Posts tagged with "cuisine"

Japan Named Travel And Leisure’s 2018 Destination Of The Year

Travel + Leisure announced today that Japan is its 2018 Destination of the Year, celebrating the country’s rich history, incredible number of diverse tourism attractions, unique cuisine and the continued increase of international visitors.

“We are honored that such a prestigious publication has recognized Japan as its Destination of the Year for 2018,” stated Naohito Ise, Executive Director of the New York Office of the Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO). “Tourism to Japan among US travelers continues to grow, and we expect an even greater increase in the coming years as Japan continues to be in the spotlight as a top travel destination.”

Travel + Leisure will present a comprehensive guide to the best of Japan – from the changing foliage of Kyoto to the southern island of Kyushu and more – in the cover story of the December issue, available on newsstands December 1, with an expanded array of Japan content at travelandleisure.com.

“Japan is one of the world’s fastest growing destinations for travelers, who are now pushing beyond the major cities of Tokyo and Kyoto into all corners of the country,” said Jacqueline Gifford, Editor in Chief of Travel + Leisure. “Our audience is passionate about Japan because it offers such a rich, well-rounded travel experience: you can learn about centuries-old culture and tradition while taking in cutting-edge architecture and exquisite food. And it is the people, of course, who make a destination: the graciousness and hospitality of the locals are something that truly resonates with our readers.”

Even more, this week, Travel + Leisure will release a new monthly series, called “Locals,” to offer an inside look at destinations around the world. The first episode, titled, “Eat Ramen Like a Local,” will be available on Instagram TV and at TravelandLeisure.com, offering a unique perspective on the life of a ramen expert, who helps visitors navigate Tokyo’s ramen scene.

Taste on Melrose, 360 MAGAZINE, la

Taste On Melrose

Taste On Melrose is one of LA’s hippest brunch spots. Ultra chic Hollywood hopefuls alongside of handcrafted cocktails with a Kobe burger make this place popping. Yet, the sweet tasting crispy bacon inside a viscous side of macaroni and cheese still isn’t enough to cover up some of the front of house issues. With no reservations, expect to wait up to an hour or so. Once seated, our beverages and appetizers still didn’t make it to our table until another hour. Don’t fret because management is cognizant of their spotty service and will amend your bill to make up for any misadventures. Nevertheless, this Parisian-style sidewalk dining experience is still worthy of your patronage, especially if you have a flair for fashion and enjoy people watching.

Discovering magical Madison

360 Culture Editor Tom Wilmer and his associate, Annita Thomas from Atlanta, Georgia visit with Diane Morganthaler, Executive Vice President of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Diane shares a litany of cool things to do and see for the entire family

CLICK HERE to listen to the NPR.ONE Podcast interview

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s State Capital is deftly framed by the rooftop of Monona Terrace. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Many of Madison’s attractions are free, including the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Concerts on the Square, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and Wisconsin State Capital tours.

 

Original Frank Lloyd Wright 1938 rendering for Madison’s Monona Terrace

Madison, Wisconsin’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center was first proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938. But it was 21 years before the project was completed, sadly just weeks after Wright’s death.

 

Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural rendering for Monona Terrace on the waterfront in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Stunning rooftop vistas from Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Monona Terrace rooftop Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison, Wisconsin is passionately proud of their bike and pedestrian friendly culture

 

Classic theater in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

 

Don’t miss the free tours at Wisconsin’s State Capital in downtown Madison. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Friday evening is party time on the rooftop deck of the Edgewater Hotel and adjacent Boathouse on the lakefront in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Always time for a sunset paddle on the lake in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s weekly farmers market is crazy popular. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Exploring Madison, Wisconsin’s neighborhoods reveal endless architectural gems. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Classic circa-1917– Frank Lloyd Wright’s USONIAN homes remain strikingly contemporary a century later. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Daring distillers are passionate about their craft in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

If plants are your thing Madison is the place for you at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Madison’s Children’s Museum is a must if you’re bringing the kids. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum includes a rooftop garden complete with real chickens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE CHILDREN’S MUSEUM PODCAST

Gabriella Gearghardt at Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Join Gabriella Gerhardt, Development Officer at the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin. It’s a hands-on engaging place where free-play is the operative. Discover why NPR ranked one of the exhibits among the top ten in America, and learn about the live chickens, the human hamster cage, the engaging Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, and more—just for kids.

