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Barbecue, the Deens Take Over South Beach Wine and Food’s Opening Night

Barbecue, the Deens Take Over South Beach Wine and Food’s Opening Night


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The 2013 South Beach Wine and Food Festival got off to a rip-roaring start Thursday night, as top chefs from around the country gathered together under the event’s main beachside tent to dish up their unique takes on that American classic, barbecue. Moet Hennessy’s The Q was hosted by Paula Deen and her son Bobby, who also served as emcees for the evening.

View Slides: Moët Hennessy's The Q Slideshow

While some chefs hewed close to tradition, most notably famed pitmasters Myron Mixon (of Jack’s Old South) and Chris Lilly (of Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ), who served pork belly sliders and seven-hour smoked beef shortribs (top), respectively, others, such as The Lamb’s Club’s Geoffrey Zakarian, veered in the avant-garde direction (he served smoked togarashi-crusted tuna with a couscous and Medjool date salad with spicy sea urchin emulsion). Overall, though, there wasn’t a dud in the bunch.

Several other culinary luminaries were also on hand, in most cases serving guests themselves. Seamus Mullen served a smoked beef rib slider, Tim Love served an outrageous smoked antelope crepinette, Robert Irvine served a braised pork cheek sandwich, Art Smith served a charcoal-grilled skirt steak, Harold Dieterle served Thai-style fried chicken (not even close to barbecue, but nobody complained), Jonathan Waxman served whole-roasted NY strip steak, and even Al Roker was on hand to serve his lamb ribs with baked beans.

We had the opportunity to speak with some of the featured chefs, who shared their views on what makes this event, and the entire festival, such a world-class affair.

Robert Irvine: "The organizers do such an amazing job of bringing so many great chefs together under one roof. It allows chefs to meet lots of people, and allows folks to meet their favorite chefs, and everyone has a good time doing it."

Jonathan Waxman: "We work really hard all year round, which is great, but we never have this kind of fun. And this is a lot of fun!"

Michael White (who was there as a guest but will be participating in Friday’s Burger Bash): "South Beach is just such a great place. Especially this time of year, when so many people are coming down from the cold and just looking to have a great time and reconnect with friends."

Todd English (who "won" the event with his steamed bun with hoisin-glazed shortrib): "Nowhere else in the world can something like this happen. It’s symbolic of the ultimate revolution in American dining, which is taking something as seemingly simple as barbecue and elevating to the highest levels of gastronomy."

Geoffrey Zakarian: "I love the fact that I get to meet my fans, and I don’t say that in a self-serving way. It’s really nice to connect with them. And who doesn’t like hanging out in Miami?"

Zakarian, who will be judging the Burger Bash, also hinted at a "project" in the works in the Greater Miami area. Stay tuned…


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Each year, the South Beach Wine & Food Festival takes over South Florida with a seemingly endless roster of parties, seminars, and dinners.

The festival's crown jewel is the Grand Tasting Village, where a massive stretch of sand on South Beach is turned into a theme park of food and drinks where hundreds of wineries, spirits companies, and restaurants serve thousands of happy patrons. Add to the mix dozens of celebrity chefs such as Guy Fieri, Robert Irvine, and Anne Burrell. Sprinkle in nonstop music at the David Grutman Experience and you have one hell of a weekend.

Of course, all of that consumption and excitement can be overwhelming. Juggling a drink in one hand and a plate of food in the other while taking a selfie is a skill in itself.


The most decadent time of the year is here, with the annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival (SOBEWFF) set to take over South Florida on Feb. 19-23, 2020.

Over recent years, the popular festival has expanded north to Greater Fort Lauderdale with CRAVE GFL, a series of foodie-driven events that take place around Broward County. This year, expect everything from elaborate sit-down dinners with celebrity chefs to movies with well-loved food trucks to a rowdy drag brunch and fun-filled family events. Those new to the wine and food extravaganza should bring their comfy shoes and stretchy pants—this is not the time to count calories!

Epic Dinners

One of the most coveted parts of the festival is the intimate dinners where culinary greats go all out for guests. It’s a great time to mix and mingle, get autographs, and snap photos with your fave chefs.


Is this the End of the Holy City? – The City of Charleston We Once Loved

The Charleston peninsula is approximately 8 square miles.

In comparison, New York City is 305 square miles, Chicago is 237 square miles and Boston spans 48 square miles in the city proper. We are not in the same vicinity as our larger urban counterparts, but this small city, is making waves. In a new report published today from BusinessInsider, we could be under water by 2100.

Today, the corner of Calhoun Street and King Street, a pinnacle of foot and vehicle traffic in the heart of Charleston, resembles Times Square more than an early pre-Revolutionary historic village. The once quiet intersection donned by scenic Marion Square is now home to 5 Guys Burgers, Chipotle, Walgreens, Carolina Ale House, Panera Bread, Moe’s Southwestern and Starbucks as well as cranes and development of a new hotel adjacent the Embassy Suites. We are one digital billboard away from a Shakespearean tragedy.

The crosstown will see a new shopping and living village highlighted by Publix and Joe Riley Stadium will entice you with shopping and dining, before, after and on non game days, making it difficult to have a quiet walk, picnic or fishing day at Brittlebank Park.

