So, in the last post you had a chance to see the incredible boat and views and the Riva/Veuve Clicquot collaboration, but what did they serve us? Here is a walk through with pics of the menu to explain all of the deliciousness served... from the Crab tasting in gazpacho juice, to the Morels in asparagus cream and beef consomme with a lobster medalion, to Veal filet mignon with truffles, potatos mousseline with truffles and baby onions, served with a spicy juice, to the two desserts - wild strawberries in a small cookie with a red berry ice cream macaroon, and a hazelnut in a caramel and dacquoise ice cream....... to the cigars and cognac that finished off quite a spectacular culinary feast and quite the introduction to the playful leisure loving Veuve Clicquot lifestyle... So feast with your eyes on the next page!
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Wow. I just landed in the absolutely breathtaking Chateau Les Creyeres in Reims... after a helicopter ride (my first!) over the champagne region... which was preceded by visiting the presses and the vineyards... and an incredible lunch at madame cliquot's country house where the food was created (and inspired) by the champagnes with which they were paired... and learned about the "confusing sex" alternative to pesticides... getting a sneak peek at the latest porsche design collaboration on an "ice cube" to launch next year... tasted champagne vintages including one from my birth year... ok basically, TONS to share with you, and minimal internet connection... so everything is going to be a day or so off...
...but for now, i got some pictures up before i left the hotel this morning so here's a peek at last nights adventure! Incredible boat ride up and down the seine for dinner last night - on the next page are images of the experience - including the absolutely gorgeous Riva boat collaborations with Veuve Clicquot in person, seeing the eiffel tower lit up blue with the stars of the EU while sparkling to mark france's term as EU president, meeting Lia Riva and hearing stories of life in Monaco and her childhood of gorgeous boats, and ultimately this was the start of our getting to know the Veuve Clicquot family, and truly understand how rich the history of this brand is, and experience how passionate the individuals involved are in quality products, experiences, and DESIGN! Ultimately it's becoming very clear that more than just a brand, Veuve Clicquot is a lifestyle, and the lifestyle they have created, is certainly one i'm sure we could all get used to!
SETCAST is a new gorgeous bone china collection from London architects, voonwong&bensonsaw. "The SETCAST collection is the result of a close collaboration between voonwong&bensonsaw and one of China's most distinguished manufacturers of bone china, Asianera, based in Tangshan, the porcelain capital of northern China. Together, the companies have developed a collection that makes the best use of bone china's excellent light-reflective properties and also moves away from traditional decorative tableware to focus on striking new typologies that make a bold statement."
My favorite part of the collection is definitely these Molecule Dishes ~ in Large ($90), Medium ($75), and Small ($65) available at Merchant4~ they are extremely affordable, and the simple clean packaging would make them great gifts for almost any occasion! See more images of the full collection as well as a peek at the factory (which is going GREEN in 2009!) on the next page...
I was just floored when I saw WASARA over on Swissmiss' blog. WASARA is a line of the prettiest disposable paper tableware that you've ever seen - I would throw a party just so I could use these. It's not just paper plates either, it's bowls, mugs, sushi plates, serving platters...With the desire to be as sustainable as possible, WASARA is made from reed pulp and bagasse (sugarcane waste).
From WASARA's website: "Underlying the concept of WASARA is the legacy of Japanese aesthetic and value sense. Japan has a tradition of good manufacturing backed by excellent skills and techniques, one of the most refined food cultures in the world, and a spirit of hospitality and courtesy. These are essential for days of spiritual fulfillment. While a WASARA is a paper dish good for one-time use, we would like it to represent those quintessences of our tradition."
WASARA will be available for purchase at the end of August 2008.
For their latest Design Issue, Canadian magazine The Block commissioned chocolatier Thomas Haas to replicate the now-iconic 1949 Eames House in CHOCOLATE! Funniest thing is that this house is right down the street, and i've probably driven by multiple times a day for years...
"This sweet miniature design mimics the original structure Charles and Ray Eames created as part of Arts & Architecture magazine's Case Study Houses program. The program asked prominent architects of the day to design affordable and cost-efficient homes as possible solutions to the post-WWII housing boom. The modernist Pacific Palisades home is a semi-prefab wonder; the airy steel-and-glass structure with its brightly coloured panels was built in just three days. The Block's modernist chocolate dollhouse took 30 hours to complete."
