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Norfolk Wine Festival Celebrates 25 Years

Norfolk Wine Festival Celebrates 25 Years


The annual fall Town Point Virginia Wine Festival returns Oct. 20 and 21

Town Point Virginia Wine Festival

The 25th annual fall Town Point Virginia Wine Festival returns Oct. 20 and 21 to Town Point Park in Norfolk, Va.

During the two-day festival, guests can sample and purchase more than 200 wines from more than 20 Virginia wineries and vineyards. Guests can choose to sample their wines at reserved tables or in private chalets. Tickets for the event must be purchased by Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012.

Those who want to continue sampling wine can visit the newly opened Mermaid Winery, Virginia’s first urban winery and tasting room. In addition to making its own wines, the Mermaid Winery offers more than 30 artisan wines and local beers paired with a special tasting menu.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.


St. Moritz Gourmet Festival 2018 Celebrates 25 Years

You will find some of the top talents in the culinary world this week in Switzerland’s Engadin valley for the 25th anniversary of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. Extended from five to nine days this year — running from January 12-20, 2018, the festival features 10 guest master chefs from Europe, Asia and the United States. With the finest ingredients and the most careful preparation, you can enjoy delicious cuisine from these internationally acclaimed chefs, while surrounded by breath-taking views of the Alps.

I just returned from the glamorous winter wonderland of St. Moritz, after attending the first weekend of the Gourmet Festival, including the sold-out Grand Julius Bär Opening on Friday, January 12. With dozens of different events planned this year, you will have many chances to discover the cuisine of the guest master chefs, while also taking advantage of the skills and knowledge of the chefs and culinary experts working in St. Moritz.

An Impressive Line-up of Guest Master Chefs for 2018

As in years past, the guest master chefs for 2018 are partnered with local chefs working at the nine partner hotels. Altogether, the master guest chefs have accomplished the following and more:

  • 6 chefs work in Michelin-starred restaurants
  • 5 chefs come from restaurants rated by GaultMillau
  • 4 chefs are in three of Asia’s 50 Best Restaurants 2017
  • 2 chefs have been named World’s Best Female Chef
  • 1 chef earned the 2017 Female Chef Award from the Michelin Guide in Switzerland

This year’s edition of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival also has two notable changes. First, the festival does not focus on one particular country. For example, in recent years the festival invited chefs exclusively from the United Kingdom, Japan and most recently, the United States. For 2018, organizers decided that the anniversary itself would serve as the festival’s theme, and instead brought together a diverse line-up of chefs from different countries. The second change involves the arrival of the chefs. Rather than having all the chefs attending the entire festival, some of the guest master chefs participate in the first half of the festival, and the rest participate in the second half of the festival. The Kitchen Party event mid-way through the week, held at Badrutt’s Palace, will have all the guest master chefs and local chefs in attendance.

Guest master chefs and local chefs for the opening night of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival at the Kulm Hotel. Photo credit: swiss-image.ch/Photo Andy Mettler.

Grand Julius Bär Opening

The first event of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival — the Grand Julius Bär Opening — took place the evening of Friday, January 12 for the first time at the Kulm Hotel St. Moritz. With a ticket price of CHF 245 per person, approximately 400 guests were treated to small plates, accompanied by a selection of fine champagnes and wines. The evening featured the festival’s first group of master guest chefs: Syrco Bakker (Netherlands), Ian Kittichai (Thailand), Ana Roš (Slovenia) and Jörg Sackmann (Germany). With the chefs themselves serving the dishes from the various “gourmet islands,” guests had the unique opportunity to talk with them directly, asking questions or giving feedback.

Ana Roš and her team working at the opening night of the festival.

Pulled beef sandwiches and Smoked char from Fabrizio Zanetti of Suvretta House.

