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Fantastic Stay at Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店)

[Translate] When mt family and I were traveling in Beijing, we stayed at the fabulous and centrally located Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店). This hotel has 825 rooms and Suites with a view of Chang An Avenue (one of the major streets in Beijing) or has a Courtyard View. It’s right next to Wangfujing shopping street and connected to a huge and luxurious Beijing Oriental Plaza commercial complex. The Club Oasis has a 55-meter (180.45 feet) indoor swimming pool that’s fashioned to look and feel like a jungle with its humidity. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center and a spacious heated..

All About the Hairy Crab at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai, China

[Translate] One of our most expensive dinners while we were in China was at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai. What makes the place expensive? They specialize in the coveted hairy crabs (大閘蟹) ever since the Qing Dynasty (around 1640s) and they are primarily shrimp. Hairy crabs are a seasonal delicacy only found in Asia. The small window of time when the female crabs produce the coveted roe (during the 9th and 10th months of the lunar year, meaning during the autumn season). We ordered a feast just all about this delicious crab, from whole steamed hairy crab (our..

NYC Wine & Food Festival 2014: Exploring Belgium’s Countryside hosted by Kobe Desramaults

[Translate] One of the most special and unique dinners at NYC Wine & Food Festival was Exploring Belgium’s Countryside hosted by Kobe Desramaults of the 1* Michelin rated restaurant, In de Wulf at Park Lane Hotel. What makes Chef Kobe Desramaults stand out is the fact he is not from here locally (even our neighbor across the pond, the United Kingdom) and his style of cooking is not like what I would find in the States. Chef Desramaults goal for this dinner was to have elements of his restaurant’s style of food and flavors (and trying to sneak in some..

NYC Wine & Food Festival 2014: Meatopia X

[Translate] Celebrity chefs on deck – Paul Qui of Qui (Austin, TX); Seamus Mullen of Tertulia & El Comado (NYC); Jamie Bissonnette of Toro NYC; Matt Lightner of Atera (NYC) NYC Wine & Food Festival wrapped up its 4-day food extravaganza with Meatopia X. This event is not for the faint of heart, especially if you are a vegetarian. This is a truly a meat festival, celebrating the carnivore in most of us and the animals that we’re consuming expertly grilled, smoked, and/or barbecued by the celebrity chefs locally and one from the United Kingdom (Chef Richard Turner of Hawksmoor)...

Very Good Omakase Dinner at Okra (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Okra is one of those few restaurants in Beijing where you have to find your way to your meal. Not too far fetched like going to Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB) but instead of walking down the somewhat sketchy, old school hutong, you would be walking around a maze of slick glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers that look like corporate businesses. When you do find a security guard right outside sitting on a corner of an entrance to a walled entrance to what may be another cluster of buildings, that is where you should be — The 1949 Hidden City..

NYC Wine & Food Festival 2014: Thrillist BBQ & The Blues & Saturday Grand Tasting

[Translate] Sweet Chick’s ribs at Thrillist BBQ & Exterior of the Grand Tasting This past weekend was the packed, food-packed weekend of the NYC Wine & Food Festival (NYCWFF). This annual event hosted by The Food Network and Food & Wine magazine pull in the extended family for this blowout series of dinners, seminars, tastings, talks, demos, classes, and parties held all over the city. Along with small-screen celebrity chefs, the list of participants includes heavy-hitters from the New York restaurant scene such as Pastry Chef Dominique Ansel (the man behind the Cronut). The massive volume of events means there’s..

Dinner at Made in China at Grand Hyatt Beijing (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Our other Peking duck-centered dinner (and it was our last meal in China) was at Made in China at the Grand Hyatt Beijing (where we stayed while in Beijing but more on that in a near future post). We arrived to dinner at 7 PM with a reservation for a table and the Peking duck. (You must reserve a duck ahead of time or you’ll never have one that evening.) The dark wood and steel eatery; floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with Chinese knickknacks and a stylishly exposed kitchen behind glass set the atmosphere inside this 126-seat glitzy space. Dumplings and..

