Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland

Chef Tanya Holland offers up more than 80 recipes that made her California-based Brown Sugar Kitchen restaurants such standouts that are easy to cook at home in her new cookbook, Brown Sugar Kitchen. There’s lots to choose (and lots of color photos as well) from including Caramel Layer Cake with Brown-Butter-Caramel Frosting, Bourbon & Chili Glazed Salmon, and Jerk Baby Back Ribs with Pineapple Salsa.

Like her entrees and desserts, Holland’s side dishes are wonderful and perfect for home chefs.

Roasted Green Beans With Sesame-Seed Dressing

Serves 6

  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • ½ cup  extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound green beans, trimmed
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450°F and set a rack to the top position. Line a rimmed baking sheet with

parchment paper.

In a small bowl, stir together the garlic, oil, vinegar, tahini, sesame seeds, and red pepper flakes. Add the  green beans and toss until evenly coated. Season with salt and black pepper.

Spread the beans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and roast, tossing occasionally, until tender  and lightly browned, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately.

Baked Sweet Potato Wedges

Serves 6 to 8

  • 3 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes, scrubbed and unpeeled
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more if needed
  • 2 teaspoons Creole Spice Mix (see below)

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Prick each sweet potato several times with a fork and put on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into 1-in /2.5-cm wedges.

Arrange wedges on one layer on the baking sheet and season with salt, the olive oil, and the Creole Spice.

Mix. Bake an additional 5 minutes, then flip the wedges and bake another 5 to 7 minutes, until crisp and slightly browned.

Arrange the wedges on a serving platter and serve immediately.

Creole Spice Mix

Makes about 1½ cups

  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 3 tablespoons herbes de Provence
  • 3 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 1/3 cup cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup sweet paprika

In a small bowl, stir together the salt, herbes de Provence, cumin, cayenne, black pepper, and paprika until thoroughly combined. (To make ahead, store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.)

Andouille Gougères

Makes about two dozen gougères

“Gougères are sophisticated cheese puffs and are the appetizer of choice in Burgundy, France, where I went to cooking school,” writes Holland in the introduction to this recipe. “They’re made from a base known as pâté à choux, a very elementary dough and one of the first I learned to make. Don’t be intimidated by the fancy French name. Pâté à choux is easy to master and versatile too. It’s the foundation for many famous pastries including éclairs and cream puffs, and as you see here, it also comes in handy for savory treats. For this Cajun-inspired version, I decided that a crumble of spicy andouille might just put them over the top.”

  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 eggs
  • 2½ ounces Gruyère cheese, grated
  • 4 ounces andouille sausage, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425°F/220°C. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large saucepan, combine the water, butter, and ½ tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the flour all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Reduce the heat to medium, and keep stirring until the mixture has formed a smooth, thick paste and pulls away from the sides of the pan, about 3 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or to a large heatproof bowl.

If using a stand mixer, add 4 eggs, one at a time, mixing on low speed until the egg is incorporated and the dough is smooth before adding the next egg. (If mixing by hand, add 4 eggs, one at a time, stirring with a wooden spoon until the egg is incorporated and the dough is smooth before adding the next egg.) The mixture should be very thick, smooth, and shiny. Stir in the Gruyère and andouille. (To make ahead, cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 1 day.)

Use a tablespoon to drop the dough into 1-in/2.5-cm rounds about 1½ in/4 cm apart on the prepared baking sheets. You should have about 2 dozen gougères.

In a small bowl, whisk the remaining egg with a pinch of salt to make an egg wash. Brush the top of each gougère with the egg wash.

Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven to 375°F/190°C, rotate the baking sheets, and continue baking until the gougères are puffed and nicely browned, about 15 minutes more.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

(Baked gougères can be frozen for up to 1 month. Reheat in a 350°F/180°C oven for 8 to 10 minutes.)

Reprinted from Brown Sugar Kitchen: New-Style, Down-Home Recipes from Sweet West Oakland by Tanya Holland with Jan Newberry with permission from Chronicle Books, 2014. Photographs © Jody Horton

In 2022, the Cultural City of Dresden Hosts Special Exhibitions in Saxony’s State of the Arts

Celebrate arts and culture in Dresden in 2022.

Special exhibitions include Gerhard Richter at 90 with selections by the artist and Bernardo Bellotto, at 300, with his extraordinary cityscapes. Dresden also celebrates the father of its classical music lineage: Heinrich Schütz.  

Baroque Spendor

Restored now to its original baroque splendor, Dresden’s gleaming buildings, including the Royal Palace, the cathedral, the opera, the Brühlsche Terrasse among others, along the banks of the Elbe are a sight to behold. And, inside these buildings are arguably some of the world’s finest treasures. There are many exhibitions in 2022 and Dresden artists, Gerhard Richter and Bernardo Bellotto, lead the way. 

Starting off the year with a contemporary flare, is the Gerhard Richter exhibition celebrating the 90th birthday of this special Dresden citizen. Not only was Richter born in Dresden but he also has a special professional connection to the city as his archive is housed at the Dresden State Art Collections. The exhibition, “GERHARD RICHTER. Portraits. Glass. Abstractions” will run from February 5 to May 1 in three rooms of the upper floor of the Albertinum, also a part of the Dresden State Art Collections. Richter picked the pieces for the exhibition from his private collection as well as from the archive while additional of his works are lent by other international institutions.

Bernardo Bellotto’s 300th Birthday

Next up is the exhibition on Bernardo Bellotto, the nephew of the Canaletto, and often referred to as Canaletto the Younger or also just Canaletto. His 300th birthday is an enormous cause célèbre in the Elbe city as he painted extraordinary landscapes that depicted Dresden as it was in its golden age in the mid1700s.

From May 21 to August 28, the Dresden State Art Collections will be showing the exhibition “Enchantingly Real: Bernardo Bellotto at the Court of Saxony” where there will be paintings from the Dresden State Art Collections as well as from other institutions. Bellotto became famous as the court painter for the elector of Saxony, Frederick Augustus II. His famous works are breath- taking depictions of the city and its environs, most measuring over eight feet in width. Dresden and the nearby Pirna will be celebrating the anniversary especially during the Dresden City Festival from August 19 to 21. 

Dresden: Musical City

Dresden is also a musical city and one of the most important musicians in setting this foundation is Heinrich Schütz, the royal organist and music director of the Royal Palace in the mid1600s. His work will be celebrated and played at the ‘Barock.Musik.Fest’ from May 2 to May 8 in the Royal Palace as well as from October 7 to 17 during the eponymous festival dedicated to the musician. Schütz is known for writing vocal solos, duets and choir works with and without instruments. He was strongly influenced by Italian composers of the time and yet created a strong German choral tradition that is still lively in the city today.

German Hygiene Museum Dresden

 A daring exhibition will take place at the German Hygiene Museum Dresden from April 2, 2022 to January 2, 2023: ‘Artful Intelligence. Machine Learning Human Dreams’ highlights the extent that artificial intelligence can be used in our lives even in such intimate topics about how to realize whether a person is lying, even to him or herself, and what criteria AI is using to make decisions.

Pillnitz Castle

“Plant Fever” is a multifaceted exhibition that will be displayed in Pillnitz Castle, the erstwhile summer palace of Augustus the Strong. Pillnitz is only 20 minutes from Dresden by a very pleasant river boat ride that will take you past beautiful villas and palaces from the 1700s. Designers, scientists, technology experts and plant enthusiasts will be interested in this project that will showcase 50 international projects from April 29 to November 6.

Meissen Porcelain

Blick auf die Albrechtsburg / Dom zu Meißen. Foto Tommy Halfter (DML-BY) // View of Albrechtsburg Castle / Meissen Cathedral! Photo: Tommy Halfter (DML-BY)

Close by will be the Meissen Porcelain Manufactory and showroom with some of the most beautiful porcelain pieces in the world. A special exhibition, called “Johann,” after Johann Boettger, the alchemist who was after gold but ended up with porcelain, or white gold, will be located in the Albrechtsburg (fortress close to the manufactory) for people interested in international and contemporary porcelain. It will run from April 16 to July 2022.

