On January 20, SD26 will celebrate their anniversary and raise funds for a special culinary scholarship
Guests in attendance will enjoy a night of Italian food, live music, and dancing.
Looking for another chance to wear that New Year’s Eve dress? You’re in luck: father-daughter duo Tony and Marisa May, and their friends at the James Beard Foundation, will be ringing in the fifth anniversary of their beloved Italian restaurant SD26 on Tuesday, January 20, and you’re invited.
"My father and I can't believe five years have passed already!” Marisa May told The Daily Meal. “It seems like just yesterday we were making the big move from San Domenico on Central Park South to our new baby SD26.”
In collaboration with the Friends of James Beard Foundation, the May family will host an evening of dinner and dancing, feeding one and all with top-notch Italian cuisine. The kitchen will be open for pizza-making tutorials, and executive chef Matteo Bergamini will be manning pasta and other food stations. When you’ve thoroughly digested, get ready to make the switch from live jazz to a DJ, and bring your best moves.
The Tony May Scholarship in Italian Culinary Studies will be launched at the event, which is meant to educate college students who wish to learn about the traditions of Italian cuisine, and keep them alive for the next generation.
"We hope to raise a great deal of money to support the new scholarship program dedicated to Italian culinary arts,” Marisa said.
The bash will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. and tickets are $95 (or $75 for James Beard Foundation members). Proceeds from the evening will benefit the James Beard Foundation.
Pasta does not immediately come to mind when one thinks of the cuisine of India. As Julie Sahni, the cooking teacher and author, wrote in 'ɼlassic Indian Vegetarian and Grain Cooking'' (Morrow, 1985), ''It is always a matter of astonishment when I mention the wonderful steamed noodle dishes of Southern India.'' Now, Dean & DeLuca, 560 Broadway (Prince Street) is importing pasta from Ahmedabad, India.
Unlike the wheat- and rice-flour noodles described by Ms. Sahni, the pastas at Dean & DeLuca, called Papadini, are made from lentil flour. They come plain or seasoned with red chilis or coriander in fettuccine-size noodles or in two-inch rounds or squares. They are $12 a pound.
The plain noodles cook in two to three minutes and have a slightly nutlike flavor. They can be used in most recipes calling for plain egg or spinach noodles, with virtually any kind of sauce. They are the best wheat-free noodles on the market, which should be of interest to those who have allergies. The flavored varieties are delicious with a light tomato sauce, seafood, or butter or oil and cheese.
The rounds and squares can be cooked and eaten with sauce like pasta, or deep fried like papadums to use as snack chips. They can also be crisped in a toaster oven but should be removed when they begin to curl.
There will be several wine events around the New York region this weekend and next week.
From 11 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Saturday, North Salem Vineyard, Westchester County's only winery, will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Tours of the winery and tastings will be offered, as well as an opportunity to watch new vines being planted. The event is free of charge. The winery is on Hardscrabble Road, North Salem, N.Y. For more information call Varian Cassat at 914-232-5304.
On Sunday and Monday Rivendell Winery, 714 Albany Post Road, New Paltz, N.Y., will hold a barrel-tasting of its 1989 vintage. John and Robert Ransom, the owners, are calling theirs the 312th barrel tasting, noting that records show that wine was first made in New Paltz in 1678 by French Huguenots. The event, which is free, will be from 10 A.M. to 6 P.M. For information call 914-255-0892.
On Monday from 6:30 to 8:30 P.M. more than 30 organic wines from France and California will be available for sampling, along with a buffet of organic food, at Nosmo King Restaurant, 54 Varick Street (at Canal Street) in Manhattan. The tasting is a benefit for the New York Food and Agriculture Network, an educational group, and Farm Hands-City Hands, a group dedicated to improving the understanding of rural and farm interests.
Tickets are $15. For information, call Anna Herman at 212-255-1780. Eating Around L.I. ''The Long Island Guide to Dining and Wining,'' an up-to-date guide for the region, has just been published by Robert Schoolsky, who is also the editor. Mr. Schoolsky was the wine columnist for Newsday for 10 years and now writes about restaurants for Long Island Monthly. He has included evaluations of the restaurants in the guidebook.
The book also has listings of food shops, wine shops and wineries. It is available at bookstores for $9.95 and can be ordered by mail for $10.45 from Long Island Guide, P.O. Box 4234, Great Neck, N.Y. 11023. Checks, money orders, Visa and Mastercard are accepted. For information, call 516-487-1981.
From Saturday through May 11 the James Beard House, 167 West 12th Street in Manhattan, will hold its annual celebration of Mr. Beard's birthday. Mr. Beard, who died in 1985, was born on May 5. Proceeds from the event will be used by the James Beard Foundation to restore the kitchen in the house, which is used for classes and benefits.
On Monday, Stephen Pyles, chef at of the Routh Street Cafe in Dallas, will prepare a dinner, and on May 5 a black-tie dinner will be prepared by Felipe Rojas-Lombardi, chef at the Ballroom, and Jacques Pepin. Restaurants in New York City and elsewhere will be host to benefit dinners during the celebration period.
Arcadia, Lello Ristorante, Bellevues and Sign of the Dove are among New York restaurants participating. Depuy Canal House in High Falls, N.Y., and the Cobble Creek Cafe in Purchase, N.Y., will also have dinners to benefit the foundation.
On May 3, 16 prominent cookbook authors will autograph their books at Brentano's, 597 Fifth Avenue (48th Street). Fifteen percent of the proceeds from the books that day will be donated to the foundation.
For information about the events and reservations, call Janet Deutsch at 212-675-4984.
A Skim Milk With More Body
MANY people who switched from whole milk to low-fat or skim milk miss the taste of whole milk. Now, Skim Plus, said to be the first fortified skim milk, has been introduced by Farmland Dairy in Wallington, N.J. It has more body than regular skim milk and is slightly sweeter than low-fat or whole milk.
Whole milk is 4 percent fat and low-fat is 1 or 2 percent fat. Regular skim milk and Skim Plus have no fat, but like fortified low-fat milk, Skim Plus has nonfat milk solids added to it, increasing the protein and calcium content as well as improving the taste. It is about $1.60 a half gallon in supermarkets in New Jersey and some in New York.
Uchi Austin to Participate in a Nationwide Dinner Broadcast
Food and wine fans from across the country will have a chance to share in a virtual community dinner in one of four cities on September 20 as part of a special event by Rodney Strong Vineyards. Benefitting the James Beard Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports culinary heritage in American through education and community, the multi-course dinners will take place in Healdsburg, California, at Rodney Strong Vineyards in New York, at Oceana restaurant in Miami, at the Biltmore and in Austin, at Uchi.
In previous years, the Rodney Strong has hosted individual dinners across the country with prominent chefs in an effort to introduce food and wine lovers to their broad range of food friendly wines. This weekend’s dinner will be the first to be broadcast live to each of the participating restauarnts on in-house television screens as well as online.
The evening’s emcee, author and wine personality Leslie Sbrocco, will greet guests and others around the country from Rodney Strong in Healdsburg, California. She’ll be joined by Food & Wine executive wine editor, Ray Isle in New York at Oceana restaurant, Food & Wine contributing editor, Anthony Giglio at the Biltmore Hotel in Miami, and radio show host, Ziggy the Wine Gal at Uchi in Austin, as they connect live to share the evening.
In Austin, Uchi’s dinner is as follows:
Passed appetizers by Jeff Mall of Zin Restaurant & Wine Bar in Healdsburg, CA
Eastside Farm’s Eggs & Shishito Peppers, deviled with Miso & Pickled with Ginger.