If approved, Starbucks will open a location in the hospital district making it the 9 th Starbucks on the peninsula. Eight square miles and nine Starbucks. That is a difficult concept to swallow given the pride we take in our local business owners.

Development is king and progress is upon us with no indication of a slowdown. That we know is true. We know that for the last 3 years, we have witness nothing but cement and wood to the sky, cranes dominating the skyline and no sign of a quiet peaceful city for another five plus years. All this for progress? Does progress mean losing our local businesses because rent increases and locals avoiding downtown is forcing them out?

  • Welcome Hyatt
  • Welcome Holiday Inn Express
  • Welcome Dewberry
  • Welcome Marriot
  • Welcome Starbucks
  • Welcome Panera
  • Welcome West Elm

Five years ago, we cherished the idea of staying in a Bed and Breakfast owned by a third-generation family and eating at a quiet cafe watching life pass us by. We would wave to the carriage rider as he recited stories of our early ancestors. Those days are going away quickly.

Today, we wait eagerly for Whole Foods, Publix and designer stores to open up across the peninsula. Chefs are considered local celebrities driving up the cost of dining out, tax rates are forcing us to consider the frequency of social entertainment (10.5% food / 15% alcohol / 9% Sales Tax), average hotel costs are itching up to $300 a night with some exceeding $600 and an evening at the theater or live music will run you $50.00 to $300.00 per person.

Is Charleston for the residents or tourists? Not a simple question to answer. With approximately 4.8 million tourists a year, maybe it isn’t about the local residents anymore.

Goodbye Nancy’s and Piggly Wiggly. Farewell to Crosby’s Fish Market and Andolini’s. Bon Voyage Norm’s, Cypress and Fish. You will be missed.

Progress is in full gear. Colonial Lake had a face life, Sargeant Jasper will soon be gone, Marion Square will be almost exclusively surrounded by hotels, Joe Riley Stadium will be the cornerstone of a new district of shops and restaurants, the expansion north will continue and perhaps we may see the end of the carriage rides and the site of church steeples over the skyline blessing our coastal home.

It is hard to envision a life without Berlin’s or Burbage’s Grocery but then again, we didn’t think we would see the end of Millenium Records or Morris Sokol Furniture.

Whether we like it or not, what took nearly 350 years to develop, may be gone in just a decade.


Barbecue, the Deens Take Over South Beach Wine and Food’s Opening Night - Recipes

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Eating Argentina: Horseriding in the Andes and a Gaucha Lunch

So, if you’ve been reading for a while, and especially if you are on twitter and follow me there, you will know that this trip to Argentina has been delayed twice.

I was supposed to go last November, after I won a trip for a piece published on Bibendum Times, sponsored by Argento Wines with my friend Denise, The Wine Sleuth. I watched from the sidelines (through wet Irish windows) as Denise explored, extended and eventually stayed for 3 months. Pure torture, I couldn’t wait. I had to postpone to January, and then had to postpone again. But, finally I am here, and it’s almost winter, but winter here is like Spring in the UK and it’s lovely.

I finally caught up with Argento Wines in Mendoza, and visited the Bodega, Casa Argento and had a wine tasting (more on that later, for now my favourites, as – almost – always, were the reds, especially the reserva Cabernet Sauvignon & Malbecs). The absolute highlight of the 2-day trip to visit them was a trip to Walter Subillo at his estancia, Estancia San Pablo at the foot of the Andes. I say the foot of the Andes but it’s actually at 1200 metres, which is higher than Ireland’s highest mountain (no great claim I know!).

Walter is a real life gaucho, farmer, and winemaker and lives self sufficiently here with his family. He takes people out on gaucho days, horse riding and fly fishing the traditional gaucho way. So, my crash course in being a gaucha began.

We started with a terrific breakfast of hot crispy gaucho bread with jams – one a lovely stringy melon one and the other cherry – with walnuts before progressing to some horse riding in the Andes.

Horses are notoriously big and cranky, and I am a bit unpredictable myself, so I was nervous but I really wanted to do it. After loading my carcass on to the horse we proceeded and I was thrilled to see that my horse was as lazy as me so we plodded along gently, always behind the others. I was afraid to use the accelerator (by kicking him) with much force.

We rode through the river, up a steep mini mountain, back down, up another, you get my drift. For about 2 hours. I was very proud of myself on my return until I saw a 3 year old get up on my horse. I know my place.

The day really kicked into gear with a terrific lunch. The Andes can be a harsh environment so food is preserved as much as possible, and mostly in Walter’s case it is homegrown.


In his cave were lots of preserved peaches in jars, brined olives, sun or woodoven dried tomatoes with herbs, a leg of ham, homemade salami, lots of jams including cherry. And lots of wine too.

We started with olives, homemade salami and tomatoes and – WOW. Those tomatoes were some of the best that I have ever eaten. The salami and olives were terrific too. Two plates towering with empanadas were too attractive to resist. We washed it all down with some Argento Malbec and proceeded to the next course.

Walter cooked up some trout he had caught in the river and some vegetables over an open fire and served it with a gorgeous fresh salad, more tomatoes with his own vinegar and bread. Delicious and so fresh tasting, it was nice to get a break from the meat.

And then the kid goat was served. Again, Walter’s own animal. Everything was served and I was very impressed to see the kids run to the wood oven and request the chitterlings. Walter’s 9 month old daughter was teething and nibbled on a warm goat bone. Argento Cabernet sauvignon accompanied me as I chowed down on some gorgeous kid goat ribs.

