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The art community has taken a giant leap towards the digitisation of their creations over the past two years. More people have begun to realise the benefit of art as not just an element of adornment for interior and exterior spaces but also as a viable form of investment and to highlight important issues the world is dealing with. Trends in art and design are more consumer-driven in contrast to art movements that are influenced by ideologies and political narratives.
While there are innumerable types of art and designs produced all over the world, art collectors, curators and consumers predominantly dictate popular trends and reigning styles. Owing to the economic uncertainty induced by the COVID-19 pandemic, people are starting to view art, especially digital art, as a value-preserving asset meant to diversify their investment portfolios and mitigate unpredictable times.
Virtual art exhibitions and eventsImage credit: Darya San Nikova/Pexels
Creative communities have adapted to immersive virtual events and exhibitions, enabling artists to reach global audiences from the comfort of their homes. Galleries, museums, fashion houses and even massive art festivals, like ‘Burning Man’, are making use of various platforms in the metaverse to capture the spirit, culture and qualities of a real-life event and emulate them in an interactive virtual reality (VR) space.
Additionally, with the absence of geographical boundaries, they aim to cultivate conversation, connection and a feeling of a community within the global art world through the internet.
Crypto and NFT artworksImage credit: Yura Miron/@YuraMironArt/Twitter
Crypto art and NFTs have become invaluable assets. Mainstream artists have begun to adopt this medium, boasting record-breaking sales and announcements of new and exciting digital projects. An artwork called The Merge, created by the renowned artist who goes by the pseudonym Pak, was sold on NFT marketplace Nifty Gateway in 2021 for a record sum of USD 91.8 million — the most expensive NFT ever sold as an artwork.
The same year, artist Beeple sold a piece Everydays – The First 5000 Days for a whopping USD 69.3 million, while REPLICATOR created by Canadian artist Mad Dog Jones, a piece that replicates itself and produces a new NFT every 28 days, was sold for USD 4.1 million.
Additionally, artists from all over the world are using NFTs for humanitarian purposes such as to support Ukraine against the Russian invasion. Several online charity auctions such as Vandalz for Ukraine, ArtWaRks Ukraine, UkraineDAO, Holy Water and RtistiQ, organised by the NFT community, are leveraging their unique digital resources to provide relief to the country’s war-stricken people and their defence and healthcare systems. Artists like Alexis Olin, Yura Miron, Artem Humilevskiy, Mykola Dosenko and Chernaya Rechka have been making waves in the NFT space because of their purpose-driven digital art.
With the rise in the number of people using digital currencies as a means of investment or a fundraising method to support themselves or generate donations, the popularity of cryptocurrency and NFTs is not going to subside anytime soon.
Contemporary African ArtImage credit: El Anatsui/@elanatsui_art/Instagram
Focusing on specific regions in the world, art trends are often influenced by the ever-changing socio-political climate. The contemporary art scene of Africa is characterised by talented creators who capture and artistically express socio-economic challenges, political realities, rich traditions and diverse beauty that the region has to offer.
Moreover, with art and tech coming together to build a future for artists on virtual platforms, up-and-coming contemporary African artists now have access to global audiences. Inspired by their unique cultural narratives, they are able to showcase the innovation and talents comprising African art.
Creations by these artists are regularly showcased at major galleries and museums all around the world.
The Memphis RevivalImage credit: Baldiwala Edge/@baldiwala_edge/Instagram
Brands are reviving the vibrant colours, geometric shapes, bold outlines and patterns that epitomise the Memphis Design trend of the 1980s in the realms of art, interiors, fashion and graphic design. This trend can be identified in the graphic design space and the gaming world with Memphis design patterns, simple emojis, primitive internet frames, bright colour blocks and funky retro interfaces.
An influential postmodern style that was spearheaded by the legendary Italian designer Ettore Sottsass (1917-2007), Memphis Design returned as a source of inspiration for multi-disciplinary designers in the 2010s, including fashion houses such as Christian Dior and Missoni. The bold and unapologetically eclectic style is now being used by new generations of interior designers, type and graphic designers, filmmakers, as well as set and costume designers.
Street artImage credit: Banksy/@banksy/Instagram
Street art has retained its popularity throughout the past decade, with many famous street artists like Banksy, Eduardo Kobra and Alec Monopoly becoming household names in the art community.
Of these, anonymous graffiti artist Banksy has created artworks that have been sold at auctions for millions of dollars. Weighing in on everything, from the Israel-Palestine conflict to Black Lives Matter and Brexit, Banksy’s talents know no bounds. Some of his famous artworks include Napalm (2004), Love is in the Air (Flower Thrower) (2003) and Girl with Balloon (2002).
