Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel. Show all posts

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Bluegrass, a finely tuned scent

Hi guys -

Hey, hey, hey - it's been a while.  I trust all is well.

Truth be told, it's been a crazy year.  I might have been lacking in my posts this year, but that doesn't mean I haven't been working my ass off in the kitchen.  As relayed last fall, I signed on board to write a new book - A Southern Gentleman's Kitchen - Adventures in Cooking, Living, and Eating in the New South.  Well, that venture proved to be a worthy one to say the very least!

After traveling the South for over a year - eating, drinking, and writing, I turned in the manuscript back in the spring.  From there, I took a bit of a break, traveled to France, and developed what you see at the top of the page.  Yes, that's right.  My buddies and I at EastWest Bottlers have finally released the follow up to MOONSHINE, a gentleman's cologne in the form of Bluegrass, a finely tuned scent.  We're incredibly proud of the result (I can't stop wearing the fragrance).  Moreover - the package pays homage to weathered fences and old blue Mason 13 jars. 

If you are looking for a great gift this holiday season - consider picking up a bottle or two.

Ok, back to edits, reviews, and taking a final pass or two on the new book.  Guys, I can't even begin to tell you how well this book is coming together!  So excited to start this next journey.

Stay tuned - lots more ahead down the road and then some.


Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Boating the San Juan Islands

Last month, I got to switch coasts from my last trip in PEI, Canada to the far west coast - braving the rich waters of The San Juan Islands in Washington state.  It was an incredible trip - made better by meeting new friends, plenty of characters, and of course cooking and eating great food.  If you've never been - I highly suggest going.  But to do it right, you need to get on a boat.  Perusing each island on your own schedule, charting your own course - and destiny - is the way this beautiful paradise is meant to be discovered.

The San Juan Islands are an archipelago chain just off the mainland, about a 90 minute drive from Seattle, accessible by ferry, plane, and personal/chartered water crafts.

Each and every island posses its own character - from wild life sanctuaries to islander townies to quaint villages boasting an array of lively restaurants and bars.

You can check out Discover Boating's page for a full guide to The San Juan Islands on your next visit.  Better yet?  They've got you covered on some of the most unique travel/boating destinations in the country!

Getting down to food - you can check out my recipes, some of which are pictured below, in a recent feature from my trip over at The Art of Manliness.  There's a wealth of info in the article, including where to stay, where to go, how to get there - by boat - and also the proper way to filet a big ole king salmon.  Tip - you've got to catch one to filet it!

Anyways, here are some of the pictures and highlights from the trip.  Unbelievable to think I took all these pictures, and I'm in NONE of them!  The joys of being behind the camera I suppose.

Oh well . . . there's always next time.



An Orca and pup in the distance

America - Sunset view from the boat.

My Pal Kirk landing a Pinkie

Choose your own adventure - Ferry vs. Seaplane.  

Dockside Dining

Seattle Sailing Series

Simply Seared Sockeye Salmon

Public Market - Seattle

Dungeness Crab Pasta Salad
Oysters on the Half Shell

Friday, July 12, 2013

'Junk' Taco Salad

I'm just coming off another great trip to P.E.I (more on this later).  It was a long week of work - cooking for lots of folks and trying to please the crowd.  At some moments I felt like David Copperfield trying to pull some magic off with constantly changing equipment, ingredients, and scenarios.  Nevertheless, it was all a success, and another year is in the books.  Thanks to the team for all the help.

I've got 3 'quiet' weeks till I hit the road again for another trip to the San Juan Islands. 

Let's just say that I'm using these 3 weeks to get re-focused on diet and health to ensure I'm in tip top shape when I hit the water.  Too many lobsters, Gahan House Beers, PEI Mussels, Oysters, and beers, beers, beers over the past week or two.

So I'm settling back into lean proteins, slow carbs, and cutting out the alcohol.  Call it a binge and purge, but I like to set realistic short term goals to get back on track.

That said - I don't like to sacrifice flavor.

Taking it all in stride, I challenge myself to create recipes that cut out all the nonsense, while still maintaining BIG flavor.  This dish is just that - low carb, low cal, BIG FLAVOR.  And I mean BIG.

We all love Mexican foods high in spice and loaded with cool sour cream, guac, creamy dressings, and crunchy textures.  Well, this dish will make you forget about all that carb and fat laden goodness.  This dish simply tastes FRESH.

What are you waiting for?  Make it tonight - I promise you won't be disappointed.

