Ariane Daguin’s Volcanic Adventure

April 20, 2010

OTB friend Ariane Daguin, proprietor of D’Artagnan, best known as the premium duck,  foie gras and high-end luxury produce supplier to the top restaurants in New York City and all over the country, recently experienced an adventure as a result of the Icelandic volcano eruption, being stranded in France and having to go through a 27-hour ordeal to get home. Here is her story.


27 Hours Later: My Trip from Paris to New York

Having just spent two weeks in France on publicity tour to support my new book “D’Artagnan à New York”, I was anxious to get home and back to business. But the volcano in Iceland had other plans for me. My Sunday afternoon flight from Paris to Newark was not to be.

Outside my hotel in Paris I saw a familiar figure looking up at the hotel. Maybe Frederic Fekkai was thinking that he would have to check in and wait for days until the next flight home. We laughed about running into each other under these odd circumstances and then we joined forces. Sharing a large taxi to hold our huge amount of luggage, we headed hopefully to Orly airport. We were greeted by an eerily empty terminal and screens filled with the word “canceled.” No flights to the United States.

Tugging all our luggage, we were happy to find that Open Skies (the airline I was flying with) had chartered three buses to ferry about 150 of us stranded travelers to Toulouse Airport! We were caught up in the spirit of adventure, and helped ourselves to the rudimentary sandwiches that Open Skies was kind enough to provide.

The overnight seven hour drive from Paris to Toulouse had the air of a refugee boat, and we were not certain that we would even get flights out of Toulouse. But it was worth the chance. So there I am with Frederic, and look up to see Yannick Noah, a famous pop star and ex tennis world champion, on the other side of me! To say I was in good company would be an understatement.

As our bus pulled into Toulouse airport at 7:00 a.m. we saw TV crews all over the place, waiting to film the only people flying out of France that day. We were making the news!

The Toulouse airport had just opened a new international terminal, and I think we were the first to use it. After waiting six anxious hours in the terminal, wondering if we would be cleared for takeoff, we finally boarded a plane. Then we waited another hour on the plane while the aviation authorities signed off on the flight.

When our plane finally departed, we flew far south to avoid any chance of volcanic ash choking our engines. So I did not see the plume of smoke that is causing all the trouble. I bet that would have been a magnificent sight.

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Grillin’ on the Bay 2010

April 3, 2010

There are many things to like culinary-speaking about Brooklyn. It’s a huge melting pot for different cultures and many of New York’s food traditions, and most of the country’s best and most iconic ethnic dishes originate from there.

It has some of the best Pizza imaginable in the entire country and is the cradle of Jewish cuisine as we know it in the United States. Arguably the best hot dog on the planet originated in Brooklyn. And so on, and so on. Brooklyn is America’s premium brand name for ethnic culture.

However, I don’t normally consider Brooklyn to be a huge barbecue town. But last Saturday, my views on this were seriously challenged.

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Miami Dining: Late Night on Calle Ocho

January 31, 2010

South Florida may be the land of senior citizens and early bird dinners, but late at night, Calle Ocho is hopping with activity.

Last week I went on a last minute business trip to Florida, with my base of operations being very close to Miami International Airport.

While I dreaded the idea of having to work what would certainly be very long days confined to conference rooms and then emerging late at night ravenously hungry, there was some consolation in the fact that unlike other parts of South Florida, where your food options late at night are restricted at best, downtown Miami and the neighborhood surrounding 8th street (“Calle Ocho”) which calls itself Little Havana (home to Free Cuba in Exile) has some of the best late-night eating anywhere in the state, and probably in the entire country.

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Kosher Orgy: Save the Deli launch party at Ben’s

October 19, 2009

"Save the Deli" launch party at Ben's Kosher, NYC by you.

For those of you who have been living under a rock the last several years, my friend David Sax has been working diligently on his book Save the Deli, a chronicle of his travels throughout the United States and Canada in his efforts to seek out what remains of our dying Jewish Deli culture.

I was invited to his launch party this evening and I have to say, the man seriously knows how to throw a kosher rumpus — invite Borscht Belt King  and Friar’s Club dean Freddie Roman as master of ceremonies, attempt to feed some of the hungriest fressers in the city with enough cholesterol and saturated fat to kill a rogue elephant, and get Jewish Elvis to entertain the masses. Now THAT my friends is a party.

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Want to make Steve Jobs’ head explode? There’s a phone for that!

October 19, 2009

iannoyed

Many carriers and device manufacturers have claimed to have iPhone-killers. They tried and failed to unseat the giant, which has a huge following of users and a massive application store. But right now, at least in the United States, iPhone is tied to AT&T Wireless, which has been riddled with 3G coverage problems, much to the frustration of the company’s subscribers.

Click to read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.


October 14, 2009 Updates: Daruma, Havana’s Cuban Cafe

October 14, 2009

Daruma 2009 Collage II by you.

Daruma in Englewood, opened in 2004, is still producing some of the best and most creative Sushi and Sashimi creations in Bergen County.

Havana's Cuban Cafe, Edgewater NJ by you.

Babaloo! Havana’s Cuban Cafe in Edgewater is still banging out delicious Latino delights.


Victor von Frankenstein Never Had to Deal With RMAs

August 14, 2009

frankenputer

Several months ago I put up a blog post called “Extreme PCs and Homebrewing: Rest In Peace”, which needless to say attracted a great deal of responses on both side of the fence, those that agreed that due to the economy and the factors surrounding the business of homebrewing and component sales, system building is probably in its last days, and others who vehemently oppose the notion that the practice of home-brewing your own computer is going away.

Read the rest of this article at ZDNet Tech Broiler.