari.  The Michelin Guide awards 3 stars to only 4 Ladies in total, Ann-Sophie being the most recent recipient.  We've enjoyed fabulous dining experiences at Dal Pescatore and Arzak; also at the other Woman-headed 3 Star Spots, Annie Feolde's Enoteca Pinchiorri in Florence and Carme Ruscalleda's San Pau in St. Pol de Mar near Barcelona.  Let's hear it for all 4 of these Great Ladies, and anticipate further recognition from Michelin, San Pellegrino, etc. for their Sisters of the Kitchen!!

Pittsburgh Wine Festival - May 5, get your tickets now!!

The 9th Annual Pittsburgh Wine Festival is just ahead, May 5 at Heinz Field.  We're expecting more details in the next few days and we'll bring them to you - or you can go to the website -  And OTM will see you there!! 

OTM loves Gary Danko - read his WSJ interview & you'll understand why!!

Check out this recent interview in which Gary shares his thoughts on the restaurant business. Here's the link.  And make sure Gary's eponymous restaurant is on your Top Tables list for San Francisco.  You'' be so glad you did.  Zagat's 29 score gets it right, Michelin doesn't.

Horse Racing & Fine Wines - connected in Lexington KY May 4-7

OTM's good friends at Burditch Marketing Communications let us know about this event. The Lexington Cancer Foundation, Inc. (LCF) will host its sixth annual Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction and Derby Gala Wednesday, May 4 – Saturday, May 7, 2011. The nation’s only charity wine event integrating fine wine and equestrian culture, The Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction coincides with The Kentucky Derby. The event’s private vintner dinners will be held in LCF patron homes on Wednesday, May 4.  The auction will be held at Donamire Farm in Lexington, Kentucky on Thursday, May 5.  Vintner pouring and silent auction will begin at 6:30 pm, followed by dinner and live auction at 8:30 pm.  The Right on Band will entertain guests from 10:00 pm until 1:00 am.  Participating vintners will attend horse farm tours and a private dinner at the Iroquois Hunt Club on Friday, May 6. In only five years, the Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction and Derby Gala has raised more than 3.5 million dollars in support of the LCF’s mission to fight cancer.  

Since its inception, the auction has grown, attracting a wide range of vintners to Kentucky.  Vintners in attendance have included; Jackson Family Wines, Jordan Vineyards, Chalk Hill Estate, Oakville Ranch Vineyards, Blackbird Vineyards, Grgich Hills Estate, Spottswoode Family Wine Estate, Duckhorn Wine Company, Revana Family Wines, Barbour Vineyards, Magnanimus Wine Group and many more.  Mr. Michael Polenske of Blackbird Vineyards will serve as the 2011 Vintner Chair.  The following vintners will attend in 2011; Blackbird Vineyards, Quintessa, Schramsberg Vineyards, Jonata, Lail Vineyards, Silver Oak Cellars, Morlet Vineyards, Revana Family Vineyards,  Jackson Family Wines, Reynolds Family Vineyards, Skipstone Ranch, and several others.

Live auction items include trips to the Cannes Film Festival with airfare, a stay at The Montage Resort and Spa with choice of location, private mansion in Carmel, California with golf at Pebble Beach, donation by Exclusive Resorts with choice of location, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week, Napa Valley excursions, and many more.  Sounds like a GREAT EVENT.  

Tickets are limited and can be purchased by calling 888.388.2620.  $700 per couple for the Kentucky Bluegrass Wine Auction and Derby Gala on Thursday, May 5.

Celebrate the Royal Wedding in London - NYC!!

