Links to My Published Foodie Articles

A pupu platter of some of my tastiest work:


Where to Find Pink Shrimp & Striped Mullet,

10 Amazing Chef’s Tables You Should Know About, USA TODAY

Naples Illustrated’s 2017 Dining Awards, Naples Illustrated

Best Naples’ Restaurants for Fresh-from-the-Sea Catches, USA TODAY

Nassau’s Best Restaurants, USA TODAY

Pink Gold Rush documentary, WGCU-TV

Pink Gold in Fort Myers Beach,

Shea’s at Lansdowne Street brings a little Boston to Naples, Naples Daily News

Three60 Restaurant in Naples, USA TODAY

Iceland’s Crazy Culinary Traditions, USA TODAY

From Farm to Table in Southwest Florida,

Filling Up on Sushi at ‘Tween Waters Inn,

6 Reasons to Visit Sonoma in 2016



Tasting for free at Jacuzzi Family Vineyards.

Napa started it, of course, the wine revolution in the state of California. Like a typical big brother, it lords its tenure and viniculture muscle over little sister Sonoma. The two counties are both known for their beautiful wineries and rolling hills crawling with grape vines. Napa Valley may boast bigger and more well-known properties, but Sonoma Valley guards its own superlatives, which in many ways make it a more well-rounded destination. As spring’s warmth begins to coax out fresh green vineyard canopies, add these six Sonoma Valley benefits to your travel plans.

  1. Free wine tastings

Along Wine Road, you will find more than 400 wineries that welcome the public for tastings of their wares and a chance to purchase wines that are often unavailable or difficult to find elsewhere. At more than 60 of the wineries you can score free tastings: Some simply don’t charge; others are on the Visa Signature Perks plan, where if you show that particular credit card, you get complimentary tastings for two. Tastings usually run around $20 or more per person, so you can realize great savings if you plan ahead and get on the Visa Signature program, which also gets you discounts on purchases made at the qualifying wineries.

  1. The charming town of Sonoma

Smaller and more neighborly than the city of Napa, downtown Sonoma orderly comports itself around a square with a park at center and the historic city hall. Known as Sonoma Plaza, it ranks as the largest plaza in California. A state historic park takes up one block of Spain Street, which borders the plaza on one side. It encompasses a number of Spanish colonial sites including the circa-1823 Mission San Francisco Solano — the 21st and last mission built in Alta California. The historic El Dorado hotel with its highly hailed Kitchen restaurant overlooks the plaza. Or keep in the mission theme at elegant Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn a few blocks from the plaza. Its Santé restaurant absolutely shines at fine California cuisine. Or go for craft cocktails and modern munchies at Whiskey Bar & Grill downtown. Among the shops and galleries around the square, foodies should not miss the Sonoma Cheese Factory, so much more than its name implies.

  1. The equally charming town of Healdsburg

A shopper’s and diner’s delight, Healdsburg too centers around a town plaza. Wine tasting rooms, galleries, and fun gift and clothing shops surround the central park and the block to the north. Check out Studio Barndiva for local artworks and wine sipping. Circa 1902 Healdsburg Inn will put you up in style in the thick of all the charm and action.

  1. Madrona Manor


Tableside ice cream at Madrona Manor

For inimitable historic lodging and over-the-top dining experience in the Healdsburg area, Madrona Manor revolves around a beautiful Victorian mansion built in 1881. The grounds overlook vineyards and hold gorgeous gardens of flowers, statuary, a lovely pool, citrus trees, and vegetables and herbs for the kitchen. Luxury accommodations live in the mansion, the Carriage House, the School House, and other cottages and vintage structures. The dining room too occupies the mansion for an elegant foray into molecular gastronomy that wows the taste buds course after course.

  1. Sonoma Raceway

Home to nationally televised NASCAR, Indy-car, and motorcycle races, the Sonoma Raceway is a little-known bonus to car enthusiasts visiting the area. Right at the southern threshold to wine country, it lets visitors tour around the scenic, hilly track for free when there are no racing events. Many days you can watch drivers enrolled in its Audi Sportscar Experience take to the track. Or suit up and try it yourself. Don’t miss the spit-and-shine garage housing McLarens and other luxe  cars. Then wash away the road dust with a short drive to Ram’s Gate, Viansa, and Jacuzzi wineries. (The latter offers free wine tastings to the general public.)


  1. Beaches

Sonoma’s best edge over Napa Valley just might be what lies at the edge of its western shore – Pacific Ocean beaches. Rugged cliffs overlook golden sands and  migrating gray whales for more than 55 miles along the dramatic coastline. (In spring the whales are heading southbound from Alaska to Mexico, and volunteers are on hand at Bodega Head to help spot them and answer questions.) Other favorite beaches include Bowling Ball Beach, Goat Rock State Beach, and Salmon Creek Beach.

Charleston Foodie Fling

Tomato pie.


Dixie Supply tomato pie

I had one singular foodie goal for our trip to Charleston, SC, for the holidays. On my last trip, more than two years ago, I’d successfully sated my shrimp ‘n’ grits cravings. I had eaten my fill of Lowcountry Boil and she crab soup. I had reveled in fine nouvelle Lowcountry cuisine at McCrady’s.All that feasting, alas, had left me with no spare appetite to fit in a wedge of tomato pie from Dixie Supply Bakery & Cafe, an off-the-eaten path legend of Charleston’s famed dining scene. And so I dragged my relatives into a convenience store strip where a few tables outside in the parking lot accounts for its best in atmosphere.

Inside, slaloming through other packed and packed-close tables, we made our way to the line at the counter, where we perused a menu of Carolina specialties and more mainstream sandwiches – everything from fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese (a.k.a. Southern caviar) to turkey and brie on a croissant.

My tomato pie would come with sweet potato cornbread, Read more of this post

Bahamas Fishing Adventure

The ‘Reluctant Angler’ hits Bahamian waters

“Most people go a lifetime without catching a fish like that,” Capt. Mike Russell told me aboard the Chubasca III.

It surprised me, the rush of pride I felt there afloat in the 6,000-foot deep waters outside of Nassau Harbour, mugging for the camera with the 20-

Me and my mahi

pound mahi-mahi I had just reeled in. A Facebook moment to be sure.I had, up to that same moment, considered the sport of fishing, to paraphrase Mark Twain’s golfing analogy, as a good boat ride spoiled. The next day, after pulling in four bonefish and a small Nassau grouper off the sand flats in the Bahamas’ Out Islands, I started to “get” the whole attraction. Read more of this post

Eating Riviera Maya

To once and for all satisfy my ever-crave for Mexican food autentica: Es posible?

La Casona in the historic Maya town of Valladolid – the hostess in traditional Maya garb

I was salivating to give it a try as I made my recent plans for the Riviera Maya, a slice of Yucatan coastline where seafood and rich Maya tradition stir up an intriguing cultural stew.

Who knew that my obsession with Mexican cuisine is backed by no less than the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)?

In 2010, UNESCO added Traditional Mexican Cuisine to its List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and in April 2012 it received the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ (AAHS) International Star Diamond Award.

Feeling entirely justified, then, in pursuing my gourmand pleasures, I revisited the area where I had my first taste of real-deal Mexican food nearly 30 years ago. That included my initiation into the wonderful world of ceviche Read more of this post