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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

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
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
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
Domaine de Châteauvieux, Genève, Switzerland

One of the best places to wine and dine in Switzerland, Domaine de Châteauvieux is situated on a hilltop in the Swiss countryside just 15 minutes away from Downtown Geneva. Surrounded by vineyards and rolling green hills, the stone manor is a dream made real. The spacious guest rooms are elegantly designed balanced with a country chic vibe and accented with rough-hewn stonewalls. Marble sinks, vibrant calico fabrics, and delicate stenciling give the rooms a bright and cheery feel. 
The famous restaurant fitted with stone and wood beams, is run by one of the most renowned chefs in all of Switzerland, Philippe Chevrier. Breakfast at the chateau includes homemade bread, jams, local honey and pastries. Domaine de Châteauvieux is also known for its first-class personal service where the staff makes you feel as if you are the chateau owner. Take note that the restaurant is closed on Sundays and Mondays. From the chateau, you can easily go to Geneva through the proxibus, which the front desk can arrange for you and provide you with a complimentary metro pass to use the Geneva rail/bus lines. The proxibus will take you to the Satigny train Station and from there Central Geneva is only two stops away at the Geneva Cornavin train station.
Domaine de Châteauvieux is the perfect place to stay if you want a cozy and homey ambiance to âcome homeâ to after a long day doing business in Central Geneva. You can also go here for a romantic dinner or special occasion to sample some of the finest food and wine in the region. The chateau also offers amazing views of the Rhone River, the vineyards and the surrounding hills. Just outside the gates, you can opt to reserve and ride a bicycle in the countryside or go horseback riding.
Domaine de Châteauvieux, Genève,...

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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