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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

    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

    Chef Ken Frank of La Toque

    Chef Ken Frank of La Toque

    Napa Valley with its endless vineyards, year round freshness in its orchards and gardens …moreNapa Valley with its endless vineyards, year round freshness in its orchards and gardens is a perfect environment for wine and food pairing. Ken Ken Frank, has spent more than two- thirds of his life in the kitchen. He learned how to cook in France then moved in Los Angeles where he became a celebrity chef with his restaurant La Toque on Sunset pioneering food and wine pairing there. After running it for 15 years He moved to Napa because he says La Toque has always been a “wine restaurant” and he opened his new La Toque inside the Westin, a true ”wine Hotel”. Since the 70’s Ken has been experimenting with classic technique using the freshest local ingredients. Napa offered immediate access to fresh produce and the best heritage meat suppliers of Northern California. “Moving to Napa Valley was the smartest thing I’ve ever done,” says Frank. “I couldn’t have this kind of restaurant just anywhere.” From his early days in France Ken’s passion for innovation has always been fueled by his attachment to the soil . His move to Napa is part of his journey toward finding his authenticity as a chef in a rich natural environment. So what if it takes a little more travel time to eat at his restaurant? People will keep coming because excellence is the magnet. Michelin stars earned in 2007 and 2009 attest to that. Most recently La Toque was named one of “America’s Best Top 100 Wine Restaurants of 2011” in Wine Enthusiast Magazine. less

  • 10 Best Things To Do

    Luxury Wine Tour of Apulia

    Luxury Wine Tour of Apulia

    The region of Apulia at the heel of Italy has 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the re…moreThe region of Apulia at the heel of Italy has 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the country and its local sun drenched grapes make superb wines. On this trip you will meet some of the top winemakers of the region, taste their wines and be dazzled by Apulia’s undiscovered richness of wine, food and art . Join us on this spectacular tour. Castel del Monte in Andria is a 13th Century castle and a Unesco World Heritage Site. Carlo de Corato, Rivera’s owner says the unique terrain around the Castle combined with the cool breezes coming down from the Balkans are the reason for outstanding wines like Falcone. You’ll also taste other top wines like Cappellacio and Rupicolo. Mr. Cocevola oversees the working farm, and winery near Castel del Monte producing superior wines likeVandalo. Other good wines are Rosso Cocevola, Pampanuto and Il Tratto. La Corte in Fiore, Trani. Housed in a 16th Century building, this restaurant has won many awards for its seafood specialties. You will love it. Trani is a medieval town built on the Adriatic Sea with one of the most spectacular 13th Century Cathedrals right on the water. You’ll have special access to the cript with splendid frescoes and mosaics. Hidden in the midst of an ancient olive grove this 500 year old Masseria where you will be staying has been a fortress, a farm and a refuge for pilgrims. Today Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 5 star resort, a sublime mixture of Apulian rusticity and world class luxury where you’ll begin to understand the magical allure of Puglia. Alberobello is famous for its 1,500 conical trulli homes. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy strolling through the hilltop town of Martina Franca, a beautiful baroque city full of great churches and palazzos from the 17th and 18th century. Small fishing boats deliver the fish daily to the door of L’Ancora Restaurant built on the rocks right on the sea in Monopoli. Enjoy “crudo”, the Italian equivalent of sushi or their cooked specialties. Enjoy a free afternoon at Masseria Torre Coccaro with its own private beach on the Adriatic sea. For further pampering retreat to a cool spa built in in an underground cave. Ostuni known as "the White Town" is an architectural jewel with a striking medieval cathedral and endless winding streets to get lost in before your first glass of wine. At Torre Coccaro the Chef displays his remarkable skills at blending tradition with innovation using just picked seasonal foods grown locally on Coccaro’s land. A private yacht takes guests for swims in the crystal-water coves of Monopoli. Brindisi was a major port city during Roman times and a column still marks the end of the Appian way. Rubino is a family owned winemaker in Brindisi growing local varieties in vinyeards near the Adriatic sea. Luigi Rubino holds his wine tasting at the restaurant Penny, a hot spot on the harbour, housed in a 12th Century building in order to highlight food pairing. Enjoy a lunch with orecchiette, a local pasta specialty with fresh tomatoes and basil that works well with the red negroamaro. Then artichoke ravioli with shrimps sauteed in garlic and slivers of parmesan and tagliolini sauteed with squid and crabmeat, both served with the white malvasia called Giancola. Giancola is a beach on the Adriatic and the sea breezes give it its unique character. Rubino revived a 2000 year old indigenous vine called Sussumaniello producing a superb red called Torre Testa to be paired with red meat and aged cheeses. Cantine Due Palme in Cellino San Marco, is a co-operative of 1,000 growers specializing in local grape varieties like Negroamaro, Malvasia Nera and Primitivo. The Top wines Primitivo Ettamiano, Red Salice Talentino, Canonico Negroamaro, have consistently been winning awards. Taste their top wine Selvarossa with the enologyst and Winery Director Angelo Maci. Lecce is nicknamed "The Florence of the South" Because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments carved out of the local white stone. In Lecce you’ll stay at the Hotel Risorgimento, a five star Luxury Hotel in a spectacular 18th Century Palace in the heart of town . Have lunch at Atenze a landmark restaurant housed in a baroque palace with superb Apulian specialties. Go out on the town. Lecce at nite is a throbbing city in a magical setting. The original Leone de Castris was a Spanish nobleman who bought 10 thousand acres in 1665 planting olive trees and vines. The most famous is Five Roses born during World War II in discarded GI’s beer bottles when the wine became popular with U.S. top military brass. Taste the top wine of the collection: the Salice Salentino Donna Lisa. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the harbour from your Palazzo Papaleo, a 5 star hotel in a 17th Century palazzo next to the Cathedral. Walk around Otranto, a bustling sea side town with remarkable monuments from the Middle Ages. Meet the fishing boats as they unload their catch at the harbour with Chef Massimo of Vico Lopez Restaurant. You will pick the fish to eat at his restaurant that night. After this magical tour Apulia will have carved out a place in your heart forever. copyright Christinatours,LLC less

