Sunday, September 20, 2015

Turning Wine into Water: Harvest Tasting Benefit at The Landing in Stamford CT

Turning Wine into Water Benefit at The Landing

David Cingari, and the entire team from David’s Soundview Catering & Events, which includes Executive Chef Francois Kwaku-Dongo,  is looking forward to the month of October – a fall harvest that’s filled with bringing people together over great food and wine.

The 10th Annual Turning Wine Into Water Harvest Tasting

When: Saturday, October 3, 5:00 PM – 8:00 PM

Donation Levels: $35 Non-vintage, $75 Vintage

Where: The Landing by David’s Soundview Catering, 232 Harbor Drive, Stamford CT

Peter Troilo from Nicholas Roberts Fine Wines in Darien has spearheaded a financial campaign beginning in 2005 which has funded the building of well frames to pump clean water to over 25,000 people in a remote area of Zambia, and has built water, hygiene and sanitation facilities (WASH) throughout impoverished Ethiopian villages where the poorest of the poor have never had access to clean water.

This year Peter and David team up to present an evening of fine wine and food so that we all can contribute Turning Wine Into Water.


Friday, September 18, 2015

The Stand Juice Company opens in Westport CT

The Stand Juice Company Opens its Third Location in Westport, CT

Spending time with Carissa and Mike Hvizdo, the life force behind Fairfield County’s feel-good The Stand Juice Company, is equally as enriching as their plant based juices, snacks, sandwiches and baked goods. And while the business has flourished over the last 10 years and the duo’s standing within the local sustainable food community is palpable among industry jocks, farmers, and loyal consumers, The Stand Juice Company and its creators remain as connected to their passion and commitment to “providing good food and a better earth using the land to do so,” since their adventure first began.

Carissa, an accomplished artist who was raised in a Connecticut farm town, and Mike, a former actor and basketball junkie, also from Connecticut, met at a farmer’s market. The connection was profound and brought together Carissa’s passion for living life off the land and Mike’s firsthand experience with conquering a rare blood disease through natural healing methods, which ultimately led to him earning his holistic educator certification and to his work with the Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach, FL.

The excitement surrounding The Stand Juice Company’s newest location at 1200 Post Road East in Westport only further celebrates the enjoyment and healthful benefits people have been experiencing since Carissa and Mike first made their mark in the organic juice world in 2005 with their original location on Wall Street in Norwalk.

“We had no idea what we were doing, “ admits Carissa, “All we knew was that we believed in our product and we had an opportunity to introduce an organic, GMO free, sustainable, vegan based product to people who were hungry for a healthful food alternative.”

The Stand Juice Company first became known for their juice cleanses. It started at a time when this relatively new method of detoxification was somewhat misunderstood and often misguided. Carissa and Mike took clients through the process, educating them to the numerous health benefits the various juices possessed. Their only advertising was word of mouth, and soon this quirky little juice stand was enjoying a steady stream of clients who craved foods that lifted them up, rather than dragging them down.

Upon the success of the juice cleanses, more menu items were added, as was a dedicated team of “juice jockeys” and a cook to spearhead things in the kitchen with Carissa.  The Stand Juice Company opened their second location in Fairfield in 2011 and moved into new digs in South Norwalk in 2014. The locations all boast a minimalist, while homey and slightly bohemian style décor, and offer freshly made juices and blended drinks, as well as prepared foods to grab and go such as; gluten free baked goods; seasonal hummus with veggies, nuts and olives; a variety of soups; zucchini sesame noodles with fresh herbs; roasted chickpea roll-up with fresh ginger, local maple syrup and tamari, onion and kale; and a Caesar-ish salad made with romaine, toasted pumpkin seeds and cauliflower croutons with a Caesar-ish composed dressing of capers, lemon, kelp, olive oil and sunflower seeds.

