[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..
[Translate] Exterior and Interior of Paul A Young Fine Chocolates Soho location; Pecan and Salted Caramel Cocoa Pods; Paul A Young himself During my stay in London, I visited Paul A Young Fine Chocolates in Soho. Paul Young is a London based chocolatier who worked in the restaurant ranks under Marco Pierre White (White is a celebrity chef in London, godfather of contemporary international cuisine, and earned many Michelin stars) at Quo Vadis and Criterion as head pastry chef prior to him opening his chocolate shops. Paul opened his first shop in 2006 on Camden Passage in Islington with his..
[Translate] Ironically, it doesn’t feel like spring in New York City but Easter and Passover is coming up. Here’s some gift ideas for this (fast approaching) holiday. Sweets When you think Easter, you tend to think chocolates, especially the Easter bunny. There’s plenty of these delicious sweets coming from many great brands across the U.S. Mariebelle has a beautifully whimsical (and delicious) assortment of Easter chocolates ranging from a large chocolate egg ($35) (like the size of an adult’s head) filled with chocolate eggs and set in a nest with a colorful bird and butterflies. It looked like a girl’s..
[Translate] Amedei is a cult, Tuscan chocolate brand founded in 1990 with the head chocolatier, Cecilia Tessieri. Probably a few of you might have come across these rare bars in the U.S. and certainly when you trek your way around Italy. These divine chocolates are something that would make you either speechless or have that moment of delight to and simply say, “Mmm…” Every chocolate bar and praline is made in small batches and every aspect of production is carefully watched and managed by Cecilia. I was excited when I heard Amedei opened a small shop selling their divine chocolates..
[Translate] Since Chinese New Year (it’s Year of the Horse) is pretty close to Valentine’s Day this year, I might as well mash them together and give you ideas as to gift giving to your family (if you do celebrate Chinese or Lunar New Year) and loved one (Valentine’s Day). To those who celebrate Chinese New Year: 恭喜發財! Gong xi fa cai! Wines and Spirits Ramey Wines was founded in 1996 by David Ramey and his wife in Healdsburg, California. The winery creates critically acclaimed, award-winning wines ever since, committed to Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay and Syrah as their primary varietals...
[Translate] Godiva’s Senior Chocolatier Chef David Funaro; my spread of Godiva goodies; Godiva chocolate liqueur with my glass of Simple Chocolate Martini I was invited to Godiva‘s New York City headquarters for the launch of their Lunar New Year chocolates with Godiva’s Senior Chocolatier Chef David Funaro. The spacious, streamlined, modern space are shared office space, an open kitchen and a model Godiva store so they could copy the displays to all of their shops around the globe. Along with tasting their standard but delicious line up of bonbons (as seen above) and their sweet Godiva chocolate martini. We were..
[Translate] The first real snowfall of the season had fallen yesterday in New York City and it’s almost the middle of December. I still can’t believe we’re nearing 2014. Since we’re all busy in some fashion and might be scrambling to buy gifts for our friends, co-workers and loved ones, here’s some food and home gift ideas. Wines, Spirits & Hard Ciders Various wines from Hahn Estates and Estancia Doña Paula Estate is a winery based in the Ugarteche, Luján de Cuyo, and Mendoza regions of Argentina that started in 1990. The 2012 Doña Paula Estate Chardonnay, Valle de Uco..
[Translate] Pomme Palais, Chef Michel Richard, Set up for the tasting and the Opera Cake & Snowman Cake Earlier this afternoon, I was invited to Pomme Palais for a holiday cakes and pastries tasting with the humorous (and a bit of a jokester/womanizer) Chef Michel Richard. Cocoa covered grapes tart, Raspberry chocolate eclair, Fresh fig & marzipan tart All of the cakes and pastries were eye candy when you peer into the many display cases. Before we really got acquainted with the cakes, I had the opportunity to try the raspberry chocolate eclair that was balanced and the choux pastry..
[Translate] During our vacation to Barcelona, we stopped by Vioko since we’ve read the shop has some seriously good gelati (plural for gelato or an Italian version of ice cream) that has more than the basic flavors. Since we were near the beaches of Barcelona and it was a very warm, mid-October afternoon (the high temperature then was near 80°F) this was a great idea. Vioko is owned and run by pastry chef Lucila Baiardi (photographed above), an Argentine expat who studied the fine art of pastry around various kitchens in Europe and eventually settled in Barcelona to open this..