Pope Francis’s Message

Think of the children.
Help the children.
Be more ready to think of others than yourself.
Give up on some possessions.
Improve yourself in being a more moral person than a materialistic one.
Accept people’s differences in their point of view and religions.
Be tolerant.


Salone Del Gusto Terra Madre 2014

Here is the article in the Chestnut Hill Local about my experience in Torino:

Finally, I made it to Salone Del Gusto 2014. I have been involved with Slowfood for the past 20 years, so it made me very happy to witness what happens when many dedicated people from all over the world congregate in the old Fiat factory which turned into a convention center in Torino. I chose to stay in a hotel in town so I would have both worlds – the flavor of the town and the bustle of the Salone. I arrived in the early afternoon; I took a cab to the hotel except the driver could not find the building. We saw two suspicious individuals coming to the car and asking the driver if I were Mrs. Haines. They grabbed me and said that they had an apartment for me to which I responded that I did not book an apartment. To be cautious, my driver gestured me to not follow them. After taking off, it took an hour and a half of travelling from hotel to hotel to find a room because everything was booked due to Salone Del Gusto. Finally, a very nice receptionist in a hotel found a room for me in a nice neighborhood through the Internet. I rushed to the metro to get to the Salone and arrived promptly to the reception. It was very impressive to see the parade of all of the flags representing all of the countries which partook in the event from Afghanistan to Peru.

I had signed up for five workshops (International Network of Affineurs, Champagne: Extra-Brut and Nature, Which Dosage?, The Cheeses and Wines of Turkey, German Pastry-Making: Sweet Berlin, The Sergeant Recruits the Best in Paris) and two dinners (At Dinner with Brussels and Antonia’s Vision). I was glad to hear Claudia Roden speak. She is very well known for “The Book of Jewish Food, an Odyssey from Samarkand to New York.”

It is very difficult to explain the intricate planning of all of the different programs from workshop to educational programs for children to panel conferences, demonstrations, dinners, wine tastings, and so on.

Each country had an exhibit where they were bringing what they thought was the finest of their country. Of course, being in Italy, Italy had a whole pavilion to itself with markets and exhibits. It was amazing to taste all the cheeses from the different parts of Italy, from Puglia to Piedmont, to taste all the salami and ham, all the wines, etc.

Going to the international pavilion, you would be enticed by the saffron from Iran, precisely from Mashad, a town famous for its saffron. I had the opportunity to be there a few years ago for the harvesting of the saffron flower. It is a very painstaking labor.

I was delighted to discover that Georgia was represented, a country very close to my heart since I just spent 10 days in a vineyard matching their wine with my food. The Georgian people there, of course, knew the owner of the vineyard that I visited named Pheasant Tears. I was sorry to learn that when I went to the Cyprus stand, my hostess had already left. I’m sorry that I missed the representative of the Cyprus convivium. I had participated in the Slowfood conference, which gathered all of the representatives of the Mediterranean islands. I missed a very creative cheese maker, Olive Puentespina.

I needed some time to escape the bustle of the Salone, so I wandered the streets of Torino. I even had my nails done which led me to meet a gourmet, young lady who invited me to a Trattoria Pizzeria del Colapasta owned by a lady chef.

One of my delights was going to the little cornerstore for my decaf espresso, my apple and my cheese. It is a neighborhood corner shop/bar who serves espresso, liquor, and wine and sells chewing gum and candies with the wife (Arcangela) preparing the food and the husband (Angelo) running the bar with an assistant (Michele). It has a small sidewalk café. You are welcomed with a friendly “Buon giorno.” It never fails. I recommend La Caffeteria Del Sogni. I enjoyed walking to the metro station picking up my daily New York Times and riding with all of the commuters to the last station called Lingotto where the Salone Del Gusto was.

Eat healthy, share with friends, be open minded, and love the world.

