Holiday Gift Guide 2015

[Translate] Thanksgiving is coming and that means it’s the holiday shopping season. For those who are trying to decide what to give to your friends, family, or even co-workers, here are some ideas what to give them: These items are not listed in any particular order, except by category. For ease of navigation, here’s the links to jump: Chocolates, Confections & Baked Goods Wines & Spirits Coffee & Tea Other Items (e.g. cookware & savory food items) (more…)

Mind Blowing Chocolate Mooncakes From Pierre Hermé Hong Kong (IFC)

[Translate] Pierre Hermé Hong Kong opened its doors in May 2013 and so much buzz generated on that side of the world that it made me a bit envious, frustrated and lamented that Chef Hermé still hasn’t opened a boutique in the U.S. On the bright side, since Hong Kong was my first city on my long trip in Asia that I get to have my hands on the vibrant, jewel-toned macarons and chocolates. (Unfortunately, all of their HK locations do not sell the beautiful, delicious pastries like its Paris and Tokyo locations.) Entering its first location in Hong Kong..

Pierre Hermé Paris Aoyama – Pastry and Chocolate Heaven in Tokyo

[Translate] If you are a die-hard fan of pastry god (at least in my eyes but everyone else calls him the “Picasso of pastry”), Pierre Hermé, you should consider to go to Pierre Hermé Aoyama (Japanese website) in Shibuya, Tokyo. Reasons for this is because it is Tokyo’s flagship location; it’s bigger than its flagship in Paris on Rue Bonaparte (I’ve been there in 2010) and comes with a sit-down café called Bar Chocolat on the second floor. No other Pierre Hermé boutique has a sit-down café to enjoy the beautiful and sometimes wonderfully unusual flavor combination pastries and plated..

Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2015

[Translate] Mother’s Day is nearing — 2 weekends away (Sunday, May 10th)! For those who are trying to decide what to give to your mom on her special day, ranging from chocolates (filled and in vogue bean-to-bars), wines, artisan beers and spirits (she might not be your typical mother and like the hard stuff), other sweets (like French macarons) and savory snacks (like cheeses and crackers): These items are not listed in any particular order, except by category. For ease of navigation, here’s the links to jump: Chocolates, Confections & Desserts Wines, Beer & Spirits Coffee Other Food Items Cookbooks..

Valentine’s Day & Lunar New Year Gift Guide 2015

[Translate] If you’re looking for gifts for your Valentine or a person who is celebrating Lunar New Year, here’s some ideas that might appeal to various types of people who like savory to the sweet but all in good taste (pun intended) and some items are luxe. Chocolate & Confections FIKA is a Swedish cafe and chocolate brand that opened its doors in 2006. Swedish tradition and appreciation of a coffee-centric lifestyle served as inspiration for founder and co-owner Lars Åkerlund who saw an immediate love connection between Sweden and New York. FIKA is an award winning chocolate brand as..

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..

Paul A Young Fine Chocolates (London, UK) – One of the Best Chocolatiers in London

[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..

Spring & Easter Gift Guide 2014

[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..

Chocolate Tasting at Amedei Store (NYC)

[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..