Award-winning cookbook author, Lee Clayton Roper, shows home cooks how to explore their culinary creativity with her award-winning, delicious cookbook, Fresh Tastes. This beautiful book delivers over 170 flavorful recipes, essential cooking tips and delightful stories to spark inspiration in your kitchen.
Bottoms Up! Award-winning Miami Mixologist Josue Gonzalez from DÔA Miami Beach (2000 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach) has created an over-the-top luxury margarita specifically for those looking to take their Cinco de Mayo to the next level: $750 USD for one, $1000 USD for the pair, $2500 USD for table service.
Crafted with luxury in mind, the Allaire Royal Gold Margarita at DÔA features premium Allaire Collection Privee Tequila. Served in a Waterford Crystal Margarita Glass, rimmed with hand-harvested Sal de Ibiza Fleur de Sel, garnished with 24K Gold Flakes and 24K Gold encrusted lime wedge – The experience with the World’s Most Opulent Margarita doesn’t end when the lucky guest leaves DÔA — purchase price includes all the materials used to create the cocktail including: Waterford Crystal Margarita Glass(es), 24K Thai Elephant Gold Leaf for the lime, a silver-plated serving platter, gold plated mixing spoon and gold plated straws.
*Available only on Cinco de Mayo!
Allaire Royal Gold Margarita:
3 oz. Allaire Collection Privee Tequila
1 ½ oz. Fresh squeezed premium lime juice
1 oz. Grand Marnier Cuvee du Centenaire – 100 Year Anniversary
Shaken over purified spring ice,
Strained into a 24k Gold plated Shaker,
Coat half the crystal glass rim with hand-harvested Sal de Ibiza Fleur de Sel
Pour into Waterford Crystal Margarita Glass
Garnish 24K Thai Elephant Gold Leaf coated lime slice
Served on silver plated platter with gold plated mixing spoon and gold plated straws
Allaire Royal Gold Margarita is available at DÔA in South Beach for $750 for one, $1000 for pair and $2500 as table side service leaving plenty of margarita to share!
Sal de Ibiza Fleur de Sel: For over 2,700 years, a sea-salt of premium quality has been harvested in the saline fields on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. The island’s inhabitants have always been very proud of their marine salt, regarded as one of the best of its kind. The supreme “Queen of Salts” however, hand-harvested in the Nature Reserve of the “Parc natural de ses Salines d’Eivissa”, is the “Fleur de Sel” (Blossom of Salt). Unique in taste and texture, it is a rare and precious delicacy. The fragile “Fleur de Sel” crystals only form in conditions of abundant bright sunshine, low humidity and gentle winds. “Fleur de Sel” is exceptionally rich in vital minerals and trace-elements. It is a surprisingly mild, yet very aromatic and a tasty salt. For the Silo, Jessica Kirk.
With the global luxury market collectively growing at 4 percent to an estimated $1.15USD (€1.08) trillion in 2016, according to a recent “Bain & Company Luxury Study,” coupled with optimistic forecasts that the luxury goods market will pick up this year, the hospitality industry is gearing up for elevated demand among both leisure and business travelers. This amid evidence that, despite widespread geopolitical uncertainties, luxury consumers are redirecting their spending toward new and more personalized high-end experiences like luxury travel, food and wine.
“The luxury market has reached a maturation point,” said Claudia D’Arpizio, lead author of the study. “Brands can no longer rely on low-hanging fruit. Instead, they really need to implement differentiating strategies to succeed going forward. We are already starting to see clear polarization when it comes to performance with winners and losers emerging across product categories and segments.”
D’Arpizio also underscored that personal luxury market brands that “take an omni-channel, customer-centric approach will rise to the top.” Such is the prevailing wisdom for both the B2C and B2B luxury travel sector, specifically, with personalized experiences, quality of service and private booking options serving as primary distinguishing factors for luxe brand positioning throughout 2017 and beyond.
Here how these key drivers will converge with evolving luxury travel trends to greatly influence various vertical sectors—and, in doing so, the marketplace at large—in the months ahead:
1. Small group cultural immersions loom large.
Travelers are increasingly seeking exclusive and regionally-authentic itineraries that cater to small groups. Tour companies like Fort Washington, Pennsylvania-based Gate 1 Travel are capitalizing on this trend with offerings that provide the convenience of an escorted tour with the intimate view of local cultures that large groups just can’t provide. “Our small group tours option has seen, by far, the most significant increase in booking volume–up 50% in 2016,” the company reports.
