Extreme Wine – Book Review

Searching the World for the Best, the Worst, the Outrageously Cheap, the Insanely Overpriced, and the Undiscovered

By Mike Veseth

(Rowman & Littlefield, 2013)

Extreme Wine by Mike Veseth
Extreme Wine by Mike Veseth

Mike Veseth has quite a penchant for writing books with expansive subtitles, which is extreme in itself. (His 2011 book on globalization was titled Wine Wars: The Curse of the Blue Nun, the Miracle of Two Buck Chuck, and the Revenge of the Terroirists.) It should also caution the reader that Veseth, despite being a wine economist, is not writing for an academic audience. Extreme Wine is written in the same chatty, informative style that Veseth uses in his popular Wine Economist blog.

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Chatting with Chef Rick Tramonto

by Sophie Gayot





I think when restaurateur/hotelier Michael Zislis created The Strand House Culinary Masters Series, he had a very good idea. Every time I have attended one of the events, the restaurant has been completely full. I didn’t see a single empty seat; instead I saw lots of people enjoying the cuisine of Josiah Citrin, Michael Cimarusti, Nancy Silverton, Alain Giraud, Douglas Keane or Tory McPhail to name just a few of the participating chefs. To top it off, diners can eat the fine food while watching the sun set over the Manhattan Beach pier and the Pacific.

During one of the dinners, where Trefethen wines were served, I finished the evening talking with chef Rick Tramonto who had flown in from Chicago. In the above video, you can watch as we flip through the pages of his autobiography together. Tramonto is a true success story; TRU restaurant under his direction was named one of GAYOT.com’s Top 40 Restaurants in the U.S. in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007. And Restaurant R’evolution in New Orleans, where he has partnered with chef John Folse, made GAYOT.com’s Top 10 New Restaurants in the U.S. list this year.

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Beyond the Pale – Book Review

The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

By Ken Grossman

(Wiley, 2013)

Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. by Ken Grossman
Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. by Ken Grossman

It’s easy to forget how revolutionary Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. was at the time of its creation by Ken Grossman and Paul Camusi. In 1980, there were just 40 breweries in the U.S., mostly brewing bland lagers in industrial quantities. The idea of creating full-flavored, hoppy beers that could compete with long-established German imports (at least, in terms of price), was a daunting prospect. Fortunately, Ken was an incredibly hardworking, entrepreneurial and resourceful guy. He was always building things and building businesses, beginning with bicycles (he managed a few bicycle shops in Chico) before focusing entirely on beer.

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Cooking with Scott Conant

by Sophie Gayot





If you have experienced chef Scott Conant’s cooking at one of his Scarpetta restaurants (New YorkMiami, Las Vegas), chances are that you would like to enjoy some of his dishes in the comfort of your own house.

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The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook – Review

The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook

(Hearst Books, 2013)




Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook


The Good Housekeeping Christmas Cookbook is all you need to make the most wonderful time of the year a roaring success. The gorgeously illustrated tome is loaded with recipes for foods that you really want to make and eat, from “Showstopping Roasts” to “Sideshows” like whole-grain apple-fennel stuffing, and Brussels sprouts with pancetta and rosemary. Cocktail recipes are fantastic like Holiday Spritzers, Ruby Bellinis and Holiday Champagne Punch.

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