Speakeasy at the Philadelphia Wine School

First Friday isn’t just all about the Arts anymore.  It’s not just about Wine. It’s also about Cocktails! You can get some fabulous beverages and learn a lot all in the same night! Who’s game?

On First Friday at the Wine School, it’s not just about wine anymore. It’s a night of wine, beer, and cocktails.  Enjoy a free flowing night of education with Keith Wallace, director of the Wine School, this Friday, March 2nd from 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM.

It’s not surprising that a guy who has worked as both an executive chef and winemaker can make a decent cocktail, but Keith is a freaking cocktail whisperer. It all started with his book “Corked & Forked” (Classic Sazerac, Cilantro-Mint Mojito, Cantaloupe & Gin Popsicle, Black Pepper Martini.): Then he married a sommelier last summer, and created four signature cocktails for the reception (Cucumber Mule, Loop Tonic, The Louis Kahn).

Now, he’s a bit cocktail crazy. On Valentine’s Day, he made the world a better place (or at least a bit less sober) by premiering another four amazing cocktails (The Black Keys, Winter Peaches, the Flowery Mule and Lavender Royale). Now, he’s unveiling new cocktails every First Friday.

This week, he is premiering four new cocktails along with a fantastic selection of wines and beers. This is even better than ever, and very exciting, because these cocktails are being designed for a posh Philly restaurant (which one? We can’t kiss and tell… yet).

We offer a speakeasy education every first Friday. It’s for people who are passionate about what they drink –and want to learn– but are looking for a more informal and social event. Pricing for this evening is $45/person.


Located at 127 S. 22nd Street in Philadelphia, the Wine School is the largest independent wine school in the country. We offer consumer and professional classes. For more information contact Alana at alana@vinology.com

Robert Mondavi Prize Pack Winner!

The Winner of the Robert Mondavi Prize Pack is…

#19: Nancy says:  I follow you on Twitter!

Congrats Nancy!

Please contact me at jen @ onecurlyfry.org to claim your prize!

GIVEAWAY: Robert Mondavi Prize Pack!



So as you know the 2011 Philadelphia Wine and Food Festival is coming up soon! I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely looking forward to the wine! The 2011 Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour with special guest Ted Allen is wrapping up at the Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival. To celebrate the tour, Robert Mondavi Winery is offering one of my readers a prize pack! Before we get into that, let’s hear more about the tour!

Now in its sixth year, the Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour is an interactive, educational, and fun event that brings the Napa Valley wine country experience to wine-lovers across the US at various food and wine festivals.  The Philadelphia Food & Wine Festival will feature cooking demonstrations and tips by Food Network Chopped host Ted Allen, a Robert Mondovi Private Selection Food & Wine Ambassador, who continues to engage with consumers and solve – and simplify – the food and wine pairing mystery.  Along with Ted at the Robert Mondavi Winery’s Napa-inspired tasting pavilion will be educational seminars and other interactive events all communicating Robert Mondavi’s message that wine is for everyone, not just connoisseurs and sommeliers.

Robert Mondavi Discover Wine Tour highlights include:

  • Educational Seminar – a Wine 101 class to help learn the basics on what to look for (and taste) in every bottle
  • Wine & Cooking Stage – get the taste buds going with demonstrations and tastings by local chefs and wine experts
  • Essence Station – put your senses to the test and learn how to appreciate wines subtle aromas
  • Interactive iPad – email recipes and wine pairings, see photos, sign up for Winery news, and view tasting notes all at the touch of a button
  • Mondavi Theater – watch a short documentary film showcasing how Robert Mondavi revolutionized the American wine industry

Now…on to the giveaway! I’m giving away a prize pack to one lucky reader! The prize pack includes a Robert Mondavi chef’s apron, Sigg Steel water bottle, key chain, and copy of Ted Allen’s The Food You Want to Eat cookbook.


1. Eligibility:

Giveaway is open to readers with US shipping addresses only.

2. How to Enter:

Please leave a blog comment on this post telling me what your favorite kind of wine is! Chardonnay? Merlot?  Riesling? Share with us!

For BONUS ENTRIES, please leave a SEPARATE comment for each additional entry letting me know you’ve done any of these:

1)      Follow me on Twitter;

2)      Follow Robert Mondavi on Twitter;

3)       Tweet about the giveaway “I entered @one_curly_fry’s giveaway to win a @RobertMondavi prize pack! http://bit.ly/pq4vh0″

4)      Subscribe to email updates at the top of the left sidebar;

5)      Blog about this giveaway on your blog.

