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We talk to industry leaders and the winners about this prestigious award
Best New Chefs
Food & Wine has been naming their annual list of the Best New Chefs for the last 25 years. They have anointed everyone from Daniel Boulud to Thomas Keller to Grant Achatz in their early years as chefs. This year’s class is equally as exciting for the magazine, but is also notable because of the range and diversity in the group. We caught up with Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin at last night’s event celebrating the new inductees, and she was particularly excited about the list. "One of the reasons is they are so different from each other," she said. "Other years you look and you say 'There’s a theme here'... This year we have everything from Michael Voltaggio doing molecular gastronomy at Ink in LA to Jamie Malone at Sea Change in Minneapolis." The chefs vary in location from Memphis, Tenn., to Puerto Rico.
Many of the chefs who attended the event, ranging from Marea's Michael White to wd~50 and Alder's Wylie Dufresne noted how important the award can be for a chef’s career. Tom Colicchio of Top Chef and Craft Restaurants got a bit nostalgic, noting, "I won back in ‘91 and it meant so much to me. It was a long time ago!" Chefs like Anne Burrell called the award "invaluable."
But the most excited attendees were the winning chefs themselves. Danny Bowein of Mission Chinese Food noted that "It’s insane. When you look back 25 years... It’s amazing, it’s an honor. Those are really huge shoes to fill." Andrew Ticer of Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen commented that "We looked up to this award, it’s an elite group of people... So it’s just really exciting."
For more from the winning chefs as well as attendees including Kevin Sbraga and Dale Talde, watch the video above!
25th ANNUAL COCONUT GROVE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
The 25th Annual Coconut Grove Food and Wine Festival will be held on March 19-20th, 2022. In the meantime, we will be holding special food and wine events throughout the year of 2021 that will be significantly smaller in nature with CDC Guidelines. In the meantime Ticket sales have been temporarily suspended.
For more info: Contact 786-355-4800 or Info @CGFAW.com
ADDED FEATURE YEAR 2022
ENJOY BURGER SAMPLINGS FROM SOME OF THE BEST RESTAURANTS AND BURGER JOINTS IN SOUTH FLORIDA
There are various levels of Sponsorship available. The Presenting Sponsorship allows your company to own the event and position yourself as a significant supporter of the community.
Please contact our office 786-355-4800 or [email protected] CGFAW.com for the levels of sponsorship. Please note that we can customize a sponsorship package according to your needs, budget and expectations.
Besides being part of a community event presenting your menu to your local patrons and future ones. Your business will be marketed in print, posters, postcards, newspapers, TV, radio, Food Blogs. Restaurant sign up application can be emailed by
calling 786-355-4800 or via email [email protected]
We are currently excited to announce that the popular Coconut Grove Burger Bash samplings are coming back! also, we have Bahamian Goombay Entertainment as part of the Festival which will be Saturday & Sunday , March 19th & 20th 2022
Date: NEW DATE WILL BE MARCH 19TH & 20TH 2022- 2pm - 8pm - Where: Elizabeth Virrick Park - 3255 Plaza Street - Coconut Grove, FL 33133- Demographic 25-55
At the enjoy Live Rock and Jazz along with Goombay Bahamian Entertainment, Delicious Restaurants and Burger samplings, Fine Wine & Spirits Tastings, Craft Beer, Art exhibit and visit our Corporate Sponsors and onsite Vendors showing off their companies.
TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
Join us Memorial Weekend on
May 26th 2022 .
As we celebrate the Annual TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD AND WINE FESTIVAL CELEBRATING SOME OF THE FINEST CULINARY TALENTS, FINE WINE & SPIRITS
TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
All updated information regarding Taste of Brickell a sister event to the Coconut Grove Food and Wine Festival will have several kick off parties in 2021 . these event much smaller in nature will be advertised and we will follow all CDC guidelines to protect or attendee's, staff and partners. www.tasteofbrickell.com
FESTIVITIES FOOD & WINE 2021
TASTE OF BRICKELL FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL
FESTIVITIES FOOD & WINE 2021
During 2021 The Coconut Grove Food & Wine Festival will be holding a series of events celebrating Coconut Grove's finest restaurants and wine and spirits from around the world. More Information on these activities and how to attend will be available by February 2021.
