Posts tagged with "foodie"

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Saudi Arabia (Tabuk)

Visit Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture

While Japan’s Miyagi Prefecture is not yet open to international travelers, there are a number of foodie destinations that should be on travelers’ bucket lists when travel restrictions are lifted. Below are some incredibly unique restaurants, breweries and wineries that showcase the best of Miyagi’s local cuisine.

Akiu Winery in the quiet hills of Akiu was founded in 2015 in an effort to support the prefecture’s local agriculture. The winery produces an incredible array of wines using Merlot, Gewürztraminer and Pinot Gris grapes that are all grown on the estate. Guests who stop by the winery can sample any of the wines, cheeses and meats, and take a tour of the winery. Japan’s whiskey industry has received global recognition over the last few years, and travelers can experience the scene first-hand at the Miyagikyo.

Miyagikyo Distillery produces Nikka Whiskey which was originally made by the “Father of Japanese Whiskey,” Masataka Taketsuru. Taketsuru founded this second Nikka distillery in 1969 at the junction of two rivers among the Sakunami Mountains. Guests can tour the facility, participate in a whiskey tasting seminar and purchase distillery-exclusive whiskies at the gift shop. There are also a small number of microbreweries in Miyagi including one at the restaurant

Naruko no Kaze serves Japanese dinner staples like ramen and curry rice along with acclaimed sake and beer that is brewed on-site. Its awarding-winning doburoku, a thick, unfiltered farmhouse-style sake, along with its beers, which are made from local ingredients such as Yukimusubi rice and yamabudo (wild mountain grapes), are a must-try for all visitors. Miyagi’s restaurant scene also highlights the best of the prefecture’s local cuisine. Travelers who find themselves in Naruko Onsen should take a short tip to Egao Shokudo, a local soba shop. The fresh vegetables and mushrooms are all foraged by the ladies who run the shop and the local community of the surrounding mountains. The hand-picked vegetables and mushrooms are also pickled and available for purchase in the store.

As Japan is well known for its seafood, no trip to Miyagi would be complete without a visit to the Koei Suisan Fish Store, a popular local store in Matsushima Bay. In addition to offering the freshest seafood available, this family-run shop farms its own oysters. During oyster season (mid-October to mid-March), guests can savor yakigaki (grilled oysters) and raw oysters for dine-in or take-out.

Miyagi also has an incredible array of sakes distributed in the United States for people to try while dreaming of these foodie destinations. With more than 350 years under its belt, Uchigasaki Brewery is the oldest sake brewery in Miyagi Prefecture. Just north of the capital city Sendai, the brewery was founded in 1661 when its hometown Tomiya City became a popular post town along the Oshu Highway during the Edo period.

Another local favorite, Katsuyama has been making sake in Miyagi Prefecture since 1688. This brewery offers a wide variety of crystal-clear sakes to choose from, appealing to every palette. Founded in 1724, the Urakasumi Sake Brewery has been family-run for thirteen generations. Since then, the brewery has been providing the sacred sake for Shiogama Shrine, a 1,200 year-old Shinto shrine and one of the largest and most beloved shrines in Miyagi.

Newer but no less reputable, Ichinokura Brewery was founded in 1973 after four local breweries joined forces to create a very special sake made completely by hand.

For more information on Miyagi, please visit http://www.visitmiyagi.com

travel, 360 MAGAZINE

What are the best places to travel to on your own?

Travel is one of the best things that you can do to broaden your mind, experience new cultures, and have lots of fun. Many people, though, do not have friends to head off with, which makes traveling on your own a must. Before you go, you have to plan appropriately to get the most from any trip. If you chose to head to New Jersey on a break, it would be wise to look at sites, including the Tropicana Online Casino, so you had something fun to do in your hotel room during chill time. The same is true for other destinations within the USA or around the world. Looking at what the nightlife is like, what sights there are to see, and what there is to do in the day is sensible. 

Of course, before you delve into the finer details of any resort or city, you need to pick the right place first. That is often a little trickier for solo travelers who have a slightly different set of priorities than those holidaying in a group. But which are the best destinations for solo travel around the world?

