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Fast Women And Hot Cocktails Come To Las Vegas For a Great Cause

Date: Tue, Mar 6, 2012 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Las Vegas has always been known for beautiful women and tasty cocktails and Speed Rack is no exception. This event is a competition created for and by female bartenders to promote female bartenders and to raise some money to fight breast cancer. All proceeds from their events go to breast cancer education, prevention and research.
The competition is being held in 10 cities across the USA and the winners from each completion will compete in New York City for the title, all the while raising funds for a very worthy cause.

Las Vegas is the 9th stop on the tour and teaming up with BarMagic and USBG Las Vegas for an afternoon that should be well worth a visit. Anthony Cools as donated his Swingers Club in the Plaza Hotel & Casino for the competition on Sunday, March 11, as 16 women from Las Vegas compete head to head in this intense test of speed and accuracy. And after a hard fought battle only one will be crowned Miss Speed Rack Las Vegas.

Fusion Bar @ The Palazzo Resort Mixologist Wendy Verdel-Hodges

Guest judges include Tony Abou-Ganim (The Modern Mixologist), Chef Kathy Casey, Charlotte Voisey (Portfolio Brand Ambassador - William Grant & Sons) and Audrey Saunders (owner of New York's Pegu Club) will have their work cut out for them in this high speed completion. In the past, these Las Vegas’s hot, hardworking bartenders have raised $25,000 and are well on their way to doing it again !

If in Las Vegas on Sunday, March 11th stop into The Swingers club and watch the best of the best compete as you enjoy mouthwatering food, beer and special punch to support fighting breast cancer. Vino Las Vegas will be there cheering on the competitors and seeing who will win the title Miss Speed Rack Las Vegas.

Tickets are available on line in advance for $20.00 ( $25.00 at the door ) atwww.Speedrackvegas
NOTE: Must be 21+ to attend. IDs will be checked at the door.

For more information on Speed Rack and to watch videos from the other cities, visit our webiste at http://www.speed-rack.com

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HALL Wines releases 2009 vintage of the HALL “napa Valley” CABERNET SAUVIGNON

Date: Fri, Feb 17, 2012 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

HALL Wines, one of the top producers of Cabernet Sauvignon in California has recently released the 2009 HALL “Napa Valley” Cabernet Sauvignon. A part of the HALL Napa Valley Collection, the2009HALL “Napa Valley” Cabernet Sauvignonis available nationwide at select dining establishments and wine shops.
The 2009 vintage is a true embodiment of the HALL winemaking philosophy, which focuses on crafting artisan wines by employing organic small-vine viticulture, precision winemaking, wild yeast fermentation, and unfined and unfiltered bottling.

“At HALL Wines we offer an elegant and stylish approach to the wine experience that combines the art of winemaking, design and contemporary art,” said Kathryn Hall, Owner and Vintner of HALL Wines. “The release of the2009 HALL “Napa Valley” Cabernet Sauvignonis our latest effort to bring the “HALL” experience to consumers’ every day life.”

Fused with special lots from HALL estate vineyards and esteemed fruit from HALL’s premier vineyard partners, the2009 HALL “Napa Valley” Cabernet Sauvignonis brimming with aromas of cassis and blackberry pie, articulating black fruit, white chocolate and toasted almonds. On the palate, the wine is round and soft featuring opulent flavors of dark bing cherry, jam and dark cocoa transcending into a velvety finish. The 2009 vintage will gracefully age over the next ten plus years.
HALL Wines’ focus, from vine to glass, is to deliver a dense, supple Cabernet Sauvignon that consistently over-delivers. In striving to achieve this, HALL’s winemaking practices include blending grapes that exude the best characteristics by growing block specific varietals. Each vineyard is harvested by block to segregate the grapes throughout the fermentation process.

Kathryn and Craig Hall

As winegrowers and visionaries, Kathryn Hall and husband Craig Hall, have a strong respect for the environment and a commitment to cutting-edge vineyard technology to yield the highest quality grapes. HALL St. Helena is California’s first winery to receive the prestigious Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Gold Certification by the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating System™. HALL Wines is a recipient of Organic Farming Certification from The California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), one of the nation’s oldest and largest organic certification and trade associations.

2009HALL “Napa Valley” Cabernet Sauvignon
Varietal Composition:84% Cabernet Sauvignon, 9% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc
Appellation: Napa Valley
Vineyard: A cuvee of HALL Vineyards and vineyard partners
Barrel Aging:16 months in 55% New French Oak
Price: $48 per bottle

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The Cuisineist , VINO LAS VEGAS and Garfields Restaurant team up for a Broman Cellars Wine Dinner with a lakeside view

Date: Wed, Sep 22, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

For Centuries great food and wine have brought people together and in more modern times this is still the case.

Garfield's Restaurant partnered with VINO LAS VEGAS , The Cuisineist Culinary Magazine and Broman Cellars from Napa Valley for a wine dinner taking in the relaxing views of Lake Jacqueline at the Desert Shores while sipping on great wines and enjoying dishes created by Executive Chef Jean-David Groff-Daudet especially for the event.

Broman Cellars handcrafted wines are made exclusively from Napa Valley grapes and have long term contracts with several highly acclaimed vineyards. They source their Cabernet from Beckstoffer’s Dr. Crane Vineyard in St. Helena and Georges III in Rutherford; and their Sauvignon Blanc from the Melrose Vineyard in St. Helena.

The Broman Syrah is sourced from the Page Nord vineyard in North Napa and also a small, two-acre vineyard in St. Helena on their Deer Park Road property, which is below the Howell Mountain appellation boundary on the western facing slope.

Garfield's is lovely nautical themed restaurant named in honor of Sir Garfield Sobers, Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II on the playing fields of Barbados in 1975. Sir Garfield is considered the greatest all-around Cricket player of all time.

Executive Chef, Jean-David Groff-Daudet is well known for preparing delicious dishes with emphasis on the SlowFood® movement which is a global, grassroots movement that links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.


