Blog of award-winning authors
ANDREW DORNENBURG & KAREN PAGE
Named one of GourmetFood.About.com's "Top 10 Food Blogs"
Named one of The Fifty Best Links for Epicureans
Named to MUG 400 for "distinctive contribution to life in New York"
"Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page monitor the pulse of the food world like nobody's business. There's a fantastic database of restaurant reviews, too."
— Babbo pastry chef Gina DePalma
"Page and Dornenburg also write one of the most informative and engaging food/wine blogs on the planet. Check it out."
— Bestselling author Michael Gelb
"If you asked me what I came into this world to do,
I will tell you: I came to live out loud."
— Critic and novelist Emile Zola (1840-1902)
"There is nothing under the sun better for man than to eat, drink, and be merry. Go, therefore, eat your bread with joy and drink your wine with cheer.”
— Ecclesiastes 8:15
Looking for a more current update?
Follow us at www.twitter.com/karenandandrew or www.twitter.com/whattodrinkbook
"Who to follow: @WhatToDrinkBook: Authors Andrew Dornenburg and Karen Page obsess over food and wine."
—Tara Q. Thomas, Wine & Spirits magazine (Fall 2009)
"Tasty Tweets: 55+ Foodies to Follow on Twitter....@KarenAndAndrew — Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg are the authors of numerous books, most recently THE FLAVOR BIBLE, winner of the 2009 James Beard Award. Their tweets talk about their books, food commentary, and interesting links."
—Cameron Chapman, Mashable.com (August 13, 2009)
"9 Famous Foodies to Follow on Twitter. Hungry for some tasty tweets? The culinary community is sweeping the Twittersphere, and now you can keep up with some of the biggest names in the biz just by clicking the 'follow' button on Twitter. Here are some faves... @KarenAndAndrew: You heard of THE FLAVOR BIBLE? Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg wrote the book."
—Michele Laudig, Phoenix New Times (July 10, 2009)
Jane Weiss & Karen Page outside Eleven Madison Park
Karen Page & Jane Weiss at Kitchen Arts & Letters
Sunday, April 10, 2011 — We were happy to be joined by Northwestern junior Jane Weiss yesterday for a day-long internship through Northwestern University's NeXT externship program, which pairs current students with alums working in their field of interest.
We'll see if we can coax Jane to share a paragraph or two about our day of culinary adventures....
CIA President Tim Ryan, Jerome Bocuse, "Chef of the Century"
Paul Bocuse, "Chef of the Year" Daniel Boulud & Thomas Keller
"Chef of the Century" Paul Bocuse and other honorees
pose with CIA students at the Marriott Marquis in New York
Karen Page, Paul Bocuse, and Andrew Dornenburg
Photo Credit: Daniel Boulud (Really!)
"If a restaurant is full and it lasts and it's making money,
the chef is probably doing something right."
Wednesday, March 30, 2011 — We were happy to receive a preview of tonight's Culinary Institute of America Leadership Awards Gala at a press conference held today at noon at the Marriott Marquis in Manhattan. It was only fitting to have on hand two of America's most renowned chefs — Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller — as the CIA's President Tim Ryan announced as the CIA's "Chef of the Century" the legendary chef Paul Bocuse.
Boulud will be honored tonight as the CIA's "Chef of the Year." Yesterday, Keller was only the third American culinarian in history to be named Chevalier of the French Legion of Honor, an award presented to him by Bocuse in recognition of his promotion of French cuisine in the United States.
Bocuse is an 11th generation chef, whose kitchen lineage dates back to the 1700s. He was born in the Lyon restaurant he still lives in. (Thanks to Boulud's French-to-English translation, we learned that Bocuse is often asked what's changed there since his birth, to which Bocuse's reply is, "I just changed the sheets!") After apprenticing with the legendary Fernand Point at La Pyramide, Bocuse went on to win the MOF (Meilleur Ouvrier de France) in 1961, and his restaurant won three Michelin stars in 1965, which it has held ever since.
Keller credited Bocuse with bringing chefs into the public eye: "Before Paul Bocuse, we didn't know chefs' names. He was the first to come into the dining room. He defined the modern chef...one with a point of view about food....The book The Great Chefs of France [in which Bocuse is featured] changed my life."
Boulud received his culinary training in France within eyeshot of Bocuse and his colleagues, a fraternity whose fellowship he admired, and credits him as a "great educator." In recounting the list of Bocuse's restaurants — which includes his eponymous three-star auberge, five brasseries in Lyon alone plus eight in Japan, not to mention two fast food restaurants, Boulud (who has earned virtually every culinary honor of which we're aware) attested humbly, "We feel very modest next to Paul Bocuse."
Bocuse's son Jerome Bocuse, a 1989 graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, testified on a more personal level that Paul is "a really good father" — one who "never missed a day of picking me up at school."
Our congratulations to Paul Bocuse on his well-deserved honor as "Chef of the Century."
P.S. Thanks to Daniel Boulud, we were able to congratulate Paul Bocuse, about whom we first wrote in 1995 in our first book BECOMING A CHEF (which features him in several chapters) personally. Boulud whisked us to the front of the room to introduce us to Bocuse in French (we're not sure exactly what he said, but he greeted Karen with kisses on her cheeks). Then Boulud himself took our camera to shoot us with the well-worn copy of Bocuse's 1977 book PAUL BOCUSE'S FRENCH COOKING we'd brought with us, which Bocuse was gracious enough to autograph for us. Merci, Chefs, for a moment we'll never forget!
