On The Menu News

June 27, 2017
EATER opines on Melbourne (Victoria, Australia) Restaurants, OTM chimes in.
The well-known, much followed EATER just featured what it calls “38 Essential Melbourne Restaurants”, see https://www.eater.com/maps/best-melbourne-restaurants-38 for the entire story.  Since OTM just returned from the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, we feel qualified to offer our thoughts   Tops of our list and recommended by EATER, Donovans on St. Kilda Beach, (Gail & Kevin Donovan are just the best when it comes to hospitality, and the location is just perfect); Long Chim by OZ-native David Thompson, famed for Thai cuisine (his Nahm in Bangkok is high on the World’s 50 Best list); Rockpool Bar & Grill is the Flagship of Neil Perry’s vast Dining Empire, with fabulous Seafood & Beef, and Victor Luong’s Modern Chinese Lee Ho Fook gives a great reason for exploring one of the City’s “laneways”.  Some of our favorites did not make EATER’s list, Ides by Peter Gunn, ESP by Scott Pickett and Philippe by Philippe Mouchel – we strongly recommend all 3 of them.  Attica by Ben Shewry and Brae by Dan Hunter were impossible to schedule, unsurprising since they carry Australia’s flag in the World’s 50 Best.   Aaron Turner “down the road” in Geelong is another emerging culinary star we couldn’t connect with – you should try.  All restaurants named have informative websites you can Google. OTM interviewed all except Ben, Dan & Aaron, and the interviews are in OTM Audio Archives.

June 22, 2017
1st Annual Western PA Lamb Cook-off – Ace Hotel, July 23, 2-6PM

Modeled after the Taste of Vail’s Colorado Lamb Cook-off, this exciting event will feature 20+ Top Local Chefs, and Lamb from Jamison Farms in Latrobe.  Christina French & Victoria Bradley of TABLE magazine put this together, inspired by Christina’s experience attending the Vail event.  Hosting the Cook-off will be East Liberty’s trendy Ace Hotel and the kitchen of its Whitfield Restaurant.  There will be a People’s Choice Award for the best Lamb Creation.  Participating Chefs have told us they will be collaborating but also competing, and OTM’s good Friends Suki & John from Jamison Farms will make sure they have the very best meat to cook.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the Pittsburgh Emergency Medicine Foundation.  Attendees who’d like to book a room for the night of the 22nd or 23rd will get tickets & VIP access to the Cook-off with Rate Code LAMBFEST.  More information via Facebook:/WesternPALambCookOff, Twitter @WPALambFest, www.tablemagazine.com/table_live_posts/western-pa-lamb-fest, www.acehotel.com/offers/pittsburgh/promo-lambfest. Don’t miss this, we’ll see you there!!

June 09, 2017
Colorado comes to Pittsburgh Next Week

Colorado comes to Pittsburgh. Here's a Taste of what's in store https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ebAHQ1vmDTk..  The Mountain State has been a hotbed of Artisanal Beer in recent decades.  Beer lovers in Pittsburgh and other cities around the country will have the opportunity to interact with representatives of Breckenridge Brewery as they bring their outdoor-loving, music-and-arts inspired lifestyle to Pittsburgh the week of June 12 as part of its national Breck Trek road trip. Breck Trek is led by Todd “Tebo” Thibault, the brewery’s Culture Czar and features Breckenridge Brewery special and rare beers.  Find out more about the Brewery and the whole week’s events at http://www.breckbrew.com/breck-trek-cities/pittsburgh.

June 07, 2017
Pittsburgh's Justin Severino featured in Esquire

The emergence of Butchers as Culinary Superstars is a relatively new phenomenon - but there are more & more stories, here's a recent one with a local twist.  Justin, Chef-Partner of Cure & Morcilla restaurants in Pittsburgh's trendy Lawrenceville neighborhood, has always been celebrated  for the Charcuterie, that's a major portion of his menu.  Esquire reports that his fame is spreading.  According to Esquire's summer issue, Celebrity Chef Curtis Stone installed a Butcher's Case at Gwen, one of his LA restaurants, so that he could display the Charcuterie that Justin makes on the regular trips he makes to replenish the restaurant's supply.  As Charcuterie lovers, OTM gets regular "fixes" at Cure, and we were pleased to give Justin the definitive guide to Spanish, Charcutería: The Soul of Spain, the first book to introduce authentic Spanish butchering and meat-curing techniques to the American market.

May 25, 2017
Veteran Restaurateurs Charles Phan & Jonathon Waxman announce new ventures
At OTM we just love Charles Phan and Jonathon Waxman, both great Chefs and fine Gentlemen’  So we’re thrilled to hear that both are going to expand their Restaurant Ventures early next year.  We’ve had the opportunity to interview both on more than one occasion, most joyously when they received James Beard Best Chef Awards.  Charles is headed for new geography at The Forum Shops, Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, under its familiar name; Jon is returning to California at LA’s Westfield Century City – name not yet announced.  We’ll keep you informed as we hear more details, and you can also follow their progress through the websites of Simon Property Group & Westfield Century City, the developers for Jon & Charles respectively.

