Meet Pastry Chef of The Year, Aggie Chin

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Life is short…eat dessert first!  This is probably one of my favorite mantras.  Following this mantra is especially easy when you have Aggie Chin, creating delicious one-of-a-kind desserts in Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown’s The Grill Room.  But don’t take my word for it!  Chef Aggie, was just named “Pastry Chef Of The Year” by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington.

Aggie RAMMY SelfieThe Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) is the regional trade association representing restaurants and the foodservice industry in the D.C. metro area.  The RAMMY Awards Gala honors exceptional ability and accomplishments of the hard-working individuals and the region’s restaurants.  It was truly a wonderful night witnessing Chef Aggie being honored for her dedication to the industry as well as celebrating her remarkable achievements!

Aggie Chin - RAMMY

Chef Aggie has been a mastermind behind delicious and delectable desserts for many years prior to joining our Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown family.  Aggie spared no time adding whimsical and creative dessert menu options to The Grill Room, welcoming exotic flavors and fresh seasonal mixes to everyone’s palate.  To set a True Capella experience for everyone, Chef Aggie wanted to curate a unique experience for the evolving desserts menu, “My vision for The Grill Room’s new dessert menu matches the welcoming atmosphere of Capella while adding exciting elements reflecting the bustling diverse metropolis of D.C.”

Aggie Chin Headshot

We are all very proud of Chef Aggie’s accomplishments, so I am delighted to share with you an easy spinoff cocktail that draws inspiration from Bubble, Pop, Electric, one of her most popular desserts.

Bubble, Pop, Electric

Make At Home: Bubble, Pop, Electric – The Cocktail (or Mocktail!) – Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (8 oz) of strawberries. Clean and chopped
  • 5 cup of sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • A bag of pop rocks candy (Optional)

Preparation:

  • Add all ingredients in a blender and puree together
  • Disperse mixture in a popsicle mold (You can use ice cube trays as well)
  • Freeze in a freezer overnight
  • Rim glass with pop rocks candy
  • Add frozen mixture into a glass and pour over either sparkling water (for a mocktail) or champagne (for a cocktail)
  • Garnish with fresh strawberry

And of course, if you just have to have the real thing, come by The Grill Room and Chef Aggie will share some of her culinary magic with you.  Always save room for dessert!  Enjoy!

Meet Capella Washington D.C.’s General Manager, Marco Bustamante

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I would like to introduce you to the Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown General Manager, Marco Bustamante.  Marco, a 10 year veteran of the Capella family,  took D.C. by storm, bringing with him a wealth of experience and charisma.

Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Marco to get a better idea of why he loves being part of the Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown team.

Marco Bustamante HeadshotWhat do you love most about Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown?

The people.  We have an amazing team with people from all different backgrounds and experiences.  We have a lot of local Washingtonians as part of our staff and I think it brings great soul to the property.

What makes our property unique in D.C.?

The design of our hotel gives guests an intimate, sophisticated, modern, and high tech feel. From relaxing in the Living Room to enjoying a cocktail in The Rye Bar, our guests have the option of feeling like they are in an urban oasis.

You’ve been part of the Capella team for over 10 years, what is your favorite memory?

When I was working in Los Cabos, we had a couple buy-out the entire hotel for their wedding.  We really wanted to make their experience special and unique, so we built a 120-foot long table to host 150 of their wedding guests in an underground tunnel.  The tunnel started from the entrance of the resort and opened up to the front of property.  We strung chandeliers from the ceiling accompanied with drapery all around; it was really beautiful and different.

What new and exciting events can guests expect this summer at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown?

We recently held Negroni Week, where $1 of each Negroni cocktail sold will be donated to helping aid the victims in Nepal.  We have an employee who is Nepalese and she started a charity fund to help out her homeland, so proceeds will be sent to support relief efforts.  Summer in D.C. is a great time, we are looking forward to our Father’s Day special package, our annual 4th of July Rooftop party, cocktail specials in The Rye Bar, and Chef Ruta has some amazing new brunch items to be enjoyed on our terrace.

What is your favorite thing to do in D.C.?

I love spending time with my two sons and taking them kayaking on the Potomac River.

We are so happy to have you leading the team here at Capella Washington D.C., Georgetown, Marco!  Here’s to another year of creating more True Capella memories!

Images via MoMo Photography

Race For The Cure, D.C.

Crowd at Race For The Cure

Over 200,000 women were diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2014, of which almost 40,000 lost their battle. That’s why when the Susan G. Komen, Race For The Cure 5k, came to D.C., I knew I wanted to participate and race for an impact. Luckily, many of my colleagues had the same sentiment and we formed a Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown team and completed the 5K together!

