Perhaps you are someone who thinks honey is just honey. Or tea is just tea. Or olive oil is just olive oil. Or water is just water. Or a cigar is just a cigar. Or mustard is just mustard. If so, you’re likely skeptical of a honey sommelier, a tea sommelier, an olive oil sommelier, a water sommelier, a cigar sommelier or a mustard sommelier. But over the past several years, there’s been a creeping wine-ification in every realm of gourmet endeavor. Now, in our era of hyper-credentialism, there’s almost no sphere of connoisseurship without a knowledgeable, certified taste expert, someone who’s completed serious coursework and passed an exam. A two-day tea sommelier certification course (followed by eight weeks of home study) from the International Tea Masters Association costs $1,475. A six-day olive oil sommelier certification program at the International Culinary Center in New York costs $2,800. A nine-day water sommelier certification program at the Doemens Academy in Germany costs $2,600 (travel not included).
Whether you're looking for something perfect but not too personal to gift your favorite coworkers, an option to suit your resident gourmet's picky palate, or just want to give the gift of not having to cook dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) this year, we've tracked down all of the most delicious edible presents, baskets, and subscriptions to make every gifting occasion more delicious.
The word gourmet is from the French term for a wine broker or taste-vin employed by a wine dealer. Friand was formerly the reputable name for a connoisseur of delicious things that were not eaten primarily for nourishment: "A good gourmet", wrote the conservative eighteenth-century Dictionnaire de Trévoux, employing this original sense, "must have le goût friand", or a refined palate. The pleasure is also visual: "J'aime un ragoût, et je suis friand", Giacomo Casanova declared, "mais s'il n'a pas bonne mine, il me semble mauvais". In the eighteenth century, gourmet and gourmand carried disreputable connotations of gluttony, which only gourmand has retained. Gourmet was rendered respectable by Monsieur Grimod de la Reynière, whose Almanach des Gourmands, essentially the first restaurant guide, appeared in Paris from 1803 to 1812.
Stock your shelves and storage containers with our spices and seasonings, from classic American rubs to international spices and salts. Infuse every dish with flavor with a little help from our vast variety of condiments and sauces. From gourmet mustards and fine oils and vinegars to zesty barbeque sauces and spicy hot sauces, we have something to spread, dip or drizzle on all of your favorite foods.
Chef Shuichi Tanida left his post at Epcot’s Mitsukoshi restaurant to open a downtown ramen shop (appropriately dubbed “The Ramen”) in the former Philly Connection space and the soup cognoscenti have caught on. The broths, be it tonkotsu, shoyu or miso are unquestionably legit and there’s even a vegan ramen offered. The soup-averse can give any of the donburi (rice bowls) or bento boxes (with choice of karaage, panko-fried chicken tender, or potato croquette) a go but, really, it’s all about the ramen at The Ramen.
Located just a block from Lake Eola in Thornton Park, Soco is one of the best places in Orlando to spend an afternoon eating and drinking outside. This place serves high-end comfort food, like grilled meatloaf with lobster mash potatoes, Southern fried quail and waffles, and a weekly TV dinner special that yes, gets served on an actual tray covered in foil. Drinks-wise, they have a huge wine list, along with plenty of cocktail and beer options. When you want to pretend like you don’t have responsibilities, come to Soco for a long weekend brunch or to spend the entire day on a patio.
Hi Evi 🙂 As an entree, it serves about 6 people, so you’ll have to make some adjustments to the recipe to get it to serve that many people. There’s no way it’ll all fit in one pot, so you’ll more than likely have to have it going in various pots. I’ve never made the recipe for that many people, so I can’t say for certain how it’ll hold up by increasing it that much.
There are a lot of different situations that call for a boozy brunch, like celebrating a birthday, or just surviving a weekend with your future in-laws, and the Stubborn Mule works for just about all of them. This spot in Thornton Park serves a wide range of morning cocktails, like peach sangria and a spicy Bloody Mary, along with $12 bottomless mimosas if you want to make an afternoon out of it. Besides the drinks, the food here is actually really good and includes brunch staples like steak and eggs and a cheese fondue-topped veggie hash. They also have a few things that will sound better after a few drinks, like the “Who Woke Up First,” a combination of fried chicken, eggs, cheese, and bacon pressed between two cinnamon cronies.
Landlocked Central Florida is not Italy, but when you want to temporarily forget that, go to Prato. This always-packed restaurant in Winter Park serves modern Italian food, like mustard spaghetti cacio e pepe and a variety of wood-fired pizzas, and has retractable doors and a patio, which almost makes it feel like you’re getting a nice breeze from the Mediterranean. There’s always a wait if you don’t make a reservation, but just grab a drink at the bar and start debating with your friends about how many pastas to order in the meantime.
Lalousis had been managing Maille’s retail boutique in London when he was tapped for his expertise. “My boss told me, ‘I think you’ve got a calling. You’ve got a love for mustard.’ ” He was sent to the factory in Dijon for six months of training and learned “everything there was to know about mustard.” As far as Lalousis is aware, he’s the only mustard sommelier in the world. That’s not to say, however, that he is the first mustard sommelier in history. “We had a mustard sommelier in 1747 when we opened a store in Paris,” he says. At that time in Paris, Dijon mustard was not well known. “Our founder wanted people to know how to use Dijon mustard. He wanted to show people that it was an ingredient and not just a condiment.” And if Lalousis has his way, he will not be the last. He’s developing an educational program that will certify future mustard sommeliers about types of mustard seed, harvest techniques, chemical compounds in mustard, regional differences, levels and qualities of pungency, various pairings and uses, and what Lalousis calls “the culture of mustard.”
Eater editors get asked one question more than any other: “Where should I eat right now?” Orlando dining obsessives want to know what’s new, what’s hot, and what favorite chef just launched a new spot. So here they are – the fresh faces on our ever-evolving restaurant scene; the newish spots setting tongues awagging from the theme parks to downtown Orlando to the city’s suburban enclaves and all the neighborhoods in between.
When I visit Armenteros at the shop in Princeton, he guides me into the humidor, amid shelves of boxes and hundreds of cigars. “The most fulfilling, exciting thing we do,” he says, “is when you take a customer to another level. When you open up their enjoyment. That’s the greatest thing a tobacconist, or any sommelier, can do.” He talks excitedly about the differences among Nicaraguan, Dominican and Cuban tobacco, wrappers grown in Connecticut or Ecuador, the size or “ring gauge,” from skinny lancero to coronas to robustos to thick Churchills. A Padrón cigar, from Nicaragua, “is a steak, a wagyu.” Meanwhile, another cigar from the Dominican Republic “is like fish. It’s an elegant, delicate cigar.” We compare what spirits to pair with cigars, and both of us agree that describing flavors is not easy. “Not just in cigars,” he says, “but in any world of organoleptic delicacies.” He points to some cigars he’s been aging for close to a decade. I ask if cigars can age like wine. “F— yeah,” he says.