Happy Mother's Day

We wish  the Happiest of Happy Days to all Mothers Everywhere - Our Very Best wishes.  From  Ann & Peter

Sydney's Saint Peter in Food & Wine May Issue

When OTM was planning a viist to Sydney, we were intrigued to read about Saint Peter, and decided to include it in our itinerary..  After all we needed to check out our Namesake.   We sure were right.  And Food & Wine's corespondent just agreed.  -https://www.foodandwine.com/chefs/josh-niland-australian-seafood.  Better still listen to OTM's interviews, OTM Episode June 4 2017, http://edge1550.com/podcasts/OnTheMenu-20170604.mp3  Josh''s radical concepts about how to purchase, store and serve Australia's Seafood Bounty are quite unique.  And the tesulte on the plate are truly World Class

Best Wines of the World Announced

18,477 Wines were tested in this Competition.  The Results are published at https://tastingbook.com/. See if your favourites made the cut in over 20 Different Categories.

Great News for Fans of Anthony Demetre’s Wild Honey in London

OTM was saddened when we saw the news that the original Wild Honey was going to close, since it was one of our favorite Dining Destinations in London.  In fact we first met Chef Anthony at his first venture Arbutus.  So how great to hear that WH will become WH St. James, at a new location.  Opening is targeted for the end of May.  The WH website has not been updated with details, but it’s sure to be - https://www.wildhoneyrestaurant.co.uk/.  Best wishes Anthony, now we have another excuse to catch up with you again.

412 Food Rescue launches Exciting New Development in their Mission

Pittsburgh’s Local food recovery nonprofit 412 Food Rescue just announced the beginning of their next approach in their mission to simultaneously address the issues of food waste and hunger at a new multi-purpose community space in Millvale today. Housed in the recently renovated shared space of the former Millvale Moose kitchen, one area of focus is the Good Food Project – the coming to fruition of an idea and plan submitted by 412 Food Rescue for - and second-place winner of - the UpPrize social innovation challenge in 2017.

“We are excited to launch new methods of food recovery,” said Leah Lizarondo, CEO and co-founder of 412 Food Rescue.  “This kitchen will help us to stabilize highly perishable surplus food as ingredients that can be prepared and frozen, then providwed as a healthy, convenient meal for people in need.” For more about this amazing project – www.412foodrescue.org.

Nelson's Green Brier Does it Again

The Nelson Brothers Andy and Charlie did it again at 2019 San Francisco World;s Spirits Competition.  Their Belle Meade Honey Cask Finish Bourbon was awarded World Best Barrel-Finished Bourbon.  This is the Nelson's second win in this category, in the past 4 years.  To put this in persepctive, the SF Competition covered more than 3,000 spirits.  The Nelson Distillery is located in Nashville, and the original pre-dates Prohibition.  For more of the Story on how it was revived, https://greenbrierdistillery.com/.


Maida Heatter - Still Baking after all these Years

At Age 102 Maida, dubbed  “Queen of Cake” by Saveur, just published a New Book, Happiness is Baking: Favorite Desserts from the Queen of Cake.  Our Good Friend Dorie Greenspan contributed the Foreword.  An Echo of Simon & Garfunkel seems appropriate.. You can get a copy of this book through our OTM Bookshelf, also Dorie Grenspan's latest, Everyday Dorie: The Way I Cook.

News about World's 50 Best Restaurants

World’s 50 Best Restaurants in the News.  The Asian version of the Awards took place in Macau, and in something of an upset Odette in Singapore (Chef Julien Royer) took Top Spot, over Bangkok’s Gaggan which won the Title 4 years in a row.  Get details of the entire Asia Top 50, Female Chef, Pastry Chef, etc. at https://www.theworlds50best.com/.

The World’s 50 Best Awards is scheduled for June 25 in Singapore, and this year the Voting Scheme has been changed – see the web site for more details about these developments.

British Airways Non-Stop Service from Pittsburgh to LHR Starts this week

Get Details at https://www.britishairways.com/en-gb/destinations/pittsburgh/flights-to-pittsburgh.This opens up Connections to Airports all around Europe and the Rest of the World.  Nuisance of the need for Charlotte or Philadephia will be a thing of the past.  OTM Applauds!!

