Jack Daniels Whiskey Taster Lynne Tolley in STL

Lynne Tolley in STL

Lynne Tolley is in St. Louis this week to teach cooking classes at several Dierbergs School of Cooking locations. She comes from Lynchburg, Tennessee, where she works for Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey.

Lynne is a charming Southern lady with a beautiful accent. I think you’ll enjoy hearing her talk!

I visited with Lynne Wednesday morning (October 1). We talked about cooking with Jack—I mentioned pecan pie—but I began our chat by asking what it says on her business card. (Segment 1 runs 5:10)

 

I asked Lynne about Miss Mary Bobo’s, the restaurant in Lynchburg that my parents visited several years ago. (Segment 2 runs 3:29)

 

I asked her to mention a few of the items she would be cooking at Dierbergs. I also asked about a special treat for cold weather months called Winter Jack. (Segment 3 runs 4:28)

 

For more information about Jack Daniels Distillery and its products click HERE.

For info on Dierbergs School of Cooking, click HERE.

 

 

 

 

 

We Make Beer

We Make Beer

The craft beer movement keeps growing and new stories emerge daily about brewers and their beers. Sean Lewis relates several of those stories in his new book We Make Beer. Lewis brings a reporter’s perspective and also shares personal viewpoints. This is Lewis’ first book but he has written for Beer Advocate magazine and is a skilled writer.

The craft brewers Lewis visits and writes about range from small operations just starting out to the two biggest craft brewers, Sam Adams and Sierra Nevada. He finds that some are rather casual about their brewing while others exercise strict control of their beer making. Is it okay if particular brew varies in taste from batch to batch? Depends.

Because Lewis lived in Massachusetts when he began the book and in California when he finished it, those two states’ brewers get the bulk of his attention. But he also writes about breweries in Birmingham, Nashville, Austin, Lancaster/Ephrata (Pennsylvania) and Papillion (Nebraska). The craft beer scene in Portland, anchored by Deschutes, gets its due, too.

Sean Lewis author photo_ Credit Victoria Knowles

(Sean Lewis photo by Victoria Knowles.)

Lewis offers inside looks at the brewing process and the brewery business. There’s enough detail about what goes in and what comes out of a brewing tank to satisfy most serious beer geeks. Those of us who may not care so much for the technical stuff can enjoy meeting the individuals who make beer and learning about their motivations and passions.

He spends a few pages of the book addressing the 2011 sale of Chicago’s successful craft brewer Goose Island to AB/InBev. The sale “felt like a betrayal because Anheuser-Busch had long served as the face of the enemy,” he writes.

(I’ve spoken to Goose Island and A-B folks who defend the purchase, saying the main differences are stricter safety standards, better consistency in product and wider distribution. A-B also has the power to aid in sourcing raw materials plus capacity to handle demand in other locations that can’t be met in Chicago, they say.)

Lewis mentions in a footnote that naming a favorite beer is “an impossible question to answer.” But, he writes, “If I had to choose one beer to drink for the rest of my life, it would be Firestone Walker’s Pale 31.” I’ll be checking this weekend to find out if anybody in St. Louis has it!

Click HERE to purchase We Make Beer from Amazon.

Nuggets!

The in-box is FULL of nuggets! Here are a few…

Angie Ortmann, AKA @STLWineGirl has launched Cork Dorks with Forks. Click HERE to go to the CDWF website and see what all she and Matthew Dulle are up to.Angie

Fleming’s on Lindbergh has a neat September deal. A Filet and Lobster combo for 44.95. That comes with soup or salad and a scallop appetizer. Available through September 30.

image001

The Cochon 555 BBQ event at the Four Seasons happens Sunday, September 14, 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Competitors are Gian Nicola Colucci of Cielo Restaurant & Bar, Jenny Cleveland and Eric Heath of Cleveland-Heath, Patrick Connolly of Basso, Josh Galliano of The Libertine, and Lou Rook of Annie Gunns. Tickets start at $100. Get info by clicking HERE.