Check out the photos, The Block issue cover, and article (including Thomas Haas' Chocolate Shortbread Recipe)... perhaps it's inspiration for gingerbread house building this year?
Molecular Gastronomy is one of those things that mixes design, science, and food/drinks so nicely, i've been fascinated with the concept for ages... and as i learned more, Molecular Mixology has become even more of a fascination! So when i got a press release about Xavier Herit's new take on the Cointreau Pearls, it launched me off on a research mission across the web, finding out more about the creation of Cointreau Pearls across the world, the special kit they produced just for bartenders, videos of it in action, and lots more images on the next page to catch you up on my finds! Above you are seeing a close up of Xavier's Cointreau Pearls in which he infused strawberry, and he serves them alongside Margaritas, and also floating in glasses of champagne.
P.S. Now, if only i could get Cointreau to teach me how to do it! It's so tempting to start up a crazy lab/bar and start experimenting with all of these new techniques... perhaps a future project for the newly named NOTLabs?
Two of my favorite vices - dark chocolate and scotch... combined?!?!?! K Chocolatier by Diane Krön's K HIBALLS filled with Blue Label Scotch and Ketel One Vodka - a more sophisticated variation of the recipes of chocolate once exclusive to Emperor Franz Josef of Austro-Hungary, that i'm sure the Emperor would adore were he alive today - will absolutely raise the bar for any chocolate/liquor experience. But first, let me fill you in on the background of the most delectable chocolates you may ever feast on. Food Network calls K Chocolatier by Diane Krön "the Rolls Royce of Chocolates".
These chocolates have blown my mind since childhood, and i can't believe i forgot about them the last few years! Thank goodness i rediscovered them today while wandering in Malibu... as far as things exclusively found in LA, this is one you absolutely must try. For a quick background on K Chocolatier by Diane Krön...
"In 1973, Diane and Tom Krön established Krön Chocolatier in New York City based on recipes from Tom's great grandfather, chocolate-maker to Emperor Franz Josef of Austro-Hungary. They soon became very famous for the quality and novelty of their chocolates (Tom invented the chocolate-covered strawberry) and opened many Krön stores across the U.S. Diane and Tom Krön sold Krön Chocolatier in 1983 and retired from the chocolate business to travel and raise their family. New management took over and the company went in other directions. Now Diane Krön is back ! Lured by the excitement of Beverly Hills, Diane decided to develop a new company, and in 2000, created a new brand of luxury chocolates with new combinations and more sophisticated recipes. K CHOCOLATIER is based on those secret Krön family formulations of cocoa powder ratio and viscosity, but with a difference: using as little sugar as possible."
Still family run (we met one of the sons at the Malibu store) ~ they produce these chocolates locally in their Gardena factory, and create daily batches in limited quantities. They are available exclusively in their Beverly Hills and Malibu boutiques, and if you are anywhere near the area, stop in - even if just to try the samples - and luckily you can now also shop online with them, since they ship nearly everywhere See more images of the beautiful packaging, some other variations... and i couldn't help it, so a little rant about my childhood memories of K Chocolatier by Diane Krön as well.
NOTCOT Note: Ironically, this is an event i was actually super excited about cross posting to NOTCOT/TasteSpotting when i was planning for it... and now that i finally get it up... that whole TasteSpotting thing happens (will tell you guys more when i can, but for now, know that it had nothing to do with images/copyright/or any of the other bizarre rumors flying on the web)... but still an incredible experience mixing food and design so perfectly - i suggest you jump ahead and see all the pics then scroll back up and read!
Two words. Bread. Lamp. How could we not venture into williamsburg after party hopping through ICFF/NY Design Week to see what this mysterious Dine On Design dinner that promised an edible lamp made of bread and other "designed" foods?