At the opening event, I tried at least one dish from each of the chefs. Thankfully they were small enough that you can sample lots of different dishes all in one night. Here are two trends that I noticed among the dishes offered that evening:

1. Fish and shellfish with citrus:

  • Langoustine tartar, verveine, lime, cucumber and dashi from Syrco Bakker and Gero Porstein (Carlton Hotel St. Moritz)
  • Red king snow crab, grapefruit, Remolazzo (daikon) from Fabrizio Piantanida (Grand Hotel Kronenhof)
  • Hiramasa kingfish with ponzu and citrus from Rolf Fliegauf (Hotel Giardino Mountain)
  • Swiss salmon trout ceviche with coconut milk, honey, coriander and yuzu from Florian Mainzger (Nira Alpina)
  • Sashimi from Faroe Islands – Salmon, oriental spices, mandarin segments, puffed rice from Jörg Sackmann and Fabian Marolf (Waldhaus Sils)

Hiramasa kingfish with ponzu and citrus from Rolf Fliegauf (Hotel Giardino Mountain). Photo credit: swiss-image.ch/Andy Mettler.

2. Adding texture with puffed or roasted rice:

  • “Larb” scallop wok-seared, saw tooth coriander, roasted rice and chili flakes from Ian Kittichai and Valmiro Pasini (Badrutt’s Palace Hotel)
  • Bluefin tuna belly, miso and rice crunch from Matthias Schmidberger (Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains)
  • The Sashimi dish listed above from Jörg Sackmann and Fabian Marolf also had puffed rice.

Swiss pork belly “Sweet & sour” with apple-vanilla purée and purple Shiso cress from Florian Mainzger. Photo credit: swiss-image.ch/Andy Mettler.

In terms of my favorite dishes for the evening, one of them was “Beetroot meringue with wood sorrel, goose liver and smoked eel,” from Jörg Sackmann and Fabian Marolf. This creative, elegant dish had an incredible color, flavor and texture. The delicate round meringue encased a savory filling. I also loved the two dishes prepared by Ian Kittichai — the warm scallop was soft and tender and gave off some heat with the chili flakes. His second dish used “Geang-Cau roasted curry paste” with coconut milk, which made a delicious sauce for the slow-cooked beef short ribs. I think I could probably eat these for dinner every week.

Jörg Sackmann describing and serving his “Beetroot meringue with wood sorrel, goose liver and smoked eel.”

The St. Moritz Gourmet Festival runs until Saturday, January 20, 2018, and tickets are still available for some events. For more information and to purchase tickets online, go to: www.stmoritz-gourmetfestival.ch.

Please note: I attended the Grand Julius Bär Opening as a guest of the St. Moritz Gourmet Festival. The thoughts and opinions expressed in this article are purely my own.


Get Your Grape On

1991, a group of wine lovers, including founder Russ Wiles, partnered with public radio station WGUC to create the Cincinnati International Wine Festival, an event aimed at raising money for the public radio system and to promote wine culture in Cincinnati. Flash forward 25 years and the festival has become a huge three-day juggernaut featuring more than 800 old- and new-world wines from more 130 wineries worldwide.

The festival is also an impressive nonprofit. According to Laura Ginn, executive director of the Cincinnati International Wine Festival, as of 2014 more than $4.2 million has been raised to benefit more than 30 local charities in the areas of arts, education, health and human services, as well as for children’s programs in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky.

Money is partially raised through ticket sales, which give attendees access to all variety of events, from winery dinners at a handful of area restaurants to grand tastings and a charity auction and luncheon. And since there are so many events associated with the festival — which runs Thursday, March 5 through Saturday, March 7 — here are some guidelines to help you plan your wine weekend.

The weekend starts on Thursday with 11 exclusive winery dinners at some of our finest local restaurants, including La Poste Eatery, The Presidents Room and Daveed’s NEXT. Seating is extremely limited and tickets ($125-$175) sell out quickly. Each restaurant is paired with a visiting wine personality from a premium winery, like Robert Mondavi, Heitz Wine Cellars and Raptor Ridge Winery, and the chefs prepare three to five courses, each with a complimentary wine.

School yourself for the Grand Tasting sessions at the Duke Energy Convention Center:

Each of the more than 130 wineries from 13 countries will be sampling from six to eight wines on both Friday and Saturday, so you’ll want to know in advance what you’re in for. Have no fear, just head to the festival website (winefestival.com) and download the super informative tasting guide the list is broken down by festival exhibitors, with room for tasting notes. The Grand Tastings are the perfect way for beginners as well as experts to try new wines, old favorites and gain knowledge from the winemakers and winery representatives. Tickets for the Grand Tastings range from $65 to $115.