And then the beef. A big plate of beef. I was almost defeated but could fit a bit more in. It was – you guessed – terrific. New adjectives please.

Then to the fire where we had dessert of homemade fresh cheese, with some of those conserved peaches, homemade membrillo, Walter’s walnuts and preserved cherries. Beautiful and fresh, I was grateful for it, and left my coffee sit next to the fire to stay warm as I ate it. I envied the cat and dog sleepy underneath it. But they don’t have tv, eh?

And that was it. Not quite a gaucha (yet) but what an experience.

Estancia San Pablo http://www.estanciasanpablo.com.ar

I did: US$150 per person horse riding or fly fishing with breakfast and lunch

Also available: US$250 per person for a full day horse riding /fly fishing / breakfast / lunch / dinner / accommodation


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The 27 Most Beautiful Beaches In The World

Deadman’s Beach on Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands: one of the most beautiful beaches in . [+] the world.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

What is defines a beautiful beach? For some, it's the whiteness of the sand and the clarity of the water. For others, it's the ruggedness of the coast and the power of the waves. For others, it's the beauty of the people sitting along the shore. When it comes to beaches, beauty is definitely in the eye of the beholder.

So I decided to poll some of the most astute judges out there: superstar travel photographers and Instagrammers who make it their business to showcase beautiful places. I tapped into 20 women whose taste and judgement I trust to find out what they think are the most gorgeous beaches in the world. Naysayers will argue that many stunners have been left off (feel free to add your favorites in the comments section). But say what you will: There's no denying the beauty of the 27 places that made this list.

Along the bright blue shores of Tulum, Mexico.

Photo courtesy of laura_austin/Instagram

Where: Tulum, Mexico

Who: With wanderlust running through her veins, photographer Laura Austin is someone you can’t help but watch. After growing up in small mountain towns in Colorado and Vermont, she is currently based in Los Angeles. The contrast of her roots in nature and the urban environment where she lives now forces Austin to constantly escape the city and explore. Follow her on Instagram: @laura_austin

Why: Tulum is the perfect place to just check out from reality for a while. From yoga retreats to trendy beach bungalows, it is the perfect mix of luxury and adventure with the most beautiful crystal-clear blue water and white-sand beaches.

Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon on Deadman’s Beach on Peter Island in the British Virgin Islands.

Photo courtesy of Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon

Where: Deadman’s Beach, Peter Island, British Virgin Islands

Who: Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon is a Caribbean travel expert, award-winning travel journalist, TV personality and self-described “Carivangelist,” who ventures to the beach and beyond to share the diverse cultures, relaxed lifestyle and colorful people of the world’s favorite warm-weather destination. Follow her on Instagram: @JetSetSarah

Why: One of five strands on Peter Island (a private-island resort in the British Virgin Islands), Deadman’s Beach is a white-sand sweep washed by Windex-blue water. It's also punctuated with thatch-roofed palapas and blessed with cool breezes most of the day. I’ve only visited twice, but I have a photo taken of me on the sand printed on the back of my business cards. So now wherever in the world I am, I only have to pull one out to feel as if I’m there.

Boracay White Beach in the Philippines.

Photo courtesy of @girleatworld

Where: Boracay White Beach, Philippines

Who: Melissa Hie is a user-experience designer who caught the travel bug a few years ago. She also loves eating and has found the perfect medium to combine the two through Instagram. While not a photographer by trade, she has been interested in photography since young age and is fascinated by "bokeh." Her love for photography took off once she got her hands on an iPhone five years ago. Follow her on Instagram: @girleatworld

Why: If you are looking for a quiet white beach with clear blue water, Boracay is not the place for you. And that's exactly why I picked this place. Don't be mistaken, the soft white sand and the clear blue water are there, but what makes Boracay stand out to me is that the White Beach is lined up with cool restaurants, chic cafe, clubs, water sports activities and hotels, just steps away from the beach. It really makes a quick post-lunch dip in the clear blue water very convenient, and you never run out of things to do!

Whitehaven Beach in the Whitsunday islands of Australia.

Photo courtesy of @laurenepbath/Instagram

Where: Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays, Australia

Who: Lauren Bath is a chef turned photographer, thanks to her early success on Instagram. After quitting her job in 2013, she launched full force into a travel career and also writes and has become involved with project management and education. With her unique approach, Bath is able to tap into the all-important “dreaming phase” of holiday planning. Follow her on Instagram: @laurenepbath

Why: I find it difficult to articulate what I love about the beach, as I’ve grown up by the sea and it feels as much a part of me as any other part of me. Near the beach I feel whole. I feel the power of the tides and the waves, the salt air permeates my home and the subtle sounds of the ocean filter through to me as I sleep. Despite all of my travels and my love of the mountains and deserts, I know I’m only home when the beach is close by.

Ashley Graham at Six Senses Zil Pasyon in the Seychelles.

