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Jean-Louis Chave: 16 generations of wine

The Chave family has a proud tradition of making wine going back 16 generations. One need only to look at the neck label of any of their bottles to see “Vignerons de Père en Fils depuis 1481,” which translates to “vine growers from father to son since 1481,” to get a sense of it. The family began cultivating vines at this time in the appellation known today as the St. Joseph AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée), Read more

Lobsters: Kings of crustacea

Like love, the tides, flowers, and so many other of life’s delights, lobsters have a season. Living in a land-locked state as we are, thoughts of summer don’t necessarily involve the bounty of the sea, but in Maine, the state from which our humble Chef Gilbert hails, the start of summer launches with it one of the most abundant harvests the world over.

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Morels: Portrait of a fungus

Described as smoky and mouth-watering, complex, smelling of fresh soil and raw milk, earthy, nutty, meaty, buttery, and decadent, the morel has been used in cooking since time immemorial. This mushroom is as much a sign of spring as robins, flowers, and young lovers. The ancients related morels to the cycles of the moon, using them to predict flushes of the mushroom, when wild bumper crops seemed to spring up from nothing overnight. Read more

Asparagus: Eat like an emperor

Few things bridge the millennia like sensory experience, and arguably nothing provides a fuller feast for the senses than food. The cacophony of the kitchen; the bouquet of fresh ingredients, of open flame and of hard work; the spectacle as food wends from field to fork; the symphonic denouement that is that first superlative bite—such an evocative experience spans the ages. We may never know exactly the smell of Rome’s streets in spring, Read more

Magic mushrooms: A look at the allure of truffles

In the preface to his La Physiologie du Goût (The Physiology of Taste), published in 1825, Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin said that “whosoever says truffle, utters a grand word, which awakens erotic and gastronomic ideas.” Alexandre Dumas, writer of the iconic The Three Musketeers, once said of these mycological darlings, “They can, on certain occasions, make women more tender and men more lovable.” Read more