Sunday, June 24, 2012

Welcome to Eat, Drink, Be Merry & Do Good! 

Michelle Hines Abram
The last few years have been a long and interesting road for me. While I have been in the food & beverage industry for all of my professional life, I have never been so entwined in our culinary community as I have become in the last few years.  Through my work with the Albany Chefs' Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts, I developed a new level of involvement and exposure to the best Chefs & Restaurants in the Capital Region. Prior to that, I had thought... yes we have a few gems, but nothing compared to other mid or larger market cities. What I learned is that we are rich in talent here, with a little exploration you can have food moments that rival the best cities. 

So the Eat part of this blog is about sharing those great moments in food, and yes mainly in the Capital Region , but sometimes about what I'm cooking or interesting things happening in the culinary world. I love to take pictures of food, and do so rather obsessively when I go out to eat. Check out my Facebook if you want to see more of those, and I promise they'll get populated here once I can figure out the streaming aspect of getting them to appear here. 

So example of fun food moment, impromptu dinner at the bar at dp one fine afternoon:

Pan Seared Atlantic Corvina with English Pea Velouté and Basil Risotto

Drink is along the same lines as Eat. Who knew that we had do many talented mixologists, sommeliers, and even a cicerone in the Capital Region? That's just good stuff in my book. Oh and by the way, I have a recent new obsession with craft beer because I've never been able to drink a beer until the folks from Ommegang turned me on to their fabulous fine ales and I saw the light! 

Be Merry means a couple of things to me. First off, people that stay in our industry for life simply love this business, they love food, and drink and entertaining and being hospitable. We love when people have a great experiences in our restaurants, events, and homes. It's just the way we're wired.

The second part of that is that just about everyone I know in the Capital Region culinary community is a super awesome person. I mean it...people always talk about "chefs with big egos", and how do I manage "dealing with all those personalities". Here's my answer, you ready....It is my absolute pleasure. The Chefs in this region are some of the nicest, most genuine, passionate, hard-working folks that I have ever worked with...and that it's easy, although sometimes like herding cats when trying to get menus out of folks, because they are all my friends.

Third part (oh by the way I get long winded sometimes). Be Merry means just that. This is not a place for negativity. Need to cheer up, let Aretha Franklin help you click this link --->Accentuate the Positive . Seriously though, I don't like blog bullies at all (if you need further explanation on this check out my super silly animated video)....that simply has no place here. Oh and by the way, I write in my own style and sometimes I make a typo, and sometimes a write things specifically not's my party and I'll write how I want to...just sayin.

Ok so this is the deal with Do Good. The Capital Region does a lot of charitable events. I mean A LOT. There are literally hundreds of them, and guess who the unsung heros are? Our Chefs & Restaurateurs! They support them day in and day out, by providing food stations, private dinners, drink specials, donating proceeds, gift name it, they do it. So I want to recognize all the good work that they do for this community here. 
ACFAWF 2012 Signature Chefs & Founding BOD
Chefs at the Friendship Community Garden

I also do a tremendous amount of charitable work personally, usually through events which I will keep you up to date and informed about here. (Oh and by the way, if you want to know what the hot events are to go to, you should definitely keep your eye on this part of the page).

Ok so that's what this is all about! I hope you enjoy and please feel free to post your great moments in food & beverage! Also if you have an awesome event and are doing some good I want to hear about that too!

Michelle Hines Abram