The 28th edition of the nation’s finest and largest literary gathering, Miami Book Fair International, presented by The Center @ MDC, will take place November 13-20, 2011 at Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Wolfson Campus, 300 NE Second Ave., in downtown Miami. The always-popular Street Fair runs Friday through Sunday, November 18-20, with more than 200 exhibitors from around the country selling books in a festive atmosphere.

The Fair will once again treat book lovers to more than a week of cultural and educational activities, including the beloved Evenings With… series, the IberoAmerican Authors program, Student Literary Encounters, Children’s Alley and the Weekend Festival of Authors, including  comics and graphic novel panels, author presentations for tweens and teens, and much more.

The Miami Writers Institute, a spring program of The Center, will debut a fall edition this year during Book Fair week with creative writing workshops taught by authors Pablo Medina and Robert Pinsky, among others.

This year, the Fair will showcase the rich literature and traditions of China. Fairgoers will enjoy a pavilion featuring Chinese art and music, in addition to a day-long conference on Chinese culture scheduled for Friday of the Fair, and readings by Chinese and Chinese American writers during the Festival of Authors.

Top Confirmed Authors  include singer, actor and social activist Harry Belafonte, singer/songwriter Rosanne Cash, Chinese novelist Yu Hua, Senator Bob Graham, former U.S. Poet Laureate Robert Pinsky, graphic novelist Dan Clowes, NPR Radio host Bob Edwards, anthropologist and physician Dr. Paul Farmer, journalist Jim Lehrer, critically acclaimed debut novelist Teá Obreht, novelist and essayist Colson Whitehead, novelist Michael Ondaatje, children’s author Megan McDonald, Native American writer Leslie Marmon Silko, and filmmaker John Sayles, to name a few.

The IberoAmerican program will present an array of Spanish-speaking literary voices from around the world, including author and Spanish TV personality Jaime Bayly (Peru), poet and author Gioconda Belli (Nicaragua), novelist Esmeralda Santiago (U.S./Puerto Rico), novelist Javier Sierra (Spain), among others. In addition, the Fair always welcomes writers from Africa, Asia, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, and more.

For regular updates on the Miami Book Fair, please visit, call 305-237-3528 or email

Champagne’s 2011 harvest has commenced. The harvest of grapes from the carefully delineated plots of the Champagne region officially began on August 19, 2011. The combination of an exceptionally early flowering, limited spring rainfall and many sunny days has led to one of the earliest harvests for Champagne since 1822. The three prominently planted grape varieties – Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier – are now being hand-picked across the appellation located approximately 90 miles northeast of Paris. Weather conditions and forecasts are favorable for the next few days, with only a few thunderstorms on the horizon.

“This year, the Comité Interprofessionnel du Vin de Champagne (CIVC), the region’s trade body, has raised the amount of grapes that can be harvested in a given area to 12,500 kilograms per hectare (kg/ha),” says Heitner. “They believe that this will keep Champagne on track to meet the growing demand. This is good news for Champagne enthusiasts everywhere, as more people will be able to enjoy real Champagne, which can only come from Champagne, France.”  

Questions about the harvest?  Submit by August 31 to

Waterloo, Wisconsin—Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese was awarded First Place for its cow’s milk Mascarpone in the 2011 American Cheese Society (ACS) Conference and Competition. This fresh, sweet cheese has received more than 20 awards in all. It is produced at a farmstead cheese factory on a sustainable, state-of-the-art family farm.

At the same competition, Crave Brothers Petit Frère® Reserve was awarded Third Place in the Farmstead Cheeses category. Competing products in this category are made with milk from herds on the same farm where the cheese is produced. Petit Frère® (“little brother” in French) is the 8-oz. version of the 2-pound wheel of Les Frères® rind-washed European-style cheese. Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics are made with vegetarian rennet and BGH-free milk from the Crave Brothers Dairy Farm.

The 2011 competition was held during the 29th Annual American Cheese Society Conference in Montreal. This year, a record number of 1,676 entries competed for awards. All told, cheese and cultured milk products were submitted from 258 companies in the U.S. and Canada.

