Grana Padano D.O.P. sponsors the Virtual Chef Series

Attention Italian food lovers!

Italy’s favorite cheese, Grana Padano D.O.P., will be sponsoring the Virtual Chef Series being held at the Culinary Institute in New York City (462 Broadway at Grand Street) on January 13 and January 14.

The Grana Padano Virtual Chef Series will be offering a free tasting of the foods and wines from a number of Italian companies at the Italian Culinary Academy, January 13, from 3-5 pm. This event is open to the public, but reservations are a must. For this event, please contact:

The International Day of Italian Cuisines (IDIC), promoted by ITCHEFS-GVCI ( is dedicated to educating the world about authentic Italian cuisine. To demonstrate this theme, celebrated chefs from around the globe will be performing a rare act on Sunday, January 17: Cooking the same dish— Tagliatelle al Ragu Bolognese —on the same day via teleconference, using Grana Padano exclusively for the “recreation” of this age-old dish.

To find out which chefs and/or restaurants will be featuring this specialty on January 17, please go to this website and click on the various cities around the world:

Grana Padano has been part of Italy's gastronomic tradition and culture since 1135 when it was created by the monks in the Padana Valley in northern Italy. Based in Desenzano del Garda in the province of Brescia, Consorzio per la Tutela del Formaggio Grana Padano was founded in 1954 by a group of businessmen who shared one common goal—to produce a top-quality cheese based on the traditional recipe.

Low in fat compared to other cheeses and lactose-free, Grana Padano is a versatile cheese with a sweet, nutty flavored taste that can be grated over pasta, served as an ‘antipasto’ or eaten as part of an easy, healthy delicious meal. Aged from nine months to 24 and up, Grana Padano pairs well with a variety of cuisines and makes an ideal part of a healthy diet.

“Grana” refers to the grainy and crumby texture of the cheese and “Padano” refers to its origin in the Po River Valley in northern Italy. Grana Padano is a registered trademark around the world, and since 1996 is a D.O.P Denominazione di Origine Protetta cheese awarded by the European Community in Brussels.

Fritzel's Jazz place to be for Big Easy's French Quarter Fest

Fritzel's balcony overlooking Bourbon Street Fritzel’s European Jazz Pub is the ‘little jazz club that could’ and it’s in the center of the upcoming 2010 French Quarter Fest, when the Big Easy is packed with thousands of jazz lovers.

Carrying the tradition of being a Mecca for true Dixieland Jazz since 1969, international jazz bands will perform at Fritzel’s all day and night April 9-16, 2010. Proprietor Vasile Zarkanis and Manager Kate Wimmer invite international jazz musicians from around the globe to contact them for this very special music ‘happening’.

During the Fest, Fritzel’s will be jamming with jazz fans ~ filling their secluded garden courtyard and ‘Upstairs at Fritzel’s’ ~ a dazzling 2nd floor for private parties that overlooks famed Bourbon Street. Fritzel’s remarkable 1831 building is an example of American architecture sprinkled with Creole influence.

The French Quarter Fest features a week-long extravaganza of free music and free activities for festival-goers across 17 stages throughout the historic French Quarter.

  • World Championship Oyster Eating Contest
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Dancing at Dusk
  • Thousands of musicians from traditional & contemporary jazz, rhythm & blues, New Orleans funk, Zydeco, opera and gospel
  • Historic Courtyard Tours
  • 70 food & beverage booths located in Jackson Square, Wolderberg Riverfront Park and Louisiana State Museum ’s Old U.S. Mint

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, Fritzel's guests are whisked back in time to when Dixieland music was purely THE sound that made this city so unique. It’s a modest club that feels just right to guests who want to get close to the music. Its intimate setting erases the distance between audience and band ~ perfect for French Quarter Fest.


Fritzel's European Jazz Pub

733 Bourbon Street
New Orleans, Louisiana 70116

Lullwater Third Wednesdays in Prospect Park

Chill at Lullwater Lounge tonight

Lullwater Lounge launches this week at Prospect Park's Picnic House. This relaxed happy hour is set for Wednesday, Oct. 21, from 6:30-9 pm. Enjoy an open bar (!) and the chance to sit back and enjoy the scenic view in Brooklyn's only forest.

