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Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate (NYC)

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate (NYC)

[Translate] Chef Gabriel Kreuther and his pastry chef Marc Aumont recently opened a luxury chocolate shop, Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate, located next door to Chef Kreuther’s proper restaurant. It’s a great place to duck away from the crowds of Bryant Park or a holiday shopping break from Fifth Avenue. The moment I stepped into ths beautiful shop, I see the glass encased chocolate workshop and the large display cases toward the back showcasing the jewel-like chocolate bonbons and bars and a separate pastry case filled with trays of cheesecake macarons, eye-catching colorful pastries, and uniquely shaped travel cakes that are essentially..
Christmas Pastries from Maison Kayser USA

Christmas Pastries from Maison Kayser USA

[Translate] This year for Maison Kayser USA‘s holiday pastries, there’s going to be Bûches de Noël – Bûche Kayser, Bûche Fruit Rouges, Bûche Châtaigne, and Bûche Noisettes & Yuzu. Bûche de Noël is a yule log but the Kayser team takes it to a modern French way. (more…)
Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

Paradise at Ritz Carlton Okinawa (Okinawa, Japan)

[Translate] For the final portion of our visit to Asia, we flew over to Okinawa, Japan. Okinawa feels, in some essence, like what Hawaii is to the United States — the islands have its own culture, climate (it’s warm or hot year-round), strategic location for the U.S. military, and the food is a little bit different from the mainland. During our visit to Okinawa, we stayed at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Okinawa. If I had to sum up this hotel stay in a few phrases, it’s a stunning property surrounded by shallow pools, ocean and country club and the hotel..
Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

Marriott Taipei (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] The Marriott Taipei is one of the newest luxury hotels in Taipei. The largest complex of its kind in Taipei, the Taipei Marriott Hotel comprises a five-star 320-room hotel, restaurants, lounge, convention center, shopping mall and apartments. It is located on the north bank of the Keelung River, in the Dazhi district, near Songshan International Airport. As part of Marriott’s “Green Hotel Development” initiative, indigenous shrubbery and flowering plants are found throughout the hotel grounds and are interspersed with pieces of nature inspired art and sitting areas. (more…)
Amazing Shaved Ice at Ice Monster (Taipei, Taiwan)

Amazing Shaved Ice at Ice Monster (Taipei, Taiwan)

[Translate] Ice Monster is a Taiwanese kakigori (shaved ice) chain. This shop is famous for its mango shaved ice. Although mango and other flavored shaved ice can be found almost anywhere, Ice Monster has become a must visit for travelers and locals alike that there’s a crowd and a line at the front of the shop to order. All of the bowls of shaved ice — they are called “sensations” that are like shaved ice sundaes — are huge but it’s mostly just fluffy ice. They are great shared and perfect on a hot day (which seems to be nearly..
Lamb Persillade Savory Hand Pies

Lamb Persillade Savory Hand Pies

[Translate] When it comes to the holiday season and I’m entertaining my family and friends, it’s a constant feeding, baking/cooking frenzy that I have to get up at the early hours of the morning to prep for the day of the big dinner (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s, you name it). The best way to keep the crowds at bay and away from the kitchen is to provide them with snacks and a drink. While it’s easy to provide them with bowls of fresh roast nuts and platters of cheese and charcuterie, I like to give them something savory like these..

Travel

Foie Gras-Centric Dinner at Au Petit Sud-Ouest (Paris, France)

[Translate] When you think of foie gras, you’d normally associate a very high price tag but at Au Petit Sud-Ouest is one of those rare, family owned restaurants that serves lots of foie gras dishes (and a few classic French bistro dishes) but in an casual, unpretentious setting at reasonable prices and it’s close to the Eiffel Tower. The matron running the front of the house is incredibly warm and charming lady that understood that we had to leave a bit early to see a show when we made reservations. (The photos were taken with my iPhone since we’re heading..

Dinner at Clown Bar (Paris, France)

[Translate] For the hip and buzzy restaurants in Paris, Clown Bar is one of them. I’ve read and heard from a wide range of various bloggers, respected food websites, and food magazines that this place is the place to eat. The kitchen is led by a Japanese chef Atsumi Sota which explains the Asian touches on the menu while grounded on French cuisine. The Belle Époque décor is present but not over the top but there’s a distinctive hipster feel to it. The dark wood tables at the front of the restaurant were in close proximity to each other (if..