Additionally, street artists were also able to capture the social and economic state of the world during the pandemic. Here too, Banksy’s Game Changer (2020), a tribute to healthcare workers and frontline heroes, was hailed by artists and art enthusiasts alike.
With recent political conflicts as well as social unrest in the world, street art has garnered more attention and will continue to do so this year as well.
Sculptural furniture and curvy formsImage: Courtesy of Marquis.com
Easy on the eyes, playful and unique curved edges, sculptural shapes, and organic lines have gained popularity in the interior design space and are definitely here to stay. The rounded silhouettes and forms of these ’60s and ’70s retro-inspired pieces take away any harsh and pointy elements in a space and promote comfort and a soothing ambience.
This playful and unconventional design aesthetic, featuring fluid forms and sensorial textures, aims to invoke deeper connections between people and their surroundings and help them unwind. The relaxed lines and sinuous shapes, inspired by the Mid-century Modern Design (MCM) movement, have surely anchored their spot in the trending lists for the next few years at least.
(Main and featured image credit: Banksy/@banksy/Instagram)
This story first appeared in Prestige Online – Singapore
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Walking is an excellent form of exercise and has multiple physical benefits. According to the Mayo Clinic, regular brisk walking can help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent or manage heart disease and stroke, improve cardiovascular fitness, and strengthen bones and muscles.
Before starting any training, walking, running, or active workout, you should discuss any physical restrictions or limitations with your doctor. You also need to get the right kind of shoes that balance comfort and support. To help you step in the right direction, here’s a look at eight of the best-reviewed walking shoes for men and women.
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Photo: kali9 via gettyimages.com
The breathable mesh and FormFit design make Saucony Men’s Triumph 10 Road Running Shoe a popular pick. The brand notes that the Triumph is “the most cushioned shoe” in its line up and long runs get “a new faster feel.” Wearers are pleased with shoe quality and performance, with 91% of 1,105 global ratings being 4-star and 5-star reviews. One reviewer states, “This is my favorite shoe right now. I have three pairs.”
The ladies’ version of this shoe is the Saucony Women’s Triumph 18. The PWRRUN+ midsole cushioning delivers “more flexibility, durability, and springiness in a foam that’s 25% lighter.” The new blown rubber outsole also makes for “a snappier ride.” With 77% of 1,001 global ratings giving the shoes 5 stars, one reviewer states, “These are the best I have ever gotten. The arch is perfect for my feet. The heel is really padded.” They’re available in various eye-catching color combinations.
Athletic shoe design involves studying natural foot function, and ASICS used Impact Guidance System Technology to employ “linked componentry to enhance the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off” on their Men’s Gel-Kayano 25 Running Shoes.
Their proprietary DuoMax Support System also increases stability and support. Walking and running shoes also need breathability and durability to promote longtime use. These lightweight shoes deliver that and also help reduce moisture. A total of 92% of 4,265 global reviewers gave 4-star and 5-star ratings.
Whether you’re walking or running, the best athletic shoe offers an excellent combination of support and comfort to maximize endurance. The Women’s GEL-Kayano 27 Running Shoes from ASICS hits that mark and adds an extra spring in your step via the special elastomer compound in its FLYTEFOAM ™ Propel midsole technology. Over 5,400 global reviewers gave a 5-star rating, with one top reviewer calling the shoes, “Heaven for my feet!”
A lightweight shoe makes for easier steps, and the more steps you take, the better for your health. The New Balance Women’s 608 V5 Casual Comfort Cross Trainer is an immensely popular shoe that garnered over 14,514 global 5-star ratings. The PU foam insert offers “long-lasting comfort and support” and lightweight injection-molded EVA foam “provides lightweight cushioning.” If you’re looking for all-day comfort and support, the cushiony superiority of this shoe fits the bill. Plus, the cute style in an array of colors makes a fantastic addition to your sneaker collection.
Support is everything when it comes to maintaining endurance in a shoe. The Nike Downshifter 10 M, Men’s Running Shoe boasts “a brand-new cage for the central part of the foot” that gives support when you need it during a run. The cushiony rubber sole also offers excellent flexibility and traction—91% of 1,892 global reviewers gave the shoe 4-star and 5-star ratings.
