park hyatt masters of food & wine september 2012 series

September 19th, 2012

The final weekend of the 2012 Park Hyatt Masters of Food and Wine, a global series of seasonally- and locally-inspired culinary weekend workshops, will occur at Park Hyatts around the world from September 21 – 23, 2012.

Through engaging and interactive programming, resident and visiting gourmands and oenophiles can become ‘masters’ of regional cuisine. Park Hyatt chefs and sommeliers will lead masters-in-training in three hands-on ‘courses’ on the designated day:

In the Field: Interaction with artisanal food or beverage purveyors
In the Kitchen: Onsite cooking and prep workshops
In the Moment: Tips on service and presentation

Sample hotel itineraries during the September series include:

- Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi will introduce guests to a culinary weekend that will focus on the local and sustainable resources of the region. It will open with a “Sustainable Grill Dinner” hosted by Executive Chef Laurent Pommey and will feature a seven-course menu with dishes such as Seared Tuna and Omani Lobster Carpaccio with Coriander, Local Mackeral Fillet with Herb Crust, and more. The hotel’s signature restaurant, The Park Bar & Grill, will be offering a special four-course vegetarian grill menu throughout the weekend that will include specialities such as Orange Couscous and Mint Salad and Stuffed Purple Kohlrabi with Sweet Potato-Chili Puree and Kenia Beans. Chef de Cuisine Maik Lilenthal will also be hosting a cooking class that will focus on vegetarian cooking and feature a three-course menu.

- Park Hyatt Aviara will take guests to Orfila Vineyards & Winery where they will be greeted with a unique tribute to the European tradition of tasting the Bourru, a young wine derived from fermentation of the Must. Long celebrated during the harvest season, this tasting of the Bourru traditionally takes place from early September to late October and is generally served with savory foods or chestnuts. Masters of Food & Wine is honored to introduce guests to this unique and rarely seen experience. Guests will experience a tour of the winery and enjoy a family-style lunch led by Park Hyatt Aviara’s Executive Chef, Pierre Albaladejo, that will incorporate different types of estate grapes into each dish.

- Park Hyatt Buenos Aires will host an “Organic Springtime” event where organic producers and suppliers create a premium Organic Market in the gardens of the hotel, inviting guests to experience a uniquely organic universe. Attendees will be able to meet, taste, and learn about organic trends while celebrating spring’s arrival in Buenos Aires.

- Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme will offer a special workshop with Mr. Cohen at Les Vergers St. Eustache, the official supplier of all the Michelin-starred restaurants in Paris. Guests will have the opportunity to discover amazing and forgotten vegetables thanks to Mr. Cohen, a real fruit and vegetable storyteller.

For more information and additional itineraries for Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine September series, please click here.

 

ringing in julia’s 100th with a berry tart from oléron

August 23rd, 2012

At AMPR, we’re lucky to work a stone’s throw away from the Union Square Greenmarket. With August’s cornucopia of locally grown produce, it’s hard to shake that “so-many-recipes-so-little-time” feeling while meandering through the various stalls. But fruit-wise, delicate berries from the Hudson Valley – in our opinion – always steal the show.

Fruit tarts are a common sight in France, a country that’s home to a number of exciting properties represented by AMPR. Last week would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday, and we’re celebrating her legacy of French cooking with a classic tart native to windswept Oléron, a scenic island off France’s Atlantic coast. The recipe is featured in Ruth Reichl’s book Tender at the Bone (a joy to read, by the way!) preceded by a few descriptive lines that had us chomping at the bit to get our hands in the flour:

Danielle took her finger out of her mouth and took a bite. I watched her. She took another. And another. I took a bite myself.

It was magnificent. The fruit was intoxicatingly fragrant and each berry released its juice only in the mouth, where it met the sweet, crumbly crust. “Why is this so much better than other tarts?” I asked.

Madame Deveau looked at me with something like interest. “The American wakes up,” she commented. “It is that the products here are so good,” she said. “Good butter from fat cows and wild berries grown in the island air.”

While we can’t comment on how the Big Apple’s Greenmarket compares to the fat cows and island berries of Oléron, we can happily confirm that this tart is a welcome taste of summer – anywhere , anytime.  Now, be inspired!

