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Easter 2015 Pastries from Ladurée

[Translate] Ready for Easter? If you are wondering what beautiful, luxurious sweets to serve for Easter brunch or dinner, the famed Parisian brand Ladurée is your best bet. They are currently offering an Easter (or more appropriately, spring) themed pastry called Pâquerette (seen at the header of this post; in French, pâquerette means daisy). This delicious, sweet-tart pastry filled and soaked in passion fruit and yuzu, layered with lemon and hazelnut flavored biscuit. The abstract daisy topper is made of thin chocolate and dotted with passion fruit and yuzu curd. Of course, there must be a seasonal macaron flavor from..

Easter Cakes & Chocolates from Financier Patisserie

[Translate] Easter is next weekend and those of you who need a few sweets on the table (and in New York City), Financier Patisserie is a solid option. They have multiple locations around Manhattan and the tasty sweets are reasonably priced. The Frasier cake slice is technically their year-round cake option but they made it spring inspired with the white chocolate strip with eye catching colorful print spring flowers. The cake itself is light and delicate from the almond macaron cake, mousseline, vanilla biscuit, vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries. (more…)

Touring Through Parts of Southern Wales, United Kingdom

[Translate] Continuing on my journey in Wales, my group stopped by Llanerch Vineyard. It’s a working vineyard with a boutique hotel, restaurant and a cooking school. We took a brief cooking class with the affable and gregarious Angela Gray. We had tea or coffee with their amazing, homemade bara birth (a dense, dried fruit quick bread soaked in tea) slathered in delicious, creamy Welsh butter and buttery shortbread cookies, while getting acquainted with Angela and the school. We eventually cooked up a few Welsh dishes like lamb chops and a seafood course that had salmon and that are slightly modernized..

Amazing Week in Beijing, China

[Translate] Tienanmen Square Back in September, my family and I went to Beijing, China for a week. We had an amazing time at the capital city from shopping for teas and souvenirs, sightseeing the landmarks like Tienanmen Square, Temple of Heaven, and a day trip to The Great Wall of China. We stayed at the gorgeous, luxurious Grand Hyatt Beijing that was in the heart of the city and in walking distance to the main attractions like Tienanmen Square. The public transportation is very efficient and clean (unlike New York City). We also ate very well. We had very good..

Dinner at Greenwich Project (NYC)

[Translate] The modern American restaurant Greenwich Project is helmed by Picholine alum Carmine Di Giovanni, Greenwich strives to blend a high-concept bar scene with equally ambitious food. The restaurant is warmly-lit, romantic townhouse setting. The polished ground floor gleams in red brick and white tile, burnt-orange banquettes and timbered ceiling. The bar was bustling from the after-work crowd. We started our dinner with really great, potent cocktails ($14 each) Kentucky Dynasty (left) and Rye, Roots & Roses (right). The Kentucky Dynasty was a smoky bourbon based cocktail with Cocchi Bianco and Lapsang Souchong tea and the Rye, Roots & Roses..

City Kitchen at The Row NYC

[Translate] Layout of City Kitchen; Looking out the windows to 8th Avenue Large food halls in Manhattan like the Plaza Food Hall, Gotham West Market (and to some extent, Time Warner Center) have brought culinary desert sections of Manhattan a one-stop-shop to have on artisanal eats from New York City purveyors. The newest, largest food hall in Manhattan is the City Kitchen in a “New York-centric” hotel, The Row NYC. This 4,000 square foot food market has nine permanent food vendors as well as seasonal options including Azuki Sushi, Dough, ilili Box for Mediterranean, Kuro Obi by Ippudo, shaved snow..

Lunch at Ffresh Bar at Wales Millennium Centre (Cardiff, Wales, UK)

[Translate] Wales Millennium Centre & Exterior of Ffresh Bar When I was in Cardiff, Wales, UK, one of my stops in this cool city was at the Millennium Centre, right off of Cardiff Bay. Before we had a tour of this fantastic performing arts center, we had a quick but very tasty lunch at Ffresh Bar. This restaurant is recommended in the Michelin Guide 2015 and Good Food Guide, with menus designed by the consultant chef Sean Hill of the Walnut Tree Abergavenny. (more…)

Recap of Choice Eats 2015

[Translate] Steak au poivre mac & cheese by Queens Comfort This year’s Choice Eats is (finally) on a Friday and in the Metropolitan Pavilion in Chelsea. As its usual atmosphere, it’s festive, fun and crowded with the DJ blasting music. Over fifty participating restaurants and food and beverage vendors churning out as many food tastings as possible to quench and satiate the hungry crowds. Here’s the highlights for favorite bites of the evening: The lechon (Filipino-style roast suckling pig) by Kuma Inn is a crowd pleaser, at least if you love pork. Crispy pork skin with a nice layer of..

