Capella Singapore’s Foie Gras Terrine

Foie Gras Terrine

December is probably my favourite month in the year, simply because the air is just full of festivities and good cheer.

One of the things that I always look forward to is the scrumptious, mouthwatering Christmas meals.  Capella Singapore’s Executive Chef David Senia, was kind enough to share with me a recipe for a very festive appetizer which The Knolls will be serving this festive season – a Foie Gras Terrine with Apple Chutney and Brioche.

I love the simple preparation that impresses with its beautiful flavours.

Foie Gras Terrine

Terrine of Goose Liver, Vanilla Apple Chutney and Brioche Toast

Foie Gras Terrine

1kg  Foie Gras

10g  Salt

3g  Pepper

4g  Sugar

  • Marinate the Foie Gras with salt pepper and sugar and place it in a terrine
  • Put the terrine in a hot water bath and cook it at 55 degrees Celsius for an hour
  • Allow it to cool and set for one day
  • Remove the foie gras from the terrine and slice it evenly

Apple Chutney

500g  Sugar

1.5kg  Granny Smith apple (peeled and cored)

5pcs  Cardamom

5  Vanilla Pods

  • Dice the Granny Smith apple into fine pieces.
  • Combine all the ingredients, including the diced apples into a large saucepan and cook
  • Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring occasionally
  • Reduce the heat and continue allowing the mixture to simmer while stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has evaporated.
  • Remove from heat and allow it to cool.

Assembling the dish:

  • Place the sliced foie gras terrine in between two slices of toasted brioche and smear a generous helping of apple chutney across the plate.
  • To garnish, chop some nuts (hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds, pistachios) and gooseberries in a bowl toss it with vanilla olive oil

Additional festive garnishing tips from Chef David: you can add some micro herbs, such as coriander leaves, which not only add a decorative touch to the dish but also enhance the taste.

Bon Appétit!

Christmas Shopping In Georgetown

Wink

Christmas season is one of my favorite times of the year!  Washington D.C. does holidays right and I love to explore and shop the streets of Georgetown- just outside Capella Washington D.C.’s door!  To make your gift shopping a bit easier, I have some ideas and style tips just for you from a few of my favorite shops in Georgetown!

Wink

Wink

This boutique carries some of the best local designer fashions.  From gold blazers to sequenced skirts and vintage necklaces, there are so many great gift options for the holidays.   Owner, Paige Speyer shared with me her tip for this season: “Spice it up in the city with a wintery hat and bright scarf.  Don’t be afraid to step outside the box just because you think you’re being over the top.”  Paige was wearing a gorgeous teal and lapis blouse, two colors that she says are in this season!

Karen Millen- England

This luxury women’s designer store is one of my favorites, especially after taking a look at their new collection of holiday dresses.  After speaking with the store stylist, she shared with me that Karen Millen’s holiday styling inspiration comes from their autumn and winter fantasy story, focusing on the maximalism trend.  “It is full bodied romance of a dark and tough nature with a penchant for extravagant decoration and embellishment, intricate baroque patterns, and laces that are heavily beaded in deep colors.” Their new fashion line is perfect for all holiday dressing and embodies the maximalist trend for your holiday wardrobe.

Jack Spade

Each year for the holidays, Jack Spade features a table in their store with unique gift ideas for men.  This year, they are featuring a vintage throwback game: a miniature ping pong table!   Jack Spade also carries a variety of great outerwear pieces that can be spiced up a notch with a Santa hat for Christmas.  When speaking with the store manager, he told me that they try to focus on classic sensibility with a quirky twist.  What also impressed me was the lifetime quality of their wax cotton jackets… great gift for the men this season!

April Yvonne

Don’t forget to ask your Personal Assistant about Capella D.C.’s resident stylist, April Yvonne.  April has exclusive relationships with some of the most upscale fashion labels like Burberry, Christian Dior, Elie Tahari and upscale retailers such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue.  Particularly for the holidays, April can provide you and your guests with personal fashion and shopping advice and services, including private after-hour shopping excursions and bringing fashion selections based on your individual preferences right to the hotel!

Where do you like to go Christmas shopping in Georgetown?

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas

I like November.  In Cabo San Lucas, November sees temperatures around 90F, and we keep busy with colorful festivities and other celebrations leading us into the December holiday season.  While Thanksgiving is not a Mexican holiday, the large number of US visitors to Baja means we’ve adopted the day here as well.  For several years now I have celebrated Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas surrounded by friends and family and we do our best to recreate our own feast of traditional dishes.

