Dining & Wine
A Dinner To Remember
The sun is setting and an inspired meal awaits us. Located in the Point Dume neighborhood of Malibu, CA, the sustainable Malibu Farm provides the perfect setting for a romantic evening. With the majestic Santa Monica Mountains in the background, Owner Helene Henderson preps a meal to perfection. Helene marries sustainability with innovation by creating a farm that provide sustenance for the earth, the soul, the spirit and the palette !
Greeted with a cocktail made with Organic Tequila (123 Tequila), we breathe in the beauty of this stunning estate. There is music in the air, with Helene's son and his band providing a relaxing mood! As we are told, the music starts relaxing and progresses through the night to a jumping dance party. Joann and I peruse the grounds. We meet a pot belly pig, goats and chickens. We drink in our surroundings. While sampling an array of wine, we speak with the owner of local HOYT Vineyards, Carol Hoyt.
We go on to view the food being prepared, with "The Artist" playing on large screen. So fitting, only and artist could have interpreted this scene. That brings me to Jessie Nunez. He works for Helene. With all the running around, he takes a moment to share a bit of his story. He is a native of East Los Angeles. His wife is the love of his life, along with his 22 year old daughter, Jessica. In his hands, he is holding a wooden spoon with the words "Chef Henderson" seared on the handle and the "Malibu Farm" logo seared on the scoop of the spoon. With touching pride, he continues to tell me that his daughter is an artist. Jessica is the one that seared the words on the wooden spoon. He taught Jessica this art form. He admits that her artistry has now surpassed his own. It was his art that saved him from the deadly pit falls of growing up in gang ridden East L.A.. Once he fell in love with his wife and Jessica was born, he was inspired to leave that world behind. It was his art and the love for his family that motivated him to seek a better life, free of guns and gang warfare.
Malibu Farm is definitely a world a way from the streets of East L.A.. I feel so fortunate to witness an example of how the simplicity of tending to the earth and reaping the benefits of its fruit attracts and benefits people from all walks of life. I bet if there were more examples of this in East L.A. and similar neighborhoods, there would not be room for guns and gang warfare. Something to think about!
Learn more about Malibu Farm Here
Article By Birungi Ives
Photos Courtesy of Joann Guilfoil Photography
Digging Into Real Food
The rapid growth of populations, and the need to provide for them, has transformed our relationship to food and created a disconnect between people and the farms that bring food to their tables. Many children
haven’t experienced the feeling of dark smooth soil between their fingers and the hope of newly sprouted seeds. They haven’t cared for
an animal and felt the deep gratitude that comes from the intimacy of connecting to a life–giving source, whether that be milking a cow or watering a plant. This growing distance between our people and our sustenance has triggered a movement that hopes to close this ever–widening divide.
One woman who stands out within this movement is Alice Waters. Founding Chez Panisse, a restaurant focused on locally sourced organic ingredients, in 1971, she has been a pivotal figure in the return to eating and growing food that is seasonal, locally sourced and sustainably farmed. Food that is good for the environment and the people who eat it. This is often referred to as the Slow Food movement, which has been influential in changing the way that many people view food and agriculture. The restaurant has known many notable guests (such as His Holiness the Dalai Lama) and is an attraction worth venturing to. “Since 1971, Chez Panisse has invited diners to partake of the immediacy and excitement of vegetables just out of the garden, fruit right off the branch, and fish straight out of the sea. In doing so, Chez Panisse has established a network of nearby suppliers who, like the restaurant, are striving for both environmental harmony and delicious flavor.”
As a mother, I feel blessed to live in a place that remains connected to its agricultural base, allowing me to provide good food for my children and allowing them to experience the process behind the food they eat first–hand. I wish all children could experience this. Alice Waters' work with Chez Panisse, the Chez Panisse Foundation and the Slow Food movement led her to a project that is close to my heart, one that brings that intimate relationship between food and children back
together : The Edible School Yard Project.
The Edible School Yard Project is a program that “... teaches children how to be caretakers of the planet as well as teaching the joys of the table, the pleasures of real work, and the meaning of community. A model public education program and nationally recognized for its efforts to integrate gardening, cooking and the sharing of a daily school lunch into the academic curriculum, The Edible Schoolyard has sparked a national movement.”
(Read More Here)
The Edible Schoolyard uses the cafeteria and garden as a classroom and gives hands–on, interactive experience to children. The program promotes free lunches for all students, organic farming (both the process and the community behind local farming efforts), and education that hopes to inspire stewardship for our environment, our personal health and our fellow human beings. “What we are calling for is a revolution in public education - a Delicious Revolution. When the hearts and minds of our children are captured by a school lunch curriculum, enriched with experience in the garden, sustainability will become the lens through which they see the world." — Alice Waters (Read More Here)
You can learn more about the Slow Food movement Here.