A City Lodge Hotel Group report concurs that the trend of being “connoisseurs of local culture” will boom this year. It emphasizes that indigenous tourism experiences and cultural immersion will remain a big factor whether traveling within your own home country or jaunting to faraway lands. “We’ll see more people wanting to visit more than the big landmarks and monuments of their destination,” it says. “Rather people are more likely to be interested in knowing about the locals–those that call that place home. Trips to the rural communities will become popular, and travelers are likely to be more interested in private guides that teach them about the traditional ways of life.”
2. Private villa travel surpassing leading luxe resorts.
Today’s breed of private villa rentals have become the ultimate in luxury travel lodging for vacationers and business travelers, alike. This is due to the vast array of benefits and creature comforts it proffers for couples, families and small groups. While maximized privacy and security, uber-tailored guest service and 5-star accommodations and amenities are chief reasons the trend toward private villa lodging is exploding, an elite few have offerings far beyond that don’t just rival, but far exceed, those offered by high-end resorts, including their elite Penthouse suit options.
According to luxury travel agent Sandy Webb who books elite vacations all over the world “private villa residences offering first class, one-of-a-kind services are ushering in an entirely new era of bespoke hospitality around the globe. They are, in fact, single handedly setting a new and decidedly elevated standard for luxe travel worldwide.”
One private villa exemplifying this new standard is Casa Dos Cisnes–Puerto Vallarta’s foremost premier private oceanfront villa vacation experience. This 10,000 square foot Casa Dos Cisnes property, a five-bedroom colonial style home with breathtaking views of the Pacific that can accommodate up to 10 adults, goes well over-and-above to ensure each guest’s needs, desires, hopes and expectations for an extraordinary private villa vacation are fulfilled.
According to owner Cathryn Arnell, this includes proffering a bevy of premium benefits, including an authentic and stylishly-appointed residential setting, custom-prepared gourmet meals from an on-site private chef, 24/7 bilingual butler service and multiple staff, monitored security, housecleaning services, private infinity-edge ocean view pool, fully equipped state-of-the-art gym, large media-entertainment room, concierge and spa service, musicians for hire, sports and boating excursions, VIP treatment at the city’s leading beach club and most renowned restaurants, and more. “Given that guests enjoy complete privacy and security in the most exclusive area in Puerto Vallarta, commandeering the entire 10,000 square foot space with all of the relaxation, solitude and discretion that affords, the result is a one-of-a-kind holiday providing an unparalleled culinary and luxury living experience.”
3. Higher caliber private jet jaunts.
According to Sergey Petrossov, founder and CEO of JetSmarter—an industry-leading private jet company based in Dubai, people are increasingly growing accustomed to personalized experiences, so much so, that it isn’t a demand anymore; it is now an expectation that needs to be met.
In order for brands to be memorable, they need to remember their customers and offer unique customized experiences. For its part, this JetSmarter achieves by placing a heavy emphasis on member relationships, with each assigned a relationship manager who is responsible for creating personalized and customizable private travel experiences.
JetSmarter also cites that there’s a very thin line between high-end and luxury, with the difference barely noticeable. “The travel industry is inundated with both high-end and luxury brands, however the distinction is relatively minor,” Petrossov said. “People often confuse high-end brands for luxury ones. Luxury brands essentially need to heighten their levels of service to be able to distinguish themselves from their high-end counterparts.”
4. Next-gen travel tech eases and expedites.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another tech trend that will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. According to Advito’s 2017 Industry Forecast, AI has already enabled a range of apps, bots and software that makes it easier for industry purveyors to interact with travelers at every step of a trip to expedite, ease and enhance. AI automates computer processes to work in the same way as the human brain. Natural language processing (NLP) helps computers understand human speech or typing, and AI then applies machine learning to provide a useful response.
Advito reveals that the travel industry is “well-positioned to embrace AI,” and also that the wider travel industry is adopting AI as, for example, KLM passengers are now able to use Facebook Messenger to confirm bookings, get boarding passes and flight status updates. “AI is still in its infancy, but it is in our immediate future,” the report asserts. “As it develops, it will help simplify complex travel decisions, shorten the buying process and deliver a more personalized offering.”
5. Game changing smart suitcases solve perennial problems.
Travel is tough enough in the best of circumstances and is all-too-often replete with challenges. From crowded freeways, overbooked flights, Wi-Fi downtime and generally not having necessary items at hand, getting from point A to point B can be fraught with more than its fair share of frustrations. Not surprisingly, technologists have responded with problem-solving gadgets and gear that exemplify tremendous innovation and ingenuity both in concept and execution. One glowing example of this is the Bluesmart Suitcase. Billed as “the world’s first smart suitcase,” this carry-on keeps traveler’s belongings tracked, devices charged, bag secure and trips hassle-free thanks to integrated technology that syncs to an associated mobile app that’s compatible with both iPhone and Android.
