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1,000+ Artisanal Food, Beverage for Fancy Food Show from around the World to Vegas Jan 21-23!

1,000+ Artisanal Food, Beverage Fancy Food Show — around the World are coming to Las Vegas Jan 21-23! Specialty Food Association’s 48th Winter Fancy Food Show

The Specialty Food Association’s 48th Winter Fancy Food Show will showcase thousands of artisanal products from more than 1,200 domestic and global specialty food and beverage makers and manufacturers.

1,000+ Artisanal Food, Beverage from around the World are coming to Las Vegas Jan 21-23! Specialty Food Association's 48th Winter Fancy Food Show

1,000+ Artisanal Food, Beverage from around the World are coming to Las Vegas Jan 21-23! Specialty Food Association’s 48th Winter Fancy Food Show

Taking place across three days (January 21-23) at the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Show also features a variety of networking and educational events.

“The 2024 Winter Fancy Food Show marks the beginning of the food industry’s annual cycle

a pivotal gathering where innovation meets opportunity,”

SFA President Bill Lynch

“This show is not just an event; it’s the epicenter of culinary creativity and business acumen where makers launch and buyers discover the latest products and trends that will shape the new year.”

Show attendees will experience:

  • Artisanal food and beverage products from 1,200+ exhibitors.
  • Product pavilions dedicated to the hottest categories including Plant Based, Deli, Bakery/Confectionery/Snacks & Sweets, Beverage.
  • International Pavilions from CanadaChinaItalyFranceGreeceMoroccoSpain, and partner country, Japan.
  • State and Regional Pavilions including MississippiNew York, WUSATA.
  • Diversity Pavilion, with a nine-company cohort from (included)Barlow’s, Frescos Naturales, Funky Mello, Grumpy Ginger, Krack’d Snacks, Myles Comfort Foods, Sobo, Todo Verde, TUYYO.
  • Pop Up Pavilions including the Confectionery, Snack, and Bakery Pavilion Pop Up: Fancy a Bite?, and the Beverage Pavilion Pop Up: Flights of Fancy.
  • NEW NOW NEXT Pavilion featuring Incubators and Startups.
  • Insight into the hottest trends in specialty food courtesy of the SFA Trendspotter PanelPatsy Ramirez-Arroyo, food and sustainability consultant, PG Consulting Group, LLC; Jenn de la Vega, chef, stylist, cookbook author, trends expert, Randwiches; Jonathan Deutsch, Professor and Director, Drexel Food Lab; Jeanette Donnarumma, producer, cook, recipe developer/tester, food lover, content creator, party-planner; Thomas Joseph, EVP, Culinary, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and Sur la Table; Gary FX LaMorte, chef, consultant, and founder, Honest Hospitality; Sarah Lohman, culinary historian, author, and public speaker; Chef Clara Park, claraparkcooks.com, chef, teacher, consultant, and writer; Wendy Robinson, Senior Buyer, Market Hall Foods; Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., CFS, IFT Fellow, Corvus Blue LLC; Cathy Strange, Ambassador of Food Culture, Whole Foods; V. Sheree Williams, Publisher, Cuisine Noir, and Founder, Global Food and Drink Initiative.
  • SFA Junior Trendspotter Panel – UNLV William F. Harrah College of Hospitality under the guidance of Joseph Lema, Ph.D. Professor/Ph.D. Coordinator, Seyhmus Baloglu, Ph.D. Professor/Associate Dean of Research.
  • The Winter Fancy Food Show is open only to qualified members of the specialty food trade, industry affiliates, and media. For more information, please click here.

    The Specialty Food Association (SFA) was founded in 1952 and is the not-for-profit trade association of the $194 billion specialty food industry.

    Representing more than 3,000 businesses worldwide, SFA champions industry participation and success for a diverse community of makers, buyers, importers, distributors, and service providers by developing resources, information, education, and events that celebrate innovation and inclusivity.

  • SFA owns and operates the Fancy Food Shows—which are the largest specialty food industry events in North America—as well as the sofi™ Awards—which have honored excellence in specialty food and beverage annually since 1972.
  • The SFA also produces the e-newsletter SFA News Daily, the Trendspotter Panel annual predictions and Fancy Food Show reports, the State of the Specialty Food Industry Report, Today’s Specialty Food Consumer research, and the Spill & Dish podcast. Find out more online and connect with SFA on FacebookXInstagramLinkedIn, and TikTok.

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season January 12 through 28

Wine Lovers: Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season January 12 through 28

January temperatures may be cold, but excitement is heating up across Niagara as the region prepares to celebrate its annual Icewine harvest season in style.

From January 12 through 28, Niagara wine country raises a glass to Canada’s liquid gold with glitzy galas, a wine and culinary touring program at 32 different wineries, a sparkling Niagara-on-the-Lake street festival, and more.

Niagara Icewine Festival fun kicks off on Friday January 12

Niagara Icewine Festival fun kicks off on Friday, January 12, with the return of the popular Discovery Pass Touring Program, sponsored by CAA Travel.

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

For one low price, passport holders can visit their choice of three or six Niagara wineries on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in January to enjoy delicious wine and food pairings that simply can’t be found anywhere else on the planet. A new optional shuttle service offered this year makes it easier than ever for wine lovers to spend a January day sipping and savouring their way around Niagara wine country.

This year’s 32 winery partners are providing Discovery Pass guests with an extensive range of choices, including red, white and sparkling wines, Icewines, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and dairy-free food pairings. Purchase Discovery Pass Touring Passports.

Wine lovers looking for an experience that embraces Icewine’s luxurious nature won’t want to miss the all-inclusive Cool As Ice Gala at the Niagara Parks Power Station on January 13. Presented by Fallsview Casino Resort, the dazzling evening event will showcase twenty-five of Niagara’s top wineries as they pour a diverse array of fine wines, cocktails, and mocktails.