TARTELETTE CRAWFISH with Vegetable Brunoise

This delicate beginning to the dinner paired wonderfully with
the 2009 Broman Sauvigon Blanc , Napa Valley.

This Vintage was crafted from 100 percent Sauvignon Blanc grapes sourced entirely from the esteemed Beckstoffer property, Melrose Vineyard in Rutherford. This wine is very fruit forward as it was cold fermented in a small stainless steel tank with no malolactic fermentation or oak treatment.
Aromas of grapefruit, and lime zest with undertones of stone fruit came through on the nose with citrus , peach and apricot on the palate with a clean, fresh finish. A production of only 397 cases show the love and passion that went into this lovely refreshing wine

Chef Jean-David is a native of Burgundy and could not resist showing off a little french flair for the main course


BRAISED SHORT RIB with Cabernet Reduction and Mashed Potato

Getting big and bold, Chef Jean-David hit the mark it what many thought was the best dish and pairing of the night. The mouth watering Braised Short Rib fell off the bone and the Cabernet Reduction was non other than spectacular. Paired with the Broman Cabernet Sauvignon 2004 Napa Valley brought out the best in the dish and the wine.

The 2004 Broman Cabernet Sauvignon is 100% Cabernet from two esteemed vineyards. The blend consists of 40 per cent Cabernet Sauvignon from the gravelly Dr. Crane Vineyard in Saint Helena and 60 per cent Cabernet from the gently sloping Georges III vineyard in eastern Rutherford. This wine was aged in French oak for 24 months.

Rich and lush , with flavors of black cherry, plum and cocoa and hints of leather and herbal notes and its lingering finish with nice tannnis round out this excellently balanced wine. With only 334 cases produced this was a real treat.



We have spoke often about the art of pairing or contrasting dishes with wine. The Broman 2004 Syrah offered Chef Jean-David a variety of choices and he took the hard way and decided to contrast the Cheese Course. The boldness of the Syrah combined with the sweetness of the honey ( made by local bees ) and creamy goat cheese provided guests the most interesting pairing of the night and it worked.

The 2004 Broman Napa Valley Syrah was produced from grapes from two different vineyards in the Oak Knoll District of Napa Valley. It is 100% Syrah and was aged in French oak for approximately 28 months.

This is a big Syrah that is inky, ripe and satisfying. Blueberries and blackberries blend with earth, and leather undertones that ended with with long, lingering tannins.

Experiencing these great wines from Napa Valley was a real treat but Chef Jean-David had one last tidbit for the guests. A visit to South Australia for dessert.


SHORT BREAD COOKIE , with Bitter Chocolate Mousse

What else can we say but yummy and decadent. Layers of creamy Chocolate filled our mouths making this a good end to a wonderful dinner.

Paired with Stanley Lambert NV Choc-a-bloc from South Australia , this luscious dessert wine, made using a fortified Australian Tawny wine base and seeping it with chocolate was a "home run" need we say more ?

Overall , Executive Chef Jean-David and his staff did a wonderful job provided unmatched service and great dishes to the guests of this very special event. Four delicious courses , paired with "pointed" wines with a great view for $55.00 was one of the best deals we have found in a long time. It was a true honor and pleasure to have been a part of it.

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Eat, drink and learn about one of California’s most exciting culinary and wine destinations with SAVOR the Central Coast Sept 30-Oct 3 2010

Date: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

We know the Central Coast very well and now join us and everyone who is as interested in eating great food as we are in meeting the farmers and artisans who produce it. Sunset presents “Savor the Central Coast.” Tucked away in the pristine Central Coast of California (only three hours from both the San Francisco Bay Area and Los Angeles), “SUNSET – Savor the Central Coast” gives food lovers the opportunity to meet the chefs, local farmers, winemakers, and food artisans that are setting some of the country’s biggest culinary trends.

From September 30 to October 3, 2010 at Santa Margarita Ranch, San Luis Obispo and surrounding communities, attendees will have the opportunity to sample delights prepared by 35 talented chefs, using the region’s freshest bounty—from organic produce and herbs to locally raised lamb and sustainably farmed seafood. Recipes presented will include:

Abalone Carpaccio with Sake Mignonette, Grapefruit, Avocado, Sesame” by The Lido/Dolphin Bay Resort & Spa Chef Evan Treadwell

· Roast Rack of Lamb with Braised Lamb Shank Arancine, Lamb Confit, Lavender Roasted San Marzano Tomato and Garlic Crumbs” by Post Ranch Inn Chef Craig Von Foerster

“Sustainable Seafood” prepared by The Sidecar Chef Tim Kilcoyne in partnership with the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seafood Watch Program

“Far Western Certified Angus Beef Cheeseburger” by Far Western Tavern Chef Barbara Abernethy

“Roasted Figs, Crème Fraiche Ice Cream, Toasted Hazelnut Brittle” by Thomas Hill Organics Chef Julie Simon.

On October 1, the weekend’s “edu-tainment” focus rolls into high gear as Sunset editors and other experts lead exclusive guided tours around San Luis Obispo County, including Ocean Rose Abalone Farm, Morro Bay Oyster Company, Happy Acres Goat Farm, Pasolivo Olive Oil, Thomas Hill Organics, Talley Winery and Organic Farm and Cal Poly’s Escuela Ranch. All culinary tours include lunch; visit www.savorcentralcoast.com/culinary_tours for schedule.

On October 2-3, the SAVOR “edu-tainment” continues at Santa Margarita Ranch with presentations in the demonstration kitchen by The Food Network’s Tyler Florence and seminars with Sunset editors on such topics as “Fresh from the Fields-California Breakfast,” “Preserving the Harvest,” “Cheese Making 101,” “Beyond the Chop: How to Cook with Different Cuts of Lamb,” and “Sunset’s One Block Feast – The Grand Experiment.” Wine-themed seminars will include “Distinct. Different. – Paso Robles,” “The Perfect Cuvee” and “Why We Love Central Coast Wine.”

