Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Happy 100th Birthday Julia!

August 15, 2012  ~  Julia Carolyn (nee McWilliams) Child's 100th birthday.

In celebration of Julia Child's 100th Birthday the Les Dames  d'Escoffier NYC chapter requested pinning stories, recipes and photos on their Pinterest board.  This photo takes me back to the moment in my career that was directly influenced by Julia Child.  I did not meet Julia in person, but her persona was a hugh influence and I found my (speaking) voice in her kitchen, literally.

I was invited to speak at the Culinary Institute of America by the ALES Club in 1996 and again in 2003.

The photo below was during my second visit in August 2003 -- I was pacing back and forth in front of the Julia Child Kitchen, in the Danny Kaye Theater, inside the Conrad Hilton Library at the CIA Hyde Park Campus.  It was sink or swim, and I swam!

CIA student Daniel Maser invited me to speak at the ALES Club meeting.  I paired 9 beers from Rogue Ales and 5 cheeses from Rogue Creamery (three cheddars and  two blues) and spoke for over 2 hours to a crowded room with future Chefs and hospitality industry students.

A crew from the ALES Club helped me prep and serve that evening. I have kept in touch and followed the careers of several students from 1996 and 2003. A big shout out to Chef John Harkness, Daniel Maser and Jasmine Smith (in the center - green shirt, who oversees Quality Control for Fra' Mani in Oakland. CA).

I did not grow up watching Julia on PBS (albeit I love watching the episodes now, and wish I'd seen them then...), nor do I own any cookbooks written by her (thanks to the internet and web searches, it is easy to find her recipes online). 

However, while thinking about Julia and how she influenced me, I realized there are 6 degrees of separation between me and Julia.

Born Julia Carolyn McWilliams in Pasadena, CA on August 15, 1912, she died on August 13, 2004 at age 91 (just shy of 92!).  Julia married Paul Cushing Child on September 1, 1946 in Stockton, NJ.  He had family in Lumberville, Pennsylvania where Julia and Paul often visited.  Amazing to think I have driven Route 32 through Lumberville every day for 20+ years and have gazed at the same landscape and traveled the same roads as Julia. 

Her father (John McWilliams, Jr., Class of 1901)  attended Princeton University, not long after my maternal grandfather, and mother's namesake, Shirrell Norton McWilliams, class of 1894.  While these two McWilliams were a few years apart during college, many Princeton alumni, especially my GreatGreatGrandfather were active in alumni activities (PRade and Reunions, Princeton Avenue eating clubs, Princeton Club in NYC, Buffalo, etc.).  Chances are Shirrell and John were aware of each other.  Shirrell was involved in theater including Princeton's Triangle Club, playing Julius Caesar in the Horable Julius Caesar with Booth Tarkington.

My 6 degrees of separation from Julia:  
my mother Shirrell + Grandmother Georgiana +  GreatGrandfather Shirrell Norton McWilliams / Princeton University / John McWillams Jr + Julia McWilliams Childs

I found my voice and inner culinary confidence in your kitchen.  Happy 100th Birthday Julia! 
Thanks for inspiring me, and the tip, when you smile for the camera say Champagne!

Bon Appetit!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mothers Day Made Sweeter with Beer + Chocolate

Beer + Chocolate for Mothers Day,  May 13, 2012  ~  a great way to kickoff  Craft Beer Week (May 14-20).

Give Mom (or any woman in your life)  the gift of beer made with chocolate, or chocolate made with beer for Mothers Day-- in a bottle or can, in a chocolate bar, truffle, marshmallow, brittle, cupcake, or a pint of ice cream or gelato. There are so many ways to enjoy beer + chocolate, and Mom will thank you for having such great taste, and for thinking of her on Mothers Day.

I've blogged about chocolates made with and paired with beer from Vosges Haut Chocolate in Chicago,  Capogiro Gelato in Philadelphia,  truffle truffle in Chicago, Socola Chocolates in Oakland.  Best of all, these all happen to be women-owned business who have embraced craft beer, and use it as an ingredient!

