The Best Restaurant in the World

Posted on: May 27th, 2010 Posted by

Ideals and bests come subject to individual tastes and interests. There are certain things that will be considered when choosing the best restaurant in the world.

Location

The old real-estate adage about location being the most important element holds true in the restaurant world. The difference in the culinary experience is that a location can be centralized, unique or chosen for a particular element (like an amazing view).

Central location – a restaurant in the heart of a particular city may make it to the ‘best’ list because it is easy to access.

Unique location – a restaurant underground, under the water or in a tree will get points for the unusual location. Restaurants that have been developed in historic buildings provide cuisine and culture in one stop.

Location for elements – a mountain-top restaurant with amazing views, a beachfront diner that caters to the sand and surf folks or a floating restaurant on the lake all provide an ambience that takes the location to a new level.

Locations can make a restaurant stand out from the crowd. The best restaurant in the world will have a location that makes you want to visit.

Cuisine

A great location can only take a restaurant so far. Amazing food can overcome even the worst locations.

Quality of the food – great food makes for great dining. Cuisine that makes your mouth water when you think of it can be served on plastic tables in an old cabin and still earn that restaurant a reputation as the best in the world.

Quantity of food – tough economic times have made many people look at the value they get for their money. That means a great restaurant has to leave you feeling satisfied for the money that you are spending at the establishment.

The items that are served at the restaurant and the way they are prepared can make even the worst location worth braving. Add value to the dining experience and you have a contender for the best restaurant in the world.

Service

The dining experience is often determined by the service provided. Great food can be spoiled by cheap service. Mediocre food can be elevated by service worth remembering. The best restaurant in the world provides service that makes you feel welcomed and leaves you regretting having to go.

Employees – great restaurant service starts with employees that have a passion for the culinary world and for the service industry. A happy employee leaves a great taste.

Entertainment – dinner and a show can mean employees that go above and beyond the normal and expected.

The best restaurant in the world comes with service that makes you feel glad you chose that location to dine.

Cooking for Your Pregnancy Craving

Posted on: May 20th, 2010 Posted by

Tell anyone you’re pregnant and one of the topics that’s bound to come up pretty quickly is ‘have you had any weird cravings?’ Many of us don’t, perhaps experiencing a dislike of various foods, but for those of us who do crave certain types of food, there’s more in it than just taking a fancy.

Cravings in all humans, pregnant or not, signify the body’s need for a certain mineral or vitamin. The obvious ones are citrus fruit for vitamin C, and red meat for iron, but it goes a lot deeper than that. The pressures on a woman’s body during pregnancy are immense, not just because of the extra weight she carries but also because of her increased blood volume, the demands on her resources from the baby (sugar and iron especially) and the high levels of hormones being released into her blood. Just some of the foods that women regularly report craving during pregnancy include peanut butter, apples and eggs, so we’re going to tell you what they might mean your body is lacking and how you can cater to those cravings in a variety of ways. After all, who wants to be eating the same snack or meal every day for nine months?

What Your Body Needs, and What Will Satisfy It

Protein – found most abundantly in eggs and meat, but also dairy products, nuts, bread, pasta, pulses and beans

Magnesium – found in broccoli, nuts, okra, fish, spinach and soy milk.

B Vitamins – found in oats, avocado, eggs, meat, nuts, yeast products such as vegemite and – the big one – chocolate!

Potassium – found in avocado, melon, milk, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, spinach and prunes.

Sodium – found in meat, milk, cheese, leafy greens, beet-root and – the one you’ve been waiting for – pickles!

If you’re craving junk food and anything that you know will make you put on weight then you’re not just being greedy, your body may be craving fat. Your baby needs to put on fat in order to grow, but the most important thing is that this is healthy (polyunsaturated) fat. Polyunsaturated fats are found in leafy greens, fish, cheese, seafood, nuts and seeds.

Some women suffer from a strange medical condition during pregnancy known as Pica. It’s characterized by the desire or craving for non-edible substances, and while the cravings themselves aren’t dangerous, actually indulging them can be. At first scientists thought the cravings indicated a deficiency, but the intense desire carried on once any deficiencies were ruled out, indicating the problem is more likely to be psychological. If you find yourself suffering from Pica that’s really disrupting your daily life and leaving you feeling constantly unsatisfied we recommend you visit your health visitor, midwife or doctor. Some Pica cravings can be satisfied just by chewing or licking (e.g. if you have cravings for ice). In her book ‘Minus Nine to One’, Jools Oliver tells readers about her love of anything rubbery during her first two pregnancies, and how she loved to chew anything made of the substance. This is safe, providing you ensure there are no chemicals or treatments on the material.

How to Satisfy Your Cravings

Eating the same thing day in day out might be great if you’re craving it badly, but nine months is a long time and you’ll get tired of it at some point. Try and find some recipes that include your craved foods abundantly, but remember that these are best if the foods are as raw as possible. If you do need to cook the foods (e.g. french beans and broccoli) then it’s best to steam them as this keeps as much of the nutrients in the food as possible.

Listen to your body and ask your midwife about any cravings you have as they may indicate a deficiency, but most importantly have fun with it. There’s nothing wrong with getting up in the middle of the night for a pickled onion sandwich, and this is the perfect opportunity to learn some quick recipes for after the baby’s born.

Children and Food

Posted on: May 10th, 2010 Posted by

Food presents a range of problems for both parents and children, but why? We’re going to look into what food is like for a child, and how you can help establish some healthy eating habits.

Fussy Eating

The ‘big one’ has to be fussy eaters, as children are particularly prone to this. It’s a natural stage of childhood, but it should be kept within reason and it’s difficult to know whether to give in to them or not. One key tip is to feed your child a huge range of foods as early on after weaning as possible. Even foods that you know they won’t like (e.g. olives or grapefruit) are important so that they know a wide range of tastes and can start to decide what they like and what they don’t like.

Staying calm is easier said than done when it comes to trying to feed a fussy child, but remember that their taste-buds are far more sensitive than ours. Very small children prefer delicate sweet tastes because they remind them of breast milk which is comforting and ‘safe’. They may not be refusing a food because they’re playing up, they may refuse it because it tastes bitter and their innate intuition is telling them it could be poisonous. This is why children dislike bitter sprouts so much.

You might also want to try alternatives to foods that have certain vitamin/nutrient contents so that your child is still healthy, but not having to eat foods they hate. For instance, if they refuse to eat carrots then substitute for another food that’s also high in Vitamin A, such as sweet potato or spinach.

Playing with Food

Unfortunately, children will play with food, because that’s how they learn about it. Without experimenting with the texture, how it breaks apart, whether it will stick to other bits of food etc. they can’t begin to know if they like it or not and whether the really want it in their mouths.

Luckily, there is a way around it that doesn’t mean excusing your child’s manners to guests and being embarrassed by them. This involves setting up a play time in between meals (you don’t have to do this a lot, perhaps once a week) where your child is allowed to play with a certain type of food, on a specific play-tray and they can do what they like with it (within reason!). You might choose jelly, custard powder with water (a very unique and fascinating consistency), ice blocks, rice pudding or anything in between as long as it’s not hot or small enough to get lodged in their throats if they eat it. These sessions are the time when they’re allowed to play with food, but they should not be allowed to play with food at the table. You might, on the other hand, choose to allow it during lunch, but not the evening meal.

Self Confidence in Cooking

Teaching your child that tasty home-cooked food is easy to make is important, to stop them preferring brands. A very young child can pick out a brand logo a mile off, before they can even read what they’re hankering after. If they start to assume it’s easier to buy yummy food at McDonald’s than cook it from scratch, that could carry through to adolescence and early adulthood. They start to feel they can rely on brands better than they can rely on themselves, and they become unhealthy as a result. If you teach a child how easy it is to home cook then when it comes to going to University or moving out of the home they’ll have the confidence to look after themselves.

Start off by asking them to compile their own dinner plate. Learning to serve their own dinner is a great way to develop motor skills and coordination, even if it does mean a few spills! They’ll also learn about portion size this way, and you can tell them that they have to eat everything they serve themselves before they get dessert to exercise even more self-control. Next, try basic baking, like making rice crispie cakes or flapjack. Cooking at home can mean treats too! You might ask them to help make a fruit salad by cutting a banana with a child’s knife, or scoop out the inside of a mango with a spoon. It doesn’t matter what you choose, as long as the preparation is safe.