Time magazine's July 23, 1984 cover on
Geraldine Ferraro making history, in her
trademark silk dress and pearls, made us
believe the world was changing for women
Geraldine Ferraro, Karen Page & Donna Zaccaro
at the November 2008 Citymeals-on-Wheels
Power Lunch for Women in New York City
"We fought hard. We gave it our best.
We did what was right and we made a difference."
Monday, March 28, 2011 — Yesterday morning out in the country, we woke up to the very sad news that Geraldine Ferraro had lost her long and brave battle with multiple myeloma, at the age of 75.
Twenty-seven years ago, in 1984, Karen was one year out of college (as an economics major who'd earned a certificate in women's studies); Geraldine was the age that Karen is now when she made headlines — and history — as America's first female VP candidate on a major party ticket. Karen first met Geraldine (a fellow grade-skipper, although Geraldine skipped three grades while Karen only skipped one) while volunteering on her campaign, and invited her to speak at a gathering of the young professional women's organization she had founded in New York City. The same year, Karen also had the pleasure of meeting Geraldine's daughter Donna Zaccaro, with whom she's been friends ever since.
While serving on the board of directors of The International Alliance, in 1993 Karen was invited to introduce Geraldine as the keynote speaker at the organization's annual conference in the ballroom of the Grand Hyatt in Manhattan. She obsessed over the introduction, feeling the pressure to make sure it paid proper tribute to this historic figure for whom she felt both admiration and affection, and Andrew must have listened to literally dozens of versions of that introduction before she felt she might have finally nailed it. The audience's reaction was the ultimate confirmation: Geraldine Ferraro received the single longest and most thunderous standing ovation she had ever heard.
After supporting Geraldine's Senate campaigns in 1992 and 1998 (shortly after which Geraldine was diagnosed with multiple myeloma), Karen had the pleasure of seeing Geraldine over the past decade at several of the annual Power Lunches for Women hosted by Citymeals-on-Wheels, which Geraldine and Donna both regularly supported.
Her presence, there and everywhere, will be greatly missed. But this trail-blazing pioneer who opened the doors for other women will never be forgotten.
In lieu of flowers, the family of Geraldine Ferraro has requested that donations be made in her honor to one of four non-profit organizations, including The Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Research Center at Dana-Farber, The Religious Order of Sacred Heart of Mary in Tarrytown, The Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, and Citymeals-on-Wheels.
Thursday, March 24, 2011 — This past week we've been grateful to break up the long hours of proofreading and fact-checking our next book (which heads off to the printer shortly) with the pleasure of a movie screening (the foodie must-see "The Restaurateur," starring Danny Meyer) and a benefit performance (joining Susan Dey, Jill Eikenberry, Michael Tucker, and other supporters to cheer on the amazing women of LAVA at Dixon Place) — not to mention a few wine tastings, including one we're on our way to momentarily.
Friday, March 18, 2011 — We're looking forward to Sunday afternoon's benefit performance by Sarah East Johnson's amazing group LAVA, and hope to see you there!
Sunday, March 20th, 2-4 pm
Dixon Place, 161A Chrystie Street
Hosted by the LAVA Board of Directors: Marisa Cardinale, George Gilpin, Diana Y Greiner, Sarah East Johnson, Sylvia Johnson, Carol Ostrow, and Gigi Sharp
And the LAVA Benefit Committee:
Smith Banfield, Jennifer Brilliant & Jeff Zoldan, Susan Dey, Somjen Frazer, Jocelyn Lee, Zoe Leonard, Deb Liebowitz & Susana Fried, Lissa McClure, Emily Morgan, Karen Page & Andrew Dornenburg, Wayne Schrengohst, Emily Slater, Amy Dawn Verebay, Juliet Widoff & Jackie Woodson, Sarah Winkler & Simon Leopold
Tuesday, March 8, 2011 — We're just back from a long, blissful weekend away at the world-renowned spa The Lodge at Woodloch, which is located just 90 miles from Manhattan in Hawley, Pennsylvania (and having an extraordinary sale this month: $199/night for a midweek visit!). After enjoying our time hiking and snowshoeing and relaxing, we're looking forward to returning to the task of getting our new wine book ready for publication this fall.
The Lodge at Woodloch:
- "Top 10 Destination Spas in the World" - Travel + Leisure
- "Top 10 Spas in the World" - TripAdvisor.com
- "Best Places to Relax in the U.S." - AOL Travel
- "Stay List" - National Geographic Traveler
- "Hot List" - Condé Nast Traveler
- "10 Most Luxurious Spas in the U.S." - Forbes.com
Sunday, February 20, 2011 — Yes, we're still alive — just busy working 12-hour days as we put the finishing touches on our next book, which is due to hit bookstore shelves this fall. We're incredibly excited about it! More news to come soon....
Monday, January 17, 2011 — Today, we open our email bag and share a message we just received that touched us this weekend:
I'm a 22-year-old college senior studying Philosophy, and recently I've been considering a career in the culinary world because, well, I'm having trouble finding employers who need someone with a thorough understanding of Kantian metaphysics. Plus, I absolutely love cooking, and I'm getting pretty good at it. Especially since I got two of your books.
