About Susan McKee

Susan McKee

Susan McKee is an independent scholar and freelance journalist specializing in history, culture and travel. She honed her craft as a general assignment reporter for more than a decade at a major metropolitan daily newspaper before fleeing corporate journalism for the peripatetic life of a freelancer.

Susan writes for a wide variety of publications, both print and online. Bylines have appeared in Global Traveler USA, JaxFax, HGTV's Front Door, Global Foodie and Road Trips for Foodies.


Latest Posts by Susan McKee

A Whisky Extravaganza Across Five American Cities

October 18, 2014 by  

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scotch-whiskeyMore than 100 single malt, Scotch and other whiskies will be enjoyed across the country, as the 21st annual Whisky Extravaganza returns to five U.S. cities. Hosted by The Scotch Malt Whisky Society, the gala evening events also feature food — and an imported cigar as a parting gift for guests.

The 21st Annual Whisky Extravaganza makes stops in the following cities:
Boston, Massachusetts — October 23, 2014, at The Taj Boston
Washington, DC — November 5, 2014, at The JW Marriott Hotel
Seattle, Washington — November 14, 2014, at The Rainer Club
Los Angeles, California — November 20, 2014, at The LA Athletic Club
Fort Lauderdale, Florida — December 4, 2014, at The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel

Of course you must be 21 or older to attend. The gala event is open to anyone who loves or is interested about whisky.


(Photo courtesy of Whisky Extravaganza)

Serbian Fest in San Diego

October 15, 2014 by  

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california_sandiego_serbian-festIf craving for burek, chevaps, penchenji, palachinke and baklava should add this event to their travel schedules.

A Serbian Festival is set for October 25, 2014, at St. George Serbian Orthodox Church, 3025 Denver Street, San Diego, California. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Foodies, of course, are drawn by the ethnic food — as authentic as you can get outside Serbia. Promised are burek (phyllo dough pastry filled with meat/cheese), chevaps (barbecued ground beef and pork meat rolls), pechenje (rotisserie pork), and a variety of pastries (apple and pita), palachinke (Serbian crepes), baklava, walnut strudel, and Serbian coffee. There’ll also be a wine tasting.

Music, storytelling and dance also are on the agenda. The Morava Folklore Ensemble performs at at 3 and 6 p.m. Admission is $3; children 12 and younger are admitted free.

(Photo courtesy of St. George Serbian Orthodox Church)

The White Truffle Fair in Alba Italy

October 9, 2014 by  

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italy_alba_white-truffleIf you are conversant in Italian, you might what to schedule a visit to the White Truffle Fair in Alba, Italy.

Myriad events are scheduled during the fair, which runs from October 11 through November 16, 2014. The difficulty for the rest of us is that the website is only in Italian.

There’s a market place with lots of vendors, cooking demos and many local restaurants featuring truffled pasta, risotto or grilled vegetables.

The festival’s origins date to 1928.

See a video about the event here:

(Photo and video courtesy of Alba International)

The All Chocolate Kitchen For More Chocolate & Truffle Than Your Eye Can Imagine…

October 8, 2014 by  

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illinois_geneva_chocolateChicago’s chocolate guru (and three-time Guinness World Record holder for chocolate and sugar creations), Chef Alain Roby of the All Chocolate Kitchen, will celebrate National Chocolate Day with an A.C.K. challenge.

Those of you who are chocoholics already have October 28, 2014, on their calendars — but are they up for this competition? Contestants will (attempt to) finish a basketball-sized, seven-pound, Grand-Cru Chocolate Truffle (filled with Chocolate Truffle Mousse) in two hours.

It’s not quite like the steak challenge in that legendary Amarillo, Texas, restaurant: it’ll cost you $150 for the truffle (if you don’t finish it) and $75 if you do. Those who complete the challenge successfully will receive their pictures on the A.C.K. 23-foot tall all-chocolate enchanted tree and a t-shirt. (Contestants: call ahead — 630:232-2395.)

The All Chocolate Kitchen is located at 33 South Third Street, Geneva, Illinois.