DRESS COOL & COMFORTABLE! - This Fun-filled Festival should not be missed! The Coconut Grove Food and Wine Festival is excited to add a Bahamian Flair and a Burger addition.! Explore and sample Miami's Best Burger Joints, Newest Restaurants, Famous Chefs, and Caterers whole enjoying being in beautiful Elizabeth Virrick Park. Sample and Enjoy various new one of a kind dishes, Craft Beer tastings, and Burger recipes There will be Fine Wines & Spirits from around the world, and Bahamian Goombay Entertainment and much more.
EAT , DRINK & BE ENTERTAINED
We welcome you to join us at where you can roam from tent to tent sip on some of the worlds most rare and unique wines and spirits. Located in our VIP area on site.
Enjoy 6 events at various location though out Coconut Grove. We will be featuring wine samplings and delicious gastronomic treats. Information and Ticket purchases are being paused until further details are confirmed.
Rest assured that The Coconut Grove Food & Wine Festival will take place on March 19th & 20th 2022.
The Wonderful World of EPCOT Food and Wine Festival Merchandise!
We recently took a look at the fun EPCOT International Taste of Food and Wine Festival Figment-themed merchandise that has made its way into the shops, so it would only make sense that we'd check out a bit of everything else this week. Ready to make your list and check it twice? Here goes!
While Mouse Gear is always a great one-stop shop for festival-specific merch, if you're zooming straight to the World Showcase, rest assured that you'll be able to find all of the merch your heart desires. Kiosks highlighting groupings of merchandise have been placed throughout the World Showcase. You'll find a Figment-themed kiosk in the Canada pavilion, a kiosk offering annual passholder merch near the Germany pavilion, and kiosks featuring general festival merchandise in between.
We'll start off at the kiosk that's found on the way to the Mexico pavilion as you walk clockwise around the Showcase.
This year's Taste Your Way Around the World festival tees can be found here, and a unisex standard t-shirt ($29.99) is joined by a cropped and tied wine-colored version that features reversible sequins ($39.99).
The Taste Your Way Around the World theme continues with a barrel-shaped mug ($19.99). This year's 25th anniversary festival logo is featured on backside of the mug.
If you're in the market for a new cutting board, the Taste Your Way merch line has you covered. This cute cutting board highlights a bunch of grapes, along with Spaceship Earth, and sells for $29.99. It's also branded with this year's festival logo.
Hanging just below the cutting boards was this festival's plastic tray ($7.99). As seen in years before, the tray features a cutout for a glass, and is perfect for helping get your festival treats over to a table without spilling.
Of course, the lion's share of the festival merchandise can be found at Mouse Gear. We'll start things off with a few offerings for Walt Disney World annual passholders.
Annual passholders have plenty of festival merch to choose from this year. Kicking things off is the "Olive to Cook" passholder tee ($29.99) and tray (12.99). The AP tray is a fancier version of the plastic tray that we covered above, and is not dishwasher safe.
This ceramic Mickey-shaped "Olive to Cook" serving platter is being offered to passholders for $34.99. The back of the platter features the 2020 EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival 25th anniversary logo.
Continuing with all things annual passholder, we have this year's festival long sleeve t-shirt. The shirt, $49.99, is hooded and is thicker than we've seen from the long sleeved tees offered during recent festivals. Ratatouille's Remy and Emile are featured on the shirt, and on several merch items to come.
Ahh. here's my favorite little rat again. This time, Remy's on a salt/pepper shaker. The shaker is marked with Food and Wine's 25th anniversary logo, and is available for $12.99.
Remy and Emile are also featured on a passholder-specific water bottle for $27.99. The bottle is hand wash only.
Passholders can also choose a corked carafe for $29.99. The carafe is glass, and features the whimsical version of the festival logo that we saw on some of the Figment festival merch.
Passholder tumblers ($14.99) featuring our four favorite EPCOT chefs (Mickey, Minnie, Remy, and Figment) are back this year. The glasses are hefty, and have a Spaceship Earth design on the bottom. Keep in mind that in order to purchase passholder-specific merchandise, a valid AP must be shown at checkout. Annual passholder discounts apply.
Chef Minnie gets into the act with her own line of merchandise. From a S'well water bottle ($27.99) to a 24-ounce Tervis tumbler ($26.99) depicting the Queen of Cuisine and Mickey tasting food in front of Spaceship Earth, there's a little something for everyone.
