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  • Great Chefs Of The World

    Cooking with Zarela: Beat it!- Beaten egg

    Cooking with Zarela: Beat it!- Beaten egg

    Mexican born Zarela Martinez is one the leading U.S. restaurateurs. Her namesake restaura…moreMexican born Zarela Martinez is one the leading U.S. restaurateurs. Her namesake restaurant is a Manhattan institution and a culinary trend-setter. She has authored several acclaimed books:"Food from my heart","Food and life of Oaxaca" and "Zarela's Veracruz". Her 13 part series "Zarela, Cocina Veracruzana" is airing on PBS. She has made guest appearances on many TV shows including "Julia Child:cooking with master chefs" and " Martha Stewart". less

    Luxury Wine Tour of Piedmont

    Luxury Wine Tour of Piedmont

    The area in Piedmont called Langhe Roero has given the world the gift of truffles, the Ne…moreThe area in Piedmont called Langhe Roero has given the world the gift of truffles, the Nebbiolo grape, from which Barolo and Barbaresco come from and a dazzling cuisine that is both aristocratic and simple. On this luxury wine tour among castles and vineyards you’ll meet the makers of these great wines and the chefs working their luscious cuisine in some of the most charming medieval towns in Italy. Your trip starts at the Villa Tiboldi, luxuriously renovated Villa and Farmhouse surrounded by Nebbiolo and Arneis vineyards with views that go on forever. The estate produces its own excellent Arneis Malvira. Alba has a beautiful Cathedral from the XIth Century and a rich historic center. However Alba’s heart beats to the tune of the truffle. Renato Agnello, truffle hunter of of 60 years leads a walk through the woods with his dog Diana, looking for truffles. Tartufi Morra is a truffle emporium Established in 1930 working with all the truffle hunters in the area. It has the ultimate selection of everything truffles from chocolate to oils The restaurant Piazza Duomo owned by the Ceretto winemaking family is a shocking pink space with frescoes by Francesco Clemente .The avantguarde cuisine of Chef Enrico Crippa has earned the restaurant a one Michelin star. This is a café and pastry shop created by chef Luca Mentersino uses no sugar, milk or flour. Everything is made with substitute. So go ahead and splurge. Katja and Ivan Rivetti are the third generation of Rivetti making barbaresco here. Tops wines are Bricco Barbaresco and Bricco de Neveis. Housed in a sprawling and movie-set-like 18th century castle owned by the Stupino brothers, the winery focuses on specialty wines. In the 70’s the Stupino’s cloned an old variety of Arneis vine producing a remarkable sparkling Pinot Noir. Among their wide range of wines they produce a top Barbaresco Riserva Santo Stefano. The restaurant La Ciau del Tornavento in Treiso sits on top of sprawling vineyards is owned by chef Maurilio Garola. It. The Chef has consistently received one Michelin star for his ground breaking dishes such as “ Plin de Seirass”, ravioli stuffed with ricotta and served in an actual nest made out of hay. The fortified Castle erected in the XIth Century on top of a hill once belonged to Count Camillo Benso of Cavour, one of the architects of the Unification of Italy. The castle has a very large Enoteca representing the best of Piedmont wines and grappas. Barolo is a charming medieval town surrounded by wineries. Therefore opening a corkscrew museum was a no brainer for Paolo Annoni who was once a pharmacist but abandoned his old profession to pursue his obsession. Over the years he has travelled the world and auction houses searching for the most unusual corkscrews, collecting 1,300 rare ones . Barolo was first created by the Marchesi Falletti in the middle of the 19th century around the village of Barolo. A bottle of the first Barolo, "Cannubbio 1859” is on permanent display, while vintages from 1938 on are available to collectors. The Enoteca has the most complete collection of Barolo in the world with 35.000 bottles of Barolo and the yearly addition of 400 bottles. Giant 19 century chestnut barrels have been reconditioned to age outstanding Barolo like the Barolo Cannubi or various Barolo Riserva. Locanda nel Borgo Antico is set in an hamlet outside Barolo. In this elegant restaurant Chef Camia prepares his signature traditional classic dishes which have earned him a Michelin star. In little more than thirty years, the Ceretto brothers created a 300 acres network of small independent estates producing some outstanding labels. They have sponsored major art projects like the Clemente frescos for their restaurant, the Sol Lewitt Chapel among the vineyards and for their winery in the town of Castiglione Falletto they have created their futuristic wine-tasting glass cube. Top wines are Bricco Rocche, Brunate and Prapo’. You will stay in the Hotel Villa Beccaris an 18th century palazzo surrounded by vineyards near the historic town of Monforte DAlba. 3 Burlotto sisters run the Castle which their grandfather bought from the first King of Italy. The family restored and maintains the original frescos and furniture. Here cooking lesson in classic Piedmontese dishes are conducted. The winery has some of the oldest vintages in the region dating back from 1850. Top wines are Verduno Basadone, Barbaresco Rabaja’ and the Dolcetto D’Alba Campot. A truly royal lunch is served in the castle courtyard. Pietro Ratti runs the business founded by his father in the 60’s. Today this state of the arts winery produces an outstanding Barolo Marcenasco. In the medieval town of La Morra on top of a hillside sits an old castle, now the restaurant Belvedere with spectacular views of the Barolo hills all the way to the alps. The Bovio family that owns it produces an outstanding Barolo. Copyright Christina Tours, LLC less

