Virtual Gourmet

  April 19,  2015                                                                                             NEWSLETTER

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American School Cafeteria




By Misha Mariani



By John Mariani



By Mort Hochstein



By Misha Mariani

By Misha Mariani

     We were moving on to the west side of the island of Maui, to Kapalua and Lahaina, but before we settled in there, we had a day to kill and took a drive just a little northeast of Wailea to Paia, a wonderfully quaint town that has long been one of the top tourists draws on the island. But to my happy surprise, Paia has gone virtually unchanged and uninfluenced by the tourist demand and remains one of the great local towns of the island.
         Located just outside the center of town is a restaurant called Mama’s Fish House, which was established by the Christenson family in 1973, after taking a sailing trip across the South Pacific. The Christensons fell madly in love with the Polynesian lifestyle, so they opened a restaurant and dedicated themselves to providing true Polynesian cuisine, drawing all their ingredients and fish from local purveyors. This has been and continues to be their proven business model. They are not in business just to service their guests and to provide great food and genuine top-notch hospitality, they are in business to service their community and to help improve business all around them.
       I learned this upon meeting Karen Christensen, the founders’ daughter, who is very much at the helm of the business these days, and Perry Bateman, their executive chef.  It has been quite some time since I sat down with two more passionate individuals in this industry. After years and years of being present in the kitchen and dining room,  these two still exude a high level of excitement and enthusiasm for what they do every day.  And that is very rare these days.
        As they gave me a tour of the restaurant and facility, I felt the commitment and dedication that not only these two had towards Mama’s but how they instill it in every one of those workers I encountered.  They guided me through the hectic kitchen, into the storage rooms filled with local produce and ingredients, and finally gave me a close-up look at their butchering facilities, which had cooler after cooler of some of the most beautiful specimens of Pacific fish culled from more than 200 different fisherman a year: red snapper, a color of red you can never imagine if you hadn’t seen for yourself;  silver-skinned mackerel that had the sheen of stainless steel; and yellow fin tuna so fresh it was as if they were looking right back at you. The last time I saw fish this beautiful was at Tsukigi Market in Tokyo.
        Mama’s Fish House's commitment to local produce and fresh fish goes far beyond just buying from the local sources. They have actually funded and anchored a buoy 30 miles off the shore of Maui that helps create a habitat for pelagic species such as tuna, mahi mahi, ono, and billfish, as well as helping to bring the fishing community together by creating a level of sustainability. It's an effort of giving back to the community that you see very rarely by privately owned business.
        Mama’s resides on a beach front about 100 yards off the water’s edge, where from many of the tables you can stare out to the blue waters and crashing waves as you sip your mai tai  or glass of wine and enjoy their exceptional cuisine. The design of the restaurant has stayed true to the traditional Polynesian influence that defines everything at Mama’s. Dark woods, Polynesian artifacts, colorfully design tablecloths, an abundance of gorgeous orchids, servers in Polynesian patterned dresses and shirts, and nautical objects set the ambiance in the casual setting.  It’s very popular with tourists, but I found the food here was as delicious as any I had anywhere in Hawaii.
       When we sat down for lunch, we started off with cocktails, then settled in and let Chef Bateman do the choosing and cooking. We began with a trio of sashimi ($28-$50), ono, onaga and ahi, each prepared differently. The ono with Finger Limes, Hawaiian sea salt and green miso greens was bright, refreshing and delicious;  Onaga (local red snapper) with black sea salt, Hawaiian chili and passion fruit had just the right balance of heat, saltiness and sour from the passion fruit to complement the sweetness of the flesh;  and the ahi, rich and fatty, was cut with ponzu and highlighted with fresh miso greens.
        An exceptional starter was the octopus ($24), grilled and served with sweet daikon and bitter, crisp watermelon radish, balanced with sweet kalamanzi citrus. A must-not-miss is the opakapaka collar  ($50). Opakapaka is a pink snapper with sweet, delicate white flesh,  here fried and served with a traditional dipping sauce of chili, scallion, soy, lime and pickled cucumbers (below). If this was the only thing I could have eaten all day, I would have been a very happy man.
