John Mariani, The VIrtual Gourmet: Tipping, a U.S. Phenomenon

It’s controversial, and it’s unique to the U.S.! So Why do we do it? What’s a ‘fair’ tip and does it really stand for “To Insure Promptness? These and many other aspects of tipping are explored in this free ranging discussion about the practice of tipping our servers in restaurants! It’s the kind of talk … Read more

What Customers Should Know Before Criticizing a Restaurant POST-Pandemic!

It’s more than about good manners–it’s a discussion about just how demanding and critical a customer should be, really at any time, but certainly in the wake of the COVID Pandemic. As an expert food writer and restaurant critic, John Mariani, publisher of The Virtual Gourmet newsletter, certainly knows the boundaries of fair critique. He … Read more

John Mariani, The VIrtual Gourmet: Favorite Fall Foods

Art Kirsch and John Coleman of Celebrating Act 2™ get special contributor, John Mariani of the Virtual Gourmet, to discuss the favorite foods of Autumn. He touches on many of the most favorites but did he include yours? And did he mention a dish you haven’t tried yet? This is a fun discussion about seasonal … Read more

Why Restaurants Need Critics More Than Ever!

The COVID Pandemic has changed many things for the food and hospitality industry. The Virtual Gourmet, John Mariani, looks at the restaurant sector and explains the relationship with journalists/reviewers/critics.It’s a fascination look inside one of our favorite pleasures: dining out! John’s opinion may surprise you but his logic based on years of experience will impress … Read more

A Labor Day Salute to Food Service Workers!

On the appropriate occasion of LABOR DAY, food and travel writer John Mariani who publishes the Virtual Gourmet newsletter, joins Celebrating Act 2™ co-founders, Art Kirsch and John Coleman to salute all those who work nights, holidays, weekends and more to prepare and serve our food at restaurants–from fast food to fine dining! It’s not … Read more

The Virtual Gourmet Explains TRUE TAPAS

Dining A fun, popular and delicious dining experience is often the way a TAPAS restaurant is described. John Mariani, publisher of The Virtual Gourmet, takes it one step further and defines the TRUE elements of Tapas–and the original Spanish concept behind these trendy restaurants. If you haven’t been to a Tapas Bar, you’ll want to … Read more

The Virtual Gourmet Asks: Are American’s Intimidated by Fine Dining?

Are we just a more casual society or are Americans actually intimidated by all the trappings of a FINE DINING experience? John Mariani, internationally respected Food & Travel Writer and publisher of The Virtual Gourmet, talks about the elements of a Fine Dining experience and why Americans don’t seem to support many such high end … Read more

The VIrtual Gourmet, John Mariani, on Chilling Wine!

Should your wine be served chilled or at room temperature? John Mariani, internationally known food & travel writer and publisher of The VIrtual Gourmet newsletter, addresses the various “rules” regarding the best temperature for wine. He offers good logical reasons for some and debunks others. He also includes Port, Sherry and Sauterne in his tips … Read more

John Mariani, The VIrtual Gourmet, on BBQ Styles & Myths!

Yes there are many varieties of BBQ sauces and styles and quite a few false ideas have cropped up about them. In this video Food and Travel Writer and Publisher of The Virtual Gourmet newsletter addresses regional styles including those based on vinegar, mustard and ketchup as well as rubs and smoking! It’s a mouth-wateringly … Read more

John Mariani’s 2nd Online Novel, “Capone’s Gold’

Celebrating Act 2™’s contributing expert for Food & Travel, John Mariani, is also an author with over a dozen books to his credit–including 4 novels! During the Pandemic he offered weekly installments of his latest novel, “Love & Pizza.” NOW, the Virtual Gourmet is turning his hand toward a mystery based on historical fact about … Read more