 

Madison, Wisconsin’s captivating Museum of Contemporary Art is another must-do. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The outside of the Museum of Modern Art in downtown Madison, Wisconsin beckons one to check out what’s on the inside. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Celebrating 117 years, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is the longest serving cultural organization in the city. Join Erika Monroe-Kane Director of Communications for an insider’s look at the ways the free-access museum brings art to the people and people to the art in MadisonWisconsin. MMOCA attracts visitors through engaging cutting-edge art that serves as powerful visual metaphors for social issues, and injustices.

CLICK HERE to listen to the Podcast interview with Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications

 

 

Sunset party at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Wisconsin’s State Capital is stunning night or day. iPhone 6s photo credit: Tom Wilmer

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Eau Claire–Inspired Culture

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer explores Eau Claire, Wisconsin, a city of 68,000 that has rapidly evolved to become a trend-setting cultural mecca.

EAU CLAIRE abounds with classic architecture melded with cutting-edge street art  Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The driver behind the city’s renaissance has everything to do with the passionately engaged locals, including a 39-year-old tech executive who’s invested millions of his own money revitalizing his hometown’s anchor hotel-conference center, and millions more in Eau Claire’s new performing arts center, the Pablo Center at the Confluence in the heart of town.

The cutting-edge facility’s inaugural season includes dance productions, literary and film events, along with a series of musical events performed in the 1,200-seat main theater. Mack John, Public Relations Manager at Visit Eau Claire, notes, “there are multiple art galleries featuring regional and national visual art displays representing an array of mediums. And in keeping with Eau Claire’s emphasis on community engagement, the galleries are free and open to the public.”

Workers installing finishing touches at the Pablo Center in downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin in preparation for opening day festivities September 22nd 2018    Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

John added that there are also multipurpose spaces on the third floor that offer dramatic vistas of the Chippewa River and the city’s lighted Phoenix Park Bridge.

A line up of the 2018-2029 live performances includes: Cloud Cult, Ganavya Doraiswamy, Tony Jackson, Ailey II, Kate Lindsey/Baptiste Trotignon, The Oak Ridge Boys, Blind Boys of Alabama, Kodo Taiko, Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure, La Caverne (torch Sisters), Aaron Diehl, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, and Farewell Angelina.

 

Mack John at the Eau Claire Farmers Market   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Kristin Dexter, co-owner of Forage EC Community kitchen in Eau Claire is a prime example of why the town is thriving. Listen to her conversation in the NPR.ORG Podcast   Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 

Eau Claire’s proud multi-ethnic pride is exemplified by the Hmong seller at Farmers Market in the heart of town. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Trend-setting Eau Claire, Wisconsin’s hip and happening Shift–it’s a combination coffee house and bicycle repair place Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

tranquility is mere feet away from the heart of downtown Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

 CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE NPR.ORG PODCAST–CONVERSATIONS WITH PASSIONATELY INVOLVED LOCALS

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast travel show,  Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast Directory,  Apple Podcast, the NPR One App & Stitcher.com. Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer

 

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge, Panama’s newest luxury and adventure outpost, is getting ready to open its doors to guests in January 2019, but it’s already raising the bar for sustainable tourism in the region.

Located 20 miles off the coast of Panama, and with 9 stylishly-designed “casitas” sleeping up to 18 guests, the archipelago of 14 private islands covers more than 1,000 acres in the Gulf of Chiriqui. With approximately 75% of the archipelago consisting of environmentally protected areas, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge protects the archipelago’s incredible beauty while offering guests a timeless, idyllic setting among one of the most pristine and diverse marine environments in the world.

“Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is located in an extraordinarily vibrant ecosystem with more than 750 species of fish and 128 species of plants,” said Sergio del Nunez Prado, Property Manager at Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge. “Designed to blend harmoniously with its surroundings with minimal environmental impact, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge aims to preserve the rich biodiversity of the archipelago while connecting people with nature in its purest form.”

