• 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,  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…

  • 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…

  • 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,  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…

  • 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…