Didn't get your invitation to the big event?  Never mind, you can celebrate in style at NYC's London Hotel, with a specially designed cocktail, "The Windsor Knot", dinner at Gordon Ramsay at the London with Chef Markus Glocker, and a sumptuous "Full English Breakfast" GR-style the next day.  It's called the "Royal Engagement" package, details at  Arrange dinner separately at

Stag's Leap V to V event returns April 29-May 1

OTM made it out to this great wine event last year.  If you love California Cabernet-Sauvignon with a French Accent, this is for you!!  Join the Stags Leap District Winegrowers Association at its annual neighborhood block party Vineyard to Vintner (V2V 2011). V2V 2011 promises to be both more festive and more informative, as it has been extended out to encompass the entire last weekend of April. The party begins with four intimate vintner-hosted Friday Night Dinners, followed on Saturday morning with Style and Strength: A Stags Leap District Cabernet Seminar hosted by Saveur Magazine’s wine editor David Rosengarten, continuing on to exclusive Winery Open Houses at 18 Stags Leap District properties. Sunday participants welcome guests back for one last bit of complimentary tasting.  For more information

Lucky London Diners - Chef Simon Rogan's coming to Town!!

OTM was just a few days behind the Sunday Times' Giles Coren finding L'Enclume in an old Blacksmith's shop in the picturesque Lake District Village of Cartmel.  Our interview with Simon is still in OTM Audio Archives, program date January 9, 2005.  In fact we arrived at this tiny "restaurant with rooms" clutching Coren's review which gave Chef Simon Rogan and his partnet Penny Tapsell an unheard of 10 out of 10 - "the ink was still wet" on the review.  Simon told us the remarkable story of how he and Penny decided to start this unlikely venture 300 miles from where they had been living; he also told of weekend dinner guests traveling all the way from London to dine at L'Enclume.  Well all you Londoners and residents of SE England will not have quite so far to go to sample Rogan's Inspired & Intensely Personal dishes.  Rumored to have an interest in a London outpost several months ago, Simon & Penny are now revealing that they will be opening next month on Blandford Street in the delightful neighborhood between Baker Street & Marylebone High Street, just around the corner from the wonderful Wallace Collection.   No name yet, and we haven't been able to find the street number, but we'll keep you posted.  Heading the kitchen will be 25 year old Ben Spalding who worked for a time at L'Autre Pied with Marcus Eaves (whose now back at Pied a Terre), but you can be sure that Simon's inspiration will be there too.  They're calling it a "2 year Pop-Up" because that's the balance of the lease of the restaurant that was there before.  Do yourself the ultimate favor - go the the new place AND L'Enclume (where you can stay over and sample the most sublime "Full English" breakfast the next day).  We're sure you'll be THRILLED.  Let's be clear, Simon is not "the North's answer to Heston B", nor a "Mad Molecular Gastronomist"........... well taste for yourself, OTM is certain you'll have a dining experience "beyond enjoyment"!! 

Where's the Warwickshire, England

OTM's Good Friends at Simpson's Birmingham just announced the opening of Beef Restaurant in nearby Kenilworth.  Since we've been absolutely delighted with the Culinary Creations at Simpson's in Birmingham's elegant Edgebaston neighborhood, we're certain Beef should be on your list - a great place to go while you explore the Tudor era buildings in the City of Warwick which also boasts one of the country's few extant Castles.  As you may remember Henry VIII destroyed most Baroneal premises - Kenilworth's own Castle being one fine example of a ruin!  This is Shakespeare country too.  And by the way the Beef is local to Warwickshire, hierloom breeds, butchered and hung to the highest standards.  If you've never tried Britich Beef of this kind, you owe it to yourself........More information at

Brown's - where to go to watch the wedding away from the crowds

We just heard about these great offerings if you're planning to be in London but wanted to avoid the crowds, this would be a great alternative. Considered to be London's very first "hotel" established by Mr. Brown (who was Butler to the infamous Lord Byron), Brown's knows about discretion and calmness on a quite side street just off Picadilly. Here's part of the press release............

