travel and food (72)

A Slice of "L'Italia," San Diego-Style

2996640.jpgThe recipe seems simple: take 2 award-winning chefs and one acclaimed restaurateur. Blend with high-quality sustainable ingredients, sprinkle liberally with lots of creativity and serve with class.  

The result: Pizzeria Mozza!

A southern California favorite since they opened the original Los Angeles restaurant in 2006, it seemed only fitting than when owners Nancy Silverton, Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich were seeking a location for their new San Diego incarnation, they selected a slice of l
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One Sweet Chocolate Tour in Los Angeles


There is a hot chocolate sipper that is pure decadence, an ahhhhhhh moment, a pound the table scene from When Harry Met Sally moment, savor pure chocolate at its best from a bean-to-bar chocolate shop. This is what I’m looking for, what I can’t forget. How did I get here? When I lived here 20 years ago I could navigate—but never happily. Who, I ask you, likes to drive in Los Angeles? Certainly not me.

I took the "Chocolate Indulgence" tour with Tourific Escapes. After meeting up in an Industrial

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Original Seafood Paella in Valencia, Spain

The famed El Cid battled the Moorish invaders in the area around Valencia during the Middle Ages of Spain.  Unless El Cid held dinner parties with the remaining Moors, it is unlikely that he enjoyed Valencian seafood paella because its origins in Spain developed later from the Moors influences on cooking with rice.


Where is Valencia, Spain?

Valencia is on the eastern shore of Spain, about half way between the Pyrenees border with France, and the thorn in Spanish pride at British-occupied Gibralta

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“How much onion?”  “It says about half.”  “A half, a whole; onions are good for you.  Let’s use the whole onion.”  “It says a teaspoon of paprika.”  “This looks like about a teaspoon.”  And so it went.  One of us chopped, one sautéed, another mixed.  All the tools were there, all the ingredients ready to go.  And so we created.  The Wine Council made the perfect dishes to pair with some outstanding wines from the La Rochelle and Steven Kent Wineries.   Three hours, six dishes, six wines.  A trul

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Hungary's Pride and Joy: Paprika



I've been experimenting a bit more than usual with spices recently, and so pungent Hungarian paprika has been very much on my radar, bringing back memories of a three-week stint in Hungary several years ago. This spice is used in cookery throughout much of the world, but boy do Magyars love them some reddish pepper powder – and in some cases in much stronger versions than the capsicum annuum you might use in your own kitchen.

The word paprika is itself Hungarian but derives from Serbo-Croat

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Venice Insider Tips - Eating and Drinking


Sitting down to eat or drink at an Italian café costs more than standing at the counter and nowhere will charge you more for the honour than Venice, particularly if you're outside, in somewhere like St Mark's Square and there's an orchestra playing. The mark-up on your bill can be over 500%! Here are a few tips that will help you keep within your food and drink budget.vce3.jpg

Eating out in Venice is very expensive, but choose to perch at the counter and opt for the dish of the day or a selection of bar

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Hamming It Up in Spain


Among various other things, Spain to me represents one enormous banquet table, laden with distinctive and delicious treats from every corner of the land and surrounding seas. But I daresay there’s nothing more distinctive in the country – or in Europe, for that matter – than the ubiquitous sight of cured ham hanging in bars, tabernas, and restaurants throughout this country (not even in Italy do you see this, despite the popularity of its similar ham, prosciutto, and Italians eat just half the

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6 Top Mexico City Restaurants

josh bousel on flickr

by Miguel Martínez Rabanal

As a resident of Mexico City, a lover of Mexican food, and a passionate defender of the arts of the kitchen, I have been finding that if there’s one thing that defines this town in the second decade of the 21st century, it’s the heady feeling of constant change. Inevitably, this dynamism has also had a transformative effect on Mexico City dining in particular as well as, one could argue, on Mexican cuisine in a larger sense. In the capital of Mexico’s dining scene, t

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Dining at a chef’s table should always be a titillating treat of tantalizing tastes. Traditionally, a chef’s table is located in the kitchen – where the guests can watch, and “ooh” and “ahh” as the chef and his/her team work their culinary magic. That was not how it was at the table of Chef Ottavio Bellesi aboard Princess Cruises' Golden Princess – and here’s why.


From the Beginning

Soon after boarding the Golden Princess in San Francisco, we had a meeting with the ship’s maître d'hôtel, Neville

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While the Great Depression gripped most of the world in 1931, Milton S. Hershey built an opulent hotel atop Pat's Hill overlooking his chocolate factory in Hershey Pennsylvania. The Hershey Hotel is truly a testament to the fact that greatness marches to the beat of a different drum. But eccentricity borne by wealth alone doesn't explain why Mr. Hershey went ahead with such an extravagant project during hard times. Faced with the decision of either employing his town's construction workers or pr

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'Fruitcake of God' in Oregon's Willamette Valley


Above: One of the Abbey of Our Lady of Guadalupe's sumptuous fruitcakes, awaiting an evening snack down.