I've made my way through a few cookbooks, and I wanted to start coming up with my own recipes, so I asked for THE FLAVOR BIBLE and WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT for Christmas. It's astonishing how much they've taught me in a short amount of time. When I'm planning a meal, I open your two books and a notebook, and I start working out something of a puzzle -- all the pieces have to fit together. I start with a main ingredient and bounce flavors off each other until I've got a combination of ingredients and wine that not only work together, they somehow elevate each other. This makes me feel supremely cool because I recently saw a video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvhjbYXDdu4) of Grant Achatz doing the same thing.
Last night, for dinner with my dad, I grilled pork chops and made a salad with apples and gruyère. My dad's instinct was to reach for a Merlot or Zinfandel to pair with the chops, but I had put the ingredients together with an off-dry Riesling in mind, per your book. I had even added a touch of ginger to the chops' seasoning, and garlic to the salad dressing, because of their affinity for Riesling.
I don't think I'd ever had a full glass of Riesling before, so I really felt like I was taking a leap of faith. This pairing, though, was exceptional. A "1+1=3" situation. The wine played off the apples and the gruyère, but it was able to stand up to the chop and the slightly loud balsamic vinaigrette as well. I was blown away. Next time I make a steak, I'm going to try white wine. I can't wait.
So what I'm saying, in a lengthy and roundabout way, is "thank you." Thank you so much. Your books rule. They make the information incredibly easy to understand, and they allow for real confidence in creating a meal. It's hugely reassuring to know a dish and its beverage pairing are recommended by some of the world's best chefs and sommeliers.
...Thanks again to both of you. I can't praise your books highly enough. You have absolutely revolutionized the way I cook, and the way I think about flavors and beverages in general.
P.S. I also tried Gewürztraminer for the first time, with some Muenster. Wow. You guys weren't kidding around.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011 — Happy New Year! As you may know, balanced flavors are the key to being satisfied with less food and drink, which is why our new What to Drink with What You Eat iPhone app ($2.99) is the perfect gift to yourself or someone you love who's watching what they eat. We were delighted by Charlie Suisman's write-up in today's must-read Manhattan User's Guide:
Saturday, December 18, 2010 — It's Andrew's birthday today — and we're excited to be celebrating not just one birth but two, given the release of the beautiful, brand-new iPhone app ($2.99) based on our award-winning book WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT! Please join our celebration by checking it out in the iTunes store and by spreading the word — we'll be RTing your Tweets and linking to your blog mentions here.
In the meantime, check out these screen shots from our new app:
The app comes with a rotating gallery of inspiring quotes from some of America's best sommeliers and chefs (at restaurants such as Daniel, Eleven Madison Park, The French Laundry, The Inn at Little Washington, Jean Georges, Per Se, Tru and Valentino), and allows you to search by either Food or Drink to find its ideal pairing:
In the Food section, you can either search by typing what you're looking for in the top bar, or scroll down an alphabetical list of hundreds of categories:
Once you click through to your desired category, it will return a list of compatible beverages that will enhance the flavor of the food you'll be eating (and, of course, you can do the same in reverse, searching by Drink to discover a list of compatible foods that will enhance whatever's in your glass):
Thanks again for your kind help spreading the word about our new iPhone app -- please feel free to share this link to the app on iTunes:
NEW What to Drink with What You Eat iPhone app ($2.99):
http://tinyurl.com/ituneswtd #iphone #app
Emeril Lagasse, host extraordinaire of "Cooking with Emeril"
Karen Page, Emeril Lagasse, producer Jennifer Sendrow,
chef David Pasternak, and Andrew Dornenburg
Tuesday, December 7, 2010 — We loved being guests live in the studio today with Emeril Lagasse on his "Cooking with Emeril" show on Martha Stewart Living Radio. Many thanks to all who called in to ask questions about holiday entertaining, and to producer Jennifer Sendrow for inviting us to be part of such a great show! You can (and should!) follow @Emeril and @martharadio on Twitter.
Here's a round-up of some of the food and wine we mentioned during the show:
Ann's Pecan Pie from Royers Round Top Cafe ($26.50; ships nationwide; call 877-866-PIES)
Cabot Vermont Cheddar; cabotcheese.coop
Eden Ice Cider; edenicecider.com
THE FLAVOR BIBLE
JB's White Chocolate Chip Macadamia Nut Pie from Royers Round Top Cafe ($26.50; ships nationwide; call 877-866-PIES)
Los Vascos Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($8/bottle)
Lucien Albrecht Cremant d'Alsace Brut Rose ($19/bottle)
Valdo Prosecco ($10/bottle)
WHAT TO DRINK WITH WHAT YOU EAT
Sunday, December 5, 2010 — Doing our best to fight off winter colds, we're following our friends' advice to keep a pot of water boiling on our stove and drinking lots of cinnamon tea! Any other tips for staying well as the temperatures drop??
Gorgeous view of Central Park and the Macy's Thanksgiving
Day Parade route
from brunch at Per Se
The "Team South" station where the ethereally light biscuits
gravy (plus ham and eggs) won our hearts
Little wonder our hearts were aflutter: The fab four behind
Team South are all Southern natives: David Breeden (TN),
Joe Nierstedt (SC), Joe Cash (SC) & Brian Nasworthy (GA)
Wishing Per Se Concierge Jenny Yun a Happy Thanksgiving
PER SE's Michelin three-star philosophy on display: "To make
people happy, that is what cooking is all about."
