Page 1


entertaining globally // issue four

BEAN TO BAR The new chocolate movement

FLORAL COMPARISON An international look at summer arrangements

HOUSE PARTY ‘Tupperware’ parties updated

from the editor Summer marks an exciting time of year. Mental gears shift into a slower pace and we do our best to enjoy the weather, the outdoors and the company of friends and family. Whether you are vacationing or stay-cationing, it’s time to visit that design studio you heard about, host a gathering or go the extra mile for a special ingredient. In other words, immerse yourself into something a bit out of the ordinary and expand your entertaining repertoire. In Issue 04, we explore how the chocolate pendulum has shifted from mass produced to bean-to-bar. We also talk to some wonderfully opinionated entrepreneurs and industry experts who reveal how to train your chocolate tasting palate and appreciate a bar like a fine wine or a craft beer. On the topic of ingredients, we’re rooting for sea salt from some rather unexpected and remote locations and introduce you to a few of our favourite brands. When it comes to outdoor entertaining, no one does it better than the locals on the Amalfi Coast or the tranquil shores of Transcoso in Brazil. We talk about picturesque backdrops and table details with two highly experienced EDITOR: entertainers in each location. Sarah Lambersky (Denmark) ART DIRECTOR: Our design section considers the success of an inStuart Woods (Czech Republic) dependent retailer in Copenhagen, and marvels at a colourful chintz collection in Toronto. Although we are ILLUSTRATION: endlessly fascinated with the tabletop vessels that keep Claire Heffer (UK) our food interesting, we expand our definition of design Ryan Cole (Czech Republic) to include flowers. You’ll find a dreamy comparison of PHOTOGRAPHER: floral arrangements from florists across the globe. Adam Goodman (Denmark) Finally, you’ll meet a few intrepid travelers and tasteCONTRIBUTORS: makers who run some of the most creative travel sites Mike Drach (Canada) around. They chime in on memorable meals, inspiring Sarah Lee (USA) cities and where they are headed next. Giulia Mule (UK) Yaeri Song (South Korea) If you would like to join Countlan’s growing dialogue on Pille Petersoo (Estonia) entertaining globally or have an article idea to pitch, we invite you to get in contact with us and inquire how you Marija Petrovic (Serbia) can contribute to future issues. Taryn Lipschitz (Canada)

CORRESPONDENTS: Kathryn Sussman (Canada) Judith de Graaff (France) Geraldine Tan (UK) Linda Gaylard (Canada) Gretchen McCarthy (UK) Lee McCoy (UK) Emily Cohen (USA)



Sarah Lambersky


contents entertaining globally




4 Designer Food From Portugal 5 What’s Cooking: Estonian Crumb Cake 6 Sea Salt Rising 8 A Tea Walk in Toronto 10 Top Five Cookbooks for Summer 11 What’s Cooking: Korean Pan Seared Salted Mackerel 12 From Bean to Bar 25 What’s Cooking: Cocoa Hazelnut Cake 29 What’s Cooking: Chaotic Spread

22 A Global Flower Comparison 26 ‘’Tupperware’ Parties Updated 30 The Indie Retailer Who Could 32 Chintz Collector 34 Made In

9 Entertaining on the Amalfi Coast 24 Entertaining in Bahia 38 Take Stock: Seoul 28 Dressing Up in Montreal 22, 27, 31 On Travel: Tastemakers Chime In



22 countlan




“Take Away Portugal” isn’t just a creative tagline for Lisbon-based food brand, José Gourmet. It represents a personal connection to the owner, Adriano Ribeiro, a professional pilot who often misses Portugal flying foreign skies. Ribeiro created José so he could make the foods of his homeland available to him and others while travelling. José Gourmet’s range of traditional and modern Portuguese specialties such as canned fish (spiced small sardines, octopus in olive oil and garlic), olive oil, vinegar, honey, jam and brandy are a hit with those interested in authenticity and supporting small producers. Porto artist Luis Mendonça was brought on to design the stylish, playful packaging, helping to imaginatively highlight the country’s gastronomic offerings.

Salt Rising (Mallorca)

On a trip to Mallorca in 2010, marketer, Oliver Backer visited the southern salt pans of the Spanish island and instantly fell in love. “I knew I had to get involved,” Backer shares; he is now the administrator at Flor de Sal d’Es Trenc, a company started by a young Swiss entrepreneur in 2003. Delicate salt crystals float to the top of pristine salt-fields uninterrupted by sea or air routes on this section of the coast. “Flor de Sal d’Es Trenc is special because of the way it is harvested and where it is formed. Our little corner of the island has rare qualities, which makes it perfect for the production of sea salt. The salt fields in Mallorca are some of the oldest in the world, first used by the Phoenicians and Romans thousands of years ago.” In addition to natural sea salt, which has gained quite a reputation among foodies and chefs, the innovative decade old company is also known for its salt blends such as salt with hibiscus flowers or its most popular Mediterranea salt with rosemary, marjoram, thyme and oregano. TIP: Use Your Fingers. While some serve salt out of a dish, serving salt with fingers gives the experience of feeling the grains.



//What’s Cooking

Pille Petersoo // Nami Nami blog // Viimsi, Estonia

ESTONIAN CRUMB CAKE (PURUKOOK) In a lovely suburb just outside Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is where you’ll find Pille, the sociologist, food writer and blogger behind the food blog, Nami Nami. RECIPE: 400 g (3 1/3 cups) all-purpose flour (1/3 to 1/2 can be spelt or wholemeal flour) 85 grams (3 oz) caster sugar a pinch of salt 200 g (7 oz or 2 Tbsp less than 2 sticks) cold butter, cubed 1 egg FILLING: 500 g thick jam/marmalade

INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the oven to 200 C/400 F. Line a 25x35 cm cake tin or a Swiss roll tin with a parchment paper or butter generously. Measure the flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Add the butter and using a knife or your fingers, cut and mix until the mixture reminds you of wet sand. (You can do this in your food processor). Transfer about 1/3rd of the mixture into a small bowl and put aside this will be your crumb mixture. (Feel free to add a handful of desiccated coconut to this mixture, or perhaps some cinnamon or other spices). Add the egg to the remaining mixture and combine until wet crumbs form. Scatter into the cake tin, spread evenly and then press down with the palm of your hand. (If your filling is on the soft side, you may want to pre-bake the base for about 15 minutes, until golden.) Spread the filling evenly over the (partially baked) base. Scatter the crumb mixture evenly on top. Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes, until the crumb mixture is light golden brown. Remove from the oven and leave to cool before cutting into small bars.



In Search It seems the salt world gets more interesting every year as fine retailers make it easy to help you broaden your horizons and experiment with different salts. The more we learn about new types, uses and geographies, kosher and table salt, the mainstays of the kitchen cupboard, seem like old news. In the interest of broadening your horizons and palate, it’s time to become better acquainted with light flaky sea salts. Salt enthusiasts recognize finishing a dish with sea salt isn’t just a matter of aesthetic or culinary indulgence. Their crystalline structures and pastel tones bring an element of fun and variety to your cooking and presentation. It’s also one more way to take care of your health. Unrefined salts contain essential minerals like magnesium and potassium, helping to metabolise sodium in a more effective way and making them healthier than traditional table salt.


Photo Credit: Nuno Cravo

Finish: Instead of adding salt to food while you cook, try sprinkling a finishing sea salt over your dish just before serving. The finishing salt will add texture, flavour, aroma and visual flare.

Palate Check: Take into account the palette of those for whom you are cooking to determine the intensity and potency of your salt-selection. This will help you decide whether a delicate fleur de sel or a coarser sel gris is suitable.

Go Niche, Ditch Mass: When choosing a salt, look for artisan salts that are handmade or gourmet salts that are produced in exotic locations, rather than mass-produced salts you find in your everyday grocery store.

