Monday, April 30, 2018

S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018: Watch the Live Stream


Following months of rigorous selection rounds, competition and training, the Grand Finale of S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 is almost here!

Knives are being sharpened, whites ironed and final mentor advice absorbed as the 21 young chef finalists prepare for their journey to Milan for the Grand Finale.

On 12 and 13 May 2018 two intense days of competitive cooking will unfold and the young chefs have their culinary skills and determination tested like never before.

Each of the international hand-picked chefs will have just 5 hours cooking time to prove their culinary capabilities to the international chef jury known the Seven Sages.

The young chef's signature dish which wows the judges the most will take gold, walking in the footsteps of previous winners, Mark Moriarty and Mitch Lienhard, embarking on an incredible professional journey ahead.

Who's your favourite to win? Let us know by voting for them online here.


Join in the excitement of each day of the competition with the live-stream on the 12 and 13 May on Fine Dining Lovers. The event will be LIVE STREAMED ON THIS PAGE and on our Facebook page.

The chefs will cook in three groups of seven, before the final trio and an eventual winner is found.

The first group of seven chefs will present their signature dishes to the Seven Sages from 12 to 1.10pm Milan time (CEST). Watch who wins on the live-stream.

You can see the second group of seven chefs face the Seven Sages on the live stream from 5.50 to 7.00pm Milan time (CEST).

The third and final group of seven chefs will present their dishes to the Seven Sages from 12 to 1.10pm Milan time (CEST). Find out who will make it to the final cook-off on the live stream.

The final award ceremony will begin in the evening at 7.00pm closing at 8.10pm Milan time (CEST).

Join us to find out who will be crowned S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2018 as chosen by the Seven Sages!

There will also be two additional awards presented in the closing ceremony:

Acqua Panna - Taste of Authenticity Award 2018: voted by the 21 mentors
Fine Dining Lovers People’s Choice Award - the exciting new award voted by worldwide foodies through the online voting system.

Tune in to find out who will win first.

Mexican Horchata



You'll love this chilled Mexican beverage made from rice, cinnamon, sugar and water. It's easy to make and refreshingly delicious!


  • Rice - 226g
  • Cinnamon stick - 1
  • Sugar - to taste
  • Water - 2 liters


  • Recipe category - Drink
  • Recipe yield - 1



1. Place rice, cinnamon stick and 1 liter (1 quart) of water in a blender. Puree.

2. Pour the rice mixture into a bowl. Add 1 more liter of water. Cover and let sit overnight.

3. Working in small batches, puree the rice mixture in the blender.

4. Strain the horchata, add sugar to taste, and refrigerate. Serve chilled over ice. Garnish with ground cinnamon.

Prince Edward County, Canada: A Tasting Tour


Need a getaway to relax? This island on Lake Ontario features an amazing range of dining options: discover culinary delights and gourmet places to try.
Prince Edward County, Canada: A Tasting Tour

On Lake Ontario’s northern shores is one of Canada’s best-kept secrets. Prince Edward County may be an unassuming little island, but it’s steadily winning a reputation as something of a gastronomic capital. Drive two hours east of Toronto (or two-hours west of Ottawa) and the rolling hills and farmlands reveal a surprising variety of restaurants, wineries, craft breweries, cheese makers and farmers’ markets.

There’s no set route – you can drive Prince Edward County end-to-end in about an hour or so - but as you pass through the charming towns and villages, from Picton to Wellington, you’ll find all kinds of diversions to pique your culinary curiosity. Here are some of the highlights.


Prince Edward County newbies are frequently blown away at how such a small region can pack such a big gastro-punch. The options are numerous, but you can’t do much better than Agrarian for a rustic farm-to-fork fare (not to mention its grocery selection), or Sand & Pearl Raw Bar & Fish Fry, whose name says it all.

275 Bloomfield Main Street, Bloomfield, Ontario
+1 (613) 393 0111

Sand & Pearl Raw Bar & Fish Fry
1705 County Road 12, Prince Edward, Ontario
+1 (613) 393 7263

For a modern take on classic poutine or a ‘Canadian Hangover Cure’ brunch, washed down with a hair-of-the-dog craft beer or cocktail, try The Courage bar.

The Courage
298 Main Street, Wellington, Ontario
+1 (613) 399 2233

Then treat yourself to some small-batch artisanal cones at Slickers Ice Cream – the apple pie flavour or toasted marshmallow comes highly recommended.

Slickers Ice Cream
271 Main Street, Bloomfield, Ontario
+1 (613) 393 5433


Thanks to the highly fertile, limestone-rich clay loam soil and the moderate microclimate around Lake Ontario, Prince Edward County is one of the fastest-growing wine regions in Canada. While twenty years ago there was only one winery, there are now over 40 to explore.

Housed in a converted dairy barn, Hinterland specialises in sparkling wines and hosts a monthly farmers’ market.

1258 Closson Road, Hillier, Ontario
+1 (613) 399 2903

Long Dog Winery is named after owners James Lahti and Victoria Rose’s beloved daschunds, and is known for its fine chardonnays and pinot noirs.

