Three Days in Paris // Travel Diary + Tips & Recs

Three Days in Paris // Travel Diary + Tips & Recs

For those who follow me on Instagram , you’re probably MORE than well aware that I recently got back from a weeklong trip to Europe with my mom and sister. Our girls trip expanded 2 countries and 3 cities and consisted of 4 train rides, 5 hotel stays, and literally thousands of photos. We had a fantastic time eating and sight-seeing our way through Paris, Brussels, and Ghent — and then back again. In a nutshell, it was magic.
All three of us had been to Paris before (see my first and second Paris posts from two years ago here and here ). This time around, we were in the City of Lights for 3 ½ days of our getaway, which is what I’m detailing below.
Before we get started though, let me just say how much I LOVE PARIS. This gorgeous, historic city is almost unreal, and my heart truly lights up when I’m there. We ended up bookending the Belgium portion of our trip with Paris, and that turned out to be perfect. So we started in Paris and ended in Paris — I mean, can you even think of a better vacation? Day 1: Exploring / Balmain Hair Salon / Champs Elysées My journey began with an overnight plane from New York’s JFK to Paris’ ORY. I landed on Sat. April 6 at 9 am (and hit the ground running). I’m mentioning the exact date here because Spring can be a tricky season to travel in in terms of weather. It was an average of 52 degrees during our entire trip, but it was warmer than that the week before we were there, and then significantly warmer the week after we left.
The outfits I wore did keep me warm, but as you can see, I did need heavier jackets, turtlenecks, and layers. Our last day was actually the coldest and I honestly could have worn a hat and gloves! After freshening up at our hotel, Hotel Des Comedies , which is located in the Le Marais neighborhood of Paris, we grabbed lunch at a nearby cafe and ate outside in the sunshine (this was the warmest day of our trip). After that, we walked around the neighborhood snapping photos and enjoying the cherry blossoms that were in full bloom.
The concierge at our hotel was then nice enough to, at our request, book hair appointments for us at the Balmain Hair Salon located along the Champs-Élysées. I know right, *lands in Paris and immediately books hair appointment* — talk about an eye roll. But this is actually one of my best travel hacks. Getting your hair done will save you so much time and energy in the mornings, and it’s so worth it to not have to worry about your hair looking good while on vacation. At the salon, my mom and I got blowouts and my sister got an actual cut, which she desperately needed 😉 and our experience was nothing short of memorable. The Balmain salon is just as glamorous and chic as you’d think, and we were treated like royalty, which is always a plus! Next, we ventured to the Arc de Triomphe where we took an embarrassing amount of pictures (which you’ll see is a theme during our trip, ha)!
For dinner, we ate at a buzzy outdoor cafe along the Champs-Élysées and watched the sun set over the Arc [insert dreamy sigh]. I ordered one of my favorite things to get in France, which is also super affordable — a Croque Madame . The waiter was slightly offended when I asked for it without ham though (#vegetarian), so I just took the meat off when it arrived and handed it off to my mom. Day 2: Picnic / Eiffel Tower / Le Palais Royal / Angelina’s We got an early(ish) start on day two, beginning our morning the same way we began every morning in Paris — at a boulangerie! My sister speaks French (it’s one of her majors) and I took French for six years (…doesn’t mean I’m good though lol), so we always try and find the most authentic French spots, and luckily — when I’m with her — we have no problems communicating with shop owners.
It was a Sunday and not everything was open, but we found a cute place not far from our hotel and, just like everything else in France, it was fabulous! Boulangeries are more abundant in Paris than Starbucks are in New York, and they’re typically just walk-in places where you order breakfast or lunch on the go.
And yes, Parisians actually DO walk around carrying and eating baguettes (and yes, it is kind of adorable)! After exploring the 7th arrondissement of Paris , which is a “quaint yet sophisticated” neighborhood encompassing the Eiffel Tower, we decided to picnic beneath the Eiffel Tower for lunch. For supplies, we stopped by the Rue Cler Market , which is almost like a farmer’s market that features little shops and cafes. We bought fresh cheese and bread from a fromagerie, and were on our way. For me, the photos I take while on a trip are my souvenirs, so making sure to shoot at specific locations is a high priority on my list; I view it not as just simply taking photos, but making memories. We shamelessly took hundreds of Eiffel Tower pics and had a lot of fun doing it. I wish I could provide an exact location for where some of them were shot, but we really just wandered around and happened to stumble upon some really cool views. Something I really wanted to do during this Paris trip was visit Le Palais Royal , which is a former royal palace located opposite the Louvre. The Palais-Royal now serves as the seat of the Ministry of Culture and the Constitutional Council, but honestly we were just there for the beautiful scenery — and to see the famous striped columns! There’s also a gorgeous garden there that you can walk through and sit in. It’s a little piece of paradise in the bustling city. Most people who have planned a Paris trip before, know about Angelina’s . Angelina’s is a famous tea house located in the 1st arrondissement of Paris that’s primarily known for its almost pudding-like hot chocolate. Said hot chocolate should be a national treasure — it’s that life-changing.
While at Angelina’s, we of course got three hot chocolates and then couldn’t resist also ordering some pastries, because France. This ended up being our dinner, as we had an early wakeup call the next morning for our train to Brussels.
As we walked back to our hotel, we watched the sun set over Paris and took a few street photos along the way. Day 3: Best Boulangerie / The Louvre / Tuileries Garden As I mentioned earlier, boulangeries were our jam while in Paris, but our favorite by far was the one we visited on the morning of our last full day. It’s a famous one called Du Pain et des Idées (in English, “Some Bread and Some Ideas), and my sister had been insisting we go. It turned out to be a true gem, and I still think of their unbelievable fruit rouge escargot, which I wish I were eating right now!
We had to wait in a line to even get in the door, but it didn’t take too long and it was SO worth it. Not only was the inside gorgeous and quintessentially French, but the people were so nice and the pastries lived up to the hype.
My sister made it clear that we shouldn’t be shy about getting EVERYTHING we wanted, and I really took that to heart. We left with seven treats! Is any Paris trip complete without a visit to the Louvre (aka the most visited museum in the world)? According to my sister, that’s a hard no. She’s currently studying French and art history at Notre Dame, so obviously the Louvre is one of her favorite places in the entire city.
Although my mom and I had been before, we hadn’t been with HER, which is a treat in itself because she can act as our own personal tour guide. But of course before entering, we had to take a plethora of photos 😉 After a few (and by “a few” I mean four) hours in the Louvre, we walked around, enjoying the streets of Paris. During my last visit, the Tuileries Garden was one of my favorite spots, and this time we felt extra lucky to see the gardens in the springtime, as the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. It was breathtaking! For our last dinner in Paris, we ate dessert first, starting with this fanciful pastry from Pierre Hermé’s (pictured below), which, if you can believe it, tasted even better than it looked. It’s called an ispahan and it can only be described as heavenly. Pierre Hermé’s is the best place to get them, and they’re essentially a giant cake-like macaroon filled with fresh raspberries and cream and adorned with a rose petal.
For dinner, we went to another neighborhood in Paris, Montmartre. My sister had a recommendation for a trendy French restaurant there called Bouillon Pigalle , and let me tell you, it was hopping! We waited in line for over an hour to be seated, but it was so busy for a reason. The best part is that it wasn’t touristy at all — it was clearly a Friday night Parisian hangout and everyone around us was speaking French. We enjoyed an amazing (and authentically French) meal on the roof, and ended our time in Paris on a major high note. Bonus: African Food / Indian Speakeasy During the “½” of our 3 ½ days in Paris, we went to a casual dinner at a local hotspot called Osè African Cuisine . I’d describe it as a Chipotle but with fresh African food (think beans, rice, meats, vegetables, and sauces). It was satisfying, delicious, and unlike anything we have in the states. It was also not touristy AT ALL and the people who worked there were very friendly.
After dinner, we went across the street to an Indian restaurant that has a speakeasy in the back called Baranaan Indian Cocktail . I drank out of an actual coconut and, get this, the theme of the place was Bombay’s prohibition era. The inside of the bar was decorated as if you were on a train. How cool, right? As lengthy as this post is, refraining from adding even more photos and tid-bits was actually a challenge! So if you have any questions or want more info, feel free to reach out to me via the comments section, email, or IG 🙂
Next up, a 3-day Belgium guide featuring the cities of Brussels and Ghent. Stay tuned!