    10 Best: Berlin- Ka De We

    10 Best: Berlin- Ka De We

    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. This is Europe largest store with a legendary food Department on the 6th floor. Here Berliners come for oysters and champagne, restaurants come to buy fresh fish and anyone can get lost having to choose among 1,200 types of sausages,1,300 kinds of cheeses and 400 kinds of breads. A must see. Hosted by Julia Grimpe,a theater and TV star who resides in Berlin. less

    10 Best: Berlin-Potsdamer Platz

    10 Best: Berlin-Potsdamer Platz

    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. Once the busiest intersection in Europe, it was totalled during WWI and it remained a wasteland during the cold war with the wall running across it. After the wall came down, glittering new building mushroomed and with its new architectural landmarks like the Sony Center it is now a symbol of the new Berlin. Hosted by Julia Grimpe, a well known actress of theater and TV and a resident of Berlin. less

  • Great Hotels Of The World

    EXPLORING MADRID: THE PASEO DEL PRADO ARTS DISTRICT

    EXPLORING MADRID: THE PASEO DEL PRADO ARTS DISTRICT

    Four major museums, a world-class botanical garden, and culinary delicacies whet one’s ap…moreFour major museums, a world-class botanical garden, and culinary delicacies whet one’s appetite through this enticing taste of the alluring arts district of the Paseo del Prado in Madrid. Join Iris Brooks and Jon H. Davis of Northern Lights Studio as they explore Spain’s vibrant capital city in a cultural feast for all the senses. less

    Apulia Wine Tour promo

    Apulia Wine Tour promo

    The region of Apulia with 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the country ma…moreThe region of Apulia with 1000 hours more sunlight a year than the rest of the country make superb wines.Let iexplore guide you on this magical Luxury wine tour. You ‘ll toast with top winemakers and will be dazzled by Apulia’s richness of wine, art and food…. Right next to Castel del Monte is the Rivera winery and the unique terrain here is the reason for outstanding wines like Falcone. Mr. Cocevola with a working farm near the Castle produces also a superior wines likeVandalo. The restaurant Corte in Fiore in Trani has won many awards.You will love it. Trani boasts a spectacular 13th Century Cathedrals right on the Adriatic sea water with splendid frescoes and mosaics. You’ll be staying at a 500 year old farmhouse locally called Masseria hidden in the midst of an ancient olive grove. Today Masseria Torre Coccaro is a 5 star resort where you’ll begin to understand the magical allure of Puglia. Alberobello is famous for its 1,500 conical trulli homes. Today it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site. Stroll through the hilltop town of Martina Franca, a beautiful baroque city full of great churches and palazzos. Enjoy Masseria Torre Coccaro’s private beach on the Adriatic sea. Or retreat to their cool spa built in a cave. Ostuni known as "the White Town" is an architectural jewel with a striking medieval cathedral and endless winding streets to get lost in. At Torre Coccaro the Chef will seduce you with his delicious cuisine. Be wisked by private boat for a swim in the crystal-water coves of Monopoli. Brindisi has been a major wine grower since roman times. Luigi Rubino holds his wine tasting at the restaurant Penny in a 12th Century building in order to highlight food pairing. Be swept away by his superb red called Torre Testa . Cantine Due Palme, is a co-operative of 1,000 growers specializing in local grape varieties. Taste their top wine Selvarossa with the enologyst and Director Angelo Maci. Lecce is nicknamed "The Florence of the South" because of the rich Baroque architectural monuments carved out of the local white stone. In Lecce you’ll stay at the Hotel Risorgimento, a five star Luxury Hotel in a spectacular 18th Century Palace in the heart of town . Have lunch at Atenze a landmark restaurant housed in a baroque palace with superb Apulian specialties. Taste Leone de Castris Salice Salentino Donna Lisa, the top wine of the collection. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the harbour from Palazzo Papaleo, your own 5 star palazzo . Explore Otranto and its medieval monuments. After this magical tour with iexplore.com, Apulia will have carved out a place in your heart forever. For more information on this privately guided, dream luxury wine tour call us at 1-800 iexplore or visit iexplore.com less

