RAK Food Festival

RAK Food Festival Ras Al Khaimah UAE-8

Some time ago, while The Chef was busy at work, I took The Apprentice to the inaugural staging of the RAK Food Festival.  The two-day event brought out quite a bit of activity in our otherwise sleepy town. It was late by the time we arrived due to the haphazard daytime sleeping schedule of the little man.

The local restaurants put on a great show and I was pleasantly surprised by the food of the Hilton Resort & Spa Ras Al Khaimah. It was for good reason. The new Director of Food & Beverage, Xavier Hubert was instrumental in displaying the evidence that there are lots of positive changes in F&B at the iconic Ras Al Khaimah Resort.  With a new Executive Chef and new Chef de Cuisines, with admirable careers, the proof was definitely in the eating. I was so impressed at the showing that we went back to dinner to try out the new menu for their Passage to Asia restaurant. More on that in another post. In the meantime feast on the photos of our little hometown’s first food event staging… Continue reading

Best homemade Nutella and Cooking with Kids!

Best Homemade Nutella Gourmet Magazine-3

This post was developed, cooked, styled, photographed and written by Kari as part of her monthly contribution to Gourmet  magazine. It was published in the June issue. Much thanks to our beautiful, fun and discerning young foodie models Samuel, Chloe, Junessa and Noel and their lovely parents for sharing them with us.

There is something absolutely magical about cooking with kids. Maybe it is their sharp sense of humour or wide-eyed enthusiasm about mundane tasks but having children help to prepare food is anything but ordinary.

Food preparation is a bit of everything that kids love all rolled up into one. They get to get their hands dirty touching different textures and trying new things, see things transform from one state to the next and if you actually engage then along the way, they have lots of fun. The absolute best part is that they get to eat the fruits of their labour and be praised about how great they were. Good luck with the clean up.

These recipes are very kid-friendly and are perfectly suited for grown ups just the same. Continue reading

Jamaican Rum French Toast Bread and Butter Pudding Recipe

Best French Toast Bread and Butter Pudding with homemade vanilla bean extract whipped cream-2

If you have been following our blog for the past few years and making our recipes, you would have discovered by now that even though we work in the food and beverage industry and there is a classically trained chef on board, we are both advocates of practical, simple, tasty food. Some people call that “honest” food.  We believe life is a feast and everyone is invited to partake. You do not have to be rich, popular or anything but yourself.

As Chef Lij says in practically every interview and TV appearance, “The simple things are the hardest to do.”  But why is that?  Is it OK to serve guests scrambled eggs and sausage for breakfast or bread and butter pudding for dessert? Yes. But aren’t those things too homely and regular? No. Not if done well.

This recipe for a French Toast Bread and Butter Pudding combines all the adjectives above. Practical, simple, honest, homely and everything but regular. It was inspired by Kathi Cooke, the first person to hack the very pudding-like texture that many find off-putting with a traditional bread pudding and turn it into something superbly amazing with added texture. So if you are among those who cannot stand the baby food mush of bread pudding, this is for you. If you want a practical, inexpensive but luxurious dessert or tea time snack, this is for you. It travels well so it makes a great potluck dish or picnic or BBQ dessert as well. This is dessert for all seasons, reasons and persuasions. Continue reading