Articles and Photos By Haley Ann O'Neil
Love Letter To Mac
Negative comments, and stories about McDonald's are always making headlines. If it isn't
a lawsuit, it is criticism about calories or media marketing to young kids. McDonald's is
often seen as Mr. Wrong but I am in love with Mr.Wrong, and see the company as Mr. Right.
Well not Mr.Right...more like Mr. Work In Progress.
The love affair between the super corporation and myself began many years ago. And it all
started with a single nugget. But my lover is doing new and exciting things to keep my
interests, and to heat things up where they matter most. Follow my lover's lead with
three easy tips to keep things exciting in any corporate-mother earth relationship.
STEP 1: THE RIGHT KIND OF LUBE
Recently Mcdonald's, Mcdonald's United Arab Emirates, and privately held Neutral Fuels LLC
formed a partnership to produce biodiesel using recycled vegetable oil from the fast-food
retailer’s outlets in the United Arab Emirates. The fuel will be produced at the Gulf nation's
first facility to make biodiesel. Karl Feilder, Neutral Group Chairman, projects an output of
1,000,000 liters a year. McDonald's uses more than 20,000 liters of vegetable oil at 90
restaurants in the Arab country, and this venture hopes to help diminish the company's carbon
STEP 2: GETTING OTHERS INVOLVED INTO THE MIX
Since 2002, countries around the world have raised nearly $170 million during McHappy Day/Give
a Hand events, which benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities and other children's causes.
In 2011, RMHC Donation Boxes in the United State are projected to peak more than $27 million
in customer donations.$27 million dollars is one hell of a turnon, in my opinion.
STEP 3: WRAPPING IT UP...EVERYTIME
What's a lover to do when they are estimated to produce 100 million pieces of packagaing
and wrapping in disposable waste. Recycle, Recylce, Recylce! Unlike like many one night stands,
when you are involved with McDonald's, you can reuse your protection. Much of the cardboard
packaging, and other wrappings are recyclable. Just make sure to do your part, and take
all waste to the appropriate recyling centers or throw in the appropriate recycling bins.
No relationship is perfect. It doesn't matter if it is a person or company. But I applaud
McDonald's for making steps to become a better lover. Yes, we have a long way to go but if he keeps
doing what he is doing, I forsee a happily ever after ending.
Article By Jared Johnson
Fresh Fresh Fresh!!! Grounded in a philosophies of Sustainablility and Global Responsiblity, Rouge Tomate offers fresh cuisine that captures a European Sophisitcation with a Locally Grown Sensibility. Based in Belgium, Rouge Tomate has another location in Manhattan, New York. So if you happen to be in NYC for the Holidays (My favorite time of year in NYC), have a elegant night out at Rouge Tomate. Location: 10E. 60th Street, 646-237-8977. Visit www.rougetomate.com to learn more.
Photos Courtesy of www.whathewears.blogspot.com and www.thenycitydish.com
Gibbet Hill Grill
I can not go on more about Gibbet Hill. Located the next town over from where my parents live, Gibbet Hill Grill in Groton, MA is one of the most beautiful restaurants that I have had the pleasure to visit.
Set on a scenic rural landscape, you can see the cows in the fields as you drive up. When you enter, you are greeted with a warm and welcoming fire and soft smiles. After you take a breath, you can take in the full scope of the fully restored 100-year old post and beam barn. It is stunning! But the food is better!! I love the Short Ribs. The wine list is endless. Please don't overindulge on the fresh made potato chips that are placed in front of you as a complimentary appetizer, because I have. You need to leave room for the locally farmed and sourced produce and meats. AMAZING!! No wonder people choose to get married just outside and hold their receptions just next door at the Gibbet Hill Barn. It is amazing and a must see! So the next time you are in the Boston area, head northwest on Rt. 119 and make a stop at Gibbet Hill Grill. Say hi to the cows for me!!! Please learn more at www.gibbethill.com !
Photos courtesy of www.kenswineguide.com and www.gibbethill.com
Contigo, San Francisco
I think all restaurants should have a backyard, or in this case backterrace vegetable garden. Contigo uses locally grown produce for its Spanish and Catalan cuisine. Being Green does not stop at the food. An eco-friendly philosphy was fully intergrated into the design of the restaurant with the use of 100-year old salvaged redwood for the walls and recycled wine bottles for the wine glasses. Owners Brett and Elan Emerson show their love for Barcelona with every sustainable dish. Viva Contigo!!! Learn more at www.contigosf.com!
