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Two new conspiracies on the Niagara Wine Trail are worth savoring
Freedom Run Winery will start labeling Conspiracy Red and White bottles as early as today. (Courtesy of Freedom Run Winery)

By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor

The impending release of two new blends from Freedom Run Winery is shrouded in a bit of mystery – deliberately.

What would you expect from wines called Conspiracy Red and Conspiracy White?

The “wine design team,” made up of a half-dozen staffers, has spent the last couple years developing and nurturing the taste of the new wines, said Lawrence Manning, owner of the seven-year-old winery on Lower Mountain Road in Cambria.

“We don’t allow one person to make decisions here,” Manning said.

Conspiracy White combines Cayuga, Pino Grigio, Chardonnay, Reisling, Semillion and Sauvignon Blanc varietals.

“It’s good with roasted vegetables and garlic, great with chicken,” Manning said.

The red mixes Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cab Franc, Pinot Noir and Syrah grapes. The combination gives the wine a smoky, leathery taste that pairs well with most meats, including barbecue.

“Try drinking some of the red wines with tuna,” Manning also advised.

Many of the varietals used in the blends are grown in the vineyard behind the tasting room, next to a historic barn that has been renovated and is used for weddings. Some of the grapes come from other sources in nearby wine regions.

Which ones, and what are the percentages of each variety in the pair of new wines?

Manning isn’t saying.

“It’s top secret. It’s a conspiracy.”

I spoke with Manning on Sunday at the winery, during a fundraiser for the Western & Central New York Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Why am I writing about wine?

Because it’s healthy, say researchers and doctors, some of whom helped me with this story last year on the health benefits of wine.

Manning looks to get the labels for the two new blends as early as today and start selling them in the winery for $14.95. The wines will be available at local wine retailers in the coming weeks.

My tip: Conspiracy Red is well worth the price. Manning is having second thoughts about that price point, understandably, but vows to stay with it during the first vintage.

He also plans to grow hops in a “hops hut” out back of the winery this summer, and maybe do a bit of beer tasting.

It’s all part of a growing Freedom Run operation on the growing Niagara Wine Trail.


Twitter: @BNrefresh

UB South campus to host film, talk on mental health

The Buffalo premier of “Hidden Pictures,” a documentary film about global mental health, will be showd at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday in Butler Auditorium, 150 Farber Hall, on the University at Buffalo South Campus.

A mental health fair will precede the film, at 3:30 p.m., and a panel discussion will follow, at 5:15 p.m.

The event, which is free and open to the public, is designed to bring the community together to talk about issues and solutions related to effective recovery-oriented services for people who live with mental health conditions.

See the film trailer here

For more info, contact David Merlo at or 851-1312.

New medical techniques aim to limit use of painkillers

Dr. Leonard Kaplan and fellow doctors at Buffalo Spine and Sports Medicine use ultrasound and Botox in a variety of ways, including to relieve joint pain and muscle damage from stroke. (Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)

By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor

If it’s been a few years – or decades – since you’ve seen a physical therapist or sports medicine doctor, you might be surprised to get a feel for new techniques and equipment designed to keep people active, even after a substantial health setback, including a stroke.

Three weeks ago, when I wrote a cover story on getting prepared for the outdoor running season, Drs. Jason Matuszak and Todd Lorenc, of Excelsior Sports Medicine in Amherst, told me the meniscus I blew out on the inside of my left knee a few years back shouldn’t prevent me from running (It hasn’t, though I do most of my cardio work on a spinning bike and save the running for a few races each year, including the Corporate Challenge and Turkey Trot).

The latest optimistic news came during an interview I had recently with Dr. Leonard Kaplan, of Buffalo Spine and Sports Medicine, for today’s “In the Field” feature in WNY Refresh.

Kaplan, an osteopathic doctor with the practice that has offices in Batavia, Lockport, Orchard Park and Williamsville, and others in the practice look to help patients return to a full range of motion without pain medication, if possible.

They do so with the help of physical therapists, chiropractors, a yoga instructor and a mental health and wellness counselor. They also use Botox and ultrasound technology.

Combined, the possibilities allow folks to chase after treatment in a variety of ways before having to make the painful choice of controlled substance prescription medication, and the uncertainty that can come with it.

Here are excerpts of my interview with Kaplan when it comes to some of those treatment options:

You treat refractory painful conditions such as chronic daily headaches, cervical dystonia and neurological spasticity with Botulinum Toxin Injections. Why? How does the process work?