It’s hard not to love a pair of classic white low-top sneakers. The sleek, no-sew design of Nike Women’s Low-Top Sneakers goes with almost any casual outfit. The breathable mesh upper also provides excellent flexibility. The shoe features a 2-inch platform and rubber sole. An impressive 17,518 reviewers rated the shoes with 5 stars, with one reviewer noting that “these shoes feel like walking on a cloud.”
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We asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell us their game-changing cooking tips. We also consulted this viral Reddit thread started by u/Tw1sted_inc to see what advice chefs had to offer amateur cooks. Here’s some of the most helpful (or most unique) pieces of advice we found: 1.”When using boxed cake mix, add an extra egg, use milk instead of water, and use melted butter instead of oil (and double the amount).”
“When using jar pasta sauce, adjust seasonings to taste, and add a couple splashes of caper brine. I added the brine for the first time the other day because I accidentally over salted it, and holy crap it made all the difference!”
2.”ACID, ACID, ACID!!! If something is lacking flavor and adding salt doesn’t fix it, it needs acid. A splash of lemon, lime, or vinegar can really boost the taste of a meal.”
Bjones27 / Getty Images/iStockphoto
3.”You can massively improve the quality of your proteins with fond. It doesn’t matter the protein — bird, beef, pork, or tofu. Fond is the dark brown stuff that sticks to your pan when you’re cooking. It’s not burnt unless is actually black. To get it off the pan and on the food, pour in either an alcohol or acid to dissolve it and get the now brown liquid to coat your protein. Different proteins work best with different alcohols. Good rule of thumb: dry white wine for chicken or any lighter meat, and red wine for beef. Lemon juice works great for almost everything.”
4.”Don’t be afraid to add notes to your cookbooks! If you added something more or adjusted the cooking time, put it in the book for next time you make the recipe.”
Rebeka Vodrazkova / Getty Images/EyeEm Premium
5.”If it grows together, it goes together. Want a tropical-tasting dish? Find a fish that lives in tropical climates, and add tropical fruits. Want something Italian? Roma tomatoes, oregano, Italian parsley — they all come from the same region. Of course, you can add things from other climates, but it’s a simple rule to follow.”
6.”Mustard is a secret ingredient in a lot of things. Veggie beef sour? Mustard. Macaroni and cheese? Mustard. Potato, tuna, or chicken salad? Mustard. It only takes just a little, but it adds so much flavor.”
Andrew Balcombe / Getty Images/EyeEm
7.”Use mushroom/umami seasoning instead of salt. It can elevate any savory dish without making it too salty.”
8.”A falling knife has no handle.”
Richard Drury / Getty Images
9.”Buy cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cloves, apple/pumpkin pie spice in August or early September if you don’t have any on hand. You can also buy them loose if you don’t bake that much and just need a pinch here and there, but still, buy early. Get all the holiday spices you need for pies and cookies ahead of time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked in November and December because I stupidly waited, and the shelves are BARE.”
10.”For spices and dried herbs you don’t use a lot, buy the smallest container. They lose flavor after a while, especially dried herbs. Make sure they haven’t been sitting on the shelf at the supermarket forever, too. If the tarragon has an expiration date next year and a more popular herb like basil has an expiration date in two or three years, you know that tarragon is already old.”
“Keep in mind that certain things cook better when you bring them up to room temperature before cooking, especially meat and eggs. Doesn’t mean you have to leave meat sitting out forever — just put it in a plastic bag and immerse in lukewarm/cool water for 15 minutes before cooking.
Also, I always undercook my pasta a bit and let it finish cooking in the sauce.”
Empphotography / Getty Images
11.”Have a waste bowl. Dump wrappers, skins, any kind of trash in there so you don’t have to make multiple trips to the garbage can.”
12.”The amount of garlic flavor in a dish is dependent on WHEN you add the garlic. Add it early for light flavor, and add it late for bold flavor.”
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13.”The spice measurements in most online recipes are way too small. I usually double them. Also, cinnamon isn’t just for sweet foods. It can be really really good in savory foods.”
14.”Best tips for perfect white rice every time: Rinse with cool water about five times to remove starch, use the knuckle of your thumb to measure water (water level should be above the top of the rice in the pot to your knuckle), and never lift the lid when simmering. When done, fluff with a fork, then cover the pot halfway with the lid for five minutes.”
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15.”I love cooking authentic Chinese food at home. One of my favorite ingredients is doubanjiang, a Sichuan spicy fermented bean paste. Seriously, it makes my stir-fries taste like the highest end Chinese takeout. MSG is also a good one, too. It’s like if salt had a personality. As for more general cooking, use a digital thermometer for cooking meats (or breads, or casseroles, or soups) rather than trying to guess if a dish is done.”
