Show 553, November 25, 2023: Italy Cocktails with Food & Travel Journalist Paul Feinstein Part Two

Writer and Editor Paul Feinstein

Italy Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes Inspired By Italia by food and travel Journalist Paul Feinstein is a treasure trove of drink recipes, vivid photography, and cocktail histories from Italian hotspots and around the world.” Paul Feinstein continues as our guest to share his deep love and knowledge of Italian culture and the cocktails born and inspired from its rich history assembled for this book.”

“These signature drink recipes from Italy hotspots pay homage to this vibrant country. With over 100 recipes and dozens of bartender profiles, you can drink like a local whether you’re just visiting or entertaining at home. From ritzy rooftop bars with views of the Colosseum to stylish Japanese-inspired haunts, locals and tourists alike will discover new watering holes that are sure to satisfy all tastes. With signature creations by prominent mixologists in the region, this book offers a detailed rundown of the best locations Italy has to offer.”

Within the gorgeous, die-cut covers, you’ll find:

  • More than 100 essential and exciting cocktail recipes, including recipes for bespoke ingredients and other serving suggestions
  • Interviews with the country’s trendsetting bartenders and mixologists
  • Bartending tips and techniques from the experts
  • Food and drink hotspots across the country

“Rome, Florence, Venice, Milan, Naples, Bologna, Verona, Siena, Sicily—explore these beautiful cities and their craft cocktail scenes without ever leaving your zip code with Italy Cocktails.”

Show 465, March 12, 2022: Journalist Robert Camuto, Author of South of Some Where – Wine, Food and The Soul of Italy

Robert Camuto

South of Somewhere: Wine, Food, and the Soul of Italy begins and ends in American writer and journalist Robert Camuto’s maternal ancestral town of Vico Equense, Italy — a tiny paradise south of Naples on the Sorrento Peninsula.”

“It was here in 1968, at ten years old, that the author first tasted Italian life, spending his own summer of love surrounded by relatives at the family’s seaside pizzeria and restaurant. He fell in love with a way of living and with the rhythms, flavors, and aromas of the Southern Mediterranean.”

“Fifty years later, Camuto returns to Vico, connecting with family members and a new generation.”

“A lot has changed: the old family restaurant has been razed, and the seaside developed with hotels and restaurants, including a famous two-Michelin-starred restaurant in a medieval tower now owned by a younger cousin. Though there are more foreign visitors now, the essentials of beauty, food, family bonds, and simplicity have not changed. And here Camuto finds hope that this way of life can continue.”

“Camuto’s fine-grained storytelling in this series of portraits takes us beyond the usual objective views of viniculture and into the elusive and magical world of Italian “southern-ness.” South of Somewhere takes the reader on a journey through the terroirs of Southern Italy today: from the Calabrian toe of the Italian boot and Sicily’s still active Mount Etna to earthquake-shaken land of Abruzzo; from the remote lands of Campania and Puglia to Basilicata’s Mount Vulture; from the old papal territory of Umbria to Rome’s once great Lazio and back to the evocative cliffs of the Amalfi coast.”

“While on one level an instructive narrative about Southern Italy’s twenty-first-century wine and cultural renaissance, Camuto’s unswerving eye juxtaposes the good and the bad — immeasurable beauty and persistent blight, corruption and anti-mafia forces, hope for the future and fatalism — in a land that remains an infinite source of fascination and sensory pleasure.”

We’ll meet the well-traveled Robert Camuto.

Robert is currently in the United States on book tour on the West Coast. You can meet him on Saturday, March 26th from 2 to 4:00 p.m. at Barbrix Wine Shop in Los Angeles. For $35 guests receive a signed copy of the book, participate in a Q & A with Robert, and enjoy four featured Italian wines from South of Some Where. To RSVP and buy a ticket contact Sharon Kelly. Space is limited.

Show 366, March 28, 2020: Kyle Meyer, Managing Partner, Wine Exchange in Santa Ana

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeIn times of crisis it’s always best to call on the calming expertise of those truly knowledgeable in their specific areas. Such is the case with our always engaging resident wine authority Kyle Meyer, the Managing Partner of Santa Ana’s Wine Exchange.

Tragically Italy and Spain have been particularly hard-hit by the Covid-19 crisis. Listeners have been asking what impact the fast-evolving health crisis will have on the current and future wine business in both Italy and Spain. How will future deliveries to the United States continue? Will global sales of these popular wines be altered? We’ll gain the accurate perspective from Kyle.

