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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.



Fall Football Tailgate Talk

Fall! Football! Tailgates!

This is one of my favorite seasons from a culinary perspective, and game day gastronomy was the topic of my recent appearance on the Sports Exchange with Justin Spears on ESPN Tucson!

We covered a wide range of issues in our conversation about football cuisine which included upping your tailgate game from burgers and dogs to smoked meats, an analysis of the spectrum of smoking woods, and more.

We also heard from Chef Ryan Jones about his new NFL Sunday Game Day rib special at Fini’s Landing, and dished out the details on Casino Del Sol Chef Ryan Clark’s Sol Bowl Tailgate Championship.

Make your next tailgate a touchdown for your taste buds!


In a New York Spirit of Mind

I had a private audience with Carlo DeVito last week.

But this memorable moment wasn’t at one of his book signings or other celebrity appearances. It was just him. And me. At the Hudson-Chatham Winery satellite tasting room on Main Street in Tannersville, New York in the heart of the Catskill Mountains.

I saw a sign on the door that said local spirit flights, and, of course, I walked in and prepared for takeoff.

It turns out that Carlo is a nationally renowned authority on craft spirits. He’s also the author of Big Whiskey: Kentucky Bourbon, Tennessee Whiskey, the Rebirth of Rye, and the Distilleries of America’s Premier Spirits Region. Lucky for me he was pouring that afternoon, and he introduced me to some of the best booze that the Empire State has to offer.

Enjoy our conversation here about some of the things making news at Harvest Spirits Farm Distillery, Taconic Distillery, and Black Dirt Distillery.



A Sonoran-Southern Smash

Chef Travis Peters recently added several new dishes to his menu at The Parish, with foodies celebrating what he calls a “smash” of Tucson and southern cuisine.

I sat down with Travis last weekend for a quick conversation about the new menu, his smashings, and his glimpse into the future which very well may include a new concept!

Enjoy this interview and, as Travis always says, “Rock on Tucson!”


New Menu Making News at Ten55

French fries inspired by a North African chile?

A classic mornay sauce kicked up with cheddar, Gruyere, and sage to create a cauliflower gratin?

Sliced and seared pork meatloaf sliders?

Several new items were just added to the menu at Ten55 Brewing Company and Sausage House, and I caught up with Chef Zack Ghidotti after my introductory tasting to learn how it all came together.

Enjoy my interview here!


The 2019 Baja Brews & Bites Winners

Mat Cable, Rocco DiGrazia & Rick Berg

A sell-out crowd turned out last night for the second annual Baja Brews & Bites, where six teams consisting of two local chefs and one local brewer each competed for people’s choice for the best food and beer pairing!

The event was co-sponsored by the Tucson Originals and the Baja Arizona Brewers, together showcasing the artistry of local and independent restaurants and breweries.

Just seconds after the winning team was announced, I caught up with its members to learn more about their dish and how it was intentionally paired with the corresponding brews.

Enjoy this short interview with Mat Cable of Fresco Pizzeria, Rocco DiGrazia of Rocco’s Little Chicago, and Rick Berg of Sentinel Peak Brewing Company!


In Rum Haven Heaven

I was honored to be a guest last week at the opening night party at Ocean Beach’s hot new club The Holding Company, where I learned about a coconut water rum that’s taking the country by storm.
And it’s now available in Tucson!
Enjoy my interview here with the San Diego representative of Rum Haven to see what the buzz is all about!

Catching up with a Crowned Heads Celeb

Brothers and sisters of the leaf across Tucson convened at Jerry’s Cigars this week for the highly anticipated release of the Las Calaveras 2019 cigar from Crowned Heads!

Jerry’s special guest was Crowned Heads national sales manager Miguel Schoedel, and I caught up with him for a quick interview to learn about this hot new stick as well as what’s behind the big and bold brand that is Crowned Heads.

Listen to what he had to say, and what Tucson restaurant he dined at on his quick visit to the Old Pueblo!


Buckmaster Show Takeover

I was honored to occupy Bill Buckmaster’s chair today, as guest host of the Buckmaster Show, while Bill was away on vacation. The full hour was dedicated to the dynamic food and beverage scene in Southern Arizona!

Brandi, Terry, me, and Vlad! (Brennan called in from out of town).


My guests included Terry Kyte of the Tucson Originals who talked about the important work of locally owned and independent restaurants, Brennan Sanders of Aridus Wine Co. who got us current with his newest releases while sharing some hot news about a national honor that was recently conferred on this Southern Arizona winery, Vlad Novokschenov of Town Under Black Distillery who reserved his first live radio interview about his blue corn and cacao husk whiskey for me, and Brandi Romero of Kiss of Smoke BBQ who turned the final segment of the Buckmaster Show into the Pitmaster Show. Listen as she shares the secrets behind her proprietary wood blend!

Thanks for letting me sit in the big chair, Bill. You can go on vacation whenever you want!