Sunday, December 31, 2017

The Year in Bites Highlights of 2017

Join us as we take a look back at the most fascinating and exciting topics, interviews and stories we covered this year at Fine Dining Lovers.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

4 Salad Recipes That Will Change Your Salad Game Forever

Salad does not have to be a boring side dish. Here's four perfect salad recipes that will take your salad game to a whole new level.

Meet Sam, the Winner of Future Food Design Awards 2017

SAM, the Autonomous Soda Maker, wins this year's Future Food Design Awards, a prize for innovative design in sustainable future food.

Friday, December 29, 2017

What's on in January: Food Events Around the Globe

We round-up the best food events on this January, from chefs on sustainability in the Alps, to Moscow's leading food festival. See what's on around the world.

Star Anise from A to Z: 26 Things to Know

What is star anise? 26 interesting facts and figures about this spice having a huge variety of uses and purposes, from culinary to digestive.

Shchi: Russian cabbage soup with sorrel

A soup to warm up the Winter days with a touch of Russian flavours: try this easy Shchi recipe, the traditional Russian cabbage soup with sorrel.

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Why Gualtiero Marchesi is considered the founder of Italian modern cuisine

Passionate about art and music, Gualtiero Marchesi was the first chef in Italy to expand Italian cuisine beyond traditional boundaries.

Pulled Pork sandwich with Basil

Are you a sandwich lover? Don't miss this easy pulled pork sandwich with basil: the perfect idea to prepare a delicious and original sandwich.

Top 5 Winter Sun Destinations for Foodies

What are the best winter sun destinations for fine dining? The following five spots will satisfy all you sun-seekers with a love of good food.

Gingerbread Muffins

Try these gingerbread muffins, prepared with honey and ginger syrup: a delicious recipe perfect for breakfast or dessert.

New Year's Eve Appetizers: 12 Festive Finger Food Ideas

Here are 12 amazing appetizers that'll make sure your guests never go short of delicious bites alongside a glass of bubbles.

Curried Parsnip Soup

An easy and tasty recipe for curried parsnip soup, a vegetarian and spicy dish very easy to make.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Elise Kornack: 'Reviews Obsession Drove Me to the Edge'

Watch chef Elise Kornack speak candidly about her battles with mental health at Food on the Edge 2017.

Fillet Wellington with mixed Vegetables (gluten free)

An easy and tasty recipe for Fillet Wellington served with mixed Vegetables , with a Gluten free golden and crusty pastry.

A Gourmet New Year's Brunch Menu Everyone Will Love

Kick off your New Year with an easy gourmet brunch. What's on the menu? Chorizo waffles, egg and bacon pies, kale muffins, Spanish egg omelette and more!

Richard Ekkebus: 'Failures Are Part of Learning'

A chat with the S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 mentor for South East Asia, on his culinary education around the world and on his plans for the future.

Red cabbage strudel

Find out how to make this delicious and vegetarian strudel with red cabbage... so yummy!

A Fish Hunt at Keelung Market with Ryohei Hieda | Video

Japanese Chef Ryohei Hieda brings us to the Keelung Fish Market to buy bonito fish and shows us how he cooks it in his restaurant in Tapei.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Broccoli Stem Slaw: An Easy Recipe To Make The Most of Broccoli

Try these easy recipe to turn broccoli stems into a tasty slaw you can enjoy as a salad or a topping for sandwiches, burgers, tacos and more.

Budapest, Hungary: a City Tasting Tour

Craving authentic Hungarian food? Here's a list of some of the best food markets, street-food and perfect venues for your gourmet experience in Budapest.

Monday, December 25, 2017

5 Clever Ways To Use Christmas Leftovers

Don't waste Christmas leftovers! Turn them into muffins, croquettes, soups and other yummy treats. Try these easy recipes!

Happy Gourmet Christmas! Celebrate in Style with These Tips

Here's the ultimate guide to having a very merry Christmas: tips for DIY decor, gourmet recipes and advice on making the classics, like glazed ham.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

The Week in Bites 24 December 2017

This week at FDL we discovered the best places to ring in 2018 in Paris, examined the history of Panforte di Siena, and interviewed chef Wojciech Modest Amaro.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Iconic Images from Food in Vogue

A selection of amazing and revolutionary pictures from 'Food in Vogue', a book dedicated to the iconic magazine's food photography and writing.

Madrid Fusión 2018 Addresses Those Who Own the Future

Elena Arzak, Joan Roca, Andoni Luis Aduriz and other world class chefs will deliver unmissable masterclasses and themed talks from 22 to 24 January.

Chicago's Grace Has Closed

Three-Michelin-star Grace restaurant in Chicago has closed after chef Curtis Duffy and manager Michael Muser walked out.

5 Sous Vide Drinks Recipes for Christmas

Turn your sous vide skills to drinks this festive season, from mulled wine to cherry brandy

Friday, December 22, 2017

Watch Gordon Ramsay Get Bossed in the Kitchen

Watch Gordon Ramsay taking orders and making a mess on the kitchen for a change, whilst appearing on Korean TV.

How To Prepare Christmas Pudding

Tips and tricks on how to prepare a delectable Christmas pudding from scratch. It is the perfect addition to Christmas dinner. Get the recipe now!

8 Numbers behind... Ice

Ice may be nothing more than solid water; but it is versatile and full of surprises. Here are some numbers to help you to know it better.

6 Reasons We Choose the Wrong Partners and Stay in Unhappy Relationships

6 Reasons We Choose the Wrong Partners and Stay in Unhappy Relationships

One of our most essential needs as human beings is to love and be loved. Since we are wired for relationships from the moment we enter the world, one would think it would be easy to pick partners that suit us well. But the truth is, many people repeatedly pick the wrong partner and end up feeling unhappy (and perhaps utterly pained) in their relationship. For some, it’s easy to walk away from a relationship when it’s not right but for others, not so easy. Many people stay in relationships and are even aware of their unhappiness as they know deep down that their partner is not the right one.
In my psychotherapy practice two of the most common themes I hear among my clients when discussing romantic partnerships are: “Why do I keep choosing the wrong partner?” and “Why do I stay in relationships that make me unhappy?” These are important and complex questions that can only be answered when we take a hard look at ourselves. There are multiple reasons that motivate how we choose our partners and why we stay in dead end relationships—some of these reasons are conscious while others are unconscious. In order to understand what motivates our choices we have to be willing to work on ourselves and build awareness around our patterns.

I want to address some of the factors that may lead us into unhappy partnerships, and what keeps us in them. Once we have a sense of why we choose the way we do, we put ourselves in a better position to make conscious choices and to shift our negative patterns. This will help us get on the trajectory of finding a healthy whole relationship.

Reason #1: Fear

We can all relate to making choices out of fear: deciding whether or not to ask your boss for a raise, confronting someone we feel angry at, and, very commonly, staying in a relationship we know (on some level) is not right for us. Fear is one of the worst decision makers when it comes to choosing a partner. As instant gratification seekers, we thrive on the fantasy of the sparkly life experiences —the grand engagement, wedding, a house, and babies; we just figure we’ll deal with the rest (ie. our relationship struggles) later.

