Category Archives: Chefs

Day 20 Gifts – L’Espalier & Jordan Vineyard

Day 20 takes us to one of my favorite Boston restaurants, L’Espalier…I was so happy to have Sommelier Kate Moore (a fellow BC grad) as a guest on Episode 24. L’Espalier is in the heart of the Back Bay, adjacent to the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Under Chef, Proprietor, Author and now Farmer Frank McClelland’s stewardship, L’Espalier has consistently been rated at the top of national and local best restaurant lists (Zagat, Boston Magazine, Frommer’s Travel Guide, Wine Spectator, among them), serving sophisticated and modern New England-French cuisine, with an emphasis on artisanal and New England ingredients.

A great gift would be a gift card to L’Espalier (prices vary), so that the giftee can go to lunch, dinner or to one of Kate’s “Top Shelf” Cocktail classes…add to that a copy of Chef  McClelland’s “Wine Mondays”, which features 130 recipes organized into four-course pairing menus by season, with accompanying wine notes and suggestions. All of the recipes come from the popular Wine Mondays program at L’Espalier—a weekly event created to make food and wine pairing accessible, fun, and affordable. ($24.95)

To that, add a gift set of wine from Jordan Vineyards. I’ve long been a Jordan fan, and was thrilled to have CEO John Jordan as my guest on Episode 26. Since their inaugural 1976 vintage, Jordan wines have been renowned for their consistency and elegance. Tucked into the hills in Alexander Valley, just north of Healdsburg in Sonoma County, they are dedicated to winemaking, hospitality and the joys of the table.

A beautiful wooden box set of the 2008 Jordan Chardonnay & 2006 Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon would delight any wine lover on your list ($90). Include a beautiful Riedel Vinum Engraved Chardonnay ($24) or Bordeaux ($29) wine glass, so they can enjoy their gift in style.

Find out more at




Leave a comment

Filed under Carneros, Champagne, Chefs, Cocktails, Drinks, Mixology, Napa, Restaurants, Sommeliers, Sonoma

Day 17 Gift Idea – Simply Ming & Blue Ginger

I have long been a fan of Chef Ming Tsai and his fabulous restaurant Blue Ginger, so I was thrilled when he was my guest on Episode 21 in October. A great gift idea for the home chef in your life is a copy of Ming’s latest book “Simply Ming One-Pot Meals“. As someone who loves to cook, but not clean up, this is ideal! The book has 80 one-pot recipes that can be created quickly and healthfully, with relatively inexpensive ingredients….many recipes can serve 4 people for under $20.  Ming focuses on seven cooking methods: braise, wok, sauté, roast, high temp–which includes steaming and flash frying–soup, and toss. He offers preparation tips and drink suggestions, and each recipe is accompanied by a full-color photo.

List price is $29.95 ($19.77 on Amazon).

To this, add a gift card to Blue Ginger, his beautiful restaurant in Wellesley MA. Ming and his team create award-winning cuisine that harmoniously blends ingredients and techniques from the East and the West. The menu offers signature items including the Sake-Miso Marinated Alaskan Butterfish (my favorite) and the Garlic-Black Pepper Lobster as well as seasonal dishes. All breads, crackers, ice creams and desserts are made in-house by the pastry department. Blue Ginger also has a beverage menu that really complements their East-West cuisine. Signature cocktails include the Blue Ginger Gimlet and the Golden Goose, a ginger-infused vodka martini, and they have an extensive wine cellar.

You can buy online at



Leave a comment

Filed under Chefs, Cocktails, Drinks, Food Network, Restaurants, Spirits, Wine

Day 15 – Fabulous Wine Festivals by Chef Daniel Bruce

A fun and fabulous gift idea for that person on your list who has everything would be tickets to an amazing wine dinner or tasting, no matter which part of the country they’re in. Chef Daniel Bruce, who was our guest on Episode 26 has lots of options for you to choose from.

As the founder of the internationally renowned Boston Wine Festival, the nation’s longest running food and wine pairing series, Chef Bruce lines up dozens of the top winemakers and producers over a four month time span. Due to the success of the BWF, he has also launched similar festivals in the French Quarter, Washington DC and Berkeley CA.

Some of the many events to choose from (prices vary) are Baron Phillipe de Rothschild, Cliff Lede Vineyards, Plump Jack & Cade Winery, Meritage Madness and Super Tuscans…you can find out more at

You could also give a gift card to Chef Bruce’s award winning restuarant, Meritage at the Boston Harbor Hotel, where he pairs more than 200 dishes each year with outstanding wines from around the world. Large and small plates are offered for each item on the menu, and matched with complementary wine flavors. Meritage has a 12,000-plus bottle wine collection which boasts over 850 different varieties.

Why not buy tickets for yourself while you’re at it…you’ve been good!



Leave a comment

Filed under Carneros, Champagne, Chefs, Napa, Restaurants, Sommeliers, Sonoma, Wine

Day 12 of our 25 Days of Holiday Gift Ideas – Daring Parings & Emeritus

Day 12 of our 25 Days of Gift Ideas is about Food & Wine pairings. Master Sommelier Evan Goldstein was my guest on Episode 18. His first book, “Perfect Pairings” was such a success, he released “Daring Pairings” this year.  In Daring Pairings, Evan ventures into wine’s new frontiers, exploring the flavors and pairing potential of thirty-six distinctive grapes from around the world, including Argentina, Spain, Italy, Greece, and France. He offers advice on crafting unforgettable wine and food pairings, suggests wines for everyday and special occasions, and recommends producers and importers.

