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22nd Divine Menu by Wolfgang Puck at 88th Oscar Party

As Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Alicia Vikander are all waiting to take home an Oscar at the upcoming 88th Academy Awards on February 28th, renowned Chef Wolfgang Puck and his team of 300 chefs and 600 waiters who will be in ready to serve up Puck's amazing menu items to the 1,600 A-list attendees. As for the food? Puck's staff will be preparing and serving 1,300 farmed oysters, 10kg of farm-raised caviar, 300 Maine lobsters, 6,500 Oscar-shaped flatbreads, Veal Oscar and 2,400 bottles of Piper Heidsieck champagne. Each guest will also take home one of Wolfgang Puck's 5,000 chocolate Oscar statuettes coated in 24-carat gold, so every guest goes home a winner of a collectable and coveted chocolate icon.

 Wolfgang Puck personally designs and creates the Oscars after-party menu, and for the 22nd year he shares what it takes to feed Hollywood's biggest stars. Wolfgang explained: "We are going to top last year with delicious dishes, traditional ones that Adele and John Travolta love like the macaroni cheese with truffles and chicken pot pie, and then new additions like Alaskan king crab Chinese-style, lobster and vegetarian dishes like white grape almond gazpacho. "There will be something for everyone."

New Dessert of Doughnuts flamed with Raspberry Brandy and Raspberry sauce

Delicious desserts will include an assortment of chocolate-based treats such as cookies, brownies and chocolate mousse, while Wolfgang and his team have also introduced a new doughnut recipe, which are flamed with raspberry brandy and served with raspberry sauce.

The Governors Ball immediately follows the Oscars and is held in the Ray Dolby Ballroom on the top level of the Hollywood & Highland Center. Award-winners, nominees, presenters and other Hollywood VIPs will dine together to celebrate the 2016 Oscar winners. Visit: www.Oscars.com, www.wolfgangpuck.com.


31st Santa Barbara International Film Festival -
Sensational Sips & Samplings On The Menu

A tasty complement to the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF) is the Film Feast that includes a bevy of restaurants and tasting rooms offering innovative menus from February 3 through February 13.

The "Screen Cuisine" film at SBIFF, in its fifth year, is a popular series celebrating culinary cinema. This year a selection of great films including some World Premieres and U.S. Premieres are being spotlighted. Included is a story of an elderly Jewish woman who tries pork for the first time Pork and God's Wrath. The documentary on the history of Hennessy and The Pickle Recipe, a tale of the perfect pickle recipe. Film Feast prix fixe menu's, tasting flights and lodging packages are developed by www.SBFilmFeast.com. Below are some of these imaginative cocktails, wines and bites being served to celebrate the 31st SBIFF Awards.

Beautiful and delicious movie inspired cocktails at The Four Seasons Biltmore Santa Barbara created by their skilled mixologist in celebration of the 31st festival include The LOVE & MERCY martini (2 ½ ounces of grey goose orange, 1 ounce St. Germain, 5 pieces muddled fresh ginger, grapefruit juice and a candied ginger garnish). The BLACK MASS blackberry delight (1 ½ oz. Veev, 1 ½ oz lilette blanc, Splash housemade sweet & sour, 2 blackberries, rosemary sprig, gingerale). The DEPP Americano (1 ½ oz Campari, 1oz DOM Benedictine, 1 oz Carpano Autica sweet vermouth, 1 muddled orange slice; serve over rocks and finish with a splash of fever tree club soda). The LITTLE PRINCE, non-alcoholic refresher, combines (1/3 glass ginger ale, 1/3 glass orange san pellegrino, ½ glass ginger beer, finish with lavender simple syrup and garnish with a lavender sprig). Visit: www.fourseasonsbiltmoresb.com,

Four Seasons Resort Serves Film Inspired Cocktails

Olio e Limone Fine Italian Restaurant on 11 Victoria Street, only a few steps from the Arlington Theatre is offering a 2 course menu for quick pre/post film dining in honor Italian Cinema. Lunch Mon-Sat 11:30 a.m - 2 p.m., Dinner nightly from 5 p.m., daily. $35. Reservations recommended, Feb 03 2016 - Friday, Feb 12 2016. www.olioelimone.com. Olio Crudo, next door is also serving signature SBIFF cocktails and small plates.

Olio Crudo Cocktails

The Dining Room at Belmond El Encanto – Dinner and a Movie

Sips and Bites from 2-5pm in The Lounge. Bite sized delectables by Chef Johan Denizot perfectly paired with local libations. The Lounge at Belmond El Ecanto 800 Alvarado Place. Available 5-10pm daily. $55 per person for dinner excluding taxes, gratuity and alcohol. Reservations are recommended via Open Table or direct: 805.770.3530 Wednesday, Feb 03 2016 - Thursday, Feb 11 2016 Visit:www.elencanto.com.

