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On Food & Wine
The Scent of Sicily, from Stefano Versace’s Gelateria Italiana in Miami International Mall, wins People’s Choice at Gelato World Tour Grand Finale, Rimini PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Friday, 26 September 2014 22:13

stefano versace gelateriaStefano Versace, who placed 2nd last year during the American leg of the Gelato World Tour (Austin, Texas, May 9th – 11th, 2014), presented the flavor The Scent of Sicily at the Gelato World Tour Grand Finale in Rimini, Italy . He was among 24 contenders, each a winner of a leg of the Gelato World Tour (Rome, Melbourne, Austin, Berlin, Dubai, Valencia, Vancouver).

The gelato flavor, a deconstructed Sicilian cannoli made with fresh organic ricotta cheese, organic almonds, pistachio from Sicily, candied fruit, aromatized with the zest of organic blood orange and Sicilian lemon, and swirled with creamy caramel, received the people’s choice highest score and was awarded the People’s Honorable Mention.

Stefano Versace, an insurance broker in his family’s firm in Calabria,– no relations with the famous designer –  left Italy to try his luck in the New World. “In November 2012, Italy’s economy was suffering, and my wife and I realized it wasn’t the right place to do business.  We both wanted to earn our living doing a job we liked, a job that would make happy both us and our customers. The world of gelato, which had always fascinated us, appeared to be the best solution. What makes people happier than a good gelato?” – said Stefano Versace who then took the required courses at the Carpigiani University of Gelato in Bologna.
After five years in Caracas, Venezuela, Stefano and his wife moved to Miami, FL where they opened their gelato shop Versace Gelateria Italiana & Gourmet in Miami International Mall. Soon customers flocked, attracted by the quality of their product. “Traffic increased in the Mall thanks to us and we became a benchmark not only for many local people but also for the others gelato shops,” said Versace the gelato artisan. “ After all, Versace is synonymous with quality!”   he laughed.
More than 70,000 people attended the Grand Finale of the Gelato World Tour in Rimini on 5-7 September. The 24 gelato artisans - who won the stages in Rome, Valencia, Melbourne, Dubai, Austin and Berlin - produced about 6,500 kg of gelato and more than 70,000 cups and cones were sold in these three days in Piazza Fellini.
The final result was based on four different juries: public, technical, press/blogger and gelato artisans. The World's Best Gelato is Almond Affogato by John & Sam Crowl of “Cow and the Moon” Gelato/Coffee/Dessert Bar in Sydney, Australia.
For additional information on Gelato  World Tour log on to http://www.gelatoworldtour.com
Italy has 39,000 gelato shopsGermany 9,000, and Spain 2,000 (total 50,000 in Europe).  North America, Asia, and Oceania lag far behind with 900 in the US, over 1,000 in Japan, around 200 in Australia, 300 in the Middle East, and 500 more split between China and Southeast Asia.


Last Updated on Friday, 26 September 2014 22:22
Quake Damage and Spilled Wine in Napa, A Video PDF Print E-mail
Written by Sean Patrick Farrell, NYTimes   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 01:12


Click here for a  VIDEO BY Sean Patrick Farrell for the NYTimes


The cleanup continues in the Napa Valley as wineries assess the damage after a 6.0 earthquake shook the area early Sunday.

Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, wine nobility, dies at 80 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Douglas Martin, NYTimes   
Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:49




Baroness Philippine de Rothschild, a scion of the vaunted winemaking family in Bordeaux who helped modernize and expand a renowned wine-producing enterprise that sells 22 million bottles annually, died on Saturday in Paris. She was 80.

The baroness moved from a career as an actress into the lead role in her family business, producing some of the world’s most renowned Bordeaux.

Read more in the NYTimes....


Last Updated on Thursday, 28 August 2014 00:55
South Beach Seafood Festival, October 22 through 25. PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG   
Wednesday, 27 August 2014 00:58

Hess Select South Beach Seafood Festival, October 22 through 25. Throughout the weekend, attend various events and enjoy items like lobster mac, mahi sliders, full raw bars, oysters on a half shell, steak & lobster tails for a delicious surf & turf treat, fresh wahoo, clams with linguini, pounds of stone crabs to kick off the season, and more!  Click to Purchase Tickets Today,