The evening of October 2 is devoted to intimate multi-course gourmet winemaker dining and Tolosa Winery and Vineyards. “Paso Glow,” a dinner focusing on the wines and winemakers of the Paso Robles AVA rounds out the evening’s choices, along with dinners showcasing the Tolosa Winery and Vineyards. “Paso Glow,” a dinner focusing on the wines and winemakers of the Paso Robles AVA rounds out the evening’s choices, along with dinners showcasing the wines of Santa Barbara, Monterey and Ventura counties. For more information regarding “SUNSET – Savor the Central Coast,” call 800-768-6653, visit http://www.savorcentralcoast.com/, become a fan on Facebook HTTP://tinyurl.com/SavorCC, or follow SAVOR on www.Twitter.com/SavorCC. Ticket proceeds and sponsorships are considered donations to the San Luis Obispo County Visitors & Convention Bureau, a 501 c 6 non-profit tourism organization promoting San Luis Obispo County.

See you there !

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The 4th Annual Opportunity Village's O-Vino benefits many in the community

Date: Fri, Sep 3, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

We have attended all of the annual O-Vino events to benefit people with disabilities. We could not think of a better way to give back to the Las Vegas community.

Over 40 wine vendors , a silent auction , great food prepared by the Chefs and students of Le Cordon Bleu , original artwork from Opportunity Village's talented artists and live entertainment provided the guests, families and people of Opportunity Village a great way to spend an afternoon.

Opportunity Village is a not-for-profit organization that serves people in the Las Vegas community with intellectual disabilities, to enhance their lives and the lives of the families who love them. Opportunity Village is dedicated to helping people with severe intellectual and related disabilities become the very best they can be.

Through vocational training, community employment, day services, advocacy, arts and social recreation, people with severe disabilities are able to find new friends, realize future career paths, seek independence and community integration and unleash creative passions.

Opportunity Village was founded in 1954 by a small group of local families seeking to improve the lives of their children with intellectual disabilities. Since then, Opportunity Village has grown to become Nevada’s largest private, not-for-profit community habilitation program, serving more than 3,000 people annually through vocational training, community job placement, art & life skill enrichment, advocacy, and social recreation programs.

Opportunity Village gives back to the business's in Las Vegas by stimulating the economy . The majority of programs offered by Opportunity Village to people with severe intellectual disabilities are funded by the work-related activities of those individuals and by the charitable donations of local individuals and organizations.

In the absence of Opportunity Village, state and local governments would be required to provide similar services that would increase public cost by more than $17 million annually.

Opportunity Village helps the people it serves in a variety of ways.
Unlike many short-term job placements that are here today and gone tomorrow, the procurement of commodities and services with local businesses provides long-term, stable employment for people with severe disabilities.Through the vocational training and employment programs, people with severe disabilities have a chance to develop job skills that offer opportunities for individual advancement.

By expanding their scope of experience, and enhancing their abilities, some workers with disabilities are able to tackle new assignments at increasingly higher levels of difficulty. This experience prepares them for a wider variety of jobs, either within Opportunity Village Work Centers or at a variety of jobs throughout the community.

Many of the people served by Opportunity Village live either with their families or in supported living arrangements in the community. Most of the income received from disability insurance goes for basic room and board costs, meaning the income earned while working on contracts at Opportunity Village is often their only source of disposable income. People with severe disabilities are human beings, just like you and me, and they want to live as normal a life as possible. Most adults usually go to work, but the unemployment rate for people with disabilities continuously exceeds 60 percent.

This years O-Vino was held at The Ralph and Betty Engelstad campus Opportunity Village’s newest . This state-of-the-art campus houses the Kitty Rodman Multi-purpose Center for Arts & Life Skill Enrichment and the Thomas & Mack Employment Training Center and was a great venue for the event.

We look forward to the 5 O-Vino and having the chance to help people with disabilities help the community. With Opportunity Village everyone in the community benefits. To find out more about Opportunity Village please visit http://www.opportunityvillage.org/
See you next year !

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Las Vegas Epicurean Affair at The Palazzo Resort Sept. 9 will show off the best of Las Vegas Food and Beverage

Date: Thu, Aug 26, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Las Vegas has taken its place as a home to some of the world’s most prestigious restaurants, and on Thursday, September 9, many of the best will be poolside at The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino for the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair.

This wonderful event is hosted by Nevada Restaurant Association (NvRA) and The Palazzo Resort-Hotel-Casino, the Las Vegas Epicurean Affair promises a tantalizing evening of culinary delight. Guests can stroll along the Palazzo's luxurious pool and savor cuisine and cocktails from nearly 75 renowned restaurants and beverage purveyors in a for the palate pleasing event that shows off Las Vegas .

“The Pools at The Palazzo is the perfect venue to host this prestigious event,” said Food & Beverage vice president Sebastien Silvestri. “We are pleased to collaborate with the NvRA, because we know this is an evening that guests won’t soon forget.”

“It’s no secret that Las Vegas is on the cutting edge when it comes to hospitality and our amazing restaurants are a big part of that,” says NvRA President and CEO Katherine Jacobi. “Nevada Restaurant Association is pleased to offer this unique experience at The Palazzo. We couldn’t be more excited to have such a beautiful venue to showcase why Las Vegas is the culinary destination.”

NvRA would like to thank the sponsors who made this event possible: 702west, Aramark, CBS Radio, Dine Out Magazine, KNPR, Mission Industries, Patrice & Associates Hospitality Recruiting, Sierra Ice, Southern Wine & Spirits, Sysco Food Services of Las Vegas and Wirtz Beverage Nevada.’ Proceeds from the event benefit NvRA’s educational and scholarship programs.

The Las Vegas Epicurean Affair is open to the public and will be held Thursday, September 9, 2010 from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. at The Pools at The Palazzo.

General admission tickets are $100 each. VIP tickets are available at $150 per person for early admission at 6:00 p.m. To purchase tickets please visit any Venetian or Palazzo box office, call (702) 414-9000, or go online to www.palazzolasvegas.com or www.epicureanaffairlasvegas.com

see you there !

