A Food Crawl Through San Sebastián With One of the World’s Top Chefs: About an hour’s drive east of Bilbao, and just 12 miles west of the French border, lies San Sebastián, a coastal Northern Spain gem of a resort town located in the country’s Basque region. Reputed for its turquoise waters, palm tree–lined streets, and—most of all—its cuisine, San Sebastián which also goes by its Basque name, Donostia—is the area’s culinary capital and counts two of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants, in addition to one of the highest concentrations of Michelin stars anywhere. But when in town, the best plates aren’t found on white tablecloths.
Heston Blumenthal interview: the Fat Duck flies again: Memories are important to Heston Blumenthal. They are the raw material of his wildly imaginative creations at the Fat Duck, and the experience of eating there is designed to stir up powerful feelings of nostalgia, right down to the name of each dish. Current examples include, “Can I have some money for the ice cream van?” and “Then we went rockpooling”.
Two recipes inspired by Crete’s tavernas: I was brought up in Halepa, a small neighbourhood on the outskirts of Chania, Crete. Right beside the sea, it is one of the most beautiful little gems surrounding the city. By the age of six, I was pretty independent. I’d walk to school 200 metres down the road, play hide and seek in the grounds of the nearby church, and ride my BMX until the early evening. On my bicycle, I could be anywhere within minutes. I’d go swimming in the morning and then visit my giagia (granny) for a little sweet treat – usually a spoonful of a thick, chewy, sugary paste flavoured with gum mastic, dunked in a glass of ice water. We called this a submarine. Giagia was the best storyteller I have ever met. Me and my cousin Athina would sit listening to her for hours in her small kitchen, our legs dangling from two chairs, mesmerised.
Those food videos that take over your Facebook? Here’s where they’re made: The short, simple food videos that have fueled Tastemade’s rapid rise on the Web start here, in a 7,000-square-foot soundstage in the Los Angeles tech hub known as Silicon Beach. An MTV studio in the 1990s, it now houses six sets crafted for viral splendor, including an atomic-era-style kitchen specially designed to fit within a mobile phone’s vertical-video frame.
The evolution of a natural winemaker: When a writer comes calling, most winemakers would consider it in their best interest to offer their proudest efforts for sampling. But Frank Cornelissen has never been like most winemakers. Instead Mr. Cornelissen, who has a reputation as the most unyielding of natural winemakers, thinks it’s more instructive to taste his failures. This explains how we came to drink his 2006 Magma Rosso, made from old nerello mascalese vines grown organically in the foothills of Mount Etna, as we sat in a restaurant in June outside this small town on the north face of Etna.
The Disastrous $45 Million Fall of a High-End Wine Scammer: As so many love affairs do, financier Lawrence Wai-Man Hui’s began with a bottle of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild. It was 1990, and Hui was working as an accountant for Deloitte in London. While visiting one of his firm’s clients, a Scottish whisky brand, his hosts served the ’82 with lunch. This is a legendary Bordeaux vintage, one that made critic Robert Parker’s career when he championed it for ushering in a new era of complexity and balance for French wines. Smitten by the Lafite’s grapy charisma, Hui began learning all he could about wine. As his career grew over the next couple of decades—Hui retired two years ago as the chief financial officer of Shimao Property, one of China’s largest real estate developers—he amassed a strong collection of Bordeaux and Burgundies, along with a smattering of acclaimed Spanish, Californian, and Italian wines.
Don’t panic about a Champagne shortage, says union chief: The Champagne region has been hit by a devastating combination of frost, hail, mildew and rot in the 2016 growing season.The result is an expected average yield across the region of 7,000-7,500kg of grapes per hectare (ha) of vineyard. That’s well down on the 10,800kg/ha maximum set by the Champagne authorities in July.