Thursday, November 25, 2010 — It's always nice to have a major holiday like Thanksgiving in the middle of an intense work period (as we're in now, finishing the edits to our next wine book, which is due out from Little, Brown in Fall 2011) — it provides a mandatory day off to step away from the manuscript, and to celebrate all we have to be thankful for. Today, we're especially thankful to Per Se restaurant for hosting such a lovely brunch with an unparalleled view of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade....Looking forward to dinner with friends next!
Andrew Dornenburg, Daisy Martinez & Karen Page at last
night's Browning Book Fair in New York City
Saturday, November 13, 2010 — We were so disappointed to miss Daisy Martinez's book party for her wonderful new book DAISY'S HOLIDAY COOKING on Wednesday night when we found ourselves stuck in traffic on the New Jersey Turnpike on the drive home from the Washington, DC, area just as it was kicking off. So we were even more delighted to see her last night at the Browning Book Fair — and to get to taste for ourselves her amazing recipe for Guava-linis! Look for Daisy in tomorrow's PARADE magazine....
Gail Simmons of "Top Chef" (who worked with us on The New
American Chef), Karen Page, and Food & Wine's Dana Cowin
Mini-Harvard Business School alumnae reunion: Judith
Haberkorn, Karen Page, and Jeanette Sarkisian Wagner
Karen Page, attorney and legal analyst Rikki Klieman, Oscar winner Marketa Irglova, and actress Jill Eikenberry
Karen Page and restaurateur/designer Barbara Lazaroff
Oscar winner Marketa Irglova, author Karen Page, restaurateur
Rohini Dey, and author Laura Day
The Pierre served a lovely lunch of amuses and scallops
Table 22 at The Pierre: Citymeals board member Jill Lohrfink,
Karen Page, and The White House Project's Marie Wilson
Petits fours provided a sweet ending to lunch at The Pierre
Table 22's Marie Wilson of The White House Project, Citymeals honoree actress Kathleen Turner, and Karen Page
Karen Page and Julie Menin, who spoke together on a panel
of "Rising Stars" at The Committee of 200 conference held
at The Pierre several years ago
Laura Day, Melanie Young, Barbara Lazaroff, Diane Gordon,
Marisa May, and Karen Page
Donna Zaccaro, author Laura Day, Karen Page and (fellow Northwestern alumna) actress Stephanie March
More than 300 of New York City's most powerful women were gathered by Citymeals-on-Wheels on Friday to raise more than $1 million to feed New York's homebound elderly, the majority of whom are women. Citymeals' co-founder Gael Greene and executive director Marcia Stein again hosted the best lunchtime party of the year, as banker Diana Taylor and actress Kathleen Turner were honored and Juju Chang and Paula Zahn emceed.
One hundred percent of your donation goes directly to feeding New York's homebound this holiday season and throughout the coming year. Won't you consider making a tax-deductible contribution to Citymeals right now? It's as simple as clicking here.
Karen with fellow oyster wine judges Justice Antonin Scalia
and chef Jose Andres at Old Ebbitt Grill
in Washington, DC
We kicked off an extraordinary week by heading to Washington, DC, on Monday to serve as judges (along with Jose Andres and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia) of the 2010 Oyster Riot oyster wine competition, which involves tasting and ranking 20 different wines on their pairing prowess with raw oysters. The winners will be announced next weekend at the 2010 Oyster Riot, held at the Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, DC. Afterward, Jose grabbed us to join him at Zatinya for a party he was hosting for fotoweek, showcasing the work of distinguished photographers.
Karen Page, Fern Berman, Betty Fussell, Laura Catena,
Dr. Maricel Presilla, and Andrew Dornenburg
On Thursday, we were delighted to be invited to a lunch at Buenos Aires restaurant in Manhattan celebrating the publication of Laura Catena's new book VINO ARGENTINO, which is as much a celebration of Argentina and its culture as it is its wine. The book is highly recommended to those seeking a delicious taste of Argentine wine and food.
Sunday, November 7, 2010 — We're coming off an intense last couple of weeks spent working on the edits to our next book on wine, and head to Washington, DC, tomorrow to judge the annual Oyster Riot oyster wine competition. Looking forward to seeing our fellow judges — some of whom we've interviewed for our previous books, such as chef Jose Andres and restaurant critic Phyllis Richman, as well as none other than Justice Antonin Scalia. (How many other wine competitions can boast a Supreme Court Justice as a judge?!)
Saturday, October 16, 2010 — It's been a busy past month: After working crazy hours to finish the edits to our next book (on wine, due out from Little, Brown in Fall 2011), we left for a two-week visit (our first-ever!) to Argentina and Chile to tour wineries. En route, we marked John Lennon's 70th birthday by dancing to Beatles tunes performed by one of the most talented young guitarists and vocalists in Mendoza, and celebrated the release of the 33rd miner while waiting for our flight home in the Santiago (Chile) airport. Oh, and we tasted some excellent wines, too. More to come as we catch up on work and life....
September 16, 2010 — Today, we're happy to be celebrating the two-year anniversary of the publication of THE FLAVOR BIBLE! Help us celebrate today: If you post an anniversary greeting on your website blog, Facebook and/or Twitter account, send us a link (at firstname.lastname@example.org) and we'll link to it below!
Our thanks to THE FLAVOR BIBLE's second anniversary well-wishers, who include:
* Kendra Adachi, who Tweeted from Greensboro, North Carolina: @MyFirstKitchen: "THE FLAVOR BIBLE is amazing. It lists every ingredient and what goes with it. Great for creativity."
