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Étouffée Festival in Louisiana Slated for Late April

April 23, 2014 by  

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  etouffeeIf you haven’t had étoufée, you haven’t spent nearly enough time in Louisiana. Here’s a good event to add to your itinerary, the 29th Annual Étouffée Festival in Arnaudville, Louisiana, is set for this weekend: April 25 through 27, 2014. It takes place from 5 p.m. to midnight Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at St. John Francis Regis Church, 370 Main Street, Arnaudville, Louisiana. You just might get a taste of the competition at the Mayor’s Cook-off, which will feature a diverse variety of étouffées, including crawfish, seafood, vegetable, and even wild game. The festival is held the fourth weekend of April every year. In addition to étouffée — that classic Cajun/Creole stew — there’ll be carnival rides, bands and bingo.

(Photo of crawfish étouffée courtesy of Wikipedia Commons)


San Francisco’s Blue Plate Celebrates Their Big 15 With Special Wine Dinners

April 23, 2014 by  

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Blue_Plate_Dining_room.jpg The blue room at Blue Plate. Photo courtesy Blue Plate.
A San Francisco Bernal Heights restaurant ~BLUE PLATE~ is celebrating a whopping 15 years in business this May, which is pretty phenomenal. They’ve lined up a series of winemaker dinners to toast the occasion, with wine flights of five tastes for $15. First, on Thursday May 1st, Steve and Chrystal Clifton of Palmina Wines will be in attendance from 5:30 pm-10 pm, followed by Sean Thackrey Wines on Friday May 2nd from 5:30 pm-10:30 pm, and Skylark on Saturday May 3rd from 5:30 pm-10:30 pm. The winemakers will all be on hand, mingling with guests and talking about their wines. The menu from the talented chef Sean Thomas will be served à la carte, and here’s a sample menu of what to expect. Reservations are available. Let’s toast to this wonderful neighborhood restaurant! Big cheers to co-owners Cory Obenour and Jeff Trenam on 15 years of keeping us wined and dined. 3218 Mission St. at Valencia Street in San Francisco CA — 415-282-6777.


Taste of the Nation in Late April Hits NYC, DC, Raleigh & Atlanta

April 23, 2014 by  

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  taste of the nation The New York City version of Taste of the Nation is set for April 28, 2014, at 82 Mercer, 82 Mercer Street, New York, New York. VIPs (tickets are $425) get in at 6:30 p.m., and the rest of us (who’ll pay $225) at 7 p.m. It’s promised that 100% of the ticket sales will go to Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign to end childhood hunger in America. Other editions of the fund-raising event are: Taste of the Nation: Toledo — April 27, 2014, Health Care REIT, 4500 Dorr Street, Toledo, Ohio. Taste of the Nation: Atlanta — May 8, 2014, Georgia Aquarium, 255 Baker Street NW, Atlanta, Georgia. Taste of the Nation: Washington DC — June 3, 2014, Long View Gallery, 1234 Ninth Street NW, Washington, DC. Taste of the Nation: Raleigh — June 22, 2014, Poole’s Diner, 426 South McDowell Street, Raleigh, North Carolina. Taste of the Nation: Chicago — August 13, 2014, Navy Pier ballroom, 600 Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois. (Photo courtesy of Share Our Strength)


Was Your Easter Chocolate Sourced From Ethical Integrity?

April 22, 2014 by  

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chocolate Easter has always been a time to celebrate rebirth. During the spring, the entire planet seems to come back to life. Trees and flowers begin to blossom and the holidays are celebrated with an array of delicious foods. Most notably, chocolate eggs and bunnies have become a symbol of the season; however, while most of the holiday is a symbol for liveliness, even the whitest of chocolates hold a dark side, routed in slavery and unfair trade. Make sure you understand the facts about chocolate and where yours comes from this holiday.

