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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes

Travel

L'Espérance, Marc Meneau

An old mill transformed into a luxurious place for indulging in the finest haute cuisine, L'Espérance by Chef Marc Meneau is set in twelve acres of parkland surrounded by brooks in the medieval town of Vézelay, a Unesco World Heritage site that has charmed poets, artists, and kings throughout history. Vézelay is home to the basilica of St. Mary Magdalene and is a popular pilgrimage site. It is also where the second and third crusades started. 
With its honey-colored stone exterior and its white shutters, L'Espérance looks like a rustic country lodge from the outside. A vegetable and herb garden grows abundantly where a lot of the fresh ingredients for the restaurant kitchen are sourced. A couple of renovations transformed the humble country home into a sprawling estate manor with rooms and suites situated along hidden path right in the midst of the flower and herb gardens for a total Burgundian ambiance. 
French haute cuisine inspired by Chef Meneauâs native Burgundy is served at the charming restaurant. A combination of classical and bold innovative cuisine is present in house specialties like the Cromesquis of foie gras (which explodes in the mouth like a sexual experience), Consomme of wild duck with Rostie of Perles du Japon, Herbed Bresses chicken cooked in a paper bag, Slow cooked river sander, Foa of watercress and frogs legs, John Dory fillet on a hot stone with lemon bouillon, Sweet onion confit and caviar, and Pumpkin soufflé, Chestnut soufflé with mushroom ice cream. The dining room is elegantly and warmly decorated with white orchids, fireplace, and fur throws. 
Chef Marc Meneau also has his own winery and served his Bougogne Vézelay wine paired with his exquisite dishes. You can visit his vineyards for a casse-croute before lunch. Chef Meneau draws inspiration not only from the local terroir but also from literary works like that of Victor Hugo and listening to Opera.
L'Espérance, Marc Meneau
St Tropez, France

A favorite destination of A-listers and international jet setters, St Tropez in France is one of the most famous resorts in Europe. Midsummer might not be the best idea to go because it is packed full of people, with up to 100,000 visitors a day, and youâll have a hard time squeezing past tourists clogging the cobblestone streets, the beaches, and the restaurants. Spring, autumn and the mild winter transforms St Tropez into a romantic and mythic dream that inspired many artists, writers, and filmmakers.  The St Tropez peninsula remains as picturesque as ever with breathtaking views of the sea and the Maures Mountains and the beautiful beaches.     
St Tropez is also home to some of the finest Provencal cuisine although a lot of the fine dining establishments are exorbitantly expensive. There are hidden gems throughout the town that are frequented more by locals than by tourists and a number of small cafes serve delicious traditional Provencal food. Donât miss the ever-famous bouillaibaise, a rich fish broth that is one of the most popular dishes in Provencal cuisine. Accompany the hearty broth with a glass of bourdeaux or burgundy form a local vineyard.   
In St Tropez, dressing up is part of the culture and it is nice to put a little black dress and heels for the ladies when dining for lunch or dinner. The men can get away with linen shirts and jeans for a laidback but elegant look. If you wish to dine at a particular restaurant, reservations are essential and remember that no one eats dinner before nine. Lunch can also be pretty late but you can always get brunch.    
St Tropez is in close proximity to the French Riviera and the legendary Cote dâAzur where culture and good food are also in abundance. Also donât miss a chance to visit the local market for fresh regional products and inexpensive wine.
St Tropez, France
Deauville, Normandy, France

The most glamorous seaside resort in the French coast, Deauville in Normandy France, a commune in Calvados, is considered the âqueen of the Norman beaches.â It is one of the most elegant and prestigious seaside resorts in all of France and is popular for its racecourse, horse culture, polo grounds, golf courses, villas, Grand Casino, international film festivals, five-star hotels, and marinas. 
A fashionable holiday resort among the international upper class and celebrities, Deauville is home to the rich and famous and a favorite family destination of the super wealthy since the 19th century. Deauville is often referred to as the Parisian Riviera and is well known for its role in famous author Marcel Proustâs âIn Search of Lost Time.â Today, it is easily accessible from Paris due to the extension of highway A132.   
One of Europeâs largest hotel companies, Le Groupe Lucien Barriere, which specializes in casinos and luxury hotels operate one of the most prominent structures in Deauville, the five-star Hotel Royal Barriere. Located near the beach and in the center of the town, it is directly linked to the renowned Casino also owned by the Groupe Lucien Barriere. Built in 1913, it has been a symbol of luxury and prestige and is a cornerstone of the famous town. Inside the hotel are two restaurants and spa.  
Another renowned property in Deauville is the Hotel Normandy, also a five-star hotel, which upholds Norman tradition and culture. It is easily distinguished for its beautiful Anglo-Norman architecture, antique furniture, and use of traditional fabrics.  
The four-star Hotel du Golf Barriere overlooks the countryside and the ocean. The hotel is situated in the world-famous 18-hole, as well as a 9-hole golf course located 10 minutes away from the heart of Deauville. Hotel du Golf offers natural beauty and high-class luxury in one place.
Deauville, Normandy, France
Domaine de Châteauvieux, Genève, Switzerland

