Chanel Makeup Nods French Cinema
Channel your inner screen siren with the new Avant-Premiere de Chanel collection.
June 17, 2013
Capture the allure of classic French cinema with the new Avant-Premiere de Chanel makeup collection. The French fashion house has a long legacy of dressing glamorous movie stars; Gabrielle Chanel even traveled to Hollywood to create a custom wardrobe for Gloria Swanson in Tonight or Never. Chanel also styled French screen sirens such as Ina Claire, Jeanne Moreau, and Delphine Seyrig. Starting this month, the Avant-Premiere de Chanel collection is available in Boston at Saks Fifth Avenue. Choose from a lustrous Rouge Coco Shine Hydrating Colour Lipshine ($34), classic Rouge Coco Hydrating Crème Lip Colour ($34), or four new Le Vernis ($27) nail colors, including Cinema, Starlet, Provocation, and Paparazzi. Saks Fifth Avenue, 800 Boylston St., 617-937-5210
BY JESSICA LANIEWSKI
Boston's Ben Mezrich Debuts 13th Book
The writer heads to Costa Rica and the world of online gambling in his latest book.
June 14, 2013
Internationally acclaimed author and man-about-town Ben Mezrich has made Boston his home base partially because “it is a very livable city.” The writer, who delves into the world of online gambling in Straight Flush: The True Story of Six College Friends Who Dealt Their Way to a Billion-Dollar Online Poker Empire—and How It All Came Crashing Down, just launched his new book with a party at Empire Asian Restaurant and Lounge hosted by John Henry, his wife Linda Pizzuti Henry, and Big Night Entertainment Group Partner Ed Kane. We caught up with Mezrich to discuss his newest book, the movies, and what keeps him in Boston.
So, lucky number 13! What was the process like in writing this book?
BEN MEZRICH: Ever since Bringing Down the House, I've become the go-to guy for every story involving crazy college kids doing something wild. Straight Flush started with an email I got from one of the guys in the book, asking me to look into their story. The more I investigated it, the more I realized it was a cool mix of '21' and The Social Network. These college kids had launched an online poker company and built it into a million-dollar-a-day business, and now they are fugitives, on the run from the U.S. government.
Many of your characters struggle with this burdening sense of genius and it seems to get them in trouble. Do you sympathize with these characters?
BM: Yes and no. Nobody in this story is a saint. However, I don't think they should be prosecuted for starting a poker website. These were frat guys from mostly poor backgrounds in Montana; they moved to Costa Rica, built this empire in a Wild West setting full of hookers, coke, and craziness. Now they are facing indictments. It's a pretty complex story, in some ways.
Any similarities between this and Bringing Down the House?
BM: In that it is a group of young guys taking on a system and having it all crash down, a little. But these guys are very different from the MIT geeks who used math to beat Vegas. These guys built a business in a lawless place, took much bigger risks, and ended up getting brought down by the U.S. government.
You have established yourself as an internationally-recognized author and you do it all from Boston. What keeps you here?
BM: I love Boston. This is the best city in the world. It's also got a great airport, about 10 minutes from where I live. And the community is full of super smart people doing cool things. There are tons of stories that move through this city. I can't imagine living anywhere else.
When you are writing ,are you thinking about the book being optioned for a movie?
BM: I always write with movies in mind. I am a very cinematic writer; I see my stories in a very visual way. When I sit down to write, I am picturing it on a screen.
As an author is it always “what’s next” for you?
BM: Yes, always, you got to be like a shark, keep moving or you sink to the bottom. I've got a children's series launching next summer, I just sold a big movie/book project to 20th Century Fox with Brett Ratner producing, and am working on a big, new secret non-fiction book. I always need to be moving onto the next big story.
Father's Day Gift Recommender
From good scents to a fresh shave, dad will love these six gifts and services.
June 13, 2013
BY DEVAN NORMAN
Foods News from Around New England
Summer heats up with bivalves, beer, and burgers.
June 07, 2013
Smith & Wollensky's Burger Bash Catering service launches for the summer.
