Additional Articles/Posts by Mark Damon Puckett

  • 3rd Annual Arts in April in Napa Valley
    Wine and art are such a sophisticated pairing, and what could be lovelier than 30 days of showcasing art collections in Napa Valley wineries? From exhibitions to artist receptions to special tastings, oenophiles have to chance to view art and meet artists...

  • Travel Photo of the Week
    How well do you know food when you see it? Could you recognize South African bunny chow or English spotted dick if you saw it? Do you know a secret restaurant when you see one? The Daily Meal loves to photograph food, and we’re posting a travel...

  • Los Cabos Cheese and Wine Festival Supports Boys’ Home
    Eating good cheese always poses a problem, doesn’t it? It’s one of those foods that combine guilt and decadence, but you are in luck because the Sheraton Hacienda del Mar in Los Cabos, Mexico, is reducing that guilt with the Cheese and Wine...

  • Salt House at Carmel Valley Ranch Is Salt of the Earth
    Robert Kirkland from the Monterey Bay Salt Co. doesn’t have any ordinary job. Not only does he run a salt farm in California's Salinas Valley, where he's licensed to commercially harvest salt water from the Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary, but...

  • Sea Crest Beach Hotel Offers Brunch on the Cape
    After the Sea Crest Beach Hotel renovated itself to the tune of $15 million, what better way to celebrate rebirth than an Easter brunch on Old Silver Beach with Buzzard's Bay beautifully pictured in the distance? Folks in their Sunday best driving to...

  • Maple Syrup Initiative in Vermont
    Now don’t get all sappy on us, but maple syrup season in Vermont is coinciding with spring skiing, and sugar makers, Long Trail Brewery, and Amtrak are showcasing Cabot cheddar, Vermont maple syrup, and Long Trail beer on trains March 1 then...

  • Cycling, Eating, and Drinking Through Italy
    Despite the cycling world's recent scandal with Lance Armstrong, it may just be that biking the French and Italian Alps through various culinary Edens will make you forget all about it. Ciclismo Classico tours will take you through Friuli in...

  • It’s a Toss Up
    At the Ballard Pizza Company in Seattle, these are no ordinary tossers. Pizza-tossers, we mean, of course. The company’s inaugural Toss Like a Boss Competition on March 10 has pizzaioli competing until one remains standing, and looks like the dough...

  • Pass on the Gift Peru Sweepstakes Offers Trip to Cuzco, Peru
    In an attempt to eradicate hunger and poverty, Garnet Hill and Heifer International offer the Pass on the Gift® in Peru Sweepstakes, which will award a trip for two to the ancient Incan Empire capital of Cuzco, Peru. The winners will work to foster...

  • South African Epicurean Safari
    We don’t know about you, but here at The Daily Meal we always like to hop on a horse and explore a valley before a five-course meal, which is exactly what you will do if you go on a deluxe nine-day safari to South Africa before visiting Le Quartier...

  • International Festival of Arts and Ideas in New Haven, Connecticut
    The International Festival of Arts & Ideas (IFAI) in New Haven, Conn., to be held this year from June 15 to 29, doesn't have your traditional festival fare of corn dogs and cotton candy. From the international food trucks to the performance of...

  • Food Zaniness at Wildfoods Festival in Hokitika, New Zealand
    Fish eyes, huhu beetle grubs (a traditional Maori delicacy) and deep-fried locusts are not on your everyday menu — hey, they aren’t on your every-decade menu — which is why the Hokitika Wildfoods Festival insanely pushes the food...

  • Chef’s Garden at Lake Placid Lodge
    The exquisite and pastoral Lake Placid Lodge in Lake Placid, N.Y., is proud of its relationship with the local farming community and the symbiosis with the guests coming to their destination, and nowhere is this more evident than in their Teaching Kitchen...

