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Chef Chic’s New Digs

Whenever the ribbon is cut at a new restaurant, you can count on me to grab the first interview with the owner.

Like today.

I was in the presence of royalty when I caught up with Wendy Gauthier, Tucson’s Iron Chef, just seconds after she cut the ribbon in front of a crowd of fans who gathered outside her new eatery, Chef Chic!

Enjoy my conversation with Wendy as she talked about the concept behind her new restaurant, her plans to host an Iron Chef Dinner there in March, and her thoughts about a winning strategy to defend her Iron Chef title this summer!

 

Wines of Bordeaux Dinner

Bienvenue en France!

Chef Kyle Nottingham and his crew at Commoner & Co. are hosting a Bordeaux Wine Dinner on Sunday, January 26.

Four courses. Four wines. And only $60 per person.

What?!

I sat down with him on a recent visit to his Foothills eatery as he walked me through each course on a menu so magnificent that you’d swear they inadvertently left a digit off the price.

Enjoy my interview with Kyle Nottingham, and reserve your seat at the table while you still can by calling 520-257-1177.

 

Of Copper Rocks and Crafts

Fans of craft cuisine, cocktails, and brews have reason to rejoice this week when the new Copper Rock Craft Eatery opens its doors on December 5 at the Hilton DoubleTree Reid Park Hotel!

I recently caught up with Alan Lambert, the property’s executive chef, at a media preview of the new space and menu. He was kind enough to share his thoughts with me about craft cuisine, his culinary point of view, and his favorite spirituous beverage!

Enjoy my interview with this local chef who’ll surely be making some new friends this week!

 

 

Holly Jolly 2019

It only happens once a year, and this year’s seasonally inspired Holly Jolly Ale from Green Feet Brewing Company will be released on Friday, November 29th, at 4:00 pm!

I can see Tucson’s thirsty celebrants lining up at the tap room on this blessed day to be among the first to get pints, crowlers, growlers, and kegs of Holly Jolly. But be warned…once it’s gone, it’s gone.

Enjoy my recent interview with brewer Petey Peterson as he tells the story behind his annual holiday brew.

 

Cocktail Class is in Session

New York Sour. Paper Plane. French Fantasy.

Guests that were part of our culinary and cocktail cruise aboard the Celebrity Edge had the opportunity to make these libations under the instruction of Tas, the ship’s senior bartender, during our private mixology session.

Frivolity ensued the moment that the ice cubes were dropped into the shaker as we learned about things like dirty ice, names of glassware, and how to scientifically thin out Blue Curacao.

Enjoy my interview with Tas who definitely brought a sense of adventure to the experience!

 

Oh, that EVOO!

Everything I’ve learned about extra virgin olive oil came from time spent with Tom and Nancy Alfonso of Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oils & Balsamics, and when I told them I was going to Greece, they instructed me to visit a local olive mill.

Ever the obedient student, I did just that!

The adventure began with a tour of the Kotsonis Estate Company, an 8,000-tree olive grove that has produced olive oil in this region since 1900. Following the tour, we sipped some of their best, a product called 3,000 BC, while enjoying a multi-course lunch with wine pairings.

Enjoy my interview with sisters Antigoni and Mando Kotsoni who shared a beautiful story about their family business.

 

A Salute to Ouzo

You can’t visit Greece without taking a deep dive into the wonderful world of ouzo, and what better place to sip Greece’s national spirit than at an ouzo distillery celebrating its 150th anniversary!

I had the unique opportunity to chat with Yiannis Karonis, 5th generation owner/distiller of the Karonis Distillery in Nafplion, who walked me through the story behind his spirits. In addition to ouzo, he’s also producing local beauties tsipouro and mastika, each with special Karonis family ingredient expressions that he stopped short of sharing. Yes, he’s able to keep a secret.

Enjoy my spirited interview with Nafplion’s spirits celebrity!

 

Getting Craft Beer into Greeks

The last time I was in Europe two years ago, I didn’t find as many craft brewers as I expected to. The beer scene was still very much dominated by Old World traditions with nary a pale ale or IPA to be seen. Fast forward to today and people like Angelos Feros are changing that.

This brew master’s work at the Mykonos Brewing Company in Greece is attracting serious buzz. He’s on a mission to “get craft beer into Greeks,” and once I sat down with him to learn more about his plans, I wouldn’t be surprised if his brews filled up his fellow Greeks and spilled onto the international stage. Could the U.S.A. be in his sights?

Enjoy my interview with Angelos!

 

What’s Your Perfect Wine Blend?

You have a pipette, a glass flask, and bottles of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, and Grenache. Your mission is to create what you think the perfect wine blend is from custom percentages of these varietals.

This was the mission, and guests on our culinary and cocktail cruise had the opportunity to blend their own wines under the instruction of Ivanna, our Celebrity Cruises sommelier!

Once the blendings were complete, I sat down with Ivanna and a few of our guests to see how their wines turned out.

Enjoy this fun interview!

 

A Taste of Rome

When in Roma we eat and drink like Romans, and our walking food and wine tour introduced us to everything we needed to know about what Roma looks like on the plate and in the glass.

Enjoy my short conversation with Luisa, our tour guide from Roman Food Tours, as she summarized an amazing four-hour evening.

Delizioso!