• Cheese,  Cheese in Cooking,  European Cheese,  Food,  Italian,  Italian Cheese,  Italy,  Recipes,  Travel,  wine

    The Grate Escape – Eating Pecorino in Italy

    You may have heard, I recently went to Italy. To say this was a spiritual experience (bit like my visit to The ABBA Museum would be very accurate. I spent most of my time in Florence like Florence is well known for many things. some bloke called David, the setting of a million films and novels and of course, its’ food. I was there for the cheese – specifically Pecorino. Pecorino is the name of a family of hard Italian cheeses made from ewe’s milk. The word derives from Italian pecora meaning ‘sheep’, which in turn is from the Latin pecus meaning livestock. Like Parmesan we have all probably had…

  • 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,  European Cheese,  Food,  Italian Cheese,  Promotions,  Qatar,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel

    Slice Up Your Life – Milan Style Comes to Doha

    I can’t remember a time when pizza hasn’t been a part of my life. I believe my arteries wish there were vast tracts of time when my devotion to this food icon wasn’t so fierce. For those who love their pizza and want to move beyond the (beef) ham and pineapple or “supreme”, for one week only Chef Maurizio from Paper Moon in Milano will be spinning the dough at La Spiga by Papermoon at W Doha Along with some of my social media peeps I was invited to sample the menu and I can attest to the authenticity and cheesy goodness. The calzone is a must try. He’s only here…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Grilled Cheese,  Italian,  Italy,  Recipes

    Full Fontina

    We all know the feeling. Work is a war zone. The car is on the blink. Traffic is at carmageddon levels. A friend isn’t talking to you. Even the neighborhood stray cat hates you. For me, this is a time when only a grilled cheese sandwich will do. See, grilled cheese doesn’t judge you. Doesn’t yell at you for doing something wrong. It doesn’t care that you are wearing tracksuit pants where the elastic is broken. It’s warm, gooey, non-judgemental goodness. This little number, made recently on a cool and wet Doha night, features fontina cheese, walnut bread and some sneaky ham. Fontina cheese has been made in the Aosta…

  • Blue Cheese,  Cheese,  European Cheese,  Food,  Italy,  Travel,  wine

    La Dolce Latte Vita

    I know, it’s been a while between drinks and cheeses. I can give you many reasons including illness, hysteria and related dramas. But essentially a gal needed a break from the dairy overload. I will admit, I have been cheating on cheese with Asian flavors. But here I am, I am back with a vengeance. Last week I judged my outfit far too cute for just the office, so I rounded up some usual suspects for a wine and cheesefest at Opal by Gordon Ramsay at St Regis Doha. Meeting friends for the Thursday download and judgement session at the bar, Chef Elias whipped up this special pizza which featured…

  • Artisan Cheese,  Cheese,  events,  Food,  Italian,  Travel

    Daylight Robiola – An Italian Christmas Affair

    Technically, I should have done a Christmas post. But that would be cliched. However this post come to you courtesy of my not-so-traditional Christmas dinner at Grand Hyatt Muscat. Christmas in the Middle east can be a complicated business. It’s a work day for most people and many of us are away from our loved ones (expat orphans). So we all usually opt for a hotel catered event. This year, at the urging of GF, we took the road less traveled, leaving the extensive buffet to the families and taking an Italian adventure at Tuscany Restaurant. The feast included ravioli stuffed with fois gras, braised beef cheeks, plates of cured…

  • Cheese,  Italy,  Restaurant Reviews,  Travel,  Weightloss,  wine

    A Pizza the (Italian) Action – Restaurant Review of La Spiga at W Doha

    Given this review is based on a dinner with friends, I could start with a tired old reference to Sex and the City/Bridget Jones, perhaps some handbag innuendo and talk about frivolous gossip etc etc. But as a writer I’m not that lazy. Even if there was a “Mr Big” (or Mr. Very Small in this case), some quite attractive men and a sports celebrity at the next tables during this review. The fact is, this was a simple and fabulous dinner with friends. More Dorothy Parker than Wannabe Carrie. Anyone who has seen Sex and the City 2 in all its’ cliched and consumerist fancy will understand my aversion…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Italy,  Travel

    Romano Wasn’t Built in a Day

    I was looking forward to a quiet evening in with a bootleg copy of Behind the Candelabra and a cheeky glass of Malbec. Hopes were ashed by a friend, who upon hearing of said glittering bootleg, invited themselves over. Not one to order in, I decided to kill two well dressed birds with one stone and use the hunk of Romano I had in the fridge. Now combining seafood with cheese is controversial. Once in a restaurant in Sydney which shall remain nameless, the waiter refused to give me parmesan for my seafood linguine as “That’s NOT right”. Well, my taste buds maybe wired differently. I had planned a simple…

  • Cheese,  European Cheese,  Italy,  Travel

    Fontina of Youth

    There are few things in the culinary world that can’t be improved with a little slice of truffle. Yes, even cheese can benefit from this earthy delight. I did think for a while there that truffle – be it oil, the actually item itself or its essence – may have jumped the culinary shark a while ago. You couldn’t even buy icecream without finding a dash of truffle added. But after a self imposed truffle exile, I have come back to the fray. Thanks mainly to the unlikely combination of fontina cheese, pizza dough and black truffle. This piece of culinary crossover comes from the kitchen of Market by Jean…

  • Cheese,  Italy,  Travel

    The Big Cheese – Italy Arrests Mozzarella King

    Apparently it sometimes doesn’t pay to be the “Big Cheese” as Italy’s “Mozzarella King” recently found out. Police in Italy on Tuesday arrested the head of the country’s biggest buffalo mozzarella cheese maker and seized assets worth 100 million euros ($US123 million) on suspicion of links to organized crime. Giuseppe Mandara, who once called himself the “Armani of Mozzarella” in an interview, is thought to have been linked to a Naples mafia clan. So much for blessed are the cheesemakers… Big cheese: Italy cops arrest mozzarella king over mafia links