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Category: Dining

Weekend of Wine In Napa

Napa Valley is the quintessential wine country vacation with good reason.  The concentration of quality wineries, bucolic landscapes and amazing hotels and restaurants make it an ideal getaway to relax and recharge. The charming town of Yountville is the epicenter of Napa.  Despite a population of just under 3,000 people, it boasts three Michelin star restaurants including the venerable French Laundry.  With nearly impossible to get reservations, Thomas Keller fans can still experience the chef’s magic at his other establishments in town including Ad hoc, Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery.  The bakery is a perfect breakfast stop, but expect lines...

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Chef Jetzabel Rojas Reinterprets Indigenous Mexican Cuisine At The Viceroy, Riviera Maya

The award-winning Viceroy Riviera Maya continues to rack-up endless “best of” accolades, but perhaps their most powerful secret weapon is their talented Chef, Jetzabel Rojas Barragán. I managed to catch up with this busy young woman after she had just knocked them dead at the 2014 Cancun-Rivera Maya Wine & Food Festival. It’s interesting (and a little sad in this day and age) to note that she was the only local female chef that participated in this gourmet event. Jetzabel (which means “Queen”) grew up in a big family, surrounded by a bevy of females who cooked and were...

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Indy’s Cerulean, A Gourmet Experience

While visiting Indianapolis, we had numerous delightful experiences in the various establishments that have sprung up, focusing on local and organic ingredients. One unexpected and most surprising visit was discovering Cerulean, which is attached to the Alexander Hotel. Upon entering, you pass a birdcage-like room for private parties, which was ideal, being nice and cozy, with walls acting as an attractive acoustical barrier. The rest of Cerulean’s décor was more contemporary and open. New to the Indianapolis scene, Chef Caleb France and his team deserve to be watched and followed. As I explain our meal, you’ll understand a little...

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Zebra in South Park with Chef/Owner Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander, Certified Executive Chef and Owner of Zebra Restaurant in the South Park area of Charlotte, North Carolina has been a friend and favored chef for both Norm and me for a long time.  When we lived in Charlotte, we frequently took guests to Zebra and I have to say its breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are all outstanding. Jim opened Zebra in 2001 and it has continued to grow. I first met him while interviewing him for Time-Warner Cable in 2003. He is exudes talent and surrounds himself with an outstanding team. I’ve watched Jim cook in...

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Indy’s Plat 99

 My experience with cocktail lounges is generally limited to when I travel and have the opportunity to check out well known, historic, or new establishments. Indianapolis was not different. Norm and I had just finished a gondola ride and were scheduled to have pre-dinner drinks at Plat 99 before dinner at Cerulean. We could have spent the entire night at Plat 99. Its design alone was breathtaking, with contemporary architecture and blown glass chandeliers welcoming you into a lively bar and lounge area with an outside patio. If desired, you could just eat at Plat 99. Its menu focuses...

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Jackie Collins Gets Lucky with Wolfgang Puck

New York Times Bestselling author Jackie Collins is more than a sexy romance novelist, she’s also hot in the kitchen. Chef Wolfgang Puck has been seduced by her charm and inspired to create a personalized cocktail for the author simply titled, The Jackie Collins, (recipe below) and it is a highlight of her new collection of recipes. Stepping outside of her typical romance genre, her new book The Lucky Santangelo Cookbook is on bookstore shelves today and her faithful fans will not be disappointed. Inspired by her most popular character, Lucky Santangelo, the cookbook features Lucky’s favorite recipes and...

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French Master Chef Hervé Laurent Presents Classic Cuisine Served The Modern Way!

The goal of my recipes will be to provide you with the why and how to prepare different dishes. These are the same explanations provided to my students at SCARTS.  Classic cuisine served the modern way! The Why? Food and design is a big trend and popular. This will be shown with ScandinaVian Marinated Salmon, Asparagus, Balsamic Sauce. The presentation of the plate below is called “disorganized order.” The decoration looks messy but it takes lots of attention and details to balance colors and flavors. It gives guests the possibility to taste everything separately. The presentation of the plate...

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Cooking With The Cannibals

Meet Lance Seeto. He has become one of the most influential chefs not just for his food; but for his inspirational lessons of life, humanity and diet he has learned from an ancient civilization. The message he brings back from the descendants of one of the oldest but now extinct human species on the planet is clear – why is humankind so unhappy and sick? What is the meaning of life? And are the foods we eat everyday slowly leading us to a lifetime of disease? From the perspective of an entire native people, when it comes to humanity;...

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Four Seasons Elk Chili From the Handle Bar

While visiting Jackson Hole, we wanted to spend a night on the mountain. Since the Four Seasons had just been awarded the best ski resort, it made sense to check this hotel out and we’re pleased that we did. We decided to eat at the Handle Bar, a lively establishment that is a favorite in Jackson Hole. This American pub is certainly more elegant that most pubs we’ve visited, but just as inviting and comfortable. Looking out at the Grand Tetons was magnificent. The Handle Bar is known for a wide selection of American and International beers, whiskeys and...

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Executive Chef Patrick Turcot of Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu and His Menu

Visiting Quebec is always a pleasure for us. This time, our excitement increased as we ventured further east to Charlevoix and Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu. Both my husband and I enjoy all varieties of luxury hotels. However, the charm of a classic establishment can provide such a feeling a comfort- especially when it has maintained its charm and added modern conveniences. Our group of twenty arrived late afternoon. After a chance to rest and refresh, we joined Executive Chef Patrick Turcot for champagne and then dinner in Le Charlevoix Restaurant, with its view of the St. Lawrence River. Chef...

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Two Nights in the Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone

A visit to Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming was a lifelong dream and last fall I finally I got my chance. During my end of September trek, the sky was unfortunately laden with gray clouds as the first snowfall was expected. But snowy skies would not damped my spirits; I had entered the hallowed gates of Yellowstone — the 2.2 million acre gem that shines with incredible landscape diversity. I drove along with a mixture of goose bumps and glee. Driving within the park proceeds slowly. Backups occur whenever a large animal appears. Drivers simply stop in the middle...

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