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Bite-sized menu: the next big thing

Share T he menus for wedding celebrations seem to be boasting of a wide variety of smaller bites for guests to sample, shifting the focus from the main spread to small pieces
The recent years saw the rise of an interesting trend in food that is set to take off in years to come. A ‘bite-sized menu’ is like a wave of fresh air in the done and dusted arena of buffet catering services. Indian weddings are always super-sized, but recently, more worldly couples are acknowledging the allure of finger food. “When you eat, it’s 70 per cent with your eyes, and 30 per cent with taste, smell and everything else. So, it is extremely important to serve food that is first and foremost, visually appealing and secondly, tastes good. All over India, well-travelled clients have had exposure to the way things are in the West and expect the same quality here,” explains Ishaan Sarkar, Chief Operating Officer, Kwality Group. PHOTO: EDIBLENY, FLICKR
THE POSITIVES
The obvious ‘cute’ factor jumps out at you as soon as you lay your eyes on these mini treats, and it’s easy to see why they are a favourite among guests and clients alike. Served in adorable spoons, shot glasses or cups, these treats are easy to eat without soiling your fingers and ruining the perfect manicure. Besides, eating bite-sized food is a much more fun experience and hence you remember it as opposed to a run-of-the-mill buffet spread or even a formal sit-down dinner that needs a larger space for a table to be set and people to be seated. “For outdoor weddings especially, people enjoy having a fun atmosphere with interactive counters and fun food and delicious aromas wafting through the air,” says Akash Kalra, Director, United Group.
Also, and probably the most important, mini food facilitates easier socialising as you can move around effortlessly with a drink in hand, talk to people and still be able to enjoy hot (or cold, depending on the preparation) bites of food. “Wedding hopping has become a common occurrence amongst high society, so bite-sized portions are perfect for those who have two or three receptions to attend in a night. Also, we divide our menu into 50 per cent of the all-time favourites, 25 per cent for innovation and 25 per cent for convenient food,” says Ishaan. Although most Indian weddings cannot do without a few staples like dal makhani , murg makhani , pulao, biryani and rotis served at a buffet for the old-timers, it is possible to serve all your food in mini sizes on roving trays, to keep it flowing throughout the course of the wedding and doing away with the buffet altogether. PHOTO: UNITED CATERING
Of this style, Akash says, “Individual portioning is gaining popularity among clients now because they want their guests to savour more options. We limit each portion size to 15 grams so that they get to try different items and enjoy the novelty aspect of these foods.” While he is of the opinion that this style works best for smaller parties, he also adds, “Serving smaller portions also reduces wastage. Clients nowadays value presentation much more and don’t necessarily want to eat as much, but still value variety. While we limit individual portioning to appetisers and palette cleansers, for the main course, we focus on live cuisine counters that can be anything from Indian to oriental and continental, and we portion, prepare and present it individually. It is all made-to-order and the biggest challenge is to ensure that the guest doesn’t have to wait for more than three to five minutes.”
They say variety is the spice of life and when it comes to small bites, this holds true too. “It is sometimes difficult for a couple to narrow down menu options for a sit-down dinner or a buffet, especially if they are foodies. When you have bite-sized options, you don’t have to choose and can have both. When you serve a buffet, its almost always the case that the party winds down after dinner service, but when you serve small portions, the party can go on for much longer,” says Premila Fernandes, owner, Posh Platz Catering Service. PHOTO: DINNER SERIES, FLICKR
THE INNOVATIONS
There is so much room for innovation and experimentation when it comes to mini foods that the sky is the limit. “We serve Thai spring rolls in a honey chilli sauce, served in a shot glass; miso cod served in a spoon; sushi shashlik and vegetable croquet lollipops where the toothpick is actually a sugarcane stick, which adds a surprisingly fun element to the dish. In terms of dessert options, lollipop cupcakes are hugely popular as are single serving chocolate mud pies. Mud pies were a popular preference for full buffets as well, but it used to be messy to eat. In single, small portions, that is not a problem anymore. Lastly, a cool new idea we have been doing for weddings lately are setting up mini bonfires at winter weddings and handing guests mini marshmallows to toast on the fire and eat with hot chocolate,” shares Ishaan.
Each portion has to be presented with all the condiments designed to be the perfect bite. “We have introduced Indian tapas that include dhokla shots, bhel shots, vodka golgappas and so on. We also serve palette cleansers, which are basically nectars like chicken broth, tamatar ki taranu and gazpacho served in shot glasses,” shares Akash.
“Our servers also walk around with scented wet wipes so that guests don’t have to keep running to the washroom every time they eat something in case their fingers get messy,” adds Ishaan.
The options are endless and the creativity you can experiment with knows no bounds with small bites. “Tomato soup shots with a grilled cheese perched on top, margarita popsicles, bite-sized spaghetti and meatballs, sliders, mini sausage pies are some of the ideas that you can use at your wedding,” adds Premila.
Although undoubtedly more expensive because of the effort involved, mini menus are delightful to see and taste and will most definitely give your wedding a unique appeal.
Lead Photo: TRACY HUNTER, FLICKR 1+

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Review: Indian Street Food Cookery Class at Jenius Social

Review: Indian Street Food Cookery Class at Jenius Social April 19, 2019 in Other – No Comments – micaela Review: Indian Street Food Cookery Class at Jenius Social April 19, 2019 in Other – No Comments – Micaela
I admit that when it comes to cooking I am super lazy. If I can open a bag of salad and throw on some vegan protein then I am good to go. However, recently I have been trying to improve my skills and learn to be a bit more creative in the kitchen so when I was invited to take part in a cookery class at Jenius Social in London I was really excited!
Based in Holloway, Jenius Social offer up their kitchen for a range of events including corporate team-building sessions, kitchen hire for TV and photo shoots, private hires for parties and of course cookery classes.
The cookery classes on offer include classic French desserts, vegan cookery, artisan sausage making, butchery, authentic Thai cooking, Mexican street food, marvellous macarons, pasta making, Mediterranean tapas and the one I attended: Indian Street Food.
The Indian Street Food class is described as a traditional mix of meat and vegetarian dishes (although they were kind enough to organise vegan-friendly versions for me), all of which use tried and tested Indian cooking techniques and an authentic combination of flavours.
On arrival, I was warmly welcomed and offered refreshments as I waited for the other 5 attendees (including my friend Amelia who accompanied me for the experience) to arrive (I am always early to everything!)
Once we were all there we were taken through to the kitchen where we were introduced to our Chef and set up at our stations which had been prepared for us along with our ingredients ready to get started.
The menu: Onion and Fennel Bhaji, Spiced Vegetable Biryani, Mogul Chicken (aubergine for me) Curry, Indian flatbread and Cucumber and Mint Raita.
We were led through each recipe by our Chef who was knowledgeable and happy to answer any questions we had. She showed us various techniques for making the best out of our ingredients, I particularly enjoyed making the curry paste; combining toasted dry spices with fresh garlic, ginger and chilli and using an old fashioned mortar and pestle.
I also found making the onion bhaji particularly hilarious because our mix was a bit mischievous and most of them came out of the fryer looking like space invaders. I am determined to try the recipe again at home and improve my technique!
After all the cooking was finished we sat around a big table and enjoyed the spoils of our hard work. Both the Spiced Vegetable Biryani and the Aubergine Mogul were delicious although I think next time I will add a bit more chilli to my curry paste for a bit more of a kick! The raita (made with dairy-free coconut cream) was refreshing and added a lovely creamy texture to the meal. Despite their appearance, I really loved the onion bhaji.
Overall I had a really lovely experience learning to cook Indian Street Food at the Jenius Social class. The session was well organised and had good flow, the atmosphere was fun and friendly and our Chef was clearly experienced, patient and really tuned in to the group. Of course, most importantly, the food was delicious!
I would love to go back and try out some other cookery classes at Jenius Social – the Mexican one sounds pretty enticing! I would recommend one of their classes to anyone looking to learn a new cuisine or skills in the kitchen and award them 5 out of 5 stars for a great experience. 2

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Harmonious spread of flavours – Eat & Drink