     For entrees, there was onaga ($48), a red snapper steamed and served in a flavorful broth with snow peas and fried ginger, and ahi tuna ($46), which is crusted in a ginger and sesame seed panic and served with a kale pig-fried rice.
        After our lunch, feeling filled and satisfied, we hopped back into our car and headed out to the west coast of the island towards Kapalua, traveling Highway 30 on the coastline that ripples along the Pacific and watching the locals surf the five-foot swells as if it was part of their daily routine. We neared Kapalua, driving past the very colorful town of Lahaina, on our way to the Ritz Carlton, which is certainly at the luxury high end of Maui’s resorts. You feel that immediately upon pulling up to the entrance way. The property sits directly on the coast, like many of the other top resorts here on the island, but unlike others, The Ritz Carlton also overlooks two  PGA Championship golf course--
the Plantation Course and the Bay Course, with 16 of its 18 holes overlooking the ocean.  (These courses used to be an historic pineapple plantation, but the industry collapsed in the 1960s, with both Dole and Del Monte moving their production out of the islands in 2008.)
        The hotel is U-shaped with a multi-tiered pool facility that gradually slopes down and provides separation in the different wading pools. There is full food and beverage service provided at all locations poolside, as well as a tiki bar towards the bottom and more comprehensive full service bar up towards the main portion of the resort, where lunch and drinks can be had at your leisure. Private cabanas are also available, which we spoiled ourselves in, with a full service staff, privacy, couches, television and other great amenities.
        There is wide variety among the resort’s 436 rooms, some with Club Level accommodations, but I recommend the Ocean Front Suite. Upon entering, your first introduction into this lap of luxury is a foyer quickly opening on a glorious living room of hardwood floors, plush and elegantly designed furniture, warm beige walls and softly lit lamps. Two swinging doors give entrance to an expansive bedroom with a king-size bed. There is a mahogany coffee table, a large HD television, a powder room and sliding doors that lead you out to your own private terrace overlooking an ocean not more that 200 yards away—a pretty impressive spot from which to watch sunsets.
        After we’d had that peek at the surfers catching waves on our way into Kapalua, I determined that the next day my wife and I were going to take surfing lessons. Being an avid snowboarder and having lived in Colorado for a year to teach the sport many moons ago, I had always wanted to try surfing. Within minutes the recreation desk scheduled a lesson for the next day with a surf school company called Rivers to the Sea.
        We woke up the next morning, grabbed a coffee and a bagel at the resort’s Aina Gourmet coffee shop--which became our favorite breakfast spot for the next few days--then headed back out to Highway 30, where we met up with our teacher at a specific mile marker. After a quick tutorial and a few beachside practice leaps up onto the board, we headed out into the ocean to catch our first waves. Of course, the first few attempts landed us flat in the water as the waves rolled over us. But, after  a couple of tries,  both of us were up and surfing, spending the next hour paddling out into the surf and riding the waves back in, working our bodies to the point that it was mandatory that we take full advantage of The Ritz Carlton’s Spa and massage treatment that afternoon.  Here they say
e malama kou kino,” which translates to “care for your body.”
        As with everything else at The Ritz Carlton, the options are endless at the spa, with even special Spa Wedding Packages that require anywhere from two to five hours of devotion and plenty of options ranging from facials, pedicures, couple massages, hot stone treatment and more.
        The Ritz Carlton has a number of dining options, ranging from more casual dining, such as The Beach House restaurant, to  Kai Sushi and the more refined and formal experience that is The Banyan Tree (right), which is putting out some very creative and delicious cuisine that takes influence from a number of cultures. We had the opportunity to try dishes such as the  warm grilled housemade ricotta with preserved lemon, almond and local honey, which sang with flavors of richness, sweetness and balancing tartness from the lemon. Another standout was the Banyan Bouillabaisse with scallops, shrimp, and sea bass in a lemongrass lobster broth.  It’s remarkable how an ocean breeze can improve the flavor of everything fresh to begin with.
    Indeed, the ocean improves just about everything on Maui, and it’s difficult not to just chill out for the duration of one’s stay.  But then you’d miss one of
Hawaii’s largest nature preserves and two marine sanctuaries, perhaps the Celebration of the Arts Festival, the Kapalua Wine & Food Festival or  the PGA Tour’s Hyundai Tournament of Champions, depending on when you visit. 



