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Posts from the ‘Culture’ Category

Lisa Hoffman Beauty Variation Concept: 1 Perfume, 4 Variations – For Morning, Daytime, Evening and Bedtime

“French Clary Sage” Variations 4-Vital Set, $95.00

Designed to be wearable around the clock, Lisa Hoffman fragrances are scientifically formulated to satisfy our senses at every moment. We artfully translated our fine fragrances into four, perfectly balanced Variations: Morning, Daytime, Evening and Bedtime.

  • Morning: A crisp, yet balanced variant with subtle top notes that lead to an ever-so-slight zeal for a fresh morning start.

  • Day Time: Our sense of smell is at its peak the ideal time to experience the perfume’s full expression. This multi-dimensional variant is the heart of the fragrance and used as the foundation to create all other variants.

  • Evening: Accentuates the deeper, more sensual notes for an intriguing sense of mystique.

  • Bed Time: This variant whispers a powdery, delicate version of the perfume as our fatigued senses prepare for rest.

The Variations fragrances are formulated as pulse point perfume oils, designed to diffuse the scent at the warmest parts of the body. Ideal for layering, these perfumes oils allow you to blend your own signature scents.

The Lisa Hoffman Variation 4-Vital Set is also available in Japanese Agarwood, Madagascar Orchid, Tuisian Neroli and Tuscan.


January 2012 Wine Releases

Andesite Vineyard
2008 Mervignon Bordeax Blend (153 cases, $48)

2009 Sonoma Mountain Farina Vineyards Chardonnay (112 cases, $38); 2009 Russian River Valley Calegari Vineyards Pinot Noir (112 cases $42)

Bishop’s Peak
2009 Elevation Red

Longboard Vineyards
2010 Point Break Red Blend, 2008 Dakine Syrah

Malk Family Vineyards
2008 Cabernet Sauvignon

Mount Palomar Winery
2009 Reserve Cabernet Franc ($48)

Sojourn Cellars
2010 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (925 cases, $39); 2010 Rodgers Creek Vineyard Pinot Noir (375 cases $48); 2010 Gap’s Crown Vineyard Pinot Noir (800 cases, $48); 2010 Sangiacomo Vineyard Pinot Noir (975 cases, $48); 2009 Georges III Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (125 cases, $95); 2009 Home Ranch Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon (150 cases, $39)

Spann Vineyards
2009 California Mo Zin (1,250 cases, $20), 2010 North Coast Chardonnay/Viognier ($20)

Talley Vineyards
2010 Edna Valley Chardonnay

The Four Graces
2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Gris, 2011 Willamette Valley Pinot Blanc

Great Cookbooks For The Holidays

Entree to Judaism: A Culinary Exploration of the Jewish Diaspora

by: Tina Wasserman

What we eat says so much about who we are and from where we come. Do you like your matzah brie sweet or savory? Is your chicken soup matzah ball or mulligatawny? Does your menu feature a cheese torta or a tofu salad? Wherever Jews have settled, they have adapted local tastes and ingredients to meet the needs of Shabbat and kashrut, creating a rich and diverse menu of flavors and styles, all still Jewish. In Entrée to Judaism, Tina Wasserman leads a culinary journey around the world and across the ages, from Spain to India, from Russia to Tunisia, sharing the histories and recipes of the great Diaspora communities and the many wonderful ways they have told their stories through food.
• Accessible, easy-to-follow recipes for the novice home cook and expert chef alike.
• Features “Tina’s Tidbits,” fun facts and great cooking tips for every recipe.
• Includes over 275 recipes and dozens of full-color photos

Martha’s Entertaining: A Year of Celebrations

by: Martha Stewart

In this exquisite and very personal book, Martha Stewart welcomes you into her world, where she entertains in the expressive and beautiful style that she has made so famous. Whether a simple blueberry breakfast on a Sunday morning in Maine or a more lavish holiday dinner at Bedford, each of the gatherings is equally memorable, for what Martha cherishes above all is spending time and sharing delicious food with her family and friends.“A meal of substantial finger foods with ingenious cocktails, a sit-down formal dinner, a buffet supper, or something more relaxed such as a backyard barbecue—each is a welcome and inviting way to entertain,” writes Martha. Featuring elegant and casual affairs held throughout the year and a diverse collection of enticing recipes, Martha’s Entertaining shows us—in the broadest and most lovely fashion—what it really means to entertain and host today. From an afternoon Easter egg hunt for children to a festive Halloween dinner held inside her horse stable; from a sophisticated cocktail party on a friend’s yacht in New York Harbor to a spring garden fête amid the most glorious beds of peonies, Martha’s parties offer a glimpse inside her beautiful homes. Each is unforgettable and endlessly inspiring.All of the events feature menus and stories for dreaming and planning, as well as delicious yet approachable recipes: Tomato and Gruyère Toasts, Mini Crab Cakes with Tarragon Tartar Sauce, Tiny Tuna Burgers, Leek and Porcini Risotto, Wild-Mushroom Lasagna, Braised Short Ribs, Roast Turkey Breast with Sage Butter, Rhubarb Crumbles, Blueberry Jam Tartlets, and Chocolate Honey Ice Cream with Butterscotch Sauce, plus some of Martha’s favorite drinks, including Pomegranate Cosmopolitans and Honeydew Mojitos. Mix and match the recipes to create your own distinctive occasion.

