Archive for September, 2010

Vines and Wines: A World to Discover – France

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

Vignes et VinsVignes et Vins: Un Monde a Decouvrir (Vines and Wines: A World to Discover) by Sandrine Duclos and Cécile Gallineau was written to tell 7 to 12-year-olds how fortunate they are to live in a country where the culture of the vine plays such an important role. It was published in part because of concerns that anti-alcohol laws were preventing younger French children from learning about their cultural heritage.
With the help of illustrations it explains the cycle of vine-growing and the cultural role that wine plays in France, and tells the story of wine from the Romans to the present day. The book was launched this week at Chateau Fonroque in Saint Emilion.

Jingpeng Plant Factory – Bejing

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

jingpengBeijing’s high-tech solution for the demand to have pesticide free vegetables. A futuristic warehouse in China is growing vegetables without any actual sunlight or soil. The Jingpeng Plant Factory grows lettuce, cabbage and other vegetables in a liquid solution, fueled by LED lighting. Although the start-up costs are significant, the factory uses less energy and is able to grow the vegetables without pesticides. There is much distrust within, and outside of China, regarding their current farming methods. Fruit and vegetables are liberally sprayed with dangerous chemical solutions to ward off insects. This type of farming also may be the first step to growing produce in high rise buildings in the center of the city, which is most likely the next step in cities worldwide.

The Bazaar Restaurant, José Andrés – Los Angeles

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

By Sandy Driscoll

Dining AreaAll images in this post are © 2010 by and Sandy Driscoll

The Bazaar by José Andrés
465 S. La Cienega Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA
Phone:  310-246-5555
Hours:  6pm – 11pm Daily
Valet Parking – $12
Credit Cards – Yes
Let’s cut to the chase!  If you have only one evening to spend dining in Los Angeles, go to The Bazaar!   Written kudos have been flying about since early 2009, when Chef José Andrés first opened his stunning restaurant.   Just to mention a few…………James Beard award winning chef, GQ magazine 2009 Chef of the Year, Esquire’s 2009 Restaurant of the Year, and a very rare four star rating given out by LA Times critic, S. Irene Virbila.,0,477326,full.story
With all that publicity, it’s a lot to live up to.  Friday, I and three others were the delighted guests of our friend, Phil Selway, as we spent just over three hours enjoying food that was amazing, delicious, stunningly conceptual, and beautifully presented.   Organized as a tapas dining experience, plates are meant to be shared.   We had a total of 13 items before moving to the Patisserie for dessert.  Serving vessels, which range from marble slabs to oval sardine-type tins are both functional and attractive.  Micro herbs and flowers punctuate many of the dishes.  Service is exception at every level.
The Bazaar, located inside the SLS Hotel,  is beautifully designed by Philippe Starck. Comprised of five dining areas seamlessly woven into the large space, the whole effect is of a nightclub in a restaurant.   It’s at once formal and fun, relaxing and fascinating.   Each taste treat seemed better than the last.   If I had to pick favorites, I would say the “Philly Cheesesteak”, King Crab with Raspberries and, of course, those infamous Liquid Olives (of El Bulli fame) were tops.   (José Andrés trained under Ferran Adria.)  There are about 80 items on the menu.  My culinary dream would be to work my way through the remaining 67!
Enjoy the photos, and if at all possible, get thee to The Bazaar!

CaipirinhaPhil Selway watches as our waiter concocts the spectacular and delicious LN2 Caipirinha Cocktail (Brazilian cachaca, fresh lime and sugar frozen by using Liquid Nitrogen.)   Tableside service.

Caipirinha 2The potent LN2 Caipirinha Cocktail  is  the world’s best ‘slushy’ with a sublime texture that lasts and lasts until the final drop!

SommelierConsulting with the Sommelier
Sweet potatoSweet Potato Chips with Yogurt, Tamarind and Star Anise
tomato breadCatalan style Toasted Bread, Tomato (served with the Jamon platter)

cheeseThree Cheeses …. Manchego, Valdeon and Idiazabal with Picos, Quince Jam, Almond

Fermin platterFermin Platter…..Jamon Serrano  (dry cured ham), Jamon Iberico (dry cured, free-range Iberico ham) and Jamon Iberico de bellota(Acorn-fed, free-range Iberico ham)

CaminsA lovely Spanish Red wine

Caviar coneAmerican Caviar Cone

JicamaJicama Wrapped Guacamole with Micro Cilantro, Corn Chips

OlivesModern and Traditional Olives (in the rear are the ‘Modern’ liquid olives of El Bulli fame)King CrabKing Crab, Raspberries, Raspberry Vinegar