Ok the first version of this post got a bit too rambly... so i've moved the full story to the next page with the TONS of pics to take you through the 8 course prix fixe Dine on Design dinner at Monkeytown in Willamsburg with us! It is an experience not to be missed. And it really was quite the experience... i must admit it did feel like a bit of an art school project - and we had a blast at the dinner, particularly in its contrast to all the usual ICFF parties, openings, and open bars we had passed through earlier in the night! We found ourselves in a square room on low futons, strapped in with bibs to our table, watching crazy video installation on all four walls of clips from old foreign foodie films, 60s and 70s snack/cereal commercials, footage of Julia Child chopping chickens and fish apart... all while eating some very interesting dishes... on some very interestingly designed dishes... SO, you have to see the pics!
This might sound silly, but we were totally that "fun/education in every aspect" household as kids - and my sister and i grew up eating on various educational place mats, learning much of geography and planetary systems that way! So, when i saw this tablet of 50 paper placemats featuring city maps of London, Paris, Tokyo, and New York - i instantly imagined throwing a large dinner party with these! How fun would that be? Now if only they weren't so wasteful and were made of tyvek or something more durable and reusable? Semi-closeups of some of the maps on the next page! Seletti's World Map Paper Placemats
Actually, you know what would be even cooler? If the D!REKTRECYCLING Recycled Maps into envelopes people made recycled map placemats!
With all this traveling the last month, it's been far too long since i've done a roundup, so here's an intense little brick of 100 of the top NOTCOT.org posts in the last 2 weeks! Also 100 of the tops of TasteSpotting and NotCouture on the next page as well! So check them out to see what's new, what you might have missed, and as always - you can always submit your own finds to share by clicking the "add next pic" icons in the top left corners! Click the tiny pics to find out more!
Polyface Farm ~ it was one of the few pit stops we've made here in Virginia while visiting family... and WOW. While i will openly admit, i know little about sustainable agriculture and farms - dan has been raving about this place and their philosophies and systems ever since he read "Omnivore's Dilemma" by Michael Pollan (where the author actually lived on the farm for 2 weeks to fully understand their incredible process!)
"At Polyface, we want every animal to eat as much salad (green material) as its full genetic potential will allow"
Knowing i can't do the full story justice, consider this post a launching board to poke those of you who are remotely interested to find out more... but here's my quick version. First thing to grab me driving up was definitely the logo ~ such a cute entrance sign! With the fish in the chicken in the cow in the tree! Poly-face certainly makes a lot of sense with its multifaceted farming. Essentially the beauty of this farm is its earth/life centered approach, which thrives on a fantastic sense of balance achieved through understanding what these animals and plants need to thrive year round ~ instead of optimizing for speed or fattening things up, they've managed to create a sustainable farm in harmony. Most of their species are in a rotation - to keep the cows from overgrazing and consuming their own waste, to give the chickens a chance to pick through and find all the best grubs as well as feed, to turn pigs into "Pigaerators" (tasty corn ferments encourage them to aerate all fertilizer for the farm naturally), water that is collected in their various ponds and wells from winter runoff keep them self-reliant, and so much more i can't even begin to explain. And from a design perspective, i was fascinated reading about the ways they utilize mobile electric fences and Eggmobiles to facilitate this whole process!
Bottom line? The eggs, sausage, and bacon i tasted were truly incredibly tasty and worth the drive (if you go out there, def get the apple juice too, we thought the jug was HUGE, but it disappeared in about a day - who knew even the toddlers would love it so much?)... the family running the farm was intelligent, kind, and passionate about every aspect of their process, and eager to share their wisdom. If you make it to these parts, you definitely want to roadtrip over and try some of the goods - since they are only available there, and in select restaurants nearby! So, continue your journey, read more about Polyface Farm here!
i was out wandering far out in the fields visiting some chickens and their adorable, huge guard dog ~ and got caught in a thunderstorm, which left me completely drenched in a little green sundress ~ so not as many pictures as i would have liked to show you on the next page - but i was a bit preoccupied with the wetness and protecting the camera! Still - some fun ones! (and big thanks to Robert Frysinger for contributing some of his pics as well.)