Minnie is also seen on an adorable inverted chef's hat mug ($19.99) and large serving bowl ($24.99). Just to the left of the bowl in the picture above, you'll see a purple spatula ($14.99). The spatula is covered with the festival 25th anniversary logo and pictures of Chef Minnie, Chef Mickey and their favorite foods.
If you're in need of a new set of coasters, you're in luck. I found this set of four in the World Traveler shop located at EPCOT's International Gateway. The set sells for $24.99, and the ceramic coasters feature Chef Mickey, Chef Minnie, Chef Remy, and Chef Figment.
I hope that something caught your eye on our virtual tour of some of the festival merchandise that's being offered this year! If you'll be in EPCOT this fall on the hunt for festival merch, what will be on your list?
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A Cook-Off Among Chefs to Join Delta’s Kitchen
DELTA AIR LINES and Food & Wine have joined forces to create a cooking contest to identify the next chef on Delta’s culinary team.
The contest, which will be called the Cabin Pressure Cook-Off, will be announced on Monday and will feature four chefs cited in Food & Wine’s annual best new chefs program. They will compete in three challenges that will be filmed in New York in late July and early August, and distributed this fall by Delta and Food & Wine on their Web sites and social media channels.
Henry Harteveldt, an analyst for Hudson Crossing, a travel consulting company, said it was not a coincidence that Delta and Food & Wine were collaborating, since Food & Wine is published by American Express Publishing, a subsidiary of the credit card company.
American Express and Delta have offered credit cards with both brands since 1996, and now offer four cards together, making American Express one of Delta’s “key strategic business partners,” Mr. Harteveldt said. American Express is the only credit card company Delta collaborates with on marketing activities in the United States. It also works with American Express overseas, and with Visa and MasterCard.
The new contest will feature Hugh Acheson, chef of Empire State South in Atlanta and 5 & 10 and the National in Athens, Ga. Linton Hopkins, of Restaurant Eugene and Holeman & Finch Public House in Atlanta Kelly English, of Restaurant Iris and the Second Line in Memphis and Kelly English Steakhouse in St. Louis and George Mendes, of Aldea in New York. Mr. Acheson was named one of Food & Wine’s “best new chefs” in 2002, Mr. Mendes in 2011, and Mr. Hopkins and Mr. English in 2009.
The challenges will be filmed as three episodes, while a fourth episode will feature the winning chef visiting Delta’s test kitchen in Atlanta. The winning chef will join Delta’s culinary team: Michelle Bernstein of Michy’s in Miami Michael Chiarello of Bottega in Napa Valley and Coqueta in San Francisco and Andrea Robinson, a master sommelier. The three help Delta create food and wine offerings for long-haul business-class passengers on select routes, like transcontinental flights and service to Latin America and Japan. Joanne Smith, Delta’s senior vice president for in-flight service, said the winning chef could design menus for business-class passengers on trans-Atlantic flights.
The cook-off is not the first collaboration between Food & Wine and Delta. In addition to buying advertising space in Food & Wine for the last decade, Delta has sponsored the magazine’s Food & Wine Classic annual food festival in Aspen, Colo., several times since 2007. Delta also has sponsored Food & Wine’s best new chefs program — celebrating its 25th anniversary this year — and held events for its top customers catered by some of these chefs.
Delta also is running a four-page spread in the July issue of Food & Wine, which covers the 2013 best new chefs. One page promotes Delta’s “economy comfort” service, while others congratulate the latest best new chefs and discuss the airline’s culinary team. Delta also advertises in American Express Publishing’s Travel & Leisure and Departures magazines, while its Delta Private Jets subsidiary advertises in Departures.
Starting in October, videos of the chefs’ cook-off will be shown on the Web sites of Food & Wine and Delta’s in-flight magazine and as part of the in-flight entertainment on Delta. The videos also will be promoted through social media channels of Food & Wine and Delta, and in issues of Sky, the airline’s in-flight magazine, and of Food & Wine.
Christina Grdovic, Food & Wine senior vice president and publisher, said magazine and airline officials jointly concluded that a cooking contest to identify the latest member of Delta’s culinary team “makes sense for Delta because its tagline is, ‘Keep climbing.’ ”
Food & Wine Hires a Restaurant Editor Who Wants More Inclusivity
Khushbu Shah aims to expand and vary the legacy magazine’s coverage from a new bureau in Los Angeles.