By John Mariani

a voce

10 Columbus Circle

Photo by Evan Sung

When it opened in  2003, no one knew for sure if putting a bunch of restaurants on the third and fourth floors of the Time-Warner Center at Columbus Circle was going to be a good idea.   A lot of experienced restaurateurs wondered if people--especially New Yorkers--would be caught dead taking an escalator up to a dining room.
    But, aside from a couple of ill-advised, short-lived restaurants, the Center has proven an enormous success for places like Per Se, Porter House, Masa, and A Voce, which was opened in 2009 by London-based Marlon Abela Restaurant Corp.  (There is also a downtown A Voce.)
    Its location has never been a problem with: a) people who work in the building, b) those who stay next door at the Mandarin-Oriental or in the hotels that line Central Park South, c) those who love the panorama over Columbus Circle of Central Park, d) Broadway theater and Lincoln Center goers, and e) those who love stylish Italian cuisine.  Good mix indeed.
    So the bar is always packed by six o'clock, the tables full by eight, and all those people make a lot of noise in an interior that is very handsome in a sort of Milanese modern way but devoid of any textures to soak up the sound.  The Rockwell Group has designed the space to be both sexy and  romantic enough for those in thrall to the city’s lights, but businessmen and women feel comfortable coming here just for a plate of pasta and glass of wine after work.  There is also private dining available. The colors of ivory and brown and glass walls lined with 7,500 bottles from an 800-label list--overseen by Olivier Flosse--provide a contrast of cool and glistening surfaces.
    There has been some turnover in chefs in the past couple of years, but the kitchen is now under Chef Riccardo Bilotta (right), born in Trieste, with training and experience in diverse kitchens that include
Il Pellicano in Porto Ercole, Italy, El Cellar de Can Roca in Girona, Spain, and most recently Harvest on Hudson in New York, where he served as executive chef.  Whereas in the past A Voce had a reputation for modern but lusty flavors, Bilotta has added just enough refinement to recipes that incorporate first-rate American ingredients, so as to make the evolution of the kitchen both clear and very much his own.  Thus, I just abandoned the menu and let him feed me and my guests on a recent evening.

        With a lovely bottle of Gaja Rossj-Bass 2012 (a blend of Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc) chosen by Flosse, we began with a silky, tangy octopus terrine, with shaved marinated asparagus, capers, and a light sabayon.  One of the most beautiful plates of Ahi tuna carpaccio (left), with orange, Taggiasca olives, chervil, I’ve ever seen tasted every bit as good as it looked, and the precise amount of seasoning brought a tartare of Piedmontese  beef with pickled cucumber to vibrant life.    There were three pastas served: a perfectly tender, nicely chewy risotto with generous morsels of  Maine lobster, aromatic saffron, a touch of brandy and tarragon; parsley-imbued linguine with very delicate flavors of Alaskan king crab, scallions, Meyer lemon, and just the right amount of Santa Barbara sea urchin so as not to overpower the other ingredients; amatriciana di ricci  also had sea urchin--very subtly--and the sauce a classic sugo, with which we drank a Pieropan 2013.
    Quite clearly Bilotta adores seafood, as he should for a chef from Trieste, and I think he’s going one on one with Marea across the street.  Our next course was fresh cod with impeccably rendered artichoke purée, pearl onions, black breadcrumbs, and watermelon radish; halibut swam in a heady seafood casserole with meaty borlotti beans and cauliflower.   The single meat dish was an herb-crusted rack of lamb with buttery potato terrine, lamb cotechino sausage, and an enchanting pink lady apple mostarda.  With this we enjoyed a Schioppettino, Ronchi di Chialla  2009, which we sipped for a while before having desserts.

    Chocolate and Sicilian pistachio mousse was blended with olive oil and set with pistachio gelato, while a coconut semifreddo came with caramelized pineapple and passion fruit sorbet.
      Even sated we could not resist a bite of bombolini with a chocolate hazelnut fonduta and sprinkling of Maldon salt.
    This is clearly sophisticated Italian food and, although there were a few people at other tables ordering just a plate of pasta, most guests that night were in full swing, with good bottles of wine on every table.  In any other city A Voce would be very much a special occasion place, but in NYC it’s a restaurant people will go to simply for the love of it whenever they get the chance.

A Voce is open for lunch Mon.-Sat. and for dinner nightly; brunch on Sun.