Photo Courtesy of www.noevalleysf.blogspot.com and www.contigosf.com
The Power of Wine
When I first read this article by Christine Quinlan, titled Grape Causes in the April 2010 edition of Food and Wine, I was so excited to read about two important things to me, AFRICA and WINE. Yes, as much as I care for my mother continent, Wine has become an important character in my story. As I have matured, my love of wine has grown from a relationship where it helped me let loose on the dance floor in my early twenties to one where it whispers stories to me about where it has been and what it has seen. I feel that drinking wine has become an experience of picnics with my husband listening to classical music concerts to delicious moments with girlfriends laughing at past moments in our misspent youth.
But let me take the time to share with you what I have learned about the power of WINE. In this article, I learned of two amazing organization. They are as follows:
Wine to Water started with wine tasting fundraising events. However it has grown into a non-profit organization that gives back to emerging economies in places such as Darfur and Uganda. Director, Doc Hendley works directly with people in these areas of great potential, building wells and filtration systems. Wine to Water, www.winetowater.org, even makes wine to raise money.
Indego Africa, www.indegoafrica.org, places the revenue from the sale of fair-trade crafts, like wine bottle bags and Dutch wax cloth coasters, back into the hands of Rwandan artisans. It also enriches the community and the people by providing training in entrepreneurship, literacy and computer skills.
Now who knew that WINE could posses such power for CHANGE!!!!
Bedford’s Stamp on Eco-Luxury Hospitality: The Bedford Post Inn
Dark green pastures as far as the eye can see, stunning thoroughbreds cantering within white fenced borders, conservatively elegant colonials and the relaxing stillness of an old New England town is what you’ll find as you drive on Route 22 in Bedford, New York. An unexpected tranquil setting, Bedford is only 45 minutes from the bustling streets of Manhattan and the home of many celebrities such as Martha Stewart, Ralph Lauren, Richard Gere and his wife Carey Lowell.
It was in Bedford that I was welcomed by a home away from home, The Bedford Post Inn. The Bedford Post Inn is a historic property circa the 1860s. With the use of reclaimed materials, geothermal cooling, low VOC paints and finishes, soy and other natural insulation, this eco-friendly establishment opened spring 2009. Owned by Richard Gere, Carey Lowell, Russell Hernandez and his wife, Alesandra, The Bedford Post Inn is a place I will never forget and will always want to return.
Arriving in time for Sunday Brunch, I was greeted by the warm smile of the gentleman whom runs the valet. It was his smile that set the tone for a wonderful experience.
As my photographer Rob and I perused the area for shooting opportunities, we were very impressed with the grounds. With garden borders filled with white Echinacea, pink and blue Hydrangeas and towering purple Verbena, I was amazed by how established, full and lush everything looked, considering the Inn’s opening this spring. The Inn that looks like a beautiful old farmhouse seems just at home in this setting. With gardens like this and architectural details, such as the gorgeous copper gutters with an aged patina that contrast beautifully with the creamy ecru shade of the traditional clapboard siding, you feel as though this Inn has been here forever. And YOU didn’t think gutters could be gorgeous! But as with the gutters, the attention to detail on the exterior of the Inn was just a hint of what awaited me inside!
After our exterior shoot, Rob and I had brunch in The Barn, one of the two restaurants on site. Of the two, The Barn is more informal in comparison to the more formal restaurant, The Farmhouse. The use of organic and farm fresh produce is the backbone of their menu selection and local gourmet chef Brian Lewis brings it to life. I could not wait to get a taste! I ordered the banana pancake, two eggs scrambled with cheese, hash browns and a side of bacon. I was hungry…OK! The food was amazing! The Banana Pancake was a dark golden brown on the outside and with a soft, fluffy cake like texture on the inside. It reminded me of the traditional pancakes cooked in a cast iron skillet. If you have not noticed already, food is one of my passions as well, not forgetting a balanced diet and regular exercise. How else can I eat the gorgeous decadent options out there, I have to be at the gym five days a week. But it is all worth it in order to enjoy a meal like this without guilt!
After eating brunch at The Barn, we visited The Yoga Loft, a portal where East meets West. As I remove my shoes to enter the space, I am transported to a place where yoga and mediation are a way of life. It felt as if I moved through space and time from 19th century New England to a present day meditative space for Tibetan monks. The flow is seamless from the loft lit by delicate Asian lanterns with hardwood afoot through another gateway made of reclaimed wooden beams that lead you to a peaceful meditation garden filled with Japanese Maples, flowers, small shrubs and a lush soft carpet of dark green grass.