    The Dolce Vita Journeys

    The Dolce Vita Journeys

    A sizzler for a 6 X 30' TV series Imagine traditions that have been unchanged for 5,0…moreA sizzler for a 6 X 30' TV series Imagine traditions that have been unchanged for 5,000 years. Where food and wine give way to art and culture. Watch men and women engaged in a ritual year after year to bring forth and nurture the best grapes the Earth can grow. Watch as they pick, crush, and ferment this precious juice until all their labors come to fruition. Watch Michelin chefs and humble cooks pick the freshest products of their regions and follow them as they create dishes that will titillate the senses and awaken every taste bud. Finally watch how chefs and sommeliers marry the food to the perfect wines to create magical communal experiences at the table. Wine and food are about family, culture and history. Meet a Tuscan who embodies it all, to the hilt. And in the castle restaurant the baron highlights his wines with innovative Tuscan dishes. 2,500 years ago The Romans built a column at the end of the Appian way in Brindisi. Winemaker Rubino tells us why the Romans loved the wines of Apulia made from Negroamaro grapes still grown exclusively here. His chef works hand-in-hand with the winemaker. You will learn about the secretive and fascinating world of truffles. You will learn why some wines acquire personality. How to identify a great red. You’ll get great tasting tips from great sommeliers. You will learn why wine comes first, food second and not the other way around. You will learn the fundamentals of pairing. In season 1 we’ll visit Tuscany, Piedmont, Umbria, Apulia, Croatia, and Napa. Journey with us through medieval towns, waterfront villages, ancient and new towns in the Mediterranean and America to experience the culture and lifestyles of the people making magic in the cellars and the kitchens. The Dolce Vita Journeys. Informative. Inspiring. Intoxicating. less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    10 Best Napa: Amorosa Castle

    10 Best Napa: Amorosa Castle

    Castello di Amorosa is a winery located near Calistoga, California. First opening its doo…moreCastello di Amorosa is a winery located near Calistoga, California. First opening its doors to the public in April 2007, it is the pet project of 4th generation vintner, Dario Sattui who also owns and operates the V. Sattui Winery named after his great-grandfather who originally established a winery in San Francisco in 1885. The castle interiors, which include 107 rooms on 8 levels above and below ground, cover approximately 121,000 square feet. Among many other features it has: a moat; a drawbridge; defensive towers; an interior courtyard; a torture chamber; a chapel/church; a knights' chamber; and a 72 by 30 feet great hall with a 22-foot -high coffered ceiling. The torture chamber has an authentic 300-year-old iron maiden which Sattui states he bought for $13,000 in Pienza, Italy, a replica rack, prison chambers and other torture devices. The great hall features frescoes painted by two Italian artists who took about a year and a half to complete and showcases a 500 year old fireplace. The masonry, ironwork and woodwork was fashioned by hand using old world crafting techniques. Building materials included 8,000 tons of locally quarried stone, in addition to paving stones, terra cotta roofing tiles and some 850,000 bricks imported from Europe. Extending into the hillside adjacent to the castle lies a labyrinth of caves some 900 feet in length. Beneath the castle are a 2-acre barrel cellar and tasting rooms where visitors can sample the wines-all sold only at the Castle. less

    10 Best: Berlin- Neue Galerie

    10 Best: Berlin- Neue Galerie

    10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. …more10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. Designed by Mis Van Der Rohe and combing the collections of East and West Germany after re=unification, this Museum house some of the most impressive works of XXthe Century masters from Cubism, Bauhaus, Expressionism and Surrealism. Hosted by Julia Grimpe, a theater and TV star who resides in Berlin. less

