Tastings

Last minute gifts that keep on giving for the Italian foodie in your family!

The Four Courses of Ristorante del Lago – Italian Wine Dinners
$95++*

Warm up this winter with your favorite Italian restaurant and some of the finest Italian wine producers.  Four courses of fine Italian cuisine, spectacular wines and merriment that will last long after the gleam of  the holidays has passed.  Come for one or all four, each is sure to delight the senses!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015 – Enrico Rivetto of Rivetto


Tuesday, February 17, 2015 – Erika Abate of Bersano

 
Tuesday, March 17, 2015 – Andrea Sottimano of Sottimano Winery

 


Tuesday, April 21, 2015 – Daniela Mastroberardino of Terredora Winery



Chef Justin Miller creates an innovative yet comforting menu to pair exquisitely with the beautiful wines of Italy.  $95 per person plus tax and gratuity. For reservations call 719.577.5733 or email [email protected].  A special room rate of $150 per night, plus taxes and service fees will be offered for this event.  Call 866.696.1974 to reserve a room.

 

*Plus applicable taxes and gratuity

Tastings Blog – Meet Doug Frost

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Doug Frost – Master Sommelier and Master of Wine

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Doug Frost is a Kansas City author who writes and lectures about wine, beer, and spirits. In 1991 he passed the rigorous Master Sommelier examination and two years later became America’s eighth Master of Wine. He was the second person in history to complete both exams and almost two decades later he is still one of only three people in the world to have achieved both of these remarkable distinctions. According to USA Today, “Frost likely knows as much as anyone in the world about how to make, market, serve and identify wines.” The Wine Spectator has also bestowed the accolade of Master of Spirits on Mr. Frost. Frost is the wine and spirits consultant for United Airlines, and has authored three books: The Far from Ordinary Spanish Wine Buying Guide (2005), Uncorking Wine (1996), and On Wine, a Master Sommelier and Master of Wine Tells All (2001). He is also director of the Jefferson Cup Invitational, founder of the America’s Best Wine Lists competition, and founding partner of Beverage Alcohol Resource, a new educational and consulting company whose other partners are Dale DeGroff, Steve Olson, F. Paul Pacult, and David Wondrich.

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Beverage Experts

 

 

Describe your beverage philosophy in one sentence: People should drink what they like, regardless of what “experts” tell them.

 

 

What is your earliest beverage memory? A bottle of 1968 Louis Martini Special Selection Pinot Noir when I was fifteen years old – it was the first wine I had ever tasted and it was delicious.

 

 

Who is or was your biggest influence? Madeline Triffon is a Master Sommelier in Detroit who has been a inspiration to me: her belief in true hospitality is steadfast and unbending.

 

What is your favorite beverage that most would consider to be a guilty pleasure? I enjoy an inexpensive California Chardonnay with popcorn. So wrong. I struggle to be snooty enough sometimes.

 

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail? Yes.

 

Money is no option – what is your drink of choice? I’d like to drink 1962 Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Tache again someday.

 

 Join Doug Frost because only the best will #tasteandsavor2015


Tastings: Meet Curtis Duffy of Grace

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We are pleased to welcome Curtis Duffy and to congratulate him on his third Michelin Star!

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Curtis Duffy knew early on he had a passion for cooking. In 2000, he left Ohio to work at the legendary Charlie Trotter’s in Chicago. After three years at Trotter’s, Duffy accepted a position as Pastry Chef at the esteemed Trio, where he was recognized as “Best Innovative Pastry Chef” from Food & Wine. Duffy met Chef Grant Achatz at Trio, and in 2004, they left Trio to open Alinea, where Duffy worked as Chef de Cuisine. Alinea skyrocketed to fame, being named the “Best Restaurant in America” by Gourmet just a year after opening, and is widely recognized as one of the best restaurants in the world. In 2008, Duffy took his impressive skill set to Avenues (The Peninsula Chicago) and was instantly celebrated for his thoughtful, progressive and imaginative cuisine by consumers and media alike.
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At Avenues, Duffy garnered an extraordinary list of awards and accolades, including two stars from the prestigious Michelin Guide, the AAA Five Diamond Award , and perfect four-star ratings from Chicago Magazine and the Chicago Tribune.  In May 2010, to mark the 20th anniversary of the James Beard Awards, Duffy was named a “Legacy Chef.” The James Beard Foundation asked previous Outstanding Chef award winners from each of the prior twenty years to select a chef whom they have mentored and who they believe would have a major impact on the culinary world in years to come. Grant Achatz selected Duffy, essentially naming him to the next generation of leading chefs. The following year, Duffy was nominated by the JBF as “Best Chef, Great Lakes Region.”

