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Monthly Archives

November 2012

An Anniversary Party for a Man (Alain Ducase) and His Restaurant

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RENÉ REDZEPI said he was managing the economic crisis pretty well. At his little restaurant in Copenhagen, he said, laughing, he was getting 100,000 reservation requests a month. Of course, then it clicked: this unassuming young man of 34, lightly bearded, runs the hottest restaurant in the world, Noma.

And he was here, happily, along with 240 or so other chefs from 27 countries, to help honor Alain Ducasse, 56, the godfather of French cuisine, who invited confrères and consoeurs to celebrate his 25th anniversary running the three-star restaurant here, Louis XV. “I grew up with Alain Ducasse, reading his books, dreaming of going to his restaurants, and I’m still at the stage that I don’t really believe that I’m in the same category,” Mr. Redzepi said.

“What’s important is to keep such a high level for such a long time,” he added. “What happened to me is a bit freakish, but it gave me the freedom to cook what I want.”

His friend Magnus Nilsson, 29, who opened his Faviken restaurant in northern Sweden after four years in Paris at L’Astrance, said he thought his first invitation from Mr. Ducasse was junk mail, and it was not until a paper copy arrived that he believed it. “His restaurants have been around a long time, so people don’t talk of him in quite the same way, though they’re better now than ever,” he said. “And when you take away all the ‘chichi,’ it’s a business transaction: when you take their money, people expect pleasure in return.”

There was plenty of “chichi” here last weekend, with chefs coming from the United States, China, Japan and all over France, collectively holding some 300 Michelin stars, for a celebration including a lavish dinner that highlighted the vegetables, fish and game from the region. And there was plenty of what the British satirical magazine Private Eye calls “luvvies” — highly complimentary comments about a star from those in the same industry, including rivals like Joël Robuchon.

Guy Savoy, one of France’s finest chefs, many of whom came here to pay a kind of homage, said that “Ducasse shows us tonight that he’s the leader of French gastronomy in the world.” Only Mr. Ducasse could have gathered together so many distinguished chefs, he said. “His organizational talent is also extraordinary,” Mr. Savoy said. “Chapeau!”

The food at Saturday’s dinner, served to more than 400 people, was both regional and refined. Papery sliced raw baby vegetables of the area — 15 of them, including fennel, eggplant and spiny artichoke — were in a crystal glass to be dipped in an olive paste. Small gamberoni, or red shrimp, from San Remo were served with a seafood and coral aspic and a dollop of superb Chinese caviar. Then spelt with tiny artichokes and white truffle. Then local fish — red mullet, scorpion fish, John Dory, sea bream, tiny squid and octopus, in a light fishy broth. Then a small pastry filled with game birds and chard, with a pungent salmis sauce, vegetables and a truffle salad. Then a dessert of cooked apple and wild quince, with an ice cream made with cream from local cows and a touch of salt. And for those who could manage it, chocolates and a hazelnut shortbread.

All of which was accompanied carefully by an extraordinary selection of spirits and wines, including Dom Pérignon Rosé Champagnes from 1995 (never marketed) and 2000, a Dom Pérignon from 1993, Cheval Blanc 2004 and Château d’Yquem from 1988.

Mr. Ducasse becomes politely annoyed with the recent hoopla around Spanish and Scandinavian chefs, feeling it underestimates the creativity within the tradition of French cuisine. But he invited some of the best of the world’s chefs, from Mr. Redzepi to Michael White of Marea, Maguy Le Coze of Le Bernardin and Daniel Boulud, now of New York, as well as Patrick O’Connell from the Inn at Little Washington in Virginia.

There were some of the best from Japan, some of whom had trained with Mr. Ducasse, and from Beijing and Britain. And then there was Hemant Oberoi, chief chef at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai, who quietly explained how he and his staff saved the lives of hundreds of clients on the night in November 2008 when the hotel was stormed by terrorists, and how he watched some of his employees die.

Mr. Ducasse is an admirer of other cuisines. He can rave for five minutes about “the perfect soba noodle” he had in a little dive at a Japanese train station, cooked over one gas ring. “Oh, and the result — perfect width, perfect texture, perfect density, perfect flavor, perfect temperature, perfect light — the essence of soba!”