The “Fruitcake of God” that is produced from the hands of monks at Our Lady of Guadalupe near Carlton, Oregon in the heart of Willamette Valley wine country is changing the minds and palates of fine food fanciers around North America. Whereas fruitcake has gotten a bad name – and perhaps rightfully so when you are thinking of the dry, citron bitter fruitcake that seems to be a decade old righ

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Walking tours are wonderful especially if they have a specific topic and cover only a small area.  Thus it is with “Burgh Bits and Bites” tour of Pittsburgh’s Strip District.  At one time the Strip District, located along the Allegheny River, was home to many mills and factories that later became an area of wholesalers of fresh produce and meat with restaurants to serve shift workers at any hour of the day. Things change and today most of the produce industry, manufacturing plants and mills ha

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If you have managed to spend the weekend in London and planning to experience the city in these 2 days then gear yourself up, because there is too much to see in a very short span. There is no shortage of tourist staples in this regal city. Being one of the most populous cities, it has lots of attractions for travellers of any age. If you love history and the royal culture, Palace of Westminster, Tower of London and Buckingham Palace are some of the heritage sites you just cannot miss. On the ot

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GraniteStateCandyShoppe.jpg?width=422Historic preservation and a huge selection of locally run eateries are two features that immediately stand out when walking Concord New Hampshire's Main Street. A State Capitol city of 42,000, the statehouse building is an integral part of Concord's pedestrian fabric prominently sharing the street front with highly ornate architecture, much of it constructed of brick or massive blocks of the State's signature gray granite. As much as Concord is steeped in history (2015 marks its 250th anniversar

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What do you get when you build the world’s highest-altitude glass-walled rotating restaurant overlooking a 360-degree panorama of the Swiss Alps? What if deep below this restaurant carved into glacial ice, you can explore lit passageways connecting large grottos filled with ornate ice carvings, an ice altar for celebrating weddings, and another room completely outfitted as a playground with slides and ladders for the children? My first words to describe these wonders high above Sass Fee atop th

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Greenwich, Connecticut's Wine & Food Festival

9008886459?profile=originalEach year, the Greenwich Wine & Food Festival proves that it represents so much more than a celebration of premier food and wine tastings. As a baseline of activity, nearly 100 wine and spirits vendors, local restaurants and artisan food producers share their goods under The Culinary Village Tent in Roger Sherman Park overlooking Greenwich Harbor and Long Island Sound.

This year you had highlights like Stella Artois pulling glasses of their opulent Belgian Pale Lager and Cidre into take-home souv

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A former gas station with picnic tables out front and neatly stacked locally harvested Oak firewood alongside is the site of Southern Soul, one of Georgia's best BBQ joints. Situated right in the middle of St. Simons Island's village center, whole rib racks and other freshly butchered cuts are seasoned to perfection before being cooked outside in their monstrous smokers. Additional real deal soul food offerings on the menu include a heavenly moist smoked turkey, Hoppin' John (black peas & rice)

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Choose any flavor.  The gelati at Balducci’s are imported from Italy and taste like no other ice cream – milky, not fatty, with a light, slightly icy texture (without being teeth-shattering), and with just the right amount of sweetness.

Emil Grosso, VP of the Balducci development at the new 2,150-square-foot Gourmet on the Go Café at 300 West 56th Street, asked if I’d care to have a gelato sandwich. Never having tasted it, I was intrigued and mumbled OK, watching while he slit opened a big, soft

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Yee Sang is one of those fun recipes that always turns out right.  It is popular during Chinese New Year with people in Malaysia and Singapore because the names mean “abundance” and “liveliness,” both of which are auspicious for the coming year.


Collect the following ingredients but, truthfully, one can pick the items that they best like. If you don’t have one of the ingredients, double up on what you have or substitute.

7 oz fresh salmon, tuna or any white fish of your choice

3 oz  shredded carro

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A great recipe for the gourmet. Head to La Truffe Sauvage in Lake Charles, Louisiana for a world-class dinner served with wine from its large international collection. Try one of Chef Mohamed Chettouh's specialties – Stuffed Pheasant Breast.  He is gracious enough to share his recipe.


Pheasant Breast Stuffed with Leek and Fennel

2 whole pheasant 3 pound each

1 cup julienne leek, blanched

1 cup julienne fennel, blanched

Salt pepper

Butcher string

For the natural jus

1 cup diced leek

1 cup diced carrot

1 c

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