New Orleans is SoFAB

 

A Garden District queen
A Garden District queen

DSC00260Legendary New Orleans: hurricanes can’t destroy it; corrupt politics can’t infect it; potholes can’t deter its beauty.

 

 

Sazerac: the "official" drink of New Orleans
Sazerac: the “official” drink of New Orleans
Napoleon House (circa 1791)
Napoleon House (circa 1791)

 

Food and drink sustain it: “We’ll always have hospitality,” says celebrity chef Frank Brigtsen.

 

Chef Frank Brigtsen at the New Orleans Cooking Experience
Chef Frank Brigtsen at the New Orleans Cooking Experience

“I was taught by Paul Prudhomme; it was one the greatest blessings in my life, and I want to give back and foster the next generation of New Orleanians to at least learn and respect the cuisine.”

Gumbo
Gumbo

“As we diversify the types of food being cooked in the city of New Orleans, it’s even more important to me to make gumbo and keep that going.”

 

 

Read my exclusive interview with famed chef Frank Brigtsen.

Chef Frank Brigtsen is a New Orleans Cooking Experience

 

Liz Williams, director of SoFAB
Liz Williams, director of SoFAB
Lobster, crab & avocado cocktail
Lobster, crab & avocado cocktail

“Creole cuisine, the food of New Orleans, it’s a living thing. Nobody’s trying to stop it from changing; nobody said its got to end, so that’s why it’s still alive.”

 

Is there a beverage that defines the South? Creole and Cajun fusion? (or confusion)  In my interview with Liz Williams, director of the Southern Food & Beverage Museum (SoFAB), she answers all and states the mission of this unique institution, “Look at cultural attitudes towards the foods, not just a recipe.”

Liz Williams is SoFAB in New Orleans

 

Cajun Alligator sausage
Cajun Alligator sausage

 

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

New energy for Harrisburg, Pennsylvania

Fireworks over the Susquehanna River from City Island
Fireworks over the Susquehanna River from City Island

A new generation of young professionals have reversed the population decline, want an urban experience and are revitalizing Harrisburg.

Ralph Vartan, Michael Wilson & Danielle Prokopchak
Ralph Vartan, Michael Wilson & Danielle Prokopchak

Read about the movers reshaping a once “rust-belt” city at…

The faces of a new Harrisburg

 

Stained glass dome of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chambers, Capitol Building
Stained glass dome of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chambers, Capitol Building

Harrisburg is still one of the major railroad transportation hubs of the Northeast connecting to the west and the south. Old steel mill buildings and warehouses have been repurposed for new specialized industries and institutes of higher education.

Lark Quartet, Harrisburg
Lark Quartet, Harrisburg

Read more about Harrisburg’s new mayor – not a cookie cutter politician!

Sense the energy of 21st century Harrisburg

 

roast duck at Carley's glazed with a not overly sweet orange plum sauce and topping wilted spinach and goat cheese infused polenta.
roast duck at Carley’s glazed with a not overly sweet orange plum sauce and topping wilted spinach and goat cheese infused polenta.

Farmers who created Pennsylvania’s moniker the “American breadbasket” in the late 18th century built Harrisburg.

Buddha Buddha's cucumber martini
Buddha Buddha’s cucumber martini

Young professionals flooding center city Harrisburg, PA, have a penchant for gathering with friends – that’s fueling a revitalization of hospitality businesses. Read the rest of the article at…

Revitalizing Harrisburg hospitality along with the city

 

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You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Luxe Beat Magazine

Tweaking tradition on the Greek Islands

 

Theodora Tziamali & Chef George Katseas partners: Katogi Cafe
Theodora Tziamali & Chef George Katseas partners: Katogi Cafe

“We’re romantic,” says Chef George Katseas and that’s evident by both the decor and the manner in which George and partner Theodora Tziamali treat their customers like family.

Elia
Elia

“I want to marry the modern with tradition,” says Harris Boukas the young owner of Elia.

 

 

 

Nightlife on the Greek Island of Ios can certainly become lively during the summer season, but dining in the following seven tavernas and cafes put a smile on my face. Read more at…

Marrying trends with tradition in Ios dining 

Chora, Ios island
Chora, Ios island

 

Ionnis Trinas & his windmill, Sifnos island
Ionnis Trinas & his windmill, Sifnos island

Windmills tell stories of the drive for labor saving devices even in the pre-industrial age.

Harnessing the near steady breeze of both coast and hills was a technological breakthrough akin to present day electric wind generators.

Building a windmill was no easy task.

