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Valerie Albarda

Author / Freelance Writer

Location icon United States

Author and freelance writer with three books to my credit and a fourth in the making. My work covers the gamut--from creative to expository, literary fiction to culinary musings, travel and humor writing, lifestyle, inspirational and more. I'm at my best when writing. My personal mantra: A writer writes . . . always.



An Afternoon of Rainbows: Dr. Maya Angelou Addresses the Fund for Women and Girls 15th Annual...

They came in tight little clusters bound together by friendship or as solo participants, each with a unifying goal. They squeezed their way through the crush of the crowd of dozens, nay hundreds-834 to be exact-and converged upon the Regency Ballroom of the Hyatt Regency Greenwich on April 3rd in support of the Fairfield County Community Foundation's Fund for Women and Girls 15th annual luncheon.

The Big Caffeine FixThe 9th Annual Coffee & Tea Festival NYC

Last weekend, the Coffee and Tea Festival returned to New York City for the ninth year and more than 80 exhibitors were welcomed with open arms, mouths, wallets and pocket books to the 69th Regiment Armory. Like last year, the event sold out fast and those who were unable to acquire tickets beforehand missed out-tickets were not made available at the door.

Renato Donzelli: Perfezione Deliziosa-Merging Latin and Mediterranean Flavors

When Renato Donzelli was a little boy growing up in his native Venezuela surrounded by his Italian family, little did he know what life had in store for him. His days were filled with laughter and fun times, just like any other child, but his path was also defined by the time spent with the matriarchs of the family.

Man Around Town: Leon Ellis-Embracing Harlem

Leon Ellis is a man flying under the radar. And for quite some time, that was exactly how he liked it. Until now. Leon is a Harlem entrepreneur with close ties to his community-a community where a bond has formed that appears to be reciprocal.

Varli Food Festival Chef Profile: Hari Nayak

The Varli Food Festival is coming to New York City on April 7, 2011, and with it comes celebrity chefs, restaurants of note and some of the best Indian cuisine you will ever eat. In anticipation of this groundbreaking Indian culinary event-the first of its kind in the U.S.-I had a tête-è-tête with Chef Hari Nayak, one of the participants at the Varli Food Festival.


Bon Vivant
Organic and Fresh-More Than Mere Lingo at Oak + Almond

We, the American dining public, have been bombarded as of late with 'news' about sustainability, the locavore movement, organic foods and the like. Individually and collectively, these great buzzwords tend to compel people to take notice and, because of their impact, we are perhaps being more selective and particular not only about the food that goes into our body but also about where that food comes from.

Husk Restaurant: A Little Out of the Way... But Well Worth the Trip

You're drawn in by the aromas-perhaps coming from the wood-burning stove, the barbecue pit or one of two smokers-that beckon you. The mélange of scents curl like the spiraled fronds of fiddleheads as they make their way towards your unsuspecting nostrils. Its culinary tag and you're it.

Bon Vivant
Through Rain, Hail, Sleet or Snow-Post 154 Delivers The Culinary Goods

When you make the decision to house a restaurant in a former post office building, you'd better make damn sure you can deliver. Executive Chef Alex Rosado took up residence in the historic building with the limestone and brick façade and in August 2013 opened Post 154 , a restaurant with a focus on exceptional food and drink.

Bon Vivant
Vesta Dipping Grill-The Goddess of the Hearth Would Be Oh So Proud

When one is a lover of food, it is an outward expression of passion that is seldom hidden from view. You see it in the way a person's eyes roll dreamily within the sockets, that slow smile that creeps upon their face and the almost imperceptible nod of the head that says, "Oh yeah, this is so good."

Bon Vivant
Aladin Indian Bistro: Indian Food With A Lighter, Healthier Approach

Are you a lover of Indian cuisine? Well if you aren't, you should be. Especially now that Chef Kausik Roy of Tawa Indian Cuisine has brought the wonderful flavors and spices of his native India to the Norwalk dining landscape in the form of Aladin Indian Bistro.

Bon Vivant
Great Food Popping up in The Dales: The Hay Bale Diner in Birstwith, North Yorkshire

Pop up restaurants. They're trendy, they're exciting, and they bring an audacious and bold concept to an otherwise routine dining landscape. One week it's a vacant, dilapidated storefront; the next week in its place is a full-on, bustling eatery complete with tables, chairs, a wait staff and, best of all, food.

Bon Vivant
Oh My! Stamford's Olio Restaurant is the Obvious Choice in Springdale

One of the great qualities about living in New England is the abundance of small town America enclaves. From Main Streets dotted with mom and pop shops to stoic City Hall buildings to beautifully manicured parks where neighbors greet one another while walking Fido, there exists a touch of serenity that's hard to escape ...


Celebrate National Drink Wine Day With These 5 Sophisticated Wine Gadgets

There are many food related holidays that makes me shake my head in amazement and wonder. I often ponder the question, "Why would anyone dream up such a thing?" as in the case of Something on a Stick Day, celebrated March 28th, Eat Beans Day on July 3rd and the bizarre day that no true fromage lover would embrace on July 29th, National Cheese Sacrifice Purchase Day.

Spread the Love 6 Valentine's Day Gifts for the Love of Your Life

Valentine's Day comes but once a year. While Cupid is busy sharpening his arrows and anxious to shoot them in the direction of would-be suitors and demure doe-eyed lasses, CVS is ready and waiting for the throng of last-minute shoppers to come rushing through its doors on the eve of the most romantic holiday known to woman and man.

Celebrate National Chopsticks Day in Style with 5 Distinctive Chopsticks

We are a culture, nay, a nation of eaters and we're not likely to turn our collective backs on a well-prepared plate of food. Whether it's a local specialty which has crept its way across the country or delicious ethnic cuisine honed with touches of regional influences, food is a major and flavorful component of our lives.

5 Things You Should Have in Your Kitchen Arsenal

Ahhh, the kitchen. To some, it is the ultimate place of liberation, a space that represents comfort, a spot to retreat to release the pent up tension of the day by pulling out pots and pans, tossing together a few ingredients and creating a dish worthy of praise.

Top 5 Kitchen Gadgets for a Great Cup of Coffee or Tea

When people want to relax and unwind, despite the prevalence of alcoholic beverages, many turn to two of the world's most popular drinks: tea and coffee. While both come in caffeinated and decaffeinated forms, and there are more varieties and flavors than can be counted on any one persons' fingers and toes, most people can claim to be either hardline coffee drinkers or tea guzzlers.

Five Cheese Cutting Boards That Are Far From Cheesy

Admit it: we all love cheese. Even those who are unfortunate enough to suffer from the malady of lactose intolerance still have a fondness for fromage and are not above popping a Lactaid pill or two to indulge in a bit of this dairy goodness.

Top 5 Holiday Gifts for the Foodie in Your Life

The holiday gift giving season is upon us. Despite your well-intended plans to check all the names off your list this year in record time, chances are there are still one or two people left on your list who seem to have everything, leaving you stumped and clueless as to what to get for them.

A Cut Above the Rest: Top 5 Cool And Unique Kitchen Knife Holders

When most people think about knives, the prevailing thought is generally somewhere in the neighborhood of, "It needs to be sharp enough to hack through this ____," [insert random food item of your choice]. However, there are those few individuals who chose to have a love affair of sorts with their cutlery and whatever receptacle houses it.

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