Conversation Piece: Consider investing in a Himalayan salt slab or brick on which to serve your food. These can be purchased at a shop such as The Meadow and are just too cool.




By Kathryn Sussman

FABULOUSLY GLOBAL FLAKES: USA: Jacobsen Salt Co- On the shores of the Oregon coast, Kickstarter funded entrepreneur, Ben Jacobsen hand harvests sea salt from Netarts Bay. Scotland: Hebridean Sea Salt- Move over Maldon and Cornish sea salt (both from the UK), there is a new player in town from the Isle of Lewis, one of the Hebridean Islands on the North East coast of Scotland. Portugal: D’Aveiro- The 45km Aveiro Lagoon is separated by a sand dune from the Atlantic Ocean and is prized for the collection of fleur de sel along the coast. France: Sel de Guerande- 2000 year old salt marsh located in Southern Brittany on the Atlantic Ocean. Iceland: Saltverk- Located between two fjords on the Reykjanes peninsula produced with geothermic energy. Slovenia: Piranske Soline- In the Sečovlje Salina Nature Park, on the Slovenian/Croatian border lies a 700 year old salt pan which is used to harvest sea salt from the Northern Adriatic.

MARK BITTERMAN: ON SALT Food writer, Author and Owner of The Meadow When did the pendulum swing and people start paying attention to trading up in the salt category? About five years ago, when we first opened the store, there was tremendous interest but also tremendous skepticism in artisan salt. Today, I’ve seen that skepticism completely evaporate. What are the most common questions you get asked about salt? Some of the questions I get asked frequently are: Can

you really taste the difference between artisan salt and refined salt? How many salts do I need? Is artisan salt healthier than refined salt? Is it expensive? As a consumer, what is the best way to demystify salt choices? Pick three salts that you can use for your everyday cooking. I suggest Fleur de Sel or a Sel Gris for all purpose cooking. That same Fleur de Sel can also be used as your all-purpose finishing salt. Sel Gris is a great finishing salt for meats, roasted vegetables, and other roasted foods. The third salt I suggest is Flake Salt. It’s great on fresh greens or salads, and adds visual or textual pizzazz to any dish.





Linda Gaylard, Certified Tea Sommelier- The Tea Stylist

After all these years, afternoon tea remains a popular pastime to socialize with friends and family. As someone who works in the tea industry, I find myself avoiding predictable, overpriced three tiered stands of crustless sandwiches and petit fours in favour of something new; a break from tradition. My preference is to seek out unique and interesting eateries around the city where I can create my own afternoon tea simply by ordering off an appetizer or dessert menu. KIM MOON BAKERY 438 Dundas Street West Kim Moon revives memories of my recent trip to Hong Kong. Kim Moon is not a peaceful experience –it’s very busy and noisy, but you’ll notice the camaraderie among old friends who sit for hours visiting, drinking tea and eating pastries together. Located in the heart of Chinatown, there are plenty of shops to explore after you’ve had tea. Tea Choice: Hong Kong-Style tea. A strong black blend specially prepared with evaporated milk and sugar. Savoury: Dim Sum (shrimp dumplings or an eggplant roll) Sweet: Mango Pudding

A LA CARTE BISTRO AT THE GARDINER MUSEUM 111 Queen’s Park (across from the ROM) The bistro is located in the most light-filled space of this modernist structure. It is a lovely place to sit and read or enjoy the view out its tall windows. The fare is delicious and artfully plated. Guests can access the bistro without paying admission to the Gardiner museum; however you will be missing out on the best collection of ceramic art in Canada so it would be smart to plan a gallery visit too. Tea Choice: English Breakfast tea (Oh dear! A tea bag. Their loose leaf tea menu is coming soon) Savoury: A creamy chicken liver terrine with condiments Sweet: Pear tart with berries

MADELEINES CHERRY PIE AND ICE CREAM 1087 Bathurst Street Madeleines moved to this stretch of Bathurst Street eight years ago before the area transitioned to a mix of boutiques and cafes. This quaint neighbourhood hangout reminds me of a European Konditorei – slightly hodge podge in its design esthetic, but cozy enough to want to stay and sample their homemade pies, pastries, squares and cookies. I had my tea in their French-style backyard patio under a market umbrella.

Illustration: Claire Heffer



Tea Choice: Imperial Breakfast, a loose leaf blend of Ceylon, Assam and Keemun (they have a decent tea menu) Savoury: Egg white quiche with sundried tomatoes and mushrooms Sweet: Ginger ice cream with a lemon apricot shortbread cookie



There is something to be learned from the pace and style of entertaining on Italy’s Amalfi Coast. “Entertaining is no big deal to the Italians; it comes naturally to them,” boasts the Australian author of two Amalfi Coast books, Amanda Tabberer. Amanda should know. She spent more than 18 years living, eating and breathing the delectable food of Positano, a village on the Amalfi Coast.



How does entertaining in Italy differ from entertaining in Australia? Entertaining for the Italians is not a big deal. It is part of their life and they do it effortlessly, with enormous ease and little fuss. At least this can be said of the south. In contrast, entertaining (in Australia) appears to be 'an event' that is more structured and more of an effort. How are tables decorated on the Amalfi coast? On the Amalfi coast, they don't pay a lot of attention to decor as their natural surroundings are so exceptional. A rocky ledge on a moonlit night by the Mediterranean Sea is often the very best décor you will find. The scenery coupled with their amazing culinary talent, makes for a magical combination. Are there any unique dining customs on the coast? When dining with older folks, at the end of a meal, they will often lift the table cloth at one corner and place it over the remaining leftovers. This is a signal to the angels that they have finished their meal and are sending their thanks. It also means they were happy to share their food with loved ones.

Photo Source: Amanda Tabberer The locals achieve exceptional results without much fuss and few ingredients. They can make a brilliant meal with next to nothing!



Top 5 Cookbooks for Summer Gretchen McCarthy, Culinaria Libris Summer has a unique way of reawakening the senses with bounty from the garden and those long, lazy days that fade into one another. That’s why I’ve assembled a collection of cookbooks to help you maximize the joy of summer. As fleeting as it can be, there are plenty of recipes in these books to help you sprinkle a bit of summer fun into any menu.

C Published by Quirk, 2013 $24.95 (US)

ooking with Flowers by Miche Bacher is a long overdue look at, well, cooking with flowers. It’s no secret there are several edible flowers at our fingertips, but having the skill or courage to use them properly is another matter entirely. That’s where Miche’s book will fill those gaps in your edible flower knowledge. If you thought pansies were just for showing off their bold colors in window boxes, you’ll be delighted to know you can spruce up your pancakes or lollipops with them. It’s a delightfully quirky collection of recipes and it will have you re-examining your lilacs and hollyhocks for future use in the kitchen.

I Published by Collins, 2013, £25 (UK)

f you have ever clicked on the blog, What Katie Ate, you will already know about the fantastic food photography of Katie Quinn Davies. She’s well known in Australian food circles, but now with the release of her first cookbook, Australia will have to share her with the rest of the world as her book is making a big noise in both hemispheres. Her food styling makes everything look like a party on a plate with artistically strewn sprinkles of sesame seeds or black pepper. And her casually sophisticated recipes will infuse your summer menus with vibrancy and panache.

W Published by Stewart Tabori & Chang, 2013, £18.99

hen summer brings its heat in full force, turning on the oven can be a turn off. But what to do when you fancy something homemade and sweet? That’s when Bakeless Sweets by Faith Durand really shines. Its brilliance lies in recipes that take familiar desserts and dresses them up beyond recognition. Tapioca pudding will never be the same once you see it made with coconut milk and bananas. The Root Beer and Cream Soda Terrine recipe hints at the American origins of the book, but with measurements in both American and metric, you can enjoy the Deepest Chocolate Mousse and much more anywhere your kitchen happens to be.

