Luxury versus Industry Leader: which one is better?

 

Cast iron pans: (left) Lodge, (right) Finex
Cast iron pans: (left) Lodge, (right) Finex

 

I’ve been a professional chef for 35 years. I look forward to challenge and trying out new equipment.  I believe in cast iron. It’s been used in making cooking pots for over 2,000 years for good reason.

 

identical ingredients/measurements used in the 1st of 5 blind taste tests
identical ingredients/measurements used in the 1st of 5 blind taste tests

 

Finex is a new company out of Portland, OR, that made some news in the food world the past year by raising their start-up money through Kickstarter.  I conducted five blind taste tests using both the Finex 12SK and the Lodge 10SK3.

Interested in the results?  And the cost difference?

Is the Finex cast iron pan a better mousetrap?

 

which is which?
which is which?

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Insights

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

Philadelphia Fine Dining Examiner

Food & Recipes Examiner

Tsikali Taverna, Sifnos Island, Greece: Tradition

 

Flora and Nikos Kratzeskaros
Flora and Nikos Kratzeskaros

 

a community wood fired oven in Vathi, Sifnos, Greece
a community wood fired oven in Vathi, Sifnos, Greece

A community wood fired oven…producing cheese from goats and sheep from your farm…serving these dishes on the beach mere feet from the Aegean. Welcome to the 21st century Greek style.

ingredients for caper salad
ingredients for caper salad

The village of Vathi is a classic beauty. The winding road descends from the hills and one’s first glimpse is the gleaming white buildings clustered in a crescent on a white sand beach in front of the interminable clear aqua water of the Aegean. Read all about Nikos, Flora and Tsikali Taverna at…

Tradition is the norm at Tsikali Taverna on Sifnos Island

 

Vathi, Sifnos, Greece
Vathi, Sifnos, Greece

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

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International Travel Examiner

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Fort Hunter: slavery, the Gilded Age and philanthropy

Party games at Fort Hunter Mansion late 1800s
Party games at Fort Hunter Mansion late 1800s
View of the Susquehanna River from a mansion window
View of the Susquehanna River from a mansion window

 

Fort Hunter captures a sweeping 200-year panoply of Pennsylvania.  From frontier outpost, slavery, Revolution, the promise of canals, Civil War, the age of steel to modern philanthropy, this bucolic site was at the center of history.

 

 

 

From 1786 to 1831 over 20 enslaved African-Americans made the soap, ironed the clothes, cooked and cleaned the house, worked the farm and its businesses. Narrowly avoiding being in the center of the Civil War, Fort Hunter entered an era as a focal point for Harrisburg society in the 1880s.

Fort Hunter Mansion
Fort Hunter Mansion

With over 80% of the mansion’s furnishings, antiques and art original to the families that called Fort Hunter home, a tour of the house provides a rare glimpse into 200 years of American life.  Read the intriguing story…

A Harrisburg historical site mirrors American history

 

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You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

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International Travel Examiner

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An Acadian chef comments on Cajun cuisine

at Legnon
at Legnon

 

classic Cajun fried seafood platter
classic Cajun fried seafood platter

As an Acadian historian and cultural anthropologist I sing the praises of my family heritage and its extraordinary history. Yet as a chef…both Acadian and Cajun foods are misunderstood and misrepresented in the North American rush to celebrate regional cuisine. They’re worthy but limited.

Tabasco store, Avery Island
Tabasco store, Avery Island

The greatest difference separating Cajun and Acadian cooking is spices. Cajun uses spices borrowed from Creole cuisine – a different fusion altogether. Of course world famous Tabasco sauce  has become a Cajun standard even though its origin is clearly West Indian.

Read my story on discovering the cuisine of my ancestry:

Cajun cuisine: the food of exiles and survivors

 

(Saturday zydeco breakfast at Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge, LA)

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

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Culinary Travel Examiner

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International Travel Examiner

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Mount Olympus is more than legend

 

Mt. Olympus & the village of Litohoro
Mt. Olympus & the village of Litohoro
Within the Mt. Olympus range
Within the Mt. Olympus range

Home to Zeus and his family of gods, declared the first Greek national park in 1938, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1981 and a European Union “Most Important Bird” area, the region includes 120 species of flowers, 1,700 species of plants with 23 exclusive to the Mount Olympus microclimate.