When Khushbu Shah gave her coffee order one morning last week, she spelled her last name, S-H-A-H for the barista.
“It’s a sign of respect, getting someone’s name right,” said Ms. Shah, 28, who has posted a list on Twitter of the many ways people get her name wrong. “If you can spell Khaleesi, you can spell Khushbu. It’s not that hard.”
When Ms. Shah, who was a senior food editor at Thrillist, starts as the new restaurant editor of Food & Wine magazine at the end of the month, her name will be even more widely known. She hopes to use her new position to diversify the who, and the what, of restaurant coverage.
“I want it to be a real reflection of what the country actually looks like,” she said. “Food is undeniably intersectional. It’s impossible — it’s irresponsible — to deny it.”
She is coming to the magazine, founded in 1978, during a time of transition. Once headquartered in New York, Food & Wine moved its base of operations to Birmingham, Ala., in 2017. When her Brooklyn lease runs out in the spring, Ms. Shah will move to Los Angeles to open a bureau there.
“It’s important that restaurant coverage expand,” Ms. Shah said. “The best way to do that is to get out of New York City.”
Ms. Shah, who is Indian-American, from a Jain family in Michigan, often references her own experiences in her writing. Her heritage has given her “a slightly different baseline than many other people in the industry,” she said. She remembers, as a child, begging her parents to make her sandwiches for lunch instead of Indian food, so she would not be teased at school.
“Flavors like turmeric and cardamom and cumin taste like comfort to me,” she said. “It’s not ‘exotic.’”
Food media — indeed, many media — are showcasing more writers who are not white and male, and who use first-person narratives to tell their stories.
“It’s not just who is covered it’s who is writing the stories,” said Kat Kinsman, the senior editor at Food & Wine. “It is really important to have bylines and photographers and illustrators on stories that have to do with their identity. Her voice is an incredibly important one.”
What to Cook Right Now
Sam Sifton has menu suggestions for the coming days. There are thousands of ideas for what to cook waiting for you on New York Times Cooking.
- Do not miss Yotam Ottolenghi’s incredible soba noodles with ginger broth and crunchy ginger. for fungi is a treat, and it pairs beautifully with fried snapper with Creole sauce.
- Try Ali Slagle’s salad pizza with white beans, arugula and pickled peppers, inspired by a California Pizza Kitchen classic.
- Alexa Weibel’s modern take on macaroni salad, enlivened by lemon and herbs, pairs really nicely with oven-fried chicken.
- A dollop of burrata does the heavy lifting in Sarah Copeland’s simple recipe for spaghetti with garlic-chile oil.
The inclusion of personal experience in reported pieces can leave some wondering about the line between journalism and journaling. But, Ms. Kinsman said, “I don’t think you can separate food and identity. It makes everything so much richer.
“I think politics fit into this a whole lot because so much of the political position we’re in in the U.S. is because a point of view of someone raised like me is seen as the default,” said Ms. Kinsman, who is white and was raised in the suburbs. “And that’s not good, and correct, and moral, or any of that."
Hunter Lewis, the editor in chief, said one of Ms. Shah’s first projects will be working on the magazine’s annual Best New Chefs list. “They are, by and large, the people who have helped shape the food scene in America,” said Mr. Lewis. “Khushbu will have a hand in guiding that franchise.”
To compile and report this list, Ms. Shah will draw on her experience at Thrillist, where she created Prime 13, a list of the country’s best new restaurants. For the 2018 edition, she visited over 80 restaurants in 14 cities in under three months.
“She knows a lot about restaurants in New York, in L.A., in every part of the country you can think of,” said John Sellers, the entertainment director at Thrillist. “She does a great job.”
The Food & Wine editors are also hoping that Ms. Shah, a self-described “digital native,” can help expand the magazine’s online reach. Of 889,492 paid subscriptions for the first six months of 2019, only 37,952 were digital, according to data from the Alliance for Audited Media. Still, a spokesman said, the overall audience is at an all-time high, with wide social media appeal.
In addition to continuing her coverage of diverse cuisines, Ms. Shah hopes to make the Food & Wine list more varied in geography and price points. She said she had learned the importance of empathy in her writing about fast food and inclusive chef clothing. Reporting in Oklahoma about the food writer Ree Drummond (the Pioneer Woman), Ms. Shah wrote that she had encountered “an America very different from my own.”
