Category Archives: Recipes

Red Wine Hot Chocolate Recipes

There are many ways to kick up hot chocolate. Marshmallows, brandy, whipped cream and even a dash of cayenne pepper are all popular options. But there is one addition that make these all sound like child’s play: red wine.

Yes, red wine hot chocolate is the trendiest drink this winter. There are dozens of versions on the internet but all agree on one thing: chocolate and wine are a killer combo.

How To Make Red Wine Hot Chocolate: 3 Tasty Recipes

To make the best red wine hot chocolate you’ll want to start off with high-quality dark chocolate. This will be added to the milk so it can melt as it cooks.

A sprinkle of sugar will help it be perfectly sweet while the addition of your favorite red wine will make it boozy enough. We prefer full-bodied reds like Cabernet Sauvignon but a Malbec or Shiraz are great options too.

Red Wine Hot Chocolate with Merlot

Here is an easy red wine hot chocolate recipe using Merlot from the folks at Forkly:

Red Wine Hot Chocolate a la Jacques Torres

If you really want to chef it up, try this tip from famed chocolatier Jacques Torres: mix hot chocolate with mulled wine.

The spices will beautifully perfume your gourmet red wine hot chocolate. You can try this recipe for mulled wine (pictured below).

Torres told the New York Times that adding a bit of condensed milk to the hot chocolate mixture will add extra creaminess.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

Amazing Dishes from One of Japan’s Best Restaurants


If you’re planning a gastronomical trip to Japan, Kyoto has to be right up there on your list of must visit places: it currently has 95 Michelin-starred restaurants, including eight, three-stars.

One of those is Kyoto Kitcho Arashiyama. What started out as a small family run restaurant now has numerous outposts around Japan, but it’s the Kyoto flagship that you come to for the true experience.

There, in a traditional building surrounded by lush gardens, chef Kunio Tokuoko serves a kaiseki (multi-course) menu of elegant dishes, including horse hair crab and barracuda sushi, to diners seated on the floor.

YouTubers Simon and Martina recently paid Kyoto Kitcho a visit, as documented in the video below, and were blown away, calling it “the most beautiful restaurant in Japan.”

You really get an idea of what it’s like to dine at the top level, in a country abound with three-Michelin-star restaurants.

Watch the video below

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

Actress Slams ‘Pretentious’ Restaurant After Husband Eats Napkin


A British actress has publicly called out chef Martín Berasategui after her husband accidentally tried to eat a napkin at one of his restaurants.

Tracy Ann Oberman, who’s appeared in the soap Eastenders, was dining with her husband Rob at Berastegui’s eponymous three-Michelin-star restaurant in Lasarte-Oria, Spain when the couple were presented with an inflatable napkin inside a stone receptacle. At some point, it’s not quite clear when, Rob, thinking it was the next dish, started to nibble on the napkin in front of horrified staff.

“My husband tried to eat the white thing. I mean c’mon. Isn’t everyone’s napkin inflated with water then served in a wooden medieval stone????” said Oberman in a Tweet.

Oberman tweeted several dishes during what was a bemusing meal for the couple, tagging We Want Plates, the Twitter account dedicated to bizarre plating. She also tagged Berastegui, who currently holds eight Michelin stars, in one tweet, telling him that the food was “exquisite,” the presentation “a tad pretentious,” and the staff “so patronising.”

Take a look below, and if you’re wondering how these inflatable napkins work, check out the video further down.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

How to Make Heston Blumenthal’s Triple Cooked Chips


Heston Blumenthal’s triple cooked chips are legendary. Super crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside, these luxurious fries are now seen on gastropub menus everywhere thanks to the British chef – in fact they’re one of his iconic dishes.

Triple cooking is far from a quick method, in fact the time it takes to devour them is but a fraction of the preparation time, but as you can see from the video below, the results are totally worth it.

The potatoes are first simmered and then fried twice, but crucially placed in the fridge in between cooking stages to remove all the moisture. And it’s hard to argue with the results.

Watch the video below. Heston gets cracking with the chips from 1.35.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

A selection of Pictures of Dinara Kasko’s Pastries


Since her childhood, Ukrainian pastry chef Dinara Kasko has been interested in art. After graduating in architecture, she became fascinated by baking. Thanks to the influence of her studies and background, she soon decided to try something new.

Kasko uses specific software and 3D printers to create “sculptures”, her own silicon cakes’ moulds. As she explains, “It’s very important to me to create something beautiful, that’s why making cakes is a way how I’m doing self-realization as a designer.”