World's Best Sommelier - You can only Win it Once

When we interviewed Sommelier Aldo Sohm a few years ago, we were intrigued when he told us how proud he was of receiving the Award.  More intriguing, that having won, he was ineligible to re-enter the Competition.  The Award Winner this time (The Competition is held every 3 years) was just announced; Marc Almert, Head Sommelier at Baur Au Lac in Zurich, Switzerland.  For more go to https://asi.info/ and https://www.bauraulac.ch/en/.  Congratulations Marc!!

Jacques Pepin to get Emmy Lifetime Achievement Award

Our Culinary Broadcasting Hero will be the first Culinary Personality to be so honored.  Here at OTM we've been delighted to welcome Jacques as a Guest Interviewee, so we know first hand rhe contribution he has made to America's Cooks, old and young.  His work side by side with Julia Child was recognized with an Emmy is 2001.  OTM applauds Chef Jacques for everything he has done to advance the Culinary Arts in his adopted country.

Sunny & Ross Lusted - Bad News and Good

Our favorite meal during our last visit to OZ was the Lusted's Bridge Room in Sydney.  So imagine our reaction when we received an e-mail saying that they were closing after 8 years - BAD,  But reading further, we found that they are planning a new place, due to open in early 2021 - GOOD.  MORE GOOD - you have time for the Brridge Street Room experience before they close at the end  of April -  www.thebridgeroom.com.au

Pittsburgh's Dinette Cited by Food and Wine

Our Near Neighbor Dinette (really less than 200 yards from OTM's Studio) is Included in Food and Wine"s recently Named list of Best Restaurents to Work For.  Owner Sonja Finn has some Landmark Policies when it comes to Treating her Employees.  Congratulations Sonja.  For more hhttps://www.foodandwine.com/travel/restaurants/best-restaurants-work-jobs

We Congratulate Lidia Bastianich on the CIA Award She Received March 1

Culinary Institute of America President Tim Ryan Presented Lidia Bastianich with the College's Master of the Aesthetics of Gastronomy Award at a Ceremony following Lidia's Speech at Commencement on March 1.  OTM is Proud of this Great Italian-American Icon, and we have welcomed her to our Program on Numerous Occasions.

Recognition for Spork's Bar Team

We just heard that GM Sean Enright and his Asst, Olivia Lindstrom have been appointed  & VP and Pres respectvely with the US Bar Tender's Guild Pittsburgh branch - which Sean helped found a few, years ago.  Last October Olivia passed the Court of Master Sommeliers Exam.  Keeping up the pace on Spork's Bar Scene, they've just launched a new Cocktail Menu for Spring.  www.sporkpgh/com. 

James Beard Foundation Announces 2019 Host

The James Beard Foundation announced today that Jesse Tyler Ferguson will return to host the 2019 James Beard Awards. Ferguson previously hosted the Awards to rave reviews in 2017, and will return to this year’s awards ceremony and gala, taking place on Monday, May 6, 2019, at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Ferguson is a five-time Emmy nominee for his work on the landmark ABC comedy Modern Family which will be entering his 11th and final season next year, making it one of television’s longest running and most awarded comedies. He is also an accomplished stage actor having recently appeared on Broadway in the one-man solo show, “Fully Committed”. Ferguson continues to explore his love of food and cooking on his recipe-driven food blog, Julie + Jesse, in partnership with former Saveur magazine staffer Julie Tanous. A longstanding advocate for marriage equality, Ferguson co-founded Tie The Knot in 2012 with his husband, Justin Mikita, where they design limited-edition bow ties with all the proceeds going to various organizations that fight for civil rights for LGBTQ Americans.  nnounces “I am so excited to be coming back to the wonderful city of Chicago to be a part of this year’s James Beard Awards,” said 2019 host Jesse Tyler Ferguson. “Even if it doesn’t go as well as the last time I hosted, at least I know I’ll leave well-fed.”

This year’s theme, “Good Food For GoodTM” is synonymous with the James Beard Foundation’s mission. It is the simple summation of what the organization stands for, from unique and delicious dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, to scholarships, mentorships, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in the food community. The Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food. With this theme, the annual Awards aim to bring attention not only to its deserving winners but to the Foundation’s overall mission as well. 

