Happy 2017!

I am not normally one for resolutions, but when I saw that my last blog post was in March 2016, I hung my head in shame. One thing I will endeavor to change is to update this in a timely fashion, and celebrate successes.

All-in-all 2016 was a pretty good year. I took on new clients and retained existing ones. Producing the Edible on the Road video series, in conjunction with Edible Magazines goes from strength to strength. In December our Edible Nutmeg on the Road was turned into a TV series and both Chef Plum and I are busy planning new locations to film at.

Last May, I ran the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution and organized an inaugural New Canaan Flower Show. These events will both be repeated this year.

One highlight at the end of 2016 was with Baldanza Market. I have worked with this family owned and operated cafe since they opened. Angela Baldanza loves being in front of the camera and is a very skilled cook, so I entered her for Food Network Cooks vs Cons. Not only did she get through the auditions but she WON the competition and $10,000 for all her hard work. She's still basking in the glory of her victory and so she should. 

Wishing you all an eventful 2017 (if you are in my line of work!) and many successes.  

Edible Nutmeg on The Road

Last year I met Dana Jackson, Editor / Publisher of Edible Nutmeg - a quarterly magazine which celebrates local food and highlights farmers, artisans and events in our beautiful State. I was probing about online content - we live in such a visual world! Fast forward 3-months and we have managed to create and produce 'Edible Nutmeg on The Road'.

It has literally been an incredible journey and I couldn't be more proud. Here I am with Host Chef Plum, who has played and continues to play a massive part to making this happen. To my right is Sal Gilbertie, who is a third generation farmer and quite the gentleman. Gilbertie's Herb Farm in Easton, CT. 

We are filming six segments for each series, and next week I'm super excited to be visiting Norwalk and Woodbridge, CT. Click through to the Edible Nutmeg website and read more about the series. It's essential that we continue to support our incredible food community so buy and shop local wherever possible. 

http://ediblenutmegmagazine.com/edible-nutmeg-on-the-road/

 

DrinkWire Contributor

I work with chefs and restaurant owners. I spend any free time socializing, eating out and I certainly enjoy a tipple - so I became a DrinkWire Contributor. I really enjoy reading Liquor.com and this is part of their curated collection of best cocktails and spirit writers on the web.

It's early days, but I plan on doing a Connecticut round up on a weekly basis. Earlier this week I had the pleasure of speaking to  Andrew Pite, Broken Shed Vodka. We met last year at an event I organized. To read it click on the link HERE

If you have a favorite bar, cocktail recipe, want to shout out about a brand, bartender or know of cool events going on let me know? 

Cheers!

Rachel

 



Happy 2016 and Cheers!

I am in the process of planning events for May, June and September 2016 - naturally they will involve food and wine.

2015 highlights included; organizing Jamie Oliver Food Revolution New Canaan, working with elm and getting Chef Luke Venner honored at Greenwich Wine & Food Festival as Most Innovative Chef, L'Armoire's 30th birthday celebrations, launching Good2Gourmet, re-launching Basso Cafe Bar, Angela Baldanza's TV appearances, arranging for Ken Stringfellow to play in New Canaan and last but by no means least - working with newly launched TCM Wine Club and getting Chef Plum a guest food and wine pairing spot.

Following is more from TCM Wine Club on Chef Plum.

TCM Wine Club has teamed up with culinary veteran, Chef Plum to showcase great nights in with a movie and wine!  

Chef Plum has created original recipes, which compliment the highlighted wine and movie.  Watch him for fun, easy to recreate recipes - that you will enjoy making at home for yourself, family and friends. Dishes that take ‘dinner and a movie’ to the next level.

Born in Richmond Virginia, Chef Plum is a graduate from The Culinary Institute of America. Chef Plum has been featured on Food Network, local TV, radio and Jamie Oliver’s FOODTube. He prefers to keep his food honest and simple, believe that everyone can get passionate ability cooking from scratch.

The Making of a Virgin

Living so close to New York, it comes as no surprise to learn that New Canaan, Connecticut is full of driven, connected, and highly successful individuals. I spoke to David Tait, OBE and the man responsible for building up Virgin Atlantic Airways, alongside Sir Richard Branson. He informed me of his 2016 plans, to talk to entrepreneurs about his fascinating journey. And, where most people would quake with fear, it seems Tait is most happy sharing his extensive knowledge to an audience of hundreds (thousands) as an inspirational, public speaker. A Strategic Storyteller. And with such a remarkable, motivational story to tell - you had better get in line. 

