What's Cookin' Today on CRN


December 2, 201552 min
AMERICA’S ONLY WATER SOMMELIER, MARTIN RIESE TALKS WATER PAIRINGS FOR YOUR HOLIDAY PARTIES Flat? Sparkling? Mineral? Tap? Forget wine. It’s all about the water. Everyone knows they should pair wine with food when entertaining for the holidays. But choosing the right water is just as important to consider in the context of how it pairs with food and cocktails. As Americans get more sophisticated about eating and dining, it makes sense that they would care more about their water too. Enter Martin Riese, a true expert on water and America’s only water sommelier. Most people do not realize that water has a huge impact on everything presented on a plate or in a glass. For example, water can lower acidity and tannins in wine or balance out some of our other favorite holiday drinks like champagne, helping it gain in flavor. The right water pairing can also enhance flavors of salty / umami and balance the flavor of spice, bitter and sour in food. For example, with a smoked holiday ham complementary water can enhance the umami taste of the ham and balance the smoky flavors. It can also enhance the sweet notes of sugar cookies and lower the spice level of gingerbread to make the cookie more rounder and more balanced in flavors. So this year, when hosting your holiday party, think differently about your water choices and make the holiday dishes – and drinks – you choose really sing! ABOUT  The only certified Water Sommelier in the United States, Martin Riese began his renowned career in his native Germany. Today, he is a Water Tasting Educator, acclaimed author, Water Sommelier at Patina Restaurant Group in Los Angeles, and the world’s foremost expert on water. Riese has appeared on numerous national media outlets including Good Morning America, CNN, The New York Times, Bon Appétite, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Buzzfeed and Conan O’Brien. THE SEASON 5 WINNER OF AMERICAN IDOL, TAYLOR HICKS TALKS NEW MUSIC, HIS RESTAURANT, FINAL SEASON OF IDOL AND HOLIDAY PLANS Hicks has become a partner in Saw’s Juke Joint – located in the Birmingham area. One of the most popular restaurants in the region for barbecue, Saw’s story centers around North Carolina native Mike Wilson, aka “Saw.” Earning a degree in Restaurant and Hospitality management from the University of Alabama in 1996, Wilson continued his culinary pursuits at Johnson and Wales University in Vail, Colorado. He began his career at the prestigious Dean & Deluca restaurant in Charlotte, and then moved on to Birmingham, where word of his unique flavor of barbecue began to spread. Wilson opened the original Saw’s BBQ in 2009, and has proven to be so popular that he – and his partners have opened two additional locations in Birmingham - Saw’s Kitchen, and Saw’s Juke Joint, which includes Hicks as a partner. A look at the menu offers customers several options to whet their appetite, including their Carolina brand of Pulled Pork Smoked Chicken. Another popular item on the menu is the “Carolina Dog,” a hot dog doused with chili and slaw. A mouth-watering array of side items are also available, such as their delicious brand of Vinegar-based Cole Slaw, Potato Salad, and Deviled Eggs. Also a popular item on the menu is their signature BBQ sauce, which is available by the bottle. WWW.SAWSBBQ.COM ABOUT Taylor Hicks is one of the most beloved and popular AMERICAN IDOL winners of all time. From the start, Hicks’ material on the mega-hit show set him apart, with a unique take on Southern soul, R & B, country and blues. Sixty-four million votes were cast and nearly 37 million American viewers and more than 200 million viewers worldwide tuned in to crown Hicks the Season 5 winner of AMERICAN IDOL, making it one of the most-watched TV events of the last decade. Hicks’ star continued to rise after he stepped off the IDOL stage. Less than three weeks after his IDOL victory, his debut single, “Do I Make You Proud,” entered at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100, Pop 100, and Single Sales Charts. Coinciding with


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