Spring & Easter Gift Guide 2014

Ironically, it doesn’t feel like spring in New York City but Easter and Passover is coming up. Here’s some gift ideas for this (fast approaching) holiday. Sweets When you think Easter, you tend to think chocolates, especially the Easter bunny. There’s plenty of these delicious sweets coming from many great brands across the U.S. Mariebelle has a beautifully whimsical (and delicious) assortment of Easter chocolates ranging from a large chocolate egg ($35) (like the size of an adult’s head) filled with chocolate eggs and set in a nest with a colorful bird and butterflies. It looked like a girl’s dream..

Complexity Group’s Grapes On A Train 2013 – My Maiden Voyage to Montreal

Two weekends ago, I was asked by Complexity Group to shoot and video their annual event, Grapes On a Train. Complexity is a New Zealand-based group that would bring awareness of their home country’s delicious wines to the United States. This particular event is very unique as a medium-sized group of wine industry people, like sommeliers, wine buyers, wine directors, and a few writers gather to meet at NYC’s Penn Station to ride a vintage train car and take the scenic route along the Hudson River to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. During that long ride north, we participated in four different..

Mondo Lambrusco Dinner featuring Chef Cesare Casella & 1* Michelin Chef Emilio Barbieri at Salumeria il Ristorante

Chef Emilio Barbieri & Chef Cesare Casella; the menu and the bar/dining room area A few nights ago, Chef Cesare Casella and Chef Emilio Barbieri cooked together at Chef Casella’s latest restaurant Il Ristorante in the Upper East Side. (This special one-night dinner is $110 per person.) Chef Barbieri is the executive chef of the 1* Michelin restaurant Strada Facendo in Modena, Italy. His style of cooking is taking flavors and scents of his childhood in Reggio Emilia and make it contemporary. This special collaboration occurred primarily for Mondo Lambrusco, an annual event to promote Lambrusco wines (a young bubbly,..

Sud de France Festival 2013: Tasting Tables with Chef Joseph Buenoconsejo at Hotel Americano

Communal dining at Hotel Americano; passing out Maury – La Coume du Roy 2007; Executive Chef Joseph Buenconsejo and Sous Chef Tony Venegas Sud de France Festival kicked off (prior to its Launch Party on Monday, June 3rd) their Festival with the “Tasting Tables” series with Chef Joseoh Buenoconsejo and Sous Chef Tony Venegas at Hôtel Americano in Chelsea. This particular dinner was set outside on the hotel restaurant’s patio during this humid, very warm Sunday evening in communal tables set in blue and white check tablecloths and a live band playing convivial swing music. It almost felt like I..

Sud de France Festival: New York City 2013

Languedoc-Roussillon is one of the 27 regions of France. It comprises five areas, and borders the other French regions of Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Rhône-Alpes, Auvergne, Midi-Pyrénées on the one side, and Spain, Andorra and the Mediterranean Sea on the other side. It is the southernmost region of France. They will take over New York City to let food enthusiasts to discover the delights and culture of Languedoc-Roussillon thanks to the Sud de France Festival, which runs from Sunday, June 2nd to Sunday, June 23rd, 2013. This festival has large diversity of events ranging from wine classes to concerts, wine tastings, seminars,..

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2013

One of our most important and influential people, in my life at least, is my mom. Since Mother’s Day is a bit more than 2 weeks away (if you really don’t remember, it’s Sunday, May 12th) you still have some time to get her something before she’ll bite your head off. Here are some of my gift ideas: Chocolates Coco Délice Chocolates Coco Délice is based out in San Francisco, California, whose mission is to have great flavor and appearance, and utilizing the best possible, local ingredients. Their chocolates are French inspired by technique and dominantly French inspired with touches..

Easter Gift Guide & Spring Cookbook Preview 2013

I can’t believe it’s Easter is coming this weekend! I usually think it’s warmer during Easter yet I’m still wearing cashmere sweaters and heavy coats to work. But what can I do? Here’s some gift ideas (most you may purchase beyond Easter) that you may give to friends and family: Ladurée Cameo (Camées in French) Egg The world famous Ladurée had released its first Cameo chocolate egg (small size, as seen here $18; large $56). It is a beautiful chocolate egg that has a cameo of Marquis or Marquisede Ladurée tied with a satin ribbon. When you break open the..

Iron Horse Vineyards – Exceptional Cuvées & Wines in a Spectacular Estate

Heading toward Iron Horse Vineyards, interesting flowers, and the rolling green hills Iron Horse is one of the most prestigious, small, independent, estate, family owned wineries in the United States. For the past few years, I’ve been corresponding to the CEO of Iron Horse Vineyards, Joy Sterling since I’m a fan of her family’s sparkling wines and I thought it would be great (and an honor) to actually meet her in person. I’m used to seeing vast green fields whenever I do visit any winery estate but I didn’t anticipate the drop-dead gorgeous landscape at Iron Horse Vineyards when my..