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

Niagara Wine Country Kicks off Icewine Season

Eight of wine country’s most buzzed-about restaurants will showcase their skills through bold culinary experiences that will include everything from Indian street food to a decadent oyster bar and Icewine-kissed culinary delights like smoked salmon, pork belly, and wood-fired mushrooms. As Cool As Ice Gala guests savour these flavours, they will enjoy exclusive access to the Niagara Parks Power Station, which will ignite additional Icewine excitement with live music, art installations, show-stopping circus-style performances, and the opportunity to descend 180 feet in a glass-panelled elevator and walk a 2,200-foot-long tunnel for the ultimate sub-zero selfie at the edge of Niagara Falls. Browse the Cool As Ice Gala food pairings.

Last year’s Cool As Ice Gala guests were so wowed by the wine, food, and fun at the Niagara Park Power Station that ticket sales for this year’s event have been brisk. Cool As Ice Gala Tickets are already 85% sold, so those wanting to secure a spot on the guest list for January 13 should act quickly to avoid disappointment. Purchase Cool As Ice Gala tickets.

According to Niagara Wine Festival Executive Director Dorian Anderson, “There is no such thing as post-holiday hibernation in Niagara wine country! With 32 winery partners, three weekends of Discovery Pass touring and one unforgettable Cool As Ice Gala, the Niagara Icewine Festival offers wine lovers countless ways to experience the excitement of the Icewine harvest.”

The Niagara Icewine Festival

The Niagara Icewine Festival is part of the Niagara Grape & Wine Festival and takes place January 12 through 28 across Niagara. This year’s Niagara Icewine Festival includes a weekend Discovery Pass self-guided touring program, the Cool As Ice immersive experience on January 13 and the Niagara-on-the-Lake Icewine Festival on January 13, 14, 20, 21, 26, 27 and 28.

The Niagara Grape and Wine Festival is celebrating its 74th year with support from generous sponsors, including VQA Wines of Ontario, the Wine Marketing Association of Ontario, The Grape Growers of Ontario, the City of St. Catharines, Fallsview Casino Resort, Niagara Falls Tourism, Niagara College, CAA Travel, The Province of Ontario and the Tourism Partnership of Niagara.

 

Sofitel Saigon Plaza Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary, commemorating a quarter century of Joie de Vivre in Vietnam.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza Celebrates Its 25th Anniversary, commemorating a quarter century of Joie de Vivre in Vietnam.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza is delighted to commemorate a significant milestone this October with the celebration of its 25th anniversary.

Drawing inspiration from local Vietnamese culture and traditions while embracing life with a French zest is what the hotel successfully stands for a quarter century.

Daniël Stork- Consul General of The Netherlands_Mario Mendis-Sofitel Saigon Plaza GM and guests

Daniël Stork, Consul General of The Netherlands, Mario Mendis, Sofitel Saigon Plaza GM and guests

Since its establishment in 1998, Sofitel Saigon Plaza has consistently delivered a 5-star luxury experience marked by heartfelt service and hospitality excellence in the heart of Ho Chi Minh.

Globally acclaimed through the decades, Sofitel Saigon Plaza has welcomed dignitaries and political figures, from the former French President Francois Hollande to the US Secretary of State John Kerry.

Ambassador Lesly Benoit of Haiti performing with Jazztown

Ambassador Lesly Benoit of Haiti performing with Jazztown

On October 5th 2023, Sofitel Saigon Plaza hosted an enchanting Anniversary Dinner at its opulent Diamond Hall in presence of Mrs Maud Bailly, CEO of Sofitel.

Maud Bailly, CEO of the Sofitel, M Gallery & Emblems Worldwide

Maud Bailly, CEO of the Sofitel, M Gallery & Emblems Worldwide

At this extraordinary soirée, the hotel had the privilege of hosting esteemed guests, ranging from international diplomats and government officials to renowned celebrities, CEOs of prominent corporations, and dedicated Heartists (Accor team members) who have passionately served Sofitel Saigon Plaza for over two decades.

Chef Kieko Nagae

Chef Kieko Nagae

The honoured guests were thus invited to enjoy a sumptuous six-course dinner crafted by Michelin-star and celebrity chefs from Asia and France. This exquisite evening was topped off with spectacular performances blending these two cultures. To mark the occasion, Heartists whom are within the property since the opening have been highlighted and recognized for their exceptional commitment and remarkable work.

“Founded almost 60 years ago, Sofitel was the first French luxury hotel brand to develop an international network of hotels and resorts…

Maud Bailly

CEO of Sofitel

“…Each of the establishments now artfully blends the French art-de-vivre with the essence of the local destination, offering chic design, the best of culinary arts, and exceptional personalized service. The 25th anniversary was truly an illustration of the cultural link between France and Vietnam, exemplifying the symbolism of the Sofitel logo, which signifies the seamless blending of French and local cultures. Over these two and a half decades, we have not only celebrated the excellence of Sofitel but also the enchanting partnership of Saigon’s vibrant spirit with the elegance of French heritage. At Sofitel, we want to inspire people to celebrate life and its beauties with joy, impertinence, and, most of all, pleasure! This celebration embodies the essence of our vision, where the rich traditions of Saigon meet the sophistication of French savoir-faire, creating a world of endless delight and unforgettable moments”, commented Maud Bailly, CEO of Sofitel.

 “It is a privilege to be part of an establishment that has redefined luxury, elegance, and service in Ho Chi Minh City. Our gratitude goes to our valued guests, passionate team, and partners who have been unwavering supports in this journey. This anniversary not only pay tribute to our past but also reaffirms our dedication to offer unforgettable experiences to our guests in the future”, said Mr. Mario Mendis, General Manager of Sofitel Saigon Plaza.

Michelle Wee- CEO Standard Chartered Vietnam - Madame Trang Le Counsel General Daniël Stork of The Netherlands

Michelle Wee- CEO Standard Chartered Vietnam – Madame Trang Le R- Counsel General Daniël Stork of The Netherlands

The festivities will continue during the 5th Saigon Gourmet Week, taking place from October 6th to 8th at Sofitel Saigon Plaza.