VARIETY is the spice of life, they say, and you cannot get more spiced up than at a buffet starring local varieties and much more.
Carrying the theme “Citarasa Harmoni”, Latest Recipe’s Ramadan buffet at Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur aims to offer a wide range of appetising dishes for diners.
Featuring the best of Malaysian to international flavours, the buffet offerings curated by hotel executive sous chef Budiman Bistari Mohamed was inspired by a simple idea – let diners experience a vast variety of cuisines.
“I hope our diners will get to taste the harmonious combination of several different flavours from a range of cuisines that complement each other nicely.
“Most, importantly, we want to give locals and international guests a chance to savour Malay food,” he said.
To start off the meal, diners can sample a variety of traditional Malay appetisers such as pecal desa, tauhu sumbat and kerabu such as chicken satay kerabu served with cucumber and red onion as well as Nyonya seafood kerabu.
My regular choice for an appetiser at a Ramadan buffet is usually hot oxtail soup or sup ekor.
A rainbow-like array of refreshing ulam to start the meal with.
This savoury stew with chunks of beef, generously garnished with fried shallots and spring onions was simply appetising.
The highlight of the menu is none other than the lamb rendang and beef rendang or Rendang Daging Utara.
Budiman said the lamb rendang was cooked with lots of dried spices while the beef rendang was cooked with herbs instead.
“For the lamb, I used cumin, black pepper and coriander for extra fragrance.
“Meanwhile, the beef rendang was cooked with dried chilies, lemongrass, galangal, ginger and other herbs for better taste,” he said.
Both rendang dishes stood out in their own way.
Flavourful sup ekor is a dish the writer enjoys having during Ramadan.
The aromatic fragrance of spices used in the lamb rendang whets the appetite and the meat was not gamey.
The succulent beef rendang, a must-have for Ramadan, was flavourful.
At the carving station, the rack of roasted lamb was in full display with a dedicated chef there, serving diners.
Those who want to venture further in tastes can indulge in a melting pot of dishes from the Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Western stations.
Other dishes include Red Snapper Curry, Lamb Maliki,
Stir-fried Prawns, Stingray in Chilli-tamarind broth with Ladies’ Fingers and Kesom Leaves, Creamy Butter Salted Egg
A wide variety of main dishes await diners at Latest Recipe in the upcoming fasting month.
Flower Crab, Chicken Kalio and Local Tuna with Green Chilli Paste.
To end the meal, diners can opt for traditional desserts such as ABC and cendol that come with a choice of toppings and condiments, or a selection of soft serve ice cream, plain or fruity yoghurt.
The Citarasa Harmoni buffet dinner is available from May 6 to June 4, priced at RM180 nett per adult and RM90 nett per child.
Early-bird vouchers are available at RM128 nett (per adult) and RM64 nett (per child) on a first-come, first-served basis.
Marriott Bonvoy members get 10% off for early bird discount.
LATEST RECIPE, Level Five, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2263 7434. Business hours: 6am-midnight, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.
Featuring the best of Malaysian to international flavours, the buffet offerings curated by hotel executive sous chef Budiman Bistari Mohamed was inspired by a simple idea – let diners experience a vast variety of cuisines.
“I hope our diners will get to taste the harmonious combination of several different flavours from a range of cuisines that complement each other nicely.
“Most, importantly, we want to give locals and international guests a chance to savour Malay food,” he said.
To start off the meal, diners can sample a variety of traditional Malay appetisers such as pecal desa, tauhu sumbat and kerabu such as chicken satay kerabu served with cucumber and red onion as well as Nyonya seafood kerabu.
My regular choice for an appetiser at a Ramadan buffet is usually hot oxtail soup or sup ekor.
A rainbow-like array of refreshing ulam to start the meal with.
This savoury stew with chunks of beef, generously garnished with fried shallots and spring onions was simply appetising.
The highlight of the menu is none other than the lamb rendang and beef rendang or Rendang Daging Utara.
Budiman said the lamb rendang was cooked with lots of dried spices while the beef rendang was cooked with herbs instead.
“For the lamb, I used cumin, black pepper and coriander for extra fragrance.
“Meanwhile, the beef rendang was cooked with dried chilies, lemongrass, galangal, ginger and other herbs for better taste,” he said.
Both rendang dishes stood out in their own way.
Flavourful sup ekor is a dish the writer enjoys having during Ramadan.
The aromatic fragrance of spices used in the lamb rendang whets the appetite and the meat was not gamey.
The succulent beef rendang, a must-have for Ramadan, was flavourful.
At the carving station, the rack of roasted lamb was in full display with a dedicated chef there, serving diners.
Those who want to venture further in tastes can indulge in a melting pot of dishes from the Indian, Chinese, Japanese and Western stations.
Other dishes include Red Snapper Curry, Lamb Maliki,
Stir-fried Prawns, Stingray in Chilli-tamarind broth with Ladies’ Fingers and Kesom Leaves, Creamy Butter Salted Egg
A wide variety of main dishes await diners at Latest Recipe in the upcoming fasting month.
Flower Crab, Chicken Kalio and Local Tuna with Green Chilli Paste.
To end the meal, diners can opt for traditional desserts such as ABC and cendol that come with a choice of toppings and condiments, or a selection of soft serve ice cream, plain or fruity yoghurt.
The Citarasa Harmoni buffet dinner is available from May 6 to June 4, priced at RM180 nett per adult and RM90 nett per child.
Early-bird vouchers are available at RM128 nett (per adult) and RM64 nett (per child) on a first-come, first-served basis.
Marriott Bonvoy members get 10% off for early bird discount.
LATEST RECIPE, Level Five, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, 2, Jalan Stesen Sentral, Kuala Lumpur. (Tel: 03-2263 7434. Business hours: 6am-midnight, daily. Pork-free.
This is the writer’s observation and not an endorsement by StarMetro.

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2019 International Festival Of Arts and Ideas Lineup Announced

