Category Archives: Travel

Afternoon at Auberge du Jeu de Paume – Chantilly, France

Le Jardin d'Hiver Restaurant

After a 10-plus hour flight from San Francisco, I landed at Charles de Gaulle airport and was starving for some fresh, clean air and food, so headed 30 minutes away to dreamy Chantilly, France. It’s a place rich in history that’s surrounded by a forest that conjures up thoughts of medieval fantasy  and also home to France’s biggest racehorse-training community. And oui, it’s where the name Chantilly cream and Chantilly lace derive from.

Chantilly is ideal for a day trip from nearby Paris or an overnight stay at the Auberge du Jeu de Paume – a Relais & Châteaux property and home to two restaurants by Chef Arnaud Faye. In the property, you’ll find his Two Michelin-Starred La Table du Connétable and the more casual, but still elegant Jardin d’hiver where I enjoyed lunch.

Food Fashionista - Mika Takeuchi, Chantilly, France

Before arriving at the hotel, I stopped to wander through the forest of Chantilly and even without the leaves, the trees and surroundings were majestic.

Château de Chantilly, France - Mika Takeuchi

Whoever said fairy tales don’t exist hasn’t visited Chantilly…or France for that matter.

Chantilly, France Horses Travel - Food Fashionista

Chantilly is know for its connection to the equestrian and horse community and here, you’ll find the famous Chantilly Racecourse, the Great Stables at Domaine de Chantilly and The Living Museum of the Horse (Musée Vivant du Cheval).

Chantilly, France - Food Fashionista

When you enter the town, the Château de Chantilly is awaiting your arrival so have your cameras ready. This historic 19th century castle also houses the second largest collection of oil paintings after Le Louvre.

Auberge du Jeu de Paume, Relais Châteaux France

Entrance of the Auberge du Jeu de Paume

Auberge du Jeu de Paume Relais Chateaux

You’ll find horse memorabilia all around town, including at the Bar at the Jardin d’Hiver

Auberge du Jeu de Paume Chantilly, France

Just after a long flight, a cool glass of Champagne was a wonderful welcome to France.

Le Jardin d'hiver Chantilly, FranceDuring lunch at Le Jardin d’Hiver, chef had an admiring young fan. I loved the openness of the dining space and especially at lunch, all the natural light from the windows from the garden light up the room.

Jardin d'hiver Restaurant Chantilly France

Started with this Torteau émietté et avocet, fine gelée au radio rose (Crumbled crab and avocado with pink radish jelly)

Champagne Le Jardin d'hiver Restaurant Chantilly France

I continued on with Rosé…

Jardin d'hiver Restaurant Chantilly France 2

Another starter included this Tronçon de saumon fumé maison, pomme de terre àla moutarde ( Slabs of homemade smoked salmon and potato with mustard)

Relais and Chateaux Auberge du jeu de paume

Enjoyed a courtyard view while dining at Le Jardin d’Hiver

Chef Arnaud Faye Sea Bream

Dorade en croûte de pain, tombée de tétragone et piquillos ( Sea bream in a crust of bread with Zealand spinach and piquillo  peppers)

Le Jardin d'hiver Restaurant Chantilly France -Saint Jacques poêlée, gnocchi à la pistache, roquette et parmesan (Pan fried scallops, pistachio gnocchi, arugula and Parmesan cheese)

Chef Arnaud Faye Chocolate Dessert

Tarte Chocolate, caramel aux cacahuètes (Chocolate tart with peanuts, caramel and gold leaf)

Auberge du Jeu de Paume Relais et Châteaux

Chantilly is also home to the Concours d’Elegance auto show which will celebrate its third year on September 3-4.

Paris, Food Fashionista Mika Takeuchi

After a lovely afternoon in Chantilly, it’s time to head on to Paris…

Auberge du Jeu de Paume 

Address: 4 Rue du Connétable, 60500 Chantilly

Phone: 03 44 65 50 00

Alléno Paris by Yannick Alléno, Le Pavillon Ledoyen – Paris, France

Ledoyen Paviilion, Alléno Paris Champagne

Starting off lunch at Alléno Paris with Moët & Chandon, Grand Vintage Collection Rosé 1996 and a Yann Alexandre, Sous les Roses, Blanc de Noirs from  the wonderful Champagne cart. I would’ve been perfectly comfortable if it sat beside our table the entire meal.

Alléno Paris

Amuse Bouche from left to right:

Brioche Beetroot Bahn Bao  with wild black rice, seaweed jam, ponzu

Hibiscus Tuile with sweet onion cream and wild sorrel leaves

Yellow beet ravioli stuffed with mashed carrots and cumin seeds

Alléno Paris, Ledoyen Bread ServiceBread service at Alléno Paris…

Butter at Yannick Alléno Parisand the butter with choice of salted and unsalted.