At Capella Pedregal our chefs prepare a traditional Thanksgiving dinner at Don Manuel’s restaurant, and many of the residents and visitors love to have their Thanksgiving dinner prepared at their residence as well.  I love how each in-residence meal is completely personalized to the tastes and desires of our guests; our chefs do an amazing job of recreating those dishes tied to the individual family’s traditions.

Thanksgiving in Cabo San LucasRecently, I got a chance to chat with one of our Capella Pedregal Residence owners, who has adopted a tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving here in Cabo San Lucas.  Todd and his family and a couple of their close friends have been celebrating Thanksgiving with us for several years.  Curious, I asked him what brought him back year in and year out.  “Thanksgiving is a very special time of year for us, and while the entire family is scattered around the country for work and living, and we don’t get to see each other too often, Thanksgiving is traditionally the time of year we commit to spend with each other.  Cabo San Lucas is a perfect holiday destination for us, because it is just a short flight away from Colorado; we get to enjoy the sun, and the beach life; and above all, we get to spend time with our family and close friends with no interruption of work or meetings.  And – we love getting spoiled by the Capella Pedregal team, from spa to dining and more!  Even my mom admits that letting go of the cooking reigns enables her to enjoy more time with the family.  Besides, the chefs here know what their doing— we’ve even recreated some of our favorite Capella recipes back home!” Todd explained.

Together with the entire Capella Pedregal team, we wish you a fabulous Thanksgiving holiday, we are grateful for each and every one of you!

Día De Acción De Gracias Bajo El Cálido Sol Mexicano

Thanksgiving in Cabo San Lucas

Me gusta noviembre. En Cabo San Lucas noviembre llega a tener temperaturas de hasta 33 grados Celsius, y nos mantenemos ocupados con coloridas fiestas y celebraciones que nos van encaminando hacia la época navideña decembrina. Mientras que el Día de Acción de Gracias no es una tradición mexicana, la gran población temporal y permanente de americanos en la Baja ha hecho que muchos la adoptemos también. Por varios años ya he pasado esta fiesta rodeada de amigos y familia haciendo lo posible por recrear nuestro propio festín con los tradicionales platillos de Día de Acción de Gracias.

En Capella Pedregal nuestros chefs preparan una auténtica cena de Acción de Gracias en el restaurante Don Manuel’s, y muchos de nuestros residentes y huéspedes adoran tener su cena preparada en su villa o residencia también. Me encanta como cada una de estas cenas es preparada al completo gusto y deseos de cada uno de nuestros huéspedes; nuestros chefs realizan un maravilloso trabajo recreando los platillos que más se apegan a las tradiciones de cada una de las familias que nos visitan.

Thanksgiving in Cabo San LucasRecientemente tuve oportunidad de platicar con uno de nuestros propietarios de nuestras Capella Pedregal Residencias, el cual ha adoptado la tradición de celebrar Acción de Gracias aquí en Cabo San Lucas. Todd y su familia y algunos de sus amigos más cercanos han celebrado Acción de Gracias con nosotros por varios años ya. Curiosa, le pregunte qué es lo que lo trae de vuelta cada año. “Acción de Gracias es una fecha muy importante para nosotros, y mientras toda nuestra familia está repartida por varios puntos de los Estados Unidos y no nos vemos mucho, Acción de Gracias es tradicionalmente la época del año en la cual nos comprometemos a reunirnos para pasarla en familia. Cabo San Lucas es un destino perfecto para nosotros, ya que está a solamente a pocas horas de vuelo de Colorado; podemos disfrutar del sol y la vida en la playa; y sobre todo, podemos pasar tiempo con nuestra familia y amigos cercanos sin ninguna interrupción laboral. Y claro, nos encanta como nos consiente el equipo de Capella Pedregal, desde el spa, las cenas y todo! Incluso mi madre admite que dejar la responsabilidad de la cocina le permite disfrutar mucho más esta época familiar. Además de que los chefs aquí saben exactamente lo que hacen -incluso hemos recreado algunas de nuestras recetas favoritas de Capella en casa en Colorado!” me explicó Todd.

Junto con todo el equipo de Capella Pedregal, les deseamos una gran fiesta de Acción de Gracias, estamos agradecidos por cada uno de ustedes!

Celebrate The Holiday Season At Capella Washington D.C.

