Beauty and the Japanese Feast

January 23, 2015 on 1:13 pm | In Adventure Travel, Asia, Dine Drink, Japan | Comments Off

Queensland’s Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) has raised the curtain on the influence of Japanese culture in Brisbane when the blockbuster fashion exhibition, Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion opened last weekend.

The three-month exhibition marks the first time the iconic Comme des Garçons fashion brand has brought its collection of 100 garments to Australia, throwing the spotlight on the changing face of Brisbane, a new world city ranked by Lonely Planet as “Australia’s hippest”.

As the guidebook noted, in Brisbane, sub-culture undercurrents run deep, with “cool bookshops, globally-inspired restaurants and cafes, bars and band rooms aplenty”. Here, Japanese cultural influences from fashion to food and the arts have also helped elevate the city’s experience of “cool” to a whole new level.

According to pop culture expert, Doctor Toni Johnson-Woods, thirty years ago, when the Comme des Garçons brand was launched, you’d be hard pressed to find a top-notch sushi bar, let alone Kaiseki dining (Japanese degustation) in Brisbane. Chopsticks were still considered “exotic” and The Karate Kid was the epitome of cool. Fast forward and Brisbane has come of age, not just within Australia, but as a rising new star in Asia: a city confident in her own skin.

If you are in Brisbane between now and February 2015, why not extend the J-cool experience with these Top 10 Japanese gems.

1. Future Beauty: 30 years of Japanese Fashion (1 November 2014 – 15 February 2015): the only Australian showing of this global blockbuster curated by world-renowned fashion historian Akiko Fukai, director of the esteemed Kyoto Costume Institute. In parallel with its Future Beauty exhibition, GOMA has also secured the world’s first Comme des Garçons pop-up shop within a gallery environment.

2. We can make another future: Japanese art after 1989 (6 September 2014 – 20 September 2015): highlights work by more than 40 contemporary Japanese artists drawn from the Queensland Art Gallery Collection. Visit for more information, including details of the ‘Future Beauty Up Late’ program.

3. Sake Restaurant & Bar: Acclaimed as one of Australia’s masters of Japanese cuisine, Executive Chef Shaun Presland’s story is as amazing as the sushi he serves in his Eagle Street Restaurant. A Brisbane boy who completed a chef’s apprenticeship with the Army Reserves, Shaun travelled to Japan in 1994 where he worked for two years in a ryokan (small inn) and learnt authentic Japanese cooking from the ground up.

4. Bird’s Nest: Billed for bringing traditional Japanese street-food, Yakitori, to Australia for the first time, Bird’s Nest co-owners and ‘besties’ Emi Kamada and Marie Yokoyama are Brisbane girls with Japanese heritage. Using only organic produce, their Yakitori (skewered chicken) follows an age-old method of cooking over white charcoal (Binchoutan), using an incredibly high burning point that imparts great flavour onto the food.

5. Tucked away on Albert Street in the city, local kool kats and brothers Nick and Ben Chiu offer the only other avenue in Brisbane to purchase Comme des Garçons, alongside a heady range of Japanese street wear at their men’s boutique, Apartment.

6. Cult Brisbane-born label, dogstar, is gearing up to launch its Summer 2014 collection and first boutique off home turf, in Melbourne. The label, renowned for its bold, edgy lines, is the creation of Masayo Yasuki who moved to Brisbane in the 1990s and found the freedom and inspiration here to be creative.

7. Forget IKEA. Brisbane designer Fukutoshi Ueno’s flat-pack ‘Dress Code’ – a striking furniture piece created in collaboration with friend and celebrated fashion designer Akira Isogawa – can be purchased via Artisan in Fortitude Valley. So cool, in fact, that those “in the know” at the National Gallery of Australia purchased it for their permanent collection.

8. Kazuyo Kashiwagi last year opened her own artisans’ store, Kazuyo’s Collection, on bustling Boundary Street in West End. Home to a collection of Japanese and Australian wares, her store also includes sought-after handbags crafted from vintage kimono fabric.