Oléron Raspberry Tart

Serves 8-10

Ingredients

Pastry:

1½ c. sifted flour

¼ c. sugar

1 stick unsalted butter, chilled and cut into ¼-inch squares

2 tbs. heavy cream

1 egg yolk

Filling:

¾ c. blanched almonds, toasted

¾ c. sugar

3 tbs. unsalted butter, softened

3 egg yolks

1 tsp. vanilla extract

4 c. raspberries

2 tbs. currant jam and/or powdered sugar, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

Place sugar and flour in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Add the butter squares to the flour mixture and blend using a pastry blender or forks until the mixture resembles coarse cornmeal.  Add cream to the egg yolk and pour into flour mixture. Mix lightly with a fork until the pastry holds together in a small ball. If it’s not moist enough, add a tablespoon or so of water.

Sprinkle some flour across a counter and push the dough with the heel of your palm until it has been worked through. Do not over-mix. Gather the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least three hours.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough and allow to warm on the countertop for ten minutes. On a floured surface, flatten the ball and roll it into an eleven-inch circle. Fit gently into an eight- or nine-inch tart pan with a fluted edge and removable bottom. Press into pan gently, being careful not to stretch the dough. Trim off the edges and freeze for ten minutes to firm.

Line the tart shell with aluminum foil and fill with rice or dried beans. Bake 20 minutes. Remove aluminum foil and filler and bake for five minutes more or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool while making the filling.

Blend the almonds and three tablespoons of the sugar in a food processor until it is a fine powder. In a separate bowl, cream butter with the remaining sugar, and then add the yolks. Fold in the almond-sugar mixture and vanilla to combine.

Spread the almond mixture into the pre-baked crust and top with two cups of the fresh berries. Sprinkle the tart with two tablespoons of sugar and bake for 40 minutes or until just set. Cool at least two hours.

Just before serving, cover the tart with the remaining two cups of raspberries. Garnish with powdered sugar or brush the top with a simple glaze made from two tablespoons currant jam heated with one tablespoon of water. Bon appétit!

Photo was taken by Ben from the AMPR team.

vive la france

July 13th, 2012

© Celeste Hutchins & Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons

The storming of the Bastille not only triggered the French Revolution, but also a mid-summer celebration.  Taking place on the 14th of July each year, cities all around the world join France to honor the countries national holiday, La Fête Nationale, a.k.a Bastille Day.  Celebrations include much more than tasty wine, French hors d’oeuvres, and shouting “Vive la France!” The day is filled with Military Parades, fireworks, concerts, and balls.  Commencing at 9am,  join in on the fun with the Military parade, where the crowd will honor the French Military while the French Military Jets distribute blue, white, and red smoke overhead in celebration of the nation’s colors.  Post-parade events consist of an invite-only presidential garden party and a gigantic picnic for all on the banks of the Grand Canal.  If you need some downtime before the infamous Eiffel Tower firework display, head to Musee d’Orsay or the Louvre – all museums throughout Paris are free to the public in celebration!  Nevertheless, be sure to preserve some energy for the lively night scene because the festivities will continue into the wee hours of the morning at various nightclubs and hosted events.  Retire with your dancing shoes to a lavish room at either Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome or Pavillion de la Reine to enjoy all the luxuries the French have to offer.

For apparent reasons, there is no better location to commemorate the holiday than in Paris.  However if you can’t make the trip, put on your beret and look closer to home because this holiday is internationally celebrated.

europe this summer? mais oui!

May 7th, 2012

With the spring weather upon us, we have our hearts set on Europe. Whether you’re traveling to London for the Olympic Games or hoping to stay as far away as possible, we have a suggestion for every traveler’s delight.

For the Olympics:

The Halkin

London, UK

The Halkin is a hidden gem in Belgravia. Clean lines and impeccable service define the London favorite, along with its award winning nahm restaurant serving up authentic Thai fare. Guests can even order this haute Thai cuisine for room service!

What’s New: Celebrating its 20th Anniversary this year, The Halkin has certainly made its mark on the London hotel scene. To celebrate, The Halkin has partnered with William Curley, renowned patissier and chocolatier, to fashion a Couture Chocolate Afternoon Tea. This is a Champagne tea service inspired by the chocolatier’s new book, Couture Chocolate, and will include a selection of chocolate patisserie, homemade scones with clotted cream and preserves, and a selection of freshly made sandwiches.

Rates: Rates start at £260 ($422) per night.

