The Tasting Panel magazine

January / February 2018

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Page 24 of 124

24  /  the tasting panel  /  january/february 2018 The Ransom Note is a monthly column by The Tasting Panel's East Coast Editor, David Ransom. Each month, David connects readers with some of the people, products, and events that are making news along the Eastern Seaboard. L ate fall ushers in that time of year we all love and dread at the same time. November centers around Thanksgiving with its tryptophan-laced starchy excess, and the December holidays are preceded by a rapid slew of stress-filled shopping days: Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday, and, last but certainly not least, Giving Tuesday. Fortunately, there's solace to be found in the "giving" part. It's what I love most about this time of celebration, and in that spirit, I recently attended a pair of wonderful events in New York City where "giving back" served as a focal point of the evening's theme. I had the pleasure of sitting with Michael Mondavi's daughter Dina during a dinner at the James Beard House to celebrate the launch of Canvas Blanc de Blancs, a sparkling wine developed exclusively for Hyatt Hotels by Michael and his son Rob. Dina, the evening's host, also provided white and red wines from the Mondavi portfolio to pair with the five-course meal. The event benefitted the James Beard Foundation's scholarship fund, which has given more than $7 million to date to help further the education of culinary arts stu- dents. Hyatt flew in chefs from a number of its properties to create the dishes, and Canvas (SRP $20), produced in Italy, was the perfect accompaniment for the white truffle– themed menu. It's available exclusively at Hyatt Hotels or online at Next, at Bagatelle in the Meatpacking District, I attended Tour Paraqay—a stop on the Peruvian MasterChef fundraising tour that organizers described as an effort to "promote poverty eradication through education." The event featured a handful of top Peruvian chefs, including Mitsuharu Tsumura of Maido in Lima, recently named top restaurant at the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants awards; Miguel Aguilar of Surfish Bistro in New York; and event host José Luján of PachaLab in Cusco (Miami-based Venezuelan chef César González, owner of seven restaurants including Bocas Grill, also participated). Beverage sponsors included two Peruvian Pisco producers—Pisco Portón and Pisco 100—and Beer Cusqueña, all of whom had plenty of product on hand to quench the thirst of the charitably-minded attendees. In the Spirit of Giving TWO NEW YORK CITY EVENTS AIM TO HIGHLIGHT THE CHARITABLE ESSENCE OF THE HOLIDAYS by David Ransom Hyatt Hotels Corporate Director of Food & Beverage John O'Connell and The Tasting Panel's East Coast Editor David Ransom with Dina Mondavi of Michael Mondavi Family Estate at the James Beard House in New York City. PHOTO COURTESY OF RINA OH PHOTO COURTESY OF ATIF ALI Jose Lujan of PachaLab, Mitsuharu Tsumura of Maido, José Luis Chávez of Mission Ceviche, and César González of Bocas Grill at the Tour Paraqay fundraiser.

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