El Encanto “Dinner and a Movie”

The Lark Restaurant's Movie Popcorn is perfectly paired with the "Vesper" Cocktail. For Film Feast The Lark offers The Vesper as the "perfect pairing" with Movie Popcorn. Movie Popcorn will replace their regular popcorn for the duration of the Festival. The Vesper Cocktail  (1 ½ oz gin, ¾ oz Tito's Vodka and ½ oz Lillet Blanc) is priced at $14. The Lark, 131 Anacapa St. Visit: www.larksb.com.

Movie Popcorn & Vesper Cocktail by Lark

Les Marchands (next door to the Lark) will be serving the “Royale Cheese” two beef patties with caramelized onions, taleggio cheese, and house made 1000 island dressing, served with a side of garlic herb pommes frites. $15 for the burger; $22 for pairing with Weihenstephaner Hefeweiss Bier.

Weihenstephaner Hefeweiss Bier & Burger at Les Merchands

Hennessy Cognac and Dom Perignon Champagne are sponsors for the 2016 Santa Barbara International Film Festival, and will be flowing at all the private celebrity parties and in the 'green room' at the Arlington Theatre for award winning celebrities.

Visit Santa Barbara 2016 will offer Film Feast participants access to a limited-edition Red Carpet Red wine-a beautifully custom-blended Ampelos Cellars pinot noir. Only two barrels of this lively wine were produced for this special occasion. Each bottle dons a Santa Barbara-centric label specially created by artist Eric Junker.

Red Carpet Red Santa Barbaraa Wine by Ampelos Cellars

Santa Barbara's century-long career as a movie backdrop and getaway for top Hollywood talent started during the silent era - Santa Barbara was California's original filmmaking hub. Whether scouting sites dating back to Cecil B. DeMille's The Ten Commandments (1923), sipping pinot noir on the Sideways (2004) wine trail or watching cutting-edge cinema in historic theatres during the Film Festival, visitors can discover that Santa Barbara looks as good in real life as she does on the big screen. For SBIFF information visit:








The James Beard Foundation announced today that Leah Chase, renowned chef, author, and television personality has been named the recipient of the 2016 James Beard Lifetime Achievement award, and Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., founder of Homeboy Industries, has been named the recipient of the 2016 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year award. The Lifetime Achievement award is bestowed upon a person in the industry whose lifetime body of work has had a positive and long-lasting impact on the way we eat, cook, and think about food in America. The Humanitarian of the Year award is given to an individual or organization whose work in the realm of food has improved the lives of others and benefited society at large. Leah Chase and Father Boyle will be honored at this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards on Monday, May 2, 2016 at Lyric Opera of Chicago.

“We are very excited to honor these two outstanding individuals whose contributions to not only the food and beverage industry, but society as a whole, are boundless,” said Susan Ungaro, president of the James Beard Foundation. “Both Leah and Father Greg have impacted the lives of so many people, and we know that their legacies will continue to inspire our community for decades to come.”

Known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine,” Leah Chase is a chef, restaurateur, and TV personality from New Orleans. In 1946 she married Edgar “Dooky” Chase Jr., and together they worked in his parents’ restaurant. With a shared vision they transformed Dooky Chase’s, which was once a sandwich shop, barroom, lottery ticket outlet, and neighborhood gathering place, into a sit-down restaurant wrapped within the cultural environment of Creole cooking, African-American art, and jazz. In a town deeply divided by segregation, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, which is still open today, was one of the only public places in New Orleans where mixed race groups could meet to discuss strategy for the local Civil Rights Movement. The restaurant was the meeting ground for black voter registration campaign organizers, the NAACP, political activists, and countless others, and Leah Chase cooked for them all. Chase’s original dishes would help pioneer the Creole food movement, and her recipes for dishes like gumbo, jambalaya, and fried chicken have gone on to become kitchen staples. Chase is also a patron of the arts, and her collection — displayed on the walls of her restaurant — was at one time considered New Orleans’s best collection of African-American art.  As a writer of two cookbooks and winner of countless food and humanitarian awards, Chase was inducted into the James Beard Foundation's Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America in 2010.

“I am overwhelmed to receive such a prestigious award,” said Chase. “I never dreamt of receiving such an award for doing what I love to do: cook and serve others.”

The 2016 Humanitarian of the Year award recipient, Father Greg Boyle, S.J., is the founder and executive director of Homeboy Industries, the largest gang intervention, rehabilitation, and re-entry program in the world. As a Jesuit priest, Father Boyle has dedicated his life to helping those in need. In 1986 he was appointed pastor of Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles, at the time the poorest Catholic parish in the city, located amidst two large public housing projects and the territory of numerous rival gangs. Father Boyle launched Homeboy Bakery in 1992 in the aftermath of the civil unrest in Los Angeles, and ever since former enemy gang members have worked side by side, learning both business and baking skills together. Its success created the groundwork for additional social enterprises with the Homeboy brand including Homegirl Café & Catering, Homeboy Diner in Los Angeles City Hall, and a retail presence at farmers’ markets throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Every year more than ten thousand formerly gang-involved and previously incarcerated men and women come through Homeboy Industries’s doors. They are welcomed into a community of mutual kinship and offered a wide variety of services, including employment opportunities, legal help, and even tattoo removal. Among a wide array of notable accolades, Bon Appetít named Father Boyle Humanitarian of the Year in 2007, and he was a featured speaker at the White House Conference on Youth in 2005 at the personal invitation of First Lady Laura Bush.