    Mount Kenya Safari Club

    Mount Kenya Safari Club

    William Holden, the Hollywood actor, bought the Mount Kenya Safari Club on a whim in 1960…moreWilliam Holden, the Hollywood actor, bought the Mount Kenya Safari Club on a whim in 1960 and turned it into a hideway for the super-rich. This is a spectacular resort at the foot of Mount Kenya, the second tallest mountain in Africa. n 1989, the owners saw potential for a luxury tented camp in this space and set out a plan to build 40 tents with a rustic main building and facilities that would rival the best camps in the Mara and the Serengeti. The main building would house a dining room, bar and reception area for the comfort of our Guests. The grounds would feature winding paths through lush flora and boast a swimming pool and observation areas to gather and gaze at the hippos, the crocs and the incredible bird life that inhabits this part of Kenya. The Mara Safari Club opened its doors in 1989 as an offshoot of Mount Kenya Safari Club, hence the name Safari Club. The Club stands on 100 acres of land, leased from the late Senior Chief Lerionka Ole Ntutu. A tented sanctuary lying at the foot of the Aitong Hills, the Mara Safari Club is surrounded on three sides by the Mara River, on the edge of the world-famous Masai Mara National Reserve. The land the Club sits on was an old hunting camp that had been converted to use for photo tours with the ban on hunting in Kenya in 1976. Originally the retreat of the movie star and his friends, the Club's illustrious former members have included Winston Churchill and Bing Crosby. less

  • World Heritage Sites

    Damascus: historic city, part 2

    Damascus: historic city, part 2

    The Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus is one of the largest and…moreThe Umayyad Mosque, also known as the Great Mosque of Damascus is one of the largest and oldest mosques in the world. It is considered the fourth-holiest place in Islam. After the Arab conquest of Damascus in 634, the mosque was built on the site of a Christian basilica dedicated to John the Baptist. The mosque holds a shrine which today may still contain the head of John the Baptist, honored as a prophet by both Christians and Muslims alike, and is believed to be the place where Isa (Jesus) will return at the End of Days. The tomb of Saladin stands in a small garden adjoining the north wall of the mosque and holds the resting place and grave of the medieval Kurdish Ayyubid Sultan Saladin. The mausoleum was built in 1196, three years after the death of Saladin. Al-Adiliyah Madrasa, a madrasah or religious school founded in 1215 by Sultan Al-Adil I. He was buried in the school. The madrasa is considered an important example of Ayyubid architecture in Syria. The Old City of Damascus is a Unesco World Heritage Site. less

    The Trulli of Alberobello, Italy

    The Trulli of Alberobello, Italy

    The trulli , limestone dwellings found in the southern region of Puglia mainly in the to…moreThe trulli , limestone dwellings found in the southern region of Puglia mainly in the town of Alberobello are remarkable examples of drywall (mortarless) construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. The trulli are made of roughly worked limestone boulders collected from neighbouring fields. Characteristically, they feature pyramidal, domed or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs. The town of Alberobello has been declared by Unesco a World heritage site. less

    Split Diocletian Palace

    Split Diocletian Palace

    Split is a World Heritage Site on the Adriatic coast of Croatia with a very old history: …moreSplit is a World Heritage Site on the Adriatic coast of Croatia with a very old history: it has an amazing old city built inside the huge palace built by the Roman Emperors’ Diocletian. Diocletian built the massive palace in preparation for his retirement on 1 May 305 AD. It lies in a bay on the south side of a short peninsula running out from the Dalmatian coast, four miles from Salona, the capital of the Roman province of Dalmatia. After the Romans abandoned the site, the Palace remained empty for several centuries. In the 7th century nearby residents fled to the walled palace to escape invading barbarians. Since then the palace has been occupied, with residents making their homes and businesses within the palace basement and directly in its walls.[1] Today many restaurants and shops, and some homes, can still be found within the walls. This palace is today, with all the most important historical buildings, in the centre of the city of Split. Diocletian's Palace far transcends local importance because of its degree of preservation. The Palace is one of the most famous and complete architectural and cultural features on the Croatian Adriatic coast. As the world's most complete remains of a Roman palace, it holds an outstanding place in Mediterranean, European and world heritage. less