LEARN ALL ABOUT THE 7 WONDERS OF OLIVE OIL WITH ALICE ALECH

Entretien avec l’auteur Alice Alech pour Riviera Buzz. Interview with author Alice Alech for Riviera buzz.

Alice Alech

We meet with author Alice Alech to learn more about her recent book “The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil” and to discuss the benefits of this magical elixir.

A beautiful French woman, Jeanne Calment, lived to be 122 years old. Toward the end of her life, when asked the secret of her longevity and her relatively youthful appearance, she has two words: “olive oil”. This supercentenarian French lady was alert right until the end of her life.”

Using this as a starting point, olive oil enthusiast and expert Alice Alech decided to delve into this fascinating subject and recently co-authored “The 7 Wonders of Olive Oil”. To learn more about the amazing health effects of the “green nectar”, we had the chance to ask Alice a few questions.

Hello Alice, thank you for meeting with us. First of all, can you tell us a little about your background?

I guess you must mean my professional background.

I am a healthcare worker by profession, a radiographer (x- ray technician). I lived in Australia for a while where I went on to study mammography: X- ray imaging of the breast, on both well women and women with breast cancer.

I started writing non-fiction a few years back and am enjoying it more and more. Hopefully, this will mean less travelling to the U.K for work, more time in Provence and writing.

Where does your interest in olive oil come from?

Entirely by accident, a few years ago, when I started writing for the online newspaper OLIVE OIL TIMES, covering news on olive oil activities in France. I got to meet olive oil producers, growers, men and women who were passionate about their work and what they produced. Then I found myself looking into the health aspects of extra virgin becoming more and more intrigued. On meeting and collaborating with olive oil expert Cécile Le Galliard we realised we had the same idea — a guidebook, not only on the health benefits of olive oil but exploring the role olive oil plays in the Mediterranean diet, cooking with, and buying, olive oil.

Your book talks about the 7 wonders of olive oil. What are they?

The Health section of 7 Wonders is based on scientific research where we talked to the researchers involved in various studies. The seven amazing health benefits include:

– Anti inflammation
– Cancer Prevention
– Skin rejuvenation
– Healthy bones
– Alzheimer’s disease prevention
– Reduction in risk for diabetes
– Stroke and heart attack prevention

Since olive oil is so good for you, why is the Mediterranean diet so neglected these days?

I think one of the reasons why this eating pattern is neglected these days is because we don’t make healthy eating a priority. This may well be because we are caught up with work, with other activities and are too busy to take the necessary time to shop and prepare food. Often, the choice for something quick (fast food) or eating out, seem a more comfortable option. Don’t forget though that although we refer to “the Mediterranean diet”, it’s more of a lifestyle than a diet. Most diets today have strict rules as to what we should eat and what we shouldn’t eat. With the Mediterranean diet there are no food restrictions.

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Where does France rank in terms of production and consumption?

Though France produces excellent olive oil; it is a really small producer and has to import 95% of its consumption. France simply does not produce enough olive oil to compete with the giants Spain, Italy, and Greece; it produces only around 4,700,000 kg/per year.

It seems that the Mediterranean basin is no longer the only centre for olive oil production?

Granted, the EU produces about 80% of the world’s olive oil, but olive oil production has taken off enormously around the world. You’ll find olive tree cultivation in South America, the United States, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, India, and China.

As consumers, what should we look for when buying olive oil?

For those of us who live here in the South, it’s so much better to buy from the producer themselves, they are usually very willing to spend time explaining how to appreciate olive oil, and will let you taste before you buy. If you can’t get to a producer easily then watch out for the following when you buy:

– Make sure you buy extra virgin. Extra virgin on the label means that the oil meets the required chemical and organoleptic standards.

– Check the Certification and country of origin

– Look for the harvest date. This will tell you how fresh the oil is. Look for a date within the last year.

Look for the following:

PDO – Protected Designation of Origin is the European certificate that tells you that the product comes from a particular country in Europe. The oil was produced and processed in the same place.

DPO or DOP – Denominazione d’Origine Protetta is the Italian version of PDO.

AOC – Appellation d’Origine Controlée is the French term for PDO.

PGI – Protected Geographical Indication is not as stringent as PDO and means that one stage of production, processing, or preparation took place in the geographic region.

7 Wonders Of Olive Oil

You include some recipes in your book. Do you have one, in particular, you would recommend to someone trying to switch to a Mediterranean diet?

Cécile and I did not want complicated recipes for this book and certainly did not see 7 Wonders as a cookbook. We wanted to provide simple basic recipes, such as homemade mayonnaise, so much better than the bought stuff. For a more Mediterranean touch, we included recipes such as Tapenade.

Your book also explains how olive oil can be used outside the kitchen. Can you give us a few examples?

Let’s look at some ways we can use olive oil on our bodies.

– As a face mask: Mash half an avocado with some olive oil and make into a paste. Smooth it onto your face and leave for about fifteen minutes or so, then rinse.

– To energize a tired face: Mix some olive oil with a few drops of lavender oil and rub onto your face. Cover with a hot flannel and relax for a few minutes.

– To help with wrinkles: Before going to sleep, massage your face with a mixture of oil and lemon juice a couple of times a week.

– To avoid mosquito bites on vacation: Buy some local olive oil, mix with lavender oil and some citronella, and rub on exposed skin.

You wanted “out of the kitchen tips” but here’s something I learned from Cécile and now include in my breakfast routine, a great way to start the day: Olive oil and honey on toast – simple nourishing and healthy.

Can you tell us what plans you have for the future now that the book is out?

Cécile and I now need to promote 7 Wonders of Olive Oil especially in Europe and perhaps, later on, translate our book into other languages. It will take time but we are looking forward to the challenge.

Finally, you live in Provence, what do you like so much about the South of France?

I guess it would have to be the weather, how easy it is to get fresh produce and being in the open air. After living in big cities for a long time, it’s wonderful to be living here in the South.

Thank you very much Florence for inviting us to talk about 7 Wonders of Olive Oil.

Many thanks to Alice for taking the time to answer our questions. To find out more about her work, you can visit her website, and, of course, buy her book, “The 7 wonders of Olive Oil”, which is available on amazon.

 

Photo of oliviers © RIVIERA BUZZ; all other photos courtesy Alice Alech

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GALERIE LYMPIA IN NICE WELCOMES GIACOMETTI AND HIS LAST WORKS

Il n’est pas encore trop tard pour découvrir la nouvelle galerie d’art de Nice et les dernières oeuvres de Giacometti. It is not too late yet to discover Nice’s newest art gallery and Giacometti’s last works.

Nice is currently hosting its first ever exhibition dedicated to the works of Alberto Giacometti in the newly inaugurated Galerie Lympia.

The Square Grid

Consisting of a main building with roof terrace and clock tower, this intriguing space used to be a penal colony where prisoners from Villefranche were employed to dig the basins of the harbour, before being turned into a prison in the 19th-century. Since its renovation, it is now a full-blown arts centre, set to welcome major cultural events.

Organized in collaboration with the Giacometti Foundation, the current exhibition is showcasing some fifty major works from the Swiss artist’s final years (1960-1965), including sculptures, paintings, lithographs and drawings that highlight this decisive and relatively unknown period.

 

After abandoning surrealism and abstraction, Giacometti became famous for his figurative sculptures that resonated with the atmosphere of suffering that followed World War II. As he himself described his work he was not concerned with “depicting someone as we know them, but as we see them”.

Towards the end of his life, he also started to produce an extensive series of portraits, adding new models to his list of muses. This is how the Parisian prostitute, known as Caroline, and the photographer Eli Lotar came to replace the artist’s brother and wife, Diego and Annette, who modeled for most of his great postwar works.

While Giacometti did not travel much, he did come to Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat on numerous occasions and derived inspiration from the Côte d’Azur. It is now the French Riviera’s turn to pay tribute to an artist who drew its palm trees and seascapes with Giacometti: L’Œuvre ultime.

CONTACT DETAILS
Galerie Lympia
2, quai d’Entrecasteaux
06300 Nice

Tel: +33 4 89 04 53 10

 

All images courtesy Galerie Lympia

JUMP ON BOARD THE TEXAS TRAIN THIS NOVEMBER IN MONACO

Texas est de retour avec un nouvel album et un concert à Monaco. Texas is back with a new album and a concert in Monaco.

“Life’s too short, let’s work it out”, sings Sharlene Spiteri on the first single of her band’s newest release, Jump On Board, their ninth studio album

Texas-Jump-On-Board-album-art

Just a year after celebrating three decades of hit-making, there is no doubt that Texas still has what it takes to be a force to be reckoned with on the musical scene. Showing no signs of slowing down, they have now embarked on a big global tour in support of their latest offering that will take them to Monaco at the end of November.

Taking their name from the Wim Wenders cult film “Paris, Texas” and fronted by Sharleen Spiteri, a pretty brunette regarded by many as one of the best British lead-singers, the Scottish band has survived the various music trends over the years, from the grunge wave that swept the 90’s to the electro vibe of the 2000s, as well as their lead singer’s stint as a solo artist (with 2008’s Melody and The Movie Songbook in 2010) to nonetheless release hit after hit, selling somewhere in the region of a million albums worldwide.

I Don’t Want a Lover”, “Halo”, “Summer Son”, “Black Eyed Boy”, are just a few examples of the feel-good tunes of this incredible pop/rock combo, and 2017’s Jump on Board does not disappoint. This new opus is a polished laid-back affair with a mixture of smooth soul, subdued disco and retro pop that should satisfy their long-standing fans as well as appeal to a newer generation.

We feel refreshed,” Spiteri said when the album was released in late April; “We definitely had a great time making this record. It’s time to jig it up. It’s like a new beginning. This is the next part of our story, and we’re are loving it”.

So if you want to be part of this next chapter in the life of one of the most beloved pop/rock bands, jump on board and mark the date in your calendar. Texas performs at the Salle Garnier in the Opéra de Monte-Carlo on Friday the 24th of November at 8:30pm. Tickets cost €82.50 and may be reserved online.

 

COMEDIAN PAUL TAYLOR BRINGS BILINGUAL STAND-UP SHOW TO NICE

Cet automne à Nice, préparez vous à rire en anglais et français avec le comédien Paul Taylor. This fall in Nice, get ready to laugh in both English and French with comedian Paul Taylor.

British comedian Paul Taylor is bringing his bilingual stand-up comedy show to the Théâtre de la Cité in Nice this October.

franglais-paul-taylor-show

If you are on social media, chances are that you have come across a short sketch about the way French people greet each other that was posted last year and then reposted on every blog and Facebook page. “When meeting a girl for the first time, should you shake hands or give her a kiss?”, “How many kisses do you have to give?”,  “Which cheek do you kiss?” … there were just a few of the questions raised by bilingual Brit Paul Taylor in an hilarious YouTube video that got one million views in just one week and quickly became an internet sensation.

Riding on this success, the young man, who used to work and travel the world for Apple, is now making a new life for himself as a stand-up comedian and it is with his half English, half French show that he will be in Nice, at the Théâtre de la Cité, this coming October.

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Giving up a well-paid job and a bright future in a big company to start over and make people laugh in two languages is never an easy task, but Paul Taylor definitely has what it takes to make it work: a sharp sense of observation and humour, an undeniable ease with languages as he speaks French like a “Froggy” with just a slight a hint of an English accent, and a huge list of topics that tackle his adopted country’s particularities that, based on his own experience, might be difficult for expats. From the many public holidays and culture of strikes, to the dreaded administration and mad driving skills, no facet of life in France is safe with him.

If you do not yet know him, you can always check out the many “What the Fuck France 3 minute films he made for French channel Canal+. They are all available on YouTube.

Paul Taylor will be at the Théâtre de la Cité in Nice, on Friday, the 6th of October at 7:45 pm and 9:30 pm. Tickets cost from from €28 to €30 and can be bought at all the usual outlets or reserved online.

 

Image and video courtesy Paul Taylor Facebook page

AIX-EN-PROVENCE – AN ART LOVER’S SUMMER PARADISE

L’expo à ne pas manquer cet été à Aix. The  not-to-be missed exhibition this summer in Aix.

Each summer, the musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence invites an art gallery to present the masterpieces it has acquired throughout its existence, and this year it is turn of Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger.

Granet

After the Henry and Rose Pearlman Foundation and the Doris and Donald Fisher collection from the MoMa in San Francisco, this year sees the Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger being celebrated at the musée Granet with the exhibition « Passion de l’art – Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger depuis 1925 ».

As one of the oldest contemporary art dealers in Europe, this avant-gardist gallery has brought the likes of Nicolas de Staël, Pablo Picasso, André Masson, Piet Mondrian and many others to attention of the public.

It all started in 1925 when a young woman originally from Alsace, Jeanne Bucher opened her own place in Paris to display works by Cubist Surrealist, primitivist and pre-war artists, many of whom had become close friends. After her death in 1947, her great nephew, Jean-François Jaeger took over the management of the space and following along the same artistic lines, displayed post-war abstract works from Europe and the U.S., as well as pieces by the new figurative and realist painters of the 1970’s.

Today, the gallery’s spirit of discovery and adventure remains very much alive with Jaeger’s great granddaughter, Véronique, whose golden rule is to always look at “the mystery of the creative act with a fresh eye and a sense of wonderment”. “As gallery owners”, she says, “we’re necessarily the first to collect our artists and we have an intrinsic relationship with them”.

Ordered chronologically and divided into three main sections to reflect the artistic criteria of the gallery’s three successive owners, the exhibition present more than 100 priceless masterpieces that include André Bauchant’s Bataille des Eléphants, an early tapestry by Jean Lurçat, and Vassily Kandisky’s Communauté.

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The exhibition “An Art Lover’s Collection – the Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger since 1925″runs until the 24th of September.

The museum is opened every day from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am to 7pm. A full-price ticket costs €8 and the reduced admission is €5.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Granet
18, rue Roux-Alphéran
13100 Aix-en-Provence
Tél: +33 (0)4 42 52 88 44/43

 

All images courtesy musée Granet

WILLIAM KLEIN – TOAST OF THE FRENCH RIVIERA THIS SUMMER

Les villes de Moscou, Tokyo et Nice sont les stars de la nouvelle exposition organisée cet été par le Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre.  Moscow, Tokyo and Nice are the stars of the new exhibition organised this summer by the Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre.

theatre-photographie-nice

For the public at large, he may not be as famous as the likes of Cartier-Bresson or Robert Capa, yet for his peers, photographer and filmmaker William Klein is nothing short of a living legend, having revolutionized the art of modern photography.

Now, the Niçois have a chance to admire the works of an artist who has been capturing the rough and tumble of daily life for more than 60 years, thanks to the exhibit, Bises de Nice, Moscou et Tokyo, that is currently being held at the Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre until the 2nd of October.

Born in New York in 1928 to a Jewish family, Klein was introduced to Europe while doing his military service. After his demobilization, he stayed in Paris to take classes at La Sorbone and to study art with Fernand Léger. He started taking pictures of the people and street fashion around the French capital, using strong contrasts and blurred contours to produce brutally honest images that stood in direct contradiction to the aesthetical and technically perfect photographs of the times.

 

Strongly interested in social issues, this “anti-photographer” as he likes to call himself became famous in 1956 with the publication of his first book, “Life is Good and Good for You in New York: Trance Witness Revels which showed the Big Apple bas a booming and vibrant city, but also as a harsh and oppressive metropolis.

This was the beginning of a string of expressive portraits of cities. After Rome in 1958, he went to Moscow between 1959 and 1961 at the height of the Cold War, where he was able to go largely unnoticed to paint a picture of a lively, thriving Moscow at odds with the much greyer image the West liked to portray.

William Klein expo NiceThen it was Tokyo in the early 1960’s, where Klein managed to capture the great mutation of a city that was still teetering between tradition and modernity.

While most of his pictures are black and white prints, the artist also occasionally adds a touch of colour to celebrate life, as was the case when he photographed the Nice carnival in 1984, its centenary year.

But Klein is not just a photographer, he is also a filmmaker and the audience can watch his 2005 movie Messiah, which includes performances of Handel’s oratorio by a gay and lesbian gospel choir, as well as inmates of the Sugarland Prison in Texas, over images of contemporary life.

Throughout his career, William Klein has received many distinctions like the Prix Nadar (1957) and the rank of Commandeur des Arts et des Lettres de France (1991), but he remains first and foremost an unconventional artist who likes to take risks and experiment with lots of genres. As he once said: “Sometimes, I’d take shots without aiming to see what happened. I’d rush into crowds—bang!bang!…It must be close to what a fighter feels after jabbing and circling and getting hit, when suddenly there’s an opening, and bang! Right on the button. It’s a fantastic feeling.”

The exhibition, “William Klein: Bises de Nice, Moscou et Tokyo”, runs until 2nd of October, 2017 at the Théâtre de la Photographie et de l’Image, from 10am – 6pm daily (closed Mondays). Admission is free for residents of Nice.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre
1, place Pierre Gautier
06300 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 97 13 42 20

FROM LOS ANGELES TO ANTIBES, MEET VEGAN CHEF IVY DAI

Entretien avec la restauratrice Ivy Dai. Interview with chef Ivy Dai.

When not writing about food, you can find chef Ivy Dai serving up her delicious plant-based cuisine at Graze Artisan Café, the restaurant she recently launched in Antibes.

To help you get to know Ivy better as well as finding out more about her restaurant and vegan cuisine in general, we had the chance to ask her a few questions.

iny-dai-portrait

Hello Ivy. First of all can you tell us a little bit about yourself? I understand that you are from Los Angeles but have been traveling a lot over the last few years?

Hello! Yes I am originally from Los Angeles, born and raised. Since I was a little girl I have always had a bit of wanderlust. I first left home and travelled abroad at age 22 to China. It was a huge culture shock, but definitely an adventure and I learned Mandarin in the process. I went back to the States and worked as a food journalist then a producer for ABC News in 2008 before leaving and finally following my dream: attending the Cordon Bleu Culinary School. I completed my externship in Paris at Lenôtre and Hédiard, then headed back to California where I worked at the Four Seasons and Ritz Carlton hotels as a pastry chef.

France kept calling me back, and I finally landed an opportunity to help open a gluten free Pâtisserie in Paris in 2012. That was also a big move, and it was really tough adjusting. During my time there I also worked as a French pastry instructor and helped open NeoBento, an organic café in the trendsetting 3rd arrondissement (Le Marais). I also ran my own cooking classes, Dragon Dinners, which I launched in 2008 in California, teaching home cooks how to make authentic Chinese!

My yoga instructor in LA, Sabrina Kappler, worked in yachting and convinced me to come to Antibes and try my hand at yachting. It was tough breaking in at first, despite my experience. I cooked on several yachts for a variety of owners, and found my niche in plant-based and gluten-free fare with an international twist. My clients now seek me out solely for this type of cuisine, mostly in Europe but I recently just returned from Qatar and have worked in Asia.

Essentially, the cuisine you get in my restaurant is what I make for my international clients. I created Graze because I wanted to make tasty wholesome food available to the masses. I thought to myself – how can I take what I do for one person and do that same thing for many. That’s where the concept of Graze was born.

When did you first know that you wanted to become a chef? And a vegan one at that!

I first knew I wanted to be a chef in Mrs. Hilscher’s home economics class in 7th grade. I was 13. I learned to bake. I was always forcing my family to try new weird things. I had a natural skill for it.

At 19 I wanted to be a food writer, which I achieved at the age of 25, then I took the leap and went to culinary school and haven’t looked back since.

What do you enjoy most about being a chef?

love feeding people. I love seeing the excitement in people’s faces and their whole being lights up when you cook something just how ‘mom used to make it’, or someone discovers a flavor so new and stupendous, it cracks open their world. Food is a journey of emotions, and a common language that connects people of all backgrounds.

You have recently launched your own restaurant, Graze Artisan Café, in Antibes, can you tell us a little about this new adventure? How would you describe the food you offer?

Opening Graze has been so gratifying, I didn’t except I would gain so much satisfaction and create a new community. The menu and style of service Graze offers has evolved according to the needs of our customers. And it’s a beautiful thing.

Look, I am not against meat. I am not telling anyone that butter is evil and don’t ever eat a hamburger again. In fact I love butter (a huge reason why I moved to France). Being a ‘vegan’ restaurant (I prefer to call it plant-based) becomes quite a political statement. People say but I like meat and I won’t stop eating it. But…do you need to have it at EVERY single meal? What about some curry? A delicious soup? Some dessert? Or a smoothie? There is really a lot of variety to eat!

graze-antibes

I am not against meat, I am for fresh fruits and vegetables. Meat and eggs and dairy products are excellent for health, especially bone broth, but in the modern age it takes a lot of time and money to eat high quality animal protein. And even then eating grass-fed is actually worse for the environment…one cow then eats so much more plants than a grain-fed cow.

I tell some of my customers who say why don’t you serve meat..I tell them if you go hunt and kill an animal and bring it to me, I will cook it. Or you can eat as much as cake, cookies, and pizzas as you want – just make it yourself. Hunting and baking are time-consuming, and foods that we rarely ate before the industrialization of food. Now you can have a burger anytime – but if you are only eating meat and wheat, there’s not much room for a vegetable. When you eliminate meat, you are forced to cook, then you naturally eat better.

dish-graze-antibes

But I also know it is a challenge to eat well – there’s the shopping, the cooking, the menu planning, the clean up. Here at Graze, we strive to make wholesome food readily available for all of us who are getting busier and busier – and find ourselves eating crisps and an apple for dinner.

And why did you choose Antibes?

The French Riviera is on the exact same latitude line as California. It reminds me of home – the topography, near the beach and also the mountains, the weather, the relaxed attitude. I live in Antibes and chose to open Graze here because we need it. After years of living here, I found it tough to eat well on the go. As well as finding a variety of cuisines. And eating well means feeding your taste buds as well as your body. Enjoying a gastronomic experience is synonymous with being French – and how can a country who does not eat well, be well?

How do you dispel the belief that a vegan diet is bland?

Let’s name a few things that are tasty and just so happen to have no animal products:

– Chips/fries/french fries/pomme frites
– Onion bhajis
– A lot of Indian food
– A lot of Chinese food
– Guacamole
– Hummus
– Smoothies
– Chocolate
– Granola bars

So anyways we serve all this stuff here! Even scrumptious tacos and burgers, vegan pizza, Thai food, you name it. I would say we are more about offering a variety of international cuisine (as America is a large melting pot) than putting lettuce and pasta on a plate and saying bon appetit.

graze-food

Does being vegan help in maintaining a healthy weight?

As I mentioned earlier, when you add more fruits and vegetables in your diet, you automatically cut out a lot of processed food, which is what makes you tired, pack on the pounds, and grab for more sugary drinks, candy bars and fast food. At Graze all our smoothies are only made with 100 percent fresh fruit, desserts are made with unrefined cane sugar, and our dishes are perfect for anyone trying to lose weight or get lean. For example, our Thai Burger has 5 fruits and veggies, chickpeas for protein, and spicy curry paste to burn fat, 200 calories and ZERO fat. And it’s pretty damn tasty too…it’s topped with our coriander ‘aioli’ (made with organic soymilk).

I first tried to become vegan about 10 years ago, and it has been a long and bumpy journey to move to a plant-based diet. I remember the first day I didn’t eat meat or dairy I was crawling to In-N- Out Burger by the end of the day (a popular burger chain in California).

After I experienced severe adrenal fatigue and exhaustion in 2013, my digestion and overall health was shot – and I only craved fruits and vegetables. So that is all I ate for 6 months. I also did a juice fast for 3 days that really opened my eyes in terms of my attitude with food – that I ate to curb anxiety or when I was thirsty – not when I was actually hungry.

Everyone knows fruits and vegetables are good for you. So think about ADDING some color into your diet versus focusing on ELIMINATING meat and dairy. We need those vitamins and minerals to stay strong and healthy and skinny!

graze-pastries

What tip would you give to someone interesting in becoming a vegan?

If you are moving towards a plant based diet, I suggest eating things you like that already have a lot of flavor – like chili, but instead of ground meat, add 3 beans (for 9 complete amino acids). Or try Indian food, or maybe a sweet and sour basil eggplant stirfry. The trick is to keep your taste buds and body satisfied – hot as well as oily food will help keep you grounded as you move to a plant-based diet.

Do you have a culinary specialty?

To the first 25 people who like us on Facebook, I will send a FREE recipe booklet of my favorite recipes from the upcoming Graze cookbook. After liking us, just email usand we will send you your free copy!

My culinary specialties? Pastry (appeared on Food Network’s “Cupcakes Wars”), Chinese, and vegan and gluten-free of course !

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And finally, what do you like so much about the French Riviera? Are there any special places you would recommend?

For a list of all my favorite places in Antibes, you can check my site.

New Antibes additions: Mamalu, an amazing family style Italian restaurant by the covered market, The 44, a gastronomic meal in an intimate setting.

Favorite places in the Riviera: Mandelieu-la Napoule, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, Chèvre d’Or in Eze, La Réserve (beach) in Nice, and on my yoga mat at Samasthiti Yoga or Azure Yoga in Antibes!

Many thanks to Ivy a for taking the time to answer our question, and we wish her the very best of luck with her new adventure. To find out more about Ivy’s work, you can visit her website and, of course, check out Graze Artisan Café when you happen to be in Antibes.

CONTACT DETAILS
Graze Artisan Café
20, rue des Casemates
06600 ANTIBES

Tel: +33 (0)4 89 82 51 73

All photos courtesy Ivy Dai / Graze Café

VIA FERRATAS OR HOW TO SAFELY EXPLORE THE GREAT OUTDOORS

Entre randonnée et escalade! Between hiking and climbing!

Ever wanted to try outdoor climbing, but didn’t quite feel ready or brave enough to bite the bullet? Well, we might just have the perfect solution for you – Via Ferrata trails!

Italian by origin, the Via Ferrata trails were created to help infantry travel safely through the Dolomites. These “iron roads”, situated on rock faces, are equipped with cables, ladders, steps, grips and bridges, making them the ideal cross between footpath and vertical rock climb. All you will need is a helmet to protect yourself against falling rocks, a harness that clips into the cable safety system as you progress along the trail, as well as some gloves for a firm grip, and appropriate footwear for stability.

This assisted climbing activity is a great way to admire the valley from high above and to experience the wilds in complete safety, but nonetheless it does require hard work and not all the routes are for everyone. So, depending on whether you are a total novice or an experienced climber, here is a short list of the most popular Via Ferratas in the Alpes-Martimes, classified according to their level of difficulty.

Via Ferrata Balma Negra – Roubion (Easy/moderate)

Just 70 km north of Nice in the Mercantour National Park, this relatively short and straightforward Via Ferrata is ideal for beginners. Located on a 40 to 50 metre cliff, the route overlooks the Tinée valley and does not present any difficulties, aside from a 20 m high crossing towards the end.

Time required: 1.5 hours
Max altitude: 1,450 m
Height gain: + 50 m.
Route length: 300 m
Season: April – October

Via Ferrata Les Canyons de Lantosque – Lantosque (Moderate)

With its 5 monkey bridges, 5 suspension bridges, a 100 metre wall and a fun zip line to end the adventure, this Via Ferrata is an all-time favourite among climbers. Its popularity probably has a lot to do with the fact that the route is located in a beautiful canyon and gradually increases in difficulty.

 

Time required: 3 hours
Max altitude: 500 m
Height gain: + 100 m
Route length: 950 m
Season: April – October

Via Ferrata Le Baus de la Frema – La Colmiane (Difficult)

The oldest and most famous Via Ferrata in the Alpes-Maritimes is also one of the most difficult. The route, which leads to the summit of Baus de la Frema, is full of exposed ladder sections, high ropes crossings and vertical slabs, and takes nearly 5 hours to complete.

Time required: 4.5 hours
Max altitude: 2,246 m
Height gain: + 501 m
Route length: 1,600 m
Season: May – October

Via Ferrata L’Escale – Peille (Very difficult)

 

Just a few miles from Monaco and about 30 minutes from Nice, the Escale Via Ferrata is a challenging and physically demanding route that is divided into four sections, each lasting 45 minutes. It provides beautiful views over the village of Peille, but definitely requires some previous climbing experience.

Time required: 2.5 hours
Max altitude: 750 m
Height gain: + 230 m

Route length: 800 m
Season: Year round
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Via Ferrata Les Hérétiques – Tende (Very difficult)

Probably the most spectacular trail, this Via Ferrata offers a fun 120 m zip-line as well as a wonderful panorama over the Mercantour massif and the mediaeval castle of Chapelle St-Sauveur. This is the reward for overcoming this sporty 1km long route.

Time required: 3.5 hours
Max altitude: 1,338 m
Height gain: + 330 m

Route length: 1,000 m
Season: April – October

5 OF THE BEST – ROOFTOP ESCAPES IN NICE

Les 5 meilleures bars sur les toits à Nice! The 5 best rooftops in Nice!

While you are hard at work or busy basking in the sun during the day, come sunset, there is definitely no better place to spend your evening than a nice rooftop terrace!

The rooftop season is most surely upon us, so why not treat yourself to some jaw-dropping views while sipping a cocktail, sharing a bite with friends and listening to some music.

To help you make up the most of your summer evenings in Nice, here is our pick of our 5 favourite rooftops in the city.

Hôtel Aston La Scala : the Best View in Town

Located just 5 minutes away from the beach and the promenade des Anglais, this four-star hotel is nothing short of an institution in Nice, which its amazing 360 degree panoramic view of the city, from the Colline du Château and its illuminated waterfall to the Old Town and Promenade du Paillon.

Its rooftop is open from June to September, allowing you to enjoy poolside cocktails during the warm summer days, while its swanky terrace bar is open all year round.

aston-terrasse

For a romantic evening at sunset or a lazy afternoon by the pool, this is definitely the place to be! And if you love music, you will enjoy the live music on Thursdays and the DJ nights on Saturdays.

For a similar experience, minus the pool, the nearby Boscolo hotel is also always a safe bet, thanks to its great atmosphere, its incredible views over the Jardins Albert Ier and the Baie des Anges, and its delicious tapas platters and cocktails.

Hôtel Aston La Scala
12, avenue Felix Faure
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 92 17 53 00

Boscolo Hotel, B4 Park Nice
12, avenue de Verdun
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 93 16 75 92

Le Méridien : Fun under the stars!

As if its location right on the Promenade des Anglais, its beautiful swimming pool and its signature cocktails were not enough, the Méridien Nice is putting on a show this summer with the screening of four iconic movies every Wednesday evening: Goldeneye, Mamma Mia!, Et Dieu créa la femme, and Plein Soleil, which were all shot in the Mediterranean region.

A good excuse to relax under the stars and sip a Lady in Red (a mixture of cranberry juice, jasmin syrup, lemonade, and fresh mint leaves) or an Indigo Splash (a mixture of Bacardi Gold Rum, Blue Curaçao, vanilla liqueur, lime juice, cane sugar syrup).

Le Méridien Nice
1, Promenade des Anglais
06046 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 97 03 44 44

Le Radisson Blu : Chill out by the sea

Looking for a sundowner after a day on the beach? Look no further than the Radisson Blu on the Promenade des Anglais. Aside from a magical view over both the blue waters and the nearby mountains, the huge 700 square metre roof terrace, open all year round, boasts a swimming pool and comfortable lounge furniture.

The dining area is not bad either, with a restaurant/bar that offers a Mediterranean cuisine of the highest quality and mouthwatering cocktails.

Away from all the hustle and bustle of the Old Town, there is no better spot to have a pre-dinner aperitif and soak up the late sun in a chilled atmosphere.

Le Radisson Blu
223, Promenade des Anglais
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 97 17 71 77

Splendid Hotel & Spa : A lounge over the roofs

With its Fitness Centre, sauna, solar-heated swimming pool, Jacuzzi and bar with panoramic views of the city, the 8th floor of the Splendid Hotel is a little paradise unto itself.

First opened in 1883 for the winter season to target British tourists, the hotel counted among its first clients the King of Wurtemberg whose coat of arms has been transformed into the Splendid’s present logo.

splendid-rooftop

Ideally located on Boulevard Victor Hugo, it is a peaceful location that also knows how to have fun, transforming itself into an outdoor lounge overlooking the roofs of the city, with great food, delicious drinks, and music throughout the summer.

Splendid Hotel & Spa
50, boulevard Victor Hugo
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 93 87 02 46

The Monsigny Hotel: The New Kid in Town

For the last few years, the Libération district has been getting trendier by the minute, so it is no surprise it now also has its own rooftop terrace that will give the most famous ones on the Promenade des Anglais a run for their money.

Located on the 7th floor of the hotel, the Monsigny rooftop is probably still one of Nice’s best-kept secrets. Overlooking the Malaussena pedestrian area and the roofs of the city, it offers everything you need to spend a perfect afternoon in the sun, or a relaxed evening with friends. The Jacuzzi is available to all (for just 5€ for hotel clients and 10€ for guests) and the deckchairs are welcoming. With unobtrusive music playing in the background, the selection of tapas and cocktails is as delicious as it is affordable.

monsigny-rooftop

Less touristy maybe, the Monsigny has nonetheless a more authentic feel that most of its counterparts.

The Hotel Monsigny
17, avenue Malaussena, 
06000 Nice

Tel: +33 (0)4 93 88 27 35

All photos courtesy each hotel

 

PUSHING BOUNDARIES WITH PHILIPPE PASQUA IN MONACO

Dernier article en date pour Riviera buzz. Latest article to date for Riviera Buzz.

Local artist and sculptor Philippe Pasqua takes centre-stage in the Musée Océanographique in Monaco this summer with a monumental exhibition.

philippe-pasqua-banner

For the past few years, the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco has been inviting numerous renowned contemporary creators, from Damien Hirst and Huang Yong Ping to Mark Dion and Marc Quinn, to establish a welcome dialogue between poetry and environmental commitment.

This summer is proving to be no different with the display of 12 gigantic custom-made works and sculptures by Grasse-born artist, Philippe Pasqua.

Entitled “Borderline”, this truly monumental exhibition consists of 12 monographic pieces, 7 of which have never been shown in public before, standing alongside the museum’s permanent collection on the square in front of the building and the panoramic terrace perched on the cliff.

Inspired by artists such as Francis Bacon as well as voodoo and fetishes, Pasqua thrives on provoking emotions rather than producing aesthetically pleasing pieces. His images are violent and powerful, always flirting with the notion of limits. They are made with materials that symbolize solidity and strength, such as bronze and onyx, but also eternity and purity, such as marble and silver, to create an œuvre as disturbing as it is fascinating.

Pasqua questions, raises concerns and unsettles his audience, but never leaves them unmoved”, explains Robert Calcagno, the Museum’s director, noting that the artist’s “work provides the ideal trigger for raising awareness about marine and terrestrial life”.

This philosophy is probably best summarized in the work ‘Wheel of Time’, which impresses not only with its dimensions (weighing in at 7 tons, with a diameter of 7 metres and a height of 6 metres), but also by its multiple components (Tyrannosaurus Rex carcasses, rats, an electric chair, a parasol…), representing a time that seems to have stopped.

 

My commitment to protecting the environment is partly tied to my personal journey. As a father of three, I am forced to think of my children and of their future and to be proactive through my art,” Pasqua says of his work. “It seems that we now have reached a breaking point and this fear of rupture was a source of inspiration for the title of the exhibition, Borderline”.

The exhibition, Borderline, runs until the 30th of September; 2017 at the Oceanographic Museum in Monaco. The museum is open every day from 9:30 am to 8 pm until the end of August and from 10 am to 7 pm in September. Tickets cost 11 € for adults, 7 € for teenagers aged 13 to 18 and for students with an ID card, and 5 € for children aged 4 to 12.

CONTACT DETAILS
Musée Océanographique
ave. St-Martin
MC 98000 Monaco

Tel : + 377 93 15 36 00

 

Image courtesy Musée Océanographique