Quote from the NYT: doggie bags clash with leftover attitudes

In France, it used to be that you could not take the rest of your wine with you but now you can thanks to the restriction on drunk driving. So, restaurants saw an interest in letting the customers take the rest of their wine home because this way, they can order more. Now, we’re talking about leftover food and it is starting very very slowly in France. It has to overcome the stigma of class and poverty. How can you be a distinguished CEO of a very large French company if you carry a little box containing two small pieces of filet mignon?! Any thoughts on the subject? I think it is great not to waste any food. For instance, yesterday I bought a delicious croque monsieur sandwich at High Street. It was huge, therefore I ate only half. I had the other half wrapped and I took it to the concierge of my building. It was still warm and she was delighted, so I think it’s a good idea and I do not have any feeling of inferiority or negativity about the act of taking the food that is rightfully mine.

The Thread of Life

Someone heard my voice at Fante’s as I was shopping for brioche molds. It was a student of mine of some 47 years ago. We met again! It was such a pleasure to link back with a family that has been part of the story of the Spring Mill Cafe where Jimmy’s sister got married and where his parents came very often asking for the farmhouse as a preference for seating. Happy Holidays!Former student of mine at GFS, Jimmy Fernberger

Claudio’s and Meeting New People

I have not been often to Claudio’s but I had such a good time on Friday after Thanksgiving that I will go back very often. I met a great lady originally from Alto Adige. She lives now in Lancaster and she was buying the store because she wanted to have all of the products that she loves from her original country. She and her husband had many bags to take back to Lancaster. We promised to meet again and chit chat over some delicious Alto Adige wine. Erica and her husband at Claudio's cheese shop

Wedding Day: Saturday, September 13th

It was a rainy day but it brings good luck. Kayla and Ezra had done a superb job of preparing their beautiful garden for the occasion with a tent and a path of straw over the wet grass to protect our heels. There were heel protectors distributed as you came into the house. The ceremony started around 4:30 and it was very moving to listen to Mike Simmons who administered the marriage. Then we proceeded to have the toast and to go to the food truck waiting for us at the end of the garden. The food was delicious with a variety of samples from different countries. The grand finale was a gorgeous and scrumptious croquembouche made by Patrick from Aux Petits Delices. Then the music started and everyone danced. I had a marvelous time dancing with my sons! To my surprise, my feet did not hurt. The weather turned to clear by 5:30 so we had rain and sun to make a perfect day. ezra and kayla Food truck garden Helping with my shoe Jason and Ezra 2 jason and ezra jason Kayla and Ezra kayla2 preparing The big moment trevormakeupMichele Tessa

The Tale of Two Aprons


At the restaurant.

At the restaurant Monsieur Jordan.

photo 2 photo 3 photo 4 photoI am in Tbilisi, Georgia in July 2014 at Monsieur Jordan restaurant.

I am ready to be presentable as a chef. I have my chef jacket and my hat but I do not have any white aprons, so I ask Misha to give me some white aprons to match my outfit. They do not have any; they only have black aprons. I decide then that we will go and buy two white aprons. Misha called a place where they can make fitted aprons on the spot. We get in the car and arrive in a very industrial section of town. Suddenly, the car climbs a very desolate, concrete, scary ramp. It keeps going upward in the dark and finally with the flashlight, we parked the car. With the flashlight, we enter a big room with about 50 sewing machines and we are led to a small room with a desk and receptionist. Misha explains that we would like two white aprons. We are shown different materials. I choose a nice cotton, I am measured, and within ten minutes and fervent activities from two separate sewing machines, cutting knives, threading of the needle, and the bobbing of the spools, the two seamstresses had my aprons ready. The room was empty of people except my two seamstresses. I paid adding 10 dollars for their eagerness in satisfying me on the spot but the policy of the house was to refuse. I felt very strange leaving this place and was wondering where were the other seamstresses. Were they off? Was it a time of hardship in the economy? We went down again to the darkness of the ramp back to the hectic traffic of Tbilisi and finally back to the restaurant.