MUST READ: AERIE EXPANDS WITH A MORE INCLUSIVE RANGE OF NUDE SHADES, ALEXANDER WANG AND JUDITH LEIBER COLLABORATE

MUST READ: AERIE EXPANDS WITH A MORE INCLUSIVE RANGE OF NUDE SHADES, ALEXANDER WANG AND JUDITH LEIBER COLLABORATE
Aerie REAL ME campaign; Photo: Aerie 

Aerie REAL ME campaign; Photo: Aerie

These are the stories making headlines in fashion on Wednesday.

Aerie adds shades of nude to its “Real Me” collection
Aerie launched its “Real Me” collection earlier this summer, but today the brand announced five additional nude shades to accommodate a broader range of skin tones. The shades are named to describe qualities of the wearers rather than the hues themselves, so names include: honesty, inspiration, strength, energy and confidence.{Fashionista Inbox}

Alexander Wang x Judith Leiber clutch. Photo: @judithleiberny/Instagram

Alexander Wang x Judith Leiber clutch. Photo: @judithleiberny/Instagram

Alexander Wang and Judith Leiber collaborate on a clutch 
Alexander Wang collaborated with handbag designer Judith Leiber on a limited-edition, crystal-encrusted clutch. The mini bag is modeled after a thick wad of $100 bills and fittingly costs a large sum itself: $4,995, to be exact. The clutch will debut on Sept. 9 at Alexander Wang’s Spring 2018 presentation, but it won’t be available for purchase until November. {WWD}

The Curvy Con will celebrate full-figured style during NYFW
Now in its third year, The Curvy Con will take place on Sept. 8 and 9 during New York Fashion Week at the Metropolitan West. A two-day conference aimed at celebrating and serving the 67 percent of women who are above a size 14, the event was founded by plus-size bloggers and influencers Chastity Garner and CeCe Olisa. This year’s conference will feature a keynote address from Chrissy Metz of “This Is Us” and will have a runway presentation showcasing five new curve-conscience brands, as well as pop-up shops from major retailers and plus-size brands. {WWD}

Non-luxury brands are generating more revenue and awareness from social influencers than fashion retailers 
The digital revenue agency Tribe Dynamics recently released its “June 2017 Earned Media Value” report, which revealed that non-luxury brands, such as Adidas, Zara and Nike, are reaping benefits from their social influencer campaigns, whereas retailers like Anthropologie and Shopbop are falling flat. This is because brands have done a better job at aligning with influencers who their consumers relate to and trust, while third-party retailers have relied more on influencers with heavy followings. {WWD}

Sophia Webster partners with Puma on a dance-inspired collaboration 
Whimsical British footwear designer Sophia Webster is partnering with Pumaon a line of sneakers and womenswear. The collection will feature shoes in her signature butterfly designs and vibrantly hued athletic apparel fit for dance-inspired workouts — think sheer leotards, mesh crop tops, bombers and cutout leggings. {Vogue UK}

Victoria Beckham debuts posh PJs 
Victoria Beckham has taken sartorial leaps since her days of pleather jumpsuits and cheetah-print slip dresses: The pop-star-turned-fashion-designer is now praised for her structured suiting. But over the summer, Page Six captured the Spice Girl in a plaid pajama set two times, proving loungewear and comfort are eternally posh. {Page Six}

How a cultural shift toward embracing gender fluidity brought males into the beauty business
It’s becoming more common for males to star in beauty campaigns, as definitions of beauty and masculinity begin to change. In witnessing this industry shift, Very Good Light questions whether brands are simply cashing in on the “boy beauty” movement or if they’re displaying an authentic commitment to inclusivity. {Very Good Light}

LMVH plans to transform Paris’ 157 year-old theme park into the best in France 
Luxury goods giant LVMH has managed Paris’ historic Jardin d’Acclimatation since 1984 and has decided to dedicate $72 million to transform it into one of France’s top amusement parks. Construction on the park will begin in early September and continue on until May of 2018, allowing sufficient time for 17 new attractions to be built. {Business of Fashion}

