08.19“Blue Baker” | My Inspiration and Blog Partner

The Blue Baker Halloween Cupcakes – 8 Years Old

My cooking companion since the age of two is my granddaughter . She was my inspiration for The Gourmet Review. We are having  an extraordinary culinary adventure all over the world together with great food, restaurants, and locations around the world. The nickname “Blue Baker” is hers alone.  After all, when you are ten, have baked for years with your “Gamma,” and just purchased a blue apron from Williams Sonoma, the name is a snap!

The “Blue Baker” is twelve now and we’ve had a busy year. She interviews chefs and does “behind the scenes” tours with me in great kitchens. Our first “Inside the Kitchen” tour was with at Daniel Buloud. She has since done kitchen tours, cooking demonstrations and interviews, with chefs from Spago, Wynn Resort Las Vegas and Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.

My “Blue Baker” also loves to interview cake artists, bread makers, pastry chefs and florists. She’s a pro now and thinks nothing of buttoning up her chef’s jacket and going to work, learning cooking techniques from some of the best chefs in the country. I might add that we have a lot of fun sampling food on the menu as well.  What started out as a fun culinary project with the “Blue Baker,” became The Gourmet Review in 2010. This is fun stuff for a foodie!

2017 UPDATE: My “Blue Baker” is now applying to college. It’s hard to imagine that she is all grown up. Through the years, she has become an accomplished chef. It’s been a remarkable journey for both of us. Lucky me!

-The Gourmet Review

11.03EMP Summer House

EMP  Summer House 2017

Extraordinary dining? Hands down. Winner is this summer’s EMP Summer House. EMP is Eleven Madison Park’s  extraordinary first and only foray into a summer dining concept in East Hampton.  What a novel idea to open a pop up while renovating their award winning  Eleven Madison Park. Unlike its three Michelin starred,  acclaimed NYC restaurant (and by the way, the Number 1  rated restaurant on the World’s 50 Best list), EMP Summer House was all fun, casual, family oriented and the most prized reservation in town. If standing room only lines this summer are any indication, the vote is already in to make EMP Summer House an annual tradition. 

Picnic Dining at its best

Nothing fancy here. It’s picnic casual outside, complete with checkered tabletops, fried chicken spilled along the table, huge containers of mai tais, complete with a self pouring spout,  so everyone can refill their glasses.  There’s something for every age group. 

Best part of the outdoor dining is watching waiters drop food along the length of the picnic tables. Order the lobster boil. Translation – mouth watering. In addition to perfectly steamed lobster, the lobster comes with clams, andouille sausage, shrimp, parker house rolls, tomato salad and a seasonal pie. Does it get any better than this?

Kids are running around playing corn hole or lounging in comfy seats. Even the dogs are having a social hour. In other words, this is a place to come after spending the day at the beach or meeting friends for a family style dinner. 

Yet, in the main portion of the restaurant, guests love the contrast of white linen table clothes and fashion minded guests mingling. My entire meal consisted of warm, old fashioned Parker House rolls with butter and thinly sliced and barely fried zucchini dipped in aioli sauce. 

Inside Elegance

My “Blue Baker” gave EMP Summer House  a five star review for kids, adults and pets of all ages. Chef Daniel Humm and partner Will Guidara knocked it out of the ball park this summer. Please come back next year.

04.13The Four Season’s Amaranto Restaurant – “Inside the Kitchen”

Four Season's Amaranto Restaurant

Courtesy Four Seasons Park Lane London

Ever dream of going “Inside the Kitchen” at a Four Seasons Hotel? You might want to dine at Park Lane’s Amaranto Restaurant and see what magic Chef Adriano is cooking up!

Combine the sophistication of London and Four Seasons Park Lane’s Executive Chef Adriano Cavagnini and you have culinary perfection.

Chef Adriano decided luxury travel deserved luxury restaurants and  a gourmet food experience for each guest. Chef oversaw  all facets of culinary operations when the Four Seasons opened its doors after a two year renovation several years ago. Chef continues to wow guests today.

