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Hermitage Hotel to bring in a world-renowned chef and overhaul Capitol Grille

The historic Hermitage Hotel is revamping its look and its food service with a world-renowned chef, a new restaurant and a new pink marble ladies room that will rival its iconic art deco men’s room, hotel executives told The Tennessean. © Submitted Artist’s rendering of the new restaurant replacing Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel […]

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The historic Hermitage Hotel is revamping its look and its food service with a world-renowned chef, a new restaurant and a new pink marble ladies room that will rival its iconic art deco men’s room, hotel executives told The Tennessean.



a large room with tables and chairs: Artist's rendering of the new restaurant replacing Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville


© Submitted
Artist’s rendering of the new restaurant replacing Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville

Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten — who has launched 39 acclaimed restaurants in New York City, Paris, Shanghai and elsewhere — will make his first foray into the American South when he takes over the hotel’s Capitol Grille this fall, the hotel said.

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The restaurant, which isn’t named yet, will offer high-end cuisine that will include Vongerichten’s signature plant-based dishes as well as pizza from wood-fired ovens.

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The hotel is calling the new restaurant’s cuisine “elevated yet approachable.” 

And hotel managing director Dee Patel calls the partnership with Vongerichten “beautiful.”

“Jean-Georges is celebrated in some of the most beautiful, sexy cities,” Patel said. “To think Nashville is now ranked with them … really elevates the city itself.”

His main Hermitage Hotel restaurant will be in the Capitol Grille space, which is undergoing a renovation that modernizes the space while keeping the iconic arched ceiling.

The restaurant will have its own entrance from Sixth Avenue, the first time there will be direct access from the street for a hotel restaurant.

Vongerichten also will have input into what’s served at the hotel’s new all-day cafe, also opening in the fall, and all other areas of food service there.



a living room filled with furniture and a large window: Artist rendering of new all-day cafe opening in fall 2021 at the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville


© Submitted
Artist rendering of new all-day cafe opening in fall 2021 at the Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville

“As I look ahead to my Nashville debut, I could not have asked for a more fitting locale than the city’s exquisite Grand Dame, The Hermitage Hotel,” the chef said in a statement.

“I am inspired by the bounty of the American South and look forward to honoring the recipes, flavors and traditions of the region, while also presenting a global perspective at this beloved and iconic Music City landmark.”

Also new for the fall: a pink marble ladies room designed to be a counterpart to the hotel’s famed art deco men’s restroom. The ladies room “promises to be equally photo worthy,” a hotel publicist said in a statement.



a close up of a sink: The sinks in the men's room at the Hermitage Hotel


© Brad Schmitt / The Tennessean
The sinks in the men’s room at the Hermitage Hotel

The five-star hotel, at 231 Sixth Ave. N., opened in 1910 and is named for Andrew Jackson’s estate, The Hermitage. Last year, the Trump Administration designated the hotel as a national Historic Landmark for its role as a centerpiece for the women’s suffrage movement.



a large room with tables and chairs: Artist's rendering of the new restaurant replacing Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville


© Submitted
Artist’s rendering of the new restaurant replacing Capitol Grille in the Hermitage Hotel in Nashville

In more recent times, the Hermitage Hotel has been a popular spot for visiting celebrities, including one-time Nashvillian Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, pop star Harry Styles, and the Olsen twins, who had their 22nd birthday dinner at the hotel, a 2008 celebration that included surprise guest Josh Groban

Reach Brad Schmitt at [email protected] or 615-259-8384 or on Twitter @bradschmitt.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Hermitage Hotel to bring in a world-renowned chef and overhaul Capitol Grille

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Ido Fishman Discusses The Misconceptions About Michelin Star Restaurants

If you enjoy fine dining, then you probably have heard of the term Michelin start restaurants. If you find yourself relating this term to the tire company, you wouldn’t be wrong! Does that sound strange? Well, here’s a trivia fact for you; the tire company started rating restaurants for truck drivers on long routes to […]

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The Best Michelin Star Restaurants in Paris | Elite Traveler

If you enjoy fine dining, then you probably have heard of the term Michelin start restaurants. If you find yourself relating this term to the tire company, you wouldn’t be wrong! Does that sound strange? Well, here’s a trivia fact for you; the tire company started rating restaurants for truck drivers on long routes to help them find affordable yet delicious diners near various spots. This rating system evolved in the 1970s and focused solely on fine dining restaurants. This is how we get the Michelin star rating system that is reserved for only the best fine dining restaurants in the world. 

