medicinejar's Profile

Title Last Reply

adding food colouring to chocolate butter cream icing? Tips and suggestions

Hello,

I am going to be making some chocolate buttercream icing for a christmas tree cake and I would love to colour it green but I have never used colouring with chocolate buttercream. Giving the natural brown color of the icing I am wondering whether it will work or whether it will become an ugly colour. I would love to hear any tips or suggestions on using colouring with chocolate buttercream icing.

Thanks and cheers!

Dec 20, 2009
medicinejar in Home Cooking

cooking classes in Paris

I ended up going with Marguerite's Elegant Home Cooking and I am glad I did it. It was a good experience, but I might describe it more as an opportunity to 1) learn about French markets and 2) an opportunity to cook in Paris. The instructor was certainly knowledgeable about the markets and was very good in introducing us to some recipes. However, I would also say that if you are an experienced home cook, you should take for those reasons.

As I said the instructor was certainly knowledgeable but we did not spend much time on discussing techniques etc. that might inform our cooking more universally. So if you are looking for a class where you will advance your tecnique as a home chef, this is probably not the one for you. It is for you if want the experience of cooking french food at a reasonable price in Paris and you are looking for a pleasant instructor who will take you to the market and explain how French markets work and then offer instruction on recipes she has developed. She is a very pleasant person and very much into food.

Very glad I did it and would recommend it to others who want the above.

Cheers

Dec 08, 2008
medicinejar in France

Angelina Paris Divine Hot Chocolate Recipe?

I realize this is an old thread, but I am wondering how far ahead one could make the hot chocolate and then reheat just before serving?

Cheers

Dec 08, 2008
medicinejar in Home Cooking

Getting to Guy Savoy and things to do in the area

Thanks very much Souphie for your quick response and to the many previous responses you have given as well. We are very much looking forward to our trip and leave for Paris on Monday. Your helpful responses as well as your other posts will certainly enhance your trip and I have enjoyed reading your blog as well too.

One last quick question. We have to call to confirm our reservation the day before. Is there a good time to start calling them at? Thanks very much.

Nov 07, 2008
medicinejar in France

Getting to Guy Savoy and things to do in the area

Hello,

I am going to be going to Guy Savoy for lunch next week and very much looking forward to it. I could use some advice however in terms of logistics:

1) We will be staying at hotel Ferandi in the 6th arrondisement. I am wondering what stop we would get off the metro at to go to Guy Savoy?

2) Are there any particular attractions near the restaurant people would recommend for before or after the lunch?

Thanks very much for any suggestions!

Cheers

Nov 07, 2008
medicinejar in France

Weekend in Ottawa-suggestions?

You might also want to check out an Ottawa foodie discussion board for some indepth Ottawa discussion:

http://ottawafoodies.com/

cheers

Oct 15, 2008
medicinejar in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

France/Alsace reviews: Au Tilleul, Le Strasbourg, L'Arnsbourg

I will definitely report back after our meal there. We return home at the end of November so probably not until early December I would think.. Its almost one month until we go!

Oct 07, 2008
medicinejar in France

Deep fryer

I am thinking about getting a deep fryer and have read many of the past threads here and on other boards and there does not seem to be a consensus number one pick. I am down to 3 models all of which seem to have shortcomings:

The T-Fal easy clean - Downside from many reviews I have read online is that it never gets hot enough and drops rapidly in temperature.

A Delonghi Exlcusivo (I think - I saw it at Home Outfitters - I live in Canada). The reviews for delonghi deep fryers seem all over the place so I am not certain about this one at all.

The Waring Pro. This is the one I am leaning towards. Most reviews seem to note the 1800 Watts power but some say it still does not retain heat as well as it should and that the odour is not good (the TFal apparently has a charcoal filter).

So, what advice do people have on these above? I have read many people praising the TFal - do people thinks its ok temperature wise?

Sadly, old reliable consumer reports does not have ratings for deep fryers.

Cheers and many thanks!

