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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..

Travel

Lunch at Blackbird, Chicago

[Translate] Blackbird (exterior), At the dining room, Floral centerpiece at the hostess stand When I was planning for my trip to Chicago, I had was under the presumption that this city’s fine dining lunch is like New York – you have a lot of restaurants who would serve prix fixe menus. Except when I did my research, there’s barely any at all but the little glimmer of hope was Blackbird, a 1* Michelin restaurant and their Executive Chef Paul Kahan was nominated for the James Beard Award (2011). For that kind of esteem, I booked a reservation. (more…)

Alliance Bakery, Chicago – Bakery Meets Pâtisserie

[Translate] Alliance Bakery’s Exterior, Old-school neon sign, One of its display cases Alliance Bakery located in Wicker Park, Chicago looks like an old-school American bakery with its neon sign but it’s a bakery as well as a pâtisserie. This two-personality bakery, so to speak,  is owned by Peter Rios. Mr. Rios was trained as a hotel pastry chef (his previous title and employer before owning this bakery was Executive Pastry Chef at the Fairmont Hotel in Chicago) and had his skills sharpened by working through many well known pâtisseries and in France like Ladurée and won a number of awards..

Dinner at Arami, Chicago

[Translate] Arami’s windows and at the bar During my vacation/stay in Chicago, Arami was one of my dinner stops here. After some research, this was considered one of the good Japanese spots to have sushi. As a sushi fanatic, I’m excited to eat here and booked a reservation. What surprised me was that even though the restaurant is located almost in the middle of nowhere (I’m used to the packed areas of Manhattan), the sole signage was within the restaurant’s glass windows, indicating its name and address and yet when I entered the dining room, it was pretty busy for..