Categories
Culture Drinks Opinion

Exploring Mexico’s Wine Country Through The Scope Of The Parent Trap

Hallie Parker and Annie James, the beloved red-headed twins of cult classic, The Parent Trap, exude a twinship attained through CGIs and a body double. Such a twinship, destined by a predictable plot, was stalled for 12 years as each part of Lindsay Lohan grew up in different regions, with a different parent. The once innocent actress gone awry convinced everyone and their mothers that she actually had a twin (well, I mean, I was pretty convinced), and displayed the common phenomenon: identical twins with opposing personalities.

Hallie and Annie’s personalities slightly run parallel, and retain qualities in a wine-world twinship between Napa Valley, California and Guadalupe Valley, Mexico AKA the Valle De Guadalupe.

Photo: Jim G on Flickr, CC 2.0

Hallie’s hometown, Napa Valley, California, has upheld a status in wine culture — it’s an oasis of fine wine bred from the finest grapes. For those unfamiliar, Napa is Northern California’s wine-country located about one and a half hours away from San Francisco. This world-renowned wine region offers what one would expect: endless ranges of vineyards and tourist attractions. With the reputation that Napa withholds today, the thought of it ever being unpopular feels foreign. Yet, up until the 1976 Judgment of Paris — a  blind tasting of French and California chardonnays, cabernets, etc. — wines from California were overshadowed by France’s age-old wineries.

Breaking into the wine world through a prestigious wine competition, expectedly propelled the commercialization of Napa’s wine, shaping the high-class culture grown out of its wealth.  The uppity and proper aura people tend to associate with Napa Valley, because of all that capital, aligns it with Annie’s persona, not Hallie’s.

Photo: Jim G on Flickr, CC 2.0

Before “coincidentally” meeting at summer camp, their opposite worlds were panned through. Annie grew up in London, England with the proper, British mother. Lohan’s subpar British accent combined with Annie’s style, emulating Princess Diana’s lady-like couture, made this twin borderline-stereotypical. Yet her fire, her sass, all springing from her wit (basically, logical clap-backs), made up for it. Hallie, the other half, went with the hunky dad (Dennis Quaid) to his grand winery in Napa Valley, California — thus growing up on smashing grapes and riding horses — you know, just tomboy things. Her daring, spunky demeanor kickstarted the mayhem in the first place, bringing the Parent Trap into existence, really.

So if Hallie isn’t Napa Valley, what’s her other wine-world half? Apart from Napa Valley, Hallie is rough around the edges, casual, and although the camera didn’t zoom in on this shot, she probably has some dirt under her fingernails and some grape stains on her fingertips. All the dirt and grit along with her warmth and spunk make her more relatable to Guadalupe Valley in Mexico more so than Napa Valley.

Separating two twins does not impair the similarities inevitably bound to biologically-identical beings, yet their individuality is molded by their environment alone. Their pivoting personalities, influenced by the region they grew up in, differentiates the twins and integrates the vibrancy of their red hair — the fire within it — relative to their mannerisms. No, their hair is not quite literally on fire, but the striking feature matches their different-but-all-at-once-same fierce attitudes.

Like Hallie and Annie, Valle de Guadalupe and Napa are separated by regions, and principally-based, they are different and the same all at once. The traits Napa Valley and Guadalupe Valley retain are often compared — weather conditions, the successful wineries and restaurants — and this twinship was destined to form once the media put Valle in the spotlight (like destiny bringing Hallie and Annie together at summer camp).

© Tomas Castelazo, www.tomascastelazo.com / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Valle de Guadalupe is Mexico’s wine region about two hours south of San Diego, California and is often deemed as “under the radar” or the “Napa Valley of Mexico.” According to a qualitative study of the region done by Jorge Covarrubias and Liz Thach of Sonoma State University, “Mexico has a long history in winemaking and is considered to be the oldest wine growing region in North America…[and] the Valle de Guadalupe accounts for 80–95% of all of Mexican wine production.” Despite a storied and long tenured presence of winemaking in Mexico, the Valle’s media presence is fairly scarce and recent — and the media is definitely excited, feeling as if they discovered Napa’s long-lost twin, the Hallie to its Annie, if you will.

