Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Introduction to South African Wines

South Africa is a land of contrasts, especially within the hundred miles from the east, south, and west coastlines that define this wine land. It is situated at a crossroads of climatic and cultural influences that have helped to define South African history and its wines. Climatically, both the Atlantic […]

Main Dishes

Linguine alle Vongole (Linguine With Clams)

Serves 4 to 6 Ingredients 2 medium leeks 4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, as needed 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced 3 dozen Manila clams or littlenecks, scrubbed 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 fresh bay leaf, broken Kosher salt, as needed Freshly ground black pepper, as needed 1 […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Pairing Wine with Spicy Foods

In the old days of wine and food pairing, the choice of a particular wine to accompany a particular dish was fairly predictable—white wine with fish, red wine with meat. The pairings were also Eurocentric, meaning that the marriage of food and wine was largely based on the classics. French […]

Main Dishes

Pasta con Cozze e Fagioli (Pasta with Mussels and Beans)

Makes 4 servings You could use fresh pasta in this dish, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle, cut into bite-sized pieces, or a dried pasta that you’ve cooked halfway, such as tubettini or pennette. As the pasta cooks with the mussels, it will absorb their flavor. Ingredients 2 oz dry cannellini […]

Cakes, Desserts

Polenta Cake with Grappa, Berries, and Minted Mascarpone

Makes 6 servings This cake is dense and not too sweet, almost like a sweet cornbread. I like to use coarse polenta so that it also has an interesting texture, but if you have to use regular cornmeal, that works as well. Ingredients Polenta Cake 1/4 cup unsalted butter, at […]

Main Dishes

Pork Cutlets With A Wild Mushroom Ragout

Makes 4 servings Ingredients Four 6-oz pork cutlets Kosher salt, as needed Freshly ground black pepper, as needed All-purpose flour, for dredging Olive oil, as needed 1 small shallot, minced 2 cups sliced assorted mushrooms (oyster, cremini, stemmed shiitake, chanterelle, and/or white) 1 teaspoon chopped thyme leaves 1/4 cup dry […]

Main Dishes

Rabbit Braised with Lavender and Honey

Makes 4 servings Although you may not eat rabbit frequently, this dish is sure to make you a convert. The combination of the braised legs with the roasted loin and miniature chops is delicious and allows for total utilization of the rabbit, so there is no waste. If you’re not […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Remember the Map When Selecting Wine

Selecting wine can be overwhelming. Between vintage, varietal, and processing (just to start!), you could fill your entire brain with wine knowledge and still feel like there’s more to learn. Of course, tasting is a great way to learn more, but before you taste, you have to choose! Luckily, we’ve […]

Chef's Blog, Chef's Notes Plus

Tasting (and Enjoying!) Wine

Even if you’re exploring wine for the first time, we encourage you to develop the “mental habit” of tasting wine. Not that every sip of wine that enters your mouth has to be analyzed and commented on, but you will collect lots of data if you take a few minutes […]

Main Dishes

Vinegar Chicken

Makes 6 servings Braising chicken in vinegar is a very popular cooking method in the Mediterranean. You will find numerous variations in different countries and regions, but this particular recipe is a version of the French poulet sauté au vinaigre, or vinegar chicken. The method calls for marinating the chicken […]