Nosy Be is about 5 miles off the coast of Madagascar. It is called by the locals “Perfume Island” because of the beautiful fragrances of the island’s exotic ylang-ylang, vanilla beans, and pepper trees.
“As a chef , when one mentions Madagascar, I automatically think of vanilla beans.”Vanilla Beans” of Madagascar are cherished around the world as quite simply the very best. In my experiences as a chef…these beans are usually horded away and locked down in the chef’s office and rationed out…to the cooks in very controlled amounts because of the simple fact that these beans are extremely expensive.
“Follow Franco” on a winter cruise. Starting off at the island of Mauritius, in the south-west region of the Indian Ocean. The tour will end in the far reaches of the Mediterranean in mid-summer, 2011.
Franco, will share the daily life activities as a chef on board one of the world’s finest luxury cruise lines as he cooks and lives at sea. To: “Follow Franco” find him on facebook or twitter under the name Chef Franco Lania, and his blog | www.francolania.com
The holidays are an excellent opportunity to indulge in certain foods and drinks that one usually gives up or forgets about during the rest of the year. Eggnog, most definitely being one of them.
“Feast of the Seven Fishes” is a time honored Christmas Eve tradition. The traditional abstinence from meat for Roman Catholics has lead to the time honored celebration of a feast of fish. This tradition is still very strong in countries like Italy where the feast is called “La Viglia”, the Vigil.
The custom was brought to the United States by Southern Italian immigrants in the late 1800’s early 1900’s and is still practiced in many Italian-American homes on Christmas Eve today.
This is a butter and almond based Italian wedding cookie,that is tossed 2-3 times in confectioners’ sugar once slightly cooled to coat them and make them evenly white. White of coarse signifying the purity of marriage.
Making a holiday turkey for Thanksgiving is easy and not as time consuming as one might think…using simple preparations and letting the oven do all the work.
Pumpkin gnocchi with smoked ricotta cheese are really exceptional and are a great way to round out the “autumn pumpkin harvest”. Smoked ricotta is a specialty of southern Italy, and more specifically an age-old specialty from the town of Mammola, in the Reggio Calabria region.
Restaurant:Chef and Sommelier in Eira section of Helsinki, Finland is a true “Gem!” A small place with a big heart. Kudos to Chef Sassu Lakkonen, Sommelier Joan Borgar and rest of the staff!
Post written by: Chef Franco Lania