Photo courtesy of @theashleygraham/Instagram

Where: Six Senses Zil Pasyon, Seychelles

Who: Ashley Graham is a leader for the body positivity movement, a business-savvy entrepreneur who designs lingerie, dresses and swimwear, a sought-after television personality and an author. Her book, A New Model: What Confidence, Beauty & Power Really Look Like, was recently published by Dey Street Books. Follow her on Instagram: @theashleygraham

Why: The beaches in the Seychelles at Six Senses Zil Pasyon are some of the most stunning I’ve ever seen. The atmosphere is exotic and peaceful with the pure white sand and incredibly bright blue sea water, almost so picturesque that it looks like a stage set for a tropical island. This summer when I'm working through these sweltering hot days in the city, I'll be dreaming about cooling off in the Seychelles.

Strolling on Sugar Beach in St. Lucia.

Photo courtesy of @eggcanvas/Instagram

Where: Sugar Beach, St. Lucia

Who: Erica Choi is a New York City-based digital art director, photographer and blogger. She is the founder of Egg Canvas, a visual journal conveying an array of lifestyle stories spanning fashion, beauty, hospitality and travel. Her experience as a graphic designer in the luxury industry has led Choi to continuously develop a keen sense of refined aesthetic, and she hopes to communicate this sensibility through her style, content and work. Follow her on Instagram: @eggcanvas

Why: St. Lucia is such a breathtaking and unique destination. Sugar Beach is situated between the UNESCO World Heritage Pitons, and provides a sense of isolation and calm, but community at the same time. We stayed in a beach-front bungalow at Sugar Beach, a Viceroy Resort, where we were able to wake up to the sound of the waves and go to bed at night before taking a dip in a private Jacuzzi in our courtyard. Every day felt like a scene from a movie.

Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz, Turkey.

Photo courtesy of @izkiz/Instagram

Where: Blue Lagoon, Ölüdeniz, Turkey

Who: Jennifer Tuffen is a British Instagrammer, travel blogger and content creator who works on campaigns with major brands, tourism boards and hotels around the world. Jennifer loves taking photos and showing the beauty of the world around her in her own unique, colorful way. She started photography as a hobby and is now one of the top travel Instagrammers with more than 2.7 million followers. Follow her on Instagram: @izkiz

Why: One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve been to and probably one of the best beaches in the world is the Blue Lagoon in Ölüdeniz, Turkey. The area is a well-known paragliding spot and you’ll see them floating all over the azure sky above you like colorful birds. I’m terrified of heights, but the beach is so beautiful that I ignored my fears and jumped off a mountain just so I could take photos of the Blue Lagoon from above. The picture-postcard beach, with its turquoise blue and emerald green shades, makes it the perfect place to take a dip.

Miami's South Beach from above.

Photo courtesy of @taramilktea/Instagram and @conradhotels/Instagram

Where: South Beach, Miami

Who: Tara Whiteman is an Asian-Australian traveler, designer, creative and Instagram star who is also known as Tara Milk Tea. She showcases her love of travel, food and fashion via Instagram, her blog, an online store and collaborations with companies that share her passions, including some of the world's best-known travel brands. Follow her on Instagram: @taramilktea

Why: South Beach in Miami is exciting, colorful and most definitely beautiful. The rainbow, art deco architecture that lines this beach has its own charm, and you can bike ride along the path to see the Miami locals, who are quite possibly the most tanned, topless and muscly people you'll ever see. Flying over South Beach is one of the best ways to see this Miami gem and I did exactly that.

Alyssa Campanella on Butterfly Beach in Santa Barbara.

Photo courtesy of @alysscampanella/Instagram

Where: Butterfly Beach, Santa Barbara

Who: Alyssa Campanella Coombs is a style and travel editor at The A List, as well as a former Miss USA. Since her site launched in 2014, she has traveled all over the world with her husband, actor Torrance Coombs, on behalf of The A List, which is a lifestyle blog and one-stop destination on the most sought-after in fashion, travel and beauty. “I love keeping my readers on their toes as they're welcomed into my feminine and fast-paced world across the globe." Follow her on Instagram: @alysscampanella

Why: For our one-year wedding anniversary trip to Belmond El Encanto this past April, we knew a beach escape to one of Santa Barbara’s beaches would be the best choice. We chose Butterfly Beach for the perfect picnic lunch. Still centrally located, Butterfly Beach is much less crowded than other Santa Barbara beaches, which made it feel extra private. Stay for the sunset — it’s the perfect combination of serenity and romance.

Imsouane Plage in Morocco.

Photo courtesy of @meg_haywoodsullivan/Instagram

Where: Imsouane Plage, Morocco

Who: Meg Haywood Sullivan is a professional photographer and environmentalist who splits her time between shooting campaigns with brands and pushing for environmental stories through editorial features and her social platforms. With one foot in the outdoor industry and another in the realm of the commercial/fashion world Sullivan’s clients include Patagonia, KEEN, Clif Bar, The New York Times and more. She currently is working on various projects exploring mankind’s relationship with the great outdoors. Follow her on Instagram: @meg_haywoodsullivan

Why: Imsouane Plage in Morocco is nicknamed “Magic Bay" by the locals for a reason — it has one of the longest waves I have ever surfed, plus the gorgeous backdrop of mountains cascading to the beach. Imsouane is a must-see for all those adventure-seeking world travelers out there who want a dose of culture mixed with remote paradise.

Carly Heitlinger on Steps Beach in Nantucket.