The new Vosges Smoke + Stout chocolate bar is amazing.  You bet I am biased since Katrina choose to use "my" beer,  but this really is good and a delicious gift to give and receive.

In celebration of Mothers Day and Craft Beer Week, I want to share this quote for the day, posted on Oct 5 1995 in the Bacchus Wine/Beer forum on Compuserve.  I came across an old file of notes and emails on Women in Brewing.  The message below is from  a 1994 article in the Beer & Tavern Chronicle that Alan Eames wrote.  "Beer is a woman's occupation. Beer is a woman's power base. It is the basis for all political organizational power women have had and enjoyed. Women maintain power and status in a male-dominated society by their skills as brewsters. They continue to do so in non-technologoical societies today." 

Today on WHYY Radio Times author Liza Mundy was interviewed about her new book TheRicher Sex.     Here are 3 soundbytes:   71% of women are in the workforce.  40% earn more than their husbands (compared to 23% when the government started tracking incomes for married working couples).  Women under 30 with no children earn more than Men under 30.

Open a bottle of craft beer brewed by a women or with a woman on the label, indulge in gelato, chocolate or other confections made by a women, visit a restaurant with a women chef in the kitchen (and let your server know you are there to patronize them because there is a women in the kitchen!) and toast the successes and future of the women in your life, on Mothers Day and Every Day!   



Thursday, May 10, 2012

Knives! Camera! Action! 2012 CityMeals-on-Wheels Chefs Tribute June 4th

On June 4, 2012  CityMeals-on-Wheels'  27th annual Chefs'  Tribute will descend upon  Rockefeller Center. This gala is one of my favorite fundraisers of the year and for a very worthy cause. I will be pouring a selection of Rogue Ales and Elysian Brewing's beers.    

Here is the inside scoop from CityMeals website:

In 1985, Chefs Larry Forgione and Jonathan Waxman went to Citymeals Co-founder Gael Greene with the idea of celebrating the life of James Beard and his love of cooking, all for the benefit of Citymeals-on-Wheels. As Gael remembers, "The first 'American Chefs and Winemakers' al fresco feast was planned to celebrate Jim's 82nd birthday. When he passed away a few months prior to the event, the gala salute to America's harvest and American talent became our tribute to him."

For the last twenty-six years, the Chefs' Tribute to Citymeals-on-Wheels has kicked off the summer season in New York City with a celebration that feeds both the body and the soul. Last year, over 1,000 guests gathered in Rockefeller Center and raised over $782,000, enough to provide 121,800 meals for our city’s frail aged neighbors.

This year, renowned chefs will gather in Rockefeller Center to celebrate food and film by creating dishes inspired by their favorite movies.  Chefs' Tribute 2012: Knives! Camera! Action!  brings the favorite movies of gourmet chefs to life with unique tasting menus from some of the most exclusive restaurants in the world. Below is a list of all the chefs who are taking part in this glamour

--Rick Bayless, Frontera Grill, Chicago

-- Jonathan Benno & Richard Capizzi, Lincoln Restorante, New York

-- Richard Blais, The Spence, Atlanta
Press coverage of "The Spence"

-- April Bloomfield, Spotted Pig/The Breslin, New York

-- Daniel Boulud & Gavin Kaysen, Café Boulud, New York

-- Juan Branez, Cucina & Co., New York

-- David Burke, David Burke Townhouse, New York

-- Andrew Carmellini, The Dutch/Locanda Verde, New York

-- Cesare Casella, Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto, New York