36 Hours in Cardiff (Wales, UK)

[Translate] Riding First Class on Rail Europe; Looking down High Street Visit Wales recently invited me to fly over and have a week-long trip to explore southern and western parts of their beautiful country. The first stop was Cardiff. Cardiff is the Welsh capital, located in the southern part of Wales. This city was largely built during Britain’s 19th-century coal boom and was generally not considered one of the country’s most attractive cities. But times are changing. Major regeneration projects since the 1990s — a new performing arts center, a revamped waterfront and a 74,000-seat stadium, to name a few..

Chapel 1877 (Cardiff, Wales)

[Translate] Exterior, interior, and architectural details of Chapel 1877 I recently went to a press trip to South Wales and had an amazing time. While I will write an appropriate introductory piece about the great city of Cardiff in the next post, I’m going straight to one of my dinners at Chapel 1877. Chapel 1877 is a buzzy restaurant in Cardiff, Wales that opened in 2008. It was former Pembroke Terrace Chapel and it’s respectfully restored the church’s beautiful French Gothic architectural details (it’s a Grade II listed building). The restaurant is divided into three spaces, a bar dining area,..

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

[Translate] PARTNER POST – Get creative with any of Castello’s uniquely crafted cheeses. Click here for a $1 off coupon to create your own gourmet masterpiece. Castello Jalapeño Havarti cheeses; Jalapeño Havarti & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche Castello Cheese is an historical cheese brand that started since 1893 and they create more than 40 different types of delicious cheeses. I’ve recently been selected to be one of Castello’s collaborators to come up with a unique recipe with their jalapeño havarti cheese that’s more than just a grilled cheese sandwich or cheese dip. Havarti cheese is a Danish-style cow’s milk cheese that..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Touring Through Parts of Southern Wales, United Kingdom

Touring Through Parts of Southern Wales, United Kingdom

[Translate] Continuing on my journey in Wales, my group stopped by Llanerch Vineyard. It’s a working vineyard with a boutique hotel, restaurant and a cooking school. We took a brief cooking class with the affable and gregarious Angela Gray. We had tea or coffee with their amazing, homemade bara birth (a dense, dried fruit quick bread soaked in tea) slathered in delicious, creamy Welsh butter and buttery shortbread cookies, while getting acquainted with Angela and the school. We eventually cooked up a few Welsh dishes like lamb chops and a seafood course that had salmon and that are slightly modernized..
Amazing Week in Beijing, China

Amazing Week in Beijing, China

[Translate] Tienanmen Square Back in September, my family and I went to Beijing, China for a week. We had an amazing time at the capital city from shopping for teas and souvenirs, sightseeing the landmarks like Tienanmen Square, Temple of Heaven, and a day trip to The Great Wall of China. We stayed at the gorgeous, luxurious Grand Hyatt Beijing that was in the heart of the city and in walking distance to the main attractions like Tienanmen Square. The public transportation is very efficient and clean (unlike New York City). We also ate very well. We had very good..
Lunch at Ffresh Bar at Wales Millennium Centre (Cardiff, Wales, UK)

Lunch at Ffresh Bar at Wales Millennium Centre (Cardiff, Wales, UK)

[Translate] Wales Millennium Centre & Exterior of Ffresh Bar When I was in Cardiff, Wales, UK, one of my stops in this cool city was at the Millennium Centre, right off of Cardiff Bay. Before we had a tour of this fantastic performing arts center, we had a quick but very tasty lunch at Ffresh Bar. This restaurant is recommended in the Michelin Guide 2015 and Good Food Guide, with menus designed by the consultant chef Sean Hill of the Walnut Tree Abergavenny. (more…)
36 Hours in Cardiff (Wales, UK)

36 Hours in Cardiff (Wales, UK)

[Translate] Riding First Class on Rail Europe; Looking down High Street Visit Wales recently invited me to fly over and have a week-long trip to explore southern and western parts of their beautiful country. The first stop was Cardiff. Cardiff is the Welsh capital, located in the southern part of Wales. This city was largely built during Britain’s 19th-century coal boom and was generally not considered one of the country’s most attractive cities. But times are changing. Major regeneration projects since the 1990s — a new performing arts center, a revamped waterfront and a 74,000-seat stadium, to name a few..
Chapel 1877 (Cardiff, Wales)

Chapel 1877 (Cardiff, Wales)