One of the best places to wine and dine in Switzerland, Domaine de Châteauvieux is situated on a hilltop in the Swiss countryside just 15 minutes away from Downtown Geneva. Surrounded by vineyards and rolling green hills, the stone manor is a dream made real. The spacious guest rooms are elegantly designed balanced with a country chic vibe and accented with rough-hewn stonewalls. Marble sinks, vibrant calico fabrics, and delicate stenciling give the rooms a bright and cheery feel. 
The famous restaurant fitted with stone and wood beams, is run by one of the most renowned chefs in all of Switzerland, Philippe Chevrier. Breakfast at the chateau includes homemade bread, jams, local honey and pastries. Domaine de Châteauvieux is also known for its first-class personal service where the staff makes you feel as if you are the chateau owner. Take note that the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays. From the chateau, you can easily go to Geneva through the proxibus, which the front desk can arrange for you and provide you with a complimentary metro pass to use the Geneva rail/bus lines. The proxibus will take you to the Satigny train Station and from there Central Geneva is only two stops away at the Geneva Cornavin train station.
Domaine de Châteauvieux is the perfect place to stay if you want a cozy and homey ambiance to âcome homeâ to after a long day doing business in Central Geneva. You can also go here for a romantic dinner or special occasion to sample some of the finest food and wine in the region. The chateau also offers amazing views of the Rhone River, the vineyards and the surrounding hills. Just outside the gates, you can opt to reserve and ride a bicycle in the countryside or go horseback riding.
Domaine de Châteauvieux, Genève,...

Napkin Folding

Hosts and restaurant owners take into consideration not just the food and the taste. Even the table setting becomes an art form on its own. The table napkin has not only served its purpose of wiping excess food on the lips. It has now become a small piece of art welcoming a crowd of diners as you sit down for dinner. These table napkins are folded in various ways, usually in attractive shapes, flowers, animals, and other amusing shapes with just a fold and tuck. It’s actually very interesting to see the table linen shaped like a flower or swan welcoming you for dinner.

Folded napkins also serve the purpose of storing silverware in a prettier way. Not only do they serve as keeping utensils, but the utensils also help in preventing the napkins from flying off when a strong gust of wind approaches. Remember, napkins are usually made of light material, such as paper and cloth. If the event is outdoors, say a garden wedding, lunch, or afternoon barbecue, a little weight from silverware may help keep them in place and prevent unnecessary chasing of that cloth swan folded in place.

Napkins also come in paper or cloth. Both have their own advantages and disadvantages. Cloth does not tear as easily as paper, and may be used throughout the entire meal and absorbs liquid better. Paper of course, is more convenient for picnics and fast foods. They also prove to be more cost-efficient in some diners as there’s no need for additional laundry costs. There is also the option of being stiffer than paper so they can be folded into a lot more shapes.

Cloth and paper napkins come in a lot of swatches or colors. Even basic white has variants like ecru, ivory, cream, and bone. Red, pink, or blue, and other colored and printed napkins may be used for themed parties or may be matched with the restaurant’s interior. Attractive napkin rings may be purchased to keep them in place, and in weddings and parties, they may also be used as giveaways. The shape of the napkin when folded may also be themed according to the occasion, such as flowers and hearts for Valentine’s Day, animals for a children’s party, and so on.

Various tutorials online as well as books are available for those who would like to learn a few shapes to do in the next dinner party. You don’t have to own a five-star restaurant to be able to make a table setting just a little more special.