Four Season’s star Chef Adriano created menu concepts for the Italian themed Amaranto restaurant, bar and lounge, along with all  private dining and catering. That’s a big job, but when you meet Chef Adriano, you know that no one could  exemplify the hotel’s culinary reputation to Four Season’s standards better.

Honestly, who could resist a dessert named “Six Little Sins,” when those sins are all chocolate. To be a bit more precise, this dessert item on the menu is “Sei Piccoli Peccati al Cioccolato” or for those of us at the Four Seasons who need a translation (including myself), that would be “Six Little Sinsi – Chocolate Fondant, Cocoa Crumble, White Chocolate Ice Cream (homemade, of course) Vanilla Cream, Dark Bitter Chocolate and Gianduia Chocolate Sauce.”

We were traveling with “The Blue Baker” and she nicknamed the dessert “Twelve Little Sins,” because we couldn’t’ resist ordering two orders of this fabulous dessert EVERY evening.

Four Season's Amaranto Restaurant

Courtesy Four Seasons Park Lane London

The elegant  Four Season’s Amaranto Restaurant is a seamless series of integrated rooms, where you might dine on fresh pasta in the conservatory, enjoy a drink and night time menu at the bar, or sample my favorite “Six Sins “dessert.

Charming and passionate about every phase of culinary operations,  one leaves our very special “Inside the Kitchen” tour by chef inspired to know more about food and the stories behind each dish. Did you know that the Four Seasons Park Lane London has a separate pasta drying room for their home made pasta?

Nothing short of perfection satisfies this talented Chef, who helps the hotel redefine luxury travel and dining.Who could possibly know the importance of  matching  home made pasta versus dried pasta to a sauce and why you need to distinguish the best match depending on the dish. Oh, and of course, you will find home made pasta on the menu every day.

Four Season's Amaranto Restaurant

Courtesy Four Seasons Park Lane London

Chef Adriano was born in the small town of Brescia in Northern Italy, to a family who loved food and where family owned restaurants were passed down from  generation to generation. Inspired by Chef’s mother, who had a passion for food, Chef began his adventures into the culinary world that eventually led to the Four Seasons Park Lane London, with stops throughout the world on his journey.  This man’s passion for food is contagious. To that I can attest.

Four Season's Amaranto Restaurant

Courtesy Four Seasons Park Lane London

Some of Chef’s mouth watering creations on the menu at the Four Season’s Amaranto Restaurant include homemade white onion and parmesan ravioli, green asparagus and horseradish,  saffron risotto with green peas and salmon roe for a first course, or perhaps a spaghetti salad with lobster, avocado and tomato for antipasti. We loved the skin grilled filet of John Dory, olive oil grilled and marinated vegetables, but for us, it was the always the “Six Little Sins” that won the day.

Chef Adriano’s credentials, as you would expect, are impressive and internationally inspired. What I love most about his background, however, is that when he traveled around the world, Chef  learned not only the cuisine of many countries, but  the languages as well. These include Italian, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. The reason? Chef  Adriano likes to converse with guests in their native tongues! What could be more impressive? No wonder people are talking about Chef Adriano and his food at Four Seasons London Park Lane.

 

 NOTE

Four Season's Amaranto Restaurant

Courtesy Four Seasons Park Lane London

Chef Adriano embodies the Four Season’s philosophy that there is nothing that can’t be done for a guest. My husband and I brought our granddaughter, “The Blue Baker,” to London. Chef took us on a personally guided “Inside the Kitchen” tour.  The photo above was just a little snack before we got started. Of course, each of the juices you see in the photo above (carrot, mango, orange and mango) were freshly squeezed. So with chef hat and apron in hand, we saw the workings of one of the world’s great kitchens.

Four Season's Amaranto Restaurant

Since my “Blue Baker” got her name from loving to bake, Chef asked the pastry chef for a demonstration on how the decadent “Six Sins” dessert is created.   Above is a photo of just one “sin” that must be cracked open to enjoy the molten chocolate inside. Yum.

Thank you, Chef Adriano, and your talented team of chefs for an unforgettable culinary adventure!

The Gourmet Review

09.20“Inside the Kitchen” at Wynn’s Mizumi

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Las Vegas does it again. Their over the top, jewell of a Japanese restaurant is Mizumi. What a dream dining experience, featuring a combination of  dazzling atmosphere and food.