Long Dog Winery
104 Brewers Road, Milford, Ontario
+1 (613) 476 4140

At Norman Hardie you can enjoy some of Ontario’s best aromatic white wines, as well as excellent wood-fired thin crust pizza, as you relax on the terrace overlooking the vineyards.

Norman Hardie
1152 Greer Road Road, Wellington, Ontario
+1 (613) 399 5297

Learn more about the winemaking history and the grapes in the region with a tailored experience courtesy of Prince Edward County Wine Tours.

Prince Edward County Wine Tours
1533 Hwy 62, Bloomfield, Ontario
+1 (613) 393 8988


Where Prince Edward County’s all-conquering wineries lead, its craft breweries follow. Country Road Beer Company (right next door to Hinterland winery) boasts a fine beer garden in which to sup their Petite Saison or Belgian Dubbel ales.

County Road Beer Co.
1258 Closson Road, Prince Edward, Ontario
+1 (613) 399 2903

Not only does Parsons Brewery offer a Crushable unfiltered traditional German Pilsner or a Devil’s Right Hand stout aged in a Jack Daniel’s barrel, but it’ll also sort you out with some ace and authentic Mexican fare.

Parsons Brewery
876 County Road, Picton, Ontario
+1 (613) 476 9977

Meanwhile, at Midtown Brewing Company’s brewpub, you can match an MBC Burger to a nice crisp kölsch.

Midtown Brewing
266 Wellington Main Street, Wellington, Ontario

And if you’re looking for something a little fruitier, there’s always The County Cider Co.

The County Cider Co.
657 Bongards Crossroad, Waupoons, Ontario
+1 (613) 476 1022

Cheese is big in Prince Edward County. Black River Cheese has been churning up a storm for over a century with its classic cheddars and mozzarellas.

Black River Cheese
913 County Road 13, Milford, Ontario
+1 (613) 476 1760

Fifth Town’s award-winning handmade cheeses have been serving the locals with choice sheep’s cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses since 2008.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese Co.
4309 Prince Edward County Road 8, Picton, Ontario
+1 (613) 476 5755


Prince Edward County teems with opportunities for roadside food shopping, but there’s nothing like rummaging in a great food market. On Saturdays don’t miss the Wellington Farmers’ Market near the shores of Lake Ontario or choose seasonal goodies at Campbell’s Orchards farm market.

Wellington Farmers’ Market
Wellington Main St, Wellington, Ontario
+1 (613) 393 3283
Every Saturday 8am-1pm (May – October)

Campbell’s Orchards Country Market
1633 County Road 3,
+1 (613) 962 3751

You could pick up some artisanal Italian sausages from Angelo Bean, then let him teach you how to incorporate them into a 5-course tasting menu.

Angelo Bean Italian Cooking School
1094 Christian Road, Bloomfield, Ontario
+1 (613) 399 1813

Or Pop along to the Waring House Cooking School for a class that includes a nice sit-down dinner with wine for your efforts.

The Waring House Cooking School
395 Sandy Hook Road, Picton, Ontario
+1 (613) 476 7492

Sunday, April 29, 2018

The Week in Bites 29 April 2018

29 APRIL 2018

This week at FDL we interviewed superstar Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez, discovered Croatian haute cuisine, shared details of Noma's move to Japan, and more.
The Week in Bites <br> 29 April 2018


This week at Fine Dining Lovers we kicked things off with an exclusive interview with Parisian chef Emmanuel Renaut.

Renaut, whose restaurant Flocons de Sel is located at a French ski resort in the Alps, describes himself as someone who is in love with the mountains and its natural culinary landscape.

He filled us in on his love for nature, his unique style of cooking and advice for young chefs.

Read all about it here.


Next up we dove headfirst into the cuisine of Croatia. This beautiful Mediterranean country is chock-full of haute cuisine.

We give you the scoop on the finest places to dine in the capital city of Zagreb and other towns that are slowly becoming food destinations for gourmands.

Click here for the full story.


Last but not least, we caught up with superstar Peruvian chef Virgilio Martinez on his latest plans for his new restaurant in the Andes.

Martinez will also be one of the Seven Sages at the 2018 S.Pellegrino Young Chef grand finale in May.

Get all the details here.


This week in the blog we brought news of chef Dave Thompson leaving Nahm, the details of Noma opening in Japan, and a killer recipe for a mint julep.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Will Goldfarb's Inspirational Desserts


Have a look at some delicious desserts prepared by chef Will Goldfarb of Bali's Room4Dessert.
Will Goldfarb's Inspirational Desserts

Will Goldfarb hasn’t had the chance to feel the Chef’s Table ‘effect’ yet. His episode from the hugely popular Netflix show’s fourth season, which focuses on four of the world’s best pastry chefs (Jordi Roca, Christina Tosi, Corrado Assenza and Goldfarb), tells the story of the New York-born chef’s ascent from the Cordon Bleu in Paris, through some of the world’s best kitchens, including elBulli, to the opening of the revolutionary dessert-only restaurant and cocktail bar Room4Dessert in Manhattan and its heartbreaking demise, which led to Goldfarb’s eventual relocation to Bali, where, in the town of Ubud, Room4Dessert 2.0 is bringing him international attention once again. But Goldfarb lives in a bubble. “The only thing I’m worried about right now is getting the ice cream ready for an event on Monday,” he tells me in his laid back, friendly Queens drawl, just a few days after the shows airing.