-- Michael Cimarusti, Providence, Los Angeles

–- Scott Conant, Scarpetta, New York/Los Angeles/Las Vegas

-- John DeLucie, Crown/The Lion, New York

-- Chris DeLuna, La Fonda del Sol, New York

-- Luc Dimnet, Brasserie, New York

-- Ben Ford, Ford's Filling Station, Culver City, CA

-- Larry Forgione, Conservatory for American Food Studies, St. Helena, CA

-- Marc Forgione, Marc Forgione, New York

-- Yuhi Fujinaga & Michael Gabriel, The Sea Grill, New York

-- Duff Goldman, Charm City Cakes/Charm City Cakes West, Baltimore

-- Rick Moonen, RM Seafood, Las Vegas

-- Marco Moreira, Tocqueville, New York

-- David Myers, Comme Ça, Los Angeles

-- François Payard, François Payard Bakery, New York

-- Alex Pilas, Eataly, New York

-- Alfred Portale, Gotham Bar and Grill, New York

-- Pierre Poulin, Aureole, New York

-- Antonio Prontelli, Rock Center Café, New York

-- Andrea Reusing, Lantern, Chapel Hill, NC

-- Eric Ripert, Le Bernardin, New York

-- Missy Robbins, A VOCE, New York

-- Marcus Samuelsson, Red Rooster, New York

-- Mindy Segal, Hot Chocolate, Chicago

- Nancy Silverton, Mozza, Los Angeles

-- Joachim Splichal, Patina, Los Angeles

 -- Bill Telepan, Telepan, New York

-- Toshio Tomita, Nobu New York, New York

-- Jacques Torres, Jacques Torres Chocolate, New York

-- Rich Torrisi, Torrisi Italian Specialties/Parm, New York

-- Laurent Tourondel, BLT American Brasserie, New York

-- Silvana Vivoli, Gelateria Vivoli, Florence

-- Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Jean Georges, New York

-- Jonathan Waxman, Barbuto, New York

-- Bill Yosses, Washington, D.C.

TEDxDrexelU: Why Not Add Chocolate to Beer

Why Not....  is the theme for TEDxDrexelU on May 16, 2012.   I was invited to participate and immediately thought Why Not Add Chocolate to Beer.  

TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to “Ideas worth Spreading.” It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, & Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. 

TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience (Ideas worth sharing). At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.  

The outline of my TEDx talk:   Beer is one of the building blocks of civilization that spans across many continents and cultures. Created from grains that were cultivated and steeped, the first evidence of beer dates to the Neolithic (7000 BC). Join me as we fast forward 9000 years and explore the art of brewing and the state of the beer industry in the 20th and 21st century. Theobrama cacao (aka chocolate) also plays a significant role in civilization. Discovered in the New World when Montezuma introduced Cortes to xocolatl almost 500 years ago, today chocolate is consumed around the world, and is also an ingredient and flavor used in craft brewing. 

Here is the list of  TEDxDrexelU speakers and their Ideas Worth Spreading:

  1. Tyler Hartung:  Co-Founder and VP of Finance and Operations at The Unreasonable InstituteWhy Not quit your job and become a server?  
  2. Nick Anselmo: Director of Theather at Drexel University Why Not engage in the dynamic world of theater? 
  3. Carla Diana: Associate Director of Interaction Design at Smart Design,  Bringing Objects to Life through Form, Code and Electronics 
  4. Bill Moggridge: Director at Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design MuseumWhy Not change the world with design thinking? 
  5. Sebbie Buhler:  Beer Craft Adventurist,  Why Not add chocolate to beer? 
  6. Robb Armstrong: Cartoonist at GoComics.comWhy Not go to work in your underwear like me? 
  7. Brian Robertson:  Co-Founder at HolacracyOne,   Why Not ditch bosses and distribute power? 
  8. Chelsea Briganti, Leigh Ann Tucker, Monica Bhatia and Ingrid Zweifel: From The Way We See The World, Why Not make the world the way you see it? 
  9. Dan Formosa:  Ph.DConsultant in Design,  Why Not admit there is a problem with math and music? (or why Pythagoras would have liked the cats in Nashville) 
  10. Marek Swoboda: Biomedical Researcher at Drexel UniversityDemocracy in science and technology. Why Not? 
  11. Jason Ingle:  Executive Director at Greener PartnersWhy Not fix our food system? 
  12. Russell Meddin:   Founder of Bike Share Philadelphia, Why Not bring Public Use Bicycling, bike-sharing, to Philadelphia? 
  13. Patrick McDonald:  Founding Partner of Onion Flats LLC, Jack 
  14. John Anderson Fry.  President of Drexel University Guest of Honor  

Tickets for TEDxDrexelU are available online. Follow these links for more details, posted on the  facebook page,  at the website  and on the TEDxDrexelU blog.