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Join VINO LAS VEGAS at the Celebration of Harvest on the Grounds of the beautiful Rancho Sisquoc in the Santa Maria Valley October 9th 2010

Date: Tue, Aug 24, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The annual Celebration of Harvest is held in October of each year, when the whole county is in the thick of the winegrape harvest and winery staff take a needed break to showcase their latest wines, many newly bottled! This year's Celebration of Harvest will be held on October 9th from 1 to 4pm, and once again on the beautiful grounds of Rancho Sisquoc Winery in the Santa Maria Valley.

Local restaurants, caterers and specialty food purveyors will showcase their talents and the bounty of Santa Barbara County, while live and lively bands will fill the air with music. Add to that the silent auction, filled with specialty wines and large format bottles from members of the Vintners’ Association to benefit local food banks, and we definitely have a reason to Celebrate Harvest!

Be sure to take in the sights, sounds, smells and excitement of harvest by extending your stay for a few days. The Vintners’ Visa is a four-day pass to 12 participating wineries, each of whom are pulling out all the stops just for Vintners’ Visa holders. The Vintners' Visa can be used at participating wineries from can be used Friday through Monday so make it a long weekend! And for the full celebratory mode, (and for a great deal!), order a “combo ticket” which gives you access to the Festival at Rancho Sisquoc and a Vintners’ Visa!

Join us and stay the weekend to enjoy one of the best wine regions in the country !

For more information please visit The Santa Barbara County Vintners Association

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Restaurant week is here once again. Help out by Dining Out August 30 - September 5 th 2010

Date: Tue, Aug 24, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Its that time of year again . A chance to give back while dining out at some pretty renowned restaurants.
Once again, Three Square will be partnering up with the finest restaurants in Las Vegas to bring you Restaurant Week.

This is a great chance to sample the cuisine of world-famous Chefs at a fixed price with the proceeds going to help Three Square end hunger in Southern Nevada.

Specially-designed Restaurant Week menus feature three-course meals at three price points - $20.10, $30.10 and $50.10 per person.

Below is a list of participating restaurants and their Restaurant Week menus that are sure to make your mouths water !

· Agave- Dinner $30.10
· Alizé at the Top of the Palms- Dinner $50.10
· American Fish- Dinner $50.10
· Andre’s Restaurant & Lounge Monte Carlo- Dinner $50.10
· Aureole- Dinner $30.10
· Aureole-Dinner $50.10
· Blossom Chinese Restaurant- Dinner $50.10
· BLT Burger – Lunch $20.10
· BOA Steakhouse- Lunch $20.10
· BOA Steakhouse- Dinner $50.10
· Bradley Ogden- Dinner $50.10
· Brand Steakhouse and Lounge- Dinner $50.10
· Cafe Bellagio- Lunch $20.10~Lunch served from 11:00AM-3:00PM
· Café Bellagio Dinner $30.10~Dinner served from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm
· Cafe Bleu- Lunch $20.10
· Cafe Bleu- Dinner $30.10
· Charlie Palmer Steak- Dinner $50.10
· Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse- Dinner $50.10
· Delmonico Steakhouse-Lunch $30.10
· Diablos- Lunch and Dinner $30.10
· Diego Mexican Cuisine- Dinner $30.10
· Dos Caminos- Dinner $50.10
· Dos Caminos- Lunch $30.10
· DW Bistro- Lunch $20.10
· DW Bistro- Dinner $30.10
· Eiffel Tower- Lunch $30.10
· Fiamma Trattoria & Bar- Dinner $30.10
· Fin- Diner $30.10
· FIRST Food & Bar- Dinner $30.10
· FIRST Food & Bar- Dinner $50.10
· FIX at Bellagio- Dinner $50.10
· Fleur de Lys- Dinner $30.10
· Fleur de Lys- Dinner $50.10
· Grand Wok- Lunch $20.10
· Japonais Restaurant and Lounge – Dinner $50.10
· Jasmine at Bellagio- Dinner $50.10
· Jean Georges Steakhouse- Dinner $50.10
· Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab – Dinner $50.10
· KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers Lunch- $20.10
· KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers – Dinner $30.10
· KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burger Restaurant Week Mixer
· Kokomo’s Steak and Seafood- Dinner $50.10
· L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon- Dinner $50.10
· L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon’s Tease in the Kitchen
· LAVO- Dinner $50.10
· LEMONGRASS THAI RESTAURANT- Lunch and Dinner $30.10
· Marche Bacchus- Dinner $50.10
· Marssa- Dinner $50.10
· Martorano’s- Dinner $50.10
· Mesa Grill- Lunch $30.10
· Mesa Grill- Dinner $50.10
· MICHAEL MINA at Bellagio- Dinner $50.10
· miX- Dinner $50.10
· MOzen Bistro Lunch
· MOzen Bistro- Dinner $50.10
· Nine Fine Irishmen-Lunch and Dinner $30.10
· Nobhill Tavern by Michael Mina- Dinner $50.10
· Onda- Dinner $30.10
· Onda- Dinner $50.10
· Origin India Dinner- $50.10
· Osteria del Circo at Bellagio- Dinner $50.10
· Panevino Ristorante- DInner $50.10
· Pearl- Dinner $50.10
· Prime Steakhouse at Bellagio- Dinner $50.10
· Rao’s- Dinner $50.10
· Rao’s- Lunch $20.10
· Rick Moonen’s rm seafood- Dinner $50.10
· Roy’s Flamingo- Dinner $50.10
· Roy’s Summerlin- Dinner $50.10
· Sage- Dinner $50.10
· Samba Brazilian Steakhouse- Dinner $50.10
· Seablue by Michael Mina- Dinner $50.10
· Seablue’s Chef Stephen Hopcraft Presents: The Perfect Paella
· Sensi at Bellagio- Dinner $50.10
· Shanghai Lilly- Dinner $50.10
· Shibuya’s Birufest 2010 – A Celebration of Japanese Beer
· Shibuya- Dinner $50.10
· Shibuya Teppanyaki- Dinner $50.10
· Smith & Wollensky-Dinner
· Stack- Dinner $50.10
· Steakhouse 46- Dinner $50.10
· Stratta- Dinner $50.10
· Stratta- Starlight Menu 10:30PM-6:00AM- $30.10
· Society Cafe- Lunch $20.10
· Strip House- Dinner $50.10
· StripSteak- Dinner $30.10
· StripSteak- Dinner $50.10
· Studio Cafe- Breakfast $20.10
· Sushi Roku-Dinner $50.10
· Sushi Roku- Lunch $20.10
· Tacos and Tequila – Lunch $30.10
· Tacos and Tequila – Dinner $30.10
· TAO- Dinner $50.10
· Tender Steak & Seafood – Dinner $50.10
· The Capital Grille- Lunch $30.10
· The Capital Grille- Dinner $50.10
· The Steak House At Circus Circus- Dinner $50.10
· Todd English’s OLiVES at Bellagio – Lunch $30.10
· Todd English’s OLiVES at Bellagio – Dinner $50.10
· Todds Unique Dining- Dinner $30.10
· Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak- Dinner $50.10
· Craftsteak’s A Night of High Spirits
· Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar – Dinner $30.10
· Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar- Dinner $50.10
· Union- Dinner $50.10
· Valentino- Dinner $50.10
· Verandah- Dinner $50.10
· Vintner Grill- Dinner $50.10
· Wet Republic’s Wet Your Appetite
· WOLFGANG PUCK BAR & GRILL- Dinner $50.10
· Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant and Lounge at Bellagio- Dinner $50.10

