Monday, February 28, 2011

SOBE - Grand Tasting: just take a look

I continue my silent coverage from the SOBE Wine and Food Festival which is officially over. Fun, sun and tones of food were the highlights of the Grand Tasting day which was open to the public. Raw fish, ceviche, fish tacos and various red meats were mostly served with some amazing desserts and colorful cocktails to match the Floridian colors. Add the distinguished voice of Rachel Ray and you have a recipe for culinary success.

Squeeze the lime Rachel - amazing dress BTW

Spicy Tuna Banh Mi (MAKOTO)     

South Beach Sea Breeze cocktail by Illy

Just an average chicken sandwich     


Just dance to lose all those calories!

What is this? If you have an answer, email me: tzervaki at dot com                                      

The best sweet thing I have ever had: see what it is below

Cupcakes made with jelly beans - Yellow....
I just love those Floridian colors...

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Best of the Best - SOBE Wine and Food Festival

Luckily enough I was one of the Wine Spectator's Best of the Best event during the SOBE Wine and Food Festival in Miami. Held at the awesome Fontainebleau Miami Beach hotel, the event was challenging enough for the sponsors: will the selected chefs (and their respecting restaurants) as well as the selected wineries win over each of the attendees?

I accepted the challenge and tasted almost all the dishes. It wasn't easy but I made it and here are my results:

Most innovative dish in terms of presentation was the Eleven Madison Park Smoked Sturgeon Sabayon with Chives, served in a real eggshell! It was mouss-y and tasty and rather light.

Kris Wessel's Crawfish Pie and Bisque from the Red Light Little River restaurant in Miami was the most "Southern" dish  with a twist- it deserves my vote because it was almost unique in taste and well balanced.

Patrick O' Connell's Black Truffle Popcorn was the best snack food, purely pleasure! When it comes to desserts, I would vote for the Salty Tart's Moustache Cookies, advanced looks and delightful in the mouth.

I stayed behind in my alcohol intake (which is rather good news). I only tasted champagne and I particularly liked the Palmes d' Or Nicolas Feuillatte. To be honest, I liked them all but this one was distinguished.

The worst of all? The Chocolate Braised Lamb - it's rather unnecessary to combine those two opposing flavors. Don't do it again!

Don't do it again please -lamb with chocolate?

It is said than one picture is 1,000 words so just look! My words are redundant now.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The 4th Annual New York Wine Expo

Explore your passion for wine at The 4th Annual New York Wine Expo

Nearly 700 wines from winemakers around the globe will be available for tasting. Let your taste buds lead the way as you casually sip and stroll through old and new world wine, finding new varietals and blends you are sure to love.

Seminars are also offered over the weekend, led by industry experts, Leslie Sbrocco, Gloria Maroti Frazee, Mark Oldman and Jordi Vidal. These seminars are designed for both the curious "new wine drinker" as well as the most seasoned connoisseur.  

Friday, February 25
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 26
2:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Javits Convention Center, New York City

Go to to buy tickets. The Grand Tasting on Friday  costs $90 and on Saturday $100. Seminars are $25, $30 or $35 each.

For more information visit

Monday, February 21, 2011

Party Food: Garlic Knots Wrapped in Prosciutto, Chestnut, and Fried Sage

by guest blogger Jasmine Hibbitt

This is an easy recipe which includes ready made items. The only cooking involved is frying the sage. Assuming knots from your local pizza place are usually the size of your palm, cut them in half to a more finger food friendly size. The chestnuts can be bought already peeled in a bag so you don't have to buy fresh and peel them.

Serves 14


7 garlic knots sliced lengthwise
Thinly sliced prosciutto
4 peeled chestnuts sliced in half
15 fresh Sage leaves
1/2 cup Canola oil
Dijon mustard (optional)


Heat oil in skillet over medium high heat till oil creates ripple.

Check readiness of oil by dropping a test sage leaf in. It takes only 30-45 seconds for it to brown slightly and be considered ready. If the leaf looks saturated and not fried after 1 minute then take out and let it continue to heat for another 2 minutes (lift the heat a little too).

Drop leaves into hot oil and once pulled from oil, place on paper towels and immediately sprinkle with salt.

Toast knots in oven.

Remove toasted knots from oven. If using mustard, spread on sliced side, place chestnut and sage, and wrap the prosciutto around.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee

When I decided to visit the newly opened The Little Brown Chocolate and Coffee Bakery, I didn’t know what to expect. Would it be a mainstream coffee shop offering also sinful chocolate drinks or a chocolate and dessert hunt? While approaching, I noticed its large and clean windows and the community tables. 

The door opened and I was in a coffee and chocolate haven. I saw customers eating mouthwatering chocolate chip cookies while checking the web, or sipping a large hot chocolate drink in those amazingly designed cups. Ordering my drink was a rather challenging task as the list was long and welcoming to everything. I went for the Nutella Cappuccino, a perfect blend of espresso, milk and chocolate-y Nutella; the result was a creamy and yummy drink I instantly got addicted to. While at the counter, I was surrounded by cookies, brownies and butter scotch bars, amazed with the abundant selection and range of desserts and pastries. 

Muffins, scones and croissants will be the standard choice for the culinary conservative; but if you are willing to try something else, go for the Chocolate Pillow, a soft cookie that melts in the mouth. Or for the Coconut and Pecan bar that pairs nicely with any coffee. If you keep an eye on your diet, you have the 100-calorie bite pastries choice so you have no excuses to leave the store empty handed. A cute novelty, first time seen in a coffee/chocolate bar, is the Fondue on the go, a box of hot chocolate with strawberries, bananas or marshmallows. 

So, all is new, clean and glutinous in the Little Brown Bakery. Visit yourself in UES to have a bite or two and don’t miss the Nutella Cappuccino or the Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate. All products are made with organic ingredients or come from local producers. The Little Brown is for both the chocolate and coffee fans. Once, indulge and have them both. It’s the chocolate and coffee love affair, as the wall says. 

Little Brown Chocolate Bakery and Coffee
1269 Lexington Avenue @ 85 street, NYC

The pecan and coconut bar

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Moschino/Elle Goodie Bag

I can't afford a Moschino bag. But as we are experiencing the exciting New York Fashion Week, invitations for fashion parties are numerous. Last night, at the Moschino and Elle Magazine party in the trendy MPD area, models, photographers and the crowds were all invited. When I arrived, I was told that they were over capacity so I had to wait at the door together with at least twelve more people. Soon, the person at the door was replaced to our luck and the new guy was a sweet heart. He waited for a while but when the first five guests left, he let us in. I managed to get a vodka cocktail, the only available at the time, looked at the colorful and rather bold Moschino fabrics, spotted a few magazine models, chatted to a couple of women and I was ready to go. On my way out, I saw women and men holding the ELLE goodie bag but I wasn't offered one. I am always pissed off when I observe some sort of discrimination in goodie bag "offerings". OK. I am not a six foot tall model and I don't wear Moschino but the women next to me did not either and she was holding one. After wandering around for a bit, I decided to go empty handed.

"Do you want a bag?" the man at the door asked me.
"I do", I replied as if I was about to accept the most amazing wedding proposal or job offer.
"Then go a get one", he replied.

And I did. I grabbed one. Here it is:

 What is inside: ELLE magazine, Moschino Red Bag and Tiny Box

Heart Chocolates in the tiny box          
The Moschino Red Bag contains samples of the signature Moschino Bubble Bath & Shower Gel; Silky Body Lotion; Glamour Perfume