Maple Syrup Sugared Almonds

Maple Syrup Sugared Almonds

sugared-almondsDay 5 of my 12 Days of Christmas Baking compilation.

Warning – these nuts are uber addicting!!

I took an old recipe and gave it a Quebec twist by adding maple syrup. Double or triple the recipe for holiday gift giving or host(ess) presents. You could also double the recipe and eat them all yourself while lying on the couch watching Netflix…not that I’d know anything about that.


  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 cups of skin-on almonds, not salted (could use other nuts)


  1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and the maple syrup and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Shut off the heat, add the almonds and stir to coat them in the maple mixture.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Pour the almond mixture onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes. Allow the almonds to cool completely prior to storing in an air-tight container.
  4. The almonds can be stored for up to a week at room temperature, in an air-tight container (not that they’ll last that long).

Makes 2 cups of nuts.

Going Formal for the Holidays

Going Formal for the Holidays

I love really dressing up my table around the holidays. If you’re thinking of pulling out grandma’s silver or unpacking those formal dishes you received at your wedding, here’s how the table should be set for a formal meal:


Want a very VIP dinner menu for that special meal? Here’s one I love for the holidays:

Sweet Potato Gnocchi in Sage Brown Butter.

Simple & Festive Prime Rib.

Make-Ahead Twice Baked Potatoes.

Fail-Proof Yorkshire Puddings.

Elegant Key Lime Tart.



For Halloween – Put a Teal Pumpkin on your Doorstep

For Halloween – Put a Teal Pumpkin on your Doorstep

Food Allergy Research & Education

Food Allergy Research & Education

Trick-or-treating is an integral part of Halloween but with so many kids with food allergies, it’s gotten trickier (pun intended) for them to participate. Asking a kid to participate in trick-or-treating with a great costume but not being able to allow them to collect and eat most of the candy is simply no fun.

Approximately 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies and one in 13 children under 18 are affected. Between 1997 and 2011, there was a 50% increase in food allergies, according to Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE). Every three minutes, someone in the United States has to visit the emergency room due to a food allergy.

About Teal Pumpkin Project

FARE started the Teal Pumpkin Project in 2014 to help spread awareness of food allergies around Halloween time. Families interested in participating simply put a teal pumpkin outside their homes to show trick-or-treaters that they provide non-food items like small toys, stickers, glow sticks and other items that won’t trigger food allergies. This way, Halloween can be fun for all.

Make The Pledge!


Sign up your house to be included on Teal Pumpkin Project’s interactive map of homes offering non-food treats on Halloween by CLICKING HERE.

To learn more about the Teal Pumpkin Project, visit its website where you can get ideas on how to make Halloween safer at your house. There are tons of neat flyers, posters and other materials to download, free.

I adore this idea! Kids can get treats and parents don’t have to worry as much about their kids being exposed to allergy-causing foods.

Get involved!


Dreyfus Ashby Instagram Doggie Photo Contest

Dreyfus Ashby Instagram Doggie Photo Contest

dogsofinstagram-768x573Now through September 5th, Dreyfus Ashby, the national importer of fine wines and spirits, is running a fun, and rewarding, Instagram contest centered on man’s best friend – the dog!

Kicking off on #NationalDogDay, August 26th, the contest is easy to enter:

  1. Follow @dreyfusashby on Instagram
  2. Post a dog photo or any photo of your beloved pets
  3. Hashtag #DreyfusMeansFamily


  • The grand prize winner will receive a gift card to a pet-related retail outlet and gift basket of assorted dog treats and toys valued at $150.
  • The second prize winner will receive a gift basket of assorted dog treats and toys valued at $50.

Photo requirements:

  • Photo must be original, the sole property of submitter and not previously submitted in any other contest or promotion.
  • Photo must not include stock photography.
  • Photo must not incorporate/prominently display any third-party brands or trademarks other than that of the Sponsor.
  • Photo must not violate any third-party rights, including copyright and right of publicity.
  • Photo must not contain material which is (or promote activities which are) sexually explicit, obscene, pornographic, violent, self-mutilating or the mutilating of animals, discriminatory (based on race, sex, religion, natural origin, physical disability, sexual orientation or age), illegal, offensive, threatening, profane, or harassing, or otherwise unsuitable content as determined by Sponsor in its sole discretion. Photos containing such content will be disqualified immediately.

Contest runs from now through Labor Day (9/5/16) and is open to residents of the continental USA.

Complete contest terms and conditions can be found on the Dreyfus Ashby website.

Let’s have some fun with this!


