Chef Mary Ann's Blog

▣ CLASSIC TUSCANY - MONTALCINO&MONTEPULCIANO

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on September 5th, 2013 at 7:58 AM

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SEE ALL OF THE AMAZING PHOTOS OF THIS TRIP ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE (KISSED BY AN ITALIAN). FOR AN AMAZING 36 HOUR ADVENTURE, PLEASE READ ON

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▣ FOLLOW ME TO FRANCE & ITALY - FOOD FEST!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 27th, 2013 at 1:09 PM

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It’s a “Food Festival” in France and Italy – Too good not to indulge!

I work really hard all year long to keep myself in reasonable shape – boot camp and running, a low carb/high protein diet, etc., etc.HOWEVER, on my current adventure here in France and Italy all bets are off. Oh sure, we biked through the Bordeaux wine region and we are walking everywhere in Italy but if you think that I am not partaking in the French bread, Foie Gras & Italian red wine – think again!

 


 

 

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▣ FOLLOW ME TO FRANCE & ITALY - Bordeaux Bike Trip

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 14th, 2013 at 9:50 AM

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Day 1.

 OMG! We started our Bordeaux bike and wine experience clocking almost 50 miles. (We old geezers have still got what it takes!) It was a lovely loop starting at our Inn in Margeaux. We went through several little villages with acres and acres of vines. Our route even took us through about 8 miles of a pine forest. We only stopped at one vineyard close to the end of our biking so that we could enjoy a longer ride in order to enjoy the scenery and maintain an easy pace.

However we made up for lost “wine tasing time” at dinner. We rode a few kilometers to a lovely bistro and enjoyed a bottle of Bordeaux with a plate of perfectly cooked duck breast and the most succulent seared foie gras that I have ever had.  And the portion of foie gras was generous! The bistro was run by a husband and wife team with about 8 tables. Even though they did not speak  a lot of English and we really don’t speak French (Larry does a little), it’s amazing how far a few smiles, gestures and pantomiming can do!

 

Day 2.

 We and our bikes were picked up from our hotel by our tour guide, Nicholas. We spent an amazing day touring and tasting three of the premier wines of the Medoc region.

From our hotel in Margaux, which is in the Medoc region, we stopped at Chateau Desmirail for a tour and tasting. Unlike a typical stop at a winery in the Napa Valley, a tour and tasting in Bordeaux is focused on the wineries history and the process of making the wine. The tasting of the wine is really secondary. Our tour and tastings at each winery took about an hour! But it was fascinating – the history and evolution of the wineries in particular. Very few these days are still family owned. However, Chateau Desmirail is one of the exceptions. And they uphold some of the traditional means of making wine while weaving in the technological advances of the modern winemaking process.

We then had an amazing lunch at a very modern looking wine shop and restaurant called LeWy. Our relaxed 3-course lunch including local lamb, fish and vegetables. While this may sound ordinary, the complex layering of flavors with each dish plus the preparation and presentation was extraordinary. Ah, Viva La French!

After lunch we visited two more wineries (chateaus) – Gruaud Larose and Pichon Longueville Baron – all lovely, rich Bordeaux's with a varying percentage and combination of Cabernet Sauvingnon and Merlot grapes (predominately).

After a very long day, we were dropped off at a small waterside town called Pauillac where we will stay for 2 nights. Tomorrow, more biking and more to come!

 

Day 3.

 From Pauillic we biked about 30 miles in the Medoc region. A highlight was biking to see the Chateau of Mouton Lafite Rothchild. We actually got on premise but “got caught” and was asked to leave. Oh, well. Moving on, it was an easy ride through a “sea” of beautiful acres of vines. We rode our bikes through this area on Sunday. What was lovely is that each town was very quiet. It reminded me of a time gone by when I was growing up where Sunday was meant to be with family and not to do anything else –no shopping, no working, etc. It was nice to see that this tradition still exists . . . however, I did long for a nice cold beer at the 20 mile mark!!! Oh well!

 

Day 4.

We got picked up by our guide from Pauillac to a lovely journey to Saint-Emilion which is a medieval city and beautiful wine area. We had two private tours with “small” family-owned wineries including Chateau du Tailhas in Pomeral right outside of Saint-Emilion and Chateau Beausejour Becot. The main distinction of wines of Medoc and Margeaux versus Pomeral and Saint-Emilion is the percentage of Cabernet Sauvignon versus Merlot – Medoc/Margeaux wines have a higher percentage of Cabernet whereas those in Saint-Emilion have a higher percentage of Merlot.