The Bath of Zeus
The Bath of Zeus

No wonder the gods wanted this prime real estate. At its base is Dion, the nearly three-millennium old holy city of ancient Macedonia dedicated to Olympian Zeus. Within the confines of the park is the 600-year-old Greek Orthodox Monastery of St. Dionysios of Olympus. And scattered throughout are sites steeped in legend and history. Read what has attracted the multitudes for eons in my column for the Hellenic News of America:

Mount Olympus: playground for gods and mortals

 

Restoration of Monastery of St. Dionysios of Olympus
Restoration of Monastery of St. Dionysios of Olympus

 

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

Chef Christian DeLutis redefines pub fare

 

Chef Christian DeLutis at Troegs Brewery
Chef Christian DeLutis at Troegs Brewery

 

charcuterie board at the Snack Bar, Troegs Brewery, Hershey, Pennsylbvania
charcuterie board at the Snack Bar, Troegs Brewery, Hershey, Pennsylbvania

A customer can certainly order fries, popcorn or a grilled cheese sandwich, but that’s where any similarity to average pub food ends. “It’s food that works with beer,” Christian states simply, even if it’s succulent, slow-cooked sous-vide such leg confit.

Troegs LaGrave Triple Golden Ale
Troegs LaGrave Triple Golden Ale

But a brewery is about beer, and the Tröegs brothers don’t disappoint. Read all about Tröegs craft beer – made in Hershey, Pennsylvania:

Tröegs Brewing Company: handcrafted food and beer

 

Troegs Bavarian Oktoberfest pretzel
Troegs Bavarian Oktoberfest pretzel

 

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

Dean Friedman: An American in Europe

 

 

Just like in a good ballad, disaster fell for Dean Friedman in the 1980s when  England banned the delightful “I’m in Love With a McDonald’s Girl” in the 1980s because it mentioned a brand name and therefore was deemed akin to an advertorial.

Dean at the French House Party, Carcassonne, France
Dean at the French House Party, Carcassonne, France
Domaine St. Raymond
Domaine St. Raymond

“I’m not sure if I really know how to write a song” is not what a guest at a songwriting workshop would expect to hear from an acclaimed New York writer/performer. But the creative process is nebulous. Moira Martingale provides the atmosphere for discovery at her villa, Domaine St. Raymond.

Sunflowers at Carcassonne, Fr.
Sunflowers at Carcassonne, Fr.

Read all about the French House Party’s great workshops and the incomparable Dean Friedman at….

Dean Friedman in Carcassonne: songs in the air

 

 

You can read all my articles at:

Hellenic News of America

Original World Travel

Culinary Travel Examiner

 International Dining Examiner

International Travel Examiner

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Vermilionville Living History and Folk Life Park

 

L'École (the schoolhouse) at Vermilionville
L’École (the schoolhouse) at Vermilionville

 

Vermilionville
Vermilionville

 

Virmilionville holds the spirits and memories of the people who lived, loved and worked in them for over two centuries

Vermilionville
Vermilionville

There is much to see and learn at Vermilionville. The self-guided walking tour gives the visitor the opportunity to linger and absorb the feeling of life in a pre-20th century village.

 

Cajuns are the survivors of ethnic cleansing carried out of a grand scale in the 1760s…I know. As the direct descendant of survivors I grew up with the history as bed-time stories… read at

Vermilionville honors Cajun culture in Lafayette Parish

 

Virmilionville
Virmilionville

 

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

The Flegra Beach Boutique Apartments opens Asterias

 

Grilled squid at Asterias
Grilled squid at Asterias
Chef Kostas Tsoutsas & Yannis Laspas
Chef Kostas Tsoutsas & Yannis Laspas

The Asterias is the flagship restaurant of Yannis Laspas’ new Flegra Beach Boutique Apartments.  Like the airy decor of the dining room, Chef Kostas Tsoutas has a light modern touch with traditional Greek ingredients.

Asterias Greek seafood restaurant
Asterias Greek seafood restaurant

 

Flegra Beach Boutique Apartments
Flegra Beach Boutique Apartments

The waterfront Flegra Beach Boutique Apartments and Asterias are located in Pefkochori on the Kassandra peninsula with window walls looking onto the pine tree shaded beach and Aegean Sea.

You can read the review with many more photos…

Asterias: Greek seafood at the new Flegra Beach Hotel

 

 

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

The Farinola brothers: love for Mom and Greece

 

Mama Maria, Milos, Greece
Mama Maria, Milos, Greece

 

Giovanni and Stelios Farinola
Giovanni and Stelios Farinola

Giovanni and Stelios are no strangers to yachting. The Ferinola family owns Excellent Yachting, one of the Greek Aegean’s leading sales and charter companies.

 

Kilma, Milos, Greece
Kilma, Milos, Greece

No wonder countless legions throughout time have escaped to the serenity of the Greek islands.

Come read about my day sailing around Milos….

On board the Mama Maria, Milos, Greece

 

Milos, Greece
Milos, Greece

 

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

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