2013 Rodney Strong Charlotte’s Home Sauvignon
First course by Tatsu Aikawa, Ramen Tatsu-Ya
Kombu Dashi Soup, Foie, Daikon
2012 Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay
Second course by Tyson Cole, Uchi Restaurants
King crab, kabocha, nasturtium, lemon
2012 Rodney Strong Russian River Valley Pinot Noir
Third course by James Robert, upcoming Fixe
Smoked Beef Neck, Potato and Peanut, Barbecued Okra
2011 Rodney Strong Symmetry (Red Meritage), Alexander Valley
2010 Rodney Strong Brother Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley
Dessert by Janina O’Leary, laV
Chocolate coconut meringue tart, thyme, salted chocolate cremeux, almond
2008 Rodney Strong A True Gentleman’s Port
We spoke with Robert Larsen of Rodney Strong Vineyards to find out about the big event and what guests and online viewers from home across the country can expect.
How did the idea of this virtual community dinner come about?
Rodney Strong owner, Tom Klein and I had talked about doing something special to celebrate the twenty-fifth anniversary of family ownership. At first, we were just going to host a big dinner at the vineyard, but a few other things came together. We have always been a big supporter of the James Beard Foundation and we have also hosted many celebrity chef dinners across the country for the past few years. Over a few glasses of wine one night, we hatched a plan to do one simultaneous dinner event across the country.
How did you select the four different cities to participate?
Well we already knew we wanted to host one at the vineyards in Healdsburg. From there we talked to our staff to see which areas of the country would suit a wine dinner like this. New York, Florida, and Texas are all big markets for Rodney Strong wines and so we started working with the relationships we have in those states to narrow down where we would host each dinner.
What made you settle on Austin and Uchi for this dinner?
Austin was a natural pick for us. It’s one of the fastest growing cities in the country with people moving there from all over. People are going there because it’s a hip place and they like to go out and have a fine meal, which is often accompanied by fine wine. The food scene there is just off the charts and it continues to get stronger.
We have great relationships in Austin and it was immediately clear that Uchi was our top pick for a restaurant host. Getting a chance to work with a James Beard award winner like Tyson Cole of Uchi was also a key for us.
How will the night go? What can observers expect to witness?
Each of the dinners are modeled after the special invite-only dinners at the James Beard House in New York. They include a one hour reception with passed hors d’ouerves followed by a five-course dinner paired with our wines.
A live video feed from each location will link the cities together through an online broadcast with multiple viewing screens in each restaurant so guests can see what other cities are having. Each person at the dinner will receive a program with a complete menu from every location. It will be interesting to lay out a cross section of those menus to see what people are having with each wine.
And what’s great is, even those not attending the event, can watch it live online at RSV25.com .
The diversity in food is pretty broad, not only at the Austin dinner, but for each of the dinners. How does this relate to what Rodney Strong Wines are about?
Our winemakers strive for balance and ripe flavors with proper balance of tannin and acidity and I think that translates across the board for all of our wines. When we drill down to certain sites, it’s about the expression of the grapes from their specific plates like our single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, or our Chalk Hill Chardonnay, which is something we’ve been making since the mid- 1970s.
But more than that, our wines lend themselves to a number of different cuisines, which each of the menus being served represent very well.
What do you hope guests will take away from the experience?
On the face of it, I really hope everyone has a great time. It’s a unique experience to eat something different across the country but have the same wines. The shared dinner will be a fantastic celebration. I hope the people sitting around the tables enjoy the experience of having 20 chefs feed all of these people at the same time while they enjoy these wines. We hope it’s a great way for them to discover our wines and enjoy them in the future. This is a way for people to virtually come together in for a high-tone experience and see things in a new light.
We are also excited to be use this as another opportunity for us to support the James Beard Foundation. These chefs are all giving their time to this event for the JBF and it’s great that at the end of the evening, the foundation will benefit from such a community experience shared across the country.
New York Restaurant SD26 Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Benefitting James Beard Foundation - Recipes
The James Beard Foundation Media & Book Awards, co-hosted by Kelly Choi and Andrew Zimmern, will take place Sunday, May 2nd at Espace on 42nd Street. Winners of the James Beard Foundation Awards will be announced on Monday, May 3rd at the Awards Ceremony at Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City. Co-hosting this year&rsquos awards are Food Network star Alton Brown and prolific chefs/restaurateurs Lidia Bastianich and Wolfgang Puck. The Gala Reception will immediately follow the Awards Ceremony.
The Awards Ceremony and Gala Reception are open to the general public, and tickets can be purchased by calling the Awards Box Office at 212.925.0054 or by visiting www.JBFAwards.com.
Presented by Green & Black&rsquos® Organic Chocolate
For cookbooks published in English in 2009
Winners will be announced May 2, 2010
My New Orleans
by John Besh
(Andrews McMeel Publishing, LLC)
by Donald Link with Paula Disbrowe
The Lee Bros. Simple Fresh Southern: Knockout Dishes with Down-Home Flavor
by Matt Lee and Ted Lee
by James Peterson
(Ten Speed Press)
Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology
by Randall Grahm
(University of California Press)
The King of Vodka: The Story of Pyotr Smirnov and the Upheaval of an Empire
by Linda Himelstein
by Charles Maclean
by David Chang and Peter Meehan
The Fundamental Techniques of Classic Pastry Arts
by The French Culinary Institute with Judith Choate
(Stewart, Tabori & Chang)
Salt to Taste: The Keys to Confident, Delicious Cooking
by Marco Canora with Catherine Young
The Pleasures of Cooking for One
by Judith Jones
(Alfred A. Knopf)
EatingWell Comfort Foods Made Healthy
by Jesse Price and the Editors of EatingWell
(The Countryman Press)
Golden Door Cooks at Home: Favorite Recipes from the Celebrated Spa
by Dean Rucker with Marah Stets
Love Soup: 160 All-New Vegetarian Recipes from the Author of The Vegetarian Epicure
by Anna Thomas
(W.W. Norton & Company)
The winner of Cookbook of the Year and the Cookbook Hall of Fame Inductee will be announced on May 2, 2010.
Broadcast Media Awards
Presented by Lenox Tableware and Gifts
For television, webcast, and radio programs aired in 2009.