Okay, so the whole point of Parent Trap was to reunite Hallie and Annie’s parents. These starry-eyed, 12-year-olds longed for their parents to reignite their love and be together, so they can be a complete family (yes, very cute). But, the dad fell in love with a young lady, the evil stepmother of the plot, Meredith Blake. Meredith was the catalyst for even more conflict, barring old loves from rekindling past bonds.

This may be a stretch, but hear me out (read this out?): tourists who visit Valle de Guadalupe can only drink those wines when they are there. People have tried to import the Valle’s wine, however, it is still fairly limited [source info] due to California import laws. So, winery owners result to a tactic called Direct to Consumer (DTC) sale. This tactic is more so a requirement, rather than a strategy.

Covarrubias and Thach  explained that California only allows: “1 L max [of imported wine] at the [California-Mexico] border.” Because of this limiting legislation, all of the Valle visitors who fell in love with the wine are unable to bring it home. And the love left behind in Mexico is hard to rekindle. Essentially, Valle’s evil stepmother is this said law blocking wine lovers from the Valle de Guadalupe’s wine. And all the Valle wine lovers, are basically all the Parent Trap fans who, like Hallie and Annie, long for a reunited love.

Photo: Cbojorquez75 on Wikimedia Commons, CC 4.0

Like Napa Valley, Valle de Guadalupe is magnetic, pulling in tourists to taste fine wine grown in optimal conditions: a lot of sun and just the right balance of dryness and moisture. These biological similarities create this twinship, but based on Valle’s environment alone a rough-around-the-edges vibe is molded. The open landscape of dirt, cacti and other desert plants is remnant of California’s wild West past, and even, Napa’s early beginnings. Therefore, it’s valid to mark Valle de Guadalupe as the “Napa Valley of Mexico,” being that Mexico’s wine-country is not as well-known at this point, like Napa pre-Judgment of Paris. Twins can share similarities like this, but that does not imply that one-half wants to be identical, or compared to the other. And, the winery and restaurant owners are definitely not the biggest fans of the label of the “Napa Valley of Mexico.”

Chef Javier Plascencia, the owner of Finca Altozano, a restaurant within Valle De Guadalupe,  interviewed with The Independent and stated: “If you talk to the winemakers, they hate it when they compare it to Napa. They’re doing their own thing.”

Although there is an imbalance of popularity in this twinship, forming this connection parallels the quality of Mexico’s wine to California’s but recognizes the diverging ambiance each region emanates.

As Mexico continues to develop their wine industry, the popularity of Valle de Guadalupe will rise, and with the help of its twinship with Napa (despite the unfavorable comparison), their products will potentially be as widespread. However, for now, the Valle remains under the radar with its Meredith standing in the way. But hopefully, the tourists who directly consumed Valle de Guadalupe’s wines will reunite with the chardonnays and cabernets they fell in love with, and the imbalance in Napa Valley and Valle’s twinship will neutralize in the future.

Categories
#foodbeast Culture Drinks FOODBEAST Grocery Hit-Or-Miss News Now Trending Packaged Food Products What's New

Cinnamon Flavored Coca-Cola Is A Thing, In The UK At Least

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Well This Is New (@_well_this_is_new_) on

Coca-Cola Zero Sugar has recently announced a limited edition, cinnamon flavor devoted for the upcoming holiday season. The spicy soda, served in 500 mL and 1.25 L bottles, is due to display in United Kingdom grocery shelves on October 8, 2018, and is only available until the end of this year.

According to Coca-Cola UK’s press release, their inspiration sprouted from the people: “[Coca-Cola Zero Sugar Cinnamon] launched in response to the general public’s love of the flavor.”

It is a daring move to combine cinnamon and soda, but Coca-Cola is not the first to do it. Last year, PepsiCo released ‘Pepsi Fire‘ some time in June 2017, suspiciously close to the time their controversial Kendall Jenner commercial aired — possibly made to win back fans or provide a distraction from the past controversy. Whether it served to deviate the public’s attention or not, it ultimately ended up not doing too hot.

