CNN’s ‘Destination India’ Showcases the Country’s Vibrant Diversity


A special week of coverage began November 6, 2017, with a 30-minute program airing from November 11 through the 15th, as CNN’s ‘Destination India’ shines a spotlight on the inspiring culture, cuisines, sights and sounds of this South Asian nation.

The 30-minute program will explore the unspoilt forests of the North-Eastern hill state of Meghalaya, delve into the heart of India’s wine country in Nashik, and sample the culinary and cultural treats offered in the country’s capital Delhi.

‘Destination India’ will showcase the captivating locations and experiences through on-air programming on CNN International, specialized content on CNN Digital and across CNN’s social media platforms. will host a bespoke interactive digital holiday planner called ‘Find your perfect India’ which will go live on November 15, inviting CNN’s global audience to create their own dream bucket-list in India. These bucket lists will become the focus of the second ‘Destination India’ theme week which will air on CNN International in March, 2018

Highlights of this month’s ‘Destination India’ include:

Delhi’s food adventures

India is a country of remarkable diversity – with ancient traditions and landscapes that are reflected in its cuisine. To capture the essence of its capital, Delhi, enjoy street food with longtime resident and foodie-in-chief Anubhav Sapra. CNN’s tasty journey continues at upmarket Masala Library, where restaurateur and MasterChef India judge Zorawar Kalra gives us a taste of Delhi’s fine-dining scene — shedding some light on the future of Indian cuisine.

India’s wine industry

Nashik is one of India’s holiest places. A dip in the sacred bathing ghat, Ramkund, is considered very pious. However, this central Indian city now has another claim to fame: it has become the capital of India’s newly-emerging wine industry. Over 30 wineries have sprung up in the region within the last 15 years alone and Sula Vineyards is the oldest; we meet CEO Rajeev Suresh Samant to sample some of the increasing number of grape varietals produced at the vineyard.

Musical delights

Nizamuddin Dargah in Delhi is the shrine of one of the world’s most famous Sufi saints, Nizamuddin Auliya. The landmark was immortalised in Bollywood films like Rockstar and Bajrangi Bhaijaan but there’s more to it than stunning architecture; every Thursday night, the qawwali, a form of Sufi devotional music, attracts huge crowds to the site. Indian musicians, Rahul Ram and Amit Kilamexplain the secret behind the Nizamuddin Dargah’s timeless charm.

Paragliding in North India

Adventure enthusiasts and mountain lovers are mesmerized by the beauty of North India  – and now, tourists have a new way of admiring its stunning landscapes. The Village of Bir in Himachal Pradesh, has become a popular destination for paragliding after it hosted the Paragliding World Cup in 2015. We take to the sky with 15-year-old female paraglider Aditi Thakur, to see what this region looks like from above.

Meghalaya Forest

Criss-cross the unspoilt forests of Meghalaya, the land of the living root bridges. This remote, but beautiful wilderness is also one of the few places in the world where, following a matrilineal system, women own land and property. CNN explores the matrilineal culture in Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, and is introduced to women from the Khasi tribe.

Watch the promo here:

The 30-minute special ‘Destination India’ airs at the following times:

Indian Standard Time:

– Saturday, November 11 at 6:30PM
– Sunday, November 12 at 7:00AM
– Tuesday, November 14 at 4:00PM
– Wednesday, November 15 at 10:00AM


ALDI and Venmo Put The “Giving” In Friendsgiving with a New Charitable Campaign

ALDI Inc Venmo Friendsgiving

ALDI, a leader in the grocery retailing industry since 1976, teamed up with Venmo, a popular mobile app that makes it easy for friends to exchange money, announced a new charitable campaign that lets Americans help give one million meals to families in need in honor of Friendsgiving.

“As friends and family gather around the dinner table this November, they can also help provide nutritious food to people in need,” said Andy Wilson, Chief Development Officer at Feeding America. “We’re proud to work with ALDI and Venmo to raise awareness and engagement in hunger relief.”

With its first-of-Its-kind emoji on Venmo, every time friends share the Turkey Hand Friendsgiving emoji in a Venmo payment note, ALDI will donate 10 meals to Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization.
ALDI sells the most frequently purchased grocery and household items, primarily under its exclusive brands, which are designed to meet or exceed the national name brands on taste and quality. ALDI operates nearly 1,700 U.S. stores in 35 states.

Alton Brown Announces New Show “Return of the Eats” at Dragon Con

We’ve heard the rumors, we saw the teaser trailers, and we have all speculated if Alton Brown would revive his fun and brainy cooking show Good Eats. The show ran for 14 seasons on the Food Network and ended in 2011.


Well, wait no more, just a few short hours ago at Dragon Con, the Good Eats host who regularly appears on Food Network Star, Iron Chef America, and Cutthroat Kitchen,  announced that on the Food Network, and streaming online, a show called Return of the Eats will premiere next year.

Style South Returns To The Shops Buckhead Atlanta

Not everyone can make it to New York Fashion Week but your invitation is in the mail for Style South in Atlanta. The Shops Buckhead Atlanta and The Southern Gentleman on Saturday, September 16, invites you to celebrate the best of fall fashion with a runway show and multiple in-store activations.