Alléno Paris Iberico Ham

Iberico ham, iberico jelly, fermented rye bread mousse, kalamata olives

Yannick Alléno Ledoyen Paris Food Fashionista

This next course came in two components – “Unusual fine fish soup w marinated sardines” with a Dulce seaweed mayonnaise, red mullet on crushed ice with lemon zest and olive oil and…

Yannick Alléno Paris Ledoyen Fish Soup

Cappetlletti ravioli with butter and sole milk with dry sole skin salt

Ledoyen, Paris - Langoustine

Plain poached langoustine with bitter almond mousse in a tomato and parsley oil broth

Langoustine Paul Feybesse Ledoyen Alléno Paris

Yannick Alléno Cookbook Paris France

Chef Yannick Alléno’s massive cookbook with 500 recipes, 1,500 photographs, and over 1,200 pages greets you at the Ledoyen entrance

Alleno Paris Pike Mousse Food Fashionista

Pike fine mousse in Vienna bread with celery extract

Ledoyen, Paris - Dining Room View

The view from the main Allenó Paris dining room

Ledoyen, Paris - Lobster

Roasted blue lobster on a peppered olive oil with stewed green cabbage and slightly tangy turnip jelly

Food Fashionista Mika Takeuchi Chef Yannick Alléno Ledoyen

Chef Yannick Alléno during service at Three Michelin Star Alléno Paris at Le Pavillon Ledoyen

Ledoyen, Paris - Duck

Duckling cooked with malt presented tableside before being served in two various preparations…

Yannick Alléno Paris

Alléno Paris Relais Chateaux Michelin Guide

Paris mushrooms and liver tart with an eggplant beer

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The duck concludes the last of the savory courses and now on to dessert…

Ledoyen Paviilion, Alléno Paris

Map of Paris adorns the walls in one of the private Pavillon Ledoyen rooms

Chef Paul Feybesse - Alléno Paris

Sous Chef Paul Feybesse was the French regional finalist for S.Pellegrino Young Chef 2015.

Alléno Paris Desserts

Aloe soaked with dates and vanilla, yuzu & jelly, Candied Mango with hay, arabica tuile and Milk Mousse with piemont hazelnut, saffron orange

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Black sesame meringue with strawberries and shiso chlorophyll

Ledoyen, Paris - Coconut Dessert

Surprise coconut in a meringue with strawberries . One of my favorite desserts from 2015. The “shell” was edible and made with chocolate.

Alléno Paris, Ledoyen Mignardises

Coffee, tea and mignardises conclude our meal at the Relais & Châteaux Alléno Paris

Alléno Paris Ledoyen Kitchen Food Fashionista

In the kitchen at Alléno Paris at Le Pavillon Ledoyen

Ledoyen Paris France

All photos from summer 2015

Alléno Paris – Pavillon Ledoyen 

Address: 1 Avenue Dutuit, 75008 Paris, France

Phone: +33 1 53 05 10 00

Website: yannick-alleno.com

 

Smørrebrød at Orangeriet – Copenhagen, Denmark

Orangeriet - Copenhagen, Denmark

Whenever I visit a new country, I crave learning about the culture, people and the taste of its region. So, when I was recently in Denmark , I was eager to try their famous Smørrebrød – an open-faced sandwich on a piece of sourdough rye bread with your choice of a variety of toppings. And just like everything in life, it seems that everyone has their own opinion and choice of what’s their favorite place to try this Danish staple. With a recommendation from a trusted chef friend of mine, we ended up at Orangeriet Kongens Have. Once we walked in, I knew this was the right choice. Tons of natural light, contemporary yet elegant decor, and a view of the Royal Garden were the ideal spot for a relaxing, late afternoon lunch. I also found out that this space was the original location of Geranium Restaurant before their move to the current location.

Orangeriet Kogens Have, Copenhagen

Orangeriet - Copenhagen

Started off with a jar of the Roasted Almonds with smoked salt and juniper

Orangeriet - Copenhagen Denmark

We visited close to the holidays, so the decor was festive and cozy

smorrebrod- Orangeriet - Copenhagen Denmark

Rye bread with smoked salmon, lettuce, cream dressing, lemon and dill

Orangeriet Kitchen, Copenhagen, Denmark

Kitchen view at Orangeriet Kongens Have

smorrebrod Orangeriet Copenhagen

Rye bread with chicken salad and mushrooms, apple, celery and parsley

Orangeriet - Bocuse D'or Denmark

The framed display of Bocuse d’Or adorns the entry wall

Apple Tart - Orangeriet - Copenhagen Denmark

Warm apple tarte tatin with sour cream, prune ice cream, Armagnac and cinnamon “snow”

Copenhagen - Food Fashionista

Be sure to take a leisurely stroll and work off some of those calories in the adjacent Royal Garden after your meal.