Photo courtesy of @carly/Instagram

Where: Steps Beach, Nantucket

Who: Carly Heitlinger is a New England-based influencer who started her blog in 2008. She covers style, travel and New England lifestyle. Anything that she’d share with her close friends, she shares with her fans, whether it’s a trip she just went on, a great sale that can’t be missed, a documentary or book she loved, a personal challenge she’s gone through or simply an outfit she thought was particularly cute. Follow her on Instagram: @carly

Why: Nantucket has some of the best beaches on the East Coast. I have yet to find one that I don’t love — each has a unique feel — but Steps Beach is a favorite of mine. Steps Beach is best reached by bike, which you get complimentary if you are a guest at any of the Nantucket Island Resorts: White Elephant Village, The Wauwinet and The Cottages at the Nantucket Boat Basin. This beach is a little more secluded due to a steep descent to the sand, but it’s worth the climb down and up. A great spot to enjoy a picnic or to watch the sunset.

The beach at Curtain Bluff in Antigua.

Photo courtesy of @krystal_bick/Instagram

Who: This Time Tomorrow is the discerning girl’s destination for all things style, travel, art, dating and New York City related. And probably a few other rambling (and hopefully amusing) mishaps along the way, told through the eyes of Krystal Bick, a lifelong West Coaster now living in the West Village with her corgi Elvis. You can find them on an given Saturday reading a book in Washington Square Park. Follow her on Instagram: @krystal_bick

Why: What I love about the West Indies, and Antigua in particular, is just how untouched it all feels. Beaches are quiet and tucked away — beautifully unassuming and intimate in every way. And the water? Don't get me started on the water. It's like walking out into a warm, inviting bath, with the sun waiting to dry you off the minute you step out.

St. Ives beach in Cornwall.

Photo courtesy of @bearleaderchronicle/Instagram

Where: St. Ives, Cornwall

Who: While some are born to royalty, Daniela Stallinger was born to travel. At just three weeks of age, she took her first international flight and by her early teens had a well-worn passport. Choosing photography as a career, Stallinger was naturally drawn to travel as a photographic genre and has worked around the world on assignment. She is also the founder of Bearleader Chronicle, a travel site that looks beyond the obvious to discover hidden gems. Follow her on Instagram: @bearleaderchronicle

Why: An easy trip from London on the sleeper train from Paddington Station, St. Ives is renowned for famous artists, like JMW Turner and Barbara Hepworth, who flocked to this romantic beach town because if its unique light, lush nature, golden beaches and the quintessential English village life. From spring to fall, the beach features all manner of surf activities, along with an ever-curious seal population. Romantic beach walks at low tide in the fall and winter, capped off with a lovely cup of tea and biscuits can’t be beat.

Andrea Pion of A Slice o' Pi at the Ocean House beach in Rhode Island.

Photo courtesy of Brooke Brady Photography

Where: Ocean House Beach, Rhode Island

Who: Andrea Pion of A Slice o' Pi is a lifestyle and style blogger, who is a lover of all things delicious, pretty and New York City. She moved to New York in 2013 and created A Slice o' Pi as a place to document all the things that define her. This is a slice of her life, along with the places and things she loves and cherishes the most. Follow her on Instagram: @asliceopi

Why: The beach at the Ocean House is nothing short of a dream. Greeted by a warm sandy beach and crystal-clear waters that can compete with the Caribbean, every square inch of the hotel will tug on your heart strings. I love the exclusive privacy that Ocean House guests receive — whether walking the beach collecting New England seashells or relaxing underneath the resort's Bose-powered cabanas, which are outfitted in bright Lilly Pulitzer prints. With it being only a short three-hour train ride away from Manhattan, it's the perfect East Coast getaway.

The wide open Jamaica Inn beach in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.

Photo courtesy of @meagancignoli/Instagram

Where: Jamaica Inn Beach, Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Who: Meagan Cignoli is the founder and creative director at Visual Country, a full-service creative video production agency specializing in creating micro video content for social media and TV. The company that began in her Brooklyn apartment now counts Google, Coca Cola, Nike, Tiffany & Co, Twitter and hundreds of other major brands as clients. Cignoli more recently has prioritized travel into her busy lifestyle. “Not only do I gather inspiration from new destinations, but it reinvigorates my entire creative process,” she says. Follow her on Instagram: @meagancignoli.

Why: My first visit to Jamaica did not disappoint. The entire island is magical. Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios is one of those marvelous colonial-style Caribbean resort with no TVs, radios or clocks in the rooms — so distractions are minimal. The inn is situated on a private cove with a 700-foot private white sand beach considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. The water is calm in the morning if you want to try stand up paddleboarding or go snorkeling. The best part of my room was direct ocean access, where I started and ended each day with a dip in the crystal blue water. It’s a beach-lover’s paradise.

Lesley Murphy on Dorado Beach in Puerto Rico.