“Temperature doesn’t lie. Along that line, if you find that your oven-baked dishes aren’t done, or are overdone, for the cooking time in your recipe, get an oven thermometer to see what the oven temperature REALLY is. When I first baked cookies in the oven in my apartment, they were raw in the middle and all burnt on the edges. Turns out my oven is consistently 25 degrees hotter than what the dial says.”
16.”Don’t be afraid of salt! Samin Nosrat and her Salt Fat Acid Heat cookbook have changed my life. Know how and when to salt your foods. Salt meat in advance for a well-seasoned, tender end result. Salt your pasta water ‘until it tastes like the sea.’ Buy a good kosher salt, and don’t be afraid to use it.”
Michelle Arnold / Getty Images/EyeEm
17.”No matter the complexity of the recipe, read it over at least three times! Make sure you have the time and all the ingredients before you start anything. Period. I learned this the hard way. For example: Don’t start bread from scratch at 5:00 p.m. if it’s to go along with dinner that same night. Read, reread, and read it again.”
18.”Prep your ingredients beforehand! In the middle of cooking your dinner is not the time to be measuring ingredients. That extra minute saved can make the difference between properly cooked and burnt food!”
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19.”Brown meats in small batches, and do not over-crowd the pan. It will cause meat to sweat, and it will not brown properly.”
20.”Test ALL new silicone utensils, mitts, etc. yourself (without food involved) before you get into a situation where you need to rely on them. You don’t want to find out halfway through a dish that your silicone wasn’t heat resistant like advertised, and now you’re burnt and your food is full of melted silicone.”
21.”Keep it simple. The number of ingredients doesn’t say anything about the taste of a dish. Go for dishes you can make in 30 to 40 minutes with 6 to 8 ingredients. Keep a notebook. Gather a list of recipes and dishes you make regularly. Expand gradually with new stuff. Don’t just buy cookbooks you never really use.”
22.”My mom added mayonnaise to her mashed potatoes, and I do, too. It makes them luxuriously smooth and adds some depth of flavor. I still do butter and cream (or light cream/half and half) on top of that. It doesn’t taste mayonnaise-y either. People always love my mashed potatoes.”
Igor Nikushin / Getty Images/iStockphoto
23.”It’s not a clever hack or anything, but season your pans. I grew up in the age of (bad) non-stick pans, and nobody ever taught me that I needed to do this. I followed an online tutorial, and suddenly my pancakes and teriyaki started turning out every time.”
24.”Salt and pepper! And, not just a teensy bit at the end. You should be seasoning throughout the cooking process and tasting when it’s safe to do so. If salt and pepper aren’t doing it, acid or even sugar might be what your dish needs.”
Kinga Krzeminska / Getty Images
25.”Sharpen your knives. Learn about the different salts. The right salt applied at the right time can make a difference. Practice and experiment. If you want to make the best macaroni and cheese in your circle, try reducing heavy cream vs. using a roux, try different cheeses (individually and mixed), try different pastas, try adding other things (ham, mushrooms, etc.), and try stovetop vs. baking. Find your own path.”
26.”Homemade teriyaki sauce! Just requires four ingredients: 1x sugar, 2x soy sauce, 2x mirin, and 2x sake. Always the same ratio when using a teaspoon, tablespoon, cup, measuring jug or what have you. Put all in a sauce pan, and mix and cook for about five minutes, or until it’s reduced to the consistency and/or thickness of your preference. You can use it as a dipping sauce or to marinate, season, or cook. It goes with pretty much anything — meat, veggies, seafood, eggs, fruits (like pineapple), or stew. Experiment however you like. Store it in the fridge, and it’ll keep for at least two weeks. Teriyaki sauce is best used to grill, fry, or cook on an open fire because the sugar in teriyaki sauce caramelizes, but don’t let this stop you from cooking it in an oven!”
Sungmin / Getty Images/iStockphoto
27.”If your oven temperature is inaccurate, you can have it recalibrated by an appliance technician. If it’s your own expensive oven, it makes sense to do that. If in a rental, a thermometer is obviously the best solution. I would suggest buying a thermometer even if you don’t bake. I found out my oven is 10 degrees lower when set at 350, 15 lower at 275, and accurate at 400.”
28.”Use the back of the knife to push food on a cutting board so you don’t dull the edge. A dull knife is both less effective and more dangerous.”