Her creations became very popular and she has been involved in several projects, including the last edition of Ruby Chocolate event in Shanghai or the collaboration with SoGood Magazine, taking inspiration from the work of various artists, like José Margulis and Matthew Shlian.

Intrigued by her projects, we asked Dinara Kasko some questions about her inspiration, techniques and future projects.
Before reading the interview, enjoy the selection of pictures of her pastries in the gallery on the top of the page!

Where does your inspiration come from?
People ask me about inspiration quite often. And every single time, it’s not easy to me to give a clear response. In fact, an inspiration can be in everything. It can be an object on the street, nature, architecture, an image of something, a country, different shapes and so on.

What challenges/rewards do you encounter when working on a new cake project?
We work a lot on recipes and moulds. Every single time when we create a new project, we do a lot of testing with materials for mould (we model a mould, buy special plastic etc.). I bake a lot of cakes experimenting with recipes. This is the most challenging as there are a lot of issues that we have to deal with.

Can you tell us about any specific techniques or equipment you use to create your cakes? 
Technology and design play a very important role in my creations. I create a 3D model for the mould on my computer first. I have special softwares installed (3ds Max, Rhinoceros, Grasshopper, Archicad, Autocad, Cura etc) and an Ultimaker 3D printer. Also, sometimes I use a milling machine and a laser machine. As for pastry, I use a lot of construction tools (a spray gun, a building satula, different tubes, rules, etc.)

Tell us about your most challenging creation.
It was the Ruby cake. It took us 1.5 months. It was a really hard work to create the mould. We used 3D printing every day to print the models. Two kinds of plastic were involved. Finally, we got the mould.

What is your favourite ingredient/material to work with and why?
It can be caramel, chocolate, exotic fruits, berries, vanilla and so on. As for the ingredients that I always use to make cakes, these are cream, flour, sugar, eggs, milk, and gelatin.

What are you looking for in a successful cake: flavour or desing?
There are two main concepts that I keep to. The first one is “appearance is as important as taste”, and the second one is “taste will always be more important than appearance”. I always try to make cakes that taste delicious and look beautiful, so they could bring visual and taste pleasure to people. And again, taste is always more important than appearance as people won’t buy your cake for the second time if they didn’t like the taste trying it for the first time.

Any future projects you would like to share with us?
I have started working on a new project with a Spanish chef. I am working on new moulds (parametric design). We are planning on releasing our project in December. We will be taking pictures and making videos of our creations as usual.

You can find the description of all Dinara Kasko’s creations on Instagram.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

10 Stew Recipes To Help You Beat Cold Weather


Hearty, tasty and satisfying these stew recipes are a surefire way of warming up on a cold winter’s night. Whether you favor seafood, chicken or red meat, these winter stew recipes offer a little something for everyone. So get ready to combat freezing temperatures with a bowl of these comforting stews.

10 Winter Stew Recipes


We begin our cold-weather stew journey with posole, a hearty Mexican stew made with pork, chicken and hominy is an excellent way to keep warm.

Try this stew recipe.

Japanese Seafood Stew

Seek refuge from the cold with this hearty Japanese-style stew featuring scallops, shrimp, ginger and noodles.

Click here for this stew recipe.

Coq au Vin

This classic French chicken stew infused with red wine will leave you wanted more.

Learn how to make it with this recipe from legendary chef Paul Bocuse.

Brazilian Shrimp Stew

This alluring shrimp stew laced with coconut milk and spices will bring a bit of the tropics to your table.

Find this stew recipe here.

Wild Boar with Chianti

This is a decadent yet hearty Tuscan stew featuring wild boar simmered in wine – the perfect antidote to a bone-chilling weather.

Find this stew recipe here.

Guinness Irish Stew

Lamb, veggies and a generous amount of Guinness beer make this a stick-to-your-ribs stew.

Click here for this winter stew recipe.

Vegetarian Lentil Stew

Here’s a filling stew for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. It contains Hokkaido pumpkin, carrots, scallions and green lentils.

Click here for this stew recipe.

Vegan Black Bean Stew

This is another great option for vegetarians and vegans: a robust black bean stew flavored with chipotle, peppers and coriander.

Find this stew recipe here.

Flemish Beef Stew, Stoverij

This exquisite Belgian beef stew features meat braised in dark beer, thyme and mustard.

