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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Summer Handbook

16 Top Barbecue Pitmasters Descend on New York in June

The Big Apple Barbecue Block Party will transform Manhattan’s Madison Square Park into a meat-and-smoke-filled urban barbecue pit tended by 16 of the best grill masters from across the nation.

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Seasonal Survival Guide

Combating Winter with Summer Drinks

Toby Cecchini's Improved Pendennis Club Cocktail

We've had five feet of snow in New York City, it's been frigid for months and I've reached my limit on whiskey-based cocktails. Roll out the daiquiris and the piña coladas and the gin and tonics—I'm done!

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F&W Summer Bucket List

Three Fantastic Music Food Festivals

Lollapalooza Culinary Director Graham Elliot

You don’t need me to tell you that food festivals have gotten exponentially better since the days when a foot-long corn dog was big news. You also know that, beverage-wise, music festivals aren’t just about bad beer in plastic cups that you hope someone doesn’t throw at your head. Still, the improvement is mind-blowing. Think Chicago’s Lollapalooza and Outside Lands in San Francisco. The only problem, besides getting into some of them, is deciding whether to describe these upcoming events as food festivals or music festivals. It’s your call.

Cultivate Festival; Denver, August 17
Food, ideas & music: That’s the tagline of this free, Chipotle-sponsored festival. For food, there are cooking demos from the likes of Top Chef winner Richard Blais and Chopped judge Amanda Freitag, plus lots of dishes such as soft tacos and gorditas. Musicwise, the L.A. band Cold War Kids is scheduled to headline. And then there are the ideas, which include the California Avocado Experience, and the Farm Facts Experience, which teaches about livestock (free-range versus confined, and more). This being Colorado, the craft brew scene will be off the hook, represented by the likes of Avery Brewing Co., Oskar Blues Brewery and Strange Brewing Co. chipotle.com/cultivate

Boston Calling; Boston, September 7-8
Boston is lucky: The town has already had one Boston Calling festival this year, in May. The food lineup for the fall edition is still a secret, so let’s talk about what happened at the spring show, which featured a roundup of the city’s best food trucks, including Roxy’s Grilled Cheese, the Shuckin’ Truck (lobster and scallop rolls, fish tacos, clam chowder) and Kickass Cupcakes (cupcake–ice cream sundaes). As far as the fall music lineup, Vampire Weekend and Passion Pit are headlining; Solange and Kendrick Lamar are scheduled to be there, too. bostoncalling.com

Petty Fest Nashville; Nashville, September 21-22
It might be easier to list the cool chefs who aren’t part of this subset of Nashville’s terrific Music City Eats festival, whose creators include Kings of Leon’s Caleb and Nathan Followill, and chef Jonathan Waxman. (Full disclosure: Food & Wine magazine is a sponsor.) The festival features chefs’ demos and panel discussions with Michael Symon, Tim Love, John Besh, Nancy Silverton, Ed Lee and Donald Link. On the 21st, you’ll also find the fourth annual Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers–dedicated Petty Fest, hosted by the Kings of Leon and the Cabin Down Below Band, with special guests. The website promises: “If you love Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers you’ll be in heaven. If you don’t, you will. Petty Fest will do you like that.” musiccityeats.com

Related: F&W’s Summer Bucket List
Outrageous Hot Dogs
Best Burgers in the U.S.
Best Ice Cream Spots in the U.S.

Tasting Room

Affordable Summer Wines: Dry Rosés

Vera Vinho Verde Rosé

Pair with grilled vegetables, turkey burgers, hot dogs and pasta salads.

2012 Vera Vinho Verde Rosé ($11) From a region known for its white wines, this low-alcohol Portuguese rosé (11.5 percent) 
is ultra-tangy—serve it very cold on a hot day.

2012 Barnard Griffin Rosé of Sangiovese ($12) Scarlet-hued and full of citrusy acidity, this is a Washington-state interpretation of one of Tuscany’s classic grape varieties.

