Connect with us

Gastronomy

Chef Michael Voltaggio’s kitchen essentials inspire culinary innovation

platinum

Published

on

When award-winning chef and culinary visionary Michael Voltaggio was remodeling his West Hollywood home, he purposefully selected kitchen essentials that facilitate restaurant-level culinary innovation in a residential setting. Chef Voltaggio’s home kitchen couples superior functionality with style, integrating handpicked fixtures and tools of the trade necessary to establish an environment that inspires an elevated culinary process.

Mindful mise en place

One of the most important lessons a chef learns is the concept of mise en place — French for “everything in its place” — to streamline organization and enable efficiency. With expert forethought and understanding of the importance of countertops as a prep canvas, Michael incorporated creative cabinetry and storage solutions into his home kitchen, creating a clean, structured environment. To maximize space, he used his favored methods, such as a vacuum pack machine to clear freezer space, and stackable containers to organize ingredients and increase efficiency. Infusing versatility wherever possible is also key to a high-functioning kitchen. Michael incorporated a rolling cutting board island to provide more prep space when needed, and to be used as a serving station while entertaining.

Tools meet technique

Seamless integration of carefully selected everyday essentials will ensure an at-home chef is set up for success in the kitchen. Michael’s personal kitchen is no exception, being fully equipped with must-have tools such as a customized knife set made to ensure comfort and secure handling, an immersion circulator for commercial-style sous vide cooking, and a Japanese mandoline to slice consistently sized portions for a professional meal aesthetic. Each tool should serve a purpose, enhancing individual technique and empowering the user to cook at restaurant-level quality.

Sophisticated functionality

As an anchor fixture in the culinary process, the faucet serves as a key essential for function and design in Michael’s kitchen. The Solna Articulating Kitchen Faucet with SmartTouch Technology by Brizo is inspired by a sleek, Scandinavian aesthetic, bringing crisp lines and beautiful simplicity into any kitchen. Akin to the industrial feel of a commercial kitchen, the faucet’s design offers a full range of motion, a magnetic docking system and innovative touch technology that allows simple water activation ideal for fast-paced kitchen environments. Merge functionality of this caliber with sleek design elements to create a contemporary, commercial-inspired setting in the comfort of a residential kitchen space.

Ceaseless inspiration

Maintaining a source of creative inspiration will ensure at-home cooks are constantly evolving and refining their culinary skills. A must-have essential for Michael is the ever-present stack of cookbooks, offering new and unexplored recipes of classical chefs and contemporaries alike. A dedicated place to take notes also enhances a chef’s ability to ideate while experimenting in the kitchen. Build in space for a chalkboard or whiteboard to plan and curate recipes, enabling real-time improvisation and setting a foundation for restaurant-worthy culinary creativity.

Gastronomy

The Sweet Life: Cakes, Tarte Flambée and Savoury Puffs, Oh My!

platinum

Published

on

Calling all sugar fiends!  Cakes, tarte flambée and savoury puffs, oh my!  Forgo the urge for a doughnut or chocolate chip cookie (that is so 2017!), instead opt for something on the sugar spectrum that is anything but ordinary.  Welcome to Decadent – the contemporary café and patisserie shop by Four Seasons Hotel Kuala Lumpur dedicated to satisfying life’s sweet indulgences with the finest, handcrafted artisanal confections.

In typical Four Seasons fashion, the Hotel has thought of everything for travellers – from personal running coaches at the Fitness Centre to a resort-style rooftop pool in the heart of the city, and now the Hotel’s very own sweet shop to please the most discerning palates and most importantly, enjoy the sweet life.

As with its namesake, Decadent offers an extravagant, yet equally playful and hedonistic menu of edible art featuring modern twists on old classics.  Here, the confections are displayed like a whimsical jewel box, featuring everything from made-to-order gelato to artisanal chocolates, seasonal tarts, desserts, baked goods, pastries and delicate cakes.  Just as dreamy, Decadent features an assortment of artisanal, hand-roasted coffee ranging from nitro coffee to class espresso, well suited for the connoisseur and pairs well with any of the confections.

Led by Pastry Chef Guillaume Guirand, who hails from France, the fanciful atmosphere combined with the delicious assortment showcases Four Seasons commitment to artisanal quality and authentic craftsmanship.  “Growing up in France, pastry was a way of everyday life, it was about taking a moment to enjoy life’s sweet indulgences,” notes Chef Guirand.  Taking a cue from Chef Guirand’s childhood, Decadent is the perfect excuse to take that moment. Inspired by Europe’s leading chocolatiers, the shop offers the perfect temptation to take a moment to indulge and features a live chocolate tempering station with custom made brittles that include classic, new and Malaysian inspired ingredients.  Similarly, the gelateria offers made-to-order ice cream and sherbet, using the finest quality of seasonal fruit puree and natural flavours from Malaysia.

Discover Decadent, and discover the sweet life in Kuala Lumpur.