Event Curator and Producer Tracie May-Wagner

Event Curator and Producer Tracie May-Wagner

This event promises a delightful array of culinary experiences, including immersive cooking classes, exclusive lunches and dinners, and an unforgettable brunch featuring renowned chefs.

Phoung Nam Art Theater

Phoung Nam Art Theater

The lineup includes Sébastien Voelker (French Pastry Chef), Truc Dinh (Vietnamese Chef), Shozo Tsuruhara (Japanese Chef), Victor Savall (Spanish Pastry Chef), Sakal Phoeung (French-Cambodian Chef), Keiko Nagae (French-Japanese Pastry Chef), Vuong Vo (Vietnamese Chef), Adrien Guenzi (French Chef), and French Michelin-Star Chef Thierry Renou.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza

Sofitel Saigon Plaza harmonizes the sophistication of French art de vivre with the vibrancy of local Vietnamese culture, delivering a luxury hospitality experience enriched by genuine heartfelt service. Conveniently located in a tranquil enclave on Le Duan Boulevard, Sofitel Saigon Plaza places you in the heart of Ho Chi Minh City’s business, cultural, and shopping district.

The hotel boasts 286 rooms and suites adorned with refined décor and deluxe amenities, a fitness center feauring advanced exercise equipment, and an outdoor swimming pool with breathtaking city views.

Sofitel Saigon Plaza also features five dining establishments serving local and French cuisine, seven polished meeting rooms, and an opulent ballroom equipped with state-of-the-art facilities, making it the ideal destination for business, leisure, meetings, and gatherings.

Sofitel Hotels & Resorts

Sofitel Hotels & Resorts is an ambassador of modern French style, culture and art-de-vivre around the world.

Established in 1964, Sofitel is the first international luxury hotel brand to originate from France, with more than 120 chic and remarkable hotels in many of the world’s most sought-after destinations. Sofitel exudes a refined and understated sense of modern luxury, always blending a touch of French elegance with the very best of the locale.

Sofitel also includes a selection of heritage luxury hotels under the Sofitel Legend banner, renowned for their timeless elegance and storied past.

Some notable hotels in the Sofitel portfolio include Sofitel Paris Le Scribe Opera, Sofitel London St James, Sofitel Dubai The Obelisk, Sofitel Legend Old Cataract Aswan, Sofitel Mexico City Reforma, Sofitel Legend Santa Clara Cartagena, Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi and Sofitel Ambassador Seoul.

Sofitel is part of Accor, a world leading hospitality group counting over 5,400 properties throughout more than 110 countries, and a participating brand in ALL – Accor Live Limitless – a lifestyle loyalty program providing access to a wide variety of rewards, services and experiences.

sofitel.accor.com | all.accor.com | group.accor.com

Oregon Wine: Le Cadeau Vineyard Offers Complex Pinot Noir and Dazzling Sparkles – Wine Review 

For nearly 30 years Oregon Wine Le Cadeau Vineyard has been producing amazing wines, cultivating a loyal audience and earning worldwide attention for their grapes and wine rosters.

Founders Deb and Tom Mortimer

Founders Deb and Tom Mortimer

The founders, Deb and Tom Mortimer, will tell you the secret to great wine isn’t a secret at all.  It’s actually quite obvious and staring everyone in the face.  It’s the grapes.  Respecting the grapes and carefully protecting and supporting their process; it’s the difference between mediocre wine and the excellent wine that they strive to produce year after year.

They grew from six acres to sixteen, and planted Pommard, Dijon clones 667, 777, 113, and 115, Mariafeld (a Swiss Pinot Noir clone) starting on the south slope of Parrett Mountain, in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. 

Oregon Wine Le Cadeau Vineyard

From the beginning, Le Cadeau’s location produced noticeable magic. Vibrant aromatics. Intense fruit forward flavors with glimmers of spice and earthiness usually not often found in young Pinot Noir wines.

Le Cadeau Vineyard

Find Le Cadeau Vineyard on the southern tip of Parrett Mountain near Newberg, Oregon, in the Chehalem Mountains AVA. 

Oregon Wine Le Cadeau Vineyard

Oregon Wine’s Le Cadeau Vineyard

The 16-acre vineyard benefits from high-elevation (610’ – 725’) developed and planted with one focus – growing distinct and complex Pinot Noir.

The vineyard delivers based on a combination of soils: Jory, Nekia,  and Witzel soil (a very shallow, broken basalt). On the East side, a cross between Jory and Willakenzie.

One of the wines tasted today, Merci Pinot Noir – comes from an assortment of new plantings of heirloom clones, including Mt. Eden, Calera, Swan and Jackson.

Oregon Wine Le Cadeau Vineyard Wines

2018 Merci Reserve Pinot Noir

2018 Merci Reserve Pinot Noir

From Winemaker Jim Sanders, it’s a blessing in the bottle, or as they’ve said a ‘Merci’ thank you.  After a taste, with a grin on your face you might say the same as you pour your second sip.

Ruby in the glass.  Red currant, red plum, blue berry, peach, orange peel on the nose.  White pepper, vanilla, boysenberry.  Nice, velvety medium body with medium tannin and a very pleasant finish.  Perfectly paired with lamb, turkey, roasted chicken.

Blanc de Noir 2017

Winemaker Steve Ryan and his team produced a classic representation of Blanc de Noir, minimizing skin contact, fermenting in both Stainless steel and French oak. 

The result is a very drinkable potion. Subtle apricot with pronounced pear on the nose.  Green apple, lemon zest, pasty and flirty touch of cherry on the finish.  Pair it with garden salad, light appetizers, even a light chicken dish.

Le Cadeau Wine Club

Wine club membership has three level: Platinum, Gold, Silver with tiers that include discounts per shipment, access to limited releases, invites to events and parties, and complimentary tastings at the Dundee location. 

Learn more about the Le Cadeau Wine club membership here

Visit Oregon Wine Le Cadeau Vineyard

Located on Highway 99W in Dundee, just 45 minutes from Portland and 30 minutes away from their vineyard, off-site tasting room is inside The Dundee hotel. 

