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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..


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..

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..

7th Annual New York Culinary Experience (2015)

[Translate] Mis en place for Chefs Ken Oringer & Jamie Bissonette’s class This year’s 7th Annual New York Culinary Experience took place this weekend on April 11 and 12th. It was co-hosted by Gillian Duffy, culinary editor of New York magazine and Dorothy Cann Hamilton, founder and CEO of International Culinary Center (ICC). The New York Culinary Experience is the only culinary event that gives food enthusiasts and aspiring cooks the chance to enjoy an intimate weekend of hands-on master cooking classes and conversation with more than 30 of the most prominent chefs in the world. Seared scallops dish by..

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..

Easter 2015 Pastries from Ladurée

[Translate] Ready for Easter? If you are wondering what beautiful, luxurious sweets to serve for Easter brunch or dinner, the famed Parisian brand Ladurée is your best bet. They are currently offering an Easter (or more appropriately, spring) themed pastry called Pâquerette (seen at the header of this post; in French, pâquerette means daisy). This delicious, sweet-tart pastry filled and soaked in passion fruit and yuzu, layered with lemon and hazelnut flavored biscuit. The abstract daisy topper is made of thin chocolate and dotted with passion fruit and yuzu curd. Of course, there must be a seasonal macaron flavor from..

Easter Cakes & Chocolates from Financier Patisserie

[Translate] Easter is next weekend and those of you who need a few sweets on the table (and in New York City), Financier Patisserie is a solid option. They have multiple locations around Manhattan and the tasty sweets are reasonably priced. The Frasier cake slice is technically their year-round cake option but they made it spring inspired with the white chocolate strip with eye catching colorful print spring flowers. The cake itself is light and delicate from the almond macaron cake, mousseline, vanilla biscuit, vanilla buttercream and fresh strawberries. (more…)

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

[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..

Latest in Travel (Outside NYC)

Tea Options in Montreal – Senthé and Birks Café

Tea Options in Montreal – Senthé and Birks Café

[Translate] While Montreal is a serious coffee town, they do have some very good options for whole leaf teas. Senthé is a pretty new tea café out on a shopping strip in Rosemont. Senthé specializes in high quality Asian teas with a few tea blends for those who prefer to have other flavors besides the tea leaf itself and espresso, if you really need your caffeine in a different format altogether. There is a small food menu consisting of light sandwiches and pastries of the day are displayed at the counter. Senthé also doubles as a hangout for enthusiasts of..
Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)

Fantastic Tiki-Inspired Cocktails at Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] If in Montreal, when you want to grab a serious cocktail but isn’t pretentious, Bar Le Mal Nécessaire (or Necessary Evil). I should add, you should like your tiki drinks. Le Mal Nécessaire is in a basement of a building between a small Chinese restaurant and an Asian shop of some sort in Chinatown. You will know you’re at the right place when you see a glowing, bright green pineapple-shaped neon lights at the stairwell. When you descend into the relative darkness, you hear old school hip hop playing not too loudly on the speakers. Patrons chatting amongst each..
Wunderbar & Plateau Lounge at W Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

Wunderbar & Plateau Lounge at W Montreal (Montreal, Canada)

[Translate] Part of my time in Montreal, I was at W Montreal. A very urban, sexy, sleek, luxury boutique hotel in the Ville-Marie area of Montreal. When you enter the glass doors, you’d see the cubic water fountain and glowing red walls of the lobby. One of my evenings I checked out Wunderbar that is located on the ground floor. It’s a cool looking bar that has a wall covered in curved panels set in a rainbow that meant to look like the distinctive seasons and magnificent natural surroundings of Montreal. (more…)
Great Coffee Spots in Montreal – Dispatch Coffee, Cafe Plume, Cafe Névé, Chez Boris

Great Coffee Spots in Montreal – Dispatch Coffee, Cafe Plume, Cafe Névé, Chez Boris

[Translate] Montreal is sort of like New York City in regards to having very good to excellent third wave coffee shops. A few notable differences – they are truly indie shops and from a personal perspective as a New Yorker, it pains me to wait for good coffee at 9:00 AM on a weekend. Here’s a couple of coffee shops I’ve managed to visit during my stay in Montreal. Dispatch Coffee is arguably one of my favorite shops I’ve visited in a long time. Dispatch is founded by Chrissy Durcak delivering cold brew in mason jars before acquiring the truck..
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..

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..