On Friday 29 April, Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel will be celebrating The Royal Wedding of Prince William to Kate Middleton. A delicious Royal Wedding brunch will be served in HIX at the Albemarle from 12 noon until 4 p.m. and in the fashionable Donovan Bar from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. where the Royal Wedding will also be screened. A specially created Royal Champagne Afternoon Tea will be available throughout the Royal Wedding weekend.

Royal Wedding Brunch in HIX at The Albemarle and The Donovan Bar - Marcus Verberne, Executive Chef at HIX at The Albemarle, has created a sumptuous menu featuring quintessential British cuisine and traditional Brunch dishes that would be popular with any Royalist on this memorable day. Be sure to increase energy levels with a hearty brunch before hitting the streets to catch a glimpse of the blushing bride and her Prince on their way back from Westminster Abbey. The extensive menu includes De Beauvoir smoked salmon ‘Hix cure’ with scrambled eggs, Eggy bread with smoked Orkney bacon and Neal’s Yard crčme fraiche, and a Boxty pancake with pan-fried chicken livers
and wild garlic.

Regal cocktails in The Donovan Bar - To complement the Royal Wedding Brunch, why not choose from one of the enticing cocktails from The Donovan Bar. Alongside the traditional offerings of a Bloody Mary, Bucks Fizz or a Kir Royal will be the ‘Royal Passion’ (based on a fruity peach and rose cocktail well known as a favourite of Kate and Wills) or the specially created ‘Pretty as a Princess’ mocktail.

Royal Afternoon Tea in The English Tea Room - The English Tea Room will be serving Royal Afternoon Tea from 1 April until 9 June. This includes unique regal pastries such as a Kir Royal jelly and delicate crown cupcakes as well as the traditional offerings of sandwiches and scones. The price of the Royal Afternoon Tea is Ł38.00 per person or Ł47.50 with a glass of Brut Champagne. From 29 April until 2 May, The English Tea Room will be serving Champagne Royal Afternoon Tea exclusively.

For more information about Brown's Hotel go to

Past Programs on Italy just restored - Sicily, Veneto, Friuli from 2004

These great programs were thought to be lost in the great crash of OTM's server, but Peter just rediscovered them, and they include some great characters & some truly fine establishments.  We encourage you to check them out in OTM Audio Archives, program dates May 2 & 9, 2004 and October 17, 17 & 24, 2004.  Where else can you find the stories of Grappa Nonino, out of the way dining treasures like Trattoria Zamboni, Tavernetta All'Androna, Valter Scarbolo's La Frasca, Michelin 3-star Marvel Alejandro Alajmo  of Le Calandre & Sicily's dynamic young vineyard owner Alessio Planeta - plus some more secrets............

Celebrate Earth Day in Green Valley CA with some Great Americans, April 17 at Iron Horse

Great Wines from Iron Horse, De Loach, Freeman and others Buffalo, lots of seasonal produce, etc. etc.  But more importantly have the chance to chat with Ted Turner (yes it will be Bufflao from Rocky Mountain Natural Meats) at the beautiful home of Audrey & Barry Sterling on the Iron Horse vineyard.  We hope they'll be there too, as they are two of the MOST INTERESTING people OTM has ever met.  For more details contact Hostess Joy Sterling at or 707 887 1507.

Great & well-deserved recognition for Jon Rowley

OTM is thrilled to see that Food Arts gave their most recent Silver Spoon Award to our good friend Jon Rowley, for his extensive contributions to the Seafood business in the USA.  We have frequent interaction with Jon, mostly about Oysters, so we didn't know about his important work establishing the trade in Copper River Salmon, and other things that Food Arts details.  We're delighted for Jon, and we know that he'll keep up the great work. 