Celebrate the Outdoors

If you are planning a trip to Dresden for spring and summer especially, Dresden has many outdoor cultural events, including film nights on the banks of the Elbe, daily classes at the Japanese Palace, walking and bicycle tours throughout the city and the region. One special way to enjoy and experience the Elbe region is to ride along the Elbe Wine Road from Pirna to Dirnbar-Seusslitz. August 27 and 28 and September 23 and 25 are the local wine festivals in Radebeul and Meissen respectively. Although it is technically Germany’s smallest and most northern wine region, the wines are popular while the landscape and wineries are beautiful places to visit and enjoy a meal. 

Dramatic History Comes Alive

Foto: Michael R. Hennig (DML-BY)

In the past year, two excellent permanent exhibitions, the “Zwinger Xperience,” and the “Festung Xperience,” were created to make Dresden’s dramatic history come alive. These 3-D presentations show battles, art, and the people of Dresden’s past. You stand inside Dresden’s fortress underground and in the Zwinger Museum while images and films are projected against the walls and tell deeds of conquests, battles and romance.

State Arts Collection Dresden

Die Prager Straße Dresden. Foto: Tommy Halfter (DML-BY)

There are a number of other exhibitions at the State Art Collections Dresden as well as in the region that are worth visiting throughout the year. Dresden is a cultural jewel on the Elbe so make sure when you come to arrange for walking tours to see the architectures and the landscapes as well as to secure tickets for the museums and the collections. You will be overjoyed at the cultural wealth at every corner at all times of the day.

Foto: Michael R. Hennig

For further information, please contact Victoria Larson, USA Press Representative, State Tourist Board of Saxony at Victoria@vklarsoncommunications.com

The Twisted Soul Cookbook: Modern Soul Food with Global Flavors

“My cuisine has always been at the intersection of food and culture,” said Chef Deborah VanTrece, owner of the Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in Atlanta, Georgia. “Having traveled the world as a flight attendant, I experienced how different cultures have their own versions of what we would call ‘soul food.’ My approach to cooking revolves around taking a modern, global approach to soul food, combined with the food I grew up eating with my family. THE TWISTED SOUL COOKBOOK will take you on a journey around the world right from your kitchen.”

Across chapters filled with vibrant photography, her book offers 100 recipes for dishes ranging from fresh salads and sides, generous entrees, exciting seafood, rich desserts, and brilliant as well as practical pantry staples to amplifying everyday cooking, including dressings, relishes, preserves, and sauces. An engaging teacher and storyteller, VanTrece shows home cooks the way to use techniques both simple and sophisticated to ensure a delicious outcome every time.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Chef Deborah VanTrece opened the acclaimed Twisted Soul Cookhouse and Pours in 2014, and since then, the award-winning soul food restaurant has appeared on numerous Best Of lists, including features in the New York Times, Bon Appetit, NPR, Eater, Essence, Thrillist, Buzzfeed, Kitchn, and Food & Wine, winning acclaim for her mastery of imported cooking techniques and delicious globally informed cuisine.

She is included in 2020’s Tasty Pride: Recipes and Stories from the Queer Food Community; this is her first cookbook.

RECIPES

Grandma Lue’s Spinach Rice

  • 3 cups cooked white rice, chilled
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ½ cup red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped red onion
  • 4 lbs fresh baby spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 1 cup chopped marinated artichokes
  • 12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 350°. Generously grease a deep casserole or 9 by 13-inch baking pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the cold rice and beaten eggs.

In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Add the celery, peppers, onions and spinach and cook, stirring occasionally for 2 to 3 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the spinach is wilted.

Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the artichokes, cream cheese, sour cream, Parmesan and garlic. Cool for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the cream cheese has melted and all of the ingredients are well combined.

Add the spinach-cheese mixture to the rice. With a wooden spoon, stir in the black pepper, onion powder, garlic powder and salt.

Spoon into prepared baking dish, and cover with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the top is nicely browned. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.

Bacon-Praline Macaroni and Cheese

  • 6 cups elbow macaroni, cooked al dente and drained
  • 1 tbsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tbsp ground white pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 8 cups milk, warmed
  • 6 oz cream cheese, diced
  • 12 oz. American cheese, diced
  • 3 large eggs
  • 8 oz applewood-smoked bacon (8 to 10 slices), cooked and crumbled

Praline topping:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped pecans or pecan pieces
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Transfer the cooked macaroni to a large bowl.

In a small bowl, stir together the seasoned salt, white pepper, garlic powder and onion powder. Sprinkle half of this seasoning mixture and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese over the macaroni and toss to combine.

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and continue to whisk for 3 to 5 minutes, until it makes a light roux. Reduce the heat to medium and whisk in the milk. Once all the milk is incorporated, cook for another 5 to 8 minutes, until the sauce reaches a simmer. Add the diced cream cheese and American cheese in batches, stirring until smooth. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the remaining shredded cheddar cheese and turn off the heat. Add the remaining seasoning mixture and stir well. Quickly whisk in the eggs until they are incorporated.

Country Captain Chicken Stew

This classic dish shows the influence of the Indian spice trade throughout the ports of the old South,’ says VanTrece about her recipe for a dish that dates back centuries.

  • 1 (2 1/2- to 3-lb chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
  • 2 tbsp duck fat or unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes (3 to 4 medium)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (13.5-oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Peanut rice noodles:
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced scallions
  • 1 (8.8-oz package rice noodles, cooked according to package directions, tossed in a little vegetable oil to prevent clumping, and chilled for 30 minutes
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup toasted peanuts, plus more for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).

In a large bowl, sprinkle the chicken pieces with the seasoned salt, onion powder, garlic powder and white pepper. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 to 3 hours to marinate.

In a Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat, melt the duck fat. When hot, add the chicken pieces and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, turning to brown on all sides. Transfer to a platter and set aside.

Spring Pea, Bacon, and Radish Salad

“This dressing is so universally loved, it doesn’t need an explanation,” write VanTrece in the recipe’s introduction. “The extra herbs just add a notch to the flavor factor. It’s not only great for salads, you can use it atop salmon, fried green tomatoes, or as a dip for chicken wings.”

  • 3 cups fresh or frozen peas (thawed, if frozen), blanched and drained, then chilled
  • 6 slices applewood smoked bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup thinly sliced radishes
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus additional leaves for garnish
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Salt and ground white pepper

In a large bowl, combine the peas, bacon, radishes, red onion, chopped fresh mint, and lemon zest, toss gently with the mayonnaise and honey. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and garnish with whole mint leaves. Serves 6.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving: 195 calories (percent of calories from fat, 54), 8 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 12 grams total fat (4 grams saturated), 19 milligrams cholesterol, 324 milligrams sodium.

Buttermilk Dressing

“This dressing is so universally loved, it doesn’t need an explanation,” writes VanTrece. “The extra herbs just add a notch to the flavor factor. It’s not only great for salads, you can use it atop salmon, fried green tomatoes, or as a dip for chicken wings.”

Buttermilk Dressing

  • 1 1/2 cups mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon granulated garlic
  • 1 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

In a food processor, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, buttermilk, salt, granulated garlic, granulated onion, and pepper and process until smooth. Pulse in the fresh parsley, oregano, thyme, and chives until just combined. The dressing should be creamy but with a pleasing texture from the herbs.

Makes about 4 cups.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per tablespoon: 23 calories (percent of calories from fat, 70), trace protein, 1 gram carbohydrates, trace fiber, 2 grams total fat (trace saturated fat), 3 milligrams cholesterol, 75 milligrams sodium.

Aunt Lucille’s 7UP Pound Cake

About this recipe, VanTrece writes, “This is a pound cake, and the only cake I can ever remember my Aunt Lucille ever making. For me, it will always carry cherished memories of celebrations and good times. This is the kind of recipe that reminds you how good old-fashioned cakes were (and can be). Definitely use 7UP for this recipe because it has a high level of carbonation that helps the cake to rise, and gives it a brighter, fresher lemon-lime flavor than other sodas.”

