Thursday, January 15, 2015

Thursday Sips &Nibbles

I am back again with a new edition of Thursday Sips & Nibbles, my regular column where I highlight some interesting wine and food items that are upcoming. **********************************************************
1) Take a tip or two from the 21 artisan cheesemakers of the 16-month-old MA Cheese Guild members below, and seek out a locally produced cheese to savor when National Cheese Lover’s Day rolls around on Tuesday, January 20:

"“I’ve never tasted anything like Berkshire Blue’s hard-to-find Smoked Blue Cheese, and if you can get your hands on some, you’ll agree."
--Peter Lovis, proprietor, The Cheese Shop of Concord

"“In addition to our own well-regarded Asiago, I highly recommend the handmade mozzarella from Wolf Meadow Farm in Newbury, MA. Of course, you can’t beat Great Hill Blue from Marion, MA either."
--Nancy Lawton, owner/milk mistress, Foxboro Cheese Company

“"Here at The Old Inn, we assemble selections of our favorite local cheeses, but we have a soft spot for Rawson Brook goat cheese, which is made a few miles up the road from us in Monterey, MA. Cheesemaker Susan Sellew is passionate about caring for her herd of Alpine goats and producing the best possible fresh goat cheese. The results are delicious.”"
--Peter Platt, chef-owner, The Old Inn on the Green, Guild Charter member

"“I’ve only gotten to taste cheeses from Chase Hill and Robinson Farms, so I guess I’d suggest folks look out for the delicious Robinson Family Swiss, which is made by a husband-wife team in Hardwick, MA."
--Allen Healy, cheesemaker at Mermaid Farm, Chilmark

The MA Cheese Guild is comprised of three distinct branches. Artisan members are commercial cheesemakers who certify use of Massachusetts milk. Trade membership (retailers/wholesalers/distributors/ journalists) and Enthusiast membership is also available. Join the MA Cheese GuildThe MA Cheese Guild is funded by its members and supported by the MA Department of Agricultural Resources and the MA Dairy Promotion Board.

2) The Massachusetts Restaurant Association and Harpoon Brewery invite Boston’s hospitality industry and food loving Bostonians to enjoy beers and bites from more than ten of Boston’s notable chefs including Chris Coombs, Jody Adams, Michael Leviton, Andy Husbands, and Mary Dumont . Net proceeds will benefit the No Kid Hungry campaign.

The Massachusetts Restaurant Association and the Harpoon Brewery are teaming up to present ‘The Holiday Hangover to End Childhood Hunger’ event, a new post-holiday hospitality industry bash that brings together Boston’s top chefs and hospitality professionals with the MRA’s experienced industry leaders.

This event will showcase some of Boston’s leading culinary talents including Chris Anderson (Clover); Chris Coombs (Boston Chops), Michael Leviton (Area Four, A4 Pizza, and Lumiere); Andy Husbands (Tremont 647); Jay Murray (Grill 23); Mike Zentner (Gaslight Brasserie du Coin); Rodney Murillo (Davio’s); Josh Ziskin (La Morra); Mary Dumont (Harvest); Jamie Mammano and Anthony Wall (Teatro); and Jody Adams (Rialto). During the event, chefs will serve carefully crafted tastings to be perfectly paired or prepared with one of Harpoon Brewery’s acclaimed craft brews like Boston Irish Stout, UFO White, Rye IPA, UFO Raz, UFO Gingerland, and more.

Net proceeds will benefit No Kid Hungry, which is ending childhood hunger in America by ensuring that kids start the day with a nutritious breakfast and families learn the skills they need to shop and cook on a budget.

WHEN: Monday, January 26, from 7-10 p.m.
WHERE: The Harpoon Brewery, 306 Northern Avenue Boston,  617.456.2322
MORE: Tickets are $40 for the general public or $30 with a restaurant industry discount code. The ticket price includes admission, 2 beers, and tastings of the chefs’ dishes with beer pairing samples. To purchase tickets of learn more, please visit

3) On Wednesday, February 11, at 7pm, guests will take a virtual culinary wine tour of Australia, New Zealand, Chile and South Africa at Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’sSouth of the Equator” wine dinner. Designed to both educate and entertain, Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s (BHHB) wine dinners are aimed at individuals of all experience levels. This event is about “wonderful wines, creative food and good friends,” says Cecilia Rait, proprietress and wine director of the BHHB.

Beginning at 7pm, diners are invited to visit all four regions without leaving the comfort of their seats. Cecilia and Tracy Burgis of M.S. Walker act as virtual tour guides, moving from region to region expanding the history, curiosities and nuances of each selection. During this educational dinner guests will sample diverse wines from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa & Chile. The dinner will showcase a variety of wines as well as the culinary artistry of Beacon Hill Hotel & Bistro’s Executive Chef Lucas Sousa, whose dishes are designed to complement each featured wine.

This intimate adventure is set in communal seating to encourage conversation, laughter and fun. For $65.00 per person (tax and gratuity not included), guests are treated to four wines, a four-course dinner and Cecilia's and Tracy's good cheer, humor and expertise. Reservations are encouraged, as the event will sell out fast, so please call  617-723-7575.