  • A Comprehensive Tour of Indian Wine Country
    If you happen to have an extra $10,164 to spare for your honeymoon and want to ride some elephants, float in a hot air balloon over Jaipur, and tour Indian wine country in the process, well, you are in luck with the 14-day "Honeymoon Wine Tour of...

  • Budweiser Brewery Tour in St. Louis
    Despite the German name, Budweiser has always been associated with America and Clydesdales, a beer with nostalgia to it down to the very red, white, and blue colors of the can. Who doesn’t remember those horse ads from childhood with "Here...

  • Yachting on the 'Hornblower Infinity'
    Cruising on a 210-foot yacht that has countertops built from 2,500 SKYY vodka bottles really should be on your traveling wish list, and lucky for New York residents (or visitors to the city), such a ship, the Hornblower Infinity, is nearby. Hornblower...

  • Recognizing Horsemeat on Menus While Abroad
    Meat has gotten a little horsey lately, hasn’t it now? Ikea pulled its meatballs  because they contained horsemeat, and prepared frozen meals in London like lasagna have also been discovered to contain our equine friends.  One might ask...

  • California’s Artisan Cheese Festival
    Who doesn’t like cheese? Who, then, wouldn’t like three days of cheese tastings along with beer and wine at California’s seventh annual Artisan Cheese Festival from March 22 to 24 in Petaluma, Calif.? "California's artisan...

  • The Buzz on Grand Wailea Hotel’s Rooftop Bee Colony
    Bees buzz around seven hives on the rooftop hotel of the Grand Wailea in Maui, Hawaii, yielding around a gallon of Kiawe-white honey each month, which is then used in their mango granola parfait in their Grand Dining Room — and even applied in the...

  • Don’t Pass Over the Kosherfest
    You don’t have to travel to Israel anymore for good kosher. Passover this year is a good reminder that the gala Kosherfest is really a year-long event of education before its massive trade show. Just take a look at how Kosherfest has flourished with...

  • Eating Rituals While Traveling in Tuscany
    New Jersey-born Sam Hilt is a seasoned tour guide for Tuscany Tours, who recently wrote Turning Tuscan: A Step-by-Step Guide to Going Native, a book that changes the rule of what a "guide" should be. The book itself has a certain casual and...

  • Cassoulet, You Say?
    Cassoulet is one of those often mispronounced words that no one understands, unless of course you are French, but it is one of the passionate traditions at the Prince Street Back Forty West, as evidenced in their Cassoulet Festival going on for the last...

  • Hotel La Jolla in La Jolla, California, Offers Exotic Pasta Dishes Before Half-Marathon
    Carb-loading the night before the La Jolla Half-Marathon, now in its 32nd year, just got an upgrade from the renovated Hotel La Jolla, which has a special relationship with the race. Along with a special pasta meal, the hotel even has a watering station...

  • Big Gay Ice Cream Social in Miami
    Washington, D.C. chef Art Smith describes himself as a "gay party monster," which means his Big Gay Ice Cream Social on Saturday, Feb. 23, 2013, at The James Royal Palm hotel in South Beach will be a wild one, while also creating a dialogue...

  • Paris' Left Bank Writing Workshop Visits Hemingway's Drinking Haunts
    The Jazz Age has always summoned up a certain nostalgia about heavy drinkers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald, not just about what they drank but where they drank. And given the recent popularity of Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris, it’s no wonder...

  • Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic Serves Tequila
    "If you drink, don’t drive," Dean Martin once quipped. "Don’t even putt."  Such may be the mindset of folks attending the Punta Mita Gourmet & Golf Classic, which includes an intensive Don Julio tequila tasting as...

  • Pancheros Mexican Grill Opens First Location in New York State
    Iowa-based Pancheros Mexican Grill has just opened its first place in New York state, rivaling Chipotle’s ever-growing presence, and it’s worth a trip out of New York City to the 'burbs to try out their fresh-pressed tortillas. Located in...

