What a stunning sight to see the Eiffel Tower light up at dusk turning into a sculpture of illuminated beauty.
Gustave Eiffel engineered the tallest building in Paris at 1,063 feet, which has become a global icon. Erected in 1889, it served as the entrance to the World's Fair. What a wonderful World's Fair that must have been.
My visit to Paris was highlighted with a Amazing tour and a cooking course at Le Cordon Bleu with Chef Marc Vaca. Both were absolutely impressive!
After obtaining his CAP and BEP certifications in Cuisine, Chef Vaca completed several apprentice positions in Paris. The restaurant in the George V hotel and Grande Cascade, as well as, the Hyde Park Hotel in London, benefited from his talent. After gaining years of experience in prestigious restaurants in Paris and in his birth country Morocco, he moved to Australia.
As Cuisine Chef at Chole's Restaurant, he won Chef of the Year along with many praises. He also worked in a New Zealand restaurant and opened his own restaurant in Pontarlier, France. He now enjoys teaching as a Cuisine Chef at Le Cordon Bleu.
I felt so honored and excited to take a tour and a course at Le Cordon Bleu, as well as enjoy this accomplished chef's cuisine.
I'm looking forward to sharing some excellent recipes and more great photos.
To check out this prestigious school click here.
We are looking forward to the 2015 Chicago Gourmet. Created by the Illinois Restaurant Association and the Anton Family Foundation to celebrate and honor the Chicago Culinary scene and heritage. Supported by Bon Appétit magazine and Southern Illinois Wine and Spirit's, this year's Chicago Gourmet promises to be the best yet! With Fabulously talented Chefs featuring over 150 Chicago Restaurants, with Wine, Beer and Spirits from around the world flowing all afternoon. I cannot wait to taste the Delicious tapas sized dishes all afternoon.
I'm looking forward to some illy Caffè and Mariano’s dishes, as well as. Gibsons Restaurant Group, Rockit Ranch Productions and Rosebud Restaurants offerings.
It should be quite an afternoon. Stay tuned for details late September.
It was a beautiful day in Paris. So, I decided on Chez Clément's outdoor area for lunch. Conveniently located in the 9th arrondissment near Place de l'Opera in Paris, France, I found it to be warm and inviting. I thoroughly enjoyed dining outside while watching passers by.
The Food was Fabulous, portion sizes were larger than the usual, and menu prices were comparatively reasonable! The service was friendly and relaxed. Plan to take your time and enjoy the experience in this French Cafe. Lunch can last 2 hours!
The Cafe had so much character with beautiful art made from pots and pans. The sculptures at any of Chez Clément's locations, are worth seeing!
The view from the beloved Chez Clément looking across the
street is the famed Café de la Paix. which opened in 1862, as a part of the Grand-Hotel de la Paix. They have hosted royalty and movie stars, such as, the Lumière brothers (who enjoyed watching movies here), Orson Welles, the Prince of Wales and Edward VII.
Thanks Chez Clément for being part of a perfect day in Paris!
We loved seeing Ace of Cake's Duff Goldman's Culinary Demo.
Duff Goldman was so much fun to watch. He started off by throwing out sunglasses to the crowd, I actually caught a pair!
So, we decided to try The Ace of Cakes Potato Pancake Recipe for National Potato Month. I grew up eating Potato Pancakes for breakfast, brunch or a snack and I love the crispy edges. I also enjoy preparing variations of the yummy dish.
This recipe is courtesy of the Food Network and Duff Goldman's Mamo.
5 large or 6 small firm Yukon gold potatoes (about 2 1/4 pounds)
1 large onion, halved
1 large Egg
2 T all-purpose flour or matzo meal
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Vegetable or canola oil, for frying
Applesauce (I prefer Mullen's Applesauce) for serving
Peel the potatoes, immediately immersing them in very cold water as you finish each one.
Remove the potatoes from the water. Grate the potatoes and onion with a food processor fitted with the grating blade. Don't press too hard on the potatoes going in, just enough to get them through.
Transfer the potatoes and onion to a fine-mesh strainer; squeeze out all the water into a bowl. Let the potato starch settle, then pour out as much water as possible, leaving the starch in the bowl. Add the potato-onion mixture to the bowl and mix in the egg, flour, 1 t salt, and pepper to taste.