As an editor, she said, she won’t stand for same-old, same-old coverage.
“I would get this a lot: ‘Oh, well, we wrote an Indian food story last month, so we can’t do one this month,’” she said. “I don’t ever want to hear that again.”
Food & Wine's 25th Annual Best New Chefs - Recipes
photo courtsey of 8,000 miles.
The dried chicken chili from 8,000 Miles promises to be as pleasing for the palate as is is on the eye.
&bull Thursday June 6: After a successful soft opening, The Avenue (1146 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette, 847-920-5962) opened with a bang on Thursday. The restaurant is the newest project of owner Mitch Dulin (Central Street Café, The Chardonnay, Venice Cafe).
&bull Friday June 7th/Sunday June 9th: It was a busy week for Stephanie Izard. On Friday, she rolled out Little Goat Bread in the Chicago French Market (131 N. Clinton St., 312-575-0306). This extension of her West Loop diner Little Goat (820 W. Randolph St., 312-492-6262) will serve the bakery&rsquos artisan breads as well as a soup and sandwich lunch menu. Back at the diner, Izard launched Little Goat&rsquos rooftop on Sunday. Open during the weekdays for extra seating, the patio will turn into a rooftop bar on weekend nights, serving craft beer and cocktails along with seasonal small plates.
&bull Monday June 10: A second location of West Town Bakery & Diner (1916 W. Chicago Ave., 773-904-1414) is now in business inside the ACME Hotel Company (15 E. Ohio St., 312-894-0800). The West Town Bakery will serve the same menu items from executive chef Chris Curren and pastry chef Chris Teixeira as the original location and will feature a walk-up window along Ohio Street for added convenience.
&bull Thursday June 13: DryHop Brewers (3155 N. Broadway, 773-857-3155) had a line around the corner when they held their first Growler Saturday this past week. Regular hours start Thursday with six house brews on tap. DryHop&rsquos executive chef Pete Repak is a fan of the beer and bacon combo his favorite dishes are the bacon-wrapped sea scallop and the buttermilk-brined southern fried chicken.
&bull Tuesday June 18: Friends Shawn Li (TL&rsquos Four Seasons), Ben Li, and Wan Cai Li (Double Li) traveled a long way to bring Roselle its new Chinese and Japanese restaurant 8,000 Miles (107 Main St., Roselle, 630-283-0053). The name is a nod to their beginnings in China, where Shawn and Ben first met. The trio has partnered with Ed Culleeney (Ben Pao, PL8) to create an entire sushi menu, Chinese and Japanese small plates, a Sichuan menu, and various veggie, noodle, and rice dishes.
For those overwhelmed by the whole-hog trend picking up this summer, Carnivale (702 W. Fulton Market St., 312-850-5005) now has $3 á la carte tacos every Thursday with meat from their weekly pig roast. The pan-Latin restaurant is also serving paella throughout June in honor of National Seafood Month.
Earl&rsquos Kitchen + Bar and Mariano&rsquos Fresh Market are among the first tenants confirmed for the mixed-use project in Old Town. The retail, entertainment, and residential complex at the intersection of North Clybourn Avenue and North Halsted Street will be called New City and is planned for completion in 2015.
After 13 years, N9NE Steakhouse (440 W. Randolph St., no phone) has closed, owner Michael Kornick said. The award-winning restaurant, known as a celebrity hangout, lost a co-founder when Scott DeGraff died in 2011. The Las Vegas location remains open.
Food & Wine&rsquos 25th annual &ldquoBest New Chefs&rdquo award includes two Chicago names: Jason Vincent (Lula, Nightwood) and Sarah Jordan (Boka, GT Fish & Oyster). Vincent is recognized for his simple style, while Jordan is praised for her incorporation of savory flavors into her baking.
Chicago is getting into the spirit as the Blackhawks head to the Stanley Cup playoffs. Each game day, DMK Burger Bar (2954 N. Sheffield Ave., 773-360-8686) is serving a Patrick Kane burger (bleu cheese sour cream, buffalo sauce, onion strings) in honor of the Blackhawks center. Magnolia Bakery (108 N. State St., 312-346-7777) is bringing back Blackhawks cupcakes, available in-store on game days only for $3.25.
Wine & Spirits compiles the 25th annual list of top selling restaurant wines
What do you think are the top-selling wines in restaurants? Wine & Spirits magazine ushers in April with its 25th Anniversary Restaurant Poll, an issue they’ve published since 1989. And it’s got some surprises.