The Stand Juice Company is the real deal. Produce and other ingredients are sourced locally and is the product of Carissa and Mike’s close relationships to the many local farmers and artisans throughout Connecticut.  Hideaway Farm, the couple’s own 15-acre farm on the banks of the Connecticut River, is a working organic and sustainable farm.  Hideaway is a zero-waste, no-dig farm that uses the pulp and scrap produce from The Stand Juice Company to feed the herd of rescued farm animals. Their manure provides nutrient rich top soil for the fruits and vegetables the farm grows for The Stand Juice Company and other restaurants throughout Connecticut.

Carissa and Mike are excited about their new Westport location and the opportunity to provide organic plant based foods and juices to people who have already, or have the desire to start incorporating healthy eating into their lifestyle and who have a healthy outlook and appreciation for the land around them.

WESTPORT OPENING DAY – September 18, 2015

1200 Post Road, Westport CT 06880

Monday, September 7, 2015

Cake Boss & Carlo's Bakery comes to Mohegan Sun!

Carlo’s Bakery Opening at Mohegan Sun CT

Carlo’s Bakery, the setting of the hit TLC series Cake Boss and Next Great Baker, will open its doors to the brand’s eleventh location in Uncasville, Connecticut at Mohegan Sun. Carlo’s Bakery currently has ten other locations in cities in New Jersey, New York, Nevada and Pennsylvania. This will be the globally recognized bakery’s first location in Connecticut and New England.

“Mohegan Sun is such a cool, all-encompassing destination in Connecticut,” said Buddy Valastro, owner of Carlo’s Bakery. “Opening a bakery there just seems like a perfect fit for us as we continue to grow our family business and join communities where our fans and their families can make a day out of their visit if they wanted to.”

Carlo’s Bakery at Mohegan Sun, as it will be formally known, will offer all of the classics that Carlo’s Bakery is known for and will also introduce The Sweet Room, a dessert-only dining concept slated to feature a small menu of plated desserts. A new addition to the Carlo’s Bakery brand, The Sweet Room will act as an imaginative dessert experience for Mohegan Sun diners seeking to satisfy all the senses.

“I’m so excited for The Sweet Room’s introduction. We’re whipping up some incredibly unique and delicious desserts that I know will appeal to the Carlo’s Bakery lover looking for that sweet finish after their meal… or maybe as their meal, I don’t judge,” adds Valastro.

Carlo’s Bakery
Location: Winter section of Casino of the Earth at Mohegan Sun
September 12, 2015

About Carlo’s Bakery
Opened in 1910, Carlo’s Bakery is renowned for its delicious creations, hardworking staff, and family atmosphere. Carlo’s has spearheaded the custom cake craze and has garnered attention from a variety of media outlets including Brides, Rachael Ray Show, Huffington Post and Good Morning America. Most recently, Carlo’s has been showcased as the setting for TLC’s hit shows Cake Boss and Next Great Baker.

About Mohegan Sun
Mohegan Sun, owned by the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, is one of the largest, most spectacular entertainment, gaming, dining and shopping destinations in the United States. Situated on 185 acres along the Thames River in scenic southeastern Connecticut, Mohegan Sun is home to three unique casinos, a 34-story, 1,200 room luxury hotel, a world-class spa and golf course, over 85 shops, restaurants and bars as well as three award-winning entertainment venues including a 10,000-seat Arena. Mohegan Sun is within easy access of New York, Boston, Hartford and Providence and located 15 minutes from the museums, antique shops and waterfront of Mystic Country. More information is available by calling 1.888.226.7711 or visiting

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Restaurant MONTH at Foxwoods CT

It's Restaurant Month at Foxwoods Resort in CT!

That's right, you heard correctly the first annual Restaurant MONTH is taking place at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut! From September 8th through September 30th nine restaurants will be serving up a prix fixe menu for dinner!

In no particular's what's in store for you at Foxwoods!

Al Dente Restaurant

There’s a reason everyone has a favorite Italian restaurant. When you find a place that puts the freshest ingredients in the hands of a skilled and seasoned chef, you get cuisine that keeps you coming back for more. With a dedication to the classics and a passion for new creations, Al Dente is sure to become your numero uno.Chef de Cuisine David Brai oversees the creation of the Italian favorites served at Foxwoods Resort Casino’s Al Dente restaurant.  Featuring the best dishes from all of Italy, Chef David’s menu offers gourmet Italian cuisine with a sophisticated flair. 

