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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

Kruisheren-Hotel, Maastricht

A former gothic monastery transformed into a four-star luxury establishment, Kruisheren Hotel is a historical place to stay and dine. It is located in the city center of Maastricht in the Netherlands, near shopping facilities, historical landmarks, gastronomic destinations, and the famous Vrijthof Square. The luxury hotel used to be the Kruisheren (Crutched Friar) cloister and dates back to the 15h century. The monastery as well as the gothic church were renovated and changed into a designer hotel that combines medieval antiquity and contemporary aesthetics. The contrast of the past and the present are quite evident in the architecture and interiors of the complex.
The hotel has 60 modern rooms and a mezzanine with a restaurant area where the central church hall used to be. Guests are served breakfast in this area while they can enjoy the stunning views of Maastricht through the chancel windows. The nave of the church also houses the lobby, reception, lounge, coffee bar, modern boardrooms, boutique, a glass elevator that connects the church to the monastery area, a library, and a wine bar, called the âespace vinicole,â with a wine cellar above ground housed in a large glass vault. 
Created by internationally acclaimed interior designer Henk Vos, the interiors of the hotel and the rooms are uniquely designed with a light character that contrasts with the gothic atmosphere. Light installation artworks by the German artist Ingo Maurer are displayed in the hotel. Notable designs by masters Rietveld and Le Corbusier were used throughout the complex. Modern designs from Philippe Starck, Piet Heyn Eeck, marc Newson, and Roderick Vos were used to contrast with the stained glass windows, ceiling paintings, and authentic medieval walls. An artwork in its own right, Kruisheren Hotel offers a synthesis of Gothic exterior and sleek modern interior, of religious expression and stark sobriety.
Kruisheren-Hotel, Maastricht
Restaurant Helene Darroze, Paris, France

In the heart of Paris, Michelin Chef Helene Darroze brings her native cuisine of Landes and presents it in contemporary haute cuisine style in her acclaimed Restaurant Helene Darroze. After her apprenticeship with the legendary chef Alain Ducasse and working at their family estate, Darroze set up her own restaurant in Paris to share with guests her original cuisine with a menu that changes almost daily depending on what is in season and the dayâs produce. She uses only the freshest and best quality ingredients to produce some of the finest food in the county. 
One of the most celebrated chefs in France and a very hard-working woman, Chef Helene Darroze puts an elegant touch to traditional family recipes and country cooking creating a distinctive culinary style of her own. Her restaurant, decorated by her cousin, is stylishly decorated yet very homey and cozy. The ambiance exudes charm and grace, reflecting the character and style of the founder and owner. 
The restaurant consists of two floors and dining areas. The first floor is a more relaxed and casual ambiance where guests can sit back and munch on appetizers and tapas while sipping wine and other beverages.  The second floor is much more formal and romantic setting where guests can savor the gastronomic creations of Chef Darroze. Foie gras is a prominent feature of the menu and appears in a lot of the dishes. The female sommelier aids guests in selecting wine to pair with the sumptuous dishes.         
Some of the signature dishes in the restaurant include Suckling lamb from the Pyrenees and Roast wild duck stuffed with truffles and foie gras. For starters, guests can pick from a wide selection of sausages and cheeses from southwest France. A ham trolley goes around the restaurant featuring homemade cold cuts and regional specialties.
Restaurant Helene Darroze, Paris, France
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
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...

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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