For information and recipes featuring the award-winning cheeses:

Starting on Saturday, August 13th 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM and on the second Saturday of every month (next class is September 10),  China Grill Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina is offering Sake, Maki & Roll Sushi School . The class begins with a crash course on sake:  how it’s made and its history  followed by a tasting of five Ty-Ku Sakes and Liqueurs paired with Tuna Tartare on Wonton Crisps, Salmon Crudo and Dancing Unagi. Students will learn the basics for at-home sushi preparation – from tools and traditions to different types of sushi and, of course, a lesson in sushi rice. The class then continues with hands-on sushi rolling instruction from Executive Sushi Chef Songphon Rawangphan. The session concludes with a demo of Ty-Ku sake fusion cocktails - under 100 calories each - and a bite of dessert. All students will also receive a take home gift for their hard work. Space is limited so make advance reservations at 954.759.9950. COST: $59.00 + tax. China Grill Hilton Ft. Lauderdale Marina, 1881 SE 17th Street, Fort Lauderdale,

Every Wednesday at 7:00 pm , Wine Educator   Henry Barrow explores the world of wines in a two-hour class with wines, meats and cheeses.  Each event features different regions, wines and grapes. July 27: Rosés;   Tuesday, Aug 2.   Pinot Grigio and Pinot Gris;   Aug 10.    Riesling, Gewurztraminer and Gruner Veltliner; Aug 17.  Cabernets around the world; Aug 24.  Pinot Noir; Aug 31: Wine 101. Classes will take place at Grove Garden Trilogy: Calamari  |  La Bottega |  Taurus, 3540 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, 305 441 0219 For reservations: 305-444-3493.  Cost: $30, free for La Cava members.

From July 29  through Aug. 7, summer takes on an new meaning at the Key Largo Food & Wine Festival, Key Largo. 

Listen to an interview with event organizer Sue Finney on the Key Largo Food & wine Festival 2011.

Set on an island known for its bountiful tropical fruit, fresh snapper, tuna, mahi-mahi, shrimp and lobster, the nine-day festival incorporates gourmet wine dinners with cultural specialties, feasts and fiestas, palate-pleasing adventures and wines from around the world.

The Grand Tasting on Saturday August 6 is a shock-full of great food and fun, wines and entertainment for the entire family. Visit or call 305-394-3736.

Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Miami Culinary Institute (MCI) celebrated the grand opening of its organic edible garden with a ceremony that included the first “harvest” of the garden. The fruits, vegetables and herbs grown here will be used by culinary students in their classes, in the Institute’s café and Alphabite Food Truck, and eventually, the college’s innovative new restaurant concept, which will open in the fall. The garden also demonstrates the MCI’s commitment to using locally grown products from the new garden and also local growers, and sustaining the environment.

 mdc garden

Pictured: MDC President Dr. Eduardo J. Padrón and Gabriele Marewski of Natural Greenscapes, who designed the garden.

As of this month, the Washinton, DC-based Society of Wine Educators (SWE) has appointed the San Francisco Wine School (SFWS) as the provider of Certified Speciaist of Wine (CSW).   SWE offers three credential exams: Certified Specialist of Wine (CSW), Certified Wine Educator (CWE) and Certified Specialist of Spirits (CSS).

The French Wine Society appointed SFWS as the provider of the French Wine Scholar (FWS)  study and certification programs in the Bay Area when  Master Sommelier David Glancy  launched the San Francisco Wine School (SFWS) in May 2011 to meet the growing need in the region for higher wine education. Over the last 5 years David Glancy, MS since 2004, CWE, CSS, FWS has guided roughly 400 students through success on the Certified Sommelier (CS) credential.

David Glancy of SFWS — one of 112 professionals in North America and 180 worldwide who have earned the title of Master Sommelier — holds both the CWE and CSS credentials and fellow instructor, Maureen Downey holds the CWE. The SWE exams are held all over the world, but SFWS is now the only school in the San Francisco Bay Area to offer them.  

