Drew Barrymore Has a Wine Brand… But Did You Know She’s a Foodie?

Actress Drew Barrymore is the latest celebrity to go into the kitchen with culinary legend Eric Ripert and share a dish. - Photo by Eric Damassa
Actress Drew Barrymore is the latest celebrity to go into the kitchen with culinary legend Eric Ripert in his Reserve Channel show and dish on cooking, work and life. – Photo by Eric Damassa


We all know Drew Barrymore as the actress who’s grown up on screen, from E.T. to He’s Just Not That Into You, which also earned her an executive producer credit. But did you know she’s also emerging as a bonafide foodie?

I had the chance to meet the lovely Barrymore, 37, a couple weeks ago when she popped into Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival to talk about her Barrymore Wines and her love of cooking. In case you haven’t tasted it, Barrymore’s pinot grigio is a light and refreshing wine she says is “feminine” sourced from the Tre Veniezie in Italy. But now she’s turning up the heat when it comes to her status as a culinary trend-setter.

In a special webisode that appears today, Barrymore cooks and has a great time cooking and chatting with dreamy French chef Eric Ripert of Le Bernardin restaurant fame. They explore her family history, knife skills and how the shape of the wine glass changes the flavor of a wine. Here’s the link if you want to watch Drew Barrymore in On the Table with Eric Ripert or you can watch it below.

Her dish? Clams Montecito, a buttery mix of clams, garlic, parsley and Barrymore pinot grigio that’s served over crusty French bread. It’s the dish she loves to make when she’s having a girls’ weekend at her estate home in the tony enclave of Montecito near Santa Barbara, where Oprah Winfrey also has a home.  She loves cooking for friends and it really became important when Barrymore and husband Will Kopelman were expecting their daughter, Olive. Keep reading to the end to try her recipe.

Drew Barrymore signs a chalkboard with her recipe in an On the Table With Eric tradition. Photo by Eric Damassa
Drew Barrymore signs a chalkboard with her recipe in an On the Table With Eric tradition. Photo by Eric Damassa

Drew Barrymore is just one of of the stars that has appeared on the show with Ripert, which is fun to watch because the guests like Roger Waters, supermodel Chrissy Teigen, Tom Colicchio and Elizabeth Olson get to share their thoughts on anything from food to politics to life and goof off a bit too.

This isn’t the first time the actress from a legendary Hollywood family has cooked on air: Drew made an Indian-spiced pasta dish in on The Ellen Degeneres Show and paired it surprisingly with her pinot grigio. And it appears it won’t be the last. When we talked at Pebble Beach, Drew told me she adores cooking shows. And now she’s executive producer through her company Flower Films on the new show called Knife Fight which debuts on April 23 on the Esquire Channel. In the meantime, here’s her dish Clams Montecito:

Drew Barrymore’s Clams Montecito 
1 Bag of MANILA clams – the smaller the better.
1 cup of Barrymore Wines Pinot Grigio


5 cloves of chopped garlic
1 large jalapeño (with a few seeds)
1 lemons
1 stick of butter





·         Melt butter and add garlic and jalapeño


·         Cook for 3-4 minutes on med heat in a saucepan and add Barrymore Wines Pinot Grigio


·         Cook down for about 5 minutes


·         Remove from stove and squeeze lemon into butter mixture.


·         Turn on grill to med high and spread clams on cookie sheet and spread around until they open.


·         Warm butter up if need be


·         Toss onto clams and coat.


·         Serve with warm baguette


·         Best served with pan-seared cod fish


*Recipe serves two


Got Peaches? Try This Bellini Sorbet Recipe

Ripe peaches and Moscato sparkling wine made a refreshing and easy Bellini sorbet.

A couple summers ago dining with friends at Zazu in Santa Rosa, I spotted this recipe on the wall. I snapped a picture of it, so I could try it during peach season.

Duskie Estes and John Stewart, the chefs of Italian inspired Zazu, are known for their way with pork and Black pig bacon. But they also make crazy-good wood-fired pizzas, seasonal pastas and desserts.

Technically, a Bellini is made with white peaches and prosecco, the light and fresh tasting dry sparkling wine from the Veneto. (Click to read more about prosecco on The Bubbly Girl.com.) This recipe features Moscato d’Asti, another popular Italian sparkling wine that’s sweeter and less bubbly.

Since Moscato naturally and has flavors and aromas of peaches and apricots, I’m guessing that’s why the Duskie and John chose it for this sorbet. They suggest their favorite Bonny Doon Moscato del Solo, but it works just fine with any good quality Moscato.

I spotted this Zazu BellBellini Sorbet recipe on the wall at the Santa Rosa restaurant.