At the core of Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is a driving passion for the enjoyment and conservation of the archipelago’s natural resources, with a deep appreciation and respect for local culture and history. Sustainability and environmental stewardship are at the core of the facilities, infrastructure and operations of the property, from the use of solar energy to composting all organic materials and recycling water waste for irrigation use. Among the sustainability initiatives and programs implemented by the reserve are:

  • 100% of energy consumption on island is powered by a 300-meter long solar array.
  • 100% of guest water use is captured and reclaimed through a system that includes man-made wetlands, sand filtration system and infrared light process to provide surface irrigation.
  • 100% of food waste are dehydrated and used for composting as fertilizer. There is no waste.
  • Guest facilities were constructed with certified sustainable wood, and interior woods were pressure treated with non-toxic boric acid. These high-quality materials and construction methods were used to maximize the life of facilities to reduce the frequency of future rebuilds.
  • No single-use plastic water bottles.

Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge aims to create a model for sustainable tourism by pairing exhilarating recreation and warm Panamanian hospitality with a strong ethos of environmental stewardship and community support. Understated and under-the-radar, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is ready to welcome today’s most discerning and conscientious traveler, including couples, families and groups of friends seeking adventure and an intimate setting where no detail has been overlooked.

For more information on Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge please visit: www.islassecas.com

For reservations please contact 800-377-8877 or info@islassecas.com

ABOUT ISLAS SECAS RESERVE & LODGE, PANAMA:
Officially opening in January 2019, Islas Secas Reserve & Lodge is a new and exclusive property located on its own archipelago of 14 pristine islands in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Panama. The secluded retreat will sleep 18 people across four casita sites with of 9 luxury guest rooms, providing the perfect springboard for marine and land adventures in this lesser explored part of Panama. The interiors were designed by renowned interior designer Tom Scheerer and built to reflect the island’s surroundings. Facilities include the Terraza, offering local cuisine, a Hemingway-style lounge and bar and a Dive Center. 2019 will see the addition of a resort pool and a Field Station, while the 2020 season will see the completion of a Wellness Pavilion and a 4-bedroom Villa Residencia with a private swimming pool.

Montrose West Hollywood Hotel

Story by Patrick T Cooper

Ever dreamt of living the Los Angeles rock-star lifestyle? Its time for an immediate check in to the Montrose West Hollywood hotel. California dreaming is exactly what you will arrive to at the newly renovated rooftop pool and terrace. A $15 million-dollar redesign and rebrand has insured this boutique hotels presence in the Hollywood landscape. Star status awaits you in the elegantly appoint 133 all-suite domicile. Located a few steps from the Sunset Strip and Beverly Hills you are right in the thick of all of the great happenings. Chef Bryan Achay’s global cuisine will chase you across the entire hotel whether you are dining at Timbre Café or Tonic Rooftop Café. The food is delicious, delectable and divine. Cheers to LA so pleasure your palate with signature cocktails while you stand in awe of the design and aesthetic created to celebrate the world of entertainment. View a short video here: https://youtu.be/_CDlPMfLvn4

Panoramic LA Views Photo Credit: Patrick T Cooper

Wine Spectator’s 2018 Restaurant Awards

Wine lovers everywhere, it’s that time of the year to update your wine destination list! Wine Spectator has released the winners of the 2018 RestaurantAwards, which honors the world’s best restaurants for wine. This year, the Restaurant Awards program honors 3,759 dining destinations from all 50 states in the U.S. and more than 75 countries internationally.

The Restaurant Awards began in 1981, and there are three levels: the Award of Excellence, the Best of Award of Excellence and the Grand Award, with 2,453; 1,215; and 91 winners this year in each respective category. Seven of the Grand Award winners—Ai Fiori in New York City, Barolo Grill in Denver, Le Coureur Des Bois in Beloeil, Quebec, Canada, Madera in Menlo Park, California, Metropolitan Grill in Seattle, Restaurant Mosaic in Pretoria, South Africa and Sistina in New York City—are first timers.

“This year’s class of restaurants is one of the most impressive and innovative ever,” said Marvin R. Shanken, Editor and Publisher, Wine Spectator. “Their wine lists keep improving, because wine lovers are eager to explore and learn. The goal of our Restaurant Awards is to support restaurant wine programs and bring them to diners’ attention through our outreach through print, digital and social media. Wine Spectator salutes every restaurant honored in the 2018 Restaurant Awards.”

All winners are profiled at Restaurants.WineSpectator.com and in the Restaurant Awards app. The app, available free on the App store, allows iPhone and iPad users to easily find nearby award-winning restaurants, with maps, plus helpful information about cuisine, wine and pricing.