Fear tells us that we better lock a partner down fast or we may be alone forever. It causes us to obsess and sends us the message that it’s too late to break up and start over. In our culture no one wants to be the last single friend, or the really old parent, or be judged for still being single. However, what we should fear most is spending the rest of our lives unhappily with the wrong person. One solution to working with fear is to lean into it, as uncomfortable as it might be, and be real with ourselves about how we feel in our relationship right now. If you are aware that you are with your partner because you are afraid to leave (for whatever reason), try to be aware to the fact that you are choosing to be unhappy now because you are afraid to be unhappy later.

There comes a point where we need to make a choice: We either choose to value our own worth or we don’t. Your partner cannot fill this void.

Reason #2: You Don’t Value Yourself

We all go through periods of feeling high and low. I think it’s helpful to think of self-esteem as existing on a continuum that fluctuates over the course of our lives. However, in relationships nothing interferes with the ability to have an authentic, reciprocal partnership like chronic low self-esteem. It can cause you to sabotage relationships or settle for a relationship in which you’re treated poorly, which ultimately matches your beliefs about yourself. There are so many valid reasons we do this.

Yet there comes a point where we need to make a choice: We either choose to value our own worth or we don’t. Your partner cannot fill this void. No relationship with someone else can ever compensate for secretly believing you don’t deserve it. Depending on your life circumstances, the concept of valuing yourself may feel impossible. I get it—but it is also possible. It’s about starting small and making a commitment to practice being kind to ourselves and recognizing we are valuable, even when we think we don’t deserve it. It’s a process, it will take time, and it will change your life.

Reason #3: The Pressure is Real

Lets just say it: Society gives us terrible advice around our decision making for choosing a partner. We are told things like rely on fate, go with your gut, and hope for the best. We’re bombarded with images on social media that make us feel behind in life. We are indoctrinated with the belief that we have to find a life partner before we are “too old,” which depending on where you live, could be anywhere from ages 21-35. This pressure leads many to settle for partners they know in the long run are wrong for them.

While it’s true that pressure is abundant, remember, this is your life we are talking about. As the writer Tim Urban profoundly stated, “When you choose a life partner, you’re choosing a lot of things, including your parenting partner and someone who will deeply influence your children, your eating companion for about 20,000 meals, your travel companion for about 100 vacations, your primary leisure time and retirement friend, your career therapist, and someone whose day you’ll hear about 18,000 times.” Enough said.

Reason #4: You Believe Your Relationship Will Complete You

There is a huge mistake that many people make when looking for a partner. It is the belief that a romantic relationship is the key to being happy. It’s not true. In fact, this mindset may actually be sabotaging your experience of finding a partner. Here’s why: Other people can feel it when you have anxiety about finding love. When you approach a relationship from a sense of emptiness inside, the people you’re dating will sense it and it won’t feel good to them. When you’re confident, the energy you give off will convey that being in a relationship is your choice, not a dire need. When you have that underlying feeling of needing to find a relationship out of fear, your entire vibe can change from calm and collected to insecure and riddled with self-doubt.

The truth is that only you can complete you, and by that I mean the job of healing one’s own emptiness cannot be handed over to our partners. This is personal work that if left undone will follow you from one relationship to the next.

Many of us pick partners who help us stay within our comfort zone, even if that zone turns out to be less than desirable.

Reason #5: Familiarity

As human beings, we are drawn on an unconscious level toward the familiar. The experiences that make us who we are also influence whom we choose as a partner. Many of us pick partners who help us stay within our comfort zone, even if that zone turns out to be less than desirable. For example, if our past was filled with feelings of rejection or inadequacy, we will be drawn to scenarios in which we feel the same way as adults. Imagine this scenario: You may be initially attracted to someone whose attention makes you feel good about yourself, but eventually, you start to notice that your partner is resistant to getting close and can be dismissive. This will in turn trigger your fear of rejection, validate that you feel inadequate, and trigger anxiety.

Let me be clear that your fear of inadequacy being validated does not mean you are inadequate. What it actually means is that you are being put in the position to confront this belief and to act from a place of self-worth. I want to challenge you to respond differently the next time you feel rejected in your relationship. Notice if there is a familiarity of the situation and ask yourself, “Am I OK with this? Is this what I want in my relationship?” If the answer is no, it is time to act. If you feel you can’t act on your own, it is time to reach out for help.

Reason #6: Your ‘Wounded Self’ is Doing the Attracting

Are you attracted to people that you want to fix? Are you drawn to the “project” aspect of a relationship where you get to help your partner change for the better? If you answered yes, you may be choosing partners from your “wounded self.” The wounded self is the part of you that feels incomplete or damaged; it is the part that makes you question your worth or makes you think you are flawed in some way, always wondering if you are worth loving. When you put your energy into helping your partner heal from their issues it is a way of unconsciously acting out how you wish to be treated.

The patience, love, support you provide to your partner is an unconscious desire of what you craved in your early relationships. It gets unconsciously framed in the psyche as “if I can get “x” to change, then I am worth it, I am lovable.” For some people it is easier to put their focus and attention on how their partner needs to change because it allows them to avoid having to look at their own “stuff.” There is much healing to be done when we are choosing our partners from an unhealthy part of us. When we show up this way in our relationship we are actually abandoning ourselves and avoiding our deeper needs. This is a recipe for unhappiness.

Each relationship you encounter in your life comes with lessons for you to learn and what you need to evolve.

One of the most profound and challenging aspects of being in a relationship is that it provides us with the opportunity for personal growth, if we allow it. Each relationship you encounter in your life comes with lessons to learn and what you need to evolve. But you have to want to evolve. And until you do, you will continue to face the same issues with each relationship moving forward. If we can think of each relationship as an opportunity to examine where we get stuck or triggered and aim to work on those parts of ourselves then we put ourselves in a better position to choose healthy, whole relationships.

Do You Keep Choosing the Wrong Partners?

Do You Keep Choosing the Wrong Partners?

Dating is often a fruitless search. Though they are filled with hopes and expectations at the beginning of each relationship, they are too often disappointing and even disillusioning in the long run. Yet, many single people continue to put huge amounts of their time and energy into every possible option for a long-lasting partnership. Despite multiple setbacks, they keep reaching for that elusive needle in a romantic haystack. When they describe their adventures to me, I’m often amazed and so impressed at how they somehow find the resilience and optimism to keep trying. And yet they do.

The media responds by offering a smorgasbord of ready online adventures. From well-established dating sites to the plethora of ever-new ways to explore the dating market, today’s relationship seekers might easily spend many of their waking hours searching for the one person who someday will make it all worth it.

Because life has other demands, it’s becoming more necessary to predict which options are not likely to work out, and to focus in on those that may be more productive. Dating profiles try to help by offering carefully designed first-impression packages that help each hopeful subscriber present the most desirable picture possible. Whether they are prescribed “meet-ups” that try to take care of physical attraction drop-outs, “fix-ups” that minimize ghosting because mutual friends are often able to track someone who disappears, or chance encounters that pretty much work or don’t quite early in the connection, most relationship seekers try to use every possibility.

If so many of these honest and willing attempts to find successful romantic partnerships fail so often, what could be an underlying reason that would help ensure better odds?

In my four decades of working with singles and couples, I believe I understand what it is. My premise may not be an easy to accept, but if you can courageously consider it, I truly believe that you will be much more successful choosing the right partner in the future.