Frozen Cream

Everyone’s heard of ice cream, sherbets, sorbets, frozen yoghurt–popular icy dessert confections made with varying amounts of milk (or none at all) flavored with chocolate, fruits and many other ingredients. But what is frozen cream? Is it a kind of food or an ingredient?

To the ordinary layman and maybe even novice chefs unfamiliar with dairy or dessert terminology, frozen cream could be taken for ordinary cream that is frozen. A quick online search for the exact words will not yield much formal explanation on this exact product and direct the searcher to lots of information about ice cream.

There’s one site that describes frozen sweet cream as an additive-free product made from pasteurizing then freezing cream that is separated from fresh whole milk. The resulting product is a white creamy homogenous liquid that is free from any visible fat. This is probable not produced in large quantities in most countries as cream is a dairy product doesn’t hold well to freezing temperature. Another possible reason is that plain cream not that difficult to produce, store and use. In fact, there’s so many different kinds available with vary amounts of fat and some do not even need refrigeration–as in the case of canned cream.

Pasteurization is a process of subjecting foods to high temperature for a prescribed amount of time to kill off potentially harmful microorganisms and extend shelf life. Unpasteurized products, usually juices and dairy products, just stay fresh for a few hours if not kept in the refrigerator or freezer. Unfortunately, for raw foodists, the high temperature compromises health benefits such as heat sensitive phytonutrients and enzymes. An alternative treatment done by some companies and homemakers, particularly for raw milk is to ferment it with different cultures of beneficial microorganisms that increase the good bacteria and kill off the bad.

Sour cream, a high-fat product made from the fermentation of regular cream by some strains of Lactobacillus bacteria, can be frozen to extend its shelf life but this will affect the texture of the product after thawing–it will separate and not have the same creamy texture as the original. It still has the beneficial bacteria and health benefits but should be used in recipes wherein the texture is not important.

Ice cream and other frozen confections are a different story as the dairy ingredients, namely milk and cream with varying amounts of fat, are usually combined with other ingredients that act as emulsifiers and stabilizers which, as their names suggest, act to keep the resulting product smooth and creamy despite being frozen.

Cooking Recipe Videos

There are many ways to improve your cooking skills: reading great cookbooks, taking cooking classes, and good old fashioned practice in the kitchen are traditional methods. But these days, online cooking recipe videos are another excellent resource for aspiring chefs. Here's how to get the most from the cooking videos you encounter.

Find Them

There are lots of cooking recipe videos out there, but not all are created equal. Before you spend time watching any, consider the source. If you want to widen your cooking horizons, videos featuring famous chefs are a must. Such chefs might include television personalities (who may or may not have formal cooking backgrounds), cooking legends (like Julia Child, Graham Kerr, and Wolfgang Puck), or Michelin star-awarded chefs who've impressed the cooking world with their expertise and talent.

Live Demos

Once you find cooking recipe videos by esteemed chefs, you will probably discover you learn the most if you watch the videos more than once. In the first viewing, you'll likely only get the overall picture of what the chef is doing. If you watch the video once or twice more, you may notice and remember details you didn't before.

Bear in mind that you're not just learning how to make a particular recipe. You're also hoping to learn cooking techniques you can rely upon for other dishes. For example, you might see a Michelin chef chop up food in a faster, simpler way than you've ever seen before. Or you might see how a meal is flambéed. Or you might learn a new way to cook meat so it's crisp on the outside and tender and juice on the inside. There is nothing quite like a live demo, to make those techniques stick in your brain and come to life next time you are in the kitchen.

Share it

Although cooking recipe videos are helpful and educational, they're also fun. You can make them even more entertaining by sharing them with friends. What does your best friend think about trying to make a flambéed meal with you? Does she have a funny story to tell about attempting this on her own? Does your work mate drool over gourmet desserts as much as you do? Are you and your friends inspired by a certain video to try a pot luck gourmet party? Let cooking videos be part of you and your friends online entertainment, and you'll have fun while you improve your cooking skills.

Try it Out

After watching cooking recipe videos, it's a great idea to make the recipes in your own kitchen. The best cooking video websites also have printed recipes to go along with their videos. Print one out and give the recipe your best go.

Or, you could just try out one or two techniques you learned by watching a great chef. For example, maybe you've never tried blanching vegetables before. After watching a chef demonstrate this on a video, you can try the technique almost any time you're preparing veggies.

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