Bring Great Flavors to your DC Thanksgiving with Wine Ideas from Winemaker Brian Cheeseborough.
Thanksgiving is coming up fast, and you just have a few days left, do not panic just yet.
Most people are not “hosting” a Thanksgiving; instead, they are guests. Whether its family, friends, or you are the plus one, it is always better to make a good impression – and what better way than with an exceptional wine or two?
Wine can be inexpensive; our winemaker suggested a few wines between $15-$45.
Wine Ideas from Winemaker Brian Cheeseborough
Brian Cheeseborough has more than 20 vintages of wine experience and made 90+ point wines in 6 different regions worldwide (California, France, New Zealand, Argentina, and more). He is an expert at pairing flavors and (more importantly) how to fix sour or off flavors – think dry turkey. (yikes!)
Take it away, Brian!
Thanks for having me. I’m excited to share these ideas because there are two goals: if the food is incredible, we want a wine that matches it and makes it even better (think like a dancing partner), and secondly, if the food is not great, we want a way to elevate the experience and fix the mistake.
Wine can do that! Most of these wines are from vineyards I have worked with or fellow Fresno State alums, some of whom I sat in a lecture with about all things wine. Can’t find the exact bottle? There are numerous producers for these wines under $50 and some below $20 – follow the varietals.
So, let us get started.
Alexander Valley Vineyards – Gewürz, 2021 Mendocino County
This Gewürz can solve many problems. It is a great wine to start the night; It’s also great when you’re eating something dry or bland. Yes, it is on the sweeter side. The aromatics are floral, with enticing notes of apple, grapefruit, and citrus; the mouth is silky and rich. This will pair well with any course. I like it with turkey best!
Buy it here: AVV 2021 Gewürz – Organically Grown
Willamette Valley Vineyards 2021 Estate Chardonnay
Another great option to start the party. The nose is a fresh bouquet of apricot, lemon, lime, and honey. The mouth is rich and supple with flavors of golden apple, caramel, and vanilla, with a nice round, refreshing finish. You can easily pair this with rich seafood dishes like shrimp alfredo and crab-stuffed lobster tail. Also, creamy potatoes or spiced pumpkins. (If you end up with pumpkin or squash on your plate and try a glass of this, you will thank me later.)
Buy it here: Willamette Valley Vineyards – Estate Chardonnay
Pine Ridge Vineyards 2021 Chenin Blanc + Viognier White Blend
One more light suggestion to start off your feast! This is crisp, bright, and full of life. The nose is a bouquet of honeysuckle, and orange blossoms, with a twist of ginger spice. The mouth is full-bodied with refreshing acidity. Flavors of tangerine, lime, and green apple. It’ll pair great with a light salad, goat cheese, and olives.
Now, let us go to the Reds!
Abacela Tempranillo Fiesta 2019
It has a gorgeous fruit-driven nose with aromas of red fruit, cherry, and plum. The mouth is sleek and silky, medium body with flavors of black currant and blueberry, with lush and velvety tannins. It would pair well with turkey, venison with traditional gravy, or cranberry.
Buy it here: Abacela Tempranillo Fiesta
Dutton-Goldfield’s 2020 Mendocino Hills Pinot Noir
The nose starts telling you this is something extra special; classic rich blackberry, pomegranate, and a touch of vanilla to round out the aromas. The mouth is super juicy and decadent, full of bright red cherry and cola with a baking spice finish. You want this with your main entree – turkey, ham, and stuffing. The people at your party drinking this will be glancing at each other, smiling between bites – they will know why!
Buy it here: Mendocino Hills Pinot Noir
Porter Creek, Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River – 2019
On the nose, red fruit notes with cherry and plum. On the mouth, medium body with moderate oak, black currant, and blueberry, with delicate tannins. This pairs well with lean meat.
Buy it here: Porter Creek, Estate Pinot Noir, Russian River
The critical thing to remember is that regardless of your budget, you can find a great flavor to pair with what you are eating. Also, the wine can “save” the day, just in case it ends up a little (or a lot) dry or bland. You are not the chef du jour for Thanksgiving, but you can still contribute to the sharing.
Winemaker Brian Cheeseborough from FermForge
Brian Cheeseborough is currently the Director of Winemaking at FermForge in West Texas.