The International Chocolate and Cocoa Industries

In the United States in particular, chocolate has become an important part of the nation’s culture. In a recent study by the Harris Poll, 52% of Americans have said chocolate is their favorite flavor. The International Cocoa organization has also found that Americans eat an average of 11 pounds of it and spending a total of $20 billion each year. The chocolate industry’s production is based primarily out of western Africa, where climatic conditions are ideal for cocoa bean production in nations like the Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria. Since some of the world’s largest chocolate…

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The Art of Making Poi in Kauai

April 21, 2014 by  

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taro field hawaii “I’ve been coming to poi day since 2001, “ his eyes crinkled in a smile as he fiddled with his fishing net, “I like to come meet people and talk story.” Charlie said. taro ‘Uncle’ Charlie was one of many old timers I met who showed up every Thursday to make poi as part of a tight knit ohana (family in Hawaiian) at Waipa ahupua‘a.  However the 84 year old seemed much more interested in showing off his fishing net skills rather than making poi, but his son was working hard at ensuring the poi was processed and more than doing the work of two people. Charlie’s son wasn’t alone, I looked around and saw a mix of Hawaiian old timers, young men, middle age women, and a smattering of twenty-something students. The crowd of poi makers were made up of local people from Kauai and a few mainland part time residents. And then there was me, a visiting tourist looking for unique experiences in Hawaii; I definitely found it. fishing net ‘Uncle’ Charlie demonstrating how he makes fishing net after…

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Foodie Heaven Along Napa Valley’s Trail

April 21, 2014 by  

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Z and I set off on the hour long drive from San Francisco to Napa after a whirlwind 48 hour exploration of the city by the bay.  We reunited with Matt and Glynnis and, per my request, headed straight for Model Bakery, where they make the most phenomenal English muffins. 
There are two Model Bakery locations, one on Main Street in St Helena and the other situated just outside of Oxbow Market.  Oxbow Market is a beautiful example of a modern version of a historic tradition.  
A place for local food purveyors to sell their wares, fresh seafood, local meats, handmade pastries and breads are intertwined with a rainbow of bulk spices, a bevy of kitchen and dining accessories and an impressive selection of artisan cheese.  It is a must-stop for the makings of a picnic lunch, a quick breakfast prior to hitting the wine trail or for a simple stroll, taking in the sights, smells and sounds of this California bazaar.
 Happily fortified, we made our way to Plumpjack, our first winery stop of the day.  A sister winery to Cade (read about our previous visit to Cade here), Plumpjack is known for their


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Tweeters Vote for New York City’s Best Pizza

April 19, 2014 by  

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We’re bringing a very important topic to the table today, folks: Pizza!  The pizza slice is perhaps one of the most iconic NYC foods, and with a pizzeria (or three!) on practically every corner, it’s tough to narrow down from the good to the great. Frankly, I’m not picky when it comes to pizza.  In fact, when posed with the question “If you were on death row, what would be your last meal request?”, it’s undoubtably always going to be pizza.  I’ve rarely met a slice I don’t like (and in that case, it’s probably because it’s been sitting out too long.)  SO, I turned to the experts: New Yorkers themselves!  Here’s what they had to say via Twitter:

Queens

Picking your favorite pizza is like picking your favorite child: Everyone has one, but no one wants to tell. I’m always on the search for a great NY slice that only locals know about. John’s of Elmhurst, Pizzeria Classica in Glendale are great ones, but my latest obsession is Mama Carmela’s in Astoria. It’s in a totally impractical spot but stays in business because of an incredible loyal, local following. Trying the slice, I loved the clean, sweet


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National Harbor Food & Wine Festival in Maryland

April 19, 2014 by  

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  washington-dc_food-wineNational Harbor celebrates the season with a Food & Wine Festival from 1 to 6 p.m. both May 3 and 4, 2014. (National Harbor is located on the Potomac River in Prince George’s County, Maryland.) The event includes tastings, cooking demonstrations and educational seminars on culinary and wine trends, sustainability issues, and supporting local farmers and resources. There’ll be more than 150 wines from around the world, spirits and beers. Road Trips Foodies can sample any or buy them by the glass and the bottle. Other highlights include a Cinco De Mayo Pavilion featuring Hornitos tequila, a craft beer tasting Bier Garten experience plus a whiskey and bourbon tasting experience paired with hand-rolled cigars. Oh, yes: there will be three stages of live music and smooth jazz. Admission at the gate is $48 ($40 for designated drivers) per day. Ages 12 and under are admitted free.


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