Winners will be announced on May 2, 2010
Hosts: Alison Cuddy and Richard Steele
Area: Chicago, Online
Producer: Aurora Aguilar
French Food at Home with Laura Calder
Host: Laura Calder
Network: Food Network Canada
Producer: Johanna Eliot
Iron Chef America
Host: Alton Brown
Network: Food Network
Producers: John Bravakis, Eytan Keller, Stephen Kroopnick, and Stu Schreiberg
The Best Thing I Ever Ate: Obsessions
Network: Food Network
Producers: David Hoffman, Lauren Lexton, Tom Rogan, and Eddie Saenz
Chefs A&rsquo Field: King of Alaska
Host: Rick Moonen
Producers: Heidi Hanson and Chris Warner
Gourmet&rsquos Adventures with Ruth: The Bertinet Kitchen, Bath
Host: Ruth Reichl
Producers: Christopher Collins, Deborah Hurley, and Lydia Tenaglia
Show: Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern
Network: The Travel Channel
Show: Good Eats
Network: Food Network
Show: Mexico One Plate at a Time
A Moveable Feast with America&rsquos Favorite Chefs
Hosts: José Andrés, Lidia Bastianich, Rick Bayless, Chris Kimball, Ruth Reichl, and Ming Tsai
Producers: Anne Adams, Laurie Donnelly, and Deborah J. Hurley
Emeril Green: Emeril&rsquos Culinary Adventure: Napa
Host: Emeril Lagasse
Network: Planet Green
Producers: Dominique Andrews, Jim Brennan, Elina Brown, Karen Katz, Charissa Melnick, Marie Ostrosky, Amy Smolens, and Nancy Swenton
Food Trip with Todd English
Host: Todd English
Producers: Matt Cohen, Joel Colblenz, Todd English, and Gina Gargano
ABC News Nightline
Host: John Berman
Producer: Sarah Rosenberg
Hosts: Anthony Everett, Mary Richardson
Network: WCVB-TV Boston
Producers: Chris Stirling and Stan Leven
ABC 7 News Friday Night Special: Hungry Hound
Host: Steve Dolinsky
Producer: Badriyyah Waheed
Always Hungry Video
Host: Jeff Zalaznick
Producers: Jamie Meyer, Jeff Zalaznick
Host: Liza de Guia
Producer: Liza de Guia
The Greenmarket: One Farmer&rsquos Story
Producers: Serious Eats, Optic Nerve
Design and Graphics Awards
Winners will be announced on May 3, 2010
Design Firm: Evan Douglis Studio
Designer: Evan Douglis
Project: Choice Market, Brooklyn, NY
Design Firm: Project M
Designer: John Bielenberg
Project: PieLab, Greensboro, AL
Design Firm: Andre Kikoski Architect
Designers: Adam Darter, Liam Harris, Gunnar Jung, Brian Lewis, and Andre Kikoski
Project: The Wright, NYC
Design Firm: Korn Design
Designers: Javier Cortés, Denise Korn, Melissa Wehrman, and Ben Whitla
Project: Mercat a la Planxa, Chicago
Design Firm: Pandiscio Co.
Project: The Standard Grill, NYC
Designer: Steven Solomon
Project: Terroir, NYC
For articles published in English in 2009
Winners will be announced on May 2, 2010
&ldquoSauced,&rdquo &ldquoHot Birria, Cold Cerveza,&rdquo
&ldquoBorder Crossing,&rdquo &ldquoPeru Calling,&rdquo
&ldquoWhite on White,&rdquo &ldquoWonderland,&rdquo &ldquoMourning&rdquo
Grub Street New York
Aileen Gallagher, Daniel Maurer, Alexandra Vallis
Hunter Angler Gardener Cook
Column: Good Living Restaurants
&ldquoVeni Vidi Vetri,&rdquo &ldquoIt's Up to You, New York, New York,&rdquo &ldquoSmoke and Miracles&rdquo
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
&ldquoThe Doughnut Gatherer,&rdquo &ldquoCapital Grills,&rdquo &ldquoPizza Perfect&rdquo
Column: Back of the House
&ldquoEgg,&rdquo &ldquoRoberta&rsquos,&rdquo &ldquoFranny&rsquos and Bklyn Larder&rdquo
Anya von Bremzen
&ldquoSoul of a City&rdquo
&ldquoThe Last Chinese BBQ&rdquo
&ldquoThe Wonders of Ham&rdquo
Francine Maroukian, Jon Reiner, Staff of Esquire
&ldquoHow Men Eat&rdquo
&ldquoThe Beauty of the Beast&rdquo
&ldquoThe Price of Tomatoes&rdquo
The New Yorker
&ldquoThe Taste Makers&rdquo
John T. Edge
The Oxford American
&ldquoIn Through the Back Door&rdquo
&ldquoLe Petit Gourmet&rdquo
&ldquoFaith and Bacon&rdquo
Antoinette Bruno, Amanda McDougall, and Jonathan J. Proville
&ldquoThe Art and Economics of Charcuterie, Parts 2, 3, 4&rdquo
&ldquoThe Cheeseburger Show&rdquo
&ldquoNot So Clear Cut&rdquo
Washington City Paper
&ldquoHow Not to Hire a Chef/The Canning Process&rdquo
Jared Jacang Maher
&ldquoA Hunger to Help&rdquo
The Village Voice
&ldquoLiver and Let Liver&rdquo
&ldquoThe Real American Pie&rdquo
&ldquoThe Charcuterie Underground&rdquo
The Boston Globe
San Francisco Chronicle
Jon Bonné and Miriam Morgan
The Washington Post
&ldquoNacho Lunch? Yes, Every Day&rdquo
&ldquoThrowing Out the Wheat&rdquo
&ldquo&hellipOr Not to Bee&rdquo
Tanya W. Steel
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl
&ldquoThe New Cocktailians&rdquo
Food & Wine
&ldquoIs Grüner a Great Wine or a Groaner&rdquo
Restaurant and Chef Awards
Winners will be announced on May 3, 2010
Chefs/Owners: Pierre and Charlotte Calmels
Flour + Water
Chef/Partner: Thomas McNaughton
Partners: David White and David Steele
Chef/Owner: Melissa Perello
Chef/Owner: Andrew Carmellini
Chef/Partner: Michael White
Partner: Chris Cannon
Chef: Jason Berthold
Owners: Michael Mina and Rajat Parr
Restaurant Gary Danko
The Slanted Door
Salty Tart Bakery
Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
Chef/Owner: Mario Batali
Owner: Joseph Bastianich
Chef/Owner: Nancy Oakes
Owner: Pat Kuleto
Chef/Owner: Daniel Boulud
Highlands Bar & Grill
Chef/Owner: Frank Stitt
Owner: Pardis Stitt
Chef/Partner: Tony Mantuano
Dahlia Bakery, Dahlia Lounge, Etta&rsquos, Lola, Palace Kitchen, Serious Pie
Boulevard, Epic, Farallon, Jardinière, Martini House, Nick's Cove & Cottages, and Waterbar
Balthazar, Lucky Strike, Minetta Tavern, Morandi, Pastis, Pravda, and Schiller&rsquos Liquor Bar
Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
Starr Restaurant Organization
Chef/Owner: Grant Achatz
Joël Robuchon at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
Chef/Owner: Joël Robuchon
Owners: Charles Masson and Gisèle Masson
Chef/Owner: Michael Mina
Chefs/Owners: Marc Vetri and Jeff Benjamin
Merry Edwards Wines
The Brooklyn Brewery
The French Laundry
Ann Arbor, MI
Kansas City, MO
St. Paul, MN
Eleven Madison Park
Clark Frasier and Mark Gaier
Peter X. Kelly
Xaviar&rsquos at Piermont
West Newton, MA
Los Gatos, CA
Café Boulud at the Brazilian Court
Palm Beach, FL
Five and Ten
Lotus of Siam
Montagna at the Little Nell
RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino
Who&rsquos Who of Food & Beverage in America Inductees
Chef/Owner, Dooky Chase Restaurant, New Orleans
Leah Chase has lived in Louisiana her entire life, moving to New Orleans when she was 14 years old. Her first job out of school was at the Oriental Laundry in the French Quarter. A week later, Chase was hired by the Colonial Restaurant on Chartres Street and she has been in the restaurant industry ever since. Chase married a musician whose family owned the Dooky Chase Restaurant. Once her children were old enough to attend school, Chase began to work at the restaurant three days a week. She started out as a hostess, but she was soon redecorating the restaurant and working as its chef. She eventually revamped the menu to reflect her Creole background. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed much of Dooky Chase&rsquos 5th Ward location in 2005, the restaurant community got together to host a benefit in 82-year-old Chase&rsquos honor. The guests raised $40,000, and Dooky Chase reopened in 2007 mostly for take-out food and special events. Chase is also a cooking show host and cookbook author.