1326 N Hwy 99W, Suite 101

Dundee, OR 97115

 

Oregon Wine: Vino Vasai Pours World-Class Pinot Noir, Super Tuscan with Unique Tasting Experience – Wine Review

Newberg Oregon’s Vino Vasai Pours World-Class Pinot Noir, Super Tuscan with Unique Tasting Experience – Wine Review

Potter’s Vineyard and Vino Vasai Wines offers a small lot collection of high quality wines and a memorable visit.

When you go wine tasting, what kind of experience do you want?  Rushed?  Crowded?  In, out and onto the next place?

In some of the most popular wine regions in California and in Oregon, a visit can feel more like you’re walking through a theme park than being invited to enjoy a living, breathing winery.

Vino Vasai is a little (or a lot) different in many ways.  For one, they really want you to have a calm, romantic, delicious experience.

They go out of their way to make it happen.  How?  They stagger their appointments, deliberately plan out the timing, they want conversations.  They foster an environment that encourages visitors to ask questions, lots of questions.  Really sharing about their world, their team and their wine.

As a result, you end up with a memorable,  world-class wine experience.  And we haven’t even gotten to talking about the actual wine yet. 

The winery intentionally limits production, producing less than 1,000 cases annually. Varietals include estate Pinot Noir, and sourced Chardonnay, Cabernet, Merlot, Sangiovese, and Syrah from single vineyard estates in Washington. 

The winery goal is “to offer the very best tasting experience in Oregon”. 

We’ll Always Remember Italy

 

Bill and Sandy Sanchez are the winemakers and owners.   Bill is an example of the mix of art and science –  leveraging 30 years as a PhD Nutritionist and 15 years as a professional Potter. – a common combination seen behind successful wineries.

Owners and winemakers Bill and Sandy Sanchez

Owners and winemakers Bill and Sandy Sanchez

Sandy brings her Italian heritage and a lifetime of passion for Italian cuisine.

Back in 2011, they were on a visit to Italy, falling deep in love with art, Michelangelo’s work and Italian cuisine. 

With Italy on their mind, just a year later they met Vineyard Proprietor Laura Volkman and struck up a dynamic partnership.  Bill wanted to learn everything there was to know about Pinot Noir – from farm to bottle.   Laura was happy to mentor him and ended up selling her estate to him a year later.

The rest is bottled history.

Vino Vasai Family

 

Potters Vineyard, translated in Italian to Vinao Vasai, is a family (some biological, some not) passionate for good food, good wine, good art and who want to make an intimate product that actually makes a personal impact.    

 

Assistant Winemaker Consultant Art Roberts joined the team exactly for that reason, to be part of a family-run winery that makes incredible, affordable small-lot wines.

Keeping with the family vibe, Sandy (tasting room and wine club manager), and Gretchen (customer service specialist). Daughter Melinda and son Eric help with harvest, tasting room, and digital support. 

 

The family does tractor work, vineyard management, and grape sampling along with help from several friends. The family and wine club pick fruit for their Rose’ each year. Potter’s Vineyard is truly a “Grower-Producer”. 

 

The Vino Vasai Region

 

The Sanchez’s purchased their 3.5-acre estate vineyard in 2012 from Laura Volkman. Laura planted the vineyard in 2001. She sold and partnered with Bill and Sandy on the 1,000 steps of growing and making premium Oregon Pinot Noir

They were attracted to the artisan feel of the tasting room Laura created and have since transformed it into a Clay Art Gallery. Customers visit and taste wine in a fine art gallery and vineyard setting. 

The wine is made in a cooperative studio of several winemakers. Bill & Sandy make all the wine themselves, sort fruit by hand, do all the punch downs and make all decisions from primary fermentation through barrel aging in French Oak. Wines are kept separated to create Reserve, Barrel Select and House labels and are bottled one to two years after harvest.

The vineyard is certified LIVE, Salmon Safe, and Bee Safe Farming with a focus on immune health. 

 

Vino Vasai 2019 Estate Reserve Oregon Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Vino Vasai 2019 Estate Reserve Oregon Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Vino Vasai 2019 Estate Reserve Oregon Pinot Noir, Chehalem Mountains

Curious to taste a well-loved Pinot Noir?  

This is a special bottle.  Let’s start with the grapes. Pommard and Dijon 777 planted at 700 feet elevation in the newly established Laurelwood District, a sub-AVA of the Chehalem Mountains and Willamette Valley AVA’s.  What does this tell us?  Lots of cool, wet weather creating that well-known Willamette Valley elegance.

The grapes were picked at peak ripeness during a small window of perfect timing in an otherwise very fickle harvest season. As a result: lower alcohol, great acidity, complex flavors.

They chose lees aging in new French Oak to create a very classic Oregon Pinot Noir.

Deep ruby in the glass.  Pronounced black cherry on the nose.  Black plum, white pepper. Medium body, medium tannin, with a long finish.

With only 98 cases produced, good luck getting your hands on this bottle.  But if you can, do it. 

 

Vino Vasai Super Tuscan 2020 Columbia

Vino Vasai Super Tuscan 2020 Columbia

Vino Vasai Super Tuscan 2020 Columbia

When a trip to Italy inspires a bottle, everyone wants to have a taste.  Their goal was to share “a taste of Italy.” 

The blend is 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 33% Sangiovese and 12% Merlot 

This Super Tuscan is grown in high elevation vineyard sites in the Rattlesnake Hills AVA of Washington State.

Warm days, cool nights help the grapes ripen with complex flavors and great acidity. Aged in neutral barrels for 18 months. 

Deep ruby in the glass.  Fresh red cherry and red currant on the nose.  Medium body, velvety tannins, black cherry and blueberry notes.  Silky mouthfeel and a medium finish that holds on just long enough, playfully inviting you for the next sip.

Pairs well with any traditional Italian dishes – think lasagna, sausage, spicy meats, meat pizza.  Very Tuscan, indeed

Vino Vasai Wine Club

 

The Wine Club has 2 tiers:  B Club and M Club

Both offer discounts, specials, members only access,  invitations and more.

Find the Vino Vasai wine club details here. 

