Archive for October, 2011

Cuisine as Art

The MoMA is an insitution in New York, and now, in my opinion so is the restauramt there The Modern. This has to be the first time I have been to the Museum without seeing a single exhibit (unless you count the sculptures in the garden) I didn’t even visit the terrific gift shop, so engrossed was I with the cusine. Modern by name and by style as you would expect.
The Modern defines its style as French American – which makes sense from the French chef, Gabriel Kreuther, in the heart of Manhattan, but this is no cliched French style that is seen in so many trendy French brasseries, it is a sophisticated take on the best of both worlds. The extremely charming and knowledgable staff look like they probably know as much about contemporary art as they do about the food an wine they were serving but without the prentention that could so easily be part of this less level of excellence. Not a cheap night at the Museum but worth every penny.

Art on a plate

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At the top of the Mandarin Oriental in New York with spectacular views over central park at the Asiate

However in this restaurant the stars are not just for the cuisine.
The floor to ceiling windows offer a view over the sparking New York sky line reflected in the beautifully lit wine cellar that surrounds the diners.


The Mandarin Oriental hotel restaurants definitely have a way of making their wines part of the decor see a previous post from Geneva

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High dining in Miami

The Miami Culinary Institute at Miami Dade College is a unique concept, as Miami’s first accredited public option in culinary education it offers a professional standard of education opportunities to a to a melting pot of cultures and backgrounds that would not normally gave access to such quality education at such affordable prices.

The new premises, opened in January in down-town Miami are spectacular. Bordeaux Blonde was there to presenting a range of Medoc wines from the Southern Wines and
Spirits range – major players in the state – during an educational seminar to the students and professional restaurant staff. The state of the art wine and cuisine theatre was the perfect venue with a fully functioning professional kitchen with screens overhead so one missed a sniff or a swirl!

But the affordable quality education is only part of it. As with many culinary schools students have change to practice their skills on the public in the school cafe open for breakfast and lunch but in the evenings this cafe will be transformed into a wine and tapas ‘ Root Cellar’ bar.

However the big news for local gourmets is the recruitment net of top Chef Norman Van Aken, known for his innovation in creating ‘Floridean’ cuisine, for the opening of a panoramic professional restaurant later this month. The intimate, 60 covers, restaurant over looks the Freedom tower and the Miami Heats arena as well the cruise ships sailing into port. The Tuyo restaurant will open Tuesday-Saturday evenings and it echoes the green ethos of the whole facility with its own urban herb garden.

Should you fancy something more hands on, classes from the top chefs at the institute are also open to the public, from Chef Sarah Izquierdo, master sommelier Charles Arturaola and of course Norman Van Aken himself as well as the neighboring celebrity hangout Canyon Ranch’s ‘Integrative Life Lessons’ series. Check out www.miamidadeculinary.com.

This community college is a wonderful opportunity for about 100 young people every year following a 2 year associate programme these students are hungry to learn. Hungry students should go to culinary school – right – a perfect match.

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