Oct 07, 2008
medicinejar in Cookware

cooking classes in Paris

Hello,

Looking for some help finding a cooking class in Paris. I know this has been discussed before and I have read with interest previous threads but I am still undecided.

Some background on me: I would describe myself as a reasonably accomplished home cook who can pull off some amazing dishes but, being self taught, I am occassionally unaware of some rather basic techniques too.

So on my trip to Paris I thought it would be fun to take a 1 day or half day cooking class but budget is an issue. One place I have come cross is Marguerite's Elegant Home Cooking which charges 110 Euro for a class that run 9am until 2pm. I am wondering if other's have tried it and what they thought. As well, do people know of other schools in a similar budget range?

Cheers

Oct 06, 2008
medicinejar in France

Article on E. Dehillerin on Canoe

There is a brief article on Canoe on E. Dehillerin. I am planning on making a stop there on my November trip to Paris and thought I would share the article.

It can be found:

http://www.canoe.ca/Travel/News/2008/...

cheers

Oct 04, 2008
medicinejar in France

Chinese in Paris

Hey Souphie.

You wrote:

don't know if there are spectacular Chinese places, especially in terms of authenticity. Chinese restaurants in Paris, ay any level, are where we locals go for good value meals, be they dirt cheap student places or fancy meals with nice china (See Tse Yang rue Pierre 1er de Serbie, Tang rue de la Tour, and Vong rue de la Grande Truanderie -- Chen rue du théatre seems closed, alas. Also Passy Mandarins facing the Passy market).

Which of these are the cheaper ones you would recommend? I've got my expensive places for my November France trip, and I have been searching through Chow Hound trying to identify the good cheaper places. There been lots of threads on this but I haven't seen one on Chinese food. So any suggestions you have would be much appreciated.

Cheers

Oct 02, 2008
medicinejar in France

Paris trip review

Great review. It would be very helpful to me, and perhaps others, if you could give us a range of cost for each of these places based on your experiences there.

Looking forward to trying some of these places when we go on our honeymoon in November.

cheers

Sep 27, 2008
medicinejar in France

France/Alsace reviews: Au Tilleul, Le Strasbourg, L'Arnsbourg

You all have stimulated my appetitie. Earlier this year I was trying to decide where to go in Paris for our 3 star dinner during our honeymoon but the prices, were somewhat disconcerting. Based very much on lizziee's recommendation, we decided to go with Arnsbourg and have a reservation for November! I can't wait especially after reading this thread!

Sep 13, 2008
medicinejar in France

Selecting a 3 star Michelin Restaurant – How to Choose between Ledoyen, Le Meurice and L'Arpège

I think we will be taking your advice and going to L'Arnsbourgh for dinner and to spend the night and breakfast. It should be fun.

We are probably leaning to Savoy which sounds like the best deal. I was really struck by the pictures of the room for Le Meurice but from what I have read elsewhere on here, the lunch is not the greatest deal and you might even be hungry and need a full dinner. I get the impression that Savoy will fill us up and we can probably have either just a snack, or something quite small for dinner.

Any advice as to what days of the week are best to go? I have found at some high end restaurants in the States that Tuesday and Wednesday are often nice times to go as 1) its easier to get a reservation and 2) the place is not as insane.

Cheers and thanks for you suggestions! Very helpful.... now I get 4 months of anticipation!

Jul 11, 2008
medicinejar in France

Selecting a 3 star Michelin Restaurant – How to Choose between Ledoyen, Le Meurice and L'Arpège

That restaurant looks amazing and we will certainly consider it. Do you know a site/ or could suggest how to find one on renting a car at or near the train station to get there?)

I am going to think about that restaurant but I am also thinking what someone said in another thread: You should try a grand meal in Paris once. So if I can ask just a couple of more questions about Ledoyen and Arpege.

Do you by chance know what the cost, or about what it is, of the multi course meal/degustation menu is at Ledoyen? In your opinion is it worth it?

