decoration, appetizer or main course

asparagus stuffed rigatoni

These asparagus stuffed rigatoni are a great way to make two simple ingredients look fabulous:

Cook the pasta and the asparagus both al dente and then stuff the asparagus into the pasta. It works nicely as a decoration for a bowl of pasta with asparagus or a vegetable or tomato sauce, with a dipping sauce as an appetizer, or, if you have the patience, you can make a whole main course of it!


panna cotta

panna cotta with caramel and chocolate sauce

this is a recipe for a classic panna cotta. I served it in two separate cups with caramel and chocolate sauce, but it also works very well with fruit, nuts, or simply plain.

recipe for 8 – 10 servings depending on the size of the ramekins or custard cups you are using


4 cups of heavy whipping cream

1/2 cup sugar

1 vanilla bean (Bourbon vanilla works very well here!)

2 packets of powdered gelatin (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)

6 tablespoons of cold water

Heat the cream and the sugar in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and then remove from the stove and add the vanilla.

Lightly spray custard cups with a neutral-tasting spray. You also can use a neutral oil or butter if you prefer.

Let the gelatin dissolve for about 10 minutes in the cold water and then pour the very warm cream with sugar and vanilla mixture over the gelatin water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

Pour the Panna Cotta mixture into the prepared cups, then chill them in the refrigerator until set – this will take about two hours.


some dishes and a few quotes

mushroom stew

Having had good feedback from the 9-course wine pairing events on April 6 & 7, I wanted to share a few pictures of the food and some feedback from the guests:

“the food was delicious and mouthwatering”

“it was a great evening – the food was outstanding!”


“I had a very exciting and delightful evening”

“great job last night!”

cheese mousse

“Thank you for a fantastic dinner!”

What can I say? I am happy when my guests are happy, and I am looking forward to many more occasions – probably at a new location next time!

Mumbai Boss

sesame egg on chives

Good press is a wonderful thing and I am very happy to be the subject of a lovely article in the popular Mumbai Boss blog:

“It’s not often that a restaurant enlists an artist to cook a nine-course sit down dinner. But Cariya Breemen, an American culinary artist, as she calls herself, is not your average brush-toting creative soul. For one, she has degrees in psychology and sociology, and in addition to being a full-time painter, is a professional cook who also dabbles in couture.

For another, despite being vegetarian, she is able to masterfully plate up non-vegetarian dishes based on how they smell and feel (for the record Breemen was once a carnivore). Her Italian-influenced style of cooking is entirely self-taught, born out of 30 years of experience rather than through cooking courses.

Having already served as a guest chef at Valhalla last October to great success (the event was sold out before invites were even issued), Breemen returns on Tuesday, April 6 and and Wednesday, April 7 to serve up a nine-course pre-plated treat for 60 guests. The menu is carefully planned, with vegetarian and non-vegetarian options including hot gruyere thyme gougeres, chargrilled prawns, pea cappuccino and blue cheese mousse. The rest of the menu can be seen here.

To make a booking, call Abby on  96191 95237.”

To take a look at the actual article, please visit: and to see and read more of the really cool Mumbai Boss blog, just go to

Thank you, Tara!!!