About the AuthorJoe Wehinger (nicknamed Joe Winger) has written for over 20 years about the business of lifestyle and entertainment. Joe is an entertainment producer, media entrepreneur, public speaker, and C-level consultant who owns businesses in entertainment, lifestyle, tourism and publishing. He is an award-winning filmmaker, published author, member of the Directors Guild of America, International Food Travel Wine Authors Association, WSET Level 2 Wine student, WSET Level 2 Cocktail student, member of the LA Wine Writers. Email to: Joe@FlavRReport.com
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By Joe Winger — 6 months ago
Italy’s Trentodoc has a history of producing incredible sparkling wine, Giacomo Malfer reveals their tasty secret.
We had the chance to sit down with Revi Trentodoc’s Giacomo Malfer to talk about the Italian Trentino region, their multi-generational family business, favorite foods, and of course their legendary sparking wines.
Listen to the podcast here:
Giacomo, Can you share some of your favorite memories that include a wonderful sparkling wine celebration?
I’m very happy to talk about Revi and my family and my world. One of the best memories that I remember with sparkling wine Trentodoc was my 30th party. I invited a lot of friends. The bottles, one by one [were poured and put] on the floor [lined up] around the house. But, the most important thing was the joy, the happiness, to enjoy that party.
In history, Trentodoc sparkling wine is the best product for celebrations. So celebrating my birthday or other important things in life is one of the best things that we produce of that kind of product can make because We work our life to produce something people enjoy the best highlights of the life. So what’s better? And one of my best memories is my 30th birthday party.
You mentioned celebrating with your family. Tell me what it’s like growing up in a winemaking family.
Paolo, my father, for me is a common star because when I was young, I never wanted to go on with the winery. It’s funny to know because today it’s my life. Sometimes [I feel like] it is my girlfriend. Francesca is my real girlfriend. So it’s matches perfectly now with my life and with my private life.
Someone said that if you love your work, you’ll never work a day in your life. I think that idea is very important. As I said earlier, there is something very beautiful about making something that people used to celebrate.
I remember when my father Paolo would talk about wine and producing wine, his eyes would shine. That shine was one of the first things that was useful for me to start and work in the wine industry. I remember that Paolo said to us to do what we wanna do, not follow the winery. Because it was his passion, not his first job. He said, ‘this is my passion. I want to work with Revi as a passion.’ In fact for 30 years that was not his job. He started when he was 13 years old.
He was in a classroom with only females. He found a book with an article on Dom Perignon. He came home and asked my grandfather [for] some white wines because we were an agriculture family. And he said, I wanna make champagne now. And my grandfather laughed, because my Dad was just a young boy. But you know what? He said, okay, you can try a very small batch.
My grandmother made bread each week, so Paulo asked my grandmother for some yeast, and put it inside with the sugar.
And on Christmas of 1963, my family enjoyed the holiday with methodic champagne noir. Because in Italy at that time we could name the methodic champagne, the classic method with the second fermentation in the bottle. And so after that, he studied at school, and then he started with Revi in 1982. And for 30 years it was his hobby.
I believe it was one of the most important things, to grow up with passion, in my father, in my brother Stefano and in me, because he’s never forced us to follow that.
We both studied economics. But I remember many memories about when my grandmother would take the broth to the people who helped my father in the winery. I have some memories that is between the brain and the heart. I believe that premise was the first seed to grow the passion. After that, my brother Stefano, the producer and manager; we followed because we were tasting all the time with my family together. We are looking for a very clean, very fresh identity wine of our region.
The best thing that I believe our father gave us is a way to read the wine world. This is the identity. We always want to find in Revi our territory. He was one of the first to produce the zero dosage. We have been producing zero dosage or pas dose, you know, that is the same since 1983. The first harvest of the first vintage of pas dose Revi was 1981. It was very, very uncommon for that period, even just five years ago it was uncommon. But 40 years ago.
I believe inside that particular label is the philosophy of our winery, and we want go on with that. So the second generation, me and my brother Stefano, for sure, we wanna follow that.
There’s a lot less magic in economics than there is in sparkling wine. Was there a moment when you realized, ‘I need more magic?’
