Water conservation and ecology are at the utmost concern to beverage makers like Great Raft Brewery and Cakebread Cellars. Andrew Nations has gone to great lengths to figure out ways to change the taste profile of Shreveport's water, and Bruce Cakebread has helped organize a group of winemakers to ensure that their family businesses will survive the ongoing drought in California. We'll join each of them on site as they focus their attention towards these environmental issues.
And once you hear Molly Kimball's advice about the benefits of a daily glass of wine, you'll be glad these beverage makers are so disciplined. New research suggests that a little alcohol is great for a healthy heart: a perfect pairing, if you will. Should that not be enough for a perfect pairing, then turn to Scott Gold for his take on what makes a bowl of chili great, a great companion on a cold winter night.
For Antoine’s Restaurant, the oldest restaurant in New Orleans, 2015 marks its 175th birthday. And, naturally, events and promotions will unfold through the year tied to its long history and deep well of tradition. But, even as it celebrates its past, Antoine’s is also using this anniversary to introduce changes that are aimed squarely at the future, and even at its very survival.
For the past twenty years Dana Cowin has been Food & Wine's editor in chief, but has keep a secret from her readers. Despite being surrounded by food nearly every single day, she never learned how to cook. But with the help of her friends, many of them famous celebrity chefs, Dana has mastered her mistakes in the kitchen and learned some invaluable life skills along the way.
We're also joined by Tony Abu-Ganim, one of the world's leading mixologists. He's seen the profession go from being a secondary job to a respected career during his 30 years behind the bar and joins us to talk about the hardships he's encountered along that journey.
And for a set of bakers with roughly five years of experience on their hands, the crew at Bellegarde Bakery is making quite a name for themselves. We'll join Graison Gill and Brett Guadagnino at their Broadmoor bakery for an early morning baking session.
Picture some friends sharing and sampling a progression of small plates and you have a very modern portrait of casual dining. But, in another example of how new trends at the dinner table often reflect old customs, you can assemble that same scene around Turkish flavors and see a very traditional view of social dining. That’s one on display in New Orleans these days at an Uptown eatery called Mezze.
Sadly, we also lost some very good friends of ours. Michael Mizell-Nelson and Rudy Lombard both championed Louisiana's foodways and worked hard to preserve many of our customs and traditions. We'll revisit them one as time before we turn the page to another calendar year.
Scholar Michael Twitty says that during the holidays, "everybody's stuff is all mixed up." He speaks from experience: Michael's connected to Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa celebrations that keep him busy this time of year. He's one of the many guests who'll sit at our table to discuss how their holiday traditions are kept alive and why food is often at the center of those traditions.
At one point in their lives, each of our guests had to choose whether or not they would inherit a family business. The answer didn't always come quickly, and most of them had to change the business to make it their own, but each decided to carry their family's tradition to the next generation.
Food writer Ian McNulty on the convergence of a historic market, efforts to revive its role as a food hub and an enterprising young chef eager to take full advantage, even from the walk-up kitchen of a French Quarter bar.