Jessica B. Harris
Author and Historian, NYC
Jessica B. Harris is the author of eight critically acclaimed cookbooks documenting the foods and foodways of the African diaspora. A culinary historian and tenured professor, she has lectured on the subject at numerous institutions and colleges throughout the United States and abroad. As a journalist Harris served as a restaurant reviewer for The Village Voice and has written extensively about the culture of Africa in the Americas, particularly the foodways, for publications ranging from Essence (where she was travel editor from 1977&ndash1980) to German Vogue. She has also written for many major food magazines including Gourmet and Food & Wine. Harris has been a national board member of the American Institute of Wine & Food, a founding member and board member of the Southern Foodways Alliance, and a board member of the Caribbean Culinary Federation.
Paul C. P. McIlhenny
President and CEO, McIlhenny Company, Avery Island, LA
Paul C. P. McIlhenny is the fourth generation of McIlhennys to produce Tabasco® brand pepper sauce, which is found in kitchen cupboards and at countless restaurants and diners throughout the United States and abroad. As were his forebears, he is directly involved in overseeing and maintaining the quality of all products under the 136-year-old Tabasco® brand. Today, McIlhenny Company sells Tabasco® brand products in more than 160 countries and territories around the world in 21 different languages and dialects. McIlhenny is also the author of The 125th Anniversary Tabasco® Cookbook.
Founder and CEO, Rockwell Group, NYC
David Rockwell grew up in Chicago, Deal, New Jersey, and Guadalajara, Mexico. When he was a child, his mother, a dancer and choreographer, would cast him in community repertory productions. He brought his passion for theater, eye for color, and the spectacle of Mexico to his architecture studies at Syracuse University and, later, to his firm, Rockwell Group. Based in New York City, the group specializes in culture, hospitality, retail, theater, and film design. Recent restaurant projects include Nobu and Nobu 57 (New York and worldwide), Pod (Philadelphia), Roppongi Hills (Tokyo), and Maze (London). Rockwell is Chairman of the Board at the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS (DIFFA) and is on the boards of the Public Theater and Citymeals-on-Wheels. He received a Presidential Design Award for his Grand Central Terminal renovation in 2000.
L. Timothy Ryan
President, Culinary Institute of America, Hyde Park, NY
Tim Ryan graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 1977 and was the first alumnus and faculty member to rise through the ranks to become the institution&rsquos president. As the CIA&rsquos fifth president, Ryan has been an integral part in the American food movement, launching several new programs including the world&rsquos first bachelor's degrees in culinary arts and baking & pastry arts management, a highly successful publishing program, and award-winning videos and television shows. He has also dramatically expanded the college's continuing education programs.
Chef/Owner, Bayona, New Orleans
Susan Spicer began her cooking career at the Louis XVI Restaurant in New Orleans in 1979. After a four-month stint at the restaurant, Spicer lived in Paris and California, but eventually came back to New Orleans, where she opened Bistro at Maison deVille at the Hotel Maison deVille in 1986. In the spring of 1990, Spicer and Regina Keever opened Bayona in a 200-year-old cottage in the French Quarter. From 1997 to 1999, Spicer owned and operated Spice, Inc, a specialty market with take-out food, cooking classes, and a bakery. In 2000, Spicer and three partners opened Herbsaint, a casual restaurant in the Warehouse district of New Orleans. She is a recipient of numerous awards, including the 1993 James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef: Southeast. Spicer is also a cookbook author and an occasional judge on Iron Chef America.
America&rsquos Classics Awards
Presented by The Coca&ndashCola Company
Restaurants with timeless appeal, beloved in their regions for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Establishments must have been in existence at least 10 years and be locally owned.
Al&rsquos French Frys
1251 Williston Road, South Burlington, VT
Owners: Bill Bissonette and Lee Bissonette
Founded by Al and Genevieve Rusterholz in the late 1940s, Al's French Frys was originally housed in a small hut, open to the elements. Many Chittenden Countians encountered Al&rsquos French Frys stand at the Champlain Valley Fair, where they earned a reputation that has endured for more than a half-century.
Al&rsquos is now owned by the Bissonette family, headed by Bill Bissonette, who revealed part of the restaurant&rsquos secret when he told a local paper that he starts with Idaho or California russets and fries them twice in a combination of beef tallow and soy bean oil at between 300 and 400 degrees for a total of about seven minutes.
There are always lines at Al&rsquos, night and day. You can order a pint, or the vastly more popular quart size. The pleasure of uttering the words &ldquoAnd a quart of fries with that,&rdquo is one of the chief charms of Al&rsquos.
The fries boast a dark and crackly exterior. Creamy white potato fluff lurks within. Al&rsquos fries are a benchmark and a bulwark against devolution, in a world where chefs who should know better resort to frozen, cotton-flannel fries, or moan about what a pain and torment it is to cook French fries from scratch. &mdashAlison Cook, Restaurant Critic, Houston Chronicle
The Bright Star
304 19th St. North, Bessemer, AL
Owners: Jimmy Koikos and Nicky Koikos
A clump of feta, tucked in a salad of iceberg and cucumbers. A stipple of oregano on a broiled snapper fillet. At the Bright Star in Bessemer, Alabama, an old steel town southwest of Birmingham, the vestiges of Greece are few.
Greek immigrants built the Bright Star, a vintage dining hall of intricately patterned tile floors, nicotine-patinaed woodwork, WPA-era murals of the old country, and brass chandeliers.
The Bright Star opened in 1907. Descendants of Bright Star founding fathers&mdashTom Bonduris and his cousin Bill Koikos, natives of the farming village of Peleta in the mountainous Peloponnesus region &mdashstill work the floor. Jimmy Koikos, a septuagenarian, and brother Nicky, seven years his junior, are in charge now.
The menu is an honest&mdashand very old&mdashfusion, Greek meets Southern, as interpreted by African American cooks: fried red snapper throats, house-cut from whole Gulf fish, are on the menu. Okra in a cornmeal crust, too. And field peas with snaps.
In the Birmingham area, many of the best barbecue and meat-and-three restaurants are Greek owned. And the Bright Star is the oldest and most storied of the bunch. &mdashJohn T. Edge, Director, Southern Foodways Alliance
3259 E 95th Street, Chicago
Owners: The Kotlick and Toll Families
Chicago&rsquos 95th Street Bridge, which spans the Calumet River on the city&rsquos South Side, is known for two things: One, in the movie The Blues Brothers, Elwood demonstrated the capabilities of his new car by jumping the bridge. Two, it&rsquos the home of Calumet Fisheries, a stand-alone hutch that has been frying and smoking seafood since 1948, when brothers-in-law Sid Kotlick and Len Toll opened the place.
To this day, the Kotlick and Toll families run the joint. It&rsquos strictly carryout. No seating, no bathroom, no credit cards. And, if you believe the ominous street sign, no parking.
The place draws a working-class, melting-pot crowd, and a fair number of amateur fishermen. (The murky Calumet is a good place to find bluegill.) Fried perch, smelts, and frogs&rsquo legs are big here, but they also bring in scallops, crab, catfish, and oysters.
The fried stuff is very good, but what you really want is the smoked fish, smoldering in the bunker-like smokehouse around back. Salmon steaks, shrimp, chubs, and trout, all kissed with wood and cooked with care. &mdashPhil Vettel, Restaurant Critic, Chicago Tribune
PO Box 60, Gustavus, AK
Owners: JoAnn and David Lesh
Three generations of the Lesh family have welcomed guests to this farmhouse at the edge of a meadow overlooking Alaska's Icy Strait.
