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  • +37

    From Car Crash, To Wine Connoisseurship

    From Car Crash, To Wine Connoisseurship
    Where most wine lovers cite a particular taste or sip as having sparked their interest in the subject, mine truly began with an absence of sensation. At age twenty, after returning home from a hospital where I’d been treated for an auto-related concussion, I found I couldn’t taste the Chinese take-out my parents had bought to celebrate my recovery. Where once ...
    Rated: +37
  • +2

    Q&A With Smith & Wollensky's CEO

     Q&A With Smith & Wollensky's CEO
    Smith & Wollensky CEO Nick Valenti is trying to focus on the future - the present is a little rocky. That's why Valenti just finished investing $1.3 million in renovating the Miami Beach location of Smith & Wollensky as part of his efforts to build customer loyalty. "There is no question there have been a lot of casualties during this economic ...
    Rated: +2
  • +18

    Q&A: The Makings of a Restaurateur

    Q&A: The Makings of a Restaurateur
    This is the first in a weekly series of Q&A's with George Majdalani. *Chef's Blade:* How long have you been in the restaurant industry and what brought you to it? *George Majdalani:* I started working 1986 as a Room Service server at The Crescent Court Hotel (Dallas, Tex.). I was in college and looking for a part time job. *CB:* Tell ...
    Rated: +18
  • +25

    How To Make a Chef

    How To Make a Chef
    Combine equal parts ambition, food knowledge and passion; gently fold in an aesthetic eye and strong arms. Bake in the oven, no peaking, and watch the chef rise. Lightly sprinkle a little ego for garnish and your chef is complete. Serve and enjoy while hot. Now, if I can only follow my own recipe. I have ambition, food knowledge and a ...
    Rated: +25
  • +9

    Merry Edwards: Pairing Wine & Food

    Merry Edwards: Pairing Wine & Food
    Merry Edwards, Proprietor and Winemaker of Meredith Vineyard Estate, Inc., has been crowned the “Grande Dame” and “Queen” of Pinot Noir. Her cutting-edge work with this varietal in the 70’s and 80’s, when America was not ready to drink, never mind create great Pinot Noir, broke the mold for winemakers everywhere. Launching her own brand in 1997 placed her on the ...
    Rated: +9
  • +4

    My Life at the CIA

    My Life at the CIA
    I've just started my ninth and final semester - fingers crossed! - in the Bachelors of Professional Studies at the Culinary Institute of America. I have a bit of a crazy schedule. Tuesdays and Thursdays are booked. First class starts at 9:45 a.m. Last class ends at 9:45 p.m. One stupid night class until January. I've been trying to set my ...
    Rated: +4
  • Rate

    Eating and Drinking in San Francisco

    Eating and Drinking in San Francisco
    Since this is our first column in Chef’s Blade, I’d like to introduce myself. At the tender age of 21, I was selected to fill the Executive General Manager role of one of the largest and most respected restaurants of its kind in the San Francisco Bay Area. It was quite an honor and I was excited about what lay ahead. ...
  • +11

    Michael Mondavi: Wine Coach

    Michael Mondavi: Wine Coach
    Wine starts with the earth, the vine and the grape. Simple nature creates an amazing, complex, euphoric drink. So how can something so simple leave us speechless and confused? How does one make sense of wine names? What are the differences between grapes? Why does the region matter? How does a year make a great vintage? When choosing wine, we become ...
    Rated: +11
  • +2

    Luther Burbank, Plums, and CA Horticulture

    Luther Burbank, Plums, and CA Horticulture
    Imagine a plum. Heavy in the hand, when fresh, and full of juice. Imagine that purple-red skin and, beneath, that amber, slightly translucent flesh, sweet with a hint of acid. You are, more likely than not, imagining one of Luther Burbank’s creations. Luther Burbank was a talented horticulturalist who introduced over 700 varieties of fruits, vegetables, and ornamental plants to the ...
    Rated: +2
  • +1

    Jennifer Carroll Still Gets a Hard Time

    Jennifer Carroll Still Gets a Hard Time
    JENNIFER CARROLL still gets teased at work for her televised admission that sometimes hair-pulling can be fun. The "Top Chef: Las Vegas" fan favorite, who is executive chef at 10 Arts by Eric Ripert at the Ritz-Carlton, says her "cooks go home after dinner service and watch the show, then they come in the next day and make fun of me." ...
    Rated: +1
  • +4

    The Ethical Chef?