S Published by Murdoch Books, 2013, £17.99

Published by Ten Speed Press, 2013, £17.99


ometimes a cookbook comes along that turns your head or in the case of The Bookery Cook, turns your head into a fruit salad. This is a case of art intersecting with innovative Australian recipes. It’s a toss up as to which is more fun, the art or the food. Either way, it’s a winning combination the Thompson sisters have devised with the help of 66 artists who have reimagined the sisters’ original recipes. Their Australian food is intriguing with its global influences. So whether you have a taste for the unusual in food or have unusual taste in art, this book will appeal to those of you with a creative bent.


t has been said that life imitates art, but in this case it’s cake imitating art in Modern Art Desserts. It’s breathtaking how Caitlin Freeman’s cakes are made with such precision and perfection. The recipes are not for the fainthearted (or the beginning home baker), but if working with an adjustable dough divider doesn’t daunt you, then perhaps making a Mondrian Cake or Lichtenstein Cake will be right up your street. Pictures of the original works of art which inspired the desserts are featured with each recipe so you can learn about Warhol or Thiebaud while you’re mixing the buttercream. With an introduction to the book by Rose Levy Beranbaum, you know you’re in the company of greats.


//What’s Cooking

Photo Source: Christine Han


Photo Source: Yoon Kim


Sarah Lee // Seoul In The City blog // Brooklyn, New York

Originally from Chicago, 10 year food industry veteran, Sarah Lee, has developed a strong appreciation for the simplicity of dishes and quality ingredients throughout her years of dining, travelling and growing up on a farm.

- 4-6 tablespoons of canola oil or vegetable oil - 1 whole fresh salted mackerel (you can find the salted at fish market or local asian supermarket) - 1 lemon (for garnish) - 3-4 Korean sesame leaves (for garnish, or replace with thinly sliced scallions). INSTRUCTIONS: 1. Warm up a medium skillet with canola oil on a medium to high heat.  2. In medium heat, place the mackerel, skin side down in the pan, then tilt the pan at an angle and spoon the excess oil over the mackerel (basting). (There should be plenty of oil in the pan to keep spooning over the fish). 3. Continue to baste the fish, by spooning the oil over fish for approximately ten minutes, or until golden brown on the top, and crispy on the skin side.  4. The fish will move to the edge of the pan but try to keep the fish flat on the bottom of the pan. The trick is not to flip the mackerel and to keep the pan warm while basting the fish.  5. When the mackerel is deliciously crispy on the bottom, take out of the pan and serve immediately with a quick lemon squeeze and roughly chopped Korean sesame leaves. 



Illustration: Ryan Cole

From Beans to Bars Not all chocolate is created equal. Of late, it seems chocolate has taken a leap forward from cheap convenience store treats to meticulously cultivated indulgences, complete with tasting notes and descriptions of the bean’s terroir and country of origin. In this section, you will learn how bean varieties like criollo, trinitario, chuao, arriba nacional, carenero and ocumare are each gaining a following. You will meet a set of crusading and energetic specialists in the chocolate industry (makers, educators, retailers and judges), all of whom pursue flavour over flat-tasting, low-cost commodity chocolate awash with fillers and additives. These entrepreneurs are part of a small but growing global movement in chocolate. They are championing a shift in chocolate-making, tasting and education by bringing the entire process under one roof (or fewer roofs), and enthusiastically describing the process involved to create palate-wowing bean-to-bar chocolates.




AT THE SOURCE MAROU {VIETNAM} When Samuel Maruta and Vincent Mourou started MAROU chocolate two years ago, it was on a hunch that there was something to be done with cacao from Vietnam. Both Samuel and Vincent, who are French with a multi-cultural background (Samuel grew up in France and is half-Japanese, while Vincent grew up and lived most of his life in the US), associate fine chocolate with childhood memories in France. “I guess we were spoilt! We turned this love of chocolate into a business. We saw an opportunity to do something with cacao in Vietnam at a time when it was not recognized at all” says Samuel. Based in Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), Vietnam, MAROU exclusively sources beans from a dozen small Vietnamese producers, more specifically those located in southern Vietnam in areas such as Tien Giang and Ben Tre provinces in the Mekong Delta, Ba Ria on the coast and Dong Nai and Lam Dong towards the highlands. “We know cacao production is surging further north in the highlands of Daklak but we tend to buy within a short range of provinces that we can visit on a day trip. We test every bag of beans we buy at the farm and we like to keep a close relationship with our providers.” ON THE BRAND NAME: MAROU is our brand name and a contraction of out two family names. ON BECOMING A BEAN-TO-BAR PRODUCER: We totally identified with the backlash against industrial chocolate and we thought that being in a country that produces cacao we had a unique opportunity to add value to the local farmers' production by bringing it to the world in a form that we could be proud of.

Photo Source: Marou Chocolate

MAROU IS KNOWN FOR: We are dark chocolate fundamentalists! None of our bars are flavoured or made with milk. We also don't believe in soy lecithin or vanilla, but that is hardly radical for bean-to-bar makers! On the other hand, we are quite old-school about roasting (we don't do raw), particle size (fine) and cocoa butter (we like to add some for extra smoothness). In a sense we're only just following the example of the house of Bonnat who have been making chocolate this way in the French Alps since 1884! WHAT IS NEXT FOR MAROU? First, it’s survival. Then growing big (or loud) enough to make a difference where it matters. For us it's about putting cacao production in Vietnam on the path to quality-over-quantity and that means continuing to be happy with the way the cacao we use to make our chocolate is grown and its impact on the environment and farmers' livelihoods.

MENAKAO {MADAGASCAR} Launched in January 2012, Menakao is a line of seven dark and flavoured chocolate bars from Madagascar. Created by local family chocolate manufacturer, Cinagra, the brand deals in single origin, single plantation N10 beans, which grow in the North West part of the island in the region of Ambanja. Menakao, whose name stems from mena, the Malagasy word for red, uses local ingredients, packaging and labour to process the cacao from tree to bar until the product is ready to be shipped to Europe. “This way, more revenue is generated for the island and for the people of Madagascar,” says Valerie, who works with Menakao in France.





Photo Source: Dandelion Chocolate

DANDELION CHOCOLATE {SAN FRANCISCO} Overwhelmed by the response and encouragement for their experimental chocolate creations from family, friends and farmers’ market customers, Cameron and Todd took their bars pro and launched Dandelion chocolate in 2010. The brand is known for only using two ingredients: cacao beans and sugar. This is in contrast to adding the usual suspects often found in fine chocolate such as cocoa butter, vanilla, and lecithin. “We have nowhere to hide our flavors so we take extraordinary  lengths to ensure we make a good chocolate bar” Todd divulges. Energetic about experimentation, Todd, Cameron and the rest of the Dandelion chocolate team work with beans from around the world in favour attaining quality versus quantity. “We love beans from Madagascar and Venezuela in particular, but have had many great beans from Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, and Papua New Guinea. We generally don't get caught up in the beans' pedigree -- many people put so much weight on terms like "criollo." We like to get samples from anywhere, roast them up, and see how they taste -- we've been surprised many times. It's easier to make a quick test batch and use blind taste tests to see what is good.” The pair recently opened a café in front of their chocolate factory on Valencia Street in San Francisco where they serve a selection of hot chocolates and a few pastries made with their chocolate. Photo Source: Woodblock Chocolate

WOODBLOCK CHOCOLATE: {PORTLAND} Charlie and Jessica Wheelock of Woodblock Chocolate treat cacao beans like a winemaker treats grapes, they are passionate about bringing out a cacao bean’s flavour and developing a chocolate bar’s mouth feel. In the town of Portland where “eating is celebrated to the point of ridicule” shares Charlie, their chocolate passion is probably a good thing. Set out to set up a family business involving creativity, beauty, travel and food, the seed for Woodblock Chocolate was planted when the couple realized there was a difference between making chocolate and being a chocolatier. “After talking about it for 20 seconds or so, we invested in some hobby level machines and a disproportionate amount of beans. We have not stopped making chocolate since.” They couple sold their first bar of chocolate to a restaurant called Olympic Provisions in 2011 and the rest is history. ON BEAN ORIGIN: We have beans from Madagascar, Venezuela, Ecuador and Trinidad. ON EATING CHOCOLATE: My secret is to eat untempered chocolate. The lack of structure in the chocolate lets it melt faster, giving way to a quicker flavor release. This way you don’t have to suffer through that tedious second and a half to get to the good stuff! I love chocolate with salt. I dip tortilla chips in molten chocolate as well as potato chips and pretzels.





