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Caesar Salad With Parmesean Twill

Featured Recipes


Auberge des Templiers, Les Bezards, France

At the crossroads of Sologne, Gâtinais and Val de Loire, in an ancient posting house, with a thatched roof and half timberings all covered with virgin vines, Françoise Dépée is ready to open doors wide, to welcome us inside the hostel of the Templiers. 
The history of Auberge des Templiers can be traced back to 1160 when Major General of the Templars Everard des Barres built a guars post on the site, which was later destroyed Philippe le Bel and much later, in 1946, renewed by the Depee family. One of the eight establishments in the original group of Relais & Châteaux (originally âRelais de Campagneâ), Auberge des Templiers has been around for more than 65 years and continues to be one of the most elegant and beautiful places to stay in the region. Defined by style, luxury and refinement, Auberge des Templiers exemplify the art of fine living in the French countryside.     
Haute cuisine is served at the hotelâs fine dining restaurant, Les Bezards, including classic country dishes like ravioli of mild mushrooms and velouté with truffle jus. A great way to start is with a mille-feuilles of liver with stewed apples, or an onion and parsley sauce with virgin oil followed by a Gâtinais chicken, all terra-cotta crusted, and finish with a crispy-crunchy pineapple covered with glazed coconut. The hotel also houses an impressive collection of local wines. The dining room is tastefully decorated with soft carpets, Aubusson tapestries, burnished leather, plush fabrics, elegant oak beams, and a romantic fireplace.  
Very near the Loire, with its pinky sand and its thousand castles, you will find the quite renowned museum of the crockery of Gien, as well as a museum of hunting and shooting in this region where, as soon as Autumn peeps in, the hunters close up and crowd hurriedly.
Auberge des Templiers, Les Bezards,...
Food microbiologist Dr. Jennifer McEntire demonstrates how to properly cook a hamburger. This is video number 7 out of a set of 8.
How to Properly Cook a Hamburger
Scholteshof, Hasselt, Belgium

An old farm converted into a place of luxury, Scholteshof is a beautiful country estate owned and operated by Chef Roger Souvereyns. It is considered to be one of the most desired gastronomic destinations in Belgium. The property dates back to the 18th century and used to be a stone farmhouse and an ancient dwelling of the Bailiff of Steevoort. Former antiques dealer Roger Souvereyns bought, developed and expanded the property to 28 acres where he grew his own vegetables, fruits, herbs, and greens to supply his kitchen with the best and freshest ingredients. In the premises, there are also gazebos, ponds, fountains, pergolas, orchards, a vineyard, and a place for raising chickens and ducks.         
Scholteshof also houses a substantial antiques and arts collection, providing a cozy and elegant setting for guests. The estate has 18 rooms, each uniquely designed with elegant interiors, paintings, antiques, and art objects. Suites have their own living room and a loft bedroom with a spiral staircase. Some include a balcony furnished with chairs and a table for having breakfast or for relaxing. The rooms are also decorated with freshly cut flowers from the estateâs garden.
The Scholteshof restaurant serves haute cuisine and some of the finest food like truffles and goose-liver in carpaccio, roebuck undercuts, pear in red wine and beetroots, and fillets sautés. Awarded with two Michelin stars, Scholteshof serves earthy and super-fresh food to lucky guests.  A la Carte appetizers, main entrees, and three-course dinners are available paired with wine. The restaurant has a cozy yet elegant ambiance, decorated with antiques and paintings. The dining area extends to the open kitchen where guests have a full view of the Chef doing his magic. Hanging from the beams of the kitchen are a wide array of silver spoons from Chef Souvereyns collections and beautiful brass pots.
Scholteshof, Hasselt, Belgium
Le Palais de la Méditerranée, France

A five-star hotel in the centre of Rue de France and Jardin Albert I, Le Palais de la Mediterranee is only a short walk from the vibrant nightlife of Nice and is near the Northern Forum and Opera de Nice. The Nice-Cote dâAzur Airport is just 6km away and Nice Train station is only a 5-minute walk away. This luxury Art Deco-style hotel has an on-site casino, gourmet restaurant, Le 3e that serves Mediterranean, Southern and regional cuisine, a trendy lounge bar, two swimming pools, a sauna, fitness centre, and terrace with sweeping views of the Baie des Anges.     
The nine-story building is right across the beach and sits in the midst of the Verdure and Nice theatres, Sours Seleya flower market, Place Masséna, Niece Etoile Shopping Center, Albert 1st Gardens. Nearby attractions are the Boutique de L'homme Moderne, Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret, and the Nice Cathedral.
Le Palais de la Méditerranée

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.