Although it is in the UK, and Coke did not do it first, it’s upcoming release shall determine its success. And as the inevitable reviews come out, the biggest question of is it spicy or sweet? Will be answered.

As a curious U.S. foodie, I wish good luck to Cinnamon flavored Coca-Cola and to the UK’s taste buds.

Feature Photo Credit to @_well_this_is_new_ Instagram
Categories
#foodbeast Culture FOODBEAST Grocery Hit-Or-Miss News Now Trending Packaged Food Products

What To Eat This Holiday If You Live In The UK: Christmas Tree-Flavored Chips

In the UK, propped among other varieties of chips (we’re talking potato chips not fries), are a supermarket chain’s newest holiday flavor. Snack brand ‘Iceland’ released “Christmas Tree Flavour Salted Hand-Cooked Crisps” throughout UK grocery stores.

The ingredients are pretty simple: potatoes, sunflower oil, pine oil, and pine salt seasoning — an expected combination to create a piney, woodsy taste. A pine-flavored chip definitely sounds odd, but the flavors may taste similar to rosemary. Not so outlandish now, huh?

But, whether it is a marketing ploy or not, this festive flavor breaks away from the flavors that we, as a society, have grown to associate with the holidays: pumpkin spice, peppermint, etc.

As of now, these chips are only available in the UK but, honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if it popped up in Trader Joe’s shelves. Yet, for now, the British are winning the oddest potato chip flavor contest (sorry Lay’s).

Categories
#foodbeast Alcohol Culture Deals Drinks Features FOODBEAST News Products Restaurants Sweets

Restaurant’s Nationwide Offer These Pink Colored Foods For A Good Cause

October may be designated for Halloween and an existential crisis because you are realizing that the year is basically over, BUT more importantly than both of those factors is: breast cancer awareness.

Throughout October, restaurants around the nation are incorporating pink-themed food and drinks, donating those proceeds to breast cancer foundations. Here are some spots to eat and drink pink to support breast cancer awareness.

 

TAO

A giant, pink fortune cookie (hopefully with a big and promising fortune inside), is available at TAO’s several locations in: Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, and New York City (Uptown and Downtown). Enjoy the traditional taste of a fortune cookie, with a twist of white and dark chocolate mousse inside. 

 

Ema

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Ēma (@emachicago) on

Ema in Chicago, IL is serving a Strawberry Sumac Frozen Greek Yogurt— a simple pink delight. With every yogurt sold, they will donate $1.00 to the Lynn Sage Foundation.

 

Fig & Olive  

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by FIG & OLIVE (@figandolive) on

In all of Fig & Olive’s locations in NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, DC, Newport Beach, and Houston their signature pink cocktail is available throughout October. All of their donations benefit Breast Cancer Research.

 

LAVO

LAVO, in New York and Las Vegas, have a sweet pairing of an Oreo Zeppole (a deep fried Oreo) with a Strawberry Milkshake. LAVO is a part of the TAO Group’s month-long Tao Cares’ program. For all of October, each pink dessert sold — including the giant fortune cookie — will contribute 10% of that sale to American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. 

 

BJ’S RESTAURANT AND BREWERY

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse (@bjsrestaurants) on

“Pink Your Drink,” at participating BJ locations around the country. Drinking their pink drinks help donate to breast cancer research. (Just be sure to check if your local BJ’s Restaurant is involved).

 

OTTO’S TACOS

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Otto’s Tacos (@ottostacos) on

Otto’s Tacos dispersed in New York City is featuring their neon pink taco where a portion of the sales will go to American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer.  

 

PANERA BREAD

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by wvbhi (@wvbhi) on

Panera Bread brought back the Pink Ribbon-shaped Bagel flavored with cherry and vanilla. Baking this bagel contributes to awareness, and what is especially cool is their “100 Percent Donation Days.” On specific dates, all of the sales will be donated to local breast cancer organizations in each state and city.