2012 Librandi Cirò Rosato ($12) Italy’s Librandi has a loyal following for its Cirò red. The rosé version is 
just as appealing, with 
ripe cherry fruit and 
a touch of smokiness.

2012 Penya Rosé ($12) The local wine cooperative in the tiny French village of Cases-de-Pène, about 30 miles north of Spain, makes this watermelon-scented, lively rosé.

2012 Domaine de Malavieille Charmille ($17) Organically grown grapes (mostly Syrah) from southern France’s Pays d’Oc region produce this minerally rosé.

Related: Summer Wines
Summer Wine Tips from Experts
Grilling Wines
Summer Drinks

Wine Wednesday

Sauvignon Blanc Cheat Sheet

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Courtesy of Franciscan Estate Napa Valley

Courtesy of Franciscan Estate Napa Valley

Ah, Sauvignon Blanc. It’s zesty, it’s crisp, it’s loaded with citrusy zing, it whets the appetite and it tastes great served cold on a hot day. And, once in a while, it smells like a green pepper exploded in your glass. More on why Sauvignon Blancs sometimes have a cat-pee aroma and great bottles of it under $20. »

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Grace in the Kitchen

Peach Madness

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Creamy Peach Tart with Smoky Almond Crust // © Tina Rupp

This simple tart's almost-instant crust is made with vanilla wafer cookies and smoked almonds. / © Tina Rupp

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

We're in the midst of stone-fruit season, and that means all sorts of delicious things, like this creamy tart. This divine tribute to juicy summer peaches is made with a thin layer of creamy cheesecake then topped with nearly unadulterated peach slices. Look for firm but ripe peaches and always buy more than you think you need—I know my bowl is nearly half empty before I can assemble my tart. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Peach Recipes
Fruit Pies and Tarts
Make-Ahead Summer Dishes

Grace in the Kitchen

Fruitcake - No Forks Necessary

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Mixed-Berry Spoon Cake // © Lucy Schaeffer

Bring out the flavors in berries (both in and out of season) by baking them into luscious desserts like this mixed-berry cake.

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

A great trick to bring out all the flavor in berries (in and out of season) is to bake them into desserts. I like this  luscious berry-laden spoon cake because it's a bit lighter and less fussy than traditional cobblers that use a pastry crust. The cake is buttery and light yet holds up to all those yummy fruit juices. Sometimes I make a double batch of the batter and put half on the bottom and half on the top, but it's delicious (and easier on the waistline) as is. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Brilliant Fruit Desserts
Cookout Desserts
Recipes Using Berries

Grace in the Kitchen

Sweet, Tart and Creamy: The Perfect Summer Sundae

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Honey-Lime Strawberries with Whipped Cream // © Ryan Liebe

Strawberries become a bracing summer dessert when served over a scoop of lemon sorbet. / © Ryan Liebe

Food & Wine's senior recipe developer, Grace Parisi, is a Test Kitchen superstar. In this series, she shares some of her favorite recipes to make right now.

Strawberries and cream is such a trite, hackneyed combination, but one I will unapologetically never grow tired of. It just needs a little help from some well-conceived ingredients. Here, I've made a quick syrup of mild honey, fresh lime juice and a hint of cardamom, brought it to a boil and poured it over sliced strawberries. Thirty minutes later, cooled and juicy, the compote is poured over tart lemon sorbet and topped with honey-spiked whipped cream. A little bit of lime zest makes this refreshing, quick dessert even brighter. SEE RECIPE »

Related: More Fantastic Strawberry Recipes
F&W's Ultimate Summer Fruit Recipes
Healthy Fruit Desserts

Wine Wednesday

Alternative Sparklers for Summer

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Image courtesy of Rustico.

Courtesy of Rustico.

Ray's top three sparkling wines under $20. Also, how to avoid fast-flying corks and unintentional champagne showers. »

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Wine Wednesday

It's Summertime, Drink Riesling

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Join celebrity chefs, renowned winemakers and epicurean insiders at the culinary world’s most spectacular weekend, the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.