The Award of Excellence recognizes restaurants whose wine lists feature a well-chosen assortment of quality producers. Best of Award of Excellence recipients offer more extensive selections with significant vintage depth and excellent breadth across multiple regions.

The Grand Award is the program’s highest honor. This elite group comprises the world’s best wine programs, which deliver serious breadth of top producers, outstanding depth in mature vantages, excellent harmony with the menu and superior presentation. Wine Spectator carefully assesses each Grand Award candidate, including rigorous independent, on-site inspections of the wine program, cellar, service, ambiance and cuisine of the restaurant.

The full list of award winners is available in print in Wine Spectator’s August issue, on newsstands July 17.
Follow the Restaurant Awards on
Twitter and Instagram, with hashtag #WSRestaurantAward.

About Wine Spectator

Wine Spectator is the world’s leading authority on wine. Anchored by Wine Spectator magazine, a print publication that reaches around 3 million readers worldwide, the brand also encompasses the Web’s most comprehensive wine site (WineSpectator.com), mobile platforms and a series of signature events. Wine Spectator examines the world of wine from the vineyard to the table, exploring wine’s role in contemporary culture and delivering expert reviews of more than 16,000 wines each year. Parent company M. Shanken Communications, Inc., also publishes Cigar Aficionado, Whisky Advocate, Market Watch, Shanken News Daily and Shanken’sImpact Newsletter.

Origins of Frozen Margarita

A Dallas restaurant owner blended tequila, ice and automation. America has been hungover ever since.

Source: Smithsonian.com

The way Mariano Martinez tells it, accounts of the margarita’s beginnings should be taken with a grain of salt—and a wedge of lime. Martinez is the creator of what is arguably the 20th century’s most epochal invention—the frozen margarita machine—and, at the age of 73, the Dallas restaurateur is an indisputable authority on the cocktail in the salt-rimmed glass.

The origin stories date to the ’30s and tend to feature a Mexican showgirl or a Texas socialite and a bartender determined to impress her. One of Martinez’s favorites involves a teenage dancer named Margarita Carmen Cansino who performed at nightclubs in Tijuana. “After Margarita got a contract from a Hollywood studio, she changed her name to Rita Hayworth,” he says. “Supposedly, the drink was named in her honor.”

When it comes to margarita lore, about the only thing for certain is that on May 11, 1971, Martinez pulled the lever on a repurposed soft-serve ice cream dispenser and filled a glass with a coil of pale green sherbet—history’s first prefab frozen margarita. The beverage was teeth-chatteringly cold with a proper tequila face-slap. Happy hour (and hangovers) would never be the same.

By adapting mass-production methods to blender drinks, Martinez elevated the frozen margarita from a border-cantina curiosity to America’s most popular cocktail. The innovation forever changed the Tex-Mex restaurant business (placing bars front and center) and triggered the craze for Tex-Mex food.

Befitting a musician who once recorded three versions of “La Bamba” on an EP titled Lotta Bamba, the convivial Martinez has a fresh, boyish manner and a beaming smile. He grew up in East Dallas, where at age 9 he started bussing tables at El Charo, his father’s Mexican eatery. “The customers were mostly Anglos who often had no idea what tequila was,” he recalls. “They’d show up with a souvenir bottle a friend had brought back from a vacation in Mexico, and ask my dad, ‘What do we do with this?’”

Though at the time liquor couldn’t be sold by the drink in Texas restaurants, the elder Martinez occasionally would whip up frozen margaritas in a blender for his patrons. (Introduced at a 1937 restaurant show in Chicago and bankrolled by bandleader Fred Waring, the humble Waring Blendor revolutionized bar drinks.) The elder Martinez used a recipe gleaned while working at a San Antonio speak-easy in 1938: ice, triple sec, hand-muddled limes and 100 percent blue agave tequila. The secret ingredient was a splash of simple syrup.

In 1970 an amendment to the state constitution made liquor by the drink legal, in cities or counties when approved in local-option elections. Shortly after Dallas voted yes, the younger Martinez launched Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine in a shopping center near the campus of Southern Methodist University. On opening night, the amiable owner appeared in a bandido costume. And customers, serenaded by a mariachi band, were encouraged to order margaritas made from the old family recipe. Libations were poured faster than you could say “One more round.” The second night wasn’t quite as successful: A barfly cornered Martinez and asked, “Do you know how to make frozen margaritas?”