May 24, 2017
Happy15th Birthday to Worlds 50 Best Restaurants

Who would you like to fix lunch for you on your 15th Birthday?  The organizers of World’s 50 Best Restaurants decided that one of the 50 Best winners was not enough, so they added 4 more.  So June 27 at Bravo24 in Barcelona. Ferran Adria will be joined in the kitchen by Rene Redzepi, Joan Roca, Massimo Bottura and Daniel Humm.  Each of these Masterful Chef-Restaurateurs will participate in a special edition of #50 Best Talks, where they’ll outline a Personal Vision of the Future of Gastronomy.  The official announcement notes that aside from those participating 2 other Chefs have topped the list, Thomas Keller of The French Laundry and Heston Blumenthal of The Fat Duck.  OTM’s schedule won’t allow us to attend ; but this is sure to be a very special day for those who can.  We’re already planning for the 2018 50 Best in Bilbao-San Sebastian.  www.theworlds50best.com.  for more information.

May 10, 2017
James Beard Awards & World’s 50 Best Restaurants – where will they go next?

The answers just became clearer, at least Where, When if not Why.  The JBF Restaurant & Chef Awards are going to stay in Chicago until 2021, the Journalism Awards stay in NYC a week earlier in the Calendar.  Those Chicagoans must be very persuasive!

Rumors were rampant at the recent 2017 World’s 50 Best in Melbourne about where the organizers would choose for 2018.  Announcement of the selected location, Bilbao, in Spain’s Biscay province in the Basque region, came as a great surprise (at least to OTM).  We have not seen an actual date for the 50 Best events, only that they will be in June, and that some will happen in San Sebastian.  We’ve been in both these cities more than once, Bilbao enlivened by the dramatically designed Guggenheim Art Museum, and San Sebastian known for its glorious crescent-shaped beach and fine 19th century architecture, dating for the time when the city was the summer home of the Spanish Royal Family.

The Basque region is well known for a bounteous larder from land and sea, with distinctive cuisine, both traditional and modern. It boasts 4 restaurants in the 50 Best and another 2 in the 51-100.  San Sebastian hosts the well-known Gastronimika Food  Congress.

So, two interesting and different selections, means that the Beards as enthusiastically supported by its host city, as it has been the last 2 years.  And 50 Best will have a whole new flavor!  OTM plans to be there, we hope many of you will join us – perhaps not too many!

April 26, 2017
OTM crossed the Globe to bring the latest in Australian (and World) Cuisine
Back from a busy and exciting trip down-under to Melbourne and Sydney, we’ll be bringing you several weeks of interesting conversations with Australian and Worldwide Chefs, Restaurateurs, and Wine Makers.  Herewith just a review of highlights, to whet your appetite.  First to recap the reason for our journey was the coincidence of the 25th Annual Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, and the 15th World’s 50 Best Restaurant Awards which had been persuaded to head to the dynamic city which rightly claims to be Australia’s Food Capital.  50 Best attendees added to the typical hustle & bustle of Melbourne, and many (like OTM) stopped in Sydney on the way. The 50 Best Awards Gala, held in the magnificent Royal Exhibition Building dating from the late 1800s, was the usual dramatic affair, highlighted by the crowning of NYC’s Eleven Madison Park as #1, and catered in truly fabulous fashion by Neil Perry, an old acquaintance of OTM’s, now heading a vast dining empire (more about this in an extended interview coming soon to our program).  A multitude of delicious oysters and portions of great OZ beef were consumed.  We had had the chance to talk to “One to Watch” award-winner Eduard Zatruc of Barcelona’s Disfrutar, Best Female Chef Ana Ros from remote Slovenia, Biggest mover Dan Barber, of NY’s Stone Barns, Chef’s Choice Virgilio Martinez from Lima and Elena Arzak, a perennial in Top 50, and Gaston Acurio whose comments focused on how he was planning to come to the aid of the many Peruvian citizens affected by recent disastrous conditions.  Heston Blumenthal was in fine form, but way too busy.  Fortunately his head Chef at Dinner, Ashley Palmer-Watts, not only granted an extensive interview – he also cooked for us, as did David Thompson, Partner-Chef at Nahm in Bangkok, and a new group of “street food” focused Long Chim.

Among old friends we dined with, already mentioned Neil Perry treated us to Fish & Beef at Rockpool Steak & Seafood, Philippe Mouchel’s new venture was French Bistro style at its best, Gail & Kevin Donovan treated us royally at their beautifully restored facility on St. Kilda Beach, better than ever following destruction by fire.