The James Beard Awards Semi-Finalists Announced

The James Beard Awards Semi-Finalists Announced

JBF_LOGO_PMS_SILVERThe nominations for the Oscars of the food business have been announced!

Below are the semifinalists for the 2016 Restaurant and Chef Awards. Read on for semifinalists in all categories, from Outstanding Restaurant to Rising Star Chef of the Year.

For more details on how these names were selected, read this.

The 2016 James Beard Awards Gala will be held at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 2. The Foundation’s Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards Dinner will take place at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Tuesday, April 26.


Best New Restaurant

Alter, Miami

Bardot Brasserie, Las Vegas

Baroo, Los Angeles

The Blanchard, Chicago

Bracero Cocina de Raíz, San Diego

Cala, San Francisco

Cassia, Santa Monica, CA

Coquine, Portland, OR

The Dabney, Washington, D.C.

Death & Taxes, Raleigh, NC

Eloisa, Santa Fe

Girin Steakhouse & Ssam Bar, Seattle

Helen Greek Food and Wine, Houston

The Honey Paw, Portland, ME

Intro, Chicago

Kinship, Washington, D.C.

Launderette, Austin

Liholiho Yacht Club, San Francisco

Mabel Gray, Hazel Park, MI

Morcilla, Pittsburgh

Público, University City, MO

Shaya, New Orleans

Shepard, Cambridge, MA

Staplehouse, Atlanta

Superiority Burger, NYC

Wildair, NYC

2016 Outstanding Baker

Robert Alexander, The General Muir, Atlanta

Evan Andres, Columbia City Bakery, Seattle

Kim Boyce, Bakeshop, Portland, OR

Joanne Chang, Flour Bakery + Café, Boston

Andre Chin and Amanda Eap, Artisan Boulanger Patissier, Philadelphia

Rick Easton, Bread and Salt, Pittsburgh

Mark Furstenberg, Bread Furst, Washington, D.C.

Michelle Gayer, Salty Tart, Minneapolis

Zachary Golper, Bien Cuit, Brooklyn, NY

Marie Jackson, The Flaky Tart, Atlantic Highlands, NJ

John Kraus, Patisserie 46, Minneapolis

Phoebe Lawless, Scratch Bakery, Durham, NC

Belinda Leong and Michel Suas, B. Patisserie, San Francisco

Cheryl Maffei and Jonathan Stevens, Hungry Ghost Bread, Northampton, MA

Dave and Megan Miller, Baker Miller Bakery & Millhouse, Chicago

Moshit Mizrachi-Gabbitas, Janjou Pâtisserie, Boise, ID

Sarah O’Brien, The Little Tart, Atlanta

Lionel Vatinet, La Farm Bakery, Cary, NC

Melissa Weller, Sadelle’s, NYC

William Werner, Craftsman and Wolves, San Francisco

Outstanding Bar Program

Anvil Bar & Refuge, Houston

Arnaud’s French 75 Bar, New Orleans

Bar Agricole, San Francisco

Barmini, Washington, D.C.

Café ArtScience, Cambridge, MA

Canon, Seattle

Clyde Common, Portland, OR

Cure, New Orleans

Kimball House, Decatur, GA

Lost Lake, Chicago

Maison Premiere, Brooklyn, NY

Mockingbird Hill, Washington, D.C.

The Patterson House, Nashville

Polite Provisions, San Diego

The Olde Bar, Philadelphia

Row 34, Boston

The Side Project Cellar, Maplewood, MO

Tired Hands Fermentaria, Ardmore, PA

Trick Dog, San Francisco

The Varnish, Los Angeles

Outstanding Chef

Sean Brock, Husk, Nashville

Andrew Carmellini, Locanda Verde, NYC

Ashley Christensen, Poole’s Downtown Diner, Raleigh, NC

Tyson Cole, Uchi, Austin

Matt Dillon, Bar Sajor, Seattle

Suzanne Goin, Lucques, Los Angeles

Jennifer Jasinski, Rioja, Denver

David Kinch, Manresa, Los Gatos, CA

Christopher Kostow, The Restaurant at Meadowood, St. Helena, CA

Donald Link, Herbsaint, New Orleans

Tony Mantuano, Spiaggia, Chicago

Tory Miller, L’Etoile, Madison, WI

Carrie Nahabedian, Naha, Chicago

Nancy Oakes, Boulevard, San Francisco

Gabriel Rucker, Le Pigeon, Portland, OR

Michael Solomonov, Zahav, Philadelphia

Ana Sortun, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Jerry Traunfeld, Poppy, Seattle

Michael Tusk, Quince, San Francisco

Marc Vetri, Vetri, Philadelphia

Outstanding Pastry Chef

Antonio Bachour, The St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, Bal Harbour, FL

Aggie Chin, The Grill Room, Washington, D.C.

