My Excellent Experience With A Fine Grape

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75 degrees and sunny is what the forecast showed for the day in Napa, California. 9am came quick, just as I was hoping it would. My good friend came by to pick me up; we stopped at Bartavelle for a quick cappuccino then we were off. Headed for Napa to spend the entire day in, what was for me, an educational experience. The day started early, but the highlight was to be that night. A dinner event showcasing Joseph Phelps finest wines with food prepared by Chez Panisse chefs for the 40th Anniversary of Phelps winery.IMG_0411 Continue reading

A Great Holiday in Cincinnati

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Cincinnati SnowIt was my long-awaited trip home; my city of Cincinnati.
Prior to this trip I’ve kept busy doing my research. Looking up new restaurants, cafes, and just trying to get in the loop with the word around town. A new park was constructed in OTR, which means more feet walking around the trendiest streets downtown. Washington Park, an old park across from Cincinnati Music Hall that has been reconstructed to fit with the cities uprising development. It drives in the words “urban city” which means a handful of things: more people, more interests, more restaurants, boutiques and a rejuvenating “want” to be living in Cincy. Continue reading

For The Love of Fish

Alarm clock goes off; it’s 5:30 in the morning. I am up preparing myself for an early visit to Monterey Fish Market, where I’ll tune in to a world view of fish and vast amounts of information.

I am actually one of those people that prefers fish over many other types of protein. Fish to me is delectable and satisfying to eat. If I could choose one type of fish or ocean living creature to eat for the rest of my days it would probably be squid. The flavor, and taste of the beautiful shellfish is so amazing. Toss a few pieces in the wood oven for myself and I am good to go.

Our group left the restaurant at six sharp. Headed over the bay bridge through the foggy morning dew, trying to make our arrival to the pier as early as possible. Finally, we arrive! Pier 33, Monterey Fish Market here we come. IMG_4265

IMG_4307Right when I started to walk inside the port I get the biggest sniff of ocean air and fishy fish. It isn’t the worst smell ever, but it is kind of unpleasing at this time of the morning. I am use to my coffee beans being grinded, or my bread being toasted, not fillet of fish sitting upon cold shaved ice. Oh well, I will just have to deal with it today.IMG_4277

We approach a small section of the pier where Monterey Fish dealt with all of their orders and processing. Inside of the plastic drapes and into the cold we went; stunned by enormous amounts of fish on top of fish ready to be delivered to various restaurants of San Francisco Bay Area.

We started our tour with information about different fish that Monterey specifically catches and sales. The list is long so I won’t linger on about all of the types, but I can say if you’re looking for a specific type of fish then most likely Monterey has it, or can at least fish it up. Our guide then went into special fish around the bay area (local fish) which people around here love to use the most. Why would people want to use this fish the most? The answer is simple, it is from the local waters and is more fresh than any other fish that is pulled in. Plus, if it is being fished then that must mean it is in season to eat.CrabIMG_4303

We then went head in on sustainable fish and fish that is not so sustainable. We discussed the crisis of global warming, and overfishing. The causes and potential dangers of mercury from different bodys of water and different types of fish. We went into the different topics of local fish, farmed fish, wild fish etc. We discussed a great handful of information; more than I ever knew before. I thought it was a lot hitting me at this time of the morning, but it was okay, I was more than happy to be so attentive.

I think the main thing that I thought was important for myself was the fact that the tour guide told us to “stick with eating anchovies and sardines.” It just so happens that they are so low on the food chain that they don’t injest as much toxins, mercury and bad waste as the bigger fish do, so eating them is healthier. Good news for me! I love a piece of crusty bread with olive oil and anchovies. Or a nicely roasted sardine with tomato sauce and herbs. Bring it on, keep them coming my way, I’ll take it.Sardines

The tour went through different sections of the market where they take in and process orders. We learned so much about the fish that is eaten on a daily basis, plus information on the waters they come from. Just amazing how it all comes together.

IMG_4288As we gave our thanks’ and byes, we watched as orders were packed and driven off for delivery. Working a job where fish is caught fresh daily, butchered, and delivered at such early hours in the morning is tough, but is very dedicating. I give my thanks to the workers that handle these kinds of duties, without them I wouldnt be able to sink my teeth into prefectly seared Halibut with small dices of meyer lemon.