The cost of the tasting at Arpege is about 360 Euro as I understand it. How would you compare Arpege vs. Ledoyen in terms of what you get for a tasting/multi course meal, or in what your best guess is? I know Souphie as said the Arpege is among the unofficial 4 star restaurants and I am trying to decide whether to take the expensive plunge.

Lastly, I know you mentioned getting half courses. Are you able to do this at dinner time?

Thanks Lizziee for all of your help!

Cheers

Jul 09, 2008
medicinejar in France

Selecting a 3 star Michelin Restaurant – How to Choose between Ledoyen, Le Meurice and L'Arpège

Lizziee 2 quick questions for you. I read your two reviews of Arpege at your site (BTW, great site!). I noticed in the 2007 review you wrote: "If I ignore the entire question of value and just focus on the food, there is no doubt that Arpege is a unique experience." So focussing on value, do you happen to know what the 7-10 course menu costs at Ledoyen (I believe at Arpege its around 360)? How would you compare the value of what you get at Ledoyen vs L'Arpège?

Thanks to both you and Tupac for your responses and suggestions.... much appreciated!

Jul 09, 2008
medicinejar in France

Selecting a 3 star Michelin Restaurant – How to Choose between Ledoyen, Le Meurice and L'Arpège

I also meant to ask is service included in the price at at each of these restaurants? If not, what is the % one would be expected to pay?

tupac17616 thanks for your response. I went back and re-read your review of Arpège and enjoyed it immensely!

cheers

Jul 08, 2008
medicinejar in France

Selecting a 3 star Michelin Restaurant – How to Choose between Ledoyen, Le Meurice and L'Arpège

This is a lengthy post and I thank you for taking the time to read it!

I am following up to a separate thread that discussed selecting a 3 star Michelin restaurant in France (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/534285). I found that thread, along with several others, very useful. Those threads along with some other blogs I have read, particularly Souphie’s (http://www.julotlespinceaux.com/ ) have lead me to reduce the list of choices to Ledoyen, Le Meurice and L’Arpege at least for now.

A bit about us and our trip: This meal will be the centrepiece of our honeymoon which we will be taking to France in November (from about Nov 10/11-Nov 27). While we are doing reasonably well financially, we are not rich and neither of us makes 6 figures but we love food and try to do 1 or 2 great restaurants each year. So a meal such as this it is a significant expense for us and we always want to ensure that we do not regret a choice as it is not simply throw-away money.

A bit about our tastes: I am very open and adventurous to trying almost anything and will even eat, and sometimes like, food that I have not enjoyed previously. My fiancée is less like this. While she has some adventure, she is averse to mushrooms, foie gras (this I don’t get!), sweetbreads, legumes in general, olives, pickles, sea urchin and caviar (though she did like oyster and pearls at Per Se). We both have enjoyed great tasting/7-10 course meals together and Per Se was probably the best restaurant we have enjoyed. Because of my fiancée’s aversions we usually want a restaurant that will be flexible with us and Per Se was more than happy to change things around for her. In fact, the waiter said when discussing the menu that there are 30 people in the kitchen wanting to make her happy! We had one experience that was less accommodating (their solution to her aversion to the foie gras course of a 7 course meal was to serve the foie gras dish minus the foie gras and add nothing else (the charge for the meal stayed the same)).

How to get the information I need to choose: One of the issues I am facing is finding out what each restaurant charges and what I will be getting for it. While Le Meurice has their menus on their website along with the prices, there is nothing for Ledoyen and no prices for L’Arpege. Any suggestions as to what I would find there specifically in terms of the menu and cost. I realize I will not know what is exactly is on the menu but I am curious exactly how the menu will look. Some questions about Aperge and Ledoyen:

1) Will the choice be limited to a 3 course meal and the possibility of a cheese course as well? (I have read somewhere that Aperge is 360 Euro per person. Is a 3 course meal what I get for that?
)2) Are there many amuse bouche’s/unofficial mini courses/pre-desserts that come with the meals at Aperge or Ledoyen?
3) What are my choices at Ledoyen in general terms?