Yves Carreau's NOLA joins Pittsburgh's Burgeoning Dining Scene

When OTM was headed for London we met Yves on the Pittsburgh-Phildelphia flight, his destination Lyon, France.  He gave us a preview of this news, now it's really happening.  Friday, March 18 , 2011 is the grand opening of NOLA on the Square in downtown Pittsburgh's historic and recently renovated Market Square.  Executive Chef Andrew Hebson brings you Nouveau Creole cuisine, Bourbon Street cocktails, live blues and jazz twice a week and a Big Easy vibe in a beautifully remodeled historic space. The grand opening festivities will continue Saturday night, March 19 with pianist Jeff Lashway's Lagniappe. You'll have the option of paying a $5 cover charge, 100% of which will be donated to Make it Right, an organization that is continuing to work towards restoring the hurricane ravaged Lower Ninth Ward neighborhood of New Orleans. Proceeds from the optional cover charge collected on the second night of the grand opening weekend will go to the National Wildlife Federation Gulf Oil Spill Recovery Fund,  Merci Yves.  We're sure that NOLA on the Sqaure will mirror the success you've enjoyed at Sonoma Grill & Seviche.

Spring cleaning may be a chore, but if you’re doing it for a good cause it will leave you feeling great!

Somehow The Giving Effect found us with a press release paraphrased below. More than 1,300 charities can use the stuff that's cluttering your home. We wish them well!! It’s time to throw open the windows, spruce up your home, and get rid of clutter—the emotionally gratifying way: donate things you no longer need to causes in your neighborhood or around the country. The Giving Effect is a new website that makes it easy to discover who needs your stuff. Donors browse the site by needs, location, or categories to find a cause, then complete a simple form to arrange a pickup, drop off, or shipment. Participating organizations include Operation Kid Equip, a nonprofit in Royal Oak, Michigan that provides school supplies, toiletries, and food to tens-of-thousands of kids in need, The American Cancer Society, and Habitat for Humanity locations across the country. Hundreds of animal shelters have also listed their needs with The Giving Effect. These organizations can use almost anything you can spare, from clothes, food, and books to cleaning supplies and lumber. Following your donation, the site generates an easily shareable web page that describes your gift and who it helped. By sharing the page, donors inspire others to give and thus increase the impact of their donation. uses social media to help donors discover and connect with organizations that need items such as clothes, shoes, and food. It creates stories around each in-kind donation that can be easily shared online to inspire others to give. The goal is to create a national movement to get food, gently-used items, and more to people in need. The Giving Effect is headquartered in Brooklyn, NY.

Blackwell Gelato goes West!!

We're delighted to report that we hear from OTM's good friend Marcia Blackwell that she will introduce her award winning Blackwell’s Organic Gelato and Sorbetto to West Coast retailers at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim California. Look for it in stores............Created to fill a gap in the frozen dessert marketplace, Blackwell’s Organic introduced their products in the Northeast in 2006. Their super-premium frozen desserts are dairy free, gluten free, cholesterol free, and virtually Fat-Free. Blackwell’s Organic products are Certified Organic and Star-K Kosher and also 100% Vegan. Each flavor is made using the highest quality ingredients, nothing artificial. Consumers can find Blackwell’s Organic at specialty and gourmet retailers in the NY metro area for a SRP of $5.99 per pint. Selected flavors are also served on gourmet ice cream trucks in NYC. The ice cream trucks can also be rented for parties and corporate events. Blackwell’s Organic has been recognized for excellence in the frozen dessert category many times over. 2009 readers of Vegetarian Times voted Blackwell’s Best Cool Creamy Treat and the company was named by the readers of Edible Jersey Magazine as their 2008 Local Hero-Food Artisan. Their Raspberry Sorbetto was awarded the sofi Gold for Outstanding USDA Organic Product at the 2008 Fancy Food Show in NY.