Cannes

Beautiful Cannes is in the South of France on the fabled Cote D’Azur. However, like most other destinations around the world, it has been hit by COVID-19 lockdown measures recently, Cannes plans to revive tourism soon. But what makes this place so great? First of all, the weather is superb during the summer months, and this makes it perfect for relaxing on the gorgeous beaches there while doing some people watching. 

The café culture is also evident, so you will feel very comfortable when sipping a latte alone while watching the world go by. Cannes is also a very safe and welcoming destination, which makes it ideal for solo travelers. With a buzzing atmosphere and many other single travelers around, it is a fabulous place to holiday on your own. 

Stockholm

If you fancy heading somewhere where Scandi cool is in full effect, Stockholm in Sweden is a reliable choice. Stockholm just has an air of laid-back charm that allows you to slow down and recharge your batteries. The city that you access via a series of bridges is spread across 14 islands, which makes it simple to get around.

It is also full of lovely parks and stunning architecture to marvel at while having plenty to keep you occupied. If you need help getting around, there is a fun guided Vespa Tour you can take. If you are a real foodie, there are numerous Michelin-starred restaurants around the city where you could dine alone in true style. With a friendly and cozy feel, this is a real gem for solo travel. 

New York 

You might not immediately think of New York as a solo travel hot-spot, but it is. With so much to do and so many people around, you never actually feel isolated. New Yorkers are famous for their particular charm, and this means you will always find a friendly face in cafés, bars, or shops. If you want a city that will also keep you busy, the Big Apple is it.  

The shopping here is excellent (especially Fifth Avenue), and it gives you every chance to pick up cool souvenirs to bring home. Also, New York has many fabulous sights to see – from lovely Central Park to the Metropolitan Museum. If you fancy a change from dining and drinking each night, why not check out the best plays on Broadway? 

Dominica 

One surprising choice for any single traveler may be the Caribbean – after all, it is known as a honeymoon spot or a cruise destination. Dominica is a little different, though, and is somewhere that feels perfect for traveling alone. If you like an adventure when away, it is a great choice. The island has lakes to trek alongside and massive gorges to cave through. The wildlife here is naturally fantastic, and there is also some excellent accommodation for a reasonable price. You will always feel safe here, thanks to the welcoming local community, and it is an island that is very easy to walk around. With delicious local food and some charming bars to enjoy a shot of rum at, Dominica is a real hidden gem. 

Solo travel spots are worth researching first

No doubt, checking out the best places to go alone before booking any trip is worthwhile. Doing so will ensure that you end up in a place where there is plenty to do, and that makes you feel comfortable being there as a single person. Hopefully the above has given you some fresh ideas on the most exciting places to try. 

Lokal Eatery and Bar, Jersey City, Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Clean Eating Tips for a Fresh Start This Year

If one of your New Year’s resolutions was to adopt a cleaner, healthier diet, you should start with small changes. You don’t get to erase a lifetime worth of bad eating choices overnight so here are some tips that will make the transition smoother and will help you maintain a healthier, more balanced lifestyle from now on. 

Make cooking a social activity 

One of the main reasons why people cannot stick to a diet is because their closest friends or family members are not supportive enough. So, what better way to preach a cleaner diet if not by making cooking a social activity? 

Host a cooking party every week and ask your friends to join the fun. Friday night or Saturday evening is perfect for trying out new recipes, playing with ingredients in the kitchen, and having fun with your besties. Replace the boring barbeques and fried chicken with grilled fish and veggies and swap beer for a fancy glass of wine. 

Drink more water 

As you age, you might not feel thirsty as often as you did before but this doesn’t mean you should forget drinking water. On the contrary, staying hydrated is the first step to eliminate toxins from your body and adopt a cleaner diet. 

If you’re not exactly a fan of drinking those 17 fluid ounces of water daily, you can opt for other liquids. Light soups, unsweetened tea, and lemonade are also great choices that will quench your thirst and keep you hydrated at the same time, without having to worry about calories. 