 

FOODLIFE

Photo Courtesy of Foodlife‘s Website.

In Chicago, IL this restaurant’s pink-sprinkled, vanilla cupcake will donate $1.00 to The Lynn Sage Foundation for every cupcake sold.

 

VANDAL

Vandal in New York, New York is associated with TAO Group, and with this pop rock dessert, they will be donating their proceeds through TAO Cares. The Pop Rocks top a Strawberry Shortcake Ice Cream Cake with a sweet cream. Dig in! 

Photo Courtesy of TAO Group.
Categories
#foodbeast Alcohol Culture Features FOODBEAST Nightlife Now Trending Restaurants What's New

Roy Choi’s Upcoming Las Vegas Restaurant Has Finally Been Revealed

Prolific Los Angeles chef Roy Choi has famously ventured from a food truck to restaurants exploring varying styles of food pertaining to the theme of the restaurant, like Hawaiian food at A-Frame, and even, his game-changing Korean short rib taco birthed at the Kogi food truck.

With each new restaurant — whether the entire menu oozes with traditional-Korean flavors or is more of a fusion fare — he remains perched in Los Angeles, California. Choi’s status amongst Angelenos attributes to expanding in LA county, but at the top of this year, he announced his big move of opening a new restaurant in Las Vegas where a piece of L.A. will go along with him. After much anticipation for this new restaurant, Choi finally unveiled the entrance, dining area, and the name— ‘Best Friend,’ planning to open this December.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Roy Choi (@ridingshotgunla) on

It is located right on the Las Vegas Strip, in the new Park MGM Hotel, and this piece of Los Angeles pertains to Choi and Angelenos themselves. For Choi, the restaurants he opened in his hometown have a place at this establishment: “It is the only place to sink your teeth into all the flavors from Kogi to Commissary and everything in between, along with fresh new ideas I’ve been cooking up for years.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Roy Choi (@ridingshotgunla) on


The first step into ‘Best Friend’ is the ‘Liquor Store’, which is essentially, a small neighborhood bodega: mildly quaint and retro — the mild barred by the extravagance of Las Vegas. This remixed version of Los Angeles with bright colors and neon lights makes it as Vegas as it could get.

“It’s Koreatown in a capsule — a portal to the streets of LA, but also rooted in what makes Las Vegas, VEGAS,” says Roy Choi. From the looks of it, the ‘Liquor Store’ boasts relics and iconic figures from the City of Angels along with nods to Choi’s musical tastes: an N.W.A poster, Biggie’s quote ‘It was all a dream’ fluoresced with neon lights, and a ‘Koreatown’ neon sign, too.  An early look at this entrance feels like a game of I Spy, the premise being: How LA is this LA-inspired restaurant?

In a previous interview with Foodbeast, Choi stated: “I want people from L.A. to walk in and be like, ‘FUCK YEAH‘ and ‘OHHH SHIIIT‘, you know? I want you to roll up with all your friends and feel at home. And then I want people from elsewhere to feel like they’re getting a good glimpse into what it’s like to live in Los Angeles. We’re very aware that this is gonna be a Vegas restaurant. So we won’t shy away from the big and spectacular. If they can recreate the cities of Paris and Rome in Vegas, I want to recreate Los Angeles, too, with varied levels of nuance.”

Yes, the food and the origins carry the culture of L.A., but what seems to matter to Choi more is the atmosphere. He wants to mirror L.A.’s laid-back, yet urban vibe; highlighting the quaint, corner-shops and passing cars bumping N.W.A, Tupac, and The Pharcyde (so, expect to hear all of the hip-hop classics blasting throughout the restaurant).

Los Angeles’ food in Las Vegas is a symbol of Choi extending his vision past the L.A. city limits, but beyond that, it is a creation made through collaboration with his own best friends — utilizing Sean Knibb and David Irvin’s design, Patrick Martinez’s neon art, and Travis Jensen’s photography.