Of course, by the time you read this that is likely to have changed, as a whole load of new people realise that a nine-course dessert tasting menu created from 99% local ingredients – Goldfarb only imports butter and cream – with fun and thought provoking names like Chocobubbles 4 Evah and 10 Years of Solitude, eaten in the tropics of Bali, with cocktails, is exactly what they need in their lives. There’s also a new book out, Room for Dessert, released through Phaidon, with a foreward by Albert Adrià, which tells Goldfarb’s life story through desserts, and includes 40 recipes for every level of cook, from classics such as brûlée and chocolate chip cookies, alongside his avant-garde creations. Again, Goldfarb hasn’t really had a chance to take stock yet, but describes the book as representative of how he’s thought about desserts for the last 20 years. “A lot of the ideas have evolved over time, the techniques have been refined, but the spirit is the same,” he says.

Chocobubbles 4 Evah

10 Years of Solitude

Goldfarb’s desserts have always been hugely personal, they tell a story – don't all the best desserts? But at his core, he has a desire to please and delight, to make people smile. Take for example, a dish called The Sugar Refinery, which is based on Goldfarb’s signature Balinese meringue. When he first arrived in Bali he was struck by the fact that for the first time, he was getting the raw ingredients a pastry chef needs, the ingredients he had been using for years in New York – sugar, vanilla, nutmeg, etc. – as fresh as possible. His discovery of the local palm sugar led him to create a more savoury meringue, which now takes centre stage in a dessert that is some seven to eight years old, but which has developed from a homage to New York and The Great Gatsby, to “a scathing rebuke of the colonial system of sugar plantation exploitation,” to a dish of pure decadence and deliciousness – it also boasts a palm sugar Chantilly, fresh palm caramel and soursop sorbet amongst its many elements.

The Sugar Refinery

Another dessert, simply called Red – watermelon ice, dragonfruit meringue, beetroot juice, roasted tamarillo – is “fresh, surprising and beautiful,” while at the more robust-sounding end of a menu split between ‘satisfying,’ ‘iconic’ and ‘new’ dishes, is Day at the Beach, which consists of pancetta financier, pommel and white beer tartare, that Balinese meringue again, and pastry cream soda. While Goldfarb admits he may, in a previous life, have been provocative for the sake of being provocative, he never now puts more than one ‘risky’ dish on the menu, “but risky and new are not the same thing,” he’s keen to point out.


Day at the Beach

Goldfarb says his dishes tend either to be really hard to make and easy to plate, or the other way round, but what about to eat? Do nine sweet courses (the menu is also available à la carte), no matter how divine, plus cocktails, ever prove too much for some people? “It’s on the limit of what people can finish … we try to kill people in a nice way,” he jokes.

Death by dessert? Sounds like a great way to go.

Dessert of Mankind
Footsteps, or Bubur Injin 
Pique Nique
Pom Pom Yeah: The Horse Thief
Who Can Resist My Top Gun
Violet de Meuron

Vegan Rhubarb crumble


Try this rhubarb crumble recipe, a great classic of British cuisine: this version is vegan, so no milk and eggs in the recipe.


For the filling

For the crumble


  • Preparation time - 25 m
  • Cooking time - 25 m
  • Recipe category - Dessert
  • Recipe yield - 4


  • Heat the oven to 180°C (160° fan) gas 4.
  • Butter a baking dish.
  • For the filling
  • Mix together the rhubarb, cranberries, sugar and orange juice.
  • Put into the baking dish.
  • For the crumble
  • Mix all the ingredients together until crumbly.
  • Sprinkle over the fruit.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until the rhubarb is tender and the crumble is golden.

Friday, April 27, 2018

David Thompson Bids Farewell to Nahm


News has just been released that Aussie chef David Thompson will be parting ways with Nahm after nearly two decades.

The multi award winning chef, who originally created Nahm in London 18 years ago, has revealed that he will take his leave of the highly successful Thai restaurant in Bankok in order "to continue his work exploring and protecting the history and legacy of Thai food and flavours and to pursue new opportunities through Aylmer Aaharn, the Thai food group he co-founded in 2014."

See some of Nahm's historical dishes

It will mark the end of an era for the succesful chef that put Nahm's royal Thai cuisine firmly on the fine dining circuit in Asia - Nahm in Bangkok has been a fixture of the World's 50 Best Restaurants for seven consecutive years and was also awarded a star in Michelin's inaugural Bangkok. Thompson's services to Thai cuisine were also recognised in 2016 when he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless passion and dedication to the culture and heritage of thai cuisine and recipes.