Cost: $20 in advance, per person. $25 at the door, per person.

Admission includes drinks and snacks.

Bring a friend and bring some games. Every Third Wednesday.

For more information, visit:

Take a fish to lunch at The Beach, Florida's best kept secret

Digging into some delicious fresh seafood at the Destin Seafood Festival

October is National Seafood month and what better place is there to enjoy fresh seafood than at The Beach on Northwest Florida’s gulf coast.

Take a fish or shellfish to lunch when you show up at one of the many fall foodie festivals taking place all across the 227-mile coastline of The Beach. Local chefs will be cooking up everything from shrimp to barbecue to German sausages.

The action starts in late September each year and continues through the month of November. Join thousands of visitors who venture to these sugar-sand shores for great food, fine wine and live music.

Here you’ll find fish and shellfish boiled, fried, blackened, sautéed, raw and as the featured item in many original culinary creations.

Check out competitions between the best local cooks, mouth-watering recipes from area restaurants as well as the best vintage wines  and home brews.  The festivals are like one long progressive dinner and everyone’s invited.

Grab a handful of napkins, check out the menu and dig in to fall culinary travel at The Beach.

Taste of The Beach Chef in action

Here are the appetizers.

32nd Annual Pensacola Seafood Festival - September 25-27, 2009

Hours: Friday, Sept. 25, Noon – 11 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 26, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday, Sept. 27, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Seville Square in downtown Pensacola, 850-433-6512 or

Tthe Pensacola Seafood Festival is one of the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 Events in the Southeast,” and one of the largest events in Florida, with over 100,000 in attendance.

Area chefs offer selections that include fried grouper, blackened mahi mahi, and Pensacola crab ball, while festival goers enjoy the arts and crafts of over 175 vendors. Live music by a dozen local bands, cooking demonstrations, a 5K walk/run, a Splash Dog competition and children’s activities make this three-day event an area favorite.

Admission is free.

31st Annual Destin Seafood Festival - October 2-4, 2009

Hours: Friday, Oct. 2, 4 - 10 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 3, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 4,

11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

HarborWalk Village on the Destin Harbor, 850-837-2711 or

Also listed in the Southeast Tourism Society’s “Top 20 Events in the Southeast,” the Destin Seafood Festival offers fresh seafood prepared by some of the area’s most popular restaurants, while local bands share the stage with top national music makers.

This year’s headliners are Survivor and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.

Children’s activities and arts and crafts booths overlook the Destin Harbor where the month-long Destin Fishing Rodeo takes place each October.

Festival goers can watch the afternoon weigh-ins on the docks as anglers compete for cash and prizes.

Around 36,000 people attend the three-day event.

Admission for all three days is $15, or you may purchase daily admission bands for $5 each for Friday and Sunday and $10 for Saturday.

OktoberfestOctober 2 & 3, 2009

Hours: Friday, Oct. 2, 5 – 10 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. – 10 p.m.

Grace Avenue, downtown Panama City, 850-785-2554 or

Dig out the lederhosen it’s Oktoberfest time.

Each year downtown Panama City is transformed into a German-style village, with accordion players, carnival rides, sausage eating contests and lots of food and local brews.

Tthis beer and brats fest annually attracts more than 25,000 people.  Family activities include clowns and face painting for the kids, and beer tastings and polka dancing for the grown-ups.

Admission is free.

3rd Annual Blue Jeans & BBQOctober 3, 2009

Hours: Saturday, Oct. 3, 3 – 9 p.m.

Hayes Ranch, 5097 Berryhill Road in Milton, 850-208-7122 or

Both a food festival and a bull riding competition, Blue Jeans & BBQ shows off the country side of The Beach and includes arts and crafts vendors and children’s activities.

There are Kiddie Korral games from 3-7 p.m., and the bull riding competition from 7 - 9 p.m., as well as live entertainment, lots of down-home BBQ, and drawings.

Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs.

Tickets are $10 each prior to the event or $15 at the door. Children 5 and under are free.  All funds raised from the event go to Covenant Hospice.

Festa ItalianaOctober 9 & 10, 2009

Hours: Friday, Oct. 9, 5-9 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Sons of Italy Lodge, 808 South Dr., Fort Walton Beach, 850-651-4008

Hosted by the Sons of Italy Lodge #2422, Festa Italiana is an old fashioned street festival with authentic Italian food and live entertainment.

Admission is free.

St. George Island Oyster Spat Festival - October 9 & 10, 2009

Hours: (Eastern Time Zone) events at various times starting at 8 a.m.

St. George Island on the beach, 850-653-8678 (Franklin County TDC) or

Oysters reign supreme at this festival on St. George Island that includes a parade, a treasure hunt, live music and a 5K race.

Area residents are proud of their long-standing oystering, fishing and shrimping traditions, and with 90% of Florida oysters coming from the Apalachicola Bay, they have lots of facts about the humble mollusk.

For instance, an oyster spat is a baby oyster that has just passed the larva stage and has attached itself to its home base.  Who knew?

Festival goers can attach themselves to plates of oysters and other seafood at this two-day festival on the beach.

Panama City Beach Seafood, Wine & Music Festival - October 9-11, 2009

Hours: Friday, Oct. 9, 4 - 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 10, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 11,

11 a.m. -11 p.m.

Frank Brown Park on Hwy 98 (Back Beach Road) across from Pier Park, Panama City Beach or

Combining three ever popular activities into one huge event, the Panama City Beach Seafood, Wine & Music Festival pairs daily wine tastings with celebrity chef exhibitions and nationally known performers in jazz, rock, reggae and country music.

The 2009 stars include Grand Funk Railroad, Julianne Hough, John Anderson, and STYX.

This celebration of seafood and fun also hosts a classic car show, antiques vendors, arts and crafts, and features wine from local and nationally recognized vineyards.

Bring a lawn chair or a blanket for the shows.

Advanced tickets start at $15 per person per day. Children 12 and under are free. Parking is $5 per car per day.

33rd Annual Boggy Bayou Mullet FestivalOctober 16–18, 2009

Opening Hours: Friday, Oct. 16 at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 17 at 9 a.m., Sunday, Oct. 18 at 10 a.m.

Mullet Festival Grounds, State Road 85 North at College Blvd., Niceville or

The main attractions for this fishy weekend are mullet and music, especially fried mullet, and country music by this year’s headliners, Blake Shelton, Chuck Wicks and Billy Ray Cyrus.

Named after the mullet, a fish found in abundance in the local waters, the Boggy Bayou Mullet festival features an arts and crafts show, a juried art show and handmade and decorated clothing in the Boutique area.

Additionally, more than 40,000 hungry mullet fans will consume up to 10 tons of this humble fish during the three-day festival along with seafood, international foods, Cajun and country cooking.

Admission is $10 per person and includes all entertainment. Children 11 and under are free.

11th Annual Mexico Beach Art & Wine FestivalOctober 17, 2009

Hours: Saturday, Oct. 17, 2 – 10 p.m.

Driftwood Inn, 2105 Highway 98, Mexico Beach, 850-648-8196 or

The sleepy gulf coast town of Mexico Beach comes alive with fine artists and fine wine at the annual Mexico Beach Art & Wine Festival.

Over 30 artists from across the country display their artwork and vie for over $2,000 in prize money.

Patrons enjoy live entertainment while they peruse the artists’ works, sipping great wines and sampling great food from local restaurants.

Tickets are $10 per person and all proceeds go to Special Events of Mexico Beach.

Taste of The Beach - November 5-8, 2009

Hours: Events at various times and locations over four days

The newest of the Northwest Florida food festivals, Taste of The Beach is like a progressive dinner, stretching through three gulf coast counties over a four day period.

Southern Wine & Spirits is the exclusive distributor for Taste of The Beach. They and their suppliers provide the wine for this culinary and cultural charity fund raiser which offers wine dinners and walk-about food events in various locations.