The chef who transforms this movie setting every night is Executive Chef Devin Hashimoto, who provided  an “Inside the Kitchen” tour for The Gourmet Review not too long ago.

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy Wynn Las Vegas

Mizumi’s award winning Chef Devin is responsible for creating the “wow” factor for every dish. Is it culinary art or is it dinner? Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between the two.

Not surprising, when you realize that Chef Devin was named “Best Chef on The Strip” by Vegas Seven in the magazine’s 2012 Restaurant Awards issue.

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Integration of the outdoor water elements teeming with the sumptuous interior of the main dining and robatayaki  room, with the elegant red decor, is simply gorgeous. Hard to believe this is Las Vegas, when your table overlooks either a miniature lake, cascading waterfall, koi pond, pagoda or Japanese garden.

Of course, food is the star and you’ll find all the classic Japanese dishes here, including sashimi, sushi, robatayaki and teppanyaki. It’s always the details, though,  that make the difference. For example,  Chef Devin flies in the prized Binchotan wood, used for grilling, from Japan. The wood costs nearly $10,000 per month. I will attest that it is the secret for my favorite lemon grilled, skewered chicken wings, but how many restaurants go to such extremes?

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy Wynn Las Vegas

The menu is creative and mouth watering, as Chef Devin blends great food with artistic presentation. Honestly, the food looks like edible art. Sometimes I  feel a bit guilty disturbing my plate. Well, not guilty for too long, because the food itself is out of this world.

Most of all, the success of Mizumi is in the detail. Everywhere. The lobster for the Mizumi roll above is spiny lobster flown in from Australia, served sashimi style or whole. The live lobsters are kept in a tank in the kitchen. Nothing could be fresher.

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy Wynn Las Vegas

It’s hard to miss Chef”s passion for an authentic, yet modern, take on traditional Japanese food.

Dobin Miso Soup, pictured above, shows off Chef Devin’s artful take on miso soup.

Whether you try traditional sushi or simply order some of Chef’s signature creations, such as his 72 hour braised American Waagyu shortrib “kakuni,” with creamy satsuma potatoes, fava bean and red wine miso sauce,  you’ll be delighted. That was a mouthful to describe, but it gives you a visual of the food. Or, perhaps you’d like to try the Thai snapper flown in daily from Japan?

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy Wynn Las Vegas

So, where are you going to eat at Mizumi? I love the pagoda, next to the waterfall, that provides the setting for the the best rated table in Las Vegas. Lush landscaping abounds. If you can’t reserve the pagoda table,  ask to sit next to the sliding doors in the main dining room overlooking the pagoda.

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy Wynn Las Vegas

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

I keep mentioning Chef Devin’s eye toward detail, whether it be the food or simply picking out the china for Mizumi. Look closely and note the traditional Japanese masks. Where else will you find a chef who thinks of transforming one of these masks into a chocolate, edible desert? That’s right. A dessert of pure white chocolate that matches one of the masks on the wall.

So, I’ll be back soon. Like other repeat guests, Chef Devin makes sure the guest experience is unforgettable, yet manages to shake up the menu enough to bring locals, as well as visitors, back again and again.

Don’t miss Mizumi on your next visit to Vegas!

P.S. Chef Devin has officially been added to my favorite chef list at the Wynn, along with Chef David from SW and the Lakeside, who gave us our first interview for The Gourmet Review, and Chef Theo from Sinatra, who introduced the youngster  to truffles. Check them out on The Gourmet Review.

– The Gourmet Review

NOTE

A great guest experience in an award winning restaurant is a team collaboration, according to Chef Devin. It’s the ambiance of luxuxrious surroundings, but most of all it’s the service from people going the extra mile.

When you first enter Mizumi, you encounter two of the best professionals at Wynn. General Manager Andrea Ung and Assistant General Manager Caroline  Soller. They will not only welcome you to dinner, but guarantee you’ll feel like family before you finish your evening.