The first CSW exam is scheduled at SFWS for August 13 and enrollment is available on-line. For more information:, look for San Francisco Wine School on FaceBook or contact David Glancy, MS, CWE, CSS, FWS at or 415|505-9382.

Foodies, grilling aficionados and cooking competition lovers are invited to Whole Foods Market in Coral Gables this summer to feel the heat during the celebrity chef Fill the Grill cook-off. Renowned local chefsDaniel GanemTimon BallooSamuel Gorenstein and Michael Jacobs will be given 20 minutes and $20 to speed shop for ingredients; then, the chefs will get 20 minutes to make a delicious, creative summer meal using only a grill. The first battle takes place on WednesdayJuly 20 followed by round two on WednesdayAugust 3the finals are set to take place on WednesdayAugust 17. All challenges will take place at 6:30 p.m. A panel of judges will determine which chef goes to the next round. Recipes created by challenge winners will be posted online for home cooks to download for free.

Participating chefs, dates/times:

WednesdayJuly 20, 2011:  Chef Daniel Ganem of Kane Steakhouse vs. Chef Timon Balloo of   Sugarcane

WednesdayAugust 3, 2011:  Chef Samuel Gorenstein of BLT Steak at The Betsy vs. Chef Michael Jacobs, chef for The Miami Heat

WednesdayAugust 172011:  July 20th winner vs. the August 3rd winner battle in the final cook-off.

Whole Foods MarketCoral Gables is located at 6701 Red Road.  Telephone: (305) 421-9435.

According to the Miami New Times, here are the five best restaurants in South Beach:


The New Times tagged Chef Bernie Matz’s healthy food and The Café at Books & Books on Lincoln Road as one of the top five restaurants in South Beach.

Eat - Read - Discount
And now, through the end of the month, when you dine at The Café on Lincoln Road, bring your Café receipt with you, and receive the 20% discount on everything you buy at the Miami Beach bookshop that same day.  Promotion good through July 31, 2011.

 Guay tiaw khua kai. A visit to Thailand has unearthed this dish on a menu. Is it tastebud-tingling spicy? Does it include parts of an animal one has never considered eating before? Is it an appetizer, main course, or dessert, or for that matter, is it animal, vegetable, or mineral? The new MyCityCuisine interactive app now available through iTunes answers these questions and provides descriptions and photos of traditional local dishes from over 66 cities around the globe, with more cities added weekly.

For more information or to download the MyCityCuisine app, visit

 The first issue of Centro Y Sur, an all-English, interactive magazine which covers 10 Latin American countries is a travel, culture and lifestyle magazine narrows in on the many and varied flavors of Latin America - from the moles of Mexico to Peru's ceviche to vegetarian fare in Colombia.  

Subscribe for free here: for a chance to win 3 nights at the Celeste Mountain Lodge of Costa Rica.

Wine Walk Wednesdays takes place the first Wednesday of every month from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.,at The Village at Gulfstream Park . For $10, Wine Walkers will receive a commemorative wine glass to sample wines and hors d’oeuvres offered at various shops throughout The Village at Gulfstream Park. The evening will also feature live entertainment, raffles and more.  Check-in to register at Full Bodied Wine & Spa located on Derby Lane.  The Village at Gulfstream Park, 501 S Federal Hwy, Hallandale Beach, FL 33009

Whole Foods Market’s Best Butcher Competition brings together the region’s top butchers  — Charlie Couch, (WFM Boca Raton), David Headley, (WFM Aventura), Edwin Ambrosi, (WFM Winter Park)—  and guest judges — Briana Madrid, Marketing Coordinator for Whole Foods Market’s Florida Region  is Market Regional Meat Coordinator Scott Chansky and Regional Associate Ron McClintock.

Armed with sharpened knives, contestants will be graded on presentation, efficiency and profitability, with scoring breakdown categories including workmanship, visual appeal, cleanliness and knife-handling skills, trim specification and other techniques.

