Saturday, January 12, 2019

Accessible Fine Dining Guest Post






THINKING IN MEALS, NOT IN DISHES (an excerpt from Accessible Fine Dining by Noam Kostucki)


When I was a kid, I remember my dad taking me to restaurants where he knew the chef. The waiter would bring us the menu, and my dad would tell him we didn’t need it. He would ask the waiter to tell the chef that we have this amount of money or that, and to serve us the best for that amount. At first, I was shocked: “but I didn’t even see what’s on the menu? How do I know I will like it? I want to choose my dinner!”. Then, the waiter brought us the tiniest plate of food I had ever seen. There was no way I was going to be full from that dinner. Four hours and thirteen plates later, I was full and amazed. I had tasted so many different things that I was in heaven. Not every single dish was the best, but there was at least one dish I still remember almost 20 years later. It was a Chinese-style spoon filled with roasted duck. The chef asked us to hold the spoon in our hand and walked around sprinkling something on top before allowing us to eat it The barbeque roasted duck sparkled and exploded in our mouths. It was unbelievable. Later that night, he revealed his trick to me, and I was blown away. That’s how I discovered the concept of discovery menus: let the chef give you the best dishes that they can cook. Let them decide what different types of dishes they want to bring you, and it will become a full evening, very much like going to the theatre or opera.

As a result, one of the things I dislike most about going to restaurants is having to choose what I’m going to eat. It feels like a burden. I want to be satisfied and happy, but I don’t want to always eat the same thing. Do I go for a dish I know I will like or do I try something that seems strange and interesting? Most of all, how do I know which dish the chef prepares best? When you go to a restaurant and eat one dish, there is a lot of pressure for that one dish to be amazing. If it’s not, all you have is one plate that you don’t like. By serving people a lot of small dishes, you grab people’s attention, and you keep them awake. The best part is that different guests will have different preferences. That’s why one of my favorite part of dinner is when I ask at the end what is everyone’s single favorite dish. It’s fascinating to see the different opinions people have, and by serving a lot of dishes, you give people something to choose from. If they remember just a single dish from the entire dinner, in my eyes, you have succeeded not only as a chef, but as an artist.


Book Details:
Book Title: Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction , 128 pages
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: G
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Book Description:

Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.

Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.

For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us. The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.

We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.

If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat.
Picture

Buy the Book:





Watch the book trailer:





Meet the Authors:


Noam Kostucki

MY NAME IS NOAM KOSTUCKI AND I CREATE SPACES FOR MAGIC TO HAPPEN.

I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.

I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.

I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.

As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.

My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way the United Kingdom.

Quentin Villers


Quentin has been cooking in restaurant since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he lead a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.

Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Feb 7, 2019




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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Accessible Fine Dining + Giveaway



Book Details:
Book Title: Accessible Fine Dining - The Art of Creating Exciting Food in Your Everyday Kitchen by Noam Kostucki, with Chef Quentin Villers
Category: Adult Non-fiction , 128 pages
Genre: Creative Cookbook / Fine Dining
Publisher: Amazon
Release date: Dec 10, 2018
Tour dates: Jan 7 to 31, 2019
Content Rating: G
Picture

Book Description:

Six months after opening my first restaurant, one of my dishes was selected as "25 dishes to travel around the world", featuring me next to culinary legend Heston Blumenthal.

Exciting and healthy food doesn’t have to be complicated, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Over the years, I have seen some of the most exciting dishes come from the simplest kitchens and the most modest ingredients. The purpose of this book is to focus our attention away from the distractions of fancy kitchen equipment and luxury produce and instead focus our attention towards ingenuity in the kitchen and culinary innovation.

For some strange reason, cooking is taught in books as a series of mechanical steps to follow and repeat with precision. I see cooking as a creative art like painting or playing music: it is the freedom of expression that is most interesting to me. When we create from an artistic perspective, we give birth to something new and potentially magical.

The purpose of this book is not to teach you specific recipes, because the ingredients you will find in your local organic food market will likely not be the same as the ones we see here. Nor is the purpose to show you how to imitate us. The purpose of this book is to guide you into thinking about your dishes in a way that elevates them to a fine dining level, from ingredients which are easily accessible to you. Naturally, you will find a few recipes, but most importantly you will find a new way to look at food.

We will share how we think about food shopping, searching for unusual ingredients, the combinations of flavors, techniques, textures, nutritional value, and of course, plating. The purpose of this book is to guide you to become a more exciting, creative and adventurous version of yourself in the kitchen. What separates a craft from an art form is the story behind it; cooking is a craft, while fine dining is an art form.

If you want to create fine dining dishes, start to focus your attention on the different stories a dish can tell. Some stories can be told through your cooking, and others are told through words. Taking the time to present your dishes before people eat is crucial to creating anticipation for the food they will eat.
Picture

Buy the Book:





Watch the book trailer:





Meet the Authors:


Noam Kostucki

MY NAME IS NOAM KOSTUCKI AND I CREATE SPACES FOR MAGIC TO HAPPEN.