Show 359, February 8, 2020: Food Journalist Jamie Schler with Orange Appeal – Savory & Sweet

Cookbook Author Jamie SchlerJamie Schler is an award-winning writer specializing in food and culture, her stories inspired by her multicultural family and 35 years living between France and Italy, completely immersed in the culture. After years spent working in high-end gastronomic tourism and as an interpreter at a prestigious Parisian cooking school, and having married into a deeply traditional French family, Jamie has become an expert on French cuisine. Her writing focuses on more than just the recipes; she delves into the history of French cooking and individual dishes, the stories, traditions, and the daily family, cultural, and social rituals behind the food.”

“For her first cookbook, Orange Appeal – Savory & Sweet, Jamie returned to her native Florida and her lifelong passion for the most versatile fruit of the citrus family, the extraordinary orange.”

“Jamie’s lifelong connection to the orange runs deep: she grew up on Florida’s Space Coast, the narrow strip of land sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Indian River, surrounded by the world-famous Indian River citrus groves. She grew up eating oranges daily, lots and lots of oranges; she sometimes feels like she has orange juice running through her veins. Devoting an entire cookbook to the orange allowed her to explore it in all of its forms, navels, juice, blood, bitter varieties, using the whole fruit, the flesh, the zest, juice, rind, the orange in powder form, marmalade, liqueur, orange flower water in innovative ways, from feature ingredient to essential flavoring.”:

“She has created a collection of more than 70 sunny, sophisticated, and comforting recipes, both savory and sweet, accessible to cooks of every level of experience and knowhow, offering the kind of recipes that she prepares for her own family and friends everyday, and drawing from the many cultures that fill her home and her kitchen.”

Show 344, October 12, 2019: Alessia Travaglini, Travaglini Gattinara, Piemonte, Italy

Alessia Collauto Travaglini of Travaglini Gattinara“Driven by a passion for exceptional Nebbiolo, the Travaglini family has been producing remarkable, limited-production wines in Gattinara for four generations. The Travaglini family has owned land in Gattinara since the beginning of the 19th century. The family’s winemaking tradition started with Clemente Travaglini, who was succeeded by his son Arturo, however, it was not until 1958 when Arturo’s son, Giancarlo, took the helm that the Travaglini Estate Winery was established as it exists today.”

“Today, the Travaglini family owns 146 acres of vineyards, 128 of which are dedicated to vines, primarily Nebbiolo, covering roughly 50% of total vineyards within the Gattinara DOCG. This small appellation lies in the rocky foothills of the Monte Rosa range, where ventilating winds blow down from the nearby Alps. Soils are rocky and rich in porphyry, granite and iron. Similar in composition to the Alps, Monte Rosa’s sedimentary rock is highly acidic, due to low levels of calcium carbonate and magnesium, and an absence of calcium. Vines grown in this rare soil produce grapes with a unique flavor profile, high acidity and firm tannins. The finished wines offer refreshing acidity, soft tannins, minerality and complexity.”

“A member of the fourth generation, Cinzia Travaglini now runs the estate, together with her husband Massimo Collauto, chief winemaker. Their efforts, as the generations before them, have made Travaglini one of Italy’s most recognizable wines and the Number 1 selling Gattinara in the world.”

Fifth generation Travaglini family member Alessia Travaglini (Cinzia’s daughter) graciously pulls the cork for us on the long line from Italy.

Show 332, July 13, 2019: Co-Host Chef Andrew Gruel of Slapfish Restaurant Group with “Ask the Chef”

Andy Harris and Andrew Gruel at Cabana 14 at the Cove at Pechanga Resort and CasinoOur Co-Host, Chef Andrew Gruel, the Founder of The Slapfish Restaurant Group, joins us from the road where he is in the process of opening new Slapfish restaurants. We’re continuing the popular “Ask the Chef” segments responding to your questions about all things culinary. To our benefit Chef Andrew is a real, working chef.

Always doing his part to generously serve and give back to the community Chef Andrew was just in Venice, Italy volunteering for the US Army as part of their Healthy Army Communities. We’ll chat about it.

GMO salmon engineered to grow twice as fast as it’s natural cousin is back in the news. Is it safe to eat? We’ll get Chef Andrew’s informed thoughts.

Show 242, September 30, 2017: Laura Donadoni, Certified Sommelier, Lugana D.O.C.

Laura DonadoniLaura Donadoni is our expert wine ambassador when it comes to selections from her native Italy. This time we’re talking about the wines of Lugana D.O.C. from the Lombardy region of Italy.

“Lugana is the name of the magical land nestled within the ancient Quadrilateral defense system of the Lake Garda region. The Lugana wine region encompasses two provinces (Brescia and Verona) and two regions (Lombardy and Veneto) in the morainic plain south of Lake Garda. Its unique qualities originate from the beneficial microclimate of the lake, the local clay soil, and a particular variety of grapes named “turbiana” that make it full-bodied, age worthy, and grant it a floral and citrus bouquet.”