Yes, I remember. When I was 13 or 14 years old, and I was helping my father in the vineyard, I didn’t like it because it was very warm and some activities were very slow. My friends would go to the swimming pool, and I was with my father. So I said, I want my office, with my shirt and air conditioning and not be here.
But at the end, I really love the people and finding magic. Because it all starts from a piece of wood and arrives at the end in a bubble, in the most beautiful moment that you put that wine in a glass and enjoy with your friends and your family.
There was not a very clear moment when I changed my mind and said no economics, but wine making for sure.
I made the commercial part of the winery. So economics is important and now it’s the economics of a winery. I found a very good way to have a little bit economics and stay in the best [wine] world.
I always tell my friends and my girlfriend, we are working for something that others work for the Saturday night or the Friday night. That is super beautiful, because celebrating is the best thing. To enjoy life is to celebrate the big things and the small things. The small things could be simpler, pizza with friends.
I think the theme that I’m learning is the magic of celebration. Let’s seque to the magic of your region.
Yes, for sure. The [Dolomite] mountains area is one of the important things. And thanks to the mountain region, we can have the freshness, the aromas that come up from the difference in temperature between day and night.
At the same time, we have a region that goes from 200 meters in altitude over to 700 meters. More than 70% is over 1,000 meters in altitude. So it’s a very mountain region. And the valley also is a mountain valley, because the fresh air comes down from the mountains and goes through our vineyards. That’s increases the performance and the structure we find in our glass of trentodoc.
Wine Enthusiast awarded us as one of the best wine areas for Trentodoc because we can have the maturity of the grapes, and at the same time we defend the freshness. So we have a balance between the complexity, the perfumes, the aromas thanks to the mature grapes. We don’t forget and lose the freshness, the acidity freshness, very important to enjoy, because at the end, one bottle, one glass, you have to drink to enjoy it.
Another thing that is important here is the soil, limestone, there are different soils. And that gives us some different shades about Trentodoc. This is one of the most important things not only here in Trentodoc, but in the wine world.
Drinking is a way to take a trip in your life. It’s very nice to drink the same wine, the same grapes in the same area, but at the same time, find something different. Not only because its comes from different wine growers, but because the soil, the terroir.
For example, Albano, the small village where I come from, where Revi was born.
Re Vino [translates to] “king wine”, because it was one of the best areas in Albano, my village, to produce grapes for wine. Albano was named from Veronelli, one of the best and most important, wine journalists in Italy.
Why? Because many private people in the area made their own classic method, sparkling wine. It was an agricultural village, but they didn’t make only still wine. They made sparkling wine. So that is the terroir. That is the the know-how, the idea of one place, not only the type of soil or the wind.
Here in Trentino, in our vineyard we have some of the best soil, Cavaliere Nero.
Cavaliere Nero is 100% Pinot Noir, it’s clay and red marble. Now red marble was the motherstone. And we have clay. It is a very important Pinot Noir. It is a very important red pinot noir dressed by the bubbles.
Sticking with the region for a moment, tell us about what’s it like living in that area today?
It’s a mountain region so we have ski slopes we can enjoy in the winter season. But the mountains are really magic during the summer. On my summer holidays, I want to go to the sea. We have one of the best lakes in Italy, Llago di Garda.
A few weeks ago there was the Gambero Rosso event, where I tasted your sparklers for the first time. Let’s talk about the bottles.
You tasted the classic one, Revi Brut Trentodoc, the Revi Reserve 2012.
Revi Brut Trentodoc has 40 months on lees. Both are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The Chardonnay grown here in Trentodoc gives very good aromas, good acidity, good freshness. Pinot Noir in more in altitude, gives us the body.
In the Pinot Noir of the brut, it’s only for the body. Not for the structure.
With aging, the wine comes out with notes of Pinot Noir. In fact, in the Reserva 2012 or other Revi, when it stays many months on the yeast, you find the perfumes of the Pinot Noir, we have the classic line: Revi Brut, Revi Rose, Revi Dosaggio Fero. They are all made with a cuvee of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. 20% white and more in the rose, because we have 70%, helps us to give a lot of structure and body.
Chardonnay is a major part of it and that is very important for the Brut as for the Reserva, because it gives us the freshness in the Reserva.
People always ask me which is my favorite, the Brut or the Reserva?
