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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

Montreux, Switzerland

The âPearl of the Swiss Riviera,â Montreaux is located on the shore of Lake Geneva and is known for being a town of music, primarily because of the Montreux Jazz festival held for a stretch of 20 days every July and attracts some 250,000 visitors. Not only jazz musicians are invited to play but also popular musicians like Beck or David Bowie.   
Montreux is also home to the most extraordinary and most visited castle in Switzerland, the Château de Chillon, an island castle that dates back to the 12th century made popular by the Lord Byron in his poem âThe Prisoner of Chillonâ written in 1816. The castle is also one of the settings in Henry Jamesâs novella Daisy Miller written in 1878. Three major periods influenced the history of Chillon, including the Savoy Period, the Bernese Period, and the Vaudois Period.    
Montreux has long been an inspiration to artists, writers, and musicians throughout the centuries and until the present. Ernest Hemingway, Lord Byron, and the Shelleys were one-time residents. In 1971, while Frank Zappa was playing in the Montreux casino, the building caught fire and cast a pall of smoke over Lake Geneva, inspiring Deep Purpleâs classic rock single, âSmoke on the Water.â Freddie Mercury and Igor Stravinsky are also frequent visitors.       
Montreux has a breathtaking landscape composed of palm trees, Lake Geneva, the Alps, vineyards, and a glacier within a short distance. The favorable Mediterranean microclimate and easy access from the Geneva International Airport also makes it a favorite getaway at every time of the year.
Besides the famous Chillon castle, there is also an Alpine garden, an animal park called Marmottes Paradis, and Mongolian yurts for spending the night in. The Christmas market is also a huge event, held a month before Christmas, and features a wide array of culinary tastings, gifts, and chalets. For the best hiking experience, head off to Hauts de Montreux.
Montreux, Switzerland
Le Château de Mazan

A completely independent and family-owned luxury establishment, Le Chateau de Mazan invites guests to stay in a sumptuous setting and to feel at home in an elegant and intriguing 18th century building, the former residence of the Marquis de Sade. Le Chateau de Mazan is located at the foot of the legendary Mont Ventoux in the village of Mazan in Carpentras at the heart of Provence. A little further are Orange, Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Avignon and the Luberon.
Le Chateau also serves some of the finest cuisine in the area and provides the utmost comfort amidst beautiful surroundings with landscaped gardens and parks. Vegetables, herbs and flowers of Provence grow in the garden some of which are used in the restaurant kitchen. In the premises are also a rotunda, mulberry trees, a hundred year old olive tree, a swimming pool, and a cozy bar for lounging in a retro ambiance and relaxed decor. The restaurant has a more formal setting and serves southern French or Provencal cooking with flair.   
The owner, Daniele Lhermie, conceived of the chateauâs design and décor, making it seem just like a private house, where there is a lot of love, charm, and warmth. The foremost desire of the owner and the staff is to make guests feel at home, like the important guest of a generous and kind-hearted friend. Guests are encouraged to relax, escape from the bustle of modern life, live the life of lord of the manor, and seek pleasure in leisure.      
The hotel consists of 30 rooms, mostly in the chateau and a few across a little street housed in an offshoot 17th century building. All rooms are unique and different although every room is large, have up-to-date bathrooms, and are decorated with light colors, period furniture, and 1920s statuettes. Some rooms include a private terrace and others have hammams.
Le Château de Mazan
Le Palais de la Méditerranée, France

A five-star hotel in the centre of Rue de France and Jardin Albert I, Le Palais de la Mediterranee is only a short walk from the vibrant nightlife of Nice and is near the Northern Forum and Opera de Nice. The Nice-Cote dâAzur Airport is just 6km away and Nice Train station is only a 5-minute walk away. This luxury Art Deco-style hotel has an on-site casino, gourmet restaurant, Le 3e that serves Mediterranean, Southern and regional cuisine, a trendy lounge bar, two swimming pools, a sauna, fitness centre, and terrace with sweeping views of the Baie des Anges.     
The nine-story building is right across the beach and sits in the midst of the Verdure and Nice theatres, Sours Seleya flower market, Place Masséna, Niece Etoile Shopping Center, Albert 1st Gardens. Nearby attractions are the Boutique de L'homme Moderne, Musee des Beaux-Arts Jules Cheret, and the Nice Cathedral.
Le Palais de la Méditerranée
Chez Caroll Duval-Leroy, Champagne, France