As ‘Best Friend’ opens up in December, it will capture the vibe of Choi’s hometown but resonate around the culture — where diversity, is formed by the food and people— and that, is what makes this L.A.-inspired restaurant truly L.A.: “I want Best Friend to energize the minds of people looking to experience the best in life. Whether they are from Hollywood or Hong Kong, D.C. or Down Under, I hope all guests are licking their fingers with their mouths full saying ‘holy shit!’ as they reach across the table for another bite. L.A. food in Las Vegas. Los Vegas. Best Friend. Forever.”

Photos: MGM Resorts International
Categories
#foodbeast Culture Food Trends FOODBEAST News Science

Chile Expert Breaks Down How It’s Nearly Impossible To Describe The Taste Of One

Odd sensations and natural reactions to various thoughts, especially when it comes to food (mouthwatering), uprises in questionable, biological ways — that I definitely want to avoid getting into — enticing what would happen if you ate the food. For instance, chiles trigger that collection of saliva (sorry, too much info?) under my tongue, but what is actually happening when eating the chile is that it alarms heat sensors. The biological response to mouthwatering will remain unanswered (at least in this article), but eating chiles, and the heat experience coming along with it, is all broken down by an OG Chile Breeder.

Dr. Paul Bosland is the OG chile connoisseur with thirty-two years of breeding chiles— NuMex Heritage 6-4, Birdpepper, Aji Limon, and thirty other cultivars. In 1990, he co-founded New Mexico State University’s Chile Pepper Institute, where he serves as  the director.

But at the start of his career, Bosland knew that chiles were still an ethnic food item—you know that half-aisle at the grocery store, those like four lower shelves where Goya and Kikkoman and grandmas from half the world converge. All to say, America loved its bland food and the widespread use of chile peppers was still pretty limited to Latino and Asian communities.

The common person can generally distinguish chiles on physical characteristics alone (think: green bell pepper vs. green jalapeño). And anyone can denote the one thing a pepper is known for: how spicy it is. But, the spiciness of a chile, or rather its heat profile, is much more complex. Here’s how a chile-master determines heat:

  1. When does the heat appear (rapid or delayed)?

The immediate arrival of the heat may be better than a delayed one. For instance, a habanero doesn’t hit you until the second bite. And, at that point, it only gets spicier.

  1. How long does the heat linger (for a few seconds, minutes, hours)?

Another way of asking this is: How much milk will I be chugging?” which is also an indication of the Scoville Heat Units (SHU) ranging from 0 SHU to 2,000,000 SHU.

  1. Where is the heat sensed? (Heat map your mouth).

What’s suffering more, your lips, mid-palate, back of your throat, or the tip of your tongue? Heat mapping these sensations and where they’re occuring is an integral sign further specializing the chile among the large variety of breeds. 

  1. Is the heat sharp or flat?

A sharp heat is essentially tongue acupuncture, and a flat heat is a broad heat that feels like it’s being painted on.

  1. What is the level of the heat?  

Mild, medium, hot… no need to explain more, right?

Tasting chiles, and determining its heat profile, is analogous to wine tasting where biting on a chile ignites specific tasting notes. For Dr. Bosland, he can sense whether it’s citrusy, sweet, or tangy. Yet, if posed with the frequently asked question, “What is a jalapeño flavor?” or “What makes a jalapeño taste like a jalapeño?” he and his fellow colleagues will leave it unanswered. This is because taste cannot be homogenous. The way we experience colors slightly differently, so is the case with taste. But this has created an interesting challenge for Bosland and his researchers. How can they create a homogenous pepper from such a wide variety of breeds and growing conditions?

“We were telling our growers, probably twenty years ago, ‘We’re losing the traditional green chile flavor.’ We didn’t know what that meant, or what that flavor is. So we went out and planted it and had farmers go in the field and taste the chiles, and tell us if they have a traditional flavor.”

Nu-Mex Heritage 6-4 was the new, yet traditional-tasting chile pepper resulting from this trial and error taste test.

Nomenclature and the taste of a chile can get lost as the versatility of chile changes so often in response to nature and from people’s varying palates.

