This month we sit down with our friend Dominique Ansel to share an annual holiday tradition and ask a few other fun questions.
Thank you for taking the time Dominique, let’s start with the tradition. Can you tell us a bit more about your Christmas Morning Cereal, where the idea came from, and why you’d like to continue doing it every year?
We started making Christmas Morning Cereal in 2013 at the Bakery in Soho. Christmas Morning is such a cherished moment for so many people, when they wake up and enjoy breakfast together with the people that they love. So we wanted to start a tradition with our own cereal blend – it’s made with Valrhona Caramelia (caramelized milk chocolate) covered puffed rice, smoked cinnamon mini meringues, and whole caramelized hazelnuts. I eat it by the handful. And now, it’s become a tradition for people across the country and around the world too – people who buy it every year and give it to their friends and family or to enjoy at home. I wake up every Christmas morning and see photos from people all over the world on Instagram who are eating the cereal for breakfast.
Later this month The Ballantyne will be hosting Chef Lior for a Spice Weekend, where he will work together with Chef Garrett Merck to produce a Dinner Under the Stars. In this month’s interview Chef Garrett answers our questions about the event, the hotel, and himself.
Thank you Garrett for taking the time to speak with us, we’re very excited about this upcoming Spice Weekend, can you tell us a bit more about the meal you are planning?
We’re planning a beautiful dinner under the stars. It’ll be a three-course meal featuring fresh and in season ingredients, and of course, spices. I don’t want to give too much away but I can say we are very excited about the dessert Lior is working on.
This month we sit down with Frédéric Panaïotis, Chef de Caves for Ruinart Champagne and our collaborator on the new 1764 spice blend, specially crafted to create dishes to pair with Ruinart’s rosé champagne.
We’re very excited about the 1764 spice collaboration, commemorating the date of the first rosé champagne produced by Ruinart, and would love to hear more from you about the project and about yourself
I have always admired Lior’s marvelous spice concoctions, so was really excited when we decided to work together on a Ruinart blend. I have been the Ruinart Chef de Caves for over 11 years and have a particular fondness for our rosé. It is a truly festive champagne that can be enjoyed year round. Creating a spice that would elevate and transform dishes that pair with the Ruinart Rosé no matter the season was a natural for us. I love to experiment in the kitchen and am so happy we can encourage clients to do the same with the Ruinart 1764 blend.
This month we sit down with Oded Brenner to talk about his new venture, Blue Stripes Cacao Shop, and the spices we did together that elevate his cacao drinks.
Thanks for taking the time Oded, we’re excited to collaborate with you and would love to learn more about your concept and vision. Notably you’ve opened a cacao and not a chocolate shop, can you explain the difference?
The name says it all, we are the first cacao shop that showcases the entire cacao fruit. We create a new experience by using the raw pulp of the cacao fruit. Lightly textured and sweet, we use it to make energy drinks and bowls. We also take cacao beans from different single origins and grind them fresh on the spot using a unique grinder that creates a smooth paste. We cook this with water, condensed milk, and spices, creating our ultimate version of hot chocolate.