Royal Garden Copenhagen Food Fashionista

Orangeriet Kongens Have 

Kronprinsessegade 13, Copenhagen, Denmark

Food for Thought @ Tickets Bar – Barcelona, Spain

As we begin this new week, it’s important to remind ourselves to stop, slow down and smell the roses. There really is beauty and always something to be grateful for in all of our lives, if we can just take the time to recognise it.

I took these photos in the whimsical dessert room at Tickets Bar towards the conclusion of my incredibly delightful meal at the playful and renowned restaurant in Barcelona, Spain.

In the center of the fresh rose petals was a dessert sphere of lychee and raspberry with a rosewater gelatin. The rose itself wasn’t edible, but I did end up taking it back home with me. After all, how often does one get a beautiful red rose from the Adrià brothers. Okay, maybe everyone who got that dessert, but to this day, I still admire the rose on my mantel, and it brings back many delicious, course-by-course memories of a mind-blowing meal on a warm summer day in Spain.

http://www.ticketsbar.es/ca

Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest at Carmel-by-the-Sea

Chef Michel Bras Olivier Roellinger Relais Châteaux GourmetFest

The third annual Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest returns to postcard-perfect Carmel-by-the-Sea on the weekend of February 25-28. And as in previous years, you will find the most illustrious names in food and wine descending upon California’s Monterey Peninsula. This year’s culinary celebration will feature 17 Relais & Châteaux chefs from around the world participating in a total of 18 unique events spread throughout the weekend. In addition to the showcased gastronomy, carmaker BMW will have some of their newest cars on display during the occasion; and several renowned wineries will be pouring rare vintages.

Relais Chateaux GourmeFest

Pastry Chef Liz Miller Blackberry Farm Ron Mendoza Aubergine

Pastry Chefs Liz Miller (Blackberry Farm) and Ron Mendoza (Aubergine) during the plating of Milller’s dessert course of Strawberries, Coconut Meringue, Crème fraiche Ice Cream and Candied Pecans at the GourmetFest 2015 Grand Women Chefs & Winemakers Luncheon 

Relais Chateaux GourmetFest Blackberry Farm

Festival founder and L’Auberge Carmel Proprietor David Fink will be hosting along with the stellar local team at Aubergine, the restaurant at L’Auberge Carmel led by Executive Chef Justin Cogley and Pastry Chef Ron Mendoza. Keeping with tradition, Relais & Châteaux’s GourmetFest will be headlined by several three star Michelin chefs with a 2016 lineup including David Kinch (Manresa, Los Gatos), Joshua Skenes (Saison, San Francisco), Michel Troisgros (La Maison Troisgros, Roanne, France) and Hiroshi Nakamichi (Restaurant Molière, Sapporo, Japan). There aren’t many places where you’ll be able to experience the cuisine of these international culinary masters up close and personal and all in the same location, but once again, you will have that special opportunity soon in Carmel at GourmetFest.

Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest

With an abundance of food and wine festivals these days, Relais & Châteaux has done an exceptional job of curating a  standout event that delivers only the best of the best in food, wine and luxury brands for a festive, high-quality wining and dining weekend. There is also an online auction where you can bid on several of Relais & Châteaux’s most extraordinary properties. The auction will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the Carmel Chamber of Commerce and the CSU Monterey Bay hospitality program.

For a sampling of what you can expect at this year’s GourmetFest, here are some more photo-worthy highlights I captured at last year’s R&C GourmetFest weekend:

La Playa Carmel Relais Chateaux GourmetFest

La Playa Carmel was the setting for the Opening Party

Chef Tetsuya Wakada Relais Chateaux

Chef Tetsuya Wakada & team plating their Salad of Aburi Alaskan Salmon w Daikon & Myoga 

Tetsuya Wakada

Chefs Olivier and Hugo Roellinger Relais Chateaux GourmetFest

Chefs Olivier & Hugo Roellinger served Oysters with Cured Lemon and Morita Oil sharing the spirit and spices of their seafront Brittany property, Les Maison de Bricourt with its vicinity near the bay of Cancale and its oyster farms. They will be returning to the 2016 GourmetFest cooking together at the Father & Son’s luncheon. 

Chef Olivier Roellinger Oysters Relais Chateaux GourmetFest

Carmel by the Sea SunsetCarmel-by-the-Sea and the Monterey Peninsula not only offer incredibly beautiful nature views year round, but a variety of the freshest, locally-sourced seafood which you’ll be able to enjoy while in the area.  

Ernst Loosen - Dr Loosen Wines

German Winemaker Ernst Loosen (Dr Loosen)  is all smiles in Carmel 

Chef Justin Cogley Aubergine Carmel Relais ChateauxChef Justin Cogley (Aubergine) serving Rainbow Trout with Seven Herbs and Smoked Trout Roe (below) at the Opening Night Welcome Party. 