'Junk' Taco Salad - a play on the name as this dish is anything but 'junk'.  Instead, we combine all the ingredients together - without all the fat and carb laden ingredients typical to this classic dish.  Fresh, light, and healthy.  (Prep 10 mins, Cook 15 mins, Serves 2 - 4)

For the Meat:

1 Teaspoon EVOO
1 Fresh Jalapeno, diced

2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 lb Ground Chicken (50% less fat than Lean Ground Beef!)

1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Tablespoon Fresh Cracked Pepper
2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder
1/2 Cup Water

Pre-heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat - add oil.  Saute jalapeno and garlic for 1 minute - add chicken and seasonings.  Brown chicken for 3 - 4 minutes, add water to deglaze, and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through - about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat.

For the Dressing:

1/3 Cup EVOO
2 Limes, juiced
1 Pinch Kosher Salt
1 Teaspoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin Powder

Whisk all ingredients together, set aside until ready to dress salad.

For the Salad:

1 Head of Romaine Lettuce, sliced into thin strips
1 Cup Fresh Cilantro, roughly chopped
1 Cup Low Fat Jalapeno Cheddar Cheese, roughly grated

1/2 Red Onion, finely diced
2 Vine Ripe Tomatoes, seeded and finely diced
1 Hass Avocado, small dice

To Serve:

Combine all salad ingredients into a large salad/serving bowl.  Using a slotted spoon, add cooked chicken to salad ingredients.  Finally, add dressing and toss salad until well incorporated - season to taste with salt and pepper.



Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Looking Ahead

Whew - It's been quite a few busy months . . . from getting married to buying a new house to moving to book proposals to traveling all over the US (most of the time being hampered by air travel - thanks SW, Delta, USAir, and others) - life just doesn't seem to slow down.
My new kitchen.
Don't get me wrong - I'm blessed and happy to be so busy.  After three days at home I get that ole itch to get right back out on the road again.

I'm stoked to be headed back out West to Portland, OR and back East to VA later this month - along with a trip up to Milwaukee to attend a wedding - rest assured - I will get my fill of cheese, sausage, and cold beer during that trip.

I'll be back in NYC to tape for BetterTV on June 3rd - be sure to tune in.

On the MOONSHINE front - we're about to launch a new website at - a huge thanks to Thomas Bailey for all the hard work on the site.  Proud to announce that we'll also be partnering with ORVIS to offer the scents worldwide.  Pretty amazed to be working with such a great brands such as ORVIS and BELK - along with the 200+ individual retailers around the globe.

Better yet - this summer is shaping up to be quite a bit of work and play.  Stoked to announce I'll be back for my third year as a guest chef at The Cavendish Beach Music Festival - cooking up a bounty (see below) of some of the worlds greatest local ingredients.  This year, I'm stoked to bring along a few friends from Nashville - Dustin and Kyah Hillis will be in tow with me and my lovely wife.  Really excited to show these two the beautiful island of PEI, while introducing them to the kind folks who have been so good to me over the past few years.  I know we'll be making our way out to join these men for some fly fishing, and then we'll be spending a day with Chef Ross on his new PEI Culinary Adventure.  As always, we'll be taking in the great sights and sounds of the festival as well - the acts look quite promising this year!
Lobster, Crawfish, Shrimp, Corn, Sausage, Potatoes, and a whole lot more!
From there, it's another jaunt to the Pacific Northwest and beyond - stay tuned.

Anywho, that's it for now - wishing you all the best in food, life, and happiness in the coming months.

Keep peaceful,


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Valentine's Day + Cupcake Vineyards

Yes gents - what a great day indeed.  No need to fret about buying diamonds (hmmm, she still might like those) or snagging a fancy restaurant rez - follow my game plan for a killer Valentine's day dinner at home!  Trust me, your lucky lady will appreciate your efforts in the kitchen more than that expensive restaurant tab.  Use all that extra cash to splurge on some fresh cut flowers, a heartfelt note (said like a true Southern gentleman), and an incredible night at home.  Better yet?  You won't have a hard time trying to convince her to come back to your place after the meal . . .

I'm going all out this Valentine's Day to make sure you are 100% covered!

Check out The Better Show today - I'm pulling off a vegetarian friendly recipe that your lady will love.  Carnivores included.

And - for those who need step-by-step details on everything from prepping for the date, choosing a great wine, easy-to-follow recipes, and fun videos that put it all together - well, look no further than to my friends over at Cupcake Vineyards.  I've partnered up with this great wine to ensure you Love Deliciously this Valentine's Day!  Go to their site, like, right now.