It all starts on Thursday, November 5 with Taste of The Destin Harbor, located at the Emerald Grande overlooking East Pass and the harbor in Destin.

From there progress to Taste of Bay at Pier Park in Panama City Beach, Seeing Red Wine Festival in Seaside, and Taste of The Beach & Charity Auction at the Hilton Sandestin Beach in Miramar Beach. Also included is the Telluride MountainFilm on Tour festival at Watercolor.

Ticket prices vary by event and proceeds benefit regional children’s advocacy and medical foundations.

46th Annual Florida Seafood Festival - November 6 & 7, 2009

Hours: (Eastern Time Zone) Friday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 7, 10 a.m. – 11 p.m.

Battery Park, downtown Apalachicola, 888-653-8011 or

Florida’s first and oldest seafood festival, established in 1963, the Florida Seafood Festival takes place in downtown historic Apalachicola at the mouth of the Apalachicola River.

The highlight of the two-day event is the Oyster Shucking Contest followed by the Oyster Eating Contest. Some participants have been known to eat as many as 300 oysters in the allotted 15 minutes of time.

Mounds of seafood prepared by local residents, arts and crafts, live music, blue crab races, a parade, the blessing of the fleet, and the crowning of Miss Florida Seafood Festival, make this piece of forgotten Florida a don’t-miss event.

Fall festival time in the Southeast

Indian Summer perfect for festival going

With the temperate Indian Summer days ahead of us, it's time for fall festivals and fairs.

The days are warm and pleasant, the nights have a crisp cool air, and the leaves are beginning to turn burnished gold, red and orange.

There is nothing as lovely (except perhaps the natural splendor of the countryside) as an afternoon taking in the food, the arts and crafts, and live entertainment at fall festivals and the Southeast has aplenty.

Whether you're a foodie or an arts enthusiast, there is really something for everyone - with festivals ranging in size from the downright homey crowds in the hundreds to the megascenes mobbed in the thousands.

Below is a list of only a very few from which to choose.

Get ready for your next roadtrip here.


October 03, 2009

Vienna Oktoberfest

Vienna, Virginia

Live music, food, beer garden, free children's activities, children's entertainment stage, and marketplace

Contact for more information: 703-281-1333

October 10 -October 11, 2009   

Italian Festival

Williamsburg, Virginia

7th Annual Italian food specialties, wine tasting, Virginia wineries, arts & crafts, Kids Zone, Entertainment.

Contact for more information: 757-253-1396

October 10, 2009    

Oyster Festival

Chincoteague Island, Virginia

38th annual, All you can eat oysters, crabs, clams and more. Live entertainment, contests, lots of fun.

Contact for more information:   757-336-6161

North Carolina

October 03, 2009

Fall Festival & Chili Cook Off

Asheville, North Carolina

Historic McCormick Field is hosting the 1st Annual Fall Festival and Chili Cookoff!! live music, food 

Contact for more information: 828-258-2428

October 09 -October 10, 2009

Rowan Blues and Jazz Festival

Salisbury, North Carolina

Blues and Jazz performed by internationally and nationally renowned musicians and variety of vendors

Contact for more information:   704-636-2811

October 15-25

NC State Fair

Raleigh, NC

150th annual state fair, Midway rides, livestock and agriculture exhibits, horse show' live music, food & more.

Contact for more information:

South Carolina

October 03, 2009


Newberry, South Carolina

Food court, live entertainment, arts & crafts, free Kids Zone, & free parking

Contact for more information:  803-321-1015

October 10 -October 11, 2009

Art in the Park

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

37th annual arts festival in a park near the ocean.

Contact for more information: 843-448-7690

November 06 -November 07, 2009    

Collard Festival

Gaston, South Carolina

BBQ, entertainment, rides, dunking booth, auction, fireworks, antique cars

Contact for more information: 803-796-7725


Oct 02 -Oct 04, 2009

Autumn Leaf Festival

Maysville, Georgia

Third largest festival in Georgia with entertainment all weekend and activities for all.