I thought it would be interesting to share a bit of our experience with you in case you are thinking of taking on the race in your own hometown. Crowd at Race For The Cure

More than 15,000 people gathered in the heart of our nation’s capital at the Washington Monument, to take part in the race. The event began with a lively opening ceremony with more than 1,500 inspiring survivors in attendance. We paid tribute to those who were present, and honored the loved ones we have lost to breast cancer. We listened to moving stories of breast cancer survivors whose lives have been touched by Komen grants, and just before the race began, we were pumped up by Race Grand Marshal, Hulk Hogan! We then took to the course more committed and empowered than ever to keep fighting for an end to breast cancer.

I asked Houda Mintz, Accounting Assistant, at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown what participating in the race meant to her, “Participating in the Susan G. Komen Race made me feel very happy and proud to be a part of the fight to end breast cancer.” Thanks to the outstanding efforts of the Race for the Cure D.C., the organization made nearly $1 million dollars in donations!

Capella Employees at Race For The Cure

Five simple steps that we can take to lower the risk of breast cancer include having a balanced diet including plenty of fruits and vegetables, maintaining an active lifestyle, sustaining a healthy weight, limiting alcohol consumption, and not smoking.

Participating in the race meant so much to me; nothing makes me happier than empowering and supporting fellow women. I’d especially like to thank my fellow colleagues for being so supportive of this cause, and I’d like to extend a special thank you to the outstanding group of all-star volunteers, generous sponsors, and the thousands of supporters that came to the National Mall to cheer everyone on!

Race For The Cure DC

Hopefully my experience has inspired you to get involved as well.  If you would like to learn more about different Susan G. Komen events held across the country please visit HERE.

Get To Know Breidenbacher Hof’s Robert Kollhoff

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I would like to introduce you to a member of our team, Robert Kollhoff.  He contributes to the Breidenbacher Hof,  A Capella Hotel team with his daily commitment to excellence.  Robert has truly made a name for himself and was recently awarded for our hotel’s Zeitgeist award.

At Breidenbacher Hof we take pride in being part of a team of individuals uniquely qualified to provide our guests with memorable experience.  I believe it is people, like Robert, who help to make this a place our guests want to come back to time and again.  Recently I sat down with Robert to get a better idea of who he is and why he loves being part of the Capella Hotels and Resorts family.

Robert3

What makes Düsseldorf special to you?

The people.  We have very open-hearted and liberal positive minded people here.  There is so much to discover in Düsseldorf,  because of it‘s central location.  I love that you can reach the best places by bike or even by foot.

Why did you chose the hotel business for your apprenticeship?

It is a lot of fun and joy for me to entertain and inspire people, but also support them with whatever they need. You need that kind of spirit in this business.

What parts of your job interest you the most?

The organizational part, to ensure a smooth procedure in every business division. This service level is exactly what our guests are look for.  I love creating outstanding experiences.

What is your favorite season?

I love the wintertime, you can do so much in winter,  build a snowman or have a snowball fight.  I just like the chilly weather outside and when you get back home,  you treat yourself with a hot drink.

Where would you like to travel to?

I would love to travel to Alaska.

How do you feel about working as part of a Breidenbacher Hof team?

I have a very good feeling,  because together we can manage everything and we are always there for one another.  We are one big family.

Where do you see yourself in five year’s time?

I want to be F&B Manager by then.

 

Robert,  we are very happy to have you and are look forward to following you on your Breidenbacher Hof journey.

 

 

A Visit To Auriga Spa At Capella Marigot Bay

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As the newest member of the Capella Hotels family, there is so much of Saint Lucia and Capella that I am excited to share with you!  I thought it would be fun to start with one of my favorite destinations, Auriga spa at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina.  It has become an immediate favorite spot for guests and it is easy to see why.

spa1Nestled in its own private section of the resort, Auriga spa holds the key to ultimate relaxation and bliss.

spa17With a warm and friendly smile, the therapists at Auriga spa are knowledgeable and always ready to guide you in your spa experience. When I came in with sunburnt skin, they helped me choose the right treatment for me and tailored it to help heal my burn. They even sent me home with some cooling aloe and mint gel and invaluable advice on how to prevent future sunburns.  I was so thankful to have their guidance and care!

spa2In the lounge area, I had the opportunity to enjoy some Mint Chlorophyll Water which has a long list of impressive health benefits: it helps cleanse the liver, helps the body heal faster, has antiseptic benefits, removes toxins and heavy metals, helps build healthy blood cells and increases the disease resistance of cells. It also happens to be delicious and incredibly refreshing!

spa6Each spa cabana is private and serene with a view of lush foliage since Auriga spa is ensconced in a captivating array of St. Lucian flora.

spa15In fact, it boasts a bonafide garden complete with St. Lucian almonds, mint, basil, and many more aromatic herbs that the team at Auriga will gladly share with you.

