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Category: Dining

Low Country French Cuisine Along the Grand Strand

Not your typical down-home Southern cooking While Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, is a great destination for Calabash-style seafood and Southern comfort food, it is not usually known for its top-chef restaurants or its award-winning cuisine. But with rumors of an up-and-coming food and wine culture, I decided to check out two of the recently acclaimed restaurants along the Grand Strand (the designation for the 60-mile strip of beach towns north and south of Myrtle Beach proper).  What I discovered were two hidden gems that satisfy my criteria for some of the best upscale food in the South.  The Brentwood...

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Mexican Molecular at Le Chique: Azul Sensatori

People typically rave about a restaurant with comments like, “I swear they had the best ribs I’ve ever tasted,” or perhaps,”the beef was so tender, I didn’t need a knife.” However, these are not the comments diners will say after eating at Le Chique, an adult’s only restaurant on the Azul Sensatori property in Riviera Maya, Mexico. That’s because the meal at Le Chique is an adventure in dining, a cutting-edge food fantasy like none other than I have tasted anywhere. My evening began with a peek into the busy kitchen where my foursome was served a foamy cucumber...

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2014 Fancy Food Show Reveals New Gourmet Food Trends

The 2014 Golden Globes featured so many exciting, talked-around-the-water-cooler fashion trends that it makes you wonder if it’s just coincidence or is it all pre-ordained and some people just didn’t get the memo? The leading trend was striking blood-red gowns, followed by dramatic emerald green stunners, pale but bejeweled dresses and austere monochromatic numbers. You could say the same thing about the 39th Winter Fancy Food Show held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center that just finished its three-day run. Featuring over 80,000 specialty foods and beverage products from the U.S. and 35+ countries, I’m always mystified that, like the...

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Expressing Love & Romance through New York Fine Dining

Valentine’s greetings date back to the Middle Ages. History behind this holiday is still a mystery.  The entire month of February has become a time of romance, gifts, and special dinners. To secure reservations at some of these fine establishments, you need to start early. New York City has more exceptional restaurants that one could mention. Our focus will be on its seven three-star Michelin establishments. Last year, New York boasted five with this ranking and two more joined in 2012. Three Michelin star rating is considered the highest, most respected global recognition in the culinary world. Having met...

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Romantic Valentine’s Dishes For Two

This Valentine’s Day wow your other half with some of the world’s most romantic dishes by creative Chef Katherine Frelon. This year if you find yourself on Google on the eve of February 13th with sweat on your brow or browsing the aisles of your local supermarket desperate for inspiration and steadily panicking, worry not. Creative Chef and founder of Gourmet cookery school in Burgundy, Katherine Frelon has developed a selection of Valentine’s suppers sure to make even Casanova go weak at the knees. Warm the heart and soul with this simple romantic salad Prep: 15mins Cooking time: 30mins...

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Emeril Reacts to Fisher’s Menu in Orange Beach, Alabama

Two days before Fisher’s at Orange Beach Marina opened to the public, Emeril Lagasse tied up his yacht within walking distance to the restaurant. A big game fishing enthusiast, he was there for the Orange Beach Billfish Classic. Johnny Fisher invited Emeril ashore to check out his new menu. Back in the kitchen, Johnny’s team was anxiously lighting ovens and firing up kitchen equipment for the very first time. Stress levels were high. Emeril accepted Johnny’s offer bringing his crew of eight along as well. “There was no time to treat Emeril as anything but another restaurant guy,” Fisher...

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4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival Was a Success!

I just returned from the most erotic, exotic, earthy, smelly and totally unforgettable G-rated weekend of my life and I swear I’m never washing my hands again. It was the 4th Annual Napa Truffle Festival, produced by the American Truffle Company (ATC) where world class cuisine met cutting edge truffle science, which translates to learning everything you ever wanted to know about truffles- from cultivating them, hunting them, to tips on the best ways to buy, store and cook with these pricey lovelies.  From January 17-20, attendees could take advantage of seminars geared toward potential growers, attend chef demonstrations,...

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New Orleans Cooking Experience Shares Secrets

After arriving at the New Orleans Cooking Experience​ (NOCE)​, I knew I was in for a great cooking class when the first words out of Frank Brigtsen’s mouth (a fifth-generation NOLA chef and owner of Brigtsen’s Restaurant) were, “Food is about sharing, not about keeping secrets.” Full of classes that celebrate the traditional Creole and Cajun cooking of Louisiana, NOCE features traditional and historic recipes taught by their family of well-known chefs. Fun-filled classes include personalized instruction, unlimited wine service, complete recipe packets, and a tour of the house and dining. Following your cooking class you will enjoy a seated dinner served party-style...

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Canyon Ranch’s Chef Giovanni Arias wins The 2013 Healthy Chef Award

Layering flavor is a cooking term that covers combining, expanding, and intensifying flavors which is just one of many techniques Executive Chef Giovanni Arias uses to create the scrumptious, lower-calorie menu served at Miami’s Canyon Ranch Grill. I thoroughly enjoyed Chef G’s healthier renditions of everything from crab eggs Benedict with creole sauce, the totally addictive, crispy (from grilling not frying) yucca fries dipped in a lively habanero cilantro sauce, and a so-decadently-rich-I-still-can’t-believe-it’s-only-210-calories, Black Forest molten cake with brandied cherries, that I nicknamed him the ‘flavor whisperer’. Obviously I’m not the only one who feel this way since Chef...

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John Sarich, Culinary Director at Chateau Ste Michelle

While visiting Chateau Ste Michelle, we were fortunate to have Culinary Director, John Sarich, lead a tour of the Chateau. After discovering all this wonderful winery has to offer, we enjoyed a wine pairing, prepared especially for our International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association group. John feels fortunate he has access to world-class wines and fresh foods and says, “Not only do we have an outstanding variety of ingredients from the land and sea, we also have exceptional wines from Washington’s Columbia Valley, where long summer days and crisp autumn nights produce ideal conditions for well balanced wines.”...

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Oregon Truffle Festival, Dogs, Growers, and Gourmands and Recipe

Since 2009, I’ve seen press releases on the Oregon Truffle Festival (OTF), held every January.  This year it is January 24-26th. OTF has always been of interest, as I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate truffles. After getting my down coat and pants for the holidays, I was able to cover “The Culinarian Experience” track at OTF in Eugene, Oregon in 2013 and highly recommend it for 2014 truffle lovers. While a gourmet experience was expected, the opportunity of my meeting growers, owners and trainers of truffle dogs, research scientists, and worldwide truffle experts provided an exceptional weekend. The majority of...

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Garlic Cognac Roasted Trumpet Mushrooms

    I love all mushrooms, but I must confess that I’m partial to king trumpets.  Savory in flavor with a firm meaty texture, they live up to their royal title.  Only one thing could make these wonderful gifts better… Cognac!  It is warm and nutty by nature, but when you combine it with butter  it is transcended to a roasted sweet caramel.  In this recipe, when the cognac & butter meets the smokey piquillo pepper, the herbes de Provence & the salty Parmesan, magic happens.  The mushrooms dance and the cognac sings. This dish is a wonderful accompaniment to...

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