Plan your meals 

Another easy trick to stick to your healthy diet choices is to go grocery shopping every week or every 4-5 days and plan your meals. Make a list of the dishes you want to prepare in the upcoming week and stick to the ingredients from your shopping list. Or if you’re a busy body, try one of many popular meal subscription kits available here.

Lean meat like chicken, turkey, and fish (rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that are vital for your health) can be kept frozen for a longer time while fresh fruits and vegetables should be eaten 1-3 days after you bought them. Go to your nearest farmer’s market once a week and pick up fresh, organic ingredients instead of buying them from regular supermarkets. This way, you will support local agriculture and stick to your clean eating habits easier. 

Make your own seasoning mixes 

Part of a healthy diet means to watch your sodium intake, which means you should cut on the salt as much as you can. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways to season your foods to taste delicious without adding salt. 

Make your own fresh mix of herbs and spices by mixing Himalaya pink salt or sea salt (healthier choices than regular refined salt) with cayenne pepper, rosemary, basil, oregano, sage, and a few chili flakes.

Grill and stir fry instead of deep-fry 

Whether you’re from the South or not, few people can resist deep-fried chicken and mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, deep-fried foods are less nutritious and rich in bad fats which will cause you a lot of health problems, including gaining weight in the long term. 

Healthier options for cooking your food include stir-frying, grilling, and steaming. A slow cooker is a great choice for those committed to changing their diets while grilling is perfect for a weekend afternoon spent with your friends and family. No matter your choice, you should also consider healthy ingredients such as more veggies and lean meat instead of your regular beef and pork. 

Watch your sweet tooth 

Caving into your culinary temptations is only natural and you shouldn’t be worried about it if it just happens occasionally. You can treat yourself with a cheat day every two weeks but you have to watch your processed sugar intake. 

Eating too much sugar will not only make you hyperactive but is also dangerous for your blood, arteries, skin, and teeth. So, unless you want to check some reviews of denture adhesives before term and avoid cavities, replace your usual sweets with raw-vegan recipes or a simple carrot cake.  

101 Best Restaurants

On Monday, Dec. 9, the Los Angeles Times will publish its annual list of 101 Best Restaurants, premiering on latimes.com that evening and in a premium print edition to be delivered to Times Sunday subscribers on Dec. 15.

This year, for the seventh edition of the list originated by the late great Jonathan Gold, Times restaurant critics Bill Addison and Patricia Escárcega have chosen the restaurants and written all of the reviews. (See their essay on this year’s list here.) And in honor of the restaurants that have earned coveted spots on the list, The Times Food staff will host a launch party on Dec. 9, with 30 celebrated chefs serving-up small plates.

Credit: Irmantas Gelūnas, 360 MAGAZINE

Lithuanian Fine Dining

Trend of Going Back to the Roots Praised by Michelin-Starred Chefs

Michelin-starred chefs from Italy were impressed by fine dining and food traditions they have discovered in Vilnius – the capital of Lithuania. The chefs pointed out reliance on roots and authenticity as the main strength of Lithuanian cuisine. They saw this as a trend that other countries are likely to follow.

The restaurants, food markets and delicacy shops of Vilnius attracted considerable attention of Michelin-starred chefs Andrea Aprea and Anthony Genovese, who visited the Lithuanian capital to attend the Lithuanian Gastronomy Forum. Both chefs agreed that a combination of authentic elements with modern cuisine sets Vilnius food tradition as an example to follow.

“Authenticity is important for the new generation of chefs we see coming at the moment. It is quite easy to get caught up in what the rest of the world is doing without figuring out who exactly you are as a chef and learning about your own heritage. Once you have this base understanding of yourself and your roots, your food will continue to evolve and thrive,” said Chef Genovese from the restaurant Il Pagliaccio, **Michelin Guide 2019.

According to Chef Aprea, when people make their traditional dishes they save and share memories of authentic food. People then learn from each other by making or tasting food of other cultures.

