Wine Dine and Play: Food Blog

Food Blog



Blog Articles
These articles cover some dining journeys, wine events, world travel + adventures, and other food-related news events:









2019 World’s Best Restaurants 

June 30, 2019

The 2019 top 50 and the total 120 best restaurants in the world by San Pellegrino

The 50 best for the year are announced by San Pellegrino every year in June, and are produced by the United Kingdom media company William Reed Business Media beginning in 2002. This year going beyond the top 100, they added an addiitonal 20 for a top 120 list. NomaRestaurant in Copenhagen rejoined the list while Mirazur in Menton, France became the new #1. There are four on this 120 list that are also mentioned on the Wine Dine And Play Top 100 best restaurant experiencesthat include Alinea #37, The Test Kitchen #44, La Colombe #114, and Attica #84.
2018 World’s Best Restaurants

November 7, 2018

The 2018 San Pellegrino list for worlds 50 best restaurants



The 50 best for the year are announced by San Pellegrino in the 2018 World’s Best Restaurants list, one of many published lists for the best places around the world, with three on this list mentioned on the Wine Dine And Play Top 100 best restaurant experiences that include Alinea, The Test Kitchen, and Attica.
Craft Beer Experience 2018

August 2018

The 2018 Craft Beer Experience at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida


Sponsored by 97X Radio featured over 52 Craft Breweries introducing 200 beers including meads, ciders, and wines, which is double the number from the previous year at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, Florida.
LTI Top 20 London Restaurants

April 29, 2018

The LTI Luxury Travel Intelligence top 20 best eclectic restaurants in London

This article is a top 20 list of the best eclectic restaurants in London, England from the Luxury Travel Intelligence website. LTI is a global members-only luxury travel rating organization for the discerning traveler as they have advertised and charge $700.00 per year to be a part of there organization.
Irish Flag Vegetable Medley

March 16, 2018

The Irish Flag of roasted vegetables recipe good for St. Patrick's Day or any day

It is almost time for St. Patrick's Day once again where the Patron Saint of Ireland is celebrated for his lives work in a large feast, while others party at local Irish pubs and restaurants, and around the world there are parades and dying of rivers green. This recipe is good for any time of the year, but especially to show patriotism to Ireland. Being American with no Irish descent, it still is a yummly dish to try. 
Norovirus Hits The Winter Olympics

February 20, 2018

An outbreak of Norovirus from food at the Winter Olympics in Pyeong Chang, Korea

Being in the food service industry, we train on the risks of foodborne illnesses on a regular basis. We talk about cause and prevention. When I heard about the outbreak of the Norovirus at Pyeongchang and watched as the numbers increased, it was a perfect opportunity to train our group that what we talk about really happens and you have to be careful. This article goes into detail about the Norovirus and how it has hit these games with a vengeance.
Dining on Anna Maria Island                 

February 17, 2018

A tasting tour and guide to Anna Maria Island, Florida



My wife and I recently visited Anna Maria Island on a little vacation where we enjoyed the beaches and restaurant hops. Here are a guide and our dining adventures to this little Florida Island.  
Pretty in Pink - Carbon Monoxide In Meat

July 20, 2017

Why Carbon Monoxide is added to meat at the grocery store


In the United States when you run to the grocery to buy meat to cook on the grill for your outdoor bbq and cookout, its nothing new to see bright red meat on display. You were taught that this was the best meat to buy, and the brown stuff was old. Boy have you been scammed!
What are the Codes on Fruit?

July 18, 2017

How to figure out what the codes on fruit are and does it matter to the customer

Going to the grocery store to buy some fruit and vegetables is my favorite part of food shopping. When you're in the FFV section (Fresh Fruits and Vegetables), have you ever noticed the little stickers on the foods?
Z Grille Closes        )-:

July 4, 2017

A great restaurant called Z Grille in St. Petersburg, Florida closes its doors

All good things must eventually come to an end. For one of my wife and I's favorite restaurants in St Petersburg, Florida Z-Grille came to an unfortunate end as the chef and owner left the state for greener pastures.
Clearwater Beach Taste Fest

July 1, 2017

A tasting of local restaurants at Clearwater Beach pier 60



The Clearwater Beach Taste Fest 2017 has entered its 8th year and is a large food festival with some wines available, and over 30 local restaurants that participate along with local bands like The Black Honkeys, all situated next to the white sandy beaches near pier 60.
Food Code Violations at Trump's House

April 15, 2017

President's Trump and Xi dine in Florida during a time when the chefs are caught violating the food code that could have led to foodbourne illness.

This article is about the lack of food safety at the President of the United States vacation home. The fact that the date of publication is the same day we pay our ransom of taxes to the federal government is just a coincidence, and hope it stays that way. This article stays non-bias on the political stage and focuses on a more important issue — food safety.
What is a restaurant review?