Long time sommelier Louis Hamilton knows his wines and is a consumate professional. These are the faces of Mizumi, along with a fantastic group of wait staff, that make sure the restaurant lives up to Chef Devin’s culinary expectations.

Wynn Las Vegas

Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Our kitchen tour with the “Blue Baker” included a a step by step demonstration on how to make sushi. Did you know that a proper sushi knife can cost up to $9,000? Pretty impressive. Thank you, Chef Masaru.

Mizumi 3 chefs

Here are the wonderful chefs showing us how to prepare our favorite grilled, skewered lemon chicken appetizer.These are only a few of the 30 chefs that work so hard at making the dining experience at Mizumi an unforgettable one.

Thank you for a great afternoon!

-The Gourmet Review.

01.21La Mamounia “Inside the Kitchen” | A Moroccan Culinary Tour

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Courtesy La Mamounia

Ever wondered how a hotel creates the delicious food enjoyed by guests? We asked Chef Fabrice Lasnon, Executive Chef at La Mamounia in Marrakesh, Morocco, that very question.

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Few places in the world offer such a dizzying array of food inspired by so many countries. Chef Fabrice spotlights the diversity of cuisine and spices in this ancient crossroads of Marrakesh and Northern Africa.

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Inspiration comes from many countries, as Chef Fabrice routinely purchases ingredients from Spain, France and Italy. For example, he uses four different lemons for four different seasons. Limes might come from France and Spain.

Wandering through the markets of Marrakesh is exciting and will inspire anyone who loves to cook or savor great food.

Luxury Blog | The Gourmet Review | Gourmet Travel

Courtesy La Mamounia

Executive Chef Fabrice was kind enough to take my 12 year old “Blue Bakers” and me on an underground “Inside the Kitchen” tour of the fabulous hotel La Mamounia, while we were in Marrakesh this summer. The state of the art kitchen more closely resembles an underground city than a hotel kitchen!

Here, Chef Fabrice insists that everything is made from scratch –  from stocks and pastas to desserts more closely resembling artwork than actual food. It was a treat for us

The source of foods is staggering.  Meats include local and imported veal, 100 large branches of fresh mint a day  and, with the exception of oysters, seafood from the Moroccan coast. Morocco is geographically situated to take advantage of a wide array of cultural influences. La Mamounia’s kitchens just might be the ultimate chef’s dream kitchen.

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

We hopped on a golf cart to see Chef Fabrice’s pride and joy – his organic garden. Vegetables, herbs and so many variations of each. Chef’s team squeezes an average of 300 kilos of fresh oranges a day. Nothing quite like having an orchard hundreds of years old on the hotel grounds!

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Courtesy La Mamounia

There’s a separate preparation area for nearly every type of food, from butchering and seafood preparation to creating chocolate candies and countless kinds of breads that proof throughout the night. Two different rooms for flours separate the actual preparation rooms where breads are formed and pastries are created and finished. Afterall, no one wants flour flying all over a room!

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Courtesy La Mamounia

Chef supervises all food preparation at the hotel, including separate kitchens for three amazing restaurants.  Le Francais restaurant, shown above, is elegant  and shows off the culinary talents of Chef Jean Pierre Vigato. The room is luxurious and warm, with soft candlelight and beautiful flowers.

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Courtesy La Mamounia

L’Italien restaurant, showcasing the talents of Chef Dan Alfonso, is delightful for evening dining, as well as casual outdoor dining for lunch shown above. The interior of the restaurant at night is sophisticated and pristine with white tablecloths. Even the simplest pastas take on an elegant twist in this setting.

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Courtesy La Mamounia

Le Marocain restaurant features the fabulous culinary delights that spotlight traditional Moroccan cuisine. Located in a Riad in the heart of the gardens, Marocain is opulent beyond description in its traditional surroundings. Chef Rachid Agouray blends the best of current and traditional cuisine.

Chef Fabrice’s passion about every detail related to food preparation and presentation is contagious. He and his team embody the heart and soul of exotic Morocco at La Mamounia and makes guests want to return again and again.

As La Mamounia’s architect, Jacques Garcia, so aptly observes, “La Mamounia provides an experience so unique, it becomes an integral part of the myth that defines it.” 

