Robert Wiedmaier — Chef, Beermaker, Knight

Robert Wiedmaier
Robert Wiedmaier

by Patricia Mack


Calling the chef “Sir”? Robert Wiedmaier’s staff had better get used to it, because on Aug. 31, as part of the annual celebration of Belgian Beer Weekend in Brussels, the Washington, D.C. chef will be inducted into The Knighthood of the Brewers’ Mashstaff with all due pomp and circumstance.


“I’m more than a little nervous,” says Wiedmaier of this honorary knighthood. “The ceremony takes place with hundreds of people watching, every brewer in Belgium will be there — I’ll have to kneel and…oh, man, am I nervous!”


The Knighthood of the Brewers’ Mashstaff is the Belgium brewers’ guild, which keeps alive the traditions and nobility of the brewer’s trade as it has evolved through centuries, but that doesn’t preclude enjoying and celebrating of beer, especially Belgian beer which figures large in Wiedmaier’s restaurants. Although the menu at Wiedmaier’s flagship D.C. establishment, Marcel’s, is chiefly French in flavor, it features hints of the Belgian influence that is in full-force at his more casual Brasserie Beck also in Washington, Brabo in Alexandria, Va., and his Mussel Bar in Bethesda, Maryland, and Mussel Bar Revel in Atlantic City, New Jersey. These establishments offer the largest selection of Belgian beer around — one of which is the popular Antigoon, a double blonde ale, brewed exclusively for Wiedmaier. It is an unforgettable brew not only for its distinctive taste but for its label showing the gory aftermath of the legendary conflict between hero and giant in medieval Antwerp.

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Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle Achieves Green Globe Certification – Travel News

A guest room at Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle
A guest room at Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle


Seattle’s Pan Pacific Hotel First on West Coast to Achieve Green Globe Certification

Surrounded by the Cascade Mountains, San Juan Islands and Olympia National Forest, Seattle has long been a city of residents known for their love of nature. This passion is now reflected at the Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle, which has become the first hotel on the West Coast to achieve Green Globe certification. This certification is based on 41 individual sustainability criteria determined by individual accredited auditors.

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Cocktails at Sunset

Sophie Gayot pointing to the American white oak barrels in which cocktails are aged for 2 to 3-weeks


by Sophie Gayot


There are other reasons to head to Santa Monica’s Casa del Mar hotel besides needing a room for the night: the cocktails and cuisine.


Casa del Mar now offers unique cocktail options inspired by pre-Prohibition. Two debut cocktails, The Brooklyn and The Negroni, are aged in white oak barrels for two to three weeks. These small barrels add depth to the cocktails with hints of spice, caramel and smokiness. The Negroni follows the classic recipe with gin, sweet vermouth and Campari; The Brooklyn is a mixture of corn whiskey, Maraschino, orange bitters and sweet vermouth. In the coming weeks, more new cocktails will be added to the menu. The cocktails are available in The Veranda and Lobby Lounge every Tuesday through Saturday.

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Should France sell the Eiffel Tower?

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

A globalization-trotter asks: Should France sell the Eiffel Tower?


by Andre Gayot


A Chinese billionaire has just purchased the most glamorous Burgundy wine estate, Gevrey-Chambertin, which was owned by the same French family for more than 150 years, at an astronomical price. Why not? The problem, though, may be that there are more Chinese billionaires eager to buy vineyards in France than there are glamorous wine estates in the hills of Burgundy and on the banks of the Garonne. Some fear that, in the future, top French wines will exhibit a too-strong Mandarin accent.

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Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Florida

by Sophie Gayot


There are many, many reasons to visit Columbia Restaurant, located in the historical area of Ybor City in Tampa, Florida. The best way to discover them — outside of dining there yourself — is to watch my exclusive video interview with partner/owner Casey Gonzmart and read the just updated review of the restaurant.


Over the storied 107-year history of the restaurant, its food and ambience have attracted a long list of celebrities from Marilyn Monroe, Babe Ruth and Liberace to Bruce Springsteen and George Clooney — why wasn’t I there the day he came in?
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