“I don’t have any memory of Lithuanian food, I don‘t know what is authentic Lithuanian cuisine, but the food itself and chefs who made it were telling stories. They combine the contemporary approach towards food with local traditional food elements. I think that coming back to the roots, saving and sharing memory is the way everybody should and will follow,” explained Chef Aprea from the restaurant VUN, ** Michelin Guide 2019.

During his food exploration trip, Chef Aprea was introduced to food served in Lithuania during the Middle Ages. He tried traditional cottage cheese, smoked pork fat, kvass and spit cake.

“I’d definitely recommend Vilnius as a gastro tourism place. It’s interesting to discover both the modern cuisine with traditional elements and an authentic food experience tasting the food that Lithuanians served on the table in the Middle Ages. Not only I’d recommend Vilnius to my friends or other chefs but I also plan coming back here again myself,” reflected Chef Aprea.

Vilnius’ restaurants focus on seasonal cuisine, improvisation, and unique culinary experiences. And though they differ in flavours, concepts and traditions, they’re all contributing to the city’s budding food scene, which takes guests on delicious flavour filled adventures.

Most of the top-grade restaurants in Vilnius have some traditional Lithuanian elements in their menus. For example, restaurants Nineteen 18 and Sweet Root both base their cuisine specifically on a modern interpretation of Lithuanian culinary tradition. These restaurants were  listed second and third, respectively, on the 2019 Top 30 Baltic restaurants list and given the Global Master Level by the White Guide Nordic. The best Lithuanian restaurant (according to a local ratingDžiaugsmas also serves creative reinterpretation of local food.

The menu of such restaurants features original interpretations of such Lithuanian everyday dishes as carp, schnitzel, beetroots and potatoes. Mushrooms – the must-have of the ordinary Lithuanian kitchen get into unexpected combinations as in dried boletus ice cream with hazelnut biscuit and fourteen months oak-aged apple vinegar served in Džiaugsmas. The fine-dining restaurants use local supplies of Lithuanian farmers or even develop their own farms.

Chef Aprea thinks that the popularity of local produce and food markets also adds to the high quality of food in Vilnius restaurants.

“When I visit foreign countries I first try to find out where people from that country are buying food. It helps me in understanding their approach towards food. It‘s important because food is our gasoline. Finding a nice and lively food market in a city or country is an important sign for me,” he said.

The trends and lessons of contemporary Lithuanian cuisine were further discussed at the second Lithuanian Gastronomy Forum which this year focused on multiculturalism as the foundation of the new Lithuanian gastronomy. Throughout the history Lithuanian cuisine was influenced by French, Italian and German gastronomic traditions as well as Jewish, tartar and other oriental cultures that reached Lithuania through its ethnic minorities. This mix of cultures and the cuisine that grew out of it were the main topics of all presentations and discussions at the forum.

ABOUT GO VILNIUS

Go Vilnius is the official tourism and business development agency of the City of Vilnius. The agency provides visitors, investors, relocating talent, entrepreneurs and businesses with all the essential information they need to know about the Lithuanian capital. Go Vilnius offers information on everything from real estate to leisure activities in Vilnius, simplifying the process of travelling, relocating to, or investing in Vilnius.

*Photo Credit: Irmantas Gelūnas

FarmToFork, armon hayes, 360 MAGAZINE

FarmToFork

“We respect the land immensely and value like-minded brands like FarmToFork that share our commitment to preservation and integrity.”Chuck Herrin (Forth Worth, Farmer)

By Armon Hayes × Vaughn Lowery

Clean and fresh ingredients make the difference when cooking pasta sauce. Proudly dedicated to a standard in growing practices and connecting communities with where their food comes proves FarmToFork to be a social movement. In NYC, we had dinner at The Fat Radish for the launch of a new brand. Encouraged to generously serve and now available in four flavors. Caramelized onions, roasted garlic, tomato, basil, with spicy marinara combined, fabricate a premium collection of super nutrient. 