It really depends. It depends on the time of day and my mood. In the summer when it is warm, I like really a glass of fresh Brut classic, because it’s simple. I want to chill out a little.
Then on the same day at dinner we drink a glass or a bottle of Reserva tasting and pairing with some foods.
With the Brut, the tasting notes are apples. One of the classic notes. Toasted nuts. All very light and delicate.
If you ask me what to expect if you taste a glass of Revi Brut, you have to expect some fresh apples, some flowers, a little toast, and freshness and joy on the palate.
For the food pairing, some salami or fromage, very simple aperitivo that you can have in your house.
One of the best pairings that I really love is with pappardelle or a pasta with white ragu and parmesano, because it’s delicate and a little bit salty. Parmesano’s taste is not so aggressive, it’s also delicate. And with the Brut I love a lot.
I love pappardelle, I love pasta for sure. I’m Italian, you know, so… I’m a pasta lover.
Thinking about Reserva, you can really go all over the world with the taste. You can also pair with fusion cuisine, you can have some more taste.
In our Reserva, we have the structure, the body, the complexity at the same time, the very freshness. So you can enjoy that glass with some fatty foods, because it’ll clean up your mouth and have structure. Carpaccio, branzino, fresh fish.
Is there a unique or surprising food that you wouldn’t traditionally think pairs well with your wines and yet it did?
I love surprising myself with pairing foods. As you were talking, I was thinking of risotto with porcini, with gouda.
During the [pandemic] lockdown I stayed with my family and during our Sunday meals, we had a violet rosemary [herb sprig] inside a glass was amazing.
I believe, one of the best important things, if you are in a winery, in a restaurant, you have to taste and try. Be curious.
Something we really aim for with our audience is helping someone who’s curious and eager, helping them understand what they’re trying so they can have more appreciation for the taste and the flavor.
Can you walk us through the process of the classic method?
The first part, it’s common, like still wine. You grow the grapes. It’s very important to have high quality raw materials at the start. Then you have harvest after one year. Then you press, you have the first fermentation, that is the vinification.
The very important different thing about sparkling wine and a classic method, for example, in 100% Chardonnay is when you want to have a chardonnay for a base of sparkling wine, you have to have more acidity. So your harvest is a couple of weeks [earlier]. It depends on the velocity of the maturation.
But we can say between one and two weeks before, because you have to preserve the freshness, the acidity.
Then after harvest, you have a different vinification. It depends if you want to, to make a rose or a white wine. In that case, you have a maceration on the skin of the grapes of Pinot Noir. If you want a Blanc de Noir, a white wine from Pinot Noir, you have to separate the skin of the grapes, from the juice.
After the first fermentation we make the cuvee. We sit with my family and taste, and discuss which kind of chardonnay goes inside with some percentage of Pinot Noir.
For example, we talked about the Revi Brut and 80% of Chardonnay, and 20% Pinot Noir. So [a blend of] Chardonnay 1-2, and 7 with 20% of Pinot Noir or a [blend of a] couple of Pinot Noirs, it depends on the vintage of the year.
After that, we put inside the Liqueur de tirage, so yeast and sugar, like [if you] make bread. You put all inside a bottle and you cork. So, the yeast starts eating the sugar and give us the bubbles.
That activity let’s the yeast work.
One important thing for Trentodoc it it’s made with only grapes of the Trento area: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Pinot Blanc.
First of all, we use Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. In Revi we use only Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
To be Trentodoc, it has to stay on the lees, for a minimum 15 months. To be Vintage Trentodoc, it has to stay for two years, 24 months. We have two years on the grapes of just one harvest.
For example, the 2018, to be Reserva Trentodoc has to stay minimum three years on lees, so 36 months with just one harvest.
After that, we have the bubbles inside the bottle, also the yeast. So we have to make the. [Years ago] we made it all by hand, today is automatic. It’s useful to clean up the wine from the yeast to have at the end of this activity a brilliant sparkling wine. Then we have the disgorgement. The isgorgement is made with glass, so we freeze that part of the yeast.
And with the pressure between six and seven bar with the disgorge. So we open the bottle, the pressure pulls out that cork freeze of yeast, and we have a very brilliant, sparkling wine.