Emily Cohen

The craft chocolate movement in New York has found its new center in Brooklyn. Factories and shops are springing up in neighbourhoods such as Williamsburg and Red Hook. Products “Made in Brooklyn” are being featured on the tables of Cobble Hill’s Sugar Shop to Manhattan’s Foragers City Grocer, not to mention mixed into the shelves of high end grocers like Dean & Deluca and Whole Foods. WORTH A VISIT IN BROOKLYN: 01: Mast Brothers is said to be the first shop, concentrating their “craft chocolate” approach via natural ingredients. The ingredients they use are personally processed from carefully sourced cacao beans into the final bar. Explore their seasonal, single estate and single origin chocolates, and creative combinations and partnerships (think Crown Maple Syrup, Chili Peppers and Stumptown Coffee). The brothers may seem homespun hipsters, but their chocolate has brought them documentary coverage in the major outlets like the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, and scored them a judging post on Iron Chef. You can visit their factory in Williamsburg and taste their dark, rich bars for yourself., 111 N 3rd St (Williamsburg) 02: Fine & Raw chocolatier, Daniel makes it his mission “to save the world through silliness and chocolate!” This shop produces raw chocolate bars that are absent of sugar, dairy and additives. Fine & Raw is committed to sourcing fair trade ingredients and applying low heat techniques, to stay true to their raw name. Started by a former financial analyst who left to study raw cooking in the Arizona desert, this may be some of the healthiest chocolate out there. Flavors like cacao & coconut and mesquite will tempt your tongue – try them at their factory café., 288 Siegel St (Williamsburg) 03: Cacao Prieto holds the lofty goal of being “a crucial meeting place of traditions, dreams and technology devoted to the delicious art and science of cacao.” Started by a former aerospace engineer, the company also produces liqueurs and rums from the cacao beans and sugarcane grown on the family farm in the Dominican Republic. Try the unique flavor combinations in their bars – Pistachio & Apricot, Pecan & Sour Cherry – or tempt yourself with their bonbons, if you can bring yourself to eat the beautiful drops of chocolate art., 21 Conover St (Red Hook) Photo Source: Fine & Raw




TASTING CHOCOLATE: Matter of Opinion THE TASTER Lee McCoy, the effusive chocolate ‘analyst,’ writer, International Chocolate Award reviewer and founder of chocolate website and e-commerce store, Chocolatiers, has something to say about chocolate. Lee’s passion for chocolate, began as a childhood treat and evolved into a vocation. Based in the town of Warrington, a 45 minute drive from Liverpool in the north west of England, Lee has managed to combine a degree in economics with his love of chocolate and writes volumes on how much good chocolate can do for people and how the future of great cacao is so perilous. TIPS FROM A PROFESSIONAL CHOCOLATE TASTER: Relax. Viewing any chocolate as a challenge or chore will not do the chocolate justice. I always make sure I‘m „in the mood“ for chocolate reviewing as it essential that I analyse with a clear head. Enjoy food as a much wider topic. Being able to describe the flavours chocolate offers can only be achieved by having a varied diet. A fundamental part of enjoying chocolate is being able to share your experiences which can only be done if you can describe it terms others will understand. The most difficult aspect is not to pre-judge any manufacturer, origin or ingredient as chocolate makers have a great talent for surprising you. I consciously try and judge each individual chocolate on its own merit without the burden of having an opinion on anything else I‘ve tried in the past. ON SELECTING CHOCOLATE FOR A TASTING: The range or variety of chocolate you select will depend on your objectives and what is available. The variety of chocolate from Sao Tome will be much less than Venezuela for example. The key is to try as much as you can afford. There is such a great variety of quality from any one origin that many makers can achieve significantly different results. I would suggest picking a theme such as origin, cocoa %, maker and have five or so chocolates and try and compare. ON SUPERMARKET CHOCOLATE AND TRADING UP: The issue that annoys me the most about supermarket chocolate is that you don‘t really know what you’re eating. The label may say „Criollo“ but a small fraction of the chocolate may actually contain any one Criollo-family of beans. But to be bold, the most shocking aspect of trading up to premium chocolate is that it actually has flavour. Not to over-simplify things, every supermarket chocolate I‘ve tried that pretends to be premium chocolate has an incredibly flat flavour - regardless of origin. The one thing that many premium chocolates will offer you is a rollercoaster of flavours. It will contain a story. Great chocolate will take you on a journey. It will make you wonder what the next second will offer. Supermarket chocolate does even allude to a story - the experience is transitionary and ultimately unmemorable.




WELCOME BEYOND // Chris Laugsch, co-founder

THE EDUCATOR: Pam Williams started her first chocolate business in 1981. Captivated by making her own chocolates, she has made her career in the chocolate industry and 10 years ago, opened an online chocolate school, Ecole Chocolat, with its head office in Vancouver, British Columbia. Ecole Chocolat attracts chocolate learners from all corners of the globe as programs are delivered entirely online. In the Master Chocolate Programs, students get to travel to different chocolate countries. ON TASTING CHOCOLATE: First of all, taste with a clean palate. I like mornings myself before my palate gets hit with all the spicy/savory later in the day. But that is purely a personal choice. Be consistent your tasting method so you build up a sensory library of chocolates you have tasted before in exactly the same way. I suggest to our students that they keep a journal of their tastings to refer back to. NUMBER OF CHOCOLATES PER TASTING: No more than six samples, preferably four. The scientific research into sampling indicates that after four taste comparisons, the palate becomes jaded and individual flavors are harder to pick out.   ON TRADING UP: When trading up to a higher quality chocolate bar, you’ll discover how much better a bar made with fine chocolate tastes! The best way to test this is to buy a premium bar of chocolate and also your favorite drug/grocery store bar. Taste the premium bar first and then follow with your grocery store bar. I think you will find a very big difference in flavor tasting them in that order.

FAVOURITE CITY: We are based in Berlin and I love the city. There is so much going on, so many interesting people, it can be really peaceful and green but also lively and with a bit of a rough edge. BEST MEAL OF YOUR LIFE: Freshly caught and barbecued Cavalla (fish) with macaxeira frita (fried manioc) served with an ice cold beer on a small, and almost deserted, beach in Brazil with a bunch of friends. It doesn’t get much better than this... COUNTRY THAT HAS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU ENTERTAIN: Definitely Brazil. The people are so warm and welcoming and meals are often almost like a celebration! I love the simplicity of the food – fresh ingredients and not much chi chi. It is unpretentious, just good food shared on a big table with as many people as possible.  UP NEXT FOR TRAVEL: Sicily in June. Oliver and I will be visiting Guido from Monaci delle Terre Nere again this year – definitely one of favourite places on Welcome Beyond. Guido is a wonderful guy who created a really beautiful place full of character and soul!