Contact for more information:  706-708-6409

Oct 03, 2009

Fiddles & Vittles

Warrenton, Georgia

Live country and bluegrass plus food vendors featuring preserves, honey, fresh produce, and made-to-order

Contact for more information:  706-465-9604

Oct 10 -Oct 11, 2009    

Taste of Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia

Tastes from over 70 restaurants, celebrity chef demos, VIP wine experience, kid's avenue and more

Contact for more information: 404-875-4434

il Buco celebrates all things pig with Sagra del Maiale, Festival of the Pig

Infiernito-cooked pig & Chef Mattos (center)

il Buco restaurant celebrates its 15th anniversary on Sunday, September 20, 2009, during its sixth annual Sagra del Maiale (Festival of the Pig).

The event, an outdoor pig and apple festival marks the Autumnal Equinox (when day and night are of equal length).

The celebration will take place outside il Buco on Bond Street between Lafayette and Bowery from 1:00 - 8:00pm. Chef Ignacio Mattos and staff will rise before the sun and start a bonfire on Bond Street, where they will slow-roast a 200 pound heritage breed Crossabaw Pig.

Cooked on an infiernillo (literally "little inferno" but more commonly known as "little hell"), the pig slowly roasts between two large iron griddles with an intense wood fire above and below, a method developed by Chef Mattos' South American Mentor, Chef Francis Mallmann.

Throughout the night, Chef Mattos will tend to the flames while encountering late-night passersby for an incredibly fun New York night.

Starting at 1pm, friends and family alike will line up early for a convivial feast of all things pig.

Tickets will be available on-site for $20 per plate. Red and white Wine, Prosecco, Lambrusco, and Wolffer Estates Apple Wine will be $10 per beverage. Beer will be $8.

il Buco works extensively with the Crossabaw Pig, a special hybrid of the a rare breed Ossabaw, a pig from Georgia's coast on Ossabaw Island. The Ossabaw, left by the Spaniards more than a century ago, is a direct descendant of the "Pata Negra", or black-footed pig so treasured for its flavorful meat.

These Ossabaw pigs are raised in the open woods in North Carolina, on a diet of acorns and peanuts, both extremely high in oleic acid, the same fats that make olive oil so healthy. So pig is, indeed, good for you!

Executive Chef Mattos is from Santa Lucia, Uruguay. A protégé of the renowned South American Chef, Francis Mallmann, Ignacio has also worked with Alice Waters at Chez Panisse, Spain's Martín Berasategui, and with Judy Rodgers at Zuni Café.

As Executive Chef of il Buco, a beloved NYC establishment that has been open for 15 years, Ignacio has had the honor of cooking at the James Beard Foundation, has taught cooking classes with the Institute of Culinary Education (ICE), the French Culinary Institute (FCI), DeGustibus and The New School and has participated in numerous food events in and around New York City.


Ny taste

Mark your calendars for the 11th annual event to benefit City Harvest, New York Taste, November 2, at Skylight, 275 Hudson Street.

New York culinary editor Gillian Duffy and more than 40 of the city’s finest restaurants will be on hand at this culinary affair where guests will sample fare from renowned chefs, mixologists and wineries.

Participants at this year’s event will include Alain Allegretti, Dan Barber,Cesare Casella, Odette Fada, John Fraser, Craig Hopson, Morimoto and many more.

Tickets to the fundraiser may be bought online.

Limited Tickets Available

General Admission: $175
7–9PM – Access to main event tastings

VIP: $250
Includes VIP preview hour (6–7PM),
VIP lounge access and an exclusive gift bag.

Edible evenings at BK Botanic Gardens

Join FOOD NETWORK stars Anne Burrell, host of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef and Sunny Anderson, host of  Cooking for Real while they demonstrate healthy cooking recipes for great local, sustainable meals you can make at home.

Learn more about local, sustainable food choices Thursday, July 23, from 6-9 pm Grilling in the Gardens. 

Discover how to grow your own edibles, sample food, wine and beer and pick up a trick or two from your favorite chefs.