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In mid-2011, Duffy left Avenues to begin making plans for his own restaurant, which opened in December 2012. At Grace, Duffy’s culinary style – elegant, graceful cuisine – is showcased, reflecting his personal taste and drawing upon his wealth of experience. His micro-seasonal cuisine is best described as “thoughtfully progressive” – thoughtful as he puts tremendous time, focus, research and thought into what he creates, and progressive as he will utilize modern techniques to coax the best out of the ingredients. Each dish is an expression of his personality – progressive but grounded – and puts ingredients at the forefront. He continues to source the highest-quality ingredients, allowing flavor to trump technique.

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Since opening Grace on December 11, 2012, Duffy and the restaurant have been awarded many accolades, including AAA’s Five Diamond Rating, Forbes Travel Guide’s 5 Star Rating, Robb Report’s Best Restaurant in the World 2013, Chicago Tribune’s 4 Star Rating, Chicago Magazine’s Best New Restaurant, Eater National’s Chef of the Year, 2 Michelin Stars in the 2014 Chicago Red Guide, and Three Michelin Stars in the 2015 Chicago Red Guide.

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The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Chefs

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Describe your cooking philosophy in one sentence:

My food is very ingredient focused, and I enjoyed to use modern technique to highlight the ingredients but never overshadow them.

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What is your earliest food memory?

My mom used to make pizza burgers.  They were hamburgers with pizza sauce and mozzarella, and we loved them.

Who is or was your biggest culinary influence?

Michel Bras.

 

Name your favorite food city and why.

Tokyo.  I love Japanese food and the culture surrounding it.  Minimalism, clean flavors, plating design.

 

What food item or dish is your guilty pleasure?

Peanut butter no bake cookies

 

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

Fortaleza Anejo with 1 ice cube

What is your ultimate day off meal?

I love sitting in my kitchen and eating PB & J sandwiches with my daughters: smooth peanut butter and Concord grape jelly, of course.

 

Join CURTIS DUFFY because only the best will #tasteandsavor2015


Tastings Blog – Meet Frédéric Drouhin

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TS2015 Frédéric Drouhin

Frédéric Drouhin is like the director of an orchestra. His role is to direct the development of the company. Overall strategy is his responsibility. He also pays close attention to the making of the wines. His culinary interests as a chef make him the natural spokesperson for the “art de vivre” of the House. Frédéric Drouhin received his MBA from the University of Hartford, Connecticut. He furthered his knowledge of business and marketing at several companies before joining the House in 1995.

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Beverage Experts 

Describe your beverage philosophy in one sentence:

To share the right bottle at the right place with the right people.

What is your earliest beverage memory?

Blind tastings: we used to hold at home for lunches on Sundays. I was probably 8 when started.

Who is or was your biggest influence?

Probably my family and also our former wine maker Laurence Jobard who spotted my tasting capacities and encouraged me to join the family business.

What is your favorite beverage that most would consider to be a guilty pleasure?

Burgundy is small and sometimes a production of a vineyard Lilliputian. The guilty pleasure will be to keep most of the bottles and sell just a little.

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

I like something refreshing and will favor a dry white wine such as a Chablis Premier Cru or a glass of Champagne Pol Roger vintage Chardonnay.

Money is no option – what is your drink of choice?