Photo courtesy of @lesleyannmurphy/Instagram

Where: Dorado Beach, Puerto Rico

Who: Lesley Murphy is a travel journalist, TV personality and blogger based out of an overweight suitcase, who travels the world for a living. She is the founder of TheRoadLesTraveled, a site that reveals her crazy adventures around the world, from getting lost in the culture of people and how they move, to what they eat and how they make a living. Lesley enjoys discovering what makes a destination tick. Follow her on Instagram: @lesleyannmurphy

Why: Out of all the beaches I've visited, Dorado checks all the boxes. A big portion of Dorado is beautifully calm and good for snorkeling or paddle boarding, thanks to the rock barrier that acts as a wave breaker put in place years ago by the Rockefellers when the family turned a plantation into the Caribbean's first luxury eco-resort, now called Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve. Another unique aspect is the Rockefeller Nature Trail that goes through forests and alongside the beach to show off the island's diverse flora and fauna. And I can't forget the hammocks that overlook the beaches — an unreal spot to watch some of the most dramatic sunsets I've ever seen.

Photo courtesy of @sophiehellyer/Instagram

Where: Cala Goloritzé, Sardinia

Who: Sophie Hellyer is a surfer and environmentalist living on the west coast of Ireland. Sophie started and runs The Green Room surf school and shop as a tool for environmental and social activation. In her spare time, you will always find her near a body of water, body surfing, swimming, surfing or paddle boarding. Rarely seen on land. Follow her on Instagram: @sophiehellyer

Why: I have travelled to some amazing places around the world, but when asked which is the most beautiful beach I can answer Cala Goloritzé without flinching. Only accessible by boat or a serious hike, the mesmerizing turquoise waters and enchanting cliffs are like nothing I have ever seen before. There is a 143-meter pinnacle, making it a paradise for climbers, resembling something from the movie UP and an archway to the right of the beach to swim through or jump off for the more adventurous. I think it is the only beach I have been to in my life where there was no visible plastic pollution the Sardinian government seem to do a lot to preserve and protect it from human damage, declaring it a national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Christina Vidal on Pelican Point Beach in California's Half Moon Bay.

Photo courtesy of @jetsetchristina/Instagaram

Where: Pelican Point, Half Moon Bay, California

Who: Christina Vidal is the California-based luxury travel blogger behind JetsetChristina. She's been to 55 countries and counting and her swoon-worthy Instagram shots are all about enjoying the finer things in life. "My perfect day involves brunching, beaching, sailing, sunsets and champagne," she says. "Life is short, but vacations are shorter. I try to inspire people to live up every moment of travel to the very fullest." Follow her on Instagram: @jetsetchristina

Why: Pelican Point Beach in Half Moon Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world , because despite being only 30 minutes south of San Francisco, it transports you to a world away. Stepping foot onto The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, I felt as if I had flown to Scotland. There were waves crashing against majestic, rugged cliffs, people roasting marshmallows over bonfires, and even a bagpiper playing music at sunset. It was one of the most beautiful places I have ever set foot on.

A view of Playa Redondo from Belmond Miraflores Park in Peru.

Photo courtesy of @stacieflinner/Instagram

Where: Playa Redondo, Lima, Peru

Who: Stacie Flinner is an interior decorator and founder of stacieflinner.com, a premier online destination for travel and design inspiration. Currently on a year-long, around-the-world trip, Flinner is dedicated to discovering and sharing the most beautiful places and spaces in the world. Follow her on Instagram: @stacieflinner

Why: Lima's beachfront has something for everyone, from day trippers looking to sun themselves on El Silencio's miles of white sand to expert surfers looking to ride the biggest waves Peru has to offer at Pico Alto Beach. When staying at Belmond Miraflores Park, I enjoyed a privileged position overlooking Playa Redondo. I loved the beach, as it offered the perfect way to capture both the beauty of the glamorous neighborhood and Lima's dramatic coastline. Truly a photography dream come true.

An egret on Florida's Cayo Costa Beach.

Photo courtesy of Susan Portnoy @insatiabletraveler/Instagram

Where: Cayo Costa, Florida

Who: Susan Portnoy is an award-winning photographer, freelance travel writer and the creator of The Insatiable Traveler blog. Her work celebrates the magic of world travel, inspiring readers to break from the norm, embrace adventure and connect with the people and places they visit. Follow her on Instagram: @insatiabletraveler

Why: I love Cayo Costa. It’s a gorgeous, unspoiled sliver of land only reachable by boat a few miles west of Fort Myers. The sand is feather soft, the surf crystal clear and it offers some of the best shelling in the region. It’s quiet, remote and you won’t have to share it with a million people. It’s a great place to spend the day or to relax after lunch on nearby Cabbage Key. If you go, bring everything you need, for there’s nothing there but beauty and the roar of the ocean.

On a rocky outcropping in Malibu, California.

Photo courtesy of laura_austin/Instagram

Where: Malibu, California

Who: With wanderlust running through her veins, photographer Laura Austin is someone you can’t help but watch. After growing up in small mountain towns in Colorado and Vermont, she is currently based in Los Angeles. The contrast of her roots in nature and the urban environment where she lives now forces Austin to constantly escape the city and explore. Follow her on Instagram: @laura_austin

Why: Only a 30-minute drive from Los Angeles, Malibu is a great place to escape the city. Venice offers overcrowded flat beaches, but just a short drive north to Malibu will lead you to incredibly beautiful rocky coastline making you quickly forget about about all the hustle and bustle of the city.

Delicious treats on Noosa Beach in Queensland.