La Régalade Saint Honore (Paris, France)

[Translate] My recent trip to Paris, Monaco and Nice restaurants are mostly influenced by me but there were some input from my travel companion as well. Since it was his first time to Paris, he wanted to experience some rustic, mostly traditional French cuisine and La Régalade Saint Honore was one of them. This was on his radar since his parents (who are frequent travelers) ate here before and had a good dinner experience and because of the housemade terrine served instead of butter for your bread. For our purposes, this location was conveniently close to the Louvre and the..

A Day at Nice & Dinner at Le Chantecler (2* Michelin) at Hotel Negresco (Nice, France)

[Translate] We had a pit stop, so to speak, to another French Riviera city of Nice, France. Though Nice was about a half hour drive from the super glamorous Monte-Carlo, there is a distinctive relaxed feel when you walk on the main seaside promenade, Promenade des Anglais. Strolling through the Cours Saleya market near the old city inspired me to cook, seeing the beautiful, overflow of seasonal produce, locally made baked goods, cheeses and charcuterie. (I almost wished I didn’t have a dinner reservation and was staying at an apartment with a decent kitchen to cook.) Toward sunset, we headed..

Ambitious Dinner at Blue Bay Restaurant, Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort (1* Michelin; Monte-Carlo, Monaco)

[Translate] I personally find it interesting that many 1* Michelin restaurants tend to push the envelope with food with young chefs. One of the most unique dinners we had during our visit to Monte Carlo was at Blue Bay at Monte-Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort. Executive Chef Marcel Ravin is from the Caribbean island of Martinique and fuses flavors of his background with French cuisine. He creates bold flavors, interesting textures and uses ingredients that seem exotic to someone who has not visited that small isle. When we arrived from our luxe shuttle (a large Mercedes van just to ourselves)..

Very Good Seafood Dinner at Le Vistamar (1* Michelin; Monte Carlo, Monaco)

[Translate] Le Vistamar at Hotel Hermitage is a 1* Michelin restaurant that its menu has particular focus on seafood. The dining room blends a modern palette of neutral-tone hardwood floors, linen-covered banquettes and mostly white décor against a backdrop of aristocratic paneled walls and sprawling terrace with masonry baluster and stunning views of the harbor. We started off our evening with flutes of Pommery Brut Rosé Champagne. Delicately fruity but dry and refreshing. After ordering a couple of dishes, the waiters served us an amuse bouche of red mullet, broccoli, and broccoli puree. While the mullet and broccoli were cooked..

Recent Recipes

Baba al Bee’s Knees

[Translate] Valentine’s Day is coming up and the award winning gin, Bluecoat American Dry Gin has asked me to create a Valentine’s Day inspired cocktail. Instead of doing another cocktail, I wanted a challenge and create a boozy cocktail dessert. Everyone knows baba al rum is a French classic yeast-risen cake soaked in lots of sweet rum syrup and possibly served with a side of fluffy whipped cream. Technically, this yeast cake is a great sponge to soak in any booze or flavored syrup you can dream of. I thought, “Why not something with gin?” Bluecoat gin is a beautiful,..

Blueberry Almond Buttermilk Pancakes with Blueberry Lemon Compote for National Blueberry Pancake Day

[Translate] I may be early for National Blueberry Pancake Day (that day in the U.S. falls on January 28th) but I always feel like there’s never a bad day to make a batch of these babies and eat them. There’s something comforting about having a small or tall stack of these warm, fluffy, slightly crisp cakes with a few bright bites of blueberries at home and at your leisure. I have collaborated with Driscoll’s to highlight their fresh, high quality blueberries and incorporate them into my blueberry almond buttermilk pancakes. I wanted to emphasize the blueberries even further by making..

Cranberry Orange Pecan Rolls

[Translate] Holiday treats with the pan of un-iced cranberry orange pecan rolls Happy Boxing Day! Hope many of your friends and families had a great holiday. Many of us usually think cranberries are for the holidays but I think of them as a great sweet-tart fruit that could be used year round. I finally found some time from my crazy schedule to use cranberries (what some people consider as “America’s original super fruit”) to bake cranberry orange pecan rolls for my family. (more…)