    10 Best: Bangkok- Cooking class

    10 Best: Bangkok- Cooking class

    The 10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. …moreThe 10 Best series highlights the best things to do in the top cities around the world. From the Bangkok Marriott Pier, the Manhora cruise boat departs Monday to Friday for Thai cooking classes cruising down the Chaophraya River. The boat is a 100 year old rice barge restored for 21st century luxury cruising. Sunida is taught the art of preparing a 5 course banquet by Chef de Partie Patchareekorn Seehawat. Here we see the making of the most famous of Thai soups:the Tom Yum Talay. Hosted by Sunida Thirasak, a Bangkok native presently living in New York. less

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    Morocco: Scenic Voyage magical Tour

    Morocco: Scenic Voyage magical Tour

    Morocco is only 10 miles from Spain and its 3 main gateways Casablanca, Tangiers and Marr…moreMorocco is only 10 miles from Spain and its 3 main gateways Casablanca, Tangiers and Marrakech. Low cost airlines connect them with 2 to 3 hours flights to major European capitals. Casablanca is a bustling metropolis. Its must-see site is the spectacular King Hasan Mosque built right on the Atlantic coast and the second largest in the world after Mecca. The next stop is Rabat, the present capital of Morocco. Plenty to see. Not to be missed is the great Mohammed V Mausoleum with the Hassan Tower. The Medina with its Andalusian blue walls. The Atlantic beaches are wide and pristine. In 1500 bc The Phoenicians used Asilah it as trading port. the Portuguese came in the 15th century and staid for 300 years leaving military fortification. Its position on the Atlantic makes it a great fishing port. Tangier is an international city on the northern tip of Morocco in direct view of Spain. It has access to both Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts, and is a major cruiseship port. After A circle of writers, artists and Hollywood stars converged to Tangiers after WWII and a made it a fashionable spot. The world came to watch the action from its sidewalk cafes in the medina. Among the luxury hotels in Tangiers is the 5 star Movenpick on the Mediterranean side with luxurious amenities and superb Moroccan cuisine. Moroccan cuisine is very diverse with influences from Berber, Mediterranean and Arab cuisines. Cape Spartel faces the strait of Gilbratar and is considered the northernmost point of the African continent. The Hercules grotto nearby fill up at high tide. The entrance of this mythical place has the shape of an upside map of Africa. Further east on the mediterranean a and Cabo Negro and Martil, cities of endless beaches facing the pristine waters of the Mediterranean. Chefchaouen.is surrounded for miles by olive groves is This is also one of the busiest mountain markets town. The Andalousian architecture of white and blue houses can be found in the kasbah and its gardens, at the center of the medina. This is also a dying and weaving center. The famous djellaba, the long garment worn by the men and women of North Africa, was created here. We stop at the Holy City Of Moulay Idriss where the founder of Islam is buried. His tomb is a pilgrimage site for Muslims. Close by is the beautifully preserved archaeological site of the Roman city of Volubilis. From here on to the Imperial City of Meknes. Sultan Moulay spared no expense in creating this jewel of a city, building 40 kilometers of walls, an artificial lake and Bab Mansour, the grandest of all gates in Morocco on the big square which rivals Marrakech with its theatrical events. Fez, was the first Imperial City built in 790 A.D. by Moulay Idriss II. This is the world last surviving Medieval city with great monuments and a sprawling a Medina with the oldest tanneries in the world. Fez is also known for great shopping in its bustling souks. Great accommodations can be found in the Riads, old historic Moroccan homes converted to Hotels. Fez is the home of Scenic Voyages one of the premier travel agencies in Morocco serving all travel from Europe and the US . The drive to the Sahara is 300 miles over the dramatic Atlas Mountains. Here great Moroccan specialties like tagine and cous cous can be tasted in restaurants along the mountains. Erfoud is the beginning of the Sahara. Great empty spaces populated by camels with occasional encampments of nomadic people. A four wheel drive is necessary to get to the the sand dunes of Merzouga. Overnight in a Berber Bivouac sleeping under the stars in the desert. sunrise comes while gliding on camelback on the golden sands of the Sahara . This is truly Spectacular. And a big surprise is the luxurious Breakfast at the bivouac. We drive to Zagora in the Dra Valley at the edge of the desert surrounded by oasis and Casbahs like Tifoultoute, ancient fortified towns still inhabited today Ouarzazate has the sprawling and impressive Atlas Film Studios where Gladiator and Kundun were filmed. In Marrakech a visit to the monumental Saadian Tombs is a must. The great Mosque needs to be seen. And then the Medina has some of the best shopping anywhere.. But the big story is in Djemaa Elfna, a grand open theater with storytellers, fire eaters, snake-charmers and endless open-air restaurants. Food stalls display the great variety of dishes of Moroccan cuisine. Taroudant is an ancient city in the south with the feel of an old market town. Local women grind a nut with healing properties called argan used to make cosmetic creams. Taroudant with its rug weaving and crafts tradition is a great shopping stop. Agadir is a resort town on the southern Atlantic with beaches that go on forever and endless luxury hotels. It is also one of the busiest fishing ports in North Africa, Next stop Essaouira, an 800 year old Atlantic port with a massive fort and charming café’s and restaurants. El Jadida with beautiful Atlantic beaches was a Portuguese settlement from the 15th to the 18th century and it is heavily surrounded by fortified walls. Last stop back in Casablanca. This hectic city slows down on the week-end and this is the last chance to experience the relaxed Moroccan way of life before returning home. Air travel courtesy of Royal Air Morocco Travel co-ordination courtesy of the Moroccan Tourist Board Morocco is a great and safe destination for students, families and meeting planners. www.scenicvoyage.com/ less

