THE EPICUREAN TRAVELER in PIEMONTE

THE EPICUREAN TRAVELER in PIEMONTE

Text and photos © Scott W Clemens For the epicurean traveler, Northern Italy is a revelation of spectacular vistas, romantic hill towns, unexpectedly diverse cultures, wonderful food, and a plethora of finely crafted wines from indigenous grapes. To get an idea of the...

Dipping into the Cellar

In the early part of my career as a wine writer, when I was reviewing wine for both Vintage magazine and Wine & Spirits Buying Guide, I tasted around 450 wines a month at the office, and I received a few samples at home from producers wishing to be reviewed....
WELSH GOLD

WELSH GOLD

Gold is an expensive commodity today, but none more so than Welsh Gold, for it is the rarest of all. After a history spanning 4,000 years, the last gold mine in Wales closed in 2007. Guided tours are available of the Dolaucothi mine in central Wales, first worked by...
CASTLES BY THE SEA

CASTLES BY THE SEA

    From our vantage point it’s easy to see castles as romantic reminders of knights, damsels and the quest for the Holy Grail — the Renaissance Faire view of the past. The reality is that castles were built to keep enemies out, and they give us a window onto a far...

BRAISED CONWY MUSSELS

From Graham Tinsley, Castle Hotel Ingredients for 4 people 4.5 lb. Mussels 2 large shallots 1 clove of garlic 3.5 oz. Dry White Wine 7 oz. Double Cream 1 oz. Chopped Fresh Parsley Method 1. Clean the mussels by removing all the barnacles and the beards from the...
The Chef’s Room Fish & Cookery School

The Chef’s Room Fish & Cookery School

    Taking a cooking class in a foreign country is one of our favorite ways to learn something of the country’s culture and cuisine. Taking a cooking class in Wales from an Italian chef may seem an odd exercise, but how often can you get instruction from a legendary...

CRESCENTE WITH TOMATO, ANCHOVY AND BASIL

 from Chef Franco Taruschio Makes 18   Crescente  can be served with prosciutto, salami, tomato and basil or a fresh cheese. This dough does not have to be used up straight away, as it will keep for 2 days.   Ingredients for crescente   1 lb. ‘0’ grade flour 1 tsp....

GRILLED FIGS WITH MASCARPONE

   from Chef Franco Taruschio Makes 8   Ingredients   8 large ripe figs 1 tsp. rum per fig A dusting of ground cinnamon per fig 1 T mascarpone per fig 1 tsp. of brown sugar per fig Unsweetened cocoa powder   Petal the figs by cutting them in quarters, not quite...

GLAMORGAN SAUSAGES (a Welsh specialty)

  Serves 10-12 as a nibble   Ingredients   1.25 lb. Caerphilly cheese, grated 1 lb. day-old white breadcrumbs 8 T finely chopped spring onions 5 eggs separated 4 heaped T finely chopped parsley 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves 4 level tsp. English mustard powder Salt and...

LAVERBREAD AND COCKLE FRITTERS

from Chef Franco Taruschio 5 oz. Self-raising Flour 1 Egg 1 oz. Parmesan Cheese 1 T Laverbread 4 to 5 oz. Shelled Cooked Cockles 1 litre Sunflower or Grapeseed Oil   Make a batter with the flour, egg, salt and pepper and a little water, add the grated parmesan cheese...

MELON, ARUGULA AND PARMESAN SALAD

  from Chef Franco Taruschio Serves 6 Ingredients   1 cantaloupe ½ lb. parmesan ¼ lb. arugula extra virgin olive oil balsamic vinegar   Method   Cut the melon in half, remove the seeds and cut the melon into thin slices. Cut the skin away. Divide the arugula between 6...

TAGLIATELLE WITH SQUASH AND WALNUT SAUCE

  from Chef Franco Taruschio Serves 4 1 lb. tagliatelle per person 1 lb. thinly sliced butter nut squash or pumpkin 5cm long 4 shallots finely chopped extra virgin olive oil 12 to 20 leaves fresh marjoram 12 large basil leaves shredded salt and freshly ground black...
WALES, LAND OF MUSIC

WALES, LAND OF MUSIC

    I highly recommend procuring the services of a local guide for at least a part of your trip. Our tour guide, Idwal Jones, was a veritable fountain of information on Welsh history and culture, and of course most helpful in the matter of pronunciation and...

GRATIN OF OYSTERS WITH LAVERBREAD

   from Chef Franco Taruschio Serves 4 24 Oysters 3.5 oz. Butter 1 Shallot Finely Chopped 1 T Finely Chopped Parsley Juice of ½ Lemon Salt and Freshly Ground White Pepper 7 oz. Laverbread 2 oz. Fresh Fine White Bread Crumbs   Open the oysters reserving half their...
THE CHARM OF LLANGOLLEN

THE CHARM OF LLANGOLLEN

Llangollen is one of the most beautiful villages in Wales, and perhaps the hardest to pronounce, given that the double L in Welsh is pronounced something like an aspirated “thl” and takes some practice to get even half right. The homes and businesses are of another...
LEARNING WELSH

LEARNING WELSH

  The two most obvious attributes of any country, those that most reflect the culture, are architecture and language. In Wales, where bilingualism is mandated by law, the Welsh language is everywhere around you. Every sign, menu and brochure is printed in both English...
Lifting a Pint to the Gods of Golf