For the pound cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 5 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups cake flour, sifted, divided
  • 3/4 cup 7UP, divided
  • For the 7UP glaze:
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons 7UP
  • 1 teaspoon grated lime zest 

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Spray a 10-inch Bundt or tube pan with nonstick cooking spray (see note above).

In the bowl of a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together the butter and granulated sugar for 5 to 7 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Add the lemon zest, lemon extract, and vanilla extract and mix until combined. Add the flour one-third at a time and mix on low speed, alternating with 1/4-cup portions of the 7UP, mixing well after each addition.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool for 30 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack and lift the pan off of the cake. Let the cake cool on the rack.

While the cake cools, make the glaze: In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar, lemon juice, 7UP, and lime zest until smooth.

Using a 6-inch wooden skewer or toothpick, poke holes in the top of the cooled cake. Slowly spoon the glaze over the cake, letting it run into the holes and over the surface.

Set the cake aside for 10 minutes before serving to let the glaze absorb into the cake and give it a lightly lacquered finish.

The cake can be made well in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic, and frozen for up to 4 months. It will keep moist and can be pulled out to thaw several hours before serving. It’s great served alone or with ice cream or fresh fruit compote. Serves 12 to 16.

Nutritional information

Per serving: Per serving, based on 12: 598 calories (percent of calories from fat, 38), 6 grams protein, 89 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 25 grams total fat (15 grams saturated), 138 milligrams cholesterol, 36 milligrams sodium.

All the above recipes and images are excerpted from The Twisted Soul Cookbook by Deborah VanTrece. Copyright © 2021 Deborah VanTrece. Photography by Noah Fecks. Published by Rizzoli. Reproduced by arrangement with the publisher. All rights reserved

Korakia Pensione: Desert Elegance Amidst Hollywood History

A dreamland of architecture, landscape, historic Hollywood, and luxury, Korakia Pensione is a desert oasis nestled in the San Jacinto Mountains in Palm Springs, California. Originally two distinctive homes both built in the early 1900s, one inspired by traditional Moroccan riad—a two or more storied home with a center courtyard and fountain–and the other a Mediterranean villa, now combined into a lush property. Korakia Pensione, with its 1.5-acres of bungalows, guesthouses, gardens, rooms, suites, and pools, accented with Moroccan details and whimsy including Moorish horseshoe doors leading into tiled courtyards with flowing fountains, decorative tiles,intricately carved woodwork, and keystone shaped  entranceways.

Escape to the desert this summer and soak up the sun! Stay with us this Sunday – Thursday for two or more nights and save 20% off your stay. Enjoy our special summer enhancements starting May 29th with daytime poolside amenities, nightly dive-in movies, and special wellness offerings.

Book Now: https://bit.ly/3wlBW0P

*Offer valid for stays now until 9/1/22. Excluding Holiday Weekends. Cannot be combined with other offers or promotions. Offer ends 5/31/2022.

Described by both Forbes magazine and The New York Times as “the sexiest hotel in America,” it is a reimagination as well, as a travel to another time and place. With a focus on wellness, peace and relaxation, the day starts with breakfast served in the Moroccan front courtyard, followed by either a private yoga session or guided meditation class.

Afternoons can be spent lounging by the pool backed by spectacular views of the San Jacinto Mountains and indulging in poolside menu choices that include charcuterie boards, salads and sandwiches. Or explore the historic neighborhood and downtown, on foot or on one of the stylish cruiser bikes available at the hotel. The bikes come with baskets in case you pick up a few things. 

As the sun sets, enjoy the warmth of a desert night under the stars while watching the nightly classic movies shown in the courtyard. What could be better? The complimentary smores.

If you’re there this coming Memorial weekend, enjoy the Annual Memorial Day Air Fair and Flower Drop hosted by Palm Desert, a recurring event commemorating the important role of those who fought in World War II with a drop of thousands of white and red carnations from their B-25 aircraft. Honoring those who served and gave the greatest sacrifice for their country is the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend.

Crafted after a Mediterranean-style pensione, Korakia blends the silhouette of Tangier with a whisper of the Mediterranean.

The History

It must have been a great neighborhood.

Built in 1924 and originally named Dar Marroc, one of the two historic homes of Korakia Pensione was the former hideaway of Scottish painter Gordon Coutts. The villa with its Moroccan architectural features and décor was the way for Coutts, a flamboyant artist with a stylish mustache, to re-create his earlier life in Tangier. Coutts, who was born in in the Old Machar district of Aberdeen, Scotland, was an extremely successful artist who hosted such luminaries as classic movie actors Rudolph Valentino and Errol Flynn and artists such as John Lavery, Agnes Pelton, Nicolai Fenshin and Grant Wood. It probably is more than just a rumor that Winston Churchill, an artist himself, painted in the villa’s Artist Studio.

But Coutts wasn’t the only celebrity on the block. Neighbor J. Carol Naish has as interesting a life as Coutts. According to his obituary in the New York Times, Naish “brawled his way through the Yorkville‐Harlem area of the turn‐of‐the‐century Irish with considerable success, being tossed out of one school after another.”

After joining the Navy where he was promptly thrown into the brig, Naish deserted to join a buddy in the Army and flew missions over France with the Aviation Section of the Army Signal Corps. He then made his way round Europe, singing in cafes and picking up a command of eight languages, six of which he spoke fluently.  A tramp steamer finally deposited him in Hollywood in 1926. 

 Fame followed quickly and by the 1940s he was acting in 30 or so films a year. A character actor, he also was successful on Broadway, television, and radio.

We wish we could have attended some of the parties held here back in those days but the present is marvelous enough. Among the rooms and suites available are:       

The Orchard House

A rare 1918 California adobe. Two 1940s steel windows have been welded together to create a dramatic pivoting window wall. The whitewashed stone wall encloses a grove of citrus trees.

Adobe Room

This room is located adjacent to the pool and fountain. Luxuriate in the vintage bathroom or relax in your Queen bed while listening to the peaceful sound of the Moroccan fountain.

Artist Studio

A lovely upper-level studio with high ceilings, a large north facing window overlooking the San Jacinto Mountains. It has a four poster Queen bed, a large sitting and dining area, kitchenette and a balcony overlooking a private courtyard.

Atlas Room

Next to the Moroccan pool, the room features a Queen bed and a stone bathtub. Fall asleep to the peaceful sound of the bubbling Moroccan fountain.

Bedouin Room

This spacious room in the courtyard adobe has an arched entryway, Queen-size built-in bed, stone shower, sitting area and private patio.

Bedouin Suite

This large suite in the courtyard adobe has a Queen-size built-in platform bed and a large indoor/outdoor stone tub with a rain shower. The suite features a full kitchen with breakfast bar, a spacious sitting area with a wood burning fireplace. The private patio offers dramatic views of the San Jacinto Mountains.

Casablanca studio

This sunlit, white washed, upper-level studio offers a semi-private balcony with views of Tahquitz Canyon and the San Jacinto Mountains. The windows overlook our tranquil courtyard. It features a King bed, full kitchen, a stone shower and a sweeping grand staircase.

Kasbah Suite

This spacious suite opens to a view of the pool and the San Jacinto Mountains beyond. The suite features a Queen bed, full kitchen and a dining room with French doors opening to a cozy patio.

Marrakech Suite

This is a large, sunny, upper-level suite with extraordinary views of the mountains, pool and courtyard. The suite has a private stairwell, a large living room, a King bed, private balcony, a tiled bathroom and full kitchen.

Nomad Suite

A large, bright and airy suite situated in the center of the courtyard adobe. The living room overlooks the pool and with views of the San Jacinto Mountains beyond. The suite offers a private patio, a Queen bed, stone bathtub, a kitchen and a living room with a wood burning fireplace.

Sahara Room

This sunlit adobe room opens to a large patio/courtyard with a sweeping view of the San Jacinto Mountains. It features a Queen bed and full bathroom.

