Food fit for a circus clown: Behind the scenes in Ringling Bros. kitchen

Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages, I met chef Michael Vaughn who feeds about 200 hungry entertainers who live in some of the 61 train cars parked just outside of town. Chef Michael says he likes the adventure. “It’s definitely the greatest show on earth. We are the world’s largest city without a zip code,’’ he adds. The 16-year saw-dust veteran may have learned to cook in the south but his cuisine spans several continents. His international mix of patrons come from seven continents, including Uzbekistan, Uruguay, Russia, Mongolia and Paraguay. Michael invites the animal trainers, trapeze artists and others to bring him recipes and teach him about their special dishes that personify their home country.

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Don’t punt on Clearwater’s Café Ponte

Having enjoyed dinners at Café Ponte sometime back, we happily found an encore performance. As soon as you enter, the welcoming host assures that you are in good hands. Proprietor Christopher Ponte, who trained at Johnson & Wales University and later at the Cordon Bleu in Paris, has also worked at the famed Taillevent in Paris and continues to earn a litany of accolades.

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Gordon Edgar: Rainbow Grocery cheesemonger, life on the wedge

Interview with Edgar Gordon, Cheesemonger at Rainbow Grocery Cooperative in San Francisco. He talks about his upcoming book, his favorite beer and cheese pairings and the future of American cheese.

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Tia Keenan: Fromager and cheese lover changing the scene in the City

Tia Keenan is a Chef Fromager and food consultant based in New York City. In 2007, with a decade of NYC restaurant experience behind her, Keenan opened Casellula Cheese and Wine Café, a pioneering cheese bar, featuring a rotating selection of 40 international artisan cheeses paired with more than 60 unique wines and inventive condiments. Her work earned Casellula an Honorable Mention in the 2009 Michelin Guide. Previously, Keenan helmed the cheese program at Michelin-starred restaurant The Modern, at the Museum of Modern Art. With her unorthodox approach to the cheese plate, Keenan creates a new flavor “language” for cheese and contributes her distinctive vision to the burgeoning American artisan cheese revolution.

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Former Kim Crawford winemaker, Jules Taylor, expands her own winery offerings

Strong women role models are not particularly myriad in the US wine business. More female winemakers have emerged in the past 20 years but they have a long way to go before they dominate. It happens more across the oceans than where the Women’s Sufferage Movement began. Meet Jules Taylor, former winemaker from multiple award-winning New Zealand winery Kim Crawford Wines. And on her own label, Jules Taylor.

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Interview with rising star Chef Hugh Atcheson from Empire State South

Rising star Chef Hugh Acheson talks about his new cookbook, his background and his love affair with wine and cheese.

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