It’s a protein that was extracted from a botulinum toxin, which used to cause botulism. It’s purified in the lab, so it’s really a lab-made product, it’s not a natural product. This is why there’s a little misconception, even in some of the primary care offices where some people think we’re injecting the person with a toxin that causes people get to get sick. It’s a protein designed to do its job, which is to block some of the excess transmission of nerve signal to muscle ... which causes the muscle to contract and relax...

In a headache, I don’t know if it’s as well understood but the concept is similar. It’s blocking the release of pain producing chemicals from the nerves and it allows reductions in headaches. ... People would get Botox for wrinkles and they’d find that when they used it, their headaches would go away.

Do these shots last for a particular period?

They last three months. They get better with each application. For a lot of people, they do so well, it’s really just a 10- or 15-minute investment. Dystonia, spacity, migraine headaches, those are all covered by insurance.

Upper limb is the other one that’s very important, people who have strokes. Once they get released from nursing homes, they often end up in primary care offices and people don’t realize that the patient has ended up with a spasm of an arm, and recognize that there’s something that can be done for it.

We’re trying to spread the word that you can use this Botox and relax the muscles and it helps bathing and dressing, and reduces pain in the arm.

These really are mainstream treatments, but they’re off the radar. It’s not something doctors get trained on in residency.

How are you using ultrasound?

The ultrasound allows us to view the body in motion. This is why it’s so revolutionary. Up to this point, everything we ever had to view the body in motion was always a still picture. If you get an X-ray, you’re standing or laying down. If you get an MRI, you’re laying down. A lot of times the injured body parts don’t start bothering somone until they’re moving. The ultrasound gives you the incredible ability to see a knee or an elbow or a hip while it’s moving. See what the tendon is doing, what the muscle is doing, so something won’t get missed. It’s also an incredible tool for guiding procedures. If we’re going to put a cortisol steroid into an area to help decrease inflammation, we want to make sure it’s going into the right location, a safe location. It’s done live, so under ultrasound we can guide this medicine into an area, and be absolutely sure it’s getting where it’s supposed to go.

How long have you been doing this?

About six years. It’s become more common but there’s still just a few practices that use it. It takes a lot of work to learn.

Talk about your new tendon treatment procedure, TENEX Health TX.

That’s an exciting renovation driven by the ultrasound technology in two ways. It can only be done if you visualize a tendon with ultrasound, so you use an ultrasound to guide this procedure. This is a needle that was invented that uses ultrasound pulse waves that breaks down unhealthy tissue. Chronic tendon problems are an epidemic in this country. Because of obesity and deconditioning, people ultimately fall into problems with their tendons because their tendons cannot frequently withstand the weight. The weaker the muscles become, the more weight is transferred to the tendon, where the tendon inserts in bone, whether it’s your hip, your knee, your ankle. These tendons become thick. They scar. They lose their elasticity. They become very painful. And it’s a chronic condition. They can be hard to treat. They don’t (always) respond well to physical therapy, so what the equipment allows us to do ... we can see the tendon, we can see where it’s unhealthy, and we take the needle – it’s power operated – we have a pedal, a vibrating tip, and the vibration releases ultrasound waves and the vibration literally, as it goes through the tendon, breaks up unhealthy tissue, rinses it and takes it out. It’s incredible. ... It gets sucked into a bag, so sometimes we’ll show people what got sucked out. To get anything like that done in the past, you would need an open surgery.

We started doing this in December and had some really, really good results. It only takes two or three minutes. We always tell people if they have a lot of issues, they may need another one, but it’s meant to definitive. We’ll follow up with therapy and try to strengthen the area, as well.

Would the pain go away fairly quickly after one of these procedures?

More often than not, the pain will go away very quickly. I’ve have some patients come in on the third day after the procedure and feel better already.

After a treatment like this, what would happen?

There’s a reason why that elbow got in trouble. There’s a reason why that shoulder got in trouble. ... We go beyond treating the problem. We go to ‘Why did that happen?’ Did you have some trouble with your posture? Did you have some weakness in your muscles somewhere else, so you compensated for it? We look at the entire body, because if you fix that body part, but don’t figure out why it got in trouble, guess what? In another year or two, you’re going to get in trouble again.

What are some of the best forms of exercise to prevent back, neck and other nerve and joint injuries?

