Archive for ‘Food’

January 31, 2013

Dining with the Mayor of Rome

Dinner with the Mayor of RomeI just returned from a tourism symposium in Rome. The first evening, after a day packed with informative meetings, Mayor Gianni Alemanno of Rome hosted a gala dinner for about 60 of us. The event took place in the Palazzo Esposizioni Museum after hours, which meant we were treated to a private viewing of the ‘On the Silk Road’ exhibition.

Rome never fails to lift my spirits and make me feel priviledged to be there. To walk past ancient structures mingled with the new, the many beautiful piazza’s, fountains, and historic buildings and monuments in this very ‘lived in city’ is a joy.

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December 27, 2012

Ancient Capitals Journey – Israel

Our Middle Eastern Voyage of Discovery continued…. Israel and Palestine, the heart of our Christian, Jewish and Muslim faiths, docking in Ashdod and Haifa.  We walked in the footsteps of the founders of the worlds great religions, on paths dating back several thousand years. We visited ancient holy places; Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Gethsemane, Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism, the Way Of  The Cross, Nazareth, and Cana. We boated the ‘David’ for a tour on the Sea of Galilee, and visited churches built at the request of the Roman Emperor Hadrian’s mother in 325AD at the sites  of  the Nativity, the Crucifixion, and the tomb of Jesus.  Lunch in the ‘old city’ near the Via Dolorosa…fascinating architecture.

We experienced the walls that separate the Israeli and Palestinian states, and the difference in the two cultures.  It is truly amazing to see the transformation from a desert region to an oases that has been accomplished by the Israeli people in just over sixty years. In Jerusalem the beautiful architecture, the modern transportation systems, and the wonderful living spaces built along side ancient history with such careful consideration to antiquity is an example for all the world.

December 11, 2012

Brunello di Montalcino

case basse brunello brunelloIn a move to increase wine tourism, the Brunello di Monalcino Consortium recently launched a free app for travelling iPhone and iPad users. Called iBrunello HD, the app features a host of information on the area and its wineries, the different types of wines produced in Montalcino, plus news, events, photo galleries, and more. App users can also personalize a travel itinerary in the area. ‘We’ve launched the tool to meet the needs of the new “smart” tourists and wine lovers, who want to visit an area quickly and easily,’ said Fabrizio Bindocci, president of the consortium.

On a sad note, Wine Spectator covered the story about last week’s vandalism at a Montalcino winery  –  Late at night Dec. 2, someone entered the cellar of Gianfranco Soldera’s Montalcino winery, Azienda Agricola Case Basse, and opened all the spigots on his casks of aging wine. Soldera lost more than 16,500 gallons of wine, his entire production of wines aging in botti, spanning six vintages from 2007 to 2012. Italian authorities are investigating. “You can imagine the damage, because six vintages are involved, but it’s not just the economic damage, the present, it’s the future,” Soldera told Wine Spectator.  Il Poggione’s Alessandro Bindocci, son of Consorzio president Fabrizio Bindocci, expressed solidarity for Soldera on his blog Montalcino Report: “The territory of Montalcino is a small and tranquil territory where many people still leave their doors of their homes unlocked. To find out about these sad events is shocking and it brings forth the spirit of solidarity that distinguishes the producers of Montalcino.”

February 20, 2011

Chef Andrew Garrett Escorts a 10 Day Tuscan Holiday

I have been working with Chef Andrew Garrett to organize this amazing travel opportunity, so Iwanted to share it with you. He would like you to join him in Italy for a once-in-a-lifetime journey and culinary adventure.  See the details below and let us know if we can add you to this culinary journey…

“Our culinary adventure will begin in the city of Florence, the birth place of the Italian Renaissance, and then continue into the picturesque, cypress-clad Tuscan countryside. We will visit the surrounding sights and towns and enjoy the locally grown, lovingly prepared food and wine of the region.”
– Chef Garrett

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February 12, 2011

Spending Easter in Italy will more than fill your basket

Italian Easter…

April 24th 2011 – Chieti in the Abruzzo region is believed to have the oldest Good Friday (pre-Easter) Procession in Italy. A highlight being ‘Selecchi’s Miserer’ played by 100 violins!

The Easter Sunday tradition in Florence dates back to 1679. It is a pageant lead by an elaborate multi-storied wooden wagon drawn by a team of white oxen adorned by floral garlands. The procession ends in front of Bascilica di S. Maria del Fiore and after the mid-day mass, the Archbishop ritualistically lights a dove shaped rocket that ignites decorated wagon now in the center of the piazza, setting off spectacular fireworks and loud explosions, which ensure a good harvest!

Let me know what you’re looking for and I can make all your arrangements.  Let me set up a daily chef service in your villa and activities around the region like winery tours, concerts and much more.  Just contact me at 503.546.1058 – direct, 866.297.1058 – toll free or Email: CLamont@peaktravel.com to discuss your travel needs.

In my last post I offered a special deal for the Easter holiday, but there are many places in Italy to experience this spiritual holiday.  Here are a few of my top rated rental villas near Florence.  There are many other options too.

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February 2, 2011

A great chef makes more than great food…


These guys...

I love it when I can share incredible food from a local business owned  and run by hard working chefs.

mycheflife.blogspot.com

Andrew Garrett
Portland, Oregon, United States
I am a chef with a passion for all things food! If I have a means I will do it myself. I forage, fish, hunt, teach, and share my love of cooking. Did I mention I train for endurance sports? Join me as I travel through “My Chef Life”

You’ll be hooked after reading this sample!

Today’s Food Is…

So yes it is 1:30am and yes I am writing in my blog. What the heck is going on here?? Well I have been all over today, I started by picking up Jason D. he is one of my cooks who to tell you the truth is just a great guy to be around. So he and I set out to create two dishes today.

First a salad of in season local”ish” produce, what did we find? Blood oranges, local golden beets (Prairie Creek Farms) arugula, and Granny smith apples and, walnuts. Second; I have my white truffles from last weekends adventure so I wanted to build a dish around those gems, what I came up with given my poll results was White truffle risotto with pan seared diver scallops and fried sun chokes (Jerusalem artichokes).

So we headed to North West’s City Market where my friends at Newman’s fish pointed me towards some great looking scallops U10’s. (under 10 per pound) I picked up some arborio rice and my produce. All together my total for a dinner to feed 5 people was… READ MORE

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