Tuesday, August 2, 2011

8/3 Hell's Kitchen's Elise Wims, Pet Advocate Megan Blake, Larry Lipson, Wine & Fire

What's Cookin' Today Hour ONE:

We're Talking With Hell's Kitchen Contestant Elise Wims!

Get ready for the heat of HELL’S KITCHEN as superstar chef Gordon Ramsay ushers in the series’ red-hot ninth season with 18 new competitors Monday, July 18 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. These aspiring restaurateurs will brave Ramsay and his wrath as he once again puts the competitors through rigorous challenges to see who has the skill and passion to win a life-changing prize: a head chef position at BLT Steak in New York City.

Ramsay’s culinary challenges will range from the cute and cuddly as the chefs cook a “mommy and me” meal for a room full of moms and toddlers – to the sublime as the chefs are challenged to cook using different types of beer as the basis for their recipes. The winning teams will get to enjoy a private jet to Palm Springs, Indy-car racing, a $20,000-per-night suite in Las Vegas or a four-story yacht excursion, while the losing teams will be required to decorate for a high school reunion, take delivery of and butcher an entire side of beef, create ice sculptures and put together an entire children’s playground for family night.

As the teams are whittled down, the chefs get one step closer to earning the coveted black chef jacket. Eventually two finalists will compete head-to-head to try and impress Ramsay with their skills and only one lucky chef will walk away with the ultimate prize and fulfill their dreams as a head chef at one of the finest restaurants in America.

We're Talking with Celebrity Pet Adoption Advocate & Pet Lifestyle Expert Megan Blake

Blake is a pet expert on, hosts, segment produces and writes for Animal Attractions Television, the #1 Pet Series on PBS and winner of two Tellys and an Honorable Mention at the Genesis Awards presented by the Humane Society of the United States. The show's mission is to help people have the best possible relationship with their pets; and here Blake's canine specialty is the training and integrating dogs into families, especially those with children where she teaches the kids to be pack leaders. In working with and rescuing wolves, Blake has learned pack structure and to "speak dog" directly from the pack source. Having traveled over 100,000 miles with her cat, she is also a trusted pet travel expert in the media.

She is a pet columnist for Dog's Life magazine (also honored by the HSUS and featured onThe Bonnie Hunt Show), has been on the covers of, written cover stories for, or been the subject of feature articles in magazines including Cat Fancy, Paw Prints, American Lifestyle,Statement, LAX, San Diego Pets, and Atlanta Magazine. She is a requested essayist for the Humane Society of the United States, has her own pet book imprint, and makes television and live appearances to share pet info and host pet events, but, she doesn't "just play an animal lover on TV." Megan has rescued and worked with animals all her life and now has six living with her: two cats, two dogs, and two horses. She literally found all of them on the street except for the horses whom she rescued from imminent slaughter after one had been made dangerous from abuse. Her cat, Tout Suite The Travel Kitty, guest-stars on Animal Attractions TV, and has traveled over 100,000 miles with her, and has completed a book series chronicling his adventures.

In addition to being a contributing writer/producer for Animal Attractions TV, Blake is an animal spokesperson, serving as a media pet expert, hosting live pet events, like emceeing the Awards Ceremony of the Luxury Pet Pavilion trade show, the Fifi Fashion Shows for the Southern Women's Shows, Paws and Pals, and auctions for pet rescues as well as serving as a celebrity judge for grooming and mutt contests from which many shelter dogs are adopted. Blake uses all Red Carpet opportunities to speak for pets, she is starting a second pet column for LAXmagazine after receiving great response to her feature article, and she gives daily pet tips on The Vegas Entertainment Network. An award-winning published poet, she donates her poetry and artwork to raise money for animal shelters and is a member of the Humane Society of the United States and the ASPCA Guardians.

What's Cookin' Today Hour TWO:

Traveling Time! The Great Larry Lipson Tells Us About His Latest Finds!

Reporting from Costa Rica, CRN's international wine correspondent Larry Lipson will tell us about his latest Wine Finds!

Larry always has something cooking up at the Lipson Institute of Advanced Wine Studies! Larry forages all of Costa Rica for the absolute best wines. No region is spared from his intense search. No mountain or range or valley is safe from his reach. He leaves no grape unturned, this man of passion. Wine is his life. His love for wine is only paralleled with his love for his lovely parter in wine, Lillian Lipson.

Be fully prepared for this master of vino as he shares his food and wine pairing techniques and experiences with you on this great day in America - and the world.

We're Hearing All About the Wine & Fire Event with Kurt Ammann of Dierberg Vineyards and Chairperson of the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance

The members of the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of the appellation at "Wine & Fire", an event spanning the weekend of August 12-14, 2011. "We thought a pre-harvest celebration of the vineyards, wines and people of this unique winegrowing region would be a great time to celebrate our tenth anniversary", noted Kurt Ammann of Dierberg Vineyards and Chairperson of the Alliance. "The vines will be laden with grapes, and both winemakers and growers will be in that heightened state of just-before-harvest excitement. We'll definitely be all fired up to celebrate!"

The celebration will begin with welcome receptions and tastings on Friday, August 12th in locations on both the eastern and western boundaries of the region. Saturday morning will feature an in-depth tasting of the people and wines of the past decade, and a look into the future of the Sta. Rita Hills.

The Saturday morning seminar will be held at Rancho El Jabalí, Richard and Thekla Sanford's heritage vineyard. Panelists will include pioneers and upcoming winemakers, who will each select wines that they believe are their best representation of the appellation, a vineyard designate and/or a vintage during the past ten years. Saturday evening will bring together all of the members of the Alliance with an evening wine reception in the courtyard of the historic La Purisima Mission in Lompoc, situated on the outskirts of the Sta. Rita Hills Appellation. The stunning grounds and historic buildings lend an exquisite setting to an evening of camaraderie, fine wines and fire-grilled foods.

Member vintners and winemakers will all be on hand to present their latest releases under the majestic oaks of the Mission.A weekend passport is also included, providing VIP access to wineries and tasting rooms of Alliance members, each of who are pulling out all the stops for visitors. Guests will have a full range of events to choose from throughout the weekend as members of the Winegrowers Alliance present open houses, focused tastings and winery events.

A full listing of winery events will be posted on the Sta. Rita Hills Winegrowers Alliance website as they are planned.In order to continue the mission of Wine and Fire as an intimate event where guests, growers, winemakers and vintners are able to better get to know each other, ticket sales will be limited. Tickets for the First-Decade Seminar at El Jabalí, which also includes the weekend passport are $150. Tickets for the Passport plus Saturday evening Grand Tasting at the La Purisima Mission are $100 per person. An all-inclusive combination ticket for Saturday and Sunday is available for $175. Tickets are on sale on the Sta. Rita Hills website, and will be available on a first-come, first served basis. The website can be found at www.staritahills.com . For additional information, please contact info@staritahils.com.

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