The Tasting Panel magazine

August 2010

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Page 17 of 104

Saké is an “Oh Yes!” at Boston’s O Ya thing to do with the company, as she was on a date with Tim, the man who would become her husband and chef/partner at O Ya. Little did Tim know that Nancy had simultaneously started another romance with this seductive Japanese beverage. Several years later, Nancy started keeping a saké journal. Her job at the time required her to travel frequently, so she made it her mission to try as many different kinds of sakés as possible while visiting different cities. Before she knew it, she had cultivated hundreds and hundreds of entries, pushing her to learn more. Nancy started reading any book she could N fi nd about saké. One book that took her in a new direction was The Saké Handbook by John Gauntner, who Nancy states is probably the leading English-speaking saké expert. Nancy connected with Gauntner and took his Saké Professional Course in Japan. Two years later, with Tim Cushman’s experience as a chef and Nancy Cushman’s saké training, the pair opened O Ya. Their love and passion for Japanese food and beverage created an impressive menu of 85 small-plates and 33 sakés—and each menu item serves a purpose. —Danny Ronen Whipping up Whoopies Whoopie Pies may cream the advancement of the cupcake. Founder Roxanne Rubell of Baking Whoopie is planning for her sweet treats to be the next “it” dessert. os Angeles–based restaurant publicist and freelance music journalist Roxy Rubell is the driving force behind Baking Whoopie, along with some guidance from her husband, Master Chef and Gourmet Caterer Dave Rubell. Rubell has a long-time love affair with this East Coast “cake sandwhich,” having grown up in New Hampshire. With Baking Whoopie, she wanted to take the clas- sic dessert to the gourmet level, using only the fi nest ingredients such as Callebaut Chocolate and Tahitian vanilla. “I’ve thought for almost fi ve years that Whoopie Pies are the next big ‘it’ des- sert—the next cupcake. The fl avor combinations are endless, and we want to showcase seasonal ingredients like Pumpkin with Pumpkin Pie Spice Crème for the fall, and Vanilla with Strawberries and Cream for summer.” Call (866) 632-0508 or visit L Nancy Cushman, co-owner of O Ya in Boston. ancy Cushman, co-owner of O Ya in Boston, started a love affair with saké about 15 years ago. She admits this may have had some- august 2010 / the tasting panel / 1

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