My portable frying pan

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Today I stopped to fill my gas tank at a Pilot gas station in Tennessee.  While I was buying a bottle of Fiji water and some nuts, I saw this portable 12 volt frying pan.  What I like about these type of gas stations is that since this type of station caters to many 18 wheeler truck drivers, they have lots of 12 volt crock pots that you can plug into your cigarette lighter and have a hot meal waiting for you at the end of a long drive.  They have 12 volt coolers, and coffee makers.  On the shelf I saw a new addition… it was a portable frying pan by Road Pro.  I don’t really know if it works well, but I bought it anyway.  As a chef, I think it’s a good thing to have a frying pan in the car just in case of emergencies.  As crazy as it sounds,  this portable frying pan may come in handy one day.  I will say that if we were on a road trip and the car broke down, I think you will want to be in my car since I can fry up some bologna sandwiches to pass the time as wait for the tow truck.

Our Restaurant Garden has been planted

We have begun planting our Union Hill Kitchen gardens. I will be able to grab freshly pulled herbs, tomatoes, figs and lettuces.

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Glaad Gala Atlanta

I will be cooking for the Glaad Gala in Atlanta on October 6th.  It is an honor to be cooking for this event.  The night promises to be a star-studded evening.  Kettle One Vodka drinks will be featured that evening and the cast from the Vampire Diaries will be there as well as other celebrities.

The menu had been written and tested and now I wait till next week to begin the process of prepping and getting things done in the kitchen.

If you are interested in getting tickets to the event, please click here.

Hong Kong in 48 Hours

I am in Hong Kong today and it is an amazing city that left me with my mouth – wide open.  Between 1950 – 1997 it was under British rule.  The island began as a small fishing village, it later became an important strategic military outpost and has become one of the world top 10 financial centers.  A mix of New York City, San Fransisco, Miami, and New England, this Asian wonderland competes with the top cities “The Peak” known as one of the highest places in Hong Kong where you can get a panoramic view of the city.  Most people buy a ticket and use the Peak Tram,  which is a train that travels to the peak.  If you feel like walking to the peak you can walk up windy paths through its tropical forests and see its lush hill sides and exotic wildlife.

 

There are four nature paths that offer you unobstructed views of the city that don’t cost a dime.  If you choose to walk up on one of the nature paths there are several to choose from that range from 20 minutes to 1 hour.  Click here to see the maps of the nature walks.

If you decide to take The Peak Tram, just pay to go up and back down.  Don’t pay to go to the Sky Terrace because is not worth the money and you can take pictures of the bay and they city for free at The Peak Galleria.   This is the mall that is at the top of The Peak.  The Peak Galleria mall has free wi-fi so you can certainly check in on Facebook at no charge.  There are stairs that go up to a deck right past the Starbucks where you can take pictures of the city for at no charge.  Save the money you would have used to go to the Peak and buy lunch at one the many restaurants that have large windows facing the bay and the city.

The Peak Tram

For inquiries :
For inquiries please contact :
Tel : (852) 2849 0668
Fax : (852) 2849 6237
Email : info@thepeak.com.hk

 

 

All of Asia in one restaurant – Staits Kitchen in Singapore

 

 

While staying at the Grand Hyatt in Singapore, I had dinner at a restaurant called Straits Kitchen.  It’s a very high-end buffet style dinner that has all the local foods under one roof.  If you want to get a taste of what Singapore has to offer and don’t want to set out into the city to taste the local cuisine, this is the place to go.  Indian, Chinese and Malay dishes are made fresh through out the evening.  The restaurant is perched in the Grand Hyatt Singapore.  You need to make reservations because the spaces fill up quickly.

If you are one of my Muslim friends, you can be confident in the fact that this kitchen is completely Halal certified as well as all the items in Grand Club.  The restaurant features different theater style kitchen stations. You can ask the chefs as many questions as you want about the food and they are more than happy to aid you in any way.  I had a little bite of each station and it was a deal at about $45 per person.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Straits Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt Singapore

10 Scotts Road,
Singapore, Republic of Singapore 228211
Tel: +65 6738 1234    Fax: +65 6732 1696

Dress code
Smart Casual

 

Singapore in 36 hours part II

Singapore has 2 restaurants that have been named Top 50 restaurants in the World.  One of them is Iggy’s in Singapore and is #28 on the list for 2009-2010 and in 2010-2011 The Miele Guide Asia’s  named it their Number One Restaurant.

The owner Ignatius Chan breaks conventional culinary styles and perceptions about Asian/European food.  Singapore has very little as it relates to agriculture, so chefs in Singapore select ingredients from both the northern and southern hemispheres to make their dishes.  This means that they have access to almost everything they could want as it relates to ingredients.

Iggy’s is innovative and pushes the envelope in flavor structure and textures.  With only six tables, you need to make a reservation to make sure you can experience the food.

While the world’s kitchens are plating up some variations of heirloom tomatoes, with basil and watermelon, Chef Ignatius is serving heirloom tomatoes, watermelon, gazpacho and sherry.  The flavors are recognizable to the palate but their construction are new.  It is expensive but worth it if you are looking for a great dinning experience.

I have always been curious how Asian food always has a great balance of crispness to their dishes.  It can be the addition of peanuts, or bean sprouts but regardless of the dish, there is usually a good balance of crunch.  While I sat at the bar at Iggy’s, since I was not able to nab a reservation in the main dinning room, I learned some things about how to add crunch to seemingly simple food.

I was impressed by several of the dishes.  One that I left an impression was the duck breast, sesame, cumin, carrot.

They cut the duck breast so that it resembled bacon and looked great on the plate.  The carrot purée and its crunchy texture interested me. I was impressed that the carrot purée had a wonderful amount of crunchiness.

I could not figure out what gave the crunch to the dish, and after I asked the head chef Akmal Anuar, I was told that they had used whole cumin seed and sesame seeds to give structure to the purée.  Simple but yet it was very smart to design the dishes that way.

The other dish I was fond of was the Sanma ( a Japanese mackeral), olives, brown rice and thyme.   The reason I liked this dish is  the same reason that liked the carrot purée.  The way the kitchen prepared the brown rice allowed it to keep its original soft and nutty characteristics but yet there were some pieces of the brown rice that were toasted separately or dried in an oven to give the dish the crunchiness.   If you are going to visit Singapore there are many great restaurants ranging from $25 per person to $450 per person.  I have added several restaurants for you to research prior to your trip.  One that was on the top of my list is Straits Kitchen. It serves a sample of the cuisine from Singapore and for my Mulsim friends, it is Halal certified.

 

Iggy’s

581 Orchard Road
The Hilton Level Three
Singapore 238881

Style:  Modern European

$85-$250

Au Jardin by Les Amis

Style: French

$35- $145

1 Cluny Road, EJH Corner House Singapore Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre, Singapore 259569,

 
Straits Kitchen at the Grand Hyatt Singapore
10 Scotts Road Grand Hyatt, Singapore 228211, Singapore
 
Style: Asian fushion/ high end buffet
 
Certified Halal restaurant
 
$55-$90

Melt at the Mandarin Oriental

5 Raffles Avenue, Marina Square, Singapore 039797

Style: World Cuisine/ high end buffet

$45-$80