Pittsburgh claims 7 James Beard Award Semi Finalist Slots

The James Beard Foundation just released  the Semi-Finalists for its 2019 Awards, and Pittsburghers should be Proud of the Showing by local Food & Beverage Personalities:

The winners in each category will be announced on May 6 at the James Beard Gala in Chicago. Here are the semifinalists from the Pittsburgh region: 

  • Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic: Jamilka Borges, The Independent Brewing Co.; Kristin Butterworth, Lautrec at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort; Wei Zhu, Chengdu Gourmet
  • Outstanding Restaurateur: Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik, Richard DeShantz Restaurant Group (Poulet Bleu, Fish nor Fowl, Butcher and the Rye, Tako and Meat and Potatoes)
  • Outstanding Wine Program: Bar Marco
  • Outstanding Wine, Spirits or Beer Producer: Meredith Meyer Grelli, Wigle Whiskey
  • Rising Star Chef of the Year: Becca Hegarty, Bitter Ends Luncheonette

We offer our Congratulations to All, and We Wish them well during the ongoing Awards Process.

Nonino launches Amaro

What a delight to receive a sample bottle of Amaro, recently added to the Liquor Portfolio of our great good friends, the Nonino Sisters. Delicious! Magnifico! www.grappanonino.it/en/amaro-and-liqueurs/amaro-nonino-quintessentia/

Nathan Outlaw to open New Restaurant at London’s Goring Hotel

2 of our London Favorites get together.  Just back from Cornwall and a great lunch at Nathan’s Fish Kitchen, we’re delighted to hear from Nathan’s team that will be opening a New London spot at the legendary Belgravia hotel.  We’re told that the Restaurant, due to open in May, will offer views of the hotel’s elegant Garden – a view of which is in our OTM in Pictures.  When we stayed there, our room overlooked this beautiful space, and rumor has it that Duchess Kate’s parents were housed here at the time of the wedding. So make a note to follow our footsteps. And until the opening head for “Doc Martin land”  (Port Isaac) as we did just a couple of weeks ago – you’ll be glad you did.

Hear Eater London's Awardees on OTM

Check out OTM’s interviews with Eater London’s 2018 Selection as Chef of the Year and Restaurateur of the Year, when we talked to them at the Food on the Edge in Galway a few weeks ago; Clare Smyth of Core By Clare Smith – Chef of the Year; Iré Hassan-Odukale, of Ikoyi – Restaurateur of the Year.  Congratulations to both!!  Listen to the interviews at On the Menu Audio Archives, program date November 11, 2018 or direct at http://edge1550.com/podcasts/OnTheMenu-20181111.mp3.  

Dominique Crenn joins Elite Group of Female Chefs with 3 Michelin Stars

This News off the Wire.  Many congratu;ations & Good Wishes to you Dominique!!  We expected great things when we first met Dominique when she was moving from her Kitchen at SF's Intercontinental Hotel - marvelous to see this come true.

The chef Dominique Crenn has become the first woman in the United States to receive three stars from the Michelin Guide, its highest rating, for her modernist San Francisco restaurant Atelier Crenn.

The guide’s 2019 stars for the Bay Area were announced Thursday afternoon amid intense speculation that Ms. Crenn, who has already won many of the culinary world’s top prizes, might break that barrier.

The restaurant Single Thread, opened in Sonoma County just two years ago by the chef Kyle Connaughton and his wife, Katina Connaughton, also won three stars. That brings the number of three-star restaurants in the Bay Area to eight, more than in any other metropolitan area in the world except Paris and Tokyo. (New York City currently has five three-star restaurants.)

This news off the wire:



2019 MIchelin Ratings announced for Britain & Ireland

When Michelin’s Red Guide announces its New Year ratings, the event brings excitement & disappointment.  This year’s Britain & Ireland Stars are no exception.  Clare Smyth of 2018 opening Core leads the pack, and is one of two restaurants winning 2 Stars – and Clare’s Alma Mater, Restaurant Gordon Ramsay retained 3 Stars.  Bubbledog’s advanced from 1 to 2.  Two of our Favorite Chefs got their first stars for London dining rooms; Simon Rogan’ re-opened Roganic (to go with the 2 Stars he has at L’Enclume in Cartmel).  Nieves Barragan Mohacho, formerly of Fino & Barrafina, and her Partner Jose Etura, get a Star for Sabor.  Several Star spots in Ireland, in West Cork & Dublin, show that Emerald Isle fine dining continues to grow.  We’ll be at 2 of our favorites, Aniar & Loam (both in Galway), in the next 2 weeks.  For the full story - https://guide.michelin.com/hu/news-and-views/michelin-guide-great-britain-ireland-2019-results/news.  