The Riley Smartwatch by Marc Jacobs. Photo: Marc Jacobs

The Riley Smartwatch by Marc Jacobs. Photo: Marc Jacobs

Marc Jacobs launches a hybrid smartwatch
Marc Jacobs entered the wearables market with the launch of a smartwatch style on Wednesday. The accompanying campaign features New-York based performers and professionals who use the watch to simplify their hectic lives. The watch is priced at $175 and will be available on marcjacobs.com and in select boutiques and departments stores beginning this fall.

Bose Soundlink Revolve + Bluetooth Speakers Redefine Mobile Audio with 360-Degree Sound

Bose Soundlink Revolve + Bluetooth Speakers Redefine Mobile Audio with 360-Degree Sound

SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speaker

Photos/Video Credit: Bose

When it comes to audio performance, Bose has set the standard since 1964 when Dr. Amar G. Bose—then a professor of electrical engineering at the MIT—established his fundamental goal: to develop new technologies with real customer benefits. Bose innovations have since transformed audio and created new categories. Bose products for the home, car, and portable use have changed the way people listen to music.

The company is constantly innovating, but it doesn’t launch products very often. So when Bose came out with its new 7¼-inch SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speaker, it was clear that it would be special. And it is. The portable, wireless SoundLink Revolve Plus+ is Bose’s best sounding wireless speaker yet, providing true omni-directional performance, and an entirely new acoustic design. Unlike other brands and previous SoundLink speakers, Revolve Plus+ spreads deep, jaw-dropping, remarkably loud sound in every direction—from a seamless aluminum cylinder.

“We didn’t want to make small improvements to the audio that made it famous,” said Glenn Gomes-Casseres, director of products for Bose wireless speakers. “We wanted the difference to be so dramatic, that it would take just one song to hear the best sound you’ve ever heard from a little speaker.”

To do that, Bose engineers added a “pressure trap” to eliminate distortion, with dramatic results. There’s no “front” or “back.” Sound radiates uniformly in every direction, with deep, rich bass—and without the sweet spots and frequency drop-offs of conventional 360-degree speakers. Set in the middle of the room, a corner, or outdoors, Revolve+ delivers the same experience. It withstands spills, rain, and pool splashes; and rugged durability to survive dings, drops, and bumps, and its charge provides up to 16-hours of playtime.

SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speaker

It can pair through NFC, and integrate microphones to use as a speakerphone or with Siri and Google Assistant. The free Bose Connect app now syncs two SoundLinks — any combination, for any models starting with the SoundLink Color II. The new Stereo Mode enables left-right pairing, and new Party Mode lets you play the same music on both simultaneously. SoundLink Revolve+ Bluetooth speakers are available in two colors: Triple Black and Lux Gray.

5 Luxurious Boats You Can Take for a Spin this Summer

boat rentals

Photos Credit: SAILO

Picture this: you’re spending a summer afternoon in the sun, a salty breeze blowing through your hair as you sip on another glass of Dom Perignon. Is there anything better? We didn’t think so. The only problem with boats is that they require a lot of maintenance—swabbing the poop deck is about as unglamorous as it sounds. Lucky for wannabe sea-farers around the world, SAILO has solved some of the problems associated with boat ownership. The self-proclaimed “Airbnb of boats,” the brand opens the arena for boat owners to rent their vessels to those looking for a short-term voyage. Boats range from everything to your standard catamaran to some of the world’s most luxurious mega-yachts, so what are you waiting for? Here are a few ultra-luxe options you can take for a spin on the high seas this summer:

New York City, New York

The city that never sleeps knows how to do things big, bright and bold. This 95-foot yacht has been previously rented out by royalty, presidents and celebrities. Built in 1987, the boat has been completely re-outfitted to include an elegant salon and full-service bar. In addition to the amenities on board, a full crew of three or four is available to cater meals and provide dinner and cocktail services. You and your eleven closest friends can sail the high seas around Brooklyn, the Hamptons, and the Hudson River for a cool $16,200 for a full day.