The Shops Buckhead Atlanta is the South’s unrivaled luxury shopping and dining experience. This stylish haven spanning six walkable blocks invites visitors to shop, savor good food, and be pampered.

The Southern Gentleman at 12 noon kicks off the festivities with a welcome brunch. Tickets includes a welcome glass of Prosecco, followed by a sumptuous Southerner’s feast inspired by Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook – along with a brunch cocktail and a copy of The Southerner’s Cookbook. Guests can enjoy A Southern Shop Around from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. The following are just a few of the participating stores offering special treats and promotions:

  • Christian Louboutin: complimentary Partida tequila-grapefruit palomas and complimentary manicures with purchase of any of Christian Louboutin nail lacquers
  • NARS: 15 minute glam session makeovers + Narsissist-ritas with Partida tequila
  • Joie: create-your-own mimosa bar paired with pastries
  • Shake Shack: complimentary scoops of Pecan Pie Oh My! Custard
  • Hottie + Lord: Botox pop-up party paired with prosecco pours
  • Diptyque: create your own potpourri with the Vetyverio Eau de Parfum launch and complimentary Partida tequila-grapefruit palomas
  • Hermès: custom fragrance engraving event
  • Jonathan Adler: receive 20% off any $150+ purchase and enjoy complimentary old fashioned cocktails with 1888 rum (exclusions apply)
  • Georgetown Cupcake: complimentary cupcakes for first 200 guests, with a build-your-own cupcake station. Guests can add their own “Southern Flair” on their cupcake with Southern inspired toppings
  • Lindbergh: informal modeling, complimentary Virginia Black on the rocks, live DJ and more
  • Theory: “Step Up Your Selfies” with an interactive photo booth and gift with purchase
  • Jimmy Choo: “Heels and High Tea.” Enjoy complimentary sweets and savories accompanied with a complimentary high tea cocktail
  • COS: enjoy 10% off and light bites from Le Bilboquet
  • Les Copains: Spend and receive shopping promotion and complimentary light bites and prosecco from Taverna
  • Cacao: preview the Halloween 2017 Skull Collection and enjoy complimentary champagne and “Cacao Daily Dose” dark chocolates
  • Billy Reid: complimentary Southern -inspired whiskey cocktail from Virginia Black
  • Warby Parker: complimentary popsicles from Steel City Pops (while supplies last)
  • Alice + Olivia: enjoy complimentary “Staceface” margaritas and spend $750+ to be entered to win a $1,000 Alice + Olivia gift card
  • Planet Blue: complimentary braid bar

Shoppers can refuel and dine on light bites and refreshments from several restaurants from  5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The restaurants listed below offers the following:

American Cut & The Regent Cocktail Club for complimentary tuna tartare appetizers and handcrafted cocktails in the first floor lounge (while supplies last).

Shake Shack will continue to offer complimentary scoops of its Pecan Pie Oh My! Custard while

Le Bilboquet will offer complimentary servings of its “Porch Rocker” craft cocktail, made with pecan vodka, chicory root liqueur and blackberry pepper shrub.

At 7 p.m. participating retailers such as AKRIS, Alice + Olivia, Bella Bag, Bonobos, ETRO, Hottie + Lord, Joie, Les Copains, Lindbergh, Robert Talbott, Theory, Tod’s and Vilebrequin will highlight the season’s must-have looks with a fall fashion runway show.

All looks will be available for immediate purchase right off the runway. The runway show and in-store parties will be open to the public. Valet parking is available at American Cut, Fado and Dior.

The Shops Buckhead Atlanta also offers complimentary three hour parking with validation from any store or restaurant. No purchase necessary.  Normal self parking rate of $3.00 applies without validation.  For more information, visit for more information on Style South.



On The Feast Lane With Celebrated Chef Digby Stridiron

Known for creating his own House Rules and redefining the definition of fine dining in the Caribbean with his restaurant balter, located in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, Digby Stridiron is changing the narrative, and is narrating a new story in Charleston, South Carolina, as the Executive Chef for the forthcoming Parcel 32.

I am so pleased to have chef Stridiron join the Patrick Properties family,” said Patrick Properties Hospitality Group (PPHG) CEO Randall Goldman. The Patrick Properties Hospitality Group (PPHG) with inspiring and unparalleled backdrops for special events in downtown Charleston, S.C., has been affectionately restoring landmark properties and historic estates since 1997.

Stridiron with his signature juxtapose of textures, colors, and flavors has created a cult following of food enthusiasts that has leads us throughout the South, the Caribbean, and back to the South again.  His culinary creations earned balter and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands a place on the 2017 USA Today 10 Best Restaurants in the Caribbean readers’ choice award.

Bringing more than 18 years of culinary experience, Stridiron and his culinary creations have been featured in publications like Travel and Leisure, Coastal Living, and The New York Times. Once Stridiron spotted the need for the bar to be raised in what was considered fine dining in the Caribbean, his conviction for opening balter in his native home of St. Croix was unshakable.

