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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

Scholteshof, Hasselt, Belgium

An old farm converted into a place of luxury, Scholteshof is a beautiful country estate owned and operated by Chef Roger Souvereyns. It is considered to be one of the most desired gastronomic destinations in Belgium. The property dates back to the 18th century and used to be a stone farmhouse and an ancient dwelling of the Bailiff of Steevoort. Former antiques dealer Roger Souvereyns bought, developed and expanded the property to 28 acres where he grew his own vegetables, fruits, herbs, and greens to supply his kitchen with the best and freshest ingredients. In the premises, there are also gazebos, ponds, fountains, pergolas, orchards, a vineyard, and a place for raising chickens and ducks.         
Scholteshof also houses a substantial antiques and arts collection, providing a cozy and elegant setting for guests. The estate has 18 rooms, each uniquely designed with elegant interiors, paintings, antiques, and art objects. Suites have their own living room and a loft bedroom with a spiral staircase. Some include a balcony furnished with chairs and a table for having breakfast or for relaxing. The rooms are also decorated with freshly cut flowers from the estateâs garden.
The Scholteshof restaurant serves haute cuisine and some of the finest food like truffles and goose-liver in carpaccio, roebuck undercuts, pear in red wine and beetroots, and fillets sautés. Awarded with two Michelin stars, Scholteshof serves earthy and super-fresh food to lucky guests.  A la Carte appetizers, main entrees, and three-course dinners are available paired with wine. The restaurant has a cozy yet elegant ambiance, decorated with antiques and paintings. The dining area extends to the open kitchen where guests have a full view of the Chef doing his magic. Hanging from the beams of the kitchen are a wide array of silver spoons from Chef Souvereyns collections and beautiful brass pots.
Scholteshof, Hasselt, Belgium
L'hôtel Royal, Deauville, France

An oceanfront palace in the most glamorous resort town in France, L'hôtel Royal in Deauville is a favorite meeting place of the Very Important People of the world, thanks to its casino, famous race-courses, and its American Film Festival. Dine at the LâEtirer, the Michelin restaurant of the Royal Hotel, and relish signature dishes like Royal fillet of smoked haddock with mixture of nut oil and vinegar dressing, Bloodwort and burnet herbs, and Grilled St Pierre with stewed onions, honey and fresh tomatoes. Take a sip of Calvados, the traditional apple brandy right in the depth of the circle of stars.
Just two hours from Paris, Royal Barriere is a favorite holiday destination of wealthy families and international celebrities. The Hotel Royal Barrière is open from March to October when the so-called Queen of Norman Beaches is at its most seductive. Jacques Garcia designed the rooms and suites of the hotel while renowned chef Eric Provost, who trained with Alain Ducasse and Joel Robuchon, is the head of the gourmet restaurant, LâEtier. His sophisticated menu is based on seasonal and fresh local ingredients.    
The restaurant is set in a majestic dining hall and serves haute cuisine inspired by the local terroir of Normandy. While the setting is elegant, the ambiance is relaxed and idyllic, romantic and refined and not too formal or stiff. The staff offers attentive and warm service making guests feel at home. The Etrier's Piano Bar serves a wide list of drinks including champagnes, wines, and rums that guests can savor while listening to lovely music. Besides the lâEtrier restaurant, there is also another restaurant that serves more traditional French cuisine, the Côté Royal.
Other activities and amenities at the Royal Barrière include a private pool, sauna, solarium, hammam, fitness center, and free bicycles for exploring the town. Close by, guests can play tennis, golf, casino, and engage in water sports, or go horseback riding.
L'hôtel Royal, Deauville, France
Verdon - France

The Grand Canyon of Europe, Gorges du Verdon is a spectacular and breathtaking canyon that is found in central Provence, forming the border between the Var and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. It is a lot smaller than the Arizonaâs Grand Canyon but is wonderfully deep going down up to 700 m and between 100 and 15000 meters across, carved by the Verdon River. 
From Castellane to the Rougons village, the Verdon River flows while the road follows along the banks. At the Point Sublime in Rougons, the turquoise river plunges into the rock walls and comes out the western end then flowing into Lac de Ste Croix. It is estimated that the river carved the gorges for about two million years. In 1997, the Natural Regional Park of Verdon was created to protect the environment or Verdon.          
The canyon is a popular destination especially for those who enjoy nature adventures. Some drive around to the top, which is a 130 km drive, to take in the dramatic views, while others opt to hike, raft, or kayak on the river itself at the bottom of the cliffs. For those who prefer to walk and are not afraid of heights, the path to take is the Sentier Martel, which is a 15km walk through the canyon, between the Point Sublime and the Chalet de la Maline. Water, food, and walking boots are essential for making the walk.    
There are many places for kayaking and rafting and will also depend on the time of the year. The upper gorge between Allos and Saint Andre is popular in the late spring and early summer for those experienced in canoeing. For beginners or anylevels, the pre-gorges below Castellane is a good choice except for wintertime. Further downstream the Canyon du Verdon is a more challenging feat. There are also gorgeous lakes with stunning scenery along the length of Verdon and is great for swimming and other leisure activities.
Verdon, France
L' Ermitage, Montreux, Switzerland

LâErmitage is a temple of gastronomy and one of the finest restaurants in Switzerland. The Krebs family transformed the 19th century âmaison bourgeoisieâ into a luxurious place to stay and dine surrounded by a lush park in the midst of the lakefront suburb of Clarens in Montreaux, Switzerland, at the border of the Lake Leman.  
Montreaux is the jewel of the Swiss Riviera and is famous for its Middle-Age castle of Chillon, its international jazz festival, and an essential gastronomic destination in large part because of LâErmitage and the efforts of Chef Ettiene Krebs and wife Isabella. Awarded the 1995 best cook by the Gault Milau Guide, Chef Etienne Krebs was given a score of 17 out of 21. He was also given a Michelin star for his sophisticated and creative cuisine. LâErmitage is a member of the prestigious Grandes Tables de Suisse.     
A son of a peasant, Chef Etienne has a passion for fresh produce and local ingredients. Some of the unique dishes served in the restaurant include Filet of fera fish from the nearby lake with capers and artichoke hearts, Foie gras with celery casserole, Baby crawfish in tomato and olive oil salad, Supreme thigh of wild duckling with mashed potatoes and sautéed mushrooms, and Roast lamb with aromatic Alpine herbs.  The restaurant also offers an impressive wine list to pair with the dishes.  

Guests from all over the world flock to LâErmitage to sample the exquisite cuisine of Chef Etienne Krebs. Famous guests who have dined at the elegant tables of LâErmitage include record producer Quincy Jones and the president of Switzerland. The dining room is beautifully painted with warm and cool tones to represent the water and the sun, since the place is situated in between sea and sky. Rattan furniture gives the restaurant a warm, cosy and country vibe. Guests can also dine at the terrace overlooking the lake.
L' Ermitage, Montreux, Switzerland

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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