Food & Drink
I don’t know about you but I seem to have outgrown the candy emporiums of my youth — where color-coded M&Ms graced the walls, waiting to be dispensed into a plastic bag for my movie-snacking pleasure. But what I haven’t outgrown is really good candy. And that’s where gourmet candy curators and founders of Sugarfina, Rosie O’Neill and Josh Resnick, found their sweet spot.
Recently engaged, Rosie and Josh met on Match.com four years ago and dreamed up the idea for Sugarfina, a gourmet candy haven for grown-ups, after watching Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on their third date. A combination of marketing savvy (she used to be a marketing director for Barbie) and entrepreneurial success (Josh sold the now-defunct Pandemic Studios, a video-game design firm, to Electronic Arts in a deal valued at $860 million), they had great potential for success.
Sugarfina launched in August 2012 online, and just this weekend, these lovebirds opened the first-ever Sugarfina candy boutique for grown-ups in Beverly Hills. I stopped by during their fourth hour of operation, got a tour from Rosie and sampled as much candy as I could. (Tough job, I know.) Here are the highlights: (more…)
Bird, check. Veggies, check. This year’s “It” pie, check. Wine … Marijke?
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving this year or being a gracious guest, you may find yourself staring blankly at a wall of wines, trying to decide which (affordable) bottle will be most delicious with a turkey dinner. Well, stare no more. I’ve enlisted my dear friend and sommelier Marijke van Niekerk @lawinegal to provide her top recommendations for Thanksgiving.
The theme is ”classic gourmet” with a deep Southern twist, based on the menu I curated from the growing stack of Bon Appétit magazines under my coffee table and a borderline obsessive recipe-search habit. Marijke has decided on an all-American wine selection because, “Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to explore the United States’ fantastic, world-class wines.” Very well, then! Here’s the lineup:
Is it too early to talk about holiday gifts? My mind is already racing with ideas! It started at a truffle-making class I took recently at Caffe Luxxe, one of the best coffee shops in Los Angeles (well, Santa Monica, to be specific). There, Craig Boreth, founder of Twice the Vice chocolates and author of The Hemingway Cookbook, plied us with his amazing artisan spirited truffles.
Made with Callebaut Belgian chocolate, Twice the Vice chocolates are filled with top-shelf liquors such as The Glenlivet 15-year Scotch, crowd-pleasers such as Bombay Sapphire gin and cocktails such as the Woodford Reserve Mint Julep or The Big Lebowski lovers’ favorite, the White Russian. Each piece is packed with 1/8th to 1/10th of a shot, giving you a much richer, more sophisticated flavor than you’d get with those funny little bottle-shaped chocolates. Still, while select boxes are still illegal to ship in many states, the chocolates aren’t overwhelmingly potent — which is a good thing. Of course, if you choose to eat a whole box yourself, I can’t guarantee you won’t get a buzz!
Twice the Vice spirited chocolates are available online and totally worth the price. I highly recommend ordering them this year for the drinking men and women in your life — naughty and nice!
Every once in a while, I get really fed up with my lifestyle of working a lot, eating far too much crappy food at the office (who can resist chips and fresh guacamole when it’s put right in front of you?) and just generally not getting nearly enough time to exercise as I would like. Most of the time, me getting fed up just involves me complaining about it to a friend, but this time I went all out and decided to do a cleanse. I’d previously done a juice cleanse with Ritual Wellness and really enjoyed the juices, so I decided to use them again since I’d had such a good experience. I opted for a three day cleanse – you can choose from either pre-set juices (the Classic Reset Cleanse, the Seasonal Reset Cleanse) or you can build your own cleanse and order whatever combination of juices you’d like. I went with the three day Seasonal Reset Cleanse, which replaces one of the classic juices with one that uses the best seasonal fruit because as great as the green juices are, let’s face it, it’s nice to have another option during the day. There’s only so much green juice a girl can drink! (more…)
Remember the famous photo of Jackie Kennedy at JFK’s funeral? Or the ones of Marilyn Monroe on the set of The Seven Year Itch and The Misfits? Those were taken by Elliot Erwitt, the man responsible for some of the most iconic photographs of our time. Erwitt is the fourth photographer to team up with The Macallan, my favorite Scotch, for their award-winning Masters of Photography series. (Previous collaborations were with Annie Leibovitz last year, Albert Watson in 2010 and Rankin in 2008.) The result? About 2,030 limited-edition sets featuring unique single malt Scotch whiskies paired with Erwitt’s gorgeous autographed photos. (more…)
Every day around 3 p.m., I get the munchies. You know, right before the sleepies kick in. And almost every day, I’m totally unprepared. The jar of mixed nuts on my desk has been reduced to crumbs. I’m out of Maccha Green Tea Kit Kats. I have no change for the overpriced Doritos in the vending machine. Life is rough. ;-)
But yesterday, life got smoother when Ping! My co-worker emailed me with a coveted Graze invitation code. Headquartered in London, Graze is a food-meets-tech startup that offers nutritious, delicious mail-order snacks. To use the service, members rate the snacks they want to try, specify where to ship them, and choose whether to receive them biweekly or monthly.