Jack and Sally Lesh started the inn in 1965, operating it as a drop-in restaurant, grocery store, and hotel. For many years it was also the town&rsquos weather station, airline counter, and radio and telephone contact. From 1976-79 their daughter Sal and husband Tom McLaughlin continued these services, supporting the crew building nearby Glacier Bay Lodge.
Dave and JoAnn Lesh took over as innkeepers in 1980 and raised their three sons there. Over the years, the town has acquired power, phones, and city status allowing the Gustavus Inn to rely more on serving tourists to Glacier Bay National Park during the summer months.
Supper is served family style and usually features local catches like Dungeness crab, salmon, halibut, and sablefish, as well as produce from the Inn&rsquos munificent garden. Despite the challenges of a short growing season, that garden produces berries, potatoes, rhubarb, myriad greens, and edible flowers.
In addition to just-caught seafood, the Inn is known for sourdough pancakes with homemade spruce tip syrup and Halibut Caddy Ganty, often called Halibut Olympia, a rich mix of fish cooked with onions, sour cream, and mayonnaise. &mdashProvidence Cicero, Restaurant Critic and Food Writer, Seattle Times
Mary & Tito&rsquos Cafe
2711 Fourth St. N.W., Albuquerque, NM
Owners: Mary Gonzales and Antoinette Knight
Carne adovada&mdashlong-braised pork in red chile sauce&mdashmight be the most characteristic of New Mexico&rsquos robust and deceptively simple dishes. New Mexicans argue the merits of various carne adovada preparations statewide, but aficionados nearly always rank Mary & Tito&rsquos tops. The Gonzales family serves the fork-tender meat as the centerpiece of a plate, in overstuffed burritos, and also as a filling for enchiladas and empanadas.
Native New Mexicans and husband and wife team Mary and Tito Gonzales started their adobe cafe just north of downtown Albuquerque in 1963. Tito was the original cook and creator of the recipes. When he passed away, Mary hired more cooks and continued to run the front of the house, oversee the business, and raise their family.
From the worn but clean booths, tables, and a handful of counter stools, diners gaze over family and patron photos, the kids&rsquo and grandkids&rsquo sports trophies, and other mementos of family accomplishments.
Now past 80, Mary still comes in daily to greet old friends and new, while her daughter Antoinette manages the cafe. Other daughters help out too, and various grandchildren wait tables when they&rsquore not in school. &mdashCheryl Jamison, Cookbook Author and Food Writer
Lifetime Achievement Award Recipients: Ariane and Michael Batterberry
Legendary leaders in their field, Ariane and Michael Batterberry have founded two milestone national food magazines: Food Arts, the influential, award-winning publication for the restaurant and hotel trades that has won a number of the coveted Folio Gold &ldquoEddie&rdquo B2B awards, and Food & Wine, a leading consumer publication. Pioneers in electronic food publishing as well, they created the top rated computerized &ldquomagazine&rdquo Dining In for Time Inc. in the early 1980s. Singly or together, they are the authors of 18 books on food, art, and social history, and they have contributed a quarterly food trends column to U.S.A. Today. The Batterberrys&rsquo awards and citations include both the James Beard Foundation&rsquos Who&rsquos Who in Food & Beverage in America and Editors of the Year, the International Food & Beverage Forum&rsquos Hall of Fame, Distinguished Restaurants of North America (DiRoNA) Honorary Hall of Fame, the Culinary Institute of America&rsquos Masters of Hospitality award, and the Madrid Fusión award, presented by the mayor of Madrid, for having propelled the course of the American food revolution. Michael has appeared often on national and international TV as a commentator on culinary and restaurant business trends and has performed as introductory host to the Public Television series Rising Star Chefs.
Humanitarian of the Year: Wayne Kostroski Presented by Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism
Wayne Kostroski founded the Taste of the NFL in 1992 in an effort to create a national platform that addresses the needs of the hungry and homeless by raising awareness and money through special events and programs. Through the hard work and dedication of hundreds of volunteers, the Taste of the NFL&rsquos Party With A Purpose event takes place each year on the eve of the Super Bowl. At the ticketed Party With A Purpose, thirty-two of the finest chefs from around the country (one from each NFL city) serve up their signature specialties alongside a current, Hall of Fame, or alumni player from each of the NFL teams, with 100 percent of the event&rsquos proceeds going to support local and national hunger organizations. Since its inception, the Taste of the NFL has distributed in excess of $9 million. The organization has also drafted a dozen NFL teams to create and execute events in their own cities to benefit local food banks these events have generated more than $4 million to date.
Outrageous ice cream shop whips up Austin location and more food news
A company rep confirms that swanky ice cream shop Nobibi will open an Austin location sometime next year, although the location has not been settled. The Chinese company is known for Instagrammable treats like cotton candy wrapped ice cream and gold foil dipped ice cream cones, as well as kawaii (the Japanese cuteness culture) interiors featuring ball pits, stuffed animals, and buckets of pink paint.
Paper Route Bakery is gearing up for a September 13 new brick-and-mortar by Cenote at 1010 E. Cesar Chavez St., according to a shop rep. The bakery, owned by native Austinite Aaron Seriff-Cullick, will feature a menu of scones, gluten-free pao de quiejo (Brazilian cheese bread), homemade toaster tarts, brownies, and layer cakes.
A new neighborhood wine and beer lounge is coming to 2900 N. Quinlan Park Rd. Suite 150 in Steiner Ranch. Owner Katie Koran tells CultureMap that Sloan + Parker is aiming for an opening sometime in November 2018.
Take home a piece of Austin restaurant history through an online auction liquidating the recently shuttered Frisco Shop. In addition to restaurant equipment, the auction includes 65 years of memorabilia including signs, menus, photos, and original artwork. Bidding runs through September 11.
Mattie’s at Green Pastures is adding two new offerings to its weekly rotation. On Wednesdays, the Bouldin restaurant will be offering rotating family-style specials like chicken and dumplings for $24 per adult and $12 per child. Thursday is chicken fried steak night with sides of Yukon pommes puree, spinach, pickled onions, and chipotle-yogurt dressing.
Wright Bros. Brew & Brew is celebrating its fifth anniversary on September 15 with an all-day party featuring Better Half doughnuts and Rosen’s Bagel Co. pastrami sandwiches, Little Brother hot dogs, DJ's, and a preview of Hold Out Brewing beers.
The Sheraton Austin’s Backyard at Waller Creek has revamped its menu under new executive chef Thad Crennen. Highlights include an herb-crusted sea bass with jasmine rice and beurre blanc, maple-glazed bacon lollipops with smoked popcorn, and Nutella French toast with berries and Chantilly cream.
South Lamar Street hot spot Eberly will be hosting chef Mathew Peters for a Wagyu beef and Burgundy dinner on September 21. Peters holds the distinction of being the only American chef to win the prestigious Bocuse d’Or, the biennial cooking competition often referred to as the culinary equivalent of the Olympics.
The James Beard Foundation’s 2018 Taste America tour has announced the lineup for this year's Smoke Session at The Brewer’s Table on November 15. Joining host chef Zach Hunter and head brewer Drew Durish will be Sarah Heard and Nathan Lemley (Foreign & Domestic) Jesse DeLeon (Rosewood) JB Gross (Loro) Evan LeRoy (LeRoy & Lewis) Wayne Mueller (Louie Mueller BBQ) Fermín Nuñez (Suerte) Page Pressley (Emmer & Rye) Mathew Peters and iconic pitmaster Tootsie Tomanetz (Snow’s BBQ). The opening party kicks off a weekend event including cooking demos and a gala dinner at the W Austin.