Melissa Chou, Mourad, San Francisco

Juan Contreras, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Kelly Fields, Willa Jean, New Orleans

Meg Galus, Boka, Chicago

Kate Jacoby, Vedge, Philadelphia

Michelle Karr-Ueoka, MW Restaurant, Honolulu

Maura Kilpatrick, Oleana, Cambridge, MA

Margarita Manzke, République, Los Angeles

Dolester Miles, Highlands Bar & Grill, Birmingham, AL

Junko Mine, Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Kristen Murray, Maurice, Portland, OR

Kimiko Nishimura, Tomo, Atlanta

Dahlia Narvaez, Osteria Mozza, Los Angeles

Ghaya Oliveira, Daniel, NYC

Laura Sawicki, Launderette, Austin

Cynthia Wong, Rhubarb, Asheville, NC

Diane Yang, Spoon and Stable, Minneapolis

Jennifer Yee, Lafayette, NYC

Outstanding Restaurant

Presented by Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water

A.O.C., Los Angeles

Acquerello, San Francisco

Alinea, Chicago

Bluestem, Kansas City, MO

Craft, NYC

Five & Ten, Athens, GA

Fore Street, Portland, ME

Foreign Cinema, San Francisco

Fork, Philadelphia

Frankies 457, Brooklyn, NY

Frasca Food & Wine, Boulder, CO

Highlands Bar and Grill, Birmingham, AL

Jaleo, Washington, D.C.

Lark, Seattle

Momofuku Noodle Bar, NYC

Pizzeria Bianco, Phoenix

Providence, Los Angeles

Rasika, Washington, D.C.

Restaurant Gary Danko, San Francisco

The Spotted Pig, NYC

Outstanding Restaurateur

Ashok Bajaj, Knightsbridge Restaurant Group, Washington, D.C. (The Bombay Club, The Oval Room, Rasika, and others)

Elizabeth Blau and Kim Canteenwalla, Blau and Associates, Las Vegas (Honey Salt, Made LV, Andiron, and others)

Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group, Chicago (Boka, Girl & the Goat, Momotaro, Swift & Sons, and others)

Frank Bonanno, Bonanno Concepts, Denver (Mizuna, Luca, Osteria Marco, and others)

Roy Choi, Los Angeles (Chego, Sunny Spot, A-Frame, Pot, LocoL)

JoAnn Clevenger, Upperline, New Orleans

Sam Fox, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Phoenix (The Arrogant Butcher, Culinary Dropout, Olive & Ivy, and others)

Ken Friedman, NYC (The Spotted Pig, The Breslin, Tosca Café)

Ford Fry, Atlanta (The Optimist, St. Cecilia, State of Grace, and others)

Benjamin and Max Goldberg, Strategic Hospitality, Nashville (The Catbird Seat, Pinewood Social, The Patterson House, and others)

Garrett Harker, Boston (Eastern Standard Kitchen & Drinks, Island Creek Oyster Bar, Row 34, The Hawthorne, Branch Line)

Martha Hoover, Patachou Inc., Indianapolis (Café Patachou, Petite Chou Bistro, Napolese, and others)

Ouita Michel, Lexington, KY (Holly Hill Inn, Windy Corner, Wallace Station Deli, Smithtown Seafood, and others)

Michael Mina, Mina Restaurants, San Francisco (Michael Mina, Bourbon Steak, RN74, and others)

Cindy Pawlcyn, Napa, CA (Mustards Grill, Cindy’s Backstreet Kitchen, Cindy’s Waterfront at the Monterey Bay Aquarium)

Stephen Starr, Starr Restaurants, Philadelphia (Serpico, The Dandelion, Talula’s Garden, and others)

Ethan Stowell, Ethan Stowell Restaurants, Seattle (Staple & Fancy, How to Cook a Wolf, Anchovies & Olives, and others)

Andrew Tarlow, Brooklyn, NY (Diner, Marlow & Sons, Reynard, and others)

Nate Tilden, Portland, OR (Clyde Common, Olympia Provisions, Spirit of 77, The Richmond)

Tracy Vaught, Houston (Hugo’s, Caracol, Backstreet Café)

Outstanding Service

Presented by Goose Island Beer Company

Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

Bacchanalia, Atlanta

Blue Hill at Stone Barns, Pocantico Hills, NY

Brigtsen’s, New Orleans

Café Juanita, Kirkland, WA

Charleston Grill, Charleston, SC

Eleven Madison Park, NYC

Komi, Washington, D.C.