Massimo Bottura on CBS’ 60 Minutes, October 7 program.

 OTM was truly proud to view this tribute to our Great Good Friend and his Devoted Wife Lara.  Recognized as the World’s Best Restaurant 2 of the last 3 years, Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy, is a Truly Wonderful dining experience.  But Massimo speaks more about the Six Refettarios he has established around the world, which feed disadvantaged populations with meals made from Foodstuffs that are saved from being wasted.  Kudos to 60 Minutes for telling the story of Massimo, a Great Chef and a Great Human Being!!  For more about this initiative - https://www.foodforsoul.it/

Western PA Lamb Fest Features Pure Bred

OTM first enjoyed the Luxurious Lamb grown by Keith Martin of Elysian Fields, of Waynesburg PA more than 30 years ago.  Keith used to drop off butchered ½ lambs for our family when he was making deliveries to Pittsburgh restaurants.  Elysian became known to fine restaurants across the country, one of whom was The French Laundry.  In 2006 Keith & Chef Thomas Keller decided to establish a joint venture. Pure Bred, to greatly expand availability & distribution of Elysian’s exceptional quality Lamb.

Pittsburghers will have a rare opportunity to sample Pure Bred Lamb at the 2nd Annual Western Pennsylvania Lamb Cookoff – “Lamb Fest”- taking place Sunday July 22 at East Liberty’s Ace Hotel.  10 Teams including Top Local Chefs and Visiting Chefs from all over the country will vie for the honor of being designated Best. 

Table Magazine is the organizer of this very special event and tickets are $65, in advance.  Get more information and tickets via http://sustainablepghrestaurants.org/site/event/2018-western-pa-lamb-festival-cook-off/. Or http://www.tablemagazine.com/table_live_posts/western-pa-lamb-fest/.

Chef Henry Harris re-emerges at London's The Coach

For more than a decade, Chef Henry Harris thrilled diners wih a taste for French Bistro classics at Racine in Knightsbridge.  OTM being part of this fraternity, we were pleased to dine with and interview Chef during our 2012 coverage of London Dining and saddened by Racine's closure.  Eater London just gave the recently opened The Coach an excellent review - and we're not surprised.  Get details at https://thecoachclerkenwell.co.uk,

Sam & Eddi Hart opening new dining options near Kings Cross

Check this out (link below)! And by the way their iconic Chef Jeremy Lee  of Quo Vadis was named "runner up" in a recently pubished list of Top Chefs for Brtitish Food - a ranking OTM endorses 100%. Way to go Jeremy, Sam & Eddie!!

click here to read more.

Grappa Nonino Announces 2018 Prize Winners

OTM continues to be ASTOUNDED at the innovation and energy shown by the Nonino family of Percoto, near Udine, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, in Italy’s North-East.  This year marks the 120th anniversary of their first “bricks & mortar” Grappa Distillery.  Always an artisan producer, the family took a major step forward in 1973 when Giannola and Benito revolutionized the production process for their Grappa. They decided to separate the Pomace (also known as Must) according to Grape Variety, to produce what they named Monovitigno Grappas.  We’ve been told that other Distillers thought Benito was crazy.  By the time we met the Nonino family, which was on an Easter Sunday during one of our Italy trips, Giannola & Benito’s four daughters were all involved in running the business, as they still do today.  Down the years innovation continued, to include Amaro, Noninotonic, Ue (Grapppa-like but distilled from grape juice) and honey-based liqueurs.  But the Noninos are much more than Distillers.  Starting in 1975 with the Nonino Risi D’Aur Prize, they established Nobel-like Annual Prize Awards.  The Risi prize, honors those who create a “Gold Vine Shoot”.  The Nonino Literature Prize followed in 1977, then the Nonino International Prize in 1984 and the Master of our time in 1990.  This year’s awards will be presented at a Celebration in Percoto on January 27, and details of the winners can be found at www.premio.grappanonino.it; and the whole Nonino story at www.grappanonino.it.  And fortunately Nonino products are widely distributed internationally, and can be found in the world’s best cocktail bars and restaurants.  Their elegantly designed bottles and glassware can be recognized from a distance.

