Worth the Flight to Toronto

Rasa — Toronto, Ontario
www.rasabar.ca

You often hear of lists of restaurants that are “worth the flight”. Well, this is at the top of my list.

Rasa in Toronto is brought to you by The Food Dudes.  Plan a trip to Toronto now.

Here is a photo journey of the incredible meal that the wonderful Chef John and Chef Davin prepared for me recently.

Welcoming + Creative + Fabulous Cocktails + Incredible Tastes + Great Presentation = Hospitality at it’s finest.



Taste! Taste! Taste!

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I Won the Culinary Lottery!

I really won the Culinary Lottery!

Trois Mec in LA | Culinary ConciergeOn a recent trip to Los Angeles, I managed to secure a table at Trois Mec. Trois Mec means “three guys”, which is French slang for three friends.
These are not just any friends; but three of the hottest chefs in LA who are so creative, innovative and imaginative that it’s a little like ending up for dinner in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. Your chefs and hosts at Trois Mec are Ludo Lefebvre, Jon Shook, and Vinny Dotolo.

Why is it a lottery? Well, they only serve dinner from Monday through Friday and they do not take reservations. Spots are secured via an online ticketing system that you log onto two weeks before you want to be there for dinner. Sit at your computer, type very fast and hope that you get a seat.

Food review of Trois Mec in Los Angeles | Christine Couvelier Culinary ConciergeOh, right there are only 12 seats! Not bad when I counted 22 staff serving, cooking, creating and pouring.

Now, if you expect to pull up and see a sign that says Trois Mec — it’s not there. The sign says Raffalo’s Pizza. They never changed it. So open the door and be greeted by the whole staff turning and yelling out “Bonsoir” (the fun has just begun).

Food review of Trois Mec in LA | Christine Couvelier Don’t look for a menu when you sit down. They don’t have one. There is a different tasting menu each night. Just sit back and let the culinary creativity take over every sip and every bite of the tasting menu and wine pairings. There were 12 courses the night I was there.

Tiny tastes that made up one of the top three meals of my life!

Trois Mec White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes

Trois Mec White Chocolate Mashed Potatoes

There were too many highlights to mention; but, the winner was the smoked and bruleed eel served on a bed of white chocolate mashed potatoes. Yes, you did just read that correctly. It was simply the best taste of the year.

Oh, and that menu you were expecting — it’s presented at the end of your Trois Mec Food Review in Los Angeles | Culinary Conciergemeal. What a great way to ensure you will never forget your meal at Trois Mec. I’ll be planning another trip very soon because I just can’t wait to eat there again!

Taste! Taste! Taste!

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Hale Food

Hale Food Partners with Culinary Concierge
Recently, I was thrilled to be asked to become part of a new group of food industry professionals at Hale Food.

John Hale has pulled together a team of the best development and innovation people in the industry — think of all the great projects, food products & new menu items that will be created!

I sat down with John for an interview, so you could get to know more about Hale Food.

Hi John … I am so pleased to discuss Hale Food with you.

What made you want to start Hale Food?
I have worked for big blue chip companies for over 30 years now and I wanted to give something back, particularly to the little guy. I have had lots of experience in sensory, product development and factories and I wanted to share that with more than just one company.

Tell me a bit about your culinary journey?
I
started my culinary journey in my childhood. I was always cooking and working in the kitchen at home in Yorkshire, England and really enjoyed making comfort food for the pleasure of others. The same thing applies to me today. Making products that people love means everything to me.

How did you choose the team members?
T
he easiest part of starting Hale Food was picking the team members to be with me. Their backgrounds, experience and professionalism speaks for itself. They are all talented in their own areas and bring such an array of expertise I would have been foolish to be without them. Someone always knows the answer …… and it’s not always me.

What makes your heart sing? & what kind of projects do you love to be involved with?
What makes my heart sing is when you see people in a grocery store picking up your product and placing it in their basket. For them to be using something that you have worked on creating is the pinnacle for me. I love to be involved in all types of projects but particularly ones that are difficult to solve. The feeling when a team comes together to solve something that has complexity and succeeds is one of the best feelings in the world.

