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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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Teton Springs Lodge, Victor, Idaho is Year-Round Resort

Driving east from Boise, Idaho, I headed on a five and a half hour trek toward Grand Tetons National Park, those ethereal crystalline mountains in northwestern Wyoming. Although driving alone, I felt enveloped by “big sky” almost the entire trip.  Raised on the East Coast, I was not used to the sheer openness of landscape and it produced a profound sense of awe. I felt small and humbled by the grandeur of nature all around me. When I left the interstate for the back roads, I encountered such dramatic scenery, all I wanted to do was stop the car,...

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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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Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa Miami Beach

My 12-step program for Canyon Ranch Hotel and Spa Miami Beach.  On a recent trip to Suriname, I had to fly from San Francisco to Miami to catch my international flight. I was just going to book a no-brainer airport overnight (which usually ranks somewhere between unmemorable to downright unpleasant) when I remembered that there was a Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach. I had so thoroughly enjoyed my stay at “ The Ranch” in Tucson that I thought this could offer a healthy sleepover between flights. It turned out to be a brilliant move. Follow my...

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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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Modern Luxury to Relaunch Scottsdale Magazine

Lifestyle publisher Modern Luxury is redesigning, reinvigorating, and relaunching the new Scottsdale Magazine. We were invited to attend one of the relaunch events  for a fashion-forward culinary journey, combining diverse couture by Neiman Marcus and cocktails accompanied by delectable bites by T. Cook’s at the Royal Palms Resort & Spa. The relaunced T.Cook’s, with its new Mix Up Bar, provided a perfect combination for this captivating evening. Elegance encompassed the surroundings, with hues of purple, deep blues, and jewel tones dominating the evening dresses. Black, white, gold and silver did accent the jewels. This season is displaying many high...

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Anatomie – The Ultimate Fashion Top

Anatomie, where have you been all my life?  You could have saved me years from looking schleppy while traveling or like I just rolled out of bed (which I usually have) when working out at the gym. Oh well, I’m happy we’re finally BFF’s although I could really use a friend’s and family discount, since I’m now totally addicted to your fabulous clothes. And to think it was all just a chance meeting. On a recent flight I was sitting next to a very chic woman wearing a sophisticated, figure-flattering, stretchy black and grey jacket and pants. She looked...

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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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4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, January 17-20, 2014

  I don’t know about you, but I always thought it was criminal that the 12 days of Christmas don’t include a gift of truffles. I’d so kick those noisy “calling birds” to the curb and replace them with a basket of these fragrant fungi. If your sig other is any sort of foodie and you need a very last minute gift, there’s still time to score tickets to the 4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival , January 17-20, 2014. The American Truffle Company returns to Napa with the fourth annual Napa Truffle Festival – bringing together two complementary aspects...

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