To get started, ask yourself how you would answer the following questions:

  • Have your past partners turned out to be who you thought they would?
  • Are you most often attracted to partners who are “out of reach?”
  • Are the qualities you look initially for in a partner those you need for the long haul?
  • Is it important to you that your partners impress others?
  • Is the partner you want available within your current dating options?
  • Are you being realistic in getting what you want based upon what you have to offer?
  • Are your choices more often based more on romantic myths rather than pragmatic possibilities?

If your answers to questions 1, 3, 5, and 6 are “no,” and those to 2, 4, and 7, are “yes,” you are much less likely to find success in the dating market if you continue searching the way you have in the past.

Here’s why. Humans are traders by nature. We are programmed to make deals with others. The best of those trades, of course, are those that work well for both. Sometimes they do, but often they do not.

The underlying problem is that many people believe they can make a better deal than they can. For example, they might think that what they have to offer is worth more over time than it may seem up front, and they want the other deal-maker to trust in the investment. Or, they’ve been more sought out in a different dating market than in their current one, and haven’t accepted that reality. Maybe their well-intended friends have given them the impression that they are more marketable than they really are. Or, perhaps they’re searching in the wrong places, or it’s just the wrong time in their lives. What if they’ve just happened to move from a location where single people were more plentiful to one with sparser options? It’s even likely that some relationship seekers are simply worth more in one market than in another.

If, many single people aren’t successful because they keep searching or investing in relationships that are not likely to work out, wouldn’t that process be more likely to be successful if they were completely realistic in what they have to offer? If they know who are their likely available prospects, are authentically aware of what they need to keep loving and growing, and have done everything they can to improve their marketability, wouldn’t they have a better chance to find what they seek.

To help you understand how easy it is to be diverted from those more successful encounters, here are some common examples of typically off-the-track experiences that are not likely to develop into significant relationships.

Thinking “Hot” is Better

Though it may be more applicable to the younger crowd, external package is often a high priority for many relationship seekers. Taking good care of yourself is always a good idea, but basic attractiveness is a God-given attribute and some are just luckier than others. Because many people put more effort into other valuable characteristics when they are not blessed with the top ten percent of physically desirable traits, they often become more attractive over time. But, if someone is only going to maintain interest if the initial package is hot, that growing appreciation may not have time to happen.

If relationship seekers realistically value their physical package as a “seven” on a one-to-ten, but keep reaching for a partner who is a clear “ten,” they are going to have to come in to that deal “one-down.” That means they have to constantly compensate with their other assets to keep that partner around, and may often find themselves contending with new rivals as others emerge who are “more attractive.”

Avoiding Baggage

Many relationship seekers search for a partner who is not burdened down by prior or current obligations. Debt, children, dependent family members, odd-hour jobs, educational demands, personal health problems, angry ex-spouses, on-going divorces, or even a cynical attitude, can be overwhelming for any new relationship, even if that potential partner is personally desirable.

If you are put off by a person’s baggage, you may not stick around long enough to understand and care enough to find out the good stuff that may outweigh those concerns. In the early years of dating, it is much easier to let go of a relationship that is simply too expensive.

When people are relatively confident that a better deal may be on the horizon, they are more likely to focus on the cost of a relationship rather than its assets. As options decrease and time pressures prevail, those burdens often become less ominous and the willingness to work with them may be more intriguing.

There is a caveat: Some innate “rescuers” look to be the one who can alleviate baggage by their enthusiasm and offering of resources. Usually not a good idea.

Equating Financial Success with Personal Value

This often-unrealistic equation took root when women were instructed to use their feminine attributes to “hook” a currently or potentially well-to-do provider. In today’s world, many women are more educated and established providers of their own comfort. Now both women and men are equally attracted to partners who are not only able to take care of themselves in the moment, but have even greater potential for financial success in the future.

Unless people are endowed with family money, both women and men have to commit a great deal of time and energy to maximize their financial options. Thus, their “ascension focus” may not leave a lot of time for them to develop relationship-successful skills. If both potential partners are deep into their career development, the lack of a support system for a rising star can produce more of a competitive than a collaborative personal environment.

Couples today are trying to more equally share their resources of time, energy, and availability. Still, it can be a scary delusion if one feels that financial success automatically supersedes the personality characteristics of a great, long-time partner. Those who make financial security a top priority in their search for partners may end up materialistically richer, but emotionally poorer.

Counting on Change

Most relationships start out with more wonderful aspects than worrisome ones. The proportions of more intriguing and satisfying behaviors are clearly greater than those that irritate. That makes “the deal” desirable for both partners. Many new daters believe that their partner’s negative characteristics will never outweigh the positive ones.

Unfortunately, that rarely turns out to be true. The negatives of a relationship may seem proportionately smaller at the beginning of love, but can wear on either partner over time, especially if they increase. Something that seems almost irrelevant during lust and romance can become a major irritation as time goes by.

Most relationships I’ve seen end with many of the positive aspects of the relationship intact, even if they have been buried by bad experiences. Both partners often can tell me exactly what attracted them to each other when they were first together. They then confess that things they thought would change, became hurdles they could not get by.

Believing that the Perfect Love Exists

If you know what you need to feel deeply loved in the long term, it is crucial that you do not have a rigid template of the perfect love. This is especially true if you have been repeatedly disillusioned by partners who seem to be what you want early in your relationships, but always end up disappointing you in the long run.

Perfect love is imperfect in its uniqueness and its ability to transform as life challenges. There are no pre-templates that guarantee its existence or its sustainability. But there are certain virtues that most all long-term successful intimate partners have in common. They may not have the characteristics of the perfect mate in what that means to you right now, but they wear unbelievably well over time.

Yes, there should be some kind of attraction to any partner you choose. Yes, you want to agree on the important aspects of life’s dreams. Yes, you need to be a team, supporting each other’s commitments. And yes, you must stay connected to your mutual dreams when times are tough.

But great long-time partners don’t only abide by those classic relationship rules. Long-term desirable partners are just good people everywhere in their lives. They are authentic, accountable, resilient, forgiving, focus on solutions rather than problems, treasure what they have, uninterested in time-wasting, repeated, negative interactions, non-possessive, supportive, un-buyable, self-caring, treasuring souls. They rock with unexpected crises, and they build when things are broken. They learn from mistakes, and innovate when they are stuck.

The closer you can become to attaining those characteristics, the better chance you’ll have of attracting someone equally desirable, regardless of the odds. The perfect love does not happen from a pre-written script that someone else has to buy in to. It is created by two people who keep deepening their love for each other as life happens. If you try to make an up-front deal with a finished product, you may be forever limited by its initial presentation.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Viral Noodle Video Gets 5 Million Views


Sometimes it’s easy to know why a story or video goes viral: it shows something new, shocking, funny or profound.

Other times, well you’re not quite sure. Like this video of a Chinese street chef rolling out and cutting noodles, which has had over five million views at time of writing.

Seemingly, the video, which was posted by Travel Thirsty over a year ago – it's a slow burner – has a real calming effect for some people.

Watch below and judge for yourself. Its fairly long, 13 minutes, but you can jump straight to the cutting, which is what people are going wild for, in a way, from around eight minutes in.

And further down, check out another chef in China, who loves noodles so much he dances with them.

The Queen is Looking for a New Chef



Thinking about a new job for the new year and a fresh start? Well here’s something a little different for you.