Who are your potential clients?
I would not discount anyone from being one of our clients. We tailor to all prices and needs. The little companies who need a little more help are in some ways more appealing to me because they are so pleased when you help them solve an issue. It’s not all about money, it’s about doing the right things and doing them well.

What is your favourite food?
My favourite food is fish …. plain white fish, steamed or baked, wonderful delicate flavours and soft succulent textures…… perfect.

What is your favourite drink?
My favourite drink would have to be tea …. nice and strong with a dash of milk, no sugar ….. wonderfully refreshing with just a little bite.

What is a favourite & tasty food memory?
Smell evokes memory and the smell that evokes the best and tastiest memory for me is of the seaside. It is the same in Victoria as it is in England and it is really difficult to describe but there is a slightly damp ozone aroma that brings me back to catching and eating shrimp and crab in both places.

Where do you like to travel to find culinary inspiration?
I have been very lucky in being able to travel the world for work. I have really enjoyed the culinary experience in San Francisco where the food is wonderful, Vancouver Island where you could not get fresher seafood, Boston & Massachusetts as a whole, the flavours seems so different there and in Europe I really enjoyed the rustic hearty flavours that Hungary had to offer. There are so many delights that you could fill a book with them.

Thanks John — I so look forward to sharing my passion for food, experience & enthusiasm with all of the team at Hale Food.

Taste! Taste! Taste!

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What’s hot in the food world right now, and where can you get it?

To help you discover the answer, I’ve teamed up with Travelocity.ca to create the First Annual Travelocity.ca Culinary Travel Trend Watch Report. It highlights 10 mouth-watering food trends happening around the world, from sustainable seafood in Vancouver and craft cocktails in New Orleans, to foraged food tapas in San Sebastien, Spain.

Read the report and you’ll have to fight the urge to start booking tickets right away!

Discover your foodie type and win

Not only does the Travelocity.ca Culinary Travel Trend Report list 10 great destinations to indulge your taste buds in truly amazing culinary adventures, there’s also an online Foodie Profile Quiz running alongside it that helps you learn what kind of foodie you are.

The Travelocity Gnome about town with Christine Couvelier

  • Christine Couvelier with the Travelocity Gnome at Breakfast TV Toronto

    Christine Couvelier with the Travelocity Gnome at Breakfast TV Toronto

  • Christine Couvelier and Travelocity Gnome at Global News Studio Toronto

    Christine Couvelier and Travelocity Gnome at Global News Studio Toronto

  • Christine Couvelier and JP Challet at Ici Bistro

    Christine Couvelier and JP Challet at Ici Bistro

  • Travelocity Gnome at CHCH Hamilton Morning Show

    Travelocity Gnome at CHCH Hamilton Morning Show

  • The Travelocity Gnome Roaming Town

    Christine Couvelier with JP Challet & the Travelocity Gnome in Toronto

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Travelocity Culinary Travel Trend Report

Roaming Travelocity Gnome partners with Culinary ConciergeWhere should you go for your next vacation? I’m a firm believer in letting your inner foodie guide you in such matters, and a Travelocity.ca survey shows that 75% of Canadians agree with me, putting food near the top of the list when planning their holidays. So that’s settled – follow your stomach!

The next question is obvious: What’s hot in the food world right now, and where can you get it?

To help you discover the answer, I’ve teamed up with Travelocity.ca to create the First Annual Travelocity.ca Culinary Travel Trend Watch Report. It highlights 10 mouth-watering food trends happening around the world, from sustainable seafood in Vancouver and craft cocktails in New Orleans, to foraged food tapas in San Sebastien, Spain.

Read the report and you’ll have to fight the urge to start booking tickets right away!

