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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..

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)

[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..

Third Wave Coffee in Beijing Found at Ocean Grounds Coffee (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Interiors of Ocean Grounds; Jim Lee the owner of Ocean Grounds Coffee When you travel to China, it’s generally hard to find a very good cup of coffee. I’m talking about the Third Wave kind of places we have in the U.S. like Stumptown or Blue Bottle, not that international chain that has a bright grass green logo with a white mermaid printed over it or similar ones that are born from Asian countries. I’ve “discovered” Ocean Grounds Coffee owned and run by Jim Lee. Lee is an American-born Chinese expat trying to educate the local Chinese what is..

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..

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..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

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..
Glamour Bar & M on The Bund (Shanghai, China) – Impressive Views of The Bund & Very Fine Food and Drinks

Glamour Bar & M on The Bund (Shanghai, China) – Impressive Views of The Bund & Very Fine Food and Drinks

[Translate] Glamour Bar: Exterior/entrance to the building; Entrance to Glamour Bar; Part of the interior and looking out at the Bund from the bar The two venues my family and I went to this particular — Glamour Bar and M on The Bund — are part of the M Restaurant Group. These two luxurious places are not pretentious but definitely swanky and if you are a Western expat, it mostly makes you feel like home with the cordial service and familiar Continental fare and drinks. These two are meant to impress anyone you need or want to knock their socks..
Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea

Mandarin Oriental Shanghai, Pudong & Mid-Autumn Festival Afternoon Tea

[Translate] Lobby; Our Harbour City Suite and its huge bathroom; View of Huangpu River from the suite Mandarin Oriental Shanghai Pudong is luxury hotel brand, Mandarin Oriental’s first Shanghai hotel in May 2013. The hotel sits just east of the Huangpu River in the new Harbour City development, east of the Pearl Tower, and next to the newly opened Shanghai Metropolitan Marine Yacht Club. The 362 guest rooms come with opulent gold and teal decor, iPod docks and luxurious toiletries from London perfumer Ormonde Jayne. We loved our Club level room and its giant bowl-shaped bath tub to soak our..
Infinity Brunch at Agua Restaurant (Beijing, China)

Infinity Brunch at Agua Restaurant (Beijing, China)

[Translate] Agua is an upscale Spanish and Mediterranean restaurant in the trendy Santilun neighborhood in Beijing. Decorated in dark brown leather banquettes line the back wall, and roomy tables and plush velvet chairs occupy a spacious dining room that is elegantly lit. The restaurant’s Infinity Brunch is 298 RMB per person and the optional 168 RMB unlimited drinks (options are cava, sangria, Spanish Mimosa, or wine). The brunch menu has a list of tapas that vary in sizing from single serving to sharing with another person and everything is cooked and/or plated to order. We started with the boiled large..

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..