Functional exercises place the body into positions a person finds themselves in throughout the day – they’re standing, they’re sitting at work, they’re walking. Non-functional exercise places people in a position where they don’t often find themselves, like laying on their back – unless they’re sleeping or doing other things we’re not going to talk about today. Unless you’re a wrestler who needs power to push somebody off yourself to prevent from getting pinned, most exercises you should do should not be on your back. If you’re a gardener, you want to do exercises that look like gardening. Whatever the body part, whether it’s spine or limb, the exercise needs to look, feel and smell like the activity you want to go back to and have a problem doing, because you’re doing it to go back to that activity. This is what I call functional.

People ask me about pool therapy all the time. I love the pool, but you’re about 50 percent lighter in the pool. How do you feel when you go up the stairs in the pool? In the pool, you’re training your legs to carry 50 percent, but when you go up the stairs, you’re asking the legs to carry 100 percent of you. So where’s the training?

Can you throw some pool therapy into the mix? Sure, but you’ve got to do some land therapy to get the benefit of strength against the full weight of gravity.

What about some of the best foods?

We cover that. We try to partner with nutritionists, but we talk about the inflammatory load. We’re students like other folks are, and we’re starting to understand more about, let’s say, the role of gluten and how it can be very pro-inflammatory. Today, I think I advised three people to cut out gluten. My daughter is gluten insensitive, so we’ve learned a few things about it. Red meats are pro-inflammatory, so we talk about cutting out red meats. Lamb, actually, and chicken are good. Obviously fish. Fruits, nuts, salad.

And, of course, supplements. When the person comes to us, there have been some very specific recommendations for osteoarthritis. We’ve taken those recommendations and put ‘em in our handouts. At the end of that handout, there is a list of doses that have been shown to be effective: fish oil, primrose oil, glucosamine chondroitin – it’s a little controversial but it’s still advocated for arthritic joints. Those are the big ones. Krill oil. The omega-3s used to be believed to be antioxidants, so the role was believed to be anti-aging, anti-cancer. But now, it’s understood that they’re very much  anti-inflammatory.


Twitter: @BNrefresh

Roswell Park study finds smokers would benefit from CT scans

The majority of current and former smokers would welcome screenings for lung cancer if their insurance covered spiral computed tomography (CT) scans, according to research from Roswell Park Cancer Institute and the Medical University of South Carolina.

Those findings were and published online this week ahead of print in the journal Lung Cancer.

More than 1,200 adult current smokers and former smokers were surveyed about their attitudes toward lung cancer screening using spiral CT scans. Current smokers (78.5 percent) and former smokers (81.4 percent) said they would be willing to be tested, if advised to do so by their physician.

Reasons why smokers are not willing to be screened included: a lack of insurance coverage (smokers: 33 percent; former smokers: 25 percent) and a fear of being diagnosed with lung cancer (smokers: 33 percent; former smokers: 12.5 percent). Among former smokers, the most commonly cited reason for not having the screening was a belief that they did not have lung cancer.

Lung cancer often displays few systems until it’s in an advanced stage. The recent National Lung Cancer Screen Trial, a major study involving 53,454 current or former heavy smokers, reported a 20 percent reduction in mortality rate when lung cancer was diagnosed using spiral CT, compared to annual chest X-rays. Currently, only 17 percent of patients treated for lung cancer survive beyond five years, Roswell officials said in a news release.

Several professional organizations have recommended lung cancer screening with spiral CT, including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, American Association of Thoracic Surgery and American Cancer Society, officials with the cancer hospital said.

Eggstravaganza takes place Saturday in Lewiston

The New York Power Authority will hold its annual its “Eggstravaganza” for kids and families from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Power Vista, 5777 Lewiston Road, Lewiston.

Activities will include photos until 2 p.m., a scavenger hunt, food, crafts and face painting. Free safety ID packets will be made available to interested parents, guardians, college students and seniors. And State Parks will provide free rides on its Niagara Scenic Trolley, between Power Vista and the Gorge Discovery Center.

Admission and parking at Power Vista are always free.

Academy website points up tie between obesity, mental illness

Child obesity and the threat of mental health problems go hand-in-hand.

That’s the message the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry released today in a press report designed to shine a light on both challenges.

The message is timely because as many as one-third of children in the U.S. are obese or overweight.

To help address those challenges, the academy offers an online series, “Facts for Families,” that gives information on these health conditions, as well as ways to address them.

You can read that information here

Information includes conditions caused by the habits that lead to child obesity. They include high blood pressure, diabetes, breathing problems and trouble sleeping.