Each restaurant can elect to participate at one of the following sponsorship levels of their choice. This level determines the cover price per meal they will donate to Three Square during Restaurant Week.
· $4 Silver Spoon Participant
· $5 Gold Plate Participant
· $6 Platinum Platter Participant

We will be making the rounds that week and hope to see many of you out and about !

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Speech and Language Development Center in California holds a "cellar raid " at the home of Ilene and Jim Harker in Newport Beach to benefi

Date: Thu, Aug 12, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Wine is about sharing and in many cases giving. Ilene and Jim Harker reside in fashionable Newport Beach , California and have been giving back for many years.

The Harker's have allowed their cellar to be "raided " for many years with all of the proceeds going to the Speech Language Development Center. The story of SLDC began in 1955 in a home in Long Beach, California. In that living room, two speech therapists, Aleen Agranowitz and Gladys Gleason, began working with three parents and their children who had speech, language, learning and behavior problems. They had been lost in a maze of misdiagnoses. The children were diagnosed as aphasic - a term little used with children at the time.

During the summer of 1975, trustees of the Centralia School District agreed to lease the Oro Grande Elementary School campus to SLDC. For the first time in 21 years, children from the preschool, elementary and secondary levels were all housed at one location. In 1979, the Center moved to another district school, Mira Linda - our present location.

Today the Buena Park program serves 340 students with multiple challenges in language, learning and behavior. Children range in age from 3 months to 21 years. Special services support the daily classroom program. SLDC serves as a vendor for public schools, Regional Center and other public agencies.

In 2000 the Center negotiated a 27-year lease with Centralia School District. This engendered an expansion plan and a capital fund drive. An important dream has been fulfilled with the addition of 11 new classrooms and office space.

Today a busy Center swarms with children, therapists and teachers. It is a hubbub of learning and activity. It is a setting of warmth and friendliness where children and parents are important - the early goal of helping three language-handicapped children reach their potential has expanded to many hundreds - without losing the importance of one individual.

Speech and Language Development Center (SLDC) is a non-profit school and therapy center located in Buena Park and serving Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. More than 220 staff members provide programs and services for 340 students, ages 6 months through 21 years. Most students have multiple handicapping conditions. All programs and services are available on campus.

Speech and Language Development Center's program for infants, toddlers, preschoolers and students through grade 6 is known as the Jolin Program. Jolin features several Full Inclusion classes. This innovative setting, where regular and special education students share the same classroom, has tremendous benefits for all students in these classes. In addition, Full Inclusion classes create an opportunity for challenged and typically-developing siblings to attend the same school.

The Eric Program of SLDC, for students ages 4-21, was named after Evelyn Erickson, an early special education pioneer in Orange County. Unlike the Jolin Program, the Eric Program serves only students with challenges and provides a more individualistic approach to tailor each student's program within the classroom setting.

SLDC offers the following clinical services to private clients and the general public:

* Speech/Language Evaluation Speech/Language Therapy
* Augmentative and Alternative Communication Evaluation
* Social Communication Training
* Occupational Therapy Evaluation
* Occupational Therapy
* Physical Therapy
* Counseling
* Neurofeedback

The Speech-Language Therapy Department provides group and individual therapy for adults who have sustained speech and language deficits (aphasia) resulting from stroke or other types of brain injury or disease processes.

The Harker's cellar has one of the best collection of wines we have seen in quite a while. The winning bids could have their choice to "raid " the cellar first and when we did a walk through there would be many amazing wines to think about which wine you would pick first. Several thousand bottles in various sizes and large formats were available. Highlights included Silver Oak , Chateau Latour , Chateau Cheval Blanc , Chateau Rauzan Segla , Sea Smoke , Gaja and Tokaji Essencia just to name a few.

Guests were greeted at the Harker's lovely Newport beach home with a magnificent La Grande Dame Brut Champagne 1998 to get the evening started. We took a walk around the pool and explored the Harker Cooler that consisted of many fine wines and the Mi Casa / Su Casa wines which were available for sharing , research and enjoyment. We managed to "research"and share a Markham Vineyard 1996 Bordeaux blend and a few others as well.

The Auction began and the dollars started rolling in as guests bid for the opportunity to raid this wonderful collection of wines. 100% of the live auction funds were donated to the SLDC. The etched , vertical "big dogs" were some of the first to go as the bid paddles were raised and the auction continued with many fine and historic wines leaving the cellar.

