quail egg breakfast

quail egg breakfast

For a special occasion such as New Years, or just for a lovely weekend brunch or breakfast, try quail eggs instead. Here a selection of breakfast favorites, just smaller and all on one plate:

eggs benedict with prosciutto and poached eggs

boiled eggs

omelette with mini porcini mushrooms and fresh herbs

fried egg


baked goat cheese salad

baked goat cheese salad

An easy salad with great taste and quite the wow effect:

On lettuce with balsamic reduction, walnuts, cranberries and pink pepper serve a baked goat cheese wrapped in prosciutto, topped with a spoonful of cranberry marmalade.

Bake the cheese in the oven for about 3-5 minutes to warm it through, and then with top heat for a minute or two to let it bubble up a bit before serving it immediately.

Buon appetit!

Walnut Rosemary Bread

Walnut Rosemary Bread

Ingredients – makes 2 loaves:

325 grams bread flour
200 ml water
25 ml olive oil, extra virgin
16 grams dry yeast
30 grams chopped walnuts
2 – 3 teaspoons dried rosemary
sea salt & green and pink pepper


Knead all the ingredients together, let the dough rise for 2 hours and knead it through again; or put all the ingredients into a bread maker (setting artisan bread) for the knead, rise and knead, rise cycle.

Take the dough and put it in a lightly oiled bowl and (covered with plastic foil) let it rise in a warm place for another 10 – 12 hours.

Make 2 loaves (round or baguette shaped – slash the top, if desired) and bake in the oven with a bowl of water at 220 degrees Celsius for 35 – 40 minutes until the crust is crisp and golden. Let the breads cool down a bit and serve with fresh slightly salted butter, olive oil for dipping or cheese and cold cuts.


gruyère thyme gougères

gruyère thyme gougères

Hot Gruyere Thyme Gougères

Ingredients for 24-28 gougères:

1 cup hot water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 cup flour
4 eggs
1/3 cup grated Gruyère cheese
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 Teaspoon of dried and finely ground Thyme


Combine the water, butter, salt and sugar, and heat until the butter is melted. Add the flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until the dough forms a firm ball and breaks away from the edges of the pan. Remove the dough from the pan and beat in the eggs, one by one until the “pâte à choux”is  firm, smooth and waxy.

Add the cheese, mustard and the thyme to the pâte à choux and blend thoroughly. Butter a baking sheet and drop the dough by spoonfuls, or press through the plain tube of a pastry bag, making small round mounds on the sheets.

Sprinkle with a little additional cheese.

Bake in a 150°C oven for Abut 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the gougère to dry out in the oven for a few minutes before removing them to prevent them from weeping — that is, showing drops of moisture.

Serve the gougères hot – they are wonderful with a glass of champagne.

white poppy ice cream

white poppy ice cream

White Poppy Ice Cream:

For 8 servings:

¼ cup of paste of ground white poppy seeds
2 cups of milk
2/3 cups of heavy whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1/3 cup of sugar

Mix the poppy paste with the milk and the heavy cream. In a saucepan heat the mixture and bring to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and set aside.

In a separate bowl, with a mixer mix egg yolks and sugar until fluffy. Add the poppy mixture and stir together with a wooden spoon. Return mixture to the saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until the custard thickens and coats the spoon. Do not boil!

Strain custard into a clean bowl and refrigerate until cold. Process custard in ice cream maker or put in the freezer and stir every 30 minutes until frozen.

pate sablee cookies

pate sablee cookies

Pate Sablee Cookies


125 grams of flour “00”
100 grams of butter, cut into small pieces, slightly softened
50 grams of icing sugar
1 egg yolk
pinch of salt
dark chocolate, sugar and almond slivers for decorating


Mix the flour with the salt and icing sugar. Gently work in the butter and the egg yolk with your fingertips until completely smooth.

Wrapped in cling film, let rest in the refrigerator for an hour.

Roll out to 2mm thickness and create desired shapes. Set on a baking sheet or silpat. Bake in pre-heated oven at 170 degrees for 6 – 10 minutes until blond or lightly browned.

Decorate with dark chocolate, brulee-ed sugar or almonds.

Seafood Trio

Seafood Trio

Seafood Trio:

Mussels in Dijon-Mustard Saffron Broth
Garlic-Lime Shrimp with Parsley and Lime Dip
Scallops Seared in Duck Fat with Thyme and Tangerine Zest

And here the recipes:

Mussels in Dijon-Mustard Saffron Broth

Ingredients for 4 people:
1 kg mussels (250grams per person) in the shell, cleaned
50 grams of butter
3 cloves of garlic
1 medium sized shallot
1 teaspoon of pink pepper
good pinch of grey sea salt
1 cup of dry white wine
2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard
25 milligrams of saffron
2 – 3 teaspoons of starch for binding
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, pot or wok.
Sauté the garlic and the shallots until tender, but not browned.
Add the pepper, the salt and the mussels and sauté for about 1 minute.
Add the white wine and steam cook the mussels for about another 5 minutes, stir occasionally.
Take the mussels out of the liquid, discard any unopened mussels and de-shell the open ones. Distribute the mussels evenly in 4 pre-warmed bowls and cover.
Add the Dijon mustard to the cooking liquid and bring to a boil, add the starch for binding the broth.
Add the saffron.
Pour the broth over the mussels and serve immediately.