Photo courtesy of @girleatworld

Where: Noosa Beach, Queensland, Australia

Who: Melissa Hie is a user-experience designer who caught the travel bug a few years ago. She also loves eating and has found the perfect medium to combine the two through Instagram. While not a photographer by trade, she has been interested in photography since young age and is fascinated by "bokeh.” Her love for photography took off once she got her hands on an iPhone five years ago. Follow her on Instagram: @girleatworld

Why: Noosa Beach embodies everything Australian. From the surfers who pepper the beach trying to catch a wave, to the cool and chic Hasting street literally a minute walk away from the beach where you can get your fill of avocado toast and pretty acai bowl. You can take a surfing lesson or simply walk along the beach to Noosa National Park, which has hiking trail for all levels of fitness.

The dramatic shores of Astoria, Oregon.

Photo courtesy of @bearleaderchronicle/Instagram

Where: Astoria, Orgeon

Who: Who: While some are born to royalty, Daniela Stallinger was born to travel. At just three weeks of age, she took her first international flight and by her early teens had a well-worn passport. Choosing photography as a career, Stallinger was naturally drawn to travel as a photographic genre and has worked around the world on assignment. She is also the founder of Bearleader Chronicle, a travel site that looks beyond the obvious to discover hidden gems. Follow her on Instagram: @bearleaderchronicle

Why: This little port city with tons of history is situated at the mouth of the mighty Columbia river where it plunges into the Pacific Ocean. The force of their meeting is palpable in the dynamic force of the currents and waves just beyond the city limits. Named after John Jacob Astor whose American Fur Company laid the groundwork for the city, it is also where Lewis and Clark spent the winter in 1805 to 1806 after their historic journey across America to find the Pacific Ocean. These days it has become a place of refuge for creative types fleeing Portland and Seattle for simpler climes. Victorian houses, small breweries, museums: This is not your typical sleepy fishing village.

Carly Heitlinger on Horseshoe Bay in Bermuda.

Photo courtesy of @carterfish/Instagram

Where: Horseshoe Bay, Bermuda

Who: Carly Heitlinger is a New England-based influencer who started her blog in 2008. She covers style, travel and New England lifestyle. Anything that she’d share with her close friends, she shares with her fans, whether it’s a trip she just went on, a great sale that can’t be missed, a documentary or book she loved, a personal challenge she’s gone through or simply an outfit she thought was particularly cute. Follow her on Instagram: @carly

Why: Horseshoe Bay's pink sand and crystal blue water cannot be beaten. It's a short taxi ride from the Hamilton Princess. Plan to spend an entire afternoon relaxing and exploring the natural coves. When you're at the beach at Horseshoe Bay, you completely forget that you're less than a two-hour flight away from New York City! Not to mention, the waters there are #NoFilter beautiful.

A view of Sayulita Mexico's beach.

Photo courtesy of laura_austin/Instagram

Where: Sayulita, Mexico

Who: With wanderlust running through her veins, photographer Laura Austin is someone you can’t help but watch. After growing up in small mountain towns in Colorado and Vermont, she is currently based in Los Angeles. The contrast of her roots in nature and the urban environment where she lives now forces Austin to constantly escape the city and explore. Follow her on Instagram: @laura_austin

Why: Sayulita is Tulum’s more mysterious, edgier little sister. If you are looking for a place that is a little more off the beaten path and hasn’t been completely consumed by tourism, then Sayulita is the place for you. You can find everything from pristine sandy beaches to rocky cliffs great for cliff jumping.

Photo courtesy of @bearleaderchronicle/Instagram

Where: Santa Cruz, California

Who: While some are born to royalty, Daniela Stallinger was born to travel. At just three weeks of age, she took her first international flight and by her early teens had a well-worn passport. Choosing photography as a career, Stallinger was naturally drawn to travel as a photographic genre and has worked around the world on assignment. She is also the founder of Bearleader Chronicle, a travel site that looks beyond the obvious to discover hidden gems. Follow her on Instagram: @bearleaderchronicle

Why: At the northern edge of Monterey Bay, this picturesque beach town with its moderate climate and natural beauty has a long history as a destination for the perfect beach getaway. Surfing got its start in America on these shores in the 1850s and has been popular here ever since. There are great restaurants aplenty, though you might want to hit the farmers market for picnic supplies for your day on the beach. After the sun sets, take a stroll through the town center and browse the many fun local shops.

Photo courtesy of @krystal_bick/Instagram

Where: Byron Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Who: This Time Tomorrow is the discerning girl’s destination for all things style, travel, art, dating and New York City related. And probably a few other rambling (and hopefully amusing) mishaps along the way, told through the eyes of Krystal Bick, a lifelong West Coaster now living in the West Village with her corgi Elvis. You can find them on an given Saturday reading a book in Washington Square Park. Follow her on Instagram: @krystal_bick

Why: Spend just five minutes on any beach in Byron Bay and it's practically impossible NOT to get swept up into the surfer spirit of it all. Morning joggers are out with their dogs, vendors are getting their beachside stands ready and a crew of twentysomething surf instructors are waltzing down to the beach, with their hopeful students in tow. It's a wonderful community vibe on any beach in Byron Bay — you practically belong the minute you step foot on the sand.