It is the dream of everyone who enjoys the adventures that fine dining brings to dine at a restaurant with a Michelin star. However, there are many misconceptions about fine dining that make people think that they are not worth the money. Chef Ido Fishman has listed the major misconceptions that people have about Michelin star restaurants and explains what your experience is likely to be like. 

Debunking Misconceptions About Michelin Star Restaurant

Portion Sizes Are Too Small

People mistake Michelin star restaurants with fine dining too often which is why this is a widely believed misconception. And even with fine dining experiences, the portions may seem too small but the heaviness of the ingredients that are used make for very filling meals. Speaking of Michelin star restaurants, you will come across all types of restaurants that have this star. So, don’t worry about the portion sizes because Ido Fishman assures that you will not leave the restaurant feeling hungry.   

It’s Always A Black Tie Event

A common misconception is that all Michelin star restaurants have a formal dress code. This idea stems from another commonly believed misconception that only fine dining restaurants have this star. It is true that a majority of the eateries that have been rewarded the Michelin star are expensive fine dining places that have formal dress codes, however, Ido Fishman explains that there are also plenty of restaurants that meet the Michelin criteria that allow all sorts of clothing inside.  So, you should always check out the setting of the Michelin star restaurant that you are planning to visit because it can be an embarrassing experience if you wear formal clothes to a place that was filled with people wearing jeans or sweatpants.  

Meals Are Very Expensive 

This misconception is the main reason why people don’t even try to look up Michelin star restaurants because they don’t think an eating experience should be that expensive. This idea is formed from the notion that to have a high-quality meal, you need to use high-quality ingredients which are costly. While it is true that a majority of the Michelin star restaurants are the expensive ones, but regular and affordable restaurants also have the label. You can find a small buffet in Hong Kong with a Michelin star even though it doesn’t meet the “fancy” criteria that most people assume with such restaurants. 

Michelin Star Is Given To Chefs

A common yet wrong term that circulates on social media is “Michelin star awarded chefs”. This term reflects the notion that it was the chef that was given the Michelin star. Ido Fishman states that this is not true. While it is true that the chefs play a huge role in the quality of the food that is served and it is the feature that most restaurant critics talk about, but the Michelin star is given to the restaurant. Every detail of the meal including the atmosphere and the quality of the food is taken into account when the Michelin star is given.  

Conclusion 

So, now that all the common misconceptions about Michelin star restaurants have been cleared, are you reconsidering your option of going to one? Ido Fishman states that eating in a Michelin star restaurant is an experience that everyone should experience at least once in their life. So, whether you run a food blog, or just enjoy eating different kinds of food, don’t shy away from experiencing Michelin star restaurants because of some false assumptions.  

 

 

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Five dishes that define India’s diverse cuisine — and the chefs taking them global

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(CNN) — The term “Indian cuisine” covers a lot of ground. From the Himalayan peaks in the northern state of Uttarakhand, to the tropical southwestern coast of Kerala, each landscape comes with its own climate, history, trade links and religious customs. And each has a unique food culture.

As a culinary destination, India offers an epic food bucket list. But the past year has been tough for travel, with most of the world’s holiday plans put on hold because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
India’s cuisine, at least, can still journey far beyond the country’s borders. According to the United Nations, people from India make up the world’s largest diaspora community — and they have brought their delicious food with them.
In the UK, for instance, tens of thousands of Indian immigrants arrived in the early 20th century, followed by an influx of Bangladeshi immigrants in the 1970s — many setting up restaurants that tailored Indian curries to local tastes. As a result, curry has become a firm fixture and Anglo-Indian inventions, such as chicken tikka masala, are among the nation’s favorite dishes.

While curry houses with standard menus are still popular, the world’s taste for Indian fine dining is evolving to encompass lesser known regional delicacies and bolder experimentation.

Indian chefs living around the world are feeding this growing movement, with menus that celebrate their family heritage, while bringing new dimensions to traditional cooking techniques and recipes.

CNN spoke to five of these culinary ambassadors about the dishes that — for them — capture the delicious diversity of India.

