Fall Recipes: French Onion Soup

It is official: summer is over and autumn is here.  Colorful leaves decorate the streets of Dusseldorf and there is a crispness in the air.  All this signals that the time to prepare hot soups is once again upon us!  There are so many different kinds and I am always testing new recipes to warm my body and spirit.  Luckily, I work with a chef who seems to have a never ending list of recommendations.  The latest recommendation from Breidenbacher Hof’s Executive Chef Philipp?  The classic, French Onion Soup.

While I was of course familiar with the soup, I had never ventured to make it.  Fortunately, Chef Philipp’s recipe was easy to follow.  And the results?  Absolutely the perfect fall kick-off!  Why don’t  you try it for yourself?  rsz_1zwiebelsuppe_

French Onion Soup (4 servings)


  • 500 g large onion
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 100 ml Brandy
  • 100 ml Noilly Prat
  • 100 ml dry white wine
  • 1 l broth
  • 4 small slices of baguette
  • 100 g Gruyère (Swiss cheese)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper


Begin by peeling the onions (trust me, the tears are worth it!). The half the onion and cut it down into thin slices. Then, add the butter and onions to a pot (must be large enough for the soup as a whole) and cook over medium heat until the onions begin to caramelize.

Now, deglaze the onions with the brandy, Noilly Prat and white wine.  Follow with the broth and the bay leaf, bringing the liquid to a boil and then simmering for about 20 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200°C and toast the baguette slices. (After toasting, leave the oven on for the final step!)

Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to individual oven safe bowls.

Add cheese to each of the toasted baguette slices and place one in each bowl.  Place each bowl in the heated oven allowing the soup and toast to heat until the cheese is melted and golden.

“C’est ҫa!”  Have fun trying the recipe and enjoy this take on French Onion Soup!


Capella Washington D.C.’s Gin Cobbler Cocktail

Nothing says “summer!” like a refreshing iced cocktail on a warm day. Here at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, our bartenders at The Rye Bar and our Rooftop Bar and Lounge are especially known for their delicious and creative creations. In my opinion, you can do no wrong when it comes to ice cold beverages during the summer, but I wanted to try something unique and different than what I typically make at home.  I knew just the person in The Rye Bar to go to for an easy and fun recipe.

Bartender Andrew always knows just what to suggest and this time he didn’t hesitate in offering a Gin Cobbler Cocktail.  As soon as I tried it, I knew I wanted to serve it at my summer cookout.  Fortunately, our bartenders love to share and I can now pass the delicious recipe along to you.

Gin Cobbler Cocktail

1½ ounces Gin (The Rye Bar uses London Dry)
½ ounce Orange Curacao (The Rye Bar uses Pure Ferrand)
¼ ounces Simple Syrup
½ Wheel slice of an orange
½ Wheel slice of a lemon
Crushed Ice

Ingredients - Gin Cobbler


1. Combine all liquors in a julep cup.

pouring cocktail

2. Lightly muddle the orange and lemon wheel slices together.

Andrew - Muddle

3. Pour mixture over the muddled fruit.

Andrew - Gin Cobbler finished cocktail

4. Fill glass with crushed ice and garnish with mint, berries, and an orange wheel slice.


Et Voila! Now you have a refreshing Gin Cobbler Cocktail, perfect for any summertime occasion! If you want to visit Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown, I’ll be sure to save you one of these while we are relaxing and soaking up the Georgetown city views from our gorgeous Rooftop Bar and Lounge! Otherwise, give our recipe a try at home and share your version with us on social media @CapellaDC so I can share them with our community! Hope you’re all enjoying your summer!

Meet Pastry Chef of The Year, Aggie Chin

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


  • 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)


  • 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!

Summer Ice Cream Profiteroles

Ice Cream Profiteroles

Ice Cream Profiteroles

What does summer tastes like?  When I posed this question to Capella Singapore’s Pastry Chef Sam, he didn’t have to pause to think twice.

“Ice cream profiteroles and summer are a match made in tropical paradise,” he shares.

This dough keeps well for three days in the freezer, so you can prep for a summer party in advance, or savour it slowly over a few days.  “Dessert is a luxury that should be enjoyed on a daily basis – not just reserved for special occasions,” he adds.  So get creative, and fill it with cream, ice cream or enjoy it on its own.

However, that is not the only reason Chef Sam is so fond of these little gems.  They remind him of the cream puffs his favourite aunt used to make for him in his younger days.  And they certainly take me back to my own carefree childhood as well.

The chef’s three tips for avid or aspiring home bakers: have patience, infuse a sense of warmth into your creations, and keep your flavours simple and well balanced.

And his tip for avid foodies such as me? Tuck in before it melts!

Pastry Chef Sam making gorgeous profiteroles

Pastry Chef Sam making gorgeous profiteroles

Summer Ice Cream Profiterole Recipe
Makes 20 servings

250g milk
250g water
3g salt
10g sugar
200g butter
300g all-purpose flour
10g baking powder
8 eggs
Ice cream or sorbet of your choice
Fresh berries for garnishing


1. In a pot, bring milk, water, salt, sugar and butter to a strong boil.

2. Add in sifted dry ingredients to the pot, stir and cook till mixture comes together into a ball without clumps.

3. Remove the dough from the heat and add half your beaten egg mixture, slowly stirring with a spatula.  Then, add the other half until the dough is glossy.