29.”I always have a jar of instant espresso in the pantry. I add it to my boxed brownies to enhance the flavor of the chocolate, and to gravies to darken them and give the flavor a boost. I also add it to brown sugar and coconut oil as an exfoliating hand scrub in the kitchen.”
30.”Add fresh herbs to your dish closer to when it’s finished (5-15 minute before done) and dry herbs early in the cooking process. Dry herbs need more time to release their flavor and permeate the dish. Fresh don’t.”
31.”My family gets mad at me because I don’t measure my ingredients. I always say there’s never too much garlic. I just eye the seasonings. Don’t be afraid to test out different ingredients. Being a good cook is usually about trial and error and learning from your mistakes. I also love watching cooking shows and learning from them!”
32.”Clean as you go. Most recipes should have a bit of ‘down time’ while the food is cooking. Use that time to clean some dishes, wipe off your work area, put things away, etc. Trust me…the last thing you want to do after cooking a meal is deal with a large clean-up project.”
Bgton / Getty Images/iStockphoto
33.Finally: “Don’t skimp on the butter.”
What’s a piece of cooking advice that you think everyone should know? Tell us in the comments! 👩🍳
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.
The late Sally Schmidt never attended a culinary arts school, but she collected a lifetime of cooking knowledge that she passed on in the voice of a skilled, patient educator in her new book “Six California Kitchens.”
Sally’s cooking and entertaining helped change the Napa Valley into the tourism dynamo it is today. She learned the basics in her mother’s homestead kitchen, ran a small kitchen at what was Vintage 1870, later buying a rundown home in Yountville that previously had been a laundry and transforming it into the French Laundry restaurant.
After 16 years she decided to “stop cooking for others. Instead, I wanted to pass on the techniques, habits, knowledge and recipes I’d acquired through the years.”
This led to another kitchen: a renovated farmhouse in the rustic town of Philo, Mendocino at their Apple Farm, where she taught cooking to small groups.
Eventually, she and her husband, Don, retreated to a cottage on the coast of Mendocino, where she only had to cook for themselves. After six years, she and Don moved back to Apple Farm to be with their family. Don passed away in 2017 with Sally passing away on March 5, five days after celebrating her 90th birthday, but not before she was able to set her wisdom down in this beautiful book.
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As she did with every project she took on over her life, Sally relied on the help of her family, ranging from the book design by Byron Hoffman, her grandson, and her daughters, plus a couple of grandchildren, pitching in for the food and prop styling.
By the way, one of her grandchildren, Perry Hoffman, followed Sally into the professional kitchen, earning his first Michelin Star at 25 at the now-closed étoile at Domaine Chandon; then he was culinary director at Healdsburg’s farm-to-table marketplace, Shed, which is also now closed. When the chef left the Boonville Hotel in the Anderson Valley owned by his uncle, Johhny Schmitt, he came back home to where he had worked after high school under for his uncle. Except now he is chef/partner. Recently, Perry also opened up Offspring, a wood-fired pizza pop-up at the Farrer Building across the street.
One pleasure of the book is the additional voices of Napa Valley before it became a tourist destination, such as Thomas Keller, who purchased The French Laundry from the Schmitts when they wanted to slow down.
Cindy Pawlcyn wanted to become a chef but saw no females in that position until her sister-in-law found an article in Sunset magazine that featured Sally and her cooking at the French Laundry. This eventually led Chef Pawlcyn to the Napa Valleyto open Mustards Grill and other restaurants.
Robin Daniel Lail, who grew up as part of the Inglenook winery and founded Lail Vineyards, remembers the pleasure of Sally’s Chutney Kitchen during the 1970s.
Another fan was Lissa Doumani, who, with her husband Hiro Sone, eventually opened the Michelin-starred restaurant Terra (sadly gone) in St. Helena.
The erudite Gerald Asher, longtime wine writer for Gourmet magazine (again, sadly gone) is quoted from his book, “A Vineyard in My Glass”: “The evenings I spent at their Yountville restaurant were among my most memorable in California.”
While she did not attend culinary school, she did learn from a wide world of sources, including the famed Time Life cookbooks on “Foods of the World,” and Sunset magazine, which printed an impressive list of recipes in those days.
From a lifetime of cooking in her six kitchens she passes along a bit of insight on almost every page. She devotes a whole page to Cleaning As You Go, another whole page on Keeping It Simple.
She learned one of her most valuable lessons from the years she cooked the monthly luncheon for the Napa Valley Vintners Association, back when all the membership could sit at one long table. While the vintners had a discerning palette, she discovered: “Simple food, without fancy frills, was what pleased them the most.”
