Contributing Writers & Reviewers:




Ron Kapon

Ron Kapon  (The Wine Detective)
Ron has been a contributor for Beverage Network/Media, VIP Magazine and Trump World Magazine. He was the founding Director of Tasters Guild New York. He authored an audiocassette entitled “Discovering the World of Wine” and co-hosted the syndicated radio show-“The Wonderful World of Wine & Spirits”. His writings appear regularly in TheFiftyBest.com, Sports Network, Travel World International, SoGoNow, Tasters Guild Journal, Real Travel Adventures, & Bergen County Magazine. Ron is a graduate of The Grossman Beverage Program and The German Wine Academy. He is a member of The Society for Wine Educators, a lecturer at The Wine Workshop, and co-founder of The Wine Media Guild.

Marcia Sherrill


Marcia Sherrill  (Interior Design Editor)
An Interior Designer by default, Marcia was merely 22 when her homes began appearing in National Shelter books such as House Beautiful, Southern Accents, Elle Décor, Harpers Bazaar and House & Garden. Her store designs for KLEINBERG SHERRILL earned her a coveted place on the Editorial Board of Retail Store Image Magazine. Her antiques and interior design store in New York, Marcia Sherrill at Roland Antiques, was featured in Architectural Digest, Elle Décor and The NY Times. Marcia was a writer and contributing editor for New York’s Avenue and the Hampton’s Country magazines for 6 years. She has written for magazines such as Elle Décor, Southern Accents and House Beautiful. Her monthly columns have appeared for years in both Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles and Birmingham Homes & Gardens.

Jackie Astier

Jackie Astier  (Fashion Editor)

Rick Collins

Rick Collins  (Cigar Reviewer)

JoAnn Actis Grande


JoAnn Actis-Grande  (Divine Wine)
JoAnn is the wine editor/writer-travel columnist for Taste of the Seacoast, and Coastal Home & Garden. She is the owner of JAG, a PR company specializing in arts, education, hospitality and tourism. JoAnn is also a Director at St. John International University in Vinovo, Italy. She's been involved with the wine industry for many years, and travels extensively throughout the year.

Max Stavis



Max Stavis  (Beer Reviewer)
Max, home brewer and beer adventurer, was born and raised in Queens, New York. Having received his B.A. in Journalism at SUNY Albany, his current interests include photography, travel, and of course, beer. After spending a few years working in craft beer retail stores in the East Village and Brooklyn, he is currently lending his expertise to a major beer distributor in NY. Hopefully, Max will be following up "The Fifty Best Beers" with a Volume 2.


Mine Ayberk


Miné Ayberk  (Divine Wine)
Ms. Ayberk was born in Istanbul and raised in Vienna. Her interest in wine was sparked at an early age while traveling to wineries in Italy and France during the summers with her father, an avid wine connoisseur. Upon moving to the US in 1998, Miné studied oenology for 6 years and received her Sommelier diploma in 2004. She is also a member of WSET and the Sommelier Society of America. Miné was instrumental in developing the wine programs for several award-winning restaurants in Istanbul and New York. She spent 6 years as the Wine Director & General Manager of World and D'vine Wines in Manhattan. Ms. Ayberk continues to consult with restaurateurs and distributors in NYC, and writes about wine for The Fifty Best. She is also the owner of Clos Wine Bar in SoHo, NY.

Judith Jones

Judith Jones  (Critic Los Angeles Restaurants)
Half Paraguayan, half British, Judith is an avid and passionate world traveler, writer and host, with an insatiable appetite for good food. Judith studied acting in New York, where she became greatly involved in the culinary and restaurant world, helping to open a Latin restaurant, and training with a top chef. She now resides in Los Angeles, and is a contributing editor and Food/Travel writer for various online publications and magazines, including Travel & Leisure, French Tuesdays City Guide, Lifestyle Boutique and Trazzler. Her website is: www.gourmetravelista.com. Judith can also be seen on various episodes of Globe Trekker.

Warren Bobrow

Warren Bobrow  (Cocktails, Spirits & Food Reviewer)
Warren has published over three hundred articles on food, wine, and cocktail mixology in just over three years. In addition to his popular blog, The Cocktail Whisperer, he is the “On Whiskey” columnist for Okra Magazine at the Southern Food and Beverage Museum in New Orleans. He has written for the Williams-Sonoma blog, Foodista.com, Voda Magazine, Saveur, Serious Eats, The Beverage Journal and Edible New Jersey. Warren is on the Drink Careers 101 Advisory Board. He was a 2010 Ministry of Rum judge and an Iron Mixology judge at the Charleston Wine and Food Festival.

Dan Granke

Dan Granke  (Cheese Reviewer)
Brad Balfour


Brad Balfour  (Co-Critic NY Restaurants)
Mired in his resume are stints as timessquare.com's editor-in-chief, AM-New York's regular film interviewer, Irish Connections' founding editor, Creem Magazine's senior editor, Reflex Magazine's features editor and an editor at Heavy Metal. His writings have appeared in Spin, Vibe, Omni, E-Radio, CDNow, Metal Hurlant, FutureLife, Takarajima, Look and Seventeen Magazine. Brad regularly contributes to such outlets as blackfilm.com, PopEntertainment.com, FilmFestivalToday.com, JerusalemBlueprint.com, TheFiftyBest.com, IrishExaminerUSA.com, and Fearsmag.com.

Paul Jones

Paul Jones  (Cognac Reviewer)
Paul spent many years in the Cognac region of France, becoming a foremost authority of cognac. He is recognized by Le Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac (BNIC) as one of six cognac educators in the U.S. When Mr. Jones is not occupied with his lovely wife and grandchildren, he owns and operates a wine and spirits import company, JTE Spirits.

Freddy Diaz

Freddy Diaz  (Latin-Influenced Cocktails)
Freddy is currently president at AlambiQ Inc mixology and consulting firm. He has worked with the world’s leading liquor brands and spirits suppliers. Freddy prides himself in using fresh fruit purees, ingredients, and high quality spirits. His bar-chef cocktail constructive and deconstructive techniques indulge all 5 senses. Diaz’s passion and 17 years experience making cocktails makes him one of the most well-known and requested mixologist in South Florida. His website is: alambiqmixology.com.



Geoff Kalish, MD  (Food & Wine Critic)
Dr. Kalish writes extensively about wine, food and travel, is co-author of three wining & dining guides as well as a former wine columnist for The New York Times (Westchester Weekly Section) and the Wine Spectator.



Michael DiSpirito  (Automotive Editor)



Stephen Snart  (Movie Critic)
Stephen is a film critic for The L Magazine and TheCinemaSource.com. He holds a B.A. in Cinema Studies from New York University, and an MA in Contemporary Cinema Cultures at King's College, London. His movie review blog is fluxingphilosophic.blogspot.com.

Andrea Liskova  (Co-Editor Prague Restaurants)

Maria Rachidi

Maria Rachidi  (Co-Editor Budapest Restaurants)

The Fifty Best also wants to thank the many other connoisseurs, aficionados, designated tasters, gourmands, frequent travelers, journalists and industry professionals who have participated in our private tastings.

All editorial and lists published on TheFiftyBest.com are genuine and unbiased. Products and establishments cannot pay to be listed on TheFiftyBest.com.



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