The suitcase features a built-in battery/charger with 2 USB ports. The substantial 10.000 mAh battery can charge your phone up to six times, juicing up this and any other USB-connectable device from the USB port on the back or the inside. The bag also boasts a 3G+GPS tracker with global coverage to track the suitcase anywhere in the world; a scale built right into the handle that interfaces with the app to tell you the approximate weight of your suitcase; and a remote digital lock that can be set up to lock itself when you step away and to unlock when you return. The TSA- approved smart lock provides distance alerts, notifying you if you leave it behind. Of course, the bag needs to carry you belongings, so the main compartment does provide large space for clothes, shoes, and coats, while a secondary TSA-friendly compartment is able to accommodate up to a 15″ laptop.
Despite the fact that luxury sales fell flat in 2016 as consumers shunned traditional products, it’s experiences—namely travel and entertainment—that are predicted to drive sector sales growth up ahead. “There is a progressive shift from physical products to experiences, especially in the last year,” Federica Levato, partner at Bain & Company and co-author of the study, told Reuters, predicting that trend would continue. With the world economy poised to regain momentum this year and the penchant among wealthy consumers to spend on travel and gourmet food and wine rather than clothes and accessories, the future is bright for high-end hospitality. For the Silo, Merilee Kern.
About the author: Branding, business and entrepreneurship success pundit, Merilee Kern, MBA, is an influential media voice and lauded communications strategist. As the Executive Editor and Producer of “The Luxe List International News Syndicate,” she’s a revered consumer product trends expert and travel industry voice of authority who spotlights noteworthy marketplace change makers, movers and shakers. Merilee may be reached online at www.TheLuxeList.com. Follow her on Twitter here: http://twitter.com/LuxeListEditor and Facebook here: www.Facebook.com/TheLuxeList.
Spotlight image- centraljetcharter.com
Thinking about celebrating Day of the Dead in a unique way? How about Quito, Ecuador. The capital, also known as the Middle of the World, not only has the largest and best preserved historic center in America, but it also has one of the richest cultures in the continent and Day of the Dead or Dia de los Difuntos is no exception.
Every November 2, cemeteries are decorated with flowers, freshly painted crosses, pictures and cards to celebrate the Day of the Dead in Quito. Early in the morning, thousands of Ecuadorians remember their family members and friends who’ve passed away with prayers, vigils and songs. This popular holiday merges hundreds of years of traditions in a fusion of Catholic and indigenous rites, where faith and religion come to life in an act of profound significance.
The oldest towns in Ecuador have been celebrating the dead since before the arrival of the Spaniards, but with Christianity, the tradition was adapted to the Catholic calendar. Today, the streets near the cemeteries fill with locals selling flowers and prayer cards and food trucks providing typical cuisine such as colada morada and guaguas de pan, which represent the religious syncretism and culinary fusion of the holiday. At the Calderon Cemetery, about 30 minutes from Quito, indigenous communities visit the graves of their loved ones and share the favorite food of the person who passed away as a way to honor them and communicate with them, with the belief that the deceased live a similar life than the one they lived while alive.
The preparation of these dishes also serve as a reason for the entire family to get together. Colada morada, one of the typical beverages for the Day of the Dead, is a drink of indigenous origin and one of the most traditional delicacies of Quito’s cuisine. Prepared with a base of black corn, blueberries, blackberries, pineapple, orange and other fruits and herbs, colada morada is accompanied by the traditional guagua de pan, sweet breads shaped into baby-like figures made with wheat flour and, in some places, with cornmeal from grains from the Ecuadorian Andes.
The guaguas de pan are reminiscent of the dead, especially children (hence the name guagua, which means child in Quechua). Its origin dates back to the nineteenth century and today are normally filled with guava, figs, chocolate, raisins and custard or tree tomato. For the Silo, Luciana Soula.
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“Every story and every memory from my childhood is attached to food,” Dawn Lerman writes. Our relationship with food starts at a very young age: what and how we eat is often determined by our environment and our upbringing. Our eating habits and snack tastes are cultivated by our family members’ relationships to food, for better or worse. Dawn knows this first hand. The author of the New York Times Well Blog series, “My Fat Dad,” shares her food journey and that of her father, a brilliant copywriter from the “Mad Men” era of advertising at Leo Burnett and McCann Erickson, in her book, MY FAT DAD: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family, with Recipes (Berkeley; September 29, 2015; Trade paperback/$USD16.00).
