Show 250, December 2, 2017: 2017 Roswell Wine Festival, Roswell, GA

Executive Producer Andy Harris was in Roswell, GA (an incorporated City of 95,000 in the greater Atlanta area with a lot of living Civil War history) in early October with fellow members of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.) In this show we continue our coverage of the best of Roswell with a chat with the Producers & Co-Founders of the annual Roswell Wine Festival, an impressive, all-volunteer community effort that raises money in support of local non-profits. It always sells out weeks early…

The Roswell Wine Festival was established in 2012 by long- time friends Peggy Robinson and Dwight Cunningham. After graduating from college at Johnson & Wales University, both moved to the Roswell and fell in love with the area. With a shared passion for wine, they wanted to create an event which provides an exceptional experience for wine enthusiasts, supports the business community, and benefits local charities. Through ticket sales, sponsorships, and restaurant participation, the Roswell Wine Festival has been able to support many area non-profits including the 2017 beneficiary, Keep Roswell Beautiful.

It takes place over almost three-quarters of a mile of picturesque, and low-rise, Canton Street in the heart of Historic Roswell. In addition to the tasting stations on the street each participating restaurant on Canton St. samples their personal selections of fine wines.

There is also a popular VIP ticket option which we always recommend. It’s early access, admission to the VIP premium tasting tent which showcases the best of the best wines, and additional food samplings.

Roswell Wine Festival Co-founders Peggy Robinson and Dwight Cunningham uncork it for us.

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Show 246, November 4, 2017: Chris Nelson, Executive Director, Chattahooche Nature Center, Roswell, GA

Chris NelsonExecutive Producer Andy Harris was in Roswell, GA (an incorporated City of 95,000 in the greater Atlanta area with a lot of living Civil War history) in early October with fellow members of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.) In this show we continue our coverage of the best of Roswell with a chat with Chris Nelson, the dynamic new Executive Director of the 120,000 member Chattahoochee Nature Center founded in 1976 by local citizens.

CNC is the oldest and largest private, non-profit natural science learning center in the Southeast. This environmental sanctuary encompasses 30 species of native wildlife and 127 acres of native plants and gardens.

Follow the “Wildlife Walk” to view beaver and native birds of prey including owls, hawks and bald eagles. Hike the woodland trails or wander the boardwalk. Visit the gardens, and explore the Discovery Center. A true nature-lover’s paradise.

One of the most noteworthy efforts at the Chattahoochee Nature Center is The Unity Garden. It was established in April 2010 with a generous grant from Kaiser Permanente. The quarter-acre garden has three goals: Production, Donation, and Education.

The Unity Garden grows fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs. Also there is a roomy chicken coop there with happy hens laying fresh eggs. The Unity Garden uses sustainable gardening practices, found and recycled resources, and focuses on producing healthy plants in healthy soil. The garden is tended by a garden coordinator, as well as dedicated individual volunteers.

Most of the fresh produce grown in the Unity Garden is donated to the food pantry at North Fulton Community Charities. CNC delivers fresh vegetables and greens once or twice a week. The Unity Garden is in year-round production. To date, CNC has delivered over 27,000 pounds of fresh produce.

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Show 245, October 21, 2017: Restaurateur Ryan Pernice, Table & Main and RO Hospitality

Ryan PerniceExecutive Producer Andy Harris was in Roswell, GA (an incorporated City of 95,000 in the greater Atlanta area with a lot of living history from the Civil War) earlier this month with fellow members of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA.)   as invited guests of Visit Roswell. In this show we start our coverage of the best of Roswell with a chat with restaurateur Ryan Pernice, the founder of Table & Main restaurant, a true locals’ favorite.

A simple, seasonal, and Southern dining experience, Table & Main offers a place for people to come and enjoy themselves at a cozy restored homestead on lively Canton Street in Roswell, Georgia. Diners enjoy quality dishes evocative of the South and home-style cooking like Chef Woody Back’s famous fried chicken that some patrons argue rivals grandma’s recipe. Table & Main proudly promotes itself as the place to get your bourbon on Canton Street with its well-stocked bourbon bar and beautiful patio where partakers can relax, surrender their troubles, and enjoy the hospitality and attention of the restaurant.

“Founded by Ryan Pernice, RO Hospitality opened its first restaurant, Table & Main, in Roswell, GA in 2011 with a clear, confident vision of becoming the neighborhood’s adopted clubhouse. We’re proud of our progress towards achieving that goal, being tremendously fortunate to work with amazing people as we hone our community focus at two additional concepts: Osteria Mattone and Coalition Food and Beverage.”

“Our team relies on five major characteristics to nurture the tradition of excellent hospitality our restaurants represent: Warmth, Optimism, Ownership, Conviction, and Loyalty. With those key traits uplifting our Cuisine, Service & Story, we will create such positive experiences for our guests that they will seek to make us a part of their daily lives.”