9. Young Brisbane designer Tiffany Atkin translates her love of Japanese pop culture and her experience living and working in Tokyo into a unique range of art, accessories and homewares. Don’t miss a February 2014 exhibition of her work at Fortitude Valley’s Lust for Life gallery.

10. Want to follow the beat of a different drum? Brisbane-based Japanese drum (taiko) group Toko-Ton will perform at Andromeda, an open air electronic music festival at Ivory’s Rock on November 22-23. The three-member group was formed by Steve Mason and his wife, Chie, who was inspired to learn the taiko after working with Aboriginal youth who wanted to know more about her Japanese culture.


January 22, 2015 on 10:36 am | In Dine Drink, Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas, Weddings Honeymoons | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowLAS VEGAS – Spoil that special someone at Carson Kitchen this Valentine’s Day with a prix fixe menu prepared by executive chef Matt Andrews from 5 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The Valentine’s Day menu includes five courses, priced at $99 per couple, and will include seasonal selections as well as a number of classic dishes. The dinner will begin with devil’s eggs and killer shrimp appetizers, followed by the tempura green beans and classic veal meatballs. The third course will be the newly-introduced persimmon & pear salad. For the main course, diners may choose the cocoa-espresso New York strip steak or the steelhead trout with a side of the rainbow cauliflower. The menu will conclude with glazed donut bread pudding.

Carson Kitchen will also set the mood with one complimentary glass champagne per person. The restaurant’s regular menu will also be available for purchase.

About Carson Kitchen

Named “Neighborhood Restaurant of the Year” by Desert Companion magazine, Carson Kitchen is Chef Kerry Simon’s new American restaurant in partnership with hospitality veteran, Cory Harwell. The intimate restaurant is located inside the old John. E Carson Hotel at 124 South 6th St. in Downtown Las Vegas and features social plates, entrées, sandwiches and stone-oven flatbreads, in addition to small-batch wine and craft beers. Hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. for lunch and dinner. More information may be found by visiting, calling 702.473.9523 or following on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @CarsonKitchen.

About Simon Hospitality Group

Simon Hospitality Group was formed in May 2013 by Celebrity Chef Kerry Simon and restaurateur Cory Harwell. The newly-formed restaurant group owns and operates Simon Mansion in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic; Chuck’s: A Kerry Simon Kitchen, in Chicago; and Carson Kitchen in Downtown Las Vegas. The group also manages Chef Simon’s previously established restaurants including KGB: Kerry’s Gourmet Burgers at Harrah’s Las Vegas and Simon at Palms Casino Resort. Chef Simon, dubbed the ‘Rock n’ Roll Chef’ by Rolling Stone Magazine, has starred on “Iron Chef America” and “Hell’s Kitchen” and has developed award-winning restaurants around the country in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlantic City. Harwell, a restaurateur, has opened more than three dozen restaurants in his career and brings 20 years of restaurant management experience to Simon Hospitality Group. For more information about Simon Hospitality Group, visit


January 22, 2015 on 10:33 am | In Dine Drink, Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas | Comments Off

LAS VEGAS – Fremont East Entertainment District in Downtown Las Vegas will soon welcome a new resident with Itsy Bitsy: Ramen and Whisky, an intimate Asian restaurant and bar opening this spring at 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd. at the base of The Ogden.

Itsy Bitsy is born from a dynamic partnership between Corner Bar Management Group, the company behind Park on Fremont, Commonwealth, BLVD. Cocktail Company, Due & Proper and Whist Stove & Spirits; Martin Koleff, the celebrated restaurateur behind Aburiya Raku, Sweets Raku, Kyara Japanese Tapas, Trattoria Nakamura-ya, Café de Japon, Goyemon Sushi House, and more; DJ Five, one of Las Vegas’ top DJs; and Downtown Project.