4. Pipe one-inch balls onto a sheet tray lined with baking paper.

5. Bake at 180ºC for 25 minutes.

6. Remove from oven, allow to cool for 5 minutes, and cut horizontally in half.

7. Fill with your favourite ice cream, and serve in a champagne saucer or on a plate garnished with fresh berries.


To enjoy perfect profiteroles or other exquisite desserts, join us for a meal at The Knolls. Say ‘Hi’ to Pastry Chef Sam while you’re here! He helms Capella Singapore’s pastry team.


Cinco De Mayo con Margaritas de Mango

En México somos bien conocidos por nuestra naturaleza festiva y alegre, y sinceramente no podemos decir que no a ninguna excusa para celebrar la vida y a las personas cercanas a nosotros.  Como se aproxima el Cinco de Mayo, y hay muchas festividades planeadas principalmente con nuestros vecinos del norte, me gustaría tomar esta oportunidad para compartirles algunos de los planes que tenemos para celebrar esta fecha aquí en Capella Ixtapa.  Yo estoy principalmente emocionada con el cocktail creado específicamente para la ocasión por nuestro mixólogo Miguel, ¡Y no puedo esperar más para compartirlo con ustedes!

Hay mucho más que guacamole, nachos y tequila durante las celebraciones del Cinco de Mayo, que contrario a los que muchos creen no es el Día de la Independencia de México, el cual es en Septiembre 16.  En Mayo 5 se celebra a batalla de Puebla, la cual conmemora la victoria del ejército mexicano sobre el ejército francés.  En Mayo de 1862, un poderoso ejército francés avanzaba hacia la Ciudad de México.  Los franceses se encontraban bien armados, disciplinados y eficientemente habían destruido cualquier resistencia en su avanzar a la capital mexicana.  Sin embargo, al llegar a las afueras de Puebla, sucedió algo que nadie esperaba:  Soldados mexicanos, la mayoría de ellos sin ningún entrenamiento formal y con un armamento bastante deficiente, derrotaron a los franceses.

La verdad es, que el Cinco de Mayo es mayormente una fiesta regional celebrada en la ciudad y el Estado de Puebla, con un modesto reconocimiento a nivel nacional en México.  Sin embargo, aquí en Capella Ixtapa ¡no podemos decirle que no a ninguna celebración!  Nuestro mixólogo Miguel amablemente nos comparte su receta para uno de sus cocteles más populares, la Margarita de Mango:


Margarita de Mango


• 1.5 oz.  Tequila Maestro Tequilero reposado
• 1.5 oz.  Jugo de naranja
• 1 oz.   Cointreau
• Néctar de agave
• Jarabe o concentrado de mango
• Sal para escarchar


• Escarchar el vaso con sal y llenarlo de hielo.
• Añadir tequila, jugo, Cointreau, jarabe de agave y de mango en una coctelera shaker y agitar vigorosamente.
• Sirve el contenido sobre hielo (cubos o frappe).
• Decora con una fruta estrella o con una flor de bougainvillea.

Salud y feliz Cinco de Mayo!

Mother’s Day Macarons

“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

Mother’s Day is around the corner and I am always look for special ways to thank my mom for all she does.  So, every year I bake or cook something for my mom on Mother’s Day.  For this year’s recipe I asked Breidenbacher Hof’s Executive Chef, Phillip Ferber, for his favorite Mother’s Day treat.  And trust me, you are going to love it.  The pink color looks fantastic and it is absolutely delicious.  It is Mother’s Day Macarons!

rsz_himbeer-makaron-1024x682Mother’s Day Macarons:


  • 150g icing sugar
  • 90g ground almonds
  • 30g sugar
  • 72g egg white (corresponds two egg whites)
  • Pink food coloring

Mix together all ingredients and add as much food color as you need for your perfect pink tone.  Fill the dough into an icing bag.  Preheat the oven to 100°C and pipe both parts of the macaron (the upper and bottom surface) onto the baking tray.  The macarons should have a diameter of about 2cm. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes.  When done, let them cool down for about half an hour.

Rhubarb Filling:


  • 300g Ivoire Valrhona
  • 80g sweet cream
  • 60g stewed rhubarb
  • 500g raspberries
  • 500g blueberries

If you like to prepare the stewed rhubarb on your own,  I would recommend to mix 100g of rhubarb (cut in dices) with 3 table spoons of water and boil it for a while.

At the same time,  heat the cream in another pan and mix together with the chocolate until you have achieved a creamy texture.  Cool down the delicious cream in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Then, beat the cream to make it fluffy and fill it into an icing bag.

Building the Macaron
Take the bottom portion of the baked macaron and pipe the rhubarb filling onto the bottom layer.  Add fruit (I suggest raspberries or blueberries) and top with the other end of the pastry.

The macarons are not just a pretty present for Mother’s Day, but a delicious one as well.  So enjoy!  There is no better way to show your mother just how much you love her.