About Michelle Winner

Michelle is a freelance journalist specializing in luxury and experiential travel. Her readers number in the millions through her various online outlets and print magazines. She loves to explore a culture through their culture and food. “Sometimes, ” she says , “luxury can be a shack on the beach with a sand floor and a ceiling of stars.”

Michelle Winner Speaks With Wayne Bailey Of Youngberg Hill Winery, Yamhill Oregon

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By | 2017-07-11T21:38:54+00:00 September 1st, 2015|Categories: Radio Interviews|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Lake Charles Louisiana Locals’ Amazing Seafood and Boudin Here

When exploring any new place the best advice is to go where the locals go to eat. As we continue our culinary tour of Southwest Louisiana we want to share with you some restaurants and food venues the locals love. In Lake Charles, Louisiana there is some amazing seafood and Boudin here. The Gulf Coast seafood in Louisiana is so prolific that everyone has to up their game if they want any chance of staying in business.  The people of Lake Charles have always known the value of locally sourced ingredients and down-home cooking makes this part of Louisiana so special. In no particular order here they are. Casual, delicious dining at Steamboat Bill's Steamboat Bill’s Seafood Restaurant is a local icon, with three locations  in Louisiana, we visited the Lakeshore drive establishment in Lake Charles. Lunch here can be busy [...]

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By | 2017-07-11T21:38:54+00:00 February 1st, 2015|Categories: Destinations, Lake Charles, Louisiana, Restaurants, Savor, United States|Tags: , , , |3 Comments

Hyatt Regency New Orleans Has It All

The Hyatt Regency New Orleans offers it’s guests a bit of sanctuary in the Big Easy. This AAA four diamond property is centrally located in the heart of this exciting city in fact the Loyola streetcar route running right in front of the hotel. When you think of New Orleans, you think Jazz. The Hyatt offers free live Jazz on Friday and Saturday nights from 7pm to 10pm at the 8 Block Bar, no reservations needed. Featuring local musicians, you’ll appreciate this great way to take in the music that made this city famous without having to leave the comfort of the Hyatt. 8 Block Restaurant In a dynamic food city like New Orleans, you have to provide first class food to get the attention and the Hyatt has hit a home run here. I had the opportunity to sample some outstanding sushi [...]

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Don’t Get Broadsided By Your Rental Car Paperwork

(first published at elliott.org, image: Shutterstock)   When it comes to renting a car, it’s easy to get confused about your insurance needs. But it’s also easily avoidable — if you know what to look for. I should know. I used to own a car rental franchise. Here’s what it comes down to: Do some preparation before you book, read your agreement carefully, ask questions before you sign and you can prevent any surprises. Before reserving Compare car rental companies using similar car category for rates and rental policies. Book far in advance for the best rates and models, particularly in popular destinations. Rental rate guarantee periods may vary. Verify this information with each company so you’ll know how long they guarantee your quoted rated. Look for frequent traveler partnerships with airlines, credit card companies, hotels, and group and military [...]

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By | 2017-07-11T21:38:56+00:00 December 10th, 2014|Categories: Featured, Stay|Tags: , |0 Comments

The Topography of Thanksgiving Facts and Regional Foods

  ( "Thanksgiving Grace 1942 at home of Earle Landis"  photo by Marjorie) On the Travel Writers radio show with Graeme Kemlo, Melbourne Australia   Today Thanksgiving in America means turkey, football, a groaning family table and a day off for the holiday - unless you work for some heartless greedy retailers. But we're not here for that debate. I want to let you know a few interesting facts about Thanksgiving. According to Virginians, the first one was not at Plymouth but happened at what is now Berkeley Plantation along the James River. Folks in the Virginia Commonwealth insist that the first public Thanksgiving took place well over a year before the Thanksgiving of the pilgrims in Massachusetts when Captain John Woodlief and a column 38 of newly-arrived English colonists walked to a rolling slope along the James River and [...]