Green asparagusGreen Asparagus, Labneh, Macadamia Nuts

tuna cervicheTuna Ceviche and Avocado Roll (Jicama, Micro Cilantro, Coconut Dressing)

JPN tachosJapanese Tacos (Grilled Eel, Shiso, Cucumber, Wasabi, Chicharron)

Brussel sproutsBrussels Sprouts with Lemon Puree, Apricots, Grapes, Lemon Air

HangerBeef Hangar Steak with Piquillo Pepper Confit, Natural JusPhilly cheesecake“Philly Cheesesteak”  Sandwich ….. Air Bread, Cheddar, Wagyu BeefLadies restroomThe Ladies Restroom!cotton candy foie grasCotton Candy Foie Gras

Earl Grey bon bonEarl Grey Bon Bon

dessert serviceDessert Service in La Patisserie

Hazelnut pralineHot Chocolate Mousse, Pear Sorbet, Hazelnut Praline

choc cakeChocolate Cake
choc heartCreamy Chocolate Heart, Coffee and Cardamom

Nitro floating islandNitro Coconut Floating Island, Passion Fruit and Vanilla

Dining area 2One of the dining areassignOutdoors in the balmy night air………Sign viewed in the distance while waiting for the valet to retrieve our car!

Coyote Sukhumvit, Celebrate Mexican Independence Day – Bangkok

Monday, September 13th, 2010

Mexxican Independence Day

The 5-Star Beijing Hotel – Beijing

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

logo (copyright Beijing Hotel)

Beijing Lobby, image credit: Beijing Hotel

The 5-star Beijing Hotel is set at the corner of Wangfujing Street and ChangAn Avenues. It  is adjacent to one of Beijing’s major shopping areas, and the hotel is also only a few steps away from the grandeur of the Forbidden City, the Tiananmen Square, the Great Hall of the People, Grand National Theater and other cultural and historical sites.

The Beijing Hotel offers over 700 rooms and suites, Asian and western restaurants, meeting and conference facilities as well as having extensive recreation equipment and a Spa. Other services comprise a business center, post office, money exchange/ATM, concierge service, airline booking counter, shops, and limousine service, parking facilities, hair & beauty salon, Chinese style tailors, laundry & dry cleaning services.

The Beijing Hotel meeting and banquet facilities include top floor venues offering a panoramic view over the city and a Chinese style Grand Ballroom for up to 1000 persons, with 8-channel simultaneous translation booth and programmable stage lightning.

Since its opening in 1900, the Beijing Hotel played host to numerous political and corporate events and welcomed heads of states, industry leaders, academics and travelers from all walks of life. During 2008 Olympic Games, the Five Star Diamond awarded hotel has provided excellent service to the Olympic Family and serving as headquarters for the International Olympic Committee.Beijing Hotel, (image credit: Beijing Hotel)

Shock 39 Club – Bangkok

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Shock 39 (image credit: Shock 39)SHOCK 39 Nightclub

Critical Info: Tel.‪02-652 7896 • Petchaburi Rd. 39‬  • Accepted: MasterCard‬‎‎, ‪Visa‬‎‎

Shock at Phetchaburi 39, Bangkok, Ratchathewi, Bangkok 10400, Thailand‬
‪Email‬‎: ‪‬‎
‪‬‎‪Parking Available‬‎: ‪Yes‬‎
‪Music ‬‎: ‪House, R&B, Hip Hop, Soul, Reggea‬‎

SHOCK: Bangkok’s compelling, brilliant NEW Clubbing Must-See. ‪A nightclub with rooms filled with the sound of undulating music, where each night is another crazy fun affair . . . an amazing experience with a rotation of Bangkok’s best DJs who have turned up from all over the world. ‬ I must add, that a great percentage of the seething crowd is made up of single ladies. Open till Very, Very Late or Early! (depending on how you look at it)‬‎‎‪ Have Fun!

Australian Football League Grand Final 2010 – Bangkok

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Australian Football Final 2010Australian Football Final 2010, Saturday 25th September, Live Coverage on Big Screen, starts at 9am Bangkok time.

Sexy Shanghai Sommeliers – Shanghai, China

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Vivian Tian Vivian Tian, Chief Sommelier Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund

Vivian Tian is Chief Sommelier at Waldorf Astoria Shanghai on the Bund, and previously she held the position of Sommelier at the Kee Club, Shanghai. She is originally from Zhangye, Gansu Province, China.
 Her interest in wine blossomed
 when she attended hotel management school in Switzerland in 2004. When she returned to China she worked as a Sommelier at the Hilton, Beijing and later at the Peninsula, Hong Kong.