The series also includes information on what causes childhood obesity and mental health conditions.

To get a sense of the scope of the problem in Buffalo, you can read a story I wrote last month about Candi Possinger, a registered dietitian and manager of nutrition services with Catholic Medical Partners, the doctor arm of the regional Catholic Health System. Read a related blog post here

– Scott Scanlon

Sunday benefit to help paralyzed Clarence woman

Friends and family of a Clarence woman paralyzed last year by a spinal condition will host a benefit on Sunday to help with her ongoing needs.

The gathering on behalf of Helene Lumia, 22, will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. at Clarence High School, 9625 Main St.

During an emergency room visit last June, Lumia was told she had a cyst on her spinal cord where it connects to her brain stem. She lost the use of her limbs after several surgeries and procedures to address the damage caused by the cyst.

Lumia recently returned to her family’s home in Clarence after several months of intensive physical therapy in Atlanta. Her family describes her as “a loving daughter, sister, and friend, with an infectious laugh and a beautiful smile that has touched so many people’s lives.

"Her unyielding strength and spirit is an inspiration to all her family and friends," benefit organizers said.

Lumia has returned from Atlanta and is living in the familiarity of her family’s home. The benefit is designed to help cover some of the cost for travel, treatment and home remodeling so Lumia’s family can provide her with the care she will need.

Benefit tickets, which will be available at the door, cost $20 and cover food and drinks. There will be a silent auction, 50/50 raffles, door prizes and more. Donations also can be made to the Clarence Rotary Foundation (PO Box 157, Clarence, NY 14031). In the subject line please note “Helene Lumia.” For more information, contact Taunya Clarke at 713-7262 or

Niagara County chronic disease workshops set

The Niagara County Department of Health will offer three chronic disease self-management workshops in the coming weeks in Pendleton. Registered nurse Penny Tracey will lead the free six-week program open to county residents:

• 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Pendleton United Methodist Church, 6864 Campbell Blvd. (Pendleton Lunch Program.)

• 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Town Hall, 6570 Campbell Blvd. (Pendleton Seniors.)

• 1 p.m. May 12 at Town Hall (Wendleville Seniors).

Those with ongoing health issues, and those who care for someone with those kinds of issues, are encouraged to attend. For more information on these and similar workshops across Niagara County, call 438-3030 or 278-1900, or email

Talk of pot, cancer research and lost Super Bowls as Buffalo meets Denver at health conference

By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor

The Affordable Care Act, the challenges of aging, and legalized marijuana have been among the topics of interest this week in downtown Denver, where more than 350 health journalists have gathered for the annual Association of Health Care Journalists conference.

Obesity, the veracity of medical studies and the availability of healthy foods across all corners of the country also have been among subjects of the four-day conference, which runs through Sunday.

Stephen T. Watson, one of my colleagues at The News, and I each received fellowships to attend the conference, which is devoted to experts sharing the latest thinking and resources available to health journalists as they try to cut through the complexities for readers to give them information they can use in making the best health care choices possible.

Steve covers the business of health care and I focus on the personal and community sides. There has been plenty here to chew on during a gathering that has contained much more light than heat – even when it comes to pot.

Among the more illuminating information I’ve heard:

  • Lewis W. Sullivan, Health and Human Services commissioner during the President George H.W. Bush administration, told reporters during the conference kickoff Thursday night that the individual mandate and creation of medical health teams to provide more comprehensive patient care were contained in a plan he and Bush almost laid out for Congress in 1991. He called efforts to eliminate all of what some call Obamacare, rather than work to improve it, boils down to “pure politics.”
  • Dr. Carl Morrison, executive director of the Center for Personalized Medicine at Roswell Park Cancer Institute, was among panelists this morning at a talk entitled, “Getting Personal: The medical and ethical challenges of using genetic information.” Morrison and other panelists talked about the early work cancer and other researchers are doing to single out gene variances that can lead to disease in efforts to more efficiently target treatment. The work is difficult, lacks the specificity many scientists would like to see and remains costly, Morrison said, and health insurers and government health payers still haven’t come aboard to help cover the cost of this diagnostic tool. As a result, “This is still a rich man’s game,” the Buffalo cancer specialist said.
  • Craft brewer-turned-Denver mayor-turned-Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also spoke during the conference kickoff. He addressed gun control in the state in the wake of the 2012 theater shootings in Aurora; maintained the Affordable Care Act is taking root in the state with help from Republicans; and told reporters and editors he hasn’t inhaled since marijuana possession and use was legalized in the state in January. The Democratic mayor – who opposed the referendum that legalized the drug, and which passed last November with 55-percent voter approval – said Colorado now looks to accept the new reality on the ground, which you’ll hear more about in the coming weeks in this blog and The Buffalo News. “We have no idea what the unintended consequences will be,” said Hickenlooper, who urged other states to let Colorado get some of the details right before rushing into similar legalization efforts. More scientific testing regarding the benefits of marijuana, its best uses, and how the drug impacts teens and young adults are among the issues still up in the air, he said.
  • Thursday night, Steve and I also ended up at the same small table during cocktail hour with Greg Moore, editor of the Denver Post. We talked about the paper’s pot coverage (see part of its online effort here) and how it has breathed more life into the business and real estate sector. We also commiserated about stinging Super Bowl losses. We told him we felt his pain of the Broncos’ Super Bowl blowout to the Seattle Seahawks several weeks ago by a score of 43-8. He also expressed his condolences over the loss this past week of Bills owner Ralph C. Wilson Jr.