Zazu Bellini Sorbet

1-1/4 pounds ripe white peaches
1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup Moscato d’Asti

Peel the peaches with a small knife. Combine the peaches, sugar and lemon juice in a food processor bowl. Process until you have a smooth purée. Stir in the Moscato. Freeze in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s directions or freeze in a shallow pan and fluff up every hour or so using the granita method.

Recipe courtesy John Stewart and Duskie Estes of Zazu Restaurant.

Experience the Magic of Pigs & Pinot with Chef Charlie Palmer

Chef Charlie Palmer is hosting a series of events celebrating pinot noir and pork during March at Hotel Healdsburg.

Don’t you love the way some combinations of food and drinks are just perfect together? Milk just begs for cookies, pizza needs beer, and according to celebrity Chef Charlie Palmer, pig likes pinot noir. He should know.

His Pigs & Pinot benefit that started seven years ago as a fun way for Sonoma food lovers and Pinot makers to come together to raise money for charity has become the hottest ticket in Healdsburg. Tickets for the March 23-24 event at Hotel Healdsburg sold out in about five minutes.

But don’t despair. Dry Creek Kitchen is hosting a series of events this month that celebrate the wonderful flavors in both pork and pinot noir. Chef Valette is creating a three-course Sonoma Neighbor Dinner Menu of some of his best por dishes for $36; it’s $51 paired with two wines. Sommelier Drew Munro has added more international pinot noirs to the wine list, and can help pair them with a la carte pork dishes that will be featured during March.

The little benefit became big news when contestants on Top Chef: Las Vegas were challenged to create pinot-loving pork dishes.

“We got about 5,000 email sign-ups on the website and the tickets sold out in 3 minutes,” says Circe Sher. Her family owns the Hotel Healdsburg, where Palmer has his Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant.

On a recent bright and cool Thursday, I drove up to Healdsburg for a Pigs & Pinot preview event. A group of us gathered in the sun room off the main lobby, where we sipped and nibbled on Chef Dustin Valette’s housemade charcuterie and sipped Cuvée Aureole by Iron Horse before a Pigs & Pinot preview tasting.

Winemaker Daryl Groom led us through a competitive blind tasting of 16 of the pinot noirs competing in the Pigs & Pinot judging. Some were elegantly earthy and floral, others were bold and so big they tasted more like syrah.

After choosing a winner, we sat down to a delicious luncheon that starred a roasted porcini velouté (that’s a velvety soup to the rest of us) with crispy coppa ham that sang with the earthy 2008 Soter Mineral Springs Pinot Noir from Oregon. The juicy pork tenderloin wrapped in prosciutto and daubed with violet mustard was well-suited by both the 2009 Rochioli Three Corner Pinot Noir and the jammy 2009 Kosta Browne Kanzler Vineyard Pinot.

To make reservations for your own pork and pinot experience at Dry Creek Kitchen, call 707.431.0330.

Vodka Salad Dressing and Other 80 Proof Recipes From Finland

Finnish celeb chef Sara La Fountain and one of her creations.
Finnish celeb chef Sara La Fountain and one of her creations.

Not content with customers that merely swill their spirits, many liquor companies are touting how great their stuff is in food recipes. Brown spirits are classics in the kitchen: Escoffier drizzled Grand Marnier into his famous Crepes Suzette.  It wouldn’t be tiramisu without a little coffee liqueur and who’d want to hork down fruitcake — or baba for that matter — without the rum?

Now though, white spirits are getting into the culinary act. Earlier this week, I met Chef Sara La Fountain, a Finnish food television personality and chef. She’s developed a series of recipes using Finlandia Vodka, to show how well it works with a variety of foods.

La Fountain had a sweet smile and appealing persona that reminded me of Euro version of Giada di Laurentiis. She’s a big deal in Finland, where she’s written a book and has her own line of culinary products available on her website www.alasara.com, including hot pink aprons with graphic swirls.

She was paired up with Pekka Pellinen, a Finnish native who’s the mixologist for Finlandia. As he extolled the features and benefits of his brand, Pellinen had a noticeable accent, which one of the women at my table found alluring. Overheard: “I like his accent; he sounds dangerous.”

La Fountain and Pellinen had come up with four different pairings, but the Passion Fruit Lime Cocktail with a seared tuna salad drizzled with a miso and Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka dressing was my favorite bootleg match. The company shared the photos and recipes with me, in hopes that I’d tell you about them.

The fragrant and tart passion fruit pairs perfectly with light food like seared tuna.
The fragrant and tart passion fruit pairs perfectly with light food like seared tuna.