Beats and Sweets
Each summer Lake Champlain Chocolates sponsors the Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, raising money for performing arts education in Vermont with the sale of a limited edition chocolate bar. This year, they teamed with Long Trail Brewing Company and created the BeBop Hop Chocolate Bar. The bar features barley malt extract from Long Trail’s brewmasters, which is caramelized into syrup and used as sweetener. The bar will be available for purchase online and in LCC’s three Vermont retail locations until June 9. 750 Pine St., Burlington, VT
Cater to Summer
Smith and Wollensky has just introduced Burger Bash Catering, a summer-inspired option designed for private events at their waterfront location, available until September 7. The catering menu includes S&W classic sliders, ahi tuna sliders, french fry cones, and more. A full bar and outdoor patio can accommodate groups of any size. Atlantic Wharf, 290 Congress St., 617-778-2200
From Sand Bar to Wet Bar
Deuxave celebrates the summer opening of its outdoor patio with two months of Bubbles and Bivalves. This special will run throughout June and July, offering guests a chance to enjoy three oysters, usually not offered on the menu, and a glass of bubbles on the patio. 371 Commonwealth Ave., 617-517-5915
Dining Under the Stars
Michael Smolak, of Smolak Farms in North Andover, will be hosting a lineup of celebrated local chefs for weekly dinners in July and August. Guests will enjoy cocktails and an outdoor, seated three-course dinner. Chef Mary Dumont of Harvest in Cambridge will be on the line come July 10th, chef Chris Frothingham of Vine Brook Tavern in Lexington will cook on the 17th, and chef Brian Rae of Rialto in Cambridge will have his turn on the 23rd with chef Chris Coombs of Boston Chops finishing out the month on the 31st. 315 South Bradford St., North Andover, 978-687-4029
Moët and Chandon Releases 70th Vintage
The revered Champagne house celebrates the release of its 2004 Grand Vintage and Grand Vintage Rosé.
June 07, 2013
Moët and Chandon’s 70th vintage showcases the Grand Vintage 2004 (right) and Grand Vintage Rosé 2004.
Champagne connoisseurs are in for a treat with the debut of Moët and Chandon’s Grand Vintage 2004. This marks the second vintage since 2000 that was made in the evolved style, by choosing grapes based on their particular qualities rather than accepted convention, and the aging period has also been lengthened to seven years.
Its 70th vintage, Grand Vintage 2004 ($58) is composed of equal parts of chardonnay, pinot noir, and pinot meunier grapes that imparts a delectable balance of creamy richness and tanginess. The vintage comes across on the palette with notes of white peach, lemon, and floral aromas of honeysuckle as well as brown sugar and candied melon. The grapes were grown during a season of ideal weather, when a warm summer and a healthy amount of rain resulted in a record harvest.
The conditions also gave us an impressive Grand Vintage Rosé 2004 ($65), which has a copper pink hue to it and a rich bouquet of caramel and candied fruit. Hints of black currants and dried figs round out this refined rosé.
These vintages will age well and taste delicious if stored properly for another 20 years. Moët and Chandon has also re-released the 1993 vintage ($140), which is an excellent example of how the 2004 will age. The release of these vintages also comes with a new trend: foregoing champagne flutes for white wine glasses.
“It is too easy to go ‘bottoms-up’ with a flute, and it’s narrow and harder to drink from,” said Elise Losfelt, Moët and Chandon’s newest winemaker. “With a white wine glass you are slowly getting the aromas of the Champagne and can savor the experience.” Bauer Wines and Spirits, 330 Newbury St., 617-262-0363
Recipe: Joanne Chang's Pavlova
Recreate Chang's stunning pavlova with a recipe from her latest book.
May 30, 2013
Joanne Chang's Pavlova recipe is perfect for summer dinner parties.
We have our mind on fruitier dishes as the weather warms up, and this pavlova recipe from Joanne Chang’s second cookbook, Flour, Too (out June 4), is perfect for intimate summer dinners. A companion to her first book, Flour, Chang's second cookbook is chock-full of more than 100 sweet and savory recipes that have made her four Boston and Cambridge cafés such popular destinations.