THE NEW EUROPEAN CHOCOLATE MAKERS CHOCOLATE NAIVE {LITHUANIA} 45km north of Vilnius, in a small town called Giedraiciai (Brightville) is the home base for Chocolate Naive, a small bean to bar operation that got its start in 2010. Lithuania may not come to mind when you think of chocolate but it is one that has earned a spot thanks to the energetic Domantas Uzpalis. “I bought one ton of beans, carried the bags to my garage and wondered what on earth I was going to do with this cacao?” says Uzpalis. The answer: Create a chocolate brand that educates customers about the bean to bar process. Each bar is labeled with the percent of cacao, number of hours conched, roast characteristics, tasting notes and the origin of the bean which holds true to Domantas’ pursuit of crafting high quality bars that teaches customers about what they are eating.

Credit: Alma Galinskaite (Almu)

LEVY CHOCOLATE {FINLAND} It took a YouTube video about the beanto-bar chocolate making process, plus a bit of luck and hard work to motivate Tom Jakobsson, a graphic designer (and now a chocolate maker), together with Tuukka Koski and Aki Arjola, to launch Levy Chocolate in Helsinki in July 2012. “I thought all chocolate makers made their own chocolate until I became interested in chocolate and learning about the bean-to-bar process” says Tom. The trio prefers to keep operations small. Levy Chocolate’s first bar, the Madagascar 71%, reflects the craft-like quality of their single estate, single origin bar reminiscent of the brand.

Lithuania may not come to mind when you think of chocolate, but it is a country that has earned a spot on the map



MIKKEL FRIIS-HOLM {DENMARK} For many foodies and chefs, San Francisco can be a haven of inspiration. For Danish beanto-bar chocolate maker Mikkel Friis-Holm, it was where the seed to his own chocolate company was planted. Mikkel spent four winters working at some of San Francisco’s renowned kitchens such as Chez Panisse, Rubicon and Elizabeth Falkner’s Citizen Cake (now closed). It was also the city where he met John Scharffenberger and the late Robert Steinberg of Scharffen Berger chocolate, with whom he developed a friendship and later a business arrangement to become the Scandinavian importer for their famed San Francisco bean-to-bar brand. A few years later and already thinking about creating his own line of chocolate, Mikkel received a phone call in 2007 from Robert about exploring a new cocoa project in Honduras and Nicaragua started by a fellow Dane. To become a bean-to-bar chocolate-maker, accessing high quality cacao beans is an essential part of the challenge. So it was timely that Frank Homann’s new project, Xoco Fine Cocoa Company, was focusing on cultivating a rare cocoa tree specimen to produce fine cacao beans in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala. With the beans carefully sourced, Mikkel created his brand by starting with Nicaraguan bean varietals such as medagla, chuno, barba and nicaliso. “Cacao is like wine,” says Mikkel. “Its taste is the result of a bean’s terroir and genetics.” But there is a problem in the chocolate industry that is slowly coming to light among mainstream chocolate consumers: Quality is not always rewarded. Many cacao farmers are paid

based on volume of beans produced, rather than the quality of their beans. Mikkel explains how this affects the product: “When farmers plant cacao trees, if quality is not the goal, they will decide to grow what is most profitable for the farm,” he says. “Starting in the mid’90s, this decision was reflected by the move away from original cacao varietals, towards planting high-yielding cacao crops, such as the CCN-51 bean. The chocolate produced from a CCN51 cloned bean not only tastes like cardboard, but the planting of this varietal also deplenishes the earth of nutrients. In 10 to 12 years, the cloned trees stop yielding; this then requires a greater use of pesticides to continue growing.” For large multinational chocolate companies, high-volume, low-priced chocolate is better for business. Customer demand for affordable “candy bar” chocolate equally contributes to the cycle. Consumers purchase these low-quality chocolates for a myriad of reasons: price, exposure to marketing, lack of knowledge, or simply indifference. In response to mass

chocolate, niche advocacy organizations such as Direct Cacao and the Heirloom Cacao Preservation Initiative research and study flavour and the link to bean genetics in order to encourage the planting of nonGMO cacao. Fortunately, today’s small batch bean-to-bar makers (Mikkel included) are motivated to work directly with cacao producers rather than third parties, to have a better handle on selecting high quality raw materials. It also allows the micro-chocolate makers to control, experiment and tweak the chocolatemaking process in order to bring the best flavours out of each bean, just as a winemaker does with grapes. Mikkel’s brand, Friis-Holm, has already won awards and recognition for his Chuno Double Turned 70% cacao bar, as well as his Nicaliso 70% cacao bar. Another award-winning experiment of Mikkel’s is his Dark Milk Chocolate Nicaragua 55% cacao bar. With a river of sweet successes carrying him, Mikkel’s next project is to raise money to establish his own chocolate factory.







usband and wife team, Zsolt Szabad and Katalin Csiszar, launched Rozsavolgyi chocolate in Budapest in 2004. At the time, Zsolt, a mechanical engineer, and Katalin, a graphic designer, were searching for an idea they could develop together and “the idea of making chocolate felt right” says Zsolt. They built a “chocolate laboratory” as an extension to their house which remained as their factory for five years until they moved into their current location in the city. After picking up the basics, Katalin went to study under Lionel Gauvin in France, Roberto Catinari in Italy and Michael Recchiutti in San Francisco to hone her chocolate making skills. The couple quickly realized that in order to make the best chocolate from the best available ingredients, they would have to move away from buying expensive couvertures that tended to be over roasted and go directly to the source. Today Rozsavolgyi chocolate works with seven types of cacao beans (five from Venezuela and two from Madagascar) and makes eight types of single origin tablets in addition to seasoned tablets and bonbons which are all handmade and hand wrapped. ON ROASTING: Our roasting is very mild and is closer to sterilization than roasting. This way we are able to preserve more of the cacao beans’ natural “plant like” characteristics and make our single origin tablets so unique. CHOCOLATE MAKING STYLE: We are very hands on. We buy good tasting beans and want to emphasize their natural character rather than suppress it. Temperatures and aeration are constantly monitored and adjusted to preserve as much character as possible. Much attention is paid to tempering and molding (the look and the snap).







We asked five florists around the world to create a floral arrangement for a summer table. Written and Photographed by Judith de Graaff, Joelix and Geraldine Tan, Little Big Bell

LUXE CITY GUIDES // Grant Thatcher, Founder FAVOURITE CITY: I’m always fascinated by London, with 2000 years of history, a breathtaking wealth of culture, design, fashion, food and retail, it's impossible to be bored or uninspired. BEST MEAL OF YOUR LIFE: Impossible to say, but I recently had some of the very best dim sum I’ve ever eaten at HKK in London, bearing in mind I live in Hong Kong, this is no mean feat! COUNTRY THAT HAS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU ENTERTAIN: Without a doubt my favourite food on the planet is Indian and I always look forward to visiting that amazing country, but in terms of the way I entertain, the UK continues to dominate my cooking – the resurgence of interest in artisan producers, heirloom ingredients and heritage recipes drawing on centuries of history and influence has seen British cooking and baking really take off again UP NEXT FOR TRAVEL: London (naturally), Chiang Mai, Bali and Peru.