The Queen of England is looking for a chef to join the kitchen team at Buckingham Palace and you have until the 1 January 2018 to apply.

The Royal Household is looking for a Demi Chef de Partie to “prepare classical and contemporary menus for a wide range of events” including “receptions and state dinners.” It’s a live-in role, meaning you’ll be based at the Palace, plus occasional travel to the other royal residences.

The pay's terrible, around 20k, but that does include a pension scheme, 33 days of holiday, and all meals. The “salary will be adjusted” for the costs of accommodation, according to the listing.

If this sounds perfect for you, then apply here now. Good luck!

How To Bake Christmas Fruit Cake: 4 Fabulous Recipes To Get It Right


Christmas fruit cake is an underrated holiday dessert that deserves a comeback. With these easy recipes you will learn how to bake a Christmas fruit cake that is above the rest.

These recipes are prepared with dried fruit, butter, and spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves - all of which add great texture and flavor. Some fruit cake recipes even contain rum for an extra festive touch.

Take your pick from these great fruit cake recipes and get your Christmas off to a great start.


This delightful Christmas fruit cake recipe calls for soaking dried fruit in warm tea. The results are to die for.

Learn how to make this Christmas fruit cake recipe.


Use your favorite gluten-free flour in this recipe that yields a delicious, moist fruit cake with layers of spice.

Get this gluten-free Christmas fruit cake recipe.


Learn how to bake a Christmas fruit cake without eggs. Interested in making it fully vegan? Swap the butter for oil. Take a look!


This is certainly not your grandma's Christmas fruit cake recipe. Butter, rum and abundant spices make this cake a flavor bomb. It requires aging but the results are well worth it.

Get this Christmas fruit cake recipe here.

8 of the Hottest New Restaurant Openings of 2018


8 of the Hottest New Restaurant Openings of 2018

Cancel all plans: here are the eight new restaurants you have to visit in 2018.

2018 promises to be a bumper year for new restaurant openings and reopenings, with some big name chefs continuing to empire-build, and others looking to set out on their own for the first time.

Los Angeles will further cement its reputation as one of the most exciting places to eat in the US, with a spate of high profile openings, Europe welcomes the return of perhaps its most influential and innovative restaurant, and over in South America, the darlings of Peruvian cuisine have an array of exciting projects on the slate.

Here, in no particular order, are our picks for the hottest new restaurant openings of 2018. 


The unveiling of Noma 2.0 at the start of the year is already shaping up to be one of the biggest food events of 2018. Having shuttered the original in early 2017, chef René Redzepi and the team have popped-up in Mexico in the interim, while much of their summer was spent on the ideas trail in Northern Europe.

This is what we know so far about the second coming of the pioneering Copenhagen restaurant: the year will be divided into three seasonal menus, opening with seafood, followed by vegetable, and then come autumn/winter, an emphasis on game, the only time meat will have a starring role. The price is going up, while the restaurant will only be open four days a week, from Wednesday to Saturday, as a way to improve the work/life balance of the staff, a trend we’re seeing in some of the world’s top restaurants.

As we recently reported, you could win an all expenses paid trip to Copenhagen, including dinner at Noma 2.0 on opening night by donating to Redzepi’s MAD non-profit via Omaze.


Virgilio Martinez and Pia Leon, the husband and wife team behind three-time Latin America’s Best Restaurant, Central in Lima, Peru have a number of exciting projects planned for 2018.

As we exclusively revealed back in 2016, they’ll be relocating Central to a larger space in Lima, where Leon will take charge of her own restaurant, the more casual Kjolle, alongside an exhibition space for Mater Iniciativa, the restaurant’s research arm.

Excitingly, they’ll also be opening a brand new restaurant at the ancient Inca site of Moray, close to the city of Cusco. Mil will focus on local Andean cuisine when it opens in late 2018, and Martinez hopes its strong sense of place, high in the mountains, will blow diners away. "In Central, sometimes we have to write down stuff for guests to understand the story of our dishes. If you are there, eating in the area, you will feel the magic," he told us previously.


Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm have chosen downtown Los Angeles for their first opening outside of New York City. Housed in the neoclassical former headquarters of the Bank of Italy, the 241-room NoMad hotel Los Angeles will offer five different eating and drinking spaces, from a formal dining mezzanine overlooking the lobby, to a rooftop poolside bar. They’re currently taking room bookings from 20 January onwards. Expect to see NoMad Las Vegas too in the not too distant future.


Having led one of the biggest success stories of the London dining scene in recent years, Barrafina, chef Nieves Barragan and general manager José Etura are set to open their own restaurant in Mayfair in January 2018, offering cuisine from across Spain. As at Barrafina, they’ll be counter dining around an open kitchen, but also an Asador-style eatery upstairs, where diners can enjoy octopus and suckling pig at large serving tables, according to Hot Dinners.


The exact details of Massimo Bottura’s new restaurant in Florence, Italy, news of which we brought you last month, are being tightly guarded. But we can tell that it will be housed in the Gucci Garden(formerly the Gucci Museum) in the Palazzo della Mercanzia. Currently undergoing renovations, the Gucci Garden will reopen during the annual Pitti Uomo men's fashion event in January 2018, and so, presumably, will the restaurant.


David Chang is extending his Momofuku empire further West to Los Angeles with Majordomo, which is expected to open in early 2018 over in East LA. The menu reportedley won't feature any of the Momofuku classics, such as ramen or pork buns, but there will be a lot of smoked meats and an emphasis on local produce. Chang, who has long harboured desires to set up in LA and was recently spotted house hunting in the city, describes LA’s nearby K-Town as “probably the best place to eat in America” right now.


New York will get yet another superior pizza joint to add to its pie arsenal in spring 2018 when Anthony Mangieri’s Una Pizza Napoletana relocates to the Lower East Side after eight years in San Francisco. The restaurant will be a collaboration between Mangieri and Contra and Wildair’sJeremiah Stone and Fabián von Hauske, with New Jersey-native Mangieri making the pizzas in house daily. Expect natural wines, a buzzy atmosphere and, of course, long lines for what is a triumphant return to New York for Mangieri, having relocated his business to the West Coast in 2009. The pizza menu will be short, but expertly crafted.


One of New York’s hottest tables will be coming to Los Angeles in 2018. The Cosme restaurant from Enrique Olvera and Chef de Cuisine Daniela Soto-Innes, is heading to the West Coast, where they’ll no doubt find a hungry and appreciative audience for the modern Mexican cuisine that has seen Cosme hit number 40 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, having only been open since 2014. We’ll bring you more details as we have them.

40 Experts Talk Waste and Sustainability at {Re} Food Forum


Waste, farming and sustainability are all on the agenda at two-day food symposium {Re} on 19 and 20 March in Bangkok, with a focus on the food industry in Asia.

40 speakers, including scientists, chefs, farmers, food historians and social entrepreneurs will all convene to give TED like talks on the future of food and food production in the hospitality industry in Asia.