[Translate] Exterior, interior, and architectural details of Chapel 1877 I recently went to a press trip to South Wales and had an amazing time. While I will write an appropriate introductory piece about the great city of Cardiff in the next post, I’m going straight to one of my dinners at Chapel 1877. Chapel 1877 is a buzzy restaurant in Cardiff, Wales that opened in 2008. It was former Pembroke Terrace Chapel and it’s respectfully restored the church’s beautiful French Gothic architectural details (it’s a Grade II listed building). The restaurant is divided into three spaces, a bar dining area,..
Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

Afternoon Tea at The Jefferson (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] We had afternoon tea at the posh landmark hotel, The Greenhouse at The Jefferson in Washington, D.C. The Jefferson is an historical luxury apartment building built in the Beaux Arts style by French architect Jules de Sibour. This building was converted to a hotel in the 1950s and eventually in 2007 with the current owners renovate the historic structure to a level worthy of its namesake – and its equally sophisticated present-day guests. The staff at The Greenhouse is gracious and professional. The details of the dining rooms is stunning from the thick velvet drapes, black and white tiles,..
Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Washington, D.C.)

Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] I’ve come to realize during my trip to D.C. is the renaissance of artisanal doughnuts. Doughnuts that are meticulously made by hand and in small batches. Another great doughnut destination is found in the Metro-Downtown Center called Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken. THey are convenient if you are either giving your credit card a workout with the many department stores and shops in the area or if you’re working here since the business district is not too far from here. Astro Doughnuts is a storefront shop that sells nine flavors (when I was there) and during the late weekday..
Brunch at Central Michel Richard

Brunch at Central Michel Richard

[Translate] We had Sunday brunch at Central Michel Richard is a six-year old restaurant that still manage to cook delicious American food with a touch of French flair. This restaurant was conveniently close to the National Mall. Festively decorated and bustling with the holiday brunch crowd, our server still managed to be friendly and efficient. It’s an upscale bistro that serves a very fair priced prix fixe menu for $25 and bottomless drinks $10. We started off with drinks of Bellini, Bloody Mary, mimosa, and orange juice — all were nicely made. One of my friends started out with the..
Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee – It’s More Than Gelato Here (Washington, D.C.)

Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee – It’s More Than Gelato Here (Washington, D.C.)

[Translate] Near our hotel in Dupont Circle when we were in Washington, D.C., one of our mornings for breakfast was at Dolcezza Gelato & Coffee. This particular location feels cozy like entering a friend’s living room and the local artwork some wit. (Dolcezza has five locations and a factory about 10 minutes outside of town and each location has its own look/personality.) Dolcezza’s philosophy is to support local farmers and make exquisite gelato. Dolcezza serves artisanal gelato produced in small hand-made batches every morning, using the best available ingredients: local fruits, herbs, eggs, cheese, milk and cream. Combining old-world methods..

Recipes

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

Jalapeño Havarti Cheese & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche

[Translate] PARTNER POST – Get creative with any of Castello’s uniquely crafted cheeses. Click here for a $1 off coupon to create your own gourmet masterpiece. Castello Jalapeño Havarti cheeses; Jalapeño Havarti & Cauliflower Crustless Quiche Castello Cheese is an historical cheese brand that started since 1893 and they create more than 40 different types of delicious cheeses. I’ve recently been selected to be one of Castello’s collaborators to come up with a unique recipe with their jalapeño havarti cheese that’s more than just a grilled cheese sandwich or cheese dip. Havarti cheese is a Danish-style cow’s milk cheese that..
Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

Pistachio, Yuzu, Chocolate Feuilletine Cake

[Translate] Chinese New Year (or what others would generalize this holiday, Lunar New Year) is coming up this Thursday and if you really want to make a dessert to impress your family and friends, this pistachio, yuzu, chocolate feuilletine cake, would be it. I chose these flavors centered on the pistachio. Even though pistachio is my favorite nut and flavor, in Chinese New Year traditions, this nut means happy nut and symbolizes happiness. Thankfully, my family isn’t staunchly stuck on tradition; I’ve incorporated a mix of Chinese tradition with French pastry technique for this dessert. (more…)
Bourbon Miso Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Butter Free)

Bourbon Miso Pecan Brownies (Gluten Free, Butter Free)

[Translate] I love fudgy brownies. But I’ve been wondering over the years as I’ve been baking these rich, fudgy squares does it really require the half pound of butter in that batch, even if I do melt a substantial amount of chocolate? After some naval gazing and an opportunity to collaborate with Four Roses Bourbon, I had an eureka moment. I know it sounds insane to not bake with butter (and I do love my butter) but for the sake of curiosity and experimentation, you can have a fudge-y, dense brownie. Partially inspired by the macaron cookie, you can create..