Now on a new venture, Stridiron takes us along the feast lane to Charleston, South Carolina. Parcel 32 is slated to open in the late fall of 2017 in Charleston at 442 King Street. Stridiron however will make his Charleston debut during the prestigious James Beard Foundation (JBF) Celebrity Chef Tour Dinner on Thursday, September 21st at the historic Lowndes Grove Plantation.

The dinner will highlight local producers and 10 celebrated chefs. “Chef Stridiron is particularly passionate about local seafood and the historical aspects of food, and these are two important facts I considered in our decision to hire him for the Parcel 32 executive chef position,” said (PPHG) CEO Randall Goldman.

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone.

With roots deeply rooted in the U.S. Virgin Islands, you can take the man out of the Caribbean, but you can’t take the Caribbean out of the man. Stridiron’s love of family, culture, history, heritage, and food, is the fuel for his passion to understand and perfect the universal language of a food. A language that binds us all from the east to the west, to the north to the south.

A passion, and a universal language, that Stridiron will now take to the kitchen of Parcel 32 in the south. “I am honored to accept this job with (PPHG) and have the opportunity to showcase my cooking style, which will be seasonal ingredients with regional recipes that will represent the flavors and heritage of coastal Charleston” said Stridiron.


Honoring the history of the original King Street block noted on Charleston’s 1888 map by Sanborn Map & Publishing Co., the restaurant location formerly known as Fish, which closed its doors last month after 17 successful years, will re-emerge with a new coastal south concept, a new name, and a new culinary story written by a new author, Executive Chef Digby Stridiron. “I am very passionate about the coastal south and am excited to be cooking in Charleston,” stated Stridiron.

With an already burgeoning food scene, if travel makes you rich, then Charleston is a food destination you will be the poorer for never having the experience of its food scene. People want to understand the story behind the food they are eating and Stridiron will now become Charleston’s newest storyteller.


Disclaimer: A version of this article appeared on the World News Network on August 23, 2017 written by me (Nerisa Eugenia Waterman) as part of the World News Network Community News with the same title On The Feast Lane With Celebrated Chef Digby Stridiron

Anne Burrell and The Spotted Cheetah takes New York City to a Cheetos filled Nirvana

If you are a cheese lover and you’re absolutely in love with Cheetos, then Food Network Star Chef Anne Burrell had a very big surprise for you. Complete with an orange carpet and cheetah print table cloths The Spotted Cheetah opened its doors to guest in New York City on Tuesday night, and closed its door last night. On the menu, Cheetos filled entrees and appetizers.

Image result for the spotted cheetah

However, if you didn’t score a seat to the sold out pop up restaurant, you can still enjoy the Cheetos filled recipes at home with a free downloadable Digital Cookbook. Just head over to The Spotted Cheetah website and download  The Spotted Cheetah Digital Cookbook . Please note the download might take a few minutes.

In the words of Chester Cheetah “it ain’t easy being cheesy,”  but I can tell you it was definitely fun trying.


Destination Florida: Redefining the Culinary Journey in Florida with the restaurant Monger by the Voltaggio Brothers, Chef Bryan and Chef Michael Voltaggio


Dolly Parton once said that her weakness has always been food and men…in that order. In the State of Florida, you will find no shortage of chefs, food artisans, and food enthusiasts redefining the culinary scene.  With its vibrant colors, diverse culture, and agriculture that provides a plethora options, making Florida a mecca that has attracted many award-winning chefs. No matter what road you choose in Florida, you will always be lead to the ultimate culinary experience, and in 2017, if you don’t want to take a road, you can now relax in comfort and take the train.

MiamiCentral and Brightline has come together to bring you Central Fare, the ultimate urban marketplace. “This will be a new gathering place, a unique culinary destination showcasing the talents of both and national artisans, tastemakers, and chefs” said David McIntyre, Senior Vice President of operations from MiamiCentral and Brightline.

MiamiCentral is a new 11-acre mixed use development is the heart of Downtown Miami and the future home of the Brightline train service. The project which is the first of its kind in Florida, will feature 20 food and retail purveyors, and 6 restaurants. Connecting Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Orlando, Brightline, is helping redefine the meaning of culinary tour by enhancing the culinary journey by making the places we love to eat more accessible by train.

Monger, located in the heart of Central Fare, will be the signature dining experience and the first collaborative restaurant in Florida, by the Voltaggio Brothers, Bryan and Michael Voltaggio.  Monger is a 10,000-square foot restaurant where guest can curate their own meals.  The restaurant will have separate kitchens that will coordinate with the dining areas representing its three distinct culinary sources such as the green grocer, the fish monger, and the butcher.  This concept will give diners and up close and personal experience, evoking the intimate feeling of dining at home among artwork, residential furniture and custom design lighting.

Bryan and Michael Voltaggio best known for their time on Bravo’s Emmy winning season of Top Chef and their 2011 co-authored cookbook,” has also been featured on the Travel Channel, Cooking Channel, and the Food Network. The idea behind the restaurant is to make it a guest driven restaurant.  “Brightline is connecting people to and from their destination.  We’re doing the same thing with the menu,” says Michael Voltaggio.  “We’re providing the ingredients.  We’re cooking for you.  You decide what that destination is.”