June 16, 2024

Adventure Awaits Journeyers

Discovering the World Anew

Culinary Openings and News To Inspire Travel

6 min read

The Butcher’s Cellar: Hell’s Kitchen Meets Waco, Texas

Crudo with citrus aguachile @ Butcher’s Cellar.

The Butcher’s Cellar, a new restaurant by Matt and Tiffany Fatheree of The Findery, has opened in Woodway, a suburb of Waco. The restaurant features a menu crafted by Hell’s Kitchen chefs Alejandro Najar and Alyssa Osinga, focusing on locally sourced small plates, seafood, and steaks.

Under the direction of Executive Chef Alejandro Najar (a Season 21 finalist), the menu offers a variety of small plates, including milk buns with seasonal butter and pickles, tomato and burrata salad, and roasted bone marrow. Sushi options feature crab torch and press and lobster sushi tacos.

Seafood dishes include oysters with tangerine mignonette, crudo with citrus aguachile and a seafood plateau. Hot options feature scallops with blood orange and King Salmon with trout roe. The steak selections, many sourced from Iron Table Wagyu in Gatesville, Texas, range from filet mignon and ribeye to a 36-ounce tomahawk.

The cocktail program, designed by Bar Manager Ali Lindsey, blends classic and innovative drinks. Signature cocktails include Purple Reign, 37, Summer Fling and Carajillo.

Casetta Firenze Offers Culinary Workshops in Tuscany

Wining and dining at Casetta.

This summer, book your clients at Casetta Firenze, a luxury farmhouse in Tuscany’s Chianti region, where they can choose from three culinary workshops led by experts in pasta making, traditional Tuscan dishes and vegetarian cuisine. Each workshop includes a multi-course meal paired with seasonal wines.

Pasta Lessons by Patrizia

Patrizia, Casetta’s resident cook, specializes in traditional Italian pasta. She teaches guests to make three types of pasta, complemented by prosecco. Her popular dishes include Tortelli di patate ai colori dell’estate, featuring fresh summer vegetables, and Pappa al pomodoro, a Tuscan bread and tomato soup.

Traditional Tuscan Feast by Jeff

Jeff, Casetta’s Culinary Ambassador, offers a multi-course class in classical Tuscan dishes. His menu includes Fregnacce maremmane, crepe pouches filled with ragu and stracchino cheese and prosciutto-wrapped chicken cutlets with porcini mushrooms and capers.

Vegetarian Cuisine with Chef Fabrizio

Fabrizio, owner of Maggese in San Miniato, hosts an immersive cooking class at his restaurant. Guests learn about new Italian cuisine and enjoy a curated meal. Sample dishes include Rasnal, an Etruscan soup with cannellini beans, and Tesoro del nord, a cake of cabbage, potatoes, and black truffle.

Casetta also offers a Secret Sustainable Food Tour, highlighting culinary traditions and sustainable cooking methods. Owner Xenia Lemos has curated this tour with a network of producers focused on organic ingredients and sustainability.

For more information, visit casetta.net

In Costa Rica, Hotel Belmar Blends Dining With Sustainability

Cheers to “farm-to-table” and “garden-to-glass” at Hotel Belmar. (Photo by Hotel Belmar)

In 2024, Costa Rica’s Hotel Belmar introduces a groundbreaking approach to dining and sustainability, focusing on local sourcing. Under the watchful eye of Chef Alvaro Rodríguez, the hotel now emphasizes organic produce from its garden and nearby farms. Its updated menu features a reduced carbon footprint through increased plant-based offerings and sustainable seafood, cutting back on meat and dairy.

A standout dish, the Tamarind Chickpea Tempeh, showcases the hotel’s commitment to environmental stewardship and culinary excellence. Furthermore, Hotel Belmar has enhanced its seafood selection from the Gulf of Nicoya, supporting responsible fishing practices.

The hotel’s commitment extends beyond the menu. It employs traditional culinary techniques like pickling and fermenting to minimize food waste and maximize the use of seasonal ingredients. Innovative methods transform cooking byproducts into gourmet additions, reinforcing Hotel Belmar’s sustainability ethos.

