Recently in Dining & Travel category:

Anyone who uses iPhoto probably remembers your first thrill of plugging in your digital camera and magically, with no effort at all, having your photos automatically downloaded for you. Then they’re neatly filed on your computer so you can view, cut, or paste your memories until your heart’s content. It’s great for the first few times, but once you’ve hit a certain number of photos,…

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We Love Jam

As you can imagine, after living in San Francisco for almost twenty years, I have some pretty wacky friends. While I don’t want to recount everything that happened back in the days of free-love, many of us have grown up and gone on to tastier things. One friend has a wildly successful cheese shop. Another opened a bakery , a chocolate factory, or became wine…

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I got a very cute message lately from a couple who had come to Paris and followed some of my restaurant suggestions. But it got to the point one evening here they were undecided where to go one night, and her husband said, “I don’t care. Let’s just go anywhere that chocolate-guy says to go!” I was glad to be of service, but I like…

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Since man, and woman, cannot live by chocolate alone (although wouldn’t it be nice if we could?), our group spent the rest of our time slaving away putting together sumptuous meals, and learning about wine the hard way: by tasting it. One of my favorite snacks of the class On Rue Tatin turned out to be these golden-brown, eggy gougères enriched with gruyère cheese and…

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What do you get when you take eight dedicated bakers, put them in a country kitchen (one that’s professionally equipped), and put them to work for three days of cooking and baking with chocolate? You get a whole lotta chocolate! If you didn’t come along on my three-day cooking class with Susan Loomis at her home On Rue Tatin, here’s a run-down of our week…

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The hardest part about sampling so much good food is that it’s almost impossible to go back to eating the everyday stuff. I challenge anyone who’s flecked a bit of fleur de sel across their food to go back to ordinary table salt. I took one taste of the cloud-like, billowy chocolate-enrobed marshmallows from Pierre Marcolini and now I can’t seem to get enough. A…

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After spending years learning the language, I’m pretty comfortable with menus in French and I’m rarely in for any unpleasant surprises when waiters bring me food anymore. But on my trip to Italy, I was completely baffled when handed an Italian menu, scarcely knowing stinco from souris d’agneau. Stinco I Iearned the hard way: a Fred Flintstone-sized hunk of roasted veal knuckle was plunked down…

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During my recent trip to Italy, I joined an Italian friend of mine at a trattoria for a late night supper. As we hungrily ate our overfilled plates of pasta Carbonara and Cacio e Pepe, a local specialty made with pecorino cheese and lots of spicy, freshly-ground black pepper, and pondered our day spent searching down the best coffee and chocolate in Rome. Chocolate in…

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“It’s not your fault!” she laughed. I had just walked in the door of my hotel, clutching my stomach in a bit of a panic, unable to fit in another morsel of food, no matter how small or appealing. Halfway through my 10 day eating trip through Italy, I felt like a plump, overstuffed ricotta-filled cannoli, bursting at both ends. I told the woman at…

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