June 21 Morse Recital Hall at Sprague Hall, 470 College Street ($35) The Yale Choral Artists perform captivating and deeply moving choral works by living composers known all over the world for their exciting and innovative contributions to new music, and who all share musical roots in New Haven: Caroline Shaw, Christopher Theofanidis, Ingram Marshall, Michael Gilbertson, and Aaron Jay Kernis. HEADLINE CONCERTS ON THE NEW HAVEN GREEN Marion Meadows & Rohn Lawrence June 8, 7PM New Haven Green (Free) Marion Meadows is a smooth jazz soprano saxophonist, born in West Virginia and raised in Stamford, Connecticut. He has performed as sideman for Brook Benton, Chuck Loeb, Eartha Kitt , The Temptations, Michael Bolton , and Jean Carne , among others, and has become a staple of contemporary jazz in his own right, releasing more than more than a dozen albums in the past two decades. Guitarist Rohn Lawrence developed his reputation playing in New Haven funk bands, becoming a go-to guitarist for many active contemporary musicians. He continuously performs with Marion Meadows and also with notable artists including Najee, Freddie Jackson , Diane Reeves and Jonathan Butler. Lawrence has contributed to well over fifty albums since the start of his career, including Meadows’ 2018 release, Soul City. Thabisa, whose name alone means “make others happy,” is an artist, musician, a mother, and a motivated individual. Born in Kwazakhele, she moved to New Haven in early 2016 and immediately jumped into the music scene, releasing two highly acclaimed albums, The Journey (2013) and Eyodidi (2015). Garba360 With Kashyap Jani and Friends June 9, 7PM New Haven Green (Free) Garba360 brings the exhilarating energy of Indian folk dance from Gujarat to the New Haven Green with the invigorating traditional music of Kashyap Jani and Friends. The clapping, spinning and bright colors of garba commemorate wedding celebrations and the vivacious Hindu festival Navratri. Garba360 instructors guide new dancers, using the dance to educate about Navratri and its mythological importance. Vivian Green June 15, 7PM New Haven Green (Free) Contemporary R&B talent Vivian Green has been writing songs since she was 11. Her six albums include A Love Story (2002); Vivian (2005), which reached number 18 on the Billboard 200; Beautiful (2010), which also made the Billboard 200; and VGVI (2017). She has been nominated for multiple awards from Black Entertainment Television, Lady of the Soul Train, and Soul Train. The Force MDs originated hip-hop, doo-wop and hip-hop soul. Their 80s hits include “Tender Love,” “Love Is a House”, “Tears”, “Here I Go Again” and “Let Me Love You.” Their live performance is a “nostalgic soul celebration” that uplifts the audience with the best of black music history through emotive renditions of songs by the Temptations, The Four Tops , the Jackson Five, Al Green and more. Gina Chavez June 16, 6PM New Haven Green (Free) 10-time Austin Music Award winner Gina Chavez topped both the Amazon and Latin iTunes charts with her bilingual 2014 record, Up.Rooted. Chavez’ new EP Lightbeam reflects on a love she never thought she would experience. Chavez masterfully weaves the sophisticated spirit of her previous music with a pop aesthetic and intensely personal lyrics in Lightbeam: “This is the story my heart wanted to tell; the story of what it means to be a Catholic Latina and fall in love with a woman; the story of what it means to live your heart no matter what the world says.” Tiempo Libre With the New Haven Symphony Orchestra June 22, 7PM New Haven Green (Free) Sensual, summery, and sophisticated Afro-Caribbean music group Tiempo Libre is one of the hottest contemporary Latin bands. The childhood friends fled from Cuba one by and one and reunited in Miami and formed the first all-Cuban timba group in America. The music, spanning from pop power ballads to timba dance club numbers, holds fast to its roots and brings Afro-Cuban flavor to an international audience. Celebrating 125 years, The New Haven Symphony Orchestra is the fourth oldest orchestra in the U.S. They celebrate their classical music heritage and new American compositions through accessible symphonic performances and their music education program, designed to instill a sense of American cultural identity and an appreciation for the heroes of American music. This concert will mark the baton passing of long-time Musical Director William Boughton to the incoming Alasdair Neale.
IDEAS PROGRAMS Confronting Identity: An Arts & Ideas Fellows Town Hall June 8, 1PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) It has become a Festival tradition for our high school Festival Fellows to begin our Festival and Ideas program with their own Town Hall. Join them this year as they explore the themes of Jhumpa Lahiri’s The Namesake, opening up a public discussion examining the importance of one’s culture and background, gender, and name. Living for the City June 8, 3:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) As a Festival Director in Europe and Australia, Jonathan Holloway has repeatedly reinvented the ways in which festivals explore, reclaim, and celebrate their city for all those who use it, from the traditional custodians of the land to the latest arrivals, and all the people in between. Jonathan will talk about some of the immersive experiences and large-scale spectaculars he has devised in London and Norwich (UK), Perth and Melbourne (Australia), and the lessons and tricks we can all take away from these transformative events. 400 Years of Inequality: A People’s Observance for a Just Future June 9, 1PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) 2019 is the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first Africans to be sold into bondage in North America in 1619 at Jamestown. Mindy Fullilove, MD and representatives of the 400 Years of Inequality coalition share stories of oppression and resistance. Nearly 400 years of division have created an apartheid society: we need a new social infrastructure to carry us through the challenges of climate change, decaying physical infrastructure, rapidly evolving jobs, underperforming schools, uneven access to health care, and lack of affordable housing. Hear how communities and organizations across the country are already observing the call and addressing these inequalities in bold ways. Learn how to organize an observance of your own with your organization, family and neighbors. Anthropecene: Staging the Future June 9, 3:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Theatre director Thaddeus Phillips is known for creating visually stunning and inventive theatre that crosses stylistic boundaries and embraces a wide variety of themes. His newest project “Anthropocene” will explore our current time, and how it affects us, scares us and inspires us. The theme “what world we are leaving to our children” is immense and vital and must be approached with creativity, seriousness, humor, fear, courage, and hope. Thaddeus seeks to investigate the crossroads in which we find ourselves at this moment. Can we use this power as managers of our own reality to ensure our survival and that of our planet or we can self-destruct? Cities of Peace: Healing the Trauma of Conflict through Art June 11, 5:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Fulbright Specialist for Peacebuilding and Reconciliation Ellen Frank talks about her peacebuilding initiative Cities of Peace: a project that uses the power of art to heal communities and transform the dynamics of conflict in cities all over the world. Cities of Peace has become not only a collection of monumental paintings that celebrates humankind’s achievements, but a growing interdisciplinary educational program and an idea that transcends borders and identities. Data-Driven Sounds June 12, 5:30PM Musicians Kaki King, Spencer Topel, and Jay Alan Zimmerman share how they are using data not just to make sounds but to see and experience music. Kaki King’s 2020 Arts & Ideas commissioned Data Not Found explores how big data and personal data have come to affect our lives, and what those effects look and sound like, Yale Quantum Institute Artist-in-Residence Spencer Topel breaks down the sounds of a single moving electron, and composer Jay Alan Zimmerman discusses his collaboration with Google and their music visualization tools. Stonewall at 50 June 13, 5:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) How do we honor this landmark in a struggle that began before the “first brick was thrown” and still continues? How do we tribute the indignation, outrageousness (fabulousness) and complexity of ALL those present 50 years ago–without retroactively endowing them with certainty or cohesion or de-problematizing their differences? An informal talk with award winning playwright Ain Gordon and rural queer/trans organizer HB Lozito. Author! Author!: A Conversation with Michael Childers Presented in partnership with the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library June 14, 5PM Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, 121 Wall Street (FREE) Celebrated photo portraitist Michael Childers share anecdotes about his work and interactions with notable writers, including Amy Tan , Henry Rollins , Christopher Isherwood , Carrie Fisher , Gloria Steinem , Gore Vidal , Katori Hall , Mae West , and Fran Lebowitz , in connection with the show, Author! Author!, on view this summer at the Beinecke Library, along with the exhibition, Life of the Party: Jerome Zerbe and the Social Photograph. We Knew Haven: A Youth Activist Perspective June 15, 1PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Featuring New Haven Youth Activists asking the questions: What do you imagine your New Haven to look like? How do you feel your identity is connected to your activism? What are youth activists doing to combat gentrification, racism, over-surveillance downtown? Keepers of the Culture June 15, 3:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Supreme Easy A.D. of the Legendary Cold Crush Brothers and Nikki D, the first female emcee signed to Def Jam Records, engage in an in-depth conversation sharing a rare glimpse into the birth of Hip Hop as a culture and their inside perspectives of Hip Hop’s contribution to the world and the music industry. Habits to Heal: Exploring Practices for Mindfulness and Wellness June 16, 1PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Improved resilience and health. Enhanced ability to manage stress and anxiety. Through mindful awareness, we can avoid being on “auto-pilot,” and more often consciously choose how we live. And there is good scientific evidence that mindful practices help us to be more compassionate, toward ourselves and others. Area experts Shirley Chock, Dr. Ginger Nash, Hanifa Nayo Washington, and Dr. Edward Rippelshare healing habits that we can all experience ourselves. Keep Dining In June 19, 3:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Alison Roman is known as much for her keeper recipes as her wry Instagram