L’Espalier, Boston

Marcel’s by Robert Wiedmaier, Washington, D.C.

North Pond, Chicago

The Pass, Houston

Quince, San Francisco

Restaurant August, New Orleans

Saam at the Bazaar by José Andrés, Beverly Hills, CA

Saison, San Francisco

Stone Soup Cottage, Cottleville, MO

Strip-T’s, Watertown, MA

Topolobampo, Chicago

Zahav, Philadelphia

Outstanding Wine Program

Addison at the Grand Del Mar, San Diego

Benu, San Francisco

Bern’s Steakhouse, Tampa, FL

Canlis, Seattle

Charleston, Baltimore

Commander’s Palace, New Orleans

Element 47, The Little Nell, Aspen, CO

Empire State South, Atlanta

FIG, Charleston, SC

Four Seasons Resort & Club Dallas at Las Colinas, Irving, TX

Jory Restaurant at the Allison Inn & Spa, Newberg, OR

Miller Union, Atlanta

Momofuku Ko, NYC

Nopa, San Francisco

Press, St. Helena, CA

The Red Hen, Washington, D.C.

Sepia, Chicago

Spago, Beverly Hills, CA

Studio at the Montage, Laguna Beach, CA

Wild Ginger, Seattle

Outstanding Wine, Beer, or Spirits Professional

Mannie Berk, Rare Wine Co., Brisbane, CA

Sam Calagione, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery, Milton, DE

Wayne Carpenter, Skagit Valley Malting, Burlington, WA

Vinnie Cilurzo, Russian River Brewing Company, Santa Rosa, CA

Ron Cooper, Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal, Ranchos de Taos, NM

