Archive for May, 2012

Guest Chef Tino Giuseppe from Le Royal Meridien Shanghai, at Plaza Athenee – Bangkok

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Escoffier Dinner, Villa Massenet, 23 June 2012 – Shanghai

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Fugu, The Poisonous Fish Japanese Are Dying To Eat – Japan

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

Some of the Fugu’s (or Blowfish) internal parts (ovaries, liver, intestines) and the skin and eyes are 1200 times more poisonous than cyanide which means, chefs that deal with the fish must have gone through intensive training and earned a special license. In Tokyo they will be relaxing that law in October to allow izakayas and even supermarkets to buy and sell already pre-prepared fugu. I am not a big fan of this ugly, prized fish, after tasting many styles of cooking including Sashimi (raw) to judge from. Apart from its slightly crunchy texture I find it quite tasteless, although texture and consistency can be more important to Japanese than taste in some instances, and I suppose the element of danger when eating it counts for something.  My first experience was in Osaka where they have many Fugu restaurants.  It is the only dish that cannot be served to the Emperor!

A little off topic but . . . my daughter really enjoyed eating tentacles from a live squid below:

Wines Are Becoming More Alcoholic – International

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Canada’s French Speaking Population Shuns “Big Wines”

French Canadians, especially the over forty group, enjoy to drink lighter European wines and pass over New World Wines such as big, high-alcohol Australian wines and avoid California bottles that exhibit rapidly climbing alcohol levels. They prefer a Muscadet to a giant Aussie Chardonnay or a 12.5% alcohol Bordeaux or Burgundy red to a 14-15% red Australian monster. They echo my sentiments as does Europe, and I am increasingly disappointed in the steady rise in alcohol levels in wines.
In addition to the cravings of the general populous for fruit bombs part of the reason for the rise of higher-alcohol wines, again comes down to money, as lower-alcohol wines need a longer time in the cellar. Another sad fact of this modern and disturbing trend, is that these wines are “hotter” when sliding down the throat and much more difficult to pair with food.

Robert Parker’s remark to a California Pinot Noir wine producer who was trying to make wine with less power and more finesse, “If you want to make French wine, do it in France”. This outburst was uncalled for and did not help matters, as most California winemakers would halfheartedly acquiesce to Parker’s preference for California wines to be a boozy confectionery.


Emiril Lagasse’s New E2 Restaurant, Charlotte, N.C. – USA

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012


Celebrity chef Emiril Lagasse who has garnered more attention in the past from his flippant chatter than his unremarkable cooking, has possibly found his métier in E2, a new, casual dining and take out restaurant he has opened in Charlotte, N.C.


Katsu, Sukhumvit Soi 53 – Bangkok

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

Specializing in cooking from Kyushu and Okinawa, the newly opened Katsu on Sukhumvit Soi 53 in Bangkok has seven other branches in Shanghai, China. They offer a few choice Shochu and Sake selections along with the usual bar offerings in clean and crisp recently redesigned surroundings.

Katsu’s bar

A not often to be found seaweed served with a special sauce

Potato cream croquettes

Chicken meatball skewers

Santa Monica Landmark, Chez Jay’s Fate Depends on Santa Monica’s City Council Decision – Los Angeles

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

Pending a decision by Santa Monica’s City Council Chez Jay might not be around much longer. The owner Jay Fiondella passed away in 2008 and his daughter is running it with former manager Michael Anderson. The vision and rules of operation and construction of the premises expected by the city, leave little leeway for free expression by the operator, who by the way, must privately finance it. It seems to me, it is a tight call as to whether it is worth it under the specific construction and operating rules laid down by the city, for Chez Jay’s to go forward. Keeping consistent with the overall look of the city’s Palisades Garden Walk and “Healthy Foods Initiative” and other restrictions might make it almost impossible.

For more information read this 2009 article


The Beverly Hills Hotel Turns 100 Years Old! – Los Angeles

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The venerable Beverly Hills Hotel AKA: “The BH Hotel” has turned One Hundred Years Old. The incidents that went on inside the hotel walls, and especially in the bungalows, and most definitely within the lush gardens, will remain an obscured secret. Although, it is fairly common knowledge that Marilyn Monroe filmed “Let’s Make Love” in a couple of the bungalows on the grounds and Howard Hughes retained a permanent bungalow at the hotel until his death.

In honor of celebrating one hundred years of existence, the hotel is offering a few memorable cocktails, however, the price is $100 each plus tax & tip. For a few very, fortunate guests their tabs will be converted to 1912 prices; raise your glasses to that!

For more information: Please visit this link to read an article on the Beverly Hill Hotel Polo Lounge written in 2010.

Plaza Athénée Hotel, Fine Wining, Dining & Art – Bangkok

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

The Australian Arvo BBQ, Every Sunday 3pm – Bangkok

Saturday, May 12th, 2012