Other knowledge she shares includes “Start the day clean. Don’t have things piled up to be washed from the day or night before,” to “my restaurant years taught me to be prepared (always planning the next meal) plus “I’ve also learned not to fixate on measuring much, unless I’m baking” teaching herself what measurements of dry ingredients looked like in the palm of her hand. The list goes on, so you’ll have to read the book to learn more.
I loved the tone of the writing and the mix of historic images and illustrations with photos of the finished dishes. The only thing that made me raise an eyebrow was the frequency cream was incorporated in the recipes, particularly most of the soups. Most classes I’ve taken have emphasized a vegetable base as healthier. But she and her husband lived long lives, so maybe they’re on to something there.
In my column I always try to give readers a wide choice of books/websites by listing three recipes from three different sources, but I feel it would be a shame not to share at least three recipes from Sally’s cookbook. She uses the format often seen in professional kitchens, with instructions on the left hand side, ingredients on the right hand side, so I’ll follow her lead here.
One more tip from Sally: “I recommend you read through it at least three times before you start cooking.” Long ago I discovered that piece of advice on my own.
“Six California Kitchens” by Sally Schmitt
Serves 8 to 10 as an appetizer
This is an easy starter for a meal to add to your repertoire of dishes.
Slice and cut gently not very small dice, 1 pound of the very best ahi tuna avoiding the connective tissue:
Transfer to a bowl and add: 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame oil
1 Tbsp. finely chopped jalapeño
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green onion
Use your finger or a fork, toss gently until combined. Serve on toast rounds or very crisp cucumber slices. Garnish each serving with 1 little sprig of cilantro and Maldon salt.
Zanzibar Duck with Rice and Papaya
“Six California Kitchens” by Sally Schmitt
Sally had an admitted love affair with duck so she includes a whole chapter of duck recipes. She credits the African Cooking, volume of the Time Life series, as the inspiration for this dish, which was a favorite when she cooked her monthly Friday night dinners at the Chutney Kitchen in Vintage 1870 from 1970 to 1978.
Note: She allows 1 hour for preparation and 2 hours of cooking time so this is not a spur of the moment dish. Rice also needs to be made.
Preheat the oven to 400°
On a rimmed baking sheet: 6 whole duck legs
Arrange them skin-side up and season with: Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Roast in the oven until they re very brown, but not dried out, about 45 minutes
While the duck legs are cooking, prepare and set aside 2 green or red bell peppers, charred, peeled, and torn into strips.
In a medium saucepan, combine and bring to a simmer: 2 cups chicken stock
2 jalapeño peppers, halved
Drain the fat from the duck legs and lower the oven temperature to 300°F. Reserve the flavorful duck fat for another use (this makes great friend potatoes). Pour the prepared stock over the duck legs and cover the pan with parchment paper. Return to the oven and steam until tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour more. Discard the cloves and jalapeños. Carefully pour off the cooking juices into a large saucepan.
Add: 4 cups chicken stock
Return the duck to the 300°F oven, uncovered, for at least 30 minutes to let the skin crisp up. At this point it can sit in a very low oven up to 30 minutes more until you are ready to serve. Bring the stock and juices to a gentle simmer and keep it simmering until it reduces to about 3 cups. After the stock is reduced, taste for salt and add more if needed.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over low heat, melt: ¼ cup butter
Peel, seed, cut into cubes and add to the pan: 2 fresh papayas
Gently warm and sprinkle with: ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
When ready to serve, place a generous spoonful of rice on each plate. Add a duck leg and scatter the reserved pepper strips over the leg. Place a serving of the warmed papaya on the side and spoon the reduced stock over all. Be very generous. There should be enough liquid to really soak into the rice. Garnish with lime and orange zest.
Makes enough for 6 to 8 ramekins or 8 to 10 ovenproof espresso cups
I love fruit desserts but every so often, you need chocolate. The classic flavoring is vanilla, but the chocolate variation is my favorite.
In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, scald, and remove from the heat:
3 Tbsp. instant espresso coffee
In a medium bowl, beat gently to avoid having too much foam: ½ cup egg yolks from about 6 eggs
Add the hot half-and-half mixture slowly to the bowl in a thin stream, stirring constantly. Strain the mixture into a large heatproof measuring cup. Fill the ramekins or espresso cups and place in a roasting pan
Pour enough hot tap water into the pan to come about two-thirds up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custard is barely set, 30 to 50 minutes, depending on how warm the mixture was to start. It should jiggle in the middle.