Besides wine, there will be plenty of food on offer. Look for samples from pasta and cheese companies as well as chefs from Kroger who will be preparing food on site. Students from the Midwest Culinary Institute at Cincinnati State will also be presenting a selection of their fine pastries.

Almost all of the festival’s tastings and events have been conveniently located within walking distance of the Central Business District, and seven downtown hotels, including the official festival hotel, the Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza, are offering discount rates and packages for the weekend. “This is the largest wine festival between Chicago and New York,” Ginn says, “and we have people coming from all over Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.” More than 6,000 attended the Grand Tastings last year.

Check out wine world royalty:

The 25th anniversary of the festival calls for some very special guests. “We are very pleased and honored to have Gina Gallo of Gallo Signature Series as well as her husband Jean-Charles Boisset of Boisset Family Estates, France’s largest producing winery family,” Ginn says. “She is from the Ernest and Julio Gallo family, America’s largest volume producing winery. She is the granddaughter of Julio, and she married Charles in 2009, making the merger of two of the biggest families in the wine industry.

“For them to come to Cincinnati and celebrate the festival is really huge for Cincinnati and the wine scene here because normally they don’t travel or do any sort of events together.”

The couple will act as the overseers of the festival, so you’ll be able to catch a glimpse of the glamorous duo all weekend.

Looking for a more intimate wine-themed event?

Purchase a ticket for Saturday’s charity luncheon/auction ($125) for the more wine savvy at the Hilton’s Hall of Mirrors, where you’ll enjoy a champagne reception, including brunch bites prepared by Orchids executive chef Todd Kelly, before sitting down to a three-course lunch at tables hosted by winery personalities. You’ll be able to bid on exceptional wine-themed items such as first-growth Bordeaux lots, large format wine bottles, a trip to California wine country and an opportunity to have renowned local chef Jean-Robert de Cavel cook dinner in your home.


Park City Wine Festival

Because we know how Parkites enjoy a good glass of wine, we wanted to remind everyone that the Park City Wine Festival will be back again this year. The event will run from October 3rd through October 6th and promises all the excitement from years past.

For those of you that haven’t been to the Park City Wine Festival it offers a variety of experiences on the mountain, in restaurants, classrooms and around town. Not only will you enjoy the wine and food, but your mind will be fully satisfied from the knowledge and information.

Plan on spending a good portion of your day at the event and make sure you bring your I.D., as you must show proof of age to be admitted. No one under the age of 21 will be allowed, including infants or children. The Park City Wine Festival is an adult-only event.

The festival features hundreds of wines from around the world from the everyday to the obscure. Their list of wine participants will continue to grow leading up to a week before the event so check out their website at parkcitywinefest.com for updates. You can also download their mobile app. Some of the wineries currently signed up for the event include: A to Z Wineworks, Oregon Brown-Forman, Kentucky, Copper Cane, Napa Valley CA, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, Salt Lake City Boisett Collection, France, and many additional importers.

When you enter the festival be prepared for more than just tastings. You can engage with winemakers, vineyard owners, and Master Sommeliers, literally the best of the best in the wine industry. You will see how passion for wine, food and the outdoors can create a wonderful memorable experience.

In addition to the multitude of wineries and experts that will be participating in the Park City Wine Festival, many talented local chefs and restaurants will be serving up their specialties at the celebration. And on Saturday, October 4th, the eateries will be providing bite sized samples during the Grand Tasting Event.

Put the dates of October 3rd thru the 6th on your calendar now, and we will see you there!


What Makes Illustrated IPA So Special?

All the malted grains come from Massachusetts.

JC has chosen a mix of raw wheat, danko rye (a Polish rye varietal), spelt, red wheat, and two-row barley, all from Valley Malt in Hadley, Massachusetts.

Our beer embodies the style of New England IPA (NEIPA).

The style is defined by a hazy appearance, an intense hop aroma, and relatively low toasted malt flavor and bitterness.

