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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..

Dinner at Sakamai – Very Good, Creative Izakaya

[Translate] Back interior at Sakamai Since Chinese New Year is still around (it’s roughly three weeks long) and my parents insist upon having a family dinner out, we ended up agreeing to eat at Sakamai. As a family, we like Japanese food but what appeals to us the most about Sakamai is the creative dishes served for an izakaya (a casual sake pub, so to speak). The menu has a few luxurious ingredients like uni (sea urchin) and foie gras dabbled with the likes of other ingredients like tuna or scrambled eggs. It is not your average drinking fare as..

Chinese New Year 2015

[Translate] Happy New Year of the goat! 恭喜發財! I wish you all a happy and prosperous year! My family and I cooked up so many dishes like the crispy pork belly, there was also the traditional fat choy soup with dried scallops, shiitake mushrooms and fresh lettuce, homemade nian gao, taro cake, and turnip cake, and roast whole chicken (flavored with five-spice powder). We’ve open up a new box of fancy grade da hong po (武夷岩茶), translated as “big red robe tea” to serve with our food. This type of tea is a rich oolong tea that have notes of..

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…)

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Pastry Heaven at Patrice Patissier (Montreal, Canada)

Pastry Heaven at Patrice Patissier (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] I’ve went to Patrice Patissier when I was strolling around and ogle at the gorgeous flowers and vibrant farm fresh produce at Atwater Market in the Little Burgundy neighborhood of Montreal. Chef and co-owner Patrice Demers is one of the prominent pastry chefs in Montreal. He became well known when he was the opening pastry chef for Les 400 Coups for three years and toiled in many other fine French restaurants prior to. He finally opened the doors to his own pâtisserie and cooking school in early spring 2014 with a team that included his wife, Sommelier and Director..
Fantastic Ice Creams at Le Bilboquet (Montreal, Canada)

Fantastic Ice Creams at Le Bilboquet (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Le Bilboquet is an artisan ice cream institution in Montreal. It opened in 1983 by Carole Lavallée and Yves Lebuis and eventually in 2004, Pierre Morin took over, with the hope of serving ice cream that feels like home but cares about using the best ingredients possible. The brand uses only fresh 3.25% milk, 35% pure cream, and 100% fruits and juices without additives or artificial colorants. Cookies, brownies and other confections that are incorporated into Le Bilboquet ice creams are mostly produced by an in-house pastry chef. The sorbets contain up to 80% fruit, and there is no..
Excellent Loaves of Bread at Boulangerie Guillaume (Montreal, Canada)

Excellent Loaves of Bread at Boulangerie Guillaume (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Boulangerie Guillaume is a popular Mile-End bakery on St-Laurent Boulevard. The proprietor Guillaume Vaillant learned his craft on the job and opened this bakery in 2010. He combines traditional methods and artisanship to produce a unique selection of loaves, baguettes and savory treats. When you enter this small bakery (on the retail front) on an early Saturday morning, you’re greeted by the delicious aroma, the sight of beautiful shades of golden brown deliciousness of fresh baked bread and the sweet ladies at the front with a gentle bonjour. There were at least thirty different loaves when I arrived and..
Delicious, Vegetable-Forward Fare at Le Café Bloom (Montreal, Canada)

Delicious, Vegetable-Forward Fare at Le Café Bloom (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] I wanted to eat outside of Downtown Montreal since it would be too easy for me to be complacent to not explore. I headed out in Point St. Charles, Montreal. If I had to compare this neighborhood to New York, it reminds me of Williamsburg before 2010 when gentrification is taken over but it’s not totally gotten insane with the luxury condos that’s springing up all over NYC. Le Café Bloom is a charming, welcoming café outfitted with lots of vintage, wooden tables and chairs, an open kitchen in the back. There’s even a small area for children to..
Exquisite Lunch at Restaurant Les 400 Coups (Montreal, Canada)

Exquisite Lunch at Restaurant Les 400 Coups (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] I recently went to Montreal, Canada*. To those of you who have been there before, you know it’s pretty accessible by train and it’s doable if you want to drive in about 6 hours but I took the plane. Generally, you’d think it’s an easy ride in since it shouldn’t take more than an hour to fly in. But your presumption is wrong. I would anticipate flights being delayed if it’s terrible weather despite the fact it was perfectly blue skies and my flight was delayed just because we’re waiting for the plane from Columbus, Ohio to arrive. My..
Festival del Mar & Luxury Resorts Cusinart & Viceroy (Anguilla)

Festival del Mar & Luxury Resorts Cusinart & Viceroy (Anguilla)

[Translate] This is a continuation of my press trip to Anguilla. For the first/introductory part, please CLICK HERE. Many thanks again to Anguilla Tourist Board for inviting me to the fantastic press trip. Festival del Mar; A vendor’s tray full of freshly grilled Anguillan lobsters; Sailboat ready to sail off The primary reason this press trip occurred is because of Festival del Mar. This annual “festival of the sea” always occur when Easter is around and the locals and tourists alike, celebrate this long weekend by eating the fantastic, freshly caught lobsters and fish; drink up some beers or rum..
Gorgeous, Fabulous Anguilla

Gorgeous, Fabulous Anguilla

[Translate] Many thanks to Anguilla Tourist Board for inviting me to the fantastic press trip. Anguilla has everything one would want in an ideal beach wedding. Fine white sandy beaches, clear blue waters that varies in its varying tones of vibrant turquoise to dark blue depending how the sunlight strikes it, old clapboard buildings meets tony resorts (old/something borrowed and something new), and the island’s style of unfussy chic, barefoot elegance. This Caribbean island, a British overseas territory about seven miles north of St. Maarten/St. Martin, is a tiny island — a mere 35 square miles with just six traffic..
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..

Recipes

Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

Great Local Ingredients from OurHarvest

[Translate] I’ve recently found out and shopped at OurHarvest. Our Harvest is an online farmers market that connects us consumers to local farmers and food producers (currently for the NYC area only). Through partnerships with farmers, fishermen, and food artisans, OurHarvest purchases and sources their products locally to maximize freshness; hence ensuring quality and traceability while keeping costs down and combating hunger at the same time. For every delivery above $25 it receives, OurHarvest also donates a meal to a family in need through its relationship with the Food Bank of New York City. My recent shopping haul consisted of..
Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July!

[Translate] Hope all my fellow American readers had a great and safe Independence Day! I celebrated with my friends and family the U.S.’ freedom with style. We started off with a luxe note with Petrossian Caviar. Petrossian started in the 1920s by two Armenian brothers – Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian – to Parisians. The brand has dominated this luxurious trade and continued to strive for the best of the fresh, high quality caviar produced. (more…)
Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven

Many Uses with KitchenAid – Blender, Pasta Maker, and Convection Oven

[Translate] KitchenAid Convection Digital Countertop Oven & Diamond Blender; Pasta Excellence Set Our friends at KitchenAid sent me their amazing household products of the Diamond Blender, Countertop Digital Convection Oven, and Pasta Excellence Set (pasta stand mixer attachments since I own their Artisan Stand Mixer). Since spring is finally here and how can’t you not feel inspired to cook and bake anything? Strawberries are one of the ingredients that are prominent in spring and for breakfast, I like making smoothies besides my cup of coffee. It’s quick and easy for my busy mornings shuffling to work. I made batches of..