Continue Reading

Gastronomy

A Homage to Tradition: Preserved Eggs and Pickled Ginger Mooncake

platinum

Published

on

For 13 years, Lung King Heen’s preserved eggs and pickled ginger mooncakes have been revered by those who enjoy traditional Cantonese flavours during Mid-Autumn Festival. Chinese Executive Chef Chan Yan Tak revealed that his inspiration came from a Chinese bridal pastry named Century Egg Tart – an egg shaped puff pastry encased with a layer of lotus seed paste, whole century egg yolk and pickled ginger. For centuries, this pastry was gifted to Chinese brides-to-besduring the betrothal ceremony, hoping that soon after marriage she will bear a child and the pickled ginger will satisfy her sour cravings during pregnancy.

Paying respect to his roots, Chef Tak preserved this heritage by reinventing this traditional pastry into the form of a mooncake. Instead of using lard in the puff pastry, Lung King Heen substitutes it with butter for its rich, creamy scent and flaky texture. In each bite of the square shaped mooncake, you get the complex and well layered flavour profile of sweetness from the lotus seed paste, creaminess from the century egg yolk and tartness from the homemade pickled ginger. When it comes to century egg, it is known to be an acquired taste, you either love it or hate it!

Continue Reading

Gastronomy

Chocolate pairings: Innovative entertaining with a sweet twist

platinum

Published

on

Whether a fancy five-course social event, a laid-back barbecue or a progressive dinner party, what separates average from impressive entertaining is innovative and original ideas. One way to surely catch the attention of your guests while tempting their taste buds is to feature chocolate pairings in your entertaining itinerary.

Fine chocolates add decadence to any event, but they are relatable and broadly enjoyed. Chocolate platters have replaced cheese platters at soirees, but what’s really on trend for 2018 is chocolate pairings. This interactive offering is a conversation starter that will delight guests — the perfect way to conclude a meal with friends or family.

While the idea of chocolate pairings might seem complex, it’s actually quite simple. These tips from the expert chefs who create Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates will make it virtually effortless to pair fine chocolates with beer, wine and spirits so you can impress guests at your next event.

Offer an array of flavors

To ensure you have something for all guests no matter their preferences, opt for a variety of chocolates. Selections from the white, milk and dark chocolate categories offer an array of flavors. Some guests may gravitate to one over others, while other guests may choose to sample all three varieties. Suggest sampling from light to dark to balance the palate.

Pairing 1 suggestion: White chocolate

White chocolate is sweet and buttery, integrated into numerous types of confections, many of which feature fruit. The Kohler Cranberry Terrapin showcases cranberries and white chocolate with its signature smoky caramel. Cranberry and white chocolate are delicate flavors and this piece is crafted so that those flavors balance well and are not overpowered by the smokiness of the caramel.

With that in mind, consider serving with a a stout beer that will bring out that buttery goodness. If selecting a wine pairing, opt for a zinfandel or another variety that won’t overpower those delicate flavors. Spirits can be a nice pairing addition, too. A classic bourbon complements the smoky caramel perfectly.

Pairing 2 suggestion: Milk chocolate

Americans adore milk chocolate and expert chocolatiers can transform this delight into virtually endless tempting flavors. The Kohler Butterscotch Hop is one such example. The smooth, creamy butterscotch filling is enhanced by a custom blend of premium chocolate to elevate this flavor combination. It’s velvety on the tongue with a light finish, plus the beautiful mold impresses the eye.

Milk chocolate is smooth and sweet, and drink pairings should complement that element without overwhelming. A light crisp beer or a refreshing chardonnay brings out the buttery undertones of silky-smooth milk chocolate. If you decide to serve butterscotch, it’s sure to be unique as it’s a pretty rare find in the chocolate world. A honey whiskey is the perfect pair for butterscotch chocolates.

Pairing 3 suggestion: Dark chocolate

Rich and undeniably decadent, dark chocolate is the ideal final pairing to offer guests. The flavors of coffee and dark chocolate are often fused together as they mingle together well. For example, the Kohler Caffé and Cream has dark chocolate coffee ganache with a layer of creamy mascarpone in a dark chocolate shell. This multi-layer chocolate is meticulously crafted and offers a burst of satisfying richness.

A bold, rich beer or heavy ale matches dark chocolate well. A tawny port that isn’t too fruity can be a nice complement to coffee flavors while bringing out the dark chocolate elements. Finally, a sweeter bourbon with a smoky finish pairs nicely with the dark chocolate, which in turn brings out the barrel notes of the spirit.

Serving

You can serve chocolate pairings in a variety of ways. If you prefer to set up a beautiful buffet, you can display chocolates on a platter and place drink pairings nearby, each labeled appropriately. Guests can help themselves at their leisure. You may also opt to serve guests by bringing out each pairing one by one and offering guests their choice of beverage to pair with the featured chocolate. No matter how you choose to serve, it’s bound to be a memorable moment at a fantastic event.

Continue Reading

Latest

Facebook

Trending

Copyright © 2018 Modern Diplomacy