Food and Wine have been together for thousands of years and this event at the Harker's home was no exception.
Antonellos's Ristorante pulled out all the stops for some pretty delicious Italian dishes. Since 1979 Antonello Ristorante has captured the essence of Old World authenticity with a new Italian cuisine - Cucina Nostalgica Italiana

Antonello's passed Hors d' Oeuvres melted our mouth with Focaccia di Recco , Gamberi e Prosciutto , Tonno Marinato , Salsiccia alla Griglia and Arancine kept the guests coming back for more.

The Antipasto from this well known local Italian eatery was next up for us and we were not disappointed.

Grigliata D' ortaggi and Insalata Caprese stood out for us as they tantalized our palates for what was yet to come.

Penne al Pomodoro , Fusilli alla Bolognese , Osso Buco , Salmone and Green Vegetable Broccoli
were the main courses and they really showed why Antonello's has the fine reputation it does.

Restaurant critics the world over have admired Antonello's expansive menu of antipastos, soups, salads and fresh pasta dishes and we can certainly see why. They feature ample variety of exceptional fish, poultry, veal and beef entrees and an award-winning wine list boasts more than 700 foreign and domestic labels.

Antonello's has many awards including the Golden Scepter award from the So. California Restaurant Writers for an unprecedented 10 consecutive years and the AAA Four Diamond Award for 11 consecutive years. The American Academy of Hospitality Science's Five Star Diamond was awarded to Antonello for "...commitment to hospitality in all aspects of its daily operation." Zagat Guide says, "Orange County's Best Italian ...even worth the drive from L.A.

The auction "wined" down and people returned to their tables , Many with their "trophies " of the night. Some of the winners were gracious enough to share some of the wines that that had "raided" from the cellar. In our case we had the honor to share a large format Chateau Rauzan Segla Margaux 1976 with the winning bidder. What a wonderful experience with very generous people. After all , wine is all about sharing.

This annual cellar raid is a wonderful and fun way to raise money for a great organization that has been around for over 50 years and helped many many people and change their lives. We raise our glass to Ilene and Jim Harker and the Board of the Speech Language Development Center and say thank you for a job well done . Cheers !

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VINO LAS VEGAS visits the 26th Annual Central Coast Wine Classic along California's picturesque coast line

Date: Mon, Aug 9, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

For over 26 years the Central Coast Wine Classic has been supporting the arts of the Central Coast of California. With events being held all over the Central Coast guests are able to take a food and wine journey that will be remembered long after they have returned home.

Starting with a Dinner at Hearst Castle in San Simeon featuring Chef Emeril Lagassee and Tory McPhail of Commander's Palace and Susan Spicer of Bayona, with Michael Hutchings of Santa Barbara presenting the hors d'ouevres, coordinated by Chef James Sly's Team, six courses with matching wines from Vintner Dignitaries, including Champagne Deutz guests get started on their amazing Central Coast journey.

The Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa is a Hub of activity as the headquarters of this 4 day event. Legendary dinners like the Paulee/Bring-Your-Own Special Bottle and winery dinners all over the Central Coast delight guests with Food and Wine pairings that leave their senses wanting more.

For those who want an education over the weekend , The Central Coast Wine classic offers many Symposiums such as Champagne Deutz with Fabrice Rosset , Riedel Glass with none other than Georg Riedel himself and a journey through Italy with Christy Canterbury from Italian Wine Merchants in New York just to name a few.

Of course this event is about giving back and the Rare & Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction, Silent Auction and Luncheon is where the "big" items are . Guest can bid on Vintage wines , one of a kind art , jewelry and trips to exotic locations around the world. All of these wonderful items are auctioned to support the chosen organizations for the year.

This is a fantastic event that any foodie or wine enthusiasts would enjoy . We know that we certainly did and plan to be back next year.

Join Elaine and Scott from VINO LAS VEGAS and The Cuisineist as we take you on a 6 min journey into the 26th Annual Central Coast Wine Classic !

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A VINO LAS VEGAS focus on Archie McLaren Chairman and Founder of the Central Coast Wine Classic

Date: Sun, Aug 8, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

We have been very fortunate over the many years we have been covering food and wine events to meet many great people from all over the world.
Recently, we met Archie McLaren and attended the 26th Annual Central Coast Wine Classic at the Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa in Shell Beach , California.

This was an event like none other we have attended. Its focus on education was unparalleled and we were overwhelmed by the quality and diversity of the events held all over the Central Coast.

We have focused on events , Chefs and Winemakers over the years. We have never did a focus piece on one particular person that was not either of the above until now. Archie McLaren exemplifies the world of food and wine. He is a true Renaissance man in every sense of the word and was truly an honor to be in his presence.

He is no stranger to the world of fine cuisine and rare wine. He is the founding Bailli of the Central Coast Chapter of the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseurs, a member of the Wine & Food Society of San Francisco, the San Francisco Chapter of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin and the Marin County Chapter of the International Wine & Food Society. He is the former Cellarmaster of the Avila Bay Wine Society, and the former President of the Central Coast Wine Society.

He has served as Chairman/Executive Director of both the San Luis Obispo Vintners & Growers Association and the Paso Robles Westside Grand Crew. He is one of only two Americans inducted into the Austrian Wine Brotherhood, and one of the few Americans inducted into the Commanderie des Bontemps - Medoc et Graves & Sauternes et Barsac of Bordeaux in France. He has recently joined the Wine Committee of COPIA, the American Center for Wine Food & the Arts.

Archie has long been associated with charitable wine auctions. Not only did he serve for many years as the American Institute of Wine & Food's Rare & Fine Wine and Auction Consultant, he also served as a Director on its National Board. He is the Founder & Chairman of the Central Coast Wine Classic, a prestigious and comprehensive food and wine event, held each year in July and in its twenty-third year, which boasts Wine Spectator among its many significant sponsors. With auction proceeds often approaching or exceeding $1,000,000, the Central Coast Wine Classic is one of America's most successful charity wine auctions.

The Central Coast Wine Classic not only promotes the wine, culinary and hospitality industries, it also confers substantive proceeds upon a continually expanding number of healing, performing and studio arts organizations on the Central Coast of California.