The company was started by Marcia and Tom Blackwell in 2005. Blackwell’s Organic is dedicated to using ingredients that come from farmers and suppliers devoted to sustainable agriculture, resource conservation, and Fair Trade. In fact their company was the first frozen dessert line with FairTrade certified ingredients in every flavor. The classic, healthful frozen desserts are handmade in the Italian tradition, using the highest quality certified organic ingredients including Fair Trade Certified™ cocoa, chocolate, coffee and evaporated cane juice. To learn more about Blackwell’s Organic, their products and upcoming events, please visit: and

Kudos to Pittsburgh Chefs, but there's more to report

Great to see the "new generation" of Pittsburgh Chefs get exposure in the NY Times - see

OTM wouldn't want you to miss others that the Times writer didn't find; Dave Racicot at Notion in Oakmont; Chris Bonfili at Avenue B in Shadyside; Chet Garland at Toast, also Shadyside, Brian Pecarcik at Spoon and BrGr across the street from Eastside.  And what coverage of Pittsburgh's young Chefs would be complete without refering the young guns at Big Burrito's Eleve, Casbah and SOBA.  We also hear that Rick Deshantz of 9 on 9 is planning to open in the old Cafe Zao space in the Cultural District.  OTM is proud of you all!!

OTM, OTM where have you been - we've been up to London to Taste the Best

The nursery rhyme we've just paraphrased really goes "Pussycat, Pussycat where have you been? I've been up to London to see the Queen........." Well OTM didn't do quite the same thing but we did go up to London and we sure had fun!! We promise a longer survey of the London dining scene, coming soon, so you'll know where to go if you plan to check out the Royal Wedding or the Olympics. And for more details listen to the interviews in OTM Audio Archive, prgram dates February 20, 27 & March 6.

Some news is too good to wait. The hottest new table surely must be Dinner by Heston (Blumenthal of Fat Duck fame). How lucky we were to score a table for lunch, when new reservations are backed up until June. The secret to getting in? Tables are held aside for guests of the Mandarin Oriental, where DbH is housed, and of course there's always the possibility of exploiting a cancellation. Is it worth all the trouble. Well the Reviewer for the Sunday Times only describes it as "........perfect........" This is not The Fat Duck, this is traditional "British" fare from centuries ago, carefully researched by Heston & his team, executed in a huge, glass-walled kitchen, where a hive of busy Chefs gracefully dance around each other. The resulting plates are modern, elegant and fabulously delicious. Peter's starter Savoury Porridge is vivid green and reminiscent of Fat Duck's Snail Porridge, but the recipe which includes cod cheeks and pickled beetroot was developed in 1660; Ann's Spiced Pigeon dates from 1780, but texture and taste were superb nevertheless.  And in addition to the glamorous interior, one side of the restaurant offers view of famed Hyde Park through huge windows.

Within the same hotel, Bar Boulud, first European venture of NYC's  beloved French Chef Daniel Boulud, is playing to a packed house with decor & dishes like the original Bar Boulud, but with the addition of menu items from other Boulud NYC restaurants--Cafe Boulud, DB Bistro & DBGB. And OTM can tell you why - the ambience, food and service are just GREAT. For lunch & dinner be sure to book ahead, otherwise go early for breakfast.......OTM is in love with the Charcuterie program and the Sausages from both BB & DBGB menus, but so many other choices....

Adam Perry Lang hails from NYC, but is now living in London thanks to a partnership with famed British Chef Jamie Oliver at Barbecoa in a glamorous new Shopping Center just east of St. Paul's Cathedral. Adam explained to OTM that Barbecoa is NOT about American BBQ, it's about cooking lots of different foods with traditional wood burning grills and smoke. Hugely popular after only 4 months of opening, Barbecoa's "secrets" include sourcing the very best in British meat (they have their own Butcher's shop in the complex), and vegetables (including great "Chips"). The market salad side dish is perhaps the most delicious simple salad OTM has ever tasted. Huge Short Ribs & Lamb "steak" were both succulent.

