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THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on,
the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

Archive for Travel

GOURMET TRAVEL: Oregon Truffle Festival

You don’t have to travel to France for a truffle fix. Just head to Eugene, Oregon for the fifth annual Oregon Truffle Festival this January. You’ll be able to join in on the truffle hunting, cooking demonstrations and, best of all, dining on fabulous truffle dishes. Mark your calendar for the weekend of January 29 through January 31, 2010. Consider it a late holiday gift or an early Valentine’s celebration—but do consider it!

This will be the fifth Oregon assembly of truffle enthusiasts, truffle hunters, truffle growers and the chefs who make magic of it all. Imagine three days of tastings, tours and workshops that celebrate Oregon’s prized native fungus: black, white and brown truffles. The only truffle festival in North America, it will also feature experts from France, who will bring some of their famed French truffles to share.

Is it just coincidence that Oregon truffles pair perfectly with Oregon’s fine wines? You’ll have to go to the festival and develop your own informed opinion. For information and tickets, visit And please, take us with you!



The interior, or glebe, of a beautiful brown
Oregon truffle. Photo courtesy of Oregon Truffle Festival.

  • Learn all about truffles, and see more fabulous photos in our Truffle Glossary.

  • Comments

    Gourmet Getaway: American Wine & Food Festival ~ Los Angeles

    During the weekend of October 2nd-4th, the 27th American Wine & Food Festival is serving up a world-class culinary celebration, benefiting Los Angeles Chapters of Meals On Wheels.

  • The weekend kicks off at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 2nd, with an intimate party where philanthropists and foodies mingle over chic eats and innovative libations.
  • On Saturday, October 3rd from 5-11 p.m., there’s a Wolfgang Puck VIP Cooking Demo, followed by a gala on the Universal Studios Back Lot: an unrivaled epicurean feast prepared by world-renowned chefs, with live bands and a luxurious silent auction.
  • On Sunday October 4th, at 6 p.m., there’s a Chef’s Grand Tasting and live auction at Spago Beverly Hills. Celebrity chefs Thomas Keller of Bouchon, Dean Fearing of Fearing’s at The Ritz-Carlton in Dallas, Jereme Leung of Jereme Leung Creative Concepts, Nobu Matsuhisa of Matsuhisa & Ubon and Gina DePalma of Ristorante Babbo will each prepare one course.


    The Saturday evening event at the Universal Studios Back Lot.

    According to a colleague who attends each year, even for $350 a ticket, the Saturday night event is one of the best foodie deals you can find: more than 50 of the best chefs in America personally serving their favorite dishes as top wineries pour fine wines, all in the fabulous ambiance of the Universal Studios back lot. You can read the full list of marquee names on the website, but a sampling of participating chefs includes Tom Colicchio, Larry Forgione, Ilan Hall, Thomas Keller, Nobu Matsushisa, Mark Miller, Mark Peel, Stephen Pyles, Lidya Shire, Joachim Splichal, Jonathan Waxman, Alan Wong and Sherry Yard. For information and tickets, visit


    GOURMET GETAWAY: WhiskyFest, San Francisco


    Whisky “on the rocks.” Photo courtesy of Tullamore Dew.


    Where can you find more than 200 of the world’s rarest and most expensive whiskies in one place? At America’s largest whisky celebration, WhiskyFest, taking place for its third year in San Francisco on October 16th. Attendees can not only sample the revered spirit, but can learn how to identify, sniff, swill and taste it, see how its made, and discover everything else about whisky, through speakers and seminars and from leading industry experts, master blenders and distillery managers.

    “It gives whisky enthusiasts the chance to taste some incredibly rare whiskies and meet the makers behind the barrels,” says John Hansell, Publisher of Malt Advocate magazine, which sponsors the event. The whisky celebration doesn’t start with the festival; the week leading up to it will feature events related to the spirit and promotions at popular nightspots, restaurants and bars.

    For more information on ticket sales or event information, visit

  • Check out our Whisky Glossary.
  • Peruse a selection of delicious whisky cocktail recipes.

  • You may notice the different spelling of “whisky” versus “whiskey.” In Ireland and the United States, the word “whiskey” is spelled with an “e.” The British, Scots and Canadians use “whisky.” Etymologists don’t know why. The best explanation is that the Irish had whiskey first, and when the Scots started to make it, they left out the “e” to point out the difference between their spirit and Irish whiskey.


    GOURMET TRAVEL: Oceania Cruises For Foodies


    Sail the epicurean seas when the Marina debuts in 2010.