Chef Jessi Singh: Buffalo milk kebab, Punjab

Chef Jessi Singh was born in Punjab, India, and grew up between Australia and America. He brings his unique culinary journey to modern Indian cuisine, including his signature buffalo milk kebabs.

When it comes to making a kebab, milk curd probably isn’t the first ingredient that springs to mind. But for Punjab-born chef and restaurateur, Jessi Singh, this is the ultimate taste of home.

Crispy on the outside, with a soft, creamy center, kebabs made with curd, yogurt or paneer cheese are a popular appetizer in restaurants across northern India.

Born in a farming village outside of Punjab’s capital, Chandigarh, Singh encountered the dish — and its key ingredients — at source.

“Before I even turned 10, I knew how to milk the buffaloes,” he says.

Singh takes charge of fermenting the milk for the kebabs in his restaurants in Australia, including Melbourne’s Daughter in Law and Don’t Tell Aunty in Sydney. Served with an orchid and bright pink beetroot sauce, his kebabs might not look like the meals he ate as a child, but the vivid colors represent Singh’s Punjab heritage in other ways.

“Back home, color doesn’t associate with a gender, or a certain people, or a class,” he says. “Color belongs to everyone. You will see men wearing pink turbans, a red shirt … We are a very, very colorful culture. So that’s what I put in my food.”

Daughter in Law, 37 Little Bourke Street, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia; +61 (03) 9242 0814
Don’t Tell Aunty, Shop-2, 414 Bourke Street, Surry Hills, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia; +61 (02) 9331 5399

Chef Garima Arora: Millet roti, Telangana

Garima Arora is the first and only female Indian chef to earn a Michelin star for her restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand. Now she’s putting the spotlight back on India, starting with Telangana — the southern Indian state she was born in.

Thailand-based chef and restaurant owner Garima Arora has attracted a lot of attention for her pioneering take on Indian cuisine. A former pupil of world-famous Indian chef Gaggan Anand, she is the first and only Indian female chef to earn a Michelin star for her Bangkok restaurant, Gaa, while “The World’s 50 Best Restaurants” rated her as Asia’s best female chef in 2019.

Not content with her own trailblazing accolades, Arora is taking another approach to “rewrite this narrative around Indian cooking.”

In 2019, she launched Food Forward India, a traveling non-profit initiative that aims to map out the cuisines of every Indian state, starting with the one Arora was born in — Telangana.
Food in this southern Indian state is most often associated with the refined dishes of Telangana’s capital, Hyderabad, developed over centuries in the Mughal and Nizam royal courts. But Arora was interested in highlighting food customs beyond the metropolis.

“There was a big difference between the way urban Telangana eats to the rural Telangana to the tribal Telangana,” Arora says. “The idea was to take that and show it to the world.”

One rustic ingredient Arora hopes to spotlight is millet. Among the world’s earliest cultivated grains, it’s a historic staple in Telangana’s rural communities.

Arora is giving millet a fine-dining update as a roti tartlet, filled with creamy, chilled crab and fresh coconut. She says her “cold curry” gives the “sensation of eating something fresh, cool, earthy — but in one bite.”

Gaa, 46 Sukhumvit 53 Alley, Khlong Tan Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand; +66 (0)63 987 4747

Chef Deepanker Khosla: Mutton biryani, Uttar Pradesh

Biryani is one of the most popular Indian dishes of all time. Chef Deepanker Khosla is adding a new chapter to biryani’s layered history in his zero-waste restaurant in Thailand.

Chef Deepanker Khosla is making waves with his award-winning sustainable restaurant, Haoma, in Bangkok, Thailand. He says the zero-waste farm-to-table concept is a “prototype” for restaurants in the future, inspired by his upbringing in the Uttar Pradesh city of Prayagraj, formerly called Allahabad.

“My dad has this beautiful kitchen garden,” Khosla says, “So harvesting our own produce, eating fresh, sustainable … this is tradition.”

A hydroponic system on the restaurant terrace recycles rainwater to grow plants and tilapia fish, while all waste from the kitchen is recycled back into fish food and compost.

The restaurant farm supplies almost all the produce for Khosla’s “neo-Indian” menu, a modern, high-end take on centuries-old Indian dishes.

That includes biryani; a fragrant mix of meat or vegetables, rice and spices, the meal is universally loved across the Indian subcontinent. Many historians believe biryani originated in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals, who controlled the area from the 16th to 18th century.