"Modern British" is a popular "label" these days, based on sustainable, seasonal (not always local) ingredients from the astounding larder provided by farmers and fishermen from the UK (and other European countries). Tristan Welch at Launceston Place, tucked away on the like-named alley just off fashionalble Kensington High Street is doing a brilliant job. Scallops arrive by overnight train from Scotland and are cooked (essentially steamed) live under half their shell, lamb is from the Lake District, Sweetbreads (one of Peter's favorites) are deliciously dusted with curry which uniquely offsets the succulence of the meat. And Ann ate dessert! If you know us well, you'll realize this is big news - individual Chocolate Souffles with Laphroig single malt Scotch flavored ice cream.

Jeremy Lee has cooked in his signature "eclectic" style at The Blueprint Cafe located in The Design Museum close to Tower Bridge and the Tower of London for 16 years - but that's hard to believe when you sample a menu that seems as exciting and fresh as if it had just been developed, perhaps because it changes almost daily. Salsify in a grated Parmesan crust, a toasted sandwich of delicately smoked eel, thinly sliced salted Mallard (a wild duck), and a whole roasted Teal (smaller cousin of the Mallard) pay tribute to the season and concentration on "the local larder".

OTM "over-dosed" on French, at iconic Le Gavroche, a restaurant so discreet it's hard to find, where Rachel Humphrey who started her career as a apprentice here is now in charge of the kitchen, since Chef Patron Michel Roux Jr. is busy with TV, writing books and circling the globe to demonstrate his interpretation of classic French cuisine. Milk-fed Lamb and Rabbit dishes were standouts. It's easy to feel that you're at one of the top tables in Paris when you dine at Le Gavroche! We're told that French General Charles DeGaulle ate frequently at Mon Plaisir in the bustling Covent Garden area when he was leading the Resistance movement in World War 2, and many things about this traditional brasserie have not changed, but Chef Frank Raymond has been expanding the menu with some new influences since arriving in 2003. But traditional great "Pomme Frites", Steak Tartare, etc. would be OTM's recommendation.

Chef Joel Anthunes trained and began his illustrious culinary career in France, earned a James Beard regional best Chef award for Joel in Atlanta, and more...... We had the pleasure of having Joel select and cook dinner for us at Brasserie Joel-in the elegant new Park Plaza Westminster Bridge hotel featuring a head-on, 180 degree armchair view of Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament from the lobby (and our suite). To start: a Fine de Claire oyster from Normandy with its liquor joining a hint of horseradish in an ethereal gelee, then tuna tartare & avocado with a delicate Japanese dressing, a little scallop with some truffle, a little roast sea bass, and finally delicious duck with fig confit. What a feast!

Kiwi (New Zealand) raised Anna Hansen's The Modern Pantry is open all day as a Cafe & Bake-shop, with a restaurant space open in the evening upstairs. Many of the dishes on her all-day menu are small plates with unusual ingredients juxtaposed. Quail eggs are Scotched (encased) in ground & cooked chorizo & rabbit, duck hearts come with cocoa chilli crumbs and chocolate jus, hot & sour braised ox cheek has chilli snails & a nutmeg-chestnut puree, Anna's signature dish is a sugar-cured prawn (shrimp) omelet that took months of experimentation to perfect. In the main course department lamb neck braised with bay leaf & juniper is enlivened with crunchy toasted buckwheat crumbs mixing with lentils & potatoes - and there are lots more choices. Desserts and cheeses are recommended, but we ran out of steam............

We were able to include our usual "Asian fix" (remember London is home to the globe's only Michelin starred Indian, Chinese & Thai restaurants & some Japanese ones too) at Benares where Indian spices and cooking techniques meet haute cuisine and super-elegant surroundings. Here the "Grazing" Menu comes in 4 "waves" each one including 3 different dishes on the a smart wide plate. People watching is fun here too at this very chic Mayfair address.

