Test Your Chef Skills for a Chance to Win a Mentorship from Rémy Martin & Iron Chef Marc Forgione

first_img WhistlePig Teams Up With Four Chefs on a New Whiskey Editors’ Recommendations How to Make Lasagna Bolognese, According to a Chef Pro Chefs Dish on the Perfect Seven-Layer Dip Recipes How to Make a Cuban Sandwich, According to Chefs Are you the one who wows friends with elaborate dishes when there’s a pot luck? Do you use words and phrases like “deglaze the pan” and “sous vide” in everyday conversation?As a way of celebrating National Cognac Day while also showcasing the newest mentor in their Circle of Centaurs mentorship program, Cognac producer Rémy Martin may have the answer for you.From now through March 15, you have the chance to win a mentorship from Iron Chef Marc Forgione (plus a cash prize to put towards growing your culinary skills) by simply creating and showing off a recipe that highlights how well Rémy Martin 1738 goes with food.“The chef with the recipe that pairs best with Rémy Martin 1738 will win a mentorship with me and will cook alongside me for a National Cognac Day dinner in May,” Forgione explained.This opportunity for one-on-one mentorship is at the core of Rémy Martin’s Circle of Centaurs program, which taps celebrities from various fields to inspire and encourage young up-and-comers to experiment, experience, and above all, achieve through creativity.“I had the benefit of great mentors as I grew and learned in the industry and I believe that it’s important to give back and help the next emerging chef,” Forgione said, looking back on his own experience as an up-and-coming chef. “The early years in a young chef’s career are extremely important. Any great chef whose name you know, 99% of the time was mentored by someone great. When you find a good one, absorb as much as you can before you move on,” Forgione said of his own mentorship experiences.Entering the contest is simple. If you’re over twenty-five years old, upload a photo of your original appetizer recipe once on one of the following platforms: Instagram or Remy Martin’s official Facebook page. You need to include the complete recipe and instructions in the caption of your post for review. Finally, tag with #RemyChef and @RemyMartin for your chance to win. The contest closes on March 15, 2017, at 11:59:59 and winner will be announced on March 30, 2017.In thinking about what a winning recipe will look like, Forgione said he’s seeking a few key things. First, they’ll be looking for flavor and creativity. Perhaps more importantly, though, is showing off your personality.“Try to show who you are on the plate,” Forgione said.Do you have what it takes to try your hand at becoming the next big celebrity chef? If so, what are you waiting for? Get cooking! The Bourdain Effect: Reflecting on the Late Celebrity Chef’s Impact on All of Uslast_img read more

Saudi festival showcases green mountains flower crowns

AL-SOUDAH, Saudi Arabia — Atop a string of green mountains in Saudi Arabia, a monthlong festival drew a medley of yoga enthusiasts, extreme adventure seekers, tourists and traditional Saudi families — many wearing colorful flower crowns native to the region as the kingdom looks for ways to revamp its image and build up tourism.The al-Soudah festival, which ran throughout the month of August, gave visitors a chance to experience a unique region in Saudi Arabia and take part in outdoor sports like hiking, mountain biking, paragliding, horseback riding, zip lining and bungee jumping. Thousands also attended concerts by Middle Eastern superstars.Scenes of women zip lining and young Saudis at concerts, while nevertheless in a remote village, are a stark departure from the ultraconservative policies that for decades barred concerts and gender mixing, as well as shunned women’s sports in the kingdom.The reforms are being pushed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the king’s powerful 34-year-old son. He is looking to revamp the country’s economy to become more resilient in the face of lower oil prices. Boosting domestic spending and opening the country to foreign tourists are seen as ways to create more jobs for the millions of young Saudis who will be entering the workforce and looking for jobs in the coming years.The al-Soudah festival attracted between 12,000 and 15,000 visitors per day, said Husameddin al-Madani, who oversaw the event. Most visitors to the festival were Saudi citizens, but it also drew foreign tourists.Unlike Saudi Arabia’s major cities — which have limited outdoor spaces for sports, especially for women who must wear long flowing robes known as abayas in public — Saudi women in al-Soudah wore fitted jeans and sneakers under their rolled up abayas to hike up the mountain. Other Saudi women were seen zip lining between cliffs. In keeping with local custom, many kept their faces and hair covered.The weather in August in the village of al-Soudah, located in the southwest Asir province, is a comfortable 22 degrees Celsius (70 Fahrenheit) in August, unlike the capital, Riyadh, or the coastal city of Jiddah, where temperatures exceed 43 degrees Celsius (105 Fahrenheit) throughout the summer. In the winter, parts of the mountain range see snow.Al-Soudah sits on part of the Sarawat Mountain range in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula, some 3,000 metres (9,840 feet) above sea level. Its highlands are covered in the green of juniper trees. The area is also home to baboons, who were kept away from the festival with help from Human Wildlife Solutions based in Cape Town, South Africa.Jiddah city resident Noura al-Moammar said she was surprised by the region’s climate.“I never thought, honestly, that my country is that rich with nature,” she said. “It’s amazing for us to discover and see the different cultures and landscapes and weather in our beautiful Saudi.”In the nearby village of Rijal Almaa, the men wore flower crowns, or garlands, made from local flowers and herbs. Visitors here were treated to garlands of their own, local tribal dances, coffee, tea and evening lightshows displayed on the village’s 500-year-old distinct natural clay, stone and wood structures.The festival also drew extreme sports enthusiasts, including wingsuit base jumpers. Saudi media reported that British adventurer and astronautical engineer Angelo Grubisic died during a jump off the side of a cliff at the festival when he experienced difficulties reaching the landing site at speeds of around 160 kilometres (100 miles) per hour.The festival took place less than 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the airport in Abha, the capital city of the region of Asir, which has been targeted by Iranian-allied Yemeni rebels. Saudi Arabia has been waging war in Yemen against the rebels, also known as Houthis.Still, visitors at the festival said they felt extremely secure.“I couldn’t feel safer, honestly,” said Paris Verra, a 24-year-old American visitor. “The city is vibrant, and I was walking down the streets at like 1 and 2 a.m. and having tea with locals.”“Coming from America, there’s obviously a lot of misconceptions … but I’m here to show and prove it’s nothing but incredible … I hope everybody gets a chance to visit this place one day,” she added.So serene was the vibe at the festival that Alwaleed al-Keaid, who runs a Saudi hiking company, led morning mediations atop the mountain.“We start our mornings with a mediation session in this gorgeous environment where we thank God for this blessing and meditate,” he said. “When we’re done, we try the local bread with honey… and help people enjoy nature, forget about the rest of the world and live in the moment.”The festival also had its share of glitz and glamour with concerts by Middle Eastern mega stars, including Emirati singer Ahlam and Iraqi singer Kazem al-Saher. Their performances drew thousands of fans and al-Saher’s concert alone generated 1.5 million Saudi riyals ($400,000) in ticket sales, festival organizers said.The al-Soudah festival is one of 11 taking place in different parts of the country this year. The initiative, dubbed Saudi Seasons, is aimed at developing tourism and providing Saudis with temporary and permanent jobs.Al-Madani, the CEO of the al-Soudah festival, said at least 515 young men and women were hired from the local community to assist in the monthlong event. Local businesses also got a boost by contributing to food trucks and other services.___Associated Press writer Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report.Amr Nabil, The Associated Press read more