  • Chef Gordon Maybury Named Executive Chef at Arizona Biltmore
    Chef Gordon Maybury, who has just been named executive chef at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, has a simple philosophy about food: "You can never make a good dish out of bad ingredients, even if it looks good." Handling the historic...

  • Mount Nelson Hotel in Cape Town Updates Oasis
    There comes a time when a restaurant knows it needs to change, whether it is a shift in demand or simply the desire not to become tired. Oasis, which was originally a buffet-style restaurant in Cape Town’s Mount Nelson Hotel, has just transformed...

  • Save Money on Food and Drink While Traveling
    At last, a real budget-conscious guide about how to save money while traveling, written in concise, friendly prose. Author Matt Kepnes, or Nomadic Matt, definitely penned How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter, for the...

  • Jerky: The Original Road Trip Food
    Who hasn’t guiltily grabbed a long stick of jerky at 7-Eleven when on a road trip? The meat, the salt —  it's sodium heaven. But goose jerky? Kangaroo? Driving up highway from Santa Fe to Taos, N.M., you will notice Native Americans...

  • 'My Key West Kitchen' by Norman and Justin Van Aken
    Black Betty’s Pan-Cooked Yellowtail jumps out at you in this new collection of recipes and stories from chef Norman Van Aken, but this is no ordinary recipe book — it thinks nostalgically about the author’s cooking past, his mentors, and...

  • Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, Pardons Pig
    From bacon tastings to bacon lectures, the Blue Ribbon Bacon Festival in Des Moines, Iowa, which took place Feb. 9, offered a bacon-infused day to the nearly 8,000 people (9,000 if you include vendors and purveyors) in attendance. Bacon Week, which began...

  • The aPorkalypse Now Pork & Craft Beer Festival
    The name of this festival alone, aPorkalypse Now, should give you a tickle. In its second year, at the festival hogs will be prepared snout-to-tail by New York City chefs and served with 20 local craft beers. It is also timed well for the sudsy NYC Craft...

  • Top 5 Breweries in Connecticut
    New England Brewing Co., Woodbridge, Conn. The signature Sea Hag, a crisp IPA with a crazy edge to it, put this smaller brewery on the map, and the map had been missing it until then.  The beer at New England Brewing is balanced for everyday...

  • Do Your Wurst at Von Trapp’s Beer Hall in Seattle
    You probably can’t go wrong when you mix a beer hall, indoor bocce, and some of the best wurst you’ve ever tasted. A former 1940s candy factory on Capitol Hill in Seattle, Von Trapp’s is a behemoth 420-seat beer hall and restaurant with...

  • Shake Shack to Open in Istanbul
    Shake Shack, Danny Meyer's now-famous hamburger chain, reportedly has a coming presence in Istanbul in spring 2013. The new location will be in the Tunel neighborhood and will be operated by Shaya, owned by M.H. Alshaya, an international franchise...

  • Mardi Gras and Jazz in New York City’s Meatpacking District
    Mardi Gras in Manhattan with a dish like pommes et champignons? That’s right, roasted apples and trumpet mushrooms, served with serrano ham on truffle Mornay sauce, to fittingly celebrate Fat Tuesday. What about the daube de boeuf, a dish of...

  • The Great Wall of Stouts
    When you first see The Great Wall, you have to gasp that you have finally crossed it off your bucket list.  The Great Wall of Stouts, that is.  We’re talking about 26 taps dedicated solely to stout for one week, Jan. 21 to Jan. 27, 2013,...

  • Sun and Moon Meet at Solun Tapas
    When trying to find your way around Central Connecticut, you might not have fried ravioli bites, seared diver scallops, or slow-cooked pork belly on your mind — happy enough to just not get lost in New Haven.  But if you find yourself around...

  • Cotto Serves Bite-Sized Bliss
    Italian tapas? Yes, really. Set just a few blocks from the behemoth RBS and UBS banks, Cotto is a Rome-themed wine bar tucked snugly on Bank Street in Stamford, Conn., right off the nexus of Main Street and Atlantic Street. The Stamford hub train station...