Melbourne’s Chinatown is world famous, and Victor Liong of  Lee Ho Fook showed us how traditional Chinese can be modernized and molded to new deliciousness.  Scott Pickett of ESP, etc. proved that Modern Oz cuisine continues to develop, with Head Chef Steve Nairn serving a tasting menu of mouth-watering dishes, from a custom kitchen Scott Himself designed, twice the size of the dining room.  Peter Gunn, Chef Owner of IDES in funky Collingwood lived up to his reputation as a young “hotshot”.  And we’ve already mentioned Ashley Palmer-Watts at Dinner by Heston, where he’s developed an OZ-ingredient focused version of the concept first launched in London.

On to Sydney, OTM was thrilled to enjoy the cooking of an exciting young Chef, and a veteran of several decades in the hospitality-restaurant game, Josh Niland of St. Peter and Ross Lusted of The Bridge Room.  Josh told us his dramatic life story including  childhood illness, then described his thoughtful and inventive preparations of the great seafood still found aplenty in Australian waters – his radical ideas about how to procure, store and cook fish are quite fascinating – and the results amazing!   Ross treated us to tasting menu of quite exquisite dishes, his sommelier matched to perfection.  It was our last day down-under……………and we can’t wait to return.

April 24, 2017
Dinner paired with Johnny Walker Scotch at Ruth's Chris

Pioneer of the TasteMaker tradition, Ruth’s Chris Steak House is serving an exceptional, five-course dining experience featuring the whiskies of Johnnie Walker. Hosted exclusively at Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations across the nation on April 27, the dinner will be the third in a series of acclaimed TasteMaker Dinners.  Be sure to join On the Menu at the Pittsburgh venue  

Guests will be served a curated selection of inventive whisky cocktails, as well as tastings of Johnnie Walker Black, Johnnie Walker Platinum and Johnnie Walker Blue served neat. Each beverage will be served alongside an exclusive menu, crafted specifically for the one-night only, dining experience. Pairings include Stuffed Shrimp Scampi & Lasagna Roulade, Balsamic Roasted Pear Salad, Red Lentil & Cauliflower Soup, Filet Mignon Oscar and Tiramisu.  “Ruth's Chris TasteMaker Dinners bring guests from around the nation together to experience the finer tastes in life,” says Abdiel Aleman, Vice President of culinary development for the iconic Steak House,. “Combining our rich heritage with that of Johnnie Walker whiskies allows us to create a dining experience that will be storied in its own right.” As Great Fans of Scotch, OTM is looking forward to this unique event., with some very special taste sensations.  Reservations for Ruth’s TasteMaker Dinner with Johnnie Walker are still available - but hurry!.!  

And watch out for additional dining experiences scheduled throughout the year featuring Chateau Montelena Winery, Moët Hennessy and Marchesi Antinori.  For reservations and more information about the TasteMaker Dinner Series, visit www.ruthschris.com/promotions/taste-maker-dinners.

 

April 13, 2017
Hurrah for Asparagus Season
European Chefs and Diners "Go Gaga" at the start of the season for both the White and Green varieties.  Restaurants offer Special Menus featuring the Glorious Stalks in many different guises.   Bring your Piggy Bank!!  Especially in the first few days of the season prices can be VERY high. For a typical Aspragus Menu, visit www.lafrasca.com for a version created by OTM's Good Friend from Friuli, Valter Scarbolo - just an hour or so drive from the Venice Airport.  Walter will also help you with the tricky wine pairing issue.

March 29, 2017
World’s 50 Best announces 51-100 rankings – 1/2 the Secrets are out!

For the first time last year in NYC, the World’s 50 Best Restaurants relieved some of the suspense by releasing the names of those who placed in the 2nd 50.  This year's list can be found at http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/51-100-winners#.  The exciitement mounts for those who are still in the running for a top 50 spots.  A couple of interesting tidbits – 2016’s Top Female Chef, Dominque Crenn, cracked the 100, and the USA had no less than 9 Restaurants placing between 51 & 100, with NYC’s Momofuku Ko leaping 39 spots to #58.  With less than a week to go the tension mounts!

March 14, 2017
Barcelona Restaurant wins World's 50 Best One to Watch Award

Right on the heels of Lasarte's 3rd Star comes more recognition for Barcelona dining.  Disfrutar in Barcelona has been named this year’s Miele One To Watch by The World’s 50 Best Restaurants. Opened in December 2014, Disfrutar is a collaboration between chefs Mateu Casañas, Oriol Castro and Eduard Xatruch. The three met while cooking at former No.1 restaurant El Bulli, where they worked alongside legendary Spanish chef Ferran Adrià.  The founders will be presented with the coveted award at The World’s 50 Best Restaurants awards in Melbourne on April 5th. The Miele One To Watch Award celebrates emerging global talent and recognises a restaurant that is outside the 50 Best itself but has the potential to rise up the list in the near future.  William Drew, Group Editor of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants, said: “Disfrutar showcases the individual talents of these three chefs and broadens their influence on Spain’s culinary scene. Their commitment to pushing the creative boundaries of gastronomy makes them worthy winners of the Miele One To Watch Award.”