* Steven Boss, who Tweeted from Fairfield, Iowa @StevenBoss:
"Congrats on the anniv. of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. ALL their books are excellent."
* Gael Greene, who Tweeted from New York City at @GaelGreene: "Saluting my friends Karen& Andrew on 2nd anniversary of THE FLAVOR BIBLE."
* Tami Hardeman, who Tweeted from Atlanta, Georgia @RunWithTweezers: "Happy Birthday to THE FLAVOR BIBLE! Don't own a copy?I'm giving one away on RWT: "
* David Charles Mabe, who described THE FLAVOR BIBLE on Facebook from Los Angeles as "One of the best food references we know of; and, written by two dear friends!"
* Nuria Sepulveda, who Tweeted from Mexico @Nuria_SM: "Congrats to @ ...today is the second anniversary of THE FLAVOR BIBLE. Muchas Felicidades!!!"
* Lucy Vaserfirer, who Tweeted from Portland, Oregon @LucyVaserfirer: "It's the 2nd anniversary of THE FLAVOR BIBLE by @! Why you need it: "
September 2010 — We're looking forward to participating in the American Harvest Workshop at Cakebread Cellars Sept. 11-15, and to Tweeting highlights of our time in Napa Valley at www.twitter.com/KarenAndAndrew.
The 2009 line-up of celebrity sous chefs at SHARE's event
Summer 2010 — We've been busy (understatement!) focusing on finishing our next book ON MASTERING WINE (Little, Brown; 2011) this summer, which we're very excited about. Hope your own summer is going great!
For one of the most delicious tastes of Manhattan we can think of, please consider joining us for SHARE's "Second Helping of Life" event on Monday, September 20th, at Pier 60 in New York City, which raises funds to support women with breast and ovarian cancer. Dozens of New York's best women chefs and pastry chefs (including Rebecca Charles, Alexandra Guarnaschelli, Anita Lo and Amy Scherber) will provide samples of their cuisine throughout the evening, each accompanied by an actress, anchor or author serving as her "Celebrity Sous Chef." Karen will be featured along with several friends including bestselling author Laura Day, actress Jill Eikenberry, and Oscar-winning musician and actress Marketa Irglova. For the complete line-up and details on ordering tickets, click here.
The Lodge at Woodloch's extraordinary Aqua Garden
The talented kitchen team at The Lodge at Woodloch,
including chef Peter Schott
At The Lodge, you can even get a burger at lunch!
Carnivore Andrew loved the grilled tofu salad
Tropical fruit salsa jazzed up fish over black rice
The Lodge's desserts often featured fresh local berries
After dinner, Lodge guests are invited to take
their drinks outside around the fire...
...but we opted to stay inside by the fireplace and
listen to guitarist and musical arranger John Curtin
Karen was thrilled to be able to kayak on The Lodge's lake
before we left, and to see the impressive beaver dam
On our hikes, our expert guides pointed out
vegetables, herbs and old grapevines
Hiking with fellow guests in Pennsylvania
Andrew and Karen, overlooking the lake during a hike
at The Lodge at Woodloch
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 — Sometimes great get-aways are carefully planned in advance; other times they simply happen. In the first half of 2010, we are grateful to have had two magical get-aways that fell into the latter category: at The Lodge at Woodloch and The Inn at Little Washington.
In May, as Karen fought intense neck/back pain, she found the best (temporary) pain reliever to be hot Epsom salt baths. As she began to fantasize about being able to spend 24/7 in a hot bath, she discovered online that this could be a real possibility given the therapeutic soaking pools at The Lodge at Woodloch, about two hours from Manhattan in Pennsylvania.
"Soothe your mind and body in our heated hydromassage WaterWalls at the Aqua Garden" beckoned The Lodge's Web site. "Perched in the treetops, soak year-round in our outdoor Horizon Whirlpool" it cooed welcomingly.
So off we went. Within a half-hour of arriving, we found ourselves in Muscular Pain Sufferers' Nirvana. We weren't able to take, and haven't yet found, a photo of The Lodge's Aqua Garden that does proper justice to its stunning beauty. The eight- and four-foot waterfalls are absolutely spectacular, and we loved being able to seat ourselves in the pools beneath them with the water crashing on our backs, creating an unforgettable aqua-massage.
During our first 24 hours at The Lodge, Karen mostly soaked and stretched (in excellent yoga and Pilates classes) while Andrew ventured out on well-organized hikes and bikes. However, the aqua-massage worked so well that by the time we left, Karen was able to hike and even kayak in the lake behind the Lodge with much greater ease of movement than when we'd arrived.
Spa cuisine tends to get a bad rap, but the food served at The Lodge ranged from quite good to truly excellent. We loved getting to meet the kitchen team during the culinary demonstrations (complete with tasting!) that take place every afternoon in the demo kitchen. We were able to enjoy a glass of wine every evening, along with live music — and one of our greatest pleasures was discovering guitarist John Curtin who performed the best cover of Neil Young's "Harvest Moon" we'd ever heard outside of hearing Neil Young himself perform it at Madison Square Garden.
This exquisite destination spa is simply not-to-be-missed.
The Lodge at Woodloch is at 109 River Birch Lane in Hawley, PA 18428. (866) 953-8500. Web: www.thelodgeatwoodloch.com
The anticipation builds all along the road to The Inn...
The gorgeous Thomas Keller Room at The Inn at Little Washington
Downstairs in our two-level guest room
Our room felt homey with our framed photo on display,
causing us to wonder yet again how The Inn works its magic!
