Albariño Grows on Long Island’s North Forth Thanks to Miguel Martin

Miguel with Barrel

We first met Miguel when he joined our group for dinner on our first culinary adventure to the Hamptons. Miguel is the winemaker at Palmer Vineyards, located on the North Fork of Long Island. He paired his north fork wines with the delicious south fork dinner prepared by the chef at the Bridgehampton Inn. Miguel’s passion and talent for winemaking is inspirational and the proof  is in the wines. The big surprise for me was the albariño. It’s no accident. Miguel is from Spain and he began making wine in Spain in 1989.  He shared that the weather patterns on the North Fork are very similar to Galicia where the grape is originally from.  Miguel answered a few of other questions:

How did you become a winemaker?
Influence of my dad. He showed me that wine is just more than a drink. It’s food. It’s to be shared with family and friends.

What do you love about making wine?
Every year is different and every year you have the opportunity to create new wines.

Why did you choose Palmer Vineyards to work at when you could be making wine anywhere in the world?
Making wine in Long Island is challenging and I like that. You never know kind of weather you are going to have come harvest time.

How does North Fork differ from South in terms of wine or making wine?
The North Fork is a bit warmer and more suitable to grow grapes. However there is very little difference on the soil composition.

If you’d like to meet Miguel and have a chance to share a meal and drink his wine, come join us on our Hamptons culinary adventure from Oct. 24th to the 27th!  Email us at

A Sweet Surprise!

Goo Goo Cluckster

When we did our R & D trip to Nashville, I had no idea what to expect from a place called the Goo Goo Shop that was listed on our itinerary. I loved the name and hoped there would be chocolate in my future. And there was, lots of it. We learned that Goo Goo Clusters made history in 1912 for being the first candy bar to combine more than one ingredient. The magic mix on the classic Goo Goo is a mound of caramel, marshmallow nougat, fresh roasted peanuts and real milk chocolate. Yum! Then there’s the signature Goo Goos where you find all kinds of ingredients.

We wanted to know more so we asked Beth Sachan, Goo Goo Cluster’s Director of Marketing the following questions:

Why do you think Goo Goo Clusters have stood the best of time?

This brand is very close to my heart, and not only because I work for the company, but because I grew up with it. Being from the South, Goo Goo Clusters have been a part of my life since birth. They were my grandmother’s favorite candy and my mom’s favorite candy. One of my earliest memories is shopping with my mom as a child and buying a single Goo Goo to share as a treat. Every day we hear personal, heartwarming stories & memories from fans via social media, email, handwritten letters (!!!) and visits to our Shop. This is a candy that has been around for over 100 years and the love of it has been passed down through families for generations. I think those special memories are what keeps the brand alive and thriving.

We think your chef’s series is a brilliant idea….what inspired it?

In the spring of 2015, Chef Dale Levitski (of Sinema Restaurant at the time) was going to cook at the James Beard House in NYC and approached us about turning one of his restaurant’s desserts into a Premium Goo Goo that he could use as a take away for the guests of that dinner. That was our “Rocky Roadkill” Premium: Peanut butter, marshmallow, pretzels, peanuts, and potato chips covered in milk chocolate. A couple of months later, we were brainstorming ideas for new Premium flavors and thought, “Hey, why don’t we ask some of our favorite chefs to give us ideas?” In October of 2012, when we celebrated our 100th anniversary, I had recruited over 40 local chefs/restaurants to create Goo Goo desserts as a tribute to the brand, and that was such a huge success that I knew the Chef Series would be definitely be a hit.

What was the weirdest cluster that any chef or any one has designed to date? 

I’m not sure I would call it “weird”, but it was certainly a very unique creation and a departure from the typical ingredients we put in our candies…the Bollywood Y’all Premium concepted by Maneet Chauhan of Nashville’s Chauhan Ale & Masala House (you might know her as a judge on Food Network’s Chopped) contained spicy cashews, fried chickpea pearls, Indian spiced crispy rice snacks, and lime caramel all covered in dark chocolate.

What was the most popular? 

The most popular chef inspired Premium has been the Dixie Crunch, created by Chef Trey Cioccia of The Farm House restaurant in downtown Nashville. It was a part of our 2015 Summer Chef Series, and is the only Premium from last year that has stayed on our chocolate kitchen’s menu ever since. The Dixie Crunch contains a house-made toffee, puffed rice, smoked cacao nibs from Olive & Sinclair and coffee nougat, all covered in milk chocolate. That said, I’m really excited about some of the new flavors being introduced in the 2016 Summer Chef Series, and I have a feeling there are a couple from this one that will show themselves to be equally as popular as that one!

So Y’all come to Nashville with us from October 5–8 and you’ll get to create your own premium Goo Goo Cluster!  For more information, email

Hot Chicken at James Beard House

The Forks had a great time on August 11th, at the James Beard House. “Hot” Chicken from Hattie B’s prepared by Chef John Lasater. We ate deviled eggs with pickled ramps, crispy hot chicken skins, Nashville hot chicken rillettes, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and banana pudding with torched meringue.

Chef Lasater paired the banana pudding with Rompo Red Rye Ale and it blew us away.