Rooted in purity, all FarmToFork sauces are non-GMO and contain no tomato paste. Zero added sugars and no artificial colors or flavors. Sprung up from California soil, tomatoes are harvested at the peak of ripeness. Vine ripened tomatoes are picked within 4-8hrs during harvest, ensuring the highest caliber. The brand sources from two multi-generational, family-owned California farms, Casaca Vineyards and Worth Farms. They both share legacies of caring for their tomato crops and the communities who enjoy them. 

The makers of FarmToFork aka Stockton Kitchen share the same mission – supporting agricultural education. Big Green, a national nonprofit organization with local sources, provides “modulate” gardens in low-income schools and their surrounding communities. Their aim is to educate people on the importance of sustainability and how home grown veggies nourish the body.

FarmToFork is available nationwide at most major grocers. Retail price: $5.99-7.99.

ARIA Resort & Casino, MGM, food, travel, 360 MAGAZINE

DIN TAI FUNG 

The soup dumplings once described by the late Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold as “small miracles” will find a new home as Din Tai Fung announces its first Las Vegas location, joining the stellar culinary line-up at ARIA Resort & Casino in 2020.

The esteemed Taiwanese dumpling and noodle house, with more than 170 restaurants in 13 countries, will debut in the former ARIA Café space mid-to-late next year.

ARIA President & COO Steve Zanella said, “We are thrilled to welcome Din Tai Fung to ARIA as they work alongside our talented restaurant employees to deliver a new culinary experience to our resort.  Both teams are known for their world-class service standards and we know the synergy will be impeccable when the restaurant opens next year.”

“Din Tai Fung consistently provides superior food and service, positioning the venue as one of the most sought-after brands in the world,” said MGM Resorts International Chief Hospitality Officer Ari Kastrati. “We welcome their team to our culinary portfolio as they provide ARIA’s guests with a renowned menu full of exciting offerings.”

Din Tai Fung is celebrated from Taipei to Los Angeles for meticulously handcrafted dumplings and noodles served in an approachable setting. Renowned for its Xiao Long Bao, Din Tai Fung’s Shanghai-style soup dumplings are filled with the highest quality Kurobuta pork and broth that bursts upon the first bite, fragranced with aromas of fresh ginger and green onion.

Din Tai Fung CEO Frank Yang said, “We are excited to bring Din Tai Fung to Las Vegas’ international clientele. We will be leveraging our 20 years of experience perfecting our operations in other markets to provide an authentic yet modern Taiwanese dining experience. Our attention to detail and commitment to the highest standard in both service and food quality is, no doubt, a perfect match for ARIA.”

Additional details on Din Tai Fung will be made available in the coming months.

###

ARIA Resort & Casino

ARIA Resort & Casino is a stunning AAA Five Diamond resort on The Strip featuring an unprecedented combination of striking architecture, sustainable design, spectacular amenities, high-end service and premium meeting and convention space. Combined with its unparalleled amenities including luxurious shopping at Crystals and the first-of-its-kind public Fine Art Collection, ARIA introduces a new generation of resort experiences, unlike anything Las Vegas has ever seen.  ARIA and its neighboring properties are a joint venture between MGM Resorts International (NYSE: MGM) and Infinity World Development Corp, a subsidiary of Dubai World. For more information and reservations, visit ARIA.com or call toll free at (866) 359-7757; also find ARIA on Facebook and Twitter.

Din Tai Fung

Din Tai Fung is a Taiwanese restaurant specializing in Xiao Long Bao. Originally founded as a cooking oil retail business in 1958, Din Tai Fung was reborn as a steamed dumpling and noodle restaurant in 1972. Since its founding, Din Tai Fung has focused on achieving steady improvement in quality, standardization, and service. In 1996, the first international location opened in Tokyo, and the first location in North America opened in Arcadia, California in 2000. In 2009, the Hong Kong branch was awarded one Michelin star. Din Tai Fung now has 8 locations in California, 5 locations in the Pacific Northwest and more than 170 restaurants in 13 countries worldwide.

For more information please visit http://dintaifungusa.com/; also find Din Tai Fung USA on Facebook and Instagram (@dintaifungusa).

