Video: Laser Dinner at the World’s Most Expensive Restaurant Sublimotion in Spain

If doing dinner and a movie feels a little stale, you might consider taking the concept to the extreme. That’s what happens at Ibiza’s Sublimotion, the world’s most expensive restaurant.

The restaurant isn’t just a meal, but a full-on entertainment experience it says is “the greatest gastronomic show in the world.” The meal costs around US$2,000 per diner and includes virtual reality elements, laser light shows, and projection mapping in a room where projections run on just about every surface you can find. Even the interactive table is a palette for video projections.

The show sounds great, but it’s elevated by a Michelin-starred menu, created by Chef Paco Roncero, who has a pair of Michelin stars. When the 12-seat, one-table restaurant opened in 2014, Roncero wouldn’t say if it was the world’s most expensive restaurant, but told the Telegraph it was the “cheapest life-changing experience anyone can have.”

The restaurant is located in Ibiza, Spain’s Hard Rock Hotel, and it’s manned by 25 staff members — cooks, waiters, DJs, illusionists, and craftsmen — who create an experience you aren’t likely to find on your block. With all of its dessert in balloons, drinks that mix themselves, and plates dropping from the ceiling, it’s a slight step up from Netflix and chill. (Though, you could get 200 months of Netflix for the price of one dinner at Sublimotion.)

Watch video at Vimeo(2:08 minutes) . . . . .

Advertisements

Braised Chicken with Herb-marinated Peaches

Ingredients

1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil; more as needed
1 oz thinly sliced prosciutto, cut crosswise into thin strips
3 lb bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (about 8)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 medium leek, white and light green part only, thinly sliced (1 cup)
3 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3 cups Sherry Vinegar and Rosemary Marinated Peaches (see recipe below), drained, marinade reserved
3 cups lower-salt chicken broth
2 Tbsp drained capers
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Heat the oil in an 8-quart Dutch oven or other heavy-duty pot over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer to a bowl and set aside.
  3. If the pan is dry, add a little more oil.
  4. Season the chicken lightly on all sides with salt and pepper. Working in batches, brown the chicken on both sides, about 12 minutes total. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Turn the heat down to medium low. Pour off all but 1 Tbsp fat from the pot and then add the leek and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.
  7. Add the reserved marinade and cook, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, until the liquid thickens, about 2 minutes.
  8. Add the broth, season lightly with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Arrange the chicken in the pot skin side up, return to a boil, and transfer the pot to the oven to braise, uncovered, until the chicken cooks through, about 25 minutes.
  9. Take the pot out of the oven. Turn the broiler on high. Transfer the chicken, skin side up, to a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet.
  10. Simmer the sauce in the pot over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about half, about 10 minutes. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the capers and peaches. Cook until heated through.
  11. Stir in the butter until it melts, then stir in 1 Tbsp of the tarragon and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  12. Meanwhile, broil the chicken until the skin is crisp, about 3 minutes.
  13. Return the chicken to the pot or transfer it to a large platter and spoon the sauce over it. Garnish with the prosciutto and the remaining tarragon leaves before serving.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Sherry Vinegar and Rosemary Marinated Peaches

Ingredients

3 medium ripe peaches, pitted and sliced, diced, or cut into wedges
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2-1/2 Tbsp spiced dark rum (optional)
2 Tbsp sherry vinegar
1-1/2 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of granulated sugar

Method

  1. Gently combine all of the ingredients in a medium bowl and let marinate at room temperature for at least 20 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  2. After marinating, you can refrigerate the peaches for up to 1 day.

Source: Cooking Fresh magazine

What You’re Doing Wrong When You Eat a Bowl of Ramen

Kate Krader wrote . . . . . .

For fans, ramen is a thing of beauty, taut noodles in a steaming rich broth, ready for instant consumption.

Yet devouring a bowl of ramen can be … daunting. Few foods inspire such a cultlike following, and yet it’s kind of unwieldy to eat. Do you slurp up the long noodles, or attempt to “cut” them up with your chopsticks? Do you copy the guy that picked up his bowl and drank from it, or has he just never been to a restaurant before?

For some general rules of thumb, we turned to Ivan Orkin, founder of Ivan Ramen, which has two locations in New York. Orkin, a white guy from New York state and a star of Season 3 on Chef’s Table, started his ramen career in Tokyo by watching experts cook; he caused a sensation when he opened his own shop in the Japanese capital.

Orkin has spent years studying the art of ramen and knows exactly what—and what not to do—with your precious bowl of noodles. Here are his rules, in his own words.

