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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

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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
Les Trois Forts, Dominique Frérard

A gourmet restaurant on the top floor of the plush Sofitel Marseille Vieux Port Hotel, Les Trois Forts is the finest dining spot in the area where guests can enjoy Mediterranean haute cuisine while admiring a stunning panoramic view of the old port where a line of boats are docked. The restaurant is decorated like a fancy boat with shades of navy blue and pearl, blended with contemporary aesthetics and Art Deco tableware. Inspired by the underwater world, the restaurants ambiance is calmingly elegant. 
French Master Chef Dominique Frérard prepares the exquisite cuisine that travelers and food connoisseurs from all over the world come to experience. The award-winning breakfast at Les Trois Forts features fresh local produce and hot food stations. A wide range of dishes is available for lunch and dinner made with seasonal produce and only the freshest, highest quality produces. Star Chef Frérard combines traditional regional culture and refined and delicate flavors with modern haute cuisine creating the best dishes in Marseilles. Signature dishes include Stuffed vegetables with prawns and coriander vinaigrette, Blue lobster with Swiss chard, mushrooms and creamy ravioli, and Marzipan with almond and orange emulsion. 
Bar Le Carré serves tapas, delicate cuisine, appetizers, pastries, and signature cocktails as well as a wide selection of teas. The refined and relaxing atmosphere dedicated to the marine and yachting world creates a special place for guests to hold important meetings or celebrate intimate occasions.      
A native of the Ardeneâs region in France, Dominique Frérard lived in Marseilles for 15 years and has spent 11 years in the kitchen of the Les Trois Forts. His love and passion for the city of Marseilles is quite evident in his cooking, which is influenced by the local terroir as well as spices from North Africa, creating a unique and creative cuisine rich in flavors.
Les Trois Forts, Dominique Frérard
L'Espérance, Marc Meneau

An old mill transformed into a luxurious place for indulging in the finest haute cuisine, L'Espérance by Chef Marc Meneau is set in twelve acres of parkland surrounded by brooks in the medieval town of Vézelay, a Unesco World Heritage site that has charmed poets, artists, and kings throughout history. Vézelay is home to the basilica of St. Mary Magdalene and is a popular pilgrimage site. It is also where the second and third crusades started. 
With its honey-colored stone exterior and its white shutters, L'Espérance looks like a rustic country lodge from the outside. A vegetable and herb garden grows abundantly where a lot of the fresh ingredients for the restaurant kitchen are sourced. A couple of renovations transformed the humble country home into a sprawling estate manor with rooms and suites situated along hidden path right in the midst of the flower and herb gardens for a total Burgundian ambiance. 
French haute cuisine inspired by Chef Meneauâs native Burgundy is served at the charming restaurant. A combination of classical and bold innovative cuisine is present in house specialties like the Cromesquis of foie gras (which explodes in the mouth like a sexual experience), Consomme of wild duck with Rostie of Perles du Japon, Herbed Bresses chicken cooked in a paper bag, Slow cooked river sander, Foa of watercress and frogs legs, John Dory fillet on a hot stone with lemon bouillon, Sweet onion confit and caviar, and Pumpkin soufflé, Chestnut soufflé with mushroom ice cream. The dining room is elegantly and warmly decorated with white orchids, fireplace, and fur throws. 
Chef Marc Meneau also has his own winery and served his Bougogne Vézelay wine paired with his exquisite dishes. You can visit his vineyards for a casse-croute before lunch. Chef Meneau draws inspiration not only from the local terroir but also from literary works like that of Victor Hugo and listening to Opera.
L'Espérance, Marc Meneau
La Provence, France

The cuisine of Provence resembles Italian, Greek and Mediterranean cooking more than traditional French fare. Seafood, fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits are often prepared simply and there is great emphasis on local, fresh and high quality ingredients. The dry Mediterranean climate makes it ideal for grazing sheep and goats, and near the coast, there is an abundance or fresh fish and seafood.  
The basic ingredients used in Provencal cuisine include olive oil, garlic, and tomatoes, which are generously used in almost every dish. Other common ingredients include olives, sardines, sear urchins, rockfish, octopus, rouget fish, loup fish, tuna, sea bass, anchovies, red snapper, red mullet, monkfish, shrimp, crab, mussels, scallops, oysters, goat, lamb, eggplant, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, fennel, lettuce, carrots, mushrooms, zucchini (courgettes), cabbage, asparagus, and artichokes. 
Vegetables are often used for making soups, baked, or grilled, flavored with herbs, and drizzled with lots of olive oil. They are also often eaten raw in salads. Fruit is eaten as a dessert or snack. Local fruits include strawberries, cherries, apricots, peaches, grapes, apples, oranges, lemons, dates, figs, and melons of Cavaillon. 
Fresh and dried herbs are used extensively in Provencal cooking and the most common are parsley, basil, thyme, sage, rosemary, savory, marjoram, and thyme. Other common seasonings include capers, aioli (garlic mayonnaise), rouille (chili and garlic mayonnaise) anchoiade (anchovy paste), saffron, tapenade, lemon juice, and wine vinegar.   
Wheat is used for making breads like whole grain loaves, crusty baguettes and pizza. One of the most popular snacks in Provence is the pan bagnet, which is a sandwich filled with tuna, tomatoes, peppers, and olives seasoned with olive oil dressing. Beans are also a common feature in Provencal cooking and are included in stews and soups or are baked with other ingredients. The most commonly used lentil is the Puy lentil.
La Provence, France

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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