Top 10 Travelocity Travel Destinations with Christine Couvelier of Culinary Concierge

Let’s face it, one of the great joys of travel is coming back and sharing your culinary discoveries with friends and family. I know I love pointing people in the direction of that hidden vineyard, incredible bakery or up-and-coming restaurant I visited (not to mention that it’s my job as a Global Culinary Trendologist!).

So head over to Travelocity.ca to read the Travelocity.ca Culinary Travel Trend Report!

Breakfast TV with Christine Couvelier on Travelocity Trend Watch Report

Helping you uncover food trends around the world

To learn more about the latest culinary trends around the world, keep coming back to my website, where you’ll find information on Trend Watch Reports as well as the wide range of food product and concept development services I offer.

Food is my passion, and I’m dedicated to helping readers and clients identify and act on upcoming trends in the culinary world.

Thanks for reading, and happy travels!

Taste! Taste! Taste!

 

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So Hot – Eat Here Right Now

Anyone who follows my blog will know that I think Seattle is one of the greatest food cities around.

One of my new finds is MKT, brought to you by the never-ending chef / restaurateur, Ethan Stowell, who continues to share his passion for food in a variety of ways at his endless list of restaurants.

MKT is a tiny new gem full of incredible tastes to share. The dungeness crab salad with tart apple, tarragon, and endive was so refreshing and crisp.  I crave another taste of his winter squash fritters with corriander, herb and pumpkin seed pesto.

The special dish for me was the smoked wild mushrooms with sweet potato gnocchi topped with crispy shallots and thyme.

Trust me! Head to MKT for great hospitality, wonderful service, and tastes to make memories. Visit www.ethanstowellrestaurants.com.

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A Taste of Sake

Sake Tasting | Culinary Concierge, Vancouver BCWhen the mail arrives, and the invitation reads, “The Consul General of Japan requests the pleasure of your company at A Taste of Sake”, it makes you smile.

I was honoured last week to be invited to the home of Seiji Okada, the Consul General of Japan, in Vancouver BC, for a spectacular sake and food tasting.

Sake Tasting with Seiji Okada Consul General of Japan Vancouver BCSake has enjoyed a special place in Japanese life and culture for hundreds of years. Today, sake is appreciated by people from every corner of the world for it’s unique balance of refreshment and savouriness. In Japan, over 5,000 brands have been newly developed to cater to the growing trend of pairing sake with Japanese-Western fusion cuisine.

Sake Tasting with Seiji Okada, the Consul General of JapanI knew the very select group of guests were in for a treat, when we were welcomed with a glass of sparkling sake as we arrived.

The food served was and exquisite and paired so well with the numerous sakes that were described and tasted.

Christine Couvelier at Sake Tasting with the Consul General of JapanWe learned much about the history of sake making; for instance, that a sake craftsman is called a kurabito.

As we discussed, ‘sake is made from steamed rice, and what does steamed rice go with — everything!”

I encourage you to explore the tastes of new and different sake you may not have tasted before. Try it chilled & enjoy. Kanpai!

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Tastes & Trends

Good Food Awards San Francicso | Christine Couvelier | Culinary Concierge

Christine Couvelier at
Good Food Awards, San Francisco

I have just returned from The Fancy Food Show & The Good Food Awards in San Francisco.
A fabulous way to start off the new year!!

These shows are one of the ways the culinary world gets a tastes of the trends that may be showing up in gourmet stores, on grocery store shelves, or on restaurant menus near you.

Good Food Awards, San Francisco | Rick’s Picks

Good Food Awards, San Francisco
Rick’s Picks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I travel to food shows around the world, I taste the new products being offered by both large food manufacturers as well as artisanal food producers. I spend time touring green markets, tasting with chefs and keeping my taste buds tuned for the next big taste and  trend that will come along in the food world.

My clients certainly benefit from this, as I am able to assist them launching on-time, on-trend and great tasting products in their product line-up or on their menus.

Fancy Food Show, San Francisco | Jelly Belly

Fancy Food Show, San Francisco
Jelly Belly

My Trend Watch Report provides an in-depth look at the trends which are emerging, developing & existing for the next 1 – 5 years.