 

Visit the Vino Vasai Tasting Room

 

Visitors are encouraged to stroll through the vines and enjoy the hilltop view of Parrett Mountain to the East, The Oregon Coast Range to the West, and Dundee Hills to the South. 

The wines are available direct from the tasting room, online at www.pottersvineyard.com or in a few local wine shops near the vineyard. 

Tastings are By Appointment Only at 11am, 12:30pm, 2pm and 3:30pm.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Redefines Global Gastronomy as a Destination Dining

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam Redefines Global Gastronomy as a Destination Dining

In recent years, Vietnam has become recognized as one of the must visit, premiere dining destinations on the planet. 

From bustling street food markets, where the aroma of sizzling meats, zesty herbs and fragrant spices fills the air, to the abundance of premiere fine dining restaurants showcasing local Vietnamese flavors infused into classic European recipes, Vietnam promises its international visitors an unparalleled East meets West culinary adventure. 

In 2016, Anthony Bourdain taught former President Barack Obama the art of the noodle slurp, while throwing back some local Vietnamese beers, and feasting on piping hot bowls of Bún Chả at a local Hanoian restaurant.

In a recent interview, Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsey named Vietnam his top food destination in the world.  The Michelin Guide recently awarded three of Vietnam’s leading restaurants their coveted stars for the 2023 season. 

To say the country is achieving sensational, and well earned, praise on the global culinary stage is an understatement, and with post-Covid international tourism sharply on the rise, we thought we’d to share our top 5 picks for some of the best dining destinations within Vietnam’s bustling southern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City.

 

SUBLIME SUSHI

Noriboi

Noriboi has reimagined traditional Japanese cuisine with their artistic, and highly inspired, modernist approach to their fine dining menus. 

Evoking a one-of-a-kind, and simply astonishing, multi-sensory gastronomic experience, their expert team of Japanese trained Master Sushi Chefs, each a Vietnamese native, apply molecular gastronomy to craft and underscore each dish, producing sublime artistic presentations, unsurpassed by even the best restaurants in Tokyo. 

Utilizing only the very finest seafood, Wagyu Beef and even rice, imported daily from Japan, and paired with regional Vietnamese and specialty ingredients, each plate is an utter triumph of taste, texture and artistic presentation. 

In addition to their daily Omakase and a la carte menu offerings, Noriboi is also known for their exclusive dining events, which upon announcement on their social media outlets becomes the hottest reservation in town, sold-out within hours of their postings. 

10-course Summer Truffle Omakase

They recently presented a 10-course Summer Truffle Omakase, where each dish was highlighted by the earthy and distinctive flavor of freshly shaved imported European truffles, and a Kegani Omakase, with the highly coveted Kegani Hairy Crabs, a seasonal Japanese delicacy, as the focus ingredient. 

If you wish to experience truly outstanding Japanese food during your trip to Saigon, Noriboi cannot be missed.

35 Ngo Quang Huy Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City

 

All-Day Dining Divine

LUCA

LUCA – Eatery & Bar Lounge is a fantastic all-day dining eatery, offering its guests a bountiful array of local Vietnamese and Western dishes to choose from, satisfying even the most discerning and astute culinary palate. 

It’s a favorite restaurant destination for neighborhood locals and visiting tourists alike, craving an inventive and sophisticated array of dishes, served at any time of the day.  With menus designed by their talented Executive Chef An, for breakfast or Brunch, the fluffy Soufflé Pancakes, decadent Luxe Lobster Benedict and their Phở Bò Luca, an elevated spin on the Vietnamese classic, are spectacular. And for the coffee lover, try their Vietnamese Salted Egg Coffee, a staple beverage from Hanoi- rich, creamy, salty and sweet. 

For lunch, the Summer Peaches and Kale Salad is crisp, refreshing, and the perfect choice for a hot Saigon summer’s day, as is the Scallop Carpaccio with raw sweet Hokkaido Scallops, gently kissed with a drizzle of Yuzu sauce for a touch of acid.  

For Happy Hour, indulge in a platter of the freshest Miyagi Oysters, perfect to pair with a late afternoon glass or two of Rosé.  And for dinner, a hardy Australian Rib Eye Steak should do the trick, served with Chef’s signature Steak Sauce.  At any time of the day when visiting Saigon, Luca is a great choice to experience a chic dining atmosphere and truly wonderful food.

49 Xuan Thuy Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City

 

American Comfort Food Infused with Vietnamese Flavors

OKRA Foodbar

Chicago, Illinois born Chef-Owner Jamie Celaya developed his menu to showcase the incredible bounty of regional produce, products, and seasonings available in Vietnam. 

Described as

“International Izakaya, third culture cuisine”

which to the laymen doesn’t make sense until you experience it, Okra offers “Subtle” small plates of vegetable forward comfort food, meant for sharing, and a selection of larger portioned “Sufficient” mains for a healthy appetite. 

Located in Thao Dien, in District two, this intimate and contemporary eatery with a laid back and unpretentious vibe serves up simply delicious food and craft cocktails, with warm and friendly service. 

Must try dishes at Okra include their spin on Street Corn, with Cilantro, Parmesan, Chili, Brown Bourbon Butter and Pork Floss, Grilled Broccolini with Truffle Crème Fraiche & Sa Tế Chili Oil, Land & Sea-Viche, a Sea Bass Crudo with Braised Pigs Ear, Chili, Lime and Bánh Tráng, and their signature Charred Okra with Preserved Lemon-Tomato Jam, Curry Yogurt, Burnt Pomelo and Sarsaparilla-za Atar. 

And to wash it all down, a chilled glass of Mùa Craft Sake on draft, also proudly brewed in Vietnam.

10 Thao Dien Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Ho Chi Minh City  

 

Contemporary Vietnamese Cuisine & Cocktails 

The Triệu Institute

 

The concept of pairing craft cocktails with food is a gastronomic trend which has gained tremendous popularity in recent years in Vietnam, and no dining destination has perfected this principle better than The Triệu Institute.