1. You’re Letting It Get Cold

The first rule of ramen is to eat it while it’s hot. No smart person would push aside a fresh-from-the-oven pizza to start eating salad, right? The majority of ramen arrives with a hot broth, which means noodles can overcook if they sit for too long. An overcooked noodle is not just a mushy noodle: It also makes the broth more starchy. Approach the whole bowl the way you drink extremely hot coffee in the morning. It might be almost too hot, but drink it like you need it (like that slice of pizza that’s so hot it burns the roof of your mouth, but you eat it at a molten temperature anyway because it’s so tasty).

2. You’re Battling Your Noodles

When a bowl of ramen is placed in front of you, the noodles will probably be coiled together. If you take a moment to untangle them with your chopsticks, pulling them out of the coil, they’re easier to eat. If you just grab a large section of the tangle, the noodles will flight you back—they’ll all come along, and then you can’t fit the bite into your mouth. Many people like to hold that Chinese bent spoon, also called a renge, underneath their noodles. (By the way, I think that spoon is the dumbest spoon ever made, and one day someone will invent a better one.) That’s fine. And if you’re in a fancy place with the ridged chopsticks that really hold the noodles, then you should have no problem with slippage. I have friends in Japan who bring their own chopsticks when they go out; it’s a little too obsessive for me.

3. You’re Not Slurping

Do not be afraid to slurp your ramen. In Japan, it’s expected. For one thing, it cools hot noodles down. Noodles you can slurp are also the sign of a broth with enough fat to cling to them. If you can’t slurp—if the noodle feels dry—the broth isn’t rich enough. Which brings me to a side note about having the right noodle in the right broth: Pairing noodles with soup is the same as pairing bread with your sandwich filling. If you try to make a sandwich with Genoa salami and a supersoft roll, it will be a failure and fall apart in your hands. A thick broth like the pork-fatty, opaque tonkotsu wants a sturdier noodle. A lighter broth like the soy sauce-flavored shoyu calls for a more delicate one. (I have both kinds of ramen at Ivan Ramen, along with shio, or salt ramen.) You want your soup in harmony. This isn’t necessarily something you can control, but it makes you an expert to be aware of.

4. You’re Biting Off More Than You Can Chew

A lot of people make the mistake of grabbing a giant pile of noodles that they can’t really handle. Rule of thumb: Take a smaller amount than you think you want. You do not want to be sucking noodles into your mouth and then biting them in half so that some falls back into the bowl. That’s just gross. No one would do that with a steak. Plan for a full—but not overwhelming—mouthful of noodles.

5. You’re Not Not Paying Attention

I like to think of ramen preparation as an action sport, an interactive activity. If you’re lucky enough to sit at a ramen bar that overlooks the kitchen, watch them build the bowl. It’s a surprisingly complex procedure for something that seems so simple. Years before I opened my first shop in Tokyo, I couldn’t understand how ramen was made. I would stare over the counter, figuring out how they did everything—like timing the cooking of the noodles—and that’s how I learned to make ramen.

6. You’re Not Taking Toppings Seriously

When I go to a ramen shop for first time, I choose the bowl that the place is most famous for. I will go easy on the toppings; maybe I will get an egg. I want to know if I like the flavor of the ramen and what the fuss is all about. If I go back, then I see if they have a special, and that’s when I experiment with toppings. I’m a purist—I don’t usually do a lot of them, but that doesn’t mean they’re not fun, and if you feel like ordering all the garnishes on the menu, go for it. It’s like ordering all the toppings for your pizza.

7. You’re Ignoring Your Beverage

Be ready to drink a tremendous amount of water with your ramen. Or beer. Or both. There’s a lot of salt in the broth, whether you know it or not, and if you don’t drink water, you are going to feel crappy, I guarantee it. In Japan, they sell a special black oolong tea that helps you digest the pork fat in tonkotsu ramen. You can find the tea in vending machines next to some tonkotsu shops, the pork-based ramen, where the broth is especially fatty.

8. You’re Minding Your Manners Too Much

It’s totally OK to drink the broth from the bowl. It’s considered a compliment to how good the broth is. But finish it at your own risk; those broths are flavor bombs, packed with sodium (see above). Another thing that is OK to do is to ask for extra noodles if you’ve finished the ones in your bowl. Last, have a stack of napkins handy, ramen can be a bit of a mess. That’s why ramen is so popular. Like the great comfort foods of the world, it’s messy and wonderful.

Source: Bloomberg

Why Cutting Carbohydrates from Your Diet Is So Tough


Enlarge image . . . . .

Gary Taubes wrote . . . . . . .

I’ve been eating a high-fat, carb-restricted diet for almost 20 years, since I started as an experiment when investigating nutrition research for the journal Science. I find it’s easy for me to maintain a healthy weight when I eat this way. But even after two decades, the sensation of being on the edge of a slippery slope is ever-present.