Here's what Al Dente has to offer for Foxwoods Restaurant Month!

Cedars Restaurant

Foxwoods’ signature steakhouse serves up tradition and originality in equally large portions. Pull up a chair and enjoy hearty American classics made from the best beef, poultry and local seafood available. Or try a new take on some old favorites. You’ll find that steak isn’t the only thing they do well! Chef Eric Post of Cedars Restaurant began his culinary career at the Fisherman Restaurant & Lounge in scenic Noank, CT.  He worked there as a Lead Cook for 7 years before joining Foxwoods Resort Casino in December of 1992.

Here's what Cedars Restaurant has to offer for Foxwoods Restaurant Month!

David Burke Prime Restaurant

Vibrant and vast, Prime features classic and creative preparations of the world’s finest steaks, aged in an on-premises patented salt-brick aging room, as well as seafood, chops and more. In a rock & roll atmosphere, with a world renowned 3,000-bottle wine tower and professional and knowledgeable service, Prime will ensure the most remarkable dining experience. 

Here's what David Burke Prime Restaurant has to offer for Foxwoods Restaurant Month!

Golden Dragon Restaurant

This isn’t your typical Chinese restaurant. With a menu featuring delectable items like rice congee, barbecue, noodle dishes and even a cuttlefish entrée, you’ll have a hard time going back to your old take-out place. 

Here's what Golden Dragon Restaurant has to offer for Foxwoods Restaurant Week!

High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Lounge

High Rollers can be characterized by the retro-chic feel of a bowling alley complete with glamorous Las Vegas style décor and 21st century cutting edge technology. Experience High Rollers Luxury Lanes & Lounge for Yourself & Roll in Style.

Here's what the High Rollers Luxury Lanes and Lounge is offering for Foxwoods Restaurant Month!

Paragon Restaurant

Most restaurants would be thrilled to earn one AAA Four Diamond Award of Excellence. Paragon has earned that distinction for eleven straight years and counting. In fact, they’re one of only six restaurants in the whole state to accomplish that feat. Enjoy seasonal menus, daily market offerings and expertly crafted cocktails. Live nightly piano adds just the right atmosphere for your meal. 

Here's what Paragon Restaurant will be offering for Foxwoods Restaurant Month!

Red Lantern

It’s not so much a restaurant as it is an unparalleled sensory experience. Like its sister location in Boston, Red Lantern offers exquisite Asian fare in an ultra-luxe setting. Visitors enter through oversized, red ceremonial doors and are greeted by a wraparound leather couch, high-back and tufted club chairs and an assortment of acupuncture lamp statues. Not to mention the 66 red lanterns hanging overhead. An open kitchen allows you to watch as chefs prepare delicacies from the Far East while a full sushi counter and lounge area cultivate a more social dining environment. Come and enjoy the East Coast version of the Far East.

Here's what Red Lantern will be offering for Foxwoods Restaurant Week!

The Scorpion Bar

From the wrought iron windows to the imported Mexican crosses, let The Scorpion Bar transport you to another time and place. If your looking for authentic and innovative Mexican-inspired cuisine, an assortment of the best tequilas, and an energetic environment with great rock and roll music, you’ve come to the right place.

Here's what The Scorpion Bar will be offering for Foxwoods Restaurant Month!

Veranda Cafe

There’s something wonderful about enjoying the beauty of a New England forest. Sit down to a meal at the Veranda Café and you’ll have a view of the Connecticut woods that is both stunning and inspiring. It is truly a treat for all the senses.

Here's what Veranda Cafe will be offering for Foxwoods Restaurant Month!

With so many great restaurants, it's no wonder it's a Restaurant MONTH! 

Enjoy the fun at Foxwoods!