Archie has assisted in launching charity auctions in Washington, D.C., Honolulu, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Mendocino, San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara. His partner in life, Carissa Chappellet, an owner of Chappellet Winery in the Napa Valley and the winery's ambassador, and he have served as Chairs of the WYES Public Television Auction in New Orleans and are frequent donors to charitable wine auctions throughout the United States.

Archie is frequently invited to attend tastings of rare and collectible wines throughout the country and has participated in comprehensive vertical tastings of Chateaux d'Yquem, Latour, Cos d'Estournel, Leoville Las Cases and Cheval Blanc, as well as La Tache, Hermitage La Chapelle, Penfolds Grange, Vega Sicilia Unico, and Beaulieu Vineyards Georges de Latour Private Reserve, among a number of others. A long-time Champagne aficionado who has attended many tastings of rare Champagnes, Archie was Founder and Director of the International Festival of Methode Champenoise.

On San Luis Obispo & Santa Barbara Public Radio KCBX, Archie has hosted a fine wine program, the Wine Drinker's Guide to Indulgence, for twenty-three years, and has been a writer on fine wine for Adventure's in Dining, the San Luis Obispo Telegram-Tribune, New Times and Santa Barbara Magazine.

His education includes a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University, a Juris Doctor of Law degree from the University of Memphis, and post-graduate studies in Humanities, English Literature and International Marketing at various universities.

Archie McLaren is involved in an array of civic activities, both in the arts and in the community in general. He has received the San Luis Obispo Visitors & Convention Bureau's Annual Tourism Award. He has twice served as the President of the Board of Directors of the San Luis Obispo Mozart Festival, and as a member of the Board of the San Luis Obispo County Arts Council. He was the Chairman of the Avila Beach Front Street Enhancement Committee that designed the promenade and park for the rejuvenation of the community of Avila Beach and is now the Chair of the committee that approves new projects for Avila Beach prior to their being approved at the county level.

His many accomplishments have resulted in his continuing inclusion in Who's Who in Media & Communications, Who's Who in the West, Who's Who in America and Who's Who in the World.

Archie McLaren and writer, painter, photographer, musician, adventurer, Carissa Chappellet, live in Avila Beach, Big Sur, and Napa, California, where they enjoy hiking, bicycling and a variety of water and court sports.

The Central Coast Wine event will be on our calendar for next year. If you are in the trade or even an enthusiast of food and wine , this event should not be missed .

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The Central Coast Wine Classic Rare & Fine Wine Lifestyle Auction in Avila Beach breaks previous record

Date: Sun, Aug 8, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

For 26 years The Central Coast Wine Classic Foundation's Board members, Stephanie Harkness of Santa Cruz, James Hathaway of San Luis Obispo, Alfred Griffith of San Luis Obispo, Carissa Chappellet of Big Sur and Archie McLaren of Avila Beach have done a tremendous service to the people of the Central Coast of California.

The Foundation awards monies from the Central Coast Wine Classic to fund grants on specific projects for non-profits from San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties whose purposes and missions involve the studio arts, the performing arts and the healing arts. Grants are awarded in the Fall following that year's Wine Classic. Beneficiaries are determined by early January preceding that year's Wine Classic.

From net proceeds from the Wine Classic, the Foundation funds specific projects for 501(c)3 non-profit corporations in San Luis Obispo County and Santa Barbara County whose missions are in the Healing, Performing or Studio Arts.

Over the past six years the Foundation has conferred grants totaling $1,370,025 to 62 such non-profits. Grants for 2010 will be conferred in early October in San Luis Obispo.

For 2010, the Board has chosen the following beneficiaries: Adelaida Historical Foundation, Paso Robles; Ballet Theatre San Luis Obispo; Cognitive Fitness & Innovative Therapies, Santa Barbara; Community Action Partnership of San Luis Obispo County Adult Day Services Program, San Luis Obispo; Court Appointed Special Advocates of San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo; Food Bank Coalition of San Luis Obispo County, Paso Robles; God's Haven for Children, San Luis Obispo;

Maxine Lewis Memorial Shelter, San Luis Obispo; North County Dance & Performing Arts Foundation, Paso Robles; Pacific Wildlife Care, Morro Bay; San Luis Obispo County Historical Society, San Luis Obispo; Studios on the Park, Paso Robles; United Cerebral Palsy Work, Inc, Santa Barbara.

The Annual Fund-A-Need Auction Lot will inure to the benefit of the Senior Nutrition Program of San Luis Obispo County, San Luis Obispo.

The fog was lifting away revealing a beautiful day in Avila Beach. As we walked down the hill from the Avila Beach Golf club to the bright yellow and white tents we could not help but wonder at the beauty of this section of California's Central Coast.

We found our table and proceeded to the Silent Auction area. As guests walked up and down aisle after aisle of vintage wines one could not help but be caught up in all of the action. Several lots of vintage Margeaux wines was sure to catch your eye as well as individual German and Austrian wines that dated back to vintages from the 1970's.

The Silent auction was not just about fine wines but also included Diamond bracelets , one of a kind art pieces of every discipline imaginable . If those were not of interest there were trips , cruises and dinners to almost any destination in the world you could imagine. The live auction was "lively" to say the least with large winning bids for art , trips , wine and dinners which proceeds went to the very worthy causes chosen this year.

Guests would not go hungry as they were bidding on many magnificent lots of fine art , wine , world wide travel and even a Lexus. Chef Ian Mc Phee of Mc Phee's Grill at The Avila Beach Golf Resort created and presented us with a magnificent luncheon.

San Luis Opispo Antipasto :

Happy Acres Family Farm Warm Goat Chesse
Fresh Mozzarella
Grilled Peppers & Onion Agrodolce
Grilled Artichokes
Assorted Olives and Breads

Salmon Cake & Butter Lettuce Salad

Heirloom Tomatoes & Lemon Tarragon Dressing

Oak Grilled New York Steak

Italian Salsa Verde & White Bean Salad

Profiterole with Fresh Berries

Junes Honey & Ricotta Cheese

The Central Coast Rare and Fine Wine & Lifestyle Auction really impressed us in many ways. This auction really showed what the "food and wine lifestyle " is. It is about enjoying and sharing fine wines and food in wonderful venues as you make new acquaintances. In addition , by attending and bidding , you give back. And in our opinion that is the MOST important aspect of the whole "food and wine lifestyle".