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

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Show 77, June 21, 2014: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL continues…

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

They take food and beer pairings seriously. Back Forty Beer Co. very creatively suggests appropriate food pairings for each of their styles on the packaging.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

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June 21: Linda Kissam, Chianina Steakhouse, Back Forty Beer Co, Irvine Greek Fest

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show.

How do you conduct a serious educational wine tasting (that’s also fun) with a group? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain.

Quality Italian beef, pasta, and sustainable seafood are on the menu at the new Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples area of Long Beach. This is from the hospitality team known for Michael’s on Naples. Linda Kissam recently experienced a dinner there.

The craft beer movement, surprisingly, is vibrant and thriving in Alabama. Back Forty Beer Co. is the largest, and oldest, packaging brewery in the State.

The 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

All of this and lots more absolutely incredible deliciousness on Saturday’s show!

Linda KissamHow do you conduct a serious, educational wine tasting with a group that’s also entertaining and fun? Wine, food and travel writer Linda Kissam is with us to explain. She organizes tastings all the time…

She expertly demonstrated this recently for a group of professional food, wine, and travel journalists at the annual conference of the International, Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association in Montgomery, AL.

It was an organized tasting of five Italian Sparking Wines.

It’s fun but there is a proper way of doing this.

She also explains what the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association does and what their mission is. Linda serves as their First Vice President.

Chianina SteakhouseHigh-end steakhouses with a serious bar and deep wine lists are very much in fashion these days.

How about an elegant steakhouse that serves limited availability, high-quality Italian beef, prime steaks, and sustainable seafood? There is also a well-regarded executive chef (David Coleman) overseeing things. We’ll be meeting the General Manager of Chianina Steakhouse in the Naples neighborhood of Long Beach, part of the ever expanding Michael’s Restaurant Group. We’re joined by Alejandro Duran of Chianina.

Chianina beef will soon be on their menu.

Jason WilsonFounded in 2009 by Jason Wilson, Back Forty Beer Co. is one of the oldest Alabama breweries and the first to distribute outside of the state. Back Forty beers are available statewide in Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi. The brewery is located in Historic Downtown Gadsden, Alabama.

“In 2008, after several years in the corporate world and with over 150 brewery tours under his belt, founder Jason Wilson reached out to renowned Brewmaster Jamie Ray and asked for his help in developing recipes for Back Forty Beer Co.

The goal for the liquid was simple – to expose Southerners to the same craft beer culture that Wilson had been part of for the last ten years. This meant starting out with classic beer styles and evolving with customers along the way. Jamie agreed and in January of 2009 he became Back Forty’s first employee.

In June of 2009, Back Forty released its first offering, Naked Pig Pale Ale. The beer was only available in the North-Central Alabama home market, but the response was overwhelming. In March of 2010 the second Back Forty offering hit the shelves, Truck Stop Honey Brown Ale. Later that year Truck Stop Honey was awarded a Silver Medal at the Great American Beer Festival, and in the weeks following, distribution offers poured in that allowed Back Forty to expand its coverage throughout Alabama.

Jason revealed the great news that it looks like Back Forty Beer Co.’s styles will be available in Southern California by year’s end. We’ll keep you posted…

irvine-greek-festThe 36th Annual Greek Festival brings a “Taste of Greece” to Orange County at St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church from June 27th to 29th. More than 11,000 guests are expected to attend the three-day festival which will feature traditional Greek cuisine, wine tasting, live music, and authentic Greek dancing with lessons. It’s a family-friendly affair!

Legendary OC Restaurateur Mr. K (George Kookootsedes)
(John Dominis) is our guest…As a dedicated volunteer he puts the incredible food program together each year.

As guest host Linda Kissam notes , “It’s the next best thing to flying to Greece.”

Podcasts

Segment One: Guest Host Linda Kissam and Producer Andy preview the show
Segment Two: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part One
Segment Three: Linda Kissam, food, wine and travel writer, 1st Vice President, IFWTWA Part Two
Segment Four: Alejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part One
Segment Five: EAlejandro Duran, General Manager, Chianina Steakhouse, Naples Island, Long Beach Part Two
Segment Six: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part One
Segment Seven: Jason Wilson, Founder, Back Forty Beer Co., Gadsden, AL Part Two
Segment Eight: Restaurateur George Kookootsedes, 36th Annual Greek Festival, St. Paul’s Greek Orthodox Church, Irvine

Show 49, November 23, 2013: Entrepreneur Dave Danhi the founder, director, and executive chef of The Grilled Cheese Truck. Continues…

Dave Danhi of the Grilled Cheese TruckBefore some health concerns turned Dave in another direction a few years ago he was a sought-after executive chef. In a couple of different stints Dave was the Corporate Executive Chef for Kings Seafood Co. of Water Grill fame. He also was the menu-maker for the (now departed) Georgia on Melrose Avenue.

Dave is the 4th owner of DD Factor which was started by Mimi Factor back in 1959. When Dave was at King’s he used their services to recruit needed culinary talent. All of his recruiters have extensive experience in the hospitality industry.

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