From a star French baker making incredible baguettes in L.A. to a fantastic Brazilian cachaça, here are the best new arrivals in the U.S. from abroad.
The just-launched Kkooll Collections, from former United Nations staffer Sheila Kolodny, features handmade ceramics inspired by traditional Moorish shapes (light ball, from $50; Menara bud vase, from $12; candlesticks, from $12; kkooll.com).
Sales of cachaça from Brazil—including new ultrapremium ones—are sizzling. The best, like Água Luca, have strong herbal notes that make for an exceptional caipirinha ($25; crushwineandspirits.com). Beleza Pura's premixed caipirinhas are so good they're stocked at Nobu in New York ($20; belezapura.com).
Where does fashion designer Stella McCartney stay when she's visiting Florence? At the J.K. Place, according to the Smiths' Hotel Collection, an irreverent series of European travel guidebooks first published in London and now available in the United States ($30; amazon.com).
taste it Superb kebab house Kosebasi has 10 locations in Turkey and is opening a still-to-be-named upscale restaurant in NYC (303 Madison Ave.; no phone yet).
new tastesBiscotti all'Arancio di Sicilia Ferragamo fashion house scion Giulia Ferragamo di San Giuliano makes delicate cookies with handpicked lemons and oranges from the family's 800-year-old estate ($14; agferrari.com).
Gangi Dante Oregano Mazzetto Grown in Sicily's Madonie mountains and dried on rattan mats, these oregano branches and leaves impart a lovely, subtle flavor to sauces ($6; markethallfoods.com).
La Motticella Pomodori Pelati Paolo Petrilli's pelati (peeled tomatoes), made in Puglia from the San Marzano variety, taste so fresh that London's famed River Café cooks with them ($12; agferrari.com).
Former fashion stylist Nathalie Smith stocks her New York shop, Global Table, with finds from around the world. One of her favorite sources is Pol's Potten, whose new items include peacock-inspired glasses and exquisite handpainted porcelain plates that Pol's Potten founder, Erik Pol, discovered in China ($68 for four; 212-431-5839 or globaltable.com).
the british invasion
GORDON RAMSAY The fiery British chef is opening spots in two new U.S. hotels: the London NYC in October (151 W. 54th St.) and the London LA next spring (1020 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood).
ALAN YAU Famed for elevating London's Chinese food, the restaurateur will debut a restaurant in September in Ian Schrager's newly renovated Gramercy Park Hotel in NYC (2 Lexington Ave.; 212-920-3300).
RICHARD CARING Last July, the Brit clothing tycoon bought London's perennially hot Le Caprice, a popular celebrity hangout (Madonna). In 2007, he'll duplicate it in Manhattan's Bryant Park.
Barcelona brothers and global tea barons Jordi and Josep Maria Roure launched their Köwa line here last year. Most exciting: delicate p'uerh from China (from $11; available at most Whole Foods stores).
the baguette master
Eric Kayser is so passionate about bread that he helped lobby the French government to change its definition of a bakery (all baking must be done onsite). Last year he opened Breadbar in L.A. (8718 W. 3rd St.; 310-205-0124); he now has a second spot (10250 Santa Monica Blvd; 310-277-3770).
buy it New to the United States, Italy's Ariston appliances are sleek and smart: The dishwashers are amazingly fast (from $499; 888-426-0825).
denmark & germany
RETRO + NEO
Retro and neo-Baroque looks are dominating European home collections. The mod Black Figus runner, designed by Copenhagen-based Mette Louise Kragh and Anne Rosenberg of the firm Kragh Rosenberg, was inspired by a mosaic pattern the designers saw on a sidewalk ($68; koodekir.com). Meanwhile, Yvonne Schubkegel of the German firm ASA Selection is going the neo-Baroque route. Her new Poesie tea collection has an opulent black-and-white floral pattern ($6 for teacup, $28 for teapot; koodekir.com).