Centrally located in Barcelona’s Eixample district, Disfrutar evokes a Mediterranean spirit with its décor and laid-back ambience. Beyond the entrance, guests walk past two open kitchens and are led into the spacious, whitewashed dining room that extends to an open terrace. Bright and earthen-coloured ceramics in various forms dominate the space, a symbolic nod to Barcelona’s cultural heritage and the restaurant’s focus on artistry.  While Disfrutar’s multi-course tasting menus uphold modernist culinary principles, they also reveal the chefs’ quirky personalities. Avant-garde, theatrical and inventive, each course aims to delight and excite the senses. Signature dishes include macaroni made from gelatin, tossed in truffle foam and smothered in Parmesan at the table. A deconstructed whisky tart invites guests to wash their hands in whisky and inhale the scent as they eat.  Eduard Xatruch of Disfrutar, said: “Being named this year’s winners of the Miele One To Watch Award is a huge recognition of our collective work. In addition, this award helps Disfrutar, which is a very young project, to become established and obviously encourages us to continue working and challenging ourselves.”  Disfrutar joins a stellar line-up of recent One To Watch award winners including Den in Tokyo (2016), Sepia in Sydney (2015), Saison in San Francisco (2014) and The Tasting Kitchen in Cape Town (2013).

OTM hopes to bring you an Interview with these exciting youg Chefs - we're headed for Melbourne shortly and will be covering the 50 Best Awards, nnow only 4 weeks away.

March 08, 2017
Martin Berasategui's Lasarte Restaurant wins 3rd Michelin Star

When we dined with Martín Berasategui  Basque chef and owner of an eponymous restaurant in Lasarte-Oria (Gipuzkoa), Spain, we christened him “King of Flavors” – every dish we sampled was more delicious than the one before. Thanks to the 2107 Michelin Guides, we must grant him another title, Super Star, for the 8 Total Stars Martin now holds; his Barcelona Restaurant, Lasarte (named after the San Sebastian suburb where his first 3 Star is located) was the only restaurant to gain a 3rd Star in their Main Cities of Europe (MCE) volume, just released. .Adding the 2 Stars held by MB Restaurant in Tenerife, gives Berasategui a total of 8, more than any other Chef in Spain.  Lasarte is further distinguished as the only Barcelona restaurant with 3 Stars.  It was also the only MCE based Restaurant to gain promotion to 3 Star.  https://www.restaurantlasarte.com/

March 01, 2017
Heston Blumenthal wins Diner's Club Lifetime Achievement Award at World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards

More than 10 years ago when OTM was quite new, we had the opportunity to talk for well over an hour with Chef Blumenthal, while waiting for our lunch seating at The Fat Duck in Bray, England.  We had heard rave reviews about the fascinating food, and the just gained 3rd Michelin Star had put the restaurant “on the map” for discriminating diners.  We were not to be disappointed!  What surprised us most was the thoughtfulness and modesty of this School Teacher turned Star Chef, who’s most distinguishing characteristics were closely cropped hair and heavily rimmed Eyeglasses.  What did he like to cook at home?  Roast Chicken, where was his favorite spot to dine out? A local Indian Restaurant.  Within the year Fat Duck would be named No. 1 in World’s 50 Best.  Now the accolade most prized by Chefs (it is voted on by Peers), the Diner’s Club Lifetime Achievement Award, to be handed out April 5 in Melbourne – and OTM will be there!  We’ll be bringing you news of what’s next for Heston, besides two Dinner by Heston restaurants in London & Melbourne, but his immediate reaction to the award “…… After 20 years of The Fat Duck, I now feel like I’m just starting – and those 20 years were my apprenticeship.  The future is very, very exciting”.   We’re sure there is no doubt about that!

February 21, 2017
Asia's 50 Best Jurors 'Spread the Wealth"

When the votes were announced in Bangok tonight, 4 Nations tied for the largest number of places in the Top 50; China, Japan, Singapore & Thailand each scored 9.  Top Honor, for the 3rd year in a row, Gagang, Indian inspired but located in Bangkok, OTM remembers chatting with Chef Gagang Anand at World's50Best a few years back.  Best Female Chef went to May Chow of Little Bao in Hong Kong & Bangkok.  Best Pastry; Kazutoshi Narita, Esquisse in Tokyo.  Chef's Choice, Dave Pynt, Burnt Ends, Singapore.  Next up for the 50Best crew, Melbourne, April 5, and OTM will be "among the throng".  More about all of this at www.theworlds50best.com/

February 16, 2017
Asia's 50 Best Restaurant Organizers name Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

Hong Kong based Chef Umberto Bombana won't have to deal with the nervousness experienced by potential 50Best candidates.  Just a few days ago William Drew, Group Editor of Asia's 50 Best (he also heads up World's & Latin America's 50s) announced this year's Asia 50 Best Lifetime Achievement Awad for 2017,  Chef Bombana, who cooks a fine Italian -inspired menu at 8 1/2 Otto e Mezzo Bombana, will pick up his Award officially at the Asia's 50 Best Awards event on February 21 in Bangkok. 8 1/2 also holds the distinction of being the only Italian Restaurant outside Italy with a 3-Star ranking from Michelin, and .it holds a place in both Asia & World 50 Best.  For more about  the 50 Best, including the 2017 World event in Melbourne on April 5, www.theworlds50best.com.  And you guessed it, the name of the Restaurant is a tribute to famed Film Director Federico Fellini, whose acclaimed film of the same name was released in 1963.