In South Africa Black Rhinos get Helicopter Rides to Safe Havens

On the Menu’s Second Cousin Jo Shaw, has dedicated her career as a Zoologist to preserving threatened Species of Rhinos in the northern areas of the Republic of South Africa and adjacent countries.  We’ve always had great admiration for her dedication, but thought her work was a bit obscure – How wrong could we have been!  Tuning in to CBS 60 Minutes last Sunday , we found a segment about how Helicopters are being used as part of a program to relocate some of the shrinking population of Wild Black Rhinos from where they are threatened by Poachers to locations where they can breed safely.  You can view this fascinating story at https://www.cbsnews.com/news/saving-rhino-with-helicopters/.  Keep up the great work Jo!!

Western Pennsylvania's Jamison Farm named Conservation Farmer of the Year for 2017

OTM is delighted to recognize our long-time good friends Sukey & John Jamison on their being honored as “Conservation Farmers of the Year”, by the Westmoreland County Conservation District.  The Jamisons began their Lamb Farming operation more than 40 years ago, and over the years they have attracted the attention of many top Restaurants & Chefs, as well as Lamb Lovers everywhere in the country.  For more details about their “grass farming” method and what the Conservation Farmer Award is all about - http://wcdpa.com/about/2015-conservation-farmer-of-the-year-award/,  And to get your Jamison Farms Lamb - http://www.jamisonfarm.com/

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.

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.

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.

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/

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!

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.

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/.

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/

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

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.

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

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.

London's South Bank- New Menus at Roast Restaurant & a Guide from an Unexpected Source.

Roast's latest Newsletter brings some great new dining options at this spectacular Restaurant above the Borough Market - a special menu inspired by Shakespeare400, the 400th anniversary of the Bard's death on 1606; AND an all new Bar Menu, great if you're in a hurry - or (as quite often happens) no tables are open.  Head Chef Stuart Cauldwell & Owner Iqbal Wahhab will give a Warm Welcome, especially if you tell them OTM sent you.


OTM has always thought London's South Bank was a well-kept secret, so Peter decided to write a special guide fo Unancjhor, www.unanchor.com,  What a great surprise to see this Guide now available at www.amazon.com.  We think you'll enjoy knowing more about South Bank.  And you'll want to spend more than just a day there, http://www.amazon.com/London-Unanchor-Travel-Guide-Londons-ebook/dp/B014ODDUQE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1461075141&sr=8-1&keywords=london+unanchor+travel+guide to get your copy for a Kindle app; or http://www.unanchor.com/itinerary/london-s-south-bank-off-the-beaten-track.html for a PDF download.

What's a Refettorio? Ask Chef Massimo Bottura

OTM's great friend, Chef-Patron of Modena Italy's Osteria Francescana created Refettoria Ambrosiano as part of the Milan Expo project where 60 invited Chefs turned Salvaged Food into meals for the city's homeless.  Now Massimo's Food forSoul non-profit will expand yhe concept to other cities - there may be a Referttorio at the Brazil Olympics, one's happening in conjunction with an espablished Soup Kitchen in Bologna, Italy.  On the Menu congratulates Massimo not just for launching the cocept, but working himself to get it off the ground.  Here's how he summarises his beliefs for Food forSoul; We NEED MORE places to Unite people at the table; We NEED MORE places that REVIVE neighborhoods; We NEED MORE places that RESTORE the body & soul. OTM would say;  We need MORE PEOPLE as KIND & THOUGHTFUL as Massimo Bottura!!!!