CTZ hops provide bitterness while El Dorado hops contribute an intense fruity, hoppy aroma.


Summer Events 2021

Photo courtesy the RVA Booklovers Festival

VISUAL ARTS & EXHIBITIONS

May 8

May 10 & June 14

Museum Kids Monday at Brentsville Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, Bristow 703-365-7895, PWCGov.org

May 13-June 25

“On the Cusp of Change” Exhibition Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts 757-923-0003, SuffolkCenter.org

May 29

Art in the Park at Big Gem Park Town of Shenandoah 540-743-1180, TownOfShenandoah.com

May 29-30

VMFA Artmobile Visits Staunton Staunton Augusta Art Center 540-885-2028, SAArtCenter.org

June 5-6

Arts in the Middle Hewick Plantation, Urbanna ArtsInTheMiddle.com

June 5-30

Gloucester Arts Festival Gloucester’s Historic Main Street 804-824-9401, GloucesterArtsFestival.com

June 12 & July 10

2nd Saturday Art Strolls Downtown Smithfield 757-365-1644, SmithfieldVa.gov

PERFORMING ARTS

May 8-16

A Midsummer Night’s Dream Mill Mountain Theatre, Roanoke 540-342-5740, MillMountain.org

May 10

Brentano Quartet at the Bank Street Stage Virginia Arts Festival, Norfolk 757-282-2822, VaFest.org

Virginia teen Kayleigh Kim will be competing in the Menuhin Competition.

May 13-21

June 3, 10, 17, 24 & July 8

Sounds of Summer Concert Series Riverwalk Landing, Yorktown 757-890-5900, VisitYorktown.org

VIRGINIA HISTORY

May 5 & June 2

Wednesday Walk at Bristoe Station Battlefield Park Bristoe Station Battlefield, Bristow 703-366-3049, PWCGov.org

May 15

Tour the Branch House The Branch Museum of Architecture and Design, Richmond 804-655-6055, BranchMuseum.org

May 22

Revolutionary War Symposium (Virtual): “Hindsight is 2020” Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Alexandria 703-746-4242, AlexandriaVa.gov

May 22-23

Six-Button Mess Civil War Encampment Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane 540-592-3556, DCR.Virginia.gov

June 5

Quarter Place Cemetery Dedication & Remembrance Ceremony Patrick Henry’s Red Hill, Brookneal 434-376-2044, RedHill.org

June 19

Juneteenth Open House at Lucasville Lucasville School, Manassas 703-365-7895, PWCGov.org

June 19

Prince William African American History Car Caravan Tour Brentsville Courthouse Historic Centre, Bristow 703-792-4754, PWCParks.org

FOOD & DRINK

May 7, 21, 28 & June 4, 11, 18, 25

Friday Cheers Brown’s Island, Richmond 804-788-6466, VentureRichmond.com

May 15

Ben Lomond’s Antique Rose Garden Tea Ben Lomond Historic Site, Manassas 703-367-7872, PWCGov.org

May 15

Vinton Grapes & Grains Festival Vinton War Memorial 540-343-1364, VintonChamber.com

May 17-May 23

Eastern Shore Restaurant Week Restaurants Cape Charles to Chincoteague Island 757-789-1795, ShoreLiteracy.org

June 19

Three-Year Anniversary Celebration Brewing Tree Beer Company, Afton 540-381-0990, BrewingTreeBeer.com

June 19-20

Craft Beer Festival George Washington’s Mount Vernon 703-780-2000, MountVernon.org

July 4-Sept. 25 (select Fridays)

Foodlore Fridays Foodlore Provisions, Warm Springs FoodloreProvisions.com

FESTIVALS

May 15

Arts and Wine Festival at Locust Grove Walkerton 804-769-8201, LocustGrove1665.com

May 15

Local Colors Festival River’s Edge Sports Complex, Roanoke 540-904-2234, LocalColors.org

May 28-29

Memorial Day Festival and Parade Town of Shenandoah 540-652-8164, TownOfShenandoah.com

