My Events

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! http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Cucina-di-Cariya/116937698386078

Thank you and see you soon at my table!


my TV appearance on MyPopKorn.com

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:

http://www.mypopkorn.com/lifestyle/fire-roasted-bellpepper-rotini.html
http://www.mypopkorn.com/lifestyle/french-onion-soup.html

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!


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!”

shrimp

“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: http://mumbaiboss.com/2010/04/05/the-fine-art-of-cooking/ and to see and read more of the really cool Mumbai Boss blog, just go to http://mumbaiboss.com/

Thank you, Tara!!!


Valhalla menu

fine dining experience

We are getting ready for April 6th and 7th at Valhalla and here is the menu to whet your appetite ahead of time – I am looking forward to seeing you there!!!

sparkling wine with

1. hot gruyere thyme gougeres

and

2. romaine lettuce with heart of palm, pomegranate & champagne vinaigrette

Sauvignon Blanc with

3A. grilled shrimp

or

3B. char-grilled vegetables

with hot and cold dipping sauces

and

4. pea cappuccino

Pinot Noir with:

5A. stuffed basil pesto chicken filet

or

5B. stuffed fire roasted bell pepper

on lemon butter rice

and

6. cannelloni with spicy tomato sauce

Shiraz with

7A. lamb in red wine

or

7B. mushroom medley stew

on creamed mashed potatoes

and

8. blue cheese mousse

9A. panna cotta with caramel and chocolate sauce

or

9B. melon & dragon fruit sorbet


Valhalla 9-course dinner with wine pairing


Valhalla Restaurant and Bar

We are on for round #2:

Please join us for another 9-course dinner with wine pairing – and this time we are also including our carnivore friends and offer next to the vegetarian options one fish and two meat courses.

The events will take place on Tuesday, April 6 and Wednesday, April 7, 2010 at Valhalla Restaurant and Bar in Sounth Bombay. We start at 8.30 pm.

For reservations, please call Abby at +91-96 19 19 52 37


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!!!


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


Happy Thanksgiving

Tofurky

Tofurky

Happy Thanksgiving!

In my case without turkey – and unfortunately – also without Tofurky!

This soy based substitute tastes really, really good – if you haven’t tried it, please do yourself a favor and try it! It is healthy, yummy and also has less fat. I haven’t heard from anyone yet, who didn’t like it! However, it is not available in India and there are no companies importing it, or willing to send it to India. There also seem to be some restrictions on food shipments into India. If anyone knows of anyone wanting to change that, please let me know!

Anyway, of course I don’t want to talk anyone into vegetarianism, especially on Thanksgiving, but I want to mention that there are alternatives. 45 million dead turkeys just for one meal sounds like an awful lot to me, but hey!

Either way, enjoy your dinner, a very happy Thanksgiving, wherever in the world you may be, and lots of love to your and your families!


save the date: Friday, December 11 at Trikaya

Trikaya invitation December 11

Trikaya invitation December 11

Trikaya is in my opinion one of the most exciting restaurants in Pune, India! It serves amazing Eastern fusion cuisine and their beautiful restaurant with many different areas to relax and enjoy their culinary delights is always worth a visit!

On Friday, December 11, starting at 8pm, I will be their guest chef with a special “East meets West” vegetarian fusion dinner. Together with Nilesh Limaye, co-owner and head chef of Trikaya, we will present the following 9-course menu including a delightful wine pairing:

fried and steamed fresh basil-ricotta wonton with spicy tomato chili dip

chilled fennel and cucumber sushi roll with raisin-oregano sauce

sautéed mushrooms with tahini yoghurt sauce

Asian vegetable broth with pok choi and cilantro crepe rolls

baked halloumi cheese with apple raita, mango chutney and endive on mini poppadom

home-made lemon pasta with green asparagus and fava beans in cream sauce

spicy rice-vermicelli blini with fresh mint dip

roasted miso-marinated zucchini in sesame coat with chermoula

burnt butter ice cream with caramel sauce and macadamia brittle

This “East meets West” 9-course dinner is to be had for only INR 1,800 for just the food and including the wine pairing INR 2,500. Please make sure to get your reservations in early! To RSVP, please call Hema at +91-98331-43040 or send an e-mail to Nilesh@ChefNeel.com.