Wednesday, October 22 @6:30PM – Joe’s Stone Crab Kickoff Dinner, $500

Thursday, October 23 @6:30PM – Seafood Shuffle, a Wine & Dine Around $ 50

Friday, October 24 @ 7 - 11 p.m. – Chef Showdown @ Seafood & Sneakers Ball $ 150

Saturday October 25 @ 1-9PMSOBE Seafood Festival, General admission $25, Seafood lovers pass $50 and  Premier All- Access Pass $ 150

Thousands of French Chefs Sign Petition to Ban Negative Online Reviews PDF Print E-mail
Written by Khushbu Shah   
Tuesday, 26 August 2014 23:23


by Khushbu Shah, EATER.COM   

In the wake of a negative review in July, a restaurant in Cap-Ferret, France took a food blogger to court over her critique. She was fined thousands of Euros even though she was an amateur, unpaid blogger.

As a result, a group of French restaurateurs and hoteliers have launched a petition to effectively ban all "defamatory" reviews. The petition (translated), which the Local writes was started by Michelin-starred chef Pascal Favre d'Anne, currently has well over 1,700 signatures. It requests that the Minister of Commerce prohibit "judging and of posting defamatory comments and subjective observations on members of staff in our restaurants. We ask reviewing sites to moderate their users and to ask for proof of their visits to our establishments."

Restaurateurs and hoteliers are frustrated with sites like TripAdvisor and Yelp where anyone can comment, regardless of whether or not they actually visited the establishment. A pub owner tells Le Figaro (translated) that he knows a "direct competitor [who] pays students for writing negative comments" about his business. Those who have signed the petition — including chef Jean-Luc Rabanel of the famed L'atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel — want the government to set some basic standard of review ethics. The chefs may have a point: A French study found that "nearly 45 percent of online reviews were biased or simply untrue."



Seven tips for Planning a Wine Vacation PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Green   
Thursday, 14 August 2014 19:56

By Michael Green 

It's August, and for many of us, that means vacation time! For the wine lovers among us, its certainly convenient that many of the world's great wine producing regions are located close to prime vacation destinations. In San Francisco? It's a quick trip to Napa Valley and Sonoma. Love Champagne? Great! The region is only an hour and a half from Paris. Want to explore the hills of Tuscany? Rent a car, it's only 45 minutes from Florence. While it's great to savor a bottle of wine that transports you to a specific place, there's no substitute for visiting that place. So with that in mind, here are some tips on how to plan a memorable wine trip, whether it's a day in wine country or a week at that villa you rented in Tuscany.

1. Do your research
There is so much fantastic information on the web to help you plan a wine vacation. For starters, you can look at trade bureau websites for nearly any wine region in the world. These will help you familiarize yourself with the regions and wines in areas you will be traveling, and will also include a phone number and email to contact for more information. There are many companies that will offer their services - generally at a significant expense - to plan your wine itinerary for you. With all the resources available online, you'll most often be better off doing the research yourself. You'll probably derive more enjoyment from a customized experience based on what you've learned yourself, plus you'll save money that is likely better spent on bringing home a few extra bottles from the highlights of your trip!

2. Plan early
While you can easily just show up at a large Napa Valley winery like Robert Mondavi and hop on a tour, if you dig deeper you can find hidden wineries with smaller, more artisanal productions off the beaten path. Plan early and it can often be the owner or winemaker who actually gives you the tour. If you've ever been to Napa before, you know: it's fabulous, it's expensive, and it's touristy - it's like Disney World. So, while it can be worth the trip, next time, consider Sonoma, where more personal experiences await. Just look up my friend Clay Mauritson of Mauritson Vineyards - if you plan early you can arrange some very special experiences.

3. Don't forget to eat
Just because it's called "wine" country doesn't mean your need forego wonderful food! The duo of food and drink can go hand in hand on your vacation, just as they would at your favorite restaurant back home. Many wineries are home to fabulous farm to table restaurants, or at the very least they can give you recommendations for their favorite in-the-know haunts.

4. Don't drink and drive
This of course applies anytime alcohol is involved, but in particular, people tend to underestimate how sipping your way across wine country over a full day can sneak up on you. If you don't have a designated driver in your group, consider taking a chauffeur service from vineyard to vineyard.


5. Don't buy wine at a vineyard if it's available locally
While it might go against common sense, a wine at retail will generally cost less than buying it at the winery. There are times, though, when even large producers found in stores across the country will offer certain bottlings that can only be purchased at the winery. For example, at Rodney Strong Vineyards, this well-known producer of Cabernet, Merlot, Zinfandel, Chardonnay, and more, crafts an awe-inspiring Malbec that can only be found at the vineyard. In those cases, for sure, take home a bottle or a case!