May 28-30

Blackbeard Pirate Festival Downtown Hampton 757-727-8311, Hampton.gov

May 28-31

Memorial Day Flea Market Downtown Hillsville 276-728-2128, TownOfHillsville.com

June 3-5

Clinch River Days Festival St. Paul 276-762-5544, ClinchRiverFest.com

June 3-6

2021 Virginia International Tattoo Old Dominion University’s Kornblau Field at S.B. Ballard Stadium, Norfolk 757-282-2800, VaFest.org

June 5

6th Annual Spring Carnival Infinity Acres Ranch, Ridgeway 276-358-2378, InfinityAcres.org

June 5

Norfolk NATO Festival Downtown Norfolk 757-282-2822, VaFest.org

June 5

Redbud Festival Historic Downtown Dayton 540-879-2241, DaytonVa.us

June 25-July 29 (select weekends)

Summer Nights Busch Gardens, Williamsburg 757-229-4386, BuschGardens.com

June 30-July 11

Salem Fair Salem Civic Center 540-375-3004, SalemFair.com

July 3

Summer Jam Music Festival Massanutten Resort 540-289-4952, MassResort.com

SPORTING EVENTS

May 14

Fore the Animals 2021 golf tournament and fundraiser Fredericksburg Country Club 540-898-1500, FredSPCA.org

May 15

Fit Farmer 12K Trail Run City of Norton 276-679-1160, NortonVa.gov

May 15

Kicks For a Cause Lenn Park, Culpeper 540-727-3412, CulpeperChamber.com

May 15

Tour de Chesapeake Mathews Cycling Event Williams Wharf Landing, Mathews 804-725-4229, TourDeChesapeake.org

May 17

Soundscapes Charity Golf Classic James River Country Club, Newport News 757-273-6178, SoundScapes.org

117th Annual Keswick Horse Show

May 19-23

117th Annual Keswick Horse Show Virginia Horse Center, Lexington 434-981-2577, KeswickHorseShow.com. Click here to read more!

May 20

NCAA Women’s Softball Division III Championship Salem Civic Center, Salem 540-375-4021, VisitSalemVa.com

May 21-23

MotoAmerica Superbikes at Virginia Virginia International Raceway, Afton, MotoAmerica.com

May 22-24

NCAA Division II & III Lacrosse National Championship Donald J. Kerr Stadium-Roanoke College, Salem 540-375-3004, SalemChampionships.com

May 29

42nd Annual Elizabeth River Run 10k Elizabeth River Trail, Norfolk 757-681-1434, ElizabethRiverTrail.org

June 6

Carilion Clinic Ironman 70.3 Triathlon Virginia’s Blue Ridge, Roanoke 540-342-6025, Ironman.com

June 6

Spotsylvania Soapbox Derby Dominion Raceway, Thornburg 540-840-9296 SoapboxDerby.org/Spotsylvania

June 19

La Tour de Shore Bike Ride Onancock Town Square 757-787-2460, ESVaChamber.org

NATURE & OUTDOORS

May 1 & June 5

The Farmer’s Forge Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane 540-592-3556, DCR.Virginia.gov

May 14

Spring Wildflower Symposium at Wintergreen Resort Wintergreen Nature Foundation, Roseland 434-325-8169, TWNF.org

May 15

National Kids to Parks Day Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane 540-592-3556, DCR.Virginia.gov

May 15

Discovering Alexandria Architecture Walking Tour Carlyle House Historic Park, Alexandria 703-549-2997, NoVaParks.com

May 22

Kidsfest & Festival of Kites Spring Fair Manassas Museum Lawn 703-889-0202, VisitManassas.org

June 3 (recurring every Thursday)

Flowers After 5 Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond 804-262-9887, LewisGinter.org

June 5

Clean the Bay Day Sky Meadows State Park, Delaplane 540-592-3556, DCR.Virginia.gov

June 10 (recurring 2nd and 4th Fridays)

Fidos After 5 Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond 804-262-9887, LewisGinter.org

CAR SHOWS

May 1 & June 5

Cars and Coffee at Bryant’s Cider Farm Bryant’s Cider Tasting Room, Roseland 571-723-3260, BryantsCider.com

May 8 & June 12

Hillsville Second Saturdays Concert & Classic Car Cruise-In Downtown Hillsville 276-728-2128, TownOfHillsville.com

May 15

2nd Annual Breakthrough Car Show Pamplin Historical Park, Petersburg 804-861-2408, PamplinPark.org

This article originally appeared in the June 2021 issue. All events were accurate at publication but may change without notice. Please check with organizers before traveling.