NOTCOT Note: Morning! Here's one more before i head back to the cabin ~
At the Hardcore Exhibition in the Meatpacking District during ICFF that showcased New Finnish Design, i discovered VEGE by Design Mikko Laakkonen for Selki-Asema. These are frying pans and blini pans specially for vegetarians! And not only are they a nice way to help show your veg friends that you keep things separate ~ they even leave nice leafy patterns into your pancakes, etc. Cute idea. It's cast iron and the frying pan has a birch handle. See more images of the full rack of the from the exhibition on the next page!
Tast.es: Disposable Elements For Catering - firstly, awesome use of the .es domain - secondly, the Conran ROJO launch was incredible, and i have still yet to do a proper post on it, there was so much, it's all coming out in pieces... strangely enough i actually indulged in some of the various catering finger foods coming around simply so i could poke at the beautifully designed mini dishes they were served in! How cute is this soup bowl/shot glass? It looked so strange and possibly uncomfortable to sip from, but honestly its curvature was perfect to put your lips up to and have the soup slide right in (no embarrassing dribbles or anything of that sort). I even had the url on the bottom of it emailed to me as soon as i finished drinking it so i wouldn't forget to see what else they have... and low and behold, there is more awesome catering ware from Tast.es! So see larger images of the whole collection on the next page, and someday when we throw a party, i will definitely have to look these guys up.
Finally! At the Designboom Mart, i had the pleasure of meeting Reiko Kaneko of the Egg Soldiers i had posted back as .org #7028! Fun thing was to finally get to poke at these in person, and check out the playful packaging!
"Egg Soldier Eggcup - Battle on the breakfast table: It's early in the morning..... Having been for a dip, the EGG quietly prepares for another day. Suddenly, from the end of the table, an army of BREAD SOLDIERS starts to approach. The MODEL SOLDIERS, fearing for the safety of their EGG, close in. They work hard to protect the EGG but one after another, the BREAD SOLDIERS just keep coming...." Images from the designboom mart at icff on the next page!
Click the images to find out more! HAPPY MOTHER's DAY to all the moms out there! And for all the kids- don't forget to call mom.
Tonight i went themed on our roundup for the week ~ top row, unusual frozen goods were trendy on TasteSpotting, from margarita popsicles and frozen eggs to Raw Banana Mango Malted Ice Cream with Agave Caramel... in the middle row, from NOTCOT.org had quite a nice selection of Architecture showing up this week... and finally, from NotCouture here is an assortment of bags, trunks, and 'waterproof backpack reviews'!
Top 25 from each site last week on the next page...
Random spontaneous research of the morning - staring out the window at the finches that keep hopping along the sill and pecking at the window right in front of me, i started day dreaming about bird feeder designs, and as a result started hunting down unique bird feeders on NOTCOT.org - which naturally lead me to scouring the ends of the internet to see what else was out there. Here are 14 of the coolest things i found that don't meet your standard/gawdy options... also i'm kind of wondering whether a bird feeder could be a fun next project for NOTConcept?
p.s. like all roundups, click the images to find out more!
On a continued giddy morning, after a crazy long day running up and down norcal... while i avoided all things Web 2.0, i couldn't say no to playing with our Federated Media family at their party at the Web 2.0 Expo South Park Crawl... like all crazy parties, the open bar kept flowing, the people came and went, but we and the FMers pretty much stayed till the end, and then began the wander to hunt for food through SOMA... one place after another the kitchens were all closed so we ended up at Mel's Drive In. And not being famished, but in a silly mood, i couldn't resist ordering the Apple Pie with Cheese A La Mode... and as you can see from the menu screenshot below, it's really on there! And although i seldom post on a dare, well, i did promise that i'd document and share this bizarre combination with NOTCOT/TasteSpotters...
Keep reading to see the closeups, etc... and the bizarre fork sculpture the kids next to us were building...
What more could we need to kick off a Monday in the making besides waldo hidden in the real world waiting for google maps, designer foosball, books transformed into sculpture, dragon bras, fun dresses and coats, martinis, cupcakes, carbonara, and more? Well here's a selection of things that grabbed me from the last week, and after the jump take a look at the 25 most popular posts from across the NOTCOT Network. Happy Monday! (and as always, click the images to find out more!)