 

Windmill on the island of Alonissos
Windmill on the island of Alonissos

Mr. Ionnis Trinas has constructed what very well may be the first fully functioning windmill in the Greek islands for over a century. Read the rest at…

Savoring windmills in Greece

Ionnis Trinas Sifnos windmill
Ionnis Trinas Sifnos windmill

 

Mrs. Annezio Bouritis and her son Mixαlis Famelitis. Annezio Bakery
Mrs. Annezio Bouritis and her son Mixαlis Famelitis. Annezio Bakery

Mrs. Annezio Bouritis and her son Mixαlis Famelitis operate the traditional Annezio Bakery located in the port town of Merichas. Set in a typical white washed stone building with a view overlooking the harbor, the cars of customers are usually double parked on the narrow street.

cheese tarts
cheese tarts

Greeks positively revel in sharing their food, especially with visitors. Mrs. Bouritis and Mixalis were equally enthusiastic to share recipes for cheese tarts and pastel. Read more at…

      Kythnos recipes from Annezio Bakery in the Greek Cyclades

Kythnos island
Kythnos island

 

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Luxe Beat Magazine

A Greek volcanic disaster creates dry wines

Santo wines
Santo wines

The volcano that blew Santorini into history 3,500 years ago created a soil that produces the driest white wines and the finest dessert wine this chef has ever had moisten his palate.

Santorini TOMATO SAUCE WITH VINSANTO wine: Santo Winery
Santorini TOMATO SAUCE WITH VINSANTO wine: Santo Winery

 

Santo Wines – responsible for 17% of the agricultural land on the island – emphasized that its mission is “to preserve the cultivation of land and overcome the challenge of rapid touristic development that leads to the abandonment of land cultivation.”

 

 

The kouloura is the unique way of pruning the grape vines to keep the round shape of a basket-like circle.
The kouloura is the unique way of pruning the grape vines to keep the round shape of a basket-like circle.

DSC02308The volcanic cliffs maintain an ideal temperature for wine production making air conditioning unnecessary.

 

Please read my  article at:

Sustaining Greek agriculture: the mission of Santo Wines

 

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Luxe Beat Magazine

Suite101

 

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Paros Island: just a tease

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Paros Land Hotel

 

Chef Michael Margaris
Chef Michael Margaris

Spend time talking to the owners of the Paros Land Hotel and their promising young chef and you understand the resilience that has sustained Greece for millenniums.

 

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It’s a creative force responsible for this enterprise and it will propel Greece beyond a temporary financial crisis.

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Mrs. Tricha Stavroula, owner of Paros Land Hotel
Mrs. Tricha Stavroula, owner of Paros Land Hotel

Brothers, sisters, in-laws and grandchildren have all had a hand in the design, rebuilding and the myriad operational details required of a hotel. Their pride was palpable when they sat down each night at a long wooden table in the airy dining room for lengthy multi-course meals.

Please read the rest of the story…

Paros Land Hotel exemplifies the gift of Athena

 

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You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Luxe Beat Magazine

Suite101

Summer Recipes: of figs and chutney

Summer:  a time for fresh fruit, vegetables and taking time off from the daily grind. Do something different. Revert to the past when we all made our own and didn’t just buy it ready to eat. Enjoy!

Mango chutney
Mango chutney

The interplay of sweet fruit, astringent vinegar, fresh ginger, savory onions, spices, a bit of hot pepper and rich brown sugar is not only appealing but a great way to use fresh produce as it comes into season.

Read my recipe with additional photos:

Don’t buy chutney, make it yourself

 

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 I like figs and chevre and caramelized onions. Of course who doesn’t like pizza? And summer time is California fig season in the USA. They’re low in calories, high in potassium, not too sweet and hold up nicely when gently cooked.

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By the early 20th century California fig production was second only to Turkey, Greece, Portugal and Spain.

Read my recipe with additional photos:

         Try a fig and chevre pizza this summer

 

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You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Luxe Beat Magazine

Suite101

Greek Windmills: Sails in the Air

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DSC06044These iconic circular stone structures dot the land – both islands and mainland – and their images adorn countless postcards. Their stark beauty as ruins of a bygone agricultural age and the bird-like sails of restored mills stiff in the wind, evoke the same timelessness as the Acropolis of Athens or sacred Mt. Athos.

Ios2

DSC06034Wind permitting, a mill could grind up to 150 pounds of grain per hour. The mill men needed to develop skills to read the weather and gauge the strength of winds.

Alonissos

On the island of Sifnos, in the Cyclades group, Mr. Ionnis Trinas has constructed what very well may be the first fully functioning mill in over a century.

See more photos and read about the windmill at..

Savoring windmills in Greece

 

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You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Luxe Beat Magazine

Suite101

Dionysus would enjoy Porto Carras Grand Resort

Greece: legendary hospitality

Villa Galini
Villa Galini

It’s a story worthy of Shakespeare’s Tempest – millionaires and a dark and stormy night… One can imagine the longing for peace and tranquility that celebrities seek.

