Latest Entries »

In my family, we celebrate Easter twice; once with everyone and again with the Orthodox. This year, it was a week apart. It can be the same week-end or even five weeks apart, depending on the year.

The first Easter week-end, we spent the bunny day at my brothers. Hid the eggs for the kids to find, did the egg tapping and as usual over ate.

I want to talk about the Orthodox Easter.

As you know Easter is a Christian holiday that starts on the Good Friday by the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and ends with his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

In the orthodox church, in Mersin, (my hometown located in south of Turkey) on Good Friday morning all the ladies go to church and bring flowers to decorate Jesus tomb.

It is a tradition that I love. Everybody is involved. The adults prepare the flowers and the kids put the colored eggs in bags; some ladies stay in the kitchen and prepare a giant tabbouleh.

A tabbouleh is a middle eastern salad made of bulgur (wheat), tomato, onion, and finely chopped parsley and mint, seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.

Once it is ready, the priest invites us in, and we all share the tabbouleh with bread and salad leaves.

This year was the first time that we brought my niece and nephew with us. While I was getting rid of the thorns, they were assisting me on taking out the extra leaves of roses. Later I put them in duty with the eggs. Once all the eggs in bags, the priest blessed them.

After all the tasks, we went inside the church and passed three times under Jesus tomb to represent the three days of Easter and prayed.

The cutest thing was my nephew who asked me in which language he should pray: Turkish or French. I have answered he can choose the language he wanted.

I think it is always important to keep some traditions. Even though, the kids are too young to understand the meaning of the crucifixion and resurrection, they understand getting together and praying for Jesus Christ.

Sure, they prayer can be basic, such as for the sick dog or to have a special dish for lunch… but it still brings them to church and enjoy it…

Happy Easter everyone!!!

When you live in Geneva, you keep complaining that there is nothing to do. Geneva is not a big city like Paris, Milan, London or New York, so you cannot expect the city to have the same attractions.

It is true that at 6 – 7pm in winter the roads are deserted, and when the temperature goes below 0 degrees Celsius, it becomes a Ghost town.

Let me tell you, life doesn’t stop after work, you can find several things to do. For example, going to the theater.

The Swiss Arthur prod is a company that brings Parisian shows to our city. They even offer you a season pass where you can purchase in advance 8 shows, and they offer you the ninth one.

The price varies between 250 chf to 810 chf according to your seat.

All the shows are at Theatre du Leman, just under the Hotel Kempinsky, Geneva.

My sister, who is a smart cookie, bought a season ticket for two. Due to my traveling, I managed to catch only two shows. I can tell you that they were very well chosen. She told me that all the selected theater shows were fun and worth every penny.

Last night we went to see a one man show, the comedian name is Olivier de Benoist. I have personally never heard about him, but I guess I was the only one (shame on me). He is one of the funniest men I have seen lately. And the public loves him.

I encourage all my French speaking peeps to give him a shot.

I know that we cannot compare Geneva Theater life to Broadway or Paris, but it is still great. I had a sneak peak of next season’s program; it is really worth it.

What can I say about Beauty & Essex, besides Chris Santos found the best formula to attract people? He took the great Stanton Social concept and put it in a bigger and a better environment.

The formula is simple: great décor, great food and a great crowd.

This beautiful two level restaurant is hidden behind a fake pawn shop. When you enter, your right away gets excited about the atmosphere. Leather coaches with wooden tables, great bar, and a big chandelier that connects the two floors.

Add to the early 60s décor beautiful people, then you just do your best to get a table. Unfortunately, it is one of those restaurants where you have to fight or book way in advance to get a table… unless you agree to eat dinner at 5pm ;)

I went to Beauty & Essex, at their opening week-end (how can I miss that) with my best friend. We of course didn’t have a table so after few drinks at the bar, crashed a couple’s table.

The menu is the same idea than Stanton Social (Chris Santos other restaurant). You have small dishes, tapas style, from all around the world. We chose few dishes to share and taste: the kobe beef carpaccio, the tomato tartare, the lobster tacos, and heritage baby back ribs.

They were all good, not exceptional but very good. The service was also great.

The crowd was composed of a bit of everything. Couples, groups and of course the weekend “bridge and tunnel”. For the “starstruck”, this is a great place to see your favorite stars.

And if you are thirsty for a glass of bubbles; you can simply go to the ladies room, where they celebrate you leaving the place with a glass of bubbles.

To sum it up, Beauty & Essex is a place not to miss. I maybe prefer the food at Stanton Social, but the décor and the crowd makes you forget about it, and makes you an addict ;)

You know that in the United States Mac & Cheese is as common as Hamburgers. All the restaurants put on their menu, and add a twist: you can have with truffles, with bacon, with a different kind of cheese, with lobster or with other substitute.