Money is one thing , availability is another, especially for Grands Crus of Burgundy from great mature vintages. I love all burgundies because of their complexity, uniqueness of bouquet, and endless finish…but you can’t find them!

Join Frédéric Drouhin March 5-8, 2015, because only the best will #tasteandsavor2015


Tastings Blog – Meet GABRIELLE QUIÑÓNEZ DENTON AND GREG DENTON

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GABRIELLE QUIÑÓNEZ DENTON AND GREG DENTON

TS2015 Greg Denton and Gabrielle Quinonez Denton

 

Born in Schenectady, New York and raised in Rutland, Vermont, Greg knew he wanted to be a chef from age four and he started working in kitchens at age nine. Similarly, summers spent in her grandmother’s kitchen in the Andean highlands of Ecuador spurred Gabrielle’s passion for food at a young age. Both Greg and Gabrielle graduated from culinary school with honors, Greg in 1996 from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and Gabrielle in 1999 from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco.

Greg and Gabrielle met while working under Chef Hiro Sone at the One Michelin-starred restaurant,Terra, in Napa Valley. Greg eventually became the first titled Chef de Cuisine and Gabrielle, Sous Chef. Together, the two chefs opened Ox Restaurant in April of 2012 in Portland, Oregon.

Ox and the Dentons have received the following recognition: 2014 Food & Wine Magazine’s Best New Chefs, year semi-finalists of the James Beard Foundation Annual Award for Best Chefs Northwest, 2013 semi-finalists of the James Beard Foundation Annual Awards for Best Chefs Northwest and Best New Restaurant in America, The Oregonian’s Restaurant of the Year 2013 and was voted one of the Top 50 Best New Restaurants by Bon Appetit Magazine.

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Chefs

 

Describe your cooking philosophy in one sentence:

Gabi: I cook to make people happy at the table, and I strive to do this with bright, bold flavors that are at once comforting and exciting.

Greg: My cooking philosophy is the same as my life philosophy, which is to be a better person and a better chef every day.

 

Quito, Ecuador

What is your earliest food memory?

Gabi: My earliest food memory is of my dad bringing me breakfast in bed on my fourth birthday at my grandmother’s home in Quito, Ecuador. I can’t recall what it was, but I remember how loved and how special it made me feel.

Greg: My earliest food memory is of hating canned green beans.

 

Who is or was your biggest culinary influence?

Gabi: My grandmother. She taught me that you don’t need a lot of money to feed people delicious food.

 Chef Hiro Sone

Greg: Chef Hiro Sone.

 

Name your favorite food city and why.Italy to sort 502

Vitello Tonnato

Gabi: Alba, Piemonte, Italy. Because it’s close enough to the coast that I can get good seafood there, and virtually every restaurant has great pasta. And vitello tonnato.

Pintxos in San Sebastian, Spain

Greg: San Sebastián, Spain. Because it combines the best flavors and techniques of Spain, France, and Italy.

 

What food item or dish is your guilty pleasure?

Gabi: Fried calamari with any mayonnaise-based dipping sauce

Greg: buffalo-style hot wings

 

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

Gabi: Wine, something refreshing, either sparkling, white, or rosé.

Greg: Cocktail, usually a Manhattan.

 

What is your ultimate day off meal?

Gabi: Oysters on the half shell, then pasta (either tajarin with butter and sage or spaghetti with olive oil, garlic, chili flake, and sea urchin), and then a grilled ribeye (with sliced jalapeños) and grilled radicchio with fourme d’ambert blue cheese. And for dessert: chocolate soufflé. And lots of wine to go with it.

Greg: A perfect French bistro lunch: Foie blonde with poached pear, a mustardy lambs’ tongue salad, sole meunière over pommes purées, and crèpes Suzette for dessert.

