Thursday, September 12, 2013

Thursday Sips & Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I briefly highlight some interesting wine and food items that I have encountered recently.
1) On October 18, The James Beard Foundation visits Boston’s Cyclorama at Boston Center for the Arts for “The Chef’s Table,” a provincial-style gala dinner featuring top culinary talent from Boston and beyond. The official kick-off event for Boston’s Taste America event, a weekend of culinary activities celebrating the Hub’s vibrant culinary scene, the evening will begin with 6:00 pm reception featuring signature cocktails and canapés created by a roster of Boston’s top chefs, including Christopher Coombs (Deuxave, Boston Chops); William Kovel (Catalyst) and Robert Sisca (Bistro du Midi).

At 7:00 pm, guests will have the opportunity to sit with Boston’s favorite culinary luminaries for a lavish meal. The five-course menu will highlight the best of Boston’s culinary scene and was created for the evening by James Beard Foundation Award winners and nominees, including Taste America All-Star Michael Voltaggio (ink; Los Angeles, CA), Boston Host Chefs Lydia Shire (Scampo; Boston, MA) and Brooke Vosika (The Bristol Lounge at Four Season Hotel Boston), as well as Will Gilson (Puritan & Company; Cambridge, MA), Joanne Chang (Flour Bakery, Myers & Chang; Boston, MA) and Dante DeMagistris (Restaurant dante; Cambridge, MA).

Cost: Tickets for the public are on sale now at The James Beard Foundation is proud to donate a portion of the evening's proceeds to Pine Street Inn.
Ticket options include:
· Chef’s Table: $2,500, includes preferred seating for 10 at dinner with the option to host a Chef at your table, plus reception
· Chef’s Ticket: $250, includes seating at a Chef’s Table for dinner, plus reception
· Taste Ticket: $200, includes dinner and reception

2) In the spirit of Kaizen, the Japanese philosophy that focuses upon continuous improvement, Chef Tony Maws welcomes the Ideas In Food chefs, bloggers, and authors Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot to the Craigie On Main kitchen in celebration of their new book: Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook – on October 15. Celebrated industry innovators, and former Boston chefs, Aki and Alex, specialize in sharing techniques based on a solid understanding that science and technique coupled with high quality ingredients, modern equipment, and innovative approaches to cooking make anything possible.

In Maximum Flavor, Aki and Alex share their innovative yet simple and often surprising approaches to food that will allow real home cooks to take their cooking to a new level. Using everyday ingredients and equipment available to real home cooks, Maximum Flavor turns theory into 125 real recipes, each containing a simple tip for amping up flavor in every day dishes. With 75 color photographs that show both step-by-step processes and finished dishes, Maximum Flavor will encourage you to experiment, taste, and play with your food, and discover again why cooking and eating are so fascinating and fun.

What: A multi-course collaborative dinner event showcasing dishes by acclaimed Chef Tony Maws alongside Ideas in Food’s Aki Kamozawa and Alexander Talbot. Guests can expect a flavor-packed, tasty and forward-thinking meal with equally interesting and delicious wine pairings.

Menu: In true Craigie style, the menu will be released closer to the date of the event, when the chefs know what will be fresh and available

Cost: $125 per person for dinner, including a copy of Maximum Flavor: Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook. Wine pairings are available for an additional $50 per person (tax and gratuity not included).

Reservations: To make your reservation, please call 617-497-5511

3) On Thursday & Friday, September. 19 & 20, T.W. Food is holding a Festival de la Tomate, a joyous celebration of tomatoes. Each year, T.W. Food is given a wonderful selection of traditional and heirloom tomatoes, a perfect accompaniment to lamb, fresh goat's milk cheese and foie gras - or, in their element, among other farm vegetables.

The Menu includes:
--Local Melon & Tomato Bisque (jonah crab, smoked cherrystones, jamon iberico)
--Salade Compose (warm fried green tomato napoleon, early season squash, yuzu-picholine olive butter, mustard green essence)
--Tomato Tortelloni A La Carbonara (house-cured bacon, rosa bianca eggplant, buratta, pine nut spuma)
--Terre Et Mer (vermont lamb medallion, torchon of smoked eel, ankimo and foie gras, tomato confit)
--Monterey Goat Cheese Sorbet (candy cherry tomato, pistachio brittle, orange flavors)
--Cinnamon Pumpkin Budino (maple and aromatic spiced tomatoes)

A Vegetarian menu is also available.

Cost: $85 for 6 courses, $45 for wine pairings
Reservations: Please call 617-864-4745 to reserve a spot.

4) Raise Your Glass for Jimmy, presented by the Jimmy Fund Council of Greater Boston, will take place in the Main Ballroom of The Liberty Hotel in Boston on September 25 from 6 to 9 p.m.

Admission to the event includes hors d’oeuvres and live music. Enjoy a variety of wines with a good selection of whites and reds to appeal to all palettes. Participating wine vendors include M.S. Walker, Horizon Beverage, Plymouth Bay Winery, Federal Wine & Spirits, Gordon’s Fine Wines & Liquors and August West Wines. All proceeds support adult and pediatric cancer care and research at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

This event will also feature a wine drawing (buy a chance for $35 and you are guaranteed a bottle of wine worth at least $25) and a silent auction with a trip to a vineyard in Sonoma, Calif., including airfare, several large format wines, a four-course chef’s tasting menu for four at Strega worth $500, and many other great items.

Tickets for this event are $50 per person, and include a $25 gift certificate for Tresca, donated by Tresca restaurant, for the first 150 guests at the door. Tickets are available at

5) On Tuesday, September 24, at 7pm, Fromager and Mâitre d’ Louis Risoli is hosting the next installment of Cheese Tuesday at L’Espalier, providing easy commentary, while sommelier Lauren Collins describes the wine. Cheese Tuesday combines wine and cheese in a casual night featuring a three course dinner with paired wines, followed by a grand cheese tasting and musical entertainment. Louis Risoli concludes the evening with an original, cheese inspired sing-a-long to the tune of a pop culture song. One of his renditions being: Don’t Stop Bleu Cheesin’ to the tune of Don’t Stop Believing by Journey.

Champions of the World” will feature some of the world’s most well-known and beloved cheeses from the latest American Cheese Society’s annual conference, where over 1,200 cheeses competed to be named the top cheese in the country. Louis Risoli will guide guests through a tasting experience that demonstrates why America’s greatest cheeses set world standards for excellence. This Cheese Tuesday is near and dear to Louis, as he is a perennial guest and speaker at cheese conferences nationwide and a veritable encyclopedia about worldwide cheese varietals and culinary cheese trends.

The Cost is $85 person. To reserve a seat, please contact L’Espalier directly at 617-262-3023.

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