“DJ Five and I have a friendship that was built on our love of food, and Raku, as well as Martin Koleff’s other concepts, are some of our favorites,” said Corner Bar co-owner, Ryan Doherty. “Opening a restaurant that combines our talents is something that has been in the works for years, and the space at The Ogden couldn’t be a better fit to open Itsy Bitsy.”

Located in the space formerly occupied by Wild, the new dining destination will join the ranks of other outstanding Downtown Project small business investments including EAT, Carson Kitchen, Bocho and many more.

“Itsy Bitsy will be a great addition to the ongoing revitalization efforts of our flourishing neighborhood,” said Downtown Project’s Executive Vice President of Operations, Michael Downs. “We look forward to the continued growth of our partnership with Corner Bar through this and other future projects.”

Quirky, colorful and full of flavor, Itsy Bitsy combines the expertise of Koleff, one of the top restaurateurs in the nation specializing in Asian dining, with mixology, art and design, which have become signature qualities of Corner Bar’s concepts. The menu is simple, but satisfying, in offering a blank canvas for patrons to create their own ramen bowl through three steps: 1. “Pick Your Noodle,” 2. “Pick Your Broth,” and 3: “Choose Your Topping.” Plus, Itsy Bitsy offers an array of other selections, including Japanese Wakame seaweed salad, Gyoza dumplings, garlic edamame; an array of hand rolls including Kurobuta sausage and spicy tuna; and design-your-own rice dishes. Itsy Bitsy’s dishes will be made with modern techniques and locally-sourced ingredients.

Itsy Bitsy will also feature an extensive beverage menu, complete with masterfully mixed cocktails, craft beers, Japanese sake and an array of Japanese whiskeys. Mixing classic Japanese spirits with flavors from around the world, Itsy Bitsy will offer libations to rival any modern spirit bar.

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowNamed for its 2,500-square-foot footprint, Itsy Bitsy’s decor combines modern and old world sensibilities with an Asian tinge, filled with black-stained reclaimed woods and copper accents. Designed by Doherty, the convivial interior will be complemented by a playlist curated by DJ Five.

Itsy Bitsy will be open for lunch and dinner, daily, as well as for late-night service on select nights. More information is available on the website at, Facebook at, Instagram @ItsyBitsyLV and Twitter @ItsyBitsyLV. Itsy Bitsy will offer takeout as well as deliver to residents at The Odgen.


Itsy Bitsy: Ramen and Whisky will introduce an intimate, flavorful dining experience to Downtown Las Vegas featuring the cuisine of Marten Koleff with its opening next month. Located at 150 N. Las Vegas Blvd. at the base of The Ogden, Itsy Bitsy will offer an array of create-your-own ramen bowls and rice dishes, as well as several hand rolls and more than a dozen Asian-inspired appetizers. Itsy Bitsy will be open for lunch and dinner, daily, as well as for late-night service on select nights. More information is available on the website at, Facebook at, Instagram @ItsyBitsyLV and Twitter @ItsyBitsyLV.


Corner Bar Management Group was founded in December 2012 with the opening of Commonwealth, a pre-Prohibition cocktail style bar on 525 E. Fremont St. in Downtown Las Vegas. The bar was quickly recognized as one of “7 New Reasons to Hit Las Vegas” by the New York Post and its speak-easy, The Laundry Room, was recently named “Best Cocktail Bar of the Year” by Nightclub & Bar and among Playboy’s “Best Bars of 2014.” Shortly following the success of Commonwealth, Park on Fremont opened in March 2013 down the block at 506 E. Fremont St. A popular neighborhood bar and restaurant, Park on Fremont is widely known for its distinctive, whimsical design, handcrafted cocktails and laid back menu. Corner Bar opened its first venture on the Las Vegas Strip in March 2014 with BLVD. Cocktail Company, a progressive mixology bar serving flavorful cocktails and live entertainment, with the centerpiece of a baby grand piano. Early this fall, Corner Bar introduced two new concepts: Due & Proper and Whist, both located in The District at Green Valley Ranch. All of Corner Bar Management Group’s projects are art, mixology and design forward. Corner Bar Management Group is a partnership between Ryan Doherty and Justin Weniger, along with varying partnerships among the different venues.