Sahara Suite

This large one-bedroom suite features a King bed, sitting and dining area, full kitchen, and a wood burning stone fireplace and a spacious bathroom with a free standing porcelain tub.

Tangier Studio

Adjacent to the pool and fountain, this comfortable studio features a Queen bed built into an arched Moroccan alcove, a full kitchen and French doors opening into a semi-private patio shaded by blooming fruit trees.

ifyougo:


The Korakia Pensione
 (257 S. Patencio Road, Palm Springs; 760-864-6411)
Details: Full breakfast is included. Summer discounts are 20-40% of regular rates.

Take note there are current packages available.

Chicago Hits Peak Festival Season with xciting New Summer Programming 

With summer fast approaching, peak festival season in Chicago will soon be upon us.  See below for a list of some of the most exciting programs returning in 2022 (many of them free) along with a few new surprises!

June 2022

Grant Park Orchestra and Chrous. Photo credit Norman Timonera.

  • Chicago Gospel Music Experience (June 4, 2022): This outdoor festival at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park, celebrating the Chicago-born genre, brings together traditional choirs, contemporary urban gospel artists, and more. FREE
  • Chicago Blues Festival (June 9-12, 2022): With a diverse lineup in Millennium Park celebrating the blues’ past, present and future, the Chicago Blues Festival, the largest free blues festival in the world, shares the great Chicago-born music tradition while shining a spotlight on the genre’s contributions to soul, R&B, gospel, rock, hip hop and more. FREE

Andersonville Midsommarfest (June 10-12, 2022): For more than 50 years, this summer festival has celebrated Andersonville’s Swedish heritage, LGBTQ+ pride, and vibrant local business community. For three nights and two days, this vibrant and diverse community will bring together over 75,000 people to celebrate a proud Swedish summer tradition with eclectic music, great vendors, food and free kids’ activities. Suggested donation of $10, as well as proceeds from beer sales, benefit the Andersonville Chamber of Commerce, along with several local non-profit organizations.

Grant Park Music Festival (June 15 – August 20, 2022): For more than 80 years, the Grant Park Music Festival has been Chicago’s summer musical sensation, demonstrating that classical music, performed by a world-class orchestra and chorus, can have a transformative impact on the city. This year will offer a thrilling lineup of music at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion with a mix of contemporary compositions and classical favorites such as Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty and Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Plus there’s plenty of family fun with the Independence Day SaluteLights on Broadway, and Cirque Goes to Hollywood featuring live aerialists soaring above the stage. FREE

The Summer Smash Festival (June 17-19, 2022): SPKRBX presents The Lyrical Lemonade Summer Smash Festival, the premier Hip-Hop music festival in the Midwest. For three days, on three stages, some of the biggest names in Hip-Hop will perform, including Post Malone and Wiz Khalifa. Tickets range from a 3-Day $275 General Admission Pass, to a $449 VIP Pass.

Chicago Pride Fest(June 17-19, 2022): Celebrate Pride in Northalsted, the country’s oldest official gay neighborhood at this lively fest, featuring live music, dance queens, local food, and more. The following weekend the Chicago Pride Parade (June 26, 2022), one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, marches through the neighborhood. Suggested donation of $15 for Chicago Pride Fest.

Millennium Park Summer Music Series (June 20 – August 18, 2022, Mondays & Thursdays): With the backing of the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE), this outdoor program features a wide variety of music from established and emerging artists at the iconic Jay Pritzker Pavilion. FREE

Pride in the Park (June 25-26,2022): An annual outdoor music festival held downtown in Chicago’s Grant Park at the end of June features LGBTQ+ performers, artists, vendors and more. 2-Day General Admission Passes to Pride in the Park start at $100.

Sail Grand Prix

Chicago has been chosen to host the United States Sail Grand Prix (SailGP) at Navy Pier (June 18-19, 2022). If you are not familiar, SailGP is one of the fastest emerging properties in world sports featuring exciting, up-close action as teams race identical F50 catamarans – a highly-technical, hydro foiling race boat that boasts highway speeds – in an annual global championship held in some of the most iconic cities around the world. Ten national teams will compete, comprising the best athletes in the sport representing the United States, Great Britain, France, Denmark, Spain, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand, plus two new franchises from Canada and Switzerland. In June, the F50s will race on Lake Michigan directly in front of the Chicago skyline, marking the first time the championship has ever competed on fresh water! Tickets for single-day waterfront viewing access begin at around $40.

Ravenswood On Tap (June 18-19, 2022): Sip your way through Ravenswood, one of Chicago’s top craft beer neighborhoods and home to many small craft producers. Malt Row is one of the most prolific craft brewing communities in the country – and it’s right in Ravenswood! Enjoy brews from Malt Row, KOVAL Distillery cocktails, plus ax throwing, live music and some of Chicago’s favorite restaurants and food trucks.  Suggested donations and proceeds from this event benefit the Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce, Ravenswood Community Council, and several other community organizations.

July 2022

  • Chicago SummerDance (July 6–September 17, 2022, select dates): The beloved  series returns this summer at parks throughout the city this summer. Dancers of all ages and skill levels are invited to take part in introductory dance lessons by professional instructors followed by live music and dancing. FREE
  • Taste of Chicago (July 8-10, 2022): A bite-sized version of the classic lakefront extravaganza will take place over three days in July — showcasing an estimated 30–40 eateries and food trucks each day, and three mainstage evening concerts.  Prior to the main event, a series of Taste of Chicago pop-ups will return this year with food and music events in three Chicago neighborhoods in June. FREE admission; tickets for food and beverages are sold in strips of 14 for $10.
  • Southport Art & Music Fest (July 9-10, 2022): Chicago’s iconic Southport Corridor blooms to life when Southport Art Fest takes over Waveland and Southport in July. Festival fans will visit the beautiful tree-lined streets of the picturesque neighborhood. Just steps away from the friendly margins of Wrigley Field, the two-day festival will showcase some of the city’s best and most diverse artists. FREE admission; all donations and proceeds benefit the Southport Neighbors Association.
  • Millennium Park Summer Film Series (July 12–August 30, 2022, Tuesdays): Guests may take a seat at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion or lounge on the Great Lawn as crowd-pleasing movies are presented on the state-of- the-art, 40-foot LED screen. FREE
  • Pitchfork Music Festival (July 15-17, 2022): Since 2006, the Pitchfork Music Festival has consistently proven to be one of the most welcoming, comfortable, reasonably priced, and rewarding weekends of music around. Hosting 60,000 attendees of all ages from all 50 states and dozens of countries, Pitchfork Music Festival showcases the best up-and-coming music from around the world, as well as special performances from touring stalwarts and legends alike. Featuring diverse vendors, as well as specialty record, poster, and craft fairs, the festival works to support local businesses while promoting the Chicago arts and food communities as a whole. Single day General Admission tickets start at $99 while the 3-Day, General Admission pass is $200.

  • Wicker Park Fest (July 22-24, 2022): As one of Chicago’s most anticipated summer festivals, and dubbed “Chicago’s Best Street Festival of the Summer ” by the Chicago Tribune, Wicker Park Fest is one of Chicago’s top-drawing festivals, attracting visitors from across Chicagoland and the country with its fantastic music line-up. Building on the area’s unique character, the weekend celebrates the neighborhood with eclectic music, great local food, arts and crafts, and retail vendors. Suggested donation of $10 and all proceeds benefit the local Wicker Park Bucktown Chamber of Commerce.
  • Pizza City Fest (July 23-24, 2022): Steve Dolinsky – a 13-time James Beard Award-winning food reporter, currently “The Food Guy” at NBC 5 –  is creating a pizza festival unlike anything that’s ever been done, over two days in the West Loop. Pizza City Fest: Chicago brings together 39 of the region’s best pizza makers (and one out-of-town guest) for two days of pizza making and appreciation, all in one location – Plumbers Union Hall in the West Loop. Thanks to 10 PizzaMaster ovens on-site, guests will be able to see each pizza maker create, bake and serve up their remarkable pies in the massive parking lot at the Hall. There will also be live music, pizza-themed art, merchandise and a few special treats. Attendees will also be able to take in a series of highly curated seminars and panel discussions with some of the country’s greatest pizza makers in attendance. General Admission 1-Day tickets start at $59 and 2-Day tickets at $89.

Sundays on State (July 24–September 4, 2022, select Sundays): After its enormously successful debut in 2021, Sundays on State, presented by the Chicago Loop Alliance, will return for Summer 2022, with portions of Chicago’s most iconic street, State Street, closing to vehicular traffic again for select Sundays this summer. Join neighbors from every Chicago community and beyond for this free, interactive block party, while safely enjoying art, culture, active recreation, food, drinks, shopping, and local attractions in the heart of everyone’s neighborhood. FREE

August 2022

  • Windy City Smokeout (August 4-7, 2022): It’s like a weekend-long tailgate at this popular country music festival, known for drawing in the industry’s top names. The 2022 festival lineup includes some of the biggest names in the industry, including Tim McGraw, Miranda Lambert, Sam Hunt, Willie Nelson, and more. Along with today’s hottest country acts, the lineup also includes some of the world’s best pitmasters. Barbecue pros from all over the country will be serving up ribs, brisket, smoked meats and more, highlighting styles from Kentucky, Nashville, Missouri, and Chicago. Local barbecue vendors include Bub City, Lillie’s Q, and Pearl’s Southern Comfort. Ticket prices range from $45 for a 1-Day Sunday General Admission ticket to $185 for a 4-Day pass.

  • Northalsted Market Days (August 6-7, 2022): The 40th Northalsted Market Days is a weekend long live music street festival celebrating community in Chicago’s landmark Northalsted/Lakeview district. The 1/2 mile long festival features all-day lineups of live music on 6 stages, 250+ unique vendors, arts, crafts, food and drink, DJ’s and dancing, sponsor booths, and more! Estimated attendance of 120,000 people from near and far, representing all colors of the rainbow! Suggested donation of $15, as well as proceeds from festival support local nonprofits, and fund community projects like the Chicago Pride Crosswalks.
  • Chicago Air and Water Show (August 20-21, 2022): The largest free show of its kind in the country, this waterfront show features stunning aerial displays above Lake Michigan. The show can be viewed along the lakefront from Fullerton to Oak Street, with North Avenue Beach as the focal point. FREE

For more information and a full  list of Chicago’s festivals and events, please visit: https://www.choosechicago.com/articles/festivals-special-events/chicago-festival-event-guide/ 

About Choose Chicago

Choose Chicago is the official sales and marketing organization responsible for promoting Chicago as a global visitor and meetings destination, leveraging the city’s unmatched assets to ensure the economic vitality of the city and its member business community. For more information, visit ChooseChicago.com. Follow @ChooseChicago on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. #CaptureChicagoExcitement

Heed the call of the wild with a cruise to Alaska

By Special Guest Blogger Kathy Witt

The more I see as I sit here among the rocks, the more I wonder about what I am not seeing.”

-Richard Proennek, naturalist, conservationist, writer, and wildlife photographer 

This is the mystery of Alaska. It is a place of wonder, with whole worlds in and beyond the glaciers you see right before you, the mountains that loom in the distance, the wild behind the horizon.

Last month, cruising Alaska also meant a return to Canadian waters  after an absence of two to three years due to the pandemic. The first two cruise lines to arrive in Canada were Holland America and Princess Cruises, both among a number of cruise lines offering different ways to explore Alaska, from small ship active adventure expeditions to larger ship voyages offering a classic cruise experience.

Glacial Bay National Park and Preserve. Photo credit: nps.gov/glba/

CLASSIC CRUISE EXPERIENCE, AMBIENCE

Holland America Line (HAL) celebrates seventy-five years in Alaska in 2022, bringing all that experience plus an elegant fleet of six ships to themed cruises and cruisetours that last from seven to 18 days. It also offers more cruises to Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve for viewing the magnificent tidewater glaciers than any other cruise line. Enhancing the epic splendor of these journeys are rangers from the National Parks Service who come aboard to narrate the geology, history and ecology of Glacier Bay, calling out wildlife sightings and answering questions along the way.

Onboard, dining options range from poolside burgers to fine dining with a gourmet flourish, with tastes and atmospheres moving from authentic Italian to classic French to Asian traditions. The cruise line is known for consistently outstanding cuisine, paired perfectly with the pours available in the wine cellar, all selected by internationally acclaimed wine critique James Suckling. Throughout, HAL retains that touch of old-world cruising aesthetic blended with twenty-first century amenities and refined shipboard atmosphere.

Entertainment blends enrichment, with the Lincoln Center Stage bringing chamber music concerts and afternoon recitals; BBC Earth Concerts immersing guests in the wonders of the world through its natural habitats and wildlife; and deep dives into the destination through the talks, shore excursions, food demos and more are offered through its EXP programming – Explorations Central Discovery Center.

For the 2022 season, HAL resumed cruises to Alaska from the port Vancouver, Canada, and between Vancouver and Whittier. (Zuiderdam was first to Alaska, arriving in Vancouver on April 28, followed two days later by Koningsdam on April 30.) Three different seven-day itineraries are offered, including Alaska Inside Passage.

UNEXPECTED, UNCROWDED, UNFETTERED ADVENTURE

Expeditions to see humpback whales, sealions and other wildlife; hiking to outback country in Glacier Bay National Park; an evening kayaking to a shoreside campfire; biking an island teeming with bears. UnCruise Adventures’ ethos eco-focused and sustainable travel that is culture- and community-centric. Its seven-, 12- and 14-night small ship sailings are all about active fun, discovery and exploration.

UnCruise Adventures’ Wilderness Adventurer glides into Neka Bay in Alaska.
Photo: UnCruise Adventures

Enhancing the experience, both aboard and ashore, is the number of guests – less than 90 on most ships and as few as 22 on one – sharing in the adventures. Life onboard is casual and relaxed. Meals and pastries highlight local ingredients. Gear for snorkeling, paddle boarding and kayaking is available. Features like entry fees to national parks, UnCruise-only activities and shore visits and wine, beer and liquor (including daily signature cocktails) are included. Adding a personal touch to each sailing are the expedition guides and guest experts.

Kayakers explore Glacier Bay with UnCruise Adventures. Photo: UnCruise Adventures

Joining the list of themed Alaska adventures this season is the new seven-night “Wild, Woolly and Wow” itinerary, featuring Chichagof Island. (UnCruise Adventures has the only permit to visit this minimally populated island, one of Alaska’s ABC islands and fifth largest island in the United States.)

CASUAL FUN TIMES

Celebrate Carnival’s Big 5-0 with a cruise to Alaska.
Photo: Carnival Cruise Lines

The emphasis is firmly on round-the-clock, come-as-you-are fun aboard Carnival ships – especially in 2022, Carnival’s fiftieth anniversary. Lip sync battles, deck parties, karaoke, mini golf, top deck waterpark, a piano bar that rocks out with all the old familiars, jars and jars of colorful candy at Cherry on Top, Punchliner Comedy Club and Suess at Sea for the little ones (which includes a Green Eggs and Ham Breakfast featuring special appearances by Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 and Thing 2) and so much more.

Nashville Hot Mac #BigChickenShaq

The watering holes are equally fun, with an island-inspired pub; a mystical, magical cocktail “pharmacy;” beer station; and a martini tasting that is all about the showmanship and kicky flavor combinations, like spicy chipotle pineapple. Dining is also lively, with outdoor venues Big Chicken (the restaurant of Carnival’s CFO – Chief Fun Officer – Shaquille O’Neal) and Guy’s (as in Fieri) Burger Joint and indoor Streets Eats and Steakhouse.

Carnival brings the party to Glacier Bay on its Alaska sailings.
Photo: Carnival Cruise Lines

Carnival has several ships sailing Alaska, including Spirit, Splendor and Miracle, with each offering a full menu of shore tour options, everything from dog sledding in Juneau and catching a lumberjack show in Ketchikan to gold panning in Skagway and wildlife spotting in Sitka.

NEW PRINCESS, IMMERSIVE PROGRAMMING AND PUPPIES

Princess has been bringing adventurers to Alaska for over fifty years and knows how to show its guests a thoroughly magnificent time, both on land and at sea. Appealing to active cruisers with a zest for discovery, the line offers 12 unique itineraries and more than 20 cruisetour options, operating five upscale, custom-built wilderness lodges for its cruisetour passengers.

Majestic Princess (the sister ship to the new Discovery Princess) sits grandly in Glacier Bay.
Photo: Princess

As one of the six Princess ships cruising the Great Land in 2022, Discovery Princess marks her inaugural season as the youngest ship in Alaska. The 3,660-passenger Medallion Class ship brings next-level technology via a wearable device, Ocean Medallion, which expedites service and personalizes attention to each individual guest; enormous, made-to-entertain suite balconies – the largest at sea; Broadway-style productions in the state-of-the-art Princess Theater; and puppies, lots and lots of puppies.

Part of the line’s signature and award-winning North to Alaska program, Puppies in the Piazza give guests a chance to meet sled dogs and the handlers who train them for a life of dog mushing. New to the program this season are unique wine and seafood pairings, featuring entrées like fresh salmon with premium wines available only in Alaska; hot beverages headlined by “spiked” hot chocolate recipes; and Alaska beer and spirits experiences, including tasting flights, locally brewery tours and cocktails like Glacial Ice Chilled Martinis.

Princess has a unique program through its Discovery partnership to bring sled dog puppies onboard for Puppies in the Piazza. Photo: Princess

Princess had the distinction of having the first ship arrive in Canada this season since April of 2019, when Caribbean Princess called at Victoria, capital city of British Columbia. The four-day Pacific Coastal voyage arrived on April 6 before heading onward to Vancouver.

COUNTRY CLUB CASUAL

The line known for small ship luxury brings even more of its trademark welcoming elegance to Alaska in 2022. Oceania Cruises 684-guest Regatta underwent a redesign so transformative with new rich, warming color palette, shimming chandelier lighting, marble bathrooms and new and thought-provoking art that it is being called a re-inspiration.

Oceania’s cruises in Alaska bring guests the wide-open skies and cobalt glaciers of The Last Frontier.
Photo: Oceania Cruises

Suites and staterooms are sumptuous. Dining is gourmet with a plant-based focus. Afternoon tea is accompanied by a classical string quartet. The spa is designed with a holistic approach to wellbeing. Shows are inspired by the locale. Live piano music invites guests to gather or cocktails and conversation. An English-inspired library delights with thousands of books, including mysteries, classic literature and guidebooks. The overall onboard ambience is relaxed and casual amidst sleek splendor – jacket and tie not required.

Better than new, Regatta is the flagship of the Oceania Cruises fleet and features a beautifully re-inspired ambiance.
Photo: Oceania Cruises

The Regatta’s medium ship size means it can slip into ports larger ships cannot, like Alaska’s Wrangell Island, a former Tlingit Indian stronghold and Russian outpost, home to the Wrangell Museum and ancient petroglyphs. Onboard enrichment opportunities enhance the cruises – not just to Alaska, but to all Oceania destinations – with historians, naturalists and other experts offering lively programs.

About Kathy Witt

Kathy Witt is an award-winning travel and lifestyle writer who writes a monthly syndicated travel column for Tribune News Service, is a regular contributor to Kentucky Living, Georgia and Travel Goods magazines and RealFoodTraveler.com as well as other outlets like County. She is the author of several books, including Cincinnati Scavenger (Fall 2022) Secret Cincinnati and The Secret of the Belles, and is working on another travel-themed book for Fall 2023 release. Kathy is a member of SATW (Society of American Travel Writers), Authors Guild and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.

Follow Kathy on Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin.

EXPLORE THE NORWEGIAN FJORDS AND MOUNTAINS ON AN ELECTRIC SUPERCAR ROAD TRIP

Weeklong program is an eco-sensitive, road-tripping adventure in a Porsche.

If you’re a fan of adventure and luxury cars, this new supercar driving program is for you.  Adding the glide of a luxury electric car, you’ll travel through Norwegian fjords and the Sunnmore Alps on a supercar road trip, enjoying empty open roads and breathtaking scenery behind the wheel of an electric Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.  The route is pre-programmed; you do the driving.

Driving the roads along mountain passes, bridges and labyrinthine tunnels will amp up the adrenaline of any driving enthusiast. And this time, it’s done in the most sustainable, exhilarating fashion–in an electric supercar of the highest renown.

The seven-day Drive the Fjords supercar adventure–available on June 12; August  7; and September 4, 11, 18 — has been created by specialist travel company Off the Map Travel to showcase  Norway’s National Tourist Routes in the Fjords, an exciting adventure of extreme roads that are renowned as some of the best in terms of views, engineering, and. Should you decide to go for the ultimate splurge, a private version of the program is also available.

Pre-Programmed Routes Through Mountains and Fjords

Delivering a racetrack experience along the edge of the fjords, the emission-free electric supercar Porsche comes equipped with pre-programmed routes that journey through Norway’s stunning fjords and mountains.

The Porsche has room to hold everything needed for the six-day trip. An engineering marvel, it smoothly handles the winding mountain and forest routes that have inspired Norwegian folklore. Set the car on cruise control, feel the power, and take in the ever-changing scenery outside.

Enjoy a night in the art nouveau town of Alesund, where a boat ride among the fjords provides an extra sense of adventure. A night in a traditional Sami tent deep in the pine forests plus all hotel accommodations along the route support the program’s sustainability emphasis. All provide eco-toiletries in the rooms, locally sourced produce in the restaurants, and use only electric or hybrid vehicles. Onsite chargers are provided for your vehicle.

“We created this program for guests to travel through the stunning Norwegian fjords in a stylish and comfortable manner without impacting the environment,” said Jonny Cooper, founder of Off the Map Travel.

PhotoCredit_BrandonScottHerrell.

Inclusions

The adventure aspect of the trip is paramount. Travelers will journey along the spectacular Atlantic Road known as “the road across the sea” with its imposing seven bridges and network of tunnels, travel deep into the magnificent mountains to the Troll Wall, the largest rock wall in Europe; take a ferry into the gaping Geiranger fjord; journey up a gondola for the views of the North Atlantic; and experience the fjords from the sky in a private helicopter.

The cutting-edge electric supercar achieves 283 miles on a charge and has a built-in “charging planner” that calculates the optimum route based on your charge status.

The menu each day features the region’s best local cuisine including seafood from hyper-local purveyors.

The seven-day, six-night drive the fjords itinerary is priced from £7899 per person ($9747 USD at the time of this writing) including all meals and accomodations, based on double occupancy; with accommodations in Brosundet, Storfjord and Union Oye; transfers; all activities; and use of the electric Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo. Flights are additional.

Full itinerary:

PhotoCredit_ThomasEkstrøm

Day 1: 

Arrive in Alesund. From the window of your aircraft, you’ll see the crystal clear fjords and jagged peaks of the Sunnmore Alps.

Transfer from the airport to the art nouveau town of Alesund to check into Hotel Brosundet. Once settled, you will board a boat and head out into the fjords to Flatsea lighthouse. Enjoy a delicious lunch in the lighthouse and make use of the jacuzzi and sauna before heading back to your hotel for dinner in Apotekergata No. 5.

Day 2: 

In the morning, check out and meet your driver who will take you to Hotel Storfjord in the town of Storfjord. Enjoy a welcome cocktail at the Lavvu, a traditional Sami tent set deep in the pine forests surrounding the hotel. Take in your surroundings and learn about some of the highlights of the trip ahead. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing and maybe head to the spa.

Day 3: 

After breakfast it’s time to start your personal driving adventure along the North Atlantic Drive, described as  one of the most scenic drives in the world. It’s also the perfect challenge. According to Dangerous Roads, “driving along this road is like teetering on the edge of the sea.”

There are eight bridges on the Atlanterhavsveien (Atlantic Road) but the most dramatic–as well as a marvel of engineering–is the  Storseisundet Bridge which at times it appears to just drop off completely into the surrounding waters. the road travels from island to island, whales and seals can often be sighted near the shore and birds soar overhead. The Storfjord Hotel provides a picnic basket brimming with local cheese, meats, berries and sparkling wine so find a place to enjoy the breath-taking scenery and look for whales and seals and soaring birds. Take note on your way back, of the rugged Sunmore peaks dotting the horizon and the beautiful colors of the sunset on the water.

Savor the realization that this will be your playground for the next few days as your adventure takes you deeper and deeper into this land of fjords.

Day 4: 

Head to the mountains of Romsdal. The first stop will be at the Troll Wall, the highest rock wall in Europe. Enjoy pastries packed by the kitchen and continue deeper into the mountains where the Trollstigen will appear with a winding road up to the summit. This is one of the most magnificent vantage points in Norway. Descend into the Valdel Valley which will lead you back to the fjords.

A ferry to Stranda offers a glimpse of things to come as the fjords get narrower and deeper. Pause at the view point between the tunnels and stare directly into the gaping chasm of the Geiranger fjord, a UNESCO World Heritage site The final destination is Union Oye – an historic royal oasis that opened in 1891 and is nestled at the end of the valley.

Check in and enjoy a delicious dinner. Relax and enjoy an after dinner drink at the Palmehagen, the hotel’s enchanting bar known for its vintage cocktails.

Day 5: 

After a night’s rest and breakfast that includes locally sourced foods, continue on along the winding roads heading west along the coastline to Stryn, Here, take Loen Skylift from Fjord Norway to Mt. Hoven where you can enjoy lunch and the panoramic views of Mt. Skåla and Lake Lovatnet to the east and Jostedalsbreen Glacier and Olden to the south.

Photo Credit Marius Beck Dahle

Then hit the road again, moving inland to the fjord hamlet of Geiranger. Board the ferry, sit back and enjoy a cruise through the grandest fjord of them all with waterfalls cascading off the mountains. Disembark at Hellesylt and drive to Union Oye.

Day 6:

 A visit to the Sunmore region celebrates the seafood heritage of the region including a visit to an island off the west coast for a five-course seafood dinner. On the return journey, skirt Storfjord as you arrive back for your final meal.

Day 7: 

For the final morning you’ll say farewell to you luxe Porsche supercar and take to the skies for an aerial tour of the roads you’ve traveled. This trip provides an immersive experience aboard the helicopter as it weaves in and out of the fjords high above the mountain peaks. At the end, a private driver will transport you to Alesund Vigra Airport for your departure.

Photo credit-Marius-Beck-Dahle

OFF THE MAP TRAVEL

The team at Off the Map Travel works with experiences and destinations that allow people to explore hidden wonders of our planet. Specializing in Soft Adventure OTMT creates tailor-made holiday itineraries offering authentic experiences not offered by many larger travel companies.  For more information on Off the Map Travel itineraries visit www.offthemap.travel; call 1-646-701-0041; email info@offthemap.travel  or join in the conversation on FacebookTwitterInstagramYouTube or Pinterest

Road Trippers Now Have Many Options for Taking Their Four-Legged Friends Along

Bertram, TX in the beautiful Hill Country.

Whether we’re on vacation with family, friends, or by ourselves, it’s great to take our pets along. No matter what type of trip we’re embarking (excuse the pun) on, Fido can be a wonderful companion. After all, until we learn how to translate barks to words, we don’t have to deal with countless “how long until we get there?” Or squabbles in the back seat about such inane things as whose milk shake has the most ice cream in it.

Bonair Winery and Vineyards, Zillah, WA

If the love of traveling with pets describes you, you’re not alone. Pets are family members and it’s not just them missing us when we’re on the road. We miss them particularly after two years of working from home. Many of us, particularly Millennials, don’t want to leave our pets behind.

Harvest Hosts

According to a survey conducted by Harvest Hosts, a membership club for RVers offering unique overnight stays at over 6,000 locations throughout North America, 52% of all travelers say they base their travel plans with their pets in mind. For Millennials, the number rises to 56% who want to plan a trip including their pets.  

For some, it’s not just a consideration. It’s an imperative. More than one-third of travelers (37%) deemed pet-friendly accommodations a “must-have.” Millennials are most likely to bring their pets on vacation, with 39% saying pet-friendly accommodations are a “must-have.” Gen Zers are slightly less tied to their furry friends, with about one-third saying pet-friendly accommodations are “nice to have, but not necessary.” While Boomers are not traveling with pets as much, and 34% say pet-friendly accommodations are “not necessary.”

Taking Our Pets Along

Fortunately, you don’t have to leave Fido behind. About 75 percent of hotels now allow pets, according to a survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association.


For Harvest Hosts that number is even higher. Over 90% of our Hosts are pet friendly and they’ve now have a filter for “Pets” in their search function allowing trip planners to show only the Hosts that welcome our four legged friends. Harvest House offers eclectic overnight accommodations including more than 3,200 farms, wineries, breweries, distilleries, golf courses, churches, museums, and other scenic small businesses in addition to 2,900 Boondockers Welcome community host locations.

The company’s mission is to help millions of people live happier lives through road travel, while supporting wonderful small businesses and communities along the way. Their redesigned mobile app letts members view hosts’ information, photos, reviews and availability – quickly requesting stays and communicating with hosts through in-app messaging. To learn more, visit: www.harvesthosts.com or download the Harvest Hosts app on iOS here and Android here

Rick Steves Art of Europe to Premiere Fall 2022 on Public Television Stations Nationwide

Production is underway for a six-part limited series presented and distributed by American Public Television in which travel expert, author and host Rick Steves will showcase Europe’s great art and architecture in a new six-part series currently in production. The culmination of three decades of Rick showcasing Europe’s great art and architecture on public television, the series will cover the span of European art history through their greatest masterpieces. Produced by Rick Steves’ Europe and presented by American Public Television (APT), the leading syndicator of content to public television stations nationwide, Rick Steves Art of Europe will release October 2022 to public television stations nationwide (check local listings).  

From climbing deep into prehistoric tombs on remote Scottish isles and summiting Michelangelo’s magnificent dome at the Vatican, to waltzing through glittering French palaces and pondering the genius of Picasso and Van Gogh, Rick Steves does for art what he does for travel—makes the television experience both fun and accessible.

“This year, APT is proud to deepen our public television relationship with Rick Steves in our new role as the presenter for the Rick Steves’ Europe programming catalog and specials, in addition to handling international licensing for the collection,” notes Cynthia Fenneman, President and CEO of APT. “We’re excited to share his experiences and learnings on art in this exciting series, honed through decades of travel in Europe.”

“All my life, art has brought me great joy in my travels. And I’ve learned that the more we understand art, the more we appreciate it,” said Rick Steves. “In this six-hour series, we’ll enrich your understanding—and therefore your enjoyment—of European art.”

From Cave Paintings to Modern Art in Six Episodes

The six-part Rick Steves Art of Europe will trace European art from cave paintings and mysterious stone circles through the rise and fall of great ancient civilizations, and the influential periods of the Middle Ages, the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. Through it all, new artistic styles emerged: stern Neoclassicism, unbridled Romanticism, sun-dappled Impressionism. The series concludes with an exploration of the art of the 20th century as artistic expression was pushed to new frontiers. Throughout each episode, the exuberance and joy of European art are celebrated, connecting audiences to the past while simultaneously pointing the way forward.

Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces

Pick up the full-color coffee-table book Rick wrote with Gene Openshaw, “Europe’s Top 100 Masterpieces” — and satisfy those art cravings with a chronological tour through Europe’s greatest paintings, sculptures, and historic buildings.  

Rick asks that you please support local bookstores in your community, or you can find it in on his  online Travel Store: https://www.ricksteves.com/masterpieces 

Join Rick Steves as he explores the origins and history of European art:

Episode 1: “Stone Age to Ancient Greece” – The basis of Western art in symbolism, tombs and statuary.
Episode 2: “Ancient Rome” – Groundbreaking architecture, mosaics and frescoes.
Episode 3: “The Middle Ages” – Majestic castles, cathedrals and art for the secular and faithful alike.
Episode 4: “The Renaissance” – The rebirth of classical culture through the celebration of humanism.
Episode 5: “Baroque” – Displaying a Europe in transition with displays of both austerity and excess.
Episode 6: “The Modern Age” – New artistic styles that express the complexity of our present-day world.

Listen to Rick’s podcasts and radio show and follow his blog.. @ricksteves

Rick Steves is a popular public television and radio host, a best-selling guidebook author, and an outspoken activist who encourages Americans to broaden their perspectives through travel. He is the founder and owner of Rick Steves’ Europe, a travel business with a tour program that brings more than 30,000 people to Europe annually. Rick lives and works in his hometown of Edmonds, Washington, where his office window overlooks his old junior high school.

Rosio Square, Italy. @ricksteves.com

Rick Steves Art of Europe is a production of Rick Steves’ Europe, Inc., and presented and distributed by American Public Television. The host and writer is Rick Steves. The producer is Simon Griffith. The editor is Steve Cammarano. The co-writer is Gene Openshaw.

Early traveler Rick Steves. @ricksteves.com

You can watch Rick’s shows online. He also has a YouTube channel where you can catch up on his many shows. To start, click here.


About American Public Television

American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. Founded in 1961, APT distributes 250 new program titles per year and more than one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. APT’s diverse catalog includes prominent documentaries, performance, dramas, how-to programs, classic movies, children’s series and news and current affairs programs. Doc Martin, Midsomer Murders, America’s Test KitchenAfroPoPRick Steves’ EuropePacific Heartbeat, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Legacy List with Matt PaxtonFront and CenterLidia’s KitchenKevin Belton’s New Orleans KitchenSimply MingThe Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, James Patterson’s Kid Stew and NHK Newsline are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT also licenses programs internationally through itsAPT Worldwide service and distributes Create®TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — and WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit APTonline.org.

Hiking in Italy’s Cinque Terre. @ricksteves.com

About Rick Steves’

Rick Steves’ Europe (RSE) inspires, informs, and equips Americans to have European trips that are fun, affordable, and culturally broadening. Guided by the values-driven vision of Rick Steves, the company brings tens of thousands of people to Europe annually on organized tours and produces a wide range of travel content, including a best-selling guidebook series, popular public television and radio shows, a syndicated travel column, and a large library of free travel information at ricksteves.com. RSE’s mission is built around the idea of social responsibility, and it empowers several philanthropic and advocacy groups, including a portfolio of climate-smart nonprofits that it funds through a self-imposed carbon tax.

Celebrity Chef Lineup Announced for 2022 KitchenAid Fairway Club

KitchenAid recently unveiled the full schedule of celebrity chefs taking the stage in the KitchenAid Fairway Club, the centerpiece of the fan experience at Harbor Shores during the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Renowned celebrity chefs Scott Conant, Stephanie Izard, and Melissa King will join KitchenAid chefs Chris Covelli and Brett Wagner in providing golf fans and culinary enthusiasts alike with the chance to ask questions and learn from the experts during daily cooking demonstrations.

Schedule

Local favorites will also be providing featured demonstrations throughout the event, highlighting their best tips and favorite KitchenAid products. The full KitchenAid Fairway Club schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 26

1 p.m. ET –  Melissa King

2:30 p.m. – Cheyenne Galbraith, Houndstooth

Friday, May 27

  • 1 p.m. – Scott Conant
  • 2:30 p.m. – Brian Maynard, Forte Coffee

Saturday, May 28

  • 1 p.m. – Stephanie Izard
  • 2:00 p.m. – Tim Foley, Bread+Bar, Bit of Swiss
  • 3:00 p.m. – Deb Sailor, Cheese Lady

Melissa King

An award-winning chef and entrepreneur, King is known for her technical precision and ability to blend modern California cuisine with Asian flavors, Melissa is recognized as one of the best female chefs in San Francisco and a 40 under 40 Rising Star. Fan favorite and winner of Top Chef All-Stars, Melissa holds the record for winning the most challenges in the show’s history. She now serves as a judge on Top Chef and The Food Network’s Julia Child Challenge.

Prior to her television success, Melissa helmed several Michelin starred kitchens in San Francisco under acclaimed culinary legends including Dominique Crenn and Ron Siegel. She has cooked for notable figures such as Oprah Winfrey and Al Gore, and is a certified level 1 sommelier and skilled butcher. As a proud Asian American, queer woman, Melissa has raised over $50,000 for marginalized communities. She guest-stars in Sesame Street’s historic Thanksgiving episode that premiered the first ever Asian American muppet. She is set to curate the menu at the Met Gala in May 2022. Melissa is also the owner of King Sauce, a small batch sauce line and offers virtual cooking classes available in her online shop.

Scott Conant

A two-time James Beard Award-winning chef, cookbook author, and TV personality with a career spanning more than 35 years, Conant brings a deft touch and unwavering passion to creating culinary experiences with thoughtful hospitality and soulful cuisine. His portfolio of acclaimed restaurants includes Mora Italian (Phoenix, AZ), The Americano (Scottsdale, AZ and Atlanta, GA), and Cellaio at Resorts World Catskills (Monticello, NY). Conant has been a popular presence on Food Network as a recurring judge on Chopped since 2009 and frequent co-host of Beat Bobby Flay.

Stephanie Izard

James Beard “Best Chef: Great Lakes” recipient 2013, and 2011 Food & Wine “Best New Chef,” Stephanie Izard is the Executive Chef and Owner of five Chicago restaurants. She also won the coveted title of “Iron Chef” in 2017 and was the 4th winner of Bravo’s Top Chef in 2008. Izard created a retail product line called “This Little Goat,” consisting of globally inspired cooking sauces and spice mixes for home cooks, and currently ships her sweets from Sugargoat nationwide in partnership with Goldbelly.

“It is our honor to welcome such a distinguished roster of chefs to the KitchenAid Fairway Club,” said Deb O’Connor, director of global corporate reputation and community relations at Whirlpool Corporation. “Our chef demonstrations are always a fan favorite, and this might be our best year yet. We love inspiring our cooking enthusiasts to spend more time in the kitchen, and there’s no better way to do that than by learning from the experts themselves.”

KitchenAid Fairway Club

Located near the main Championship entrance, the KitchenAid Fairway Club is open to the public each day of the Championship and serves as the main experience center for fans to embrace their love for making. From samples at the KitchenAid Cafe and the opportunity to use our small appliances to the “putt for paint” contest where fans who make a putt on a Stand Mixer-shaped green could win a custom painted stand mixer, there’s something for everyone at the Fairway Club. Chefs Covelli and Wagner will be on hand all week to share recipes and answer your culinary questions.

Unique Culinary Fan Experiences

KitchenAid always brings unique, culinary fan experiences to this historic and prestigious senior major, and 2022 will be no different.

https://www.facebook.com/SeniorPGAChampionship/videos/402383484802115

For more updates and information about the KitchenAid Fairway Club activities, fans can follow @KitchenAid_Golf on Twitter.

For more information about the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship or to purchase tickets, visit SrPGA.com.

About KitchenAid

Since the introduction of its legendary Stand Mixer in 1919 and first dishwasher in 1949, KitchenAid has built on the legacy of these icons to create a complete line of products designed for those with a passion to make. Today, the KitchenAid® brand offers virtually every essential for the well-equipped kitchen with a collection that includes everything from countertop appliances to cookware, ranges to refrigerators, and whisks to wine cellars. To learn more, visit KitchenAid.com or join us at Facebook.com/KitchenAid and Twitter.com/KitchenAidUSA

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