Heat a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet with a thin layer of vegetable oil over medium heat. Scoop large spoonfuls of the potato mixture into the pan and flatten them out (thin pancakes yield crispy ones). Fry until golden on the bottom, then gently flip and fry the other side, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. (If you have to wait to serve, re-crisp them on a baking sheet lined with clean paper towels in a
350 °F oven.)
Serve with applesauce, or try his family's favorite toppings: Duff's Great-grandmother put cinnamon in applesauce to serve with hers. His Grandfather loved his with heaps of cold sour cream and his mother tops them with tart, chunky homemade applesauce.
For my Gluten Free audience, just substitute Uncooked Oats for the Flour and add an extra egg. This is a delicious variation even if you are not Gluten Free.
Another yummy variation is adding Bacon Bits!
I love the colors and patterns in these postcards. So, I thought I would take a picture and bring them all home.
A beautiful Cathedral rises up from most every Country French Village. The blue sky sets the scene for the Gothic Spires rising into the clouds.
I loved the look of the Living Green Walls at Charles de Gaulle Airport, also known as Roissy Airport! The textures and warm colors add a much needed warmth to the Airport environment.
This was my favorite. There are over 5,600 plants
in these Green Wall Vertiss modules. 2,200 are perennials of 15 different varieties. The installation was recently created by LES JARDINS DE GALLY.
Happy Labor Day Weekend All, especially to those hard workers out there.
This recipe from California Chef Michael Chiarello and the Food Network Favorites cookbook is packed with flavor. Your guests will Love them. The Espresso adds a deep delicious flavor to your picnic!
2 Racks Baby back ribs
Gray Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Espresso Barbecue Sauce (see below)
Ingredients Espresso Barbecue Sauce
4 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 T Garlic, mashed with side of Chef's knife and minced
1 C Cider Vinegar
1/2 C Soy Sauce, Low Sodium
2 C Ketchup
2 C Honey
2 Demitasse Cups Espresso, or 1/2 C Strong Coffee
Pepper, freshly ground
Directions for Sauce
In a sauce pan over medium high heat, add Olive Oil and heat. Add Garlic and sautee for about a minute, till light brown. Add Cider Vinegar, Soy Sauce, Ketchup and Honey. Stir Well. Add a pinch of Gray Salt and whisk in Espresso. Add Freshly Ground Pepper and simmer for about 10 minutes. Let cool. Sauce may be stored in covered container for 2 weeks, if you wish to prep in advance.
Preheat oven to 325° F. Cut each rack of ribs in half along the bone so they can be easily stacked. Lay them out on parchment paper for easy cleanup.
Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper on both sides and pat into the meat. Make sure to over season the ribs, inevitably the seasoning comes off in pan. On a cookie sheet lined with aluminum boil shingle the ribs close together. Put in the oven, rotating the layers every 30 minutes until they are tender and almost falling off the bone, about 2 hours.
30 minutes before serving, transfer ribs to a preheated grill on low heat (if using coals, make sure they have burned down to the embers). Brush with barbecue sauce. Grill the ribs and continue to brush with sauce every ten minutes for a total of about 30 minutes.
It was a rainy afternoon in Paris. So, I decided to have some lunch at a cafe until the rain passed. Why was Café de Flore my favorite place to dine in Paris?
The building itself sits beautifully on the corner of Boulevard St.-Germain and Rue St. Benoit. Lovely flowers hang down over the intricate Rod Iron rails creating a grand entry point. The Art Deco design is evident from the light fixtures and Art, to the crisp red chairs and flowing intricate floor tile design.
The staff was warm and inviting, offering sidewalk dining, a nice dining area downstairs, or a beautiful and spacious dining area upstairs. I wanted to sit outside and watch passer's by with their unique and colorful umbrellas.
My server was outstanding, speaking fluent English and offering perfect service with a warm smile.
The menu offers a wide variety of beverages including teas and infusions, coffees, champagne, wine and alcoholic beverages. They also offer Coca-Cola and hot chocolate. It was difficult to choose between the flavorful food options. I finally decided on the Salade Nicoise. It was Flavor packed and so very fresh! Perfectly delicious!
Café de Flore is Tastefully appointed and full of interesting art, beautiful flowers and warm wood making it a Fabulous place to dine for many reasons.
Lovely view from the upstairs dining room.
Overall, Cafe de Flore was a wonderful dining experience. I will definitely return on my next visit to Paris!
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