Astrid Y Gaston restaurant celebrates 25 years with a unique dinner

Astrid & Gastón celebrated 25 years since the restaurant in Lima first opened its doors in characteristic style on 13 July with an S.Pellegrino & Acqua Panna sponsored event with a phenomenal line-up of guest chefs for "Una Cena Unica" or a "unique dinner."

Massimo Bottura, Alain Ducasse, Mauro Colagreco, David Muñoz, Mitsuharu Tsumura, Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon joined owners Gastón Acurio and Astrid Gutsche for a night of memorable fun and comradeship at the restaurant's home in Casa Moreyra, a magnificent San Isidro hacienda with over 300 years of history .

A menu of 14 steps, 3000 preparations, 3000 dishes, 2500 glasses and 5000 pieces of cutlery, 10 types of wine, 75 people on duty and more than 80 chefs are just some of the figures behind the one off dinner of phenomenal proportions, all in aid of The Pachacútec Foundation in 2007, the cooking institute founded by Gaston Acurio providing training to young people with limited economic resources.

The night was an occasion to taste the culinary talent of the accumulated culinary greats. Alain Ducasse showcased the best of France with a selection of cheeses and champagne, Massimo Bottura, his famous crunchy lasagna, Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon a tribute to the Andes with their tubers and the chuncho cocoa from Chahuares.


French Memories, Cohasset celebrates 25 years of butter and love

WATCH: Staff Photographer Robin Chan takes you behind the counter of French Memories!

In French, Jean-Jacques Gabanelle calls out instructions to his daughters behind the counter. They respond, in English, that they’ve already taken care of the croissants what’s next?

This is daily life at French Memories in Cohasset Village. The popular French bakery is celebrating 25 years of business since it opened in 1991.

Jean-Jacques runs the business with his wife, Anne, and their three daughters, Sophie, Emily, and Marie. Like the founders, all the recipes come straight from France, and everything save for the donuts and cupcakes is baked from scratch right in the shop.

French Memories specializes in traditional French pastries and bread. It also supplies French-inspired holiday specials such as yule logs and king’s cakes, a type of cake associated with the festival of Epiphany at the end of the Christmas season. Frozen homemade meals are also available.

𠇎verything is made with butter and love,” Jean-Jacques guarantees.

Butter and love may be the secret ingredients, but equally important are the things the master chef leaves out. He never uses preservatives and is working on an organic bread made with GMO-free flour.

Jean-Jacques also wants to offer a gluten-free bread, but the challenge of making one that follows a traditional French recipe and tastes good without preservatives, chemicals, or extra sugar has stumped him so far.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said.

As for the croissants, the Gabanelles don’t think those will ever be gluten-free. “Whoever invents a gluten-free croissant will be very rich,” Anne said.

Still, Jean-Jacques has overcome plenty of similar challenges. He tries to use local ingredients as much as possible, but “local” is a relative term. What’s a Frenchman to do when life gives him cranberries, blueberries, apples, cinnamon, and pumpkins – none of which are French flavors?

The answer is to improvise. And, so far, it’s worked. Once Jean-Jacques settles on a recipe, he doesn’t change it. Some of them have been around for as long as the bakery itself, or even longer.

“We like to be consistent,” said Jean-Jacques.

As a young man, Jean-Jacques was in the French Navy and visited the United States on two occasions. That was enough for him to fall in love with the country. Meanwhile, Anne was working in the hotel industry. Together, they began to look for a way to move to America.

Jean-Jacques left the Navy, went to school in Paris, and ultimately found a job in Florida. The couple got married and moved to America in their early twenties. They stayed in Florida for four years, where they sold croissants to Disney World. Some of their pastries were served at the French Pavilion in Epcot.