As Sir Richard Branson readily acknowledges, Virgin Atlantic Airways’ success was built on the back of Tait’s vision, people skills, passionate focus on customer service and flair for edgy ‘jugular’ marketing and promotions. As such, today’s multi-faceted Virgin Group owes much to Tait’s foundation building with the nascent airline brand. His insider take on ‘The Making of a Virgin’ is a unique tale with a host of lessons for every entrepreneur – especially any David with sights on a Goliath!  

As an airline executive, entrepreneur, marketing and branding consultant, writer and travel columnist, Tait has worked closely with Sir Richard Branson for over 30 years and has also advised on several of his best selling business books. Tait cut his teeth on the airline business with the legendary Sir Freddie Laker, whose revolutionary Laker Skytrain Service rewrote the book on transatlantic air travel, before his ailing major competitors conspired to drive Laker Airways out of business.

In 1984, after years of frustration with the appalling service and high fares of the big transatlantic airlines, Virgin Records owner Branson declared, “There has to be a better way!” He was urged by Laker to contact Tait. Intrigued, he agreed to work with Branson on what, by the conventional wisdom of the day, was a maniacal notion - starting a transatlantic airline from scratch, that would challenge the entrenched Goliaths of aviation.

But Branson’s brand of wisdom has never been conventional, and with lessons learned from Laker’s earlier experiences he and Tait crafted the business plan for what became Virgin Atlantic Airways: It focused on FUN - a word rarely associated with airlines - hiring great people to deliver consistently outstanding customer service, value-pricing and disruptive innovations like seatback video screens. “Under-promise and over-deliver” was and still is the privately held carrier’s mantra.

In January 1984, Tait became the airline’s first employee and in June of that year, with a single leased Boeing 747 Virgin Atlantic began service between London and New York. Based in Manhattan, he spent the next two decades as Executive Vice President and Executive Director running the company’s North American business and building a critically acclaimed and consistently profitable carrier with over $4 billion in annual revenues.

Tait says that of all the compliments paid to Virgin Atlantic over the years, his favorite is: “You have an outstanding marketing company with an unusually good airline department”.

In 2001 at Buckingham Palace, Tait was awarded an OBE (Officer of the Order of The British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth for “Services to British aviation in the United States”. 

He continues to regularly contribute for Travel Industry Today

For inquiries and bookings contact:  dtait@consultait.com 

Wishing you all a Happy New Year! Make 2016 YOUR year. Be inspired and motivate others. Work hard, take risks and most importantly be kind.

Rachel

  David Tait, OBE

 

David Tait, OBE

Holidays are Coming

While some people have downed tools for the holidays, I have been running around wildly with a couple of Connecticut Chefs doing live Television spots.

First stop was at the WTNH CT Style Studio in New Haven, where I had arranged for Renato Donzelli, Chef / Owner Basso Cafe to cook a delicious Agnolotti Pasta. His homemade pasta was stuffed with spinach and ricotta, and served with a brown butter chestnut sauce, shaved Reggiano and crisp sage leaves. Not only did TV host, Teresa Dufour love this dish (she has Sicilian roots) the aromas caused crew and presenters from across News 8 to flood in.

renatoctstyle.jpg

Next stop was New York, where Chef Plum was filming a live segment for AriseTV360. This was a completely different experience because Plum was demonstrating how to make his ‘Holiday Balls’. Host Shannon LaNier was charming and great fun, the whole segment was full of 'ball'sy innuendo. Lots of laughs. Best of all Plum’s meatballs were a huge success and tasted absolutely scrumptious.

One thing is for sure, when you work in the food and drink industry, you are never quite sure what’s around the corner. Wishing you all a healthy, happy and restful break. I’m going to take this opportunity to recharge my batteries because I am already working on something huge for May and June 2016. Stay tuned...

Skills Pay the Bills

In my line of work, I have witnessed poor websites, where my clients are being charged too much each month and have to wait weeks for a simple change to be made. I have also experienced pixilated graphics and dreadful flyers. Well no more! I am delighted to announce that I have recently partnered up with the hugely talented Graphic Designer, Kristen Mitrakis. 

Kristen, who hails from Austin, Texas demonstrates a unique vision and personality through her custom logos, print and online media design. 

Simply put, Kristen is effortlessly cool.  A cook, avid reader and hiker - she will 'get you' in the blink of an eye and end up creating something fabulous.

Kristenlogo.jpg


Contact us for a free appraisal of your online presence and brand identity


Celebrating Fashion Form and Food

What a fantastic summer! With the Lobster Roll-Off under my belt - which kicked of the 5th New Canaan Taste of the Town Stroll - the turning of the leaves and slight chill in the air makes me look forward to FALL. 

