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Newsletter: October - November, 2015

Clockwise from top left: Front desk, Rivertown Lodge, Mixology Class, Fish & Game Restaurant, Cooking Class with Chef Lo, Harvest Spirits German copper pot demonstrated by owner/distiller Derek Grout; Chef Lo with porcini mushrooms, Hudson, October 2015

The Hudson Valley Food Scene

There's a saying that goes..."There are old mushroom hunters and there are bold mushroom hunters, but there are no old, bold mushroom hunters." Last week on our first Hudson Valley visit, Barbara Plume of the local mycology association kept us safe as we foraged. Chef Anita Lo, fresh from her history-making state dinner at the White House, joined the hunt and then gave us a cooking class featuring mushrooms - resulting in a 3-course dinner to celebrate our day.

Other highlights included a home-base at the brand-spanking new Rivertown Lodge in Hudson; a discussion with food anthropologist Katharine Millonzi, who gave us an interesting overview of the local food and farm movement; and a welcome dinner at the Hudson Food Studio. Mixologist Kelley Slagel raised our spirits with a mixology class at a local distillery located on an apple orchard. The magnificent farewell dinner was at Zak Pelaccio's Fish & Game. A Spring and Fall trip will be scheduled for 2016. Click here for details.

New for 2016 - Priorat & Tarragona

Our newest destination is Priorat in the Spanish region of Catalonia. Two hours south of Barcelona, this dramatic landscape produces complex, internationally acclaimed wines thanks to old vines and slate-heavy soils. The five-day package includes visits to artisanal wineries in the hilltop village of La Figuera, a traditional Catalonian cooking class, and a tasting of local charcuterie and cheeses in La Vilella Baixa. You'll even get to help cheesemakers Sergi and Eva take their goats out to pasture before sitting down to a meal of hearty mountain cuisine. You'll explore the Roman ruins and Gothic cathedral in the Mediterranean city of Tarragona and cap off the day by fer el vermut or "doing vermouth": kicking back with an aperitif in one of the Old Town's outdoor cafés. For more details click here.

Priorat, Catalonia

Lyon's Gastronomic Specialities

Lyon, frequently called the Gastronomic Capital of France, is a mere two hour fast train ride from Paris. Yet, in speaking with many people, it is often overlooked as a destination in France. We will be offering a Rhone cruise with a 2 day stop-over in Lyon next year. To get you prepared for the gastronomic treasures, here are the not-to-be-missed Lyonnaise specialities.

Sausages. Lyon is most famous for it's rosette and cervelat sausage. You'll find it often made with pistachios and served with pommes lyonnaise, potatoes sautéed with onions.

Le quenelle. A light dumpling made with flour, butter and milk to which is added veal or chicken. The traditional dish, however, is made with pike and called quenelle de brochet.

Le saint-marcellin. A fresh, cows milk cheese. It is small and usually served or sold in a small, round dish because it is runny. Some of the best cheeses can be found at Mère Richard in Les Halles of Lyon.

Les bugnes are basically beignets. Lightly fried cookies sprinkled with sugar.

Praline de Lyon. You'll see them in all the baker's windows. They are candied almonds dyed an outrageously, garish pink.

Tablier de sapeurs is a very unique Lyon speciality made from tripe. They are diced and marinated, then drained, rolled in bread crumbs and fried. This is on the menus of the authentic bouchons; small, casual restaurants of Lyon.

We hope this whets your appetite for Lyon! Email us to help book your trip.

Les bugnes, Lyon