Category Archives: Featured Stories

Hard Rock Cafe founder celebrates 46 years

BOSTON – Isaac Tigrett, founder of two’s Boston favorite entertainment venues, Hard Rock Cafe and House of Blues, visited the city recently, celebrating Hard Rock’s 46th birthday and reminiscing about the early years when he was inspired to take American music and culture worldwide.

It’s a remarkable tale of a young man from Tennessee who was living in London where he yearned for a hamburger, opening the first of what became an almost 200-unit chain of Hard Rock Cafes worldwide.

He’d grown up with Bluegrass music and found himself, as he puts it, “dedicated to educating and celebrating the history of Southern culture.”

The mission, as he viewed it, was to create profitable, principled global entertainment celebrating, as he describes it, “the diversity and brotherhood of world culture.”

“I wanted to introduce the world to Southern Blues, Rock and Roll, R&B, gospel jazz, and more,” he explains, and after the first one in London, considered doing maybe two or three more.

Today, Hard Rock has close to 200 units in 70 countries around the globe. The company began to expand when Tigrett and partner, Peter Morton, began opening new units in New York, Boston, Dallas, Washington, DC, Orlando, Paris and Berlin.

The search for a good burger was enough at the beginning, but musical entertainment quickly became a key element. Musician Eric Clapton, an early fan of the first Hard Rock, wanted his own favorite bar stool to assure it would always be there for him. He hung his guide above his favorite one! The rest, as they say, was history. One week after hanging his guitar in the cafe, Pete Townshend of The Who’s sent a package with a guitar and a note with the message, “Mine’s as good as his! Love, Pete.”

Today, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, Hard Rock International has venues in 75 countries including 176 cafes, 24 hotels and 11 casinos.

Tigrett went on to launch the International House of Blues Entertainment Company in 1991 with partners that included The Disney Company, Harvard University’s Endowment Fund, and Chase Manhattan Bank’s Venture Capital Group.

Having succeeded in the mission of bringing American music and culture to a global audience, he went on to, through the non-profit Rama Foundation of Zurich, Switzerland, fund the SSSIHM, a free 500-bed high-end super specialty surgical hospital in Andra Pradesh, India.

Tigrett is also the benefactor of the Freedom Award at the National Civil Rights Museum USA, presenting them to civil rights activist Bishop Desmond Tutu and President Jimmy Carter.

He’s been commended publicly on the floor of the U.S. Senate for his contributions to American culture worldwide; awarded two PhD honorariums for his work in promoting racial harmony and African American culture.

Today, he serves as CEO of the Prakashan Book Society and oversees publication of spiritual books in 15 countries globally.

A highly knowledgeable student of religion, he’s been honored at Harvard University. Today, he lives in his early home in Tennessee.

Scampo jazzes it up at Boston’s Liberty Hotel


BOSTON – Jazzy Cocktail Night at Scampo in the Liberty Hotel debuted recently, providing a new way for guests and others to enjoy some of the area’s top musicians whose genres include jazz, vocals, Latin rhythms, funk and blues. Coming up will be:

April 20: Revolutionary Snake Ensemble, a traditional New Orleans jazz ensemble who also perform interesting covers and original music

April 27: The Sam Lee Trio, headlined by Mr. Lee, a top bassist in New England covering jazz, funk, R&B and rock

May 4: Paul Gaulin, a percussionist whose jazz trio spans genres including Latin, funk and blues

May 11: Mark van Bork, leader of VB & the Buzz, who transitions effortlessly through blues, soul, jazz and rock

With the new series comes a dedicated list of cocktails and bar bites available exclusively during the Thursday performances from 10pm-1am. For single-serve cocktails ($16 each), highlights include the Boulevardier made with rye, Campari and sweet vermouth finished with an orange twist; Classy Champagne Cocktail served in a water glass with sugar cubes and a lemon twist; and, Roaring Violette with lychee, Violette, lavender, white wine and bubbles. For those looking to take their imbibing game to the next level, there are sharable Punch Bowl Cocktails ($36) – that come shaken for two, served in festive brass pineapple-shaped vessels – like the Sparkling Jazz with Absolut, lime, Aperol and a prosecco float with floating orange pin wheels and Dubonnet Sangria with wine, fruit, anejo tequila and hibiscus with a ginger beer float and fresh fruit. Other beverages include the Prohibition Milkshake ($36), a large format liquid treat of vodka, chocolate ice cream, crème de cacao, Kahlua and bubbles served with freshly made mini bacon doughnuts.