voice and effortless style. Roman’s recipes set today’s trends and will show up as tomorrow’s classics: vegetable-forward with quality ingredients, punctuated by standout flavors like hot honey browned butter, preserved lemon, za’atar, and garlicky walnuts. Her ingenuity will seduce seasoned cooks, while her warm, edgy writing makes these recipes practical enough for the novice. Cooking through her debut book Dining In will be like having Alison right there with you in the kitchen: brash, funny, and full of opinions. NEXT presents The Cities Project: New Life for New England’s Industrial Past June 18, 5:30PM New England is filled with old factory buildings and other remnants of our industrial history. This built environment is one of our distinguishing characteristics, but it also provides challenges as our cities grow and adapt. How do we best reuse spaces that contain cultural importance? How do we balance this adaptive conservation with the need for new civic spaces? Join John Dankosky, Elihu Rubin, and Cathy Stanton for a live event NEXT in collaboration with The Cities Project as we travel around our region and learn about how communities are honoring their industrial heritage while looking to the future. Split Tooth June 19, 5:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Fact can be as strange as fiction. It can also be as dark, as violent, as rapturous. In the end, there may be no difference between them. A girl grows up in Nunavut in the 1970s. She knows joy, and friendship, and parents’ love. She knows boredom, and listlessness, and bullying. She knows the tedium of the everyday world, and the raw, amoral power of the ice and sky, the seductive energy of the animal world. She knows the ravages of alcohol, and violence at the hands of those she should be able to trust. She sees the spirits that surround her, and the immense power that dwarfs all of us. When she becomes pregnant, she must navigate all this. Veering back and forth between the grittiest features of a small arctic town, the electrifying proximity of the world of animals, and ravishing world of myth, Tanya Tagaq explores a world where the distinctions between good and evil, animal and human, victim and transgressor, real and imagined lose their meaning, but the guiding power of love remains. Haunting, brooding, exhilarating, and tender all at once, Tagaq moves effortlessly between fiction and memoir, myth and reality, poetry, and prose, and conjures a world and a heroine readers will never forget. Without Habits: A Path to Purpose June 20, 5:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) If we question our most constant habits and create space for intentional choice, how might our physical, social, and inner lives transform? With insight from experts in neuroscience, psychology, medicine, art, and design, Jacqueline Raposo , author of The Me, Without, shares how reframing habits can lead to healing, happiness, and a purposeful personal path. Collision: Hong Kong Art in New Haven June 21, 5:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Join Yale-China Arts Fellows Sarah Xiao (dance) and Nicole Pun (visual art) as they share how their residency in New Haven has shaped their art. Words Reclaiming Worlds June 22, 1PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) Poets and other creative writers from the northeastern United States share poems and conversation about the shifting relationship between identity and place. How can poets and other culture creators challenge or shift the identity of a place? How can a place challenge or shift our own intersecting identities? How the Art of Experience Empowers Culture Change June 22, 3:30PM Alexion Pharmaceuticals, 100 College Street (Free) In the Age of Experience, how can one drive actionable social change through deepened physical and digital live story-sharing systems? A leader in immersive experiences, Mikhael Tara Garver will delve into the combining powers that experience, entertainment, and fandom can have on empowering social change. NHdocs 2019: 6thAnnual Haven Documentary Film Festival May 30-June 9 NHdocs 2019, which runs for 11 days beginning on May 30, will feature over 100 documentaries screening at five venues across New Haven, along with a student film competition, filmmaking workshops, awards, works-in-progress screening, parties, film panels, musical performances, and a very special tribute to the one and only Michael Moore .
TREX Walking Tours June8-22, Free Experience the wonders and see the hidden treasures that make up the vibrant fabric of New Haven. The Festival is proud to work with community organizations to give you a glimpse of the city. Complete list available at artidea.org/walkingtours . Exhibition Talks & Tours June 8-22, Free Visit the world-class museums and galleries of New Haven with free talks and exhibition tours, hosted by expert curators and guides. Complete list available at artidea.org/gallerytalkstours . Bike Tours June8-22, Free Elm City Cycling’s bike tours are always a popular part of the Festival: see the sights, explore trails and paths, and experience a piece of local history! Complete list at artidea.org/biketours . Boat Tours June 12-22, $25/$30/$35 Join the New Haven Parks, Recreation and Trees Outdoor Adventure Program, Friends of Outer Island, US Fish and Wildlife Service, and Save the Sound to explore the waterways surrounding New Haven. Whether you prefer a canoe, kayak, or water taxi, we have the boat tour for you! Schedule available at artidea.org/boattours .
FOOD EXPERIENCES New Haven is a foodie city with so many delectable foods and drinks to experience. Get special insights into your favorite hot spots or sample something totally new with our Food Experiences at the Festival. History of the Cocktail June 8, 4PM Ordinary, 990 Chapel Street ($40) Travel through the history of the inception of the cocktail in New Haven and around the world then, join mix master Tim Cabral of Ordinary for specialty drinks. State Street Wine Walk June 11, 5:30PM Oak Haven Table & Bar, 932 State Street ($40) Take a short walk down State Street and visit the neighborhood’s wonderful wine bars: Oak Haven Table & Bar, Cave á Vin Wine Bar, and Bar August. Sip, savor, and learn about what makes each one unique and memorable. Bear’s at The Stack: Beer and BBQ Pairing June 13, 5:30PM The Stack, 470 James Street ($40) Come on out to The Stack’s fantastic Biergarten and indulge in 5 pairings of beer and barbeque led by Jason Sobosincki from Black Hog Brewing Co. Grand Avenue Gastronomy Tour with Lee Cruz June 15 and 22, 2PM Quinnipiac River Park, 2 East Grand Avenue ($40) Enjoy the cultural and culinary diversity of Fair Haven with a tour led by Lee Cruz. Taste the cuisines of Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico, and more while learning the history of New Haven’s most eclectic and ethnically diverse neighborhood. Feast of the Future June 19, 5:30PM Ely Center, 51 Trumbull Street ($80) Nadine Nelson of Global Local Gourmet will cook a meal filled with dishes inspired by foods of the future that will be environmentally sustainable in our ever-changing globe like seaweed, insects, wild meat and weeds. What will food look like despite rising sea levels, a warming ocean affected by acidification and deoxygenation of our waters? World Refugee Food Bazaar June 20, 5:30PM New Haven Green ($40) Celebrate the culinary traditions and cultures of our neighbors who have resettled in Connecticut. Enjoy food and drinks prepared by the Sanctuary Kitchen community in the Festival Center while listening to a concert on the New Haven Green. Friday Night Beer Garden June 21, 6PM New Haven Green ($20 Beer Tasting, $5 Designated Drivers) Join us for a concert on the New Haven Green while sampling beers from regional breweries. Purchase a ticket and receive a commemorative cup to enjoy tastings of a variety of palate-pleasing brews.
SCENE ON THE GREEN Pack a picnic, bring a blanket, join us on the New Haven Green for an eclectic and energizing mix of music from artists across the Northeast. With music ranging from funk to rock, blues to jazz, brass to big band, these artist create a Scene (right here) on the Green! Box City June 8-9, 12-5PM Calling all young thinkers and tinkerers! Come out and help construct a model city of the future made out of cardboard boxes. Local architects, makers, and city planners will assist, offering advice and distributing permits to Box City’s young entrepreneurs! Ideas, Not Theories June 8, 2PM, 3:30PM; June 9 2PM, 3PM “Ideas, Not Theories” is a theatrical percussion company for unconventional percussion instruments that offers several programs featuring Reynaliz Herrera’s original music for bicycles, tap and body percussion, water, brushes, drums, and more. In some of the programs, the musical works are linked together through a storyline, physical theater, comedy, and original characters, making the complete performance a unique, quirky, and creative artistic experience. The Rad Trads June 11, 12PM The gentlemen comprising the Brooklyn-based five-piece The Rad Trads distinguish themselves in ways few bands can. Already drawing lines around the block at home, the globe-trotting group’s singular take on rock ‘n’ roll mixes punk rock energy, horn drenched soul, and jazz precision, all with a lighthearted but sincere delivery. It’s a sound and show that is gaining steam world over as The Rad Trads continue to tour in support of On Tap, out now from Hornblow Recordings. Ken Waldman & The Secret Visitors June 11, 1:15PM, especially for young audiences; 6:30PM Ken Waldman combines Appalachian-style string-band music, original poetry, and Alaska-set storytelling for a performance uniquely his. With nine CDs, eleven books, and a knack for putting together shows specific to place, he appears at leading performing arts centers, festivals, and colleges across North America. According to The Austin Chronicle, Ken Waldman is “like a Ken Burns movie . . . Always recommended.” Here, he’s bringing the husband and wife duo, The Vollmers. Brian Vollmer is a master fiddler, banjoist, and guitarist. His wife, Claire Byrne, is a fiddler, guitarist, and singer who also fronts the nationally touring acoustic quartet, Driftwood. Luke Hendon Acoustic Combo June 12, 12PM Luke Hendon’s music highlights the French Style guitar and an all acoustic band. With an acoustic guitar playing the role of the drummer, an upright bass and a violin, the group bounces and swings into the present with a modern gypsy jazz sound. Hendon has developed his own unique voice in the world of Django Reinhardt and gypsy jazz. Bob Bloom: Drumming About You June 12, 1:15PM You and the kids will get your hearts and hands around Bob Bloom’s colorful cargo of drums. Everyone plays along with Bob as he launches some of the world’s most legendary and joyous songs. Bob’s drumming hoots have sparkled entire audiences at the First Night Celebrations of Boston, Providence, Hartford, Westport, and Worcester. Zikina June 12, 6:30PM The Zikina experience starts with