Perceval Knives

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I don’t know why these knives were on my mind today……maybe it’s because we used them last night (Xavier made a delish duck dish).  We don’t use these knives everyday, but when I pull them out, it sure brings in home dining to another level.

We first saw these knives several years back in Paris.  Many of the 2 and 3 star Michelin restaurants were using them, and we really loved their feel and cutting capabilities.  It was easy to realize why many restaurants were using them.

Being that I never know what to get Xavier gift wise, I thought he would like using these knives with his at home culinary creations.  Yes!  I have heard it is superstitious to buy someone knives as a gift, and that they can bring bad luck, but I figured this old tale wouldn’t apply in the culinary-world.

After doing a bit of research I found out what makes these knives so special and why they are gaining popularity, even though they have been around for ages.   Each knife is hand made in the village of Thiers, in the Auvergne region of France.  Thiers is  the capital of cutlery and this dates back to the 14th century!  Originally, the knives were made as pocket knives, and over time developed to the common table knife.  Not only are the Perceval knives made in Thiers, so is Laguiole which is probably the most well known.

Back when I bought Xavier these knives they were not available for sale here in the US.  I had to do some secret shopping with the help of a friend to get them from Europe.   As great things always do, these knives found their way to American restaurant tables, and the New York Times even featured an article on their gaining popularity and availability in the US.  “Perceval”

The site that I purchased my knives from features the entire collection of Perceval knives, offering different handles, handle materials and colors.  I chose the Mat Black in the 9.47 model, which we love.  This knife has an excellent cutting power and has a nice smooth/sleek feel in the hand.  I find the simplicity to be rather elegant, and I really enjoy when we use them.   In the 9.47 they make a synthetic and Natural handle, and both come in a variety of colors that would be a great look at any place-setting.  From the site that I purchased ours, they are sold in sets of six and are presented in a lovely orange case.  I always love anything in an orange box!! :).  This is the site where I got ours.  “9.47 Mat Black”

 

 

 

 

 

Cayman Cookout/10 Year Anniversary – Grand Cayman

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Once again I had the opportunity to attend yet another amazing Ritz-Carlton event with my husband, Xavier.  As I have mentioned before in previous posts  (and most of you already know), my husband was the Executive Chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay situated along the magnificent California Pacific coast.  Xavier had been with the Ritz-Carlton for over 26 years and frequently participated in culinary events world-wide throughout the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.

The latest event was in January at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.  This year was the 10 year anniversary and was full of extra special events and activities.  It really is “THE” culinary event of the year!!

Held over four days in January, acclaimed Chef Eric Ripert hosts an unique, interactive culinary celebration with some of the country’s most talented chefs, along with wine and spirit experts.   This years’s  event was packed full of extravagant tastings, demonstrations, beach and pool parties and cook-offs.

What is great about this event is that you are one-on-one with all these amazing Chefs.  They are so approachable and interact with everyone in a relaxed and casual environment (they even offer some great tips!)

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Some of this year’s fantastic Chef lineup (besides host Chef Eric Ripert) were – Yannick Alléno (from Paris!!),  Daniel Boulud, Dominique Crenn, José Andrés, Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain, Michael Mina, and Dean Max….(there are just too many to name!).   These Chef’s offered classes and demonstrations, as well as  participated in all the group events with delicious food stations or plated meals.

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Here are some of my favorite highlights of this years event.  I have to admit there were a lot of great moments!

Speaking of Moments…….One of the many fantastic sponsors was Moët & Chandon creating many “Moët Moments” throughout the cookout weekend.  We were so spoiled with champagne the entire time and I loved every second of it!

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Now this is what I call a Moët Moment! It doesn’t get much better than this…..except for…..

Maybe THIS – The Moët Grand Vintage Tasting!

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Here Moët & Chandon presented their “Grand Vintage “ collection of single vintage champagnes dating back to the 1980s.  What a rare and special treat to get to taste these, especially since they were perfectly paired with small bites presented by Chef Yannick Alleno, the 3 Michelin star chef from Ledoyen Paris

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Another favorite moment was the Beach Bash at Rum Point which was just a short catamaran sail across the stunning turquoise Caribbean waters.  Such fun in the sun with more great food prepared by all the guest chefs, and of course more Moët & Chandon!!!   Below is Xavier’s station and the dish that he and his team prepared.

 

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IMG_0177 Fiscalini Cheddar Beignets, Porcini Salt – Sooooo light and airy and SO Good!

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Xavier at his station…..

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What a great setting for a beach bash!

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Of course we needed to support our chefs and test their dishes!

Ending the event in Moët style was the gala pool party – I do a lot of events for my job, so it was really nice to be a guest, and not have to check on all the details.   Look at this dance floor over the pool!  Trust me it got used!

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If you are into food, wine and champagne I strongly recommend attending this event if given the chance.  Of course Xavier was working, but we had a blast and hope to have the chance to return again for more Cayman fun!  Here is the website to this years event to see all the fabulous events  “cayman”

If this gives any indication of how much fun the Cayman Cookout is – we ended on this note……..

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Culinary Whirlwind Weekend Part Two MCF Brunch and Cookbook Signing

When I say Culinary Whirlwind Weekend I MEAN IT!  If you had a chance to read my last posting Culinary Whirlwind Weekend – Part One you might not will realize that both of these events took place over the same weekend, actually on the same day.   So……it was Culinary on overdrive to say the least.