I was an awkward child, so I changed school 5 times. I spent most of my life trying to please others, and be the kind of person I believed everyone else wanted me to be. I wasn't happy and I struggled to get what I want. Everything changed when I started changing.

I spent the last 12 years creating the life I dream of. I've had the privilege to be homeless twice, and to speak at Harvard about entrepreneurship. I have grown to be myself more fearlessly than ever before. I am now surrounded by people I love, and who love me.

I traveled over 40 countries, and I've helped over 25,000 people create magic. For example Patryk Wezowski who raised $500,000 in 8 weeks and Esther Perel who gave the 30th most viewed TED talk. Some less public successes include a blind eyed student who experienced his blind eye for the first time and a journalist who left an abusive relationship.

As a university drop out, I was surprised when my first book (personal branding) became required reading at the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC, as well as receiving the UK Business Speaker of the Year runner up award, and a honorary degree in Business from Hofstra University. As an artist, I was honored to exhibit my photography at the European Union's Innovation Conference.

My most recent venture is HiR Fine Dining, a jungle culinary adventure. I create a discovery menu of 7 plates per person for groups of up to 12 people. HiR Fine Dining became #1 fine dining on TripAdvisor in Tamarindo within the first month. Within 6 months one of my plates was selected out of 40,000 restaurants by OpenTable as one of "25 dishes to travel around the world for". I was invited to speak at Chateau 1525, Costa Rica's most reputable cooking school and our guest chefs include a blind chef who traveled all the way the United Kingdom.

Quentin Villers


Quentin has been cooking in restaurant since the age of 18. He helped his brother build a restaurant for which they received a Michelin Star. Quentin moved to Costa Rica to consult for hotels and restaurants. He managed 3 of the 4 restaurants at Hotel Nayara in La Fortuna, for which he lead a team of over 20 people to be selected to enter Relais & Chateaux, a prestigious network of unique luxury hotels with exquisite cuisine. Quentin is a regular guest chef at HiR Fine Dining and consults for a number of fine dining restaurants in Costa Rica.

Connect with the Authors: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends Feb 7, 2019




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Monday, January 7, 2019

In This Ground - TLC Book Tour

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis: Just as his indie-rock band was poised to make it big, Ben Dirjery traded it all in for fatherhood and the stability of a job at Bolster Hill Cemetery. Now closing in on fifty, the former guitarist finds himself divorced and at loose ends, and still haunted by the tragic death of his former band’s lead singer, who is buried, literally, under Ben’s feet. Then Ben’s daughter begins questioning a past he has tried to bury. If he can face her questions, he might finally put to rest his guilt over his bandmate’s death, and bring music back into his life.


Enter to win a copy of In This Ground.  I am going to make this really simple.  Leave me a comment on whether you have participated in a knitting bomb, were ever in a band, or have harvested mushrooms to enter to win your copy of In This Ground, by January 14th midnight (EST). 


One (or more) Sentence Summary: WOW! I loved In This Ground.  I couldn't get enough of the characters and how their stories all intertwined.  In This Ground has a very unusual setting - a cemetery.  However, it makes so much sense as you read it. I absolutely loved all the connections to Nick Graves, a  former band's lead singer (I can't say more or I will spoil it) buried at the cemetery.  I am a knitter, and  couldn't believe there was even a knitting bomb in the book at the cemetery.  Even the knitting bomb was intertwined with all the characters past and present.  The connection between the mushrooms and green burials brought tears to my eyes.  All the stories and characters are connect to the Unknown Vagrant grave and Nick Graves (former band leader) and so well done. I honestly couldn't get enough of In This Ground.  Absolutely loved it.

In This Ground remained me of my favorite Mitch Albom's book, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto. I want a sequel to In This Ground!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: 100% yes! 




Beth Castrodale has worked as a newspaper reporter and editor. Her novels include Marion Hatley, a finalist for a Nilsen Prize for a First Novel from Southeast Missouri State University Press (published by Garland Press in 2017), and In This Ground (Garland Press, 2018). Beth's stories have appeared in such journals as Printer’s Devil Review, The Writing Disorder, and the Mulberry Fork Review. Get a free copy of her novel Gold River when you sign up for her e-newsletter, at http://www.bethcastrodale.com/gold-river/.


Connect with Beth

Website | Facebook | Twitter


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Please check out all the other reviews on the tour:  
Monday, January 7th: Seaside Book Nook
Wednesday, January 9th: Bibliotica
Thursday, January 10th: Books and Bindings
Monday, January 14th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, January 15th: The Book Diva’s Reads – author guest post
Wednesday, January 16th: Booklover Book Reviews
Thursday, January 17th: @crystals_library
Monday, January 21st: Eliot’s Eats
Tuesday, January 22nd: Really Into This and @mountain_reader_
Wednesday, January 23rd: Lit and Life
Thursday, January 24th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Monday, January 28th: Book By Book
Tuesday, January 29th: Erica Robyn Reads



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