Just a mere two years after a splashy unveiling of the 6-story mecca to Barbie and all things pink on Shanghai’s hip Huaihai Rd., Mattel has announced that it will be closing the store…and with it goes the sophisticated and funky Barbie Cafe. Those beautiful purple walls and fabulous zigzag tiles. You will be missed!
Happy Valentine’s Day…tell us all about your romantic day and where you celebrated.
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You might look around a restaurant and see plates, bowls, bottles — things that you use everyday but
rarely think about. Some designers however, look at these common objects and see opportunity.
In New York City, famed Japanese architect Tadao Ando was inspired, not by water (a typical element
in Asian design), but rather by the vessel that contains it, creating an incredible wall feature comprised
of 17,400 half litre bottles filled with mineral water and LED lights for Morimoto.
These design features also bring to mind the incredible work of artists like Tara Donovan and Subodh Gupta
who transform common objects, like those used in restaurants all over the world, into beautiful,
unimaginable installation pieces:
Tara Donovan – Haze, 2003, Stacked Clear Drinking Straws
Learn more about the work of Tara Donovan here.
Subodh Gupta – UFO, 2007, made from brass pots
Learn more about the work of Subodh Gupta here.
Ferran Adrià and His Widening Global Influence
In the small mountain town of Roses, in the Costa Brava region of Spain, adventurous foodies the world over
gather to indulge in the unique and unexpected creations served at the legendary El Bulli where, since 1983,
master chef Ferran Adrià, credited as the father of “molecular gastronomy” has been deconstructing ingredients
and inventing new techniques that explore contrasting temperatures, textures, and flavours to stretch the
boundaries of how we enjoy and experience food.
It may prove a difficult task for the average diner to experience El Bulli firsthand, but interested parties have
no fear! There are a number of Adrià-influenced chefs who have opened restaurants in major cities, bringing
their own flair and special techniques to this avant-garde style of cooking. Read the rest of this entry »
Chef David Lee of Nota Bene pushes hard for success
David Lee is executive chef and co-owner of the acclaimed Toronto restaurant Nota Bene. Lee is a third generation chef who hails from the village of Hertfordshire in England. At 17, he moved to London where he worked at Restaurant Le Soufflé under the tutelage of Executive Chef Peter Kromberg.
Chef Lee moved to Canada when he was 24 and by the age of 29, he made his mark on the Toronto dining scene after acquiring the popular Splendido restaurant with partner Yannick Bigourdan. In 2008, Lee opened Nota Bene with Bigourdan and a third partner, Franco Prevedello.
DE: Did you always know you wanted to be a chef?
DL: I think the reality is when you finish school you have to say what do you want to do. I knew one thing. I knew I didn’t want to work in an office and I knew I had to do something with my hands. I guess when you talk to a school, they ask what you love to do and I said I love to cook…my family has a big background of chefs and I knew I wanted to be creative. Read the rest of this entry »
A chat with co-owner Yannick Bigourdan
Bigourdan was born in the South of France to a family heavily entrenched in the food industry. After attending the Swiss Hotel School of Lausanne, Bigourdan worked for the Four Seasons Hotel and Resorts in Los Angeles and Toronto. In 2001, Bigourdan partnered with Chef David Lee to acquire the acclaimed restaurant Splendido in Toronto. With a few years of much-lauded success behind them, Bigourdan and Lee partnered with celebrated Toronto restaurateur, Franco Prevedello, to develop Nota Bene — a restaurant that would retain all the high-quality food and service of Splendido but in a more relaxed atmosphere.
City Guide — Quick Highlights of a Stunning City
Whether you are heading to cheer on your home team at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, or just going to soak in the natural beauty of the city, Vancouver has something for everyone — a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts, a deeply ingrained foodie culture enhanced by the rich multiculturalism of the area, and a growing collective of artists and creative types who are shifting the landscape of design throughout the city.
We teamed up with local designer, H. Jay Brooks from Box Interior Design (read our interview with him here!) to highlight some of the stylish and hip locales for your next visit to this beautiful coastal town. Read the rest of this entry »
Box Interior’s H. Jay Brooks
talks about his work in Vancouver, Canada
H. Jay Brooks and his wife, Cynthia Penner, are the design team behind Vancouver’s award-winning firm, Box Interior Design. Their recent projects include Market by Jean Georges, Society Dining Lounge, and the much-lauded Coast Restaurant. Read the rest of this entry »