• Cheese,  European Cheese,  Food,  Hotels,  Italy,  Pecorino,  Travel,  wine

    A Room With a View – Four Days in Florence

    When I stepped off the plane in Florence last month, it dawned on me that it had almost been 20 years to the day since I was last in this city. Why I left it so long, I have no idea. But 20 years later I was back – older, a bit wealthier, better dressed but in no way wiser. I had originally planned to visit Rome. But then saw that thanks to Qatar Airways joining One World, I could now book a flight straight through to Florence with a short stop in Rome. I’m relieved to say the city hasn’t changed. It just has more Chinese tourists. I have…

  • Cheese,  Doha,  Food,  Qatar,  Restaurants,  Travel

    Changing the Guard – Battle of the Burrata

    I have to admit, I am kind of change averse. Call me old fashioned but I kinda like a routine. But one area where I like a bit of variety is my restaurants. Two of my favorite places in Doha – Market by Jean Georges at W Doha and The Grill at Grand Hyatt Doha both saw new chefs take the helm in recent months. New chefs mean a new culinary viewpoint (far too much Food Network!) and new dishes to try. Both new chefs invited me to sample their dishes this month. And I have to say there is a lot to be excited about. and also, Burrata cheese,…

  • 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…

  • Artisan Cheese,  British,  British cheese,  Celebrity Chefs,  Cheddar,  Cheese,  Cheese in Cooking,  European Cheese,  Food,  Food Trends,  French

    Cheese Release Me

    Listen, I am not talking myself up, but I have always been ahead of the curve on many things. I just can’t think of most of them now…but here is some recent proof of my sage-like abilities. Cheese, it seems, is the next big food trend of 2014. Roquefort doughnuts, Stilton truffles and goat’s cheese ganache: Chocolate and cheese set to be 2014s next big foodie trend It must be true, it’s in The Daily Mail. And on this blog.

  • Cheese,  Mexico,  Restaurant Review,  South American,  Travel,  Unusual Cheeses,  White Cheese

    South of the Border…Doha Style

    I admire the people of Mexico and their devotion to all things cheese-related. I mean, what’s a taco without cheese? But I am stereotyping this great country and its’ food. It’s much more than tacos and enchiladas. That said, it is hard to find authentic Mexican food in the Middle East, or anywhere outside of Mexico and the US.To make authentic Mexican food, you need a Mexican chef. Which is why I am hightailing it down to The Sheraton Doha tonight to check out a Mexican chef, Demian, in his unnatural habitat. For one week only, the Sheraton is hosting this chef for a Mexican Gastronomic Week, with a special…

  • Cafes,  Cheese,  Media,  Middle East,  Oman,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel,  White Cheese

    Restaurant Review – Manis Gourmet Cafe Muscat Oman

    It would be fair to assume that I do spend a lot of time in five star hotels – either lounging around, terrorizing their chefs or drinking heavily. The reasons for this are twofold – in the Middle East hotels are generally the only place a gal can drink in public and frankly, my handbag collection demands a stage. That said, I don’t mind a greasy spoon joint (hangover helper) or a quality cafe. Anywhere with good coffee, magazines and decent people watching/judging opportunities. On one of my most recent trips to Muscat, my regular partner in crime GF and I ventured out of the rarefied confines of five stardom…

  • Australia,  Australian Cheese,  Buch Tucker,  Cheese,  Food,  Travel,  White Cheese,  wine

    Hard to Brie-sist

    Many of my American and British friends believe much of the Australian vernacular is made up. They allege they are just jumbles of ridiculous sounding vowels meant to bamboozle non-Australians, that it’s one big in-joke at the expense of other lesser nationalities. “That is NOT a real word,” my friend Alicia exclaimed once, upon hearing the place name “Wharoongha”. Fair suck of the sav indeed. This post came to be thanks to my friend Brooke who recently hosted a gaggle of women, a lot of wine and a slew of Australian cheese. Much was discussed over cheese and wine in her “Secret Garden”, including sport, men and bad bad boyfriends.…

  • 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…

  • American,  Cheese,  events,  Middle East,  Restaurant Reviews,  wine

    Beefed Up – Review of The Anvil Rooms

    I had a phase (and by phase I mean 18 months) at university when I became a vegetarian. I’m not sure what prompted it, seemed like the thing to do at the time. Like wearing Doc Martins and raging against “The Man”. One day, about 18 months in, I decided to start eating chicken again. Then the floodgates opened and I have been making up for that 18 month lapse for the last 25 years. I love a good steak and especially love a good steakhouse, there is something about their warm, clubby environment, their comfy chairs and the proliferation of onion rings that make me very, very happy. This…