curiosity. If you’re like most audience members, you’ll immediately ask, “What is that he’s playing?” Uganda native Gideon Ampeire draws you in with a variety of traditional East African instruments rarely found in the US, including enanga (zither), adungu (harp), and kalimba (thumb piano)­­–all of which he builds himself. St. Luke’s Steel Band June 13, 6:30PM St. Luke’s Steel Band was started in the fall of 1999 when Fr. Victor Rogers and a group of supporters from New Haven’s historic St. Luke’s Episcopal Church purchased a set of steel pans from a band based in Brooklyn, New York. Since then, the group has attracted a dedicated membership of players of all ages. Many of the members or their families come from the West Indies. The band regularly performs during services at St. Luke’s Church and also plays for concerts, festivals, benefits and private functions throughout the region. Their repertoire includes soca, calypso, reggae, classical, sacred, jazz, popular and Island folk music. Rick Reyes June 14, 12PM Rick Reyes will be performing songs from his brand new album which is being worldwide distributed by Warner Music’s ADA. Known for his work with the Latin rock band, Cosmic Jibaros, and world, music band, Novela Sin Tiempo, the new record has more of a Latin Urbano, Latin Pop, dance sound that showcases Rick’s depth as an artist and performer. This will be Rick’s first live performance of the new record. Liz McNicholl: Drum and Song Jamboree June 14, 1:15PM Pack a picnic and bring the whole family for this interactive Singing and Drum Jammin’ show. Liz McNicholl has been entertaining families in libraries and concerts around the state and loves having the audience interact with her foot-stomping show. Come ready to sing and jam along with drums and have tons of fun. Drums will be provided. Liz leads the audience with djembe but will also intertwine the guitar, ukulele, banjo, and bódhran (Irish drum) into the show. Everyone is welcome! 3rd Annual New Haven GospelFest June 14, 6:30PM The 3rd Annual New Haven Gospel Fest promises to bring down the house with soul-stirring music performed by some of New Haven’s richest talents. CANing Hunger June 15-16, 12-5PM CANning Hunger is a community building event that supports Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen’s goal of fighting food insecurity in the New Haven area. Local organizations have formed teams that will compete to build the best sculpture out of canned goods according to our theme: Home. Judges and festival goers will vote for their favorite sculptures, making this an event for everyone. At the conclusion of the event, all food will be donated to Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen. The Flyin’ Hawaiian Show June 15, 1:30PM, 3PM, 4:30PM; June 16 1PM, 2:30PM, 4:30PM The Flyin’ Hawaiian show is the perfect combination for a three ring circus and a Hawaiian vacation. Sara hosts with the grace of a dolphin sweetness of a pineapple, and jokes as good as your Dads as she does contortion, hula hoops, and coconut tree finale you have to see to believe. Raquel De Souza Band June 18, 12PM Raquel De Souza is a singer songwriter from New York, whose up and coming country-rock band, based in New York, is known for its high energy and engagement with the audience. Tiare Kahana: South Pacific Island Rhythms, Storytelling, and Mythology June 18, 1:15PM Polynesian dance is a form of storytelling, requiring skills such as comprehension, imagery, mindfulness, posture, and spatial awareness. Professional hula dancer and teaching artist Tiare Kahana teaches participants the dances and chants of the South Pacific. Also performed by men and boys, this oral language tradition has served as an effective means of preserving ancient wisdom and documenting the island’s history and mythology for centuries. Tengger Calvary June 18, 6:30PM Tengger Cavalry, or “the army of sky god,” is not only a Billboard-featured metal band, but also a symbol of nomadic warrior spirit that connects fans from all over the world. With a mix of throat singing, Mongolian fiddle, and Central Asian instruments, the band performed a sold-out concert at Carnegie Hall and was featured on CNN, and in The New York Timesand The Wall Street Journal. Boogie Chillun’ June 19, 12PM Boogie Chillun’ is a musical journey through the rich history of the United States. A cappella spiritual will melt into gospel. Folk music will travel the country though harmonicas and banjoes, while songs of freedom and escape will mark the Civil War. Jazz, ragtime, and blues will turn into rock ‘n’ roll, which leads to soul, funk, and Motown, disco, rap, and present day hip-hop. Eshu Bumpus: African and African-American Tales June 19,1:15PM Eshu Bumpus has performed in schools and festivals throughout New England, California, and in collaboration with the Smithsonian. As an artist and teacher, Eshu’s primary mission is to help raise students’ and teachers’ confidence in creating, writing and telling stories. Eshu presents a selection of African and African-American stories in an atmosphere that encourages laughter, creativity and participation. Nonviolent principles permeate his stories. Stories incorporate participatory songs. Bambara Drum and Dance Ensemble June 19, 6:30PM Nekita Waller June 20, 12PM Connectict’s State Troubadour Nekita Waller has shared the stage with artists such as B.B. King , Ruben Studdard , Dianne Reeves , and has performed on the Steve Harvey Radio Show. Currently Nekita performs throughout the region bringing a mix of pop, Motown, soul, jazz, and classic rock favorites with original music. Om Shalom Trio June 20, 6:30PM Om Shalom Trio is a group of award-winning World Music artists. They draw on rhythmic and melodic aspects from their Far Eastern and Middle Eastern roots to create a fusion of Indian Classical and Jewish Folk. The two words that join to form the Om Shalom’s name are both synonymous with Peace and the Sacred. Olive Tiger June 21, 12PM Olive Tiger is an evolution of sound and texture: a nontraditional trio hailing from New England that lushly combines electronics with organic elements of chamber-pop, defying the boundaries of genre in favor of obsessive exploration. Grounded in the stunning songwriting and soaring voice of its bandleader, Olive Tiger arcs continuously toward more meticulous, more rich, and more seductive arrangements. Michelle Brooks-Thompson June 21, 6:30PM Michelle Brooks-Thompson is an Indie Gospel Recording Artist from Springfield, Massachusetts. Michelle has been singing and performing since the young age of 5. She was recognized and claimed by all as a “child prodigy” because of her ability to sing, play the piano, and direct choirs by age 9. Over the years Michelle developed into a unique and powerful vocalist, whose abilities are ranked amongst many of the major Gospel and secular artists of her time. SURFACE featuring Bernard Jackson June 21, 7:30PM The 80s soft soul vocal trio–known for such lush ballads as “Closer Than Friends,” the million-selling single “Shower Me with Your Love,” and the number one pop hit “The First Time”, includes original lead singer Bernard Jackson, one of the greatest voices in modern music. Bernard Jackson has amassed eleven number one hit singles and sold millions of records both as a singer and songwriter, modern classics that have stood the test of time.
NEIGHBORHOOD FESTIVALS These lively annual one-day neighborhood Festivals, hosted byCommunity Steering Committees, local arts and business partners, and Festival volunteers and staff featurelocal talent, family activities, and vendors in New Haven’s historic and culturally rich neighborhoods. Hillfest: #Community First Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, 428 Columbus Avenue Let’s get active. Let’s get creative. Let’s get healthy. Featuring free hamburgers and hotdogs, live local entertainment, activities for children and adults, bike activities and more! Fair Haven Neighborhood Festival: Celebrating Family May 25, 12-4PM Criscuolo Park, James and Chapel Streets Celebrate with us for the 6th year. This year we will celebrate family in all of its forms. We invite you to enjoy with us food, local live music, bike activities, tours and more. Celebra con nosotros para el 6°año. Este año lo haremos celebrar la familia en todos sus formas. Te invitamos a disfrutar con nosotros comida, música en vivo local, actividades de bicicleta, tours y más. Dixwell Freddy Fixer Neighborhood Festival June 1, 12-5PM Scantlebury Park, 139 Ashmun Street The Elm City Freddy Fixer Parade and International Festival of Arts & Ideas are collaborating with New Haven Bike Month, Cornell Scott Hill Health Center, New Haven Free Public Library to celebrate the rich culture and history of the Dixwell neighborhood. Featuring a drill team exhibition, live local entertainment, activities for children and adults, bike activities and more! THE BIG READ May 7 – June 22 Broadening our understanding of our world, our communities, and ourselves through the joy of sharing a good book, the NEA Big Read is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with Arts Midwest. Showcasing a diverse range of contemporary titles that reflect many different voices and perspectives, the NEA Big Read aims to inspire conversation and discovery. The 2019 Big Read centers on The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, with related free events offered throughout Greater New Haven. A full list of Big Read events will be announced shortly.
The International Festival of Arts & Ideasis a year-round organization that culminates with an annual celebration of performing arts, lectures, and conversations each June in New Haven, Connecticut. The Festival convenes leading artists, thought leaders, and innovators from around the world for 15 days of dynamic public programs to engage, entertain, and inspire a diversity of communities. More than 80% of Festival programs are free to the public, including events that feature some of the most influential jazz, classical, dance, and theater artists of our time. The Festival takes place in venues and open spaces in downtown New Haven, in the heart of the northeast corridor, two and a half hours south of Boston and ninety minutes north of New York City. The Festival’s programs have an impact throughout the year and include additional performances, educational opportunities, and the annual Visionary Leadership Award. The Festival was established in 1996, by Anne Calabresi, Jean M. Handley, and Roslyn Meyer. They envisioned an annual celebration in New Haven-a city steeped in a rich array of cultural and educational traditions-distinguished from other arts festivals by its fusion of the arts with events centered on sharing ideas. The Festival is presented with major support from KeyBank, Comcast/NBC Connecticut, Yale University, The City of New Haven, The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Connecticut Office of the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Related Articles View More Connecticut Stories Shows

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Good and convenient Hotel

Stayed at this hotel between 02 April to 05 April 2019. The Hotel is very well located just under the Metro Station with plenty of taxi and auto rickshaws around to commute. The hotel is very clean and nice. This was my 4-5th visit to this hotel. The rooms are quite large with all toileteries and tea coffee and a mini fridge as well. The room service was good. Ordered dinner in the room and the food was very tasty. The buffet breakfast spread was big and tasty with North and South Indian and Continental cuisines. The reception and the coincierge had smiles. Will stay here again on my next visit to Mumbai

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A New Star in the galaxy of icons in West Auckland – Indian NewsLink

‘Café Oro’ has the Mediterranean ambience and more
Venkat Raman
Auckland, April 19, 2019 Rachna Vijan: ‘Café Oro’ is the dawn of a new era
It is less than month since the precincts of ‘Café Oro’ opened at 371 West Coast Road in Glen Eden (West Auckland) but it has already become the place of choice for working men and women, businesspersons, elders and a host of others in the area.
“It is my kind of place,” they say, as Rachna Vijan, who, with her team of chefs and serving staff, are in the process of creating new dishes to add to their delectable array of vegetarian and other varieties that have tickled the palate of people.
Elevated Entity
Elevated above the street level, ‘Café Oro,’ stays at a higher plane in the company of an eighty-year old Rimo Tree and a well-appointed interior that at once epitomises simplicity and grandeur. It is not difficult to discern that the sixty-seater Café is fructification of the dream and aspiration of Rachna, with the support of her husband Prashant Vijan, a Bayleys executive who facilitates sale and purchase of businesses. Eden now has another name: ‘Café Oro’ at 371, West Coast Road, West Auckland
‘Oro,’ which means ‘Gold’ in Spanish and Italian languages, appealed to Rachna as her favourite colour, Yellow, which symbolises freshness, happiness, positivity, clarity, energy, optimism, loyalty and joy- everything in fact that she shares with her husband, their staff and customers.
Gleaming Sunrise
“Oro also appeals to me as Sunrise, which represents the dawn of a new era; a fresh chapter in life, career and relationship. ‘Café Oro’ has the potential to become the rendezvous for many happy occasions, from breakfast to dinner, for meetings and parties,” she said.
While the Café functions from 8 am (shortly to be advanced to 7 am) to 3 pm all days of the week, there are plans to remain open for dinner.
Rachna said that she is also considering outdoor catering, while Takeaway service is already available at the Café.
“Except bread, everything is made here at ‘Café Oro,’ including Sauces prepared from fresh ingredients. With six full-time and three part-time staff, we are busy every day. Our Menu, representing the cuisine of various countries, has been designed to cater to varied tastes. We have created a fusion of sorts and still in the process of creation,” Rachna said.
Versatile Menu
From All Day Breakfast (just for example, ‘Acai Berry Bowl’ for Vegetarians and ‘Workman’s Breakfast’ (which includes Scrambled Eggs and Bacon) and ‘Lunch All Day’ (‘Lamb Kofta,’ ‘Free Range Paprika Chicken’ and ‘Vege Burger’) to a range of Sides and Organic Coffee (served in varied formats as ‘Espresso,’ ‘Piccolo,’ ‘Turmeric Latte’ and ‘Caramel,’ ‘Hazelnut,’ ‘Coffee Shot’), there is a blend of Mediterranean and European cuisine with a touch of Indian flavour.
There is then a Special Menu for Children, with the right choice of food and fruits to cater to the tender stomachs and Organic Drinks and Dairy-free Smoothies for those well past that age.
Rachna is proud of the already established reputation for unpretentious food and great service. As they mentioned, ‘Happy food feeds the soul.’
Strategic Partnership
“Oro is all about quality, integrity and good-old personalised and friendly service. We partner with suppliers who share our vision to do our best in supporting and promoting a sustainable environment and supporting the local community. Kokako Coffee and Karma Cola are some of our suppliers who help us serve organic and sustainable beverages,” Rachna said. Rachna Vijan: Coffee adds flavour to friendship
She augments her professional success with a unique blend of passion, foresight, caution, planning, control and accountability.
A postgraduate (Master’s degree) in Computer Sciences from Jodhpur National University, Rachna acquired substantial experience in her chosen field working for the Local Government and commercial undertakings.
It was during her ownership (in 2010) of a Café in Central Auckland that she understood the nuances of this segment of food trade. Fourteen months later, Rachna sold the Café and took time off to look after their growing children (a daughter and a son).
“I was ready last year for another entrepreneurial venture and the possibility of establishing a Café at this property in Glen Eden arose and I considered as a golden opportunity. Gold thus became the theme for ‘Café Oro’ and I commissioned my nephew to design the interior. I was keen to create a rustic and natural environment. We have had positive response from our clients, which is encouraging,” she said. Good food and conversation- everything under the (Rimu) tree
Challenges come in various forms and Rachna faces them with determination to succeed. With a positive attitude and good teamwork, she endeavours to find the right solutions to problems.
National Party Deputy Leader Paula Bennett, who formally inaugurated ‘Café Oro’ on April 1, 2019, said that Small and Medium Businesses are the backbone of the New Zealand economy.
“Hard working people like Rachna create job opportunities thereby creating wealth. I am sure that ‘Café Oro’ will be a successful venture and cater to an increasing number of customers,” she said.
(All Pictures Supplied)

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Heston Blumenthal answers questions on chemistry, Indian food & Sadhguru