If we don’t add [anything] because, sparkling wine is special wine, because we can add sugar, and with the sugar, we can define the type of Trentodoc sparkling wines who had, for example, de Natura, de Dossagio Ferro, after we have the extra Brut Brut, and go on with more sugar wine.
We can add something to create a very secret recipe of each winery. At the end, a couple of month minimum to recalibrate the sparkling wine, with this liquor disposition. We have the magic done. From some grapes to a glass full of emotional, nice moments and full of bubbles.
Outstanding. The magic and the science involved,.
Our payoff is when magic and technique meet, because that is sparkling wine.
As we wrap up, where can we find Revi, browse and shop?
I wanna ask your audience to be our ambassador. You have to go and ask [restaurants and shops] about Revi. When you find Revi, you have to try Revi.
When you don’t find Revi, you have to ask for it.Post Views: 1
By Charlotte Billingsley — 1 year ago
Comedian Brian Regan Performs April 7-8 2023 at Washington DC’s The Kennedy Center
Considered one of the best stand-ups in the country by critics, fans and fellow comedians,
Brian Regan announces new theater tour dates through the spring of 2023.
Since 2005, Brian’s non-stop theater tour has visited the most beautiful venues in North America. Produced by Live Nation, the 30-city tour kicks off on Saturday, December 31st at Will Rogers Auditorium in Fort Worth making stops across the U.S. in Philadelphia, Salt Lake City, Washington and more before wrapping up in Jacksonville at the Florida Theater on May 14th. For full tour dates and links to purchase tickets visit Brian’s website.
Tickets go on sale starting Friday, September 16th at 10am local time on BrianRegan.com
BRIAN REGAN NYE & SPRING 2023 TOUR DATES:
Saturday, December 31, 2022 – Fort Worth, TX – Will Rogers Auditorium
Thursday, January 12, 2023 – Burlington, VT – The Flynn
Friday, January 13, 2023 – Syracuse, NY – The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
Saturday, January 14, 2023 – Philadelphia, PA – Miller Theater- PA
Sunday, January 15, 2023 – Charlottesville, VA – Paramount Theatre- Charlottesville
Tuesday, January 31, 2023 – Edmonton, AB – Winspear Centre
Wednesday, February 1, 2023 – Calgary, AB – Jack Singer Concert Hall
Thursday, February 2, 2023 – Surrey, BC – Bell PAC
Friday, February 3, 2023 – Tacoma, WA – Pantages Theater
Saturday, February 4, 2023 – Salem, OR – Elsinore Theatre
Thursday, February 23, 2023 – Grand Junction, CO – Avalon Theatre
Saturday, February 25, 2023 – Billings, MT – Alberta Bair Theater
Thursday, March 2, 2023 – El Cajon, CA – The Magnolia
Friday, March 3, 2023 – Thousand Oaks, CA – Bank of America PAC
Saturday, March 4, 2023 – Wheatland, CA – Hard Rock Live
Sunday, March 5, 2023 – Santa Rosa, CA – Luther Burbank Center for the Arts
Wednesday, March 15, 2023 – Salt Lake City, UT – Delta Hall at The Eccles
Wednesday, March 29, 2023 – Sioux Falls, SD – Washington Pavilion
Thursday, March 30, 2023 – Dubuque, IA – Five Flags Arena*
Friday, March 31, 2023 – Omaha, NE – Holland PAC
Saturday, April 1, 2023 – Rapid City, SD – Rushmore Theatre*
Thursday, April 6, 2023 – Norfolk, VA – Harrison Opera House
Friday-Saturday, April 7-8, 2023 – Washington DC – The Kennedy Center^
Tuesday, April 25, 2023 – Morgantown, WV – The Metropolitan Theatre
Thursday, April 27, 2023 – Shipshewana, IN – Blue Gate PAC*
Friday, April 28, 2023 – St Charles, IL – The Arcada Theatre*
Saturday, April 29, 2023 – Saint Joseph, MO – Missouri Theatre
Sunday, April 30, 2023 – Manhattan, KS – McCain Auditorium (KSU)*
Thursday, May 11, 2023 – Coral Springs, FL – Coral Springs Center for the Arts
Friday, May 12, 2023 – St Petersburg, FL – Mahaffey Theater
Saturday, May 13, 2023 – Fort Pierce, FL – Sunrise Theatre ^
Sunday, May 14, 2023 – Jacksonville, FL – Florida Theatre Jacksonville
^Already on sale
*Not a Live Nation date
Brian premiered his second Netflix stand-up special, Brian Regan: On The Rocks, on February 23, 2021. Brian’s first Netflix special, Brian Regan: Nunchucks And Flamethrowers, premiered to rave reviews on November 21, 2017, and is also available as a vinyl album.