Dawn’s father was known for his witty ad campaigns; he was responsible for such iconic slogans as “Coke Is It,” “This Bud’s for You,” and “Leggo My Eggo.” Unfortunately, he was not able to use the same problem-solving skills when it came to his weight. Dawn’s father was obese as she was growing up —450 pounds at his heaviest. His weight would go up and down like an elevator, depending on what fad diet he was on–or what ad campaign he was assigned to. He insisted Dawn, her mother and sister adapt to his saccharine-laced, freeze-dried food plans to help keep him on track. Dawn’s mother never cooked and she witnessed her mother eat only one real meal a day—a can of tuna over the kitchen sink—while she dashed from audition to audition pursuing an acting career.
“As far back as I can remember, there was an invisible wall that separated me from my dad, a distance that I could never completely penetrate,” Dawn remembers. “His closest relationship was with the bathroom scale – his first stop every morning and his last stop every evening. The scale controlled his moods, our days, what we were going to eat and basically ruled our family life.”
Snacks were a particular downfall of her father, especially when he was working on fast food marketing campaigns. “My dad felt that in order to create a good slogan, you needed to believe in the products you were selling,” Dawn explains. “He was always the best customer for the food and drinks he advertised, testing them excessively—especially when Wells Rich & Green promoted him to head creative director for Pringles potato chips”
Listening to him crunch away canister after canister on the crispy snacks in the privacy of his room– trying to come up with the perfect slogan, Dawn knew she had to get inventive to help her dad get healthy while still staying inspired. At 9 years old Dawn had become the official chef for her family, turning her maternal grandmother Beauty’s Jewish weekly recipe cards into diet friendly meals and treats that would keep her dad motivated. It was her grandmother who instilled in Dawn a passion for cooking for oneself and others as she learned that the best food is prepared with the freshest ingredient.
One recipe Dawn developed during that time was her special homemade hot air popped corn coated in ranch seasoning. Upon trying it her father declared “Dawn now that you popped, you can’t stop!” That statement of delight was the kernel of an idea that took her dad around the world– filming highly attractive people on beaches and other fun places, joyfully indulging in Pringles potato crisps that exploded out of the can as the top popped off while the voice over announced…” Once You Pop, You Can’t Stop!”
This spring and summer try these healthy and delicious snacks from My Fat Dad with no stopping required. The potato chip recipe, derived from that long-ago hot air popped corn recipe, can be enjoyed throughout out the day as they are satiating and nutritious. Pair it with Dawn’s Hummus recipe, which is loaded with protein. The combo of complex carbs, protein and healthy fats –will fill you up without weighing you down. A win-win for both mood, energy, and weight control!
Recipes below from MY FAT DAD: A Memoir of Food, Love, Family, and Recipes By Dawn Lerman
MY FAT DAD: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family, with Recipes By Dawn Lerman Berkeley / 2015 Trade Paperback/$16.00
Herb Infused Ranch Style Sweet Potato Chips with Coconut Oil
Yields: 4-6 servings
These sweet potato chips are crunchy, slightly salty, and have that wonderful ranch taste. They are a healthy take on traditional store bought chips. They are fried in coconut oil– which not only helps the chips to brown beautifully, but aids in speeding up your metabolism. They are a constant staple in my formerly fat dad– 450 pounds, now 210 pound –snacking regime.
4 large sweet potatoes, can also use white potato’s or beets
1/2 cup coconut oil
1 teaspoon of dried parsley
1 teaspoon of garlic salt
I teaspoon of onion powder
1 teaspoon of minced onion
Sea salt for seasoning
Fresh thyme for garnish
Pre heat oven to 375 degrees, scrub potatoes to remove dirt. Then slice into thin, even pieces. You can cut them by hand or use a slicing attachment on a food processor. Rinse your potato slices in cold water. Now soak the slices in cold water for 30 minutes.
Drain the potatoes and lay them on a paper towel or paper keeping them slightly moist. Dip in bowl with herb mixture –dried parsley, garlic salt, and onion powder. Make sure chips are coated.
In a skillet melt the coconut oil over medium heat. When the oil sizzles place them in the oil for about 1 min till they get slightly brown. Do not over crowd the pan. Best to do in small batches. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove your chips from the coconut oil. Drain the chips on a layer of paper towels, and repeat till all chips have been fried and blotted.
Then place all the cooked chips on a baking sheet and bake for 1 minute. Remove and serve warm. Sprinkle with sea salt and garnish with fresh thyme.
*NOTE: if you do not want to fry the chips you can take coated chips, lay them out on a baking sheet sprayed with coconut oil and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees until golden brown.