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By | 2017-07-11T21:38:56+00:00 November 25th, 2014|Categories: Featured, See and Do, United States|Tags: |0 Comments

“Judgment Of Paris” Colors Stag’s Leap Wine Cellar’s Celebration

This article appeared in October 2014 in Honestcooking.com Culinary Travel section In May of 1976 while America was gearing up for a celebration of the bicentennial year of its revolution, across the globe another revolution was just beginning. A blind wine tasting, taking place in Paris (now known as “The Judgment of Paris“) was soon to become the singular event that changed the fortunes and the perception of the entire wine industry in California by unseating the supremacy of French wines. So extraordinary was the outcome for America that two bottles from Napa Valley, California (Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars S.L.V. Cabernet Sauvignon and Chateau Montelena Chardonnay) are enshrined at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History and The Smithsonian Institution has recognized it as “One of the 101 things that made America.” True Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay aficionados the world over [...]

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By | 2017-07-11T21:38:56+00:00 November 11th, 2014|Categories: Sip, Wine|Tags: , |2 Comments

Sugar Cookie From Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill Kentucky

When in the Lexington Kentucky area plan a visit to  Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill in Harrodsburg, Kentucky only 26 miles from Lexington. As the largest restored Shaker community on 2900 acres of farmland and 34 restored 19th-century buildings, if you want to learn about this interesting way of life that has all but disappeared, you must visit.  Climb aboard the horse drawn carriage and  take a short ride through the village. Or wait until dark for guided walk through the town.  Believe me even with a lantern in your hand it raises the hair on your neck when voices come out of the candle lit houses (by actors reading journals from the 1800s)  or run into the streets in costume shouting to the unseen. Shakers, disciples of  Mother Ann Lee who renounced the sinful outside world, shared  work and [...]

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By | 2017-07-11T21:38:56+00:00 November 4th, 2014|Categories: Desserts, Recipes, Savor|Tags: , , , |0 Comments

Iconic Santorini’s Chef Konstantinos Avgoulis’ Tomato Keftedes

Iconic Santorini's Chef Avgoulis' pillows of delight are called Tomato Keftedes. I  have a new favorite snack that I have also enjoyed as an entrée. I found this incredible small tomato on Santorini. In fact it is referred to in various parts of Greece as the Santorini tomato. Of course it only grows here developing  its tart, rich  deep flavor from the relentless sun, wind and lack of water.  My dear friends at Iconic Santorini Hotel suggested I try their Executive Chef Konstantinos Avgoulis'  version. Born and raised on Santorini, Chef  Avgoulis treats Iconic  guests to many of his treasured family recipes including his rose jam and this one using the noblest of ancient fruits, the tomato.  Of course there is nothing to compare with tasting these for the first time sitting  at the edge of the caldera outdoors in Iconic's shady pergola covered restaurant  [...]

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Sofitel SFO’s Executive Chef Alejandro Abad Shares Lavender Lamb Recipe

Chef Alejandro Abad by Robert Barbutti Photography After more than 17 years of accomplished culinary experience, Chef Alejandro Abad was recently named Executive Chef at Bay 223. Chef Abad, a Spanish native from Barcelona, began at an early age by preparing meals at home with his father. He fine-tuned his culinary experience training in molecular cuisine, learned wines and spices and worked fine dining establishments throughout Europe, including five years in Barcelona, and Michelin-rated Restaurant Christophe and Restaurant Vermeer, in Holland. His mantra is a single word: fresh. And the location here is so very conducive to “ fresh.” Enjoying a recent dinner at Bay 223 we wanted to know learn more. Here in part is Luxe Beat Magazine’s interview with this busy executive chef and one of his best lavender recipes. CT: Chef Abad as  executive chef [...]

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Begin Your Hawaii Exploration at Bishop Museum

credit: Bishop Museum Before you take off to look at the I'olani Palace or the Pali lookout, or even Wai'kiki beach, your  next visit to the Hawaiian Islands should begin at Oahu’s Bishop Museum. Learn about the Royal lineage, the flora, fauna and ocean life, the everyday life of chief or commoner, the mele and chants, foods, medicines, culture, navigation by the stars and a working volcano display. The new Pacific Hall is a collections of all of the various nations and islanders that share the Pacific Ocean. Long a favorite place to start an exploration of Hawaii for akamai (smart) visitors and a place to teach island keiki (children) about where they live, Bishop Museum appeals to locals and travelers alike. With many exhibits of Hawaiian history, artifacts, paintings and kahili of Hawaiian monarchs, flora and fauna, [...]

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By | 2017-07-11T21:38:57+00:00 September 15th, 2014|Categories: Destinations, Featured, Hawaii, Museum, Oahu, See and Do|Tags: , , |0 Comments