They serve inventive contemporary Vietnamese dishes containing all the aromatics found within the gins of their namesake craft gin brand Lady Triệu, and their food and bespoke beverages blend in perfect harmony, allowing each patron to eat and drink simultaneously the bold, and singular flavors which Vietnam has become so famous for.  

A popular pairing include the Cured Kingfish, pickled with a housemade Hibiscus Vinegar which takes eight to ten weeks to complete, infusing sweet, sour, and floral notes deep within the fish, and a Flower General cocktail, containing Dalat Flowerbomb Gin, Wasabi, Jasmine Syrup and Seaweed Foam;  it’s a perfected combination.

10 Mac Thi Buoi Street, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City

 

Vietnamese Cuisine Portraying a Story

Nén Light Restaurant

Deeply committed to producing preeminent modern Vietnamese cuisine which pays homage to their country’s rich and vibrant heritage, Nén Light’s team of outstanding culinary artists developed their restaurant’s concept of Conscious Vietnamese Cuisine (Ẩm Thực Nhìn) to showcase their knowledge, appreciation and deep respect for their native roots and beloved culture. 

Serving wildly creative, 6-9 course storytelling tasting menus, they showcase hyper-local Vietnamese ingredients discovered on foraging trips throughout Central Vietnam, and guide each guest though a unique and unparalleled culinary journey which engages all five senses. 

Along with a Sake pairing, expertly curated by their in-house Sake Sommelier, and a “Conversation Pairing”, allowing servers to share the story behind the evolution of each plate,  a visit to Nén Light Restaurant will guarantee a singular and unrivaled immersive Vietnamese dining experience.

122/2 Tran Dinh Xu, Nguyen Cu Trinh Ward, Ho Chi Minh City

 

Global Movie Lover Chris Gore Chooses Best Destination in the world, Attack of the Doc Available April 24 

Global Movie Lover Chris Gore Chooses Best Spot in the world, Attack of the Doc Available April 24 

Attack of the Show! was unique, way ahead of its time and was a milestone that had a huge impact on geek culture.  Available for streaming and more as of April 24, 2023.

This deep dive documentary features pop icons including Wil Wheaton, John Cena, Joel McHale, Peter Jackson, Kumail Nanjiani, Whitney Cummings, Danny Pudi, and many more! 

“Attack of the Doc!” is written, directed & produced by Chris Gore.  

Today I sat down with Chris Gore, the writer / director / producer of  “Attack of the Doc!”  to talk about the huge effort of editing a generation of content down to a tight 90 minutes.

You’ve traveled the world, from Comic-Con cities to film festivals and gaming projects. Do you have a favorite destination?

 

When I was doing G4 TV, I went to Paris; I went to London. When I was doing Video Game Magazine in the 1990s, I traveled to Germany, France, all over. 

 

I will say one of my favorites is Austin, Texas where I went during South by Southwest for a number of reasons. One, the people. The people are very authentic and real in Austin, Texas. The food is incredible. The bar scenes.

 

I have a lot of love for San Diego, California, where I go at least once a year when I go to San Diego Comic-Con..

 

Even though I’ve been to Paris and [around the world]. Places like Birmingham, Alabama; I like a small town that has a walkable downtown where there are real people that I can connect with. I live in Pasadena, California that is sort of a mini version of San Diego’s Gaslamp. It’s beautiful. The people are real. There’s every kind of bar; there’s your college bar, there’s a dive bar, there’s your hipster bourbon bar.

 

Pasadena is this mix of everything. You’ve got rich, poor, blue collar, all the colors of Benetton. You’ve got families, you’ve also got young and old. You don’t see a lot of that in other parts of LA. LA is a very young city, Pasadena’s old and young; and I like that. I just like different types of people. That’s an attraction to me. So I live in one of my favorite places. That’s perfect. 

 

Food is a big deal, like barbecue in Austin, Texas. 

 

 

“Attack of the Doc!” is written, directed & produced by Chris Gore, produced & edited by Bobby Schwartz, co-produced by Walter Areas, with additional co-editing by Anthony Ray Bench and Phillip H. Eubanks, and with an original score composed by Austin Smith. This deep dive documentary features pop icons including Wil Wheaton, John Cena, Joel McHale, Peter Jackson, Kumail Nanjiani, Whitney Cummings, Danny Pudi, Eric Andre, Jerry Stiller, Joe Rogan, Jimmy Fallen, Kel Mitchell, Anne Meara, Stan Lee, Sara Jean Underwood, Carrie Keagan, Riley Steele, Tom Green, Anthony Daniels, Michael Winslow, Joey Kern, Joan Rivers, Chris Hardwick, Robert Kirkman, Greg Nicotero, Jessica Chobot, Tony Hawk, and Alison Haislip, among others as we search for the truth.

 

Attack of the Show! was unique, way ahead of its time and was a milestone that had a huge impact on geek culture. Its core audience is one of the most coveted around the globe. I think viewers of the original show will be down for learning the history of the network and the show which helped usher in the age of nerd culture. Frankly, G4TV and Attack of the Show! are responsible for making it cool to be a nerd,” states Gore. “And at the end of the day, I hope the documentary entertains fans and reminds them of a time when a TV show could be dangerous and provide some laughs without fear of being canceled. Everyone who worked on the documentary is a super fan, so this movie was made by fans for fans.”

 

Attack of the Doc! Synopsis


Before the rise of big tech, social media and Marvel movies, Attack of the Show! chronicled nerd culture’s unlikely acceptance as mainstream. G4TV’s flagship show launched the careers of hosts Olivia Munn and Kevin Pereira and was beloved by fans – a unique celebration of geek culture before it was cool. Diving into colossal cream pies, wearing fat suits for comedy and putting internet servers where the sun don’t shine – anything could happen on an episode of Attack of the Show! It’s been years since the show went off the air and one question has lingered: what really happened to G4TV and Attack of the Show? Enter Attack Of The Doc! — the new film written and directed by Chris Gore, promises to answer one of pop culture’s longest running mysteries.

Available as of April 24 and watch the trailer here.