Identità Golose NYC 2014 Dinner Hosted by Mario Batali

[Translate] The dinner taking place at La Birrera; Chef Massimo Bottura & Luciano Monosilio plating; Chef Mario Batali observing; Chef Mark Ladner plating; Chefs Denny Imbroisi (left) and Ugo Alciati (right) Identità Golose New York 2014 at Eataly is a the organization’s fifth year and focused on the meeting of seven famous chefs from the New York City area and seven famous Italian chefs that honor to Italy. It’s an open-ended theme compared to previous years giving the chefs the freedom to cook what they like but tie back to Italian heritage. I was honored to be the invited guest..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Fantastic Stay at Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店)

Fantastic Stay at Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店)

[Translate] When mt family and I were traveling in Beijing, we stayed at the fabulous and centrally located Grand Hyatt Beijing (北京东方君悦大酒店). This hotel has 825 rooms and Suites with a view of Chang An Avenue (one of the major streets in Beijing) or has a Courtyard View. It’s right next to Wangfujing shopping street and connected to a huge and luxurious Beijing Oriental Plaza commercial complex. The Club Oasis has a 55-meter (180.45 feet) indoor swimming pool that’s fashioned to look and feel like a jungle with its humidity. There’s also a 24-hour fitness center and a spacious heated..
All About the Hairy Crab at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai, China

All About the Hairy Crab at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai, China

[Translate] One of our most expensive dinners while we were in China was at Wang Bao He Restaurant (王宝和酒家) in Shanghai. What makes the place expensive? They specialize in the coveted hairy crabs (大閘蟹) ever since the Qing Dynasty (around 1640s) and they are primarily shrimp. Hairy crabs are a seasonal delicacy only found in Asia. The small window of time when the female crabs produce the coveted roe (during the 9th and 10th months of the lunar year, meaning during the autumn season). We ordered a feast just all about this delicious crab, from whole steamed hairy crab (our..
Very Good Omakase Dinner at Okra (Beijing, China)

Very Good Omakase Dinner at Okra (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Okra is one of those few restaurants in Beijing where you have to find your way to your meal. Not too far fetched like going to Temple Restaurant Beijing (TRB) but instead of walking down the somewhat sketchy, old school hutong, you would be walking around a maze of slick glass, steel and concrete skyscrapers that look like corporate businesses. When you do find a security guard right outside sitting on a corner of an entrance to a walled entrance to what may be another cluster of buildings, that is where you should be — The 1949 Hidden City..
Dinner at Made in China at Grand Hyatt Beijing (Beijing, China)

Dinner at Made in China at Grand Hyatt Beijing (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Our other Peking duck-centered dinner (and it was our last meal in China) was at Made in China at the Grand Hyatt Beijing (where we stayed while in Beijing but more on that in a near future post). We arrived to dinner at 7 PM with a reservation for a table and the Peking duck. (You must reserve a duck ahead of time or you’ll never have one that evening.) The dark wood and steel eatery; floor-to-ceiling shelves stocked with Chinese knickknacks and a stylishly exposed kitchen behind glass set the atmosphere inside this 126-seat glitzy space. Dumplings and..
The Sweet Spot at Shangri-La’s China World Hotel in Beijing, China

The Sweet Spot at Shangri-La’s China World Hotel in Beijing, China

[Translate] Lobby of China World Shangri-La; Pastry display cases at Sweet Spot; Whole green tea mousse cake On one of our late afternoons in Beijing, we stopped by The Sweet Spot of Shangri-La’s China World Hotel. When entered the lobby of China World, it felt like we’ve just walked into a miniature Forbidden City. Filled with Ming and Qing era style artwork, the red and gold lobby gave us the impression of old school Chinese glamour. We were informed that the Sweet Spot is actually found at the hotel’s luxurious shopping and corporate offices that’s just beneath and connected to..
Excellent Peking Duck at Jin Yaa Tang at The Opposite House (Beijing, China)

Excellent Peking Duck at Jin Yaa Tang at The Opposite House (Beijing, China)

[Translate] The Opposite House; Jing Yaa Tang sign; Dining Room; Peering into the duck roasting area Jin Yaa Tang is a pan-regional Chinese cuisine restaurant anchored around Beijing’s most international recognized contribution to global cuisine – Peking duck. This restaurant is located in the Opposite House and the hotel is a pretty popular boutique hotel in Beijing, catering to a clientele generally much an even mix of well-off short-term-stay business travelers and well-off short-term-stay leisure travelers. So, instead of referring their guests elsewhere, Opposite House can now refer them downstairs to their very own venue right on the site. The..
Four Seasons Beijing – Noir Or Mooncakes & Afternoon Tea