Rutger de Vink, RdV, Delaplane, VA

Diane Flynt, Foggy Ridge Cider, Dugspur, VA

Miljenko Grgich, Grgich Hills Estate, Rutherford, CA

Jeppe Jarnit-Bjergsø, Evil Twin Brewing, Brooklyn, NY

Charles Joly, Crafthouse, Chicago

Jim Koch, The Boston Beer Company, Boston

Manfred Krankl, Sine Qua Non, Oak View, CA

Drew Kulsveen, Willett Distillery, Bardstown, KY

Ted Lemon, Littorai Wines, Sebastopol, CA

Steve Matthiasson, Matthiasson Wines, Napa, CA

Steve McCarthy, Clear Creek Distillery, Portland, OR

Aldo Sohm, Zalto Glass, NYC

Rob Tod, Allagash Brewing Company, Portland, ME

Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Distillery, Frankfort, KY

Lance Winters, St. George Spirits, Alameda, CA

Rising Star of the Year

Doug Adams, Imperial, Portland, OR

Tanya Baker, Boarding House, Chicago

Jay Blackinton, Hogstone Wood Oven, Orcas Island, WA

Alex Bois, High Street on Market, Philadelphia

Joseph Cuccia, 17 Summer, Lodi, NJ

Angela Dimayuga, Mission Chinese Food, NYC

Ryan Fox and Ali Matteis, Nomad, Portland, OR

Sara Hauman, Huxley, San Francisco

Sarah Hymanson and Sara Kramer, Madcapra at Grand Central Market, Los Angeles

Bradley Kilgore, Alter, Miami

Elise Kornack, Take Root, Brooklyn, NY

Irene Li, Mei Mei, Boston

Garrett Lipar, Marais, Grosse Pointe, MI

Grae Nonas, Olamaie, Austin

Misti Norris, Small Brewpub, Dallas

Maximillian Petty, Eden Hill, Seattle

Ryan Pollnow, Aatxe, San Francisco

José Ramírez-Ruiz, Semilla, Brooklyn, NY

Matt Rudofker, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, NYC

Beau Schooler, The Rookery, Juneau, AK

Marc Sheehan, Loyal Nine, Cambridge, MA

Daniela Soto-Innes, Cosme, NYC

Cara Stadler, Tao Yuan, Brunswick, ME

Alan Sternberg, Cerulean, Indianapolis

Jarrett Stieber, Eat Me Speak Me, Atlanta

Edward Sura, Perennial Virant, Chicago

Jenner Tomaska, Next, Chicago

Best Chef: Great Lakes

Jake Bickelhaupt, 42 Grams, Chicago

Zack Bruell, Parallax, Cleveland

Jonathan Brooks, Milktooth, Indianapolis

Abraham Conlon, Fat Rice, Chicago

Curtis Duffy, Grace, Chicago

Paul Fehribach, Big Jones, Chicago

Phillip Foss, EL Ideas, Chicago

Greg Hardesty, Recess, Indianapolis

Eric Heath, Cleveland-Heath, Edwardsville, IL

Andy Hollyday, Selden Standard, Detroit

Nick Janutol, Forest, Birmingham, MI

Anne Kearney, Rue Dumaine, Dayton, OH

Beverly Kim and Johnny Clark, Parachute, Chicago

Ryan McCaskey, Acadia, Chicago

Abbi Merriss, Bluebeard, Indianapolis

Iliana Regan, Elizabeth, Chicago

Jose Salazar, Mita’s, Cincinnati

Lee Wolen, Boka, Chicago

Erling Wu-Bower, Nico Osteria, Chicago

Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia, Chicago

Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic

Victor Albisu, Del Campo, Washington, D.C.

Scott Anderson, Elements, Princeton, NJ

Joey Baldino, Zeppoli, Collingswood, NJ

Erik Bruner-Yang, Maketto, Washington, D.C.

Hari Cameron, a(MUSE.), Rehoboth Beach, DE

Peter Chang, Peter Chang, Arlington, VA

Joe Cicala, Le Virtù, Philadelphia

Jose De Brito, The Alley Light, Charlottesville, VA

Tarver King, The Restaurant at Patowmack Farm, Lovettsville, VA

Eli Kulp, Fork, Philadelphia

Rich Landau, Vedge, Philadelphia

Cedric Maupillier, Convivial, Washington, D.C.

Sydney Meers, Stove, The Restaurant, Portsmouth, VA

Konstantinos Pitsillides, Kanella South, Philadelphia

Dan Richer, Razza Pizza Artigianale, Jersey City, NJ

Justin Severino, Cure, Pittsburgh

David Shannon, L’Opossum, Richmond, VA

Aaron Silverman, Rose’s Luxury, Washington, D.C.

Greg Vernick, Vernick Food & Drink, Philadelphia

Cindy Wolf, Charleston, Baltimore

Best Chef: Midwest

Paul Berglund, The Bachelor Farmer, Minneapolis

Thomas Boemer, Corner Table, Minneapolis

Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, and James Winberg, Travail Kitchen & Amusements, Robbinsdale, MN

Justin Carlisle, Ardent, Milwaukee

Jim Christiansen, Heyday, Minneapolis

Dan Fox, Heritage Tavern, Madison, WI

Jorge Guzman, Surly Brewing Co., Minneapolis

Thomas Hauck, c. 1880, Milwaukee

Jonathan Hunter, Forequarter, Madison, WI

Jonathan Justus, Justus Drugstore, Smithville, MO

Russell Klein, Meritage, St. Paul, MN

Francesco Mangano, Osteria Papavero, Madison, WI

Kevin Nashan, Sidney Street Café, St. Louis

Ben Poremba, Elaia, St. Louis

Mike Randolph, Público, University City, MO

Lenny Russo, Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market, St. Paul, MN