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The "King of Crystal" Georg Riedel gives guests at the Central Coast Wine Classic an education on glass and wine at the Dolphin Bay Resort

Date: Sun, Aug 8, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

The Central Coast Wine Classic strives to educate the public on the symbiotic relationship between food and wine, by offering various wine education classes.

VINO LAS VEGAS attended a stemware class with the man that Wine Spectator addresses as, “The King of Crystal”, Georg Riedel. Mr. Riedel is the 10th generation of the world’s most outstanding glassmakers. The name Riedel represents superb quality stemware producing some 5. 1 million lead-crystal wineglasses a year.

Riedel produces glasses designed for specific wine types. With the correct stemware, one can find the true varietal expression. By designing glasses that enhance the palate, Mr. Riedel pinpoints that variations in the rim shape of his stemware can maximize or minimize the various zones of the palate that enhance sweetness, bitterness, sour, or saltiness.

If a wine is known for strong red fruit notes, a specific wine glass can bring forth the beauty and complexity of those characteristics while minimizing other qualities . The shape and rim of the various stemwares can aid in elevating the different flavors and aromas of a specific varietal. Robert Parker Jr in The Wine Advocate stated, after trying the Sommelier Series "that the effect of these glasses on fine wine is profound

I cannot emphasize enough what a difference they make.” We agreed with Mr. Parker as we had the rare privilege to partake in a tasting with Georg Riedel guiding us through the Vitis Series of stemware. Each participant was given a Chardonnay/Montrachet, a Riesling, Cabernet, Merlot, and a Pinot Noir glass on a piece of white paper that indicated where to place each one of the glasses.

We began with the Riesling a glass with an outstanding Riesling from Claiborne and Churchill. We tilted our glass and swirled the wine to release the esters, we put our nose into the center of the glass to smell the aromas and then took a sip, only when indicated by Mr. Riedel. After trying the wine in the specific Riesling glass we poured the wine into a plastic cup and then poured a bit of the wine into the Chardonnay glass.

The Chardonnay glass diminished some of the minerality and floral notes of the Claiborne and Churchill Riesling. We were sold on the fact that the using the correct stemware for the varietal makes an incredible difference in wine drinking and its experience.

Many people spend a great deal of time and money in purchasing excellent wines. Mr. Riedel ‘s mission is to also bring the understanding that the investment one makes in the purchase and care for the wine, should also be reciprocal in the stemware that the investment is poured into.

As we went through each carefully crafted stemware with the proper Central Coast and Napa Valley wines, we were amazed and delighted that the wine experience can be elevated to such an outstanding and enjoyable experience. We were honored to share time with a true wineglass legend. Georg Riedel’s passion to educate and produce the best stemware available to the public leaves us with a big salute to the man who is truly the “King of Crystal.”

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The Central Coast Wine Classic and Celebrity Chef Emeril Legasse team up for a mouth watering luncheon overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Date: Sun, Aug 1, 2010 Wine Tasting Winery Blogs Wine Business

Central Coast Wine Classic at the magnificent Dolphin Bay Resort and Spa in Shell Beach California is a 4 day culinary and wine journey that promotes education and the arts for the Central Coast of California. For over 20 years this event has raised funds for the arts and brings together food and wine lovers from across the country for the common good of many.

As the “sea smoke” rolled across the rolling hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, we again were reminded of the special terrior that makes up this unique growing area for superb wines and agriculture

For those visiting the area, a deep appreciation and love develops for the bounty that the Central Coast offers. Our four days of enjoying the pristine beauty and produce of this region began with culinary icon Emeril Lagasse. Being an advocate for the “farm to table” movement for years, Emeril shares an affinity with this region. We were privileged to enjoy a luncheon with this great American Chef and entrepreneur.

As the tables were set up under the white tents, the participants checked into the event to partake of the cuisine prepared by the premier chef.

Emeril came into the event with much fanfare and then explained the menu as one that would incorporate sustainable and organic ingredients. Hosting the event was Narsai David, who offered many interesting insights on the culinary culture of the Central Coast while assisting Emeril during the presentation. Au Bon Climat, Clendenen Family Vineyards, Jim Clendenen vintner provided the amazing wines that paired well with each dish.

Our first dish was that of seared diver scallops with oranges, olives, capers and fennel puree. This was paired this Au Bon Climat 2003 Bien Nacido Vineyard “Santa Barbara Historic” Vineyards Collection” Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay.

The main course was a roasted chicken with sorrel cream sauce. The sorrel blended a mustardy tanginess to the buttery cream sauce. The Au Bon Climat 2006 Pinot Noir was a good match for this hardy yet delicate dish of lovely roasted chicken and cream sauce.

Our third and final course was a Rustic Blackberry Cobbler that was prepared with locally grown organic blackberries. This dessert was sumptuous and slightly tart, pairing well with the Caro Lorenzo Aleatico.

For those who are not familiar with an Aleatico, it is an Italian red grape that creates wines that have a rich, well-rounded sweetness. When fortified as liquorices, Aleatico, can be served like a port.

After Chef Lagasse carefully explained how to prepare each dish for our much awaited luncheon, he then answered questions from the audience. One question that was asked is, “What preparation do you recommend for a young person who would like to become a chef.” Chef Emeril was quick to point out that the industry is one in which you will work long hours when others are not working. You must have passion and desire and discipline to succeed at this industry. Exposure to the restaurant industry is a must along with a great culinary education ,personal passion and focused discipline to be a successful chef .

Chef Emeril became a culinary icon by living what he believes. We were glad to catch up with Emeril again this lovely venue. His love for sustainable, organic , local food came across to the adoring foodie fans and we were glad to apart of this special educational and delicious luncheon.

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