Editor Joshua Greene asked wine directors at restaurants all over the country to name their 10 best-selling wines in the final quarter of 2013. And from that, the editors compile the Restaurant Top 50 list.
Leading the list is Cakebread Cellars with an average price of $86.48 for all of its wines at all of the restaurants. Next is Jordan Vineyard & Winery ($101.57), followed by Duckhorn Vineyards ($90.29), Sonoma-Cutrer ($49.20), Silver Oak Wine Cellars ($134.93), Frank Family ($80.79), La Crema ($48.67), Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars ($94), Decoy ($60) and Franciscan Oakville Estate ($67.10).
Though it’s listed as 10th, it got exactly the same score as The Prisoner ($83.30), Caymus Vineyards ($137), and Justin ($80), the sole representative from the Central Coast.
I’m not surprised that the labels are so familiar, weighted more toward Napa Valley, and with Sonoma showing in three out of the 10 top wines. But I never expected that the prices for the top-selling wines would be so high. Only two hover around $50, and the rest leap towards $100 and in some cases sprint right past the mark.
Maybe the less expensive wines are further down the list. But scrolling through the rest of the listing of 50, I find only Simi (No. 18) at $50, Chateau St Michelle (No. 20) at $40, Catena from Argentina (No. 26) at $44.29, Kendall-Jackson (No. 34) at $35.86, Banfi from Tuscany (No. 43) at $48.20. That means that out of 50 brands only seven have average prices of $50 or less.
I find that astonishing, given the economy and the more casual dining experience that’s the rule these days. I also find it astonishing that there are only 14 non-California brands, three of them from Oregon (Cristom at No. 15, Domaine Serene at No. 23 and Domaine Drouhin at No. 36) on the list. Just one wine from Washington (Chateau Ste. Michelle) and nothing from New York state or anywhere else in the country. And of those non-California wines, two are from Greece, a country that only recently is making inroads onto wine lists.
Poor France, the entire country’s output of distinguished wine is represented by two Champagne houses: Veuve Clicquot and Billecart Salmon. Italy does just about as badly with four brands clustered at the bottom of the list (Banfi at No. 43 and Ruffino at No. 43 from Tuscany, Zenato from Lombardy at No. 49 and Santa Margherita tied for last place with Schramsberg Vineyards. No Barolo? No Barbaresco? Spain merits just one place on the list, No. 28 for La Rioja Alta.
Could this mean that when that extremely knowledgeable and passionate sommelier comes over to a table and talks up that Silvaner, Txakolina or Bourgogne Aligoté, hardly anybody is going for it? Or maybe they’re not asking for a sommelier’s advice at all?
Wine lists are more diverse than they’ve ever been, with wine directors seeking out tantalizing wines from small producers and less-known wine regions, ever ready to pour an orange wine or a foot-stomped red or a Georgian wine made in an urn. Or if not that exotic, a juicy Beaujolais cru, a Mt. Etna red from Sicily or a Grüner Veltliner from Austria?.
Wine & Spirits contends the Top 50 list “provides a clue to contemporary trends. Four of the top five brands have a significant stake in Cabernet, and the sommeliers we talked to indicated that Cabernet’s popularity surged this year. Veuve Clicquot breaking into the top 20? Somms reported that bubbles were more popular than ever.”
The 25th anniversary of Justin Vineyard's Isosceles
I&rsquom among the many long-time wine aficionados who has appreciated Paso Robles wines for well over two decades. In the early years, the wine community was made up of fewer than a dozen wineries. No local wine lover, however, will ever forget the year that Justin Vineyard&rsquos 1994 Isosceles won the Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande trophy for &ldquobest blended red wine worldwide&rdquo in London. It was 1997 when the judging panel included 27 Masters of Wine.
Founder and proprietor Justin Baldwin couldn&rsquot have been more proud, deservedly so. Justin&rsquos wine was tasted among similar blends from 35 other countries that were competing. And that was the first time an American winery received such noteworthy recognition. I&rsquod describe it as a shot heard round the world when the tiny appellation of Paso Robles took the top trophy. It was the beginning of many little pieces that began adding up to making our North County wine growing region considered one of the finest, not only in California, but in the world.