Make La Mamounia, one of the greatest hotels in the world,  your next dream destination!

NOTE

Chef Fabrice is a native of Normandy and loves a challenge. Because of easy access to so many food sources, Chef takes advantage of transforming food items from France, Italy, Africa, Malaysia, Turkey and throughout Morocco in the hotel’s many restaurants.

Chef’s creativity and originality is reflected in his use of contrasting colors, flavors and textures. He describes his cooking as “healthy, light and moving, French with Eurasian influence.”

Chef Fabrice honors local culinary traditions with new approaches to texture and ideas. He and his team, whom he always credits, creates an extraordinary culinary experience for guests at La Mamounia. Come and see for yourself!

– The Gourmet Review

12.20Party Mix Recipe | Perfect Nibbles

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Courtesy the Gourmet Review

Every year I need to rerun this post for “Party Mix,” “Nuts N Bolts” or “Doo Dads.” My family expects bowls of this addictive snack for Christmas.  I start making the mix mid November and put in the freezer before adding the liquid ingredients.

Each bowl is labeled for a particular family member. This solves the problem of one not wanting salt, one not liking nuts, or one wanting extra pretzels! The list of particular fine tuning on this appetizer goes on and on. I gave up many years ago trying to make everyone happy. I simply put the bowls out with a name tag and each member sorts through their bowl taking out what they don’t like and eating until the bowl is empty.

We eat these “Doo Dads“at Thanksgiving and throughout the holidays. The mix is addictive. It also makes a great hostess present wrapped in glassine bags or a clear container.

This is definitely a kid friendly recipe. My “Blue Baker” loves pouring whole boxes of cereal mix into a garbage bag and then mixing all the ingredients. It’s a fun cooking activity for kids of all ages.

SERVES: Lots!

INGREDIENTS

1 box Rice Chex

1 box Wheat Chex

1 box Corn Chex

1 box Cheerios

l l lb bag pretzels

1 12 oz Planters cocktail peanuts

2 sticks butter

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

2 teaspoon garlic salt

Kosher salt to taste

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 250 degrees.

Empty all cereals, pretzels and peanuts into a new, large garbage bag. Close the top and keep turning the mix over until thoroughly mixed.

If not ready to cook, separate into manageable portions and store in ziplock bags. Place in the freezer.

When ready to use, melt butter in 8 qt stock pot or large pot. Fill stockpot with party mix dry mixture . Add  Worcestershire sauce and sprinkle with garlic salt and  kosher salt to taste.

Mix the butter sauce on the bottom of the pan throughout the mixture. Mix should be lightly coated with mixture of melted butter, Worcestershire sauce and salt.

Put pot onto bottom rack of  pre heated oven. Every 20 minutes mix again, bringing mixture on bottom of pan to top,  so the party mix cooks evenly. Do this for 2 hours. Remove from oven and adjust for salt if there isn’t quite enough for you!

Freeze any leftovers after Thanksgiving to enjoy throughout the holidays. Preparing for the holiday season will be a breeze.

NOTES TO SELF

Child #1 – no peanuts and pretzels, but love the salt.  Child #2 – more Worcestershire and salt during cooking. Child #3 – light chex only, no peanuts or chex, (ok maybe just a few brown chex), and love the pretzels. Husband – no salt and yes to pretzels. “Blue Baker” –  loves the corn and rice chex!   Everyone seems to have a favorite variation of this holiday appetizer. See what works best for your family!

– The Gourmet Review

12.01Decadent S’Mores Doughnut Dessert |Wynn’s Botero Restaurant

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Courtesy Wynn Resort Las Vegas

So I must admit, my downfall is Chef Mark LoRusso’s Chocolate S’more Doughnuts at Wynn Resort’s  Botero Restaurant. Last evening, I had to introduce my “Blue Baker” to this over the top, melt in your mouth, can’t get enough dessert. Honestly, this has no connection whatsoever to my memories of roasting marshmallows over a bonfire and putting between two graham crackers with squares of bar chocolate.

These warm, brioche doughnuts covered with just a sprinkle of graham crackers have a gooey marshmellow filling. The melted chocolate for dipping is warmed and the creme anglaise is beyond description. The homemade marshmallow square is just off the grill. Now, slowly assemble.