In the coming weeks, Steve and I will look to localize much of the health information we’re learning in Denver – and we’ll try not to think very hard on those lost Super Bowls.


Twitter: @BNrefresh

Top Buffalo chef shares a favorite maple recipe on Maple Weekend

Edward Forster whips up maple beef tartare during a recent visit to Craving Restaurant on Hertel Avenue. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News)

By Scott Scanlon – Refresh Editor

When Andrew Galarneau, food editor with The Buffalo News, wrote a column in early January about culinary events to whet WNY appetites this year, he ended it by writing, “Lots of diners want to see chef-in-waiting Edward Forster open a place where he can sell food on the regular.”

Forster, 31, who helped Buffalo chef Mike Andrezejewski open a restaurant in the redeveloped Hotel @ Lafayette in 2012, continues to look for a dining spot of his own. Meanwhile, his fine dining project, The Workshop Buffalo, continues to pop up in various locations across the city. He vows to undertake at least two “pop up” meals in April.

Tickets for the events often are gobbled up within an hour or two after he makes his plans known on social media ( and The Workshop Buffalo Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites), and he usually doesn’t let those diners know until an hour before an event where they will be eating. They have to wait till they get there to savor the multi-course meal.

Here’s some of what Forster told me when we spoke last week about maple syrup – for today's "What are you eating?" feature in WNY Refresh and in honor of Maple Weekend this weekend – as well as what he likes to cook and eat. He also gave me a recipe for maple beef tartare, which you’ll find below.

“Maple is pretty much a staple in the pantry,” he told me. “It shouldn’t be viewed at all as something that’s difficult to work with. It’s not just pigeon-holed to Sunday morning breakfast.”

Forster grew up in Buffalo and left here at age 18 to attend the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. He graduated in 2003 and went on to work in fine dining restaurants in New York, London, Philadelphia, Atlantic City and Chicago. He worked with international culinary superstars Georges Perrier and Graham Elliot before heading back to Western New York about three years ago, first to Rochester, then to the Elmwood Village.

“Mike (Andrezejewski) and I had stayed friends pretty much since I was in culinary school,” Forster said, “so I came to Buffalo to help him open his Hotel Lafayette project.” He stayed there for about 18 months – a time in which Galarneau gave the restaurant his only 10 plate rating – and has been back twice to eat since he left and Andrezejewski repurposed the menu. “It was lovely both times,” Forster said.

Talk about “The Workshop.”

The idea is something that’s been successful in other markets, other cities. I was sitting at Silo City last summer with a friend of mine and we were kind of taken aback by the view. I was looking for a way to kick off the concept, start evolving the idea. A friend and I shook hands that baseball Sunday morning and said, ‘Two and a half weeks from now we’re going to throw a dinner in a location that has no electricity, no running water and, obviously, no cooking equipment.’

We did eight courses of food for that event for 65 people. There was a soup based off a Mexican elotes idea. A corn soup. There was a poached shrimp on top of a rock to sort of evoke the idea that you are indeed standing near a body of water. There was some pickled beef tongue featuring malts because those are grain-based. Everything was based off grains to honor the grain mill. There was a chicken and corn tostada. There was black barley rubbed beef strip loin on top of an eight-grain salad with poached eggs and raisins and pickled onions and the like. There were assorted candies with puffed rice. There was a puffed rice spiced crispy. And we had a molten rabbit and lentil croquette that was breaded in lentils. It was a lot of things featuring a lot of local farms, and every course was meant to feature a different grain.