Monday, December 17, 2012


The past few weeks have been a whirlwind.

Between planning a wedding to launching MOONSHINE into our first big box store to running a marathon to traveling to . . . well, I think that's enough by now.

None of the above should be taken as complaining.  In fact, I've quite enjoyed this bit of overload - rather over loaded than have nothing at all.

So - I was quite happy to board a plane bound for Portland OR to shoot a new series of videos for Cupcake Vineyards.  I've been working with the fine folks over at LANE PR for weeks - developing content, recipes, photos, and videos for an upcoming roll out that I think you all will enjoy.  More to come around Valentine's Day.

Anyways, since we shot in Portland - a city I've always wanted to go to - but the winds of fate had yet to carry me there - I extended my trip by a day to take in the sights and sounds.

I'm sure glad I did.

Such a great, unique, and quirky city - filled with solid people that evoke many of the qualities of Southern hospitality.  It's a place I definitely want to re-visit.

A kind thanks to those at The Heathman Hotel, The Teardrop Cocktail Lounge, Clyde Common, Greg at OX,  Mark at The Parrish, and all of the other great folks I got to meet upon my visit.  More to come from production crew and the great folks who lent a hand in putting together some entertaining and informative videos - that requires a separate entry!

Anyways, enjoy some shots from my journey.


On Set
Morning at The Heathman
New vs Old
GA in Portland
Saturday Musings
Street food

Monday, September 24, 2012

Buffalo / Niagara

A week or two ago, I posted my crimes of eating while on Nor'Easter in Buffalo, NY.  Pretty sure my stomach has just now adjusted from that carnal abuse.

Anyways, I finally got around to editing some shots from the trip - and most importantly - our sojourn up to Niagara Falls.  If you've never been - go.  It's a must see in a lifetime, and Buffalo offers plenty of spicy Buffalo wings, Beef on Weck, and cold beers to serve as a nice respite througout your journeys.



Mission Command w/ Marine Mike - Embassy Suites - Buffalo, NY
The size of my hunger that day - too bad the meal we ate was, well - not Korean BBQ
Gatlinburg or Downtown Niagara?  Hint - Tim Hortons in background
On the hunt for local food and drink.  Hunt not satisfied.
Niagara Falls - American Side
American Falls - notice rainbow - the calm before Barnett's storm.
Distant Canadian Falls
Handy with a Spatula and a Mark iii
Canadian Falls - Closer View
Bet you $100 I'd survive in a Barrel - hmmm
Maybe not.
The Crew
Man + Squirrel = Totally normal
Downtown Buffalo
Buffalo at Dusk

Monday, September 17, 2012


Another long weekend spent in CA wine country - life is good.

Cal and I took off from LA to join friends Kendra and Kevin for their beautiful wedding at Sunstone Winery.  Gotta be one of the top 5 places I've ever visited - and that also goes with their incredible wedding weekend.  Congratulations to you both - and cheers to all the fine folks we met during our trip.

Better yet, I alluded that I got to soak in the sights and sounds of one of my very favorite movies - Sideways.  From crashing the windmill inn, to the Hitching Post II, to Solvang, and more - an incredible trip that was filled with so many great moments.

Check out some of the highlights below.

Pictorial - Sideways
Sunstone Winery
Solvang, CA
Antique Cash Register
Impromptu photo shoot

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

San Fran/Napa

After a busy week of business in the city, I was able to sneak away over the weekend and take in some of the sights and sounds of San Fran and Napa Valley.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so here you go . . .
Blurred Cable Car - Downtown SF
Russian Hill
Fog Rolls in . . .
Fried Chicken @ Wayfare Tavern.  THX to Chef Tyler Florence for the amazing hospitality
Fisherman's Wharf
Muir Woods
Flying Saucer or Sun?  You decide.  Muir Woods
Sausalito Harbor
Salito's Crab House and Prime Rib - Finally great Cioppino!
I am not drinking any Merlot.
Tasting Room Floor
Getting Closer.
Vineyard Entrance.
The Right Path
Yes, yes!
Napa Landscape
Not a bad place to call home.
Valley View
Rolling Vineyards
Napa Sky
My Better Half
Yours Truly
Best Pairing of the Day!
Townie Bar
Urban Living - Yountville
Tasting - Jessup Cellars - Yountville
Sun Sets In
Evening Sun
Basking in Napa

Lazy Saturday
Cal - Dinner @ La Toque - Napa Downtown.  Unreal experience.