Patrick Ryan, Port Fonda, Kansas City, MO

David Swanson, Braise, Milwaukee

Joe Tripp, Alba, Des Moines, IA

Kevin Willmann, Farmhaus, St. Louis

Best Chef: New York City

Nick Anderer, Marta

Jonathan Benno, Lincoln Ristorante

Rawia Bishara, Tanoreen, Brooklyn, NY

Marco Canora, Hearth

Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi, Carbone

John Fraser, Narcissa

Markus Glocker, Bâtard

James Kent, The NoMad

Anna Klinger, Al di Là Trattoria, Brooklyn, NY

Anita Lo, Annisa

Ignacio Mattos, Estela

George Mendes, Aldea

Carlo Mirarchi, Blanca, Brooklyn, NY

Joe Ng, RedFarm

Alex Raij and Eder Montero, Txikito

Bryce Shuman, Betony

Justin Smillie, Upland

Alex Stupak, Empellón Cocina

Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto

Jody Williams, Buvette

Best Chef: Northeast

Unmi Abkin, Coco & The Cellar Bar, Easthampton, MA

Karen Akunowicz, Myers + Chang, Boston

Tyler Anderson, Millwright’s Restaurant, Simsbury, CT

Erin French, The Lost Kitchen, Freedom, ME

Eric Gabrynowicz, Restaurant North, Armonk, NY

Wesley Genovart, SoLo Farm & Table, South Londonderry, VT

Brian Hill, Francine, Camden, ME

Aaron Josinsky, Misery Loves Co., Winooski, VT

Matt Louis, Moxy Restaurant, Portsmouth, NH

Dan Magill, Arethusa al tavolo, Bantam, CT

Zak Pelaccio, Fish & Game, Hudson, NY

Cassie Piuma, Sarma, Somerville, MA

Susan Regis, Shepard, Cambridge, MA

Guy Reuge, Mirabelle, Stony Brook, NY

Michael Scelfo, Alden & Harlow, Cambridge, MA

Champe Speidel, Persimmon, Bristol, RI

Keiko Suzuki Steinberger, Suzuki’s Sushi Bar, Rockland, ME

Philip Tang, Banyan Bar + Refuge, Boston

Derek Wagner, Nick’s on Broadway, Providence

Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor, Eventide Oyster Co., Portland, ME

Best Chef: Northwest

Jose Chesa, Ataula, Portland, OR

Laura Cole, 229 Parks Restaurant & Tavern, Denali National Park & Preserve, AK

Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quiñónez Denton, Ox, Portland, OR

Eric Donnelly, RockCreek, Seattle

Jeff Drew, Snake River Grill, Jackson, WY

Mike Easton, Il Corvo Pasta, Seattle

Renee Erickson, The Whale Wins, Seattle

Adam Hegsted, The Wandering Table, Spokane, WA

Edouardo Jordan, Salare, Seattle

Joe Kim, 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar, Bend, OR

Kris Komori, State & Lemp, Boise, ID

Nathan Lockwood, Altura, Seattle

Mike Muirhead, Mas Taco, Red Lodge, MT

Trent Pierce, Roe, Portland, OR

Sarah Pliner, Aviary, Portland, OR

Ryan Roadhouse, Nodoguro, Portland, OR

Dustin Ronspies, Art of the Table, Seattle

Allen Routt, Painted Lady, Newberg, OR

Justin Woodward, Castagna, Portland, OR

Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi, Joule, Seattle

Best Chef: South

Greg Baker, The Refinery, Tampa, FL

David Bancroft, Acre, Auburn, AL

Vishwesh Bhatt, Snackbar, Oxford, MS

Kathleen Blake, The Rusty Spoon, Orlando, FL

Bill Briand, Fisher’s Upstairs at Orange Beach Marina, Orange Beach, AL

Justin Devillier, La Petite Grocery, New Orleans

Jose Enrique, Jose Enrique, San Juan, PR

Michael Gulotta, MoPho, New Orleans

Jesse Houston, Saltine, Jackson, MS

Scott Hunnel, Victoria & Albert’s at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, Lake Buena Vista, FL

Deme Lomas, Niu Kitchen, Miami

Matthew McClure, The Hive, Bentonville, AR

Rob McDaniel, SpringHouse, Alexander City, AL

José Mendín, Pubbelly, Miami Beach, FL

James and Julie Petrakis, The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park, FL