In 2021, Brian returned for his third season in Peter Farrelly’s TV series, Loudermilk, which is streaming on Amazon Prime. Farrelly personally cast Brian in the series alongside Ron Livingston, Anja Savcic, Will Sasso and Mat Fraser. Brian received praise for his portrayal of “Mugsy,” a recovering addict who is estranged from his family.
Comedian Brian Regan stars in his own Netflix series, Stand Up And Away! With Brian Regan, which premiered on Christmas Eve 2018. Brian and Jerry Seinfeld Executive Produce the four-episode original half-hour series that combines sketch comedy and stand-up.Post Views: 2
By Contributor — 2 months ago
It’s Scary-Delicious! Invite Your Friends over for Horror Movie Night Cookbook written by Richard S. Sargent and Nevyana Dimitrova (Photographer).
Sixty deliciously deadly recipes inspired by iconic slashers, zombie films, psychological thrillers, sci fi spooks, and more.
Author Richard S. Sargent joined me for a conversation about food, cooking, horror movies and Halloween. The below conversation has been edited for length and clarity. Find the full, un-edited conversation at our YouTube channel.
What inspired you as far as horror movies go? What’s your all time favorite horror?
Richard Sargent: Wow, that’s a tough one. Yeah, so I would say my all time favorite horror movie is Scream. It’s what got me into diving deeper into horror. My mother actually got me into horror when I was a kid, we would watch a bunch of the old ones after school and that sort of thing, but as I started to discover the newer ones on my own, Scream was the first one that really showed me that there’s more to horror than just blood and boobs.
You’re a filmmaker, an artist, an author, many things. Tell us a little bit about your journey
Richard Sargent: I went to school for theater and film and acting. As most people do New York or LA, I chose New York. I did that for a while. I did a couple of my own indie horror films as well. And then as I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do.
As a side project, because you have to have a side project when you’re trying to break into that field. I thought I love cooking. I love experimenting. I love being creative. Let’s take some culinary classes. So I was gifted some culinary classes and it was really great. And I thought, okay, great. Now I’m going to go work in a kitchen. But the more I thought about that, I realized I would hate it if I had to do it as a day job. I would hate cooking. I put that on the back burner and focus more on the theater and film and all that.
And just kept plugging away at that. When I moved to the West Coast, I became artistic director of a couple of theater companies and had some plays published, that sort of thing.
So my writing and my directing was starting to take off a little bit. I had a little more free time to go back to the cooking thing that I was looking forward to doing. And the way this came together is that I was doing a play with some friends and we were chatting we actually were doing the play, The Woman in Black, and we were chatting about horror and horror films and they felt the way I felt about them initially, that they’re all just and I just couldn’t have that.
I’d seen so many great ones that have changed my life and had so many positive messages. Because horror movies are basically about the outcasts winning. I felt like I’ve been an outcast my whole life, so I could really connect to them. So I started showing them the ones that I thought were important.
I started with my favorites and then dug deeper into the ones that I felt. Told really great stories and had really great messages through these horror movie nights where I would pair an appetizer, a dinner and a dessert, each with its own movie and we would do three movies a night and we would do this every couple of weeks.
Can you talk a little bit about this book’s undertaking and 1-2 lessons that you learned from that process?
Richard Sargent: Absolutely. Yeah, it really was an undertaking. When I started these nights, these horror movie nights myself I just thought they were going to be fun. I just thought we were all going to have a good time.
Then about halfway through, maybe about five or six nights in, my friends were all like, what are you going to do with this? I’m like, what do you mean? We’re just having a good time. And they’re like, no, other people are going to want to do this. I’m thinking about what can I do with this?