Lifting a Pint to the Gods of Golf

        While the 2010 Course at Celtic Manor Resort near Newport, in South Wales, was built expressly to handle the crowds of enthusiasts and media for the 2010 Ryder Cup, it is just one of many to choose from.  With over 200 courses in Wales, you can find a course...
THE STEAM TRAINS OF WALES

THE STEAM TRAINS OF WALES

      Trains stir romantic visions of travel, the anticipation of new sites to see, the excitement of being bound on a journey. The irony of our love of steam trains is that from a 21st century perspective they evoke a time of leisurely travel, while when they were...
PENDERYN WELSH WHISKY

PENDERYN WELSH WHISKY

Text and photos ©2009 The two-lane road to Penderyn winds up the mountain and across a broad, windswept heath at the edge of  Brecon Beacons National Park in southern Wales.  It’s a forbidding landscape, barren except for coarse grass grazed by scattered sheep.  The...
WONDERFUL WALES

WONDERFUL WALES

Text and photos ©2009 When my great-grandparents, Sarah Sims and Ebenezer Beynon, emigrated from Wales in 1869, they brought with them an engraving of their hometown of Merthyr Tydvil (Tydfil in Welsh), that has hung on our walls since before I was born. It’s an...

WELSH RECIPES

From Graham Tinsley, Castle Hotel BRAISED CONWY MUSSELS Ingredients for 4 people 4.5 lb. Mussels 2 large shallots 1 clove of garlic 3.5 oz. Dry White Wine 7 oz. Double Cream 1 oz. Chopped Fresh Parsley Method 1. Clean the mussels by removing all the barnacles and the...
Osborne’s Spanish Wines

Osborne’s Spanish Wines

The following tasting notes accompany my article, Traveling Across Spain with the Osborne Bull. To learn more about Osborne’s wine operations, as well as some of Spain’s finest restaurants, click here. BODEGAS MONTECILLO of Rioja Crianza 2003:  A typical...
THE SAVVY GOURMET  IN NEW ORLEANS

THE SAVVY GOURMET IN NEW ORLEANS

text and photos © 2008 You’ll hear a lot about Cajun and Creole culture in Louisiana. They’re proud of their traditions and unique character, but for an outsider it’s hard to get a grasp on who and what is one or the other. Creole refers to any descendant of those...

THE REAL DEAL CHICKEN AND SAUSAGE GUMBO 

          (Serves 12) from Matt Brewton of The Savvy Gourmet in New Orleans Ingredients: 1, 6 lb. chicken, broken down into 8 pieces 11⁄2 pounds andouille sausage 2 c. all purpose flour 2 c. canola oil 2 c. onion, diced 1 c. celery, diced 1 c. bell pepper, diced 1⁄4...

Peach Buckle

From Couchon in New Orleans                     Ingredients: 1 cup Butter 2 cups Sugar 4 each Eggs 4 teaspoons Vanilla 4 cups Flour 4 teaspoons Baking Powder 1 teaspoon Salt 1 cup Milk 8 cups Peaches, peeled & diced Topping Flour 1 cups Sugar 1 cups Brown Sugar 1...

Blackeyed Peas and Pork Gumbo

From Couchon in New Orleans   Ingredients: 1 1⁄2 c. flour 1 1⁄2 c. oil 2 c. diced onion 1 c. diced green pepper 1 c. diced celery 3 T. chopped garlic 1 1⁄2 gal. pork or chicken stock 1 1⁄2 lbs. okra sliced crosswise 1⁄2 inch wide and seared in lard until lightly...

OYSTERS ROCKEFELLER SOUP 

From Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans (6-8 servings) 2 c. (about 48) shucked oysters 2 quarts cold water 3⁄4 c. (11⁄2 sticks) of butter 3⁄4 c. chopped celery 1⁄2 c. all-purpose flour 1/3 c. Herbsaint or Pernod 8 oz. fresh spinach leaves, washed, stemmed, and...

Eggs Hussarde

from Brennan’s restaurant in New Orleans Ingredients: 2 tablespoons butter 8 slices Canadian bacon (or ham) 8 Holland rusks 2 cups Marchand de Vin sauce (recipe below) 8 poached eggs (recipe below) 2 cups Hollandaise sauce (recipe below) Method: Melt butter in a...

Crabmeat Imperial

            Ingredients: 1 pound lump crabmeat, picked over to remove any shell and cartilage* 1/2 cup scallions, finely chopped 1/2 cup green bell pepper, finely chopped 1/4 cup chopped pimentos 1 egg yolk 1 teaspoon dry mustard 4 artichoke hearts, coarsely chopped 2...

Banana’s Foster

  From Brennan’s in New Orleans photos ©2008 Scott W. Clemens In the 1950’s, New Orleans was the major port of entry for bananas shipped from Central and South America. Owen Edward Brennan challenged his talented chef, Paul Blangé, to include bananas in a new...

St. Landry Parish Chicken & Sausage Gumbo

From St. Landry Parish, Louisiana Ingredients: 1 (4-6 lb.) hen, cut into pieces Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning 4 T. oil 1 lb. smoked sausage, sliced 1 stick margarine 4 T. flour 1 large onion, chopped 2 stalks celery, chopped 1 bell pepper, chopped 4 cloves...
VIKING RIVER CRUISE ON THE YANGTZE

VIKING RIVER CRUISE ON THE YANGTZE

I considered myself well traveled, and certainly I’ve seen much more of the world than anyone else in my family. But to be truthful, I’d always played it safe. Having had a smattering of romance languages in school, I focused on North and South America,...