Show 231, July 8, 2017: Kyle Meyer, Wine Exchange, Travels in Tuscany

Kyle Meyer of Wine ExchangeOur favorite wandering global wine merchant, Kyle Meyer of Wine Exchange, is just back from Italy. He joins us to profile the 2015 vintage in Tuscany (central Italy.) He’s genuinely excited…

Think Sangiovese, Bordeaux varietals, good value and the joy of traveling in and around Florence / Sienna…

Show 178, July 2, 2016: Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, Cori Solomon. 10-Night Cruise on Celebrity’s Reflection Part One

Cori SolomonFood, wine and travel writer Cori Solomon (a member of the prestigious International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association & Founder of L.A. Wine Writers) recently returned from a 10-day cruise of Italy and the Greek Isles aboard the Celebrity Reflection, the pride of Celebrity’s fleet. Her accommodation was a spacious, Deluxe Ocean View Veranda Stateroom.

This is a Solstice-class ship. Modern cruising offers a memorable vacation experience for all ages and interests with considerable value. Cori is with us to share her smooth-sailing, cruise highlights.

“Celebrity Reflection® is our newest marvel. She boasts an expanded deck, 72 additional staterooms overall, more seating in the main and specialty restaurants, more sun lounges on the pool deck, and more seats in the theatre.”

“Celebrate the flavorful joys of outdoor grilling in the new Lawn Club Grill. Enjoy more than 20 delicious options in the Main Restaurant. Unwind in your own cabana-style haven, The Alcoves, on the Lawn Club. And check out all the new spa innovations in the enhanced Canyon Ranch SpaClub®.”

“Your vacation time is precious. Time aboard Celebrity Reflection will make the most of it.”


Show 178, July 2, 2016: Food, Wine & Travel Journalist, Cori Solomon. 10-Night Cruise on Celebrity’s Reflection Part Two

Cori SolomonFood, wine and travel writer Cori Solomon (a member of the prestigious International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association & Founder of L.A. Wine Writers) recently returned from a 10-day cruise of Italy and the Greek Isles aboard the Celebrity Reflection, the pride of Celebrity’s fleet. She continues…

The Reflection can accommodate 3,046 guests served by a crew of 1,255.

There is an ambitious wine program aboard the Celebrity Reflection. The ship’s Cellar Master is actually the senior sommelier for Celebrity’s entire fleet. He trains all the other Cellar Masters.

Each Cellar Master adjusts his or her cellar selections to the demographics of the passengers and the countries the ship visits on that particular cruise. If you enjoy wine with meals the best value is one of the beverage packages. There is a tasting seminar offered on the options before you make a commitment. The Cellar Master also hosts a number of fun, interactive wine education events on each cruise.

From Cruise Critic:

With the impressive overall quality of food on board Celebrity Reflection there is little need to spend extra on specialty dining unless you feel like a treat. Even Oceanview, the cheerful buffet venue on Level 14, takes things to a new level with tasty International dishes that belie the restaurant’s casual surroundings.

Celebrity didn’t reinvent the wheel when it comes to dining on Reflection, sticking instead with familiar options. In the main dining room passengers can choose from traditional dining (6:15 p.m. for the early seating and 8:45 p.m. for the late) or the more flexible Celebrity Select Dining, which allows them to eat in the main dining room any time between 6 and 10 p.m. Bookings for Select Dining can be made online up to four days before the ship sails or once onboard. Or, like us, you can simply walk-in whenever it suits you. We never had to wait longer than five minutes for a table for two although we did notice a queue on one formal night.

The main dining area, Opus, occupies space on Reflection’s third and fourth decks. It’s an elegant venue, decorated in deep browns and silvers, with bright white tablecloths and crystal as far as the eye can see. The vast space — which accommodates 40 more seats than its counterpart on Celebrity Silhouette — is stunningly designed, though tables are a bit too close together making private conversation difficult (although this can be a good way to meet fellow passengers if you are so inclined).

Menus in Opus offer appetizers, soups and salads, entrees and desserts, and they’re flexible enough to accommodate specific dietary needs. You’ll choose from a variety of options, including favorites like shrimp cocktail, escargot, prime rib, rack of lamb and crème brulee. Food is generally good, with appropriate portion sizes and some surprises on the menu, like the beef Carpaccio or frog legs. Do ask your waiter what they recommend as suggestions are usually spot-on.

Vegetarian and healthier options are identified on the menu, but if you have specific dietary needs (vegan or gluten-free), discuss them with the maitre d’ before your first meal, and ask specific questions about the menu items you select.