Click here for this stew recipe.

Castillian ‘Olla Podrida’ Stew

It’s name translates to ”rotten pot” but there’s nothing unpleasant about this Spanish stew prepared with a blend of chicken, veal, chickpeas, potatoes and chorizo.

Click here for the recipe.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

Where to Eat in Vienna

Despite being a city steeped in history and to all effects an open-air museum, Vienna throbs with life, with its cafés, concerts and shopping districts. Its streets are filled with young people and its nights are frenetic, Strauss and heavy metal rub shoulders and Starbucks has opened in front of the legendary Sacher Hotel.

While it is easy to survive in Vienna by eating in the beisln, traditional venues of Viennese cuisine offering simple yet stodgy food, it is a little more arduous to enjoy a fine dining experience on a low budget. Here’s how to gain access to some great hotels and luxurious restaurants.

From 0 to 25 Euro

Since no one can really say they have seen Vienna without tasting some Sacher cake, it is worth seeking out the authentic version, even though it is sold in almost all the cafés in the centre of town. The Original Sacher-Torte, as it was patented, has been one of the most famous cakes in the world, ever since it was first created by apprentice chef Franz Sacher in 1832. It is basically a chocolate cake filled with apricot jam and often served with a dollop of fresh cream.

The Café Sacher is annexed to the Hotel Sacher, a magnificent 5-star hotel right in front of the Opera House. On this budget, you can treat yourself to a couple of slices washed down by coffee and, from 10 am to 2 pm you can also order a coffee and a snack in the legendary Blaue Bar of the hotel, where you will be immersed in an atmosphere of brocade wallpaper and velvet sofas, both in a deep shade of blue.

From 25 to 50 Euro

The Opus Restaurant is housed inside the Hotel Imperial and stands as a perfect example of how traditional Viennese cuisine can be transformed into something that is sparkling and contemporary, thanks to Sous Chef Stefan Speiser and his experienced team. For this budget, try the amazing Oibèrico pork served with yogurt, cabbage and mustard as a main course.

The Ritz-Carlton occupying four historical buildings on the Ringstrasse boasts a top floor bar with a panoramic city view, called the Atmosphere Rooftop Bar, where you can sip creative cocktails as you admire the skyline. The most discerning carnivores flock to the Dstrikt Steakhouse attracted by the establishment’s “farm-to-table” philosophy and ingredients brought in straight from the countryside. You will spend 20 Euros for almost two hundred grams of excellent organic beef fillet supplied by a breeder of Salzburg, which may be accompanied with a glass of Australian Cabernet Sauvignon selected from a lavish wine list.

A spectacular all-round view can be enjoyed from Das Loft, a restaurant on the 18th floor of the Sofitel, a hotel designed by Jean Nouvel situated on the Danube Canal, with one wall entirely constructed in glass. This place make the perfect venue for a drink, before or after dinner.

Fabios is a trendy Italian-style restaurant popular with celebrities. The venue offers a dining room and a separate, beautifully designed Lounge Bar. The mood and cuisine are Mediterranean-chic and the quality of the ingredients is tip top. Well worth trying are: the Lemon-flavoured risotto with smoked salmon trout (25 Euro); Beef fillet carpaccio with cream of chilli pepper and ricotta salata (25 Euro) and, extracted from the vegetarian menu, Pumpkin flowers filled with tomato sauce and courgette spaghetti (16 euro).

From 50 to 100 Euro

The Steirereck, owned by chef Heinz Reitbauer, is not just one of the city’s best starred restaurants, but has also won the tenth place in the rating of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants. An experience in every sense of the word and a gourmet’s dream but it does not come cheap. Surrounded by greenery, it looks like a metal plate mirror positioned in such a way as to reflect the trees of the Stadtpark. Our recommendations: Courgettes and spelt with the fragrance of orange blossom, pistachio and egg yolk (34 Euro). Wild boar with purple carrots, pineapple and late-growing radicchio (34 Euro), accompanied with a fine glass of wine.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

How To Use Curry Powder


Do you keep a jar of curry powder tucked in your cupboard? If you can’t remember the last time you used it, it’s time to dust it off and put it to good use in the kitchen.

What is curry powder?

Curry powder is a spice mix invented by the British to mimic the flavors of Indian cuisine. Recipes vary but the main ingredients in curry powder are: turmeric, dried yellow mustard, coriander, ginger, white pepper, cumin, cardamom and ginger.

