Saturday, October 31, 2009


Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,

Join me in Savannah, Georgia, March 25-29, 2010 for a "taste-ful"tour of a classic Southern city.

The Savannah Tour is filling up fast. RSVP NOW!

I am excited too announce details of my 2010 Savannah Culinary Tour. This is a unique opportunity to visit and experience the culture of this beautiful historic city.

This tour will include visits to historic houses and landmarks, culinary classes at up-scale cooking schools, special tour about America's Culinary Sweetheart, Paula Deen, private, after-hours tours arranged for Carmela's Cucina, quaint shops and up-scale dining, including a progressive dinner, luncheon, tea and a presentation with a local chef.

For more information go to my website at and click on the tours button. Or contact me at or by phone at 952-929-9583.

This tour is limited to 25 people so please contact me if you are interested in joining the group. You don't want to miss this great opportunity to escape the Minnesota winter and experience true Southern hospitality.

Buon appetito,

Carmela Tursi Hobbins

Thursday, October 1, 2009


Greetings from Carmela's Cucina,

I am just home from a long trip to Italy with culinary tours and a visit to my cousin's winery in Calabria. After eating Italian food, and I do love Italian, when my husband asked me where I wanted to dine last night, I really did not care as long as it was not pasta!

Since I have been a little out of the culinary loop here in the USA for the past few weeks, I did not realize that it was restaurant week. But alas, it is and we got a bonus as a result. We were entertaining Bob's assistant and her husband, so we thought a little French food would be just the right thing to do and landed at Cave Vin at 5555 Xerxes in South-West Minneapolis.

Bob started our meal with a little bubbly, a French Brut, which of course delighted me. No day should go by without a little bubbly in my opinion, it really lightens the spirits. Cave Vin was offering a Prix-Fix menu and of course we went right for it. While I always order the Prince Island Mussels when dining there, Bob ordered the Calamari. My mussels were plump, plentiful and delicious, I used the perfectly baked French Bread to sop up their juices and was very happy with my choice. The Calamari on the other hand was a huge disappointment, chewy and soggy, but I was willing to share with my disappointed hubby.

But Bob struck gold when he ordered the Pork Loin Chop with Grilled Peaches in a Balsamic Reduction. The Chop was moist and flavorful and he was very happy with his pick. I chose the Pan Roasted Halibut and I felt it was really well done too. The moist flesh was just what I needed after weeks of pasta and pork. The grilled vegetables were perfect.

And for dessert I of course, had the Benne Noir, a dense chocolate cake with a raspberry sauce and a sweetened dollop of whipped cream, it was a perfect ending to a perfect French meal in my estimation.

Cave Vin is always one of my favorite go to places and they did not prove me wrong last night.

Buon appetito,