There’s something so refreshingly lovely about the champagne region of France. Is it the air? The people? The stunning champagne houses and the lifestyles inspired by champagne over the centuries? And there’s something particularly magical about the chalky caves below the area that millions of bottles of champagne are hiding in awaiting their time… While some say, once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all… Perrier Jouët’s is particularly visually enticing… those signature belle epoque flowered bottles (and with their pastel green bottle caps during the process) just pop so beautifully, breathing life into the otherwise damp colorless chalky caves. SO take a peek into the cellars with me on the next page!
So that plane i hopped on instead of checking out the skull engraved in a cube of uncut currency has landed me in Paris! At the Westin Paris… to celebrate Perrier-Jouët’s 200th Anniversary… greeted in the room by a lovely bottle of their Cuvée Belle Epoque Champagne in the signature Flower Bottle, invitation to tomorrows festivities, and a schedule for the next 3 days, which will take me from Paris, back to Epernay, to learn more about where it all came from. So first, a look at the bottle that awaited me, and the gorgeous graphic design on the invitation! After all… it’s a philosophie de vie… take a peek on the next page!
On fun ways to kick off the weekend, these are like ninja cooking mama ~ or sesame street/eureka’s castle ~ or crazy art video/baby noise/pot clanging remixed… These amazing videos you can see on the next page are The Art of cooking series byCarl Kleiner in collaboration with Eric Severin & Evelina Bratell for IKEA, and made possible by Forsman & Bodenfors. They are mesmerizing and amazing! An awesome follow up to the amazing HEMBAKAT ÄR BÄST cookbook (which still has some of the most incredible recipe photography i’ve laid eyes on). But anyhow ~ TO the videos on the next page!!!
Packaging based impulse buying at the market kind of day. But i was craving fresh cookies too… and while killing time at Mother’s down in Newport Beach… the packaging on the Eat Pastry vegan cookie dough jars sucked me right in with their playfully complex graphic label. The San Diego based line has a few flavors of cookie dough (Choc Chunk, Vegan Gluten-Free Choc Chunk, Peanut Butter Choc Chip, Chocoholic Chunk, Cinnamon Ginger Spice, and Oatmeal Raisin Choc Chip) ~ and its really the speakeasy-esque eyes peeking over what is either an open book or a mustache on the front as well as the fun fonts that lured me in first. And of course there’s the lady with the monkey on her shoulder ~ both enjoying cookies. And the mustache shaped barcode that can’t be ignored! Take a peek at the lovely packaging on the next page… cute branding continues to the Eat Pastry website as well. And i have a few cookies coming out of the oven in a few!
I don’t throw dinner parties, but ‘Dressed’ created by Marcel Wanders for Alessi makes me want to. This white porcelain table set and stainless steel cutlery are just stunning. He always fine that delicate line between modern minimalist and ornate, a strangely over the top yet still simply refined feel. And the photography of the settings with painted porcelain dolls is rather cheeky and playful.
First things first, sorry i’ve been quiet. Bottom line, ferverish for a few days that ends up being strep - sucks. Combined with a bit of travel craziness, and right into Grammy parties in LA, i might have overextended a little this month… BUT loading up on antibiotics, chicken soup, coconut water, pudding, etc… and hopefully back to normal by tomorrow?
That being said ~ Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollipops at The Bazaar at the SLS in Beverly Hills are always awesome. Especially when you have the guy there making them non stop, its mesmerizing. Popped by Primary Wave’s annual Pre-Grammy Party, this year celebrating their 5 Year Anniversary. On fun stuff to share, it was a great chance to try out the new Absolut Wild Tea (black tea + elderflower!) in some of their new cocktails… and being The Bazaar the food was of course molecular gastronomy goodness… and my favorites have always been their Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollies and the dark chocolate covered pop rocks… so i couldn’t help taking lots of pics of the Lollipop guy set up outside at the party doing his thing! Check it all out on the next page!
So many pictures from the last week in Mexico with Kahlúa… first the adventures in the rainforest with coffee plants… then a look into the factory with the giant roasting and grinding machines… and this last part was just too amusing to me not to share. You know i love peeking into the labs and scientific parts of these places… sample liquids in plastic water bottles, glass beakers, and all that fun stuff… oh, and getting to taste the 192 proof sugarcane based rum that is blended with the coffee, sugar cane syrup, and more to make Kahlúa. Anyhow, go take a peek inside the lab on the next page!
A continuation of Kahlúa Bean to Bottle Part I, where you saw how coffee comes from the plants in the field to be dried in their green state… next stop was Mexico City where we visited the Pernod Ricard factory where all Kahlúa for the world begins. This time it was insane to see how you make huge VATS of coffee from all those beans! From the huge bags of Green Coffee that has been aged a few months, to being roasted perfectly en masses, then ground, then cold pressed into enormous vats of espresso! Ready to see some of the large machinery up close? On to the next page!
I must admit that i was rather lacking in knowledge about how coffee comes to be. I love a nice cup of espresso, and Kahlúa Especial has always been a coffee-licious favorite to have around the house… but before today, i couldn’t have told you what a coffee tree looked like… and definitely couldn’t have identified the cherry like fruits! So when Kahlúa invited me down to Mexico to learn about the 7 year Bean to Bottle process, i couldn’t resist a Mexican adventure into the rainforest to catch up! It’s been an absolutely surreal day wandering the rainforest, learning about the coffee making process, and even learning to make tortillas during lunch up in the coffee sanctuary while looking down on coffee plants and sugar cane fields on a perfectly sunny day. SO many pictures taken, but before i crash (and early flight to mexico city in the morning!) here’s a peek at where coffee comes from… starting at the plant to the roasting… check out all the pics on the next page!
Tanks of liquid nitrogen! Kitchen Aid Mixers! Swings! Lab coats! ICE CREAM! So many awesome elements come together at Chin Chin Labs, the new Nitro Ice-Cream Parlor in London. The combination sounded too fun not to send Justine and Charles to go check out, and they came back with lots of pics and stories of their adventures watching the spectacle unfold in the tiny shop. See all the pics and read more on the next page…