Close your eyes and savor the taste sensation. So what if it’s the holiday season. Watching calories is probably smarter than full press, jump over the cliff decadence, but .   .   . Afterall, some desserts should defy the standard rules for calorie counting. This one is at the top of the list.

I have chef’s restaurant recipe, but who would bother when you can fly to Vegas for the weekend, stay at the fabulous Wynn Resort Las Vegas and enjoy a great meal at the 2011 AAA Four Diamond Award recipient’s Botero Restaurant?  Now pick up the phone and get your reservation!

– The Gourmet Review

10.23Scarey Time of Year | Halloween Cupcakes

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Courtesy Martha Stewart

Every year, the “Blue Baker” and I decorate cupcakes for Halloween. It’s been a tradition watching my granddaughter become more accomplished in her pastry decorative skills. I have a drawer full of pastry tubes, tips, sprinkles and tubes of food coloring in my kitchen that I can no longer close, because we’ve crammed so much stuff into it.

The black, scary spider cupcake design pictured above, from Martha Stewart, remains a mainstay during our Halloween ritual. Here, ordinary chocolate cupcakes are transformed into scary spiders, complete with black licorice spider legs, red hots for eyes and cup up marshmellows for fangs.

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

Now that she is 12, the “Blue Baker” gets her own inspiration from books, magazines, the internet and  on Instagram this year. And so our annual ritual began this week.  After baking three dozen cupcakes of all sizes, my “Blue Baker” decided that we would make our favorite  frosting. You will remember my childhood favorite “Mint Frosting from Arthur’s Bakery. As usual, my baker always likes to put her own “spin” on the recipe. Instead of green mint flavoring, she decided that orange coloring was more in line with Halloween.

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

We wanted to get straight to the decorating, so we used Betty Crocker cake mix and  made the frosting from scratch. It was perfect. This gave us time to quickly get the cupcakes in the oven and focus our efforts  on our frosting  and decorations. We put a dozen cupcakes in the freezer, just so we could pull out  for another day without any fuss and mess. The above photo is this year’s version of a pumpkin patch!

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

So, pull your favorite designs and go to work. Halloween is right around the corner!

– The Gourmet Review and the “Blue Baker”

10.23“A Hint of Mint” Frosting Recipe

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Courtesy The Gourmet Review

This Hint of Mint Frosting recipe is absolutely delicious and spreads easily on any cake or cupcakes. It’s my “Blue Baker’s” variation of the frosting used on my childhood favorite cake recipe.

True to form, my granddaughter likes to “tweek” recipes, so she switched the green to orange food coloring this week to match our Halloween theme.

The frosting works with any food coloring, depending on the occasion, but regardless of the color, we love keeping the mint flavoring for a unique taste.

SERVES: 2 dozen cupcakes or one two layer cake

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 cups (318 grams) Crisco shortening

1  32 oz bag (907 grams) confectioner’s powdered sugar

1/2 (9 grams)  teaspoon salt

1/2 cup (136 grams) evaporated condensed milk or sweetened condensed milk

2  1/2 teaspoons vanilla (10 grams)

2 teaspoons peppermint extract  (7 grams)

1/4 teaspoon green food coloring (2 grams)

Up to 2 tablespoons (44 grams) water (adjust depending on consistency)

INSTRUCTIONS

Add shortening to food processor and mix about l minute.

Gradually add confectioner’s powdered sugar, salt, condensed evaporated milk and vanilla.

Turn processor on high until mixture looks whipped.

Slowly add water, scraping bowl, until mixture is a smooth consistency.

Add peppermint extract and green food coloring.

NOTE

This frosting keeps well in the refrigerator. We like to save extra cupcakes in the freezer and keep for  a fun, easy to put together dessert, that requires no fuss. The cupcakes taste fresh when thawed and are easy to frost with the leftover saved frosting.

– The Gourmet Review and The Blue Baker

08.28La Mamounia Hotel | Arabian Nights in Marrakech, Morocco

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Courtesy La Mamounia

          “An eternal palace. Once upon a time, there was a place called

La Mamounia . . .  as in a tale from long ago.”