It made its way into the cuisine of almost every region, each suffusing the dish with its own flavors and techniques.

Khosla makes a version known as Awadhi biryani — a beloved dish back home in Uttar Pradesh.

Lightly spiced pieces of mutton and rice are layered into a pot, sealed with dough, and slowly steamed for hours, in “dum pukht” style.

“Dum pukht means slow breathing, so you let the food breathe in its own juices,” Khosla says.

With an ever-evolving menu that adapts to the seasonal produce that can be grown on the farm, Khosla is excited to spotlight authentic, regional recipes.

What we know about Indian cuisine is “not even the tip of the iceberg,” he says. “India has 22 distinct cuisines with more than 5,000 different dishes … that is what I take pride in.”

Haoma, 231 3 Soi Sukhumvit 31, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand; +66 (0)2 258 4744

Chef Palash Mitra: Fish curry, West Bengal

Chef Palash Mitra has mastered a range of South Asian delicacies in his Hong Kong restaurants. But for the West Bengal-born chef, one dish is closer to the heart: Bengali fish curry.

To call Bengali fish curry, or macher jhol, a classic West Bengal meal would be an understatement. As the local saying goes: “mache bhate bangali,” which roughly translates as ‘fish and rice is what makes a Bengali’.

Fish is a staple in West Bengal’s cuisine largely because of geography. Crisscrossed by rivers that flow into the Bay of Bengal, the east Indian state boasts a huge variety of fish. And the importance of fish carries into ritual life too.

“Whether it’s a funeral or if it’s a marriage, fish is an integral part of it,” says Palash Mitra, a chef born in West Bengal’s capital, Kolkata. “Fish is the symbol of a new life, the end of life. It’s entwined.”

As culinary director of South Asian cuisine for Hong Kong’s Black Sheep restaurant group, Palash supervises four restaurants, which offer fish dishes that span the Indian subcontinent.

“The tandoori cobia … or the salmon … these are really, really popular dishes,” he says.

But Bengali fish curry is the dish that’s “very close to my heart,” he says. Mitra cooks his mother’s recipe: chunks of rui, a South Asian carp, slowly simmered in a light broth, enriched with spices, potatoes, cauliflower and tomatoes, and served with rice. He plans to put it on the menu at his restaurant, Rajasthan Rifles on Hong Kong’s Victoria Peak, this summer.

Rajasthan Rifles, The Peak Galleria, Shop G01 G/F, 118 Peak Road, Central, Hong Kong; +852 2388 8874

Chef Kuldeep Negi: Tandoori prawns, Delhi

Spices are at the heart of all Indian food and Chef Kuldeep Negi understands them better than most. In his Singapore restaurant, Negi serves up a bite of his Delhi heritage — with a kick.

Of course, there’s one thing that defines India’s culinary legacy more than any dish. Spices are at the heart of all Indian food, with India using, buying and selling more spices than any other country, according to the government’s spices board.
Kuldeep Negi, Chef de Cuisine of Singapore’s Tiffin Room restaurant inside the historic Raffles hotel, understands India’s spices better than most. Growing up in Delhi, he had Asia’s biggest spice bazaar on his doorstep: Khari Baoli, in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk market. This maze of stalls, bursting with color and heady aromas, has been supplying kitchens in India’s capital since the 17th century.

As a child, Negi’s mother brought him to the market, and taught him how to select and blend the spices.

“She is very particular about choosing the spices because India is a country of different seasons. So each season has different spices,” says Negi. “How to use them, when to add into the dish, how long you’re going to cook (them) — that’s very important.”

The art of blending spices is still an important part of Negi’s cooking today. Though you’re more likely to find chicken or lamb grilling in the tandoors of landlocked Delhi, Negi wants to make the most of the seafood available in Southeast Asia.

For his signature dish, tandoori prawns, he brings out the succulent, smoky flavors of the jumbo prawns with his unique spice mix: saffron, turmeric and red chili powder, blended with rose petal, bleached cardamom and green cardamom.

“When you go to bite that, you will feel it, the freshness of the powders,” he says. “It’s all about the spices.”