(Photo courtesy of All Chocolate Kitchen)

New Orleans’ Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival

October 7, 2014 by  

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louisiana_neworleans_blues-bbqWithout the blues, there would be no jazz or R&B — but you knew that, didn’t you?

The Crescent City Blues & BBQ Festival, established in 2006, continues New Orleans’ historic role in making the blues and R&B among the most influential sounds in the world.

It takes place next weekend: October 17, 18 and 19, 2014. Hours are 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, and 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.

You’ll be drawn by the promise of Louisiana-style barbecue as well as the music by performers from southern Louisiana and Mississippi.

It’s all in Lafayette Square Park, 540 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana. Admission is free. The fest is sponsored by the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation.


The Scrumptious Wellfleet OysterFest on Cape Cod

October 6, 2014 by  

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massachusetts_wellfleet_oysterfestThe 14th annual OysterFest takes place in Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both October 18 and 19, 2014.

A family festival, it celebrates the town’s famous oysters, clams and shellfishing traditions with something for everyone: local cuisine, arts and crafts, educational programs, cooking demonstrations, children’s activities, walking tours, live music, a road race, and the annual Oyster Shuck-Off competition.

You will be especially interested in the culinary programs, which range from cooking demos and cook book signings, to the ‘Fest’s own signature programs Shucky’s Day and Taste the Terroir.

This year, Taste the Terroir will be combined with elements from Shucky’s Day to form a unique new program called Taste the Terroir and Merroir, set for 1 p.m. October 19. (Due to the times of the tides during festival weekend, Shucky’s Day will not be offered this fall.) These programs take place in the lower level of Wellfleet Preservation Hall.

Terroir is the French word translated as “a sense of place” which is embodied in certain characteristic qualities found in an agricultural product such as cheese or wine. Merroir is the French word for the same expression of place when referring to things from the sea. Just as soil type, climate and location of vineyards impacts the flavor of wine, so the region, water quality and temperature, surrounding sea life and harvesting methods affects the taste of oysters.

The ‘Fest is produced by Wellfleet Shellfish Promotion and Tasting who is devoted to fostering a greater understanding of the town’s shellfishing industry, to preserve its history and traditions and protect its harbor, aquaculture and wild fisheries.

(Image courtesy of Wellfleet Oysterfest)

The October Louisiana Seafood Festival in New Orleans

October 5, 2014 by  

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louisiana_neworleans_seafood-festAre you within shouting distance of New Orleans?

Columbus Day weekend is the Louisiana Seafood Festival at the City Park Festival Grounds.

There’s more than food, but that’s our focus, so — look for vendors who will bake, steam, simmer and grill oysters, crawfish, shrimp and more. The fest features 22 restaurants and caterers from the greater New Orleans area and beyond.

(Image courtesy of Louisiana Seafood Festival)

Big Blue Craft Beer Festival Along the Shores of Lake Michigan

October 5, 2014 by  

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wisconsin_sheboygan_big-blue-beerSome of the best craft beers in the country will be featured at the Big Blue Craft Beer Festival, set for October 18, 2014, at Blue Harbor Resort on the shores of Lake Michigan in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.

Among the brewers at the event will be: Ale Asylum, Alltech/Lex; Boulder Beer, Brewery Ommengang, Central Waters, Crispin Cider, Dark Horse Brewery, Deschutes Brewery, Destihl Brewery, Door County Brewing, Founders Brewing, Geneva Lake Brewing, The Lagunitas Brewing, Left Hand Brewing, Milwaukee Brewing Co., Mobcraft, Original Sin Hard Cider, Plymouth Brewing, Public Craft Brewing Co, Sand Creek Brewing, Solemn Oath, Southern Tier, St. Francis Brewing, St. Killian, Wurzburger, Tallgrass, Une Annee, Upland, Vermont Hard Cider Co, 3 Sheeps and 8th Street Ale Haus.

Flavors will range from traditional styles like IPAs, wheat beers, and stouts to those less widely known and available like saisons, barrel aged beers and tastes outside traditional beer styles.

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