Cochon

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport hosts the 4th annual Art of Travel event on Wednesday, October 2, 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Cost is $75. Chefs from HMSHost (vendor for several Lambert food venues) will fly in for the event. The theme of this year’s Art of Travel celebration is ‘40s-style film-noir and will include a drink menu of ‘40s-themed signature cocktails to complement gourmet plates. For info, click HERE. Benefits Lambert Art and Culture Program.

LambertAOT14_LockUp[8]

The Smokehouse Market and Annie Gunn’s are hosting a wine dinner on Tuesday, September 9, 6:30 p.m., featuring wines from Gundlach Bundschu of Sonoma. Cost is $150. Info: 636-532-7684.

current230

Kathleen Flinn has authored a new book Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good, a memoir with recipes. She’s a native of the Midwest, now living in Seattle.

burnt

St. Louis chefs Lou Rook, Josh Galliano and Gian Nicola Colucci are scheduled to host Cruising with the Chefs cruises in 2015-16. For info, click HERE. That’s Josh, pictured below.

Josh-Galliano-Web-200x300

KTRS radio (550-AM) host John Carney is featuring Ferguson restaurants throughout September on his weekly Restaurant Tuesday segment which airs each Tuesday between 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.

John Carney

F & D Prime Culinary Tours is offering several tasting sessions during September at Comet Coffee on Oakland Avenue across Highway 40 from Forest Park. For info on the seasonal fruit and coffee tastings, click HERE.

FDcometlatteart

The Grillin’ Fools 4th annual Backyard Barbecue Bash Amateur Competition is set for Saturday, October 11, in Maryville, Illinois. Registration fee is $110/team. For info, click HERE.

3rd-Annual-Backyard-Bash-594

St. Louis Wing Company Wins Big at WING DING!

Wing Ding sign

Here are the results from Thursday night’s UCP Heartland Wing Ding at Queeny Park. These results were determined by event judges in blind taste tests.

Traditional (sauced):

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Fallon’s

3rd place—Joe Buck’s

Specialty Wings:

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Sugarfire Smoke House

3rd place—Joe Buck’s

Dry rubbed:

1st place—St. Louis Wing Company

2nd place—Amerisports at Ameristar Casino

3rd place—Beerhouse at River City Casino

Overall judges’ favorite:

St. Louis Wing Company

Hottest Wings:

St. Louis Wing Company

People’s choice winner:

Hotshots

Pretty much a dominating sweep by St. Louis Wing Company!

FYI, St. Louis Wing Company is located at 9816 Manchester in Rock Hill, MO. Click HERE to visit their website.

As you can see from the photo below, turnout for this year’s Wing Ding was the best yet.

WD crowd 2014

One of the prettiest wing presentations was this one from Amerisports at Ameristar Casino.

Amerisports

There were many strong entries in the Wing Ding competition. Congrats to all the teams who competed and shared your wings with attendees.

 

 

 

 

 

WING DING 2014—Thursday Night!

Eat wings, drink beer, support a worthy cause—all for just 20 bucks!

The 2014 UCP Heartland Wing Ding is set for Thursday, August 21, 6:00 p.m., in the Greensfelder Building at Queeny Park. (The event is inside and air-conditioned.)

Joe Buck Wings

Your $20 advance ticket allows you to sample chicken wings from over 20 area restaurants. It also includes 2 drink tickets. Purchase advance tickets HERE, before 2:00 p.m. on 8/20 and pick them up at the event.

You may also purchase advance VIP tickets for $45. (Tickets will also be available at the door for $25 and $50.)

An important thing to know is these restaurants are bringing their best. This is a competition!

WD crowd

Participating restaurants include Sugarfire Smokehouse, The Salted Pig, Bogart’s, Twin Oak Pizza and BBQ, Fallon’s, J. Greene’s, Joe Buck’s, Gator’s South, Highway 61 Roadhouse, Hotshot’s, Milagro, Gobble Stop and many more.