January 28, 2017
World's Best 2017 Female Chef Named

BE SURE TO TUNE IN TO NEXT SUNDAY'S PROGRAM FOR OTM'S INTREVIEW WITH THE CEO OF MELBOURNE FOOD & WINE FESTIVAL, NATALIE O'BRIEN

World’s 50 Best Restaurant Organizers, William Reed Business Media, just announced the 2017 World’s Best Female Chef. Ana Ros, a self-taught Chef from Slovenia.  Chef Ana will receive the Award on April 5th in Melbourne, Australia, site of this year’s Awards Ceremony.  Ana didn’t start out to be a Chef.  Earlier in her life she was a National Ski Champion and targeted a career in Diplomacy.  Her husband Valter inherited the restaurant named Hisa Franko, near Slovenia’s border with Italy – now Ana is Chef & Valter Sommelier.  Fresh local ingredients and native cuisine are the hallmarks of Ana’s kitchen.  She’s found time to travel to Global Culinary Events and engage in Philanthropic activity.  Accepting the prestigious accolade, Roš said: “The award came as a surprise to me. It is a big responsibility to accept this award, especially as a self-taught cook, but the recognition provides an opportunity for people to reassess Slovenia as an interesting gastronomic destination.”

Roš follows in the footsteps of a series of notable female chefs in holding this prestigious title, including the inimitable Dominique Crenn in 2016, as well as Hélène Darroze (2015), Helena Rizzo (2014), Elena Arzak (2013), Nadia Santini (2012) and Anne-Sophie Pic (2011). The selection of this year’s winner reflects the broad gastronomic geography of The World’s 50 Best Restaurants brand, shining the spotlight on a chef from a relatively little-known culinary country.

The 2017 Awards Ceremony takes place in Melbourne Australia, March 31 thru April 9, coincident with that city's 25th Annual Food & Wine Festival. and issupport ed by Tourism Australia, Visit Victoria, and a select group of Food, Drink, Hospitality & Luxury Goods suppliers.  For more information - www.theworlds50best.com & www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au

 

 

January 26, 2017
How's California Wine Country coping with all that Rain?

Our Good Friend Joy Sterling of Iron Horse Vineyard brings us excellent news, Yes there is flooding, but also, Yes the heavily depleted Aquifers are replenshed.  To get news of Special Events at Iron Horse and obtain your supply of OTM's favorite California "Bubbles", www.ironhorsevineyards.com.

January 22, 2017
Austin's Food & Wine Festival is BACK
Mark your calendar for April 27-30, and check out www.austinfoodandwinefestival,com.  After last year’s “wash-out”, Festival Organizers promise that the 2107 Festival will be better than ever.  So plan to Enjoy Great Food & Drink and Music to Match at a series of great Outdoor Events.  The line-up is Fabulous, whether you Favor Flavor, or Love the Sound of (Country) Music.

January 19, 2017
Join Pittsburgh Chefs raising $$ for One of their Own

We heard about this from Pittsburgh Magazine's Hal Klein.  Last July Zach Behm, Sous Chef at Pittsburgh's Cure Restaurant was the victim of a serious car crash.  His injuries are still severe, and though he’s now home from a long hospital and rehabilitation stay, he still requires around-the-clock care. So Justin Severino & Hilary Prescott Severino, Cure's owners, and  other Pittsburgh Chefs have organized “Team Behm, A Fundraiser for Zack.” In addition to the kitchens of Cure and Morcilla, the following restaurants are participating in the fundraiser; Bar Marco, Dish Osteria and Bar, Fairmont Pittsburgh, Josephine's Toast, Legume, Millie’s Homemade Ice Cream, Piccolo Forno, Provision PGH, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group, Round Corner Cantina, Spoon, Stagioni, Station, The Commoner, The Vandal and Vivo Restaurant. The event takes place on Jan. 31 at Teamsters Local Union 249 in Lawrenceville. Tickets are $45 and include snacks from the participating restaurants. Pittsburgh brewers and distillers Wigle Whiskey, Boyd & Blair Potato Vodka, Voodoo Brewery, Hop Farm Brewing Company, Spoonwood Brewing Co., Grist House, Draai Laag Brewing Company, Full Pint Brewing and Roundabout Brewery also will be on hand.  -More at: http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/Eat-Street/January-2017/Restaurant-Industry-Fundraiser-to-Aid-Injured-Chef/