I’m a travel and lifestyle authority and a content strategist who works with brands to create powerful storytelling. In this column, "Transformative Travel," I look at

I’m a travel and lifestyle authority and a content strategist who works with brands to create powerful storytelling. In this column, "Transformative Travel," I look at how travel can change women's lives. I profile the doers and the disrupters and cover the trends and the destinations that appeal to women today. I have been writing about travel since the early days of my career, when I started off as a honeymoon editor, even though — ironically — I was single at the time. Since then, I have written for a number of publications, including Food & Wine, Wallpaper and The New York Times. I have been the editor-in-chief of Yahoo Travel, which was named the top online travel magazine under my leadership. Before that, I was deputy editor of Travel & Leisure. Throughout my career, I have appeared regularly on television, including Good Morning America and NBC Today. Journalism is part of my heritage: My great great grandfather was a Civil War correspondent for the Chicago Tribune. Follow me on Twitter (@laurabegley) and Instagram (@laurabegleybloom).


Attorney turns out his own line of wine for annual Pankauski Pour fundraiser

One of my favorite things about writing this wine column is finding local people who share my passion for a good sip. Recently, I sat down for my annual chat with John Pankauski, managing attorney of Pankauski Law Firm PLLC and founder and organizer of the Pankauski Pour. Now in its third year, "The Pour" will take over South Olive Street between Clematis and Datura, this Friday from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Legal Aid Society of the Palm Beaches.

"We use wine as a great unifier," says Pankauski. "We&rsquove always given wine as gifts to clients and for marketing. I&rsquove hosted wine dinners. So many people love wine and they&rsquore more apt to speak to me over a glass."

While Pankauski has always donated wines from his personal stash to The Pour and other events, this year he takes it one step further, working with Napa winemaker, Julien Fayard to produce his own line from Pankauski Cellars, LLC.

Fayard grew up in France, working in Provence, Loire Valley and Bordeaux, including stints at Lafite Rothschild and Smith Haut Lafitte. In Napa, he worked alongside famed wine consultant Philippe Melka at Quintessa before leading efforts at sister estates, Purlieu and LePich and launching his own label, Azur Wines.

"He&rsquos the real deal," says Pankauski, "he&rsquos wonderfully passionate about what he does. He&rsquos an artist. &hellip He&rsquos very patient, he can&rsquot be rushed. Your exuberance has to be tempered to work with him."

Though Pankauski shares stories of missteps and false starts before he found Fayard, he admits that making good wine in Napa Valley was much easier than he thought it would be.

"I always thought Napa was an insider&rsquos game and that all the best grapes were taken. Connections are definitely important, but people also want you to succeed. If you are respectful and polite, good things happen."

His first release &mdash 25 cases each of chardonnay, pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon and a red field blend &mdash will be given away as gifts and served at charitable events, like this year&rsquos Pour.

2012 Pankauski Cellars Chardonnay &mdash Napa Valley

Pankauski&rsquos winemaking adventure began with this chardonnay, created for his annual New England Clambake and Lobster dinner held at the Beach Club in Palm Beach each summer.

"I did not want to make a fruit bomb, and I did not want anything over-oaked," says Pankauski. "I wanted an elegant wine in more of an Old World style."

The wine has a fresh, just-ripe nose of apple, pear and tropical fruits with underlying minerality and hints of caramel and vanilla. On palate, it shows fresh fruit balanced by great acidity and just a kiss of oak.

2012 Pankauski Cellars Pinot Noir &mdash Anderson Valley

Pankauski has been a longtime fan of Anderson Valley, the place he describes as his hidden gem for great pinot noir.

"Anderson Valley is the Napa Valley of 30 years ago," says Pankauski. "It&rsquos quiet, quaint, almost desolate. When I sip and smell this pinot it just takes me right there, on a hillside with a beautiful view, a fire going and great food."

The wine has deep, black cherry and black raspberry aromas with hints of grilled herb, smoke and cola. On palate, the wine shows ripe, soft fruit flavors with a round and silky mouthfeel.

2010 Pankauski Cellars Cabernet Sauvignon &mdash Napa Valley

"Julien and I tasted a lot of cabs before landing on this one," says Pankauski. "It&rsquos 100 percent cabernet from the Sugarloaf Vineyard in the Oakville and Yountville area. 2010 is a great vintage. I just wanted to produce a nice, solid cab with some time in oak."

The wine has a soft and pretty nose of very ripe cherries, warm vanilla and floral notes. On palate, the wine is plush and pleasant, with soft, round tannins, ripe red and dark cherry fruit and a dry finish.

2012 Pankauski Cellars Alphonse Dad&rsquos Blend &mdash Napa Valley

The label features a photo of Pankauski&rsquos father, Alphonse, as a 17-year-old young man who just joined the Marine Corps and was off to fight in World War II.

"My dad grew up during the Depression," explained Pankauski. "He always told me, &lsquoJohn, I have everything I have because I saved a buck.&rsquo He loved value, thrift and hard work. The wine is just a field blend. It&rsquos wonderfully pleasing and a good quaff that won&rsquot break the bank. Even the bottling [a smaller 500 ml bottle compared to the traditional 750 ml] is intended not to waste wine. We lost my dad in 2010. He lived a good, long life."

The wine has a fresh and fruity nose of wild and juicy red and black berries with a touch of oak and a whisper of dried leaves and dusty earth. Simple and approachable, with soft tannins and a quick, dry finish. The perfect picnic wine, pizza wine or solo sipper.


Watch the video: Burger Bash held Friday night at South Beach Wine u0026 Food Festival (July 2022).


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