The brainchild of chefs Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava and Dylan Jones at Bangkok's Bo.lan restaurant on Asia's 50 Best Restaurants list, together with writer and farmer Leisa Tyler, the idea "is to create awareness about how we consume food responsibly”, explains Duangporn ‘Bo’ Songvisava. “It is about considering all aspects of food production, from environment and sustainable farming techniques,to packaging, waste and the use of indigenous ingredients”

 Speakers Include (more to be confirmed): 

Douglas MacMaster - on creating the world’s zero carbon restaurant, Silo in the UK;
Helianti Hilman - founder of endemic Indonesian foodstuff company, Javara, on creating a market for high value endemic produce and using market forces to help preserve cultural identity;
Dan Hunter - acclaimed chef of restaurant, Brae, in rural Victoria on land-care philosophies and farm to table
Lalana Srikram - Thai organic farmer on the true cost of food production and if organics can feed the world
Shinobu Namae - from two-star Michelin restaurant L’Effervescence in Tokyo on upscaling waste into food.


This Three-Michelin-Star Restaurant Has 18 Different Menus for Allergies


While some chefs may bemoan what they believe to be an epidemic of fake allergies, intolerances and dietary requirements, others are doing their best to accommodate everyone.

At the Azurmendi restaurant just outside Bilbao, which currently holds three Michelin stars and sits at number 38 on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, chef Eneko Atxa and his team have developed 18 different menus to cover any dietary requirements their guests might have.

Gluten, dairy, alcohol, meat-free … they’re all there, annotated menus with pointed substitutions, delivered by a well-drilled kitchen that’s ready for anything, though of course, they would prefer if you let them know about your preferences beforehand. Will we see more restaurants follow suit?

“Each restaurant is one world with its own resources and sometimes is not so easy without the support of health specialists or without information from guests,” says Atxa. “It’s a big responsibility. It’s the result of direct contact with guests. This led me to research the issue with different health specialists. [But the development process] is laborious and we need more resources.”

So far, so good for Azurmendi and Atxa's nearby, one-Michelin-star Eneko restaurant though – the chef says he’s not aware of any dietary requirements they can’t cater for. Atxa says they are plans to introduce alternative menus in his other restaurants, in London and Tokyo, too.

The initiative is part of the Azurmendi group’s larger Jakin(n) project, aimed at helping build a “healthy and fair society through gastronomy,” incorporating working with local hospitals, charities and NGOs, and sustainability and anthropological work.

30 Most Exciting Food Cities in America


Zagat have released their list of the 30 most exciting food cities across the America for 2017, with Los Angeles taking the top spot.

This is the first time the west coast Californian city has been named most exciting food city by Zagat, climbing up from second place last year.

L.A. has seen a number of restaurant openings this year, including cronut king Dominique Ansel’s 189 restaurant and Johanthan Gold’s top choice, the new avant-garde restaurant Vespertine. It's also attracting some big east coast names, like Daniel Humm and Will Guidara with Nomad Hotel Restaurant, Enrique Olvera’s Cosme and Momofuku's David Chang.

Austin, Texas was named second, while Chicago came third. The windy city was also noticed by Bon Appetit as the best restaurant city 2017.

Meanwhile, last year’s winning city Washington, fell back into 6th postion and culinary epicentre New York appeared at 15, sandwiched between Boston and Dallas.

The list of cities is formed by "the number of exciting new openings, award recognition and national media attention" guided by local food media on the most exciting locales.

Here are the top 10. Visit Zagat, for the entire list.

1. Los Angeles, CA
2. Austin, TX
3. Chicago, IL
4. Denver, CO
5. Seattle, WA
6. Washington, DC
7. Charleston, SC
8 New Orleans, LA
9 Atlanta, GA
10. San Francisco, CA

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

How to Cook Vegetables: 48 Veggies Explained


Vegetables often get a raw deal in the kitchen - the overlooked side dish, the quickly steamed accompaniment - it’s a shame to say it but they really are still second thought for many when it comes to cooking dinner at home.

It's with this in mind that we wanted to highlighted these infographics from Berkeley Wellness that explain exactly how to cook vegetables, lots and lots of vegetables.

There are 48 different veggies listed, covering A-Z, with information on how to cook everything from Artichokes to Zucchini. Each section also includes detailed info on how to prep each vegetable, should it be scrubbed, peeled, shelled.

If you’re one of those home cooks who avoids certain vegetables because you’re not sure how to cook them, these infographics are perfect for your.

Vegan Snowball Cookies: A Must-Try Recipe For This Christmas Favorite


Vegan snowball cookies are the perfect addition to your Christmas celebration. Our special cookie recipe yields vegan snowball cookies that melt in your mouth and make a beautiful homemade gift.

These cookies go by many names: Russian tea cakes, Mexican wedding cookies, Southern butterballs, Italian wedding cookies, snowdrops, and of course, snowballs. Whatever the name this cookie is always a crowd pleaser. Making them is super easy!


Our vegan snowball cookies are made with ground almonds but you can substitute with the nut of your choice.


yields 4 dozen 1-inch vegan snowball cookies

2 cups (240g) of flour
3/4 cup (170g) of almond meal (or crushed almonds)
1 cup (226g) of margarine at room temperature
1/2 cup (113g) of powdered sugar + more for rolling the cookies
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
a pinch of salt


Preheat oven to 400F (200C)

1. Place the margarine and powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. Cream together until completely incorporated.

2. Add the almond meal, pinch of salt and vanilla extract. Blend until mixed together.

3. Continue blending at slow speed and add the flour a little at a time until fully incorporated. The mixture will form into a dough that pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

4. Form 1 inch balls of dough and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove the cookies from the baking pan and place them on a cooking rack.

5. While they are still warm roll the cookies in sugar and return them to the cooling rack. Once cool roll them in sugar again and serve. Enjoy!

MORE: Learn how to make vegan Christmas bars

Wojciech Modest Amaro's Spirit of Place


Wojciech Modest Amaro's Spirit of Place
We catch up with the East European S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 Mentor, Wojciech Modest Amaro, to find out more about his own journey as a chef.

Wojciech Modest Amaro is a true lover of nature. His cuisine is an expression of genius loci, or a spirit of place, as well as time and tradition. At his 1-Michelin star Atelier Amaro restaurant in Warsaw, he divides the natural calendar into micro-seasons, and his dishes are referred to as ‘moments’ or lasting memories to be cherished for years.

As mentor for the East European finalist at S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018, he spoke to Fine Dining Lovers about his own journey as a chef, and his connection with the natural world.

Can you remember the moment you decided to become a chef – what inspired you and what obstacles did you overcome to achieve your dream?
I always had an energy and desire for cooking, starting with homemade pastry at age 3. On family holidays to our relatives in the countryside, I learnt about pure, natural flavours – ingredients taken from a wonderful garden, milk and dairy, chicken and eggs. However, my path to become a Chef was not easy. My parents wanted me to attend technical college to study electronics. After graduating I went to London, where my sister lived, and I finally entered a professional kitchen.

What was your biggest triumph as a young chef, and is there anything you would consider your biggest failure?
Working in London was complex. I had no gastronomic knowledge, so I had to work harder than anyone else. I was running at 200mph, and had two or three jobs. There were no significant triumphs or failures – I was just happy to see quick and constant progress – feeling that I was at the right place.

As a mentor, what do you expect from your young chef, and what do you think you can offer him / her?
I expect honesty and commitment. The final is just the beginning, an invitation to the world of serious gastronomy. It’s a challenge and a big opportunity. I can offer all my knowledge, experience, talent and a personal touch. I’m patriotic – I have been an ambassador of Polish cuisine for many years and now I feel responsible for this appearance at the final in Milano.