Maybe I can start an event service and cater these nights myself? But ultimately I chose to do a book because it’s more accessible and it’s more fun. You get to do it in your own home and invite your friends over and it makes for a much more fun evening. Once I decided that it was going to be a book, it took about two years to compile it all into book format. Retake some pictures, that sort of thing, get it all ready for my copy. So I self published it two years ago and then it got picked up.
So the version that you have and that we’re talking about today is the version that Ulysses Press put out about another year or so later.
So it was about a five year process from the first horror movie night, all the way to the book that, that we’re talking about today.
If I have any tips for people, find what makes your idea stick out. What about your idea do people want to know, be authentic about it and just keep plugging away at it.
You’re going to get frustrated. Move on to another project, take a walk, do something else. And come back when the inspiration strikes, but never force anything. That’s my big thing. You can’t force inspiration or you’re not going to end up with the best product that you could possibly have.
From the five years ago first draft to Ulysses Press version now, how close is the finished product compared to your original vision?
Richard Sargent: It’s very close actually. A lot of things that were changed were just improvements on the pictures. Things are worded differently, more clear, more consistency throughout the book.
Ulysses was really great with the editing process. They kept a lot of what I wanted to do with the book and the whole spirit of the book.
There’s millions of horror movies out there. How did you go from a million down to 60?
Richard Sargent: It really had to just speak to me. It had to be bigger and better than the average horror film. Or at least I had to view it that way.
I studied horror and I studied film throughout my life. I can grasp the difference between your average horror film and something that’s trying to influence the viewer in some way. And those are the ones that I tried to put into the book. I know that 60 is not a lot and that’s why there will be more books hopefully.
I thought it would be a fun start to break newbies in. So rather than just hitting every classic that you can think of: Exorcist, Jaws, I picked a lot of classics and mixed them in with some newer things that had more up to date themes and up to date comments on society, like The Conjuring and The Descent, movies like that.
Not everyone seeing this is a huge horror movie fan. Can you give us any tips or ideas about what makes a really great horror movie?
Richard Sargent: I think it all starts with the characters which then reflects on the script. So if it’s a really well written script, it has characters that A) you care about and B) are telling a story within a story, basically, by living through their story, they’re telling us how we should be living our lives. Of course, we know that because of Scream and movies like that, we know the rules of horror.
Don’t don’t say “I’ll be right back” and all that kind of stuff.
But beyond that, there are things that make a horror film great. It’s a lot of really great being on the side of the outcasts. So if you think of movies like Frankenstein a lot of people will say that the monster is the monster, but the monster is not the monster. The society not accepting the monster Is the real monster.
That’s a film that tries to show us how to accept people who are not like us. Some people may say that science is the monster. I am not that kind of person. But, there’s the commentary in that film too, that maybe we shouldn’t do everything that we are able to do with science.
For queer culture and women’s rights we have films like Hereditary that dive into dealing with grief.
As long as your characters are doing something important, they’re not just playing with a Ouija board, or running into a shed full of chainsaws. As long as they’re making smart decisions,, I think it elevates it to the next level, movies like The Exorcist, obviously, more recently, I thought Barbarian just from last year was outstanding, just in that way of telling the story, that was creative to me.
Ones that stick with you forever. Jaws, a lot of people didn’t want to go in the water after that.
We have a very dinner party kind of an audience. Do you have a favorite kitchen gadget?
Richard Sargent: Yeah, so I had to cook these meals. There were actually some other recipes that I worked on too, for these films that I didn’t put in the book. Everything is trial and error in the kitchen. So I cooked several of these many times until I found the right measurements of everything.
It was a long process in the kitchen, but a fun one, of course.
Maybe it makes me basic, but my favorite kitchen gadget is the slow cooker because you can do so much with it and you can step away from it and work on other things while your main meal is sitting there for hours.
Are there 1-2 recipes in the cookbook that you want to point out?
Richard Sargent: As I like to start any meal, let’s start with dessert. I would say I’m super proud of the pavlova from Cabin Fever, if you’re familiar with the movie. The dish is called The Close Shave, and it is a pavlova with Chantilly cream inside and berries on top, berry compote on top, and it just drips through a bloody wound.
I’m pretty proud of that one, and I got a lot of great feedback. I still have my friends from that horror movie night talking about it all the time.