While enjoying some much needed waterfall hot tub time, Miss Lune (or Spa Mama as she is lovingly referred to by everyone at Auriga) brought us freshly picked St. Lucian almonds that taste better than any almond I’ve ever had. Such lovely little gestures bring the experience at Auriga to all new heights!

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spa11Once I’d experienced the hot tub, steam room and sauna, my therapist treated me to the perfect massage. Free of all the tension that had built up in my muscles, I felt better than I had in a long time. Mental, spiritual and physical wellness is a primary focus of the Auriga spa philosophy and I definitely felt that after my treatment.

I also went home with a great tip from the therapists that I want to share with you now, especially with summer coming up! We know Aloe Vera gel is an amazing after-sun treatment for your skin, but you can take it to the next level by keeping it in the refrigerator. The innate therapeutic and conditioning properties of the Aloe will get to work healing your skin while the cool temperature of the gel will draw heat out of your skin providing you with instant relief. Reapply as necessary.

Make sure to schedule a visit to Auriga spa at Capella Marigot Bay Resort and Marina during your visit to Saint Lucia.  Your Personal Assistant can work out all the details, so that you too can discover the amazing and healing treatments!

Muttertags Macarons

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“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There’s no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving.” — Gail Tsukiyama

Der Muttertag steht vor der Tür und ich freue mich riesig. Es ist die Gelegenheit, meiner Mutter für all Ihre Bemühungen zu danken. Jedes Jahr backe oder koche ich etwas Leckeres für meine Mutter zum Muttertag. Für das diesjährige Rezept habe ich unseren Breidenbacher Hof Küchenchef, Phillip Ferber, nach seinem Lieblingsrezept gefragt. Glaubt mir, Ihr werdet es lieben. Die Pinke Farbe passt perfekt und sie schmecken köstlich. Die Muttertags Macarons!

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Muttertags Macarons:

Zutaten

  • 150g Puderzucker
  • 90g gemahlene Mandeln
  • 30g Zucker
  • 72g Eiweiß (2 Eiweiß)
  • Pinke Lebensmittelfarbe

Zubereitung
Alle Zutaten zusammenmischen und beliebig viel Lebensmittelfarbe für den perfekten Pinketon hinzugeben. Anschließend den Teig in einen Spritzbeutel füllen. Heizt den Ofen auf 100 grad vor und spritzt spiralförmige ca. 2 cm große Kreise auf das Backpapier. Den Teig zwischen 30 und 40 Minuten backen lassen, nach dem Backen die Macarons-Schalen auf dem Backblech abkühlen lassen für 30 min, sonst gehen sie kaputt.

Rhabarber Ganache:

Zutaten

  • 500 g Himbeeren
  • 500g Blaubeeren
  • 300 g weiße Kuvertüre (z.B von Ivoire Valrhona)
  • 80 g frische Sahne
  • 60 g Rhabarber Kompott (ohne Zucker)

Zubereitung
Falls Ihr den Rhabarber Komplott selbst machen möchtet, empfehle ich Euch 100 g Rhabarber, geschält und in Würfel geschnitten, mit 3 EL Wasser köcheln zu lassen. Der Rhabarber hat lange genug geköchelt, wenn er zu einer dickflüßigen Masse wird. Während der Kompott zieht, könnt Ihr die Sahne separat erhitzen. Nun die weiße Kuvertüre unter die Sahne mischen und das Ganze so lange rühren, bis es eine cremig Konsistenz bekommt. Anschließend für 30 Minuten im Kühlschrank abkühlen lassen. Die Sahne schräg schlagen um eine luftige Konsistenz zu bekommen. Sobald sie abgekühlt ist füllt Ihr sie in einen Spritzbeutel mit Sternhülle.

Fertigstellung des Macarons
Eine Macaron Schale von dem Backpapier lösen und auf eine Servierplatte platzieren. Gebt ein wenig von dem Rhabarber Kompott mittig auf den Macaron. Danach die Himbeeren oder Blaubeeren, was auch immer euch lieber ist, als seitliche Verziehrung verwenden und mit einem Macarondeckel vollenden. Ihr solltet vorsichtig sein und nicht zu dolle drücken, sonst reißt der feine Macaron.

Die Macaron eignen sich nicht nur ausgezeichnet für den Muttertag, sondern sie sehen auch fantastisch aus und schmecken fabelhaft. Die beste Gelegenheit, eurer Mutter zu zeigen, wie sehr Ihr sie liebt.