Peek Inside Bordeaux’s New Cité Du Vin, The Disneyland For Wine Lovers: Earlier this week, the French city of Bordeaux solidified its reputation as the Mecca of the wine world, with the opening of its long-awaited, 10-story, $9 million monument to viticulture, La Cité du Vin, or City of Wine.
How to Rank the Restaurant Rankings: In a crowded field, choosing a best-of list on which to base your reservation can be a maddening exercise. Here’s a handy breakdown of the restaurant rankings currently carrying weight.
Festa a Vico: Three days of food immersion in the bays of Naples: Vico Equense, a small town in the greater bay of the Naples metropolitan area, beautifully located on a tuff cliff, from 29th till 31st of May transformed itself into a big restaurant with hundreds of chefs cooking on the streets and thousands of food lovers enjoying their creations. This will happen in the occasion of the twelfth edition of Festa a Vico. What is Festa a Vico?
The whole restaurant’s a stage in the world of immersive dining: In east London, a sniffy butler is welcoming 12 diners into the 16th century. “Ah, Lord Norrington! Greetings!”, he proclaims to a giggling woman in a floral dress. “Sunglasses indoors, my lady? It works for you,” he smiles at a leather-jacket-clad attendee, before rolling his eyes and harrumphing: “It doesn’t seem stupid at all.” Around him are dangling lace curtains, pictures of dead Elizabethans and a vase of roses complete with dry ice that submerges the table in a rolling fog. “Dinner is served!” he announces. At which point, a haughty aristocrat leaps out and startles the diners half to death. This is immersive dining – specifically, a project called Chambers of Flavours, by theatre-cum-cookery crew Gingerline. Over the past eight months, they have fed about 17,000 guests – sometimes on a gondola, sometimes shoving them into a gigantic machine that looks like something from 80s kids’ TV programme Bertha. In this instance, they are taking them on a tour of theatrical sets (or “parallel dimensions”), where actors serve up a different themed course in each room.
The Aficionado: Elena Arzak: Elena Arzak is widely considered the best female chef in the world, one of only six women in history whose restaurant has been awarded three Michelin stars. Like her father, Juan Mari , a master of modern Basque cuisine, she grew up cooking with women: today, three-quarters of the chefs in her eponymous San Sebastián restaurant are female. She aims for meals that are “multisensory, original experiences”, and focuses on the finest ingredients from land and sea, some of which are taken from her test kitchen, a treasury of more than 1,600 flavours and scents. The hardest thing to control, she says, is pressure. “Too much and your creativity goes, too little and you become too relaxed. You just have to keep creating dishes that people love.” Here, she reflects on how her travels have influenced her cuisine.
‘The male chef gang are all mates, support each other to the hilt and brook no criticism’: When it comes to women in restaurants, macho chefs, sexism in the food media, oh man I have done my fair share of tongue-biting over the years in France, from where I have just returned after 25 years. Like so many women I have developed that selective deafness and glassy-eyed stoicism we are often obliged to wear. After all, shock! Horror! I was an irlandaise writing in French in a predominantly male world of food and restaurants, picking up awards and a member of the French World’s 50 Best Restaurants jury.
Forget oil. This summer, a two-mile pipeline that carries beer will open in a Belgian city: Some men dream of one day owning their own bar or brewery, but Xavier Vanneste already had one — the De Halve Maan, or The Crescent in English. Unfortunately, achieving one’s dreams often comes with its own obstacles. De Halve Maan sits in the city-center of Bruges, the cobblestone-laden, storybook town in Belgium. As Wired noted, the brewhouse is too small to contain its own bottling plant. And as beautiful as they might be, those small cobblestone streets make transportation a challenge. That might not have been an issue when the brewery opened in 1856, but trucks have a hard time slipping through the city’s narrow corridors to the bottling plant that, in 2010, moved about two miles away. Vanneste was stuck with a frustrating logistical problem.
Discovering Lucas Fays, from Champagne Philippe Fays: A month ago, during a wine trip from Torgny (Belgium) to Pupillin in the Jura, I made a stop in Celles-sur-Ource, charming small village in the region of Aube (Champagne) renowned for the number and the quality of its winemakers. I met Lucas Fays, the son of Philippe Fays, creator of the eponym’s estate. The winery I discovered was really interesting in many points. First of all, it’s important to put Celles-sur-Ource on the wine’s map, because it’s so easy to limit the Champagne area to the axis Reims-Epernay. The village, which counts only 589 inhabitants but more than 50 Manipulants-Recoltants ( A grower who makes and markets Champagne under their own label), is more or less between Reims and Beaune, so in the southeast of the Champagne’s headquarter Reims. Juxtaposing the more known rosés des Riceys appellation, Celles-sur-Ource is part of the Côte des Bar (referring to Bar-sur-Seine and Bar-sur-Aube, two big wine towns).