A specific chile, New Mexico Number 9, is one of those green chiles where its name and flavor can get confused. The formal name, New Mexico Number 9  is often replaced by Hatch — a city where it was grown after it was freshly bred at New Mexico State University in the early 1900s. 

New Mexico Number 9’s flavor has remained fairly consistent, and is popping up in many restaurants menus — even in Long Beach, California. Panxa Cocina, a Southwestern-inspired joint, is fully dedicating September to New Mexico No.9, proving how this pepper is becoming a buzz worthy ingredient in cooking when in season. At Panxa Cocina, Chef Art Gonzalez is integrating this chile with traditional, New Mexican dishes like enchiladas. However, he also leaves room for experimentation, like mixing it into their potato-cheddar pancake recipe. The consistency of its taste keeps it thriving in the market, yet it, too, is subject to change merely based on natural mutations in the breeding process — from one generation of chile’s to the next.

Dr. Paul Bosland has front-lined the research on chile breeds, and cracked open far-reaching discoveries on different ones altering the food scene entirely. Yet, the chemistry question of what makes a specific chile taste the way it is will remain unanswered… in this article, at least.

However, the continual breeding and chile tasting will introduce new chiles that may further the food scene and the taste buds of individuals. 

Categories
#foodbeast Animals Culture Drinks Food Trends FOODBEAST Health Opinion Products

Fish Bone Broth Isn’t The Hottest Sustainable Food Trend Out, But It Should Be

A healthy lifestyle is bogged down by a misconstrued idea of health. Where “living your best life,” consists of: weekly trips to Whole Foods, Bikram yoga in Lululemon leggings, a bowl of quinoa with raw kale, a juice cleanse, or spending a Saturday night drinking that last, most-likely-dreaded Cayenne pepper-flavored juice while wearing a Lush face mask and reading a self-help book entitled, I don’t know, maybe, “You Are A Badass.” Then, on that said night, #wellness is truly achieved once a face mask selfie is posted on Instagram.

This arbitrary person’s IG post adds to the 20 million other photos branded with the ambiguous hash tagged noun, and begs the question of: Where is this health trend heading towards? 

Actually living a truly healthy (mental and physical) lifestyle gets lost in translation when health fads focus more on quick solutions to lose weight. Yet losing weight through different fads have an environmental cost.

Switching to healthier alternatives, like quinoa and almond milk, withhold such impacts. The high demand for quinoa in first-world countries, lead to the higher prices for the staple crop in the home countries, Peru and Bolivia. In these countries, what once was a staple crop for disadvantaged communities, is now an unattainable luxury item, because it is so highly exported to countries that wastes the crop. On the other hand, producing one almond takes 1.1 gallons of water.

Sure, it is tough to eat healthy and be environmentally-cautious, but with companies like Five Way Foods, they make sustainable-healthy eating possible through the repurposed use of fish bones and carcasses.

Fish bones and carcasses withhold a duality where it is both overlooked and seen as a threat. The threatening part rings a bell whenever I think of each Filipino aunt/uncle/grandpa/mom that warned against accidentally eating a small, translucent fish bone that, “you will choke on anak (child),” while consuming fried tilapia. Yet after cleaning all the meat off of that fried fish, the threat becomes a nuisance and it is thrown away.

Five Way Foods, a Boston-based company, views fish bones and carcasses as neither a threat or a nuisance since it serves as the main ingredient in their newest product, fish bone broth. Although there are many variations of fish bone broth, what distinguishes Five Way Foods is their sustainable sourcing methods. By partnering with Boston-based Red’s Best, they have locally-sourced white-flesh fish caught by a network of fisherman striving for open traceability– minimizing the distance between the fishermen, distributor and consumer. The open traceability tracks where and how the fisherman caught the fish, setting a crucial precedence for transparency.

The end result of these locally-sourced fish bones and carcasses is a highly nutritional and sustainable product. The head, tail and fish rack of Red’s cod, pollock, haddock and hake are brewed in ginger, creating a broth that serves as a base for another dish or stands alone as a drink.