Whole Foods Market - Boca Raton, 1400 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431

At the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association’s (CHTA) 2011 "Taste of the Caribbean" culinary competition hosted at the Hyatt Regency, Miami,  Trinidad & Tobago received top honors as Caribbean Culinary Team of the Year .

caribbean winning chefThe highest individual honors were bestowed upon Mitchell Husbands, Barbados, for Caribbean Chef of the Yearsponsored by Bahama Breeze® Island Grille; Humphrey Lew Jen Tai, Curacao, for Caribbean Bartender of the Year; Kunal Chakrabarti, U.S. Virgin Islands, for Caribbean Pastry Chef of the Year.  and Mikhala Bagot, British Virgin Islands, for Caribbean Junior Chef of the Year.

For the second year in a row, a junior chef has been recognized for creating the Most Innovative Dish, an honor traditionally received by senior level chefs. Kevin Pratt, junior chef from The Bahamas, won for preparing Abaco Spiced Rub Beef & Pan Seared Exuma Scallops, Served with Nassan Sweet Potato & Plantain Cheesy Croquettes, Coconut Infused Warm Vegetable Slaw Accompanied with Eleuthra Pineapple Chutney finished with Andros Mango Reduction.

Photo: Caribbean Chef of the Year Mitchell Husbands (center) pictured with (l-r) Alec Sanguinetti, director general & CEO of CHTA;Rick Crossland, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, Josef Forstmayr, president of CHTA; and Peter Olsacher, Bahama Breeze.

For more information, visit

Meat Market is kicking off their monthly Wine Dinner series on Tuesday, June 28, at 7:30 p.m. For the first dinner chef/co-owner Sean Brasel’s contemporary American four-course menu will be paired with Ferrari Carano Vineyards wines — single-vineyard, reserve-tier and never before released wines — selected by recently-appointed sommelier Sarah Almand.

Meat Market, 915 Lincoln Road, South Beach. RSVP (305) 532-0088 $95 per person, excluding tax and gratuity


From June 30 through August 4, Patrick Alexander  — former Director of the University of Miami's Wine Appreciation Program and currently teaches a course for UM's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute —  will lead the series of six classes every Thursday Evening from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.  Four different wines will be tasted during each session and will be followed (optional) by a dish on the Cafe menu specially prepared by chef Allen Susser to complement that evening's wines. 

The final class on August 4 will end with a dinner prepared by chef Allen paired with wines chosen by the students.

Cost: 260 for the 12 hour program includes the final dinner.  Limited to 15 students.  To make reservations: contact not later than Friday, June 24.

Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue,  Coral Gables,   305.442.4408



Patrick Alexander  — former Director of the University of Miami's Wine Appreciation Program and currently teaches a course for UM's Osher Lifelong Learning Institute —  will lead the series of six classes every Thursday Evening from 6 p.m. to 7:45 p.m.  Four different wines will be tasted during each session and will be followed (optional) by a dish on the Cafe menu specially prepared by chef Allen Susser to complement that evening's wines.

The final class on August 4 will end with a dinner prepared by chef Allen paired with wines chosen by the students.

Cost: 260 for the 12 hour program includes the final dinner.  Limited to 15 students.  To make reservations: contact not later than Friday, June 24.

Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue,  Coral Gables,   305.442.4408

Food & Wine Talk Radio

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Matthew Lee, Austin, Texas
Ahmed Abdullatif, Kingdom of Bahrain
Stefano Versace, Miami, Florida
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Chef Scott Conant: Scarpetta


Mark Schatzker, author of The Dorito Effect, The Surprising New Truth About Food and Flavor


Elizabeth Minchilli, author of  Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City.  


James Beard Award-winning wine journalist Lyn Farmer on: Garnacha from Carinena; the next great wine


Cindy Hutson,chef/owner, Ortanique and Zest, author of From the Tip of My Tongue


Lidia Batianich, celebrity chef, TV host, author and restaurateur 






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