December 08, 2016
Top Food & Wine Events combine "down-under" in Melbourne, March 31-April 9 2017 - Be there!
The 25 year old Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and Worlds 50 Best Restaurant Awards, now in its 15th year, are joining forces for what promises to be THE ultimate Food & Wine experience.  It’s happening March 31 to April 9 2017, and to avoid disappointment you should be making your plans at be there ASAP.  From previous years’ experience the top events sell out well in advance.   The actual 50Best Awards will be held in the Royal Exhibition Hall on April 5, and there’ll be a MasterClass series featuring To Chefs from around the world, The Food Festival includes numerous events in Melbourne and around the state of Victoria, many featuring Winemakers of top vineyards that have earned the state’s growing reputation for excellence. For more details go to www.theworlds50best.com/ and http://www.melbournefoodandwine.com.au/. For the top spot to stay, the newly opened boutique QT Hotel is designated as the HQ Hotel for both events, www.qthotelsandresorts.com/melbourne/

November 27, 2016
Today's Program slightly delayed

The OTM Server had too much Turkey or Pumpkin Pie at Thanksgiving?  We're not sure, but we do apologize for the delay in availability of Today's OTM Broadcast.  We're working diligently to correct the problem.

November 27, 2016
All's well with today's program

We apolgize for any inconvenience, the program is now online.

November 20, 2016
Simpson's Birmingham (UK) Chefs place 1st & 3rd in Young Chef of the Year Awards
Owner Andreas Antona & Executive Chef Luke Tipping have a track record for developing Young Chefs - a few years back 4th Chef in line cooked for Peter & Ann on Peter's Birthday, and his food didn't miss a beat, and we've enjoyed both Andreas & Luke in the kitchen.  So it's not entirely surprising that two of Simpson's up & coming Chefs would win & place in the British Culinary Federation's Young Chef Awards - the winner, Frances Attwood at the Edgebaston location and third, Andreas Doukanaras at The Cross in Kenilworth.  Congratulations to all, it's been too long since we dined with you.  http://www.simpsonsrestaurant.co.uk/.

October 17, 2016
James Beard Foundation Awards Event will stay in Chicago

Two years ago the JBF decided to move its Big Event from NYC (where it had always been held) to Chicago, and to keep it there for 3 years.  Now comes a surprising announcement that Chicago will continue to host the event until 2021, an additional 4 years.  OTM heard that Chicago's Mayor Rahm Emmanuel was VERY persistent and persuasive in winning the Awards ceremony for his city, Clearly he still is.  For more information about other areas of cooperation between Chicago's "Culinary Establishment, can be found at http://www.choosechicago.com/articles/view/mayor-emanuel-and-the-james-beard-foundation-announce-awards-ceremony-to-be-held-in-chicago-through-2021/1760/.

October 16, 2016
Happy 11th Birthday to London's Roast Restaurant at Borough Market

When OTM first explored London’s Borough Market (more than 15 years ago) we didn’t know that the continued existence of this iconic landmark was in doubt, or that Iqbal Wahab was working on opening a restaurant featuring “Deliciously British Food”.  We soon found out that these two things were happening at the same time.  Iqbal wasn’t just a “Restaurateur to be”, he was one of a small group working to ensure that the owners of the Rail Tracks above the market would allow it to continue to operate.  The glorious Cast Iron frontage which now graces the Market was first evidence that something grand was coming, and 11 years ago the secret was revealed when Roast opened its doors behind the spectacular glass.  And we met Iqbal for the first time.  We’ve enjoyed great Fish & Chips (wrapped in Pink-colored Newsprint, faux Financial Times Newspaper), grand platters of Oysters, and delicious regional dishes from around Great Britain, house label British Sparkling wine – the list goes on………………  And so does Iqbal’s seemingly impossible dream.  Borough is still fun, but VERY crowded, Roast is dynamic/energetic/iconic………  Go here, but be sure to make a reservation so that you’ll be able to escape the Market’s throng.  http://www.roast-restaurant.com/

October 15, 2016
Celebrating 25 years of Penfold's Recorking Clinic
Penfolds expresses its pride on the occasion of the 25th Annual Recorking Clinics, soon to take place in NYC, LA, Miami & Vancouver BC.  This service is available for Penfolds red wine older than 15 years.  The Penfolds winemaking team will open, inspect, assess, top up, certify and recork each bottle – more information about how to make a reservation at https://www.penfolds.com/en-us/wine-advice/recorking-clinics.  Over 130,000 bottles have been certified since 1991, according to Chief Winemaker Peter Gago.  Act quickly because the Clinic dates are between October 21 in NYC and November 2 in LA.  A few years ago OTM had the opportunity to visit the Magill Estate to a fine Gourmet Restaurant, a visit here is a must for oenophiles who venture down-under.  If you’re fortunate they’ll still have some of the Grange vintage that won Wine Spectator’s wine of the year – there have been two – and you’ll hear the romantic story of “Hidden Grange”. 