    The Mena House Oberoi, Cairo Egypt

    The Mena House Oberoi, Cairo Egypt

    Located on 40 acres of gardens right under the Pyramids the Mena House began as a huntin…moreLocated on 40 acres of gardens right under the Pyramids the Mena House began as a hunting lodge for Vice King Kedive Ismail. In 1869 he expanded the lodge on the occasion of the opening of the Suez Canal in order to impress visiting Empress Eugenie with the best views of the Pyramids. the Mena House Oberoi has played host to kings and Emperors,Heads of State and celebrities and not only boasts the best views of the Pyramids but also the only golf course right under them. less

    Saturnia, a Resort/Spa in Tuscany

    Saturnia, a Resort/Spa in Tuscany

    Maremma in Southern Tuscany is home to ….yes, Italian cowboy, state of the arts wineries…moreMaremma in Southern Tuscany is home to ….yes, Italian cowboy, state of the arts wineries and a spa resort which is a member of the leading Hotels the world. The Saturnia thermal baths are know since pre roman times. Water gushes out of an underground crater at the rate of 800 gallons per seconds filling the pools outside and inside the spa. The therapeutic value of the water lies in the high sulfur content and its moisturizing plankton. The resort is totally five star and pampering is the name of the game. There are numerous treatments at the spa but the active ingredient is always the moisturizing thermal plankton that has been the baths liquid gold for over 2000 years. Saturnia is a 2 hour drive from Rome or Florence. And definitely worth the trip. www.termedisaturnia.it/it/ less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Salvador de Bahia's Olodum Drums

    Salvador de Bahia's Olodum Drums

    The Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia, frequently called the Pelourinho, is extremely …moreThe Historic Centre of Salvador de Bahia, frequently called the Pelourinho, is extremely rich in historical monuments dating from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Bahia was the first colonial capital of Brazil and the city is one of the oldest in the New World (founded in 1549 by Portuguese settlers). It was also the first slave market on the continent, with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations. The Olodum drum band here helps young people find a purpose in spite of poverty and crime. Unesco declared Salvador de Bahia a World Heritage Site. less

    Volubilis a Roman city in Morocco

    Volubilis a Roman city in Morocco

    The Archaeological Site of Volubilis encompasses the remains of a Roman city that was cap…moreThe Archaeological Site of Volubilis encompasses the remains of a Roman city that was capital of Mauritania Tingitana. It is notable for its high number of mosaic floors. Also, marble and bronze statues have been found. The site was settled already in the 3rd century BC, before it was annexed by the Romans in about 40 AD. It has a favourable location, due to fertile grounds, for the cultivation of olives. At its heyday, the city probably had 20.000 inhabitants. Most of its large monuments such as the triumphal arch and capitol date from the 2nd and 3rd century AD. Volubilis has been declared by Unesco a World Heritage Site. less

    Balloons over Cappadocia, a World Heritage Site

    Balloons over Cappadocia, a World Heritage Site

    Wafting over the fairy chimneys in a Goreme hot air balloon. On the morning of the ecl…moreWafting over the fairy chimneys in a Goreme hot air balloon. On the morning of the eclipse, we awoke before dawn to set out on an unforgettable hot air balloon ride over the unearthly landscapes of Cappadocia. Unesco has declared Cappadocia a World Heritage Site. less