  • Eat Like a Man at T & J Villaggio Trattoria’s Game Dinner
    It was game time. The bar buzzed with a couple hundred men, hunters attending the 18th annual T & J Villaggio Trattoria Game Dinner in Port Chester, N.Y, a tradition that gathers local hunter friends who contribute their own killed meat. Coats were...

  • Terrific Tapas and Tipples at Tinto
    The creamy yet spicy Jalapeñotini might be just enough to bring you to Carlos Hernández’s restaurant Tinto, formerly his own Meigas, now readapted into the absolutely finest tapas in Connecticut.  Even down to the white triptych...

  • Game on! T & J Villaggio Trattoria Hosts Annual Game Dinner
    Are you game for a four-hour meal of venison, boar, pheasant, rabbit, quail, elk, and bear?  The game dinner at T & J Villaggio in Port Chester, N.Y., is an 18-year-old tradition that gathers local hunter friends who contribute their own killed...

  • 10 Insane Cocktails to Try in Las Vegas
    Making cocktails in Las Vegas has become a competitive art these days, with each master mixologist attempting to top the next one. If you have a voluminous budget and a capacious liver, you just can’t go wrong with the myriad Las Vegas bars in the...

  • 5 Bites of Las Vegas
    Yes, you’re still in Vegas. And no, you don’t want to think too much about which hot spots to hit after a night of gambling, more so if you have lost at the casinos. While you may have lost your shirt, you’ll feel like a high roller with...

  • The Quest for the Holy Grail of Draught Beer in Las Vegas
    I want to be Russell Gardner when I grow up. With a full beard and mustache that curls up into two O’s, he is the man who chooses all the beers at Public House in the Palazzo in Las Vegas. The beer sommelier, known as a cicerone, really exists. The...

  • How to Judge a BBQ Contest
    Walk the grounds of a barbecue competition like the Kingsford Invitational Barbecue Competition and you will repeatedly hear certain phrases about who made the best barbecue. From judges to spectators, snippets of conversations include the same questions...

  • Kingsford Factory Tour: How Charcoal Is Made
    Given the increase in grilling "backyarders" and television usurping regional barbecue restaurant stars into nationally known faces with professional tours all over the country, it is no surprise that the charcoal briquette itself is also having...

  • Kingsford Invitational Crowns Top BBQ Champion
    "It’s the toughest contest to get to," said barbecue world champion Chris Lilly, author of Big Bob Gibson’s BBQ Book and executive chef of Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q. "And it’s the toughest contest to win." As the...

  • Food with Strange Names: Bunny Chow
    In Mark Damon Puckett's continuing quest to explain delightful foods with strange names — he has already tackled oddly named British dishes: Scotch egg, the Cornish Pasty, Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, and Spotted Dick — Puckett has...

  • Sorrento’s Dining Bliss: Zi’Ntonio Restaurant
    Imagine this: In Sorrento, Italy, a hotel sits on the side of a hill above the Gulf of Naples with views of the city and Capri to the left, Ischia in front, and Mt. Vesuvius to the right. Ignoring the concierge's advice to get the bus back to Vico...

  • Delightful British Foods with Strange Names
    In Mark Damon Puckett's continuing quest to explain British food — he has already tackled the Scotch egg and the Cornish Pasty — Puckett tackles a trio of oddly-named British foods that are actually delightful. Toad in the Hole...

  • The Tasty Cornish Pasty
    When you come to St. Ives in Cornwall on the coast of England, known to some locally as the Cornish Riviera, you will notice Cornish pasty shops all up and down the dazzling beach walk. In fact, if you do nothing else in St. Ives, you should try a Cornish...

  • The Scotch Egg
    If you happen to be a foreigner in Cock Tavern on North End Road in Fulham, London, you will see a curiosity known as the "Scotch egg" on the menu. It’s almost exactly the size of a tennis ball and sits on the bar alongside other British...