                                                                                        Jacques Garcia, architect 

Marrakech. Exotic. Alluring. Fanciful. Majestic desert encounters, the not to be missed camel ride, Berber villages and settings worthy of the Arabian Nights.

Rich heritage is embodied at La Mamounia, one of the world’s most palatial and majestic hotels. The history and traditions of great artisanship are apparent at every turn. Upon entering the lobby, a sense of peaceful serenity enfolds the guest as traditional and modern artistry blend into one.

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Courtesy La Mamounia Hotel

After a daytime visit to the Mecca, guests may wish to relax by the luxurious pool. Mornings are spent table side by the pool savoring Executive Chef Fabrice Lasnon’s spectacular breakfast buffets. Foods reflect not only Moroccn cuisine, but French, Italian and Spanish as well.

Relax after a long day of sightseeing. Enjoy binge pampered in the opulence of the spa.

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Courtesy La Mamounia

With breathtaking beauty, guests slow down to admire intricate stained glass, ornate wooden latticework, sculpted plaster walls embellished with straw, fountains, hand carved copper lanterns, and thick wool carpets. Over one thousand artisans worked for three years on the exquisite renovation. Pictured above is an Andalusion patio, an elongated hall with lateral alcoves and reflective pools.

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Courtesy La Mamounia Hotel

Pictured above is our hallway, rich in intricate detail. The chiaroscuro of light and dark plays out as guests return to their rooms. The eye cannot stop taking in the visual plethora of ornate, exquisite artisanship .

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Courtesy La Mamounia

Water plays an important role throughout La Mamounia, whether for reflection or  fun. Note the intricate detail of  wooden ceilings and lanterns, providing ambient, serene light. Or think of yourself as a princess and climb onto the raised cushion lounge above the water to experience serenity, relaxation and renewal. Even the pillows on the raised lounge beckon.

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Courtesy La Mamounia Hotel

 “When you have a palm grove and an olive grove that are more than one

thousand years old, you show them off.”

                                                                                                Jacques Garcia, architect

The gardens are sumptuous and include 20 lush acres of bougainvillea, delphinium, fragrant jasmine, orange trees, roses and palm trees, on grounds once reserved for royal festivities. Pictured above is a small LeMenzeh, along one of the garden walkways, where guests can enjoy a fresh lemonade, a selection of homemade ice creams and chocolate candies. Guests play a game of tennis,  stop to play bocce ball or  listen to birds singing while strolling through the grounds.

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Courtesy La Mamounia Hotel

La Mamounia sits on 20 lush acres of exquisitely landscaped grounds. Views of the Atlas Mountains and the Koutoubia Mosque, the largest mosque in Marrakech,  provide an almost cinematographic panoramic view. The surroundings are surpassed only by the extraordinary service of the exceptional staff.

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Courtesy La Mamounia Hotel

Savor the day.  .  .  La Mamounia will win your heart and forever!

NOTE

Jacques Garcia is the architect who orchestrated the meticulous renovation of La Mamounia before it reopened in 2009. No wonder La Mamounia has received top industry awards too numerous to mention. I will include just a few below.

Meilleur Hôtel pour le Service 2011 Condé Nast Traveller Gold List | Best Hotel for Service 2011
Meilleur Hôtel Spa dans le Monde 2011 Condé Nast Traveller Readers’ Spa Awards Best Hotel Spa in the World 2011
Hôtel de l’Année 2010 | Tatler Travel Guide  | Hotel of the Year 2010
Meilleur Resort 2010 Travel and Leisure Design Awards Best Resort 2010
Meilleur Nouveau Spa International 2010 et 2011| American Spa Magazine  Best New International Spa 2010

My husband and I were fortunate to take our 12-year-old granddaughter, “The Blue Baker,” on this unforgettable adventure. We want to thank everyone at La Mamounia, especially Directeur General Didier Picquot and Executive Chef Fabrice Lasnon, for extending such impeccable hospitality and service. My Blue Baker especially loved Chef Fabrice’s kitchen tour and pastry decorating lesson!

– The Gourmet Review

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