Sweet Potato Hummus
Yields: 6 servings
If you are looking for a light, healthy snack this sweet potato hummus is bursting with flavor, spice and color. Because of its high protein content, it will help control your appetite and mood. My dad named it the caviar of hummus—exclaiming, that it was almost illegal for something so nutritious to be this delicious. Pair this with my Potato Chip recipe for the perfect blending of protein and carbs.
1 large sweet potato (about 9 ounces)
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
5 tablespoons olive oil (plus additional, as needed, for thinning)
2 tablespoons tahini
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Pinch of nutmeg
Position the baking rack in the middle and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Wrap the sweet potato in foil and bake in a shallow baking pan until it can be easily pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow the potato to cool completely.
Peel the skin off the sweet potato and transfer to a food processor fitted with a blade. Add the chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, salt, and nutmeg, and process until smooth. If the hummus is too thick, add a little extra olive oil or water and process until the desired consistency is reached.
MY FAT DAD is as much a coming of age memoir as it is a recipe collection from Dawn’s upbringing and culinary adventures in Manhattan. Her recipes include some of her grandmother’s favorite traditional Jewish dishes, to healthier interpretations and creations. Her father’s life-long struggle with food, along with her grandmother’s love of cooking fresh foods, led Dawn to become a well-respected nutritionist, NY Times blogger and chronicle her story in her best-selling book. Today her dad is a healthy 210 pounds and vegan.
“Dawn Lerman grew up Jewish in the 70’s. I grew up Italian. Might sound different, but for the most part, it’s the same. Especially when it comes to food. The philosophy was simple, food = love. My Fat Dad hilariously and poignantly captures that essence. Whether you’re Italian, Jewish, or anything else you can relate to how family, food, and the love of both affect how we grow up, and live our life. Mangia!”
—Ray Romano, Emmy award-winning actor
“The Manhattan nutritionist was raised by a diet junkie who tried every regimen under the sun and food — or the lack of it — ruled her life. My Fat Dad is about her eccentric upbringing and her constant state of hunger as Albert imposed his wacky ways on the whole family.” The New York Post
“My Fat Dad is an exploration of the many ways food shapes our connection to family. It also includes many delightful recipes.” Michel Martin, NPR, All Things Considered
“It is clear Lerman ‘s life is centered around the table and she gives readers a seat at hers” Baltimore Jewish Times
” ‘My Fat Dad’ is a memoir of food, love and starvation” New York Daily News
ABOUT DAWN LERMAN, MA, CHHC, LCAT
Dawn Lerman is a Manhattan based nutritionist, bestselling author of My Fat Dad: A Memoir of Food, Love, and Family with Recipes, and a contributor to the New York Times Well Blog. She has been featured on NBC, NPR, Huff Post TV as well as several other news outlets. Her company Magnificent Mommies provides nutrition education to student, teachers and corporation. Dawn counsels clients on weight loss, diabetes, high blood pressure, and other diet-related conditions. She is a sought-after speaker and cooking teacher and lives in New York with her two children.
For more information about Dawn, go to www.DawnLerman.net .
Jack Nicholson, playing The Joker in the 1989 Tim Burton film Batman, said “I don’t know if it’s art, but I LIKE IT!” Looking at artist Sarah Smith’s ersatz ceramic food sculptures I am convinced this work is incredibly effective art. And I like that. A lot.
Part of Smith’s inspiration comes from the cultural differences found when it comes to food preparation and presentation. From her experiences, European’s tend to favor and appreciate food that not only tastes good but looks just as good to match. In the discipline known as culinary arts, the appearance of food is intrinsically linked with the skill of the chef and also with the intended effect on the consumer. In other words, form effects function. Strong components in any art form, Sarah Smith has applied this notion to fake food, emphasizing and reminding the viewer that strong physical reactions can be manipulated through visual presentation.
Throughout time, food has been linked with human emotion and health. Consider this: Apples are associated with our health and death. The “perfect” apple and the “poison” apple. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Symbiosis of food and the human body. Cucumber slices and orange slices are a remedy for tired eyes and worry lines. Black eyes are healed with a raw steak. Aromatherapy consisting on some level as ‘concentrated scents of food’ (coconut, vanilla, bananas….attempts to create a strong physical reaction such as calming through an associated mental- visual representation. But why is that and is this what Smith is asking us with her food? How do we feel when we see a raw pork chop?
So it’s connections like this that demand we consider Smith’s artistic motivation. Her work exists on many levels. Is it hyper-realism? Surrealism? Pop-art? I believe it is all of those things and more. For the Silo, Jarrod Barker.