One Night in Macau

Friday, July 29, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

25137078301_67df1c48a3_cAn hour ferry ride takes you from Hong Kong to Macau. Just for one night. Just for fun.

24599615014_a2189e2b22_cChecking in at Mandarin Oriental Macau. Tea in bed…

24603461873_e38576cf00_c…and then a short ride to Casa de Cha Long Wa. Classic teahouse / local dim sum spot…

Las Vegas // San Francisco

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

22489493948_fde6a12ff7_cI was recently in Vegas to speak at the World Tea Expo (covering global tea trends in foodservice). It was a busy 36 hours, but the good kind where you’re producing and having fun. I had a few great meals before heading to San Francisco. Make time for the things you want ^-^

28042184996_6d53ae9157_cOmakase at Kabuto…

Bali, Once More

Thursday, July 14, 2016 2comments No tags Permalink 0

22537737416_15b801d981_cMy last visit to Bali was in 2009. It was a quick two-night trip to/from Taipei…not enough time. So we are back again.

22537773456_2c689b343d_cFour Seasons operates two properties in Bali. One near the water (Jimbaran) and another in the jungle (Sayan).

22563561995_e664234a7a_cI’ve lived on islands (Oahu and Manhattan) all my life. I like being near the water, but love homes surrounded by greenery. Deep in valley and up mountains. Big trees and wild flowers. It was Sayan I found enchanting…

Hawaii | Happy Hearts Mochi

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 1 No tags Permalink 0

28278867615_044a703678_cHawaii mochi is very different from Japanese mochi. It’s softer, more gentle. It doesn’t have the precise, flawless look of Japanese mochi, but I find the final product more happy and enjoyable. In the end, it’s all about pleasure ^-^

I have two regular mochi spots in Honolulu. The first is Nisshodo in Kalihi (post here and here for more chichi dango). The second is Happy Hearts Mochi. Happy Hearts doesn’t have a retail storefront. You have to order via email (at least two business days in advance), schedule a pick-up time, and then go to Natsunoya Tea House in Liliha for pick-up. It’s worth it.

27663445673_f5979d8908_cI first mentioned Happy Hearts Mochi in 2009. It’s time for an update. I like Bento #4 (see them all here). It includes a taste of everything and is the right size for a snack (for two people).

28278866075_cfffb7d88a_cAt the top center of the box is Strawberry Mochi…

Don Bocarte Anchovies

Friday, July 8, 2016 1 No tags Permalink 0

26879393734_8924c317ea_cI cook a lot because I love it. A lot of that pleasure comes from great ingredients. Beautiful duck breasts, the sweetest salmon and arctic char. A tray of uni. Good olive oil. Even better wine. Boquerones. Anchovies.

For today, Don Bocarte! Thanks to Jee and Fred for the lead on these meaty and clean anchovies. They are the best I’ve had in the US. The best best still goes to Txomin Etxaniz in Getaria. Pressed garlic makes it all wild…

Moroccan Mint Tea

Friday, July 8, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

1 - Moroccan Mint TeaI start and end the day with tea (been all white teas from Darjeeling this week), straight and pure. But in the afternoon and especially when friends visit, it’s fun serving tea-based beverages. Something different.

2 - Moroccan Mint TeaA big part of my job is identifying global trends and integrating them into the US market. I’m often recipe testing and searching for tea beverages when traveling. When I find something extra special, I adapt it for home use. This is a take on Moroccan Mint Tea (wish I was back here for a day), inspired by Mourad in San Francisco…

Snapshots from Iceland

Thursday, July 7, 2016 1 No tags Permalink 0

26069013273_fc61e897a8_cA few months late…but I can still feel the wind chill ^-^

26066712134_071b8da8bb_cI went to Iceland in March thinking I could wear normal winter attire. No one tells you about the wind. Wild and relentless.

26067135414_94f6c4bb4e_cBig thank you to Don who outfitted me in windbreakers and waterproof this and that. I wouldn’t have made it though the trip without all those pieces.

I left my RX1 back in NYC (felt so light), these are all phone photos…

Sunday Afternoon

Saturday, July 2, 2016 1 No tags Permalink 0

27177385293_8104ba612a_cApéritif…plus a handful of nibbles ^-^

27713336401_410854b84c_cI was visiting Noelle in San Francisco last week for work projects. And one early Sunday evening, we invited over friends (we all grew up together in Hawaii) for drinks and snacks.

We work together seamlessly…Noelle does the cocktails, I do the tea. Wine and food is a collaborative effort.

27753933656_6c77c22415_cRemember how Pierre’s mom always served foie gras and white port for apéritif? I first learned of this pairing when we stayed with them in Alsace. Then again in Paris and Brittany. No matter the season or where we were in France, I could always count on this treat for the evenings we dined at home.

I didn’t know anything about white port before that first summer. Ahh the things you learn. (That’s my favorites part about traveling.) Always chilled. And sometimes, with an ice cube or two…