Heston Blumenthal answers questions on chemistry, Indian food & Sadhguru by Sonal Ved Published: Apr 19, 2019 | 10:15:37 IST In town to create an exclusive meal, the celebrity chef lets us in on his love for Indian food, how Sadhguru’s teachings inspire his food, and what you can expect from the dinner he’s creating
Run your eyes through his menu or watch him speak on television, and you’ll wonder what goes on in his mind. For the thought behind Heston Blumenthal’s complex and creatively forward food has always been a bit of an enigma. This week, one of the coolest British chefs in the world, Blumenthal is in India for the third instalment of ‘Masters of Marriott’.
For me, he was always a bit of a scientist. Until I met him today, now he is more of a spiritualist. And if you think it’s India that does this to you, you’ll be surprised to know he is already carrying with him his love for Sadguru Jaggi Vasudev, of course the Indian curry and everything in between.
We catch up with him before he gets busy cooking up the two dinners curated by Marriott International at JW Marriott Mumbai Sahar. Very few people know about your fondness for Sadguru’s teachings. Tell us more?
It’s all connected somehow to food. Sadguru says when we eat bread, we eat a piece of the earth and it all becomes a part of us. We are carrying within us a universe. So, everything has a symbiotic relationship. Sadguru talks quite a bit about food. When I was working on some research papers, we found out that when we called a dish smoked salmon “ice-cream” people’s perception was that it was 10-20 per cent saltier than when it was called smoked salmon “mousse”. Because the context created by language is that mousse is sweet. Our subconscious is kind of hardwired but it evolves too. Sadguru talks about contrasts. One of his favourite lines for me is, “The only way out is in”. Growing up, how good were you in science in school?
Rubbish! I failed in chemistry. But as a kid, I questioned everything. People are scared of being wrong. If I was scared of being wrong, I wouldn’t have made a fool of myself so many times. Look at kids, how many times do they fall over? They get up again. How have you added to the legacy of British cooking?
Britain’s never been in a more exciting place food wise than it is now. I can talk about myself a bit more confidently now. To British cuisine, I’ve added storytelling, the multi-sensory experience. I wasn’t the most confident person. But I asked myself this question: “why”. Why should I go this old route, when I was prepared for much more. When a belief becomes stronger than fear then you go in that direction, but when the fear becomes stronger than belief, you go in another direction. What goes on in your mind when you come up with unique dishes such as lickable wall paper, edible fairy lights, meat fruit?
I literally believe everything is possible. Never give up. I might go into a black hole and come back. But [I will] not give up. Can scientific food ever be clean food?
All cooking is scientific. We need to stop looking at things outside our body and look within. Focus more on what’s inside. There are so many misunderstood things in the food industry. For example, salt is a chemical too. Mono sodium glutamate (ajinomoto)—try and find one academic research paper outside of potential allergies that says it’s bad for you. Let’s say one is full of unaware stress, and they tell themselves, I must drink three litres of water every day. Now water has memory and it can transfer that stress inside. Sadguru talks about something similar. You transfer it into your body. You think you are drinking clean water, you are actually filling it with stress. Water is vibration. What do you think about Indian cuisine and its role in the world context?
It’s one of my go-to cuisine, since I was 10-12 years old. Indian food was a treat. It gives me comfort. What have you kept in mind while designing food for the Indian audience for your upcoming association with Marriott International?
One of the things I did is scotch eggs. Scotch egg was invited in 1851 by Fortnum and Mason in London. It was a hard-boiled egg with bread crumbs; I created a hot version where the yolk was still running. We found an Indian version of this with lamb it in (nargis kofta) and one dish on the menu is inspired by this. One advice for chefs aiming for that Michelin star.
Don’t aim for it. FAST FIVE

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Communities and Easter dishes

This Sunday is a special one for Christians all over the world. And today, they will start preparing for the big feast that will be celebrated with family and close friends.
Though many in the city have headed to their hometowns this long weekend, there’s no dearth of celebrations here.
From mouth-watering traditional cuisines from different parts of the country to fusion dishes, sweet and savoury, Bengalureans are keeping up with the spirit of the day in a grand way.
Metrolife spoke to Christians from a different state and spoke about the various dishes that will make it for tomorrow’s lunch.
Kerala
Malayali’s start off their Easter Sunday with an exquisite breakfast which will include ‘Pal Appam’ and ‘Chicken Stew’. Mary Anthikad, homemaker, says, “Appams are soft lacy pancakes that are made from the rising dried yeast dough. At home, we have it with coconut chicken stew. It’s important to ensure that the chicken pieces are tender and the finishing touch should be the coconut milk.”
Mary’s family also has homemade wine and rice cake to celebrate the day.
Puducherry
Christians from Puducherry are usually busy preparing ‘Ground Turkey Meatball Gravy’, an authentic dish which is a must-have for Easter.
Homemaker Rosmol Vincent explains, “The turkey has to be diced and minced. It’s then mixed with spices like ginger, clove, tamarind, cinnamon and masalas like chilli, turmeric and salt. It goes really well with ghee rice.”
Easter for Rosmol is also about being with family and preparing food with and for everyone. It’s a perfect occasion to catch up with everyone and feel like a family again.
Mangaluru-Goa
Sharon Sarro, student, is looking forward to being with her family tomorrow with great food, laughter and more. She says, “Prawn Balchao is a Mangalore-Goan cuisine which is a tangy and spicy dish. It’s delicious as the prawns are prepared using a special masala paste and pan-fried. We have it with steamed white rice and a sautéed chutney.” She adds that sometimes, the prawns flambeed with alcohol for flavouring.
And of course, a Goan can’t miss Sannas on their menu. The steamy white rice sponge cake is a must-have on any occasion. “We also have Sarapatel, a Portugal dish, is also something we add to the menu. I can’t wait to relish them tomorrow,” she shares.
Mumbai
Mumbai Christians start off their day with a yummy breakfast. Giving us a sneak peek, Jijo Thomas, school administrator, says, “We can’t start the auspicious day without some homemade pan-fried brown frizzled maida egg-shaped bread. It’s a match made in heaven with spicy pork or chicken curry.”
Manipur
There’s a large Christian community in North East. So when it’s Easter, Manipuris have some special dishes that they will look forward to preparing. Homemaker Baby Rijesh shares, “Oksa Pork Thongba and Tharoi Snail Thongba is one of our specialities. The dishes are slow-cooked succulent pieces of pork and snails and is heavily seasoned with special herbs and spices. It’s abs giving it an elegant taste.”
While most of them will be gathering at home and enjoying homecooked food, there are a few others who are heading over to restaurants and hotels to make most of the day. Many hotels are offering Easter brunches that one can enjoy as a family and group.
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Indian American Chef Amod Singh’s Cauliflower Dish Ranked Among ‘100 Best Dishes in San Francisco’ by 7X7 Big Eats | Food | indiawest.com

Save featured Indian American Chef Amod Singh’s Cauliflower Dish Ranked Among ‘100 Best Dishes in San Francisco’ by 7X7 Big Eats India-West Staff Reporter
Indian American chef Amod Singh’s cauliflower roast dish, available at Spice of America in San Francisco, Calif., ranks among the Top 100 dishes in San Francisco, according to 7X7 Big Eats. (photo provided)
A look at the winning cauliflower dish. (photo provided) Save
Indian American chef Amod Singh’s cauliflower roast dish, available at Spice of America, is a must-try dish if you are in San Francisco, Calif. India-West is not playing favorites here. This is according to 7X7 Big Eats. This gluten-free, dairy-free and healthy dish finds a spot on 7X7 Big Eats’ ‘100 Best Dishes in San Francisco’ 2019 list.
“The idea of creating this dish was purely something that can meet the expectation of a health-conscious guest, with the option for non-dairy, no gluten and no nuts diners,” Singh told India-West. “Certainly, it was a great dish according to me when we assembled everything together for the first time, but it got really recognized when it got featured on the Top Best 100 Dishes in San Francisco on 7X7 Big Eats.”
Singh said guests love the dish for several reasons. Listing the benefits of the vegetable, Singh said, it helps with satiety, weight loss, a healthy digestive tract, is a low calorie dish and contains many antioxidants and nutrients. He also added that prolonged cooking of cauliflower takes away the nutritional value and also leaves a sulphur-like smell.
“I tried developing this recipe assuring that the plate should contain enough healthy ingredients with the traditional Indian flavors and influencing the Californian produce,” he said.
Singh has worked as a chef in the hotel and restaurant industry for the last 15-16 years, and has been associated with Campton Place San Francisco in different roles and responsibilities for the past seven years. He added: “It’s a very simple and ordinary plate but prepared with a little kink, for being a Californian origin. It’s flavorful and tasty, where the cauliflower plays the most significant role on the plate. The flavors of cauliflower are not overwhelmed with the spices, but they subtly compliment and enhance the taste of cauliflower.”
Other Indian dishes and their restaurants featured on the list include gol guppa at August (1) Five, blue cheese naan at Besharam, and Churmur at Indian Paradox.
August (1) Five, owned by Indian American Hetal Shah, is a modern Indian restaurant named for the date commemorating India’s independence from British rule. It describes its food as being influenced by a range of culinary traditions, “from colorful street foods to the hidden staples of home cooks,” adding that its menu is “anchored in the regional cuisines of India.”
Besharam is Indian American chef Heena Patel’s first restaurant. Roughly translated to mean “shameless,” Besharam, it explains on its website, features “Heena’s bold interpretations of the flavors and dishes that were prevalent throughout her childhood in India, refined and reimagined for California.”
Indian Paradox, owned by Indian American Kavitha Raghavan, is a wine bar/restaurant, which pairs old and new world wines with Indian street food from all over the sub-continent.
Without further ado, here’s the recipe of Singh’s cauliflower roast, being published here with his permission. This recipe would yield a portion size for 10-12 people, he said.
2 Whole Cauliflower

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