This week, to coincide with New York Fashion Week I have a glamorous red carpet event to organize for L'Armoire boutique. Owner and Fashion expert Diane Roth is celebrating 30 years of making woman more beautiful at her New Canaan, Connecticut location. Join Diane and New York-based fashion designers such as Christian Siriano, Maggie Norris, Cynthia Rose and Make-up artist to the stars – Kevin James Bennett on Thursday, September 17th between 6 - 8pm. Light bites will be prepared by Baldanza Organic Cafe and Walter Stewart’s Market will be serving Mionetto Prosecco and Rose, alongside Broken Shed Vodka.

Bid on the limited edition auction items online until September 21st. The Fendi Spy Bag is currently a steal with a starting bid of $250 (the value is $2,500!)

On Friday, September 25th Chef Luke Venner will be serving Tuna Crudo with mustard, watermelon and basil at the Greenwich Wine and Food Festival - Most Innovative Chefs Gala. He is also appearing all day Saturday at the Culinary Village’s Grand Tasting. http://greenwichwineandfood.com/tickets/

Coming up next month we have bake-offs and bands.

 

What Happened to June and July?

Since the Jamie Oliver Food Revolution in May - I have been busy with my New Canaan, Connecticut and UK clients.

My CT Taste Tours started again. These self-guided restaurant tours are currently running every Tuesday and Wednesday evening in New Canaan, Connecticut until August 26th. Dine at three exclusive venues in one night, savoring a different course in each. Tickets are only $55 per person (inclusive of gratuity and tax)

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1758147

My fashion client L'Armoire, is gearing up to celebrate its 30th Anniversary on September 17th, where they will be auctioning off 30 designer items to benefit the iconic Glass House. It falls with the last day of New York Fashion Week and New York designers attending the party include; Christian Siriano, Cynthia Rose, Maggie Norris, Cornelia Guest and Make-up artist to the stars – Kevin James Bennett.

A small celebration was the fact that Baldanza are now selling their soups in Walter Stewart's Market and other nearby stores.

Yesterday, elm restaurant made it onto CTBites 2015 Best Lobster Rolls List on the Connecticut Coast  - and quite rightly so. Executive Chef Luke Venner, is preparing for his Greenwich Food Festival appearance. News on that to follow. http://www.ctbites.com/home/2015/7/26/best-warm-lobster-rolls-on-the-connecticut-coast-2015-update.html

Good2Gourmet are flat out preparing for deliveries.

The 10th Amazing Thailand Festival is scheduled to take place in Milford, Surrey, UK between 29th - 31st August. This year I am delighted to confirm online tickets can be purchased.

http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2030890

Finally, I had my 15 minutes of fame (well, over an hour actually) when I joined multi-talented Chef and TV personality Chef Plum on his 'Plum Luv Foods'. I reveal a few experiences working with Gordon Ramsay, Michel Roux, Jamie Oliver, Tom Aikens and other industry legends. Chef Plum was a fabulous host and I look forward to our 'Old Fashioned' at the bar sometime soon.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/chefplum/2015/07/28/plum-luv-foods-season-2-episode-22-rachel-lampen

Rachel

Just Over a Week Until the New Canaan Food Revolution!

First things first. Have you signed Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution petition? This shows your support for compulsory practical food education in schools across the world. Then, most importantly, share it! I know you love Jamie and you never know, he may visit us here in Connecticut but in the meantime please share, share, share! They need one million signatures.  https://www.change.org/p/jamie-oliver-needs-your-help-fighting-for-food-education-foodrevolutionday

Our New Canaan Food Revolution is taking place on Saturday, May 16th from 10am - 12pm. Thanks to our confirmed participants: Absolutely Babulous; Baldanza; Boulevard 18; Chef Hunter Zampa; Chef Luis; Elm; Filling in the Blanks; Fish Tales Seafood Co; Fjord Fish Market; Fruple Ice™; Goldenberry; Green & Tonic; Healthfare, Little’s Specialty Foods; New Canaan Olive Oil; No 109 Cheese & Wine; No Kidding Nutrition; Peachwave Yogurt; Perky Fruit Bodies; Rosie's; Station Eats; Thali; Walter Stewart’s Market, Venture Photography, Wave Hill Breads and Wellbeing In Your Workplace.

This year we will be entertained in the Pop up Park (off Elm and South Street) by local, rockin' band 'Mind The Gap' and Brazilian jazz legend Nanny Assis.

I volunteer all my time to make this event happen and want to thank sponsors (of printed materials) RLPR; HamletHub, Walter Stewart’s Market, Chamber of Commerce, New Canaan Music and MacKenzies.

Families need to register their kids for a Bravery Passport in advance here: http://www.hamlethub.com/ncfoodrevolution.

https://www.facebook.com/NewCanaanFoodRevolution

https://twitter.com/NCFood_Rev