Now that New Year's Eve is upon us, so-called "brown spirits" are always a good gift idea, so here are some that I've been impressed by, not because they are so rare or come in a really nifty bottle, but because they are really quite distinctive.
The proof is in the pudding this year. Women chefs cracked the glass ceiling repeatedly to achieve record "first female" milestones in culinary history, magazines, James Beard Awards, the White House and Michelin guides.
When you have no place to rest and little money, a coffee shop that permits you to visit its warm premises, use its free power or free Wi-Fi, that hands out cups of cold or hot water, is more than a resource. It's a temporary sanctuary.
Scott Bryan is among that small cadre of serious young chefs regard as an inspiration, someone who came up at a time when you earned your scars and scorchings in tough kitchens where the pecking order was based on showing what you knew, not showing off.