Chef Justin Cogley Aubergine Rainbow Trout

relais chateaux gourmet fest

Chef Francis Wolf (Le Hatley Restaurant at Manoir Hovey)’s Panna Cotta of Cultured Goats Milk, Sweet Clover, Arctic Rose Flat Oatcake, Green Alder Candied Beet and Birch Syrup paired with a 1990 Philippi Barrel Aged Auslese at the Cuisine and Wines of the World Dinner at Seventh & Dolores.

Chefs Michel Bras Olivier Roellinger Relais Chateaux GourmetFest

Legendary Chefs Michel Bras (Bras) and Olivier Roellinger (Les Maisons De Bricourt) discussing their game plan for the dishes at the much-anticipated and sold out Taste of France luncheon.

Michel Bras Relais Chateaux GourmetFest Carmel

Chef Michel Bras’ L’endive Farcie, parfum de truffes paired with a 2008 Château de Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape from the Rhône Valley

Olivier Roellinger GourmetFest Carmel

Chef Olivier Roellinger’s St. Pierre “Retour de Indes” – Hommage to the 18th Century French Mariners paired with a 2011 Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Moulin-A-Vent, Beaujolais 

relais chateaux gourmetfest women and wine lunch

The All-Star Team at the Grand Women Chefs & Winemaker’s Luncheon

Gaja Wines GourmetFest Carmel

2005 Gaja Gaia & Rey Chardonnay Langhe from Piedmont, Italy was paired with Chef Annie Féolde (Enoteca Pinchiorri)’s Risotto with Prawns, Licorice Powder and Asparagus Marinated in Red Wine (below).

Chef Annie Feolde Risotto

Relais Chateaux GourmetFest Carmel

Pre-lunch cooking demo at the Gaggenau Demo Kitchen at La Playa Hotel’s courtyard featuring 3 Star Michelin Italian Chef Annie Féolde and team from Enoteca Pinchiorri.  

Chef Lanshu Chef (Le Mout Restaurant) Relais Chateaux

Chef Lanshu Chen (Le Moût Restaurant) plating her Pigeon with Yilan Style Pork Liver, Chantrelles & Lapsang Souchong Tea paired with a 2012 Wayfarer Vineyard Pinot Noir from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma County, California and a 2012 Chappellet Pritchard Hill Cabernet Franc from Napa Valley, California. 

Lanshu Chen Pigeon Relais Chateaux GourmetFest

Relais Châteaux Taste of The World

View the entire Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest schedule here, which includes these standout events for 2016:

Welcome Party (Thursday, February 25): The must-attend event of the weekend. This strolling dinner shines a spotlight on world-class Relais & Châteaux chefs – including all four Relais & Châteaux three star Michelin chefs – at stations paired with famed wine estates and beer & spirits producers and luxury vendors.

• Rarities Dinner (Friday, February 26): An extremely limited, 10-course dinner meal-of-a-lifetime prepared by three Relais & Châteaux three star Michelin chefs: David Kinch of Manresa, Joshua Skenes of Saison, and Michel Troisgros of Troisgros. This spectacular dinner is parked with rare wines directly from the Chateau, Domaines and Estate cellars.

• Wild Mushroom Hunt & Lunch with Ranger Chuck Bancroft (Saturday, February 27): Retired Point Lobos Ranger Chuck Bancroft and his team of mycologists lead guests on a wild mushroom hunt through the pristine 20,000-acre Santa Lucia Preserve in upper Carmel Valley. Following the hunt will be a sumptuous wild mushroom lunch prepared by the Preserve’s Host Chef Jerry Regester and Relais & Châteaux Chef Matt Zubrod of The Little Nell with accompanying wineries pouring rare vintages from Galante Vineyards and Dawn’s Dream.

• Father & Sons Lunch & Michel Troisgros Cooking Demo (Saturday, February 27): Delight in a lunch prepared by two iconic French father and son chefs, Olivier and Hugo Roellinger of Les Maison de Bricourt and Michel and César Troisgros of Troisgros. The lunch, paired with some of the most highly sought after wines made in France including Chateau Grillet and Domaine d’Eugenie and finished with the wines of Napa Valley superstar Araujo, is preceded by a cooking demo in the Gaggenau Demo Kitchen and Champagne Taittinger reception.

• Taste of the World (Sunday, February 28): Experience a “strolling Route du Bonheur” in which wines, many from local Monterey County wine estates, are paired with bites from Relais & Châteaux properties from all over the world.

For more information and to purchase tickets to the 2016 GourmetFest, visit:

Relais & Châteaux GourmetFest

carmel by the sea sunset

…and while in Carmel-by-the-Sea, make sure to take in the magnificent sunset. This photo was captured a few minutes before last year’s GourmetFest began. Absolutely magical start to an unforgettable weekend.