It is a dish revised so many times that you can write a book about it. You can compare the recipes and compare the restaurants.

We all know that when you add bacon or truffles to any dish the taste is amazing. You can eat shoe soles with these ingredients and you will be happy. So on my mini quest of the best mac and cheese, I am eliminating those cheaters.

What I look for is the best simple mac and cheese (without the fancy toppings).

I think I found it at Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. They even call it on their menu “the world’s best Mac & Cheese”. I don’t know if it is the best, but it surely is one of my favorites. The macaroni are cooked perfectly, and they use their own cheese: one year aged just jack cheese. It’s creamy texture, and its rich flavor makes to this mac and cheese a heavenly taste.

If you are craving for an amazing mac and cheese, don’t think twice go to Beecher’s Handmade Cheese. If you cannot go, good news, you can order online.

The only bad news, I didn’t like many other things on the menu. The downstairs bar, where you can eat is really nice. What I advise is to go have few drinks during happy hour. Then eat your mac and cheese to soak the alcohol and go home with a happy tummy ;)

We all have hectic lives, between kids, work, traffic, tv, internet, blackberry, or i-phones each of us try to find a moment of peace for ourselves.

I first discovered Insens with my friend “disco girl”, we went for lunch. The minute the elevator opens, and you enter you feel great. Coming from the city noises, traffic and chaos… suddenly you find yourself in silence and calm.

They offer massages, Yoga and Pilates classes also lunch.

I have never tried the massages as I have the best massage therapist, who comes home; but my mom did, and she loved it.

I had lunch there few times. When you book for lunch, you have to choose between the vegetarian and the protein dish (the only two options). This time, we have opted for the protein dish. It was a tuna cooked black and blue with its vegetables, a tomato soup and black rice.

The presentation was as good as its taste; simply delicious.

It was so silent, that we had to talk with our inside voices; you know the voice you use when you want to chat in church, lol.

It was just a perfect moment to relax, eat well and feel just great. After lunch, we were ready to attack the afternoon with full of energies.

So if, you also need to escape your daily life chaos for a little moment, I highly advise you to go to Insens. You won’t be disappointed!!!!

In our days, everybody is addicted to their phones.

I personally sleep with my blackberry; some people even asked me if my phone was surgically attached to my hand… Who can blame me? Between the calls, the bbm, the whats app, the sms, the emails and facebook, my phone is irresistible. All my business and private data are stored in it.

I even thought to create a BAA, “Blackberry Addicts Anonymous” for myself and my friends who have the same illness.

So when I overloaded my poor blackberry with too much information, it started to get tired and freeze. That was a sign to change it and get a better version.

For the ones who don’t live in Switzerland, Swisscom is the biggest telecom company in the country. It is our T-Mobile, Verizon, Vodafon or Turkcell. You will think that they are the best… well I have my doubts.

There are few Swisscom shops in town, I went to the biggest one in the rue du Marche to get my phone. When you enter you take a ticket, like in a post office to wait your turn. When your turn arrives, you just hope to have a qualified person to help you, which is not the case most of the time.

After my purchase that cost me an arm, they have sent me to the “pro” to transfer all my data from one phone to the other. I had already backed up my phone in my computer, but I said what the hell it will make my life easier.

The pro exported all my contacts, the challenge was to start my internet and mails. You will think they are used to that, well wrong again.

After 3hours and 45 minutes, 3 calls to the expert, higher expert and highest expert they failed in the task. I have asked them if they have WIFI access, so I could get connected and make it work. They told they only have cable access… which is quite suspicious, as it is their main job.

It will be like being in a shoe store, without any shoes on shelves; you could only order them through a catalog!!!!

So, after losing my whole afternoon, they finally declared forfeit; and told me a top expert will call me for support.

I came back home frustrated, and thought let me try with the home WIFI connection.

Funnily, it took me only 7 minutes to make it work and function my phone….

I don’t even know if I need to add anything, besides I highly advise you to avoid the Swisscom shop for help. They are useless.

I know it has been a while I haven’t updated my blog… so sorry about that. Good news! Now I am back!!!!

So let me talk about my catering discovery in Geneva. When I decided to organize a party for my birthday, I just wanted to enjoy and not be bothered by the cooking and serving.

You have several catering services available in Geneva, but I wanted something different, more personal than a hotel catering.

Fusion des Sens is exactly what I looked for. After a first meeting with the owner and chef, we have decided to make a menu composed with bite size foods with all the flavors of the season.

Let me tell you, Fusions des Sens (fusion of senses) is the correct name of this catering service. We had a menu composed of 14 different dishes, where you could savor an explosion of flavors in your mouth. We had a sampling of everything: salmon tartar, burbot carpaccio, shrimps, beef, duck, foie gras, risotto, chicken and many more.