I am flattered to have been asked to judge again this year, along with a stunning list of local media personalities. Categories are Best Traditional Wing (sauced), Best Specialty Wing (sauced), Best Dry Rubbed Wing (unsauced), Judges’ Overall Favorite and Hottest Wing. (I excused myself from the Hottest Wing category.)

 

WD judge

The United Cerebral Palsy Heartland team puts on a great event with lots of food and drink for a modest admission fee. Bring a bunch of friends and family and enjoy these great wings!

BTW, this is a family-friendly event. Bring everybody.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foodie Movie: The Hundred-Foot Journey

 

The Hundred-Foot Journey has excellent credentials. Oprah Winfrey and Steven Spielberg are among the film’s producers. The great Helen Mirren is the main star. The film is set in France. It’s based on a popular novel. It promises and delivers gorgeous food images.

But it’s not a particularly good movie.

The Kadam family is forced to leave India. Their ultimate destination is France. They take over a building directly across the street from a Michelin-starred restaurant owned by Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). The Indians, led by Papa (Om Puri), are boisterous in sharp contrast to Mallory and her refined crew. They are just 100 feet away. (And I’d always thought France was on the metric system!)

One of Mallory’s cooks, the gorgeous Marguerite (Charlotte Le Bon), befriends young Hassan Kadam (Manish Dayal), sharing cookbooks with him and encouraging him to elevate his ambitions. He gets hired by Mallory, passes Marguerite on the kitchen pecking order and, thanks to his spicing up the food just a bit, brings the restaurant up a notch to two Michelin stars.

He then moves on the to big leagues, nabbing a chef gig in Paris. He leads an active social lifestyle, but begins to miss the folks back home.

Why does The Hundred-Foot Journey fall short of greatness? The characters are not particularly compelling. It’s pleasant to watch Hassan and Marguerite’s chaste budding romance, but I wasn’t particularly concerned about their ultimate fates. Meanwhile, it’s not a surprise when Papa and Mallory are shown to have soft spots in their hearts despite their tough exterior personalities. Still, I did not have a soft spot in my own heart for either of them.

Despite my misgivings, here’s why you may want to see The Hundred Foot Journey: It’s rated PG. No language, sex or violence. It’s like a Hallmark Channel movie with a bigger budget. Also, the food looks great. (Although this year’s other foodie movie, Chef, caused me to leave the theater hungrier than THFJ did.)

The film’s message—that different cultures (and cuisines) can combine to deliver great outcomes—is an admirable one. It’s also one that can be observed in dining establishments and other businesses around St. Louis every day.

Ivy In Charge

Ivy In Charge

Veteran St. Louis chef Ivy Magruder has taken control of the kitchen at Panorama, the restaurant that opened last summer in the St. Louis Art Museum.

Panorama pic

A new summer menu has just been announced which includes, among other items:

Fresh Summer Pea Soup
pistachio gremolata, crème fraîche, shoots

Summer Kale Salad
avocado, strawberries, toasted almonds and
lemon-chia seed vinaigrette

Pan Seared Golden Scallops
creamy-pea-basil risotto, sherry gastrique

Basque Chicken
summer bell peppers, artichoke hearts, fresh basil,
tomatoes, grilled crusty French bread

Grilled Beef Tenderloin
onion ring, Foyot sauce, summer-tomatoes,
spinach, roasted fingerling potato

Ivy on TV

Panorama is also kicking off a monthly dinner series on Wednesday, August 27. For each dinner Panorama will partner with a local winery or brewery. The first event will feature a prix fixe menu of items paired with Schlafly beers. Cost is $75 (which includes tax and gratuity). Call 314-655-5490 for reservations.

Panorama is open for lunch Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and for dinner on Fridays, 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Sunday brunch is offered 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Click HERE to go to Panorama’s website.