01 Bloemenatelier Rob Martin // Vught, The Netherlands//

02 FunkyBird// Sonja de Graaf // Florence, Italy //

The Flowers: Hydrangea, rhododendron, roses, oleander, jasmine, viburnum, tulips, eustoma, iron ferns, polygonatum, cotoneaster The Inspiration: For a summer bouquet, I wanted to create a spontaneous and sparkling combination of flowers. In Holland we have access to almost every kind of flower year round. I prefer using seasonal flowers and keeping arrangements as natural as possible. Open for Business: 1983 (JdG)

The Flowers: Protea nutans, mitsumata (black), tillandsia, violas, moss, chamomille. Bowl is by Bloomingville Inspiration: I wanted to create a little flower world in a bowl, one of those places fairies live, a micro-cosmos. Big arrangements are great, but these little arrangements with many elements have their own spirit :) When clients let me do arrangements ‘my way’ it will most likely be something like this. Open for Business: 2010


03 The Urban Flower Company // Matt Richardson // Crouch End, London, UK The Flowers: Dolchetto roses, amnesia roses, clematis, English lilac, Dr fleming Peony, alcamilla, gelder rose, mixed herbs of rosemary, thyme and oregano. The Inspiration: I prefer to use a combination of interesting foliage to dress arrangements. This usually involves layering textures, vibrant colours and scents. The scent from the herbs and lilac is absolutely divine. Creating a bouquet is not based on any set pattern or method - it’s instinctive. To me it looks like a piece of art. Open For Business: 2011 (GT)

04 Pink Twig Floral Boutique // Amy Saleh// Toronto, Canada// The Flowers: Soft pink tulips, soft pink hyacinth, local (Ontario) pink hydrangea The Inspiration: This is an arrangement that can serve as a single arrangement or broken into clusters in smaller vases depending on what suits the environment. We try to use local flowers where possible and keep things colourful. Open For Business: 2006

05 Argevil // Loïc Hamon // Compiègne, France // The Flowers: Sweet pea, alchemilla, blackcurrant leaves, blackberries The Inspiration: Sweet peas are my very favorite summer flowers. My grandparents in Brittany had them in their garden when I was young. Their elegant shape reminds me of butterflies. I added blackcurrant leaves and blackberries for the delicacy of summer and the alchemilla for some extra freshness. Open For Business: 2005 (JdG)



Table Details {Bahia} A quiet bohemian refuge in Trancoso, Bahia, located in the north east state of Brazil, is where we turn for table setting inspiration this summer. A few years ago, Karin and her husband transported their Sao Paulo lifestyles to the more secluded Trancoso where they established Casas Da Vila; seven vacation cabanas outfitted in a boho-chic style. Karin entertains frequently at Casas Da Vila with her background as an event planner and florist- she once organized a dinner for Al Gore. Her tables are a colourful inspiration for entertaining this summer and ideal for ideas on how to inject a bit of Bahia into your next event. ON THE MENU: Bahia is on the coast of Brazil so seafood or fish is a typical main course. Moqueca, is a well-known local seafood stew that is slow cooked with coconut milk, lime juice, peppers, chili and palm oil. ON THE TABLE: At night, we use lots of candles to add a romantic, attractive ambiance. Flowers bring nature to the table. We also incorporate pottery plates from a local group and nice colourful glasses to enrich the setting. FINISH THE MEAL WITH: A Brazilian coffee and a cupcake.

KARIN’S TABLE IDEAS: Table settings should be full of details. Decorate each table setting with its own small flower vase, salt pot and sauce bowls. For place cards, allow guests to write their own names on wooden sticks or stones. Trancoso - The former fishing village that was settled by Portuguese in the late 16th century was revived by Sao Paulo bohemians in the 1970s and has now become a trendy vacation getaway for those looking for low key days and a scene at night. The local architecture reveals colourful cabanas surrounded by a tropical forest with coconut trees and palms.



Photo Source: Casas Da Villa

COCOA HAZELNUT CAKE WITH STRAWBERRY WHIPPED CREAM After growing up in Rome and armed with a communications degree, Giulia Mulè, moved to London in 2006 where she took up a role in advertising and continues to feed her interests in photography, writing and cooking on her blog.

//What’s Cooking

Giulia Mulè // Mondomulia blog // London, UK



Strawberries are synonymous with summer as they are the first fruits to ripen around May/June, kick-starting the season. They are best eaten out of hand, or simply mixed with sugar and fresh orange juice in a fruit salad. They also make great additions to ice-creams and cakes.

Preheat the oven to 160 ºC. Butter and flour a 20 cm round cake tin. Chop the walnuts and ha-

For the sponge cake: 180g unsalted butter, softened 130g caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 3 large eggs 60g hazelnut butter 180g plain flour 60g unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tsp baking powder pinch of salt 100g hazelnuts 50g walnuts

Add the hazelnut paste and mix until incorporated and without lumps. In a medium bowl, sift the flour and cocoa powder, then add the baking powder and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture into the cake mix.


Whip the double cream with an electric mixer until almost stiff. Add sugar and vanilla extract; beat until the cream holds peaks. Fold in the strawberry purée. Place the cream in the fridge for 10 minutes. When the cake has cooled down completed, spread the whipped cream over top. Decorate with fresh berries.

140g double cream 50g caster sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 250g strawberries

zelnuts coarsely in a food processor. Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time.

Fold in the chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the cake tin. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Let the cake cool 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and let cool completely on a wire rack. Clean the strawberries and whizz them to a purée (sweeten with a teaspoon of honey if needed).




The Modern-Day

Tupperware Party T

he modern Tupperware party revitalizes an old tradition with a new twist. The first Tupperware party was hosted in 1948, when it was discovered that hosting in-home demonstrations on how to use the plastic kitchenware was more effective than selling in retail stores. As an alternative sales channel that brought together people from the community in a relaxed social setting, middle-class American housewives signed on to become consultants and sold millions of Tupperware products in the homes of their friends. Today, Tupperware is sold through the same direct sales method in nearly 100 countries. Despite the fact that Tupperware remains a popular direct sales item around the world, today the list of products available to sell at home has grown. It’s now common to be invited to a party that features items like makeup, lingerie, jewelry and even sex toys. This time, it’s not your Aunt Barbara who is doing the selling. However, Robert Suchan’s “Aunt Barbara” character is not to be missed, whether in action in her YouTube videos, or in person in Long Island and Tri-State area. You’ll soon find that she is the top Tupperware salesperson in North America for a reason! Aunt Barbara’s success aside, nowadays “hosting a Tupperware party” has become a colloquial term for any such home-based gathering, but one that reflects the changing nature of tastes, brands and products on the market.

We connected with Diana Lipson, a stylist for Stella and Dot Jewelry in Toronto and her host, Katie Stemeroff, to see how to organize a modern day ‘Tupperware’ party. TIPS ON HOSTING: THE SPREAD: Hosting a jewelry party is like hosting a cocktail party. Put out a spread but keep food items bite sized so guests can pick up a snack in one hand and the product in the other. Avoid food that requires a fork and knife if you want to keep guests circulating and shopping. TIME OF DAY: A jewelry party works nicely as part of a weekend brunch, an after work or weekend drinks, or as a late afternoon drop-in. BEVERAGES: Have a mix of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Depending on the time of day, your guests might enjoy having options while shopping. POSITION: Create small groupings of jewelry around the room to encourage guests to mix and mingle instead of hovering over one spot.




FAB SEARCH // Warner Johnson, Founder, Publisher FAVOURITE CITY: I'm an architecture nut and nothing beats the Old City of Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic. The Conquistadors might not have been the nicest people in the world toward the native population, but they sure did a great job erecting this first city in the Americas.  Fortunately, shortly after settling there, they moved on to greener pastures in Mexico and Peru, leaving Old City Santo Domingo down on its luck for centuries.  The city is stunning, raw, and untouched - imagine the Marais in Paris, circa 1975.  There are very few tourists, just a few cool hotels, gorgeous people, and out-of-this world 16th century colonial architecture.  BEST MEAL OF YOUR LIFE: Darn it! I don't know the name of the restaurant where I had the best meal in my life.  All I know is that it was 15 years ago on a bright sunny day just outside the Rome, along the Appian Way. I had a lazy, three-hour al fresco lunch with a friend at a lovely little restaurant we discovered while driving along the route.  The grilled fish and vegetables were amazing.  The copious quantities of house wine definitely contributed to the experience.    COUNTRY THAT HAS INFLUENCED THE WAY YOU ENTERTAIN: It sounds a little trite to say, but I'm a sucker for Parisian style.  The chic understatement yet quirkiness of the way things are done in Paris still influences me after living there 20 years ago. UP NEXT FOR TRAVEL: I can't wait to go to Bodrum in Turkey this summer for a break.  This Mediterranean destination is buzzing with cool new hotels, fine cuisine and an international party-hearty scene.  I'll probably need a vacation from the vacation but I'm up for it. Cake Pops by Bites n' Delights





UP IN MONTREAL Montreal-based editor and entrepreneur, Janna Zittrer, launched Montreal Shopping Tours in 2012 to give visitors and locals the chance to discover the city’s best independent boutiques and locally based fashion brands through customized tours. Janna shares a few of her tips and trend advice on dressing in Montreal for summer events. What is your fashion motto? I have two: “You never know until you try it on” and “Buy only what you love, with no exceptions.” How would you describe Montreal’s fashion scene? A little bit elegant and a little bit effortless. It’s altogether chic but never fussy.  What did you wear to the last event you attended? I was recently a guest judge at the Heels & HeART fashion show to benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Canada. I wore this incredible dress by Diane von Furstenberg with an abstract leopard print and black-lace overlay details and simple, black single-sole heels.  