By Mort Hochstein

      They’ve been tasting cognac this way for a couple of centuries at Hennessy Cognac.
Five days a week, at precisely 11 a.m., six men in coats and ties sit around a table behind closed doors in a room along the banks of the River Charente in southwestern France. Sharing one glass, they sniff and sample eau de vie, the spirit that is magically transformed into the region’s most distinctive product, Cognac. They evaluate aroma, color and flavor, making judgments on developments in the wine that may not take effect for decades, even into the next century.
    Cognac relies on tasting and blending skills that take years to master and little about the ritual has changed since the firm was founded in 1765.  Renaud di Gironde is one of that select group, known within Maison Hennessy as the Comité de Gustation (left). He likens the daily ritual to a religious observance: ”We are the guardians of a temple charged with maintaining the standards established by Richard Hennessy.”
    The idea of one tasting glass shared by six people may sound jarring, but Gironde explains, “We use the same glass to avoid any variation in how we evaluate the eaux de vie.” These sacrosanct sessions determine the potential of the barrel samples, identifying those ready to be blended and their role in the several styles of Hennessy Cognac, and identifying those that may need years before they go into a blend. The youngest members of that committee are not permitted to express an opinion until they have experienced ten years of these tastings, after which they are presumed to have acquired the palate and references needed for authoritative judgment.  
     Di Gironde is the nephew of Yann Fillioux (below), Master Blender and taster for Maison Hennessy. This is not exactly nepotism; it is more a matter of tradition and heritage. Richard Hennessy, who captained an Irish brigade in the army of Louis XV, chose in 1765 to create a new life producing Cognac. As the century was ending, Emile Fillioux joined him in Charente as a barrel cooper, becoming the first of seven generations of the Fillioux family to serve Hennessy. The sixth and possibly the most skillful member of the clan was Maurice Fillioux, a legendary master blender who directed production from 1958 to 1991.
     A dedicated musician, Fillioux observed of his craft, “You can’t play a melody as complex as the composition of a Cognac. You have to master all the notes.”   The ability to understand the scent of the spirits is vital for a blender and Maurice Fillioux achieved fame for his olfactory prowess. In a burst of promotional excess, marketing people once floated the idea of insuring Fillioux’s sensitive nose for a million dollars. Fortunately, that bit of hyperbolic exuberance never went further.
     Early on, Renaud di Gironde thought seriously of joining his uncle as a taster, but his career took a different turn after he earned an MBA in Wine Business in Australia. Gironde is in charge of grower relations, working with 1,500 farmers who supply grapes for Hennessy. When not in the vineyards Gironde relishes his mornings with the tasting group. “It is,” he says, “an incredible opportunity to join these elders, with accumulated centuries of experience, judging 40 to 50 samples every day.”
     The price of Cognac basically depends on the provenance and age of the youngest spirits in the blends. Hennessy created a labeling system still in use in France, classifying his first Cognac as Three Star, a name later changed to VS, meaning very special, on the lowest tier of the Hennessy line. The top standard cognac is XO, meaning extra old. That flagship brand is composed of spirits aged for up to 30 years, as opposed to eight years for VS.
      In 1817, another tier came into being when George IV of England asked for a very superior, old and pale cognac, meaning one whose color was not helped by caramel or other agents, giving birth to the category known as VSOP.  Maurice Hennessy created the XO formula in 1870, assembling a special blend for a group of friends and relatives. The price of being a friend today is about $200 a bottle.
     It is a tradition at Hennessy to celebrate events and anniversaries with distinctive bottlings, including the eponymously named Richard Hennessy. Early in its inception, the firm had developed a strong following in Russia, whose Empress Catherine the Great in 1818 placed a special order to mark the birthday of her son, who became Czar Alexander I. 
     Just a few years ago, Yann Fillioux conjured up that original formula , replicating it as Paradis Imperial, and it was opened publicly for the first time at lavish ceremonies in the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg. That blend contains reserves that have slept for as long as 130 years in the oldest of the Maison’s storage areas, the Founders Cellar. If any can be found, Paradis commands a price in the neighborhood of $450. 
     Yann Fillioux burrowed into those treasured reserves once again this year to formulate the 250 Collector Blend, commemorating the firm’s 250th anniversary. This most recent innovation is described as the crowning achievement of his 50 years at the Maison, and Renaud di Gironde was dispatched to New York to spearhead a lengthy promotion campaign.   The Hennessy legacy extends to five continents and Fillioux’s New York tasting was the opening salvo for a series of events to be held around the world. Hennessy advertises this international venture as a hybrid cultural event that will showcase the history of the house and future of the brand. Buyers and Cognac devotees in key markets will be exposed to work by contemporary artists, and iconic posters, advertisements and documents from the Hennessy library as well as musical events ranging from classical to rock and hip hop. “We have made a limited amount of this anniversary blend and much is already spoken for, so a little has to go a long way, ” di Gironde commented as he poured minuscule samples for a small group of journalists recently. He did not offer seconds.          
About that Cognac, fire up the superlatives. It is richly aromatic with tones of bitter orange, nutmeg and saffron; velvety, plush, elegant, refined, complex, powerful, memorable, an costly. Hennessy produced 250 barrelsful, each barrel holding 250 liters; that's the equivalent off about 7,000 cases.  China, a favorite market whose devotees squirrel away expensive Cognac, is on austerity;  Russian oligarchs, also Cognac devotees, have seemingly curtailed their lavish entertainments in fear of incurring Putin’s petulance, and the high rolling rock stars who swigged Champagne and Cognac freely in past years now also appear less prone to excess.   
     Even so, there is demand for a posh spirit like the 250 Collector Blend (right). Hennessy expects those 7,000 cases to sell out in one year. At an initial tag of $600 per bottle, they will doubtless become treasures to be opened on the most special of occasions, or locked away in dark corners by collectors and speculators, possibly to emerge eventually as a rarity at an even greater price.   