Texas Tiki Week is returning to Austin September 10-16. The annual celebration of all things boozy and tropical, presented by the Austin chapter of the United States Bartenders Guild, features special events at bars across the city like a pop-up from Chicago tiki bar Three Dots & A Dash at event space Palazzo Lavaca, an bar takeover from New York’s Employees Only at The Townsend, and an appearance from legendary Boston barman Brother Cleve at The Roosevelt Room.
Saint Martin's University announces celebrity chef Jacques Pépin as host of Gala 2020
LACEY, Wash. &ndash Saint Martin&rsquos University has announced that the 2020 Saint Martin&rsquos Gala will feature celebrity chef Jacques Pépin, world-renowned host of several acclaimed and popular cooking programs on public television, including his series with Julia Child, &ldquoJulia and Jacques Cooking at Home.&rdquo He will be joined by Claudine Pépin, his daughter and co-host for the series &ldquoJacques Pépin&rsquos Kitchen: Encore with Claudine&rdquo and &ldquoJacques Pépin&rsquos Kitchen: Cooking with Claudine.&rdquo
The Saint Martin's Gala, which will be on Saturday, Nov. 7, currently planned to be held in the Marcus Pavilion on Saint Martin&rsquos main campus in Lacey, is the University&rsquos major fundraising event for student scholarships. Last year&rsquos Gala raised $1.4 million for scholarships. Over the years, the black-tie affair has grown to be the premier culinary event in the South Sound region, featuring a live auction, a five-course gourmet dinner and on-stage cooking demonstrations by celebrity chefs. Previous featured chefs have included Carla Hall, Roy Yamaguchi, Ming Tsai, Andrew Zimmern, Lidia Bastianich and Michael Symon.
This year, 2020, also marks Saint Martin&rsquos University&rsquos 125th anniversary as an institution of higher learning. As part of its 125th anniversary, the University will honor its namesake, Saint Martin of Tours, with a French-themed menu and recipes from Pépin, a James Beard Award-winning chef and dean of special programs of the International Culinary Center (formerly The French Culinary Institute).
Saint Martin&rsquos University President Roy F. Heynderickx, Ph.D., said, &ldquoWe are so blessed to welcome celebrated chef, author, educator and culinary legend Jacques Pépin as the host of Gala 2020. His lifelong passion for food and cooking as well as his commitment to education and nonprofits make him the perfect host for the Saint Martin&rsquos University Gala during our 125th anniversary year.&rdquo
Pépin was born in Bourg-en-Bresse, near Lyon, France. His first began cooking as a child in his parents' restaurant, Le Pelican. At age thirteen, he started his formal apprenticeship at the distinguished Grand Hotel de L&rsquoEurope. He then worked in Paris, training under Lucien Diat at the Plaza Athénée. From 1956 to 1958, Pépin was the personal chef to three French heads of state, including Charles de Gaulle.
In 1959, he moved to the United States and worked first at New York's historic Le Pavillon restaurant, then served for ten years as director of research and new development for the Howard Johnson Company. He studied at Columbia University, earning an M.A. degree in 18th-century French literature in 1972.
Pépin has been honored with 16 James Beard Foundation Awards, the American Public Television&rsquos lifetime achievement award, and the Emmy Award for Lifetime Achievement. He is the recipient of three of the French government&rsquos highest honors: he is a Chevalier de L&rsquoOrdre National de la Legion d&rsquoHonneur, Chevalier de L&rsquoOrdre des Arts et des Lettres (1997) and a Chevalier de L&rsquoOrdre du Mérite Agricole (1992). He is a founder of The American Institute of Wine and Food, a member of the International Association of Cooking Professionals, and is on the board of trustees of James Beard Foundation.
Saint Martin&rsquos Vice President of Institutional Advancement Cecelia Loveless shared, &ldquoIn these uncertain times, I want to say thank you for the generosity of our donors throughout the years who have assisted thousands of our students with scholarship support. As we look to this year&rsquos Gala, we must continue to be courageous in our giving, as our students need our support more than ever.&rdquo
For more information about table reservations and ticket sales to the event, visit www.stmartin.edu/gala. Individuals or organizations interested in sponsoring Saint Martin&rsquos Gala can contact Renee Oram, director for development, corporate and athletic sponsorships, at [email protected]
Saint Martin&rsquos University is an independent, four-year, coeducational university located on a wooded campus of more than 300 acres in Lacey, Washington. Established in 1895 by the Catholic Order of Saint Benedict, the University is one of 13 Benedictine colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, and the only one west of the Rocky Mountains. Saint Martin&rsquos University prepares students for successful lives through its 29 majors, 11 master&rsquos programs, one doctorate program and five certificate programs spanning the liberal arts, business, education, nursing and engineering. Saint Martin&rsquos welcomes more than 1,300 undergraduate students and 250 graduate students from many ethnic and religious backgrounds to its Lacey campus, and more students to its extended campus located at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
A Taste of the World in Queens 2011
The ninth Queens…A Taste of the World took place Tuesday, 10 May in the Caesars Club at Citi Field. Beyond celebrating the borough's gastronomic variety, this annual event raises critical funds for Entrepreneur Space (E-Space) Incubator, a partnership between the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen®. This innovative project provides commercial kitchens, small offices, and classrooms to emerging businesses and organizations. In addition to space, clients can avail themselves of business counseling, technical assistance, and networking opportunities—all at a reasonable cost.
And now, Queens…A Taste of the World through the lens and palate of Comestiblog:
Citi Field, Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The Appetizers and Entrées:
Among my favorite starters was Gabbana's Ceviche, a seafood mix in a red spicy mojo.
Chef Jimmy Canora's Spice Seared Filet Mignon Carpaccio made Valentino's On The Green an estimable contender for the "Best Appetizer" award.
Valentino's On The Green: Spice Seared Filet Mignon Carpaccio
La Fusta: A Taste of Argentina
La Fusta's Matambre (veal roll) was helped with a good dose of chimichurri. Though a bit less interesting, their chorizo (above, left) was tastier.
La Fusta's Matambre
Two Steak & Sushi Den: Mixed Vegetable and California Rolls
Vetro by Russo's on the Bay served a delicious Yellowfin Tuna, topped with a fresh fig and a sauce of balsamic vinegar and honey.
Vetro: Tonno Con Fichi (Yellowfin Tuna with Figs)
One of the most interesting sample plates came from eXo: a deviled egg, a homemade pickled potato chip, and an "unwrapped" dolma served on a bed of homemade tzatziki.
eXo Greek Mediterranean Restaurant
Strawberry's Sports Grill, Pop Diner, and Leo's Latticini (known locally as Mama's of Corona) served some familiar favorites.
Strawberry's Sports Grill: Pulled Pork Slider
Although Pop Diner's Plátano Relleno received the event's "Best Appetizer" award (see below), I thought their other offerings were superior. To wit, I found the slow-roasted pork with Latin seasonings—accentuated with a hint of sour orange, and served with chimichurri atop jalapeño corn cakes—to be tastier. Even more delicious, however, were the beef short ribs in Cabernet sauce, served over mashed potatoes, and topped with crispy fried onions—I asked for seconds!
Pop Diner: Latin Roast Pork and Short Ribs of Beef
It's hard to imagine a more attractive sandwich than the one from Leo's Latticini (Mama's of Corona): peppered ham, salami, and fresh mozzarella piled high in a sesame-seed hero, together with roasted peppers and mushrooms, topped with a slice of pepperoni and an olive.
