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Traditional Apple Frangipane Flan

Featured Recipes

Travel

Le Mont Ventoux, France

Known as the âGiant of Provenceâ or the âBeast of Provence,â or the âThe Bald Mountain,â Le Mont Ventoux is most famous for being one of the most grueling climbs in the Tour de France bicycle race. Located in the Provence region of southern France, 20 kilometres northeast of Carpentras, Vaucluse and bordering the Drome department on the north side, Mont Ventoux is the largest mountain in the region and is one the most important tourist spots in Provence.
There is little infrastructure on top of the mountain but there are a lot of villages around with hotels and restaurants. Mount Ventoux is only the highest part of the mountain range, which runs from the village of Montbrun-les-Bains in the east and to Malaucène in the west. The range rises up again further to the west at the Dentelles de Montmirail.  
From the top of the mountain, you can see most of the Alps including Mont Blanc, Chaine de Belledonne, Vercors, the Queyras, the Ecrins, and the Mercantour especially if the air is clear and the weather permits. If you plan to bike up to the mountain, be sure to take some food with you and plenty of water as there are no places to stop by for snacks. It is also a good idea to bring a wind jacket and a sweater even in the summer, as well as a mobile phone. Other activities in the area besides cycling are hiking, rock climbing, and visiting historical sites.       
In the surrounding small villages, there are a lot of B&Bs, country hotels, self-catering vacation rentals, and markets that carry local products like strawberries, cherries, vegetables, lamb, wine, aromatic herbs and other fresh ingredients. While Le Mont Ventoux is quite busy during the summertime, it is never overcrowded and has a tranquil air and peaceful charm.
Le Mont Ventoux, France
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
Château St Gerlach - Camille Oostwegel

A beautiful country estate in the heart of Ingedael wild life reserve in Maastricht in the Netherlands, Château St Gerlach is an attractive and relaxing place to stay and dine, offering views of the Geul valley and breathtaking surroundings of lush baroque gardens and parks, farmhouse herb garden, rose garden, and fruit trees. Also in the premises are salon rooms, function rooms, a spa and wellness center, and gourmet restaurant serving exceptional French cuisine.   
An ideal location for total relaxation as well as festive occasions, Château St Gerlach offers many possibilities for rest and leisure. There are 97 elegant hotel rooms in the estate including suites and apartments that can accommodate families or large groups of people. Each room at the St Gerlach is uniquely and stylishly decorated in harmony with the original painted walls and ceilings. There are also various meeting and banqueting rooms for business activities and receptions. Recent notable guest that stayed at the chateau include American President G.W. Bush.   
Fine food is served at the a la carte Restaurant Château St. Gerlach and Bistrot de Liège. The dining room is housed in the former reception rooms that the former aristocratic family used as living quarters. The comprehensive menu serves top quality French cuisine as well as exceptional wines to complement the dishes. When the weather is favorable, guests can dine outside the patio for wonderful views of nature. For business or festive gatherings, there are six stylishly furnished rooms that can accommodate from five up to 300 guests.     
Breakfast is served at the garden pavilion where guests can bask in the scent of the herb garden and admire the pastoral landscape where cattleâs and horses graze peacefully. The hotel also has an indoor Roman swimming pool, sauna and Turkish baths that guests can use at no extra cost.
Château St Gerlach - Camille Oostwegel
Orient-ExpressHotels, Savona, Italy

A seaport commune in the northern Italian region of Liguria, Savona is located in the Riviera di Ponente on the Mediterranean Sea and is known for its heavy industry. Because it is one of the chief seats of the Italian iron industry, the town is filled with railway workshops, shipbuilding, engineering shops, brass foundry, iron-works and other foundries. The functional city is not exactly the most beautiful but in the medieval centre of the town one can find magic and charming places to stay and dine. Summer is the best time to visit Savona and when the food is at its finest. This is also the time when bric-a-brac markets selling antiques and rare finds open every Saturdays.    
Here one will find the old-fashioned charm of the Italian Riviera since Albissola, the city of the ceramists, famous in the 30s thanks to artists like Tulio d' Albissola, Lucio Fontana or later Bjorn. Savona is a city of the past with beautiful architecture and rich museums. You can take a tour towards the future with the ambitious construction site of the new port entrusted to the famous Ricardo Boffil. Discover Savona through Bacco and its inn and Anita, chef at home, serving simple and fragrant Ligurian dishes like Tempura of leaves of sages, Doughnuts of stuffed anchovies, and Testaroli. Another must-stop is at Claudio and his restaurant on the beach, rocked by the sweet music of waves, you will discover a cuisine of the freshest products from sea straight to the plate, eaten raw and with fingers around a table.  
Savona is known as the City of Popes (Città dei Papi) since two locals, Franceso Della Rovere and nephew Giuliano became popes: Pope Sixtus IV in 1471 and Pope Julius II in 1503, respectively. Pope Sixtus IV had the Sistine Chapel built in the Vatican while Pope Julius II commissioned Michelangelo to paint the ceiling. Another famous former inhabitant of Savona is navigator Christopher Columbus who lived in many residences in Liguria while chronicling his journeys.
Orient-ExpressHotels, Savona, Italy

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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