 

 

Happy Thanksgiving!
Join GABRIELLE QUIÑÓNEZ DENTON AND GREG DENTON because only the best will #tasteandsavor2015


Tastings Blog – Meet John Cox of Post Ranch Inn

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 John Cox of Post Ranch Inn

 

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John Cox is the executive chef at the highly acclaimed Sierra Mar restaurant at Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, California.  Inspired by his upbringing in northern New Mexico, Chef Cox believes in blending bold, primal flavors along with fresh, locally sourced ingredients and his passion can be experienced each night at Sierra Mar.  Chef Cox’s start at Sierra Mar in July 2014 marks a return to Big Sur, where he began his professional career in 2005, rising to the position of chef de cuisine after having trained at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, Vt. His initial success in Big Sur landed him in Hawaii where he spent time immersing himself in island cuisine.  From there, Chef Cox had a stint in New Mexico before serving as the corporate chef for Noble House Hotels, where he was responsible for revitalizing the menu concepts for its group of restaurants. Most recently, Chef Cox served as executive chef at the celebrated Carmel, California restaurants, Casanova and La Bicyclette, where he initiated dynamic, daily changing menus focused around locally-sourced ingredients.  The new concept and menus were wildly successful and soon earned recognition as some of the finest in Carmel by publications ranging from the San Francisco Chronicle to Food and Wine magazine.

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Chefs 

 

Describe your cooking philosophy in one sentence:  I use ingredients from the Big Sur Coast to craft a culinary adventure encompassing the history, culture and environment, that can only be found here at Post Ranch.

 

What is your earliest food memory?  When I was twelve I got my first job as a paperboy for the local newspaper.  I remember saving up my small paychecks until I had enough to afford dinner at one of the restaurants in Santa Fe.  I would clip out articles and making lists of places I wanted to try.  Once I had saved enough I would either take the bus or get an older friend to drive.  Since we couldn’t drink, and usually just ordered appetizers, it wasn’t very expensive.   I think that is why I am always so happy to see young people dining at Sierra Mar; it takes me back to a time when everything was very new and exciting.

 

Who is or was your biggest culinary influence?  Growing up in Northern New Mexico there were many strong influences on my culinary style.  I can’t point to one person; rather I remember the food culture in general.  Before micro-regional cooking became trendy, New Mexico was fully embracing local farms, particularly heirloom chiles.  The idea of embracing local ingredients and reflecting terroir has stayed with me since my childhood.  Even today, I don’t want to create a dish simply for the sake of making something beautiful and flavorful, I want it to be a reflection of place, something that exists and is enjoyed only at that perfect moment.

 

Name your favorite food city and why.  Big Sur… Is Big Sur a city?  I have had the unique opportunity to work and cook across the country- from Hawaii to Vermont, Key West, San Diego, Seattle and many spots in between.   There are so many incredible food cities, each with their unique style, but for me, Big Sur is the perfect convergence of coast and mountains.  If you think of a chef’s environment as their artistic palate- then Big Sur is the perfect median for the kind of cooking and food that I love.  Big Sur is not about subtlety or nuance- it is about extremes and contrasting elements, it is an environment that is so raw and beautiful that it evokes strong emotions.

 

What food item or dish is your guilty pleasure?  Lots of Red and Green Chile.   There is nothing  better than perfectly roasted chile rellenos in Autumn, covered in Red and Green chile. Sadly that is  something I can only experience when I travel back home.

 

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?  Being surrounded by so many incredible vineyards I tend to lean more in the wine direction.   There has been a real renaissance in the local wine industry and it seems like tasting rooms are popping up all over the Central Coast.  Just like my own culinary philosophy, I appreciate the way that a great winemaker can concentrate the terroir of their vineyard into their own creative expression.

 

What is your ultimate day off meal?  There is nothing better than inviting over some friends, firing up the barbecue and enjoy a simple meal with some great wine and cheese.  (Preferably with minimal pot and pan use to facilitate cleaning up later!)

 

Join Chef John Cox – March 5-8, 2015 #TasteandSavor2015 at The Broadmoor!