Thompson leaves the restaurant in great shape, at no.4 on Asia's 50 Best Restaurant list and with a Michelin star, and nothing but admiration for his team: “Nahm grew into an extraordinary restaurant with its success acknowledged in so many ways. I believe that this has been due to the hard work and talent of all those involved, but most particularly the staff ... The application of culinary integrity in the kitchen was never to the cost of the joy in doing what we all loved. This is what I will always remember. It is a rare restaurant that can achieve all of this”.

Those wishing to have a final supper will have to be quick as Chef David Thompson will hang up his chef whites after service on Monday 30 April 2018.

Drink Recipe: How To Make The Best Mint Julep


Have you been longing to indulge in a mint julep? The signature drink of the Kentucky Derby is a simple recipe consisting of four ingredients. You'll love the ease of preparation and its refreshing taste.


These are the ingredients you'll need to make a mint julep:
1 tbsp powdered sugar
5 fresh mint leaves
2 oz. (6 cl) bourbon whiskey


1. Place the powdered sugar and mint leaves into a rocks glass or julep cup.

2. Lightly muddle the mint leaves and the sugar (you don't want to crush the leaves, the idea is to allow them to release their flavor).

3. Add the whiskey and fill the glass with ice. Serve with a short straw.

Need to see the mint julep drink recipe in action? Check out the tips from cocktail expert Tom Macy:

Croatian Cuisine is Getting its Identity Back


A number of chefs are pinning their hopes on the rediscovery of Croatian gastronomic traditions, making the country a new food tourism destination.
Croatian Cuisine is Getting its Identity Back

“New Europe” is not quite so new anymore but culinary geopolitics move slowly and, instead of signatures on international treaties, they depend on those of food critics and guides. These days, the realpolitik of a country also comprises its culinary offering, and Croatia knows it, as it prepares to enter the élite of European haute cuisine.

La Liste, which includes the world’s 1000 best restaurants, added two new Croatian addresses to its 2017 selection, those of Damir&Ornella in Novigrad and Stancija Meneghetti in Bale. The same year, Michelin published the first digital edition of its famous red guide, focused exclusively on the capital city Zagreb, on Istria and the city of Dubrovnik - awarding only one star to the Monterestaurant of Rovigno.

In 2018, the mapped area has been extended further and the starred establishments now include the Pelegrini in Sibenik and the Restaurant 360° in Dubrovnik, along with about fifty other addresses. But what really counts is that Croatia is one of the countries to have gone on stage during the presentation of the guide entitled Main Cities of Europe 2018 which selects “the best of the best” of European fine dining. This guide thereby celebrates this country as one of the food tourism destinations worthy of note.


Geographically positioned between the harsh winters of the Balkan and the coasts of the Mediterranean sea, for centuries the Croatian cuisine has been a combination of risottos, freshly caught fish and typically Italian sweet and sour “saor” dishes; nourishing dishes of goulash, smoked pork, the cabbage and potatoes typically consumed in East Europe and Ottoman influences from Greece and Turkey.

In the course of the centuries, Croatia has been part of the Roman Empire, the Kingdom of Hungary and the Habsburg Empire. Istria and the Dalmatian coast were under the dominion of Venice for almost three centuries, starting from the 1400s. After the First World War, Croatia became the Kingdom of Yugoslavia and fell under the Soviet influence, following the second world war. Since 1992, it has been an independent state and, since 2013, a member of the European Union, but half a century of socialist standardization still has an impact on its present-day cuisine, and not only.


Like an interrupted story, the rich and variegated traditions of the past, small-scale productions, excellent products, winegrowing techniques and autochthonous varieties were frozen for decades, forgotten in the name of mass production and they hardly survived the generational turnover. So, today, it has become necessary to dig into the collective memory of grandparents and great-grandparents into verbal recounts of the past, in search of a gastronomic identity that has to be totally rediscovered.

“We have all the ingredients necessary to make Croatian cuisine great in the coming years: raw materials, cultural, climate and landscape diversities, chefs with experience in great international kitchens and an expanding tourist industry” explains Rudi Štefan, chef and owner of the Pelegrinirestaurant during the first edition of the Chef’s Stage congress, held in Sibenik in March 2018 for promoting local cuisine.

There is a great awareness, coupled with a desire to express the local identity and to go beyond the stereotypes of the many “international-style gourmet cuisines” and the pizzerias with grilled fish that abound in tourist locations in the summer months. Štefan has made a bold step forward at the Pelegrini and many others are following his example.

Croatia is well worth a gastronomic tour, here is where to stop off.


If Masterchef can be considered an indication of a country’s culinary progress, then Croatia has that as well (along with other cooking shows). TV celebs include chefs Mate Janković and Andrej Barbieri, two judges who are also engaged in providing advisory services to various on-trend restaurants.

The capital city of Zagreb is seething with venues and restaurants (they even put on a Cocktail Week). Highly appreciated by the local inhabitants, the Malibar, Tač and Baltazar bistros serve modern Croatian cuisine while fine dining lovers cannot afford to miss the Noel restaurant, owned by chef Goran Kočiš, whose creative cuisine is flanked by a classy wine and cocktail list.

In Istria, on the border with Italy and Slovenia, the cuisine d’auteur is represented by Marina Gaši of the Marina Novigrad, and chef David Skoko of the Batelina restaurant, close to Pola, who is a fisherman’s son and a true expert on Adriatic fish.