Ideally, I think I would like a meal similar in terms of pace to what I had a Per Se - 9 official courses along with 5-6 unofficial courses spread over 3.5-4 hours. The degustation meal at Le Meurice looks entice but I remain unsure. What do people think who have been to Le Meurice?

Souphie mentioned that the tasting menus are not necessarily the wisest bet as most restaurants don’t excel in that category. I guess I have a couple questions with regards to that.

1) Do any of the three restaurants that I have noted offer a good “degustation/tasting menu or 7-10 course meal.
2) Is there any other restaurant of the 3 star calibre I should consider, either in Paris or 2 hour train trip away, that would offer me that?
3) How open are they to changes, of the sort my future wife would want, as well as me wanting something off the ala carte menu (I have no problem if there is a reasonable extra charge for this)
4) Should I really just stop searching for a tasting meal and just go for a 3 course meal?

On the décor of the restaurants I am curious to know what they are like. Le Meurice looks spectacular. I have seen a few pictures of Ledoyen (at Souphie’s blog) and L’Arpege but I still wonder how spectacular they are in terms of the décor? Souphie describe Ledoyen as being really romantic and that is a consideration since it will be a honeymoon.

Are the 3 places I am thinking about consistent in terms of the food and service or are there wild swings in quality?

Questions of strategy:

1) What is the best day to go for dinner at one of these restaurants? Here I am interested in knowing when I am likely to get a reservation, when the kitchen will have all of its main players working, when they will not be totally over worked that their standards might slip? We are looking to go in November (preferably at the end of our trip (Thursday Nov 20-Wednesday November 27) Does anyone know if any restaurants will be closed then?

2) How should I go about booking my meal. Le Meurice and L’Aperge offer an online option – is that a good idea? Am I better to call, or have a francophone call on my behalf? When should I make the reservation – is now too soon?

3) I am Canadian. I have heard that many in Paris are not fond of my American friends. Should I try to find away of noting I am from Canada or this unlikely to make any difference?

4) Are the restaurants noted above photography friendly? In other words, will anyone mind if I am taking pictures of each course? (I promise share them here!)

A final note: Pierre Gagnaire interested me a great deal for the adventure it offers and I still could be convinced. However, I also read that meals swing from excellent to disaster. I must say that surprises me. While there were some courses at Per Se that were ok and certainly less inspired than others, the overall meal was great with moments of sublime perfection and the impression I have is that is the way it is most, if not all of the time. Are Gagnaire’s entire meals prone to disaster or just the odd course and is it true disasters or just particular plates that do not work as well as one might have hoped?

Jul 08, 2008
medicinejar in France

Dinner for 4 all in $300

Hi a good friend of mine is going to Manhattan. He will be going out with some friends, four in total, for a dinner in Manhattan. He is looking to go out for a meal where 1 round of drinks, some wine (nothing too pricey) will run him with tax and tip at around $300.

He is fairly open food-wise but did confess a love for steak.

So what gems would people recommend?

Cheers

Jul 07, 2008
medicinejar in Manhattan

Price Differences - 3 Micheline Stars in France, New York and Bruges

I am actually from the colonies - Canada. And I guess, I do understand the price differential between Paris and Bruge but, I get the impression its higher in France period. For me the real question is, will a French 3 star be better than Per Se or De Karmeliet, or am I going to get roughly the equivilent and just pay 20-30% more?

And as always.... cheers! ;-)

Jul 04, 2008
medicinejar in France

Price Differences - 3 Micheline Stars in France, New York and Bruges

I wanted to know if the price differences between French 3 Michelin Star restaurants are warrented because they are better or, is it about the same and more expensive. A little background...

I am going to be going to France for 2 weeks in November on my honeymoon and my future wife and I were planning one grand meal at 3 star Micheline Restaurant. However, as I explored the prices on websites, and on here, I was a little taken back by the costs compared with other 3 star Micheline restaurants I have been to.