 

Metropolitan London

London, UK

This well known London hotel is famous for its Met Bar that first opened in 1997 and set the trend for the ultimate great night out in the heart of London! Now the Met Bar has re-opened its doors with a whole NEW look featuring an expanded and innovative cocktail menu and classic seasonal British cuisine. For the first time, the Met Bar ended its “Members-Only” policy, making it accessible to all from early in the day to late at night.
What’s New: The new COMO Shambhala Urban Escape offers key Asian-inspired therapies as well as a resident acupuncturist. Among the treatments on offer are the Dr. Perricone facials (the COMO Shambhala Urban Escape is the only spa in the U.K. to work with this popular U.S. product line) and COMO Shambhala PURIFY facials, suitable for men and women.

Rates: Rates start at £229 ($372) per night.

 

For the Culture:

Belmond Afloat in France

France

Discover the French countryside from a new perspective with Afloat in France, a small fleet of luxury barges ideal for a group of family or friends on vacation. Fashion an itinerary that matches the interests of the crowd (think golf, cycling, or antiques), and relax in Belmond style over fine French dining and wine while meandering through the ever-changing scenery.

What’s New: Explore the finest vineyards from the Rhône Valley to Gevrey-Chambertin on the new seven-day “Wine Discovery Tour” aboard the Napoleón, which features instructive tastings, wine-centric French dinners, and guided walks through some of the region’s most famous vineyards. To ring in the new tour, each “Wine Discovery Tour” attendee is rewarded with a free one-night stay at a luxury five-star hotel in Paris.

Rates: Rates start at €4,450 ($5,825) per person, based on double occupancy of a cabin.

 

Le Pavillon des Lettres

Paris, France

The charming Pavillon des Lettres, an impossibly chic retreat for art and literature lovers, is the perfect alternative to Paris’ traditional hotels. Combining art, literature, and fine design, each of the hotel’s 26 rooms is devoted to a letter of the alphabet and a corresponding international writer (think B for Baudelaire or H for Hugo).

What’s new: Crazy Horse Cabaret, the avant-garde icon of provocative Parisian nightlife, celebrates its 60th anniversary in 2012 with Le Pavillon des Lettres. Together they are offering a package that includes amour-inducing accommodations and VIP tickets to the show.

Rates: Rates start at €265 ($351) per night.

 

Crystal Cruises Royal Explorer Sailing

Stockholm to London

From the old-world charm of Stockholm’s Gamla Stan to Helsinki’s cutting-edge Ice Bar, revel in the rich cultural life and fascinating museums of these Baltic capitals. From August 14 – 25, spend 11 days exploring these spectacular lands with Crystal Symphony, with calls in St. Petersburg, Russia; Helsinki, Finland; Berlin/Warnemünde, Germany; and Copenhagen, Denmark.

What’s New: Fresh from a $15 million drydock, Crystal Symphony will be showing off her newly redesigned public spaces. Guest chefs Orjan Johannessen and Odd Ivar Sovod will also be joining the cruise, along with wine expert Eugenio Jardim and mixologist Simon Ford to celebrate the Crystal Wine & Food Festival.

Rates: Check here for current pricing and special offers

 

For the Cuisine:

Park Hyatt Milan

Milan, Italy

Cozily situated in the heart of Milan next to the Duomo and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, this hotel is a natural favorite for visiting celebrities, design mavens, and vacation travelers alike.

What’s New: After a recent collaboration with the famous English fashion designer, Paul Smith, Park Hyatt Milan now serves their culinary creations upon beautiful, hand-painted dishes designed specifically for the hotel by Smith.

Rates:  Rates start at €540 ($715) per night.

 

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme

Paris, France

Recently accepted into the prestigious Palace Hotels Group, the five-star Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme offers a sensual, understated elegance that extends throughout the hotel – from the lavish rooms and suites to the captivating social areas and exquisite spa.

What’s New: Refreshed and ready for spring, guests can enjoy lunch or dinner on the terrace in an intimate and confidential ambience in the most glamorous neighborhood in the city. Make sure to try the chef’s newest creation, the Non-coupable, a guilt-free dessert that features fresh market strawberries, a base of low-fat cheesecake and cream, finished with a tangy spark of crystallized thyme and lemon.

Rates: Rates start at €1180 ($1550) per night.

 

For the Scenery:

La Réserve Ramatuelle

St. Tropez, France

Located just outside St. Tropez, this stunning property, with 360° views of the Mediterranean Sea, is an intimate, elegant getaway that is ideal for discerning travelers.