Trikaya is at Aditya Shagun Mall, 3rd floor, NDA Pashan Road, Bhavdan, Khurd in Pune 21

P.S. reading Maria Elia’s “the modern vegetarian” truly did inspire me and some of the recipes used in this “East meets West” dinner are developed based on some of her recipes. A big “Thank you!” to her culinary genius and inspiration again!


private cooking classes

private cooking classes

private cooking classes

Following the request communicated by some of my friends and guests from prior culinary events, I would like to post information on private cooking classes that I am making available in India.

There are two versions I am currently offering:

1. a morning cooking class from 10 am – 2pm for 2 – 4 participants (I can’t fit more into my kitchen there and I would like a hands-on experience for every participant):

The class will include the preparation of an appetizer or soup (this can be decided by the participants), one main course (maybe something like home-made pasta with a nice sauce or fresh pesto) and a dessert. Once it is decided what we will make, I’ll put together an overview of the respective recipes, including detailed instructions, with space for making additional notes during the session. The materials are for the participants to take home after the class.

We will prepare all the dishes together – with the hands on experience for everybody so that the participants really learn how to make every dish. Any questions, thoughts and challenges can be discussed right there, while preparing!

Afterwards we will eat the dishes as a 3-course lunch and while enjoying the food, we can further discuss alternative versions and other potential ideas.

2. an afternoon cooking class from 2pm – 8pm for also 2 – 4 participants:

This class will include the preparation of a four-course meal including an appetizer, a soup, a main course  and dessert. Same as with the morning course, once it is decided what we will make, I’ll put together an overview of the respective recipes, including instructions, with space for making additional notes during the session. The materials are for the participants to take home after the class.

We will prepare all the dishes together – with the hands on experience for everybody so that the participants really learn how to make every dish. Any questions, thoughts and challenges can be discussed right there, while preparing!

Afterwards for this class, we will eat the dishes as a 4-course dinner that also includes wine to match and while enjoying the food, we can further discuss alternative versions and other potential ideas for the dishes we created.

The morning course is offered for INR 2,500 per person and the afternoon course for INR 3,500 per person. Interested students and participants, please send an e-mail to info@CariyaBreemen.com with “cooking classes” in the subject line. Thank you!

The information and pricing above is for participants in India. However, classes also can be offered to students in other locations! Please let me know if you are interested and/or have any questions and I am happy to work with you wherever you are in the world!


Michelin Stars… and how to get one (or two or three)

Michelin

Michelin Guides

Have you ever wondered how to get a Michelin star, what they mean and what the difference is between one, two and three? Well, I have and here is the answer to those questions as quoted from their website:

Michelin employs a team of full-time professional restaurant and hotel inspectors who anonymously evaluate establishments according to a well-defined (but unpublished) set of criteria. All evaluations involve anonymous test meals or overnight stays at each establishment to assess the quality and the reliability of the experience.

The star symbols judge only what’s on the plate, meaning the quality of products, the mastering of flavors, mastering of cooking, personality of the cuisine, value for the money and the consistency of what the restaurant offers to its customers both throughout the menu and the year.

  • One star indicates a very good restaurant in its category, a good place to stop on your journey.
  • Two stars denote excellent cuisine, worth a detour, with specialties and wines of first-class quality.
  • Three stars reward exceptional cuisine, worth a special journey, where diners eat extremely well, often superbly. The wine list features generally outstanding vintages and the surroundings and service are part of this unique experience, which is priced accordingly.

In addition to the awarding of stars, the Michelin Guide provides a written description of each locale and a variety of other symbols to give readers further insight into an establishment’s ambiance, type of cuisine and specialties, and wine list, among other factors. In addition, the guide provides a comfort rating represented by the use of one to five forks and spoons for restaurants and one to five pavilions for hotels. These symbols take into consideration the decor, service, cleanliness and upkeep of the surroundings.

Now you know and I now only need a restaurant…!


pasta forks

pasta forks - ready to eat

pasta forks - ready to eat

now this is not a recipe, but a serving suggestion!

This way of presenting pasta works pretty much with any kind that can be twirled around a fork: spaghetti, tagliatelle, fettucini, or in this case, bucatini. 

You can use it for Italian, but also for Chinese, Thai or Japanese noodle versions. 

Admittedly, it is a bit of a pain to get the pasta strands on the forks, decorated and out on the party floor before the whole creation getting cold, but it looks really good, and it is also pretty much the only way you can serve pasta as an appetizer at a cocktail party.

Give it a try – admiration guaranteed!