“Oh, sure, sir, the best,” he answered.

“Well, you’d better speak to your bartender. The ones he’s making are terrible.”

As it turned out, the barman was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of margarita orders that he was tossing ingredients into the blender without measuring them. Tired of slicing limes, he threatened to quit and return to his former job at a Steak and Ale, where the most complicated cocktail was a bourbon and Coke. “I saw my dream evaporating,” Martinez says. “I thought, ‘My restaurant will go bust and I’ve screwed up Dad’s formula.’”

The next morning while making a pit stop at a 7-Eleven, Martinez had a eureka moment: “For better consistency, I’d premix margaritas in a Slurpee machine. All the bartender had to do was open the spigot.’” But 7-Eleven’s parent company refused to sell him the contraption. “Besides,” Martinez was told, “everyone knows alcohol won’t freeze.”

Instead of wasting away in Margaritaville, he bought a secondhand soft-serve ice cream machine and tinkered with Dad’s recipe. Diluting the solution with water made the booze taste too weak, but adding sugar produced a uniform slush. Martinez had struck gold. “Cuervo Gold!” he cracks. The sweet, viscous hooch was such a hit that when Bob Hope performed at SMU in the ’70s, he joked about the margarita he’d just ordered at Mariano’s: “I won’t say how big it was, but the glass they serve it in had a diving board on it. And they salt the edge of the glass with a paint roller.”

Martinez’s original machine cranked out ’ritas for a decade before sputtering to a halt. Though he never received a patent or trademark for the device, it has a place in his heart and, since 2005, in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “The credit belongs to heritage and technology,” he says. “The golden ratio was two parts of the past and one of the present.”

Origins of Frozen Margarita

A Dallas restaurant owner blended tequila, ice and automation. America has been hungover ever since.

Source: Smithsonian.com

The way Mariano Martinez tells it, accounts of the margarita’s beginnings should be taken with a grain of salt—and a wedge of lime. Martinez is the creator of what is arguably the 20th century’s most epochal invention—the frozen margarita machine—and, at the age of 73, the Dallas restaurateur is an indisputable authority on the cocktail in the salt-rimmed glass.

The origin stories date to the ’30s and tend to feature a Mexican showgirl or a Texas socialite and a bartender determined to impress her. One of Martinez’s favorites involves a teenage dancer named Margarita Carmen Cansino who performed at nightclubs in Tijuana. “After Margarita got a contract from a Hollywood studio, she changed her name to Rita Hayworth,” he says. “Supposedly, the drink was named in her honor.”

When it comes to margarita lore, about the only thing for certain is that on May 11, 1971, Martinez pulled the lever on a repurposed soft-serve ice cream dispenser and filled a glass with a coil of pale green sherbet—history’s first prefab frozen margarita. The beverage was teeth-chatteringly cold with a proper tequila face-slap. Happy hour (and hangovers) would never be the same.

By adapting mass-production methods to blender drinks, Martinez elevated the frozen margarita from a border-cantina curiosity to America’s most popular cocktail. The innovation forever changed the Tex-Mex restaurant business (placing bars front and center) and triggered the craze for Tex-Mex food.

Befitting a musician who once recorded three versions of “La Bamba” on an EP titled Lotta Bamba, the convivial Martinez has a fresh, boyish manner and a beaming smile. He grew up in East Dallas, where at age 9 he started bussing tables at El Charo, his father’s Mexican eatery. “The customers were mostly Anglos who often had no idea what tequila was,” he recalls. “They’d show up with a souvenir bottle a friend had brought back from a vacation in Mexico, and ask my dad, ‘What do we do with this?’”

Though at the time liquor couldn’t be sold by the drink in Texas restaurants, the elder Martinez occasionally would whip up frozen margaritas in a blender for his patrons. (Introduced at a 1937 restaurant show in Chicago and bankrolled by bandleader Fred Waring, the humble Waring Blendor revolutionized bar drinks.) The elder Martinez used a recipe gleaned while working at a San Antonio speak-easy in 1938: ice, triple sec, hand-muddled limes and 100 percent blue agave tequila. The secret ingredient was a splash of simple syrup.

