Month: August 2010
The process of selecting the regions of focus for the wine classes begins by
looking at the most important regions of wine production globally. I try to alternate
the northern and southern hemispheres, Chile/ Argentina, then Bordeaux or
Burgundy France, followed by Australia/ New Zealand, then to Italy or Spain…
In this format I can go an entire year without duplicating a region and guests can
attend the entire series over the year.
Each region produces wines from grapes that thrive in their climate and soil
composition, so guests learn a bit of this information to help them understand
why certain areas produce the types of wine that they do. For example,
Carmenere grapes in Chile, Malbec in Argentina, Pinot Noir in Oregon, etc…
Each region has some laws in place to protect the product integrity; we discuss
the fundamentals of these wine laws and how to recognize where to find this
information on the bottle, to determine what is in the bottle at a retail outlet.
Guests have fun! It is important to keep the class light hearted and open, it is a
large part of what makes my classes different than some other instructors. This
info can be overwhelming, and intimidating to the more casual wine enthusiasts.
My curriculum has a focus on fun, and sipping wine – Never pretentious or stuffy.
Guests will learn how to save money at retail and in restaurants. We have a Q
and A for about thirty minutes at the end of class where they can ask me any
questions they want- any region, bottle, producer, or vintage.
Thank you for reading,
When I came to CRAVE, the first thing I did was try to learn as much as I
could about CRAVE inside and out. First, I wanted to get to know our customers
and employees, so that I could understand what the views and expectations of
CRAVE were from the people who make us what we are. Second, I had to eat
EVERYTHING on our menu to see what was working and what our customers
had come to expect from CRAVE. With that done I was able to determine what I
could add to the mix, from small changes that would improve our existing dishes
to creating new and exciting menu items.
For our new menu, I had to think about what people would be “craving”, so to
speak, and the seasons heavily influence what people are in the mood to eat. So
with Fall and Winter approaching, there is a big focus on entrees that are hearty
and rich, almost more like comfort food, which is what you’ll get with new items
like the Meatball Hoagie, Grilled Pork Chop, and Italian pizza. I also wanted to
keep an element of modern chic to help balance out the menu and play on the
emotions that make people go, “Ooh and ahh!”. That’s what you’ll get with items
like the Kogi Beef Tacos and the Seafood Flatbread which was recently featured
on our monthly specials menu, and was popular enough to get promoted to our
I also create the monthly specials menu, which allows me the opportunity to work
with a lot of local farmers who produce food with the highest standard of quality.
I visit the farms personally in order to get to know the people and their products.
We want to work with people who care as much about the food as we do, and if
that means paying a little more for it, we will happily do so in order to provide our
guests with the best possible product.
It has been a pleasure coming into a restaurant that is so willing to take chances
and constantly redefine itself. I look forward to seeing how the new Fall menu is
received and learning how we can continue to improve.