There’s still actually grain in the mills, which is pretty unique.

How hard is it to work with maple syrup?

From my perspective, it’s very easy. We’ve got some great local producers. I’ve gotten some great results. You can use maple in place of sugar in a pickling solution. You talk about it as an emulsifier in a marshmallow. I do love it on pancakes but I find it more on my savory kitchen side than my sweet.

What foods does it pair well with?

I like it with vegetables and have been using a lot more with vegetables lately. I like bacon-larded Brussels sprouts with a touch of maple. Butternut squash is a very easy go-to. I also like it with foie gras, which is a fattened duck liver.

Can you talk about a four-course maple meal?

You could use it to make a light appetizer, add it to a soup, to a chicken entree and back to a dessert featuring a maple Panna Catta with pecans and a bourbon glaze. This is just theoretical.

Your favorite time of year to cook with local foods?

I enjoy spring. It’s a fun time when everything is growing. There’s rebirth. It’s the time of year you can see little shoots growing out of the ground and kind of pluck them and eat them raw. So spring is the sign of a new day, so it’s easily the most exciting time.

Your favorite local foods?

I’ve been using (organic farmer) Dan Oles’ carrots since November, mostly his vegetables. I love  Rich Tilyou's pork or chicken at least twice a week. Also the chickens from Green Heron Growers. Robbie Gianadda’s Flat 12 Mushrooms aren’t really available to the public yet but when they are, they’re pretty spectacular, so look for those.

What are the staples of your diet?

I eat a lot of Greek yogurt. I will make something in the beginning of the week that will hold me over for at least five days. I’ll take a couple of chickens from Rich Tilyou or someone and stew them down and braise them down with chickpeas, tomato and fennel and a bit more vegetables to that and make it a hearty stew. You can add rice or put it on top of polenta.

The food you can’t resist, even though you know it’s not good for you?

I can’t say no to foie gras. I realize it’s very high in saturated fat. I have it once every two weeks or so.

The recipe

If you’re looking to wow at your next dinner party, here’s the recipe for maple beef tartare that Forster shares with us.

I’m not pretending for a moment that it’s the healthiest of foods, but it has proteins to blunt some of the fats, and many dietitians tell me that it’s alright to have a cheat treat on the weekend.

The components

St. Agur gelato

3 lbs St. Agur triple cream blue cheese

2 qt heavy cream

2 qt whole milk

1 cup sugar

1½ cup NYS maple syrup

30 egg yolks

2 T salt

1 t freshly milled pepper

Purée cheese with 1 qt milk, salt and pepper.

Bring cheese, half of the sugar, milk, and cream to 190 degrees Fahrenheit. Put yolks and rest of sugar and syrup mix into a large bowl. Temper the hot dairy over the yolks, continuously whisking. The dairy should be incorporated in three different additions. Turn into ice cream in an ice cream maker, preferably a Paco Jet. Follow manufacturers instructions.

Maple pickled shallot

10 large shallots

2 cups red wine vinegar

1 cup maple syrup

1 cup water

1 T salt

Peel the shallots and thinly slice on a mandoline into rings 1/8-inch thick. Bring other ingredients to a boil and pour over sliced shallot. Cover and reserve.

Egg yolk purée

8 eggs (from Dan Oles or Painted Meadows)

1 T Dijon mustard

1 T lemon juice

1 t salt

Heat 2 gallons water in an immersion circulator at a constant temperature of 63 degrees centigrade. Add eggs and allow to cook one hour. Chill eggs in an ice bath. Separate the yolks from the whites of the egg, discarding the whites. Purée the yolks with the remaining ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth.

For beef tartare

2 lbs wagyu flap, or beef strip steak

Remove all sinew and large fatty deposits and discard. Dice beef into ¼-inch cubes, keeping chilled in an ice cooled bowl. To serve season with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and milled pepper.

Garnish with leaves of rocket arugula and crispy potato chips.


Twitter: @BNrefresh

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About The Refresh Buffalo Blog

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon

Scott Scanlon is an award-winning reporter and editor who has covered various topics in his quarter-century as a journalist in South Florida, Syracuse and Buffalo. He is aiming to pass along what he is learning these days about health, fitness, nutrition and family life.

@BNRefresh |