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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Wine

China Loves Bordeaux, Could Try German Riesling

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Value Bordeaux.

© Theo Morrison
Value Bordeaux.

Decanter reports that mainland China now imports more Bordeaux than any other country—more than 40 million bottles' worth in the last year. Though China was already famous for its love of the French wine region, the figures are amazing: Including Hong Kong (which is Bordeaux's #1 customer by value, not volume), China now accounts for more than a third of all exports.

While big spenders there certainly have access to amazing food that pairs with Bordeaux, the blend of tannic Cabernet and Merlot can clash with the sweetness and heat of traditional Chinese food. For those meals, we suggest 10 alternative pairings like German Riesling and Oregon Pinot Noir.

Restaurants

Party Time at Mandarin Oriental Paris

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Michelin-starred chef Thierry Marx made the Mandarin Oriental Paris's party food.

I hate to miss a good party. And it sounds like I missed a pretty spectacular one last week, as the Mandarin Oriental Paris celebrated its official launch. Among the people I would have liked to hang out with: Liam Neeson and Maggie Cheung, and Pierre Gagnaire, one of the world’s all-time great chefs). Michelin-two-starred chef Thierry Marx did the party food—of course he did, he does all the food for the hotel, most especially the impossible to get into Sur Mesure par Thierry Marx.

© kate krader
Thierry Marx's outrageous brioche.

But don’t feel too sorry for me missing the party, because I did get to see the Mandarin Oriental Paris earlier this summer and was just fine. I loved the Swarovski-crystal-lined walls in the lobby, the Diptyque shampoos in the bath and the outrageous brioche in the breakfast bread basket and at the Cake Shop. And I found my new hero, hotel concierge Adrian Moore, who knows every single thing about the Paris food scene and has an excellent blog to prove it.

For more on the Mandarin Oriental Paris, and the fantastic hotel scene in Paris right now, check out the awesome Paris Travel Guide in the October issue of Food & Wine.

Recipes

Coffee-Glazed Chicken to Waylay Depression

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Chicken Dance spotlights a fantastic Food & Wine chicken recipe every day.

Coffee-Glazed Chicken

© Anna Williams
Coffee-Glazed Chicken

A study published in The Archives of Internal Medicine this week suggests that caffeine may reduce the risk of depression in women, the Los Angeles Times reports. After surveying 50,739 women over a 10-year period, researchers found that those who consumed one or more cups of coffee a day were less likely to be diagnosed as clinically depressed. Whether or not coffee keeps you in a happier state, it's still worth more than a quick buzz. The flavors add delicious depth to recipes like this one for Chicken Breasts Glazed with Coffee BBQ Sauce.

Related: Cooking with Coffee
Coffee Desserts
Coffee Drinks

Restaurants

Top 5 Trends in Restaurant Desserts

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Since I'm pretty obsessed with finding great desserts, I spend a lot of time examining pastry menus from all over the country. Here are some of the biggest trends turning up on early fall menus.

Upside-Down Cake Recipe

© Tina Rupp
Upside-Down Cake.

1. Black pepper. Salt continues to be popular, but now pastry chefs are experimenting with pepper, which adds a mild heat to desserts like tuiles, sablés and even cheesecake.

2. Brown sugar. Obviously brown sugar is nothing new, but now it's being called out as the title ingredient in pavlovas, tea cakes, pound cakes and cookies. This recipe for simple Iced Brown Sugar Cookies from Baked in Brooklyn is a great way to embrace the trend at home.

3. Chocolate crémeux. The French word just translates to "creamy." The silky, pudding-like dessert seems to be the new darling on pastry menus. For an Italian take on this classic, try this Milk Chocolate Cremoso recipe.

4. Duck fat, lard and foie gras. These fatty faves are adding a savory element to cookies, profiteroles and even s'mores.

5. Upside-down cakes. Pluot, peach, blueberry, black plum, and of course pineapple are some of the fruits starring in this easy cake. The most interesting fruit in rotation has to be tomato, seen at Clyde Common in Portland, Oregon. Here's our recipe for the perfect upside-down cake.

Related: 30 Beautiful Desserts
Delicious Chocolate Desserts
Fabulous Apple Dessert Recipes

 

Books

Michael S. Smith’s Kitchen Decorating Tips

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Interior designer to the Obamas at the White House, Michael S. Smith, will release his third book next month: Kitchens & Baths. In it, Smith shares design inspiration for "the busiest and most personal rooms in the home." For a sneak preview, we asked Smith for his top kitchen decorating tips.

Kitchens and Baths

© Courtesy Rizzoli New York

What are some easy ways to update your kitchen?
I think paint is the number one thing. If you have a kitchen that can be repainted, you can do that yourself. You can paint the ceiling a beautiful color. It's a bit more work, but if you have a wood floor, you can stain it, either in a pattern or one color. And many stores sell inexpensive hardware that you can install yourself, or you could change out the front of your cabinets.

How do you optimize space in a small kitchen?
Think about what you really need. If you live in an apartment and have a small kitchen, but don't cook that often, maybe refrigerator drawers instead of a whole refrigerator would be best. Make it charming and utilitarian. Like a boat: very efficient with no space left unused.

How do you approach giant kitchens?
Big kitchens tend to be filled with too much. Do you need a huge refrigeration space? I'd rather have a great bookcase with glass doors to store and protect cookbooks. Or a great niche with a sofa and ottoman so someone can hang out and talk with you while you cook.

What's your favorite kitchen trend?
Reusing things: refurbished stoves, old St. Charles cabinets, and lighting being reused. It is great environmentally and it gives the space charm.

What design elements are you obsessed with?
I really am obsessed with countertops. I think there are so many good options. People get into really expensive marbles. There are some pretty and really inexpensive stones, though keep in mind care issues. Butcher blocks can be inexpensive. CaesarStone is impervious to stains and is terrific. In my own kitchen, I have zinc countertops.

What are some kitchen decorating mistakes?
Trying to give your kitchen an entirely different look than the rest of the house—like if you walk into a fairly traditional house and the kitchen is Tuscan-style, and filled with sunflowers. That's wacky. Know what your house is like and what works. The things that come out of the kitchen, the food and conversations and all of those things matter—the look is important and should be attractive and cheerful.

More Kitchen Design Ideas:
Six Ways to Personalize a Kitchen
F&W Editors Kitchen Wish List
Food Bloggers' Best Kitchen Design Ideas

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Run with chefs and wine experts in the Celebrity Chef 5K and dance all night at Gail Simmons’ Last Bite Dessert Party during the FOOD & WINE Classic in Aspen, June 20-22.