On the culinary side, items in addition to Scampo’s seasonal pizza offerings include: Veal & Pork Meatballs in a 17-minute candeli sauce with shaved pecorino gremolata ($12); Fried Arancini with Pomodoro and parmesan ($10); Calamari a la Plancha with fennel salad and chipotle aioli ($10); Bruschetta with homemade ricotta, candied pistachios and warm guanciale ($11); and Lydia’s Stuffed Dates ($11).

At Destilería Serrallés, Philippe Brechot succeeds Félix Serralles, Jr.

PONCE, PUERTO RICO – At Destileria Serrallés, a premium rum purveyor here, longtime President and CEO, Félix J. Serrallés, Jr., retired after 36 years at the helm of one of America’s oldest family-owned businesses. A member of his family’s fifth generation, . Serrallés  led the company’s development and growth since 1981, accomplishing a leadership position in the production and sale of rums in Puerto Rico, along with reaching unprecedented business milestones in export markets in the U.S. and across the globe. The Serrallés family has been crafting exceptional rums since 1865 and today, its flagship brand Don Q, is the leading rum in Puerto Rico, experiencing sustained growth in the American market. He will continue as chairman of the Board of Directors.

Succeding him, Philippe Brechot becomes president and CEO of Destilería Serrallés, Inc. He brings more than 25 years of industry experience in international management, distribution and marketing witha proven track record working in leading companies like Moët Hennessy, Diageo and most recent William Grant and Sons, where he was managing director for Latin America.

“We are fortunate to have found Philippe, a proven executive with ample experience growing premium brands in global markets. He will be an asset to lead our team as we continue to expand our brand’s footprint throughout the global spirits market”, says Serrallés.

Meanwhile, Roberto J. Serrallés will continue in his current position as president of Serrallés USA, the USA distribution company of Destilería Serrallés, and as a member of the Board of Directors of Destilería Serrallés. In addition, John Eason will continue in his role as COO and executive vice president of Serrallés USA in charge of overseeing the operations, including distribution, sales and marketing in the USA market for the company.

“We have developed a solid team in the USA and we will continue to focus on growing Don Q in this important market. I am confident that Philippe’s experience in developing premium brands will create a unique synergy that will strengthen our ongoing efforts in the USA and beyond,” Félix Serrallés declares.

Bistro Duet starts brunch service

ARLINGTON, MA – Bistro Duet, new restaurant in an iconic bank space here that offers contemporary French cuisine and drinks from Executive Chef Cyrille Couet and Co-Owner and General Manager Wayne Duprey, begins brunch service this weekend. You’ll want to check it out!
Chef Cyrille is from the Loire Valley in France where he began to cook at age 13 in his uncle’s restaurant. He worked behind stoves in Europe, the West Indies and the U.S. where he was inaugural chef of Miel brasserie at the InterContinental Boston and, most recently, was executive chef of the Questrom School of Business at Boston University. His partner, Wayne Duprey, grew up in Dracut, MA and managed restaurants and bars in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Most recently, he was the assistant director of Food & Beverage at the Four Seasons Resort, Hualalai in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Previously, he was rirector of bars at the InterContinental Boston.

Bistro Brunch Menu Les Patisseries

Financier w Muffin w Baker’s Basket

almond cookies daily selection

Debut Fraicheur

Salad de Fruit strawberry, pineapple, banana 7
Salade Croquant du Jardin goat cheese crottin, grilled tartine, shallot vinaigrette 10 NE Smoked Salmon Couet farm cream cheese, sweet potato toast 10 Banana Nutella Tartine grilled brioche 9

Les Delices de France

“Nico” Belgium Waffle vermont butter, maple syrup, seasonal compote 10 Crispy Duck Confit Waffle sage cream sauce 14
* Croque Mousier ham, cheese, béchamel, mesclun greens 12 w add a fried egg 2 * Buckwheat Crepe cheese, choice of ham, smoked salmon, 13 w add a fried egg 2 * Bavette Steak lyonnaise potatoes, béarnaise, lava salt frites 23
Moules Frites maine mussels, pernot and fennel steamed, lava salt frites 19

Plats Principaux

Market Vegetable Omelet roasted potatoes 11
Baked Eggs Ratatouille potato, brie, grilled country bread 11
* Eggs Benedict hollandaise, toasted brioche, choice of ham, smoked salmon or duck confit 12

Les Accompagnements

pastry assortment

Herbs de Provence Roasted Potatoes Roasted Fennel & Tomatoes

*These items may be served raw or undercooked. Consuming raw or undercooked meats, poultry, seafood, shellfish or eggs may increase your risk of food borne illness. Before placing your order, please inform your server if a person in your party has a food allergy


Local Smoked Bacon Vegetable Ratatouille

Quincy, MA restaurateur to open new restaurant

QUINCY, MA – Leo Keka, owner of Alba, a fine dining landmark here for 15 years, will open Zef Cicchetti & Raw Bar right next door in Quincy Center on Hancock St.

