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?

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. 

Las Doce Uvas Y Otras Supersticiones Mexicanas Para Año Nuevo

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

Despedir el Año Viejo en México trae muchas supersticiones, las cuales nos dan esperanza de un año nuevo mejor.  Algunas de mis supersticiones favoritas son comer las doce uvas cuando el reloj marca la media noche del 31 de Diciembre; salir con tus maletas y dar la vuelta a la manzana, y utilizar ropa interior amarilla o roja, para atraer la prosperidad o el amor.  Hablé de estas supersticiones con Saris Rosas Asistente Personal de Capella Ixtapa, y ella me contó sobre algunas otras que nunca antes había escuchado.  Si estas buscando incorporar algunas tradiciones mexicanas a tu celebración de año nuevo, aquí están algunas de las cosas que nos gusta hacer para esperar un excelente año nuevo:

Mexican Superstitions for New Year

1.  Las 12 uvas de la suerte.  La tradición consiste en comer cada uva con cada campanada al dar las 12 de la noche de Diciembre 31.  Esto, de acuerdo a la tradición, nos garantizará un año de prosperidad.

2.  Utilizar ropa interior amarilla o roja.  La ropa interior roja supuestamente atraerá mucho amor en el año nuevo, y la amarilla abundancia económica

3.  Hacer una lista de deseos.  Antes de la cena de año nuevo, escribe en un papel 3 deseos para el año nuevo y dobla el papel.  Asegúrate que el papel toque tu piel durante la cena, cuando llegue el año nuevo, quema la hoja.  Tus deseos se harán realidad!

4.  Velas.  Dependiendo de su color, las velas atraen diferente fortuna: azul te traerá calma en el nuevo año, amarillas abundancia, el rojo pasión, y las verdes salud.  Utiliza el color de lo que desees para el Año Nuevo durante las fiestas de Noche Vieja.

5.  Lleva tus maletas a caminar.  Si quieres que tu nuevo año esté lleno de viajes entonces debes hacer las maletas y salir a darle la vuelta a la manzana.  Cuando regreses asegúrate de entrar a tu casa con el pie derecho para tener buena suerte en tus viajes.

Estas son tan solo algunas de las múltiples tradiciones y supersticiones con las cuales damos la bienvenida al año nuevo en México.  El programa de fiestas decembrinas de Capella Ixtapa festeja varias de las divertidas tradiciones – tanto para Navidad como para Año Nuevo.  Cuáles son tus tradiciones de Año Nuevo?  Me encantaría leer sobre ellas en los comentarios a este post.

 

Deepavali: A Festival Of Lights

Deepavali

Just recently, Singapore celebrated Deepavali, or Diwali as it is also known, one of the biggest and most important celebrations in the Hindu calendar.  Deepavali literally translated, means a row of lamps and it is observed by families traditionally lighting oil lamps to signify the triumph of good over evil.

Deepavali

For Hindus, Deepavali is typically celebrated over five days, with each day bearing a special significance. The festivities start with Dhanteras which also represents the beginning of the financial year for many Indian business communities. The second day of the festival is known as the Naraka Chaturdasi marking the vanquishing of the demon Naraka, a celebration of the triumph of good over evil.

Amavasya, which is the third day of Diwali, symbolizes the worship of Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. Amavasya also tells the story of the Hindu Lord Vishnu, who vanquished the tyrant Bali, and banished him to hell. Bali was allowed to return to earth once a year, to light millions of lamps to dispel the darkness and ignorance, and spread the radiance of love and wisdom. The fourth day of Deepavali is known as Kartika Shudda Padyami is when Bali returns to earth to light the lamps. The fifth day is referred to as Yama Dvitiya, and on this day sisters invite their brothers to their homes for reunion.

In Singapore, Deepavali is a public holiday and the festivities are observed primarily by the Indian community, more specifically, the Tamils. It is typically marked by a vibrant lighting display along the streets of Little India in Serangoon Road which is the heart of the Indian community.

Apart from the light-up, Little India is all abuzz with a kaleidoscope of activities such as bazaars, exhibitions, parades and concerts. Here you can find a vast collection of traditional Indian artifacts, floral garlands and colourful Saris – the traditional Indian costumes which feature intricate brocade patterns and glittering gems. Traditional arts and crafts will also be on sale at the bazaars.

Like many Asian traditions and celebrations, the date for Deepavali is dependent on the phase of the moon. As such it is typically celebrated between the end of October and early November. If you are in Singapore during this period, you must remember to ask your Capella Singapore Personal Assistant for more information on the activities lined up for the Deepavali celebrations.