March 13, 2017

What is a restaurant review and a food critic compared to Wine Dine and Play


1. What is a restaurant review? 2. Who and what is a food critic? 3. Why is there such a fascination in reading about what restaurants serve? 4. Michelin vs Yelp, is one better than the other? 5. What is the difference in the many food and restaurant review sights out there, and What did the introduction of the food bloggers do to restaurant reviews and professional food critics?
Netflix Movie Codes

April 13, 2016

An article on the codes used to separate categories of movies on Netflix


Though not food related unless you looking up films with food as the theme, or documentaries on food and culinary travel, this complete list of codes will help you through finding everything Netflix has to offer. This article is broken down into three pages due to the size.
A Taste Willamette Damn It!

August 2015

A food and wine tasting of the Willamette Wine Region in Oregon


In the summer of 2015, my wife and I spent 2 days in the Willamette Valley hopping from one vineyard to the next tasting some wonderful Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, as well as exploring a few quite Oregon towns along the way. In 2016, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Willamette the wine region of the year. We weren't in “Wilamit”  we were in “Wil-am-it” Damn it. 
A Taste of McMurdo Station

August 2014 - March 2015

A taste of McMurdo Station in Antarctica with the food and activities along with daily life




McMurdo Station is the largest Antarctic station and is built on the bare volcanic rock of Hut Point Peninsula on Ross Island. The station was established in December 1955. It is the logistics hub of the US Antarctic Program. This article covers my tour on the ice.
Re: Start

February 2015

The Re:Start container mall built in Christchurch, New Zealand after the 2011 Earthquakes to help promote business


Between 2010-11 nearly 80% of the city of Christchurch, New Zealand was destroyed.  When the buildings were condemned and told that it would take 25 years to finish reconstruction, a lot of the business moved on. But some decided to stay, and they turned cargo containers into their new vision, their Re: Start.
Thanksgiving in Antarctica

November 26, 2014

A Thanksgiving meal prepared and served at McMurdo Station in Antarctica from planning to execution


This classic American tradition dates back to 1620 with the Pilgrims landing in Massachusetts and setting up their colony. Every year on the last Thursday of November family and friends gather to enjoy a feast and watch football. This article is about a group of chefs who prepare that meal for those who work and live at the bottom of the world.
Tipping in Restaurants

July 30, 2014

How to properly tip servers and bar tenders in American Restaurants, and what the customs are


In the United States, parts of Canada, and a few areas in the United Kingdom tipping or leaving a gratuity is considered common practice, but for those who visit these countries, it is not common practice. Also, there are many people who live in these countries that do not have any idea what a proper gratuity is either.
Beef Recall of Rancho Feeding Corp

February 9, 2014

Rancho Feeding Corporation in California given a beef recall then goes out of business

A Northern California company recalls more than 8.7 million pounds of beef products because it processed diseased and unhealthy animals without a full federal inspection. They later face prison and the closing of their business.
Leopard Hills Lodge

December 10, 2013

The Leopard Hills Lodge at the Sabi Sands Game Reserve in South Africa, a luxury resort with safari

The Sabi Sands Game Reserve sits next to Kruger National Park. It is a private game reserve with several lodges and a full immersion safari experience. Leopard Hills opened in 1998 and is the only lodge that guarantees you will see the most elusive of the "Big Five" animals, the leopard. Match this with an award-winning wine list, and fantastic food at every meal.
Fugitives Drift Lodge

December 9, 2013

The Fugitives Drift Lodge in South Africa is a luxury hotel that offers tours of Zulu Battlefields of Rorke's Drift and more

Battlefields, history, 5-star service, dining, and accommodations. As a kid, I watched the movie Zulu, and while planning my trip to South Africa I added Rorke's Drift to my list of places to see. The Fugitive's Drift resort not only has top-level service and food but includes detailed tours of the Zulu battlefields depicted in the films. These are my thoughts on the visit.
Gourmet Wine Tours of South Africa

December 6, 2013

An article on the Gourmet Wine Tours of South Africa company owned by Stephen Flesch

Explore the scenically stunning wine-lands of the Western Cape and experience the best of South African wine and food in the amazing variety of superb restaurants - a region which is an epicurean’s dream. 
Great White Shark Cage Diving

December 5, 2013

Great White shark cage diving tours where you get a close-up of Jaws

While traveling to South Africa before the safari adventure, I took an undersea adventure in freezing cold water with Jaws. Protected by a cage, it was an outstanding adventure that I recommend to anyone. Here is my full adventure with videos.
US Marine Corps 238th Birthday in Afghanistan

November 12, 2013

A meal prepared for the Marine Corps Ball for the 238th Birthday at the American Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan




While working at the United States Consulate in Herat, Afghanistan a group of Marines were guarding the compound after a Taliban bombing, and our team prepared a special meal for the Marine Corps birthday. Here is the story along with the recipes.
Chef Charles "Charlie" Trotter

November 11, 2013A legend passes away:

