Tag Archives: punta gorda belize

Chef Renee Everett of Belcampo Belize

Chef Renee Everett of Belcampo in Punta Gorda Belize

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From Chicago to Punta Gorda Belize, via Los Angeles.  Tune in to hear Executive Chef and Culinary Director of Belcampo Lodge Renee Everett talk about the local produce, craft skills and beautiful accommodations at the small agritourism haven. Local ingredients are hyper local here: they grow much of their products on the premises of this Southern Belize property just outside of Punta Gorda.

Punta Gorda Belize: Belcampo

We coincidentally ran into Renee on a hopper flight from PG up to one of the gorgeous Cayes of San Pedro. Listen to here enthusiasm about the cuisine, beverage, coffee and the farm she oversees. While there are only 16 rooms at the lodge, it’s worth waiting for and planning ahead to land a room here. And who knows, the run distillery might be complete by then.  The Chicago connection was pure kizmet, which is one of the joys of being in the culinary world: the connections are endless.

Remember to tune in regularly for great interviews with Sommeliers, Wine Makers, Wine Directors and Top Chefs. Also, virtually taste wines with top wine experts then go taste them yourselves. SommTalks is your weekly podcast for the inside scoop on the restaurant and wine scene. Please SUBSCRIBE here, on iTunes , on TuneIn Radio or on Stitcher. Send us your thoughts, ideas, and names of peeps you’d like us to interview.

You can check out the past few episodes but if you SUBSCRIBE , you’ll receive each new episode right to your device, whichever one you listen to your podcasts on.  Share episodes across social media channels, as well, to let others discover our wine conversations. A few of the most recent include:

Spain’s Rueda and Ribera del Duero Ambassador Charles Ford of The Bristol

Elena Pozzolini of Tenuta Sette Cieli at Tenzing Wine & Spirits Tasting

Quentin Paillard of Pierre Paillard in Bouzy Champagne on Family, Grower Champagne

Matthew Bills of David Burke’s Primehouse on Wine with Aged Beef

Marco Caprai of Arnaldo Caprai in Umbria Talks Sagrantino di Montefalco

Parag Lalit of Sixteen at Trump Tower Chicago on Wine Pairing, Greek Wine, Burgundy

Ryan Baldwin of Blue Crane Imports on Wines of South Africa

Andrew Algren Talks Cherry Circle Room, His Wine List, Chicago Athletic Association

Liz Mendez of Vera, Chicago Takes Top Somm Award at Jean Banchet Awards

Wine Tasting Series:

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Jon McDaniel of Acanto, A Lawless Restaurant 

SOMMTALKSWine Tasting Series: Parag Lalit of Sixteen in Trump Tower Chicago 

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Rachel Driver Speckan of City Winery Chicago

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series : Liz Mendez of Purple Pig

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Michael Muser of Grace Restaurant Chicago tasting Wines of Loire Valley

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series with Erica Wosky of Petit Crenn San Francisco 

Catch you next time.

Entrepreneur Emily Stone of Uncommon Cacao

Wine Meets Chocolate: Emily Stone of Uncommon Cacao in Punta Gorda Belize

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It was a whirlwind journey to the southern most Toledo District of Belize this month. I tooled about Punta Gorda, day tripping into the rain forest, exploring the origins of chocolate. This is Mayan country where Cacao trees have grown for centuries. See my first article in The Chicago Tribune on Bean to Bar Chocolate and stay tuned for the next one in the Travel section on this cacao farm exploration Agri-trip. We now have many options to taste this amazing bean to bar product, thanks to the efforts of a few organizations.

One of the inspirations for this visit was this accomplished woman I met via email while researching the fascinating topic of cacao farming- Emily Stone of Uncommon Cacao.

Emily Stone in one of a kind: she has poise, confidence and energy like you’ve never seen, and that’s just the start. She is moving beyond what we term “fair trade”, addressing the most pressing issues in underdeveloped countries such as social justice, international trade issues, sustainable supply chain dynamics in additon to reforestation, sustainability and consistent quality/flavor metrics in the chocolate industry itself. The small farmers have had whiplash for decades due to corporate advances and retractions.

Please tune in to hear an incredibly motivating story of a girl on a mission. Pass this to your friends and share across social media. This really matters and while it’s not directly about wine, the model for “origin designated”  chocolate, through the farming, fermentation, and chocolate making, parallels wine in more than a few ways.

Remember, please tune in regularly for great interviews with Sommeliers, Wine Makers, Wine Directors and Top Chefs. Also, virtually taste wines with top wine experts then go taste them yourselves. SommTalks is your weekly podcast for the inside scoop on the restaurant and wine scene. Please SUBSCRIBE here, on iTunes , on TuneIn Radio or on Stitcher. Send us your thoughts, ideas, and names of peeps you’d like us to interview.

You can check out the past few episodes but if you SUBSCRIBE , you’ll receive each new episode right to your device, whichever one you listen to your podcasts on.  Share episodes across social media channels, as well, to let others discover our wine conversations. A few of the most recent include:

Wine Tasting Series:

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Andrew Algren of Cherry Circle Room

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Michael Muser of Grace Restaurant Chicago tasting Wines of Loire Valley

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series: Charles Ford, The Bristol Chicago Tastes Pouilly-Fumé , Lake County Sauvignon Blanc and Canadian Pinot Noir

SOMMTALKS Wine Tasting Series with Erica Wosky of Petit Crenn San Francisco

More Intriguing Interviews:

Marco Caprai of Arnaldo Caprai in Umbria Talks Sagrantino di Montefalco

Parag Lalit of Sixteen at Trump Tower Chicago on Wine Pairing, Greek Wine, Burgundy

Ryan Baldwin of Blue Crane Imports on Wines of South Africa

Andrew Algren Talks Cherry Circle Room, His Wine List, Chicago Athletic Association

Liz Mendez of Vera, Chicago Takes Top Somm Award at Jean Banchet Awards

Charles Ford, The Bristol Chicago on Wine Inspiration and Teamwork

The Kitchen Chicago’s Shea Zimmerman Talks Sustainable Wine, Keggers and more

Jen Schmitt of Everest Chicago Talks Wines of Alsace, New Wine Discoveries

Israel’s Yarden Golan Heights Winemaker Victor Schoenfeld Takes us Far Away

Liz Martinez of Chicago’s Purple Pig Dishes on Old World Wines, The Menu

Catch you next time.