Lime Passion Fruit Cocktail
3 lime wedges, plus one more for garnish
1 fresh passion fruit
1-1/2 ounces Finlandia Lime Vodka
1/2 ounce Monin passion fruit syrup
soda water

Gently muddle the lime wedges and passion fruit in a tall, heavy cocktail mixing glass. Add the vodka, passion fruit syrup and crushed ice. Top with club soda and stir lightly Garnish with the lime wedge.

Your tuna salad with Finlandia Grapefruit Voda dressing won't look this good, but it will be tasty.
Your tuna salad with Finlandia Grapefruit Voda dressing won't look this good, but it will be tasty.

Tuna Salad with Miso-Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka Dressing
4 servings
8 oz Tuna steaks
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 lb. baby greens
2 carrots cut into small sticks
4 oz sugar snaps peas, cut into small sticks
4 radishes, cut into thin rounds
4 tablespoons wasabi nuts, chopped into small pieces
For the Miso dressing:
3 teaspoons miso paste
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon grated fresh garlic
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka
1 tablespoon water
salt, to taste
First cut the steaks into thick long strips and season with salt. Heat the frying pan with oil until very hot, fry the tuna strips for about 1 minute on each side until crispy brown. Next place the fried tuna strips in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours, slice into thin slices. Next make the miso dressing. In a small bowl, add all the miso dressing ingredients and mix all together. Then plate the salad adding salad mix, carrot sticks, sugar snaps, radishes and wasabi nuts. Next add thin tuna slices on top of the salad and drizzle on some miso dressing.

Estrella Damm INEDIT is a New Beer Designed for Food…Oh Really?

Estrella Damm INEDIT, a beer from Spain, is touting itself as the first beer designed to pair with food. (Courtesy photo)
Estrella Damm INEDIT, a beer from Spain, is touting itself as the first beer designed to pair with food. (Courtesy photo)

I don’t write about beer very often, though technically it is bubbly. But I couldn’t resist when I got this announcement trumpeting the release of Estrella Damm INEDIT, a beer that was crafted under the direction of genius chef Ferran Adria from El Bulli in Spain.

INEDIT is supposed to be served in a wine glass, in order to allow its bouquet to show itself. I do like the curvy, champagne-like bottle and the way the star logo stands out on the black bottle.

But get this: the people from the Spanish brewery are touting INEDIT as the first beer designed to go with food. Really? I think all of the brewmasters in Belgium are going to be rather nonplussed and amused by that one. After a short trip to Belgium last fall to experience Stella Artois, Leffe and Hoegaarden in all their different styles, it’s quite clear that to Belgians, beer is it’s own food group. The many styles and weights of beers are expertly paired – just like wine – with everything from appetizers to desserts. One of my favorite pairings was a tangy Kriek cherry lambic beer with an airy Belgian waffle topped in whipped cream!

I'm really enjoying this raspberry Hoegaarden while in the town of the same name; sadly this beer isn't available in the U.S. .... yet.
I'm really enjoying this raspberry Hoegaarden while in the town of the same name; sadly this beer isn't available in the U.S. .... yet.

The extra-ironic part is that INEDIT is made in the style of a Belgian witbier, a white ale made from wheat and spiced with coriander and orange peel. I haven’t tasted it yet, but I’m sure it will go with frites and all kinds of foods just fine.

Taralli Pugliese: The Perfect Snack with Any Bubbly

Taralli Pugliese, shown here at Babbo Ristorante in NYC, are neat olive oil crackers that shine with wine. (Photo Babbo NYC)
Taralli Pugliese, shown here at Babbo Ristorante in NYC, are crunchy and savory olive oil crackers that shine with bubbly or any kind of wine. (Photo Babbo NYC)

In March I spent a magical week at The Awaiting Table cooking school in Lecce, Puglia, where we cooked and ate  all sorts of wonderful regional dishes from chicken with green olives, thyme and fruity olive oil to handmade orecchiette pasta to simple seafood soup with the sweetest shrimp I’ve ever tasted.

But the Pugliese dish that may be my favorite is one of the simplest: a cracker. Actually, taralli aren’t just any crackers, they’re olive oil based snacks that have been made in Puglia for hundreds of years. They were on the table one night when the class went out to a wine bar that served all the regional wines like primitivo di Manduria, Nero di Troia and negroamaro along with the oddest assortment of country music and Beatles songs. A new friend Carolyn served them to me one evening as we sipped a brut sparkling wine from the Salento.