Janna's Summer Event Style Picks: GARDEN PARTY Dress, Alice + Olivia Greer Dress, C$425 at JoshuaDAVID; sandal, C$245 at La Canadienne ; purse, C$150 at Rudsak.

ROOFTOP FÊTE Dress, C$174 Eve Gravel ; sandal, C$178, Rosegold at Holt Renfrew; purse, C$135 at Marie Saint Pierre.

SUNDAY BRUNCH Dress, Iris Setlakwe, C$345; wedge, C$120 at ALDO; purse, C$245 at M0851.

//What’s Cooking RECIPE: The Chaotic Spread (Urnebes salata) 450 g feta cheese 5 tablespoons sour cream* (with 20% milk fat) 3 large cloves garlic 1.5 teaspoons sweet paprika a couple of teaspoons chili flakes (adjust to taste) METHOD: Squash feta with your fork. Stir in sour cream so that it combines with the feta. Next add the pressed garlic and paprika and mix it into the cheese. Finally, add the chili flakes (as much as you like). This spread should be very spicy, but still, adjust everything to taste. Begin with one clove of garlic and a few chili flakes. Leave the spread in the refrigerator overnight before you eat it. Flavors will combine and develop during that time. Rosemary Pork Skewers 500 g pork, cubed Vegeta** seasoning oil a couple sprigs of rosemary

Marija Petrovic // Palachinka blog // Belgrade, Serbia

CHAOTIC SPREAD (URNEBES) A mathematician by trade, Marija, the Belgrade based blogger, has always felt the happiest while feeding people.

Prepare the skewers first. Strip all the rosemary leaves except for a few centimeters at the top of each stalk. Sharpen the other end of each stalk with a sharp knife (be very careful while you do it!) which you will use to spear the meat cubes. Rub the skewers with Vegeta and pour some oil over the meat. Marinate the rosemary skewered pork overnight in the fridge. When you are ready to cook, heat some oil in a pan or grill and cook the skewers until they’re done. If you are frying instead of grilling, fry the meat on a high temperature until the meat browns. The crispy bits left over will make a nice gravy that you can soak your bread into later. Serve with freshly baked white bread and a Chaotic Spread. NOTES **Vegeta seasoning is an all purpose seasoning made with salt and dried vegetables. It is available to purchase without MSG. If you can’t find it just use salt instead. *In Serbia we use fresh farmers market cottage cheese instead of sour cream. In this recipe I suggested sour cream as an alternative to Serbian cottage cheese which may be harder to find. Combining feta and sour cream will give the spread the most accurate taste you can get.




The Independent


openhagen is a city where small retail boutiques rule. It is a city where independents designers of all disciplines (fashion, jewelry, tableware and accessories) have a chance to thrive against multinational retailers with whom they share the streetscape.   When Pia Kiel’s father started Notre Dame in 1979, the home accessory retail store was meant to be a testing ground for a wholesale business.  “My father wanted to test all his ideas in Notre Dame before buying full containers of goods to gage peoples’ interest for the items he found on his buying trips around the world” reveals Pia.  “It was the first shop of its kind in Copenhagen.”  Today, walking into Notre Dame is not unlike stepping into Habitat in London, or Goods of Desire (G.O.D) in Hong Kong.   Operating on a self-service model, customers enter the store and are greeted by 13 foot ceilings and beautiful old windows.  Aisles are brimming with stacks of bright melamine cups, delicate porcelain bowls, wooden cutting boards, vintage metal candle holders and colourful glass flower vases.  The store’s displays change weekly, which draws local customers (and tourists) to return to Notre Dame for inspiration and to learn about new ways of using goods in their own homes. PIA’S THREE FAVOURITE ITEMS FOR SUMMER: 01 Notre Dame’s in-house designed flower pegs 02 Spanish shopping baskets 03 Colorful flower buckets




HIP SHOPS // Claudia + Mike, Co-Founders FAVOURITE CITY TO SHOP: We love to shop in London. We appreciate London for its quality concept stores. Lots of them comply with the hipshops exigency (London has the highest number of concept stores listed on hipshops). Nevertheless we do not want to limit the shopping experience to just one city, lots of very interesting stores can be found all over the world and we hope to discover and present them on hipshops. MOST INSPIRING CITY: Tokyo inspires us in terms of customer experience: It’s the ritual that drives shopping to the next level. We also like New York, it's eclectic and experimental, London of course for its high level of conceptuality and Berlin for its freshness. Paris is already the most appreciated shopping destination in the world and its charm conquered hipshops as well.



hintz: Derived from the Sanskrit word chint meaning “variegated, flecked or coloured,” chintz a pattern with a fascinating history in which economics, politics and fashion intertwine over a 400-year saga. Chintz got its start in India, where a Mughal emperor with a passion for flowers championed their use as a decorative motif in the 1600s. The patterned cloth gained an eager following in Europe after a group of powerful trading companies purchased loads of hand-painted chintz textiles and introduced them to the markets of England, France, Holland and Denmark. is

The brightly coloured floral patterns become so popular in fashion and home décor that the English and French governments banned the import of chintz out as a preventative (or protectionist) measure to save their local textile industries. However, loopholes prevailed. Chintz continued to find its way into France and England, and eventually the manufacturing process and patterns were reverse-engineered and adapted for domestic markets. With French and English textile industries producing their own chintz cloth, the trade ban was lifted by the 1750s. Of course, there can be too much of a good thing; widespread availability of the chintz pattern in an oversaturated market spurred new associations with the once-prized textile. Originally recorded in 1851 by George Eliot, the word “chintzy” became synonymous with things that were readily available or commonplace, further evolving into an association with being “cheap” or “gaudy.” It’s a long way from the rare value attached to chintz in the 17th century, but perhaps with enough time, changes in tastes and language will bring about its renaissance.





What does it mean to be a collector? To me being a collector means having a group of items which have a common theme. It could be the place of origin, the time period, the style, the size, the colour, what it was used for, etc. I also must want to look at it every day and see its beauty. For example, my favourite china collections are Carltonware and Chintz. My love of flowers and gardening is reflected in the lovely floral patterns found on this English china.   What does collecting signify to you? I have always loved old things and have fond memories of my mother and grandmother entertaining with beautiful china and silver pieces. As a child, I remember teacups being set out on the table for parties and deciding which lovely one I would choose if I had been old enough to be included. Collecting vintage tableware reminds me of the elegance of entertaining in a bygone age.

Which pieces from your collection have an everyday use? Although I love to look at my collections, I also delight in using some of my classic pieces. While I wouldn’t take down any of my Carltonware displayed on my dining room wall, I do have other similar pieces which I can use whenever I want. A salad looks so much nicer in a vintage bowl and I always bring squares or cookies to a party on a vintage plate. When I have company I like to use a variety of dessert plates, cups and saucers and individual creamers and sugar bowls from my collections. Not only is it fun, but it always leads to a good topic of conversation.