I recently attended a dinner in celebration of the 25th anniversary of Isosceles at the renovated Justin estate. Hosted by Justin Baldwin, a Master Sommelier (MS), two Bay Area wine writers, and Justin&rsquos new winemaker, we tasted through six older vintages that proved the Isosceles ages beautifully. A nostalgic Baldwin talked about his love of fine wine and what drew him to Paso Robles. I loved the trip looking back at Justin&rsquos history, much of which I experienced from 1996 on.
&ldquoI came here in 1981 looking for soil, lack of water, and elevation, which are still the most appealing characteristics of Paso Robles,&rdquo said Baldwin connecting the old with the new. &ldquoThere were just a few of us in Paso Robles at the time, Ken Volk, Gary Eberle, and a few other hearty souls. We knew Paso was for real, and we had the pioneering spirit. It&rsquos great to be a part of the history of modern winemaking in Paso.&rdquo
Describing the region as &ldquoRandy Dunn (a Napa Valley legend for his cabernet sauvignons) country,&rdquo Baldwin admitted he didn&rsquot know much when he started planting his first grapevines in 1981 and 1982. &ldquoI had read enough to get started from reading Hugh Johnson&rsquos The World Atlas of Wine, but I had a disproportionate amount of merlot. Sadly, I was the winemaker for a number of years,&rdquo he confessed to our amusement.
As the region began to develop, he explained, the wineries attracted more educated interns who were passionate about wine and wanted to work some place new. Baldwin hired some talented winemakers who helped him bring Justin Vineyards deserved respect. The first winemaker I met was Steve Glossner (owner of Roxo Port Cellars) who made that aforementioned 1994 Isosceles. He helped Baldwin hire Jeff Branco in 1998 (currently winemaker at Paso&rsquos historic Rotta Winery) who replaced him as winemaker when Glossner moved to Adelaida Cellars.
During the reception we tasted a vertical of Isosceles from the winery library. The oldest was Branco&rsquos 1999, which amazed everyone there, including Joseph Spellman, a Master Sommelier and friend of Baldwin&rsquos who has worked with Justin Vineyards many years.
&ldquoThis wine has amazing structure and development of the nose. It&rsquos about getting fruit from (unique) individual blocks on the property,&rdquo Spellman explained. The &rsquo99 was a beautiful vintage, not excessive like the 1997. The &rsquo99 vintage was more like Bordeaux.&rdquo
The other two vintages were at different stages not nearly as showy as the &rsquo99, but obviously filled with life. There&rsquos little better than a library tasting, particularly since I had tasted those wines when they were first released. I was excited about finding my other favorite was the 2011 Isoscles made by Justin&rsquos new winemaker Scott Shirley. I must admit, I&rsquove been crazy about the 2010 Isosceles and recommended it highly in Cuisine. But the 2011 vintage was very challenging for winemakers up and down the state, I worried it wouldn&rsquot impress. After tasting Shirley&rsquos, his first vintage at making the winery&rsquos flagship blend, I totally respected his taste and skill.
After learning of his past winemaking experience, it wasn&rsquot surprising to discover this talented winemaker could craft an exquisite wine despite a problematic vintage. After graduating from U.C. Davis, Shirley spent six years as enologist at Opus One and seven years as winemaker at Hess Collection in Napa Valley, both provided expert experience in making ultra-premium cabernet blends. His attraction to Paso Robles was much like Baldwin&rsquos was 33 years earlier.
&ldquoWhat struck me was Justin&rsquos commitment to the vineyard and making a Bordeaux blend under a philosophy I could get behind,&rdquo explained Shirley, who&rsquos enthused over Justin&rsquos higher-quality cabernet franc vineyard. &ldquoI visited Margaux twice and found an amazing similarity of limestone rocks here and in Bordeaux. My goal is to make a blend of the three parts (cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, and merlot), but I don&rsquot want any one part to stand out. The sum is greater than its parts, and my goal is to make a wine that&rsquos greater than its parts. To make the best wine possible we handpick the grapes and ferment separately. Once the initial blends are ready, Justin, Joe and I taste them to figure out which blend is best to bottle.&rdquo
It&rsquos a good time to visit the recently renovated Justin Vineyards. Not only is the spectacularly beautiful tasting room well worth visiting, Justin is offering its longtime aficionados some very special treats involving Isosceles starting in March through December in celebration of their flagship wine&rsquos 25th anniversary. The events include seminars, barrel tastings, and vertical tastings, some of which take place in the Isosceles library. For specific dates, pricing, and reservations go to Justinwine.com.
