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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

L'Oustau De Baumanière, Les Baux de Provence, France

A chic country retreat, L'Oustau De Baumanière is located in the middle of the lavender fields and the odours of sun-drenched vegetation, of the giant sunflowers and the green grapeyards, rise up high from the unique rocks of the Baux de Provence, a charming medieval village overhanging the valley. 
Founded by his grandfather, Raymond Thuillier, l' Ousteau de Beaumanière is an earthly paradise, heaven on earth, where André Charial brings Provence to your delicate palates, with such dishes such as his mouth-watering lamb square, or his lobster salad with white beans freshly picked from the kitchen garden, and to finish, his famous orange-soufflé pancakes. 
A commune in the Bouches-du-Rhone department in southern France in the province of Provence, Les Baux-de-Provence is spectacularly located in the Alpilles Mountains atop a rocky outcrop overlooking plains and crowned with a ruined castle. The name of the village comes from the aluminum ore Bauxite, which was discovered in the area in 1821. The commune Bouches comes from the Provencal term for rocky spur, bauç.
A very attractive and picturesque village, Les-Baux-de-Provence is a popular tourist destination with a rich royal history, just minutes away from Arles, Avignon and Saint Rémy de Provence. The medieval village is made of rocks, stone and cobblestone and has plenty of terrace cafes and souvenir shops. One of the finest places to dine here is at LâOustau de Baumanière. 
Famed for its French cuisine, LâOustau de Baumanière is a luxurious five-star hotel and gastronomic restaurant with clienteles that include celebrities like Pierre Arditi, Bono, Hugh Grant, Jean Reno, crime-writer San Antonio, and Queen Elizabeth. A legend in its own right, LâOustau de Baumanière has been around for over 60 years and is now managed by Chef Jean-André Charial and wife Geneviève. The two-Michelin starred restaurant serves French haute cuisine featuring foie gras, caviar, and a wide array of premiers grands crus.
L'Oustau De Baumanière, Les Baux de...
El Raco de Can Fabes, San Celoni, Spain

Situated in the valley of the Tordera river between the ranges of Montseny and Montnegre, the town of Sant Celoni sits on the left bank of the river and where one of the best restaurants in Spain can be found, El Raco de Can Fabes, a three star Michelin restaurant serving authentic Catalan cuisine inspired by Mediterranean and French nouvelle cooking.   
Created by Angel and Santi Santamarria the Raco De Can Fabes began as a family home gradually transformed into a top culinary and gastronomic destination. From a modest tavern opened in the 1980s, Chef Santamaria slowly developed and mastered his cuisine, becoming one of the most acclaimed in the country. He is renowned and respected for elevating Catalan cuisine into international gastronomic fame and is also the first Catalan chef to have received three Michelin stars. Sadly, Chef Santi Santamaria passed away on February 2011 at the age of 53 leaving the management of his legendary restaurant to the capable hands of his protégé Xavi Pellicer and wife Angel Santamaria.  
El Raco de Can Fabes is charmingly housed in a small citadel, in a building that is about three centuries old. The country chic interiors and elegant rustic setting provide an inviting and cozy ambiance. Aside from the acclaimed restaurant, the premises also include five quaintly decorated guestrooms for those who wish to stay for a night or two after a ravishing meal.
All the facets of the Catalan of todayâplural, dynamic, artistic and progressiveâare reflected in the inventive modern cuisine of El Raco de Can Fabes. A combination of the old and the new, the cuisine here is based on fresh and seasonal ingredients so the menu may vary depending on what is available in the local market. Some of the signature dishes in the famous Catalan restaurant include the Tender pigeon with duck tartare, Hot and cold mackerel with cream of caviar, Spicy foie gras with Sauternes and puree of sweet red and green peppers, and Festival of Chocolate.
El Raco de Can Fabes, San Celoni, Spain
Johann Lafer's Stromburg