It does sound odd to drink fish bone broth, however, the amount of omega 3’s and iodine is beneficial for immunity, digestion and inflammation. The versatility of this fishy broth, and the health factors that come along with it, poses another question: Why isn’t this posted and hash tagged with #wellness? At this point, fish bone broth is new to the health game, and the hype is not quite there. I suppose the idea of drinking brewed fish bones sounds off-putting, but in this time — where humanity’s environmental impact is evident — utilizing every resource is vital.

Investing in such sustainable health trends and companies, brings the phrase, “vote with your dollar,” to life. Legislation on the fishing industry can only do so much, however as consumers, instilling the sustainable practices embedded in the legislation begins where our transactions end. If you decide to purchase Five Way Food’s fish bone broth, feel assured that in each step of the process, it was sustainably made.

So, continue to post about how much you’re thriving, and living your best life. Drink your fermented booch and capture your smoothie breakfast bowl in the right, morning-light, yet consider shifting towards transparent companies guiding the health trend towards a sustainable path.

Feature Image from Five Way Foods Facebook
Categories
#foodbeast Animals Art Culture Design Features Feel Good Film/Television FOODBEAST Restaurants Sweets What's New

‘Dessert Graffiti’ Is A Sweet ‘Charcuterie’ of Food And Art

Dessert Graffiti at The Bazaar by José Andrés is a sweet experience where food and art intertwine leaving a memorable impression of this whimsical restaurant.

The restaurant itself is located in the The SLS, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The white exterior of the hotel opposes the aura of this hidden gem, where within reveals three sections all designated to a theme and ambiance corresponding to the course of the meal.

José Andrés, the eclectic and acclaimed chef of the restaurant, developed this concept to curate an experience for the guests. The whimsical and wonderland feel mirrors André’s food, famously indicative of a child-like element to his creations, the best example of which is the cotton candy foie gras. It is playful and untraditional, emphasizing how fine-dining is not so serious and should be fun.

The final step of The Bazaar experience is quite grand and definitely enjoyable. It closes with The Patisserie where Dessert Graffiti, essentially a live painting, ensues making one feel like a kid again.

Initially, it is painted with a chocolate, caramel syrup and a passion fruit jam, looking Pollock-esque at that point. Then, they really nail down the bee theme throughout the dessert: A bee-shaped honey ganache and lemon jam macaron, a lavender-almond honeycomb whip, a dulce hive mousse cake, a blackberry pate de fruit, a raspberry-rose hibiscus candy, and a citrus and honey bonbon. And if it gets too sweet, there are chamomile tea pipettes to cleanse your palate in between each sweet bite.

To top it all off, liquid nitrogen is poured over the decadent display, completing the avant garde vibes of the grand dessert.

Their newest Dessert Graffiti theme is “Bee My Honey,” intended to celebrate National Honey Bee Day on August 18th and National Honey Month in September. The Executive Chef and novice Beekeeper, Hussain Zouhbi, explained how the absence of bees would eliminate 1/3rd of our crops, think strawberries, broccoli, coffee and palm oil.

As each mirrored platter, or empty canvas, is carefully curated table-side by a pastry chef, they explain each element and emphasize the importance of the honey bee to the environment.

Besides educating foodies and high-class folks on saving the bees, they intend to resurface heart-warming memories through each cute creation.

The Pop Rocks (mixed with actual pollen), the chocolate Rice Krispies and the milk and honey mousse cake all withhold one aspect: familiarity. The recognizable ingredients possibly remind people of their childhood. Like a glass of warm milk, or one-too-many packs of Pop Rocks that must be eaten in a very particular way (eating all of them at once and keeping your mouth open so you can hear them crackle… then aggressively chewing, completely disregarding manners).

The familiarity of the ingredients scream childhood and add onto their bee theme. All of the ingredients used are flowers or fruit that bees pollinate. So without the bees, we will not have all these vital ingredients in the majority of these unreal desserts.

It was quite the process, and an entertaining struggle to sit and watch it come to life. But, the pastry chef’s leisured-pace and careful curation emphasizes their main intent with the experience: To encourage camaraderie and pause, take a few moments, and observe food and art become one as a group.