The HOLIDAY TABLE is an annual celebration for people all over the world.
This holiday season we’ve decided to talk about some of the most popular ethnic cuisines from the U.S., Europe and the Middle East, with an emphasis on French, Spanish, Scandinavian and Jewish/Kosher dishes that are a favorite for the holidays.

Master Chef Marc Bauer of the International Culinary Institute in New York leads us into this special ethnic group.His particular niche, though, is Gallic; fancy pastries that are served in a number of regions in France. His masterful hand, and early memories from his boyhood in France, was a wonderful journey for us.

Alice Loubaton, Senior Trade Relations and Communication Manager for SOPEXA, the industry standard for foods and wines from France added her favorite dishes to Marc Bauer’s selection, including the popular Bouche de Noel, a bombe of cream, fruit, nuts, chocolate, vanilla and more. Escargot, Fois Gras, Ratatouille, together with some of the finest cheeses including Camembert and Chevre, that are served on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and on a number of religious and social holidays throughout the year was her added touch.Enjoyed on these end-of year dates, or whenever Francophiles get together to celebrate an occasion.
Alice has spent more than 30 years with SOPEXA and has lived in France
for a number of years learning everything about French cuisine, French cooking, and the customs and traditions of the French.

Jigi Mathew, Director of Operations for ABIGAEL’S Restaurant in NYC knows more about favorite Kosher dishes than most. His favorite fare
includes Potato-Onion Latkes, served with fresh gated apple sauce, and Jelly-Roll Donuts, called Sufganiyot, powdered with confectionery sugar. On his menu on the holidays of Hanukkah, which begins on Dec. 7 this year, is Brisket, Salmon, a variety of non-shelled seafood dishes, and the traditional fresh baked Challah bread that is served with anything Kosher.This 8-day festival commemorates the rededication of the holy temple of Jerusalem following the victory of the Maccabees in 165 B.C.E. over the Syrian-Greek invaders.

Paco Cid from the office of the Wines of Spain talks about his favorite holiday dishes from his native country. First up for him is
“La Noche Buena,” or Christmas Eve, celebrated throughout the regions of Spain. A festival of dishes is traditionally eaten before or aft of the Midnight Mass in churches throughout the country. So too on the Feast of the Epiphany on January 6, which in Latin-American countries is celebrated as the Feast of the Three Kings, when the Wise Men or Magi from the East supposedly presented the Christ-child with gifts of Frankincense, Gold and Myrrh. Paco goes on to tell us that some of his special dishes include Cordero Asado, or Roast Lamb, a variety of Tapas, Jamon, Chorizo, Manteca cheese, Potatas Fritas, and some of the most delicious confections served on the holidays such as Torron, Polvornes, and Mantecades. His list of wines includes Cava, one of the best known in Spain along with the Rioja wines, Ribera del Duero, and Cardenal Mendoza Sherry. Langostinos, Sopa de Pescado y Marisco, along with Esparragos Blancos are also favorites served on the Eve of Christmas holding to the tradition of seafood instead of meat.;

Scandinavia boasts some of the most tantalizing dishes for the holidays asserts Frederic Sunds, one of the managers of SMORGAS CHEF
restaurants in New York City, an amalgam of four. Frederic, who is Swedish by birth, describes the holiday festivities as one of family reunions, an annual tradition prevalent in all of the countries in Scandinavia, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark, even in far-away Greenland and Iceland.
His favorite choices include Glogg, the fabled sweet mulled wine that is served on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s day. He adds Pepparkabor, the Swedish version of gingerbread cookies, and Saffronse, or saffron baked buns, after a full plate of tasty Swedish meatballs, Jansson Temptation, named after the 19thcentury Swedish operatic tenor, Pelle Jansson, this a potage of potatoes in cream with anchovies, and Raggmonk, a potato pancake with fried pork and logonberries. He also includes Gravlox and Toasted Skagen, a saddle of prawns, in dill, butter and lemon. He suggests we try end-of-meal small cookies such as Snapps and Gobbroda, with Acquavit, the popular holiday liquor. Note, you might have seen some of these dishes in Ingmar Bergman’s film, “Fanny and Alexander.” The Swedish Institute and the Swedish Tourist Board in New York can offer more info on these dishes. Or try your hand at one of the four restaurants of SMORGAS CHEF. and www and

The HOLIDAY TABLE show airs Dec.1-30, 2015

About The Author

Michael Zufolo, Producer/Co-Host of Let's Travel! Radio

Michael has been an active player in Media Relations and Marketing for the past 30 years with stints at The New York Times, Forbes, WOR Radio, TV Channel 11, Attenzione Magazine,, and with participation in the Caribbean Tourism Org.,/ CTO, the Pacific Travel Assn./ PATA, the Foreign Press Assn./ FPA, and the International Society of Travel Writers/ ISTR. Libra/ America, his latest signature, provides travel opportunities to VIP travelers and groups world-wide. Let’s Travel! Radio is an extension of his experiences.

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Hornblower blows ‘em away!

Thurs., July 4 aboard the Hornblower Esprit, celebrating Macy’s 4th, the nation’s 233rd Independence Day anniversary. What a night!

Hornblower Yachts owns up to having the largest number of luxury vessels in eight U.S. cities, including New York. The company has seven here ranging from the largest, the Infinity, at over 200’, accommodating up to 700, to the smallest, the Esprit, at 90’ , accommodating 80-100. Cruises are set lunch/ brunch and dinner, for a coterie of special events and private parties, corporate meetings, and weddings, of course! They serve both sit-down and buffet menus.. They also do After 5 cocktail cruises, and a host of charitable events. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Ca. It’s now in its 40th year.

On the night we were on, the 4th, we were seated on the Sky Deck of the Esprit, a restored beauty. There were only seven tables on this top deck facing out and with a nicely appointed bar in front of us manned by Nicholas, a really talented barkeep, and with some soft jazz by DJ Mike, which later turned to Pop, Latin, Disc and Rock for or dancing pleasure. Gabriel was our Maitre’d and Oscar was our chef for the evening. Boy can this guy cook! Dinner started off with a plate of Blinis with Caviar, followed by a nice medley of Little Neck clams and oysters on the ½ shell, with a sampling of jumbo shrimp in the best salsa I’ve ever tasted ( I asked for a second. My apologies ). This was followed by a full serving of Agnolotti served Italian style over freshly baked cherry tomatoes and a very fresh salad of lettuce, celery, cucumber and more cherry tomatoes. The entrée: Lobster and Filet Mignon with a crab filling topped with a wild mushroom sauce. A bottle of Chandon white was offered to each guest complimentary. Ha! You can’t beat that! As for dessert, a chilled freshly baked apple strudel and chocolate dipped strawberries was the finale, with good coffee and an assortment of blended teas for the asking. And, yes, the bar was open for the entire 3 ½ hours we were on board. By the way, the company provides translaters for Spanish, Portuguese, Mandarin, Korean, French, German and Italian guests.

The yachts ail from Pier 15/ 75 South St. adjoining the South St. Seaport and Pier 40 on the West Side/ W. Houston St. and the Hudson River, from March thru-November with 10 daily departures, 7 days-a-week.

In New York they operate the Statue Cruises affiliate to both Ellis Island and Liberty Island State Park from the Battery Park Terminal on the Manhattan side, along with a Liberty Water Taxi service. They also serve the Metro New York area with a round-the-clock ferry service, the city’s first commuter ferry operation to points in Manhattan, Bklyn and Queens. In brief, the company is the world’s leading provider of high-speed ferry services. For more on Hornblower try: or 1-844TKTS, or phone 646-780.9693 or simply:



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