But they dreamed of starting a bakery somewhere that felt more European, so they started looking for opportunities in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston. When the city proved too pricey, they found a little shop in Duxbury and put down roots there in 1989.

The early years were a whirlwind.

“Our first day in business, everything was gone by 10 a.m.,” said Anne. “The next weekend, we ran out by 12. People knew it would all be fresh in the morning. We worked for six months straight.”

They came to work in the dark and went home in the dark. Their view of their first autumn in New England was a spray of leaves changing color on a wall across the street. They didn’t have the budget to hire more help until after the holidays.

But in 1991, they were able to open a second location in Cohasset at the site of the former Central Market. The market had been a social place, Anne remembers, and was family-owned. So in some ways, turning it into a family-owned bakery wasn’t such a big change after all.

Eventually, their partners at the Duxbury location wanted to grow in a different direction, so the Gabanelles sold the Duxbury shop and turned their full focus to Cohasset in 1995.

Some things have changed in the past 25 years. The Gabanelle team of two has become a Gabanelle team of six, with three daughters and a five-year-old granddaughter to share the workload. Oh, and a dozen other employees, to boot.

Teenagers who had their first job at French Memories now bring their kids in for a cookie. A village that had no other eating establishments when the bakery moved in is now home to a sandwich shop, a pizza shop, a bagel shop, and other restaurants.

Occasionally, a new customer will come through the doors because of a segment that was filmed for national television about French family bakers in the United States.

But some things never change.

“We’re so glad we’re outside of the city,” Anne said. “We like the small-town mentality. It’s home. We know everybody who comes in.” Plus, she said, people in this community travel enough to know that French Memories is no knockoff it’s the real deal.

That’s why the bakery has been so popular from the get-go. Even when the economy crashed, people could still afford to come in for coffee and a pastry.

“It’s a tough business, but we have a great product and people are happy with it, so it’s easy,” said Anne. “We have a great relationship with the community.”

The proof of that is in the pudding. There’s a local man who delivers two bottles of wine, one red and one white, every Christmas. Another customer set up a Christmas tree in the shop upon hearing that Jean-Jacques and Anne were too busy to get their own.

At Thanksgiving, the family is the recipient of cranberry sauce and chutney. On Bastille Day, someone brought them a bottle of wine wrapped in a French flag.

“That’s what a small community is,” Anne said. “People say ‘thank you, we love what you do,’ but it goes both ways.”

The Gabanelles aren't up for another 25 years, but they’re in no hurry to get rid of the shop, either. Since none of their children are going into the family business, they’re on the lookout for another young French couple to pick up where they left off.

“It’s our baby,” Anne said. “We don’t want to see it change.”


25th Annual Sunset District Community Festival | SF

The annual Sunset Community Festival celebrates 25 years of bringing together hundreds of residents from the Sunset District to celebrate the community from 11 am to 4 pm on Saturday, September 21, 2019.

With help from community partners, for every year since 1995 Sunset Youth Services has organized the annual Sunset Community Festival, celebrating the unique DNA of a region that boasts over 13 languages and cultures and an Asian population with ancestry from over 7 different countries.

This free family-friendly event draws over 3,500 residents and celebrates the diversity of the region, building bridges among neighbors and providing performance opportunities for local residents.

Young people from our Sunset Services community assist with setup and clean up, engineer sound for live music, and perform original songs on the main stage. Supporters and friends of SYS volunteer in the Kid Fun Zone and at the beer and wine garden.

The festival features Sunset Mercantile’s pop-up marketplace showcasing local merchants, makers, and artisans, and also serves as town hall and valuable gathering place for police, fire department, city officials, and nonprofits to meet with and get to know local residents.

Disclaimer: Please double check event information with the event organizer as events can be canceled, details can change after they are added to our calendar, and errors do occur.


Botham Vineyards celebrates 25 years with special events

The picturesque Botham Vineyards above Jones Valley near Barneveld is going to be an especially happenin' place this summer.

Not that this award-winning winery 25 miles west of Madison &mdash which is surrounded by a nearly 1,000-acre nature preserve and dotted with stately oak trees &mdash doesn't usually have plenty of reasons to visit from June through October.

