Category: Epicure

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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Kalua Pig, A Plantation Food Favorite

This is an easy crock pot version that anyone can make. Kalua pig is the whole pig that is cooked in a pit in the ground known as an Imu. This dish is traditionally served at Luaus, family gatherings and special occasions such as graduations, and birthdays. Local families in Hawaii also make quick version with pre-made Kalua pork, but here we do a better version from scratch using a crock pot/slow cooker. Kalua Pig Ingredients: 3-4 lb pork loin roast or pork shoulder 1 large onion sliced 4 plus cups beef stock 4 plus cups chicken stock 1...

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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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Crispy Pacific Oysters with Black Truffle Caviar

  Some years back, when I was working at Different Pointe of view, I was asked to travel to New Orleans and cook.  I was beside myself with excitement.  Not only is New Orleans a big food town, but it also is a magical place filled with beautiful architecture and even more beautiful people.  I made sure to stay a few days so I could eat my way through the city before I had to return home.  I started my mornings with rich coffee flavored with chicory and piping hot beignets covered in decadent powdered sugar.  For lunch I...

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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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Club Seabourne Lobster and Plantains Recipe

The newly remodeled Club Seabourne on Culebra Island draws one in. Blessed with great reviews, it is surpassing expectations of all who visit — and we were lucky enough to have the chef share his recipe for Fresh Culebra Island Lobster with Cassava. Fresh Culebra Island Lobster with Cassava and Plantains (Yield: 2 servings) Ingredients: 1 Lobster of 2 pounds 1/2 pound of cooked cassava (yucca) 1/2 green pepper finely chopped 1/2 red pepper finely chopped 1/2 white onion finely chopped 1 Tbsp of cilantro finely chopped 3 Tbsp of extra virgin olive oil 1 Tbsp of apple vinegar...

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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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