It will be one of nine restaurants set to in coming weeks. Zef will be a large Ventian-style bacaro offering a lively, casual setting with communal dining, craft cocktails, Italian salumi, a raw bar with local oysters, pastas made in-house from freshly milled flour and traditional cicchetti, small plates offered in the bacari of Venice. Former Legal Harborside Executive Chef Keith Anderson and the team behind Alba will oversee the kitchen.

For the holiday season, Alba is offering a year-old program of giving back to guests during the holidays with free transportation.

The program was launched last year with local law enforcement officials and pays for guests’ Uber or taxi rides if they’ve had too much holiday cheer. “The program was a great success last year,” says Keka. “We want to continue to do our part to ensure the safety of the community here during the most celebratory time of the year.”

Tea time in Boston as we celebrate the 243rd Boston Tea Party

BOSTON – December is tea time in Boston and has been for 243 years since tea from London’s East India Company was thrown into Boston Harbor by colonists who objected vigorously to what they viewed as “taxation without representation” with a big debate at Old South Meeting House downtown that ended with marching to the harbor and dumping it there.

That event is replicated here again this year on December 16th at 6:30 p.m. at Old South Meeting House and march at 7:30 to the waterfront where (expired) tea. 220 lbs. worth from the same East India Company, will once again be dumped in Boston Harbor. Last year, 600 people took part.

This year we too, expect to join the tea tax debate, march to the Harbor and join the crowd at Boston Tea Party & Ships Museum. But the event does not stop then. This month, through December 16, Boston restaurants and bars will be doing their part to celebrate tea:

Offered from December 1 – December 16, 2016:

  • Avery Bar (10 Avery St. in the Ritz-Carlton Boston Common):
    • The Northeast Mojito –  Local gold rum, lemon, sugar, mint leaves, Bohea black tea (one of the teas throwing into Boston Harbor during The Boston Tea Party) – $16
    • Throw it into the Caribbean – Owls Brew Coco-Lada, Papa’s Pilar Rum – $16
  • Bastille Kitchen (49 Melcher St.) – Tea Smoked Mussels Marinière with Earl Grey salt, rouille toast – $14
  • Blue State Coffee (155 Seaport Blvd & 957 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA)  Also available at cafes in Providence, RI & New Haven, CT) – Patriot Blend Coffee & Revolutionary Blend Tea
  • Bon Me (313 Congress St.) Deviled Tea Egg – Eggs soaked in a black tea mixture topped with homemade spicy mayo, cayenne pepper, scallions – $2.50 each
  • Harpoon Brewery (306 Northern Ave.) Annual December Boston Tea Party Ale – Craft beer made with Souchong tea, a black tea from the Wuyi Mountains in the Fujian province of China. The tea, provided by the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum, is famous for its very distinctive smoky aroma and is one of the five teas thrown into Boston Harbor during The Boston Tea Party.  The Boston Tea Party Ale launches on Dec. 5, 2016
  • L’Espalier (774 Boylston St.) Southern Earl Grey – Earl Grey-infused Bourbon, Grand Marnier, oolong and ginger syrup, orange bitters, Champagne – $18
  • The Marliave (10 Bosworth St.) The Boston Tea Party – Lunazul Tequila, Earl Grey tea, ginger beer, lemon – $12
  • The Oceanaire Seafood Room (40 Court St.) Absolut® Boston Tea Party Martini – Absolut® Wild Tea Vodka, muddled with fresh lemons, triple sec, fresh sour mix -$10
  • Red Lantern Restaurant & Lounge (39 Stanhope St.) Kold Tea – An oversized cocktail (serves 3-4) of jasmine and oolong-infused Tito’s Vodka, lemon, beer – $35
  • Residence Inn Boston Downtown/Seaport Hotel Lobby Bar & Lounge (370 Congress St.) Green Tea Gimlet – Tanquery Gin, green tea, lime juice, lemon syrup – $12
  • RumBa (rum bar located in the InterContinental Boston – 510 Atlantic Ave.):
    • IC-breeze – Barr Hill Gin, fresh brewed mint tea, limoncello, orange juice, Peychaud’s bitters, simple syrup,  lemon – $15
    • Life & LiberTea – Rum steeped with Earl Grey tea, honey syrup, fresh muddled lemons -$14
    • Tea Act  – Rum,  Domaine  de  Canton  Ginger  Liqueur, Mathilde  Pêche, fresh  brewed  iced tea, fresh muddled ginger, fresh lemon juice – $14
  • Scholar’s (25 School St.) The Scholar’s Long Island Iced Tea – House-infused honey peach tea vodka, a splash of citrus mix – tall and over rocks – $12
  • The Tap Trailhouse (19 Union St.) The Boston Tea Party Punch – An oversized cocktail (serves 3-4) of pisco, pineapple juice, lemon, cinnamon, green tea – $39