The Thomas Keller Room bathroom has exquisite mirror detailing
The view of the garden from our room
Having black truffles shaved over our boxes of popcorn...
...for a giggle-inducing start to our dinner
A few mouthfuls of perfect pea soup
A Tin of Sin: American Osetra Caviar w/Crab & Cucumber Rillette
A Quartet of Maine Oyster Slurpees
Pan-Seared Four Story Hill Farm's Pekin Duck Breast
on Sweet Corn Pudding with a Local Cherry Sauce
More shaved truffle over our Macaroni & Cheese
A Limoncello Souffle with Lemon Ice Cream
Our box of petits fours to take away with us
Breakfast at The Inn at Little Washington
A quartet of freshly-squeezed juice blends
Karen's beloved oatmeal souffle with currants and maple syrup
Strolling after breakfast, you can visit the sheep resting in
the shade of trees, and visit the "Chicken Pavilion"
Andrew with Gregory Britt, The Inn's amazing floral designer
"Our alliance with local farmers and artisanal producers was an adaptation born of necessity more than 30 years ago when nothing but milk was delivered here. Long before the farm to table movement had a name, we began cultivating fruitful relationships with our neighbors — many of whom have a strong connection to the land and a heritage of self-sufficiency. Their dedication yields ingredients unparalleled anywhere else in the world."
—From our June 21, 2010 menu at The Inn at Little Washington
Readers of our eNewsletter know that we've previously described The Inn at Little Washington, the Relais & Chateaux property that is frequently cited as one of the world's very best inns and restaurants, as the site of The Greatest Meal of Our Lives. We had hoped to try to make it there for a celebratory visit some time this summer, given that it is the year of our 20th wedding anniversary (in August) and our 25th anniversary of meeting (in November), but we weren't sure we'd be able to squeeze it in.
Then Karen's teenage brother Peter decided to visit us in New York City, and we made plans to take him to Washington, DC for a private tour of The Capitol. We'd found a reasonably-priced room in the city for the three of us for Sunday night, and when we contemplated staying for a second night ourselves after Peter left to drive home to Chicago we learned that the same room would more than double in price for Monday night. We were outraged: "Why, for that price we could stay at The Inn at Little Washington!" Thus are great ideas born.
The Inn was in the cards: They were (and still are) running an extraordinary all-inclusive special called "Far From the Maddening Crowd" that includes accommodations, a welcome cocktail, afternoon tea, a six-course dinner, and breakfast for two. If you have an extraordinary occasion to celebrate (indeed, the couples enjoying dinner on either side of us were celebrating their 30th and 35th wedding anniversaries, respectively), there is simply no better place or time to do so.
We stayed in the newly-redesigned two-story Thomas Keller Room and, with many of the rooms named after culinary luminaries, we felt surrounded by friends our entire visit. We borrowed bicycles and took ourselves on a scenic one-hour bike ride during the afternoon. Dinner was whimsical and filled with one extraordinary delight after another after another. It's always a surprise to find oneself hungry again when breakfast rolls around, but thankfully we were — as we'd hate to miss the oatmeal souffle with rum-soaked currants and maple syrup (Karen's favorite) or what turned out to be the best fresh herb omelet Andrew has ever tasted.
At the end of our March/April 2005 eNewsletter, we posed the question, "Is The Inn at Little Washington the world's greatest restaurant?" and answered it ourselves by writing that "It is — without a doubt — the most extraordinary, magical place either of us has ever experienced this side of Heaven!"
And it still is.
The Inn at Little Washington is at Middle and Main Streets in Washington, Virginia. (540) 675-3800. Web: www.theinnatlittlewashington.com
Four Sisters' new location on Strawberry Lane in Falls Creek
Four Sisters ("Huong Que" in Vietnamese) still displays its
write-up from our 2001 book CHEF'S NIGHT OUT
Spring rolls at Four Sisters
Caramelized pork and papaya salad with shrimp
We learned about the Four Sisters Vietnamese restaurant when we were researching our 2001 book CHEF'S NIGHT OUT, and had visited it nearly a decade ago when it was housed in a Falls Church strip mall. This month we were happy to discover its relatively new digs have a much more upscale setting. Our mention in CHEF'S NIGHT OUT might have been nearly a decade old, but it's still on display over the hostess stand. And, happily, our lunch was just as good as we'd remembered the it to be.
Four Sisters is at 8190 Strawberry Lane in
Falls Church, Virginia.
(703) 539-8566. Web: www.foursistersrestaurant.com
Gaga over Zaytinya's cinnamon baklava ice cream!
After a visit to the Spy Museum (fascinating and fun!), we headed to Jose Andres' restaurant Zaytinya for dinner. This restaurant just keeps getting better and better, with new delights such as cinnamon baklava ice cream (which instantly became a new favorite of Peter's). The only way it would be better still if there were one in our neighborhood in New York City!
Zaytinya is at 701 9th Street, NW in
Washington, DC. Phone: (202) 638-0800. Web: www.zaytinya.com
Watermelon carving of the late James Beard
Emily Cleveland of Citymeals-on-Wheels and
Andrew show off Gael Greene's sparkly hat!
Karen Page, Daniel Boulud, Rikki Klieman, Bill Bratton,
Drew Nieporent and Georgette Farkas
Chef Daniel Boulud with vodka
(Nobody but nobody is more fun to hang out with than Daniel!)
