Happy New Year!

happy New Year

happy New Year

A very HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! to you – wherever you are.

May 2010 be filled with love, happiness and lost of successes for you and your loved ones!


Venice – always worth a trip!

winter in Venice

winter in Venice

Venice – the most beautiful city in the world? For many people it is and I am one of them! If you agree or not, it certainly is an amazing place that is very worthy of a trip any time of the year. Personally I prefer spring, fall and winter and rather stay away from La Serenissima during the crowded summer months.

After sharing my delight over this amazing kitchen of mine – even though it is only temporary – I couldn’t help myself and also had to communicate my general feelings about Venice: it is just such an amazing place!

If you have the chance, go and visit! All the other 20 million or so visitors every year aren’t wrong – at least in my opinion!

cooking in Venice

Ca' Zen kitchen in Venice Ca’ Zen kitchen in Venice

Now is this a kitchen or what???

This is my kitchen – at least for a week! The week over Christmas that is and it is in Venice, Italy, and I am a very, very lucky person!

Here my special Italian Christmas dinner, fitting to these great surroundings:

fresh vegetables from the local market (it is amazing – if you come to Venice, don’t miss it!), pane (freshly baked from the wonderful little bakery around the corner) with butter and formaggi (ok, not very Christmas-y, but very, very good!), home-made pasta, with three sauces (pesto, pomodoro and mushroom cream) and a few other Italian delights I was craving when we were in India!

No Christmas goose or ham for us though!

The coming week I will catch up on all the other wonderful Italian delights in abundance, and then go on to sample the culinary offerings in Casablanca, Morocco. I most certainly will share my experiences there!

In the meantime: Happy Holidays!!!

ski world cup

VIP Hospitality tent in Val Gardena

VIP Hospitality tent in Val Gardena

Yes, I guess I am a bit spoiled – but I am thoroughly enjoying it and also am very grateful for being so lucky to be able to enjoy all these wonderful events!

Here is how I spent Saturday, December 19, attending this year’s ski world cup in Val Gardena, Italy. Below is the description of the event and the VIP package we booked as provided by the organizers. It is definitely accurate:

VIP Hospitality

Enjoy the exclusive experience of the exciting World Cup race from the new VIP Hospitality Tent: its location, top quality service and fantastic atmosphere will provide for an exclusive and unforgettable racing weekend!

The package includes:

-  Entrance to the tent from 10:00 am to 3:30 pm

-  Standing ticket at the Central VIP Stand

-  High quality buffet breakfast

-  Gourmet lunch: a selection of different hot main courses are prepared and served from 12:00 noon to 2:00 pm

-  Small snacks will be available all day long

-  Buffet of fruits, baked goods, Petit Fours and cheeses

-  The bar is open throughout the day and serves a comprehensive selection of different drinks such as selected local wines, as well as other alcoholic and non alcoholic drinks

-  Live broadcast of the race on televisions

-  Official pin of the World Cup races in Val Gardena

And it was so worth the EU100!!!

Trikaya event successful!

in Trikaya's kitchen

in Trikaya's kitchen

We did it!

Last night, Friday, December 11, we successfully served an “East meets West” 9-course dinner with a wine pairing at Trikaya restaurant in Pune. The guests were happy and some even came from Mumbai just to attend the event – that is approximately a 3-hour drive, one way!

The menu is the same as listed in an earlier entry with a few minor changes. We couldn’t get our hands on fennel and had to substitute it with red bell pepper and pineapple in the sushi, and instead of the crepe rolls in the Asian broth we used a version of roti, an Indian bread that doesn’t require eggs in the dough (Indian vegetarianism doesn’t allow for eggs – dairy is okay though).

The wines came from Italy, Chile and Australia and were a nice addition to the fusion dishes.

It was a real pleasure to work with everyone at Trikaya – the owners as well as everybody in the kitchen there is a real delight! This is so important when working closely with people in their space – it can make or break an event. I am happy to say, this one was an experience I am already very much looking forward to repeating very soon again!

most of the members of the wonderful Trikaya team

most of the members of the wonderful Trikaya team

Breach Candy Club

Breach Candy Club

Breach Candy Club

Mumbai still very much has its club culture from the days gone by when the British ruled the country. Since we can all agree that the end of foreign rule in any country usually is a good idea, it is also quite nice that the clubs are still here – now frequented by foreigners and Indians alike.

While said Breach Candy Club, in the area of Breach Candy on Warden Road, is still quite picky with whom they allow in their trust. The club is a trust and not an official club and therefore, the members can decide (sometimes discriminatingly though), who they let into their about 3,000 members strong group.

I am one of those lucky ones – at least for the next 4 years – and wanted to share the advantages of this island of peace and quiet in the middle of the daily chaos of this rather crazy city.

Next to its pre-partition India shaped pool (yes, really!), it features a very nice gym, tennis courts and two restaurants and a good stretch of beach – currently under renovation though.

While not everyone is allowed as a member, everyone is welcome as a guest, and for the small fee of INR 100 (US$ 2) can visit the club in the company of a member. If you are in the neighborhood, don’t miss out on this treat!

’20s couture

detail of Charlotte

detail of Charlotte

Paris inspired me to finally put to good use the wonderful hand stitched lace I purchased there last year! It became the bottom part of a richly ornamented robe – a detail pictured above.

Since the holiday season is coming up, Charlotte (the name of the model) might inspire some gift ideas?!