Follow the documentary and its journey available on Video on Demand and TVOD/Digital platforms on April 24th, 2023, which is the 21st Anniversary of the launch of G4TV.

 

Southern Charm Creates delicious and romantic Memories at Greenville, South Carolina

Southern Charm creates delicious and romantic memories at Greenville, South Carolina

You’re looking for a new trip?

…A great foodie adventure?

…Big city perks

…But a mix of quaint and calm.

…inspiring scenery

…maybe a full-on spa weekend?

And let’s be honest, it needs to be easy to get to.

Not too much to ask for, right?  LOL

 

Southern Charm at Greenville South Carolina

Southern Charm at Greenville, South Carolina

Well, Greenville South Carolina hits all of those spots and more!

 

Southern charm with big city amenities. From flavor to fun to flirty.

Greenville South Carolina is Southern charm with big city amenities.

Greenville, South Carolina is Southern charm with big city amenities.

 

The right amount of outdoors, arts, charming people watching and of course food.  Different flavors and lots of it!

That’s Greenville.  Plenty of South Carolina Southern Hospitality with a kick of sass and did we mention the food?

 

Fun Days and Starry-Filled Nights in Greenville South Carolina

 

From March through July, the town square stays busy with free concerts twice a week and at night catch a movie in the park.

Fun days in Greenville South Carolina

Fun days in Greenville South Carolina

The center of town is just a short walk from most hotels, where you can wander Main St. and window shop at artisanal stores, book stores and coffee shops on the way to your next meal.

Reedy River

After a light bite, take a stroll along the park at Reedy River.  Their new development is gorgeous and cozy.  Several great spots for Instagram-worthy selfies.

 

Love a tasty cocktail?  

 

Kinda curious how the whole whiskey process works?

Highly recommend Six and Twenty Distillery’s tour and tasting experience.

Six and Twenty Distillery’s tour and tasting experience in Greenville South Carolina

Six and Twenty Distillery’s tour

From malting to mashing to distillation.  You can even pose for pictures with their giant pot still and become instagram famous.  

It’s a fascinating process, but even more – meet the team.  These folks love their work and it shows!

If you’re lucky enough to get a tour from Owner David Raad, he’ll help you fall in love with their process as they create just the right flavor for you.

And speaking of flavor.

You should get a tasting.

If Benjamin Balaban is behind the bar, you’re in for a treat.  Curious drinkers,  ask about the flavors, the garnishes, how his mixes are so balanced and flavorful. 

Six and Twenty Distillery’s tasting experience

Six and Twenty Distillery’s tasting experience

 

Keep the Flavors Coming with Oil & Vinegar

 

Stop in and say hello to Oil & Vinegar on Main St. Owner Chef Veera Gaul who will introduce you to the flavors, aromas and blends of oilsl like you’ve never realized before.

Oil & Vinegar on Main St. Owner Chef Veera Gaul

Oil & Vinegar on Main St. Owner Chef Veera Gaul

As a dipping sauce.

As a salad dressing.

In your health shake.

There’s a lot of ways to enjoy olive oil. 

Taste through:  The fruity and robust Nocellara EVOO.  The deliciously oily Puglia.  The vibrant Basil EVOO.  The perfect to mix Mango Vinegar.

And that’s why visiting Oil & Vinegar on Main St. is so fun.  

Oil & Vinegar on Main St. Greenville SC

Oil & Vinegar on Main St. Greenville SC

Their tasting helps you fall in love with the magic and find a new flavor to take home with you.  

 

From Family Fun to Romantic – Greenville’s Dinner Options

 

Greenville offers a feast of foodie options from down home to innovative chefs and world-class menus. 

With more than 110 restaurants in downtown alone, and more than 1,000 throughout the County, Greenville, South Carolina’s abundant and tasty restaurant scene is garnering national attention. 

Nose Dive restaurant in Greenville South Carolina

Nose Dive restaurant in Greenville South Carolina

Nose Dive is an innovative gastropub were their chefs to craft dishes that are both delicious and exciting. The culinary team is dedicated to inventive fare and attention to detail to create an eating experience.

Antonino Bertolo's Pizza

Antonino Bertolo’s Pizza

Right next to the NOMA plaza on Downtown’s North Main Street in downtown, Antonino Bertolo’s Pizza is one of the city’s most popular pizza parlors, serves up authentic NY style pizza and Italian cuisine. 

Foothill Foodie Tours is a one of a kind foodie experience in Greenville with a chance to experience a wide selection of curated tours designed with you in mind. 

 

Better Than Sex - A Dessert Restaurant

Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant

Enjoy the rimmed signature drinks and house made cordials at Better Than Sex – A Dessert Restaurant that re-imagines what intimate dining can be. All with desserts as the main event.

 

Next Day Get Inspired By Greenville’s Nature

 

Greenville is all about scenic beauty.  Five gorgeous state parks perfect for a stroll or to break a sweat.

The 22-mile Prisma Health Swamp Rabbit Trail is one of Greenville’s most popular. There’s Falls Park on the Reedy, Greenville’s downtown green space, waterfalls, flowers, and walkways.  Cleveland Park, the city’s largest park and home of the 14-acre Greenville Zoo 

Want even more?  Greenville’s got it!

Over 60 outdoor obstacles and ziplines, Treetop Quest Greenville’s aerial adventure park will thrill you.  Paris Mountain State Park’s Four lakes, a swimming area (complete with kayaks, canoes and pedal-boats for rent), playground, 15 miles of hiking and biking.

Lake Jocassee

Lake Jocassee

Head north to stop at Marci Jo’s Olde Mountain Store, a quaint local spot between Jones Gap and Caesars Head State Parks 

Wildcat Branch Falls near Greenville SC

Wildcat Branch Falls near Greenville SC

There’s over a 100 more parks within just a few hours’  drive.

 

Speaking of Serene.  Looking for a retreat?

Greenville’s Grand Bohemian

Greenville’s Grand Bohemian

Greenville’s Grand Bohemian is a luxurious boutique hotel perched along the Reedy River.  Whether you’re stopping by for a handcrafted cocktail, spending the night in one of their suites or attending a conference, it’s sure to be a cozy delight. 