We caught up with some old friends of OTM who are up to new things.  Sam & Eddie Hart (also Fino, Barrafina) have carved space out of their Quo Vadis dining room on Soho's congested Dean Street (best way to get here is on foot as one end of the street is going to be blocked until 2017 to create a Bar where the public can enjoy Cocktails created by Paul Mant for members of the Dining Club.  Paul says he focuses on perfectly made "classics", but there's an extensive menu of his inventions as well.  Rowley Leigh at Le Cfe Anglais has converted part of his huge dining room into an Oyster Bar and Cafe, where more casual fare and wines can be enjoyed - the magnificant chandelier above the bar came from the Hyde Park Hotel, where the Mandarin Hotel is now. 

So our 2011 saga begins and ends with reference to the same place, what a coincidence!  Just in time for Ann to do some window shopping.

Helping Rebuild Christchurch, NZ - at Public NYC, March 7

OTM's good friends at AvroKO Hospitality are doing their bit for this important cause, so if you're in or can get to New York at 6.30PM, Monday March 7, make your reservation for a drinks & canapes event at Public, AvroKO's stylish establishment on Elizabeth St.  Chef Brad Farmerie has strong links with NZ, having worked with Star Kiwi Chef Peter Gordon of London's Providores, so he's quick to respond to the tragic earthquake - 100% of the proceeds of the event will go to the NZ Red Cross for their relief efforts.  Thank you Brad & all of AvroKO.

RIP Santi Santamaria

OTM joins the community of Restaurateurs, Chefs & Gourmet Diners around the world as well as Spain in mourning the recent and sudden death of Santi Santamaria.  We are saddened that this Giant will no longer be able to lead the evolution of Catalan cuisine.  For although Santi was a traditionalist his dishes never failed to thrill diners' taste buds at his hard to find Can Fabes.  Nestled on a tiny street, still in his birthplace of Sant Celoni outside Barcelona, this was a mecca of fine dining!  Last time OTM was there we stayed over in one of the elegant and luxurious rooms that Santi and his wonderful wife Angels added next to the restaurant.  We are sure that Angels and the kitchen team will continue Santi's tradition.  His recent tirades against "modern" Spanish cuisine will be soon forgotten.  His contribution to advancing the reputation of fine dining in Spain will last for ever.  Santi will be missed!!

London Calling! OTM is heading for our Annual Update on Fine Dining

For the past 10 years we've enjoyed the much underestimated Fine Dining scene in London, and this year is no exception, so during the month of February we'll be back again.  We just know that you'll need new recommendations for your trip to celebrate Kate & William's wedding.  On this year's agenda the famous Le Gavroche, where we'll be interviewing the young Head Chef, Rachel Humphrey, and we hope to catch up with Patron Michel Roux Jr. if he's not too busy.  We've interviewed Michel's cousin Alain at The Waterside Inn, and his father Michel at the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival.  Fine Dining at Launceston Place is on the schedule, also Mon Plaisir, London's oldest French restaurant, and more casual options like The Blueprint Cafe, The Modern Pantry & El Pirata de Tapas.  We'll be catching up with old friends Eddie Hart, who with his brother Sam have just opened a new Wine & Cocktail Bar at Quo Vadis & Rowley Leigh at Le Cafe Anglais which has an exciting new Oyster Bar (which we just couldn't pass up).  Bar Boulud and Barbecoa are part of a recent (& continuing) American Invasion - Daniel Boulud & Adam Perry Lang (partnered with English icon Jamie Oliver) - we have just the faintest hope we'll at least get to drop in at London's hottest new table, Dinner by Heston.  And a new luxury lodging & dining adventure is in store for us at Park Plaza Westminster Bridge and its fine restaurant Brasserie Joel.  Good job OTM has great stamina!!  We'll be bringing you interviews from all these spots, starting with February 20th program, so be sure to tune in. 