Leo's Latticini: Peppered ham, salami, and mozzarella hero
A sandwich such as the one above goes well with pickles—especially hot-and-spicy ones. Using his great grandmother's recipe, Michigan-native Bob McClure and his brother, Joe, started McClure's Pickles five years ago. While the company has a location in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, the main manufacturing plant is in Troy, Michigan.
McClure's Pickles: Garlic & Dill and Spicy
From Brazil: Caipirinha made with Soul Cachaça
Combine fresh lime wedges with sugar and muddle well. Add Cachaça and shake well. Serve in a rocks glass filled with ice.
The aforementioned McClure's Pickles created a piquant Bloody Mary Mixer by combining leftover spicy pickle juice with tomato juice and black pepper.
McClure's Bloody Mary recipe:
Pour into rocks glass over ice.
Left to Right: Mionetto Prosecco Brut, St. Supéry Sauvignon Blanc, Robert Mondavi Pinot Noir, MontGras Antu Ninquén Cabernet-Carménère
Sherry Rousso calls her short cakes "reponsibly healthy" because they contain no eggs, no cream, and no butter. The chocolate, spiced, and fruited confections from Sherry's Short Cakes are as delicious as they are healthful.
Though Debbie Brenner's treats from Las Delicias Pattiserie are gluten free, they didn't taste that way.
Las Delicias: Gluten-free goodies
Gotta Eat Sweets offered their Truffipops, a fusion of truffle and brownie.
Gotta Eat Sweets: Truffipops
Pilar de Guzman won top dessert honors for Bonne Fête Baking (see below) with her signature Date & Walnut Thins (called "Food for the Gods" in the Philippines). The flavors were vaguely reminiscent of butterscotch.
Bonne Fête Baking: "Food for the Gods"
The Taste Masters:
Chef Marcus Samuelsson is an internationally acclaimed chef who was born in Ethiopia and reared by adoptive parents in Gothenburg, Sweden. He has been celebrated as one of "The Great Chefs of America" by the Culinary Institute of America, and honored by the James Beard Foundation as "Rising Star Chef" (1999), "Best Chef: New York City" (2003), and for "Best International Cookbook" (2007). In 2009, Chef Samuelsson served as guest chef at the White House for the Obama administration's first state dinner. Last December, he opened his newest restaurant, Red Rooster, in Harlem.
Chef Anita Lo, a second generation Chinese-American, grew up in Birmingham, Michigan. Having earned numerous accolades for her inventive contemporary American cuisine, she is one of the most respected female chefs in the United States. After she opened annisa (an Arabic word meaning "women") in the West Village in 2000, FOOD & WINE named Lo one of ten "Best New Chefs in America" (2001), while the Village Voice declared her to be the "Best New Restaurant Chef." She was also the first challenger to defeat an Iron Chef (Mario Batali) on Food Network's Iron Chef America.
Pop Diner: Plátano Relleno
Strawberry's Sports Grill: Championship Chili
McClure's Pickles: Spicy Bloody Mary
Bonne Fête Baking: Date & Walnut Thins
The Iconic Restaurant Awards went to Dazies and Papazzio.
The ninth annual Queens…A Taste of the World was a success. What a marvelous evening of international food sampling at Citi Field!
Queens…A Taste of the World
123-01 Roosevelt Avenue (126 th St)
Flushing, N.Y. 11368 (map)
Tuesday, 10 May 2011, 6:00 P.M. till 9:00 P.M.
Posted on 22 May 2011 at 02:34 PM in Events, Queens | Permalink
Tags: A Taste of the World, Anita Lo, Citi Field, Marcus Samuelsson, Mi Kitchen es su Kitchen, QEDC, Queens
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And you missed President Obama's visit to the Emerald Isle, Mike?
In any case, I'm sorry to hear you missed the tasting event. Thanks so much for your kind comments about the blog post.
Rosé Wine Chef's Dinner at Ofrenda
Join Ofrenda in Cave Creek for a special menu paired with Château d’Esclans rosé for this month’s Chef’s Dinner. $85 per person (includes gratuities). To reserve your spot, visit this link.
People & ProjectsPhoto by Neubek Photographers
Best gift given at a Saturday night party: Philanthropists Jay and Patty Baker kicked off the Naples Senior Center at JFCS’ $15 million campaign to raise money for new, state-of-the-art headquarters with a lead gift of $5 million at the center’s annual fundraiser on Jan. 12. The campaign’s pledge total exceeded $10 million before the end of the evening. As for the best Friday night party gift? The Bakers turned around and donated another generous sum in fittingly dramatic fashion at The Naples Players’ 65th anniversary soiree on Feb. 8.
Best fusion of old and new: The Southwest Florida Community Foundation transformed the historic Atlantic Coast Line Railroad depot into the “Collaboratory,” a high-tech hub for nonprofits, businesses, government organizations and the community to use in their work toward shaping the region’s future.
Best make-believe: Late for the Sky Production Co. launched Naples-opoly, a Monopoly-inspired board game featuring fun spins on the classics (think landing in a traffic jam instead of jail getting a sunburn instead of having to pay income tax). Properties up for grabs include Tin City, the Naples Zoo, Clam Pass Park and other hometown hot spots.
Best collapse: Another quirky Guinness World Record broken: To raise awareness for the need for food aid in Collier County, nonprofit Meals of Hope toppled a whopping 3,913 cereal boxes like dominoes at the start of September, which is Hunger Action Month.
Best wedding gift request: Naples couple Katherine Parker and Dr. Ed Dean asked their 185 guests to make donations in goats in lieu of giving them gifts at their July nuptials. They have until June 16, 2019, to reach their goal of a “1,000-goat wedding,” with the knowledge that $50 enables the Villages in Partnership nonprofit to buy one goat for villagers in Malawi, Africa. As of mid-
February, they were up to 780.
Best aquatic heroics: J ames Fitzek, of Golden Gate Estates, and his family helped rescue three Cuban migrants off the coast of Key West in July. The family and friend Capt. Don Hiller of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office were heading back to shore after a day of boating when they spotted the migrants, whose own boat had exploded at sea, clinging to a piece of rubber.
Best reason for balding: Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida CAO Armando Llechu and more than a dozen other influential individuals had their heads shaved in September by pediatric cancer patients, to promote Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
Best superstar appearance: The one and only Cher chose Hertz Arena to kick off her first tour in five years, in January. The sparkle was real.
Best of Social Season
Best celeb in a new context: Actor Dennis Quaid played guitar at the Golisano Children’s Museum of Naples’ annual Night at the Museum.
Photo by Peter Falencik
Best sloth: This guy (left), who made an appearance at the “Baby, It’s a Wild World” vintner dinner during the Naples Winter Wine Fest.
Best unveiling: The Naples Senior Center at JFCS debuted plans for a much-needed new facility at its Evening for Better Tomorrows event.
Best slice of pie we couldn’t eat: Broadway “it” girl Waitress, the uplifting musical about a small-town server and gifted pie maker, came to Artis—Naples in February.
Best take on an already hot ticket: Florida Repertory Theatre did justice to August Wilson’s American drama Fences, on the heels of its huge success on both Broadway and the big screen starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington.
Best see-it-to-believe-it moment: In November, Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall at FSW hosted the revolutionary In Dreams: Roy Orbison in Concert—The Hologram Tour. The name says it all.
Best battle against beauty contests: Naples resident Melissa Bazley launched krazykrops.com, a subscription delivery service of “ugly” but perfectly edible produce, to help reduce the rampant problem of food waste.
Best illustrated love of community: We were in awe of Juan Diaz’s impressively researched and designed proposal for a mural celebrating our area’s history, meant to grace the Gordon River bridge underpass. This in addition to several other works over the years making good on his advocacy for public art.
