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Cocktails and Solace at The Ravens Club in Ann Arbor

Cocktails and Solace at The Ravens Club in Ann Arbor

It was a last minute trip home, the kind you don’t want to make, the kind you take because someone’s health is failing and visits must be made. Everything from my pre-departure routine to those long hours in a metal tube with wings felt more dismal than usual. I had a cocktail on each flight, sleeping when I could, eschewing my iPod and trashy magazines. The subsequent gathering of my immediate family upon my arrival into Detroit weighed heavy with concern, a weekend schedule of meals and responsibilities and meetings with health care providers. Our family’s modus operandi to laugh and carry on conflicting with the uncomfortable stomach-gnawing of impending loss.

April 15, 2014 | By
Quick Spin: Chef Adam Higgs of Portland’s Acadia

Quick Spin: Chef Adam Higgs of Portland’s Acadia

I arrived in this weird Pacific Northwest city back in the early 2000s, settling into a house in Portland’s then-undesirable Northeast neighborhood. I remember being pretty dismayed with the food options in the area, venturing out one night, determined to find a great restaurant nearby. Thankfully, I stumbled upon a dimly lit corner spot on Fremont Avenue, where the menu at Acadia pulled me in, full of seafood and Cajun spices, and I stayed for both dinner and dessert.

March 19, 2014 | By
Chefs Steven McHugh and Michael Gulotta on Cured, MOPHO, and life in the kitchen with Chef John Besh

Chefs Steven McHugh and Michael Gulotta on Cured, MOPHO, and life in the kitchen with Chef John Besh

The guidance and training a chef receives within the kitchen – particularly during those early years – often dictates the tone of his or her career, from knife skills and spices to business acumen and demeanor. Whether cookbooks or creative bios, it is always referenced where a chef has worked previously, ripples that continue to flow for years to come. Particularly when it is a great chef – Boulud, Keller, Chang – it is exciting to see the evolution, the next generation of creativity emerging from the kitchens and training, ready to build on their own dreams.

February 26, 2014 | By
Dining & Drinking: 48 Hours in… Miami

Dining & Drinking: 48 Hours in… Miami

Food and gossip columnist Lesley Abravanel kicks off our new food & travel series, “48 Hours In…”, with her top dining and drinking picks in sunny Miami, Florida. With a handful of favorites, both the glamorous Martini Bar at the Raleigh – with food from our favorite Miami chef, Michael Schwartz – and the kitchy Alabama Jack’s make the cut.

February 12, 2014 | By
Quick Spin: Chef Greg Grohowski of Maui’s Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa

Quick Spin: Chef Greg Grohowski of Maui’s Hyatt Regency Resort and Spa

Chef Greg Grohowski has his hands full managing the high volume kitchens of the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa. The Midwest native began as many chefs do, on the line through high school and college, cooking with family and friends along the way, apprenticing at the Tippecanoe Restaurant within the historic Studebaker Mansion in South Bend, Indiana before joining Paragon Restaurants.

January 22, 2014 | By
Newsbits: Cheerios Goes GMO-Free (sorta); Portlandia’s Gilt Club Quietly Closes

Newsbits: Cheerios Goes GMO-Free (sorta); Portlandia’s Gilt Club Quietly Closes

There’s been much discussion since Cheerios manufacturer General Mills announced last week that they’ve been making GMO-free versions of the well-known cereal over the past few months, and expect customers to spot the adjusted product shortly on their store shelves. The company is confident about their decision, of course, with spokesman Mike Siemienas commenting, “We believe consumers will embrace it.”

January 6, 2014 | By
Rock and Roll and Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress

Rock and Roll and Rene Redzepi: A Work in Progress

Books that cook have really evolved over the last few years. A few – like David Chang’s tale in the Momofuku cookbook of fighting anger and shingles – plunge even deeper into the cooking/storytelling vein, revealing the heart of the kitchen where memoir and measuring cup collide.

René Redzepi: A Work In Progress is teetering on that fine line as well. The Copenhagen chef’s latest release, a raw glimpse into a leader and chef, part cookbook, part year-in-the-life tale of its star player and his role within the greater team.

December 18, 2013 | By
That Week Portland Cocktail Week Came To Town

That Week Portland Cocktail Week Came To Town

Oh, those bartenders, those “mixologists”, the ones we write about, the ones we admire from the other side of the bar. They gather regularly, you know. It’s not all tips and ten-hour shifts. Sometimes in New Orleans, sometimes in Kansas City, sometimes in New York. One shining week a year in the heart of Stumptown. There are tattoos and laybacks, branded swag and local spirits.

Tally ho, drink lubbers. The 2013 Portland Cocktail Week report lies ahead.

All camaraderie and brainstorms. Drink testing and note taking. Nearly four hundred or so of the best mixers, from across the country, around the world, stagger in from red-eyes, ready to see their friends and seize their free days.

November 12, 2013 | By
Feast Portland Events for the Frugal Foodie

Feast Portland Events for the Frugal Foodie

Food and wine festivals can often feel like a Catch-22. On one hand, they’re an awesome way to showcase chefs and restaurants from across the country, drawing higher tourism numbers to a city perhaps lower on the radar. On the other hand, however, tickets for festival events are often unreasonably expensive, asking for hundreds of dollars per person for high-end dinners, and thousands of dollars for an all-access pass, making them feel unrealistic for the average food fan to attend.

September 13, 2013 | By
On Molecular Gastronomy and Trying New Things (Win a Dinner for Two at Portland’s Racion!)

On Molecular Gastronomy and Trying New Things (Win a Dinner for Two at Portland’s Racion!)

Portland Dining Month began to really blossom my first year in Stumptown. I remember scrolling through that original list of restaurants on my computer screen, only recognizing one or two from long line of participants. Everything was a new experience back then, yet I still frequent many of the restaurants I tried that year. Portland […]

June 25, 2013 | By
The Taste of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004 [SPONSORED]

The Taste of Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004 [SPONSORED]

Champagne – the classic drink of celebrations around the world. And nothing is more classic than Dom Pérignon. With the recent release of the 2004 Vintage – a perfect balance of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes – the result is a fusion of complementary and contrasting elements. “The 2004 vintage has Dom Pérignon’s harmony and […]

June 13, 2013 | By
Anatomy of a Successful Event: The 2013 Seattle Wine and Food Experience

Anatomy of a Successful Event: The 2013 Seattle Wine and Food Experience

This past weekend, I ventured up to Seattle for the Seattle Wine and Food Experience – one of the few events I attend every year – and every year, I am impressed at the quality and coordination.

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February 27, 2013 | By