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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes

Travel

Gstaad Palace

One of the finest and grandest hotels in Switzerland, Gstaad Palace is set on a hill overlooking the picturesque town of Gstaad and offers stunning views of the Swiss Alps. Owned by the Scherz family, this elegant hotel employs 250 people and features a relaxing ambiance, spa, health club, pilates studio, saunas, steam baths, treatment rooms, state of the art gym, outdoor tennis courts, squash court, and indoor and outdoor pool with Jacuzzi. On the roof of the Palace is an exclusive 240-square-meter Penthouse Suite with a private terrace and sweeping views of the Alps. 
There are five restaurants in the hotel that serves traditional Swiss dishes, Italian cuisine, barbecue specialties, and gourmet haute cuisine. There is also a stylish Bar du Grill, a lobby or lounge bar, and a GreenGo nightclub. La Formagerie is housed in a historic space where the government hid gold reserves during the war. Today Champagne truffle fondue is served here and the terrace serves as the Lobby Bar where guests can listen to live music and sip Champagne. More formal dining options include Le Restaurant, Le Grill Rôtisserie (open show kitchen with intimate dining room), and authentic Italian Gildoâs Ristorante.  
Gstaad Palace opened in 1913 and was considered very modern during that time. It had 150 rooms with 50 private bathrooms, electrical lighting, and six telephone booths. The First World War brought hard times but the Golden Twenties were good years and was the time that the Palace became very popular. It was in 1938 when Mr. and Mrs. Scherz-Bezzola arrived in the hotel as managers, previously running the Hoteal Carlton in St. Moritz. When the Second World War broke, Mrs Scherz was left to manage the hotel almost on her own as her husband guarded the borders together with the Swiss Army. She cultivated the Palaceâs gardens and raised chickens. Over the years, the Scherz family acquired most of the hotel shares and gradually improved the palace.
Gstaad Palace
Verdon - Provence, Chateau de Trigance
Verdon - Provence, Chateau de Trigance
Les Frères Pourcel, Le Jardin des Sens

A design hotel and gourmet restaurant in Montpellier, Le Jardin des Sens is the property of twin brothers Jacques and Laurent Pourcel who are both acclaimed chefs. They found the abandoned house in the center of Montpellier when they were only 24 years old and transformed it into a gastronomic paradise and a temple of the senses filled with flowers and a bountiful garden. 
Their cuisine is rooted in the flavors of the Languedoc and the Mediterranean but is also influenced by the flavors of Italy, Greece, Morocco, and other countries near the border of the Mediterranean. Simple and subtle yet creative and surprising, the brothers use the basic Mediterranean ingredients of olive oil, tomatoes, and herbs to create a wide array of dishes that are mostly light, always fresh, and delicious. The cuisine is based on top quality produce and the local terroir.    
The décor of the hotel is contemporary with modern art and sculptures expressing true art de vivre that is the philosophy of good living in the French Mediterranean. Interior designer Bruno Borrione created an elegant yet very relaxed and welcoming place that delight all of the senses.   
Le Jardin des Sens is only a short ten-minute walk for the town centre. It has a private bar and gourmet restaurant in a dining room with glass walls where guests can look out to the garden. On the occasion of favorable weather, guests can dine outside on the terrace for a spectacular ambiance. All the guest rooms in the hotel are air-conditioned and equipped with free wireless Internet access, mini-bars, and television. Possible activities while staying in Le Jardin des Sens include swimming, mountain biking, horseback riding, hiking, sailing, fishing, diving, water-skiing, polo, and golf. The Mediterranean coast is only a 15-minute drive away and Nimes is a 35-minute drive.
Les Frères Pourcel, Le Jardin des Sens
Saint Paul de Vence, France

A medieval French hilltop village in between two deep valleys, Saint Paul de Vence is filled with quaint old houses, art galleries, boutiques, narrow winding streets, stone walls covered in vines, romantic fountains, majestic statues, cobblestones, and sidewalk cafes. Undeniably spectacular views of the mountain and the sea make this a top destination. 
Because of its captivating beauty and laid-back atmosphere, an average of 2.5 million tourists visit the village every year so it is not exactly the place to go if you desire peace and quiet. It is also not the easiest place to get to since it is not accessible by rail. You can either go there by car or by bus from the major Riviera cities. Still, the trip is worth it for the stroll within the ramparts alone, allowing yourself the pleasure of simply "hanging out" with the locals.  
Two of the best places to dine at Sain Paul de Vence is at the Le Colombe dâOr at the Place du General-de-Gaulle, or at Mas dâArtigny at Route de La Colle. La Colombe is where the stars eat and stay and where artworks by Picasso, Léger, Miró, and Roualt are displayed and can be viewed. Matisse, Picasso, and many other modern painters used to stay at the hotel and paid their bills with paintings. Mas dâ Artigny is off the beaten track located in the countryside in the middle of the forest.   
Long a haven for the famous, Saint-Paul de Vence was a favorite destination of French actors in the 1960s including Simone Signoret, Yves Montand, and Lino Ventura. The poet Jacques Prevert also frequented the place. It was also home to Russian born painter Marc Chagall who is buried in the Saint-Paul-de-Vence cemetery. To get to his grave, which is a simple white tomb, take the first right from the entrance and then take the next left.
Saint Paul de Vence, France

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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