6)       “Like” one curly fry’s Facebook Page.

7)       “Like” Robert Mondavi’s Facebook Page.

This contest will run until Friday October 21st, 2011 at 1:00pm  (Eastern) and a winner will be chosen by random.org. The winner will be announced by 2:00 pm (Eastern).

Get Your Tickets Before They’re Gone!

It’s the middle of June, so that means we’re getting closer and closer to the Atlantic City Wine & Food Festival in Atlantic City, New Jersey! I’m super excited about it this year. It’s going to be so much fun, and it’ll be so nice to get away for the weekend.  As I said in my previous post, the festival runs from July 28 – 31, 2011.

Did you buy your tickets yet? If not, what are you waiting for?!

I’m going to four different events, and I’m sure they’ll be a lot of fun! Here’s what I have on the agenda…

Friday July 29, 2011:

Guy Fieri’s Cheese Steak Battle
Time: 9:00pm – 12:00am

Hosted by Guy Fieri, chefs representing signature regional restaurants are heading to the Atlantic City beach to find out, once and for all, which makes the best cheese steak.


Saturday July 30, 2011:

Guy’s Big Bite Brunch
Time: 10:00am – 1:00pm
A little tired from Friday night’s Festival events? Need a little “hair of the dog?” Start your Saturday morning off with a bang at Guy’s Big Bite Brunch. Because no one is better equipped to smack the cobwebs out of you than Food Network star Guy Fieri as he expertly creates a brunch to remember.


Sunset Sliders
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Join Sunny Anderson for some Sliders and Spirits on the Rooftop Pool at Caesar’s!


Sweet and Stylish
Time: 9:00pm – 12:00am
Sunny Anderson of Food Network’s Cooking For Real, along with some of your favorite Food Network stars, will host this ultimate nightlife event. Blend designer fashion, sensual desserts and cocktails to create a one of a kind showcase of style and decadence. Sunny will serve her favorite specialty cocktails, featured chefs will serve their most loved desserts for your tasting pleasure, and the hottest models will walk the catwalk in today’s hottest trends.

So it looks like Saturday is going to be a busy day, but it will definitely be worth it! I’m sure after Guy’s brunch I’ll need a nice long nap to prepare for Sunny’s fun festivities that evening!

If you’re going to the Atlantic City Wine and Food Festival, what events are you attending?

The Secret to Short Ribs

I like to plan my menu a week ahead of time. That way I know what I need to get ingredient wise or there is sufficient time to thaw something from the freezer, etc. I like to be totally prepared when the day arrives. So the menu plan for yesterday was Braised Short Ribs. Little did I know that it would be about 85 degrees that day – so it was a bit warm in the apartment since I had to have the oven on for hours at a time. But the end result was quite worth it!

I was looking at several different recipes to see which one I should try, and I choose Anne Burrell’s  Braised Short Ribs from Secrets of a Restaurant Chef. She shares with us her Secret to Short Ribs!


  • 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds)
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large Spanish onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato paste
  • 2 to 3 cups hearty red wine
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
  • 2 bay leaves


Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

While the short ribs are browning, puree all the vegetables and garlic in the food processor until it forms a coarse paste. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of same pan with fresh oil and add the pureed vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a crud has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the crud and let it reform. Scrape the crud again and add the tomato paste. Brown the tomato paste for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the mixture by half.

Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups water or until the water has just about covered the meat. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

My thoughts…

I thought these were very good! I served them along side of mashed potatoes. Putting everything together wasn’t that bad – it sounds like a pain to blend the vegetables, etc but it really wasn’t. I didn’t feel like messing around with my huge food processor so I used my Vitamix to puree everything. It worked perfectly!

A few notes…I only had a 6 oz can of tomato paste and that worked just fine. I really don’t think it messed anything up. Instead of adding water into the dutch oven I added in beef broth.  I thought it would give it a more robust flavor that way.

I would definitely make this again! I think I’ll wait until the fall or winter when it is much cooler though! :) I loved how tender the ribs got. And the sauce thickened up nicely when it reduced. I used a Cabernet Sauvignon wine (3 cups) and I was very happy with how it came out!

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell
Show: Secrets of a Restaurant Chef
Episode: The Secret to Short Ribs