Tuesday, March 20, 2012

"An Everlasting Meal" and "Ratio" WINNERS!

Thank you to everyone who entered and shared the giveaway of these great books from Tamar Adler and Michael Ruhlman. They are fantastic tomes that I recommend you make part of your own collection. It was wonderful to read over all your thoughtful comments about how you integrate economy and grace into your own kitchen routine as well as which of Ruhlman's ratios piqued your interest. 

I divided all the entries into those for An Everlasting Meal and those for Ratio then used random.org's random number generator to choose the two winners...

Joe Campanale and Wines from the Rhône Valley at FIAF

Wine is a subject that intimidates many people. The volume of brands, grapes, regions, types and vintages makes it hard to know where to start. Plus the fact that a single 750ml bottle can run from less than $5 to over hundreds of dollars always makes people question if what they're buying is even any good. For the most part, I'm one of those people. This is why you don't see much about wine on my blog or on my Facebook page. But fortunately, I recently had the opportunity to spend an evening at FIAF (The French Institute Alliance Français) with the well-informed, young, handsome sommelier Joe Campanale. (And because at least one of you is reading this and wondering-- yes he has a girlfriend! She was at the event along with his mom.) I learned more about wine in about two and half hours than I think I had in the past five years. During college I went on a mini self-led wine tour with my parents around Keuka Lake (in the Finger Lakes of New York State). From that experience I learned a few terms and a bit about how New York State wines are grown, but on the whole my vocabulary and tasting notes were still quite limited. I was glad to spend time learning from someone with such a strong background in le vin

Joe Campanale is the Beverage Director and Co-Owner of dell’anima, L’Artusi and Anfora. After the wine tasting I asked him about how he got started in wine and became so knowledgeable at such an early age. Apparently during his time at NYU he went to a lot of the wine tastings at Union Square Wines which kick started his oenology. Eventually he went to work for Italian Wine Merchants in New York City (also close to Union Square). Later, he was hired as the sommelier for Mario Batali's Babbo. Then he and his business partners decided to open up dell'anima, then L'Artusi, both with a focus on Italian fare and wine. Most recently they opened Anfora in May of 2010 with a more European approach, highlighting natural wines- wines that emphasize terroir (the land where they are from) and not necessarily well-known or highly marketed wines. 

We were introduced to Joe by Emmanuel Dupuy D'Angeac, owner of AOC Fine Wines. He began by telling us something Mr. Campanale had said about wine in an interview: 
"Wine should be something that makes your life better. Drink what you love, not what you think you should love"

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Giveaway!: Tamar E. Adler's "An Everlasting Meal" and Michael Ruhlman's "Ratio"

My initial plan had been to hit 1,000 followers on Twitter and finally giveaway one of my favorite books of the past year: Tamar E. Adler's An Everlasting Meal. Unexpectedly, Michael Ruhlman stepped in like a knight in Twitter armor to tip my follower count beyond 1,000 (more than 20 people) in less than 30 minutes. So rather than just give away one favorite book, I thought why not also give away one of my favorite Ruhlman books as well? In addition to Tamar's book I will be giving away a copy of Ratio.

So here we are! I had been hearing a lot about Tamar Adler's book before I actually bought myself a copy. Similar to how it took me a few months to decide to pick up Lauren Shockey's Four Kitchens.  What gave me the go-ahead to check out Tamar's book was after she started following me on Twitter (before I even knew she was on Twitter!). I took that as a bit of a sign to find out for myself what all the buzz was about An Everlasting Meal. Gladly, I was very quickly enchanted by her writing style, the easy way she instructs her audience to fearlessly get in the kitchen, cook what you have, and make the most of every bit of food you buy. Economy and grace, indeed.