For my previous meals excluding wine:

Per Se in NYC, cost $275 per person service included (Jan 2008)

(we spent about $960 on the two of us when we were done)

and

De Karmeliet cost me 135 Euro per person (2005 - its now about $170 according to their website)

(I was there alone and spent about 250 Euro)

In both the above cases, they were 7 and 9 course tasting menues (along with a series of amuse bouches and other mini-courses that don't count)

When I look at the French restaurant websites, and what others have said, it looks like I will be having to spend $200-$300 more. Are the restaurants that much better or is just a higher price for some reason?

I do want to do a big meal, but on the other hand, I still have some concern over the budget.

Cheers

Jul 04, 2008
medicinejar in France

Cake in Ottawa?

We are getting ours from the following:

http://thegirlwiththemostcake.com/

We did the tasting and it was outstanding. She operates out of a farm house outside of Ottawa. Her icing is butter cream based..... not fondent (though you would think it was from the pictures)

cheers

Jul 04, 2008
medicinejar in Ontario (inc. Toronto)

Which Michelin 3 in Paris is worth being poor for?

I have been following this with great interest and have a question regarding price. Neither L'Aperge or L'Amroisie appear to have menus with prices at their website.

For a dinner for two what would costs be with the tip?
What range would wine be for the meal and about how much should would 2 cocktails cost?

cheers

Jul 04, 2008
medicinejar in France

Which Michelin 3 in Paris is worth being poor for?

Its good to hear the concerns are excessive... some of the things I have read at other sites got me a little worried.... With tasting vs. ALC I used to agree with you. However, starting with a meal at De Karmeliet (sp?) in 2005 I changed my mind. I found tasting menus gave you a variety of what a kitchen could do. In NYC, I found the 9 course meal at Per Se to be just incredible. What I like about a good tasting menu is that you get so many different experiences and I think that there is something to be said for Thomas Keller's take of wanting you to always want more of each dish and not become bored with it. I am not saying I don't like ALC, most of the time that is what I get but those 2 meals I mentioned as well as one at Lumiere in Vancouver were tours de force.

BTW, Souphie which 3 star would you recommend for dinner?

cheers

Jul 03, 2008
medicinejar in France

Which Michelin 3 in Paris is worth being poor for?

I am curious about which 3 Michelin Star place to select as well. We are going to Paris, as well as Lyon and probably Alsace in mid November for our honeymoon. We have previously dined at Per Se and enjoyed immensly and I dined at De Karmeliet in Bruge a few years back and loved it.

A couple of concerns have arisen for me. It seems to me the pre fix or tasting menu is the way to go in terms of price. However, I am concerned about the ability to have some choice. My fiancee is a little more picky (no foie gras, mushrooms, sweetbreads (sp?) or olives for her). At Per Se this was no problem as they were happy to accomodate and change things up. I get the impression this might not be so easy in France at a 3 star.

As well, in doing my reading I have heard how service can be an issue until you become something of a regular and especially if you are an anglophone (my french is ok but not perfect and my fiancee's barely existant.) Its my understanding that service is more reserved (or less overtly friendly than in North America). I don't have a problem with that but I would be very disappointed if the service was lacking (i.e. not attentive, helpful etc.)

So I am curious to know what places people might recommend given these concerns. As well, is there any particular night people would recommend to go and if you are recommending a specific place, what dish to try and get if its available?

cheers

Jul 02, 2008
medicinejar in France

What is your deal breaker?

Funny, the Keller Samon Cornet recipe is actually not that difficult, nor is it overly time-consuming and the payoff is spectacular IMO.

However, I too have deal breakers. Normally, a fanciful meal at my home will range from 4-7 courses. So...

One of the considerations is budget. I may do one thing very high-end, but the rest has to be somewhat reasonable.

In addition, I have to ask myself does a particular recipe fit in with my meal plan (in other words, if its for the 2nd or 3rd course and it requires 40 minutes of work immediately before its served, its not going to be included).

Are the ingredients in-season and if not, are they going to be horribly expensive to buy and not taste that good (the answer is yes).

Are cheaper substitutes going to make any difference? I now tend to make Daniel Boulud's Pea Pompette's using almost all canned peas and green beans because to the me the improvement that comes with using exclusively fresh ones is not worth the effort.