Still bright and early in the morning (around 8:30) we head to a small cafe to grab a bite and have some finely produced espresso. We chatted about the tour, the fish, and the world that is helping and also not helping this environmental system. Amazingly, most fish is endangered and or at risk of being, so if we can all give

The Holidays Are Here

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The Holidays are in. The crossover from the colorful fall into the white winter. Food still grow and kitchens still heat up. This past week has been busy; not just for myself but the neighborhood too. I can see the market swarming with people trying to get their hands on fresh bread, chicories, vegetables, turkeys etc. I see the streets crowded with cars, and I see families arriving and going from all over the world. Sounds like my Thanksgiving. My father came to town on Thanksgiving day. Landing just in time for a glass of wine, a slice of turkey, and side dishes to pass along.antipasti

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Eating Myself Into The Knowledge of Food + Beverage

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I am a seeker of excellent food, a beautiful glass of vino, a beer that settles me right, and service that will leave you restless. I have been so wrapped up in the restaurant scene, it seems that I have no free time anymore, because they’re spent out. I am out eating at fantastic restaurants to broaden my palate to more and different concepts in hospitality. Probably my favorite thing to do to educate myself on food+drink is to get out, taste something different, unique, and try to get my hands on a nicely crafted beverage.

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Keep The Pasta Coming

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“Pasta is beautiful; it is something that can be so simple to make and so delicious to eat. I could have it everyday of the week, especially when it’s fresh.”- Tony Ferrari

Tony Ferrari, one of the Chef/ Owners of Hillside Supper Club, (also my brother) was finally caught on a pasta making day. On a sunny Monday morning, he is in the kitchen, prepping for the evening dinner service. I was able to get my notebook and camera over to him, to watch skill unfold. To watch technique that the Italians passed along to him. To watch something that my Nonna used to do, when she was once the master in the kitchen. She still is the best in my eyes, and her food can never be compared to. But, when I want food that comes close to hers, I run to my brother when he is making fresh pasta. Continue reading

The Scene Back Home– Finally Catching Up!

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Back home, where I’m originally from, the scene is jumping into action! Everyone is catching the trends of our modern commodities. Loving leisure, time,  company, eating, and drinking.

New restaurants, foods, purveyors, markets, parks, and overall locality of the city is progressing into a manifestation of the new world. Using ingredients sourced near operating businesses, selling things grown in the backyard, opening new shops, helping the city progress into a place where somebody wouldn’t mind living. That’s me, I used to live there, and one day I may go back. Especially after seeing all of the progression happening. It seems like yesterday, I was leaving and nobody knew what a “latte” even was, now everyone back home wants one, everyday; that’s the trend we’re talking about folks. It excites me to know my city is doing well, and people are learning more about what I am truly passionate about (food & beverage, plus great service). Continue reading

Thank You for Your Service

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You’ve worked hard! Serving hungry, anticipating customers what they have dreamed of doing for months on end. A table for two, in the café that began a revolution of food. You’ve answered questions and made people smile from ear to ear. “Excuse me, what does Anchoïade mean? What is this item called ‘coppa di testa?’ What wine would settle well with this dish? Should we do a white or red?” Questions galore, extraordinary service is maintained. Day service goes fast, nights linger, with customers ordering extra drinks from the bar. Extra apéritifs, desserts, fruit, and shots of espresso to digest the stomach. When will you get the table flipped for the next reserved guest? Move it! Continue reading

Slow Food- Fresh Food Picnic

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Slow Food! Yea, slow as the snail in your back-yard garden. What that interprets into exactly- take your time, don’t rush the process of making a meal, enjoying your food, eating it with friends, family or yourself. What else does that translate to- say no to fast food! Buy food at your market, to cook with your own hands, in your own kitchen, in your own time! Continue reading

Why I Remember Every Meal- In So Much Detail

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For me, and to many others, a meal is a memory. A time to be enjoyed, well-thought and pleasured. A moment to waste time, sit-back and just be.

Growing up my dad always told me, “Take your time, chew your food, slow down!” Now I can finally look back at him, understanding just what he meant as he would tell me that. He wanted the company at the table to be happy, come together and conversate. Have a good time, relax and enjoy what’s in front of you.

My dad and I making Italian sausage.

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