6. Choose a region whose wines you are already passionate about
While discovery is of course part of the excitement of a wine vacation, this does not mean you need to spend a week in a region whose wines are mostly unfamiliar to you. Even in the best known regions, places you think you know and have tried it all, there are sure to be hidden places and discoveries along the way that will deepen your appreciation for the region, and provide exciting experiences.

7. If you have a strong relationship with a wine shop, tell them about your trip
I've talked before about the importance of developing a good relationship with salesperson you trust at a wine shop you frequent. There are many reasons for this, and one of them is the help they can provide when you're planning a trip to a wine region. They most likely have relationships with a number of the wineries where you plan to travel and can both give you tips on where to visit, and hook you up with deals you wouldn't normally come across.

There's a lot that can go into planning a wine vacation, but now more than ever, with the resources available online and more wineries catering to the visiting public, it's possible to put together a trip that can be a deeply enriching experience, and one to remember.

Connect with Michael : This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Last Updated on Thursday, 14 August 2014 20:08
Sam Sifton to head new ‘Food’ desk at New York Times PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 04 August 2014 23:55

The New York Times is creating a new department called Food to be edited by former national editor and restaurant critic Sam Sifton. http://cooking.nytimes.com/

Last Updated on Monday, 04 August 2014 23:56
Master Sommelier Virginia Philip appointed NYY Steak Wine Consultant at Seminole Casino Coconut Creek PDF Print E-mail
Written by SFG   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 23:53


viginia philip Virginia Philip, the 11th woman in the world to be named Master Sommelier, has been named Wine Consultant for NYY Steak at the Seminole Casino Coconut Creek.

Philip will officially be presented as Wine Consultant at an elite Laurent-Perrier Champagne Dinner, to be held Friday, August 22, 2014 at 7 pm.  The dinner is $125 per person, and will include a four course premium cuisine series, accompanied by complimentary champagne selections.

Philip has added more than 100 new labels to the restaurant's offerings thus far, and plans to continue to enhance the restaurant's list.  In addition, Philip will be securing high profile vintners to host two major events over the next year at NYY Steak.

In 2002, Virginia Philip became the 11th woman in the world to earn the accreditation of Master Sommelier, the highest certification of international proficiency (today there are only 26 women out of 206 professionals worldwide).  She has won the title of "Best Sommelier of the United States" from the American Sommelier Association, and has sat on the Board of Directors for the Court of Master Sommeliers. She was a James Beard Foundation nominee for Outstanding Wine & Spirits Professional in 2012.

In addition to her work with NYY Steak, Philip is Master Sommelier for The Breakers Palm Beach and owns the Virginia Philip Wine Shop & Academy off Clematis Street in the heart of downtown West Palm Beach.

Malibu Coast receives AVA - American Viticultural Area - status PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 21:33
















According to the TTB "Establishment of the Malibu Coast Viticultural Area" report for official AVA boundaries,  Malibu Coast  has been officially classified as Malibu Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA)

Elliott Dolin, proprietor of Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards, is pleased to join 51 other Malibu-based wine grape growers who today become classified as part of the official Malibu Coast American Viticultural Area (AVA). In 2011 Dolin helped initiate the AVA application, a three-year process that concluded this week.

"This is a historic day because the formation of the Malibu Coast AVA finally allows wines from Malibu to identify a 'sense of place' on their labels," says Dolin. "Malibu is world-famous, yet very few people are aware of our wine grape growing history which dates back two centuries. While people sunbathe on the beaches, up here in the hills, our vines have been catching some rays of their own."

The region is approximately 46 miles long and 8 miles wide, comprised mainly of the Santa Monica Mountains with 198 acres of vines in production. Elevations range from sea level to 3,111-feet atop Sandstone Peak. The coastal, Mediterranean climate heavily influences the region, offering a large diurnal shift from day to night, with warm dry summers and cool, moist winters. The National Agricultural Statistics Service's "California Grape Acreage Report Crop 2012" documented the most widely planted varietals in Los Angeles County as Cabernet Sauvignon (54 acres), Syrah (15 acres), Merlot (13 acres), and Chardonnay (six acres). The Malibu Coast AVA is also home to two previously established appellations, Saddle-Rock Malibu and Malibu-Newton Canyon.