Michael Pirolo, Macchialina, Miami Beach, FL

Giorgio Rapicavoli, Eating House, Coral Gables, FL

Slade Rushing, Brennan’s, New Orleans

Michael Stoltzfus, Coquette, New Orleans

Isaac Toups, Toups’ Meatery, New Orleans

Best Chef: Southeast

Nate Allen, Knife and Fork, Spruce Pine, NC

Billy Allin, Cakes & Ale, Decatur, GA

Jeremiah Bacon, The Macintosh, Charleston, SC

Brian Canipelli, Cucina 24, Asheville, NC

Kathy Cary, Lilly’s, Louisville, KY

Scott Crawford, Standard Foods, Raleigh, NC

Steven Devereaux Greene, Herons in the Umstead Hotel, Cary, NC

Kevin Gillespie, Gunshow, Atlanta

Damian Heath, Lot 12 Public House, Berkeley Springs, WV

Vivian Howard, Chef & the Farmer, Kinston, NC

Kevin Johnson, The Grocery, Charleston, SC

Matthew Kelly, Mateo, Durham, NC

Joe Kindred, Kindred, Davidson, NC

Edward Lee, 610 Magnolia, Louisville, KY

Erik Niel, Easy Bistro, Chattanooga, TN

Steven Satterfield, Miller Union, Atlanta

Ryan Smith, Staplehouse, Atlanta

Andrew Ticer and Michael Hudman, Andrew Michael Italian Kitchen, Memphis

Aaron Vandemark, Panciuto, Hillsborough, NC

Tandy Wilson, City House, Nashville

Best Chef: Southwest

Charleen Badman, FnB, Scottsdale, AZ

Kevin Binkley, Binkley’s, Cave Creek, AZ

Bowman Brown, Forage, Salt Lake City

Andrew Cooper, Terra at the Four Seasons Resort Rancho Encantado, Santa Fe

Omar Flores, Casa Rubia, Dallas

Bryce Gilmore, Barley Swine, Austin

Manabu Horiuchi, Kata Robata, Houston

Jennifer James, Jennifer James 101, Albuquerque, NM

Matt McCallister, FT33, Dallas

Steve McHugh, Cured, San Antonio

Hugo Ortega, Caracol, Houston

Jonathan Perno, La Merienda at Los Poblanos, Los Ranchos de Albuquerque, NM

Steven Redzikowski, Acorn, Denver

Martín Rios, Restaurant Martín, Santa Fe, NM

Dana Rodriguez, Work & Class, Denver

Teiichi Sakurai, Tei-An, Dallas

Alex Seidel, Fruition, Denver

Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, The Pass, Houston

David Uygur, Lucia, Dallas

Justin Yu, Oxheart, Houston

Best Chef: West

Matthew Accarrino, SPQR, San Francisco

William Bradley, Addison at the Grand Del Mar, San Diego

Josef Centeno, Orsa & Winston, Los Angeles

Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles

Justin Cogley, Aubergine at L’Auberge Carmel, Carmel, CA

Dominique Crenn, Atelier Crenn, San Francisco

Jeremy Fox, Rustic Canyon, Santa Monica, CA

Ed Kenney, Town, Honolulu

Mourad Lahlou, Mourad, San Francisco

Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco

Ludo Lefebvre, Trois Mec, Los Angeles

Travis Lett, Gjelina, Venice, CA

Ori Menashe, Bestia, Los Angeles

Rick Moonen, RM Seafood, Las Vegas

Melissa Perello, Octavia, San Francisco

Carlos Salgado, Taco Maria, Costa Mesa, CA

Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal, Los Angeles

Joshua Skenes, Saison, San Francisco

James Syhabout, Commis, Oakland, CA

Kris Yenbamroong, Night + Market Song, Los Angeles

Did any of your favorites make the list?



2016 Bracco Farms CSA Program

2016 Bracco Farms CSA Program

Kitten Drooling Over my CSA Box

Kitten Drooling Over my CSA Box

It’s the New Year and most folks are looking for ways to eat healthier in 2016. A great way to help with this is to sign up for a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

The basic idea of a CSA is that a farmer grows for a group of members who have purchased “shares” in the harvest. Members pay at the beginning of the season, when the farmer needs the money most for seeds and planting materials and tools. When the crops start coming in June, the farmer delivers a weekly (or bi-weekly as is the case with Bracco Farms) assortment of vegetables, herbs and some fruit. This isn’t a co-op, there aren’t wholesalers or distributors. All of your food dollars go to the person who is growing it.

I joined the Bracco CSA in 2014 and what I’ve enjoyed the most:

  • Healthy products I know are good for me.
  • Variety of products that pushed me to try new recipes and new preparations.
  • Surprises in my box every time I picked up – new things as the seasoned progressed.
  • Restaurant-cool things like edible flowers and micro greens.

New for 2016:

  • Larger shares
  • More variety including many gourmet and heirloom produce items
  • Artisan bread as an optional add-on

A few facts about the Bracco Farms CSA Program:

  • Bracco Farms only sells what it grows.
  • Bracco Farms only uses Non-GMO seed from safe-seed pledge sources.
  • Bracco Farms never uses herbicides (weed killer) or pesticides.
  • Bracco Farms doesn’t use any type of fungicide, insecticide or any other type of chemical.
  • Bracco Farms doesn’t use any type of fertilizer, nor any type of artificial irrigation, nor any type of tomato hormone.
  • Bracco Farms hand-cultivates its wonderful weeds!
  • Bracco Farms never supplements its CSA with outside produce.

Get to know your farmer (a trip up to Pine Island, NY is a complete must!) and support sustainable, local agriculture.  

If you want to experience the organically-grown, beautiful produce grown at Bracco at your homes, sign up TODAY.



My Best Dishes of 2015

My Best Dishes of 2015

My job has me on the road more than not and while I’m away from home, I’m going to be sure I have some fantastic meals.

From coast to coast, north to south, over the Atlantic and back, I’ve narrowed down all the great dishes I’ve enjoyed in 2015 into a top 15 list, in restaurant name alphabetical order.

Anthony David’s – Hoboken, NJ. Cacio e Pepe. I basically wanted to lick the plate after devouring this amazing pasta dish that was part of Chef Pino’s 10-course Monday night tasting menu.