Four Seasons Beijing – Noir Or Mooncakes & Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby Four Seasons Beijing is one of the luxurious hotels in the bustling capital of China that opened late 2012. It’s a little bit off the main tourist hubs but it’s close to the city’s business and embassies as well as the capital’s popular shopping and entertainment hub Sanlitun. Having tea and many different dishes at the Opus Lounge We start our afternoon having tea at the sleek Opus Lounge filled with impressive artwork inspired by striking Chinese landscapes. This lounge is a grand two-story space that offers Asian and Western specialties during their daily afternoon tea. We peered..
789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge at Le Royal Méridien Shanghai

789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge at Le Royal Méridien Shanghai

[Translate] Lobby of Le Méridien; Interior of 789 Nanjing Lu Bar + Lounge 66th Floor; The view from our room on the lounge’s 66th Floor Le Royal Méridien’s 789 Bar is another great spot to enjoy cocktails and a wide selection of Champagne. What makes this hotel bar stand out from others is the 360-degree uninterrupted views of Shanghai since the hotel is the tallest in Puxi and bar takes up the 65th and 66th floors. On the lower level, plush crimson armchairs gathered in intimate clusters encourage quiet conversation. Live music, original modern artwork and soft lighting underscore the..
Luxurious Dinner at Nougatine by Jean Georges at Three on The Bund (Shanghai, China)

Luxurious Dinner at Nougatine by Jean Georges at Three on The Bund (Shanghai, China)

[Translate] Dining room at Nougatine & Menus Another great upscale dinner we had at Shanghai was at Jean Georges Vongerichten’s restaurant, Nougatine at Three on the Bund. I ate at Jean Georges Restaurant and Nougatine in New York City but I was curious how it fared out on the other side of the globe. Three on the Bund is Shanghai’s newest epicurean lifestyle destination blending gastronomy, art, culture, and music in an elegant, sophisticated gathering place for dynamic people and stimulating ideas. It created and manages six award-winning restaurants and bars, The Cupola, and Shanghai Gallery of Art. It is..

Recipes

Fourme d’Ambert Blue Cheese, Thyme, Cayenne, Tomato Jam Popovers

Fourme d’Ambert Blue Cheese, Thyme, Cayenne, Tomato Jam Popovers

[Translate] Recently, Cheeses of Europe generously sent me a package of Mimolette and Fourme d’Ambert from the best cheese shop in New York City, Murray’s Cheese (as part of “Make it Magnifique” campaign). It felt like Christmas since I love cheese! Mimolette’s bright orange paste and dusty exterior tastes something akin to gouda. Sweet-salty, caramelized flavor but has the texture of Parmigianno Reggiano (hard, dense and easily shaved). The Fourme d’Ambert is a mild, earthy, cow’s milk blue cheese. It is creamy and lacks the spicy funk in Roquefort. The latter is a good thing, especially for some of my..
Celebrating International Bacon Day 2014

Celebrating International Bacon Day 2014

[Translate] International Bacon Day is today! It seems pretty convenient that this year it falls on the long Labor Day weekend so if we overindulged in bacon-centered dishes, we can either sleep it off or go on a longer workout to burn it off. At any rate, the inaugural Famrland Bacon Treasure Hunt is commencing and folks who are located in Denver, St. Louis and Kansas City can participate. But us New Yorkers will celebrate by baking, cooking, and eating a whole bunch of bacon. Trust me, when you have a bacon loving boyfriend, he thinks this is Christmas and..
Maple Pecan Thyme Cayenne Pie

Maple Pecan Thyme Cayenne Pie

[Translate] Tonewood Maple Syrups and Maple Cube; Schermer Pecans Tonewood is a Vermont based brand that creates one of the most superior maple syrups I have ever tried. They recently took home the with Sofi Gold award. Schermer is a Georgia farm established in 1946, growing one of the finest buttery pecans. As they are great by themselves as well as together. As much as every American knows maple pecan pie, I wanted to make it a bit savory and throw in some dried thyme and a pinch of cayenne. Also to play along the savory note, I used Four..