Let cool a little, and then lift the ramekins out of the pan, using a jar lifter if they’re still too hot. Then cool before serving or refrigerate to serve cold.
To serve, top each with: A spoonful of softly whipped cream, chocolate-covered coffee beans or chocolate curls
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So far on this season of MasterChef Junior, we’ve seen home chefs aged 8-13 take on challenges that would be difficult for even the most seasoned chef: cooking enough Scotch eggs to feed a Renaissance Fair, cooking as many perfect pizzas as possible in 20 minutes, even recreating a dish made by Gordon Ramsay purely based on taste. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and even though the current season airing in 2022 was actually filmed in 2019, it’s an experience that has stayed with the young home chefs to this day.
I had the opportunity to chat with six of this season’s “cheftestants” via Zoom about what life in their home kitchens has been like since filming. Some of the mistakes are sticking with the chefs for life—A’Dan Lisaula told me, laughing, “Since I put raw grapes on a plate, my cousins put cake in my face, I got a lot of criticism from almost everyone in my family, my grandma bullies me for it.” But the biggest takeaways are useful tips for home cooks of any age.
“Having your ingredients all laid out is a good idea that I learned. Before, I’d be in the middle of cooking something and me and my little brother would have to run to the grocery store for something because we’d be out.” —Freddy Taylor
“I always try to have salt and pepper in the same place. In the MasterChef kitchen we had these little ramekins for salt and pepper instead of grinders, and that helped me so much because I just kept remembering to season my food. I do the same thing now in my kitchen.” —Abir Bhatia
“I think you should always wear an apron. The kitchen is going to get messy, so you want to protect your outfit. And you should clean as you cook, you don’t just want to make a big mess and not know where the next ingredient is. It’s really nice to have a cleaner workspace.” —Ivy Childs
“Tie your hair back if you have long hair because the worst thing is to get hair in your food.” —Eva Kozar
Photo: Fox/MasterChef Junior
“Part of cooking is introducing different ingredients to people. I think that’s one of my favorite parts about it, because I love to go to the farmers market or the grocery store and find things that I haven’t experienced myself and research how people typically make them and try that and see if I like it and if not, make it my own way. I think that’s a really important part of cooking, just experimenting with new things and trying new ingredients.” —Grayson Price
“Having the resource of all those ingredients and giving myself that creativity to come up with a dish, now I can use that. I can just look in my fridge and just see what I have and I can just make stuff, and that’s really fun.” —Ivy Childs
“In the second episode I made salmon, and that was maybe my third time cooking it, so I kind of knew about it. But since the show has aired I feel like I’ve cooked it over a thousand times, that’s a regular dinner for me.” —A’Dan Lisaula
“One thing I taught my family after the show was how to cut an onion without crying. In the renaissance fair challenge I was cutting a bunch of onions for a dressing and Gordon came over and noticed I was crying, so he showed me you want to cut away from yourself, straight down, so it doesn’t come up into your eyes. I always try to correct my mom and dad when they’re cutting stuff.” —Abir Bhatia
“It’s been a big deal for me to watch where my fingers are so I don’t cut them off, because I think almost everybody on the show cut their finger with a knife before and it wasn’t a pleasant experience.” —A’Dan Lisaula
“Once you start, you can’t go back, so make sure you really taste along the way. You can always add more salt, so don’t start by throwing in a bunch.” —Ivy Childs
“Self-confidence is a huge factor that you need, because you need to help yourself give that extra push.” —A’Dan Lisaula
“Just try it out. If you do it enough times eventually you’ll get half decent at it to where you’ll be able to eat your own food. Just practice.” —Freddy Taylor
“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, because mistakes might turn into something beautiful. If you don’t have a certain ingredient, finding a substitute, you might find that substitute tastes better. Like if you don’t have potatoes then you can use cauliflower and you might end up liking that better.” —Ivy Childs
“A lot of people who use the internet, they say, ‘well, I can’t actually cook, I just follow a recipe,’ and I think you should give yourself more credit. Because just being able to follow instructions is already something that a lot of people can’t do, so give yourself credit, guys, because it’s not as easy as you’re saying it is!” —Eva Kozar
“For people starting out cooking, a great resource is the internet. Especially now after COVID there’s so many amazing creators online that you can take inspiration from, and you don’t always need a recipe. Ingredients work just fine. It’s always better to start small and work your way up—everybody starts somewhere.” —Abir Bhatia
THIS is Berry, the moggie that came within a hair’s breadth of death after swallowing 50 elastic hairbands. Her life was saved by Solihull specialists who provided band aid, although Berry has lost a rubber one of her nine lives.
