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  • Accompaniments,  Cheese,  European Cheese,  France,  Travel,  wine

    I Camembert It…

    Baked cheese seems to be a theme in my life in recent weeks. Hot on the heels of this extravaganza on Christmas Day I found myself delving back into the gooey mess that is baked Camembert. Last night’s indulgence was brought to me by the good people at French brasserie La Varenne This was baked in the paper container it comes in and served with honey and truffle oil. It was one of those rare moments in dining where many senses were tickled – sight, smell and of course taste. The fact that it’s a tactile dish involving digging the fresh baguette pieces into the oozing hot cheese is even more exciting. Sorry,…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Travel,  wine

    A Hard Days’ Bite

    In the scheme of things, last week was pretty draining. And I’m not talking about #whitegirlproblems, although I did learn my hairdresser is closing down. But that’s another story. Come Friday, all I wanted to do was curl up on the couch with a glass of red wine and Netflix. But my friend Alicia had other plans. She rounded up the homies for some mac and cheese and a viewing of the magnificently awful Sharknado. Margaritas, stretchy pants and a wooden Tara Reid. How can I resist? Alicia made her mac and cheese using a recipe gleaned from her friend’s blog Kitchen Thymes which involved using odds and ends of…

  • France,  French,  Middle East,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews

    Let Me Entertain(er) You

    It’s a pretty well known expat fact that Qatar is one of the more expensive places to live in the region. And of course, at the end of the day, everyone loves a bargain. Especially me, the week before payday. Well, actually any time. So that’s why you can always find my purse stuffed with Entertainer vouchers. The Entertainer has been offering great value offers for everything from Michelin-star restaurants to casual dining and cafes through their two-for-one vouchers books since 2001 and this year they have gone digital. They have launched an app that makes it easy to use at outlets spontaneously. It’s GPS based so you can source…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Travel,  wine

    Feeling Feta About It

    What follows is a tale of greed, lust, violence and of course, cheese. It started innocently enough – three female friends having a quiet Thursday night dinner at our “local” restaurant Opal by Gordon Ramsay at St Regis Dohaafter a complex week in the vineyards of truth. I spend a lot of time at Opal, because it has simple and fabulous food, great staff and an outdoor terrace. It’s the closest place I have to a neighborhood brasserie. I know I can go there, have a terrific meal, a glass of wine and usually little drama. they also have a hard core commitment to cheese in all its form. It’s…

  • Cheese,  France,  French,  Goat Cheese,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  wine

    Baguette About It – French Cheese Wrapped in More Than Bread

    I don’t know about you, but I love eating things that are wrapped in something else. Be it bread, pastry, cheese or even bacon. It’s like getting two tastes in one bite. Cheese has been wrapped in things besides bread (ahem baguettes) for centuries. At a recent cheese and wine night at Grand Hyatt Doha I came across this beauty – Banon à la feuille, it is an unpasteurized cheese made from goat’s milk. This pungent uncooked, unpressed cheese consists of a fine soft white pâte that is wrapped in chestnut leaves and tied with raffia prior to shipping. It hails from the region around the town of Banon in…

  • British,  British cheese,  Cheddar,  Cheese,  Comte,  European Cheese,  events,  Food,  France,  French,  Media,  Middle East,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel,  wine

    Fromage to Eternity

    As we slide (or stagger) into the business end of the year, I find myself looking for distractions. So when I got a message via the Twitter that went something along the lines of “We have a new menu Market at W Doha, there are 20 new items. There is lots of cheese”, I declare a “Distraction Action” and head westwards. And the Twitter doesn’t lie. The new menu has cheese. Lots of it. And other amazing things as well. Starting with these balls of deliciousness. Cheddar chilli fritters. Give me cheddar and add some green chilis then deep fry it? Yes please. This is what I like about cheddar,…

  • Cheese,  events,  France,  French,  Travel,  Washed Rind,  wine

    Creating a Munster

    So it seems that cheeses can also have an identity crisis. I have previously written about that great American icon Muenster cheese. Little did I know it has a European cousin. Munster-géromé, is a strong tasting, soft cheese made mainly from milk from the Vosges, between Alsace, Lorraine and Franche-Comté in France. A big thanks to my friends at St Regis Doha whose monthly Grapes and Cheese night not only gives me an excuse to catch up with friends, but also fuels my blog. Munster géromé is at its best in the summer and the autumn, when it is made from milk from the haute chaumes (“high stubble”) of pastures…

  • Australia,  Cheese,  events,  France,  wine

    Wine and Cheese Tasting in Doha

    Each year the Qatar Australia and NZ Business Association (of which I am a member – just to lay my cards on table) hosts a wine and cheese night in conjunction with the French Business Club. Imagine – three great countries all with a love of wine and cheese. Throw in 20 different types of cheeses, a selection of wines from all three countries and of course, our compatriots, and we have a great night. For those in Doha or visiting next week, it’s on 6 November at Grand Hyatt Doha from 7pm. For more information see above or email officemanager@qanzba.org

  • Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Restaurant Review,  Travel

    Stuck on Bleu

    You can dine in Michelin Star restaurants in far flung destinations, immerse yourself in the language of haute cuisine and bathe in truffle oil. But at the end of he day, it is fresh, simply prepared and unadulterated food that will win my vote every time. I had the pleasure of experiencing just this recently at Opal by Gordon Ramsay. This thin crust pizza with pear, a eggplant paste, bleu cheese and parmesan with a sprinkling of pine nuts was the perfect combination of sweet, savory, salty and crunchy. I had to restrain myself. But at the same meal, I was blown away with something many of us dismissed on…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Food,  France,  French,  Goat Cheese,  Travel,  wine

    Standing to (A)Tentation

    There comes a time in a woman’s life when it becomes her moral duty to break her self-enforced diet. For me, this came last week, when faced with the prospect of the monthly wine and cheese evening at St Regis Doha Prior experience had forewarned me – I can’t drink like I used to. But I can tell you, this healthy living period has not affected my cheese consumption. The team treated us to the usual selection of wines we can’t find elsewhere in Doha and two new cheeses for my benefit. The first was greeted with squeals of delight – Tentation. My friend Jen calls this “Spoon Cheese” after…