But for the next few months, it will offer even more, in honor of its 25th anniversary. Events include a Girlfriends Night Out on June 11, an Acoustic Soul Father's Day and the vineyard's birthday bash on June 28 with bands Sam Lyons and Friends and Primitive Culture.

Its yearly vintage car show &mdash which has an "American muscle" theme this year &mdash will be held on Aug. 10 and there will be more music in the fall, which is the busiest time of the year at the winery.

All the events are free except for the car show, which costs $10 for adults. More than 150 cars and several thousand people are expected. All proceeds will go to the Barneveld Public Library Expansion Fund.

And when there's nothing special going on, travelers are welcome to visit and picnic on the broad lawn by the century-old American foursquare-style farmhouse or on the terrace beside the restored red barn that serves as the tasting room, gallery and lounge. The winery also offers tours to groups of 15 people or more by appointment. The home &mdash where vineyard owners Peter and Sarah Botham live with their son Mills and two huge dogs &mdash is private.

"You can also take a nap under one of our big oak trees, play Frisbee or toss a softball if you want," Sarah Botham said during a recent interview at the winery.

If visitors are so moved, they can taste and buy one of the winery's five red or five white wines, which have names like Big Stuff Red, Latitude 43 and Uplands Reserve. Only red French hybrid Marechal Foch and Leon Millot grapes are grown in the 10-acre vineyard on Langberry Road. The white grapes come from the Finger Lakes region of New York, but all of the Botham wines are made at the winery by Peter Botham.

And for the first time this year, the vineyards will be the site of weddings, Sarah Botham said.

"We believe that wine should have a sense of place, and we do our best to reflect that in every event we host, in every wine we produce, in every interaction we have with our guests," she said.

The winery's Big Stuff Red, a semi-dry red that they recommend serving chilled, is an Wisconsin estate-grown, produced and bottled wine that won double gold and single gold at an international wine competition. The winery has earned nearly 400 medals in national and international competitions in the last 10 years, many of them gold and double gold, she added.

The vineyard, in the heart of the Iowa County Upland &mdash part of southwest Wisconsin's Driftless Region &mdash was purchased by Peter's late father in the 1960s as a farm for raising registered Hereford steers.

It's just two miles south of the Village of Barneveld and the Military Ridge State Trail, four miles from Blue Mound State Park, and a 20-minute drive from Taliesin, Spring Green, Mineral Point, Dodgeville and Governor Dodge State Park.

"My dad (a vascular surgeon in Madison) grew up on a farm in Lancaster," Peter Botham said. "When he got to a point in his life where he could afford it, he went back to farming as an avocation. I worked here every summer during high school because I liked it. I still like farming, but I love making wine."

After working for a winery on the East Coast for three years during a break from college, Peter planted his first vines in 1989 and began harvesting grapes in 1993. The first years were difficult, and he more than a few times wondered what he'd gotten himself into. But he persevered and by 2001, his Big Stuff Red wine &mdash named after son Mills &mdash garnered a Double Gold Medal at the San Francisco International Wine Competition. Just 67 Double Gold Medals were awarded that year out of more than 3,100 entries.

Peter said they used to have 16 acres of grapes, but reduced the vineyard size to make it easier for him to manage.

"Some of the acres I took out and others were trashed by accidental spray drift from the row crop farming that used to exist around here," he said. "I like it better this way because I can do a better job of taking care of what I have."

He said the recent recession took its toll on the winery, reducing production from 30,000 gallons a year to 20,000 gallons.

Sales have leveled off, he said, to what seems to be the "new normal."

"Those who couldn't manage went out of business, while those who could adjusted to a new spending climate by the public," he said. "Where we had customers who used to buy five cases, they now buy one or two. Or someone who bought one case, might just purchase a half case.

"It's just a more conservative, tentative approach to spending of disposable income. Our wine is not something you really need. It's not groceries or your mortgage. When things go bad, people cut some corners.

"But I love making wine, and we enjoy sharing this lovely place with people, so we plan to be doing this well into the future," he said.

Getting there: The winery is 112 miles west of Milwaukee via I-94 and Highway 151.


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