Tiffin Room, Raffles Singapore, 1 Beach Rd, Singapore; +65 6412 1816

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Collective action to combat food waste

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PHILIPPINE STAR/KRIZ JOHN ROSALES

THE LATEST Social Weather Stations survey conducted in November 2020 revealed a national hunger rate of 16%, equivalent to around 4 million families — an improvement from the 7.6 million families reported in the September 2020 survey. While this result shows that loosening quarantine restrictions and reopening the economy may have ameliorated hunger, it underscores the challenge we still face.

That there are families that experience hunger while tons of food go to waste each day is a painful irony that we must address. As I mentioned in my previous column, we have a significant food waste problem as we waste more than 900,000 metric tons of rice per year. According to the World Wildlife Fund–Philippines, an estimated 2,175 tons of food scraps in Metro Manila alone are thrown in the garbage every day. When the poorest of the poor are scrounging for recoverable food scraps in garbage bins, this level of waste is criminal.

(An example of food scraps being “recycled” and eaten — and, in some cases, sold — is pagpag. Pagpag is the term used for leftover food from restaurants scavenged from garbage sites and dumps. Pagpag literally means “to shake off,” and refers to the act of shaking off dirt from edible portions of restaurant leftovers. These are either eaten immediately after the scraps are found in the trash, or cooked in different ways after they are collected. The phenomena has been documented by news programs and clips are available on YouTube for those who wish to learn more.)

Food waste is inextricably tied to the problem of hunger; imagine the amount of food wasted that could have otherwise been used to feed hungry Filipinos. It is a problem we cannot and should not ignore — which is why efforts are being made to ensure that we minimize the amount of food waste that we produce.

One of the ways we are aiming to address the problem of food waste is by dovetailing the efforts of the private sector and that of the government; this is where a movement like Pilipinas Kontra Gutom (Philippines Against Hunger) comes in.

Pilipinas Kontra Gutom is a multi-sectoral initiative that addresses hunger on different fronts. We believe that a concerted and programmatic approach from the government, academe, non-profit groups, and corporations can help millions of hungry Filipinos and set the Philippines toward the path of food security.

Food waste is one of the initiative’s strategic pillars. Our country has a huge food surplus that can be repurposed for community kitchens, crisis assistance, or even composting.

MAKING STRIDES
Pilipinas Kontra Gutom — which invited multinational and local companies, as well as non-governmental organizations, to its private sector kick-off earlier this month — has formalized partnerships with more than 30 different groups, including NGOs, large corporations, and tech and media companies.

Seeing the existing efforts presented during the event made me feel confident about our direction and purpose. The Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP), the largest business-led social development foundation composed of more than 250 member companies, showed us their own initiative, The Hunger Project. This effort, done in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University and De La Salle University, provides us with a view of the private sector’s capabilities with regard to an undertaking of this nature.

Crucial to PBSP’s The Hunger Project are its aims to consolidate all private sector initiatives, monitor the results and outcomes of multi-sectoral programs, and ensure the sustainability of the advocacy against hunger.

Another one of our partners, Rise Against Hunger, is making strides in answering the food waste problem. The global hunger relief organization is focused on food banking by tapping manufacturers, restaurants, hotels, farms, and even individual consumers to donate their food surplus to food banks. The excess supply, after quality testing, then goes to Rise Against Hunger’s food assistance partners such as schools, orphanages, and emergency shelters.

Rise Against Hunger accepts food donations in the form of canned or processed food that are near their expiration date, discontinued products, seasonal items, and production overruns, among many others. The structure that they have in place has already resulted in a social enterprise project with the Good Food Grocer, which operates a free grocery in poverty-stricken barangays, while also providing vital nutritional requirements to children, mothers, and senior citizens who are most in need.

JOINING HANDS
In the next few weeks, we will be holding a series of consultations bringing together the private sector and concerned government agencies so we may coordinate our efforts to address the problem of food waste, to provide support for farmers, and ultimately, to address hunger. We are eager to see what our current team and potential partners can do. We are all here and ready to work: lahat kasali, lahat kasalo.

For more information on Pilipinas Kontra Gutom and how companies or organizations can support its efforts, send an e-mail to [email protected]

 

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles is the Chairperson of the Inter-Agency Task Force on Zero Hunger. Prior to his appointment to the cabinet in November 2018, the former House Appropriations Chair served three consecutive terms in the House of Representatives representing the first district of Davao City.





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