What would victory in the S.Pellegrino Young Chef competition mean for a young chef?
Every finalist will try to win, and winner takes all – recognition, fame, a major prize, experience and also uncountable connections, memories, friendships and vital tips from other competitors and mentors from around the world. It is like attending an extramural course of high-level cooking.

You have spoken before about your search for a mentor in Nigel Davies, how much impact did he have on you as a chef?
He had enormous impact. When we met my head was full of unstructured knowledge, so it was a real blessing for me. He built a proper chef of me. He was so organized and confident in his cooking it impressed me, and I think that’s what you need from your mentor, because you must pay him back with the greatest respect.

Your menu is divided into "moments" rather than dishes – how do concepts of time, place and tradition inform your work?
My philosophy is based on nature’s calendar over 52 weeks, not four seasons. It allows me to follow the rhythm of nature more precisely. Based on this, I specify three types of creations: Spirit of time – where ingredients originate from a specific week of the year. Spirit of place – where ingredients come from a particular environment. And Spirit of tradition – mainly during winter, when we use time-honoured methods of preserving food.

Why is nature so important to you? 

Above my atelier there is a motto: ”Where nature meets science.” Many people think that means molecular cuisine, but it doesn’t. In our cuisine nature comes first, with its inspirations, biodiversity, freshness and seasonality. It’s supported by the knowledge of suppliers, farmers, botanists, fisherman, hunters, and our own experiments with food. The molecular approach is one of the tools we use, but it doesn’t define our cuisine.

How do you find a balance between science and nature in your food?
When you experiment with ingredients you use different techniques to find a "wow" factor. It may be that what nature has given you does not need any modernist intervention. Wild strawberries, for example, are better left natural than prepared in the form of foam, jelly, air, crisp or leather.

What’s your favourite Polish ingredient? 

Poland is extremely diverse with access to sea, great lakes, forests, mountains and lowlands. The Polish environment is fairly healthy, pure and well looked after. That provides an enormous amount of ingredients. For me, Polish cuisine must have this forest flavour – and juniper is my favourite ingredient.

What are you working on at the moment and what are your plans for the future?
I am working on my Forgotten Fields Farm, which is dedicated to finding and restoring forgotten ingredients, recipes, and traditions. I will also organise the Forgotten Fields Festival by inviting chefs from all over the world to cook with their chosen forgotten ingredient.

Sous Vide Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

Sous Vide Stuffed Pork Loin Roast

When cooked properly, pork loin is moist, tender, and deeply flavorful. When under-seasoned and overcooked, it’s just plain sad — a dry, stringy end to a potential-filled piece of meat. Fortunately, with the Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker, perfectly prepared pork loin is pretty much guaranteed. To ensure even seasoning throughout, we brine the pork overnight. It’s not essential to a quality end product, but we think it’s worth the extra step. To introduce even more flavor, we stuff this version with broccoli rabe, garlic, and a blend of cheese — our take on the classic Philadelphia roast pork sandwich made famous at places like DiNic’s, John’s Roast Pork, and Campo’s Deli. To finish, we roast until golden brown and serve with pork jus and crusty sesame-seed bread.

  • Prep Time: 01:00
  • Recipe Time: 04:00
  • Temperature : 140F / 60C


  • 4-pound boneless pork loin roast
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup Kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 dried bay leaves
  • 1/2 cup dried fennel seeds
  • ¼ cup tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1 quart ice cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup finely chopped sport peppers (or pepperoncini)
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (a.k.a. rapini), roughly chopped
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 tablespoon dried fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 slices sharp Provolone cheese
  • 1 quart pork stock (alternatively, beef or chicken)


In a large sauce pan, bring the water, salt, sugar, bay leaves, fennel seeds, and peppercorns to a boil. Remove from the heat and stir in the ice cubes to cool.

Place the pork loin in a large container and cover with brine. Refrigerate for at least eight hours, and up to 24 hours.

Set Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 140°F (60°C).

Remove pork loin from the brine, rinse under cold water, and pat dry. Butterfly the pork loin. The key is to use a sharp knife and take your time. Start with fat side up, making an initial cut lengthwise about a ½-inch below the fat cap. Continue slicing, unrolling the pork as you go, until you have a flat rectangle of pork.

In a large pan, saute garlic cloves in oil over medium heat until just beginning to brown. Add the sport peppers, broccoli rabe, and white wine. Season with salt and saute until the liquid in the pan has evaporated and broccoli rabe is cooked through but still slightly tender, about five minutes.

Remove the broccoli rabe mixture and place in a colander. Press on the mixture with a spatula to remove any excess moisture.

In a food processor, pulse the cooked broccoli rabe mixture, Parmigiano, fennel seeds, black pepper, and lemon zest until finely chopped, but not totally pureed — about five pulses, depending on your food processor.

Layer the pork loin with Provolone cheese. Spread broccoli rabe mixture evenly over pork, leaving about one inch on each side of the pork.

Tie the roast with butcher’s twine and place in a vacuum-seal or Ziploc bag. Set the timer for 4 hours.

Add title (e.g. “Finishing Steps - Stovetop”, “Finishing Steps - Grill”)

Remove the roast from the bag, reserving the cooking liquid. Preheat the oven to 450°F.

Pat the roast dry, brush with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and roast in the oven until the skin has rendered golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.

Remove the roast from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add the cooking liquid and pork stock to sauce pan and simmer until reduced by two-thirds, about 10 minutes.

Remove the twine, slice, and serve with pork jus.

Sous Vide City Ham With Balsamic Brown Sugar Glaze

Sous Vide City Ham With Balsamic Brown Sugar Glaze

If you're a ham lover, lucky you, because ham is one meat that's darn difficult to mess up. Want to make it even juicier and more foolproof? Cook the sucker sous vide. Because hams are precooked, it's really just a matter of reheating them. Typically, I'd suggest removing meat from its retail packaging, seasoning it, then resealing it in a sous vide bag before cooking it. But since ham's pre-seasoned, it can be cooked directly in the package it comes in, making the whole process even more appealing. Cook anywhere from 3 hours all the way up to 8, and your ham will be perfect on your schedule!
  • Prep Time: 00:20
  • Recipe Time: 04:00
  • Temperature : 140F / 60C
  • 1 bone-in half ham (7 to 10 pounds; 3.2 to 4.5kg),
  • 1 cup (about 225g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (240ml) balsamic vinegar

Set Anova Sous Vide Precision Cooker to 140°F / 60°C

Place ham in a large resealable ziploc bag or vacuum bag and sous vide for anywhere from 3 to 8 hours. Your ham will not overcook!

Finishing Steps

Heat brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until melted. Continue to cook until deep brown but not black, and immediately add all of balsamic vinegar, standing back as you add it. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sugar is dissolved. Reduce to a bare simmer and continue to cook until mixture is thick and syrupy and coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes. Set aside.

Adjust oven rack to lower position and preheat oven to 500°F (260°C) 30 minutes before ready to serve ham. Allow oven to preheat for 15 minutes. Remove ham from water bath, remove packaging, and place cut side down on a rack set in a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet. Wipe surface dry with paper towels and brush with glaze.

