Palate

Top talent.

If the art of plating a dish didn’t already have its own set of challenges, certainly performing under a ticking clock in a room full of observers adds to that pressure. This past weekend at the Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts on Granville Island in Vancouver, British Columbia, eight of the country’s brightest new talent did just that.

Made in Italy.

From La Marzocco’s headquarters in Scarperia, just outside of Florence, the Italian king of espresso machinery is still an artisanal operation.

Bittered Sling small-batch extracts.

What happens when the worlds of award-winning mixologist/sommelier Lauren Mote and talented chef Jonathan Chovancek collide? Professional and personal lives fuse and Bittered Sling Extracts—an artisanal line of small-batch, high-quality cocktail bitters and culinary extracts—is born.

Back to the roots.

The common stereotypes of the wine world include the idea that all California wines are fruitbombs, high in alcohol, and full of oak. According to this image, California chardonnays are sweet, oaky, and lacking complexity or structure, and California cabernet sauvignons are intensely fruity and high-octane numbers, often with mouth-bruising tannins.

Fragile beauty.

The Russian Imperial court was a place of enormous opulence during the 18th and 19th centuries, especially at formal banquets. Tables groaned with crystal, silver, and gold, and as many as 300 different dishes. A taste of this is available at the Hermitage Amsterdam.

High-priority pie.

When the President of the United States comes calling, you answer. Even if that means arranging for a full-size, 1,800-kilogram Neapolitan pizza oven to be delivered to the tarmac of Washington’s Paine Field Airport so that you can personally cook for Barack Obama.

Bean-to-bar chocolate.

When you enter the shop on rue de la Roquette, you’re hit with the most luxurious of aromas: chocolate. And not just any chocolate but chocolate made in the open manufacture (workshop) on-site. This chocolate is so pure, all that’s missing is the cocoa plantation out back.

Sweet sips.

With cider’s lineage dating as far back as the Roman Empire and the Dark Ages, it’s a surprise that its popularity in North America didn’t peak sooner, but the drink is now experiencing a resurgence in Canada.

A good mix.

On the quiet end of East 6th Street in Austin, Texas sits Easy Tiger: a bake shop, eatery, and beer garden. The multi-purpose establishment, cloaked in wild ivy and overlooking quaint Waller Creek, invites in those curious about its seemingly contradictory offerings and encourages them to relax, stay awhile.