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The flavor of Richart Chocolates from France is exceptional, sensual and each one a piece of art and a total delight for the senses. We asked him about his process in creating those fabulous chocolates. Here is an excerpt from an interview with Michel Richart on the smells he remembers from his youth and how they influenced his life. “I remember extremely well the times when I was a child and went to see relatives – not very close relatives but still, my godfather and godmother- and one of my favorite pastimes was to go smell the tomato crops and even the tomato leaves, because the leaves of tomatoes have an unbelievably strong smell of tomato.” It was extremely enjoyable for me to do this on vacation so I don’t know if this is the kind of answer that you are looking for but it could make people understand me…

The Mystery is Solved: The Most Expensive Champagne in the World was Purchased by “Buyan” a Singapore Russian Restaurant. History was made when Buyan Russian Haute Cuisine & Caviar Bar located in the Republic of Singapore, won the world’s most expensive Champagne in a fierce bidding war. Buyan, which offers both inexpensive traditional Russian fare as well as Russian haute cuisine meant for the Tsars, has paid €30,000 (SGD 43,630) for a bottle of Veuve Clicquot, which is estimated to be 170 years old. All 145 bottles discovered in the shipwreck were opened, tasted and re-corked with the best two bottles acquired by Buyan. These historical bottles which still have bubbles – indicative of their fine quality – will indeed be drunk one day, but not in the very near future. The Veuve Clicquot Champagne itself is said to have “notes of linden blossoms and lime peels” and was pronounced…

INTERVIEW Tell us about your journey to becoming a champagne expert? It is a long story that actually started when I was 8 years old. I visited a winemaker in Mosel valley with my parents and while there, I was the only one pinpointing the wines in a blind tasting. That is when I understood I had a gift. But it was not until 1986 when I visited Reims for the first time that it all took off. Since then I’ve fallen in love and my passion, in combination with my ‘photographic memory’ of smell, started the train rolling. What are the rules of champagne tasting? There are different rules, but for me the most important is to be 100% focused in my own mental bubble so I experience each sublime facet of the magic wine. What do you love about champagne so much? I love life and few things…

From the moment you open the bag the first sniff grabs you with its heavenly aroma. Warm, rich, deep flavor presents on the nose. Making the coffee, the flavors with the heat of the water intensify and fill the room with the taste pleasure that awaits. Lift the cup to your lips, that first incredible sip, and you are instantly smitten! Elite Coffee for Connoisseurs When a coffee makes you weak in the knees, you know its a great one. Ospina Premier Grand Cru is that coffee. The taste is out of this world and unlike any coffee we’ve ever experienced. The flavor opens up on the palate like a fine wine and begs to be sipped and savored like one as well. From a family owned coffee growing business since the 1800’s, this is a must try coffee for coffee lovers and connoisseurs alike. Historical Coffee Makers The story…

Aw Shucks! All About Oysters: History, Tips and Advice for Serving this Luxurious Food Oysters are a luxurious food. A delicacy, sophisticated and one of those things in life you must try at least once. To get the best experience though, definitely choose well to ensure you have the best experience with them. Of course serving them with Champagne would be a luxury lovers gourmet delight! I had a chance to chat with Ted Basetti of Whole Foods Markets; he’s the Seafood Coordinator for the Pacific Northwest Region and had some great insight and tips for enjoying this gourmet food. History of Oysters There is a long link to oysters and love. Reputed for their aphrodisiac powers, favored for centuries by lovers, as far back as the Roman emperors. The Greek goddess of love, was said to have emerged from the sea on an oyster shell, immediately giving birth to…

There is something magical about the frosty air of winter. Brisk winds and chilly temperatures cause us to bundle up and share the warmth of home with the people we care about. Following the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, winter brunches are a thoughtful and elegant way to slow down and catch up with family and friends. Brunch is a meal that combines both breakfast and lunch and is typically served later in the morning on weekends. The Warmth of a Winter Brunch Hosting a winter brunch offers a feast for the senses as guests walk in from the cold to the flickering of a warm fire and the delectable aromas of winter cooking. The pale palate of the season is enlivened by a colorful buffet of quiches, hearty breads and soup. Spice things up by offering menu selections with traditional winter spices. Nutmeg and cinnamon are showcased…

Chanel No. 5, that classic fragrance by Coco Chanel, was her first, was launched in 1921, and has been for sale ever since. Coco created this particular fragrance because she wanted women to smell like women, not flowers. It was named No 5, because ‘5’ was a number that Coco’s thought lucky. It is their unique measurement of ingredients that gives it, its unique scent. A perfectly balanced blend of aldehydes, bergamont, lemon, and neroli, a heart of jasmine, lily of the valley, rose, and orris on the top notes, and a base of vetiver, sandalwood, vanilla and amber – a stunningly captivating fragrance. The World’s Most Famous Fragrance It was in 1953 when the fragrance’s popularity rose drastically thanks to Marilyn Monroe who was asked in an interview what she wore to bed and she famously replied “five drops of Chanel No 5”. The perfume became the most popular…

A passport by definition is a travel / identity / nationality identifying document issued by a national government, but when it originated, this document wasn’t just about travel. The first mention of a passport appears in the Hebrew Bible, around 450 BC, during the Persian Empire. An official serving a King of Persia wanting to travel to Judea so he asked the king who granted his travel request documented it with a letter requesting safe passage as he traveled through their lands “to the governors beyond the river”. There was a different form of passport in the medieval Islamic Caliphate. With the Caliphate form of governance, the passport was referred to as a bara’a, a receipt of taxes paid. Those who had paid their taxes were allowed to travel to the different regions, making this receipt basically a ‘travelers basic passport’. It is believed the origin of the name ‘passport’…