 

 


Tasting Blog- Meet Frank Bonanno, Bonanno Concepts

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Meet – Frank Bonanno, Bonanno Concepts

 

Frank Bonanno Headshot photo by Rachel Nobrega

 

 

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Chefs

 

Describe your cooking philosophy in one sentence:

My cooking philosopy?  I always seek to create clean dishes with simple, great ingredients.

What is your earliest food memory?

 Watching Julia Child with my mom.

Who is or was your biggest culinary influence?

Fernand Point, without a doubt.

Name your favorite food city and why.

Denver is my favorite food city.  We have such great chefs in Denver.

What food item or dish is your guilty pleasure? 

Definitely Mac & Cheese or a Philly Cheese Steak.

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

Wine – White Burgundy.

What is your ultimate day off meal?

A big salad.  I love making a traditional Nicoise Salad.  My sons crave it too.

 

Frank Bonanno is the chef and proprietor of Bonanno Concepts, a Denver restaurant group that’s the umbrella to some of the city’s most established restaurants and bars: Mizuna, Luca, Osteria Marco, Bones, Green Russell, Wednesday’s Pie, Russell’s Smokehouse, Lou’s Food Bar, Vesper Lounge and Salt & Grinder. Frank is a graduate of the University of Denver Daniels College of Business and the Culinary Institute of American located in Hyde Park, NY. He has authored two cookbooks, received multiple James Beard Foundation Award semifinalist nominations, and hosts a PBS show called Chef Driven where he travels across the state visiting Colorado makers and cooking along the way.


Tastings Blog – Meet Tony Abou Ganim, Modern Mixologist

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Meet Tony Abou Ganim, Modern Mixologist

 

 

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The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Beverage Experts

 

 

Describe your beverage philosophy in one sentence:

Classic approach, fresh, seasonal ingredients, premium spirits, attention to details, all in perfect balance.

 

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What is your earliest beverage memory?

Drinking a Manhattan at the Brass Rail with my Mom & Dad on my 18th birthday.

 

Who is or was your biggest influence?

My cousin Helen David who opened the Brass Rail Bar in 1937 and ran it until her death at the age of 91 in 2006. Helen taught me to be a bartender in 1980 and instilled in me the great art of hospitality which continues to be the backbone of my philosophy of the profession today.

What is your favorite beverage that most would consider to be a guilty pleasure?

Billecart Salmon Rose Magnum

 

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

All of the above, every day is different some days require a cold beer, others only a perfect dry martini will do the trick.

 

Money is no option – what is your drink of choice?

Negroni

 

Tony Abou-Ganim is widely regarded as one of the pioneering and leading bar professionals in the world.  He has made dozens of national TV appearances on shows including TODAY, Iron Chef America, Good Morning America, CNBC, Fox News and more.  Abou-Ganim is the author of The Modern Mixologist: Contemporary Classic Cocktails (Agate, 2010) which offers readers an in-depth look into spirits and ingredients available to today’s mixologist, both professional and amateur alike.  This entertaining and informative journey will take readers from the early stages of the cocktail to what Abou-Ganim has come to deem “Modern Mixology.”  Abou-Ganim also has a DVD to his credit, Modern Mixology: Making Great Cocktails at Home, and hosted the Fine Living program Raising the Bar: America’s Best Bar Chefs. Abou-Ganim has also won three Iron Chef America competitions; pairing cocktails with Iron Chef Mario Batali; with Iron Chef Jose Garces and most recently with challenger Chef Sean McClain.  His signature branded line of Modern Mixologist bar tools and his second book, Vodka Distilled (Agate, 2013), are available now atwww.modernmixologist.com.

Abou-Ganim grew up in the bar business, learning the craft from his cousin Helen David at the Brass Rail Bar in Port Huron, Michigan. His initial introduction to the business was steeped in the tradition of classic cocktails and professional barmanship, teaching him the necessary steps to become a leader in the beverage industry. After graduating from college, Abou-Ganim further developed an appreciation for a hand-crafted cocktail using only the freshest ingredients while working at Jack Slick’s Balboa Café and then during the opening of “Harry Denton’s,” a legendary hangout in Fog City.  In 1993 he moved to New York City and took a position as the opening bartender at Po, Mario Batali’s first restaurant.

Tony later returned to San Francisco  to open Harry Denton’s Starlight Room atop the Sir Francis Drake Hotel and it was here that he developed  his first specialty cocktail menu featuring several of his original cocktail recipes including the Sunsplash, Starlight and his most famous of them all, the Cable Car.

In 1998, Abou-Ganim was selected by Steve Wynn to develop the cocktail program at Bellagio Las Vegas.  He not only implemented his philosophy of bartending and drink preparation, stressing both quality ingredients and proper technique, but also created several original cocktails for the resorts 22 bars. In 2002 he won the Bacardi Martini World Grand Prix – one of only two Americans to ever win this title.

As one of the National Ambassadors of the U.S. Bartenders Guild, www.usbg.org, and Associate Member of the Museum of the American Cocktail, www.museumoftheamericancocktail.org, Abou-Ganim continues to educate about the history and lore of cocktails. He also operates his own beverage consulting firm specializing in bar staff training, product education and cocktail development.

Keep current with news, appearances and special events at www.modernmixologist.comonFacebook and on Twitter @MdrnMixologist.

 

 


Tastings Blog – Sissy Biggers, Panel Moderator

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Meet – Sissy Biggers – Panel Moderator

 

 

Photo by Allan Zepeda

 

We first had the pleasure of working with Sissy when Summit opened and she came out to do her video blog of the opening.  It was quite exciting at the time, as the term “social media” was still in its infancy.  Welcome back to The Broadmoor Sissy!

 

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire – Chefs

 

 

Describe your cooking philosophy in one sentence:

What looks good at the market that I can still make well for the family at home!

 

What is your earliest food memory?

Earliest:  The ground beef casserole with Campbell’s Mushroom Soup.  It is an important memory because it traveled with us from the US (Minneapolis, Minnesota) to the UK (Green Street, London) when my parents were divorcing so it was the ultimate comfort food and touch point for the five, uprooted, Cargill kids.    But in those days, finding Campbell’s Mushroom Soup in London meant a hunt or access to a US Commissary or—better yet—an improvised version with crème fraiche.   Not sure which it turned out to be that turned out that casserole, but was a sigh of relief for us all when it landed on the table.

Next:  My mother’s meat sauce in an electric frying pan skillet that she could let simmer as she went off on an evening and I could ladle into the bowls.  Maybe there is a pattern here, but we had saucy stuff that served the brood.  To this day, I also make a meat sauce in my All Clad that is a family fave.  OK, maybe Heinz’s ketchup is still a sneaky ingredient today!   Obviously, we have no Italian ingredient.

 

Who is or was your biggest culinary influence?

Hosting “Ready, Set, Cook!” on Food Network back in the early days of the network catapulted me into a mix of chefs into new television content.  That first day in front of that camera, I stood between Chef Jean Georges Vongerichten and Chef Michael Lomonaco—neither of whom I had ever heard of—nor had America….and…(humbly I write this) the era of the celebrity chef began in earnest.  I am proud of the time I was at the helm of that show—not just for the first cooking competition on television we turned out on a dime on a few burners—but for the chance I had to realize I had a natural appetite and ability to recognize and share culinary content with the viewers.  That experience followed me into restaurants and into my home kitchen.

Name your favorite food city and why.

ANY CITY I AM IN AT ANY TIME.  MY PURSUIT OF THE CITY’S FOOD CULTURE IS MY JOB AND I TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!

sissy biggers sundae

What food item or dish is your guilty pleasure?

Dairy Queen Hot Fudge Sundae on a swirl in a cup with chopped nuts.

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

Sauvignon Blanc from CALIFORNIA! 

What is your ultimate day off meal?

We are empty nesters…so I can always be off duty.  I do love a proper pizza in a variety of styles. What makes it a “day off” is that my husband is obviously out of town when I indulge in that slice!

Watch Sissy on NBC


Tastings Blog – Steve Olson Master of Ceremonies for Taste and Savor 2015

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Meet – Steve Olson, Master of Ceremonies

 

 

 

Steve Olson Headshot

 

We are so thrilled to have our friend Steve Olson, join us for our inaugural Taste and Savor culinary weekend !  In the weeks leading up to Taste and Savor we will be featuring a fun questionnaire from of our guests as well as a short biography of their lives.

The Taste and Savor Questionnaire Beverage Experts

Describe your beverage philosophy in one sentence:

If you like it drink it:  make your own decisions, as there is no right or wrong to this.

What is your earliest beverage memory?

I was already working as a soda jerk at the age of 12, so my memories go waaaay back, but regarding wine, it was a sip of Mateus with my tea-totalling Iowa-farm-raised parents when they finally had a glass of wine with a special dinner.  It was terrible, but I was hooked.

Who is or was your biggest influence?

Far too many to name here, as I have been very lucky to have many great mentors over the years, but the first that really influenced me in the restaurant service and hospitality world, that I have lived in and worked my entire grown life, taught me that it was not about me, or my wine list or my cocktails or even about our incredible service—-it is all about the food.

What is your favorite beverage that most would consider to be a guilty pleasure?

In my role, I am not allowed to have favorites, but if I have to choose only one liquid to consume for the rest of my life, it would definitely be Mezcal.

After a long day, do you prefer wine, beer or a cocktail?

Depends upon who I am with, where I am, what day it is—how long that day really has been—-and what I am eating—-I love them all! That said, I love wine, I love cocktails, and I teach about and consume more than my share of each, but I am a beer drinker at heart.

Money is no option – what is your drink of choice?

see above—-Del Maguey Single Village Mezcal Tobala.

OR

Domaine de la Romanee-Conti La Tache, since you are buying!

Steve olson cocktail

Steven Olson is dedicated to the education and consultation of degustation for appreciation and celebration.  He teaches, lectures, and writes all over the world about wine, beer, spirits, sake, and virtually any other beverage under the sun, discussing their integral cause-and-effect relationship with food as he preaches the gospel of his mission: making tasting fun by removing the intimidation factor and the pretense.

 

Olson’s company, aka wine geek, based upon his standing as one of America’s foremost experts and most sought-after lecturers in the business, and his 30+ years of experience in the restaurant business, specializes in beverage and service consulting, and has focused on the professional presentation of beverage education for the trade, consumers, press and the media since 1992, always striving to empower both members of the trade and consumers to make their own decisions, and to trust their own palates.

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Over the years, Steve has hosted a few of his own TV series’ and been a guest on many others, and has served as host of several trade education and product information videos, including being the voice of Virtual Bartender kiosks in retail stores nationwide.  He was also selected as Santé Magazine’s Spirits Professional of the Year for 2003, awarded CHEERS Magazine’s Beverage Innovator of the Year, a lifetime achievement award in 2005, chosen to judge at the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Diageo Reserve World Class Finals, and honored as Best Bar Mentor at the Spirited Awards at the 2012 Tales of the Cocktail.

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Olson may be best known to many, however, for his restaurant and bar consulting, having designed the innovative beverage programs and service systems for several nationally acclaimed operations, including the Relais Chateau, Mobil Five Star award-winning Mayflower Inn in Connecticut, New York City’s #1 Zagat-rated restaurant, Gramercy Tavern, the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa in Atlantic City, and the Adam Tihany-designed Summit at the Mobil Five-Star, AAA Five-Diamond BROADMOOR in Colorado Springs. Olson designed the beverage programs for OTG Management, which exclusively operates dozens of restaurants and wine bars in airports, and designed the beverage programs for Aqua in Cancun, Mexico, the prize jewel of Grupo Posadas, which opened in 2008.  His most recent ventures are Isola and Hudson Common, both in Manhattan, where Olson and team acted as beverage consultant to the Morgan Hotel Group in NYC.