(September 8, 1959 – November 5, 2013)  
The great Chicago Chef Charles Trotter passes away


He likened cooking to an improvisational jazz session in that as two riffs will never be the same, so too with food. He was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year award in 2005 by the International Association of Culinary Professionals. For ethic, he removed foie gras off of his menus in 2002, but he was never associated with animal rights groups, calling them "idiots."
A History Of Afghan Cuisine And Food Culture

October 30, 2013

A history of Afghan cuisine, the origins, along with the food culture and recipes

Afghanistan is at the culinary crossroads of central Asia, the food styles are a blend of the many nations over 3000 years that invaded, and attempted to conquer the nomadic land. Afghan cuisine is largely based upon the nation's chief crops, such as wheat, maize, barley, and rice. Followed by dairy products, various nuts, and native vegetables, as well as fresh and dried fruits. Here are some recipes...
Napa Valley - A Sip and a Taste

July 2013

A Napa Valley sip and taste of restaurants like the French Laundry and wines like Ghost Block and Silver Oak



TripAdvisor's 2010 Travelers' Choice Awards named Napa "The World's Best Wine and Food Destination," and it has more than 400 wineries plus is considered one of the world’s premier viticultural regions and famous for its Cabernet Sauvignon. Nearly 90 percent of all American wines come out of California, four percent of which can be found in or around Napa Valley.
Converting A Recipe Card From Imperial To Metric

May 1, 2013

An article with charts and conversions for a recipe using metric or imperial measurement


Do you use the metric or imperial systems for a living, then suddenly you are confronted by dealing with the opposite? This article is a comprehensive listing of how to convert basic measurements from a cookbook or recipe card with ease.
Chef Bernard Loiseau - Was Michelin at Fault?

January 24, 2013

Chef Bernard Loiseau died in 2003 from suicide after loosing a Michelin star. Were they at fault for it?



The death of the world-famous Chef in 2003 hit the food world hard. On this, the 10th anniversary of his death, we pay tribute to his life's achievements, and ask the question — did the famed Michelin critics lead to his suicide?
The Burj Khalifa

December 11, 2012

At The Top is the observation deck of the Burj Khalifa Tower on the 122nd floor in Dubai, UAE

The Burj Khalifa is known as a mega tall skyscraper standing at 2,722 feet (830 metersand was opened to the public in 2010 after six years of construction. For now, it stands in the Guinness Book Of World Records.  Here are some interesting facts as well as a link to two restaurant reviews from inside the tower.
Petra - One of the Seven Wonders

November 2012

The Petra Castle in Jordan is a UNESCO world heritage site and a new seven wonder of the world



Petra is the fabled "rose red city, half as old as time,” Due to its unique and awe-inspiring views along with the many ruins, Petra was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 and was chosen in July 2007 as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World.
Cooking in Afghanistan - A DVIDS Interview

November 15, 2012

Dvids is a United States Army media program and this article covers chef interviews from FOB Sharana in Afghanistan



While working in Afghanistan the US Army press agency did a video interview of food service contracts working on FOB Sharana. Here is that interview.
Pillitteri Winery's Ontario Food Exporter Award 

September 2011


Pillitterie wine in Niagara Canada is the focus with tours and awards

Pillitteri winery near Niagara-on-the-Lakes, Canada has won countless awards, and this adds to their list. I had the opportunity to visit them in the summer of 2011 on a wine tour. Here are my thoughts...
Bordeaux - A Sip and Taste

October 2010

A tasting of wines on the left and right banks of Bordeaux along with restaurants


This article is about my experience and tastings of the Châteaux in both Bordeaux and Saint-Émillion, what was seen, the history of the area, and the wonderful restaurants. The Bordeaux Wine Region has about 116,000 hectares (285,000 acres) of vineyards, a total of 57 appellations (with eight AOCs), 10,000 wine-producing Châteaux, and 13,000 grape growers. Their annual production of wine is approximately 900 million bottles.
The Bourgogne Tasting

October 2010

The Bourgogne or Burgundy wine tasting tour with restaurants



When I was a teenager I really enjoyed Science Fiction (and still doBefore I knew anything about wine,  one of my favorite tv shows storyline took place in the Bourgogne. Star Trek The Next Generation (season 4 episode 2) “Family”showed the Captain in Burgundy (filmed in Napa Valley). In 2010 I took a tour and enjoyed it more than the Sci-Fi tv shows.
Dragon Con

September 2008

The Dragon Con Science Fiction convention in Atlanta, Georgia

Dragon Con is the largest Science Fiction Convention in the southeastern United States, held annually in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, encompassing 4 hotel venues, and 80,000 die-hard fans of Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, and any other science fiction/fantasy show or book you can think of. Next, to Comic-con in San Diego, California, it is the largest such convention in the world. This year, I was one of the caterers and got a behind the scenes look from the actors VIP lounge as well as the many events.




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