In Culinary Weekend Part One, I attended the fabulous pastry class and luncheon of Chef Willam Werner of San Francisco’s Craftsman and Wolves.  This was loads of tasty fun!  Well, right after the lunch, there was a Master Chef’s of France brunch and cookbook signing in Navio, the hotel’s restaurant.

It’s been months in the making, but the Master Chef’s of France (MCF) recently came out with a cookbook, and the locally based Chef’s all came to The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay to cook and sign!  Each Chef had a food station at the brunch, and the new cookbook was available for purchase and signing.  It was such a fun afternoon and YES…..I was SO FULL and absolutely did NOT have dinner that night!

Below are the outstanding locally based Master Chef’s of France that participated in the cookbook and brunch……

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Here is the book – Each participating Chef has two recipes.  I believe that the book can be purchased at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay.  If you have problems locating one, email me and I can see how you can get one.  It most certainly is worth having in your culinary library.

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Pictured with (left to right):  My husband, Chef Xavier Salomon, Chef Gerald Hirigoyen, and Chef Laurent Manrique

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Pictured with (left to right):  Chef Roland Passot and Chef Claude Le-Tohic  – Love the French/American Flags 🙂

Stand tuned for more Tasty Adventures……….

 

Culinary Whirlwind Weekend – Part One Global Cuisine Series with Pastry Chef William Werner

It was a culinary whirlwind a few months ago at The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay.  For those of you that know me, know that The Ritz Half Moon Bay is where my husband Xavier works as Executive Chef.  Fortunately for me, sometimes I get invited to participate in a few of the wonderful events that take place at the hotel.  Of course, I especially enjoy getting to see the outstanding creations and ideas of The Ritz -Carlton’s outstanding culinary team!

This particular weekend was season’s final cooking class of 2017’s “Global Cuisine Series”.  Last year there were (8) culinary weekend packages which included: a cooking class, luncheon with the guest chef, resort credit and hotel accommodations.   The classes are open for up to 14 guests and are held in one of hotel’s kitchens.  I was lucky enough to squeeze into Craftsman and Wolves Pastry Chef/Owner, Willam Werner’s class, featuring “Holiday Sweets”.  Xavier and I have known Chef William and his wife Sarah for years, as William used to be the Pastry Chef at the hotel.  I know for Xavier it was great to have a friend and accomplished Chef be a part of this great culinary series.

Here are some photos of the class.  Chef Werner showed us how to make several items including Smoked Molasses cookies…..boy were they ever good!

Following all classes there is a sit-down lunch with the guest Chef, obviously this class was lunch with Chef Werner.

Probably by this time Xavier and the team have put together the culinary line up for The 2018 Global Cuisine Series.  I have heard him talking about some of the amazing Chefs that will be participating.  Inside scoop – the lineup is FANTASTIC!  Anyone interested in participating in a Culinary Weekend Package, here is the contact information:              650-712-7686, as well as the hotel’s site address “Ritz HMB”

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Master Bathroom Remodel – Finally Finished

Voilà!  It’s finally Finished!

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to finally share some photos of the finished master bathroom project.  Everything came together so smoothly and we are so happy with the end result.  We just love our hardware and tile selections and the decision to use black, white and Gray as our foundation colors.  It’s so easy to change the look with colored towels/art work and area rugs.  If you take a look at my inspiration photos in a previous post, I think our bathroom turned out very similar…..so glad I found these resources!

Here is a photo of our vanity area now.  Sorry, I don’t remember if I shared where everything came from, so I might be repeating some information.  The vanity came from Restoration Hardware, along with the lighting fixtures.  We decided on the double vanity called Hutton in Obsedian with aged brass hardware and a white marble top.  “here” .   I  found  the large size black medicine cabinets (called Vintage Recessed in Vintage Bronze) at Pottery Barn “here”.  The faucets are from Newport Brass and are designed to color match Restoration Hardwares Aged Brass hardware which we used in the shower.

We were very impressed with the quality of everything.  Just a note that some of these items may take several months to receive so plan accordingly.   It’s worth keeping an eye out on the Pottery Barn website.  They offer flash sales so it could be worth waiting to get a possible 20% off.

 

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I really need to show the transformation.  Here is a before photo:

 

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So – my shower!!  I think this is my favorite part of the bathroom, and it was the hardest part too.   This took quite a bit of time and research to find someone who could do the shower walls like I wanted (and fit within my budget).  In the end a local company (CB Showers) came though, even though it was the first time they ever did a shower like this.  We absolutely LOVE it!  The shower fixtures are from Restoration Hardware in Aged Brass and I love the contrast of the black and gold.  Such a warm combination.

This time I will show the before first and the after to follow…..

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Of course I had to get new towels to complete everything!   The towels we were using were by Seferra Brothers, and are considered a high-end European imported towel.  I wish I could say that I loved them, but I did not.  They have a really long loop weave and because of this snag very easily.  For my NEW master bathroom I selected Yves Delorme’s Etoile towels in two colors (Peacock and Platinum Gray).  I LOVE these towels.  They are soft and absorbent and are quick to dry.  Check for sales – I got them 20% off which is a big bonus!  “yves delorme”

If you have any questions on this project feel free to contact me, I am happy to share more information.