Place in oven and roast for 5 minutes. Pull out oven rack, apply another coat of glaze, and repeat. Repeat glazing step 2 more times. Remove ham from oven and let rest 5 minutes

To carve ham, place cut side down on a cutting board and make a single slice right next to the bone, dividing ham in two. Place boneless side with the newly cut side facing down and slice thinly into serving pieces. Repeat with remaining ham, cutting it from the bone one section at a time before slicing it into serving portions.

Top 10 Most Popular Recipes 2017


When on the hunt for new or interesting recipes, the internet is the usual first port of call. And here at we have a whole portfolio of popular recipes designed to suit most budding cooks searching for that perfect new recipe, come breakfast time or dinner.

As 2018 draws to a close it's always interesting to look back and reflect on the most popular recipes over the year on FineDiningLovers. Those recipes that have been the most searched online, gained the most traction and generally stood out for our readers in a sea of choice.

The result is a surprisingly eclectic mix of global tastes, with the most searched recipes ranging from traditional Chinese Peking duck to Portuguese Bachalau and Japanese green tea mochi to French Mont Blanc dessert.

Take a look and see all the recipes that made the top 10 this year.

Popular Recipes on FDL 2018


These symbolic cakes eaten during the Chinese Mid Autumn festival remain in prime position as an all-time favourite recipe. Have you tried them yet?

Find the recipe here.


This dish of cod dried with salt is a steadfast favourite. While there are various spins on the dish in various countries, this classic recipe from Portugal remains popular.

Find the recipe here.


Soft chewy mochi might hail from Japan, but they're now popular the world over hence home cooks checking out the recipe. Although the ferocity with which the mochi rice is pounded into a dough to make short grain rice cakes in Japan is always fascinating: watch the video.

Here's the recipe.


This French dessert is made with only three main ingredients – meringue, whipped cream and sweetened chestnut cream, which is perhaps why it's top of the charts when it comes to dessert searches.

Find the recipe here.


This might be a takeaway favourite, but our readers are evidently still keen to take on the challenge of making the perfect crispy skinned Peking duck at home.

Find the recipe here.


Black liquorice might still be the classic, but that's not to stop our readers experimenting with strawberry coloured red liquorice candy.

Find the recipe here.


It comes as little surprise that chocolate cake makes it into the top ten. But this moist and dense version comes with a special twist - no baking powder.

Find the recipe here.


Salmon is always a popular fish, but this recipe keeps it healthy by steaming the fillets then adding a powerful flavour punch by topping off with a spring onion, garlic and sesame oil dressing.

Find the recipe here.


Again, another takeaway favourite, but also made easily at home with this popular recipe, meaning you can have piping hot crunchy spring rolls on the table when you like.

Find the recipe here.


Lasagna is a classically popular dish, but our readers have been interested in taking it raw and vegan in this recipe made with zucchini, basil pesto and macadamia cheese.

Find out more here.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Watch this Guy Hilariously Review Food Videos



We’re loving these videos from Kalen Allen, aka Kalen Reacts, over on YouTube.

The Philadelphia-based student films himself watching some of the weirder cooking videos on the web and his reactions are priceless.

We’ve all watched cooking videos online where people try to jazz up traditional dishes with ingredients that have no place in the dish, and Allen is just saying what we’re all thinking.

He recently featured on the Ellen Degeneres show, and though he's only been making these videos for a month or so, he's racking up the views, so expect to see a lot more of him in the future.

Watch some his of his videos below. We reckon he's have a field day with some of these scary-looking dishes from the 1970s.

Italian Delicacies: Panforte di Siena PGI


Panforte di Siena is one of the most iconic Christmas desserts in Italy: find out more about the tradtion and the history of this spiciy cake made in Tuscany.
Italian Delicacies: Panforte di Siena PGI

Dating back to the Middle Ages, Panforte di Siena is a flat cake containing spices and candied fruit, which is usually enjoyed during the Christmas festivities in Italy. The moment you sink your teeth into the first slice, you realize that this is a very ancient recipe.

Back in 1891, Pellegrino Artusi acknowledged the universal fame of Panforte in his cookery book Science in the kitchen and the art of eating well. Nowadays, the production of Panforte di Siena is not restricted to the Christmas season and is supplied by several medium-sized industrial firms and cake shops throughout the area of Siena, in Tuscany. Its turnover and export volume makes an important contribution to the Tuscan economy. Besides, every family in Siena has its own recipe for making it at home.


The name "Panforte" derives from the fact that early versions made from water, flour and fruittended to become acidic in taste so they were called Pane forte (strong bread). Then the recipe was perfected to give us the present-day delicacy. Apparently, the predecessors of Panforte were bread loafs rich in pepper and honey which, in the early 1200s, used to be donated by servants and settlers to the nuns of an Abbey in Montecelso, close to Siena. It was a costly gift at the time owing to the high price of its many spicy ingredients. The Via Francigena, which was used by the pilgrims of Santiago de Compostela and enabled goods to be carried to Rome and the principal European courts, contributed to making this cake famous.

The first factory to produce Panforte was opened in 1810 by Natale Pepi. However, it was not until 1931 that the Italian Touring Club Guide confirmed its high reputation: “The pastry making industry of Siena boasts a universally acclaimed speciality, the famous Panforte di Siena”.

Panforte di Siena has two variants: the white version was first created in 1879 when this sweet was sprinkled with icing sugar for the first time, in honour of Queen Margherita who was visiting Siena during the August Palio. It was consequently redubbed “panforte Margherita”. In black Panforte, on the other hand, the addition of honey is optional, while a mild pepper is added to the spices and this mixture is spread over the surface of the cake.


In 2013, Panforte di Siena obtained the PGI trademark (Protected Geographical Indication) and consequently it is subject to a set of regulatory norms. The essential ingredients are “0”-type flour, dried fruit (whole unpeeled sweet almonds), candied fruits (citron and orange peel for the White version, while citron is replaced by melon in black Panforte). The basic ingredients are sugar, honey and spices (nutmeg and cinnamon). The cake mixture is spread and laid between two round pieces of starch wafer, which form the base, and then wrapped in a band so that it keeps its shape.

In addition to these “essential” ingredients, it is also possible to add granulated hazelnuts, melon, vanilla and a blend of spices such as mace, pepper, pimento, coriander and cloves. The black version may also contain walnuts, citron, coriander, star anise, cloves, ginger, allspice and chilli pepper.

Neither variants are allowed to contain additives, colourings or preservatives. Panforte is oven-baked at 200-230°C for 13-45 minutes, according to the cake size. When cool, its surface is dusted. To recognize an authentic Panforte remember that the description must read "Panforte di Siena" and be indicated in Italian.


Panforte di Siena should be eaten at room temperature and woe on you if you add any sort of cream or sauce. It may, however, be accompanied with a glass of wine, preferably one with a complex structure and a warm sweet in-mouth sensation. A perfect pairing is that of Vin Santo del Chianti(Tuscany), but it pairs up equally well with Marsala Ambra Dolce (Sicily).

Kids, Divorce, And Manipulation: Parents Who Use Kids As Weapons

Kids, Divorce, And Manipulation: Parents Who Use Kids As Weapons

high conflict divorce and kids In divorce, narcissistic parents often buffer the pain of a failed marriage by trying to destroy their ex’s relationship with the children. Unlike healthy parents, who aim to work themselves out of a job by preparing children to live independently, a narcissist sees their kids as extensions of themselves. They cannot tolerate the thought that their children might grow up to chart their own course.

Sharing child custody loosens narcissists’ sense of control. They become terrified that their children might love the other parent more, or be more like that parent. How do they try to regain control? Often, it’s to embark on a mission to get the children back on their “side.”

Some narcissistic parents may actually believe the other parent is evil, and may view themselves as their child’s rescuer. Some may simply have more Machiavellian intentions. Either way, a narcissistic parent won’t hesitate to use children as weapons in the battle against their ex as a way to amp up an already high conflict divorce. Does this describe your ex? Here’s how to tell.

Signs of A Manipulative Parent

Inappropriate communication Narcissists in their words and actions, often send their children the message that it’s not okay to enjoy time with the other parent. A narcissistic parent will get angry or distraught when kids return from time spent with the other parent – especially if they’ve have had a good time.

Interferes with visitation. A narcissistic parent will give the children choices about visitation or manipulate them into refusing visitation: “Would you rather go to Disneyland or spend a boring weekend stuck at your mom’s?”

Makes up or distorts information. A narcissistic parent will put her own “spin” on details to brainwash the child into thinking the other parent is dangerous or incompetent.

Shares adult-only information about the marriage and divorce. The manipulative parent may even alter the truth in order to get the kids to blame the other parent: “Dad says you wanted the divorce.”

Poor boundaries. A manipulative parent aligns with the child against the other parent. She will not let her kids have their own feelings and experiences. If she hates the ex, the kids must too.

Uses the child as a messenger. “Mom says I don’t have to like your girlfriend/visit your mother/make my own lunch.”

Monitors the kids’ phone conversations with the other parent. A manipulative parent will listen and/or tell the child what to say. If the child is at the other parent’s house, the manipulative parent might try to monopolize his child’s visit with that parent by frequent or lengthy phone conversations at, say, dinnertime.

Threats of self-harm. In extreme situations, manipulative parents will threaten suicide if they don’t get what they want, i.e. sole custody.

Children of divorce who are manipulated by parents suffer long-term psychological consequences. They may have trouble recognizing or feeling entitled to their own feelings. As adults, they may feel smothered in romantic relationships because of growing up with an enmeshed parent. They learn how to create drama, not resolve conflict, so they often duplicate the same tumultuous interpersonal style.

Yet children of manipulative parents can be helped with appropriate interventions, including parents agreeing to a model know as parallel parenting. In an upcoming post, we will discuss strategies for protecting kids whose parents use them as weapons.

Are you engaged in a custody battle with a high conflict personality type? Our experienced family law attorneys can help. Please contact us today to schedule your free confidential attorney consultation.

11 Warning Signs You’re Dealing With A Black-Hearted Person

11 Warning Signs You’re Dealing With A Black-Hearted Person

The existence of evil in the world is certainly not a new concept. Growing up we are introduced to the concept in our favourite television shows, movies and fairy tales. Even at a young age, we learn to distinguish between the brave, selfless hero and the dark, evil villain. But does this definition of good versus evil exist in the real world?

It would be hard to deny the existence of evil in the world today – all you have to do is turn on the news and you will be inundated with stories of psychopaths, murderers, and a wide assortment of criminals each focused more on their own well being than those around them. There are many different theories as to why some people view the world in such a different manner. Some say that it is all about the environment and the way that we are raised, while others argue that there is a biological component. When discussing some of the more serious cases, experts point to the release of Oxycontin in the body when they are exposed to something positive. Research reveals that 95% of people receive this positive boost regularly, while 5% do not experience the same reaction.

Whatever the cause, there are those with evil, blackened hearts around us masking as normal, happy individuals. When they enter your life, they bring with them a toxic, negative energy that will, ultimately, bring pain and hurt to those that are in their path. Don’t be fooled by an innocent face!

Watch out for these 14 signs that you are dealing with a black-hearted person:

#1 – They Are Master Manipulators

Those who live life with a black-heart always have an agenda, and they will do whatever it takes to stay focused and moving forward in that direction. They don’t just pull minor cons or tricks, their entire life is built upon manipulation, cons and deceit.

#2 – They Mislead You

Rather than outright lying to you, sometimes these individuals will spin a situation to mislead. This may cause you to come to an incorrect assumption supported by the information they have provided, working to move their agenda forward.

#3 – They Are Untrustworthy

I believe that this one goes without saying. If you know that someone is manipulating and misleading you at every turn for their own self-centred goals, then it is safe to say that they are not worthy of your trust.

#4 – They Deny Reality
Those with dark hearts are often manipulating the world around them to fit into their own twisted game. If reality doesn’t play into their hand they will deny it so convincingly that they will often trick others into believing their altered version of events.

#5 – They Believe They Are ‘Owed’

People who live with a dark heart don’t just consider what they want in life, and they definitely don’t make plans to ‘earn’ it. Why? Because they feel as though they are special and important enough that they are owed it, refusing to believe they should have to lift a finger to do anything more than just being themselves.

#6 – They Demand Your Attention

People who have a dark heart are also overly confident and self-assured, to a fault. They overvalue their importance, believing that they are superior to everyone else around them. For this reason, they demand to be the centre of attention as they believe that they are worthy of it.

#7 – They lie… A lot…

If they were to stick to the truth at all times, it would eventually shed light on their deceitful and twisted ways. Instead, they lie to cover the dark truth. Then, they end up lying to cover up their original lies. It becomes such a large web that they don’t know where their lies end and the truth begins.

#8 – They Live a Double Life

One key to their manipulation, a black-hearted person knows who they have to ‘be’ in order to get their way. This may mean that they are one person when they are around you, and a completely different person when they are around a co-worker. They will be whoever they have to in order to achieve what they want.

#9 – They Don’t Apologize

When someone approaches life with a dark heart they have no care for how they may hurt, manipulate or inconvenience anyone else. In their opinion they are always right, so why would they have a need to apologize? Even if the facts are laid out before them proving that they were in the wrong they refuse to humble themselves enough to apologize.

#10 – They Alter Facts

Black-hearted people need to convince others that their way is the right way in order to gain control. They often do this by altering the facts to manipulate the perception of those around them, turning the situation around so that it will work to their advantage.

#11 – They Don’t Respect Your Time

Worrying solely about themselves, their goals and what they hope to achieve in life, black-hearted people don’t waste a second of their time even considering that you may have things you want to do. You are merely a tool to achieve their goals, and your time is theirs to use as necessary.

#12 – They Feel No Guilt

An honest, caring person would feel guilty if they knew that their actions may hurt or deceive someone that they care about. A black-hearted person, however, is so self-centred that the thoughts, feelings and emotions of others don’t even cross their mind.

#13 – They Hide Information

In their efforts to manipulate those around them there will come times that black-hearted people will come across information that may prove them wrong, or reveal their true nature. To avoid this from happening they will go to great lengths to hide the information from everyone else.

#14 – They Are Irresponsible

As they move through life these people will leave a chain of destruction in their wake. Unconcerned with how this may impact anyone else, they have no interest in taking responsibility for the trouble they have caused. Instead, they leave it behind them, focused on whatever they believe they deserve next.

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