A copy of Daring Pairings ($23 on Amazon) is the perfect gift when paired with some fantastic wine, so why not add a few bottles of Emeritus Pinot Noir to the book? Emeritus founder Brice Cutrer Jones was my guest on Episode 6. Brice, who also founded the Sonoma-Cutrer label, is making some amazing Pinot Noir on 150 acres of vineyards in two Sonoma County locations – the home ranch, Hallberg Vineyard, which is in the heart of the Russian River Valley, and William Wesley Vineyard in the coastal mountains of the Sonoma Coast. The wines are available online when you join their mailing list.



Leave a comment

Filed under Chefs, Napa, Sommeliers, Sonoma, Wine

Day 6 of our “25 Days of Holiday Gift Ideas” – Food Network

Day 6 is devoted to my Food Network guests – as my listeners & friends know, I am addicted to FN and was so excited to have 2 Food Network VIP’s on my show…

It was an honor and a thrill to have Olympic Gold Medalist Brian Boitano, host of Food Network’s “What Would Brian Boitano Make?” on Episode 16.  Brian has some really fun “What Would Brian Boitano Do?” merchandise on his website – t-shirts, hats, mousepads, etc. More importantly, all proceeds from sales within this store go to charities such as Brian’s Youth Skate Program. Prices vary.

You can order at

To that, how about adding a copy of “The South Beach Wine & Food Festival Cookbook” by our guest on Episode 17, Lee Schrager. Lee is the creator of both the Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival (which has raised more than $10 million for the Florida International University School of Hospitality) and the Food Network New York City Wine & Food Festival (which benefits the Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength). If you really want to be a hero, add a few tickets to the 2011 FN South Beach Wine & Food Festival, which takes place February 24th-27th.

The cookbook is available for $23.10 on Amazon (list price $35) – check it out at or tickets on (prices vary).



Leave a comment

Filed under Carneros, Champagne, Chefs, Cocktails, Food Network, Napa, Restaurants, Sommeliers, Sonoma, Wine

Day 2 of Our “25 Days of Holiday Gift Ideas” – Nantucket Wine & Dine

Day 2’s Holiday Gift Idea also comes from our first show….our very first guest on Cocktails for Everyone! was Denis Toner, Founder of the Nantucket Wine Festival. How about 2 tickets to the 2011 Grand Tasting or Harbor Gala in your stocking? Works for me!

Along with that, why not include a gift certificate to Nantucket’s American Seasons? Co-owners Michael La Scola (episode 1) and Orla Murphy LaScola (episode 3) run one of the best restaurants on the island, as well as have one of the best wine lists on the East Coast.



Leave a comment

Filed under Carneros, Champagne, Chefs, Nantucket, Napa, Restaurants, Sommeliers, Sonoma, Wine

Chef Ming Tsai’s “Simply Ming One-Pot Meals” Book Tour Details

I had a great time talking with Chef Ming Tsai on last week’s episode of Cocktails for Everyone!

One of the things we discussed was his new book, “Simply Ming One-Pot Meals”, which looks amazing!

As promised, here are the details of his upcoming book tour….



Book Tour Dates

October 9th – NY, NY
New York City Food & Wine Festival
Book signing – Open to the public
Welcome Center (10th Ave and West 15th Street)
11:30am – 12:30pm

October 13th – Boston, MA
Boston University
Demo & book signing
6:00pm – 8:00pm

October 27th – NY, NY
Book signing – open to the public
10 Columbus Circle
7:00 pm

October 29th – Edison, NJ
Sam’s Club
Book signing – open to the public
939 Route 1 South
11:30am – 1:30pm

November 1st – Chicago, IL
The Chopping Block
Demo & book signing – open to the public
Merchandise Mart
5:00pm – 7:00pm

November 2nd – Chicago IL
Demo & book signing – RSVP to Macy’s at 800-329-8667
111 North State Street

November 4th – Dayton, OH
Books & Co at the Greene
Book signing – open to the public
4453 Walnut Street

November 5th – Cincinnati, OH
Joseph-Beth Booksellers
Book signing – open to the public
2962 Madison Road

November 8th – Denver, CO
Tattered Cover
Book signing – open to the public
2526 East Colfax Ave

November 11th – Santa Monica, CA
Barnes & Noble
Book signing – open to the public
3rd Street Promenade

November 12th – Costa Mesa, CA
Macy’s-South Coast Plaza Home Store
Demo & book signing – open to the public
333 Bear Street

November 13th – Mill Valley, CA
Tyler Florence Shop
Demo & book signing – open to the public
59 Throckmorton Ave
1:00pm – 3:00pm

November 16th – Honolulu, HI
Macy’s – Ala Moana Center
Demo & book signing – open to the public
1450 Ala Moana Blvd

December 5th – Wellesley, MA
Wellesley Booksmith
Book signing – open to the public
82 Central Street
2:30pm – 4:30pm

December 6th – Boston, MA
Borders – Downtown Crossing
Book signing – open to the public
10-24 School Street
12:30pm – 1:30pm

December 7th – Framingham, MA
Barnes & Noble
Book signing – open to the public
1 Worcester Road

Leave a comment

Filed under Chefs, Cocktails, Drinks, Restaurants, Wine