Butcher & the Rye Pittsburgh's Bartender vies for Bartender of the Year Honors

Michael Anderson is usually found behind the Magnificent Bar ot Pittsburgh's Butcher in the Rye.  But next Monday he'll be off to NYC fo the Regional Semi-Finals of the prestigious awards, sponsored by Heaven Hill & Liquor.com.  Turns out Michael is no stranger when it comes to awards, having placed 2nd at a 2013 competition in Portland OR, also winning "Best Cocktail" honor at the Bourbon Classic.  Mike, we wish you well.  Having access to the fabulous bar program at Butcher & the Rye, must be a geat help. Owners Richard DeShantz and Tolga Sevdik must be really PROUD.  For more about the competition. www.heavenhill.com; for Butcher & the Rye, http://butcherandtherye.com/

Millie's Homemade Ice Cream opens TODAY

Many local residents, including lots of children, preveiwed the Flavors and Acccoutrements (Handmade Waffle Cones, Brioche packed with twin scoops of Gelato....................,at Millie's on Sunday.  Today they open to everyone.  And it's all DELICIOUS.  We expect the news will travel fast, but OTM wanted to extend a special welcome to owners Chad and Lauren Townsend.  It's a dream come true for them, and it will be for you too!!

Austin Food+Wine Festival just 6 weeks away

This is the 5th Annual, actual event dates April 22-24 in the Lone Star State's Vibrant Capital.  The Official List of Chefs participating in the Showcase events (Apil 23 AND April 24) has just been announced.  Check these out and get other details at www.austinfoodandwinefestival.com.

Cherry Bombe Jubilee marks 3rd year in NYC April 10

Cherry Bombe founders Kerry Diamond & Claudia Wu recentky announced that their annual Jubilee event will return to the High Line Hotel for a 3rd year,  As usual the line up of Speakers in packed with Celebrities from Food Journalism, Businesswomen from Producers & Retailers, and Top Femal Chefs from across the USA.  Tickets are on sale at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2505721.  More information at http://cherrybombe.com/

Wigle Whiskey & Allegheny Distilling are Restoring Pittsburgh's Reputation for American Whiskey

The Whiskey Rebellion is a rather obscure event in American History, and Prohibition dealt a near fatal blow to the Liquor Tradition in our home region.  But while Kentucky and Tennessee are much better known for their Intoxicating Innovations a couple of Distilleries in OTM's home town are making news.  At the recent American Craft Spirits Association Trade Show in Chicago, Allegheny Distilling, http://maggiesfarmrum.com/, took home the tasting contest’s Best in Show Award for its Single Barrel Rum and 6 more Medals.  Not to be outdone Wigle Whiskey, https://www.wiglewhiskey.com/, Pittsburgh’s 1st Distillery of the modern era, took home12 medals, more than any other participating distilleries.  Alexander Hamilton, proponent of the Liquor Tax which caused the 1791-94 Rebellion, is celebrating on Broadway, did not have anything to say about the resurgence of Pennsylvania-brewed booze. OTM says Cheers & Bottoms Up.

We Scream for Millies Homemade Ice Cream. Check out OTM's New Neighbor

Chad Townsend and Wife Lauren will open their first "Scoop Shop" just a few steps from OTM's studio.  Welcome to our neighborhood guys!!  Were'll installing a new Bathroon Scale and considering which sweet treats we'll eliminate so we have room for Millies' delicious artisinal Ice Cream in all its delicious flavors - http://www.millieshomemade.com/.  Opening Day is on the "Ides of March", but our Astrological forecast for Chad & Lauren is quite the opposite to Julius Caesar's.

Derek Stevens to open Union Standard in th Union Trust Building

Last December, Pittsburgh Magazine broke the news that Derek Stevens, the long-serving executive chef of Eleven Contemporary kitchen in the Strip District, would be leaving the big Burrito Restaurant Group to open his own restaurant.   Now Pittsburgh Magazine's Hal Klein reports more details. Last week, Stevens announced the name and location of his new concept. It will be known as Union Standard, and located in the Union Trust building Downtown. The historic building currently is undergoing a $100 million restoration. Union Standard will be housed on the ground and mezzanine floors, and across the street from Mellon Square.  “I’m just really excited to bring this vision to life and put my own creative spin on things,” Stevens said in a press release.
- See more at:http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Best-of-the-Burgh-Blogs/The-412/March-2016/Derek-Stevens-Announces-New-Pittsburgh-Restaurant/.  OTM extends best wishes to Derek, one of our very favorite Pittsburgh Chefs, and we're excited to hear about this positive development for this truly elegant building. Opening is scheduled this Fall.