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  1. Hi Skunkbunny, A three hour private hands-on cooking class was about USD 10. When I was there in October 2005, she told me she was thinking about opening a cooking school like in Chiang Mai. Maybe she already has... Furthermore, her guesthouse is very nice, welcoming and comfortable. Located in a residential area, a 5-minute stroll from the center, rooms are basic but fully functional, no a/c, but fans. The upstairs rooms in the back with bathrooms are the nicest, as they catch cooling breezes in the night and you can observe the neighbours cooking outside. I'd immediately go back if I had the chance! Gideon
  2. In Luang Prabang you can arrange a (private) cooking session/lesson with Vandara Amphayphone of the Vanvisa Guesthouse. She's a gifted cook and patient teacher. I wish I'd taken more notes during my lesson, as I seem to have forgotten most of them already... You can reach her at vandara1@hotmail.com, she speaks french and english. Good luck, Gideon
  3. gidon


    Someone please wake me up: I think I'm having a nightmare! After posting my query about Corsica, I immediately booked the ferry from Livorno to Bastia and went to bed. This morning I read John's reply... John, is it really true? Please tell me you only enjoy the elaborate creature comforts of Michelin rated restaurants. Are the days of good and simple Corsican food that Waverley Root wrote about long gone? Please tell me it ain't so.
  4. It's been years since I've been in Phuket, but I remember I had a hard time finding decent authentic food. My general rule of thumb was and still is: the farther away you go from the main tourist drag, the better the food becomes. There is a seafood restaurant/shack on Phuket I stll dream about (gorgeous deep fried fish with a tamarind sauce with fresh and out of this world spicy chili's), but of which I have forgotten the name. It was on the south-eastern side of the island on the water in a small harbor and patronised mainly by locals. If I remember correctly there was another restaurant with the same name and management which was located more centrally but was supposed to have slightly inferior food (or so the locals said). I think it's mentioned in the Lonely Planet... Good luck!
  5. gidon


    I'm planning to go to Corsica for a few weeks this summer, but so far I have found little information on the local restaurant scene. Since Corsica is French and is even closer to Italy than France, the food can't possibly bad. However, a quick scan of the Michelin guide yielded only one * and one bib gourmand restaurant. Now could this be a good sign? If anyone has any recommendations for restaurants and local produce I'd be ever so grateful. Thanks
  6. Whenever I travel home by train with a goodiebag full of funky smelling French cheese, I just place my bag as far away from my seat as possible. Has never been a problem so far!
  7. Does anyone have access to the complete list of changes in de Benelux? Am very curious about all the new *'s in nl...
  8. gidon

    Decanting Port

    I am planning to finally open my Vintage 1932 bottle, but don't want to rush things and spoil years of patience at the last moment. I would like to know the following: - how long should I let the bottle stand to let the sediment sink? At this moment it's laying flat. - what's the best way to open the bottle? I'm figuring the cork must be pretty brittle by now. - should I decant it or not? If so, for how long? I tried to find answers elsewhere, but am absolutely confused.... Thanks in advance, Gidon
  9. I just remembered that I read about the moving of Pascal J right here in post by paulbrussel (oops). He seems to be the man in the know, so maybe he could chip in his two cents? Although I've never had the pleasure at dining at Vermeer, it seemed to be the most innovative place in Amsterdam. I don't have a clue how they're doing at this moment. As for a suitable substitute for a monday? Hmmm. Maybe you could give Vermeer a try... Or you could try Restaurant De Kas, the food is not exceptional, but the concept is very nice indeed: seasonal produce from Amsterdam and environs, served in a former greenhouse. I think it's run by the ex-ex-chef from Vermeer! You can find them here. Good luck!
  10. Some years ago I read about talented young chefs from starred restaurants that started their own down to earth bistro's and restaurants in Paris. They specifically chose to avoid the expectations and pressure raised by michelin, making their food excellent value for money in the process. As dumb luck would have it, I can not find a single iota about these chefs and their restaurants anymore. Does anyone know if they're still around, make delicious food and haven't been seeked out by michelin yet? I would ever so grateful! Gidon
  11. I'm sorry to tell you, but the last thing I've heard is that Pascal Jalhaij, the chef at Vermeer, is not working there anymore. Where he'll show up next is anyone's guess... The good news is that there are many other places you could and should visit! Gidon
  12. Abandon all hope: Cologne is not a culinary paradise! They do have a chocolate museum though. However, there are supposed to be some good places around, maybe check viamichelin.com. But right around the corner paradise awaits: Dusseldorf has the larget Japanese expat community. That must mean... If you do find some gems in Cologne, please let me know though. Gidon
  13. Thanks for this amazing class. I'm especially fascinated by the taster/supertaster definition and am dying to find out whether I'm a taster at all. Since I've got a laboratory at hand, I'm wondering if you could tell me in which (non-lethal) concentration 6-n-propylthiouracil or phenylthiocarbamide have to be applied on paper to do some objective testing. Thank you, Gidon
  14. Supermarket stroopwafels are not bad at all, but you can get them freshly made at the Albert Cuyp market. Coming from the direction of the Ferdinand Bolstraat it's halfway down the market on the the righthand side. Am very curious about your culinary adventures in Amsterdam... Gidon
  15. The one best meal available and price is no objection? It's a tough and very personal question. My not so humble top 3: Christophe - delux French cuisine, not too wild, one *, on a canal, expect to pay 100 and over per person, old faithful. Vermeer - I have to be honest and confess that I haven't been here yet, but the cuisine is supposed to be highly inventive and original, the decoration and atmosphere of the restaurant is thought to be a bit formal, two **. Bordewijk - personal favorite, French provincial cooking with a local twist, however for some reason they're not very hospitable to tourists (to solve this problem you could invite me ), no *, around 75 per person. Any of these places would be able to offer excellent wine advice for your daughter. Gidon
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