He has a thing about temperature: of the food, the wine, the nuts at the bar. He talks about how fine cooking need not be expensive, rhapsodizing in an interview about “a perfect leek vinaigrette” and lamb shoulder, “the best part, but not a noble cut.” But he also believes that “fusion is confusion,” and that French tradition, and French training, remain the foundation of haute cuisine all over the world.

Tom Kitchin, of the Kitchin in Edinburgh, worked for two years with Mr. Ducasse, as did Clare Smyth, who worked four years here and is now the chief chef for Gordon Ramsay’s London three-star restaurant. Mr. Kitchin spoke passionately about France as “the home of gastronomy and of haute cuisine.”

In 1987, Mr. Ducasse, only recently recovered from an airplane accident that immobilized him for at least a year, was charged with creating a Michelin three-star restaurant here, at the Hotel de Paris. He was 30. It took him 33 months, and it was the first three-star inside a hotel.

After 25 years, he said, “it’s the age of maturity, both terribly long and terribly short.” But it is “not a place to stop, not a repose,” he insisted. “Now it’s important to progress.” His current theme is modernity: “less fat, less salt, less sugar, more local and seasonal products, less meat and more sustainable fish,” he said. “We must eat more durably and equitably.”

Amid all the talk, of course, there was the food and wine, which were a gesture of generosity to the community of chefs and guests, who included Prince Albert and his wife, Princess Charlene, and Princess Caroline. The Mediterranean market on Saturday showcased a stunning display of fish, vegetables, breads, cheese and wine, with some of the chefs making dishes that they had invented for the occasion using local ingredients (and, it should be said, quite a lot of truffle). Dong Zhenxiang of DaDong restaurant in Beijing, for example, took local lamb and marinated it in sesame and Sichuan spices.

One of Mr. Ducasse’s slogans is “simple, sain et bon” — simple, healthy and good. The weekend that he created for his colleagues was hardly simple and perhaps unhealthy. But it was most extraordinarily good.

Alain Ducasse products are found in Malta at Dical House, Mosta.


A Montecarlo i 25 anni di Louis XV: immancabile l’olio 100% taggiasco. Incontro con Marco Bonaldo

By | News

Marco Bonaldo, di Arma di Taggia, a Montecarlo ha saputo senza dubbio fare un ottimo business. Ma è stato anche accompagnato da una buona dose di fortuna, come ci spiega. Il suo olio di oliva è l’autentico olio taggiasco, 100%, raro prestigioso, l’oliva taggiasca è tra i prodotti tipici più ricercati della vicina terra di Liguria: esiste solo nell’estremo ponente ligure ed è reputato tra gli olii migliori in tutto il mondo. Bonaldo a un tris d’assi eccezionale: i suoi clienti sono il Palazzo, la Societé de Bains de Mer e Alain Ducasse. Cosa volere di più?

Lo incontriamo durante i festeggiamenti del 25ennale dedicato al Lous XV di Alain Ducasse.

Chapeau…ma come avete fatto a conquistare il ‘cuore’ del Principato di Monaco?

– Lo so che sà di favola (sorride) ma ci siamo travati al posto giusto nel momento giusto. E’ molti anni che siamo in questo business e quando lo abbiamo inziato ervamo 3 soci, tutti e 3 giovani. Abbiamo lavorato sodo, 7 giorni su 7 e con tanti sacrifici, non è stato subito facile. Ma alla fine la qualità paga –

Alain Ducasse vi ha aperto le Porte del Principato?

– E’ nato tutto davvero per caso. Durante una cena, abbiamo incontrato Ducasse e lo abbiamo invitato a provare il nostro prodotto. E’ venuto da noi ad Arma di Taggia ed è andata bene. Da 20 siamo i suoi fornitori e da 7 anni del Palazzo. Ecco perchè dico che siamo stati nel posto giusto al momento giusto. Oggi non si potrebbe più fare in questa semplicità. Ducasse non era ‘stellare’ come adesso. Prima gestiva direttamente tutto lui, ora non più. Noi e Ducasse siamo ‘cresciuti inseme’ –

In che senso?