I am honored and humbled by this recognition,” Father Boyle said, “but also heartened, because it acknowledges, as well, a community on the margins that has long been demonized. This award, then, imagines a circle of compassion outside of which no one is left standing.”

Established in 1990, the James Beard Awards recognize culinary professionals for excellence and achievement in their fields and further the Foundation’s mission to celebrate, nurture, and honor America’s diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. Each award category has an individual committee made up of industry professionals who volunteer their time to oversee the policies, procedures, and selection of judges for their respective Awards program. All JBF Award winners receive a certificate and a medallion engraved with the James Beard Foundation Awards insignia. There are no cash prizes.

The Restaurant and Chef Award semifinalists will be announced February 17, 2016. Nominees for all award categories will be revealed on March 15, 2016. The James Beard Foundation Book, Broadcast & Journalism Awards will be held at Pier Sixty at Chelsea Piers in New York City on Tuesday, April 26, 2016. The James Beard Foundation Awards ceremony and gala reception will be held at Lyric Opera of Chicago on Monday, May 2, 2016. During the JBF Awards event, which is open to the public, awards for the Restaurant and Chef and Restaurant Design categories will be handed out, along with special achievement awards including Humanitarian of the Year, Lifetime Achievement, Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America, and America’s Classics. A gala reception will immediately follow, featuring top chefs and beverage professionals from across the country.

The 2016 James Beard Foundation Awards are presented in association with HMSHost, Lexus, and Mariano's; and the following partners: Premier Sponsors: All-Clad Metalcrafters, American Airlines, Lenox Tableware and Gifts, True Refrigeration®; Supporting Sponsors: Acqua Panna® Natural Spring Water, Breville, Goose Island Beer Company, Lavazza, S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water, Skuna Bay Salmon, Valrhona; Gala Reception Sponsors: Ecolab, Royal Caribbean International, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts; with additional support from: Chefwear, VerTerra Dinnerware, and Wisconsin Cheese. The James Beard Foundation also gratefully acknowledges the generous support of the Chicago Department of Aviation, Choose Chicago, and the Illinois Restaurant Association.

About The James Beard Foundation

Founded in 1986, the James Beard Foundation celebrates, nurtures, and honors America's diverse culinary heritage through programs that educate and inspire. A cookbook author and teacher with an encyclopedic knowledge about food, the late James Beard was a champion of American cuisine. He helped educate and mentor generations of professional chefs and food enthusiasts, instilling in them the value of wholesome, healthful, and delicious food. Today JBF continues in the same spirit by administering a number of diverse programs that include educational initiatives, food industry awards, scholarships for culinary students, publications, chef advocacy training, and thought-leader convening. The Foundation also maintains the historic James Beard House in New York City’s Greenwich Village as a “performance space” for visiting chefs. For more information, please visit jamesbeard.org. Get food news, recipes, and more at the James Beard Foundation’s blog. Follow the James Beard Foundation on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.



Maple Weekend Offers a Sweet Way to Enjoy Spring in New York State Celebrate Maple Season and a Rite of Spring with the Entire Family
Syracuse, NY - Tap into one of the sweetest events of the year, New York State’s Maple Weekend. The event takes place March 19-20 and April 2-3 from 10am-4pm each day.  During both weekends, producers from across the state will welcome families to their farms to experience firsthand how real, mouthwatering maple syrup and other related maple products are made. Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy fun, family-friendly activities, taste New York’s freshest syrup and purchase maple products directly from the source.  
Each year, New York ranks as one of the top maple producing states in the U.S.  As spring temperatures begin to rise in late February and early March, maple trees and sugar bushes come alive with activity. In Northern New York, when sap begins to drip through sugaring lines, it's a sure sign that maple sugaring season has begun.   Maple Weekend offers visitors and residents alike the opportunity to taste this “liquid gold” in all its forms. Plan your own Maple Weekend visits at www.mapleweekend.com and join the conversation on Facebook at facebook.com/mapleweekend.  


Check Out the 2015 Napa Truffle Festival


Shares his Neapolitan & Venetian Recipes!
by Lauren Birmingham Piscitelli

Each month Lauren writes and photographs for
Tastes Of Italia Magazine.  In her column, 
Native Soil, she covers Italy's 20 regions reporting on Italy's cuisine, cooking, rising star chefs, food artisans, Slow Food topics, food purveyors and all good things Italian.
 Buon Appetito!
Eat These Fish!
Event Details

When: Monday, April 11th 2016 from 6:00-9:00 PM

Where: Pier A Harbor House, 22 Battery Place, New York, NY

RSVP: Buy your Summit ticket today to RSVP

In addition to Eat These Fish!, your Summit ticket includes access to all Summit programming and ALL food and drink provided during five additional Summit receptions and meals.

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