Martin Koleff is the creative mind behind some of Las Vegas’s top restaurants, which have received widespread acclaim in the New York Post, New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN, Washington Post, Condé Nast Traveler, and more. One of Koleff’s original concepts, Aburiya Raku, opened in September 2008 and features the cuisine of Mitsuo Endo. Chef Mitsuo and Aburiya Raku have received numerous awards, including “Best Chef: Southwest” in 2012 and “Best Chef: West” selection as a finalist in the 2014 James Beard Foundation Awards. His other concepts include Sweets Raku, which opened in August 2013; Naked Fish, which opened in December 2007; Kyara, which opened in February 2011; Goyemon, which opened in June 2011; Kabuki, which opened in October 2011; Trattoria Nakamura-ya, which opened in November 2011; Café de Japon, which opened in April 2012; and Curry House ZEN, which opened in October 2012. All of the restaurants are located in the Las Vegas Valley, and most are located on Spring Mountain Avenue in Las Vegas’s China Town community.


The goal and purpose of Downtown Project is to help make Downtown Las Vegas a place of inspiration, entrepreneurial energy, creativity, innovation, upward mobility, and discovery. The community-oriented organization does this through the three Cs of collisions, co-learning and connectedness in a long-term, sustainable way.

Downtown Project has allocated $350 million to aid in the revitalization of Downtown Las Vegas, where they have invested in real estate, small businesses, and education as well as tech startups through the VegasTech Fund.

Sweet as Honey Valentine’s dinner

January 22, 2015 on 9:34 am | In Dine Drink, Gaming Resorts, Las Vegas | Comments Off


LAS VEGAS – A staple of the Las Vegas dining scene, Honey Salt is always in season and the chefs have created a festive and bold menu for Valentine’s Day. Foodies everywhere have come to love the fresh approach Honey Salt owners, and husband and wife team, Chef Kim Canteenwalla and Elizabeth Blau have created. Their passion comes to life in this special holiday menu.


French Kiss Oysters & Champagne Toast – pink peppercorn mignonette.

First Course (choice of):

Shrimp Cocktail – horseradish, tomato jam; or Perigord Black Truffle Pappardelle – truffle butter sauce. *Paired with Chloe Chardonnay Sonoma.

Main Course (choice of):

Achiote Marinated Cobia – blood orange, jicama, basmati rice; or Braised Beef Short Rib – lobster polenta, truffle jus, herb salad. *Paired with Elk Cove Pinot Noir Oregon.


Molten Chocolate Cake – hazelnut streusel, vanilla ice cream; and Valentine Kisses -Linzer cookies filled with raspberry jam. *Paired with Justin Obtuse Paso Robles.

Reservations are strongly encouraged and can be made by calling 702-445-6100. Cost for the Sweet as Honey menu is $70 per person, *wine pairings are an additional $40 per person; tax and gratuity not included. Honey Salt is located in Summerlin at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd.


Honey Salt is located on the Westside of Las Vegas at 1031 S. Rampart Blvd. Lunch is served from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Dinner is served 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (until 9 p.m. Sunday and Monday). A limited menu is available daily from 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Brunch is served Sunday from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For reservations and more information, visit or call the restaurant at 702-445-6100. “Like” Honey Salt on Facebook at and follow Honey Salt on Twitter @HoneySaltLV or @elizabethblau1.

The Vinoy Takes Dining Experience to New Heights

January 21, 2015 on 11:08 am | In Beachbooker, Dine Drink, Florida | Comments Off

Goddess Swimwear from Today ShowBarbara Readey, the new general manager of The Vinoy Renaissance St. Petersburg Resort & Golf Club, has unveiled a series of initiatives aimed to bring the hotel’s dining experiences to center stage.

Most notably, Readey has restructured the 361-room property’s food and beverage operations, naming Mark Heimann, formerly the Florida property’s executive chef, director of restaurant operations.

