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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

Cannes, France

Known worldwide for its famous annual film festival, Cannes in France is also a gastronomic destination and has some of the most luxurious hotels and resorts in the world. All types of eateries and restaurants can be found in Cannes from charming hole-in-the-walls to the ultimate in glitz and glamour. A small seaside town, Cannes is easy and fun to explore and has pretty and busy beaches for relaxing and sipping cocktails and fine wines.     
Cannes, all along the Riviera, its De Luxe hotels and its world famous International Film Festival, opens its doors wide for you. Following in the footsteps of a great number of stars who close up and crowd here, you can lunch at the Restaurant of the Hotel Gray d'Albion where you can appreciate the famous smoked haddock in salad, recommended by Jacques Chibois. Or enjoy the famous crusty-crunchy chicken, "Gérard Depardieu" suggested by Mario at the Majestic. Go for walks all along the well-known Croisette overhanging the ancient village "Suquet" and avail of the smooth and mild evenings illuminated by wonderful fireworks let off the bay.
Considered to be one of the social hubs of Europe, Cannes is at its most glittering come May when the Cannes Film Festival is held and where the rich and famous flock in what was formerly a fishing village. The festival is held at the Palais des Festivals at the end of La Croisette. Casinos and high-end restaurants abound in this area as well as spectacular architecture and culture.     
Cobbled streets and breathtaking views of Le Suquet are worth visiting. Down the beautiful marina, street side tables and cafes are lined up where you can watch people pass by and have coffee, tea or wine.  Walking is the best mode of transportation around the city and allows you to stumble upon obscure sights and hidden gems that you might miss otherwise.
Cannes, France
Villa San Michele, Florence

Near the village of Fiesole beautifully situated on a hillside, Villa San Michele is a romantic hotel and top gourmet restaurant that offers sweepingly dramatic views of the Arno Valley and historic Florence. The wonderful thing about Villa San Michele is that guests can enjoy the peace and tranquility in solitude yet the hotel is only 8 kilometers from Florence and is in close proximity to many notable sites and attractions.  The hotel offers guests daily transportation to and from central Florence via shuttle bus. 
A former 15th century Franciscan monastery, the façade of Villa San Michele was designed by no less than Michelangelo. The property was designated a monument by the Italian national trust. Antique furnishings, ancient carvings, and frescoes provide a renaissance experience in the 21 guest rooms and 25 suites. Many of the rooms offer views of the Arno valley and Florence. Some include a Jacuzzi bath and private terraces. All the rooms are equipped with air conditioning, color satellite TV, mini-bar, in-room movies, towel warmer, and hair dryer. 
The hotel opened in 1950 and since then became a favorite retreat of travelers who wish to get away from busy Florence. Surrounded by formal Italian gardens, woodland and the Chianti hills studded with cypress, Villa San Michele is a work of art itself. 
The award-winning fine dining restaurant, Loggia, serves traditional Tuscan cuisine and superb selection of wines in a spectacular al fresco setting with views of the Arno valley. The hotel also has Cloister and Canacolo dining rooms and offers cultural and gastronomic programs with tours of the Chianti countryside. Other features of the hotel include an outdoor panoramic pool that is open seasonally and has a pool restaurant, business services, banquet and meeting rooms, exercise room, cookery school, and a bar and lounge. Services include room service, concierge, massage, laundry and dry cleaning, secretarial services, and multilingual staff.
Villa San Michele, Florence
La Bastide de Capelongue, France

In the heart of the Luberon triangle is la Bastide de Capelongue, which serves some of the finest gourmet cuisines of the region in an elegant Provencal setting. Chef Ãdouard Loubet shows a high respect for the land and the local terroir with his signature dishes that may vary according to the season. The bastide has the warmth and comfort of a real family home transformed into an elegant place to stay and dine. From the beautiful dining room bathed in light, you can see the lavender fields. Most of dishes are made with local Luberon produce especially herbs and even flowers.   
The Gault Millau Guide awarded Chef Edouard Loubet as 2011 Chef of the Year. Specialties in La Bastide de Capelongue include Loup saisi à la fleur de sel, légère infusion à la sauge et chips d'orange, Truffe de saison en croûte, coulis de maïs, pop-corn et feuille de pimprenelle, and Soufflé au cèdre des crêtes du Luberon, crème glacée aux clous de girofle. Local Côtes du Luberon wine are paired with the exquisite dishes for a complete gastronomic experience.
Overlooking the picturesque village of Bonnieux and the rest of the Luberon, La Bastide is a place of serene tranquility and luxurious meditation. Fresh fruit in the bedrooms, sumptuous beddings and cushions, and fresh herbs and vegetables from the bastideâs garden make a worthwhile and unforgettable stay. The rural building is decorated with soft colors, light décor, and whitened old furniture. Outbuildings, formerly Ferme, were transformed into contemporary apartments of concrete and brute stone accented with plump furniture and bright colors and lovely terraces. The bastide is surrounded with long stretches of gardens and in the property is a swimming pool. 
The 17 rooms in the bastide itself are designed in the classical Provencal style with touches of contemporaru aesthetics. The apartments in the Ferme are more modern but also cozy and comfortable.
La Bastide de Capelongue, France
Etienne Krebs, L'Ermitage

The son of a peasant, Chef Etienne Krebs developed a passion for using fresh and local produce and real products early on as a young boy. He followed his passion for high-quality ingredients and good food until he became one of the best chefs in Switzerland. Today, he proposes one of the most creative cuisines in the Swiss Riviera that honors the local terroir and the nearby lake, using the freshest and best quality ingredients to create unforgettable delicious dishes at the LâErmitage in Montreux, the jewel of the Swiss Riviera.  
Together with his wife Isabelle, Chef Etienne Krebs transformed the late 19th century âmaison bourgeoiseâ into an elegant hotel and gastronomic destination. Some of the famous guests who have graced the tables of the LâErmitage restaurant include no less than the president of Switzerland and the producer Quincy Jones.   
Surrounded by a beautiful park, LâErmitage is situated in the lakefront suburb of Clarens and includes four luxurious rooms and three stylish suites decorated with a classic country vibe and contemporary flair. Breakfast is included when booking a room and guests can dine in the restaurant where irresistible dishes of the region, some classic others innovative, are prepared and served. Signature dishes served by Chef Etienne Krebs that earned him a Michelin Star include the Baby crawfish in tomato and olive oil salad, Foie gras with celery casserole, Fera fish filet from lake Geneva with artichoke hearts and capers, Roast lamb with aromatic herbs from the Alps, and Supreme thigh of wild duckling with sautéed mushrooms and mashed potatoes.      
There are plenty of things to do and see while in the area aside from the usual nature hike and exploration. Montreux is well known for its jazz festival held every year where some of the best musicians of the era from all over the world perform, as well as the medieval castle in Chillon.
Etienne Krebs, L'Ermitage

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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