Pavlova with Plums, Figs, and Plum Wine
SERVES 8 to 10
Legendary ballerina Anna Pavlova inspired the Pavlova dessert while touring Australia and New Zealand. Chang recreates smaller versions of this dessert at Myers + Chang. Sharing the delicate nature of its namesake, this large-scale Pavlova is an impressive finale for a dinner party. Impress guests with the gorgeous flavor and appearance of fresh, wine-marinated plums and figs resting on light meringue and simple vanilla whipped cream.
6 egg whites
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch, sifted
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 ripe black or red plums
10 or 12 ripe figs
1 cup plum wine
1/2 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
A few fresh mint leaves for garnish
Special equipment: rimmed baking sheet, parchment paper, and stand mixer with whisk attachment or handheld mixer.
For the Pavlova: Preheat the oven to 200 degrees, and place a rack in the center of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and trace a 9-inch circle in the center of the paper. Flip the parchment over (so your pencil or pen won’t mark your Pavlova) and coat the parchment liberally with non-stick cooking spray. Then coat it again.
Using the stand mixer or handheld mixer and a large bowl, beat the egg whites on medium speed for about 1 minute. The whites will start to froth and turn into bubbles and eventually the yellowy viscous part will disappear. Keep beating until you can see the tines of the whisk or beaters leaving a slight trail in the whites. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the granulated sugar in six to eight equal additions, beating for about 30 seconds after each addition. It should take 4 to 5 minutes to add all of the sugar. When all of the granulated sugar has been incorporated into the egg whites, increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat for about 1 minute longer. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the cornstarch, salt, and vanilla. The meringue batter will be gloppy and sticky looking.
Scrape the meringue batter into a tall mountain in the middle of the circle on the prepared baking sheet. With the back of a spoon, create a well in the middle of the meringue and spread it out to fill the 9-inch circle. You want to shape the meringue into a bowl with sides 2 to 3 inches high.
Bake the meringue for 3 to 4 hours, or until it is firm to the touch, and if you press it with your fingertips, they should not poke through the surface. It should be crispy on the outside and somewhat soft on the inside. Turn off the heat and let the meringue sit in the closed oven for another 2 hours.
Remove the meringue from the oven and carefully peel it off the parchment paper. (The meringue can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature.)
For the plum compote: Halve and pit the plums, and cut them into slices ¼ inch thick. Trim the stem off each fig and quarter the figs lengthwise. Put the fruit in a heatproof medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the wine, granulated sugar, and salt and heat over high heat just to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the syrup thickens slightly. Pour the syrup over the plums and figs and set aside for at least 3 hours, or until cool. (The compote can be made up to 2 days in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Bring back to room temperature before using.)
For the whipped cream: Using the mixer or a whisk bowl, whip together the cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla until soft peaks form. Don’t overwhip! You want your cream to be soft and billowy.
Spread the cream over the meringue, leaving 2 to 3 inches around the edge of the meringue exposed. Using a slotted spoon, remove the plums and figs from the syrup, reserving the syrup, and arrange the fruit on the cream. Drizzle the entire dessert with a few spoonfuls of the syrup and garnish with the mint. Serve immediately.
One Family Holds Annual Benefit at Belkin Farm
The Fireman family’s benefit gives all families the chance to have fun this weekend.
May 30, 2013
Families are guaranteed to have fun at the Belkin farm during One Family's annual benefit.
The statistics are sobering. While homeless families make up the largest section of the homeless population, the average age of a person living on the streets in Massachusetts is nine.
One Family, started by Paul and Phyllis Fireman in 1999, aims to change this statistic by working with policy makers and Housing First, which focuses on finding safe housing as the initial step in curbing homelessness. The foundation’s big event, Families of Inspiration, takes place June 2 at the Belkin Family Lookout Farm in South Natick from 4 to 7 p.m. This year’s format is a change after years of holding a cocktail party for adults.