– Oggi, con i nostri due marchi premium Terre Bormane e Galateo&friends, vendiamo il nostro olio in 35 Paesi. Tra i ristoratori più celebri che lo utilizzano contiamo, oltre Ducasse, anche Robuchon, Marchesi, Daniel a New York e Bottura, 3 stelle Michelin. Tra i nostri ‘segreti’ un ottimo marketing –

Quanti ulivi avete per la vostra produzione?

– 7mila piante, non solo moltissime. E compriamo dai contadini locali le altre olive necessarie per la nostra produzione –

La Casa Olearia Taggiasca è in Regione Prati e Pescine, Argine Sinistro ad Arma di Taggia in provincia di Imperia www.casaoleariataggiasca.it


(Source: http://www.montecarlonews.it/2012/11/18/notizie/argomenti/italiani-a-monaco/articolo/a-montecarlo-i-25-anni-di-louis-xv-immancabile-lolio-100-taggiasco-incontro-con-marco-bonaudo.html#.UKi7fobJjhw )

Tartuflanghe products are Oprah’s favourites!

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The former queen of daytime talk is still at it as she has just released her favorite must-have items for this Christmas 2012 and one of her  favourite items for Christmas 2012 are Tartuflanghe’s Risotto, Pasta and Breadsticks. She described these products as: “Pure happiness: All this incredible risotto requires is water; I pair the truffle breadsticks with truffle butter; and what can I say about walking into a kitchen with a pot of truffle pasta bubbling on the stove?”

These products are exclusively brought to Malta by Dical House

(Read more: http://www.oprah.com/gift/Truffle-Risotto-Pasta-and-Breadsticks?cat_id=#ixzz2BpTPquc2 )

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“Christmas is also about giving to others what you would like to receive yourself”

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Christmas is approaching and what better way to add a flicker of pleasure to the festive period, than by indulging in an opulent hamper from the Fine Food landmark, DICAL HOUSE?

Stocked with the best produce from around the world, this sumptuous selection of luxury hampers offers the best ingredients from the most remote artisan suppliers. Tasty offerings which are packaged and delivered straight to your door, a perfect gift to self or memorable gift for as a special someone. Whether you want to treat your associates to the finest of wines, traditional puddings and Alba truffles, or wow your kids with a Hansel and Gretel inspired hamper full of piedmont chocolate, the selection is available at DICAL HOUSE.

Your better half will adore the indulgent array of mouth watering festive fare complete with fine wines to wash them down in these luxury gift hampers, and the family will fight over the contents of the seasonal fare, including the traditional pannettones, fine chocolate truffles and luxury teas and confectionery items.

Make your Christmas less ordinary this year. DICAL HOUSE gift and wine hampers are always well received, and there is a hamper for every taste so step inside the flagship Store located on the outskirts ofMosta, or if more convenient, visit our
new outlet in High Street, Sliema (close to the car park). A world of gourmet and festive finery awaits you.

Corporate hampers are in style these days and the best part is that they are not gender specific. So you do not have to think about other factors while selecting hampers. Sometimes it becomes really difficult to select a specifich amper for your associates, staff members and customers. You would always want to create different gift baskets for each of them based on the reputation and bond you share. At DICAL HOUSE youcan choose from a wide variety of top gourmet options and create your own exclusive selection.

This year we are also proudly promoting this wonderful book byManuel X uereb – aroma kitchen by Manuel. This fully illustrated high quality publication costs €23.99 and can be added to hampers and gifts of your own choice.

We proudly offer a selection of gluten free and also sugar free gift baskets to make sure nobody is left out. Speak to us today as stocks are limited. We are here to assist you any day of the week including Sundays and Public Holidays.

Dical House commits itself to deliver your hamper in time. Call us today on 21424601 for more details. For personalised Company service, kindly contact Our Corporate Sales managers on 9942 0059 (Mosta) or 7933 5038 (Sliema). Wecan propose hampers to suit any budget.

Loison Pasticceri dal 1938: patience is our secret

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Today Loison finds its strength in its ancient family vocation, in its history. The international success of the confectionery lies in the combination of art and quality, creativity and entrepreneurship, experience and innovation; just like what happens for the panettone whose secret is both the quality of ingredients and the time dedicated to the preparation.The ingredients are carefully selected and exalt the fragrance of the Loison pastries. The flavours are engraved on the mind evoking ancient and genuine tastes.