Going forward, Readey said The Vinoy is revamping its dining experiences by placing a heavier emphasis on farm-to-table cuisine, a concept that Heimann will promote to guests. “We’re taking the chef and putting him onto the dining room floor. It’s our way of bringing the food to the forefront of the customer experience,” said Readey, who became general manager of 90-year-old hotel in March. It is her fifth general manager position and second at a Renaissance property.

Readey and Heimann also added Ritz-Carlton’s Alon Hershkowitz to the food-and-beverage team as executive sous chef, enabling Heimann to spend more time with guests.

Late last year, the resort’s food and beverage team introduced a Thursday night themed pop-restaurant concept at Fred’s, the property’s upscale signature restaurant, with menus featuring Spanish tapas, Peruvian cuisine and a speakeasy evening that tied into the resort’s 1925 debut.

“It was a way to keep our food and beverage offerings fresh, innovative and creative,” said Readey, adding that pop-up concept will very likely be reinstituted again this year. “It’s a great fit for The Vinoy because it’s something new and fresh and changing – and people love the experience.”

For its part, Fred’s, one of The Vinoy’s eight food and beverage outlets, is undergoing a renovation with new menus that will be unveiled in February.

In other developments, Readey hired another Ritz-Carlton veteran, Viebeke Sansone, as the property’s new director of sales and marketing. “She really has a vested interest in preserving the historic elements of our resort while still innovating to the customers’ needs,” said Readey.

The property, with its Mediterranean Revival architecture, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will technically celebrate its 90th birthday on New Year’s Eve. As a tribute to its past, the resort features a history wall that is dedicated to educating guests on its history.

In 2011, the hotel’s lobby was modernized with a bolder color scheme, original art from Dale Chihuly and Renee Dinauer and cozy seating nooks. “The renovation activated that space,” said Readey. “Customers no longer just check in and go to their rooms – they hang out in our lobby.”

A 2009 renovation, meanwhile, revamped the property’s ballroom, adding a chandelier sculpture by Dale Chihuly, which weighs in at 1,250 pounds.

The Promenade, or front porch, meanwhile, is an extremely popular spot for guests looking to unwind, said Readey. “People just like to read their books and sip their tea in the daytime or night, sitting on rocking chairs and sip their wine and watching the boats on the pier,” she said.

In addition to a 72-slip marina, The Vinoy also houses as an 18-hole golf course 12 tennis courts and the Key Garden, a popular outdoor wedding and special events venue.

BeachBooker Beach VillasCurrently, the majority of The Vinoy’s guests are derived from drive-in traffic. “The international traveler is probably our next frontier,” said Readey, adding that the resort plans on capitalizing on Sansone’s expertise in generating that type of business.

Looking ahead, Readey is extremely optimistic about business this year. “We met with much success last year and we’ve forecasted even greater success this year,” she said, adding that occupancies could potentially return to pre-2007 levels. “Occupancies are very strong.”

Read more travel news at

Save Money While Traveling with‏

January 21, 2015 on 10:57 am | In Dine Drink | Comments Off


Unique “Sharing Economy” Platform Offering Home-Cooked Meals to Travelers and Locals Alike

(CHICAGO)-, a website connecting travelers and locals over home cooked meals, is now available in more than 450 cities across the world, including Berlin, Chicago, San Francisco, Budapest, Madrid, São Paulo and more. Dubbed the “Airbnb of Home-Cooked Meals,” offers more places to eat than any other website. Chuck Templeton, founder of Open Table, whose mobile apps and website help people find and make reservations in more than 30,000 restaurants around the world, invested in and offers expertise to the company after recognizing the platform’s unique approach to home-cooked meals.

“We are thrilled to have reached into people’s homes and hearts in more than 450 cities worldwide including destinations across the globe such as San Paulo, Paris, Munich and many more,” says Founder Jay Savsani, “We currently have more places to eat in homes than any other website, validating our efforts to help us reach our goal to offer travelers the ability to go anywhere in the world and have an amazing home-cooked meal experience.”