Foxwoods Resort and Casino
350 Trolley Line Boulevard
Mashantucket, CT 06338-3777 

Here's a preview of some of the items to be had 

CT Chef's Challenge 2015 to Benefit the Optimus Foundation

The 5th Annual CT Chefs Challenge to Benefit Optimus Foundation!

5th Annual CT Chefs Challenge
Lincoln Culinary Institute - Shelton Campus 
8 Progress Drive
Shelton, CT 06484

September 18, 2015

On Friday, September 18th  join the Optimus Foundation and Chef Plum for a culinary night to remember at the Lincoln Culinary Institute in Shelton. Enjoy an evening of food, music and raffles while eight of CT’s top chefs compete for this year’s championship title! This event will benefit the Optimus Foundation.

The event will consist of two rounds of culinary battle, each chef has one hour and a maximum budget of $300 to prepare 10 plates of their signature dish. No ahead of time cooking in this battle of culinary excellence. Each chef is allowed to bring one Sous Chef  as well as utilize Lincoln Culinary students to help them be the champion.

The dishes will be judged on “Taste, Creativity and Presentation”. The top scoring dish will win the championship belt and the $1,000 grand prize! Attendees will also have the chance to choose a “People's Choice”  winner with a purchase of a Tasting Ticket that allows guests to taste each chef's dish at the tasting tables.

The host this year is Chef Plum owner of Plum Luv Foods and Pork Belly Productions. Chef Plum has had multiple appearances on Food Network, ABC, CBS, BET, Jamie Oliver's Food Tube and more. When we say that Plum is one of the best guys around, we’re not exaggerating. Plus, he’s FUNNY, so we can’t wait to see him heckle the chef contestants, the judges, and maybe YOU!

 I am honored to part of such an important event for such an important cause, lets have some fun!” says Chef Plum.

Chef Contestants:

  • Mark Vecchitto – Seehund German Pub: 2014 Winner
  • Adam Bedini – StrEATery
  • Trevor McGrath – YooNeke and Hells Kitchen Season 9
  • Justin Kern – Meeting House Pub
  • Carlos Baez – The Spread
  • Joshua Morosi – A Chef’s Choice
  • Jason Maur – MaurPowerFoodie and Masterchef Season 3
  • Carol Koty – The Waterview and Lockwood Lodge and World Food championship competitor

The Panel of Judges:

  • Chef Derrick Prince of Stanton Social (owned by Chris Santos) who made it as a finalist on Masterchef. He’s also no stranger to the judges chair, having helped decide winners at the recent Bacon and Beer Classic, NY Best Wings Festival, and the NYC Hot Sauce Expo.
  • Judy and Joy who have been featured on The Talk alongside Julie Chen and Sharon Osbourne and so much more. The Wonder Twins have been all over TV, have their own cookbook, their own newspaper column, and even their own radio show. “We are excited to part of this delicious event and we are ready to meet everyone. But … will they be ready for us???” says Judy.
  • Ken Tuccio of Welcome to Connecticut Podcast. Tuccio has interviewed countless people in the food field   so it’s time for him to share some of that food knowledge that he’s absorbed and built up. “I love trying   new food and learning about new food, I am excited to participate in this event and plan to judge my    ass off.” says Ken.

More to be announced soon!

Ticket prices and options:

General Admission $50 which includes complimentary beer/wine, apps, food buffet, coffee from Shear Water Coffee Roasters, and dessert.

Tasting Ticket $100 which includes everything that the general admission ticket provides plus a reserved seat at a shared table to vote for the People's Choice Award.

The 5th Annual CT Chefs Challenge is presented by: Community Health Network of CT and Pullman & Comley Attorneys.

Other supporters include: Diamond Properties , People's United Bank, NovaMed, Quest Diagnostics and Cornerstone Pharmacy.

Coffee provided by: Shearwater Coffee Roasters

Proceeds from the evening benefit the mission of the Optimus Foundation, which is to is support development of new Optimus facilities and improvements in existing Optimus facilities and to promote public awareness and understanding of the services Optimus provides. We believe a healthy community leads to an improved quality of life for all of us who work, live and play in our community.

Full details and to purchase tickets visit
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