I could give you a much more in-depth explanation of both wines, but in the end, they are both lovely but both have a very distinct flavor and composition.

 

Day 5 & 6.

Our final day of biking took us from Saint Emilion to the city of Bordeaux. It was about a 45 mile trek that took us once again through beautiful acres of vineyards, chateaus and rolling hills. However, a majority of our ride was on a lovely tree-lined bike path all the way to Bordeaux. The bike path is an old railroad path. Once we got to Bordeaux, we were still on bike only paths through the city which made it very easy and safe.

The city of Bordeaux is vibrant. It's easy to maneauver via biking, walking, running, etc. It's a city of old versus new. We loved spending our last day here before heading to Bordeaux.

Please go to my Facebook Page at Kissed By An Italian and look at all of our amazing photos of this trip! Merci!

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▣ FOLLOW ME TO FRANCE & ITALY - Paris

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 13th, 2013 at 3:14 PM

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First Stop - Paris

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▣ Follow Me Through Argentina - A Sunday Picnic at Alta Vista Winery in Mendoza!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on February 4th, 2013 at 1:12 PM

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An Amazing Picnic Lunch With Wine, Of Course, At the Alta Vista (High View) Winery. Read On As Mendoza is a MUST Wine Destination!

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▣ Follow Me Through Argentina - Closed Door/Underground Restaurants!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on February 2nd, 2013 at 2:59 PM

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Read on about an amazing evening we shared with our new amigos y amigas in Buenos Aires at Casa Saltshaker!

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▣ I have AWESOME Clients

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on January 29th, 2013 at 8:48 PM

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I am blessed with great clients.Please read on regarding the powerful connection between food, celebration, friends and/or family.

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▣ Just Got Back From "Fancy Food Show" in San Francisco!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on January 25th, 2013 at 12:37 PM

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Let Chef Mary Ann Share Some Cool Products That She Discovered at "The Fancy Food Show" in San Francisco.

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▣ Just Say "No" To New Year's Resolutions!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on January 9th, 2013 at 6:20 PM

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Chef Mary Ann has refused to pledge any resolutions for 2013. Instead, she has written her personal "recipe for success" for 2013 and beyond!

She invites you to please read on . . .

 

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▣ RX For A Stress Free Holiday!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on December 1st, 2010 at 10:55 AM

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Read About How to Have a Stress Free Holiday

in the Kitchen!

 

 

 

 

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▣ Read My Article In The Desert Leaf!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on October 12th, 2010 at 8:45 AM

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Read About "Kissed By An Italian" in October's Issue of THE DESERT LEAF!

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▣ Follow Me Through New Zealand - Penguins & Seals & Whales, Oh My!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on September 13th, 2010 at 3:40 AM

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Read About My Up Close Encounters with New Zealand Sea Mammals & More . . .

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▣ Follow Me Through New Zealand - Marlborough Sounds & Abel Tasman

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on September 5th, 2010 at 3:13 AM

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Read About My Amazing Week in Marlborough Sounds and Abel Tasman - The Northern Tip of the South Island!

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▣ Follow Me Through New Zealand-Entry#3-Wellington

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 31st, 2010 at 1:51 PM

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Wellington is for Foodies! Read on about my city culinary adventure!

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▣ Follow Me Through New Zealand - Wine Regions of the N. Island

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 24th, 2010 at 3:32 PM

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If You LOVE Great Wine & Food . . . PLEASE Read On!

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▣ Follow Me Through New Zealand - Week 1 & Changes from last 25 Years!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 20th, 2010 at 3:10 AM

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Follow Me Through New Zealand! Read More about the changes over the last 25 years from my vantage point.

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▣ Beat the Heat with an Easy No Cook Dinner Party

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on August 7th, 2010 at 3:27 PM

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Read More about Chef Mary Ann's "No Cook" Dinner Party Challenge with Recipes!

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▣ View "Kissed By An Italian" Video on YouTube!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on July 25th, 2010 at 4:15 PM

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 Read More about "The Kissed By An Italian" Video on YouTube!

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▣ Chef Mary Ann at Boot Camp!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on July 6th, 2010 at 7:03 PM

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A picture is worth a thousand words.

I'm the third person in line. Oh, by the way, the balls we are carrying are over 6lbs. Read More . . .

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▣ Chef Mary Ann Joins Brown's Boot Camp in Oro Valley!

posted by Mary Ann Brody-Heyl on July 4th, 2010 at 4:54 PM

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So I thought I was in "Decent"  Shape . . . Not After I Joined Boot Camp!

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