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Category: Epicure

Emeril Reacts to Fisher’s Menu in Orange Beach, Alabama

Two days before Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina opened to the public, Emeril Lagasse tied up his yacht within walking distance to the restaurant. A big game fishing enthusiast, he was there for the Orange Beach Billfish Classic. Johnny Fisher invited Emeril ashore to check out his new menu. Back in the kitchen, Johnny’s team was anxiously lighting ovens and firing up kitchen equipment for the very first time. Stress levels were high. Emeril accepted Johnny’s offer bringing his crew of eight along as well. “There was no time to treat Emeril as anything but another restaurant guy,” Fisher...

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4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival Was a Success!

I just returned from the most erotic, exotic, earthy, smelly and totally unforgettable G-rated weekend of my life and I swear I’m never washing my hands again. It was the 4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, produced by the American Truffle Company (ATC) where world class cuisine met cutting edge truffle science, which translates to learning everything you ever wanted to know about truffles- from cultivating them, hunting them, to tips on the best ways to buy, store and cook with these pricey lovelies.  From January 17-20, attendees could take advantage of seminars geared toward potential growers, attend chef demonstrations,...

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Club Seabourne Lobster and Plantains Recipe

The newly remodeled Club Seabourne on Culebra Island draws one in. Blessed with great reviews, it is surpassing expectations of all who visit — and we were lucky enough to have the chef share his recipe for Fresh Culebra Island Lobster with Cassava. Fresh Culebra Island Lobster with Cassava and Plantains (Yield: 2 servings) Ingredients: 1 Lobster of 2 pounds 1/2 pound of cooked cassava (yucca) 1/2 green pepper finely chopped 1/2 red pepper finely chopped 1/2 white onion finely chopped 1 Tbsp of cilantro finely chopped 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp of apple vinegar...

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New Orleans Cooking Experience Shares Secrets

After arriving at the New Orleans Cooking Experience​ (NOCE)​, I knew I was in for a great cooking class when the first words out of Frank Brigtsen’s mouth (a fifth-generation NOLA chef and owner of Brigtsen’s Restaurant) were, “Food is about sharing, not about keeping secrets.” Full of classes that celebrate the traditional Creole and Cajun cooking of Louisiana, NOCE features traditional and historic recipes taught by their family of well-known chefs. Fun-filled classes include personalized instruction, unlimited wine service, complete recipe packets, and a tour of the house and dining. Following your cooking class you will enjoy a seated dinner served party-style...

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Canyon Ranch’s Chef Giovanni Arias wins The 2013 Healthy Chef Award

Layering flavor is a cooking term that covers combining, expanding, and intensifying flavors which is just one of many techniques Executive Chef Giovanni Arias uses to create the scrumptious, lower-calorie menu served at Miami’s Canyon Ranch Grill. I thoroughly enjoyed Chef G’s healthier renditions of everything from crab eggs Benedict with creole sauce, the totally addictive, crispy (from grilling not frying) yucca fries dipped in a lively habanero cilantro sauce, and a so-decadently-rich-I-still-can’t-believe-it’s-only-210-calories, Black Forest molten cake with brandied cherries, that I nicknamed him the ‘flavor whisperer’. Obviously I’m not the only one who feel this way since Chef...

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John Sarich, Culinary Director at Chateau Ste Michelle

While visiting Chateau Ste Michelle, we were fortunate to have Culinary Director, John Sarich, lead a tour of the Chateau. After discovering all this wonderful winery has to offer, we enjoyed a wine pairing, prepared especially for our International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association group. John feels fortunate he has access to world-class wines and fresh foods and says, “Not only do we have an outstanding variety of ingredients from the land and sea, we also have exceptional wines from Washington’s Columbia Valley, where long summer days and crisp autumn nights produce ideal conditions for well balanced wines.”...

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Oregon Truffle Festival, Dogs, Growers, and Gourmands and Recipe

Since 2009, I’ve seen press releases on the Oregon Truffle Festival (OTF), held every January.  This year it is January 24-26th. OTF has always been of interest, as I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate truffles. After getting my down coat and pants for the holidays, I was able to cover “The Culinarian Experience” track at OTF in Eugene, Oregon in 2013 and highly recommend it for 2014 truffle lovers. While a gourmet experience was expected, the opportunity of my meeting growers, owners and trainers of truffle dogs, research scientists, and worldwide truffle experts provided an exceptional weekend. The majority of...

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Chocolais Chocolate Flavored Blended Fine Wine

During the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to taste various chocolate flavored wines…and while I have always enjoyed the experience, I never felt it was extra special. With Chocolais, that has changed. On our 2011 International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association Conference at Sea on Holland America, our members were treated to Chocolais as part of a wine tasting event as well as a bottle in their stateroom to devour or take home an enjoy. After two exceptional tastings of Roche Winery & Vineyards Estate Chardonnay, we cleansed our palate with “Wine Tasting Cookies” to experience...

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Garlic Cognac Roasted Trumpet Mushrooms

    I love all mushrooms, but I must confess that I’m partial to king trumpets.  Savory in flavor with a firm meaty texture, they live up to their royal title.  Only one thing could make these wonderful gifts better… Cognac!  It is warm and nutty by nature, but when you combine it with butter  it is transcended to a roasted sweet caramel.  In this recipe, when the cognac & butter meets the smokey piquillo pepper, the herbes de Provence & the salty Parmesan, magic happens.  The mushrooms dance and the cognac sings. This dish is a wonderful accompaniment to...

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Last Minute Gourmet Christmas Dinner Menu

Includes video instruction for each recipe. Last year my Christmas wish was to spend at least one month in France in the new year, just to enjoy the lifestyle.  After ringing in the New Year and didn’t give it considerable thought as I made my months went from winter to spring.  In mid-summer, much to my surprise, I received an invite from Chef Katherine Frelon to attend her cookery school in the Burgundy region of France at La Ferme de La Lochere in late August.  It was my Christmas in July!  The incredible French countryside adventure I had been...

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Chef Mathew Macartney of Chateau Yering Shares an Intriguing Salad Plate

While exploring the Australian Yarra Valley wine region, I was able to experience the five star, heritage- listed Victorian mansion. Chateau Yering, sitting on 250 acres, is a member of Relais & Chateaux. In the parlor, while enjoying scones and tea, I discovered Head Chef Mathew Macartney. Mathew oversees the Sweetwater Café and Elenore’s, a One Chef’s Hat in The Age Good Food Guide. Elenore’s has won numerous awards since Mathew arrived. He has also been a celebrity chef on Silversea’s cruise line the past two years. Chef Macartney’s talent speaks for itself in the recipe he chose to...

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Four Ocean Vodka Holiday Cocktails

When we visited Maui, we were fortunate to visit and tour Ocean Vodka. In addition to being impressed with the delicious product, family, marketing and mission, we were thrilled the product  was as good as we heard it was. Since then, we’ve been getting many of  their recipes and these holiday recipes were perfect for the upcoming season. If you ever have the opportunity to visit the Ocean Vodka facility, we’d encourage you to do so. In addition to sampling the product, learning about this philanthropic company who is producing organic products, helping native Hawaiians, growing by innovative concepts,...

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