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We encourage everyone to make his or her own Pandoro at home: it is much easier than it seems; although somewhat laborious, you achieve a great sense of satisfaction in the end.  The smell of freshly baked Pandoro is unforgettable.  And the heavenly texture…later, you will see how hard it is to resist eating all of the warm Pandoro. The recipe that I am going to present is from the famous sisters, Margherita and Valeria Simili, found in the book, “Bread and Sweet Stuff.” Before I begin, it should be

Paolo and Giampiero Bea: the Sagrantino natural wines Browsing around the Montefalco wine bars, a few miles from where I was born, Paolo Bea’s bottles always called my attention, with those special labels, similar to a vigneron’s notebook. They look hand written.  They detail many things, from how the vintage was, to how the wine was aged, and even list some of the wine’s characteristics.  Just as every wine has its own unique personality, each label of each wine and vintage bottle is also unique. When I finally met Giampiero Bea I understood that these

When I return to my homeland around Christmas time, I cannot keep myself from visiting Giampiero Bea, who always honors us with spectacular tastings. At this time of year, the Sagrantino bunches destined for Passito are resting on mats waiting to reach the perfect pulp concentration.  The grape is drying slowly and naturally in a room, where thanks to manual regulation of the window openings, temperature and humidity are controlled in order to prevent mold. In addition to Passito Sagrantino, a white version of Passito traditionally existed as well, produced from the

Early June, evening sets in.  The days are long.  We just left Lille, but we are still in France, bordering Belgium.  I know this area well.  I spent a beautiful period of my life here.  We drive along narrow back roads between green and rolling hills, cows and farms, in the direction of Dranouter, Belgium.  One does not arrive here by chance.  The restaurant, In De Wulf, is not found easily in passing.  It looks as if it is one of those lost farms in the countryside. In De

Before traveling to Shanghai I had tried to carefully prepare my gastronomic research plan.  From my hotel room in Pudong, I can see the entire finance district showcasing the city’s economic power, which is the second or perhaps the first world power.  These banks finance much of our public debt. Some of the most expensive cars in the world drive around the streets of this district.  We come across a brand new Lamborghini, whose owner (surely one of the city’s new rich people) does not know how to drive… I

“That was the Ribera del Duero before the 80s,” says our friend Master Alfredo. We are in a newly planted vineyard situated on a hillside with extraordinary views of Peñafiel and its castle.  In the 80s, pioneers like Jesús Anadón, Pablo Peñalba López, Alejandro Fernández and the Perez Pascuas brothers, among others, began the transformation of this land into the modern and famous denomination it is today, with the tempranillo grape serving as the principle protagonist. But that was not always the case. In this age, flowers just become fruit

We are reposting this entry, written last year, a little after the Michelin Guide awarded Diverxo its second star.  David Muñoz continues to rise in his profession, having just entered the gastronomic Olympus with his third star.  We already expected this… Diverxo restaurant, Madrid, November 2011.  David Muñoz is one of today’s great Chefs: he recently won two Michelin stars. To eat in his restaurant is a true fantasy. David has personally revealed to us the secrets of his extraordinary cuisine. Traveling kitchen? Speaking with David about his cooking style, he suggests

Is there anything more delicious to start the day than breakfast with a good croissant?  I am in Paris and I cannot be satisfied by just any kind of croissant.  I want breakfast with the best!  I decide to go to the city’s most famous boulangeries to discover the best croissant in Paris, maybe even in the world… The Plan It is a good idea to get an early start.  We want to taste all of the croissants before 10:00 AM, which is not an easy feat!  First we must

All traditional Tuscan meals end with the customary dipping of the Cantuccini in a small glass of Vinsanto, the sweet wine of this region.  Cantuccini is a very crunchy type of biscuit with almonds that melts in your mouth after being soaked in wine.  The biscuits can be eaten alone or accompanied with a cup of coffee, but without a doubt, these biscuits are addicting and, as with sunflower seeds, you can’t stop eating them one after the other. The name given to these types of almond biscuits (common

Are the best wines in the world made in France?  We could discuss this question until the end of time… While it is true that France is the world leader in terms of tradition, the only way to answer this question is to try wines made by historic French producers.  One of these producers is Chateau de Beaucastel, an excellent winery in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape region.  The Popes planted vineyards in this Southern zone of France during the 14th century, although the first mention of Beaucastel did not occur

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