Join me for the journey to TEDxDrexelU!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Erin Go Rogue ~ Chocolate Stout Shepherds Pie Recipe for St Patricks Day!

A great recipe from the folks at Rogue Creamery in Central Point, OR in February 2012 ~ perfect for a St Patricks Day celebration!

Classic comfort food with a Southern Oregon twist.  Our Chocolate Stout Cheddar stars in this satisfying traditional with a savory layer of meat and root vegetables topped with a layer of cheesy mashed potatoes. Make ahead in single serving dishes for a satisfying midweek meal  (serves 6)

6 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered
1 ½ lb. organic ground beef or lamb
1 c. onion, finely chopped
2 c. vegetables: combination of chopped carrots, parsnips, peas
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
½ c. milk or cream
¾ c.. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Boil potatoes in salted water until tender (20-25 minutes).

While potatoes cook,  melt ¼ c. butter in a large, deep skillet.  Saute onions over medium heat, 2-3 minutes.  Add carrots and parsnips.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add ground meat and cook until no longer pink.  Add peas, Chocolate Stout and salt and pepper to taste.  Reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes until stout is reduced.

Mash potatoes in a large bowl with remaining butter and milk.  Season to taste.  Add 1 ½ c. shredded cheese.  Stir to combine.

Pour meat and vegetable mixture into a large casserole or six single serving dishes.  Top meat mixture with mashed potatoes and remaining cheese.

Bake in a 400 degree oven until bubbling and browned on top, 25 -30 minutes.


Got time for mail order? Here are a few of my favorite beer infused desserts:

To the blarney is each of us, Erin Go Rogue!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Rogue Ales Beer Dinner in TX Hill Country January 27, 2012 - Westin La Cantera

Folks in the Hill Country of Texas should check Beer Dinner this out:

Don't be afraid to go a little rogue this 2012 year with your friends at The Westin La Cantera Hill Country Resort. On Friday, Jan. 27 at 7:00 p.m. in The La Cantera Grille, we are proud to host a beer dinner with Rogue Ales, an American craft brewery who prides itself in doing things differently. 

Five revolutionary handcrafted beers that go against the grain will be paired with a spectacular dinner menu, created by Chef Isaac Cantu and Chef Henry Wesolowski. These chosen beers have earned the highest awards at events including 2011 World Beer Championships, 2011 Great American Beer Festival, 2011 US Beer Tasting Championships and 2011 Mondial De La Biere. 

There are a limited number of tickets for this high-selling event, so please don't hesitate to make your reservation by calling us directly at 210-558-2305. 

Tickets are priced at $55 per person (not including tax or gratuity). 

Click here to download the menu and a list of the beers chosen for your consideration. 

January 27, 2012 

King crab and fresh vegetable 

Iberico ham, St. Andre, hazelnut and egg yolk 

Duck, foie gras and “cherry” 

Lamb and winter vegetable 

Espresso, meringue and oats 

ob:  I google'd "soft chocolate"  I came up empty handed, however the menu pairings are creative--this dinner should be delicious--especially intrigued by the topping and combinations of flavors & textures of the dessert. I would live to see photos, so tweet me @chocolatestout and let me know how this dinner & pairings go, and what the Sam Hill Soft Chocolate is!   If it were cheese, I'd select pairing Chocolate Stout with local farmstead Pure Luck Farm & Dairy's Hopelessly Blue, Del Cielo or  Sainte Maure. 