With help from a patented algorithm called DARWIN that customizes snack choices based on member preferences, Graze staff packs and ships snack boxes to members in the U.S. and the U.K. DARWIN also helps staff members ensure there are multiple tastes and textures are represented in each box, and that any user-selected dietary requirements are satisfied. And, get this, every box is just $6, including shipping!
Your neighbor. I brought wine.
It’s times like these — when I’m completely unprepared to entertain guests — that I appreciate Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough, a frozen gourmet cookie dough that produces cookies with a homemade taste. In this case, they made entertaining my neighbor possible without my having to cancel plans to watch “Breaking Bad” with my husband. (And I didn’t have to palm off leftovers to my coworkers the next day!)
An easy-bake solution for busy foodies, Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough takes about 11–15 minutes to make (counting preheat time), and you can mix and match any of the six available flavors for a delightfully spontaneous snack. While it’s a tad more expensive than say, Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, it eclipses the competition IMHO. Jen & Joe’s Cookie Dough is made without artificial colors, flavors, additives or preservatives and it’s available in Chocolate Chunk, Snickerdoodle, White Chocolate Wasabi, Oatmeal Toffee, Chocolate Spice and Lemon Drop. What’s better than that?! (more…)
A couple weeks before our “summer’s last hurrah” trip to Miami, I finally faced the reality (with some panic) that I’d have to be in a swimsuit in public for a week. As I slowly floated back down to earth, I also realized that all that eating, drinking, and playing (ie. not going to the gym) I did over the summer was not simply going to disappear from my system. It was time to call in the pros at Urban Remedy, a company whose philosophy is that “food is medicine,” and fuses traditional healing methods and a fresh approach to health. Their juice regimens use only 100% organic and sustainable ingredients, and are created by founder Neka Pasquale, a chef who has studied healing and various traditional therapies. I decided to go for the Super Green Cleanse, because as my hubby always says, go big or go home, right? I wanted maximal results with the most detox I could manage in a day, and it turned out to be quite an adventure, detailed below. (more…)
We have a longstanding love affair with the Ritz-Carlton here at TDO, and the latest property we ventured to, Hong Kong, is no exception. Opened in 2011, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong is not only one of the newest properties in the portfolio, but it’s also the highest — and not just among other Ritz-Carltons, but of all the hotels in the world. Soaring 118 stories above the ground, the property provides a view –and guest experience –unlike any other. Needless to say, prepare to be wowed.
Located on the Kowloon side of the city, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong sits atop the International Commerce Centre (ICC), a notable office, commercial, and residential building that came up in 2010. Not only do hotel guests have fine dining and the best shopping right at their fingertips, (more importantly) the ICC is also one of the stops made by Hong Kong’s Airport Express Service. Now, if you live in the States like me, you’ll think that an airport shuttle is nothing to be impressed with, but in Hong Kong, it’s quite a different story. Finding transportation after arriving in a foreign land is one of the most annoying parts of traveling — but guests at the Ritz Carlton won’t have to worry: a twenty minute high speed train service will take travelers from airport straight to the hotel. Departing the property is even easier (though much sadder!) — simply board the Airport Express again, but this time, don’t even worry about carrying your luggage. You can simply check in and send your bags ahead of time directly onto the flight and enjoy a leisurely trip to the airport hands free. Mind blown? So was mine.
ONE: Reiko Kaneko Lip Tease Cup and Saucer – Lauren Santo Domingo, once told Into the Gloss, that she finds early morning lipstick on coffee cups “vulgar.” Even though I’m inclined to agree, I have other words to describe this lipstick-stained teacup and saucer. Words like cheeky, flirty, whimsical, adorable, and perfect. Perfect for frequent tea drinkers or even those who just like to have fine-bone china on display. So hey, don’t worry about setting the stain, it’s already taken care of. Kathleen
TWO: Julia Baker 6 Piece Purse Box — Julia Baker’s chocolates aren’t just for chocolate lovers… they’re for turning ordinary people into chocolate lovers. Crafted from the heart, each one of Julia’s whimsical truffles and hand-cut chocolates taste like a little piece of (the most delicious) heaven. The six-piece purse box is outfitted with 3 chocolates and 3 truffles, oozing with the most divine French Caramel filling. Any lucky recipient of this purse will want to take it with her whenever she goes, guaranteed. Carolyn
THREE: Bouchon Bakery Cookbook – New from chef Thomas Keller’s gang (The French Laundry, Ad Hoc) and executive pastry chef Sebastien Rouxel, this cookbook is an aspirational work for any foodie. From French/American classics like brioche and Oh Ohs to the acclaimed Bouchon Bakery TKOs and Nutter Butters, recipes run the gamut from pastries to pet treats. Of course, no Keller cookbook is complete without beautiful photographs and thorough cooking/baking tips, which makes the book — at the very least — great coffee table material. Charli (more…)