Features of include:

Easy Navigation: Users simply enter the desired city for the meal and can see a list of upcoming meals including information about available seats, menu details and host profiles.
Affordable Dining Options: While many meals are free, hosts have the option to set a “chip-in” price for their meals (average $7) or can ask guests contribute something to the meal.
Verified MealSharers: Hosts and attendees are able to rate and review everyone at the meal to ensure safety and are also able to verify their profiles with Facebook.

To host an event, potential hosts simply create a meal on specifying what they are making, how many people can come to their table and the optional “chip-in” price per person to help offset the cost of ingredients. Then, guests from around the world can easily search for hosts nearby, see upcoming menus and check past reviews of the host. Not only do events offer an approachable shared meal, attendees walk away with new experiences after sharing stories, experiences and new cuisines. For more information, please visit


A global leader in the new “sharing economy” trend, is a website that connects travelers and locals over home cooked meals with the goal to build more connected communities through approachable, home cooking. Founder Jay Savsani created after experiencing an unforgettable, home cooked meal experience while traveling in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Available in more than 450 cities worldwide, has the more places to eat in homes than any other website. Anyone can host or attend a meal by visiting and hosting or requesting a meal. Hosts can accommodate one or many guests per meal and an optional “chip in” is available to help offset the price of ingredients. Afterwards, guests and hosts review their experience for trust and safety. For more information, please visit

AAA Names 14 Hotels, Restaurants to 2015 Five Diamond List

January 20, 2015 on 11:39 am | In Dine Drink, Florida, Golf Resorts, Hotels, Orlando | Comments Off

AAA has added eight hotels and six restaurants to its exclusive Five Diamond List for 2015, subsequently qualifying them for this year’s Five Diamond Award list.

Over the past 12 months, AAA has announced 184 total hotels and restaurants that have received the AAA/CAA Five Diamond Rating, with that group representing just 0.3 percent of the total number of AAA/CAA Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants, which stands at more than 58,000.

The recently announced Five Diamond hotels are headlined by the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

The only Five Diamond hotel in the Orlando area, the Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort features an abundance of “upscale service options,” including an iPad in each room that effectively serves as a point of reference for guests throughout their stay.

The luxury resort even allows guests to control the lighting and temperature from a keypad.

Goddess Swimwear from Today Show“At the ultra-luxury level we’re seeing an increasing number of hotels offering guests the choice of high-end service by white glove or touch screen—in person or electronically,” said AAA Inspections & Diamond Ratings director Michael Petrone in a statement.

“They’re complementing personal delivery with technology options such as in-room iPads and TV menus for ordering and scheduling services, apps for accessing newspapers and local reservations, mobile check-in and text alerts when their room is ready. Some Five Diamond hotels even place a TV within the bathroom mirror to complete guests’ high-tech stay,” he added.

Joining the Four Seasons Resort Orlando on the list are the following accommodations: Four Seasons Hotel Denver; Grand Luxxe (Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico), One&Only Palmilla (San Jose Del Cabo, Mexico); Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa (Rancho Santa Fe, California); Shangri-La Hotel (Toronto, Ontario); The Langham (Chicago) and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman (Seven Mile Beach, Cayman Islands).

Puerto Morelos, Mexico’s Le Chique kicks off the list of recently selected restaurants, which also includes Orchids at Palm Court in Cincinnati and Palme d’Or in Coral Gables, Florida.

Passion by Martin Berasategui, located in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico made the list, as did San Francisco’s Saison and Twist in Las Vegas.

AAA points out that Five Diamond restaurants are often ahead of the latest “trends in farm-to-table and super-local food sourcing.”

What’s more, these restaurants don’t just supply delicious food, but provide a unique dining experience and are even becoming international destinations in some cases.