According to the Roane County News, Everett Chatman sued Pizza Hut for negligence after "excessively crunchy croutons" damaged his fake teeth and the company's insurance company refused to fix them. The local judge awarded Chatman $2,400, plus interest and court costs.


A manager at a Baltimore-based Hooters told a black waitress named Sever Farryn (left) that her new hair color highlights violate the company's image policy.  She said, "The manager at the time literally said, 'You can't have blonde because black people don't have blonde hair.'" Johnson kept it blonde anyway, and he ultimately firing her outright. She sued, and now Hooters owes her $250,000 for racial discrimination.


 Any of John Mariani's books below may be ordered from

   I'm proud and happy to announce that my new book, The Hound in Heaven (21st Century Lion Books), has just been published through Amazon and Kindle. 
     It is a  novella, and for anyone who loves dogs, Christmas, romance, inspiration, even the supernatural, I hope you'll find this to be a treasured  favorite. The  story concerns how, after a New England teacher, his wife and their two daughters adopt a stray puppy found in their barn in northern Maine, their lives seem full of promise. But when tragedy strikes, their wonderful dog Lazarus and the spirit of Christmas are the only things that may bring back his master back from the edge of despair. 


“What a huge surprise turn this story took! I was completely stunned! I truly enjoyed this book and its message.” – Actress Ali MacGraw

“He had me at Page One. The amount of heart, human insight, soul searching, and deft literary strength that John Mariani pours into this airtight novella is vertigo-inducing. Perhaps ‘wow’ would be the best comment.” – James Dalessandro, author of Bohemian Heart and 1906.

“John Mariani’s Hound in Heaven starts with a well-painted portrayal of an American family, along with the requisite dog. A surprise event flips the action of the novel and captures us for a voyage leading to a hopeful and heart-warming message. A page turning, one sitting read, it’s the perfect antidote for the winter and promotion of holiday celebration.” – Ann Pearlman, author of The Christmas Cookie Club and A Gift for my Sister.

“John Mariani’s concise, achingly beautiful novella pulls a literary rabbit out of a hat – a mash-up of the cosmic and the intimate, the tragic and the heart-warming – a Christmas tale for all ages, and all faiths. Read it to your children, read it to yourself… but read it. Early and often. Highly recommended.” – Jay Bonansinga, New York Times bestselling author of Pinkerton’s War, The Sinking of The Eastland, and The Walking Dead: The Road To Woodbury.

“Amazing things happen when you open your heart to an animal. The Hound in Heaven delivers a powerful story of healing that is forged in the spiritual relationship between a man and his best friend. The book brings a message of hope that can enrich our images of family, love, and loss.” – Dr. Barbara Royal, author of The Royal Treatment.


The Encyclopedia of American Food and Drink by John F. Mariani (Bloomsbury USA, $35)

Modesty forbids me to praise my own new book, but let me proudly say that it is an extensive revision of the 4th edition that appeared more than a decade ago, before locavores, molecular cuisine, modernist cuisine, the Food Network and so much more, now included. Word origins have been completely updated, as have per capita consumption and production stats. Most important, for the first time since publication in the 1980s, the book includes more than 100 biographies of Americans who have changed the way we cook, eat and drink -- from Fannie Farmer and Julia Child to Robert Mondavi and Thomas Keller.

"This book is amazing! It has entries for everything from `abalone' to `zwieback,' plus more than 500 recipes for classic American dishes and drinks."--Devra First, The Boston Globe.

"Much needed in any kitchen library."--Bon Appetit.