    The Love Boat was the cruise ship for those seeking love (at least in the fictitious world of TV). If you’re looking for a great food experience, head for Oceania Cruises’ Marina, the new Regatta-class flagship, when it launches next year. You’ll be able to cook in the state-of-the-art Bon Appétit Culinary Center, receiving hands-on cooking instruction under the guidance of master chefs. Working at your own fully equipped work station, complete with an induction cook top, this is no passive, “watch the demo” from the audience, experience. It’s like going to culinary school, and is a first at sea.

    The cooking curriculum, designed in part by Bon Appétit magazine, will cater to all levels, from beginners to master chefs, and will encompass all types of cuisines. Classes will range from 45 minutes to 3 hours, and will include shore tours to shop for ingredients at local markets.

    If you don’t want to take daily cooking classes, a host of premium cruise activities is available to you (for example, artists-in-residence will teach fine arts in The Studio, a new enrichment center). Or, you can just eat. A ship for food lovers, the new Marina has 10 dining venues, in addition to elegant bars and lounges. Don’t worry—there’s a full-service spa and a spacious fitness center and outdoor swimming pool where you can burn off the calories.

    If, like us, you can’t get enough Asian food, opt for the five-course tasting menu at Red Ginger, which will feature Thai, Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine (you can have sushi a la carte, or anything else from the ample menu). Other dining venues include restaurants well known to those who have sailed the cruise line’s other ships: Polo Grill, Toscana, Terrace Café, The Patio and the Grand Dining Room. There will also be a French bistro, Jacques (named in honor of the great chef Jacques Pépin, a consultant to the culinary program), and the Yacht Club for enlightening wine and food pairings. You can gather at Biscottos Coffee Bar for gourmet coffees and snacks.

    The maiden voyage of Marina is in Winter 2010. You can register to receive Marina updates and become part of the Priority Reservation list. An epicurean cruise will make a memorable holiday gift for someone special.


    GOURMET TRAVEL: Beaujolais Wine Tourist Route

    If you love a glass of red and aren’t limited to a stay-cation these days, Inter Beaujolais and Destination Beaujolais have developed the first-ever Beaujolais wine tourist route to help you explore France’s Beaujolais region. Discover the “real” Beaujolais—it bears little resemblance to the fresh juice that is Beaujolais Nouveau. You can even start your wine-cation in Burgundy, to the north; then pick up the Beaujolais route where the Burgundy wine route leaves off. Crossing through 36 villages, you can hit all the “must-see” destinations of Beaujolais: the 12 appellations including Beaujolais, Beaujolais-Villages and the 10 Cru.

    Imagine yourself in Beaujeu, the historical capital of Beaujolais in the heart of the Beaujolais “crus” region. Traveling on to the village of Vaux-en-Beaujolais (a.k.a. Clochemerle), past the Romanesque cloisters of Salles-Arbuissonas and Villefranche-Sur-Saône—the economic capital of Beaujolais. Visit the “land of golden stones,” le Pays des Pierres Dorées, where you’ll find the village Oingt, which has been called the most beautiful village in France. Your Beaujolais tour ends in the gastronomic capital of Lyon—France’s second-largest metropolitan area, which is older than Paris, has more Roman ruins and a host of 1-, 2- and 3-star Michelin restaurants,including the 3-star Paul Bocuse.



    Start at the top of Beaujolais and taste your way down to the restaurant capital of Lyons.

    You can download a copy of the guidebook from Please, take us with you!

  • Read more about wine in THE NIBBLE’s Wine Section.
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    CONTEST: Win a Trip to Italy

    If you could travel to any city, any town, any coast or countryside in Italy, where would you go? How ever could you choose? Worry not, reader, and don’t wrack your brain. Barilla has devised an interactive online quiz to determine what region of Italy would be the perfect spot for your Italian getaway. And the ideal recommendation isn’t the only perk. Take the quiz and you’ll have a chance to win a trip to the destination that meets all your vacation wants and needs! Take the quiz.

    And be sure to prepare for your trip with our Pasta Glossary.

    Dine in Italy, on Barilla.



    GOURMET TRAVEL: Visit Switzerland For The Cheese

    Swiss Cow
    Get a mooove on and visit me in Switzerland.
    It’s a question we’ve all pondered upon biting into a perfectly sharp Parmigiano-Reggiano or spreading a fresh chèvre: How is the very existence of this magically varied product—cheese!—even possible? Famed NYC landmark Murray’s Cheese Shop wants to help you find the answers. This June, the shop’s director of education will lead an educational cheese expedition through Switzerland’s central region. Cross the Alps with with a small group of fellow turophiles to meet the cheese-makers—the families—behind a few of Murray’s favorite Swiss cheeses. Learn how the landscape shapes the region’s cheese-making tradition—and, ultimately, how culture contributes to the creation of the cheeses we love.

    For more information on the tour, call ext. 12.