“Attaining the Five Diamond Rating is an impressive accomplishment and a point of great pride for these top hotels and restaurants,” said Petrone. “Five Diamond establishments stand apart by redefining personalized service, using creativity to enhance guest comfort and providing memorable experiences,” said Petrone.
Read more travel news at

Book Your Beach Resort at a Discount

The Stafford London Presents a Month Long Truffle Menu‏

January 19, 2015 on 9:13 am | In Dine Drink, London, United Kingdom | Comments Off

London, England,  – Ounce for ounce a truffle is the most expensive food on earth. Recently, the world’s largest white truffle, weighing in at 4.16 lbs., sold at Sotheby’s auction for $61, 250 U.S. In 2010 a truffle was auctioned at a charity event for $417,000.

For one glorious month, Monday January 19 to Thursday February 19, Chef Carlos Martinez of The Stafford London is featuring this coveted and precious delicacy on his The Lyttelton restaurant Truffle Menu – totally and luxuriously dedicated to the truffle. Chef Martinez sources his truffles from the Burgundy and Perigord regions of France and Alba Italy and handles this jewel of gastronomy like a Fabergé egg.

In his love affair with the truffle, Chef Martinez says, “I am absolutely crazy about truffles! This is my biggest culinary obsession. The aroma of truffles captures your senses and brings sensuality to the dish. The first time I was introduced to truffles was when I worked in Cahors, France, with Chef Claude Marco, a classically-trained Michelin-starred chef. We used to go to the market at 6:00 am to buy some of the best truffles in the world. The prices vary from £900 for 1 kg Perigord truffles or £2,500 for 1 kg Alba truffles. I love all truffles: white, black, any shape or form.”

The specifically-designed menu will start with a flavoursome beef consommé, complimented by a Burgundy truffle foam. The Burgundy truffle is known for its more subtle taste. Guests at The Stafford London’s The Lyttelton restaurant will next enjoy a light watercress and Reggiano risotto accompanied by the highly-prized white Alba truffle.

First Choice Holidays
Both the fish course and the Suffolk pork fillet will feature the French Périgord truffle. Harvested between December and March, this black truffle is at its best at this time of year with the distinct flavour complimenting the meaty texture of the cod and the softness of the pork fillet.

Dessert will feature organic raspberries, a chocolate tower and Burgundy truffle ice cream, demonstrating head chef Carlos Martinez’s classic approach mixed with modern techniques and unusual flavours.

Whether shaved, julienned, or infused, the truffle works its magic in Chef Martinez’s Truffle Menu:

~ Beef consommé, ratte potato, Burgundy truffle foam – delicately folds truffle foam on the top of the beef consommé

~ White Alba truffle risotto, Acquerello rice, Reggiano shavings, baby watercress – A waiter will comes to a table and shave them on top of the risotto

~ South coast Perigord truffle confit cod fillet, leek compote – the truffles are carefully cut julienne style and laid out on the top of a fish

~ Suffolk pork fillet, broccoli purée, black onion powder, potato cannelloni, Périgord Winter vegetable fricassée – A waiter will comes to a table and shave them on top of a pork fillet

Organic raspberries, chocolate tower Perigord truffle ice cream – the ice cream is infused with a light truffle flavor

* Perigord truffles grow in the Perigord region with many oaks and hazelnuts, yielding a very strong woody flavour and aroma. Perigord truffles are well suited to hearty dishes such as pork fillet or give more “body” for fish dishes like cod. In light of the distinctive flavour, a small amount is used for the ice cream.

* Burgundy truffles are light in flavour, but have a strong hazelnut-like aroma.

* Alba truffles are the most valuable truffles in the world. The flesh is pale cream or brown with white marbling and is very aromatic and full of flavour.

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa to Join Crystal’s President Cruise

January 15, 2015 on 10:57 am | In Beachbooker, Cruise Boats, Dine Drink | Comments Off

Master Chef Nobu Matsuhisa will bring his internationally acclaimed expertise aboard Crystal Cruises’ 12 July ultra-luxury European cruise from Lisbon to London. The planned special dinners, sake tastings and celebrations set to feature Nobu’s famous Peruvian-infused Japanese fare will only enhance the already festive atmosphere on board, as the sailing celebrates Crystal’s 25th Anniversary, and is hosted by Crystal’s president and COO Edie Rodriguez.