October 07, 2016
All in the family, the Brennan Family from NOLA
Our friends at Simone Ink bring this news from NOLA.  Ralph Brennan just received the 2017 Ellen Brennan Lifetime Achievement in Hospitality , named for  his Aunt and 1st Awardee.  With  fine restaurants in the Crescent City, Ralph is one of the city’s best Restaurateurs, AND a tireless advocate of, NOLA’s heritage.  In the last 2 years he has restored the original Brennan’s and Historic Napoleon House, expanding his restaurant count to a total of 8.   Ann is a huge fan of the Soft Shell Crabs at Mr. B’s – his first Restaurant Venture in partnership with his sister Cindy.  Congratulations Ralph.  As the song goes “It’s a Family Affair…………..”.  https://www.neworleans-food.com, and to hear our interview with Ralph, go to OTM Audio Archives, program date January 4 2009.

October 04, 2016
Interesting news in Michelin’s 2017 UK Red Guide.
Heston Blumenthal regains 3 Stars for Fat Duck, http://www.thefatduck.co.uk/;  Meanwhile the Bray neighbor Waterside Inn passes more than 30 years with Michelin’s top accolade, Alain Roux at the helm, http://www.waterside-inn.co.uk/.  Chef Michael Wignall keeps the  2 Stars won by Michael Caines at Gidleigh Park,  http://www.gidleigh.co.uk/; the Chutney Mary group wins a Star for Veerswamy to go along with the one at Amaya, http://www.veeraswamy.com/, pretty good for London’s oldest Indian fine dining spot, on its 90th Anniversary.  Kai’s fine Chinese dining continues to be recognized, http://www.kaimayfair.co.uk/  Philip Howard parted company with The Square, but his many fans will be pleased that he has just opened Elystan Street, http://www.elystanstreet.com/   Sadly Claude Bosi’s Hibiscus has closed, also Arbutus, Brasserie Chavot and L’Autre Pied; among those losing a Star – Launceston Place and Wild Honey.  Check out the whole list at https://www.viamichelin.co.uk/web/Restaurants

September 23, 2016
RIP Dorothy Cann Hamilton
OTM joins with the entire Culinary Community in expressing our sadness at the tragic death of Dorothy Cann Hamilton.  Dorothy's legacy includes the host of Students at the French Culinary Institute which she founded, also the revival of the James Beard Foundation which she headed during some difficult times. Just last year she led the group which directed the creation of the USA Pavilion at the Milan Expo - the subject of OTM's interview with Dorothy, program date March 1, 2015.  She will be sorely missed. 

September 22, 2016
Fall in Friuli means Funghi e Zucca at La Frasca
OTM's great friend Valter Scarbolo just announced a "Fabulous Fall Feast" featuring Pumpkin & Porcini in a seasonal Menu;  Just an hour or so from Venice, La Frasca is worth a much longer journey - catch some of their house made Salumi and delightful Wines as well.  www.lafrasca.com.

September 21, 2016
Morcilla in Pittsburgh's Lawrenceville neighbohood makes Bon Appetit's HOT TEN US Restaurant List
Proud Owner Justin Severino says "We are honored to have Morcilla included in Bon Appetit's Hot 10 best new restaurants in America."  BA Correspondent Andrew Knowlton rates Morcilla's food "the best pintxos and Spanish food outside San Sebastián."

September 03, 2016
You can donate to the Italian Earthquake Fund at Lidia's Pittsburgh
Lidia’s Pittsburgh, the Italian restaurant owned by our Good Friend Lidia Bastianich, will offer its guests the opportunity to help the victims of the recent earthquake in Italy by donating the proceeds of a beloved pasta dish originating in the hardest hit town.  A 6.2-magnitude earthquake struck central Italy near the town of Amatrice on Wednesday, with more than 290 deaths reported and many more still missing.  Lidia’s is now offering the pasta dish, Bucatini all’ Amatriciana, on both its lunch and dinner menus, with proceeds going to help those affected by the earthquake.  The dish is made with a long hollow pasta similar to spaghetti. The sauce is made with San Marzano tomatoes, olive oil, onion, peperoncino, pancetta and topped with grated Pecorino cheese, also local to the region.  The dish will be listed on the menu as “ Bucatini all’ Amatriciana” and costs $16. Proceeds will be donated to the Italian Red Cross.  “Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Central Italy in the wake of this devastating earthquake,” said Nicole Neely, Executive Chef of Lidia’s. “We are honored to give back to them by celebrating this incredible pasta dish that they have given to the world.”;  Thank you Lidia for your generosity!!


 

August 15, 2016
SuperChef Massimo Bottura Feeds Rio's homeless with Olympic Village Leftovers
It’s hard to get a table at Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, especially since Chef Massimo Bottura won the World’s Best Restaurant Award.  But his Refettorio  in Milan created at last year’s Expo Milan s still serving free meals to the poor as well as to paying customers – all based on surplus food.  Our good friend Massimo has now expanded to create Refettorio Gastromotiva in Rio, linked to surplus food from the Olympic Village.  Yesterday Chef Alex Atala of DOM, himself a World Top 10 awardee was helping prepare dinner.    The Rio project is still looking for donations (like everything Olympic it ran over budget), but we’re sure Massimo & his collaborators will fill the gap.  And look for Gastromotiva to expand beyond the 4 cooking schools it operates in Brazil with branch in Mexico City graduating its first class last month & S. Africa opening next month.  We salute Massimo for his leadership in reducing food waste on a major scale, doing much good for society in the process.  For more http://www.npr.org/sections/thetorch/2016/08/14/489987964/master-chef-turns-leftovers-into-fine-dining-for-brazils-hungry.