Vegan Holiday Kitchen: More than 200 Delicious, Festive Recipes for Special Occasions

by: Nava Atlas

Have yourself a happy vegan holiday! This exciting, inviting cookbook by veteran author Nava Atlas brilliantly fills the biggest gap in the vegan repertoire with more than 200 delectable, completely doable recipes for every festive occasion.

Atlas, one of the most respected names in vegetarian and vegan cooking, addresses everything from Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas –to celebratory brunches, lunches, dinners, potlucks, and buffets. Such mouthwatering dishes as Coconut Butternut Squash Soup, Green Chili Corn Bread, Hearty Vegetable Pot Pie, delicate Ravioli with Sweet Potatoes and Sage, and Cashew Chocolate Mousse Pie will convince even the most skeptical eater that vegan cooking is well worth celebrating.

My Week With Marilyn

Based on the famously missing chapter in Colin Clark’s memoir The Prince and the Showgirl and Me, The Weinstein Company has produced their first theatrical film, My Week With Marilyn, revealing the enchanted week that the then-lowly production assistant spent with the most famous celebrity of the era during the production of the classic 1957 comedy romance The Prince and the Showgirl. The year was 1956. Colin Clark was an ambitious 23-year-old determined to make a name for himself in film. As summer gets underway, Clark manages to land a position as a production assistant on the film The Prince and the Showgirl, starring Marilyn Monroe (Michelle Williams) and Sir Laurence Olivier (Kenneth Branagh). Monroe had just gotten married to playwright Arthur Miller (Dougray Scott), and the newlyweds were on their honeymoon as production got underway. Later, when Miller leaves, young Clark seizes the opportunity to befriend the platinum blonde beauty, and give her a taste of everyday life in England — far away from the bright lights of Hollywood and the suffocating pressures of fame.

A Very “Fishy” Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving can be an awkward time for somebody who does not eat meat or poultry. I follow a pescatarian diet and often end up with only side dishes on my plate at Thanksgiving.   Here are some incredible fish recipes to rival the Thanksgiving turkey this year!

Mustard-Roasted Fish


  • 4 (8-ounce) fish fillets such as red snapper
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. (You can also use an ovenproof baking dish.) Place the fish fillets skin side down on the sheet pan. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.

Combine the creme fraiche, 2 mustards, shallots, capers, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce evenly over the fish fillets, making sure the fish is completely covered. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until it’s barely done. (The fish will flake easily at the thickest part when it’s done.) Be sure not to overcook it! Serve hot or at room temperature with the sauce from the pan spooned over the top.

Fish Piccata


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 small white fish fillets (such as tilapia or sole), about 1 pound total
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 lemons, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. While the pan is heating, blot the fish dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Dredge in the flour, shaking off any excess. Saute the fish in the oil until just cooked through, about 4 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove the fish to a platter. Deglaze the pan with the white wine, whisking for about 1 minute. Add the lemon juice and capers and stir. Add the butter and stir or whisk to incorporate to bring the sauce together. Pour onto the fish and garnish with the chopped parsley.

Pan Seared Fish (Pacific Halibut or Cod) with Herbed Vegetable Ribbons and Couscous


  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup sliced dried apricots
  • 2 teaspoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 3 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 red onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 zucchini, julienned
  • 2 yellow squash, julienned
  • 2 red peppers, julienned
  • 2 yellow peppers, julienned
  • 1/4 cup chopped mixed herbs, (chives, thyme, parsley, oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper
  • 4 to 6 (6-ounce) pacific halibut fillets or cod


In a 2 quart saucepan, bring the water to a boil. Combine the couscous, with the almonds, apricots, orange juice, orange zest, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Pour the water over the couscous, cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let stand for 10 minutes. Remove the plastic wrap and fluff the couscous with a fork. Add parsley, toss to combine, then taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and set aside to keep warm while you prepare the fish and vegetables.

In a 12-inch skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and the butter. When the pan is hot add the red onion, saute for 3 minutes until tender; add the rest of the vegetables. Cook over high heat, tossing frequently, until the vegetables are crisp-tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the herbs, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Toss to combine then set aside to keep warm while you cook the fish.