  • Offered From December 1 – December 16, 2016:
  • Emerald Lounge (in the Revere Hotel Boston Common -200 Stuart St.) Two4Three – Bulleit Burbon, Barry’s homemade sweet tea, lemon, mint – $13
  • Tavern Road (343 Congress St.) The Sons of Liberty Daquiri – Lawley’s New England Spirit (rum), black tea, grenadine, lime – $14


  • Offered the evening of the Boston Tea Party Anniversary/reenactment on Fri., Dec. 16, 2016:
  • Barking Crab (88 Sleeper St.) The Crabby Tea Party – one cup of clam chowder, one entree of Harpoon IPA battered fish & chips, a pint of Harpoon IPA – $20.16
  • Smith & Wollensky (294 Congress St.) Boston Tea Party Reenactment Prix Fixe Dinner – 3-course prix-fixe menu (signature steak or seafood, side & dessert), Samuel Adams Boston Lager™ – $45


Historians view the Boston Tea Party as the single most important event leading to the American Revolution and thereby the creation of the United States of America. Celebrate that creation and the spirit behind it this month in Boston! Happy tea-time!






VT cheesemakers to be 2017 Good Food Awards nominees

RANDOLPH, VT – Five cheesemakers from Vermont were honored here earlier this year when the Good Food Awards announced 2017 nominees for its honors.

Along with Vermont Cheese Council members, six long-time artisan food exhibitors who participate in the annual state Cheesemakers Festival were also honored:

Grafton Village Cheese Company received nominations for two of its artisan, hand-crafted cheeses: Bear Hill, a 100% sheep’s milk, washed-rind, alpine-style cheese and “Queen of Quality” Clothbound Cheddar,” an internationally-awarded, limited-supply clothbound cheddar made from grass-fed Jersey cow’s milk produced on Farms for City Kids Foundation/ Springbrook Farm in Reading, VT.

Along with Grafton Village Cheese Company, four other cheesemakers were nominated including: Farms for City Kids Foundation/ Springbrook Farm for “Reading,” a raclette-style, washed-rind cow’s milk cheese;  Parish Hill Creamery for “Kashar,” an aged  Balkan-style, pasta filata or stretched curd cheese made from cow’s milk; Shelburne Farms for their “Clothbound Cheddar,” a cave-aged clothbound cheddar made from their award-winning Brown Swiss cow herd raised on grass and non-gmo grain; and Vermont Creamery for “Bonne Bouche,” an aged, 100% goat’s milk cheese with a geotrichum rind sprinkled with ash.

The Good Food Awards celebrate authentic and responsibly produced foods in fourteen different categories: beer, cider, charcuterie, cheese, chocolate, coffee, confections, honey, pantry, pickles, preserves, spirits, oil and preserved fish.  Awards are given to producers and their food communities from each of the five regions of the US.  The Good Food Awards seal, found on winning products assures consumers that they have found an exceptional and delicious product that supports sustainability and social good within their communities.

The Vermont Cheese Council is a non-profit trade association with 50 members. Its mission is to promote and advance quality cheesemaking in Vermont.  The Vermont Cheese Council prints The Vermont Cheese Trail Map and will host the 9th Annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival on July 16, 2017.  The Festival was recently named “Top Ten Summer Festival in Vermont” by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, a “Top Five Food Festivals to Plan Your Vacation Around” and Fodor’s Travel “Top Ten Summer Food Festivals in the United States.”

For additional information, contact: Tom Bivins, Executive Director for the Vermont Cheese Council,, 802-451-8654.