The Focaccia recipe I am using: Food Network
On a chilly yet bright Sunday morning in NYC, I headed over to the Grand Bazaar for sampling some stuff for artbyvivarmaa and foodbyvivarmaa.
At the farmer's market, I found some edible flowers being sold. I needed some to sample for one of my upcoming dinner parties but I was also eager to try them in a different way.
Focaccia, in my opinion, is one of the easier breads to make. It's straightforward and tasty no matter what combination of spices you decide to mix it with. For me, I just chose rosemary and salt & although simple, it was delicious. I also use my breadmaker to mix the dough so it takes a lot more time off of my hands and keeps the batter very consistent.
Once done with the dough, it's a lot of olive oil! Make sure when you're transferring the dough here and there, use olive oil on your hands so that the dough doesn't stick.
The next few steps were pretty straightforward and easy. This also was the most fun part - poking the dough to give it texture for any toppings. My work here was easy as I only was putting rosemary, flaky salt, and olive oil. If you're doing focaccia art, this would be the time to put pepper, onions, tomatoes, etc. whatever you need. However, because I was using edible flowers, I could not put them on when the bread went into the oven.
There is something completely heavenly about freshly baked bread right from the oven...I enjoyed a huge piece of the focaccia along with my friend's recipe for oil dip. The purple flowers tasted minty and the yellow one...did not taste like much. Unfortunately, because the market was so busy, I did not get the name of the flowers, so we will have to do with colors! The white ones did not taste like anything either but the orange flowers tasted sweet. It was such an interesting addition to a simple bread recipe.
Although it's been some years since I have visited Paris, these dining spots in NYC, rapelle moi de Paris and are some great spots to get French food.
DISCLAIMER: I am not French or Parisienne, this is from the perspective of a tourist who loves to travel & eat!
They are known for their amazing hot chocolate and pastries but I have found out not a lot of people know of the restaurant in the back of the cafe. The interiors not only shout French decor but so does their seasonal menu. Although one could argue that some brunch items are more American than French, the delicate and sophisticated presentation couldn't be more French. I celebrated both mine and my mom's birthday here last year and it was such a treat.
Their menu does change quite a bit (it's always super creative) but these were my top picks:
We walked into Loulou on a gloomy, rainy Saturday afternoon and the cozy atmosphere here lived up to its name. Although we all somehow ended up ordering the tomato soup and the grilled cheese, it was super delicious! My friends who have been here during Happy Hour hours were raving about their drinks. Overall, this was a very good meal. I hope to return here again when the weather is better.
Have you ever eaten real gold? Growing up in Abu Dhabi, Emirates Palace was the place where all the big events happened. Graduation, weddings, the must-see tourist spot, water sport competitions, art exhibitions, etc. One of the many unique aspects of Emirates Palace was their incorporation of gold in the experiences within the 5-star hotel.
The Christmas tree ornaments of real jewels and gold. The solid gold vending machine that vended, well, gold. The private beaches. The symmetry in architecture - Emirates Palace, the 5-star luxury hotel, was and is not only a symbol of opulence in Abu Dhabi but also a curation of art and cultural hub within itself, in my opinion.
And the food here...is no less. Although I have only dined at the Emirates Palace without an occasion once, the cafe was something I have gone to almost every visit there. Whether for a quick photoshoot, taking a friend or relative for a tour, art exhibition, music recital, you name it - the cafe was a must go because their 23K gold encrusted food items. Yes, gold in your digestive system, was the Abu Dhabi way to do it.
Gold flake encrusted beverages and or food items was an Emirates Palace staple. Because I am not a coffee drinker, the camel milk ice cream was something I enjoyed and it too had gold flakes on it!
Back when they started serving 23K gold, I had not yet heard of it being used anywhere else in dining experiences in such an accessible way - the ice cream was only AED 40*! This is a unique dining experience and I would 100% recommend if you are ever in Abu Dhabi.
I haven't actively lived in Abu Dhabi since I left for college, it seems that the gold topped beverages and desserts have evolved and the location has changed to be outside instead of being in the inside pavilion. Although I am yet to take a trip back to Abu Dhabi in a post COVID world, here is the updated menu for now: Emirates Palace Mandarin Oriental
Hi! My name is Vaishnavi and this is a curation of all things food. I travel a lot and since an early age, much like both my grandmothers, I have enjoyed cooking, baking, exploring dining options, and experimenting with food. In college, I started @foodbyvivarmaa as a creative outlet for all things food related. And since then, friends and family have asked me for recommendations and recipes and I thought why not make a traditional blog? Growing up in India and UAE and now living in NYC I have been privileged to be exposed to a very diverse set of dining experiences. My parents gave us the opportunity to travel all over, which has only further expanded my curiosity to explore more. Although I don't put a label on it, 90% of my diet is vegetarian. In India, cooking and eating food is a community ritual. Most of my favorite memories revolve around having a good meal with those who I love. To continue that tradition, I hope to curate my own community as I travel and continue building my life in different parts of the world & hopefully inspire and give others the same feeling of community brought together by food.