MADE IN: Swaziland // Gone Rural- Arc Bowl Gone Rural, a Swaziland based homeware and accessory company that started organically in the 1970s as a series of shops created by the late founder, Jenny Thorne. In the mountains, where the indigenous lutindzi grass grows wild, Jenny saw an opportunity to help women use their grass weaving skills to secure a sustainable, independent income with which to support themselves and their family. The Arc Bowl is from the Backbone series of The Siphiwe Collection. The Arc Bowl uses lutindzi grass, upcycled textile waste and discs of cow bone to replicate the shape of a rib cage. MADE IN: Copenhagen // Skandinavisk- Candles After two decades of living an international corporate life, Shaun, one of the co-founders of Copenhagen candle brand, Skandinavisk, is fulfilling a lifetime ambition. The candle company he and his business partner, Gary, launched in February 2013, can already be found in design shops in London, Paris, New York, Stockholm and Copenhagen. The pair is focused on telling the world about small Scandinavian moments through the company’s line of traditionally made, hand poured, unscented candles that burn without smoke or dripping. The popularity of burning candles in Denmark supposedly originates from the centuries-old need to gather around a source of heat and light during the long winter months. “Over time, burning candles has translated into an emotional state that helps define the DNA of the region - of fellowship, informality and conviviality- Of Danish hygge” Shaun explains.




MADE IN: Slovenia // Gigodesign- Kitchen Utensils In a country that takes third spot for the most forested in Europe (Finland and Sweden are number one and two), Slovenia based Gigodesign, put their country’s natural resource to good use. The Ljubljana based design shop created a set of locally harvested sustainable beech wood kitchen utensils which are made in the Dolenjska region (south-east part of the country). “The Leis kitchen utensils are our first tableware item. Slovenia has history of making wooden tableware crafts out of beech wood that dates back five centuries. The traditional tableware is called “suha roba” and Leis is our contemporary take on it” shares Nika Logar of Gigodesign.

MADE IN: Los Angeles // Wolfum- Coasters Avid collector of all things vintage, Annabel Inganni, launched Wolfum, a Los Angeles based textiles product line in 2011. “My entire motivation for Wolfum was to create items that would bring back that traditional practice of setting the table while entertaining, but in a less antiquated way” shares Annabel. After 10 years as an apparel designer, Annabel took to modernizing various home goods with updated prints and colours, while her husband, Brendan Sowersby, a furniture designer, helps to bring the wood items alive with his craftsmanship. The coasters are bright, un-stuffy and an easy way to add a pop to any gathering. “To me they look like little pieces of art for your table.”



MADE IN: Ramot Hashavim // Studio Kahn-Fragile Salt and Pepper Shaker The hammer above the K in StudioKahn’s logo represents both one of the oldest working tools, and the values Mey and Boaz Kahn bring to the homeware and jewelry items produced in their Ramot Hashavim studio.  Fragile was the first project the couple worked on together as students of industrial design at the Bezalel Academy of Art in Jerusalem. The first item in the Fragile ceramic line, their salt and pepper shaker was inspired by the question “Can my guests feel more "at home" if I let them break something?” The Fragile salt and pepper shaker comes in one piece and by breaking it, you make it useful. “Breaking offers the experience of an impulsive outburst.  This time, it is an act that builds rather than destroys. The event of breaking leaves its mark on the shaker and gives it its final, unique, one-of-a-kind appearance.” Once snapped in two, the Fragile salt and pepper shaker is ready to use.




MADE IN: Jaffa port, Tel Aviv // Four’n’Five Design Group-Mortar and Pestle Upon graduating from the prestigious Bezalel Art and Design Academy in Jerusalem, Shira Keret joined Four’n’Five design group, a collective of nine designers based in Jaffa port in Tel Aviv. Shira’s Mortar and Pestle made of hand blown glass and wood stuck out as a striking conversation piece for the table. “I wanted to design a very basic tool; one that has been in use for many centuries and that will stay with us for years to come” Shira comments. // ETSY SHOP




To help us navigate the entertaining resources in electrifying, Seoul, South Korea, Countlan hooks up with Yaeri Song, co-founder of go-to local website, (she is also an avid picnic lover- see map). Born in Seoul and raised in the U.S, Yaeri returned to Seoul for work and soon discovered the city was lacking in quality English resources for its growing expat/international population. Along with her creative friends, she was determined to fill the gap with her bespoke lifestyle and culture site. From 24 hour fish markets to where the DIY-crafty Seoulites go to shop, Yaeri shares her favourite places in the city she once again calls home.

1 DESSERTS: (if you are not baking them yourself) Seoul can be a hard place to scale, so the bakery I go for fresh bread really depends on which neighborhood I am in. Publique in Hongdae, Le Alaska in Sinsa and Maybell in Itaewon are all excellent. Maybell is centrally located, and it’s one of the few places that slice bread by hand, so I find myself buying bread there most often. Maybell Bakery: 737-2 Hannamdong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea (Tel: 02-792-5561)



2 MEAT: NOTE: Most people buy meats from neighborhood marts and sometimes small butchers, but within Seoul, people don’t normally seek out a certain place to buy meat. Most neighborhood marts and butchers, both big and small, offer a good selection of domestic and import meats. For a good dinner, I buy han-u (Korean beef) from Hoengseong, a region in the Gangwon Province known for its superior cattle.

4 FLOWERS: Yangjae Flower Market is the best place for flowers, but it’s a little out of the way. The Express Bus Terminal also has some great options and it’s directly connected to the subway station. Express Bus Terminal: 162 Banpo-dong, Seocho-gu, Seoul, South Korea


5 FISH: Noryangjin Fish Market, hands down. This wholesale market is open nearly 24 hours and attracts throngs of visitors and local seafood lovers. Purchase a fish and a vendor will slice it into sashimi you can enjoy right on the spot, with a bottle of soju, of course. Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market: 13-8 Noryangjin 1(il)dong, Dongjak-gu, Seoul, South Korea. (Tel 02 814-2211) 6 TABLE DÉCOR: Namdaemun is where a lot of crafty DIY Seoulites shop. The flagship store of Alpha, the Korean office/stationery franchise, is a good starting point. They have a great selection of high-quality hanji (traditional handmade Korean paper), which can be used for everything from placemats to tags. From there, you can walk into the street and poke into the various ribbon and wrapping shops for inspiration. Alpha: 20-42, Namdaemunno 4(sa)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. (Tel: 02 752-0096)

Illustration: Claire Heffer

3 SPICES: Bangsan Market is the baking market of Seoul and it’s where cafe and restaurant owners shop. The market sells everything for your cooking needs, especially spices that are difficult to find in Seoul. The Foreign Food Mart in Itaewon also has a good selection of spices. Local spices can be easily bought at any local traditional market. Bangsan Baking Market, 19-1 Jugyo-dong, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea. (Tel: 02-2268-6691)

7 CHOCOLATE: The Korean cafe franchise Coco Bruni is big on chocolates and desserts, with packaging that’s cute to boot. There’s one in nearly every upscale or busy neighborhood, but my favorite one is the one in Hannam-dong with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking a low-lying patch of the neighborhood. Also in the area is Passion 5, which has an impressive premium chocolate section for those looking for something special. Coco Bruni: 683-136 Hannamdong, Yongsan-gu, Seoul, South Korea. (Tel: 02-512-6058)



Issue 05: October 2013 visit us at

Profile for Countlan Magazine

Countlan Issue 04  

Countlan is a quarterly magazine dedicated to exploring how people all over the world entertain at home.

Countlan Issue 04  

Countlan is a quarterly magazine dedicated to exploring how people all over the world entertain at home.

Profile for countlan

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded