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Massimo Bottura's Villa Manodori

Massimo Bottura's Villa Manodori

BACK ON TOP: Osteria Francescana topped The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016, was named No.2 in 2017 and returns to the summit in the 2018 edition as winner of The World’s Best Restaurant award, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. Try Bottura's fantastic Villa Manodori Balsamic Vinegar, available now in Hong Kong and Macau.

Chocolate and Lingerie

Chocolate and Lingerie

Shop for lingerie at INTIMISSIMI Hong Kong and savour Tartuflanghe Chocolate, curtesy of ABRATE & SONS

Abrate & Sons Wine Dinner at Isola Bar & Grill 18 April 2018 7:30 P.M.

Abrate & Sons Wine Dinner at Isola Bar & Grill  18 April 2018 7:30 P.M.

ABRATE & SONS WINE DINNER at ISOLA BAR & GRILL 18 April 2018 7:30 P.M. Join us for a night of delicious food and great wines 4 main courses at 700 HKD + 10% service charge. For reservation please contact us at operations@abrate.com tel: 6927 5497 MENU AND WINE PARING Welcome drink Prosecco Gujot D.O.C. *** Lobster salad with grapefruit, orange, zucchini and olives, snapdragon flavour Blanc Chardonnay 2013, Tenuta Mazzolino *** Veal ravioli with potato leek cream mushrooms and black truffle, chives flowers or Ravioli stuffed with Burrata and Ricotta, cherry tomatoes Volpolo Bolgheri D.O.C. 2014, Podere Sapaio *** Seabass with prawns, peas broth, romanesco and green peas, borage flowers or Braised beef cheek, celeriac and gremolata sauce Barolo Ciabot Berton D.O.C.G. 2009, Ciabot Berton *** Chocolate, citrus fruits and licorice Passito Gewuerztraminer 2013, St. Pauls

France’s New Michelin Guide: More Fraternité Than Égalité By ASSIA LABBAS

Read the full article published on The New York Times 24 February 2018. PARIS — Perhaps nothing represents the tradition of French cuisine more than the Guide Michelin, whose coveted stars can make or break restaurants around the world. But this year’s guide collided with the “Me Too” moment, when it awarded new stars to 57 French restaurants, only two of which have female chefs. “I was really shocked and angry because it’s been years that we don’t understand why, in the 50 new stars, there are no or very few women,” said Vérane Frédiani, a filmmaker who made a documentary about the search for female chefs around the world. Ms. Frédiani sent up a post on Twitter with the hashtag #MichelinToo, inspired by the #MeToo movement. Her aim was not so much to denounce sexual abuse in restaurant kitchens — though there is plenty of that — but to shame the sacred guide for what she considers its abiding contempt toward women. The two women who won stars this year bring the total to 16 female chefs among the 621 Michelin-starred restaurants in France. That is a paltry ratio — less than 3 percent — even compared with other countries. Of the 195 Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, only 19 have female chefs, according to the guide’s publisher, Groupe Michelin. There are only 20 women chefs at the 166 starred restaurants in the United States, the publisher said. Italy has the most, with 44 out of 365, or about 12 percent. Gender imbalance in the kitchen is as French as foie gras and as traditional as a postprandial coffee. France has long enshrined the practice in which women cook at home for the family while men acquire fame and wealth as chefs in famous restaurants. “The first is a lonely work at home for a limited circle,” said Franck Pinay-Rabaroust, editor in chief of the gastronomic information site Atabula and a former writer for the Guide Michelin. “For the second there is an organization, a brigade to direct.” Male domination of professional French cooking goes back to the Middle Ages. “The court was itinerant and when kings were traveling with their staff, in general, it was rather men who followed,” said Patrick Rambourg, a historian and specialist on French gastronomy. “When you have this historical model for so long, it can move but, we need to give it more time.” The Guide Michelin says none of this matters: it’s only about the food. Gender is “not something we take into account,” Michael Ellis, the international director of the guides, told Agence France-Presse. “Our inspectors are there to check the quality of the cuisine.” Guide Michelin declined to provide further comment. But the guide is inextricably part of tradition, and reflects the prevailing norms. In its 118-year history, the guide has awarded its top honor, three stars, to only four female chefs, from Eugénie Brazier, the chef at La Mère Brazier restaurant in Lyon in 1933, to Anne-Sophie Pic, the most recent woman to win a star, in 2007. Some who study France’s culinary tradition explain the absence of women from professional kitchens by pointing to physical demands, like the ability to wield a heavy cooking pot or wrestle an animal carcass. Having children is also cited as a reason, since combining a family life with a restaurant schedule is challenging. “Today in cuisine, we hardly see a woman take a chief position because the rhythm is extremely tough,” Mr. Pinay-Rabaroust said. “They have to work twice as much to show they are equal to men.” Ms. Frédiani hopes to change that. While making her 2017 documentary, “The Goddess of Food,” she discovered that there were many female chefs out there. She and her friends are now trying to come up with their own list of restaurants owned by female chefs in France. After an appeal sent through social media, they received about 200 names. “The idea is to publish it openly,” she said. “So we can no longer say that there are no female chefs in France.” France’s equivalent of the “Me Too” movement, “Balance Ton Porc” or, roughly, Out Your Pig, has opened a breach for French women not only to speak out against sexual misconduct, but also to demand more parity in the workplace. Ms. Frédiani sees the battle for gender equality in restaurant kitchens as part of that larger struggle. “When we fix the issue in gastronomy,” she said, “it will help many women in every field.” It is a battle chefs like Coline Faulquier, who owns the restaurant La Pergola in Marseille, are prepared to join. “We are not required to become men, but we have to mentally harden ourselves,” she said. She does everything a male chef does except she has one more person to manage, her four-year-old son. His father helps her but, even so, she said, juggling motherhood with the demands of running a restaurant is a daily “race against time.” She closes her restaurant at night from Monday to Thursday, and crosses town every day to pick her son up at school before serving the lunch to patrons at noon. But like every passionate chef, she is ambitious. “I will give myself the means,” she said, aiming for the Michelin star. Fanny Rey, who won her first Michelin star last year, has tried to change the kitchen culture at the restaurant she owns with her partner in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence by hiring and training women. Her restaurant employs three women in the kitchen and three in the dining room. And she has trained five women as chefs at her restaurant. “To me, it has always been important to be surrounded by women,” she said. She says there are many talented female chefs who deserve exposure but may not get it because they are not head chefs. One of them is Jessica Prealpato, the head pastry chef at the three-star Restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée in Paris. Mr. Ducasse’s restaurants have a total of 19 Michelin stars. “When I arrived, obviously it was tough, because I put pressure on myself,” she said. When she told Mr. Ducasse about her plans to have her first child, she found him understanding. He was willing to arrange her schedule to accommodate a family life “because he told me he needs me and my creativity,” she said. The tradition may be changing gradually but there are signs of change. Ferrandi, a prestigious institution that prepares mostly young people for careers in gastronomy and hospitality management, says that 56 percent of its students this year are women. Women make up 79 percent of those working toward a bachelor’s degree in pastry making. It is those women Ms. Frédiani hopes to reach. “By showing them that women chefs are there, that they do exist,” she said, “I think it will motivate them to dream big, to dare to make their dreams come true.” By ASSIA LABBAS

Ciabot Berton in Hong Kong

Ciabot Berton in Hong Kong

CIABOT BERTON IN HONG KONG. Federica Oberto, owner and export manager of Ciabot Berton is in town for few days to promote her family fantastic wines. Here is what James Suckling has written about Ciabot Berton Barolo Roggeri 2008: JAMES SUCKLING 20 December 2013 - 93 POINTS This is full and powerful with chewy tannins and lots of chocolate, berry, tar and spice character. Very intense. See our recommendation to discover more wines from this family run Piedmontese winery.