Now the feline’s owner, Paul Spraggett, from Stratford, Warwickshire, has urged cat owners not to leave hairbands lying around. They could be gobbled up by their cat.
Paul rushed the cat to Willows Veterinary Centre and Referral Service after she began vomiting and retching. The team there soon realised drastic, elastic action was needed.
Read more: Inside the Birmingham greasy spoon where staff swear so much Gordon Ramsay would blush
The diagnosis was not a surprise: Berry will wolf down anything elastic – at a stretch. After leaving the beloved family pet to undergo an emergency op, Paul went home and warned his wife and two daughters about the dangers of leaving hairbands around, a message he’s now keen to share with all cat lovers.
He said: “None of us had ever thought about the risks that hairbands and similar everyday objects could pose for our four cats. We were really shocked to find out that was why Berry had been so sick and that’s why hairbands are now banned from anywhere the cats might go in the house.
“Willows told us they’d had other similar cases in the past, although not involving anything like the amount that Berry had swallowed, which is why we want to highlight this case to try to prevent it happening again.”
X-ray of the elastic bands
Graphic x-rays taken by the expert team at Willows show a tangled mass of the bands in two-year-old Berry’s belly. The poorly pet was desperately trying to vomit them up, but they were stuck between her oesophagus and stomach, so surgery was the only option.
Willows rotating intern Jo McKendry said: “Berry arrived having suffered acute vomiting the night before and she now wasn’t eating or drinking. She behaved like she was trying to vomit up a fur ball but was struggling to bring it up. She was clearly dehydrated and when I examined her, I felt a large sausage style structure in her cranial abdomen which was confirmed by x-rays.
“The images showed a foreign body extending from Berry’s stomach into her distal oesophagus – and it appeared to be a mass of hairbands. I performed a gastrotomy – surgical incision into the stomach – to access and remove the bands, and Berry was allowed home the following day.
“She was quickly back to normal, showed a massive increase in appetite and was soon putting on weight.” Paul added: “Jo and the team at Willows were absolutely fantastic from start to finish.
“They explained everything to us very clearly and thoroughly and kept us in touch every step of the way. We’re so grateful to have our lovely cat back and she’s certainly loving being back, too. She’s racing around with her brother and has really come on and grown since the operation.”
Jo added: “She’d always been much smaller and thinner than him but now there’s not much in it at all. The main difference was that he had always wolfed his food straight down, while Berry was more of a grazer. She’d eat a little and then come back for a little more later.
“Now she has much more of an appetite and that’s convinced us that she must have been snaffling these hairbands over a long period of time, maybe even 18 months. We think they gradually accumulated, filling her stomach and that’s why she could only eat her food in small portions.
Read: I went for lunch at the best garden centre in the Midlands and queued like I was at an LA nightclub
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 03: Doja Cat attends the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Image Source: Getty / Jeff Kravitz
The red carpet for the 2022 Grammys has started, and stars are already turning heads. Laverne Cox debuted new purple hair, and eagle-eyed fans spotted Addison Rae’s water-droplet french manicure with ease. Amid the glam, Doja Cat also caught attention for her Versace dress and early-2000s-inspired hairstyle.
The rapper’s platinum-blond hairstyle came equipped with micro bangs and face-framing tendrils, plus elevated twists at the crown of her head and flipped ends – a true mainstay in the early aughts.
Her hairstylist, Jared Henderson, explained that many of the products he used to create the look were affordable. “I prepped the blonde wig by shampooing and conditioning with the Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo ($21) to strip it of all yellow/brassy tones,” he says.
After applying the wig, Henderson blow-dried it straight using the GHD Helios Professional Hair Dryer ($279) and the GHD Paddle Brush ($35). To style, he says he “sectioned off the hair from temple to temple and used JoiGel Firm Styling Gel ($20) for the twists and Bantu knots at the top of the hair.”
The rest of the hair was pulled into a half-up ponytail using JoiMist Firm Protective Finishing Spray ($21) to finish the section. Lastly, he straightened the back with the GHD Unplugged Styler ($299) and finished off the entire hairstyle with one more spray of the JoiMist Firm Protective Finishing Spray ($21) for hold and to control frizz on the carpet.
Take a closer look at Doja Cat’s hairstyle below.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – APRIL 03: Doja Cat attends the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards at MGM Grand Garden Arena on April 03, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)