Weihnachtskugeln

I can’t believe our very first Holiday Season at Capella Washington, D.C. is here!  It has been such an incredible experience working with all of my team members to create a new foundation that we can look back on for many years to come.  One of the most important concepts we all keep in mind when working on Holiday specials, promotions, and dining experiences is keeping the guest at the center of everything we do.  For example, during the creation of The Grill Room’s Thanksgiving dinner & brunch menu, Chef Jakob Esko made sure to tailor each holiday dish to showcase traditional and modern fare that we all love, while also incorporating dishes of his own creation infused with European and New American flavors and influences.  Every piece of our holiday offerings brings a special experience for the guest, giving them a sense of home and comfort.  The following are my Insider favorites just for you this Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve:

Thanksgiving & Black Friday:

  • Cozy up by the fireplace with your family on Thanksgiving in the comforts of your own Presidential Suite dining room and enjoy a symbolic tableside cutting of the Thanksgiving Turkey!  Even the table décor is dressing up for the event- courtesy of quintessential American Fashion Designer, Ralph Lauren.  Details
  • Take advantage of Black Friday shopping in Georgetown then relax for brunch at The Grill Room where you can look forward to a scrumptious Thanksgiving Eggs Benedict.  While enjoying your brunch and cocktails, Capella Washington D.C. will be offering complimentary gift-wrapping services to relieve some holiday stress! Reservations

Weihnachtskugeln

Christmas Celebrations:

  • Take your pick from a one or two night stay in a luxury room or suite for Christmas. My favorite perks of this package are: welcome cocktails upon arrival, five-course Christmas Day Dinner, breakfast for two the next day, and family tickets to the Washington Harbour Ice Skating Rink in Georgetown! Details
  • I can’t wait for you to celebrate a new tradition with The Grill Room when you taste the exceptional three-course brunch, two five-course dinner options, and delectable Christmas desserts selections.  I highly suggest the Roasted Turkey with sage, apricot and walnut stuffing with sweet potato gratin gravy and cranberry compote, yum! Details & Menus

New Year’s Eve:

  • You’re going to love Capella Washington, D.C’s New Year’s Eve celebration, featuring delicious cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in The Rye Bar, a five-course dinner at The Grill Room, live entertainment and after dinner dancing, an after midnight supper, and brunch all day on New Year’s Day. Package Details
  • I can’t think of a better way to ring in 2014 than a midnight Taittinger Comtes De Champagne toast! NYE Details & Menu

 

Be sure to ask your Personal Assistant for more information and specials that you and your family can experience during your stay.  Happy Holiday’s!

Twelve Grapes and Other Mexican New Year’s Superstitions

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

Farewell to the old year brings many Mexican superstitions, which give us hope for the better year to come.  Some of my favorite superstitions are eating twelve grapes after the clock marks midnight of the New Year’s Eve; taking your suitcase for a walk, and wearing yellow or red underwear, to bring prosperity or love.  I spoke about these superstitions with Capella Ixtapa’s Personal Assistant Saris Rosas, and she told me about some new ones I haven’t heard before.  If you’d like to bring some Mexican traditions into your New Year celebrations, here are just some of the things we like to do with the hope of an excellent new year:

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

1.  The twelve grapes of luck.  The tradition consists of eating a grape with each bell strike at midnight of December 31.  According to the tradition, that leads to a year of prosperity.

2.  Wear red or yellow underwear.  Red underwear is supposed to bring you lots of love in the new year, and yellow underwear lots of money.

3.  Make a wish list.  Before your New Year’s Eve dinner, write on a piece of paper three wishes for the New Year and fold the paper.  Make sure the paper touches your skin throughout the dinner, then when the New Year arrives burn the paper.  Your wishes will come true!

4.  Candles.  The candle colors attract different fortune: a blue candle is supposed to bring calmness in the new year, the yellow ones abundance, the red passion, and the green candles health.  Burn your selected color during your New Year’s Eve festivities.

5.  Take your suitcase for a walk.  If you want the New Year to be filled with travel then you must pack your suitcase and take it for a walk around your home.  When you return make sure you enter with your right foot for good luck.

These are just some of the superstitions and traditions with which we give a welcome to the New Year in Mexico.  The Capella Ixtapa December holiday program embraces several of the fun Mexican traditions – both for Christmas and New Year’s.  What are your New Year’s traditions?  I’d love to read about them in the comments below.