Chef Jean-Francois Bruel of Daniel in NYC
Karen with Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill
Karen with Barbara Lazaroff of Spago
Chef Bradley Ogden of Bradley Ogden at Caesar's Palace
Chef Cesare Casella of Salumeria Rossi in NYC
Chefs Charlie Palmer and Chris Lee of Aureole
Chef Traci Des Jardins (r.) with Chef Joachim Splichal, who
gave her her first professional cooking job
The team from the East Coast Grill in Cambridge
Andrew (r.) with Chef Chris Schlesinger of the East Coast Grill,
who gave him his first professional cooking job
Chef Eric Klein (r.) with Chef Wolfgang Puck (l.), who gave
him his first professional cooking job
Chef Eric Klein of Spago - Las Vegas
Chef Ed Brown of Ed's Chowder House with Andrew
Chef David Myers of SONA in Los Angeles
Chef Gerry Hayden of North Fork Table & Inn
in Southhold, NY (Where's Claudia Fleming??)
Chef Jimmy Schmidt of the Rattlesnake Club
Chef Joachim Splichal with Rikki Klieman and Bill Bratton
Chef Jody Adams (far right) & her team from Rialto in Cambridge
Bill Bratton and Rikki Klieman with Chef Nobu Matsuhisa
Chinatown Brasserie chef Joe Ng
Karen with Chef Stephan Pyles of Dallas
Bill Bratton, Karen Page, Richie Notar of Nobu, and Rikki Klieman
Our friend Jeff Penney with Karen
Chef line-up at Rockefeller Center at 9:30 pm
"For 25 years, the world's most acclaimed chefs have volunteered to help us raise enough money to deliver an additional three million meals to the doors of New York's frail aged at times when they would otherwise be hungry and alone. James Beard's memory lives on in the inspired cooking of these chefs and his loving concern for vulnerable elderly New Yorkers is his enduring legacy."
—Marcia Stein, Executive Director, Citymeals-on-Wheels
Monday, June 14, 2010 — Citymeals-on-Wheels celebrated the 25th "Silver Spoons" anniversary of its incredible Chefs' Tribute tonight at Rockefeller Center, and other than seeming bigger and better than ever, it was "deja vu all over again." Many familiar faces were on hand that have been part of this foodie must-attend event to support New York's homebound elderly for years, even decades.
Participating chefs and the dishes they showcased included:
Jody Adams, Rialto Restaurant (Cambridge, MA)
Salt Cod, Polenta, Calamari, Saffron Broth & Shrimp Salad
Paul Bartolotta, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare (Wynn Las Vegas)
Pesce del Mediterraneo in Crosta di Sale agli Agrumi Sicilani (Mediterranean Fish Baked in Sea Salt Crust with Sicialian Citrus)
Jonathan Benno, Patina Group Restaurant at Lincoln Center (New York)
Crostini con Fegatini di Pollo
(Chicken Liver Pâté with Arugula and Fennel-Raisin Semolina Bread)
Massimo Bottura, Osteria Francescana (Modena, Italy)
Potato, Sweet Onions, Parmiggiano Reggiano Capuccino with
Villa Manodori Balsamic Vinegar
Daniel Boulud & Jean François Bruel, DANIEL (New York)
Chilled Watercress Soup with Lobster Gelée & Porcini
Ed Brown, Ed’s Chowder House (New York)
Ed’s Soft Shell Crab Po’Boy
Cesare Casella, Salumeria Rosi (New York)
Jawn Chasteen & Michael Gabriel, The Sea Grill (New York)
Fluke Sashimi with Yellow Curry
Summer Strawberry Sundae, Lemon Sponge
Josh DeChellis, La Fonda del Sol (New York)
Cochinillo, Morcilla Marmalade (Suckling Pig with Blood Sausage Marmalade)
Franck Deletrain, Café Centro (New York)
Smoked Halibut, Sea beans, Tomato Confit, Cracklings
Robert Del Grande, Restaurant RDG/Bar Annie (Houston, TX)
‘Texas Redfish & Rider’ Smoked Red Fish with BBQ Gulf Oysters
Traci Des Jardins, Jardiniere (San Francisco)
Ahi Tuna Carpaccio à la Niçoise
Todd English, The Todd English Restaurant Group (New York)
Toasted Wild Ramp Corn Muffin Lardo, Porcini, Ricotta
Gennaro Esposito, Torre del Saraceno (Vico Equense, Italy)
Paccheri in 2 Bowls: Mozzarella & Meatball
Claudia Fleming & Gerry Hayden, The North Fork Table & Inn (Southhold, NY)
Nature’s Pride 12-Grain Bread Tea Sandwich: Dill-Marinated Salmon, English Cucumbers and Horseradish Mousse
Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp with Nature’s Pride Honey-Oatmeal Crumb & Goat Cheese Cream
Larry Forgione, An American Place (St. Louis)
with Marc Forgione, Marc Forgione (New York)
Oyster & Sea Urchin Pan Roast, Sharing a Shell
Melissa Kelly, Primo (Rockland, ME/Orlando/Tucson)
Pork Belly, Pickled Vegetable
Strawberry Gelato & Anise Gelato
Richard Leach, The Hurricane Club (New York)
Lime in the Coconut
Number 17 shot
Zarela Martinez, Zarela (New York)
Salpicon di Huachinango: Flaked Red Snapper, Jalapeno, Tomato, Scallions, Cilantro & Aromatic Spices
Nobu Matsuhisa, Nobu (New York)
Assortment of Hand Rolls
Michael Mina, MICHAEL MINA (San Francisco)
Tartare of Ahi Tuna with Sesame Oil & Scotch Bonnet Peppers