In 1970 an amendment to the state constitution made liquor by the drink legal, in cities or counties when approved in local-option elections. Shortly after Dallas voted yes, the younger Martinez launched Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine in a shopping center near the campus of Southern Methodist University. On opening night, the amiable owner appeared in a bandido costume. And customers, serenaded by a mariachi band, were encouraged to order margaritas made from the old family recipe. Libations were poured faster than you could say “One more round.” The second night wasn’t quite as successful: A barfly cornered Martinez and asked, “Do you know how to make frozen margaritas?”

“Oh, sure, sir, the best,” he answered.

“Well, you’d better speak to your bartender. The ones he’s making are terrible.”

As it turned out, the barman was so overwhelmed by the sheer volume of margarita orders that he was tossing ingredients into the blender without measuring them. Tired of slicing limes, he threatened to quit and return to his former job at a Steak and Ale, where the most complicated cocktail was a bourbon and Coke. “I saw my dream evaporating,” Martinez says. “I thought, ‘My restaurant will go bust and I’ve screwed up Dad’s formula.’”

The next morning while making a pit stop at a 7-Eleven, Martinez had a eureka moment: “For better consistency, I’d premix margaritas in a Slurpee machine. All the bartender had to do was open the spigot.’” But 7-Eleven’s parent company refused to sell him the contraption. “Besides,” Martinez was told, “everyone knows alcohol won’t freeze.”

Instead of wasting away in Margaritaville, he bought a secondhand soft-serve ice cream machine and tinkered with Dad’s recipe. Diluting the solution with water made the booze taste too weak, but adding sugar produced a uniform slush. Martinez had struck gold. “Cuervo Gold!” he cracks. The sweet, viscous hooch was such a hit that when Bob Hope performed at SMU in the ’70s, he joked about the margarita he’d just ordered at Mariano’s: “I won’t say how big it was, but the glass they serve it in had a diving board on it. And they salt the edge of the glass with a paint roller.”

Martinez’s original machine cranked out ’ritas for a decade before sputtering to a halt. Though he never received a patent or trademark for the device, it has a place in his heart and, since 2005, in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “The credit belongs to heritage and technology,” he says. “The golden ratio was two parts of the past and one of the present.”

SIR NIKOLAI HOTEL × IZAKAYA

Sir Nikolai Hotel and IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar celebrate one year anniversary

A year ago, Hamburg lined up for the grand opening of Sir Nikolai and IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar. Well established in the city’s growing hotel and fine dining scene, Sir Hotels and THE ENTOURAGE GROUP celebrate a successful first year with the presentation of a 7-story high artpiece by acclaimed artist Steve Tepas.

Liran Wizman, owner and founder of Sir Hotels and Yossi Eliyahoo, owner and founder of THE ENTOURAGE GROUP commissioned Los Angeles-based artist Steve Tepas to create an artpiece for one of the building’s inner courtyard’s walls. The eye-catching 250sqm painting is titled “Collective Ascension” and shows nine abstract male faces looking upwards towards one abstract female who is bending down with her eyes closed. Inside each male head, boldly outlined in black on white background, the artist painted black staircases.

I created this piece in reflection of all the many journeys we take in life. We all have the same goal: rising to a higher level,” artist Steve Tepas explains.

The artpiece is visible through the retractable glass ceiling of the patio on the groundfloor, as well as from the hotel rooms facing the courtyard.

Sir Nikolai & IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar

The  seven-story Kontorhaus,  orginally  used  as  a  warehouse  for  seeds,  encompasses  94  rooms  and  suites  with  views  of  the  canal  and  the  Old  Town,  the  Speicherstadt  and  HafenCity  or  the  hotel’s  inner  courtyard.  The  open  and  inviting  public  spaces  on  the  groundfloor  stretch  from  The  Study,  a  cosy  lounge  where  guests  check-in,  over  The  Patio,  the  hotel’s  glass-roofed  courtyard  where  IZAKAYA  Asian  kitchen  &  bar  begins. The restaurant includes an open kitchen, where diners can watch the chef and his team artistically prepare the dishes at the kitchen counter, a 360-island bar overlooking the canal and two balconies,  floating over the water.

IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar defines skills and techniques of the Japanese cuisine with South American influences. The first IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar opened 2012 in Amsterdam and is one of the city’s most established fine dining spots. This success led to the opening of IZAKAYA in Hamburg, Ibiza and Munich. The  menu  features  fresh  sushi,  sashimi  and  a  variety  of  exquisite  meat  and  fish,  prepared  on  a  traditional  Robata-grill  or  in  a  Hibachi-fire  bowl.

A successful first year in Hamburg

Keeping with its philosophy of building meaningful relationships and offering extraordinary services to guests, Sir Hotel’s kicked-off two special initiatives throughout its first year in Hamburg. On Instagram, Sir Hotels launched travel guides that repurpose the social platform to provide an  innovative  way  for  locals  and  visitors  to  experience  the  city. Sir  Nikolai’s Hamburg guide is  an  easy-to-use  city  guide  highlighting  local  favourites  and  hidden  treasures. In addition, the recently launched program, Sir Explore, offers bespoke experiences to out-of-town guests and the locals alike. The collection of custom tours and workshops gives access to unique experts. Each host leading a Sir Explore experience represents an intriguing aspect of their community and culture; Sir Explore allows for a truly authentic insider perspective to each city.

At IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar time-honoured techniques blend together with innovative signatures, with spectacular dishes as the end result. Executive Chef Hariprasad Shetty composed a sophisticated menu of a variety of small, unconventional dishes and specialities of the Robata grill, always daring the guest to try something new.

Shortly after it opened, IZAKAYA Hamburg was awarded 15 points by the renowned Gault-Millau restaurant guide, making it one of the city’s top ten restaurants already in its first year.

Along with redefining Asian culinary classics, IZAKAYA Hamburg gives a cutting-edge twist to the classical Japanese and English tea ceremony by serving a totally new kind of ‘Afternoon Tea’ with an exclusive selection of extraordinary light bites, one of the best tea selections of the town.

www.sirhotels.com

www.the-entouragegroup.com

About Sir Hotels

Sir Hotels is a boutique hotel brand, founded in Amsterdam in 2013 with the opening of Sir Albert, located in a former diamond factory next to the city’s Museum Square. In 2016, Sir Savigny opened in the heart of Berlin’s district of Charlottenburg, followed by a second outpost in Amsterdam, Sir Adam, located in the iconic A’DAM Tower. Following the opening of Sir Nikolai in Hamburg, Sir Hotels headed to Ibiza: Sir Joan opened in July 2017. Sir Hotels cater to those who are looking for authentic stories and distinctive locations. Each hotel has stunning interior design, exceptional restaurants and bars and specializes in providing guests unique experiences on and off property. Sir Hotels are created and managed by the award-winning Amsterdam-based hotel development and management company Europe Hotels Private Collection (EHPC).

About THE ENTOURAGE GROUP

THE ENTOURAGE GROUP is an unrivalled hospitality empire, renowned for creating internationally acclaimed food and beverage concepts across the world. Their wide range of expertise has been cultivated extensively through years of hospitality management, operations and fine dining experience. Owners and founders Yossi Eliyahoo and Liran Wizman, along with the group’s CEO Stephanie Pearson, inspire THE ENTOURAGE GROUP to continually set the new standard for modern hospitality. The currently owned portfolio includes MOMO Restaurant, Bar & Lounge, IZAKAYA Asian Kitchen & Bar (Amsterdam, Hamburg, Ibiza and Munich), THE BUTCHER, THE BUTCHER West, THE BUTCHER Nine Streets, THE BUTCHER Social Club, THE BUTCHER Berlin, THE BUTCHER Ibiza and THE BUTCHER On Wheels, SHIRKHAN, MR PORTER, awarded by Michelin THE DUCHESS and MAD FOX club Amsterdam. The upcoming cities include Barcelona, Dubai and Milan. Due to the success of the group, founder Yossi Eliyahoo was awarded ‘Hospitality Entrepreneur of the Year’ in the prestigious Entrée Hospitality Awards 2015.

About Steve Tepas

Steve Tepas is a painter and sculptor in the Neo-Purism movement, based in Los Angeles and Spain. He has shown his work at Art Basel Miami and at the Marrakech Light Festival. His first solo exhibition will take place in July. Before he dedicated his life to the arts, he was a creative director in Fashion and Interior Architecture.