Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Week in Bites 30 September 2018

This week at Fine Dining Lovers we took a food tour of Dublin, ventured to Paraguay, brought you news of Latin America\'s Best Female Chef, and much more!

Saturday, September 29, 2018

Is The Croissant Cube The Next Cronut?

Bedros Kabranian is a young Swedish pastry chef who had the audacity to create a crescent ... square! So, for or against?

Behind the Scenes of Tokyo Tsukiji Market

A selection of pictures from Nicola Tanzini\'s project \"Tokyo Tsukiji\" that will be exhibited in Milan, Italy with other 29 photographs in display.

10 Easy Pork Recipes for Weeknight Dinners

Pork is a succulent and versatile meat. Depending on the cut, pork can suit all variety of dishes from Mexican to stir fry or simply grilled with a tasty sauce.

5 Baked Pear Recipes Perfect For Entertaining

These heavenly baked pear recipes will satisfy your sweet tooth. You\'ll find elegant soufflés, tarts, cupcakes, and more!

Friday, September 28, 2018

The Ultimate Chocolate Cake Recipe

Do you want to learn how to make the ultimate chocolate cake? Then follow this video recipe from ChefSteps.

Chefs' Satellite Restaurants: the European Scene

Let\'s start a journey to alternative restaurants inspired by the best chefs who decided to spot promising talents and invest in them. First stop: Europe.

12 Days of Christmas Dinner Series at 3 Michelin Star Meadowood

An international line-up of top chefs will be cooking in the countown to Christmas at three Michelin starred Meadowood in California. Be sure to book a table.

5 Gourmet Pumpkin Soups To Keep You Warm on Chilly Days

Looking for delicious pumpkin soups? Celebrate autumn with these five pumpkin soups made with ingredients like Jerusalem artichokes, pears, apples and curry.

Watch Michelin Chefs Cook the -Aise Sauces

Watch the world\'s best chefs make the classic -aise sauces: mayonnaise, hollandaise and béarnaise.

The World's Best Restaurants Use These Unique Knives

Florentine Kitchen Knives can be found in the kitchens and dining rooms of restaurants such as Disfrutar and The Jane.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Top Chefs Love These Barcelona-Made Knives

Some of the world\'s best chefs are fans of these unique kitchen knives produced in a small workshop in Barcelona.

Plate Like a Chef with 5 Basic Household Items

Learn how to plate like a chef at home using basic things like a bar of chocolate, an apple corer and a spoon.

Michelin Guide to Chicago 2019 – the Full List

There\'s a new starred addition to the Michelin Guide to Chicago 2019: see the full list.

Paul Svensson: "It’s All About Cherishing Vegetables"

The Swedish chef of the restaurant at Fotografiska talks about his \"huge love\" for vegetables and his idea of cuisine.

Rasul Gamzatov, People’s Poet of Daghestan

Rasul Gamzatovich Gamzatov


Rasul Gamzatovich Gamzatov, 8 September 1923 – 3 November 2003) was probably the most famous poet writing in the Avar language. Among his poems was Zhuravli, which became a well-known Soviet song.

He was born on September 8, 1923, in the Avar village of Tsada in the north-east Caucasus. His father, Gamzat Tsadasa, was a well-known bard, heir to the ancient tradition of minstrelsy still thriving in the mountains.

He was eleven when he wrote his first verse about a group of local boys who ran down to the clearing where an airplane had landed for the first time. His father was the teacher who taught him the art of writing poetry.

A number of different poems of Rasul Gamzatov also became songs, such as "Gone sunny days".

Gamzatov was awarded - 
  • State Stalin Prize in 1952
  • The Lenin Prize in 1963
  • Laureate Of The International Botev Prize in 1981.

The monument to Gamzatov was unveiled on 5 July 2013 on Yauzsky Boulevard in central Moscow.


(Translation of Rasul Gamzatov’s 1976 poem)

It seems to me sometimes that soldiers fallen,
Whom bloody battlefields have rendered dead,
Were buried not in soil to be forgotten,
But turned into white cranes in flight instead.

From that time, since their fate became a coffin
They’ve soared, and issued us a strident cry.
Is that not why we sadly, and so often,
Lift up our silent gaze when cranes go by?

Today, as evening yields to nightfall’s border,
I see the cranes in flight, their wings unfurled,
As over fields they fly in perfect order
Just as they marched, when people in the world

They fly—their line extending to forever—
And call out names of someone to the cold.
Is that not why the song of cranes has never
Been far from Avar speech since times of old?

The weary wedge of birds on expedition—
It flies and flies through fog, towards the dawn,
And in the ranks I notice a position--
An empty space for me, for when I’m gone!

Some day in that formation I’ll be flying;
I’ll sail into the skies on my rebirth,
And from the heav’ns with crane trump I’ll be crying
To those of you I left upon the earth

©Copyright 1976 by Rasul Gamzatov
Translated by David M. Bennett, 23 February 2010

Image result for Poetry of Rasul Gamzatov

Gamzatov, Rasul Gamzatovich, was born on 8 September 1923 in the Avar village of Tsada, Daghestan in the north-east Caucasus. His father, the People’s Poet Gamzat Tsadas, was his first teacher and mentor in the study of poetry. Gamzat Tsadasa was a well-known bard, heir to the ancient tradition of minstrelsy still thriving in the mountains. Bards were held in high honour. When Makhmud, famous poet of the previous generation, sang in a busy market-place, plucking the strings of his pandura for accompaniment, young and old would listen in silence with bated breath: even a bee’s flight could be heard. Gamzatov wrote his first poem when he was nine years old. The young Rasul, impatient of any interruption, would listen for hours on end to the Avar stories, legends and fables his father would relate. «When I was quite small,» he recalls, «he would wrap me in his sheepskin cloak and recite his poems to me, so I knew them all by heart before one ever rode a horse or wore a belt.»

From the small window of his father’s flat-roofed house of solid stone he could see a patch of green field spread like a tablecloth below the village and, above it, overhanging rocks. Paths wound like snakes up the steep slopes where caves gaped like the jaws of wild beasts. Beyond the mountain ridge rose yet another, arched and rough as a camel’s back. As a boy Rasul would graze a neighbour’s horse for three days with the telling of a story as his reward. He would climb half a day to join shepherds in the mountains and walk half a day back just to hear a single poem!

In the second form at school he walked twelve miles to see an old man, a friend of his father’s, who knew many songs, poems and legends. The old man sang and recited to the young boy for four days from morning till night. Rasul wrote down what he could and went happily home with a bagful of poems. He was eleven when he wrote his first verse, lying on a bull’s hide on the balcony at home. It was a poem about the local boys who ran down to the clearing where an aeroplane landed for the first time in 1934. Gamzatov studied at the pedagogical institute and, in 1940, returned to teach in his village school for a short time. He then took on a series of jobs, including director”s assistant in a traveling theatre troupe, and worker for radio as well as the newspaper Bolshevik Gor.In 1943, he published his first collection of poems, Firey Love and Burning Hate, in Avar, the language of Dagestan. That same year, he became a member of the Soviet Writers Union.

Gamzatov studied at the Gorky Institute of Literature in Moscow between 1945 and 1950. His first collection of poems in Russian was published in 1947. The title of his first book of poems was «Love Inspired and Fiery Wrath». He was overjoyed when girls in the mountains who had read it wrote to him—and to this day he cannot forget his pain on seeing a shepherd in winter pastures using a page to roll a cigarette. This was in 1943. In 1945 with a few books of his own in Avar tucked under his arm and with a meagre sum of money in his pocket, he arrived in Moscow to enter the Gorky Institute of Literature. There in the stimulating company of younger poets and under the guidance of veteran writers he studied Russian and world literature and the craft of poetry. By turns he fell in love with Blok, Mayakovsky, Yesenin, Pasternak, Tsvetayeva, Bagritsky, the Avar Makhmud and the German Heine. But Pushkin and Lermontov remained his constant love. Over the past fifty years Rasul Gamzatov has been one of the most prolific of Soviet poets. From his pen have come short love lyrics, long narrative poems, ballads, epigrams and philosophical octaves, which have won him millions of devoted readers. Since then, he has published over 20 books in both Russian and Avar.Gamzatov translated many of the best Russian poets into the Avar language. ! Of the land of his birth, of its people and its poets he has drawn a fascinating, intimate and human portrait in his prose volume of musings and reminiscences «My Daghestan».

Among his many translations are the works of Pushkin, Lermontov, Mayakovsky, and Esenin.His poetry collection Year of My Birth (1950) was awarded the USSR State Prize in 1952. Gamzatov also won the Lenin Prize for his 1962 collection Lofty Stars. Some of his other titles include, Word About The Older Brother (1952), Dagestani Spring (1955), Miner (1958), My Heart is in The Hills (1959), Two Shawls, Letters (1963), Rosary of Years (1968), By The Hearth (1978), Island of Women (1983), Wheel of Life (1987) as well as the lyrical novel My Dagestan (1967-1971).In 1959, Gamzatov was declared a People”s Poet of Dagestan. In 1974 he became a Hero of Socialist Labor. In 1950. Winner of a Lenin Prize for poetry and honoured with the title of People’s Poet of Daghestan, Rasul Gamzatov was a well-known public figure. He travelled widely in Europe, Asia and America. Rasul Gamzatov wrote in his native Avar tongue, a language spoken by no more than 500,000 people. Yet even so the Avars along with the Darghins, Lezghins and Kumyks are among the largest ethnic groups in the two-million population of Daghestan, where 36 different languages are spoken. In connection with the approach of Gamzatov”s 80th birthday, the entire of 2003 was declared the Year of Rasul Gamzatov in Dagestan. Gamzatov was named Chairman of the Dagestani Writers Union, a post he held until his death. On November 3rd ‘2003, Rasul Gamzatov passed away in the Central Clinical Hospital in Moscow.

Langhe Italy: 11 Michelin Starred Restaurants to Try in Truffle Country



When we think of the region of Langhe, the land of fine wines and truffles in the heart of Piedmont in northern Italy, the first place that comes to mind is certainly Alba, especially when the annual International Truffle Fair arrives.

This famous, yet small town is, in fact, like the small capital of the beautiful area washed by the Tanaro, with excellent restaurants such as Piazza Duomo by Enrico Crippa (three Michelin stars) and Larossa by Andrea Larossa (one Michelin star).

However, besides Alba, there are plenty of other pearls to discover, both well known and lesser known, scattered among the hills and the paths of Langhe.

Here are another ten starred restaurants of the Langhe that we suggest you try and love.


Try the regional cuisine revisited by chef Federico Gallo in Località Madonna di Como, just outside Alba. In a historical and welcoming courtyard, Locanda del Pilone's attentive staff welcome guests with an equally attractive wine list of one thousand and four hundred wine labels. One Michelin star.

Strada della Cicchetta 34, Location Madonna di Como - Alba (CN)


In a room made of sumptuous windows and pleasant views of the hills, chef Damiano Nigro takes you on a journey into his vision of haute cuisine. There are three set menus, one of which is vegetarian, a real treat in a land where meat is almost an inevitable part of every meal. One Michelin star.

Inside the same building, there's also the DaMà restaurant, more informal and experimental, yet still curated by chef Nigro.

Location Manera 1, Benevello (CN)


La Madernassa looks like a beautiful country estate complete with a swimming pool. But it's so much more: inside it's possible to try the Michelangelo Mammoliti's cooking, a young chef whose slogan could be "Eat local." Mammoliti pays homage, with his dishes, the territory, while enriching them with what is his experience: now with exotic techniques, now with ingredients from his childhood and his memory. One Michelin star.

Location Lora 2, Guarene (CN)


What chef Davide Palluda proposes is not just a gastronomic journey, but a journey through time. His Piedmontese menu, in a creative key, is prepared using not only the best ingredients from the region, but using, often and willingly, ancient cooking techniques. Of course, to make the special experience also helps the location: two very elegant rooms and the courtyard of a nineteenth-century kindergarten. One Michelin star.

via Roma 57, Canale (CN)


In a truly enchanted location, an 1815 building with fireplaces and brick vaults, Gian Piero Vivaldawelcomes his guests with the warmth of his staff and traditional dishes, where tajarin and truffle are never lacking. The Antica Corona Reale has two Michelin stars.

via Fossano 13, Cervere (CN)


Not far from Alba we find what is a historic home in the true sense of the word: the ancient home of Cavour. Here chef Marc Lanteri, half Piedmontese and half Provençal, takes inspiration from his origins and a childhood spent in the small village of Tenda, just beyond the border with France, creating visionary and delicious dishes that often employ local ingredients. Amy Marcelle Bellotti,the chef's historic business partner, manages the restaurant. One Michelin star.

via Castello 5, Grinzane Cavour (CN)


With just 30 covers the restaurant of Andrea Ribaldone, a talented chef who often plays with the flavours and textures of his dishes. The menu of Osteria Arborina can be defined as contemporary Piedmont and the room respects this philosophy, with its classic elegance embellished with design elements. One Michelin star.

Frazione Annunziata 27, La Morra (CN)


Here you can find the most authentic Langhe. Surrounded by vineyards, 21.9 restaurant is located on a beautiful estate. At the stove, chef Flavio Costa proposes his cuisine that defines "warm, modern, instinctive, linear and immediate." Immediate, yes, his dishes are in fact almost all built on three main ingredients. One Michelin star.

Location Carretta 4, Piobesi d'Alba (CN)


If you love Piedmontese fritto misto, this is the address for you. In fact, Elide Mollo prepares gourmet Piedmontese dishes and offers over 600 wine labels. The restaurant is informal and welcoming, including wooden furniture and antique lamps. One Michelin star.

via Umberto I 5, Priocca (CN)


Now you will have understood, it's difficult to find a corner of Langhe that is not steeped in history. This restaurant is the umpteenth confirmation: housing chef Luca Zecchin's cooking it is, in fact, a seventeenth-century monastery, now transformed into a hotel. The menu is 100% langarolo and the wine selection is extensive. One Michelin star.

Località S.Maurizio 39, S.Stefano Belbo (CN)

Pía León is Latin America's Best Female Chef 2018


Pía León has been announced as the winner of the elit® Vodka Latin America's Best Female Chef Award ahead of the Latin America's 50 Best Restaurants 2018 awards ceremony sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, which takes place on 30 October in Bogotá and can be live-streamed on Fine Dining Lovers.

The talented chef forms half of the Peruvian powerhouse team, with husband Virgilio Martinez, at the helm of former Latin America's Best Restaurant, Central, a title which it held for three consecutive years, as well as being instrumental in setting up Mil restaurant in Cusco with Martínez.

However, at 31-years-old Leon has recently opened her first solo venture, maturing into her own style and stepping into the spotlight with her new Kjolle restaurant, which opened in August 2018 in the same location as Central. It's here that Leon is creating her own identity – still championing Peruvian ingredients, but offering a less structured seven-course tasting and an à la carte menu in a more relaxed setting. See a selection of Leon's dishes here.

Pia shared more with us in about the Kjolle opening in our exclusive interview here.

Pía León takes the award from last year's winner, Colombian chef, Leonor Espinosa.

Restaurant Asks to Return Michelin Star


The family behind a restaurant in Wales has asked to return the Michelin star it’s held since 2011, citing the strain the award has had on family life.

While a Michelin star is the ultimate accolade for many in the restaurant business, Stephane Borie, his partner Sarah Francis and her sister Kathryn Francis, the owners of The Checkers in Montgomery, have requested to return theirs and do not wish to be featured in the forthcoming Michelin Guide to Great Britain and Ireland, which is due to be released on 1 October.

Speaking to the BBC, Ms Francis said the decision had been emotional, but the right one. She and her co-owners plan to relaunch The Checkers in November, as breakfast and lunch only, with luxury bed and breakfast accommodation, meaning they will have more time to spend with their families (all have children).

“It has been a joy to have the star and the most amazing news when we got it. It was great for trade and brilliant for the town,” she says. "But more for us, it's about taking the business in a new direction and putting our family first. It means we can work in the day and have our evenings to ourselves."


Michelin will point out however that it is not possible to return a star, as it is the famous Red Guide’s decision as to whether or not a restaurant should be included.

However, earlier this year it respected the request of chef Sébastien Bras for his three-Michelin-star restaurant Le Suquet, in Laguiole, France to be withdrawn. Bras said the pressure of maintaining three star status was stifling his creativity.

Marco Pierre White, a famous Michelin-baiter having requested to return his three Michelin stars in the 1990s, recently took aim again, revealing in an interview that he had snubbed Michelin at his new Singapore restaurant.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

15 Different Mushrooms and How to Cook Them


Mushroom season is upon us, the best time of the year for that vegetarian umami goodness we all associate with a delicious hit of fungi flavor.

With this in mind, we decided to bring you a basic guide on different types of mushrooms, helping you step away from the usual white button or Portobello mushrooms and try something a little different.

First up is a simple infographic from Whole Foods nine different mushrooms with notes on their taste.

Following this we have another useful infographic by Buzzfeed on the universal rules of cooking mushrooms, with tips on how to sear, roast and saute different mushrooms from shiitake to to chanterelle.

Charming Italy

Because we know the Potebello mushroom is one of the most popular varieties and one that everyone will easily find in the supermarket, we’ve also highlighted this infographic from Sweetgreen that explains a number of different methods for how to cook Portobello mushrooms, a good mushroom for the BBQ.

Charming Italy

The final chart, from Seward Community Co-Op, is useful because it highlights some of the less popular mushroom varieties: Brown Beech, Enoki and Maitake.
Charming Italy
Buzzfeed has also created these useful tips on how to cook certain mushrooms and if you want to go even deeper, we also have a collection of video recipes showing Michelin chefs as they cook with mushrooms.

Listen to Anthony Bourdain's Final 'Parts Unknown' Narration


The final episode of Anthony Bourdain’s hugely popular television show, Parts Unknown, has now aired.

The episode, which features Kenya in Africa, sees the food presenter, who died back in June, team up with the comedian W. Kamau Bell. The pair share plenty of laughs throughout the show, but it’s the final narration from Bourdain that's really caught people’s attention.

After the credits, Bourdain sips a beer as he looks out on Kenya. “Who gets to tell the stories?,” he asks.

“The answer in this case, for better or for worse, is I do—at least this time. I do my best. I look. I listen. But in the end, I know it’s my story, not Kamau’s, not Kenya’s, or Kenyans’. Those stories are yet to be heard.”

People reports that the show’s director, Morgan Fallon, and producers Sandy Zweig, Lydia Tenaglia and Chris Collins say the idea to finish the show with a monologue of Bourdain’s narration was an important one. “After lying on the floor for about 20 minutes after seeing it, it was an ‘ah-ha’ moment of like, this is important and it needs to be separate in its own thing and not burdened by credits and confusion and stuff like this, it needs to be set up this way,” they told an audience at Tribeca TV Festival.

Italian Delicacies: Cinta Senese


The history and the secrets of the most important pig breed of Tuscany: a kind of pork meat with a unique consistency.
Italian Delicacies: Cinta Senese

The Cinta Senese is neither a charcuterie product nor fresh pork: the term refers to the most important pig breed of Tuscany and one of the most prized in all Italy, as well as being most probably one of the oldest. It gets its name from its glossy black skin with contrasting white band, the so-called “cinta”, around the neck, which distinguishes this breed.


The Cinta Senese is the forerunner of all Tuscan pig breeds. It was even raised by the Etruscans and followed the Romans in their migrations. It came to the aid of peasants in the Middle Ages during periods of pestilence and famine. Its ancient origins are evidenced in a well-known painting of 1340 by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, “The Effects of Good Government” portraying a small pig standing next to a peasant.

This little pig risked extinction owing to the popularity of more productive and prolific breeds. Fortunately, from the 70’s onwards, thanks to a state-run project, it has been reintroduced in a number of Tuscan pig farms but continues to be a high quality niche product.

It was awarded PDO status by the European Commission in 2012 as a unique pig breed with no equal anywhere in the world.


Today, Cinta Senese pigs are bred throughout the region of Tuscany up to an altitude of 1,200 metres, particularly in the provinces of Siena, Arezzo and Grosseto.

These animals are reared strictly out of doors, in woodlands of various tree species, especially acorn bearing holm oaks. The pigs are reared in wild or semi-wild conditions, where they are left free to pasture in woods planted with small shrubs.


Outdoor farming ensures that these animals grow healthy and stress-free. A sow has no more than 6-8 piglets per year compared to the 25 piglets produced by the Large White, the most widespread Italian pig breed. Regulations stipulate that no more than ten adult animals can occupy one hectare of land.

Another important norm regulates their feed: 60% of their nourishment must come from Tuscan products. In their woodland pastures, they find leaves, acorns, olives and locally grown grains.

Finally, the animals may not be butchered before one year of age.

The resulting product is a small pig of average size, with thin black bristles and a characteristic white band around its breast and forelegs. Its snout is elongated and narrow and its ears hang over its eyes to protect it from bramble bushes and brushwood.


The cinta senese is a prized pork meat, which is lean yet tasty. Its aromas and flavours are those of the woods: acorns and hazelnuts. It is savoury, tender and succulent, with bright pink or red coloured flesh.

According to the cut, its meat may be processed in the great charcuterie tradition of Tuscany to become finocchiona, the Tuscan salami, capocollo and rigatino, a sort of prized guanciale (pork cheek bacon). In this case, its flavour is determined by an addition of spices and the various processing techniques employed. Otherwise, the fresh meat will be used to make porchetta (boneless, stuffed roast pork), steaks or ribs for cooking on the grill.

Belly of pork, a great favourite among chefs, is cooked at a low temperature before being passed under the grill to make the rind crisp. However, what really sets it aside from other types of pork is its consistency. Cinta Senese pork has a high level of intramuscular fat made up of unsaturated fatty acids, the healthy type. This makes the fat more tender with larger cells rich in water content and a more fluid texture, which is very agreable on the palate.

Sake Restaurant & Bar Review Melbourne Australia

Sake Restaurant & Bar

100 St Kilda Rd | Hamer Hall, Arts Centre, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia
+61 3 8687 0775

 Bug Tail Tempura Pink Pepper Coriander Amazu Ponzu

Eel Unagi

Sunday is a Great Day at Sake. The architecture and interior design both conspire to delight your senses, window table onto the Yarra Walk delightful; and then comes the service and food: 
ALL impeccable

If you are brave you can opt for the “endless Veuve Cilcquot” and trust me, your glass is never less than brimming with the lovely golden nectar.
It’s such a pleasure to be able to 100% thank and recommend a restaurant in Melbourne for all of the very best reasons.

Nigiri Moriawase

Relax and delight your senses.

A Definite 5 

Also every few weeks, the endless champagne is DOM.

What more can I say? Foodie Heaven .

Food Events: What's on in October 2018


Autumn is a delicious season with a whole spread of tempting food events unfolding across the globe as well as of the arrival of equally enticing seasonal produce, like the white truffle from Alba.

There are plenty of culinary highlights taking place as the season kicks off, from the announcement of the new Best Restaurant in Latin America to hard hitting chef discussions in the picturesque Galway setting of Food on the Edge and truffle celebrations, this is the month to watch.

Find out more about these events, plus many more, below:



Sin city steps up to four days of food celebration with guests enjoying a wide selection of dishes and spirits from over 50 of the finest local chefs all set against the iconic Vegas backdrop.

Find out more here.


The biggest celebration of the prized White Truffle opens in Alba in northern Italy. The season centres around the white truffle market with spin off events like folklore activities, show cooking and food art all related to the exclusive tuber as part of the 88th edition festivities of the International White Truffle Fair of Alba.

Find out more here.


Join Chef Guillaume Galliot and four award-winning chefs during two days of culinary decadence when Chef Guillaume Galliot and four incredibly talented chefs join forces in Hong Kong for “Journeys East: An Evening of Culinary Stars”.

Joining Galliot in the kitchen at Four Seasons Hong Kong will be Jacques and Laurent Pourcel, the same twin brothers who mentored Galliot early in his career when they helmed the three Michelin Le Jardin Des Sens in Montpellier.

A second pair of talented twins, Chefs Thomas and Mathias Sühring, whose eponymous restaurant in Bangkok has been recognised for bringing innovative German cuisine to adventurous diners in Asia.

To take part in these 10 course tasting dinner, call Caprice at (852) 3196 8860 or email


The San Sebastian chef symposium celebrates 20 years in style with an incredible line-up of chefs taking to the stage from 8 to 10 October. Three days of talks and classes and workshops will be led by a top chef line-up from Andoni Luis Aduriz to Yoshihiro Narisawa.

See the full line-up here.


A host of top chefs will be descending on Taipei this October to celebrate this year’s International Chefs Summit Asia 2018 in partnership with Acqua Panna and S.Pellegrino. A total of 18 celebrity chefs, from 8 major cities across Asia will be in the city to cook 4 gourmet feasts, 2 summits and culinary performances, from 15 to 18 October at the Taipei Marriott Hotel.

Find out more here.


Food on the Edge sponsored by S.Pellegrino returns on 22 and 23 October, with some of the biggest names in food heading to Galway on Ireland’s rugged West Coast for the two day symposium. Over 50 top chefs and food leaders will be speaking at the event, which this year takes ‘Conversations’ as one if its central themes, alongside the ‘Future of Food.’

Find out the full speaker line-up and how to get tickets, click here.


Latin America’s 50 Best Restaurants sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna returns on the 30 October 2018. For the second year in a row, the event will be held in Bogotá, with the region’s brightest culinary stars descending on the Colombian capital for a night of gastronomical celebration and one hell of a party at the city’s Ágora events space. All eyes will be on Mitsuharu Tsumura and the Maido team to see if the Lima restaurant can retain the crown it wrestled from Central for the first time in 2017. Or will we see a brand new Latin America’s Best Restaurant for 2018?

Pakuri and the new Paraguayan gastronomy


Chef Sofía Pfannl and sommelier José Miguel Burga want to bring the attention of the food world to the diversity and local traditions of Paraguay.
Pakuri and the New Paraguayan Gastronomy

When chef Sofía Pfannl decided to return to Paraguay, her home country, to open her own restaurant, she wanted to start the same movement she had already witnessed in other Latin Americancountries: the valorisation of local gastronomy, embracing its ingredients and traditions. She was seeking to start a new chapter for Paraguayan food.

"I decided to open a restaurant in Asunción, the Paraguayan capital, because I felt I needed to do something for my country," she says. "I was living in Lima and I saw how Peru developed its economy and its tourism through gastronomy. They really believe in the food they have and feel proud of their culture."

When she opened Pakuri in 2017, in partnership with her boyfriend, Peruvian sommelier José Miguel Burga, she says that Asunción's gastronomic scene was crowded with international franchise restaurants. Pfannl and Burga worked together at Virgilio Martinez's Central, where they first met. The couple also worked in Enrique Olvera’s Cosme, while Sofia spent some time at Massimo Bottura’s Osteria Francescana, before they decided to go back to Asunción to embrace their own challenges.

In the hip neighbourhood of Villa Morra, Pfannl and Burga decided to focus on a more modern and authorial concept – both in the kitchen and in the building itself. Built entirely of recycled containers, Pakuri was set up in an area filled with greenery, where they could carry out the idea of uniting nature to their indigenous products cuisine. Pakuri, by the way, is the name of a native fruit – the favourite of Pfannl's grandmother, so the restaurant got its name, both as a homage and a way for the chef to seek her own past.

“I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting her, but I know she had a field full of trees and she loved to eat that fruit," she says. "I am Paraguayan and had never tasted it until after opening the restaurant. Now, a lot of people come by to give me pakuri. We even planted some trees in the restaurant." Other native species were also planted.

With a mix of ancestral flavours and modern techniques, Pakuri is a one-of-a-kind restaurant in Paraguay, perhaps the least-spoken of and most overlooked country in South America, especially when it comes to food. Serving dishes with local and seasonal ingredients such as fish, meats and lots of vegetables (many of them indigenous), the couple wants to highlight the local scene – awakening people’s interest. On Sundays, Pfannl prepares hearty/family-style recipes to be shared.


While she dedicates herself to her creations full of flavour and history – but with a modern approach – Burga follows the same path in the beverage list, choosing local herbs and fruits that are turned into signature cocktails. He also selects wines that he can pair with all the dishes created – the list encompasses many labels from neighbouring countries, such as Uruguay and Argentina.

They are also rescuing flavours and traditions, as in the case of tatakua, a traditional oven, where Pfannl roasts different cuts of meat (as tapa de cuadril, or rump cap, and pork ribs, for example), and cook different vegetables. “Two hours before the service, we light it with dry firewood. The temperature inside can reach 500°C. Sometimes, we put vegetables for roasting from one day to the next, and when I arrive the next day in the morning the cinders are still hot, it’s incredible,” she says.

In Guarani, the national indigenous language, tatakua literally means "hole of fire", and it was mainly used by ancient people to cook. Many of the dishes in the menu are also written in Guarani, a way the chef finds to keep her culture present. In addition to the meats, following the Paraguayan tradition of asados, piraña, mandi'i and curimbatá (three types of local fish) are the restaurant's most popular dishes. They are complemented with select herbs, fruits and vegetables, some of which even the Paraguayans themselves do not know.


“The idea is to use the products that my grandparents did, the products that people nowadays haven’t even heard of. I see it as a generation gap: a clear example is what happened to me with my grandmother, I know about her way of life because my dad told me the stories. But many young people do not know what we have in order to develop our own history”, she states. They also serve authorial versions of local cuisines, such as the iconic sopa paraguaya, a hearty cornbread, flavored with cheese and onions.

With Pakuri, Pfannl is trying to rescue this history and make it appealing to the new generations. "What worries me the most is that our history, in general, does not even interest the new generation," she confesses. She is trying to bring the spotlight to a kitchen that is so diverse and so little explored and known, even among the locals. “It's this fight that motivates me to do the work we are doing in the restaurant. I dream of the day that more and more people will know and talk about our rich Paraguayan cuisine,” she says.

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