David Myers, Sona/Comme Ça(Los Angeles)
Marinated Crab with Lime-Pickle & Cucumber
Joe Ng, Chinatown Brasserie (New York)
Steamed Watercress & Shrimp Dumpling with Kaffir Lime Leaf & XO Sauce; Sirloin Tart with Curry Coconut Sauce
Bradley Ogden, Bradley Ogden at Caesar’s Palace (Las Vegas)
Spiced Lamb Sausage, Peach Salad
Frozen Heirloom Tomato Bloody Mary
Charlie Palmer, Aureole / Charlie Palmer Group (New York)
with Christopher Lee, Aureole (New York)
Slow Cooked Lamb Loin w/Cous Cous, Pinenuts & Balsamic Jus
François Payard, François Chocolate Bar (New York)
Roasted Strawberry Tiramisu with Candied Fennel
Mark Peel, Campanile/The Tar Pit/The Point (Los Angeles)
Duck Slider, Crisp Duck Confit, Buttered Roll, Cointreau Sauce;
Sautèed Cherries in Red Wine Sauce with Bitter Almond Ice Cream
Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar & Grill (New York)
Curry Spiced Muscovy Duck Breast with Couscous, Currants & Harissa
Antonio Prontelli & Juan Branez, Rock Center Café/Cucina & Co. (New York)
Crisp Sliced Pork Belly, Baby Arugula, Grilled Peasant Bread
Wolfgang Puck, Wolfgang Puck Fine Dining Group (Los Angeles)
Roasted Duck Bao Buns, Sweet & Sour Cherries
Hiramasa Sashimi, Crispy Rice
Stephan Pyles, Stephan Pyles & Samar by Stephan Pyles (Dallas, TX)
Lobster Enchilada with Red Pepper Crème Fraîche & Caviar
Chris Schlesinger, East Coast Grill & Raw Bar (Cambridge, MA)
Smoked Pork Taco with Curtido, Avocado Relish & Mango Mojo
Jimmy Schmidt, Rattlesnake/Morgan’s in the Desert (Detroit, MI/La Quinta, CA)
Crab Cake with Cracked Mustard Sauce;
Maryland Jumbo Lump Crab Cake with Roasted Fennel & Shaved Fennel Salad, Many Mustard Sauce
Joachim Splichal & Tony Esnault, Patina Restaurant (Los Angeles)
Marinated Hamachi, Cucumber Vinegar, Advocado & Granny Smith Apple;
Rabbit Ballotine, Raisins, Pequillos, Lemon Confit
Bill Telepan, Telepan (New York)
Rabbit-Mushroom Sausage with Mache, Radishes & Lemon Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolates (New York)
Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges (New York)
Grilled Lamb Chop with Tangy BBQ Sauce, Sugar Snap Pea Coleslaw
Silvana Vivoli, Vivoli Il Gelato (Florence, Italy)
Assorted Gelati & Sorbetti
Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto (New York)
Crispy Soft Shell Crab with Shaved Spring Vegetable, Lemon Confit & Crab Aioli
From the event press release: "More than 40 of the greatest chefs ever to cook at the event during its 25-year history reunited at Rockefeller Center and, once again, created a spectacular feast that raised nearly $700,000 for the preparation and delivery of nutritious meals, hand-delivered to frail, homebound elderly New Yorkers." Indeed.
Once our research associate on our book THE NEW AMERICAN CHEF, the lovely Gail Simmons (now a judge on "Top Chef") served as the event's emcee.
Our friends Terri Dial and Lynn Pike declared Chris Schlesinger's Smoked Pork Taco the best dish they'd tasted early in the evening. We loved it, too — even if we're a bit biased, as Chris was the first great chef Andrew ever had the privilege of working for.
Founded in 1981, Citymeals-on-Wheels is a not-for-profit organization and public-private partnership with the New York City Department for the Aging that raises private funds to prepare and deliver weekend, holiday and emergency meals to the homebound elderly throughout the boroughs of New York City. Last year, Citymeals underwrote the preparation and delivery of 2.1 million meals to 17,000 aged New Yorkers. One hundred percent of donations from the public to Citymeals goes toward the preparation and delivery of meals for the homebound elderly.
Citymeals-on-Wheels appreciates your ongoing support to feed New York's homebound elderly. Plan now to attend the 2011 26th anniversary Chefs' Tribute — and/or contribute online now at www.citymeals.org.
Kevin Zraly, Karen Goodlad, Karen Page, Daisy Martinez
and Andrew Dornenburg under the Brooklyn Bridge
(Photo credit: Carolina Penafiel)
Tuesday, June 8, 2010 — We had a blast at the South Street Seaport judging last night's 2010 Paella Parade competition along with the lovely and extraordinary Daisy Martinez and wine author extraordinaire Kevin Zraly, with thanks to judging coordinator Karen Goodlad of NYC Technical College in Brooklyn.
Sunday, June 6, 2010 — Thanks to everyone who provided advice and/or assistance during Karen's "Month of Pain Management" in May 2010 while she was dealing with her neck/back pain. It's mostly gone now — and we've got lots of people to thank for that, especially acupuncturist Suzanne Hill. More to come on the amazing learning experience of the past month.
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