As we make our way down the coast, among the thousands of islands dotting a crystal-clear sea, Venetian influences are to be found in the many pasta recipes and the traditional crnirižot, a risotto with squid ink. However, alongside traditional fare, there is a growing number of exponents of “New Dalmatian Cuisine”.

As well as Rudi Štefan, this philosophy is shared by chef Marko Gajski of the Lešić Dimitri Palace,located on the island of Korčula, and the winegrowers of the Boškinac winery on the island of Pag, who have opened a bucolic wine resort nestling among the vineyards. At the restaurant of the Hotel Boškinac you will not be served traditional island dishes based on grilled fish and seasonal vegetables, but a modern and creative interpretation of local ingredients by chef Matija Bregeš – one of the places visited by Anthony Bourdain during the episode his programme ‘No Reservation’ dedicated to Croatia.


Konoba, literally meaning tavern, is a country-style venue where the food is simple – and often delicious. Offering home cooking, seating for 10 and plastic tablecloths, the Konoba Merenda of Šibenik, where time seems to stand still, is only for undemanding foodies, but there are also “posher” versions like the Konoba Boba on the island of Murter or the Konoba Opat on the island of Kornati. Konoba Fetivi in Split and Konoba Mate on the Island of Korčula are indicated by the Michelin guide as Bib Gourmand.

Even though they are the last in our list, konobas are the first places you should try, to get a feel for the flavours of the local cuisine and have the necessary cultural benchmark to understand the contemporary evolution being pursued by chefs. There is no future without memory, whether you are at work in the kitchen or sitting at the table. Dobar apetit!

Noma is coming to Japan


Disciples of Rene Redzepi's world-renowned Noma restaurant will be excited to hear news of a brand new opening in Japan, helmed by Noma protegee, chef Thomas Frebel.

Slated to open on 29 June (reservations open today) Inua will be the new 60 seater restaurant located in the Iidabashi area of Tokyo and run by the 34-year-old German-born chef in partnership with Noma chef René Redzepi. And, most importantly the menu is promised to be "innovative, accessible and ultimately, delicious."

Frebel spent almost a decade at Noma as the head of research and development but only decided to make the move after falling in love with Japan during Noma's residency at the Mandarin Oriental. "When we left, I felt a sense of not being finished with my time in Japan. Fulfilling my dream, I’m excited to be back in Tokyo, one of the world’s greatest food cities, to open and share INUA,” Frebel explains.

Frebel and team are now hard at work creating an "ever-changing menu that will reflect Japan’s seasons, rich culture and diversity of landscape as well as the techniques and influences from around the world." Speaking about how that looks he says "we wanted to combine those distinct flavours and cultures in different ways, using Japanese ingredients and a Nordic sensibility."

The move comes with Redzepi's full endorsement and speaking of the young chef he describes him as "the most talented and hardworking chef I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. With INUA, Thomas has the opportunity to find his voice as a chef and make an imprint in one of the greatest food cultures on earth.

Now, where do we sign up!

9F Fujimi Bldg. 2-13-12 Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0071 Japan

Bocuse d'Or Asia Pacific Selection: 11 Teams are Ready to Compete


Asia-Pacific will be the next region to compete in the gripping continental selection round of the prestigious gastronomy contest, Bocuse d'Or sponsored by S.Pellegrino.

On both 8 and 9 May, the Guangzhou Baiyun International Convention Center in China will come alive as 11 teams of highly talented chefs, representing 11 countries, pit their culinary talent against each other in front of an audience of fans.

Just 5 places are up for grabs in this heat, in which the chefs have only 5 hours and 35 minutes to prove themselves. During the intense culinary showdown, there will be nowhere to hide with two jurys assessing their every move both in both the kitchen and at the final plating and tasting stage.

This selection forms the second of three continental selections of the Bocuse d’Or, which is widely considered as the “culinary Olympics.”

The Americas have already competed with the US coming first. (read what happened here) This round forms the last step before going to Lyon, France for the Finale that takes place in January 2019 during the Sirha trade show.

Here are this round's teams and mentors. Check back with us for news of the winners.

Michael COLE
Laura SKVOR (Commis)
Scott PICKETT (Coach)

Wei LIU (Commis)
Jeno RACZ (Coach)

Aheer BISWAS (Commis)
Abhijit SAHA (Coach)

Wayan Yudi ANANTA (Commis)
Maurizio BOMBINI (Coach)

Sho YAMAMOTO (Commis)
Jocelyn DEUMIE (Coach)

Quillan GUTBERLET (Commis)
Corey HUME (Coach)

William TAN (Coach)

Seon Yeong GU
Jin Won LEE (Commis)
Woo Hoon LEE (Coach)

Chamaka PERERA
Weerammah DINESH (Commis)

Thanathip PIYAKAMPERM (Commis)

Tuyet PHAM THI ANH (Commis)
Calvin CHENG (Coach)

Thursday, April 26, 2018

New Documentary Highlights Trailblazing Female Chefs


A new feature-length documentary highlights the work of the female chefs running some of the world's best kitchens.