One of her favorite wines for a romantic occasion, “
I recommend Champagne for its fine bubbles and the glamor of it and I would specifically recommend a rosé Champagne: Billecart Salmon Rosé“. She goes on to say, “Every wine lover would say this has a very good balance between fruitiness and freshness and can provide an unforgettable drinking experience”.

Yvonne ChiongYvonne Chiong, Sommelier, consultant

Yvonne Chiong was the chief sommerlier at Three on the Bund’s Jean Georges from 2003 to August 2007, and now works as a wine director for WHM Group. She has spoken about wine on radio and in print publications in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and the United States, among other places. She has been a wine judge in competitions in New York and holds numerous wine certificates and diplomas.

Le Méridien She Shan – Shanghai

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Meridien She Shan288 Linyin Xin Road, Sheshan, Shanghai, China • China
Phone: +86 21 5779 9999 • Fax: +86 21 5779 8999 • Email:

Located by the shore of Shanghai’s largest lake, the stylish Le Méridien She Shan provides guests with a relaxed elegant ambience set amidst the natural beauty of the She Shan National Tourism Resort.

 The hotel features several restaurants and bars offering a variety of delicacies: Exquisite French Feast, Outdoor BBQ, or if you crave the wonderful variety of Cantonese and Shanghainese cuisines, Le Méridien She Shan Shanghai will please your palate. If you are looking for a drink or feel like training your vocal chords, the Shandy Bar and karaoke will be the places to consider.

Disciples Escoffier Dinner at Restaurant “Chez Nous” Tuesday, September 21, 2010 – Shanghai

Sunday, September 5th, 2010


This month Chef Louis-Antoine Giroud will welcome us on the eve of the Middle Autumn Festival 21st of September at restaurant “Chez Nous” by City Super. Louis-Antoine is just arriving from Lyon and will prepare for us a “Menu Machon”.

Louis Antoine, The Passionate Chef

Louis-Antoine started cooking with his grandmother, who was a Chef in Thonon-les-Bains during summer holidays. As Louis-Antoine said : “My passion for the Culinary art started there….” he studied the culinary foundation in Groisy-le-Plot, and continued his training at the in Thollon-les-Mémises with Chef Lucien Dupond, former Chef of French President Mr. Pompidou. Later on, in “Restaurant Victoria “in Thonon-les-Bains, he had the honor to meet 2 legendary Chefs, Trois-Gros & Gagnaire, in “Comte Rouge Restaurant” he met another legendary Chef, Bernard Loiseau. In 1996,Louis-Antoine moved to London, at the Hotel “Warwick Palace ” in Kensington as Head chef, where Lady Diana was a regular customer, then he moved to “The Four Acres”, 2 Michelin stars,and “The Forester Arm’s” under the guidance of Chef Jamie Oliver. In 2004, Louis-Antoine decided to came back to France, in 2006 a new opportunity was offered to him, to manage a fine dining restaurant in Lyon; he met and was inspired by 2 MOF, Gérard Vignat & Joseph Violat. In 2007, Louis decided to open his own restaurant in Lyon, the “126”; immediately the success arrived and he was recommended in several guides. When renowned Master Chef Robert Fontana proposed to him to join his team of “Chez Nous” by City Super, his answer was immediately positive and here he is.

Price (wine included):
Escoffier member RMB400
Non-member RMB500
Kir et “Lyonnaiseries »
Caviar Lyonnais
Green lentils salad with vinegar deglazed smoked bacon, onion dices and a French « vinaigrette » dressing sauce
Gâteau de Foies de Volailles à la Sau-ce Financière
Warm chicken liver cake with an onion, mushrooms and tomato sauce
Poulet au Vinaigre, Gratin Dauphi-nois, Salsifis au Beurre, Purée de Potiron à la Muscade
Slow braised chicken served with vinegar sauce, creamy potato “gratin”, buttered salsify and pumpkin puree
Saint Marcellin Affiné
Typical cheese served with a mixed salad and walnuts
Poires à la Beaujolaise et Bugnes
Red wine poached fresh pears served a red wine, spices and cinnamon syrup ; also sugar glazed pastry, specialty of Lyon
Le Menu Machon
Chef Louis-Antoine

Where: City Super – IFC Tower B2 -By metro: Lujiazui station – exit n. 6
When: 19:30,  Sep. 21, 2010
Price: Escoffier member RMB400; Non-member RMB500

Reservation: Angela .8621 64478739*101