Food Finds

Seasonal Palettes and Palates in Southern Vermont

Southern Vermont is sturdy in every season, its winding roads passing both quaint and gourmet country stores, year-round Christmas shops, challenging ski slopes and mountain hiking trails, local playhouses where famous actors guest-star in "the season" and brook-powered grist mills displaying the fundamental engineering of modern technology. Like these snapshots from the 18th century, Southern Vermont reminds us that timeless is good, but updating for modern tastes where pragmatic is OK too. Read more →


Sweet P's in East Tennessee - y'all come for Southern cooking!

Always on the search for the best barbecue when in East Tennessee, I’m directed to Sweet P’s on the water in Maryville outside Knoxville. Owner Chris Ford has made a big reputation here (and beyond) in the last decade with his Southern-style smoke foods, a fresh take on soul food classics prepared daily. There's also a new location in downtown Knoxville. Read more →


Christmas in New York - 5 Lessons (and Carols)

Waking up Christmas morning with a view of Saint Patrick's Cathedral and Rockefeller Center and a block away from enchanting Fifth Avenue was a worthwhile tradeoff - at least this once - for the stockings hung by the chimney (at home) with care. If you are thinking about changing up your holiday traditions for Christmas in New York, here are a few tips and lessons learned. Read more →


Fall Report: Asheville, NC - the Vibrancy of the Blue Ridge Culture

Seeing is believing in North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains - particularly in autumn - and these past two years have been some of the most gorgeous fall colors ever. But what was even more surprising, after a long absence, is how Asheville, NC, has become a rich brew of regional art, food and culture - on par with Charleston, Tucson or Seattle as most "flavorful" destinations for their parts of the U.S. Read more →


Small Plates, Big Flavors in Cambridge

We had a blast both nights at Ana Sortun's Turkish and eastern Mediterrean influenced restaurants in the Boston area - Oleana, in Cambridge, for which she won a James Beard Award as Best Chef in the Northeast, and the newer Sarma, her partnership with former Oleana chef Cassie Piuma, nearby in Somerville. Check out the sights here in Sarma's image gallery. Before you go either venue, spend a few minutes with these fascinating interviews and videos featuring Sortun - on cooking, Turkey, female entrepreneurship and more. She's an inspiring and thoughtful pathfinder in the culinary space. For example, Siena Farms,... Read more →


Tucson: A High Desert Cultural Shelter

After a long weekend in Tucson, I’ve answered a question bugging me for awhile – if it’s so darn hot in the desert, why do so many retirees move there? My answer: the climate may have lulled them to town but the reason they stay is something else – there is so darn much to do here! In three days, we only touched the surface. About 60 miles north of Mexico and surrounded by mountain ranges, Tucson is situated at an altitude of 2600 feet in high desert and across a sprawling 226-square-mile grid of adobe structures hunkered close to... Read more →