Category Archives: ADVERTISING

The legend of the headless statue

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Once upon a time, there was a statue made of terracotta. It’s probably a replica of one of the warriors of the famous terracotta army unearthed in China. The statue I’m talking about has a stormy history, in the sense that it already changed three heads since it’s been placed in front of the Hufendorf house that it should be guarding. OK, but where do terracotta heads go when they go? Nobody knows. Thing is: people at Huf Haus often throw parties in their showroom houses, to reunite the clients who already bought a Huf Haus with potential clients, which is very intelligent. Well, after such a party, the statue wakes up in the morning with a terrible and incurable headache, since nobody seems to find its head to administer it an aspirin.

Léa Linster, avec amour

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Some 45 years ago, the place was a petrol station where truck drivers stopped on their way to France which was less than 500 meters away on the road crossing what today is Léa Linster, Cuisiniere restaurant, in Frisange, Luxembourg. The restaurant earned a star in the Michelin guide in 1987, and two years later, Léa won the Bocuse d’Or award, being the first woman to win this contest, a big deal in an era where the Chef’s world despised women a bit (but just a bit) more than today.

Léa is 61 and has a heart as big as Luxembourg, leaving some room for the guests too. I dined in her restaurant two days ago, simple and delicious food, as pleasant as a hug you’ve been wanting for a long time. The menu underwent small and few changes in the past 20 years, really proving that sometimes it’s not the case. The treat from the restaurant continued the following day in her house between the vines, a Huf Haus built on a wooden frame, with huge windows and a dizzying-calming panorama.

Her house was built by Huf Haus 21 years ago on the site of an old cabin. It looks the same as in the year of its building, impeccable, seductive, warm. It is imbibed in Léa’s good karma, karma which we managed to share since one of the Huf Haus company managers has been friends with Léa for over 40 years.

My visit to the small village of Hufendorf of Hartenfels made up of Huf houses ended with the modesty, passion and love lesson this lady gave me. And with a cooking  lesson, conveyed in such a simple, direct and strong way that I feel it changed me in a way that can only be positive to those who will be tasting my food henceforth. While talking to Léa about techniques and how you can help a lesser quality ingredient, she offered me this perspective: `if you have a carrot that’s not good enough, you’re better off cooking a tomato`.

It’s a simple and genius way of saying that a chef has no excuse, no reason to cook with a subpar ingredient, but he always has a different option, which is at the same time an obligation towards his own art: to always look for the best ingredient and allow himself to be guided by it. The same thing is valid for those building planes, houses, ovens, should they strive for excellence.

New pool in Bucharest

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I almost don’t want to tell you where it is, because I like it too much that not a lot of people come here. Still, I think if nobody comes here, they will eventually close down. So, I’m in a puzzle. I discovered this location three weeks ago and I‘ve been coming here all weekends since, firstly because it’s clean, the kid’s pool is appropriate for Vladimir, the music is not too loud (the playlist is quite good actually) and food is tasty. The place is behind Casa Presei and it’s called Younivers.

Member of the jury, again

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Today is an important day for gastronomy, including including Romanian one. Bucharest is hosting the Eastern-European semi-final of the S.Pellegrino Young Chef contest. The winner will attend the World Final in Italy, with me as a mentor, for which I am simply grateful. Today I am one of the members of the jury of the competition, alongside two very talented chefs from Slovenia, and Poland respectively.  The day started very early and the forecast is delicious. The competition is very hard, but life in the kitchen is no different. After what I’ve seen up to now, I can declare myself both lucky and satisfied.

Camino, home away from home

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Camino Home is a building comprising of a few chic apartments, tastefully decorated and imbibed in the ‘I wish I’d never have to leave’ vibe. It branched out from the Camino bistro, where I dutifully report I was working before leaving for the great big world. Here’s where I live most times I visit Cluj for work, because I enjoy the atmosphere, because I’m inspired and because I’m in the city center, on Iuliu Maniu, halfway on the street connecting the Orthodox cathedral to the Saint Michael church. If you are keen on finding out more, here are the details.

#bornelectric

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Future is already here. I felt it with all my being when I drove a BMWi8 for the first time. It was the kind of experience it’s better to keep quiet about so that you don’t ruin it, that’s why I won’t attempt any description. If you ever get the chance to test drive, postpone everything on your agenda for the day.