If this sounds like something you have been searching for to launch your next award-winning product, call me at +1-250.589.5845.

Fancy Food Show, San Francisco | Chef’s Cut

Fancy Food Show, San Francisco
Chef’s Cut

Many of my clients ask me to take them to where the trends are happening and to provide a taste tour of new retailers, restaurants, green markets & chef’s kitchens. These In-Store & At-Market Tours are the turning point in planning for new products or menu items. They provide you with access to trend setters, tastes behind the kitchen doors, and a look at the future of the food industry.

Do you want to put yourself ahead of your competition ? Call me. I would look forward to planning a tour just for you and your team.

Fancy Food Show | San Francisco | Cup 4 Cup

Fancy Food Show, San Francisco
Cup 4 Cup

Be sure to check back for a look into my Culinary Crystal Ball.

Taste, Taste, Taste.

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Delicious in Miami

Chef Dena Marino with Christine Couvelier | Culinary Concierge

Christine with Chef Dena Marino

Do you have travel plans that might take you close to Miami Florida?

Well, if you do, be sure to head over to Miami’s Design District — you don’t want to miss eating at MC Kitchen. MC Kitchen is the culinary playground of Chef Dena Marino.

Chef Dena Marino | Miami Florida | Culinary Concierge

Bucatini alla Carbonara

The sleek dining room greets you, filled with tantalizing aromas from the open kitchen.

Christine Couvelier in Miami at MC Kitchen

Rustichella d’Abbruzzo Paccheri

The menu is Chef Marino’s take on modern Italian cuisine — it’s fabulous !! Her passion for food shines through in the fresh house-made pastas, local fish, and locally sourced produce and herbs.

The Bucatini alla Carbonara was better than any carbonara that I have ever eaten in Italy!!

Can’t wait for my next visit to MC Kitchen. Visit MC Kitchen at www.mckitchenmiami.com to find out more.

Ciao!!

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Passion For Food Equals Suzanne Goin

I was so fortunate to be able to attend a great event with fabulous chef, Suzanne Goin.

Suzanne Goin talks with Christine Couvelier about passion for foodShe was in Vancouver, BC for her only Canadian stop on a book tour to promote her new cookbook, “The A.O.C. Cookbook”.

For so long, I have loved her food, her restaurants, her cookbooks, & the way she shares her flavours. Her first cookbook, “Sunday Suppers at Lucques”, is a much loved book in my culinary library. Now, we can all dive into this new book.

A.O.C. Restaurant in Los Angeles is a destination to sit back and feel welcome as you graze through the many small plates and shared style dishes. The A.O.C. Cookbooks translates those tastes into main course recipes we can make at home = perfect! Every mouthful of the dinner was amazing.

Recipes from the AOC Cookbook | Culinary Concierge Review

Endive with Beets, Oranges, Kumquats and Charmoula

Suzanne Going AlbacoreTuna Dish | Culinary Concierge Review

Albacore Tuna, Labacore Tuna, Avocado, Cucumber & Ruby Grapefruit

pork-cheeks-polenta-cookbook-recipe

Pork Cheeks, Polenta, Mustard Cream and Horseradish Gremolata

Pink Lady Apple Crostada | Cookbook Recipe | Suzanne Goin

Pink Lady Apple Crostada, Whipped Mascarpone and Armagnac Prunes


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

As you read through the stories and recipes in the book, it feels like Suzanne is standing in the kitchen with you. This award-winning chef has once again written a book that is sure to be at the heart of many wonderful dinner parties.

Last night I made her recipe for lamb paillards with risotto carbonara, english peas, and chanterelles. Ahhhhh!

If you are travelling to Los Angeles, be sure to stop by one of Suzanne’s many successful restaurants and treat yourself to a dining experience you will remember for a lifetime.

www.aocwinebar.com

www.lucques.com

www.tavernla.com

www.thelarderatmaple.com

Taste! Taste! Taste!

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