Best surprise thank-you: A group of moms were so appreciative of longtime Coastland Center mall carousel operator Mary Warder that they banded together to gift her $5,000, to help Warder buy a reliable car to drive to the three jobs she works to afford her daughter’s medical bills. A group of adoring kids presented “Miss Mary” with the giant check.
Best mellowing of yellow: When Germain Arena became Hertz Arena, Estero residents balked at the new owners’ rendering of their plans for a garish, full-on Hertz yellow paint job on the venue’s exterior. What we ended up with was a subtler, more modern-looking approach with bands of yellow, gray and white (phew!), and we think it actually looks quite nice.
Best example of “do unto others”: Speaking of hurricanes, a few Southwest Floridians who know their far-reaching effects all too well lent help to our neighbors affected by Hurricane Florence. Among them were Lee County emergency and Florida Power & Light crews, who traveled to the Carolinas to provide their services, and North Fort Myers’ Animal Refuge Center, which took in 19 cats and seven dogs from a partner shelter in South Carolina that was forced to evacuate.
Best “discovery” of the skunk ape: No, there isn’t more questionable video evidence of Florida’s Bigfoot ambling through our swamps. But the creature was revealed—along with many other large critters and figures—to live in PVC, foam and silicone form at the Pine Island home of 3-D artist Jeff Abbott.
Best return to normal: It had felt like forever since we were able to stroll the full length of our beloved Naples Pier post-
Hurricane Irma, but the iconic landmark reopened six weeks ahead of schedule on July 30.
Best return from the bench: Orthopedic surgeons cut the recovery time of not one but two Alabama football players in half by using the minimally invasive “Knotless Syndesmosis TightRope Implant System” developed, manufactured and marketed by Arthrex. Some rival Florida team fans might have been a bit bummed, but we are proud that a Naples company helped those guys get back on the field.
Best gifts to our children: Funding so many causes for kids in need here, the events of the Naples Winter Wine Festival raised just over $16 million in January, followed by nearly $2 million by the Southwest Florida Wine & Food Fest in February.
‘One More Cent’ by Cesar Aguilera
Best Artists as Activists: In creative and thought-provoking ways, our arts community challenged us to come together and think about the issues that divide us. Florida Gulf Coast University’s art galleries hosted Up Close and Unimaginable. Featuring the work of artists Cliff Evans of Texas and Gregory Green of Tampa, the exhibition explored the heightened threats of war and terrorism in the U.S. and around the world—and the psychological toll that these threats take on us. … Southwest Florida artists countered anti-immigrant rhetoric with the group exhibition Them: An Anthology of Migration at the Sidney & Berne Davis Arts Center. Featuring the work of a diverse and foreign-born cadre of artists—Mila Bridger, Mariapia Malerba, Danielle Branchaud, Reynier Llanes, Juan Diaz, Cesar Aguilera, Aimee Perez, Ndola Penzy and Brian Weaver—the collection celebrated the contributions and richness that immigrants add to America. … The Laboratory Theater of Florida took on the same issue, at press time working to stage The Immigration Project, an original play based on the lives of Southwest Florida immigrants. … Artist and Chico’s founder Marvin Gralnick hosted a three-day extravaganza of art and entertainment at his Fort Myers home designed to call attention to and raise money to combat the red tide and blue-green algae that devastated Southwest Florida waters last summer. A portion of the proceeds went to the Sanibel-Captiva Conservation Foundation’s research efforts. … A whopping 30 local artists banded together to form ART AID, an auction for which they each donated works to benefit Legal Aid Service of Collier County. … The Alliance for the Arts’ CHANGE program hosted a two-day “What’s Your Mask?” workshop that was dedicated to combining the arts and civil discourse to encourage frank conversations about identity and how we relate to each other. CHANGE (Communities Harnessing the Arts to Nurture and Grow Equity) is working to diversify the arts and make them more accessible to minority communities.
Best gift from a co-worker: After two years on a waiting list, Marianne McGiffin of Lehigh Acres received a new kidney in February—thanks to her friend and Cape Coral obstetrician/gynecologist Dr. Melanie Altizer. The two met working at Lee Health, where McGiffin was an office manager until her health prompted her to leave.
Best “page turners”: Lisa Scottoline. Lesley Stahl. Maureen Johnson. Brad Meltzner. A. J. Tata. Between the Friends of Collier County Library’s Nick Linn Lecture Series and the Lee County Library System’s annual Southwest Florida Reading Festival, bookworms have plenty of great opportunities to meet and mingle with their favorite authors.
Best crossover: The Dalí Museum, and later Big Cypress Gallery, presented Clyde Butcher: Visions of Dalí’s Spain. The famed photographer traveled to the surrealist painter’s old stomping grounds in the Catalonia region to capture in black and white its unique topography and character.
Best oversaturation: Estero residents, fear not! If you get hurt, sick or otherwise need medical services, your village is teeming with specialists ready to help. Lee Health opened its 163,000-square-foot medical facility/wellness complex on a 13-acre campus at Coconut Point. Not to be outdone, NCH Healthcare System opened a freestanding emergency room, along with an outpatient surgery center, physician offices and imaging services, in a 41,000-square-foot center just south of the Estero/Bonita line. In other health care news: Lee Health topped off Gulf Coast Medical Center, adding three new floors with 216 patient rooms and 52 intensive care center rooms. … Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida broke ground on a new $15 million health care complex in East Naples. … And NCH Healthcare dropped its objections to the proposed Braden Hospital, which wants to serve Ave Maria and Immokalee.
Best at jumping through hoops: For the first time ever, the Florida SouthWestern State College men’s basketball team topped the NJCAA rankings. And the Florida Gulf Coast University women’s team had a stellar season, winning the ASUN tournament and making their sixth NCAA appearance in eight years.
Best development news: … For tourism and economic growth: Collier County is sprinting ahead with its $70 million sports complex in East Naples, featuring a 3,000-seat stadium and multiple fields.
… For the Florida panther: Collier Enterprises has withdrawn its application for 4,000-acre town called Rural Lands West east of Golden Gate Estates and is considering a scaled-back village instead. There are still many questions, however, about the new proposal’s environmental impacts.
Best homecoming: The Key Marco Cat, the graceful part-man, part-feline Calusa relic unearthed by archaeologist Frank Hamilton Cushing in 1896, has come home. The Smithsonian is loaning Marco Island Historical Society the cat and several other artifacts from that historic expedition for the next two years.
New York Restaurant SD26 Celebrates Fifth Anniversary Benefitting James Beard Foundation - Recipes
Harold McGee writes about the science of food and cooking. He is the author of the award-winning classic "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen and Keys to Good Cooking: A Guide to Making the Best of Foods and Recipes," and a former columnist for The New York Times. He has been named food writer of the year by Bon Appétit magazine and to the Time 100, an annual list of the world's most influential people. Since 2010, he has been a visiting lecturer for Harvard University's course "Science & Cooking: From Haute Cuisine to Soft Matter Science."
In his new book "Nose Dive," he takes us on a sensory-filled adventure, from the sulfurous nascent earth more than four billion years ago, to the sweetly fragrant Tian Shan mountain range north of the Himalayas, to the keyboard of your laptop, where trace notes of formaldehyde escape between the keys. We'll sniff the ordinary (wet pavement and cut grass) and extraordinary (fresh bread and chocolate), the delightful (roses and vanilla) and the unpleasant (spoiled meat and rotten eggs). We'll smell each other. We'll smell ourselves.