Our classic Patisserie Panettone is low as in the ancient Milanese recipes and “scarpato” (that’s to say cut on the surface by hand with the characteristic cross cut), with a fragrant and soft pastry, enriched with raisins, candied peels of the Oranges of Sicily and Cedar from Diamante in Calabria. Many variations of this classic panettone are offered all with innovative and exclusive flavours. The same for the pandoro, made with selected eggs and butter of quality, and available not only in the classic version but also filled with the most refined pastry creams. The processes of natural rising and non forced cooling, unchanged for centuries, ensure freshness and duration. That is because homemade confectionery is an art of patiently waiting for the delicate flavours that are full of history to reach the proper combination. It is the art of turning tradition into quality.

Truffle hunting

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From the middle of September to the end of December the truffle hunters of Alba scour the secret pathways among the hills of the Langhe and Roero.

Indeed the white truffle reaches maturity in autumn and is at its best from October onwards.

The truffle hunt usually takes place at night as the hounds are disturbed less and also because the darkness hides the truffle hunter from curious eyes.

The hound is man’s invaluable companion in the search for truffles; thanks to his well-trained nose he is able to track down the precious hypogean fungus which is then carefully extracted by the truffle hunter with a small hoe.

Loison: Innovations in the 2012 Christmas Collection

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Like every year, Dario and Sonia Loison are proposing product and image innovations designed to create trends, against the backdrop of a catalogue that decimates the theme of the panettone cake with over twenty different proposals and a thought for the calendar beyond Christmas as well.

With a natural aptitude for excellence…
Dario Loison’s philosophy in connection with his products was developed along several important lines, which often come together with surprising results. Firstly, this means the choice of the basic raw materials, which are on a level of absolute excellence in the “Top” line, which covers three quarters of the catalogue, and are modulated in accordance with market demands in the “Pastry” lines, again of a very high level, and the “Extra Quality” line, with an eye on economy. Again with regard to the raw materials, the company has a privileged collaboration with Slow Food for the supply of exclusive ingredients, such as the Savona Chinotto orange, the Late Ciaculli Mandarin, the Cosentino “Dotato” Fig and the Bronte Pistachio. And there is more. In terms of typical Venetian products, the pastry valorises Prosecco spumante, but also a local hillside fruit – namely the sour black cherry, as well as products such as chocolate and glazed chestnuts, which date from the historical cafés. Finally, the company’s recent interest in recuperating the Venetian tradition of spices, which led to the Noël Panettone cake, inspired by certain cakes from Central and Northern Europe, but also by combinations that are highly appraised locally, such as the Apricot and Ginger Panettone and the Venetian Sour Black Cherry and Cinnamon cake.

An unmistakeable image…
Loison products are immediately recognisable, thanks to Sonia, who deals with the presentation of the products, in an exceptionally professional way and with great personal involvement. One constant in the Loison image is the nostalgia for the Belle Époque, when the pastry shops of the great European capitals expressed themselves on unquestionably refined levels, both in terms of the atmosphere of the environment and the elegance of the product presentation. From year to year, Sonia develops a particular aesthetic theme, suggested by her own spontaneous inclination towards romanticism, orienting the more than twenty Christmas product lines in the same direction. The 2012 collection, for example, is characterised by a trio of
extremely evocative colours – ivory white, Venetian green and antique red – in intense tones, suitable to confer warmth to the holiday season table, but in vintage artistic paper, as if they were covered by a fine dusting of powder, almost a preview of the first snow. The packages reproduce antique fabrics with floral decorations, Victorian friezes and lace, with a profusion of refined ribbons and golden decorations that confer a seal of elegance to every gift package.

Beyond Christmas.
The panettone is a Christmas cake par excellence, but when it is introduced onto the market as “Italian Cake”, the tradition of being a “Christmas” cake is felt less. Thus, given its great success abroad, Loison’s showcase includes several presentations that go beyond the typical colours and symbols of Christmas: elegant packages, suitable for an anniversary gift or an invitation to dinner, with the pleasure of being able to find some personal or domestic use later for the boxes and containers. That’s how the inclusion in the catalogue of the “Venetian” is to be interpreted. It is truly a cake for all occasions, with the aroma of spices and studded with  grains of sugar and almonds, bearing the image of elegance and gaiety of the city of the Lion of St. Mark and the Carnival.