Blu – Montclair, NJ (now closed). Crispy Duck Carbonara. I had the chance to enjoy this decadent dish right before Chef Zod shuttered the popular Essex County restaurant this summer.

The Cannibal – New York, NY. Bone Marrow Brulée. Perfectly-grilled bread, soft scrambled eggs, salt-studded grilled marrow – what could be better?

Escape – Montclair, NJ. Seared Foie Gras. Continuing on the “what could be better?” questioning…this. Chef Gregg is the king of foie and this seared version paired with corn bread was a winner.

Fricassée – Montclair, NJ. Cassoulet. This is perhaps the best cassoulet I’ve enjoyed. Tons of meaty pieces hidden under the perfectly-cooked beans. Top this whole thing with a confit duck leg? Oui!

Geranium – Copenhagen, Denmark. Smoked Leg of Wild Duck. This was one of the many memorable dishes served during our group’s tasting dinner at this top Danish restaurant (see full recap here).

Hot & Soul – Ft Lauderdale, FL. Squid Steak. This place does everything right including a version of squid, a steak, that’s topped with olives and a perfect acidy pop.

Kinton Ramen – Toronto, Canada. Pork Belly Garlic Ramen. I’d been drooling over Kinton’s Instagram photos for a while so knew I had to drop by on a business trip to Toronto.

L’Express – Montreal, Canada. Beef Tartare. Can’t go wrong with anything featured on this classic Plateau restaurant. The tartare actually tastes like beef and has a perfect level of acidity and heat.

Roberta’s – Brooklyn, NY. Stracciatella. I know you go to Roberta’s for pizza but this starter – milky, melt-in-your-mouth fresh Mozzarella ‘stands’ served with perfectly-grilled bread is fantastic.

Ryland Inn – Whitehouse Station, NJ. Eggs Canapé. Scrambled duck eggs with lobster, caviar and uni – AMAZING.

Spoon & Stable – Minneapolis, MN. Squid Ink Seafood Pasta. Had an outstanding meal at Chef Gavin Kaysen’s new MSP restaurant but the star of the meal with the gorgeous and flavorful seafood pasta.

Stages at One Washington – Dover, NH. Flying Goat Farms Camembert, Lime Basil Custard, Green Strawberry. It’s a bit odd I’d pick another dessert for this list as I’ll always go for cheeses vs dessert if the choice is given, BUT, this dessert features stellar locally-sourced Camembert! Best dinner of 2015 by Chef Evan Hennessey – a must-visit (read about this dinner).

Terre à Terre – Carlstadt, NJ. Duck Prosciutto Canapé. I was fortunate to have been invited to Chef Villani’s dinner at the famous James Beard House this summer where guests were served house-made duck Prosciutto as a canape.

Toro – New York, NY. Cuttlefish Risotto with Squid Ink and Jamon. I loved the whole vibe of Toro including eating at the chef’s counter. Of all the tasty tapas we enjoyed, the cuttlefish dish was the greatest.

Hope you had tasty bites in 2015 and wish you all the best for 2016.



Merry Christmas to All

Merry Christmas to All

Dear readers,

Greek Mule

Thanks for supporting Food and Wine Chickie this year as I traveled my way through some fabulous culinary experiences.

I’m in Quebec celebrating with family and friends and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas.



Happiest of Thanksgiving

Happiest of Thanksgiving

Five orange pumpkins sit in a row in front of a distressed, wooden background.

Just a short note to wish you a very happy Thanksgiving and to say how thankful I am to have your support with this blog and my crazy food adventures.

I’ll be spending the holiday with good friends and, I’m sure, over-indulging on delicious traditional foods.

All the best for a wonderful holiday.




New Fall Menu at Terre à Terre

Chef Todd Villani

Chef Todd Villani

Fresh off its 2-year anniversary celebration, Terre à Terre  has a new fall menu showcasing the freshest locally-sourced ingredients the area has to offer.

With input from his new Chef de Cuisine, Ralph Perrotti, Chef/Owner Todd Villani has crafted an autumnal menu featuring Nicolosi Black Berkshire Braised Pork Ramen, Goffle Road Farm Quail, Crispy Local Black Bass and Sfoglini Seasonal Porcini Trumpet Pasta.

If you haven’t paid Chef Villani and his welcoming team a visit or haven’t eaten at Terre à Terre in a while, call to reserve a table now.

Terre à Terre – 312 Hackensack Street, Carlstadt, NJ. 201-507-0500.