Hannah Hart, edible history, buzzfeed, 360 magazine

Edible History f/ Hannah Hart

Internet superstar Hannah Hart is back for Season 2 of her hit series Edible History, the fan-favorite cooking show from BuzzFeed’s Tasty where she learns the origin story behind her favorite foods and recreates ancient recipes. In the season 2 premiere, Hannah discovers the surprisingly controversial history of the french fry (where is it really from?), and then makes a 250 year-old recipe to create a truly authentic, old school french fry.

You might know entertainer and food enthusiast Hannah Hart from her New York Times best-selling books, Food Network show, films, podcasts, LGBTQ advocacy, or her wildly popular YouTube series “My Drunk Kitchen.” With Edible History, she’s back in the Tasty kitchen to combine her love of food and her love of history, and fans are ecstatic – the season 2 premiere already has nearly a million views.

New episodes of Edible History launch every Saturday at 8 AM PST on Tasty’s Facebook page, the world’s largest social food network. Tune in weekly to catch Hannah take us back in time and serve up a unique mixture of history, education, and entertainment.

Check out the season 2 premier HERE

Nick DiGiovanni, MasterChef, 360 MAGAZINE

Nick DiGiovanni

Nick DiGiovanni is a 23-year-old recent grad of Harvard, who was the youngest contestant to ever compete in the finale of MasterChef. He started cooking when he was only eight years old, and started working in restaurants in high school, including an internship at Benu, a Michelin three-star restaurant in San Francisco. He ultimately decided to forego culinary school for Harvard, before deciding to leave for a semester to compete on MasterChef and ultimately make it to the finale.

During his time at Harvard, Nick created the first-ever food concentration called Food & Climate, to figure out ways to address the environmental crisis through food. That then led to the start of a new business venture called Voodles that would help revolutionize the way kids eat vegetables. The veggie based pasta is organic certified, kosher, gluten free, vegan & non-GMO and will be available online by 2020. 

James Beard Blended Burger Project

Vintage Year restaurant is pleased to be named a Grand Prize winner for James Beard Foundation’s Blended Burger Project. In addition to a $5000 cash prize, Executive Chef Eric Rivera will have the honor of preparing his winning blended burger at the prestigious James Beard House in New York City on October 23. The well known culinary foundation partnered with the Mushroom Council and challenged chefs around country to create healthy, sustainable burgers blending in 25% fresh mushrooms. Vintage Year’s winning blended burger featured Alabama Wagyu, Crimini and Oyster Mushroom Burger, Shaved Fennel, Apple & Onion Slaw, Spiced Sorghum Glaze, Red Kale on a Brioche Bun.

“As so many talented chefs at top restaurants participated in the blended burger competition, I am honored to have been selected as one of the grand prize winners,” said Executive Chef Eric Rivera. “I am also excited for the culinary recognition that a James Beard award brings, not only to our restaurant but also to the city of Montgomery.”

While Vintage Hospitality Group’s flagship restaurant Vintage Year is a fine dining establishment, Vintage Café is a coffee shop, daytime eatery and retail store. Vintage Hospitality Group’s Chef Eric Rivera utilizes simple dishes that focus on twists of distinctive ingredients and flavors that showcase seasonality and quality. Chef’s national press accolades include receiving mentions in the New York Times, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes and Newsweek Magazines. Additionally, Chef Eric has been recognized by the James Beard Foundation as a Smart Catch Leader for sustainable seafood sourcing as well as Vintage Year being on OpenTable and Wine Spectator’s lists for Restaurant Awards of Excellence. A two time winner at the Feast of Flavours event at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Chef Eric has led Vintage Year to be named one of OpenTable’s 100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America as well as Montgomery Advertiser’s Best of the Best Romantic Restaurant. Vintage Hospitality Group is dedicated to providing guests with the finest culinary selections, premium coffees, specialty teas, outstanding wines and spirits along with unparalleled customer service.

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. Through the James Beard Awards, unique dining experiences at the James Beard House and around the country, scholarships, hands-on learning, and a variety of industry programs that educate and empower leaders in the community, the Foundation has built a platform for chefs and asserted the power of gastronomy to drive behavior, culture, and policy change around food.