Click the images to find out more! And as always - TasteSpotting and NotCouture roundups after the jump! Here are the most popular 25 posts over at NOTCOT.org this week! I'm still up in norcal, but theoretically heading back down to LA in a few hours... see some of the deliciousness on tastespotting and notcouture below - the bacon bra is particularly horrifying/fascinating.
On random buying based on pretty graphic design/typography/packaging... i couldn't resist snagging two packs of the Kopali SUPERGOOD SUPERFOOD (no, seriously, that's what it's called). And also how intriguing do these dried mulberries look? (they were new to me... and once i grabbed those i also HAD to try the Dark Chocolate Covered ones too.) They also have dried Mango, Pineapple, Goldenberries... and in the choc covered range - Cacao Nibs, Espresso Beans, Goji Berries, Mulberries and Bananas (i think i need to try the bananas next time). The site says "They're "Supergood" because they're so delicious, nutritous and righteous. They're "Superfood" because they're packed with energy and essential phytonutrients. " Also interesting is their "three bottom line" business plan, focusing on reaching not only financial goals, but also eco/sustainable goals and personal goals to support the people involved. Check out the video below with their company's fascinating business story, bus tour, and how Whole Foods have really helped get the ex-programmer and horticulturist working out of the beaches of costa rica on the map.... and a few more fun close up pics of these crazy mulberries.
Click the images to find out more! Roundup Time! I just found out tomorrow was a bank holiday... apparently its Caesar Chavez Day? So i guess its a long weekend! (Not that life on the internet really takes weekends.) Anyhow, its been a fun week across the network, with everything from - skulls hidden in black and white line drawings, a hilarious record of a hipster teaching you "how to speak hip", a viral game in the making where you tilt your laptop to drive a motorcycle, a man with the patience to drill insane holes into egg shells, elephants carrying spy cams, backless bras that atatch like a baby carrier, egg filled nest cupcakes, and so much more... see the full roundups after the jump!
...and for TasteSpotting news, the Daring Bakers have just struck again with their latest March Challenge: Dorie's Perfect Party Cake, and the best are popping up as we speak... fascinating to see how all these different people have interpreted the same recipe.
Click the images to find out more! ~ and being a roundup of roundups, get your quick fix of this weeks fashion and food after the jump as well! (Courtesy of NotCouture and TasteSpotting) Fun to see that a lot of the most popular posts on .org this week seem to be some of the .com posts... and those terribly creeeeeeeeepy Pixeloo renders of Mario and Homer if they were real humans with their cartoon anatomy... freaky stuff! I am scared to see what they take on next...
NOTCOT Note: Here's another article from Anna Corpron of Sub-Studio!
Sub-Studio reader Kariann sent me a link to Edible's Aphrodisiac Pearl Chocolate Paste as a submission for February's chocolate themed Idea's column. Being that we were just switching over to a conceptual shoe column, I didn't get a chance to include the link, but I fell in love with Edible while browsing their site. I'll be the first to admit that I'm partially charmed by the exotic snacks that they carry, but beyond interesting items (chocolate covered scorpions, anyone?), their products are beautifully crafted and packaged. The Antlix Lollipop (below) is gorgeous - it looks like little black seeds frozen in ice. Check out more potentially tasty, pretty things after the jump. Oh - and if you aren't from America, Edible's wares aren't ridiculously expensive.
NOTCOT Note: I sent Justine (aka Rugenius) on a mission since she's living in the UK, to go buy some of these delicious Fru Puds and Gu Puds and take some pics and let me live vicariously through her... Here's what she's reported back, with pics!
Fru Puds and Gu Puds certainly know how to do packaging. It's hard not to pick them up at the market. In fact, I picked some within my first few weeks in the UK! It's hard to deny the sensuous chocolatey goodness advertised on that packaging....and I'm alway a sucker for a nice black matte. I think we started with chocolate mousse, the traditional. So when the order came in from NOTCOT to check out some more of their range, I was all too happy to oblige. I thought we should go for something a bit different though. So we went for the Gu chocolate pots and the Fru carrot cake bites. See all my pics of packaging, unboxing, and indulging below!