A Taste of Piedmont, Oct 12-19, 2013

Published on May 23, 2013 by

We are delighted to be partnering with WineNot Boutique and Tour de Forks to offer a 7-night guided wine tour to the finest wine region in Italy: Piedmont. Along with its superb wines, Piedmont is the birthplace of the Slow Food Movement and is famous for its white truffles, creamy cheeses, and rich chocolates. It boasts picturesque hill towns, elegant cities and stunning mountain vistas. We’ll visit opulent baroque cafes in Turin, shop at bustling produce markets, hunt for truffles in Alba, meet wine makers, and cook up some of the regional specialties. 

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Sweatin’ to be 2013 Garlic Chef

Published on February 11, 2013 by
Garlic Chef Stadium bannerWho will be the next Delray Beach Garlic Chef?  That's the question that kept a good crowd of us watching and waiting at "Garlic Chef Stadium," a large tent at the 2013 Delray Beach Garlic Festival.  The occasion was the Garlic Chef competition, Delray's version of a Food-Network-style contest featuring chefs from popular local restaurants competing for the coveted title of 2013 Garlic Chef.
This year the festival organizers decided to open the contest to Delray chefs only, to keep it down-home.  This town has no shortage of quality restaurants.  The Downtown Delray Beach web site lists 111 of them, in just the downtown vicinity.  The contest did have a fun, down-home feel.  While the chefs and their teams were working hard in the (hot) stadium kitchen, the atmosphere was casual, jovial, and even playful.  Emcee Executive Chef Michael Giletto, an import from NJ & California (he commutes coast to coast), kept the spirit light with his ongoing reports from the kitchen and give-and-take with the audience.

Chefs Giletto and Gittleman

Chefs Giletto and Gittleman

Fun times at a big stinky party

Published on February 10, 2013 by
Garlic Festival PosterThis weekend the city of Delray Beach, Florida,  is throwing its 14th annual Garlic Festival, "The biggest stinkin' party in town."  I went yesterday to check out the festivities. A festive day it was, celebrating all things garlic.  Garlic?  Who'da thought?

The festival is a fund raiser for many local non-profits that support education and arts for youth.  Hundreds of young people were on hand volunteering many hours for their organizations.  Volunteerism is huge in this town.  "Mr. Garlic" was jovial in his new costume (the old one had worn out) as he mingled with the crowds.  The grounds were jam-packed with vendor tents, food and drink booths, entertainment stage and covered lawn, amusement rides, "Garlic University" arts & crafts area for the kids, and "Garlic Chef Stadium," where all-day cooking competitions and demonstrations were held.  New this year was a garlic kissing booth.

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The saga of the phantom cooking lessons

Published on May 24, 2012 by

One of the activities I had planned to do a lot of while in Mexico was to take cooking classes and learn more about different traditions of Mexican gastronomy. Although I didn't travel as far and wide as I had hoped, I did get around quite a bit. Most of my stay was based in the Yucatan peninsula, including the states of Yucatan, Quintana Roo, and a couple of days in Campeche.

Weekly dance at Municipal Palace, Merida

I spent two months in Merida with numerous day trips,  a week in Mexico City, including side trips to Taxco, Guanajuato, Delores Hidalgo, San Miguel de Allende, and Queretaro, and a week in the city of Oaxaca, which I loved. For my last two weeks I jouneyed down the glorious Caribbean coast between Cancun and Tulum.

Pedestrian street in Oaxaca

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Catching up

Published on May 17, 2012 by
Well, March and April turned out to be very busy for me.  I spent March traveling around Mexico, from Merida, to Mexico City, with side trips to Taxco, Guanajuato, Delores Hidalgo, San Miguel de Allende, and Queretaro, then on to Oaxaca, Cancun and down the Caribbean coast to Puerto Morelos, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, and Tulum, then back to Cancun for the flight home in early April.

Lynn atop the Pyramid of the Sun, Teotihuacan; Pyramid of the Moon in background


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Cacao Museum of Yucatan

Published on February 22, 2012 by

I visited this new museum - el EcoMuseo del Cacao - with two friends one Sunday afternoon.  Approximately two hours south of Merida, the museum is located in an area of Yucatan among a number of recovered Mayan ruins.  After many stops along the way, for sightseeing, shopping, and ...

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Dinner with the chefs

Published on February 17, 2012 by
Last week my friend Kathleen White and I had the pleasure of dining with a couple of talented and genial Merida chefs, Remixto owner Brent Marsh, and his partner, architect and sous chef Stan Khang.  Brent and Stan are the brains, hands, and hearts of Remixto, a "culinary salon" that aims to educate people visiting and residing in Merida about the delights of Yucatecan and Mexican foods.  Kathleen is the owner and innkeeper of El Ave Blanca, a cozy B&B where I stayed my first month in Merida. Kathleen had previously participated in one of Chef Brent's cooking classes, which is documented here.  I had hoped to take a cooking class while here, but classes are on hold while the chefs oversee the renovation of their new home and teaching kitchen.  So they invited us over to see the house and have dinner -- a most pleasant surprise! 

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My trip to Campeche

Published on January 30, 2012 by

My big adventure last week was taking the bus to the city of Campeche on the Gulf of Mexico.  It's the capital of the state of the same name.  The trip took almost three hours because of highway construction most of the way, but the first-class bus was comfortable. I had only two short days there but was able to see a lot of the historic center.

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Festivals and arts in Merida

Published on January 30, 2012 by

I'm astounded by the number, variety, and quality of cultural events going on in this city. In January every year, the city celebrates its founding with a Festival de la Ciudad that lasts the entire month. This year's 470th birthday celebration included more than 200 events, with 3 to 6 of them every day, most of which are free. Over 1,000 local and visiting artists participated. The quality of the performances and exhibits has been excellent. The Yucatan Symphony Orchestra began its season last week as part of the festival. I went to the second performance today with some friends, one of whom is a music teacher. We all agreed it was outstanding. The cost? Less than $8.00 USD. Yucatan Symphony

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Welcome and hola from Mexico

Published on January 25, 2012 by

After a long time thinking about starting a blog, I've actually created it!  I hope it will be useful to you and you'll contribute your comments, ideas, and requests.

Lynn in hammock
It's January 2012, and I'm spending the first 3 months of the year in Mexico.  I said goodbye to winters in New England and plan to spend them in the tropics -- or other warm climates -- from now on.  I've become a "snowbird."  If you're one, too, please share your tips!  If you have a favorite warm place to go in winter, I'd love to hear about it.

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