A luxurious castle transformed into an elegant hotel and gastronomic restaurant, Stromburg Castle looks out to the village of Stromberg in the Binger Wald (Bingen Forest) in Germany. Johan Lafer, owner and Chef of Stromburg is one of the most celebrated and famous chefs in Germany, pioneering cooking shows long before they were trendy. Besides a gourmet restaurant, there is also a less formal Bistro dâOr that serves scrumptious regional dishes and a wine list featuring top Nahe wines, Old world wines, New world wines, and an exceptional collection from Burgundy and Bordeaux.
Born in Graz, Styria, Austria, Chef Johann Lafer is an Austrian Chef based in Germany. He became a celebrity chef through his televised cooking show, most of which were self-produced at the Stromburg castle. He also wrote numerous cookbooks and is a regular guest of the television host Markus Lanz wherein he prepares meals in front of an audience on a regular basis. Stromburg castle is also the home of Johann Lafer together with his wife Silvia and their two children.       
A highly acclaimed chef, Johann Lafer was named âChef of the Yearâ in 1997 by the prestigious Gault and Millau Guide. In 2006, the Michelin Guide awarded him a star. Aside from running his own shows, writing his own cook books, and operating a hotel and restaurant, Chef Lafer also runs a cooking school and owns three restaurants in Stromberg.   
From a very young age, Chef Johann Lafer was already passionate about cooking and learned to have a high respect for food. In Steiermark where he grew up, most of the food that his family cooked came from their very own farm. To this day, he puts great emphasis on the quality of his products and gives them care and attention in the process of preparing them. After his culinary training in Graz, he decided to go to Germany working in Berlin and then Hamburg with Josef Viehauser at Le Canard. He also worked with Dieter and Jörg Müller and then with Eckart Witzigmann, which left a great impression in him and his cooking philosophy. Later, he worked shortly in Paris with Gaston Lenotre and at the Restaurant Le Val dâOr in Guldental before opening Stromburg with his wife Silvia.
Johann Lafer's Stromburg
Kasteel Wittem, The Netherland

Situated in the beautiful Geul Valley in southern Limbourg, the historical Wittem Kasteel was for centuries a redoubtable citadel. It is only a 20-minute drive from Maastricht, Aachen and Valkenburg and is surrounded with age-old trees, large parkland, brooks, rivulets, marshland, and castle moats making it a dreamy and romantic place to stay ideal for grand parties and weddings.    
The 12th century castle was transformed into a luxury hotel and a gourmet restaurant with a brasserie that serves lunch and the local specialty Limburgian pie. The award-winning gastronomic restaurant serves some of the finest cuisine in the area with emphasis on local and fresh ingredients. On the occasion of favorable weather, coffee or lunch can be had on the terrace. The property consists of 7.5 acres of parkland with picturesque creeks and ancient trees. Nearby are endless possibilities for leisure activities including golf, tennis, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, hiking, cycling acrosss forests and parks, and strolling along the promenades. Nearby local attractions include the De Valkenier Amusement Park, Valkenburg Castle, Valkenburg Holland Casino, Wilhemina Toren, and Theodor Dorrenplein.    
A member of the luxurious Relais et Châteaux since 1980, Kasteel Wittem is one of the most elegant places to stay and dine in the Netherlands. It was fully renovated and was completed in early 2011. Inside the medieval castle, there are 12 lodgings furnished with neo-gothic fixtures updated with contemporary styles using warm colors and intricate fabrics. The rooms are also equipped with modern amenities such as LCD televisions, high-speed wireless Internet access, TV Internet, and cable channels. The bathrooms are also modern with handheld showerheads, bathtub, vanity mirrors, hair dryers, and toiletries. Beds are fitted with Select Comfort mattresses, down comforters, and premium sheets and bedding. Most rooms have large windows that look out to the garden, river, or courtyard. The Tower Suite is one of the best rooms in the castle and offers breathtaking views of the landscape.
Kasteel Wittem, The Netherland

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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