Additionally, the hotel’s beverage offerings, developed with consultant Chris Bidmead, embody the “garden-to-glass” philosophy. Signature cocktails and fermented beverages are crafted from 100 percent local ingredients, aligning with the hotel’s sustainability vision. This initiative not only advances the culinary experience but also strengthens the connection between hospitality and conscientious food consumption.

For more information, visit hotelbelmar.net.

Sip With a View at the New Bar Tontine @ The Wall Street Hotel

Bar Tontine’s rooftop terrace with a waterside view.

The Wall Street Hotel, in partnership with JF Restaurants by Chef John Fraser, unveils Bar Tontine, a new rooftop bar concept on the 15th floor, set to enhance Manhattan’s Financial District nightlife. Offering views of Lower Manhattan and the East River, Bar Tontine invites your clients to enjoy an array of summer wines in collaboration with La Fête du Rosé and custom sparkling cocktails with Fever-Tree mixers. The menu, focusing on sophisticated snacks such as raw oysters and charcuterie, complements the innovative drink selection. The venue’s design, inspired by Paris’s Maison de Verre, features a 180-degree terrace that combines industrial chic with traditional elegance, creating a serene escape from the urban environment.

For more information, visit thewallsthotel.com.

Family-Friendly Dining in St. Maarten

There’s something for everyone at the new Cantina Paradiso.

Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa in St. Maarten introduces Cantina Paradiso, a new Mexican-inspired restaurant led by Chef Francisco Almonte. This addition enhances the resort’s dining variety, offering a seaside dining experience. Your clients are greeted with a margarita or lemonade in an open-air atmosphere adorned with lively decor. The buffet features tortilla chips, guacamole, salsa and a selection of appetizers and mains, including tacos and burritos, alongside kid-friendly dishes. Desserts such as rice pudding and churros round off the menu. Sonesta Maho Beach Resort is a top choice for families seeking a summer destination, thanks to its accessibility from the U.S. and great climate.

For more information, visit sonesta.com.

MICHELIN Stars and Other Culinary News

MICHELIN stars are coveted by just about every restaurant on the planet. They significantly elevate a restaurant’s status, symbolizing exceptional culinary excellence and innovation. These stars attract global attention, boost patronage and enhance reputation, making them coveted accolades that can define a chef’s career and a restaurant’s success in the competitive hospitality industry.

Cocina de Autor.

In Mexico, Velas Resorts’ Cocina de Autor restaurants, located at Grand Velas Los Cabos and Grand Velas Riviera Maya, have each been awarded a MICHELIN star in the first MICHELIN Guide to Mexico. These accolades reflect the resorts’ dedication to superior culinary experiences, included in the resorts’ all-inclusive rate. Led by chefs with MICHELIN star backgrounds, including Sidney Schutte and Francisco Sixtos in Los Cabos and Chef Nahum Velasco in Riviera Maya, the restaurants offer multi-course tasting menus that showcase Mexican culinary diversity and local ingredients, complemented by drink pairings featuring Mexican wines and spirits. The Cocina de Autor concept, developed by chefs Bruno Oteiza and Mikel Alonso, embodies the rich traditions and culture of Mexico, emphasizing local produce. Of note: The brand recently debuted its Mole and Mezcal pairings, available at the properties in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya, and Riviera Nayarit.

For more information, visit grandvelas.com

Welcome note from Chef Gaytan at Ha’.

Ha’, located at Hotel Xcaret Mexico and led by chefs Carlos Gaytán and Cristian Castillo Sánchez, has also been honored with a MICHELIN star for 2024. This accolade is Ha’s debut in receiving such a prestigious recognition, highlighting Grupo Xcaret’s commitment to culinary innovation. Chef Gaytan, celebrated for his contributions to Mexican cuisine both in Mexico and internationally, recently expanded his culinary ventures to Downtown Disney in Anaheim, California. Ha’ offers a nine-course tasting menu that intricately blends Mexican flavors and traditions, available to both resort guests and the public via reservation. The celebration continues at the Rivera Río brothers’ Lumbre and Centli restaurants, and Jonathan Gómez Luna of Chino Poblano, which also received a MICHELIN star, enhancing the stature of Xcaret’s Gastronomic Collective.

For more information, visit hotelxcaret.com.

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