Throughout the 13-day voyage, Nobu – whose signature cuisine is featured in Crystal’s onboard Silk Road and The Sushi Bar – will share his talents and famously personable panache during cooking demos, book signings and Sake tastings with Sake Master Hazu.

More exclusive and indulgent experiences planned for the voyage include:

Two omakase, or chef’s choice dinners in Silk Road, with menus by Nobu featuring Connoisseur ingredients including toro tuna, paired with champagne and rare, specially-crafted Hokustsu “Northern Snow” Sake and Ongaku-shu “Musical Sake”. The US$250 per person dinners also offer guests a complimentary signed cookbook and photo with Nobu.
An extravagant, US$1,000-per-guest Ultimate Vintage Room dinner, with a specially designed menu complete with champagne and wine pairings for just 12 guests.

“Nobu has been a special part of the Crystal family for many years and we’re thrilled to welcome him back on board to celebrate our 25th anniversary,” says Rodriguez. “Luxury travellers throughout the world relish the opportunity to enjoy his distinctive cuisine, making the fact that guests can enjoy his specialties on every cruise during the year and this opportunity to mingle with and learn from him all the more special for Crystal guests.”

Nobu’s Japanese-Peruvian fusion has been served complimentary in Silk Road and The Sushi Bar on board every Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sailing since 2003 and 2008, respectively. Nobu personally trains all chefs, designs all menus, and frequently visits the ships for ongoing refinement.

About Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises is the world’s leading luxury cruise provider, having earned more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, hotel, or resort in history. Aboard the all-inclusive, ultra-luxurious Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity, refined elegance meets casual simplicity. With an emphasis on innovative product differentiation, the renowned Crystal experience is distinguished by classic service, abundant space, superior quality and extensive choices. Crystal sails to all seven continents, providing worldwide holidays of five to 100+ days that bridge the best of land and sea.

Crystal’s passion for taking care of guests in an inviting environment of extraordinary space, quality and choices has earned the company more “World’s Best” awards than any other cruise line, resort, or hotel in history.


“Eating Royally”

January 14, 2015 on 10:47 am | In Dine Drink | Comments Off

EuroCave - The Ultimate Wine Cellar
“Eating Royally” is my new professional chef service offering affordable and highly- personalized meals for groups, families and individuals featuring nutritious and wholesome foods delivered to your home through my “Personal Chef Service”

Thinking of hosting a dinner party for friends or colleagues and want food cooked to the standard that graced the tables at Buckingham Palace? Then “Eating Royally” is the ideal choice to enjoy a memorable and delicious meal, cooked to perfection and served in the comfort of your own home, office or party venue by a friendly and professional staff.

Whether it’s a special family birthday party, lunch at the office, friendly get-together or a corporate event to impress clients, I will consult the menu with you to ensure everyone is Eating Royally. Perhaps your menu includes Princess Diana’s favorite dessert or a dish from the menu I served to one of the five U.S. Presidents I cooked for.

“Eating Royally” isn’t just fine dining. It’s about taking basic everyday recipes and turning them into the best dishes you have ever tasted. ‘Spaghetti and Meatballs, Chicken Pot Pie, Meatloaf, Pot Roast’ and every day comfort foods cooked to perfection… “Fit for a Queen!”

“Two years at the prestigious Savoy Hotel in London taught me how to become a Chef.”

“Cooking in the Royal Kitchens at Buckingham Palace for eleven years taught me to prepare food to the highest standard.”

“Four years as Royal Chef to Princess Diana, Prince William and Prince Harry taught me healthy eating and cooking for children.”

“Seventeen years as Private Chef/Event Planner at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Wyly Jr. in Dallas, Tx taught me how to cook for a family.”

You work hard. You owe it to your clients and family to be “Eating Royally.”


Next Page »

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^