Great Wine Event for a Great Cause-Pittsburgh's Duquesne Club, March 4

The CLO Ambassadors' 14th Annual Wine Tasting & Silent Auction will be held on Friday, March 4, 2011 at 7pm at The Duquesne Club. The event is Co-Chaired by Jennifer Jack of ATI Allegheny Ludlum & Helen Wylie of DDI. Once again, proceeds from this consistently sold-out event benefit Pittsburgh CLO’s This year's impressive Silent Auction will feature one-of-a-kind packages that include autographed celebrity and sports memorabilia and once-in-a-lifetime experiences. The Grand Raffle prizes include a luxurious getaway to San Francisco and Napa Wine Country. Highlights of the evening will include live music, fine wines and distinctive hors d'oeuvres.  For tickets go to

How do Chefs & Sommeliers really work together? OTM's interview at Quince in San Francisco will enlighten...........

Dining at Quince & its casual sister Cotogna was delightful, and informative besides.  We asked Chef Michael Tusk & Beverage Director David Lynch to relive an entire (fabulous) tasting menu with wine pairings - and this is featured in last Sunday's program.  If the subject interests you, and even if you're not sure it does, we recommend that you listen in.  OTM Audio Archive, program date February 6, 2011.

Once upon a time......... Chef Dominique Crenn & Gouge Eye Farm

Thanks to Paulo Lucchese of the SF Chronicle for this great story.  Atelier Crenn opens next week.  Be sure to listen to OTM's interview with Chef-owner Dominique, OTM Audio Archive, Januray 2, 2011.

The tale reads almost like a Hollywood script: Michelin-starred chef meets young waiter with farmer aspirations and then the two become exclusive business partners to eat happily ever after. It's a plot not so unusual in the Bay Area, center of the farm-to-table, read-about-the-farmers-on-menus movement. But this time, at the point of inception neither the restaurant nor the farm was a reality, and in many ways, each needed the other to fulfill their respective visions. Dominique Crenn, chef at Luce in San Francisco's InterContinental Hotel, was in the throes of building her first solo restaurant, the 40-seat Atelier Crenn, in the former PlumpJack Cafe space in the Marina, and was looking for a farm to supply the restaurant with rare, eclectic ingredients. Meanwhile, Greg Glosser had been sporadically supplying Zuni with quince, pomegranate and other produce from his father's ranch in Pleasant Grove (Sutter County), which he and his father, Greg Glosser, dreamed of turning into a full-fledged farm. Glosser stumbled upon the 3-acre property in 1989 and bought it immediately. A former restaurant decor specialist, he has been working on it ever since, restoring original details such as ceiling cloud murals and a 22-foot-tall brick smokehouse. The latter was on the brink of collapse in '89; it's now one of a very few functioning 19th century smokehouses in the country. Crenn recounts the first time she walked into the house. "I was speechless. It was like a Victorian novel unfolding before my eyes," she says. "I feel very fortunate. That's why it's important for me and my team to give them the ability to show what they can do."  The Crenn alliance means the farm can experiment, knowing there's an assured destination. The restaurant is scheduled to open next week, with Gouge Eye supplying roughly 60 percent of the menu, from honey to potatoes to cattails foraged from the swampy environs. Also on the property, and in the Atelier Crenn hopper, are squab, chickens, geese, peacocks and, in the creek, crayfish. Once winter passes and the new harvest comes in, Crenn hopes to get 100 percent of her supplies from the farm, except for fish and some meats. The squab operation will double in size, and Muscovy ducks are en route. Meats and fish will be smoked in the smokehouse. And down the line, there will be peacock meat at Atelier Crenn, too. Crenn says she'll change the menu as often as the farm team dictates, hoping to use anything and everything they provide. "They're the farmers," Crenn says. "They don't work for me. I work for them." Glosser points out that rarities like ground-cherries and Iraqi watermelons have already been planted. "Dominique likes strange ingredients. We don't want to grow things you can buy at Safeway."The partnership is intended to make for a unique, personal restaurant. With a menu that starts at $59 for a three-course meal and goes up to $95 for the tasting menu, it's also an ambitious one, but Crenn is optimistic. "I'm nervous but not too worried. I think the San Francisco palate is amazing and inclined to try new things."