Whether they’re plain, seasoned with red pepper or fennel, all have a nice crunch, a crumbly texture and a satisfying flavor from all that good Italian olive oil. I was serendipitously surprised when a quick Google search turned up a recipe for taralli from Gina dePalma, the pastry chef at the Mario Batali restaurant Babbo in New York City. Here’s her recipe for Taralli al Peperoncino flavored with red chile flakes and oregano. They’re crafted from low gluten 00 flour, shaped by hand, boiled and then baked like a bagel. The spicy ones are popular, but dePalma also suggests flavoring them with crushed fennel seed and lemon zest.

Taralli -- olive oil crackers shaped like little bagels -- are a savory traditional snack served with wine in Puglia, Italy.
Taralli from A.G. Ferrari on Amazon.com.

If making them from scratch sounds like too much work, then pick some up at your local Italian gourmet shop or  order them from  A.G. Ferrari on Amazon.com. But there’s no way they’ll be as fresh as homemade.  

Champagne Kiss Controversy: Cast Your Vote, Get Some Chocolate

Jacques Torres Champagne Kisses
Jacques Torres Champagne Kisses

I’m not a huge fan of eating chocolate while sipping champagne — this decadent combo messes up the flavors of both. But I do love fine chocolate candies that get a little extra sparkle from a dose of bubbly.

French born pastry chef Jacques Torres in NYC makes all sorts of delicious candies at his Willy Wonka-esque chocolate shops in Brooklyn and Manhattan. One of the latest creations by Mr. Chocolate is the Champagne Kiss, smooth squares of imported chocolate adorned with a set of lipstick red lips.  He blends Taittinger Brut Prestige Rosé Champagne along with high quality milk and dark chocolate.

Apparently somebody in the Hershey Company’s legal department was having a very slooow day. The chocolate conglomerate sent a poison-pen letter to the chocolatier who became famous at Le Cirque telling him he might want to rename his candies something like Champagne Smooches or else! They say they’re worried that consumers might mistake Torres’ high end confections which cost $1.50 a piece for their sorta-chocolaty, silver foil-wrapped teardrops. Curiously, chocolate is the 4th ingredient in a Hershey’s Kiss according to this Official Snack Report by WASAW; the first three are sugar, milk and cocoa butter.

This graphic by the NY Post neatly explains why it would be rather challenging to mistake a Jacques Torres Champagne Kiss for one by Hershey's.
This graphic by the NY Post neatly explains why it would be rather challenging to mistake a Jacques Torres Champagne Kiss for one by the Hershey Company.

Despite the heat, Torres is refusing to melt and is fighting Hershey’s. He’s also giving away 10,000 kisses — sorry, the chocolate ones — to lucky visitors who stop by any of his three NYC chocolate shops in Dumbo, Hudson Square or the Upper West Side on April 29.

He’s also circulating a petition online, asking supporters to sign on so he can save his Champagne Kisses. In case you need help figuring out why this chocolaty contretemps matters to you, anyone signing gets a coupon for a free sample of Torres chocolates.

Wolfgang Puck’s House Champagne…is Krug

Krug Rosé 375 ml
Krug Rosé 375 ml

What kind of champagne does a celebrity chef like Wolfgang Puck who has a restaurant empire that includes the famous Spago in Beverly Hills drink? I had never given it much thought or for that matter eaten at Spago in Beverly Hills. Until Monday.  And the experience didn’t disappoint in the least.

It was the kind of scene  that one might imagine goes on every day at Spago. I walked in, looked to my right and there was actor Dennis Farina holding court at a prominent table on the patio. The hostess saw me to the table where friends Lana and Barbara aka The Luscious Ladies Who Lunch were ensconced; I look up and there’s Skeet Ulrich sitting opposite. And in the quiet booths in back along the kitchen, chef Wolfgang Puck sat eating with a friend.

After we polish off celery root agnolotti in black truffle sauce, lobster Cobb salad and Asian style flat-iron steak from Chef de Cuisine Lee Hefter’s menu and wonderful lemon sabayon and cheese cake by Sherry Yard, Chef Puck comes over to say hello. We talk abotu the neighborhood, his latest projects; I told him about my new champagne cocktail book The Bubbly Bar that comes out in August.

“I love champagne,” Puck says with his characteristic grin.”My house champagne is Krug.” When I politely point out that I didn’t notice it on the Spago menu, he clarifies, “No, at my house!”

Puck explains that he stocks his home cellar with both Krug and the Billecart-Salmon Brut Rosé – also one of my favorites. But now that his wife Gelila Assefa Puck has developed a taste for Krug, that’s all she drinks.

I wonder if the Pucks will be splurging this Valentine’s Day on the Krug Rosé half bottle, which comes in a gorgeous pearlized pink box with an interior embossed with curling silver vines. Like the Krug Grande Cuvée, the rosé has a unique richness that’s offset by notes of wild strawberry and spices. It’s just the sort of luxurious drink that romance deserves.