Come back to Cuisine next week for my review of The Restaurant at Justin Vineyard, and their impressive dining team led by their outstanding chef William Torres. I promise you this, even if you aren&rsquot a wine lover, this restaurant rates among the finest in SLO County.
The Fire Pits feature bites hot off the flames where you can interact with pitmasters and chefs cooking over live fire. Enjoy exceptional BBQ and get first-hand advice from the pros.
Looking to perfect your grilling technique? Searching for the ultimate sear? Go All-In and enjoy a night of hands-on grilling with Grillin’ and Chillin’! Join Texas’ famed grilling expert Chef Tim Love for a lively night of grilled food, chilled wine provided by Taub Family Selections and Herradura Ultra Tequila.
Grillin’ and Chillin’ is exclusively included with the All-In Ticket.
Bonus Items in the DFB Guide to the 2020 Epcot Food and Wine Festival
The DFB Guide to the 2020 Epcot Food & Wine Festival includes customized bonus items that are EXCLUSIVE to the DFB :
- A printable World Showcase Booth Menu Checklist that you can use to plan, and easily bring with you to the festival
- Themed World Showcase booth crawls, including “Food and Wine Classics”, the “Fun Eats for the Kids”, and so many more!
- Food and Wine Festival customized Touring Strategies for One Day visits, Budget-Conscious visits, and more — fully updated for 2020’s Festival!
- Full food, wine, beer, winery, and cocktail indexes, including locations of where you can find your favorites
- Epcot Food and Wine Festival recipes
- And more!
Whether this is your first festival or your 25th, you’ll appreciate knowing what you are getting before spending time and vacation dollars. And no matter what you want do — sample wine, explore the world’s beers, taste something you’ve never tried before, or find your next favorite dessert — The DFB Guide to the 2020 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is the perfect resource for navigating the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.
Emeril, a new restaurant week and more planned for the Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival
Emeril Lagasse and the Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival will be back but it’s going to be a lot different.
The annual festival will return June 3 to June 12, featuring a virtual program with Lagasse and the first ever Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival Restaurant Week.
It’s been a challenge for many large scale-festivals to decide how best to stage their events in light of the pandemic, the increasing vaccination rates and the ever-changing state regulations on crowd-sizes.
Last year the festival had to be canceled in the 11th hour, as the pandemic first began to grip the Valley and shutdowns were ordered.
Every year, the festival showcases cuisine from the region’s top restaurants, offerings from vineyards and distilleries from around the world, and cooking demonstrations and workshops. The event is hosted by Northampton Community College and Wind Creek in partnership with Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits. The festival is also a major fundraiser for NCC, helping fund scholarships and programs for students. Since 2010, the festival has raised more than $2 million.
The virtual program will be broadcast at 7 p.m. June 3 on lehighvalleyfoodandwine.com. The event is free to watch and will feature Lagasse, who has been a nearly annual part of the festival and is among the nation’s most recognized and awarded chefs. Also part of that presentation will be a number of local chefs who will prepare their top recipes for viewers, including Christopher Heath, executive corporate chef for Paxos Restaurants. Chris Cree, founder of Cree Wine Co., will provide insights on pairing the right wine with the right meal. Also on tap: Virtual whiskey tastings featuring Maker’s Mark, Maker’s Mark 46, Knob Creek 9 year, and Basil Hayden’s from Southern Glazer’s Wine and Spirits. Music will be by The Craig Thatcher Band.
The festival’s website will also offer a range of virtual vineyard tours and a silent auction, allowing participants to bid on fine wines and travel experiences. Viewers will also be able to order a special meal from NCC’s Hampton Winds restaurant to dine on while watching the program.
The debut Food & Wine Festival Restaurant Week will begin June 4 and run through June 12. Participating area restaurants, which will offer specials throughout the week, include blue, Burgers and More by Emeril, Emeril’s Chop House, Melt, Top Cut Steakhouse, and Torre. More info on that to come.
Since the inception of the festival, more than $2 million has been raised to help students. Sponsorship dollars and silent auction proceeds for this year’s festival will directly benefit NCC students.
Watch the video: Aromastoffe in Lebensmitteln Wieviel Chemie ist drin? (August 2022).