    The Ethical Chef?
    What is a chef’s responsibility to their community and sustainability? When John Besh, chef of August, fed his city with rice and beans after Hurricane Katrina, he didn’t have to. He didn’t have to be the first to open after Katrina or rebuild other restaurants in his neighborhood. Judy Rodgers, executive chef and co-owner of Zuni Café, and Alice Waters, founder ...
    Rated: +4
  • +1

    Starting Early: A Chef Since Age 8

    Starting Early: A Chef Since Age 8
    Food has been a large part of my life for a very long time. When I was about 8 years old, my father had a job that kids only dream about. He worked at an ice cream factory. It was called Frozen Products and was located in Oakland, California. I visited often with him and watched the various machines putt out ...
    Rated: +1
  • +2

    The Celebrity Nutritionist

    The Celebrity Nutritionist
    There are few people who could make the inner workings of the gut exciting , but the nutritionist Ian Marber is one of them. As he waxes lyrical on slow-release wholegrain s while drawing diagrams of things called mitochondria, his enthusiasm is so infectious you forget he is talking about things that would normally bore most of us silly. For the ...
    Rated: +2
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    Chefs: Gastronomy or Greed?

    Chefs: Gastronomy or Greed?
    There was a time a time when the holy grail for chefs used to be achieving truly good food - perfection on rare occasions - through imagination and sheer hard graft. Theirs was an anonymous triumph that only a handful of colleagues knew about. Chefs’ names have been unknown for centuries except for a handful, for example, Archestrat from ancient Greece, ...
  • +3

    Barber Grows into a Farm-to-Table Darling

    Barber Grows into a Farm-to-Table Darling
    NEW YORK - Dan Barber emerges one recent afternoon from the Union Square Greenmarket with a spring bounty: asparagus, purple kohlrabi, ramps, fiddlehead ferns and dandelion greens. They're luscious, fresher-than-fresh and Barber can't wait to get them into the kitchen. When he does, what will he do with them? The answer is pure Dan Barber. "Not a lot," he says with ...
    Rated: +3
  • +4

    NY Times Says Restaurant Critic Stepping Down

    NY Times Says Restaurant Critic Stepping Down
    The New York Times announced Thursday that restaurant critic Frank Bruni has decided to leave his influential position after five years. Bruni will step down as restaurant critic after a book promotion and vacation but will continue writing for the Times' Sunday magazine. The editor of the food section didn't say when Bruni would pen his last review. A successor has ...
    Rated: +4
  • +7

    Andrew Bell: Connecting Sommeliers

    Andrew Bell: Connecting Sommeliers
    Spring is time for growth in the wine industry, not only in the vineyards but also in the city. Wine buyers flock to open convention spaces filled with rows of wide-eyed wine makers, sales people, and distributors pouring tastes of new vintages of wine. This is the season for making new friends and connecting with important people in the wine industry. ...
    Rated: +7
  • +1

    Jamie Oliver Cooks for the G20 Conference

    Jamie Oliver Cooks for the G20 Conference
    It is among the trickiest of decisions for any hostess. But when Sarah Brown was deciding who to put next to Michelle Obama at tonight’s dinner for summit spouses in 10 Downing Street, she had years of experience in public relations to draw on. Seated on one side of Mrs Obama will be J. K. Rowling, the author; on the other ...
    Rated: +1
  • +8

    10 Tips to a Lasting Wine Industry Career

    10 Tips to a Lasting Wine Industry Career
    Almost weekly I get a call or email asking what it takes to be in the wine business. For awhile I even got calls saying, ok, so I just got in the wine business last quarter and I have taken a few classes, so I was wondering how I can do what you do? I respond, "Well, it's a long road!" ...
    Rated: +8
  • +1

    Chicago's Culinary Ambassador: Judith Dunbar Hines Promotes Chicago Dining With a Passion

    Chicago's Culinary Ambassador: Judith Dunbar Hines Promotes Chicago Dining With a Passion
    Who is the face of food in Chicago? You might answer Grant Achatz, Rick Bayless or Charlie Trotter. But, with no disrespect to these superstar chefs, our nod goes to Judith Dunbar Hines, director of culinary arts and events for the city's Department of Cultural Affairs. Her job is to put the spotlight on Chicago's thriving food scene. It involves showcasing ...
    Rated: +1