Season the halibut fillets on both sides with the remaining salt and pepper. In a 12-inch skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the halibut fillets and cook until golden brown and fish flakes easily, about 3 minutes on each side.

Serve the fillets over the couscous and spread the vegetables around the plate. Serve immediately.

Bon appetit!

Written by: Paul T. Lotierzo

December 2011 Wine Releases



Composer: Philip Glass

The Met’s visually extravagant production is back for an encore engagement. Richard Croft once again is Gandhi in Philip Glass’s unforgettable opera.

Duration: 225 min. (3 hours, 45 min.)

Production: Phelim McDermott
Assoc Director & Set Designer: Julian Crouch
Costume Designer: Kevin Pollard
Lighting Designer: Paule Constable
Video Design: Leo Warner and Mark Grimmer for 59 Productions

Venue: Metropolitan Opera
Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY 10023
(212) 362-6000

For additional information including tickets, dates and times, please click here.

Norway Lobster on Bleus d’Ailleurs porcelain

Hermes serves Norway Lobster in a citrus and ginger jus caramelized melt-in-the-mouth endives.

For 4 people:

  • 12 shelled Norway lobsters
  • 1 packet of filo pastry
  • 1 grapefruit
  • 5 oranges
  • 1 piece of fresh ginger
  • 1 soup spoon of veal stock
  • 1 onion
  • 2 carrots
  • 5 chopped mushrooms
  • 12 good-sized coriander leaves
  • Melted butter
  • 8 endives
  • 1 soup spoon of unpasteurized double cream
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper mill


1. Lightly cook the onions, carrots and mushrooms in a little oil. Set

2. Squeeze the citrus juice and simmer it with the diced ginger
and the veal bouillon. Stir well.  When it has become syrupy, filter
the sauce and set aside.

3. Cut the endives in half, take out the bitter triangle (optional) then cut into fine lengthwise strips. Sweat them in a saucepan with a little salt until they give up their water.

4. When they are soft and start sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a soup spoon of double cream. Mix, season and set aside. This can all be done in advance.

5. On a lightly buttered rectangle of filo pastry (melt the butter and spread it on the pastry with a pastry brush), place a coriander leaf, then a teaspoon of the vegetable mix, then a seasoned Norway lobster. Roll it all up and place in a baking tin.

6. Cook the lobsters for 4 to 5 minutes in a very hot oven. When the pastry starts to brown, turn off the oven and leave for a few minutes.

*Please note: You can make a simpler version of this recipe by replacing the crunchy Norway lobsters by steamed fish, e.g. cod steak (in this case, you don’t have to prepare the vegetable mix).

‘The Lion In Winter’

The Lion In Winter
by James Goldman


Director: Trevor Nunn
Cast: Robert Lindsay (Henry II), Joanna Lumley (Eleanor of Aquitane) Tom Bateman (Richard), Sonya Cassidy (Alais), Joseph Drake (John), Rory Fleck-Byrne (Philip) and James Norton (Geoffrey).


A family Christmas becomes a family at war. Henry II, not so young as he was, invites his estranged wife Eleanor of Aquitane, and his three sons, Richard, Geoffrey and John, to spend the festive season with him, his mistress Princess Alais, and her brother, the young King Philip of France. Will Henry name who is to be his successor as King of England? Their yuletide celebration turns into a combat zone of deceit, betrayal, bitter power games and scabrous wit.

Haymarket, Theatre Royal
Haymarket, London, SW1
Tel: 0845 481 1870
Tube: Piccadilly Circus

Opening date: November 15th, 2011
Closing date: January 28th, 2012

Buy Tickets

Swarovski ‘Festive Inspiration’ 2011 Christmas Collection

Lagoon Siam Necklace, $155.

Inspired by water droplets, the Lagoon Siam Necklace features gold-plated chain and Siam teardrop-cut crystals.







Lagoon Siam Pierced Earrings, $100.

Inspired by water drops, the Lagoon Siam Pierced Earrings features gold-plated pierced earrings and Siam teardrop-cut crystals.








Aila (in Black), $390.

The Aila features a stainless steel case with clear crystal pavé, 31mm;  matte black with black sunray pattern dial; three hand-applied clear crystals number with Swan logo at 12 o’clock; stainless steel strap adorned with clear crystal pavé;  and Swiss Quartz function.







Winter Swan, $200.

The Winter Swan features Crystal Moonlight with a delicate feather and silver tone crown with three crystals.




Adrienne, $490.









Magical Christmas Tree, $300.

The Magical Christmas Tree glimmers in faceted clear crystal with floating stars in Comet Argent Light crystal and is adorned with shining star in Golden Shadow crystal at the tree top.