The Heat: A Kitchen (R)evolution, directed by Maya Gallus focuses on seven female chefs – Anne-Sophie Pic, Amanda Cohen, Anita Lo, Angela Hartnett, Charlotte Langley, Suzanne Barr and Victoria Blamey – who are trailblazing and who have all had to push extra hard to rise to the top in what is still a very macho, male-dominated industry.

"The familiar macho posturing of celebrity chefs has reached a tipping point," says the blurb on the Red Queen Productions website. "Now with an influx of women at the helm of restaurants, and a younger generation unwilling to submit to the brutal conditions once considered the norm, the rules of 'kitchen culture' as we know it are being rewritten."

The film will premiere at the Hot Docs International Documentary Film Festival tonight (26 April) and we'll bring you more news of any wider release, as we have it.

In the meantime, enjoy the trailer below.

Italian Chefs React to the Most Watched Carbonara Videos Online


We all know how fiercely protective Italians are of the traditional Roman carbonara recipe, just ask Nigella Lawson, who faced a huge backlash when she started adding all sorts of new ingredients to the conventional recipe of eggs, cheese, pork and pasta.

In the video below from Italia Squisita, three Rome-based Italian chefs are asked to watch and react to some of the most popular Carbonara recipe videos on the Web, from the likes of Jamie Oliver and Binging with Babish.

If you’ve ever endured a cream and garlic-heavy ‘carbonara’ at a bad ‘Italian’ restaurant you’ll sympathise with the chefs here. They make the point that Italian cooking is all about minimal ingredients and really what more do you need than guanciale (pig jowl), Pecorino, egg yolks, pasta and a good crack of black pepper? Certainly not onions or parsley.

Oliver, who appears last, actually starts off pretty well, but soon draws the ire of the three chefs with his use of garlic and his overuse of pepper, which he decides to add to the pan with the pork, much to the chefs' horror.

If you want to know the proper way to make carbonara, check out these Michelin chefs cook carbonara videos.


Hot Cross Buns: 3 Recipes To Help You Make This Divine Treat



Hot cross buns may be popular around Easter but this delectable treat can be enjoyed throughout the year whenever you feel like indulging in a fragrant sweet treat.

These delectable buns studded with raisins weren't always available year round. In fact, the Smithsonian magazine reports that back in 1592 Queen Elizabeth I "decreed that hot cross buns could no longer be sold on any day except for Good Friday, Christmas or for burials." This is a testament to how special these pastries were considered.

So how do you make this legendary treat at home? It all begins with soaking dried fruit in juice or water until they plump up before blending with a rich egg-based dough that yields soft, melt-in-your-mouth buns laced with spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice.

The trademark cross may be added before or after baking and may be prepared with a simple paste of flour and water or a decadent icing made with powdered sugar.

Below we share our favorite recipes for hot cross buns which showcase different methods of preparation and flavors. Take a look and select your favorite!

Follow this easy recipe to make tender hot cross buns that are delightful served with butter and accompanied by tea or coffee.

Find the full recipe here.


British chef Jamie Oliver adds a twist to hot cross buns by making a dough with chocolate. Simply divine!


Our final hot cross buns recipe features raisins and cranberries soaked in fresh orange juice for the ultimate buns rich in citrusy flavor.

Click here to find the written recipe.


Hungry for more? Try these yummy Easter bread recipes!

Virgilio Martinez: "Teamwork is Technique"


The Peruvian chef shares his advice for rising young chefs, some of his own career mistakes and news from his latest restaurant.
Virgilio Martinez: 'Teamwork is Technique'

Virgilio Martinez is a powerhouse of Peruvian gastronomy. His Central restaurant sits at number five on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list, number two on Latin America’s list, he just opened a new restaurant/research centre in the Andes of Peru, and plans to open a similar set up in the Amazon. Working with his Mater Iniciativa research arm, the chef and his team are discovering, connecting, cataloging and cooking up delicious ingredients from across Peru.

Martinez will offer his unique talents as one of the Seven Sages at this year’s S.Pellegrino Young ChefGrand Finale in Milan in May. We caught up with the chef to find out more about his own time training as a young chef, his newest restaurant and when exactly he will be opening the new location for Central.

What advice would you offer to young chefs of today?

“It’s not always about having the best technique or having the best products, we can talk about amazing techniques and always having perfection in ingredients but the most important things for me is the ability to work together and be part of a team. Getting along with people in the kitchen is one of the best techniques in the world. You are there to support other people.”

What’s the best advice anyone has given to you?

"I used to be quite disorganized and unpunctual, somebody told me one day that I had to reorganize my life if I wanted to be a better cook. I’m talking about something as basic as another chef saying, “hey, grow up a little bit and organize your life”.

Tell us about a time you made a mistake as a young chef.

“I almost set a hotel kitchen on fire. It was the first time I was taking over the sauce area, so I was in charge of all the sauces and in a French restaurant this is one of the most important areas. It was my first day on the sauces and this guy told me that he had a dish cooking in the oven in a different kitchen, he said, ‘when you finish your service please go to the other kitchen and switch off the oven’.

“I totally forgot - the worst thing? The dish in the oven set on fire, the oven was ruined, and the fire alarm of this five-star hotel started to ring with all the guests having to go outside. I arrived the next day all happy and ready for work and there was just this piece of paper outside with the words, ‘can Virgilio Martinez please come to the office’. It was a big mistake - I’ve made lots of mistakes but this is just one I remember - I should have listened to this person more, you are part of a team, you are not working on your own in a kitchen, you have to listen and support people. If someone asks you a favor and you accept that favor, you are responsible for that.”

What do you miss about being a young chef?

“When you’re young you still have this feeling of having all this space, spare time to do whatever you want to do. Nowadays I don’t get a chance to disconnect from gastronomy, I live it, I go to bed and wake up and continue thinking about food, traveling because of food, meeting producers, congresses, always talking about food - you start to loose the few hours I remember I used to have to do something totally unrelated to food.”

What’s happening with the new restaurant in the Andes?

"As a restaurant I’m very, very happy because the products are amazing - it’s very different than Central - all the food we serve is from that region, we don’t focus on all these different altitudes, here we just cook this high-Andean cuisine. Everything is coming from the Andes.

It’s really something special because it shows you how food is connecting different people, different cultures, different fields.

We have this interpretation and research centre that allows us to catalogue ingredients in the Andes. We also invite people from many different projects and disciplines who want to work on a ideas related to food and the Andes. We are working with lots of different fields - this has to be a multi-disciplinary thing. It is a restaurant too, we seat just 20 people and do just one service a day.

We have included two Andean communities in the project, our neighbors, that live there. This is about 300 families that are working on the farmlands. In these farmlands we have many varieties of quinoa, 25 varieties of potatoes, 20 varieties of tubas, a whole range of different plants - we are working with lots of people there.

We split teams and every six months a team from Central exchange with a team from the Mil restaurant. It gives them a chance to understand the ingredients we are using, to visit the places where are ingredients are coming from."

Now you’re also starting to look at the Amazon. How difficult is it to start research in a whole new area?

"What we are doing in Cusco with Mil will eventually be replicated in the Amazon but if we don’t have research and knowledge we can’t open new things. I don’t want to open some empty, lack-of-soul cooking. We need to start to analyze, make connections, meet the local communities."

Tell us about the new Central.

"Central will be very similar in the new location, there will be a lot more space for Mata Initiative. It will open in June 2018 and in July we will open Kaolle - this will be Pia’s new place. Kaolle is a plant that grows in very high altitudes, people use it to dye things because it gives off this beautiful orange color - the flower is beautiful but it also has lots of meaning, it’s a very resilient plant and many people are surprised that it gives off this bright color so high up in the Andes."

Clare Smyth Named World's Best Female Chef 2018


Clare Smyth, the chef who ran Gordon Ramsay's three-Michelin-star flagship in London for close to a decade before opening her own restaurant, Core, in the UK capital last year, has been named as the recipient of the elit Vodka World's Best Female Chef Award 2018 by The World's 50 Best Restaurants.

Smyth was the first and only female chef to run a three star restaurant in the UK. At Core, she has turned to organic and sustainable suppliers to create a menu firmly focused on UK produce, inspired by her childhood growing up on on a farm in County Antrim.

Dishes include a whole carrot braised in lamb stock, a charlotte potato topped with trout and herring roe, and juicy scallops served on the half shell – see more dishes here.

Core has been lavished with praise since opening in Notting Hill last August, but was ineligible for the most recent Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland released a couple of months later.

Smyth will collect her award at The World's 50 Best Restaurants ceremony on 19 June, which this year will be held in the Basque city of Bilbao.

Previous recipients of the award have included Ana Roš, Dominique Crenn and Hélène Darroze.

Find out more about Smyth and Core in the video below.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Ferran Adrià to Open New Restaurant


A new restaurant concept designed by elBulli’s Ferran Adrià is to open in the Italian city of Turin this summer.

Housed in the new Lavazza headquarters in the Aurora neighbourhood, Condividere, meaning ‘sharing’, will offer Italian haute cuisine, served in a sharing style – no tasting menus – with a menu that takes the Italian family Sunday lunch as its inspiration.

Chef Federico Zanasi, previously of the Principe delle Nevi Hotel in Cervinia, will oversee day to day kitchen operations. He has also worked under Moreno Cedroni and at Relae in Copenhagen.

"We wanted to bring something new to Italian gastronomy – a gastronomy that has already offered thousands of ideas. It was going to be difficult. Opening a restaurant is the most difficult thing to do in the world,” Adrià told Food and Wine at a special event to launch the project.

The Spanish chef has a number of ambitious projects underway currently, including Bullipedia, a 35-volume food encyclopedia to be drip released over the next four years, and elBulli 1846, a cooking and research centre, which will be constructed, finally, after opposition from locals and environmentalists, on the site of the famous elBulli restaurant in Roses, Catalonia.

Condividere opens 8 June. Take a look at dishes below.

All images, except Ferran Adrià: Lavazza

5 Spicy Chicken Recipes For A Fabulous Dinner


If you graviate towards food with a fiery kick will love these spicy chicken recipes. They are wonderful options for dinner, especially if you are entertaining friends or family, and make great leftovers everyone in the office will envy once they catch a whiff of your reheated lunch.

Indian and Thai spices are what give these chicken recipes their unique flavor. Some are stewed while others are grilled but all are delicious. Suitable accompaniments include basmati or jasmine rice, fluffy quinoa and your favorite flatbread.

Ready to try some spicy chicken recipes? Let get started!


This coconut-laced chicken curry is silky and irresistible. Lemongrass and Thai basil add a wonderful aroma to this delicious spicy chicken recipe that is great paired with rice.

Learn how to make it.


This famous Indian dish is thick, rich and creamy. It makes a great comfort food for spice lovers and the spice-laden tomato sauce is simply addictive.

Get this spicy chicken recipe here.


Coconut milk gives this spicy chicken recipe a luscious texture. The scent of kaffir lime and Thai spices makes this a very seductive dish.

Click here for this spicy chicken recipe.


Ginger, onions and garlic give this Indian dish an irresistible aroma. You'll enjoy it's creamy sauce thickened with yogurt and almonds.

Get this spicy chicken recipe now.


If you've never cooked with lemon leaves this recipe is the perfect excuse to visit your local Asian grocery store. You'll love the creative cooking method and the ginger-garlic-chili combo used to season the chicken.

Learn how to make it..

Japan’s Poison Puffer Fish, A Deadly Delicacy


A look at Fugu, a Japanese puffer fish, one of the most dangerous products in the world. Discover where to eat this sought-after and expensive delicacy.
Japan’s Poison Puffer Fish, A Deadly Delicacy

Back in January this year, a Japanese city was put on red alert because a deadly foodstuff had accidentally entered the food chain through a local supermarket. Loudspeakers across Gamagori in Central Japan played warnings to citizens, while media coverage also tried to ensure that everyone became aware of the danger. The food in question is one of the most lethal natural products, a puffer fish known in Japanese as fugu.

It is also, however, a much sought-after and expensive delicacy, beloved by diners for its unique attributes, as well as the thrill of eating such a potentially fatal dish. The thrill, however, is no laughing matter. In the 1980’s, on average almost one diner per week died in Japan from eating fugu. In recent years, however, the figures have fallen considerably and Japan now sees around six deaths per year.


The fugu are not, however, innately poisonous. Their deadly poison tetrodotoxin – far more lethal than cyanide or arsenic - comes because they eat certain shellfish which are themselves poisonous. It then stores as poison in the fugu’s skin, ovaries and most notably its liver.

The poison works by blocking nerves, meaning that muscle control and breathing are affected. What makes it worse is that there is no known antidote – the only possible cure coming if people can quickly receive artificial breathing support. All of which makes one wonder why anybody would consider eating it in the first place. But for centuries, it has been a great delicacy, particularly in Japan’s southern Setouchi region.

Setouchi is home to some of the country’s finest produce, from Kobe beef to Hiroshima oysters, artisanal soy sauce makers to sake breweries. It is also home to the pretty seaside town of Shimonoseki, home to Japan’s only fugu wholesale market – as well the country’s oldest fugu restaurants.

The delicacy was banned in Japan from the late sixteenth century, but in the late nineteenth century Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi visited Shimonoseki, fell for the puffer fish and allowed the ban to be lifted, initially in the Yamaguchi prefecture surrounding the town. T

The elegant port quickly became the centre of trade around fugu, while local chefs became experts in detoxifying the puffer fish – a technique called ‘migaki’. It’s a delicate practice which takes years of training before a licence is awarded – but it also means that the chances of any poisonous fish reaching diners or shoppers today are very low, given the extremely rigorous standards of Japanese food protection.


Today, scores of restaurants in the city’s bustling Haedomari market in Shimonoseki offer fugu in countless guises. Popular versions include sashimi, in congee rice porridge called fugu zosui or deep fried kara-age. One particular version, not for the unadventurous, is grilled shirako, namely soft roe or testis.

In Tokyo, three Michelin-starred restaurants serving fugu include Usuki Fugu Yamadaya where diners pay upwards of US$200 per person, while Torafugu Tei has branches in the capital and across the country at more moderate prices as they farm their own fugu.

Back in Shimonoseki, the guardian shrine features a large puffer fish statue, while cute pufferfish paper lanterns are dotted across the town. Shunpanro is by far the most famous fugu restaurant as it was the first to serve it to Prime Minister Ito Hirobumi in 1888.

A tasting lunch bought fugu in multiple guises, including delicious translucent sashimi, excellent kara-age and also in the form of sake, infused with the dried fin of the puffer fish. It was an impeccable meal in a beautiful location overlooking the water – while the faintest hint of tingling on the lips at the end of the meal had this diner convinced that he had tasted something very special indeed.

New York Food Film Fest 2018: shining the spotlight on films and food

The 12the edition of the Festival has crowned its winners: enjoy the trailers of awarded works and discover all the behind the scenes of the...