August 09, 2016
Endless Summer Luau for the Colon Cancer Alliance
Join OTM and some of our Best Friends at Pitttsburgh Hotel Monaco's Biergarten for an Endless Summer Luau, benefiting the Colon Cancer Alliance.  5;30-8.30PM, Sunday August 28.  Tropical Drinks, Luau-style Bites and a Luau Performance - be there!!  Tickets and More Info at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/endless-summer-luau-get-leid-for-cancer-tickets-26381747517.

August 07, 2016
Dublin Restaurateur isn't waiting for BRexit
www.oconnellsdonnybrook.com.  And go for dinner as well to feast on same-day delivered live lobsters from Ireland’s SW coast on the Atlantic.>

August 06, 2016
Correction - URL for Goghujang Sauce

Please note the correct website for Chung Jung One's Gochujang Sauce is http:// www.gochujangsauce.com

The URL in Ann's recent article is incorrect.  

 

 

August 05, 2016
Ann's Article on New Food Products & Trends
See OTM in Print for a link to Ann's 2016 "Round Up" from Specialty Food's 2016 Fancy Food Show.  We hope you'll enjoy reading as much as we did tasting.

August 04, 2016
Good News - New Server is operational - Programs from 2004-2006 are Off-line Let us know if you'd like to listen to any of them
All is well for Sunday's program.  As noted 2004-6 programs are now offline, but we can try to access them for you- just email the details of what you'd like to hear - onthemenu@onthemenuradio.com. 

July 31, 2016
OTM installing New Server

OTM is installing a New Server next week.  We apologize in advance for any glitches that may occur!

July 20, 2016
Outdoor Dining & Happy Hour at Lidia's Pittburgh
One of the delights of Dining in Italy is having Food & Wine Al Fresco, whether on a table, waterside at a beach or lake front, in a charming piazza...............   Now you can try this here in Pittsburgh;  Lidia's Pittsburgh has just announced the opening of a new outdoor lounge, with a special Taverna menu, signature cocktails and Italian wines.  This new menu will also be available in the main restaurant - and there'll be Happy Hour from 4.30-6.30PM Monday through Friday, with small lpates at half price, $3 off signature cocktails and selected wines for $5 a glass.  More at http://www.lidias-pittsburgh.com

June 18, 2016
Magnifico Massimo Bottura wins World's Best Restaurant Award

OTM is ABSOLUTELY THRILLED that Massimo Bottura's Osteria Francescana finally claimed the Top Spot.  We were able to congratulate our Good Friend & Chef Hero in person, despite the "packed to the walls" crowd at Cipriani Wall Street on June 13.  Hear our interview with Massimo and other 50 Best winners in tommorrow's program at http://edge1550.com/podcasts/20160619.mp3.

June 07, 2016
World's 51-100 Best Restaurants Announced
Get the list at http://www.theworlds50best.com/list/51-100-winners.  Unusually the World's 50 Best organizers decided to minimize the suspense/drama associated with the Awards Ceremony for the 50 Best which happens next Monday in NYC.  Have fun comparing your favorites with those of the Official 50 Best Electors.  We'll be reporting about Numbers 1-50 next week - can't wait........................

June 02, 2016
Tokyo's Den Named 2016 One to Watch by World's 50 Best Restaurant Awards
http://www.theworlds50best.com.

May 25, 2016
Music City Food & Wine Festival - Save the Dates Already!!
September 17-18 are the dates for one of our Very Favorite Events, which combines Nashville's dynamic Country Music Heritage and its Fast Developing Fine Dining Scene.  Once known only for Hot Cjicken and Meat+3 (still  great local favorites not to be missed), Nashville's Growing Gourmet reuptation is being led by local Chefs like Tandy Wilson of City House, winner of Best Chef SE at the recent James Beard Awards. Top Chefs from around the USA  assemble for a Chef Showcase and Harvest Night Party.  Tickets are on sale already, and they go fast, as do hotel rooms - OTM has theirs. http://www.musiccityfoodandwinefestival.com

May 20, 2016
Get Your Tickets TODAY for the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour, coming back to Pittsburgh June 21
Join Pittsburgh Foodies at the Mattress Factory as the James Beard Foundation's Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner series returns to Pittsburgh. Chef Justin Severino will team up with acclaimed culinary talents from around the country for a spectacular evening of food and drink.  Tickets are available starting today - call Cure at 412 252 2595.

Visiting chefs include: