We had the pleasure of joining Dinner Lab Dallas on April 10th. The evening highlighted the cuisine of Los Angeles-based Chef DJ Park. As with any Dinner Lab event, the menu told a compelling story, featuring dishes and ingredients inspired by the chef’s heritage, life experiences and personal passions.
One of our favorite hotels, Hotel Valencia in San Antonio, shared this delicious and sustainable cocktail recipe with us, so we’re sharing it with you in honor of Earth Day 2015!
Around the globe, companies and individuals are going green in an effort to protect and sustain natural resources. As Earth Day 2015 approaches, Valencia Group reflects on a year where numerous efforts have been undertaken to align its award winning properties, including Hotel Valencia Riverwalk in San Antonio, TX; Hotel Sorella in Houston, TX, Hotel Valencia Santana Row in San Jose, CA, Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, MO, and Lone Star Court in Austin, TX, with the hospitality company’s sensitivity to the environment.
Throughout April, Valencia Group hotels invite guests to toast its food and beverage program’s focus on locally sourced ingredients with a special menu of Sustainable Sips cocktail offerings, which utilize gins, vodkas, and whiskeys that have no additives and integrate organic botanicals such as thyme, rosemary, lavender and sage. The Spanish Rose will be showcased company-wide including Vbar (our favorite), Monnalisa, Bar Rosso, and Water Trough.
The core of the Spanish Rose is Cap Rock Gin, made with certified organic fruit and cut back with naturally pure, soft water from the CapRock formation at 10,500 feet on Grand Mesa, 20 miles from Peak Spirits Farm Distillery in Hotchkiss, CO.
Toast to Earth Day and make one at home with the following recipe or head on over to one of the Valencia Group Hotels if you’re lucky enough to be in a city with one!
- 1 ½ oz Cap Rock Gin
- ¾ oz Licor 43
- 1 oz fresh lemon juice
- ¾ oz Rosemary Syrup (or muddled rosemary) ½ oz Pomegranate juice
Shake and strain over ice in a wine glass, top with pom juice and garnish with half of a rosemary sprig.
Today is Earth Day and it’s all about the environmental movement that we have been in since the 1970s. I like to look at it as “Celebrating The Planet.”
A method of finding new ways to be more environmentally friendly is to examine favorite hobbies and think of tweaks you can make to benefit the environment. I love to cook and spend a lot of time in the kitchen, so my plan is to focus most of my efforts in that space. If you are a foodie like me, you can look around your kitchen to find ways that your love of cooking can be joined together to create eco-friendly activations. Many of these options can also be applied to our in-office work routines as well.
Here are seven ways to Green your routine in honor of Earth Day:
- Say goodbye to bottled water and choose filtered. Bottled water is wasteful – energy is used to produce, ship and dispose of plastic water bottles. It’s easy to replace it with filtered water. Water filtering pitchers are inexpensive, which cannot always be said about bottled water that needs to be restocked.
- Reconsider how you store leftovers. Be cautious when buying containers to store your food in. Look for eco-friendly options such as glass or ceramic containers, and always make sure that they’re BPA free.
- Run dishwasher only when it is full. This way you will be conserving water and energy. Also, you can opt to go with efficient settings like letting the dishes air dry rather than using heat. Remember you can always dry them by hand too.
- Use Nontoxic Cleaning products. There are so many brands available to choose from nowadays. My favorites are Method, Ecover and The Honest Co..
- Opt for Fair Trade. Buy fair trade organic coffee, teas, clothing and accessories.
- Make eco-friendly food choices. The 100-mile diet: local first; organic for high consumption foods. When ordering lunch how about going vegetarian or even vegan for one day of the week, hello #MeatlessMonday! Cutting down on meat can have a huge impact on the health of the planet. Also, make an adventure out of it and check out your local farmers market for a weekend activity. I really enjoy Dallas’s Farmers Market.
- Plant Something! Buy your favorite herbs and/or flowers and start a little garden. Recently I just purchased some fantastic mint, basil and oregano from Central Market. It’s fun to get your hands dirty and you’re also saving money growing your own!
We have fantastic news! Dinner Lab has landed in Dallas! They’re a members-only dining concept that connects undiscovered chefs with adventurous diners by hosting pop-up dinners at uncommon locations in cities throughout the country.
Sticking to its mantra of testing new ideas in food, Dinner Lab Dallas has joined forces with Zatarain’s to bring the best of The Big Easy to Dallas with their first-ever crawfish boil event on Sunday, March 29.
The event will feature one of the South’s master boilers, named as such during Dinner Lab’s preliminary “Clash of the Crawfish” competition in New Orleans last month. Chef Matt Heroman, will travel as a “guest chef” to share his own authentic, spice-loaded NOLA boil with Dinner Lab members in Dallas.
Tickets for the event are $35 per person. Annual membership with Dinner Lab Dallas costs $125 and provides the member and a guest access to Dinner Lab’s member-only events held regularly throughout the year in DFW, as well as access to events in all cities where Dinner Lab operates. Individual dinners range in cost from $60-85 per ticket.
To join, visit Dinner Lab’s Dallas Membership Page.
The event is scheduled for 2 p.m on Sunday, March 29th.
Some place unexpected. The location will be announced the day before the event – how exciting! Venues are always kept secret until the day prior when members receive an email with the location.
Interesting in learning more?
Today is National Pisco Sour Day and it’s always celebrated on the first Saturday in February. It’s thought that the Pisco Sour was invented by an American bartender named Victor Morris in the 1920s at his bar – Morris’ Bar Lima, Peru. Mario Bruguet then added egg whites to the recipe and turned this cocktail into the velvety goodness it is known for today.
What better way to celebrate the day than by making an authentic Pisco Sour?! Here’s a fantastic recipe that uses PISCO PORTÓN, Peru’s #1 pisco export.
PORTÓN PISCO SOUR
- 2 oz. Pisco Portón
- 1 oz. fresh lime juice
- 1 oz. simple syrup
- 1 oz. egg whites
- Dash of Angostura bitters
Add all ingredients in a blender. Blend on high for 15 seconds, add 5 cubes of ice, and then pulse in the blender 5 times. Strain up into a glass. Garnish with 3 drops of Angostura bitters.
Also, below are some fantastic DALLAS venues that are celebrating in proper Peruvian style!
« Bolsa – 614 West Davis Street
« Chino Chinatown – 1623 N. Hall Street
« Dish – 4123 Cedar Springs Road
« Henry’s Majestic – 4900 McKinney Avenue
« La Duni – 8687 N. Central Expressway
« Meddlesome Moth – 1621 Oak Lawn Avenue
« San Salvaje – 2100 Ross Avenue – featuring a special Pisco Portón menu for National Pisco Sour Day
« The People’s Last Stand – 5319 E. Mockingbird Lane
« The Usual Bar – 1408 W. Magnolia Avenue, Ft. Worth
« Victor Tangos – 3001 N. Henderson Avenue
Happy 2015 Everyone!
If you are like us you did some serious eating and festive drinking over the Holidays. For a healthy refresh, we are trying Bon Appetit‘s 2015 Food Lover’s Cleanse and so far, so good. The recipes are healthy, tasty and easy to follow. Another great component of this cleanse is that you can swap ingredients out for others that you prefer more – yes!
This Spinach Salad with Roasted Vegetables is a favorite so far.
Recipe| Servings 1
- 1 cup leftover vegetables from Bistro Salad with Roasted Vegetables / we used carrots, a turnip, a beet, & a shallot (click here for recipe)
- 3 cups spinach
- 2 tablespoons Whole Grain Mustard Walnut Vinaigrette (click here for recipe)
- 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds / we used walnuts instead
- 3-4 dried apricots, chopped