    – Study up! Prepare to impress the cheese-makers by mastering THE NIBBLE’s Cheese Glossary.

    – Think you know enough about Swiss cheeses? Test yourself.

    – Fondue originated in the Swiss canton of Neuchâtel. To savor the tastes of Switzerland from home, try this classic recipe for Swiss Fondue.



    GOURMET TRAVEL: Taste Of Vail, April 1 ~ 4

    You can eat all you want and then ski off the calories at the Taste of Vail Food & Wine Festival. Nonstop airfare is $200 from most cities, so pack your bags and your appetite and head for the hills (very high and majestic mountains) of Colorado. The festival, which takes place during the last weekend of ski season, kicks off with the 5th Annual Colorado Lamb Cook-Off in the heart of Vail Village—classic lamb chop dishes and exotic recipes prepared by Vail’s finest chefs, guest chefs and the Colorado Lamb Board, perfectly complemented with fine wines and beers. The festival continues with wine tastings, a mountaintop picnic (10,350 feet above sea level) and a Grand Tasting Dinner with breathtaking Rocky Mountain views. A full, four-day pass to the 19th Annual Taste of Vail is $600 and includes nine events plus all the morning cooking seminars. Find out more at—and send us a postcard! taste-of-vail
    The new meaning of “al fresco dining”: a picnic
    10,350 feet above sea level, at scenic Eagle’s
    Nest on Vail Mountain.

    15% Off Orders of $100 +


    GOURMET TRAVEL: Truffle Camp, January 2009

    Foodies with funds can give themselves a nice holiday gift: a 3-day trip to Truffle Camp with Chef Ken Frank, executive chef and owner of the Michelin-starred La Toque restaurant in Napa, California, who features a truffle menu at his restaurant. For three days, eight truffle fans will have the rare opportunity to immerse themselves in everything there is to know about the prized delicacy. Truffle Camp includes three days of dinners and luncheons—all with truffles and wine, of course, including a farewell breakfast of truffle omelets—side trips to a local farm and winery (with wine tasting), hands-on experience preparing truffle dishes with Chef Frank, plus lodging in the Westin Verasa Napa, the new resort where La Toque restaurant is located. You can attend camp from January 11-14, 2009 or January 18-21, 2009. Happy campers will need to fork over $2,900 per individual based on single occupancy or $4,800 per couple based on double occupancy.  You’ll leave with a goodie bag and recipes to help create truffle specialties at home. For more information about the Truffle Camp, visit Santa baby, just slip the tickets under the tree for me. Been an awful good girl!  
    Costlier than gold: the Périgord truffle of France
    and the white Alba truffle of the Piedmont, in
    See photos of gorgeous truffles and learn all about these fungus “jewels” in our uber-informative article on truffles.
    Console yourself with the affordable wonder of D’Artagnan Truffle Butter.
    Check out D’Artagnan’s mousse of duck foie gras, packed with black truffle pieces and spiked with Sauternes. Nice for holiday entertaining (or gifts).
    Enjoy the affordable indulgence of Tsar Nicoulai’s Truffled Whitefish Caviar, American Caviar infused with truffle flavor.
    Make foie gras French toast with black truffles.
    Get Elizabeth Luard’s book about truffles.


    TRAVEL: California’s Artisan Cheese Festival

    Award-winning Mount McKinley chevre from
    California’s Cypress Grove cheesemaker.
      Still have money for gourmet travel? Need a spectacular gift for that cheese-loving someone special? Head to four days of turophile revelry at California’s Artisan Cheese Festival, held in Petaluma (Sonoma County) from March 20-23, 2009. The third annual festival, held at the Sheraton Sonoma County–Petaluma Hotel, is a wonderful opportunity to:

    -Educate people who want to learn more about artisan cheese
    -Support the artisan cheesemaking community and its sustainability
    -Celebrate and enjoy the creations of the artisan cheesemakers
    -Eat a heck of a lot of great cheese that is hard to come by

    Over the four day festival weekend, you’ll explore handcrafted cheeses, foods, wines and beers from California and beyond. At the second annual festival in March 2008, more than 1,700 attendees met more than a dozen international award-winning cheesemakers and learned how to taste, buy, serve and enjoy distinctive artisan cheeses from the experts.

    The educational seminars and tastings were led by cheese experts, cheesemakers, chefs and fromagiers from across the country, and virtually every session involved tastings and/or pairings of artisan cheeses.Planning for the 2009 festival is underway, and the schedule of events will be posted and tickets will go on sale shortly. Sign up for updates at the website,

    Visit THE NIBBLE’s Cheese Section for reviews of our favorite artisan cheeses.
    Discover the meaning of “turophile” in our Cheese Glossary.
    Learn the History Of Cheese.
    Take our Cheese Trivia Quiz.


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