Thinking about it, I am hungry again.

They came with their staff, so I had 3 chefs working in my kitchen, delivering a show, while 3 waiters passing around with drinks and food. Every time food came out of the kitchen; it was a game to discover its components. The waiters were very sweet and funny. The owner had given them the instruction to feed me; so if I was busy talking (which we know never happens) and not eating, I was reprimanded.

Good thing that my mom was off duty and party mode that day;)

What can a girl expect more: amazing food, great service and a show that could make blush the show “Top Chef”.

With the Holiday season around the corner, if you are planning a party, don’t think twice, contact Fusions des Sens… and don’t forget to invite me ;)

In Sardinia you just enjoy life. After the happy hour, and before hitting the clubs, you make a stopover at the restaurants….

There are few classics, and Gianni Pedrinelli is from far the best restaurant in the Emerald Coast. Not only the décor, but also the food and the crowd… You can sit inside or in summer at the terrace. I love the terrace as it is overlooking the garden, with flowing white curtains…. It is a magic atmosphere where you taste delicious food.

If you go there, I highly advise you to take the antipasti buffet. All products are fresh and you have a big variety. For main courses, the scampis are to die for or even their pastas. Actually everything is yummy, even their Scaloppine Milanese.

My evening was perfect, the only funny and, as my mom said inappropriate moment, was when the short waiter asked me if he could offer me drinks after. I seriously think it is funny, and chapeau for his courage… but on the other side my mom is right, we are not in a bar, we are in a 5 star restaurant.

Anyway, that didn’t ruin my evening off course, and to be honest it was so good that I went back to taste different dishes ;)

In Porto Cervo Sardinia, the biggest moment for me is the aperitivo… what else from someone who just loves to drink and eat.

Every day, around 6.30 – 7pm, I sit at the Piazza, order my white wine or Bellini, nibble the little appetizers they bring and observe the people.

The Piazza in Porto Cervo starts populating after 7pm… you have a bit of everything…. Families with kids running around, ladies who think they are dressed to kill (but actually dressed to be laughed at and maybe catch a few “Clients”), celebrities, shoppers and my personal favorite: people who got tanned directly near the sun. These people don’t have the nice summer glow, they are not the lobsters… they have more the “leather look”.

The Piazza in Porto Cervo is not the only happening happy hour spot. “Phi Beach” is another great place, where the sunset is breath taking, and the music takes you to another world.
The only advice I can give you is “do not wear your high heels”. It is a sand beach and believe me walking with heels is a challenge, and let’s say it kills all your style when you fall ;)
At Phi Beach, the crowd is different: not that many kids, but full of hotties drinking and dancing until the sun sets.

People are dressed in “special beachwear”. You know the kind of outfit that you pay a lot but never wear at the beach, because it is too dressy? Well good news, you can wear them at Phi Beach…

When finally the sun sets in Costa Smeralda, you can finally finish your drinks and go for your dinner…. that is another adventure, another post :)

This week-end I went to Castroverde de Campos for the christening of the Petit Bon Bon. She is the daughter of my spiritual son and Miss Speakeasy.

Castroverde de Campos is located 260 km from Madrid, so let me tell you: it was a long trip. This little village with not more than 400 inhabitants is the hometown of Miss Speakeasy’s mom. And has one of the best restaurants that I have ever been: Mesón del Labrador.

The restaurant owner is Miss Speakeasy’s uncle, and the mayor of the village and the owner of basically everything in the village. I call him “El Hefe” ( (the boss), although he claims to be a bohemian ;)

The restaurant is a family business; his wife and son work with him and they have an amazing team.

The Mesón del Labrador attracts a lot of people from all around Spain and the world. Lately, the Spanish prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero had dinner there.

The food is composed of traditional Spanish cuisine revised with influences from all around the world.

El Hefe keeps traveling and giving classes all around the world, and this helps him to bring some new ideas to his cuisine.

We were lucky to taste his food on several days… either at his restaurant, or at his sister’s house, or even during the evening of the christening when he catered the hotel. The highlights of my pallet festival? The foie gras, the pulpo (the octopus), the beef and the veal chops (all grown in the region), the Paella Valenciana (saffron rice with fresh sea food and meat), the white beans (their typical way of doing it, with sauce and meat), l’empenada (stuffed pastry), the boquerones (white anchovies) and off course, all the tapas including my favorite La Pata Negra (cured ham made from cross-bred pigs as long as they are at least 75% ibérico.)

I understand why he has such a success: his food is tasty, his service is lovely and the most important thing is his passion.

I am going back, and I highly recommend all of you to make the same… believe me it is worth every kilometer you do ;)