It was there where we met Jacki, the Innkeeper. Greeted with her fresh faced smile and welcoming demeanor, Jacki started us on our tour of the interior of the inn. Jacki’s enthusiasm and youthful sophistication made the energy of the Inn seem current, open- minded and forward thinking. Jacki’s comforting eloquence proved that she knew the Inn inside and out. Although she was not the typical innkeeper I expected, I must be honest it was refreshing.
However, let us move back to the tour! As you approach the entrance to the Inn, you walk down a path bordered with bowing hydrangeas acknowledging your arrival. You then enter into reception through a door so beautifully heavy, you might as well be walking through the gates of heaven. Here, heaven is what you find. Inside reception looks like the foyer of a stately colonial. An antique desk with scroll arm chairs is where you sign in. Located just off of reception, you will find a cozy seating room with comfy chairs, a large flat screen television and video games to keep the kids and adults young of heart occupied. It feels so much more like a home than an Inn.
Now there are eight rooms for occupancy, most serving as large doubles with queen or king size beds. However there is a King Size room with a convenient sleeping nook for a small child. Adjacent to this room is another large quest room. Both can be closed off to form a large double room suite. Such as this room, a number of the rooms provide outside seating on a beautiful deck. Picture this, as you breathe in the view from the deck off of your beautifully tailored room, you see within the same visual plane a copper trimmed chimney that exudes traditional New England charm and Asian influenced bamboo rod roofing. Wow, I love the unexpected juxtapose of both the Asian and 19th Century traditional influences. In the rooms, you find luxurious
FRETTE sheets and robes to keep you warm at night. Each unique room has exquisitely relaxing clean design with recurring theme of juxtapose echoing throughout. Some rooms have dark four poster beds that contrast beautifully with the stark crisp white linens. While others have contemporary beds with linen tufted headboards and exposed beams from the original structure providing a canopy of history. These rooms are designed with such simple elegance that you are allowed the space to customize your room with your own added touch, i.e. a travel candle, cashmere throw or framed picture. Do away with your thoughts of dizzying chintz and overwhelming toile! Here, you can make it your home away from home. But let me stop here, because now I will detail what I was impressed with most.
THE BATHROOMS! Yes, the BATHROOMS! First I am taken in by the floors and countertops of clean gray and white marble. Then I am moved by the stark white cool curves of the claw foot bathtub for two. There is also a comparable marble shower large enough for the same. All I could potentially envision were the soft glow of Diptyque candles in lavender, the sparkle of L’Occitane lavender perfumed bubble bath, the refreshing chill of a glass of Sabon Estate Viognier 2000 and the soothing sounds of Enya playing on my iPod. It is a dream come true. This Inn is a dream come true. My dream continues after my bath, when I enjoy a decadent gourmet dinner in The Farmhouse restaurant. Or even better, we retreat to the private dining area off of the well stocked wine cellar. How indulgent and romantic!
According to Gere, there are hopes for this Inn to provide a micro-climate for Global Change, where visionaries can gather to share their ideas. To me, this Inn is not just a place to lay your head; it’s an experience, an eco-friendly, global and spiritually relaxing experience.
To all those at the Bedford Post Inn…until next time and THANK YOU!
For more information on the Bedford Post Inn, please visit www.bedfordpostinn.com !
Photos courtesy of Robert Goldberg Photography
PO Box 832
Ukiah, CA 95482
Organic Vintages is proud to offer fine wines made from 100% organically grown grapes with no or low sulfites added. The grower who forgoes chemicals lavishes the
kind of attention that produces better soil, healthier vines and superior fruit. Combine that fruit as our growers do with patient, attentive, knowledgeable vinifying, and you
get wines with complexity and character. With our wines, it's not what you don't get (the pesticides, sulfites, and other chemicals), but the fine wine that you do.
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurant
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants
222 Kearny St., Ste. 200 San Francisco, CA 94108
Photo of Epic Hotel Miami courtesy of www.travelpost.com
Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants have made a life-long commitment to environmental responsibility. Being environmentally responsible is not a one day job. It is a commitment and one that Kimpton is dedicated to for life. Every three months, new products and practices are introduced to Kimpton EarthCare, furthering our vision to reduce our impact on the environment. Of course, all the while, we protect the high quality hotel experience our guests expect.
70 Prince Street
New York, New York 10012
The Savoy is an organic restaurant located in the trendy area of Soho, New York. Chef Peter Hoffman chooses seasonal ingredients of the highest quality from local farmers to create the most delectable organic fare.