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The world's best flavored stout - - complex, great mouthfeel, hint of bitterness

I crack up when I read the beer reviews like the one below from the World Beer Awards, especially when parsed into sound bytes. I just wish I had the nerve to do stand-up comedy (how many times fans of this beer have told me "you were great last night"...), but I'd blush myself off the stage in a heart beat.  Still, here is my list of fun(ny) soundbytes from the WBA review:
  • great mouthfeel
  • creamy
  • complex
  • hint of bitterness
  • great balance
  • fresh vanilla aroma
  • layered & inviting
Kudos to John "more hops" Maier and his crew at Rogue Ales in Newport, Oregon for brewing this elixir (which I adorn the label of), and for the other beers from Rogue Ales that scored WBA awards!  Yet another couple of awards in their caps. I'm thrilled Rogue Chocolate Stout beer was awarded World Best Flavored Stout  & The Americas Best Flavored Stout, according to

Thanks to the contributors on Beeradvocate, this beer has 1800+ reviews with a score of 94,  (99 from The Bros!) and RateBeer which has 1877 ratings and a score of 99!

Rogue's 22oz (and 64, 101oz) bottle has food group symbols, as a suggestion for pairing this beer with food. The food symbols on Rogue Chocolate Stout are Beef and Dessert -- but I feel the strength of pairing this beer is with cheese!   Here are some of my favorite cheese pairings: 
I also love to blend this beer (Hole Mole')  and have also blogged some of my beer cocktail recipes in the past (Rogue Diplomat Gone Nuts) and will continue to blog new recipes here and on a new site, 

tags: @chocolatestout  @rogueales

Teal Dragoness, a cocktail for OCNA 2012 Turn Up the Heat: A Celebration of Women Chefs

According to wikipedia, the color Teal is not even 100 years old, but its a color we know in nature (common teal duck, etc.) and has a broad range of tones in the green/blue spectrum.

Teal is also the color associated with Ovarian Cancer causes (as pink is for breast cancer).  For the 2nd year I created a signature cocktail for the annual Turn Up the Heat Gala in DC.  This charity event showcases & celebrates the talent of dozens of women chefs and restaurateurs from the DC Metro Area and raises money for a good cause.  Its a privilege and honor to be the only brewery & distiller invited to pour for past 5 years, and to have a signature cocktail for the second year.  My 2011 Teal Tonic was Rum based, the 2012 cocktail base is Rogue Spirits' Sprue Gin  distilled with 14 ingredients including traditional botanicals like juniper berries, along with Spruce and Cucumbers.

Teal Dragoness is the 2012 cocktail I created, inspired by OCNA, Women Chefs & Restaurateurs Assoc and the Year of the Dragon.

In a cocktail or wine glass, pour over ice and stir:
  • 1 part  Rogue Spirits Spruce Gin
  • 1/2  parts  Bols Blue Curacao  (just enough to create your shade of teal)
  • 1 part  Prosecco or equivalent sparking wine

  • Use Q-Ginger, tonic or club soda instead of Prosecco.
  • Add a splash of Midori if more green is needed for your Teal Dragoness.
Raise your glass ~ toast the women who are fighting and surviving Ovarian Cancer & wish them well, and toast those who are looking for and working on a cure.   Prost & Enjoy! 

A shout out to Karen Buhler - an amazing glass artist (and my sister-in-law) who also makes whimsical shot glasses (heat shots of people, buck shots of deer...),  tumbers & cocktail glasses, in addition to her collectible glass art.  My "Buckshot" shot glass is filled with the Teal Dragoness cocktail.

TURN UP THE HEAT -- Event Info:  
 “Turn up the Heat: A Celebration of Women Chefs” Gala will take place at the DC Ritz Carlton at 1150 22nd Street NW on Tuesday, February 7, 2012. Proceeds of the event will support our efforts to raise awareness, educate women and health care providers, and advocate on behalf of women with ovarian cancer.  Tickets start at $250 doe the 2012 Turn Up the Heat Gala. Your contribution is tax deductible above the $90 per-person cost of the dinner.   We hope you will join us!

Here is a list of  Chefs participating in 2012 Turn Up the Heat, February 7th at the Ritz Carlton, DC.






tags:  @chocolatestout @rogueales @ocna  #womenchefs