Now in Paperback, too--How Italian Food Conquered the World (Palgrave Macmillan)  has won top prize  from the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.  It is a rollicking history of the food culture of Italy and its ravenous embrace in the 21st century by the entire world. From ancient Rome to la dolce vita of post-war Italy, from Italian immigrant cooks to celebrity chefs, from pizzerias to high-class ristoranti, this chronicle of a culinary diaspora is as much about the world's changing tastes, prejudices,  and dietary fads as about our obsessions with culinary fashion and style.--John Mariani

"Eating Italian will never be the same after reading John Mariani's entertaining and savory gastronomical history of the cuisine of Italy and how it won over appetites worldwide. . . . This book is such a tasteful narrative that it will literally make you hungry for Italian food and arouse your appetite for gastronomical history."--Don Oldenburg, USA Today. 

"Italian restaurants--some good, some glitzy--far outnumber their French rivals.  Many of these establishments are zestfully described in How Italian Food Conquered the World, an entertaining and fact-filled chronicle by food-and-wine correspondent John F. Mariani."--Aram Bakshian Jr., Wall Street Journal.

"Mariani admirably dishes out the story of Italy’s remarkable global ascent to virtual culinary hegemony....Like a chef gladly divulging a cherished family recipe, Mariani’s book reveals the secret sauce about how Italy’s cuisine put gusto in gusto!"--David Lincoln Ross,

"Equal parts history, sociology, gastronomy, and just plain fun, How Italian Food Conquered the World tells the captivating and delicious story of the (let's face it) everybody's favorite cuisine with clarity, verve and more than one surprise."--Colman Andrews, editorial director of The Daily

"A fantastic and fascinating read, covering everything from the influence of Venice's spice trade to the impact of Italian immigrants in America and the evolution of alta cucina. This book will serve as a terrific resource to anyone interested in the real story of Italian food."--Mary Ann Esposito, host of PBS-TV's Ciao Italia.

"John Mariani has written the definitive history of how Italians won their way into our hearts, minds, and stomachs.  It's a story of pleasure over pomp and taste over technique."--Danny Meyer, owner of NYC restaurants Union Square Cafe,  The Modern, and Maialino.



FEATURED LINKS: I am happy to  report that the Virtual Gourmet is  linked to four excellent travel sites:

Everett Potter's Travel  Report

I consider this the best and savviest blog of its kind on the  web. Potter is a columnist for USA Weekend, Diversion, Laptop and Luxury  Spa Finder, a contributing editor for Ski and  a frequent contributor to National  Geographic Traveler,  and Elle Decor. "I’ve designed this site is for people who take their  travel seriously," says Potter. "For travelers who want to learn about special  places but don’t necessarily want to pay through the nose for the privilege of  staying there. Because at the end of the day, it’s not so much about five-star  places as five-star experiences."  THIS WEEK:

Eating Las Vegas is the new on-line site for Virtual Gourmet contributor John A. Curtas., who since 1995 has been commenting on the Las Vegas food scene and reviewing restaurants for Nevada Public Radio.  He is also the restaurant critic for KLAS TV, Channel 8 in Las Vegas, and his past reviews can be accessed at Click on the logo below to go directly to his site.


Tennis Resorts OnlineA Critical Guide to the World's Best Tennis Resorts and Tennis Camps, published by ROGER COX, who has spent more than two decades writing about tennis travel, including a 17-year stretch for Tennis magazine. He has also written for Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel, New York Magazine, Travel & Leisure, Esquire, Money, USTA Magazine, Men's Journal, and The Robb Report. He has authored  two books-The World's Best Tennis Vacations (Stephen Greene Press/Viking Penguin, 1990) and The Best Places to  Stay in the Rockies (Houghton Mifflin, 1992 & 1994), and the Melbourne (Australia) chapter to the Wall Street Journal Business Guide to Cities of the Pacific Rim (Fodor's Travel Guides, 1991).

nickonwine: An engaging, interactive wine column by Nick Passmore, Artisanal Editor, Four Seasons Magazine; Wine Columnist,;;

MARIANI'S VIRTUAL GOURMET NEWSLETTER is published weekly.  Editor/Publisher: John Mariani. Editor: Walter Bagley. Contributing Writers: Christopher Mariani, Robert Mariani,  Misha Mariani, John A. Curtas, Edward Brivio, Mort Hochstein, Andrew Chalk,  Dotty Griffith and Brian Freedman. Contributing Photographers: Galina Dargery,  Bobby Pirillo. Technical Advisor: Gerry McLoughlin.

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© copyright John Mariani 2015