Tavolo, the premier online retailer and destination for consumers who cook, dine and entertain, today announced that it has secured an additional $36 million in venture-capital and institutional investor financing. Van Wagoner Capital leads this round of funding and is joined by existing investors.

“In today’s volatile market, you look for companies that have a strong business model, a large addressable market and attractive margins, multi-channel operations, strategic partnerships and a strong management team,” said Garrett Van Wagoner. “Tavolo has clearly demonstrated it has all the right ingredients and is well positioned to become one of the standout companies within the lifestyle retailing category.”

Additionally, the company announced today a three-year agreement with American Express Publishing where Tavolo will receive advertising pages in Food & Wine, Travel & Leisure and Departures magazines, reaching more than three million subscribers, and will become the exclusive online retail partner within the specialty foods and cookware category for Food & Wine’s Connoisseur Club. As part of the agreement, Tavolo will have access to Food & Wine’s magazine and book content and recipes and will work with the magazine on co-branded events, custom publishing projects, and special offers and links with foodandwine.com. Tavolo will also sponsor The Food & Wine Magazine Classic at Aspen, a premier event held in June each year that showcases the best of food and wine products from around the world.

“This alliance provides wonderful opportunities to offer unique promotions and valued content geared to the millions of consumers who share a passion for all things epicurean,” said Mark Stanich, Senior Vice President of Marketing for American Express Publishing. “We’re also pleased to be able to offer extraordinary benefits from Tavolo’s rich content and product selection to the exclusive members in our Food & Wine Connoisseur Club.”

“These new funds will allow us to continue enhancing the products and services we provide to Tavolo customers,” said Kevin Appelbaum, CEO for Tavolo. “And our new strategic alliance with a leader in the culinary lifestyle market will help further differentiate Tavolo in a rapidly growing and changing marketplace.”

About Tavolo, Inc.

Tavolo, in exclusive partnership with the Culinary Institute of America (CIA), the nation’s leading center for culinary education, is the leading online retailer and destination for consumers who cook, dine and entertain. The site offers thousands of specialty foods — including a signature collection of more than 300 private-label ingredients and prepared foods, professional quality cooking tools, and brand-name kitchen appliances including All-Clad, Braun, KitchenAid and Wusthof. Tavolo also provides thousands of recipes, hundreds of cooking tips, buying guides and other expert cooking information and advice, in addition to useful customized features. Tavolo is the exclusive retailer of gourmet foods and kitchenware on iVillage, and a premier retailer of these products on AOL and Yahoo! The company has content licensing agreements with most major cookbook publishers and more than 100 renowned chefs.