Javier De Las Muelas soon in Hong Kong

Javier De Las Muelas soon in Hong Kong

ABRATE & SONS and TARTUFLANGHE are bringing Javier De Las Muelas to Hong Kong. The father of famous Barcelona DRY MARTINI bar and creator of DROPLETS will be in Hong Kong in April, only for few days. We are organizing some very interesting workshops for the trade. If you are not from the trade and you would like to try the famous Javier cocktails prepared with DROPLETS, you'll find him at: Blue Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Lobby Level, from the 26th to the 28th April every day from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. DROPLES are available in Hong Kong

3 Stars Michelin chef Enrico Crippa chooses Ecori Rice

3 Stars Michelin chef Enrico Crippa chooses Ecori Rice

Chef Enrico Crippa of Piazza Duomo in Alba, Piedmont, number 15 of San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, will join chef Corey Lee of Benu San Francisco for a special event. Crippa will bring along traditions from Piedmont and Ecori Carnaroli rice.

The Drink Business : Daria Garofoli one of the TOP 10 WOMEN IN ITALIAN WINE

The Drink Business : Daria Garofoli one of the TOP 10 WOMEN IN ITALIAN WINE

THE DRINK BUSINESS article by Tom Bruce Gardyne. Vini Garofoli is the oldest producer in the Marche, making Verdicchio and supplying UK supermarket giant Tesco with its own-label version for a near, record-breaking 25 years. Its secret weapon is Daria Garofoli who remained behind the scenes for 33 years as a full- time mum, English teacher and wife to chairman Gianfranco Garofoli. “When I retired in 2001, I asked him if I could have something to do,” she explains. “He offered me two afternoons a week and said, ‘Don’t imagine, you’ll become export manager because you’ve got to stay here with me!’” The irrepressible Daria Garofoli force of nature Daria had other plans. Within three months Daria Garofoli had flown the nest to promote the company’s wines abroad, averaging 100 days a year on the road. At the same time she nurtured her son, Gianluca (33) to eventually take over as export manager. She says he shares a similar personality and she now feels safe with him handling big projects on his own. Meanwhile, Gianfranco Garofoli prefers to stay at home where he is also president of the Verdicchio producers association. This is probably just as well for beyond the Marche, Gianfranco might simply be known as: “husband of the more famous Daria”.

"Droplets in the Kithen" a workshop with Javier De Las Muelas

DROPLETS IN THE KITCHEN Join us for a very special workshop with Javier De Las Muelas Friday 27 April 2018 at La Rambla IFC. Contact us for more information.

Javier de Las Muelas for the first time in Hong Kong

Javier de Las Muelas for the first time in Hong Kong

ABRATE & SONS and TARTUFLANGHE are bringing Javier De Las Muelas to Hong Kong. The father of famous Barcelona DRY MARTINI bar and creator of DROPLETS will be in Hong Kong in April, only for few days. We are organizing some very interesting workshops for the trade. If you are not from the trade and you would like to try the famous Javier cocktails prepared with DROPLETS, you'll find him at: Blue Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Lobby Level, from the 26th to the 28th April every day from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. DROPLES are available in Hong Kong distributed exclusively by ABRATE & SONS

Wine Spectator has voted PODIUM one of the World Top 100 Wines 2017

Wine Spectator has voted PODIUM one of the World Top 100 Wines 2017

Podium 2014 has been selected by Wine Spectator among the 100 top wines in the world 2017: Garofoli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Podium- An elegant, creamy white, backed by sleek, citrusy acidity, this shows a subtle mix of poached pear, grated ginger and stony mineral flavors, accented by hints of crushed almond. Drink now through 2020. 3,500 cases made. —AN WINE SPECTATOR If you'd like to try this fantastic Verdicchio, give us a call or send us a mail and we will be very happy to assist you.

Massimo Bottura's Villa Manodori

Massimo Bottura's Villa Manodori

BACK ON TOP: Osteria Francescana topped The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2016, was named No.2 in 2017 and returns to the summit in the 2018 edition as winner of The World’s Best Restaurant award, sponsored by S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. Try Bottura's fantastic Villa Manodori Balsamic Vinegar, available now in Hong Kong and Macau.

Ciabot Berton in Hong Kong

Ciabot Berton in Hong Kong

CIABOT BERTON IN HONG KONG. Federica Oberto, owner and export manager of Ciabot Berton is in town for few days to promote her family fantastic wines. Here is what James Suckling has written about Ciabot Berton Barolo Roggeri 2008: JAMES SUCKLING 20 December 2013 - 93 POINTS This is full and powerful with chewy tannins and lots of chocolate, berry, tar and spice character. Very intense. See our recommendation to discover more wines from this family run Piedmontese winery.

"Droplets in the Kithen" a workshop with Javier De Las Muelas

DROPLETS IN THE KITCHEN Join us for a very special workshop with Javier De Las Muelas Friday 27 April 2018 at La Rambla IFC. Contact us for more information.

Chocolate and Lingerie

Chocolate and Lingerie

Shop for lingerie at INTIMISSIMI Hong Kong and savour Tartuflanghe Chocolate, curtesy of ABRATE & SONS

Javier De Las Muelas soon in Hong Kong

Javier De Las Muelas soon in Hong Kong

ABRATE & SONS and TARTUFLANGHE are bringing Javier De Las Muelas to Hong Kong. The father of famous Barcelona DRY MARTINI bar and creator of DROPLETS will be in Hong Kong in April, only for few days. We are organizing some very interesting workshops for the trade. If you are not from the trade and you would like to try the famous Javier cocktails prepared with DROPLETS, you'll find him at: Blue Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Lobby Level, from the 26th to the 28th April every day from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. DROPLES are available in Hong Kong

Javier de Las Muelas for the first time in Hong Kong

Javier de Las Muelas for the first time in Hong Kong

ABRATE & SONS and TARTUFLANGHE are bringing Javier De Las Muelas to Hong Kong. The father of famous Barcelona DRY MARTINI bar and creator of DROPLETS will be in Hong Kong in April, only for few days. We are organizing some very interesting workshops for the trade. If you are not from the trade and you would like to try the famous Javier cocktails prepared with DROPLETS, you'll find him at: Blue Bar, Four Seasons Hotel, Lobby Level, from the 26th to the 28th April every day from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. DROPLES are available in Hong Kong distributed exclusively by ABRATE & SONS

Abrate & Sons Wine Dinner at Isola Bar & Grill 18 April 2018 7:30 P.M.

Abrate & Sons Wine Dinner at Isola Bar & Grill  18 April 2018 7:30 P.M.

ABRATE & SONS WINE DINNER at ISOLA BAR & GRILL 18 April 2018 7:30 P.M. Join us for a night of delicious food and great wines 4 main courses at 700 HKD + 10% service charge. For reservation please contact us at operations@abrate.com tel: 6927 5497 MENU AND WINE PARING Welcome drink Prosecco Gujot D.O.C. *** Lobster salad with grapefruit, orange, zucchini and olives, snapdragon flavour Blanc Chardonnay 2013, Tenuta Mazzolino *** Veal ravioli with potato leek cream mushrooms and black truffle, chives flowers or Ravioli stuffed with Burrata and Ricotta, cherry tomatoes Volpolo Bolgheri D.O.C. 2014, Podere Sapaio *** Seabass with prawns, peas broth, romanesco and green peas, borage flowers or Braised beef cheek, celeriac and gremolata sauce Barolo Ciabot Berton D.O.C.G. 2009, Ciabot Berton *** Chocolate, citrus fruits and licorice Passito Gewuerztraminer 2013, St. Pauls

3 Stars Michelin chef Enrico Crippa chooses Ecori Rice

3 Stars Michelin chef Enrico Crippa chooses Ecori Rice

Chef Enrico Crippa of Piazza Duomo in Alba, Piedmont, number 15 of San Pellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, will join chef Corey Lee of Benu San Francisco for a special event. Crippa will bring along traditions from Piedmont and Ecori Carnaroli rice.

Wine Spectator has voted PODIUM one of the World Top 100 Wines 2017

Wine Spectator has voted PODIUM one of the World Top 100 Wines 2017

Podium 2014 has been selected by Wine Spectator among the 100 top wines in the world 2017: Garofoli Verdicchio dei Castelli di Jesi Podium- An elegant, creamy white, backed by sleek, citrusy acidity, this shows a subtle mix of poached pear, grated ginger and stony mineral flavors, accented by hints of crushed almond. Drink now through 2020. 3,500 cases made. —AN WINE SPECTATOR If you'd like to try this fantastic Verdicchio, give us a call or send us a mail and we will be very happy to assist you.

France’s New Michelin Guide: More Fraternité Than Égalité By ASSIA LABBAS

Read the full article published on The New York Times 24 February 2018. PARIS — Perhaps nothing represents the tradition of French cuisine more than the Guide Michelin, whose coveted stars can make or break restaurants around the world. But this year’s guide collided with the “Me Too” moment, when it awarded new stars to 57 French restaurants, only two of which have female chefs. “I was really shocked and angry because it’s been years that we don’t understand why, in the 50 new stars, there are no or very few women,” said Vérane Frédiani, a filmmaker who made a documentary about the search for female chefs around the world. Ms. Frédiani sent up a post on Twitter with the hashtag #MichelinToo, inspired by the #MeToo movement. Her aim was not so much to denounce sexual abuse in restaurant kitchens — though there is plenty of that — but to shame the sacred guide for what she considers its abiding contempt toward women. The two women who won stars this year bring the total to 16 female chefs among the 621 Michelin-starred restaurants in France. That is a paltry ratio — less than 3 percent — even compared with other countries. Of the 195 Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain, only 19 have female chefs, according to the guide’s publisher, Groupe Michelin. There are only 20 women chefs at the 166 starred restaurants in the United States, the publisher said. Italy has the most, with 44 out of 365, or about 12 percent. Gender imbalance in the kitchen is as French as foie gras and as traditional as a postprandial coffee. France has long enshrined the practice in which women cook at home for the family while men acquire fame and wealth as chefs in famous restaurants. “The first is a lonely work at home for a limited circle,” said Franck Pinay-Rabaroust, editor in chief of the gastronomic information site Atabula and a former writer for the Guide Michelin. “For the second there is an organization, a brigade to direct.” Male domination of professional French cooking goes back to the Middle Ages. “The court was itinerant and when kings were traveling with their staff, in general, it was rather men who followed,” said Patrick Rambourg, a historian and specialist on French gastronomy. “When you have this historical model for so long, it can move but, we need to give it more time.” The Guide Michelin says none of this matters: it’s only about the food. Gender is “not something we take into account,” Michael Ellis, the international director of the guides, told Agence France-Presse. “Our inspectors are there to check the quality of the cuisine.” Guide Michelin declined to provide further comment. But the guide is inextricably part of tradition, and reflects the prevailing norms. In its 118-year history, the guide has awarded its top honor, three stars, to only four female chefs, from Eugénie Brazier, the chef at La Mère Brazier restaurant in Lyon in 1933, to Anne-Sophie Pic, the most recent woman to win a star, in 2007. Some who study France’s culinary tradition explain the absence of women from professional kitchens by pointing to physical demands, like the ability to wield a heavy cooking pot or wrestle an animal carcass. Having children is also cited as a reason, since combining a family life with a restaurant schedule is challenging. “Today in cuisine, we hardly see a woman take a chief position because the rhythm is extremely tough,” Mr. Pinay-Rabaroust said. “They have to work twice as much to show they are equal to men.” Ms. Frédiani hopes to change that. While making her 2017 documentary, “The Goddess of Food,” she discovered that there were many female chefs out there. She and her friends are now trying to come up with their own list of restaurants owned by female chefs in France. After an appeal sent through social media, they received about 200 names. “The idea is to publish it openly,” she said. “So we can no longer say that there are no female chefs in France.” France’s equivalent of the “Me Too” movement, “Balance Ton Porc” or, roughly, Out Your Pig, has opened a breach for French women not only to speak out against sexual misconduct, but also to demand more parity in the workplace. Ms. Frédiani sees the battle for gender equality in restaurant kitchens as part of that larger struggle. “When we fix the issue in gastronomy,” she said, “it will help many women in every field.” It is a battle chefs like Coline Faulquier, who owns the restaurant La Pergola in Marseille, are prepared to join. “We are not required to become men, but we have to mentally harden ourselves,” she said. She does everything a male chef does except she has one more person to manage, her four-year-old son. His father helps her but, even so, she said, juggling motherhood with the demands of running a restaurant is a daily “race against time.” She closes her restaurant at night from Monday to Thursday, and crosses town every day to pick her son up at school before serving the lunch to patrons at noon. But like every passionate chef, she is ambitious. “I will give myself the means,” she said, aiming for the Michelin star. Fanny Rey, who won her first Michelin star last year, has tried to change the kitchen culture at the restaurant she owns with her partner in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence by hiring and training women. Her restaurant employs three women in the kitchen and three in the dining room. And she has trained five women as chefs at her restaurant. “To me, it has always been important to be surrounded by women,” she said. She says there are many talented female chefs who deserve exposure but may not get it because they are not head chefs. One of them is Jessica Prealpato, the head pastry chef at the three-star Restaurant Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athénée in Paris. Mr. Ducasse’s restaurants have a total of 19 Michelin stars. “When I arrived, obviously it was tough, because I put pressure on myself,” she said. When she told Mr. Ducasse about her plans to have her first child, she found him understanding. He was willing to arrange her schedule to accommodate a family life “because he told me he needs me and my creativity,” she said. The tradition may be changing gradually but there are signs of change. Ferrandi, a prestigious institution that prepares mostly young people for careers in gastronomy and hospitality management, says that 56 percent of its students this year are women. Women make up 79 percent of those working toward a bachelor’s degree in pastry making. It is those women Ms. Frédiani hopes to reach. “By showing them that women chefs are there, that they do exist,” she said, “I think it will motivate them to dream big, to dare to make their dreams come true.” By ASSIA LABBAS

The Drink Business : Daria Garofoli one of the TOP 10 WOMEN IN ITALIAN WINE

The Drink Business : Daria Garofoli one of the TOP 10 WOMEN IN ITALIAN WINE

THE DRINK BUSINESS article by Tom Bruce Gardyne. Vini Garofoli is the oldest producer in the Marche, making Verdicchio and supplying UK supermarket giant Tesco with its own-label version for a near, record-breaking 25 years. Its secret weapon is Daria Garofoli who remained behind the scenes for 33 years as a full- time mum, English teacher and wife to chairman Gianfranco Garofoli. “When I retired in 2001, I asked him if I could have something to do,” she explains. “He offered me two afternoons a week and said, ‘Don’t imagine, you’ll become export manager because you’ve got to stay here with me!’” The irrepressible Daria Garofoli force of nature Daria had other plans. Within three months Daria Garofoli had flown the nest to promote the company’s wines abroad, averaging 100 days a year on the road. At the same time she nurtured her son, Gianluca (33) to eventually take over as export manager. She says he shares a similar personality and she now feels safe with him handling big projects on his own. Meanwhile, Gianfranco Garofoli prefers to stay at home where he is also president of the Verdicchio producers association. This is probably just as well for beyond the Marche, Gianfranco might simply be known as: “husband of the more famous Daria”.