Garlic-Lime Shrimp with Parsley and Lime Dip

Ingredients for 4 people:
600 grams of large shrimp
¼ cup of olive oil
juice of 2 limes
5 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon of ground pink and green pepper
small bunch of flat leave parsley (fresh) – chopped with 4 sprigs preserved for decorating.
pinch of grey sea salt
Make a marinade with 2/3 of the ¼ cup of olive oil, juice of 1 lime, the garlic (peeled, crushed and roughly chopped) and the teaspoon of pepper .
Marinade cleaned and de-veined shrimp for at least 1 hour, but no more than 3.
Heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan.
Sauté the shrimp until tender, about 2 minutes. Set on the plates for serving, sprinkle with the chopped parsley and decorate with the parsley sprigs.
Add the juice of the second lime and the sea salt to the pan and let it boil up for a few seconds. Pour in little dipping dishes with the shrimp and swerve immediately.

Scallops Seared in Duck Fat with Thyme and Tangerine Zest

Ingredients for 4 people:
3 – 4 tablespoons of duck fat
zest of 1 tangerine
1 teaspoon of chopped thyme (fresh)
12 medium-sized scallops, cleaned and out of the shell
Heat the duck fat in a medium size pan, large enough for all the scallops.
Sauté the scallops until tender and lightly browned on both sides, about 3 – 4 minutes depending on the size of the scallops.
Plate and sprinkle with the thyme and tangerine zest. Serve immediately.
Wine Pairing:
Use the same dry white wine used for the mussels, ideally a Soave or Sauvignon Blanc.

La Cucina di Cariya

I am cooking again – it was about time!

After having had a few too many bad dinners in Venice, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I invited friends over and cooked a nice 12-course dinner with wine pairing to find out, if I can compete. It seemed like I can (I am very happy and thrilled about the very positive feedback – thank you, Guys!)

To formalize things, I put some information together on facebook – please take a look and let me know if you “like” it!

Thank you and see you soon at my table!

The Pawn

The Pawn in Hong Kong

The Pawn in Hong Kong is a lovely gastro pub, set over three stories and featuring two distinct dining experiences:

There is the Living Room, the Dining Room and the Roof Terrace. The Pawn is located in Wan Chai at 62 Johnston Street and the place is definitely worth a visit.

While the Living Room has simpler and more casual fare, the Dining Room focuses on modern British cuisine with a daily changing menu, and both are absolutely delicious!

The design of the restaurant is very appealing in a “purposeful deconstructive” kind of way, which gives it a welcoming and cozy feel, but is still fresh and modern at the same time.

Check out their funky website for a taste of their style and feel:


Joss in SoBo

And here I was, thinking that I knew all the non-Indian places in South Bombay – and I was wrong! I discovered this lovely Eastern-fusion place, called Joss just this week. It is where it is for quite a long time, but for some strange reason, we never went – big mistake!

Joss has a nice interior – the picture doesn’t do it quite justice – it is way more stylish and the ambience a lot more pleasing – and the menu is quite a revelation.

Not necessarily haute cuisine, but solid, good Asian-fusion! Everything from sushi to stir fries and laksas. Well executed and authentic in taste and presentation.

It is opposite Jehangir Gallery just off M.G. Road in South Bombay. Don’t miss out on the place the next time you are in the area!

best Italian in SoBo

Vetro in the Oberoi

There are a couple places that serve Italian food in Mumbai, some are good, but few are great – Vetro definitely is!

A jewel of a place right on Marine Drive in the Oberoi hotel one should not miss:

The interior does its name justice: Vetro means glass in Italian and the style is very contemporary. Next to the dining room, the restaurant also sports a tasting area for wine with quite knowledgeable sommeliers guiding you through a nice selection of wines from all over the world with a little taste of cheese to go along with it.

But the highlight very clearly is the food: real authentic Italian fare, beautifully presented and created with a lot of attention to detail and an experienced hand.

Eating our way through the menu written in Italian – with English translations, no worries – we didn’t have a dish that didn’t please.

I really fell in love with Vetro again. I’ve been there before and somehow had forgotten about this gem of a restaurant, a mistake I shall not make again – I can’t wait to go back very soon!

my TV appearance on

My first India TV appearance went quite well and I got some nice feedback – a big “thank you!” to everyone, who took the time to watch!

For those of you, who communicated interest, but didn’t have a chance to catch the show on TV, here two links to what you missed:

Let me know what you think and thank you for watching!

Zee Marathi

Chef Nilesh and I

Last Friday I was invited to cook on chef Nilesh’s cooking show for the Indian TV station Zee Marathi.

I prepared fire roasted bell pepper rotinis and a vegetarian onion soup. It was a lot of fun and I am curious to watch the show – there wasn’t a lot of reshooting or editing…!

The show will be on TV on Wednesday, May 19th at 1.30 pm and 5.30 pm on Zee Marathi – I guess only my Indian friends will be able to see it. I am not sure if it can be seen outside of India.

If you have a chance to watch it, let me know what you think!

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!