 

Dripping with Southern Charm 

 

Hotel Hartness near Greenville SC

Hotel Hartness near Greenville SC

Hotel Hartness is the luxurious destination just outside the city.

Spa weekend?  Dream wedding?    Elegant event space.  The extraordinarily intimate experience of 69 suites in the main hotel and 4 spa suites.

South Charm in Greenville South Carolina

 

You’re looking for a new trip.

A great foodie adventure?

With a mix of big city with quaint and calm and mountains of inspiring scenery

And it’s easy to get to.

Greenville is a must-visit destination that makes visiting easy, delicious and memorable.  From food to local culture, exercise, romance and calm vibes that the South is best known.

 

Wine Country: Coppola‘s Domain de Broglie takes Top Honors at 30th annual McMinnville Wine Competition

Coppola‘s Domain de Broglie takes Top Honors at 30th annual McMinnville Wine Competition

The McMinnville Wine Classic Competition completed its 30th annual professional judging on Saturday January 7, 2023.

All eight out-of-state judges arrived unfettered and ready to help elevate the competition.

The wine competition has not missed an event including through the peak Covid years, and is a dedicated fundraiser for McMinnville’s St. James School.

It raises thousands of dollars for programs benefiting the school’s children. Organized by Rolland Toevs, Carl Giavanti and Jon Johnson and staffed by volunteers, the Mac Classic competition is one of the largest Oregon Only wine competitions in the state.

The competition draws professional judges from across the U.S.

This year’s panel represents the full spectrum of the wine industry, including future MW Samantha Cole Johnson of Janice Robinson.com, Sommeliers like Fred Swan and Ellen Landis, Buyer Jusden Aumand from Tri-Vin Imports, and Wine Writers such as Clive Pursehouse the U.S. Editor for Decanter Magazine, Eric Degerman of Great Northwest Wine, Deborah Parker-Wong the U.S. Editor Slow Wine Guide, James Melendez aka James the Wine Guy, and Michael Apstein of Wine Review Online and Terroir Sense

Coppola‘s Domain de Broglie takes Top Honors at 30th annual McMinnville Wine Competition

Wines were showing well, with distribution of Double Gold and Gold awards was across the state.

Taking home top honors in 2023 was Domaine de Broglie, whose 2019 Dundee Hills Pinot Noir claimed Best of Show, Best Pinot Noir and Best Red Varietal, a first time ever for any winery in the state.

Cardwell Hill Cellars won Best Chardonnay again this year, a record fourth time, for their 2021 The Bard Chard, as well as Best White Varietal. Pike Road Winery won Best Dessert Wine for their Yamhill-Carlton AVA Route 47 Late Harvest white.

Rounding out the awards was Durant Vineyards who gained the top spot in the Best Sparkling Wine category for their 2019 Brut sparkling wine. All Double Gold and Gold Medals are listed at the bottom of this page:

For more details, visit https://www.mcminnvillewinecompetition.com/

Dominique Crenn, North America’s first and only 3 Star Michelin Female Chef, has a Global Foodie Adventure for You

Dominique Crenn, the Chef Behind movie “The Menu” on a global foodie adventure.

Chef Dominique Crenn, the first and only female chef in North America with three Michelin stars, helped the filmmakers of the horror movie “The Menu” bring to life the perfect menu for the main event which has been described as a real 9-courses culinary and artist masterpiece.

And now there is an opportunity for an intimate group of guests to meet, dine and discover with Dominique in person in France

Dominique Crenn, the Chef Behind movie “The Menu” on a global foodie adventure.

Dominique Crenn, the Chef Behind movie “The Menu” on a global foodie adventure.

Enjoy Dominique Crenn for 5 days in France for a Hosted Experience with Satopia Travel

As the chief technical consultant for The Menu film, Dominique Crenn was responsible for advising on all aspects of food preparation and presentation to bring to life the concepts of the menu based on Seth Reiss and Will Tracy’s screenplay.

Crenn is known for her creative approach to cooking

She has been working closely with Mark Mylod, the director and producers to ensure that the film accurately portrays the culinary world.

Her menu is inspired by her travels and experiences around the world

Crenn is known for her creative approach to cooking, and her menu is often inspired by her travels and experiences around the world. Dishes that Dominique Crenn designed as a consultant are presented with the slow-motion pomp and string accompaniment of a “Chef’s Table” episode. Indeed, the food-worshiping Netflix series, which featured Crenn in season two, was an inspiration for “The Menu”.

There is an incredible opportunity for an intimate group of like-minded travelers

There is an incredible opportunity for an intimate group of like-minded travelers to meet chef, icon and activist Dominique Crenn.

In collaboration with Satopia Travel, Crenn conjures up five magical days and evenings where creativity and nature converge. Our most inspired Hosted Experience is a wonder to behold for our guests. Combining the magnificent culinary delights of triple Michelin star chef Dominique Crenn with the stunning backdrop of an ancient French chateau is certain to ignite your palette and spirit.

Dominique Crenn brings her soul to the feast

Dominique Crenn brings her soul to the feast, transforming ingredients through the poetry of gastronomy. Those fortunate to share her table and her stories will discover a world of passion and gratitude for food, community and life. You’ll create and share unforgettable memories.

Ancient olive groves, crisp French linen, the vintages of Cognac and the sound of boisterous laughter under a starlit sky. Step into a magical world of natural beauty, wonder and awe.

Booking is now open. Book before the 1st of January to take advantage of the holiday rates before prices increase.

About Satopia Travel

Satopia Travel (www.satopiatravel.com) specializes in unique experiences, led by world-class hosts. Providing guests with unprecedented access to some of the most extraordinary people on the planet, Satopia hosts world-class leaders who champion the potential for the future of humanity, creating meaningful connections through shared experiences. Every hosted experience has an element of giving back, either to a local community, social or environmental cause close to their heart.

Website http://satopiatravel.com

Instagram www.instagram.com/satopiatravel

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