“We decided this year we wanted to give back to the scholars and have them participate in a day that was about everyone,” says Penelope Fireman, who is on the organization’s board of directors. She originally envisioned a picnic in her backyard, but the event kept growing. With a guest list approaching 300 people, she searched for a family-friendly space to fit everyone.
Families will get to participate in a slew of activities together, including creating a family album and helping design a family home as well as a house for the animals at the Belkin farm. Also on the agenda, Simone Winston will be honored with One Family’s community leadership award. Visit the One Family website to buy tickets, which start at $20 for children 12 and under.
Design Duo Hosts Boston Marathon Benefit
Sisco + Berluti is showcasing Boston Strong bracelets and more at Succarra.
May 29, 2013
Sisco + Berluti's limited-edition Boston Strong stack bracelets will benefit the One Fund.
Sisters Lisa Sisco and Carolyn Berluti, creators of Boston jewelry line Sisco + Berluti, are hosting a shopping event on May 29 at Succarra with The Fashion Group International of Boston. For this special occasion, the sisters created a special Boston Strong bracelet stack that will go on sale. All proceeds from this limited edition line will be donated to the One Fund, which was set up to help those affected by the Boston Marathon bombing.
The hometown designers launched Sisco + Berluti in 2008, when Carolyn seized on the idea of making bracelets similar to the high-end pieces she received as gifts from her husband. What started as a hobby flourished into a business as they sold their stacks of seven bracelets to major retailers and saw them worn by celebrities like Jessica Alba and Gwen Stefani. Although their company has expanded internationally, each piece is still handmade at their homes in Westwood. Stop by Succarra’s showroom between 6 and 8 p.m. for the shopping event and listen to the sisters share their story. The event is open the public. 48 Charles St., third floor, Beacon Hill, 857-991-1270
White Barn Inn Celebrates 40 Years
A lavish dinner and weekend-long party are on slate at the picturesque New England getaway.
May 28, 2013
In honor of The White Barn Inn’s 40th anniversary, the hotel and restaurant is pulling out all the stops with an event-filled weekend May 31-June 2. The highlight? A nine-course dinner prepared by award-winning chef Jonathan Cartwright on June 1.
The special event menu will take guests on a journey through the restaurant's culinary history, highlighting popular dishes from the last four decades. Using local lobsters and oysters, chef Cartwright will craft unexpected yet delightful combinations such as caramel corn and poached pear oysters, inspired by a 1979 menu item. To drink, guests can savor a Ruby Rose Martini, made with Hanger One Vodka, St. Germain Elderflower liqueur, fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, pomegranate, and a spoonful of rosewater. The drink is $18, that is, unless you'd like to go top shelf and opt for a version that includes a $40,000 4-carat ruby keepsake.
Equally impressive is a 1973 bottle of Hanzell Vineyards Pinot Noir that will be auctioned off during the dinner to benefit Share Our Strength. (1973 is the year The White Barn Inn opened, by the way.) And for those staying for more than just dinner, the inn is running a June special for couples celebrating a 40th anniversary or guests celebrating 40th birthdays. Those eligible can enjoy a $40 dining credit and 40 percent off a second night's stay, along with a Ruby Red Grapefruit treatment for $40. 37 Beach Ave., Kennebunk Beach, ME, 207-967-2321
BY DEVAN NORMAN
Nantucket Hotels Offer BMW Bonus
Top tier suites at White Elephant and The Wauwinet come with a set of luxury car keys.
May 23, 2013
The Coatue Suite at The Wauwinet
If you're checking into one of the top suites at White Elepant, White Elephant Village, and The Wauwinet, you're in for a treat: A 2013 BMW X5 35i. Thanks to a partnership with Massachusetts BMW Centers, the luxury vehicle is available for complimentary use for those guests who have booked White Elephant's loft suite or any of the three-bedroom suites at White Elephant Village, as well as the Coatue Suite at The Wauwinet. Get behind the wheel and head out to ‘Sconset or Madaket to grab lunch at Bartlett’s Farm or catch the sunset. This amenity is available for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. 10 Amelia Dr., Nantucket, 800-475-2637