A Virtual Dinner Party: Harissa Chicken

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Entertaining at home is the apex of hospitality. Inviting people for dinner you have spent time preparing is so rewarding, n’est-ce pas? These days, even if you can’t physically be with your friends, you can still have dinner.

The Great Chef, Floyd Cardoz

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“I’m so sorry,” sad a tearful voice on the other end of the telephone early this morning. “About what?” I asked, groggy, rubbing the sleep out of my eyes. “Chef Floyd…” came the response. “Oh no,” I sagged back down against the pillows. “It’s not possible…” I knew he’d been ill…but it couldn’t be. Not…

A ‘Golly’ Moment

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Yes, it is a bit of a ‘golly’ moment in New York isn’t it? Uncertainty is awful. But, it is a necessary step towards reinvention, which is what I’ve been doing for the past year and a half. On average, over the past 30 years, I must have reinvented myself a good half a dozen…

To Be Or Not To Be … A Wine Sommelier

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I read somewhere recently that one should be proud of one’s choices…and not necessarily one’s talents. Hmmm…? Because choices involve working hard, and the achievements that follow are worth every drop of blood, sweat and tears you put into it. Let’s just say for a moment you are lucky enough to have a gift, if…

Wine & Warmth

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These days, when you tell someone that you’re a wine sommelier, they inevitably register a look of awe: eyebrows raised, eyes wide, mouth gaping… “You must be really smart,” is the opening line that invariably follows. Thank you “Somm,” the 2013 documentary that follows four wine captains in their quest for the Master Sommelier certification.…

A Time To Wine

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Back in the day, there was a bar on Greenwich Avenue called “The Bar.” It was truly a neighbourhood dive, with a great jukebox and a man called Johnny with a long ZZ Top-style beard behind the bar. Open until 4am, it attracted all kinds: nurses getting off their shifts, servers, other bartenders, writers, artists…

The Art of Hospitality

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This summer got me thinking seriously about restaurant hospitality. I spent a grueling four months as the wine director, sommelier and special events guru at the Hamptons outpost of a New York City restaurant that has been around for three decades and I noticed that the time-honoured tradition of hospitality isn’t quite… ‘hospitable’ … but…

Of Avatars Past

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New York…my city, my home, my sanctuary. It’s where I’ve lived since 1982. 36 years, the better part of my life. One of the reasons I love it is because here, I can be who I want to be. It is here that I have reinvented myself time and time again: going from journalist to…

The Quality of Life

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Of late, I’ve been quite preoccupied with the idea of quality of life and what it really means to me. I’ve always been a hard worker, whether it was in school or later when I started working…somehow, I was happy to put in long hours, trying to go the extra mile, keeping ahead of the…

For the Love of a Prince

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I had all intentions of watching the royal wedding this past weekend. But I slept through the alarm, woke up late and had to rush off to work. Later that Saturday night as I served a delicious 2015 Puligny-Montrachet from Jean Chartron, I was asked by the gentleman who was tasting the wine if I’d…