Neos Marmaris
Neos Marmaris

Read the rest of my article on Examiner.com:

The vision of Giannis Carras for a grand Greek resort

Sacred Mt. Athos at dawn
Sacred Mt. Athos at dawn

Seven square miles of the Sithonia peninsula, five miles of pristine EU certified Blue Flag beaches… After all Greeks deified the very concept of hospitality. It’s unthinkable to change perfection.

Sithonia Hotel, Porto Carras Grand Resort
Sithonia Hotel, Porto Carras Grand Resort

Porto Carras Grand Resort shares wine, olives and home

Organic food…organic wine…pristine Aegean beaches…saltwater pools…spas… Want more information? Click the links above to read my Porto Carras articles.

Porto Carras Grand Resort
Porto Carras Grand Resort

  You can read all my articles at:

Luxe Beat Magazine

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Suite101

In the Age of Puddings: Historic English and America Cookery

In the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court Palace, London, UK
In the Tudor kitchen at Hampton Court Palace, London, UK

Robert Fitch answered my question, “porridge was the staff of life” for the common person until the 18th century. No wonder working the palace was a coveted job – even for a spit turner.

The Hampton Court Palace kitchen cooked two meals for approximately 600 people daily consuming in one 16th century year 1,240 oxen, 8,200 sheep, 2,330 deer, 760 calves, 1,870 pigs and 53 wild boar.

When porridge was the staff of life: cookery at Hampton Court Palace

A pudding steaming in the hearth at the Thomas Massey House (c.1696) Broomall, PA
A pudding steaming in the hearth at the Thomas Massey House (c.1696) Broomall, PA

Puddings were a major component of the English and American table during these centuries and often served as the foundation of a one dish meal in this age of cooking on an open wood fired hearth.

Clarissa Dillon on the great age of English puddings

Clarissa Dillon, one of the foremost authorities on 16th-18th century English and colonial American cooking, tackles the often confusing interpretations of our shared culinary past.

Dr. Clarissa Dillon
Dr. Clarissa Dillon

I believe both Fergus and Clarissa would agree that a 17th/18th century middle class diet was healthy only if the diner was physically very active, but it’s tasty. London’s Chef Fergus Henderson and Philadelphia’s Dr. Clarissa Dillon have never met yet share a no-nonsense and unsentimental approach towards the diet of their 17th and 18th century Anglo ancestors.

Eighteenth century appetizers from two culinary historians

Marrow bones at St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK
Marrow bones at St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK

When St. John Bar & Restaurant at 26 St. John Street, London, was a smokehouse in the 18th century, located a couple blocks from the centuries old Smithfield Market, Hampton Court Palace had a chocolate kitchen catering exclusively to the large royal household.

Chocolate was a London fad when oysters were fast food

King's dining room, 18th century, Hampton Court Palace, London, UK
King’s dining room, 18th century, Hampton Court Palace, London, UK

 

You can read all my articles at:

Luxe Beat Magazine

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Suite101

 

St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK
St. John Bar & Restaurant, London, UK
Beach in Ouranoupolis, Athos, Greece

Driving Halkidiki

harbor, Neos Marmaras, Sithonia, Greece
harbor, Neos Marmaras, Sithonia, Greece

Sitting at a beach side café in Possidi on the Halkidiki peninsula of Kassandra, this North American was struck by an unfamiliar scene. People were reading.

Driving Kassandra unplugged and tuned into Greece

Nea Fokea:14th Century Byzantine tower and church
Nea Fokea:14th Century Byzantine tower and church

Fingers of land jutting into the Aegean, Kassandra, Sithonia and sacred Athos have, like all of Macedonia, been at the center of turbulent times since the 4th century B.C.E. In the 21st century the only turbulence seemed to be the long lines of cars every summer weekend that bring holiday seekers from Thessaloniki and Eastern Europe.

water sports in Sithonia
water sports in Sithonia

Family owned since it opened in 1989, the rooms surround an opulent pool that is the focal point of the Flegra Palace Hotel including the Soleil Bar with its dramatic glass floor jutting over the water.

Soleil Bar at the Flegra Palace Hotel
Soleil Bar at the Flegra Palace Hotel

Flegra Palace Hotel plans new venture in Pefkohori, Greece

Fortunately mere mortals can dine at Ambrosia, the open-air dining room at the Flegra Palace Hotel in the Halkidiki seaside resort town of Pefkohori, Greece.

Ambrosia, Flegra Palace Hotel
Ambrosia, Flegra Palace Hotel

Chef Aphrodite Balanou makes Ambrosia in Pefkohori, Greece

You can read all my articles at:

Luxe Beat Magazine

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Suite101

Beach in Ouranoupolis, Athos, Greece
Beach in Ouranoupolis, Athos, Greece

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