Does the end result justify the effort? This is my key criteria. If I am going to spend 2-3 hours on a dish, it better have a wow factor and if not, well I know lots of recipes that are good that do not require that sort of effort.

Finally, does the key ingredient of whatever dish I am looking at give my overall meal enough variety. No need to do red meat 3-4 times.

Great topic and Cheers!

Jun 10, 2008
medicinejar in Home Cooking

A Duck Recipe that I don't understand - Some help would be great

Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. Just to let you know, I did butterfly it and it was wonderful. A recipe I will make again. I also found the tooth picks were very easy to remove. Most of the time they probably would not work in plae of butcher's twine but it worked here.

Cheers

Jun 02, 2008
medicinejar in Home Cooking

A Duck Recipe that I don't understand - Some help would be great

Thanks very much to both of you for the advice. When I first looked at it, I did not think it was a butterfly at all but now, after reading, the two response I realize that I am wrong.

Much apprecated and cheers!

May 16, 2008
medicinejar in Home Cooking

A Duck Recipe that I don't understand - Some help would be great

I am making duck this weekend and I found a recipe that looks great. It can be found here along with the picture:

http://www.bromelakeducks.com/Recipes...

One part of the recipe I don't understand. It reads:

"Trim the breasts and score outer fat with a very sharp knife.
Open the breasts and stuff with sliced smoked duck breast,
cheese and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
Roll up the breasts, making sure the filling does not seep out,
and secure with toothpicks."

Two issues come from this for me:

1) The part I am not getting is the "open up the duck breast". When I read this, I am assuming I am going to have to cut the breast in someway to open it up - not simply open up the package. But I am not sure what that cut would be exactly - it does not make sense to butterfly it and I am not really sure what to do.

2) The other part I am puzzled/worried by is the direction to roll up the duck breast. I have never done that before, and my recollection of duck is telling me that it might be a little bit too firm to do. As well, I am wondering if the the tooth picks would really secure the rolled up. Moreover, the recipe also calls to sautée each side an I am not sure that would work too well with the tooth picks.

I cook duck breast several times a year but have never tried this recipe or anything like it. I would appreciate any thoughts or suggestions people have on these directions and, alternatively if people know of a similar recipe that they think is clearer and better or, alternatively, a really good recipe for duck breast.

Cheers

May 15, 2008
medicinejar in Home Cooking

Le Miu vs Kanoyama - Which should I choose

I will give some details below on what I ordered, but I can't remember everything. Let me be clear, I think the meal was was worth it. It was a good experience. The quality of the sushi and sashimi was good and very diverse (i.e. not the ordinary sushi and sashimi found in most japanese restaurants). I thought it was definitely good value for the money and I would not rule out going back, and if I lived in NYC and lived close by I would most definitely go back.

Having said all that, I did not leave with the same impression I had after eating lunch at Sushi Anne where it was clearly one of the top 5 sushi experiences I have had but, that was in January of 2006 so I am not sure if that would be the same today at Sushi Anne. But lets be clear - Sushi Anne was considerably more expensive in terms of what you got for your money.

I did take a print out of your recommendations with me (and thank-you for those again) and I believe I ordered the Omakase Sushi and the Omakase Sashimi. And, I am fairly certain I ordered tai, kinmedai, and akashidai but as I get older my memory has faded and I am unable to remember everything I had (I don't think I have the bill anymore but I will have a quick look tonight when I get home). Sadly, they did not have anago tempura that night - it was not on the menu and I asked and no such luck.

Again, not knocking the place at all and certainly don't regret going - I enjoyed it! Just not blown over by it.

I will add one other caveat to my "mini-review". The day before my gf and I had the 9 course meal at Per Se, so while its a different type of cuisine, its hard to compete with what Per Se offered (i.e. the best meal of my life!) and that might have coloured my perceptions of the meal I had at Kanoyama.

Cheers

Feb 15, 2008
medicinejar in Manhattan