While curry powder per se isn’t used in India, it is beloved in many parts of the world such as the United Kingdom and the Caribbean.

How To Use Curry Powder

What’s the best way of using curry powder? Well, that depends on what you’d like to make. You can use it for virtually anything – from simple sautés to soups, stews, marinades and sauces.

The recipes below will give you a great start for using curry powder in the kitchen. If you want to learn more about this spice, check out our A to Z guide: 26 Things You Didn’t Know About Curry.

Uses for Curry Powder: Tempting Recipes

Curried Parsnip Soup

Curry powder adds a lovely yellow hue and a boost of flavor to this creamy soup made with parsnips, onions, tarragon and cumin.

Click here for the recipe.

Curried Rice with Seafood

Here is a flavorful recipe of Taiwanese origin featuring rice, seafood, peppers and a generous sprinkle of curry powder.

Learn how to make it.

Curried Lentil Soup

This vibrant lentil soup obtains its beautiful golden color from fresh turmeric and curry powder.

Click here for the recipe.

Smoked Tofu Burger

Sink your teeth into this hearty smoked tofu burger topped with an addictive sauce prepared with curry powder, onions and peanuts.

Get the recipe here.

Spaghetti with Tofu and Curry

The chili-soy sauce infused with curry powder and coconut milk makes this vegan noodle dish a winner.

Find the recipe here.

Pumpkin Soup with Apples, Curry and Thyme

You’ll love this comforting pumpkin soup.  Apples add a touch of sweetness while curry powder provides a beautiful boost of color and flavor.

Learn how to make it.

Currywurst Sauce

Whip up your own spicy currywurst sauce at home with our special recipe. Then serve it over Bratwurst, just like they do in Berlin.

Cranberry Chutney

Curry powder is the secret ingredient that makes this cranberry chutney pop.

Learn how to make it.

Red Rice Meatballs and Noodles

Crispy rice noodles are the bed for these tender lamb meatballs prepared with red rice, nutmeg, caraway and curry powder.

Click here for this creative recipe.

Mexican Pork Roast

This succulent Mexican pork roast is seasoned with curry powder, sherry, oregano and paprika.

Find the recipe here.

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

Thomas Keller: 10 Rules for Success


What does it take to make it the top of the cooking profession, to realise your dreams and be recognised by your peers as one of the best in the business?

Chef Thomas Keller is perfectly positioned to answer. The first American chef to simultaneously hold three Michelin stars at two restaurants (at The French Laundry in California and Per Se in New York), he’s widely regarded as one of the true greats and has helped train some of the worlds best chefs, including Grant Achatz and René Redzepi.

In the video compilation from Evan Carmichael above, Keller lays out his 10 rules for success, from never losing sight of your goals in the face of changing fashions, to surrounding yourself with people you can learn from.  It’s a long video, but worth watching through to the end for some bonus interview footage.

We’ve previously featured videos from the same series focusing on Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay that are well worth a watch, and below, you’ll find our full interview with Thomas Keller.

Thomas Keller’s 10 Rules for Success

1. Have desire

2. Be consistent

3. Transition to the next level

4. Step outside the norm

5. Play to your strengths

6. Be persistent

7. Surround yourself with great people

8. Pursue your true goals

9. Create great experiences

10. Master your craft

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook

Man Chopping Cilantro Gets Over 4 Million Views


What does it take to achieve viral stardom in 2018? Seemingly, chopping herbs well is enough.

A video posted by Rebecca Castañeda, who’s family own the El Camino Mexican restaurant in Fullerton, California has racked up 4.6 million views at time of writing – and it shows just that.

First posted to Snapchat and then in longer form to Twitter, where it has been retweeted 85,000 times and liked 262,000 times, the video, filmed in the restaurant’s kitchen, shows a chef called Rogelio finely chopping coriander (cilantro) and people are going crazy for it, calling it “mesmerising” and “so much better than Salt Bae,” 2017’s viral sensation.

Castañeda has even posted a follow-up now, which shows Rogelio putting the herbs into a pot – okay so the sequel doesn’t quite live up to the original, which we have to admit is hugely satisfying to watch.

The question is, is it more relaxing than this video of a Chinese street chef rolling out and cutting noodles, which has also racked up millions of views?

Expect to see plenty more of these kinds of videos going viral in 2018.

Top image: By Thamizhpparithi Maari (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons 

Follow Fine Dining Lovers on Facebook