In the heart of the Côtes des Blanc at Vertus, the second largest wine growing region in Champagne (after Les Riceys) in France, the Duval-Leroy family have been producing some of the finest wines in the world since 1859. In 1911, Duval-Leroy was the first champagne house to elaborate a Premier Cru, known as Fleur de Champagne 1er Cru.   Today, it has 200 hectares of vineyards producing mainly Chardonnay Grand Crus. The current head of the house is Carol Duval-Leroy, a passionate woman who has transformed Duval-Leroy in the last ten years from a family-run business into a top champagne house.
Born 1955 in Belgium, Carol Duval-Leroy (then Nilens) studied economics at the University of Brussels. As a teenager, she frequently visited the Champagne region with her family because of the Rotary Club. During one of the dinners, she met and fell in live with Jean-Charles Duval-Leroy, the son of local champagne grape growing family. After finishing university, they soon married and she became a champenois wife, and helped out in the vineyard and took care of the vintage workers who came to stay during vintage. Carol immediately took an active role in the family wine business.  
In 1991, Carolâs husband died from terminal cancer at just 39 years old. Jean-Charles turned over the management of the business to his wife until his sons are old enough to handle the business. Under Carolâs care, Duval-Leroy was established as a worldwide brand. Today, Duval-Leroy is in 200 Michelin Star restaurants in France. In 1991, they had an annual production of 2,5 million bottles. Today, they produce about 5 million bottles and have expanded their market to Asia and the United States.   
One of the last independent family-owned champagne houses, Duval-Leroy keeps tradition alive with vintage and non-vintage cuvee but has also adapted to the modern market with its line of organic and bio-dynamically produced wines.
Chez Caroll Duval-Leroy, Champagne,...

Cooking Recipe Videos

There are many ways to improve your cooking skills: reading great cookbooks, taking cooking classes, and good old fashioned practice in the kitchen are traditional methods. But these days, online cooking recipe videos are another excellent resource for aspiring chefs. Here's how to get the most from the cooking videos you encounter.

Find Them

There are lots of cooking recipe videos out there, but not all are created equal. Before you spend time watching any, consider the source. If you want to widen your cooking horizons, videos featuring famous chefs are a must. Such chefs might include television personalities (who may or may not have formal cooking backgrounds), cooking legends (like Julia Child, Graham Kerr, and Wolfgang Puck), or Michelin star-awarded chefs who've impressed the cooking world with their expertise and talent.

Live Demos

Once you find cooking recipe videos by esteemed chefs, you will probably discover you learn the most if you watch the videos more than once. In the first viewing, you'll likely only get the overall picture of what the chef is doing. If you watch the video once or twice more, you may notice and remember details you didn't before.

Bear in mind that you're not just learning how to make a particular recipe. You're also hoping to learn cooking techniques you can rely upon for other dishes. For example, you might see a Michelin chef chop up food in a faster, simpler way than you've ever seen before. Or you might see how a meal is flambéed. Or you might learn a new way to cook meat so it's crisp on the outside and tender and juice on the inside. There is nothing quite like a live demo, to make those techniques stick in your brain and come to life next time you are in the kitchen.

Share it

Although cooking recipe videos are helpful and educational, they're also fun. You can make them even more entertaining by sharing them with friends. What does your best friend think about trying to make a flambéed meal with you? Does she have a funny story to tell about attempting this on her own? Does your work mate drool over gourmet desserts as much as you do? Are you and your friends inspired by a certain video to try a pot luck gourmet party? Let cooking videos be part of you and your friends online entertainment, and you'll have fun while you improve your cooking skills.

Try it Out

After watching cooking recipe videos, it's a great idea to make the recipes in your own kitchen. The best cooking video websites also have printed recipes to go along with their videos. Print one out and give the recipe your best go.

Or, you could just try out one or two techniques you learned by watching a great chef. For example, maybe you've never tried blanching vegetables before. After watching a chef demonstrate this on a video, you can try the technique almost any time you're preparing veggies.

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