Posts from June 2006

In 'Cooking to a World Beat' Michael Bauer points to the wide range of flavors on offer

In Cooking to a world beat, Michael Bauer of the San Francisco Chronicle highlights the rise of Spanish and Asian influences in American cooking (and the end of the French-English-German hegemony) and how Tuna Tartare is now a staple at many restaurants.
The Culinary Institute of America is actually presenting Spain and the World Table (November 2-4) as part of its Worlds of Flavor Events. The guest chef for that event is Ferran Adria of renowned restaurant El Bulli.

MPire...A one stop solution for your Online Purchases?

The recently launched MPRIRE might offer a one stop solution to your online shopping. Enter say 'couch cover', the service will give you a few related options so you can narrow your choices and then list a number of items available. The company has a partnership with Yahoo, Overstock, Craigslist and EBay which might explain why the results coming up during my test searches where a little EBAY top heavy. I am sure that as time goes by they will widen the sources and the selection of items offered.
Otherwise the service seems well designed and is user friendly.

Potatoes Anna...with your Pan Seared Halibut!

Despite the fact that potatoes are a basic food staple, I never had a chance to taste Potatoes Anna until yesterday as they were served with a Pan Roasted Nova Scotia Halibut by Chef Joe Paladino. Other accompaniments were a julienne of beets and scallions. The finishing touch was a sweet corn coulis. Anna Maki of 'I was just really hungry' offered a Recipe for Pommes de Terres( Potatoes) Anna (April 2004). Her photo for her piece is the illustration I chose. Makiko (Maki) Itoh was recently exploring Provence. I wish I was there for the July 4th holiday.
A glass of Pastis, une partie de Petanque, what could be better?

What a $11m spending spree could do for your Wine Cellar? Ask John Kapon

According to Going, going, gone...for $11millions (Mike Steinberger, FT, June 10) a wine auction run by John Kapon of Acker, Merrall and Condit in New York City in January rung up close to $11 millions.
It included rare items such as magnums of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 1971. The live auctions are held at the restaurant CRU which offers a selection of 65,000 wine bottles.
John Kapon besides holding the hammer that punctuates his auctions also shares his tastings, wine interests and comments on Blog Au Vin. Today he treats us to a Late December Tasting of Chateau Figeac.
Many of these wines might be out of your reach but you can always make your mouth water.
Some experts predict that the 2005 Vintage of Bordeaux will be a blockbuster and that one might have to pay around $7000.00 for a case of one of the Premium Chateaux if you can put your hands on it. The chinese (and others) are driving the demand in that area as well.

Trend Spotted: Is Montenegro the up and coming travel destination?

Last week, in a matter of days, I read 2 pieces singing the praises of Montenegro, the newly independant republic of the former Yugoslavia. It sounds like trend spotting. There are Savings by the Sea (for Now) in Montenegro according to Matt Gross (the New York Times' Frugal Traveler) and Eric Jansson in last week-end's Financial Times calls Montenegro Europe's undiscovered playground, Both writers praise the vistas of both the Dinaric Alps and the Mediterranean beaches that grace the country including one that is 12 km long at Ada Bojana. Amongst the few key points I kept from both articles are the very inexpensive rooms you can rent from the locals ($10.00 to $15.00 per night), how they both fell for the seaside town of Perast. As to getting there, flying to Dubrovnik (Croatia) so you can enjoy the rebuilt city and then driving to Montenegro sounds like a good idea. Just to not think of visiting in August, September would be a better time.

Scorpion flavored cocktails: South of the Border

Machismo expresses itself in many ways south of the border it seems, including in young boys in Oaxaca(Mexico) thinking nothing of going Scorpion Hunting and reselling the charming creatures to local Mezcal distillers who add one of these friends in some of their local production. One of the best known Mezcal producers is Del Maguey. Maguey Mezcal is made from the maguey plant which comes in many types. Maguey worms (caterpillars) are also one of the insects treated as a delicacy by locals.

What piqued my interest in the topic was Would you like a scorpion with that, sir? by Tom Sutherland in the FT Week-end.

'Shopify' Your Yard Sale or Specialty shop online in a breeze

Looking for ways to Clear your Attic or Showcase your Own Designs or Products. Instead of having a Yard Sale in the sweltering heat, Shopify allows you to set your own 'Shop' Online in minutes. There is no Fee for setting up your space. They take a 3% commission on sales of up to $10.000 and 2% over that.
They are based in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Give them a try!

7, Not the 7 Deadly Sins, 7 Minutes, What can you accomplish?

You can pick any number you want, say 7 and start to wonder what you would/could do during that time.
Or should I dare say not do. By that something that does not qualify as productive like take a 7 minute nap, dream, stretch, empty your head, go for a walk....the list could go on and on.
A To don't List could be another occupation. Seven For these 'slowing down' moments or for 'productive' ones you could find how to draw a path in 'The Seven Minute Difference' by Allyson Lewis.

52 Projects, all these numbers today, offer their own To Don't List if you are curious.

I heard Tom Peters raise the same point back in May 2001 in Philadelphia.

You could also hire us at New Jersey Concierges to let us help reduce your Time Clutter.

Is Middle School Graduation turning into A Fashion Display?

Attending one of my son's middle school graduation, I was more than a bit amazed at the fashion display I had to witness. Maybe I paid more attetion to it than I would have if the sound system had worked properly and I could understand what people said rather than try to read it off their lips.
Especially on the girls side, fancy dos and expensive clothes looked the norm. Beyonce or Oscar actresses would not have looked out of place. On the boys side (besides the gum chewing on stage) some outfits were showy rather than tasteful.
The question in my head while I witnessed this was: is it all about showing off and how much you spent rather than marking a growing up moment ( passage to high school)?
For full disclosure, I have to say that I did my transition to high school in the 70's, another era I guess.

Open your ears and your horizons with the 'Fete de la Musique', 25th Edition, celebrating music and summer on June 21st

Even though it is pretty much unknown in the US, Fete de la Musique (started in France in 1982) celebrates its 25th anniversary this year on the day of the Summer Solstice. It brings all kinds of musics to all kind of people in the streets and town centers of many cities for Free. The Festival now has spread as far as Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) where they staged it on June 17 this year,Fetemusique06 Sidney and many other cities. According to MusiQualite it has been adopted by 120 countries and some 250 cities. In Europe, London stages a major event. Bruxelles (Belgium) extended the festivities to 5 days (Wednesday 21 to Sunday 25). Buenos Aires (Argentina) is staging its first Fete de la Musique this year. Citivox seems to offer the most detailed program for festivities in France.
Alas, in the US, I could only find happenings in Miami at the Gussman Theater (courtesy of the French Consulate) and Kalamazoo, this event from Fontana Chamber Arts should not really qualify as they charge for it when the spirit of this Festival is for music to be Free that day.

Maybe I should look into sponsoring an event here in my hometown of Montclair, New Jersey, next year.

I hope you live in or near a place staging concerts, in that case have a blast.

Happy Summer 06!