What’s new: La Réserve Ramatuelle just added four new health and wellness programs that combine medical assessments, personal training sessions, physical activities, and personalized diets for a total care approach.

Rates: Rates start at €650 ($861) per night.

 

Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel & Spa

Interlaken, Switzerland

Located in the picturesque mountain setting of the Bernese Oberland, this five-star hotel and spa, known as one of the most beautiful hotels in Switzerland, is in the ultimate location for a summer vacation. Whether visiting for a wellness weekend or a family holiday, the unique grand hotel atmosphere is sure to provide memories that last a lifetime.

What’s New: Offering everything from snacks to cakes to tasty drinks, the hotel has recently renovated its outdoor dining area, the Victoria-Jungfrau terrace, adding a new lighting system designed to create the perfect atmosphere for dinners under the starry, summer night sky. With the addition of 110 seats, the terrace can now accommodate up to 150 guests.

Rates: Rates start at 443.10 CHF ($488.16) per night.

take care of your buns – those in your hair AND those of your derriere!

July 27th, 2011

The “French Paradox” diet may still be a mystery, but guests of Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme now have unfettered access to two Parisienne beauty secrets. At the hotel’s exclusive new hair salon, Suite 101, celebrity stylist John Nollet offers expertise gleaned from working with such clients as Marion Cotillard, Diane Kruger, Uma Thurman, and Johnny Depp. For below the neck pampering, the hotel’s Le Spa has partnered with Martine de Richeville, director of Centre Svelt’coaching Massage in Paris, to offer Martine’s unique anti-cellulite massage treatments for a derrière par excellence.

John Nollet, Suite 101

Fresh off of his “Hair Room Service Around the World” traveling salon tour partnership with Louis Vuitton, John Nollet has just unpacked his bespoke Vuitton luggage and taken up permanent residency at Suite 101. The salon, designed in partnership with the Le Coadic-Scotto architectural group, features five separate booths and a private terrace where guests can have their hair styled en plein air.

Suite 101 stylists offer a menu of coiffing options named for some of history’s boldest female pioneers, such as the aviatrix Amelia Earhart and explorer/writer Alexandra David Neel. Better than a replica of the stylish pilot’s signature crop cut, the Amelia Earhart is a trans-atlantically chic combination of balayage highlights, shampoo, massage, hair treatment, cut and style. Alexandra David Neel’s namesake style may not give locks superhuman powers to traverse China and Tibet by foot, but the balayage highlights, scalp massage, and style may have been just what Alexandra’s strands needed at the end of such a journey. Two signature services are offered by Mr. Nollet himself, who spends upwards of two hours on a cut to ensure its perfection: the deceptively simple sounding ‘cut’ and ‘cut and color’ for ladies looking for a style that is le meilleur de meilleur. Visits with a salon stylist begin at 120 Euro for a shampoo and blowdry, and an appointment with Monsieur Nollet begins at 700 Euro for a cut, 1000 Euro for a cut and color.

Martine Richeville, Svelt’coaching at Le Spa

Great hair can make just about any outfit, but perfecting a birthday suit may take an extra dose of elbow grease. Martine Richeville’s signature Remodelage treatment, a detoxifying recharge to the lymphatic system that boosts circulation and minimizes the appearance of perennially unfashionable cellulite, should do just the trick. A vigorous massage is applied to the entire body using a technique that both calms and energizes the mind and body, expertly zapping cellulite manually, the French way. Women’s and men’s Remodelage treatments are currently offered at Le Spa –both are 50 minutes and 180 Euro.

Faut souffrir pour être belle? Not at Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme.

 

an american (palace) in paris

May 17th, 2011

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendôme takes its rightful place among Paris’ legendary “palace” hotels. Announced on 5/5, the Ministry of Tourism’s new “Distinction Palace” rating honors the hotel as one of just eight hotels in France, and four in Paris, to earn the coveted title. In addition to checking all the customary boxes – with its exceptional location, historical pedigree (the façade is not only beautiful but was the former couture house of Paquin), world-class spa, Michelin starred restaurant and 40 stunning Ed Tuttle-designed suites – Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome brings to the ‘city of lights’ a refined and contemporary interpretation of American-style warmth and openness that is quintessential of the Park Hyatt brand worldwide.

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