Another one I’m super proud of is the paella from Broken Lizard’s Club Dread, which is an overlooked horror comedy. Basically, Coconut Pete runs this party island and he has his own special paella, Coconut Pete’s paella, which I tried to recreate with his secret ingredients and I thought it came out pretty well, so I’m pretty pleased with that one as well.
Let me see, appetizers. One that was fun was just coming up with the popcorn for Scream. I tried a bunch of different flavors and a bunch of different ways of doing it and it’s one of the ones that I feel is a recipe, but also a hack. An easy way to pop bagged popcorn and put flavoring on it.
It’s a good one to show that anybody can do what’s in this book. You don’t have to be Martha Stewart to be able to create what’s in this book, recreate it.
When the book first arrived, I was sitting in a room with teenagers and as old as people in their 70s, so it’s quite a range and we were all having fun with it.
As an author, as a creator, how does that make you feel? Was it designed to be a communal experience?
Richard Sargent: Putting things out there always makes me nervous. The feedback that I’ve been getting, hearing people, seeing pictures from people doing their own horror movie nights or just recreating the recipes or just on podcasts and things talking about the clever titles and all that kind of stuff it just makes me feel so good because I was worried that maybe this is just a “me” thing, like I’m just this weirdo super into horror and food. It’s good to know that I’m not. The whole horror community, the whole film community is into something like this.
They they can entertain, they can bring their own friends over. They can be the star of their own show. It speaks to everybody.
Since you are the Horror Movie Night Cookbook expert, can you give us some tips and advice for our next movie night?
Richard Sargent: I’ve done horror film nights where we just all get together and we eat the food and we watch the movies.
I’ve done one’s where we play extra games other than the drinking games. We have costume contests. It’s really how far you want to go into it.
But I would say start early if you’re going to use some of the recipes in this book, start early because there are many things that could go wrong especially if you’re not used to cooking and there are things that could go wrong, things that could burn things that might not set the way you want them to.
Have extra ingredients on hand.
If you don’t like a movie that the recipe is paired with, think about how that recipe could go with another more you like more?
Have fun with it and try it all.
How can we elevate the experience to a Superbowl Sunday level?
Richard Sargent: Definitely add costumes. Decorate. Fog machines are always fun. Pick the ones that pick the recipes that can make it a more social evening. Maybe ones where you add your own stuff to them. Like the one for Cujo is like a burrito bowl, essentially, so that people can add their own ingredients to it. That gets people up and mingling and having a good time, definitely play the drinking games, but be careful because the drinks are strong.
It’s Halloween season right now. When is the best time of year for the Horror Movie Night Cookbook?
Richard Sargent: All year. There’s no set time. Horror has so many stories to tell. A lot of them are very important that you can watch them all year round.
Get in that spirit all year round. I think that people don’t give horror the credit that it deserves. There are a lot of great films out there that even people that don’t love horror will like. Those are the ones I think we should be talking about. Horror should always be part of the conversation.
A lot of horror films are set throughout the year, so if you wanted to do a horror movie night for Valentine’s Day, you’ve got plenty to choose from, It’s not just for those of us that like to get dressed up one day a year. It’s all year round.
As we wrap up, any final message you want foodies or movie lovers to know about you or this book?
Richard Sargent: I would just want them to know that I really did put a lot of thought and heart into everything that they see in this book. I really didn’t just say, Oh, wow, let’s come up with some gimmicky-looking cookie or something. These aren’t decorations. This is real food and real thoughtful recipes that are inspired by things that happen in the film, things that they eat, things that they do, places they go. For example, in The Descent, they are supposed to be spelunking in the Appalachian mountains. So I used a local dish from the Appalachias as that recipe. These are not just Halloween decorations. These are actual recipes that you can enjoy any time of year. But watch the movie too. So yeah, I would just want people to know that don’t expect cutesy little Pinterest ghost cookies. That’s not what you’re going to get. You’re going to get real recipes like you would in any cookbook. This just has the horror edge to it as well.
Where can we learn more about you? Tell us the website, the social media
Tell me what you like. And if you host your own, tag me in that sort of stuff. I’d love to see how your recipes come out, what you would change. I’d love feedback. If you do try any of this, please contact me online and let me know what you liked and what you didn’t.Post Views: 3