Thursday, August 18, 2011

Food, Wine & Spirits Home & Away

I’ve just returned from 10 days in San Diego and I have to say that it’s probably the only place left on earth with perfect, predictable weather. I didn’t see a drop of rain and was thrilled with the partly sunny skies and 70-75 degree temperatures every single day. I feel like I’ve been in a heat tunnel everywhere I go these past few months so it was a nice change. I’m looking for an excuse to get back there and it may just be the San Diego Bay Wine and Food Festival, November 16-20. The festival offers the opportunity to taste from nearly 200 wine and spirits producers; taste samples from 70 San Diego Chefs; participate in cooking classes and wine tastings; and dine with celebrity chefs from other parts of the world.

Another event on my wish list for November is Cornucopia. When I was out enjoying British Columbia this spring, one place I didn’t get to but heard great things about was Whistler. This event appears to be the best experience a foodie and wine lover can have in this picturesque area. They call it the “festival of indulgence” and I can see why as it celebrates the wines and chefs of the region with parties, winemaker dinners and tastings. With seminars such as “Va Va Va Vinha: Salud to Spain,” “Sharing Life, Love & Local Foods” and “Argentina: More Than Malbec,” I’m hoping to get there for the spectacular November 10-13.

If you aren’t seeing a major food, wine and spirits festival in your fall plans, you can always just make one at home. I spent 10 days on a Celebrity Cruise and I can tell you they know what they are doing when it comes to preparing food.  I’m not the only one who was impressed with the dining experience and the request for details has prompted Jacques Van Staden, Celebrity’s Vice President of Culinary Operations (and also a James Beard nominee) to ink a book called “Excite the Senses.” The 400 page coffee table book takes a look inside Celebrity’s kitchens and wine cellars, offering cooking tips and recipes. Purchase the book at

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