The holidays and family vacations are a particular problem. Desserts and sweets, it seems, appear after every lunch and dinner, and I’m not particularly good at saying no when everyone else is partaking. The more sweets I eat, the more we eat as a family, the longer it takes upon returning home before that expectation of a daily treat fades away.

What I’ve realized is that eating a little of a tasty dessert or a little pasta or bread fails to satisfy me. Rather, it ignites a fierce craving for more, to eat it all and then some. I find it easier to avoid sugar, grains and starches entirely, rather than to try to eat them in moderation. The question is why.

To begin to answer that question requires understanding that researchers are generally divided not only on what causes obesity, but also why we have cravings and often fail to stay on diets.

The conventional thinking, held by many of the researchers and clinicians I’ve interviewed over the years, is that obesity is caused by caloric excess. They call it an “energy balance” disorder, and the treatment is to consume less energy (fewer calories) and expend more. When we fail to maintain this prescription, the implication is that we simply lack self-discipline. “It’s viewed as a psychological issue or even a question of character,” said Dr. David Ludwig, who treats obesity at Harvard Medical School.

The minority position in this field — one that Ludwig holds, as do I — is that obesity is actually a hormonal regulatory disorder, and the hormone that dominates this process is insulin. It directly links what we eat to the accumulation of excess fat and that, in turn, is tied to the foods we crave and the hunger we experience. It’s been known since the 1960s that insulin signals fat cells to accumulate fat, while telling the other cells in our body to burn carbohydrates for fuel. By this thinking these carbohydrates are uniquely fattening.

Since insulin levels after meals are determined largely by the carbohydrates we eat — particularly easily digestible grains and starches, known as high glycemic index carbohydrates, as well as sugars like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup — diets based on this approach specifically target these carbohydrates. If we don’t want to stay fat or get fatter, we don’t eat them.

This effect of insulin on fat and carbohydrate metabolism offers an explanation for why these same carbohydrates are typically the foods we crave most; why a little “slip,” as addiction specialists would call it, could so easily lead to a binge.

Elevate insulin levels even a little, said Dr. Robert Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist at the University of California, San Francisco, and the body switches over from burning fat to burning carbohydrates.

“The more insulin you release, the more you crave carbs,” he said. “Once you’re exposed to a little carbohydrate, and you get an insulin rise from it, that forces energy into fat cells and that deprives your other cells of the energy they would otherwise have utilized — in essence, starvation. So you compensate by getting hungry, particularly for more carbohydrate. High insulin drives carb-craving.”

The result is that even a bite or a taste of carbohydrate-rich foods can stimulate insulin and create a hunger — a craving — for even more carbohydrates. “There’s no question in my mind,” Lustig said, “that once people who are ‘carboholics’ get their insulin levels down, they become less carboholic. And if they go off the wagon and start eating carbs, they go right back to where they were before. I’ve seen that in numerous patients.”

Sugar and sweets are a particular problem because of several physiological responses that may be unique to sugar. Sugar cravings appear to be mediated through the brain reward center that is triggered by other addictive substances. Both sugar and addictive substances stimulate the release of dopamine, producing an intensely pleasurable sensation.

Researchers like Ludwig and Lustig and others who promote carb-restriction, believe a person can minimize carb cravings by eating lots of healthful fats instead. Fat is satiating, Ludwig said, and it’s the one macronutrient that doesn’t stimulate insulin secretion. Eating fat-rich foods, “helps extinguish binge behavior,” Ludwig said, “as opposed to high-carb foods which exacerbate it.”

Whatever the mechanism involved, if the goal is to avoid the kind of slip that leads from a single forkful of rice to a doughnut binge or falling off your diet for good, then the same techniques that have helped drug addicts avoid relapses should also work in this scenario as well. These basic principles have been developed over decades, said Laura Schmidt, an addiction specialist at the University of California, San Francisco School of Medicine who now studies sugar as well. They can “work for anyone who’s gotten clean and sober and wants to stay that way.”

The obvious strategy is to stay away from the trigger. “Alcoholics who care about staying sober won’t get a job in a bar,” Schmidt said. “It’s harder to avoid junk foods in the food environment around us, but we can certainly clean up our home environment and avoid situations where sugar and other treats are easily available.”

Changing our social networks may be necessary as well — convincing our families and our communities to be invested in eschewing these foods, just as they would help if we were trying to quit cigarettes or alcohol or a harder drug.

Another valuable technique is to learn to plan for and avoid situations that increase cravings. “If I know that at 3 p.m. I have a little slump and will want to go to the vending machine, then I can have food available that’s the equivalent but that won’t trigger a binge,” Schmidt said.

Ultimately, any successful diet is a long-term commitment. We tend to think of diets as something we go on and off. And if we fall off, we think the diet failed. But if we buy into the logic of carb-restricted diets, it implies acceptance of a lifetime of abstention.

“It’s a very powerful system that has to be undone, whether it’s addiction or metabolic disease,” said Schmidt. “It is knitted into the body and mind over years, and getting healthy requires taking the long view as well.”

Source: The Globe and Mail

Why You May Not Have to Finish Those Antibiotics

Teresa Carr wrote . . . . . .

For decades, doctors and public-health officials have given those who have been prescribed antibiotics the same advice: Finish the whole bottle—even if you’re feeling better. But an analysis published yesterday in the British Medical Journal challenges that conventional wisdom.

While you should never stop taking these drugs without your doctor’s okay, the study authors say there may be times when you’re better off not finishing the whole course.

In the analysis, researchers in the U.K. found that the practice of treating all patients with a full “course” of antibiotics—typically seven to 14 days’ worth—dates back to when antibiotics first became available in the 1940s, and continues based more on habit than science.

“The ‘complete the course’ message has become embedded in medical practice despite a lack of evidence to support it,” says Tim Peto, M.D., a professor of medicine and an infectious disease researcher at the University of Oxford, and one of the study’s authors.

Peto notes that “when shorter courses have been compared to longer ones, the shorter therapy has nearly always proved just as effective.”

In fact, the BMJ analysis found that shorter courses of antibiotics worked just as well as longer ones to cure infections in six of the seven studies where the length of treatment has been studied. (One study found that a full 10-day course of antibiotics worked better to alleviate the symptoms of bacterial ear infections than stopping the drugs after five days.)

The Risks of Too Many Antibiotics

The idea that patients need to take all their antibiotics, even after they’re feeling better, is based in part on outdated notions about what causes antibiotic resistance, says Lauri Hicks, D.O., a medical epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and head of the agency’s program Get Smart: Know When Antibiotics Work.

“If we don’t complete the course of therapy, there is concern that the bacteria that are left over may be more likely to develop resistance to the antibiotic,” Hicks says. “That turns out to be much less of a problem than was originally believed.”

According to Hicks, scientists have come to realize that the larger problem is that antibiotics affect not just the bacteria causing the infection but also the trillions of other bacteria that live in and on your body.

“We have more bacteria in our body than human cells,” she says. And the longer people take antibiotics, the more likely some of those bacteria are to become immune, or resistant, to the drugs.

Overuse of these powerful drugs has led to the widespread development of “superbugs,” which cause infections that are extremely difficult to treat. “We are now starting to encounter scary bacteria, such as carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, or CRE, that are resistant to all known antibiotics,” Hicks says.

Plus the longer you take antibiotics, the more likely you are to wipe out the “good” bacteria in your intestines, Hicks says. That leaves you vulnerable to infection from the bacterium clostridium difficile, or C. diff, which can cause dangerous inflammation, abdominal cramping, and severe diarrhea, and can even be deadly.

Talk to Your Doctor About Antibiotics

About one-third of antibiotics prescribed in doctors’ offices are unnecessary, according to a new report from the CDC. Doctors commonly prescribe these drugs for upper-respiratory illnesses such bronchitis, colds, and the flu, which are caused by viruses—and antibiotics don’t even work against viruses.

“Whenever your doctor recommends an antibiotic, it’s a good idea to ask what it’s for and whether there are other ways you might treat symptoms,” Hicks says. If an antibiotic is warranted, she advises asking what the possible side effects are, and what steps you should take if you start to feel better—or conversely, don’t improve.

Some serious infections—such as those that affect the heart valves, bones, and bloodstream—require longer treatment with antibiotics to cure the infection, Hicks says. In those cases, it’s usually important to finish all the medication prescribed for you.

However, Hicks says that you might be able to shorten the time you take an antibiotic for a less serious illness such as pneumonia, a sinus infection, or urinary tract infection. If you have been fever-free for 24 to 48 hours and are feeling significantly better, “it’s reasonable to call your doctor and ask if you can stop your antibiotic,” she says.

Peto says that patients and doctors should be reassured that “stopping short of a full course of antibiotics won’t worsen the problem of antibiotic resistance.”

If you wind up with leftover antibiotics, don’t hang on to them. Discard unused antibiotics by returning them to the pharmacy or a community take-back program. Or mix the medication with an unpalatable substance such as coffee grounds or kitty litter, seal it in a bag, and throw it out with the household trash. Read more about safe ways to dispose of antibiotics and other unwanted medicines.

Source: Consumer Reports


Today’s Comic