The Dolin Malibu Estate Vineyards www.dolinestate.com parcel is located near the western boundary in the hills above the Pacific Coast Highway. The area is relatively cooler in climate compared to the rest of the AVA, and ideal for growing Chardonnay.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 22 July 2014 21:35
The world’s Most Expensive Foods: a listing PDF Print E-mail
Written by FinancesOnline.com   
Tuesday, 22 July 2014 20:49

Have you tried any of these dishes: Caviar in 24-Karat tins, sushi wrapped in 24-Karat gold leaves, truffle salad, and ‘bacon bling’?


These are just some of the world’s Most Expensive Food and they are listed in the infographic: http://alternatives.financesonline.com/the-most-expensive-food-in-the-world-10-lavish-alternatives-to-your-everyday-dishes/.

Miami Spice Restaurant Months: August 1 - Sept 30, 2014... PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Thursday, 17 July 2014 16:04
Miami Spice: August 1 - Sept 30, 2014...
From August 1 through September 30, Miami Spice Restaurant Month offers 3-course, $23 lunches and $35 dinners at over 122 participating restaurants.
 From August 1 through September 30, Miami Spice Restaurant Month offers 3-course, $23 lunches and $35 dinners at over 122 participating restaurants. Click here for information, and here for a list of participating restaurants  
The 22nd International Mango Festival at Fairchild - Sat July 12-13 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Monday, 07 July 2014 22:59
The 22nd Annual International Mango Festival — Mangos of Colombia
Saturday, July 12, 2014 - Sunday, July 13, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 4:30 PM

This July 12 and 13, 2014, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden will once again celebrate the mango at the 22nd Annual International Mango Festival. Over the two days of the festivities we will celebrate the mango as an object of beauty and admiration, a subsistence crop for the people and as a niche and mainstream commercial fruit of the future.

Two full days of mango festivities ( click here for events ) will feature a wide range of products, ideas and of course the star of our show, the mango itself in all its glory.  Visit the festival to shop Curator Choice mango trees and fresh fruit, enjoy mango lectures and smoothies, view the world's largest display of mangos, take part in the world's only mango auction and buy mango merchandise and botanical art. There will also be mango culinary demonstrations, our one of a kind mango brunch, a fantastic International Fruit Market and fun activities for kids.

15th Annual Mango Brunch  - For Mango Brunch and ticket information, please visit the Mango Brunch Event Page.

Click here to View a video of past Mango Festivals  

Last Updated on Thursday, 17 July 2014 16:04
Good Food Awards announces Open Call For Entries, Jul 7 – Aug 1 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Monday, 07 July 2014 22:51


Who: The Good Food Awards are the first and only national initiative honoring producers across the country for taste, sustainability and social responsibility.  They are organized by Seedling Projects, a ‘do tank’ for the food movement, whose charitable mission is to transform ideas into action to build a better food system.

What: The Good Food Awards announces a call for entries July 7 – August 1.  Food and drink producers from across the country are invited to submit their beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, pickles, preserves, oils, spirits and – new this year – honey.  In celebration of its fifth anniversary and to recognize even more exceptional food crafters, the Good Food Awards is also expanding existing categories to include cider (Beer), kombucha (Pickles), yogurt and kefir (Cheese), preserved fish (Charcuterie) and cocktail modifiers (Spirits).

Winners from each region of the United States are chosen based on meeting the sustainable production criteria for each category and rising to the top in a Blind Tasting.  Held in September, the Blind Tasting brings together 200 food movement leaders, industry experts and journalists (past judges have included Alice Waters, Ruth Reichl, Nell Newman and Michael Pollan) to taste entries from all 50 states.  Finalists will be announced in November 2014 and the winners will be announced at a gala Awards Ceremony on January 8, 2015 in San Francisco, CA.

When: Entry Period for the Good Food Awards is open July 7 through August 1.  To enter, fill out a simple online form at www.goodfoodawards.org and pay the $65 entry fee. Entries are accepted in 11 categories: beer, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, oils, pickles, preserves and spirits.  Additional information and criteria for eligibility available atwww.goodfoodawards.org.

"The Health-Food Diner" – a poem by Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014) PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:31

"The Health-Food Diner" – a poem by  Maya Angelou  

maya angelous 2
(April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014)

maya angelou

No sprouted wheat and soya shoots
And Brussels in a cake,
Carrot straw and spinach raw,
(Today, I need a steak).
Not thick brown rice and rice pilaw
Or mushrooms creamed on toast,
Turnips mashed and parsnips hashed,
(I'm dreaming of a roast).
Health-food folks around the world
Are thinned by anxious zeal,
They look for help in seafood kelp
(I count on breaded veal).
No smoking signs, raw mustard greens,
Zucchini by the ton,
Uncooked kale and bodies frail
                                                                            Are sure to make me run
Loins of pork and chicken thighs
And standing rib, so prime,
Pork chops brown and fresh ground round
(I crave them all the time).
Irish stews and boiled corned beef
and hot dogs by the scores,
or any place that saves a space
For smoking carnivores.



Last Updated on Saturday, 28 June 2014 00:39
June 28 – July 2, Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Event PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Tuesday, 24 June 2014 20:29

June 28 – July 2, Taste of the Caribbean Culinary Event 

A food and beverage event  and competition providing industry professionals with the latest trends and techniques through educational seminars, workshops, tastings and demonstrations. The event culminates with  “the best of the best” in the Caribbean culinary industry : 10 competing teams from Anguilla, Bahamas, Barbados, Bonaire, Curacao, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, Suriname and U.S. Virgin Islands.   Event for Trade and Press

At the Taste of the Islands festival on June 29, a consumer event,  with a variety of gourmet appetizers and desserts, taste signature cocktails and live music from the Caribbean. To register via telephone at (516) 594-4100.www.facebook.com/KTCprNews Hyatt Regency Miami

The 3rd Annual Taste of Doral July 1 through July 31 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Simone Zarmati Diament   
Wednesday, 18 June 2014 18:17


At the 3rd Annual Taste of Doral. July 1 through July 31, foodies will get a taste of Doral’s restaurants.  Participating restaurants  (Visit www.atasteofdoral.com for an up-to-the-minute list of participating restaurants and menus) will offer prix fixe lunch and dinner options without breaking their budget.  Residents and tourists can hop on the nearest Doral Trolley and enjoy a complimentary ride to their the Taste of Doral ™ restaurant of their choice.  “Participating restaurants stops will be mapped out on Doral’s trolleys for easy and fast access”, says Yvonne Rodriguez.

Carolyn Wente of Wente Family Estates Elected Wine Institute Board Chairman PDF Print E-mail
Written by Press Release   
Tuesday, 17 June 2014 19:02

carolyn wenteThe California Wine Institute, the public policy advocacy association representing nearly 1,000 California wineries, announced the election of Carolyn Wente as its 2014-2015 Board Chairman.  She is the 5th member of the Wente family to hold this position since the organization was founded by Herman Wente over 80 years ago in 1933.

In addition to her new duties at Wine Institute, Carolyn is the Chief Executive Officer of Wente Family Estates in Livermore, the country’s oldest, family-run wineries and California’s First Family of Chardonnay. This recognition from her peers is a nice tribute to Carolyn and her many contributions to the wine industry.

The election was held at Wine Institute's 80th Annual Meeting of Members in Half Moon Bay where other board officers elected were: Greg Coleman of E. & J. Gallo Winery in Modesto, first vice chairman; Margie Healy of Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville, second vice chairman; Steve Lohr of J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines in San Jose, treasurer; and Chris Indelicato of Delicato Family Vineyards in Napa, secretary. Robert P. (Bobby) Koch is president and CEO of Wine Institute.

"The 80th anniversary of Wine Institute's establishment marks tremendous growth of California wine from about 14 million cases in 1934 to 272 million in 2013. Wine Institute has supported this growth by promoting and protecting the interests of California wine and all wine in Washington, D.C., all 50 states and the international arena," said Wente. "Preventing punitive taxes and fees, monopoly protection and restrictive trade barriers are part of the vigilant, daily work of Wine Institute. The organization also supports expanding exports, direct-to-consumer shipping, sustainable winegrowing and communicating the values and benefits of the California wine industry. I am honored to chair this vital work with my fellow vintners," she declared.

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Food & Wine Talk Radio

Achile Sassoli, Director of Gelato World Tour
and Gelato Artisans:
James Coleridge, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
Abdelrahman Al Teneji, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
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Mireille Guiliano: Meet Paris Oyster - A love Affair with The Perfect Food


Kate Christensen, author of Blue Plate Special - an Autobiography of my Appetites (Miami Int'l Book Fair, 11/16-23)

Nick Malgieri, author of  Pastry--Foolproof Recipes for the Home Cook.


Jennifer McLagan, author of Bitter: A Taste of the World's Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes 







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