sailo

Miami, Florida

Some like it hot, especially when they’re in Miami. The interiors of this luxurious vessel are inspired by the French fashion house Hermés. Each of the ship’s cabins resembles a high-end hotel room, with glossy veneers and state-of-the-art amenities. For those interested in water sports, the ship comes equipped with a water ski, wakeboard tower, kayaks and snorkeling equipment. While on your voyage, enjoy a glass of champagne on the flybridge before lounging on one of the many lush sofas strewn across the decks. This watercraft can be yours for the summer for $18,500 per day.

sailo

Treasure Cay, Bahamas

If you want to be a Bahama mama, taking a trip down south is imperative. For $5,975 a week, you can live out all of your snorkeling and diving dreams on a weeklong trip in one of the most picturesque locations in the world. If an extended fishing trip is more your speed, the vessel comes equipped with a set of fishing rods perfect for any skill level. The ship is run by a husband-and-wife team that cater to guests every need, be it picking out the perfect wine for an evening by the fireplace, or accommodating dining restrictions.

sailo

Cancun, Mexico

Cancun has been known as a spring break hotspot for years, but it’s now gaining traction among the well-heeled. Travel along the Yucatàn Peninsula in this 50-foot sea-faring vehicle enjoying drinks from the open bar before jumping in the sea for a swim. Cancun is known as one of the best places to snorkel in the world, so be sure to grab a pair of the boat’s gear before exploring the depths. The vessel can accommodate up to 40 people on board at one time, making the $4,000 per day price tag a steal.

sailo

Sag Harbor, NY

Turning heads in the Hamptons is no easy feat. This 86-foot Azimut vessel, complete with dashing red panels, will attract attention wherever you go. In addition to four staterooms that can sleep up to eight guests, there are both front and back sundecks for ultimate outdoor relaxation. Drop anchor in the marina along the Hamptons main drag, where you can enjoy the best high-end shops and restaurants that Long Island has to offer. This ship is available for rent for $9,500 per day, no biggie.

See How Hennessy Produces the World’s Finest Cognac, One Bottle at a Time

See How Hennessy Produces the World’s Finest Cognac, One Bottle at a Time

Hennessy

Photos Credit: Hennessy

No other name in the spirits world has the elegance and resonance or commands the amount of respect bordering on reverence as that of Hennessy. For over 250 years the brand has stood for excellence, integrity and quality; it’s not only emblematic of the finer things in life but for many thousands of connoisseurs and casual imbibers both, it’s an essential part of it.

Hennessy

Since 1987, the brand has been a cornerstone of the LVMH luxury goods empire, and over its two-and-a-half centuries has been the favored tipple of everyone from emperors and kings to rap moguls and Wall Street tycoons. While Hennessy has of course produced some brilliant marketing campaigns over the years, these would have no real effect if the product itself were not truly exceptional and iconic, nothing less than the world’s finest luxury spirit.

Hennessy

Since its creation Hennessy’s mission has been “unique savoir faire, a constant quest for innovation, and an unwavering commitment to creation, excellence, legacy and sustainable development.” The world’s best-selling Cognac, the brand sells about 50 million bottles a year (more than 40 percent of the world’s supply of Cognac), making it the largest producer and a true international icon.

Hennessy

But even more amazing is that the Maison has managed to retain its air of exclusivity and still continues to operate in the manner of a boutique luxury brand, sacrificing nothing in spite of its astounding success. Hennessy is still produced using time-honored methods; computers do not control its creation, rather that is chiefly the job of the Maison’s Master Blender and its prestigious Tasting Committee, who bring many decades of skill and experience and taste over 10,000 eaux-de-vie each year.

Hennessy

Hennessy Master Blender Yann Fillioux, who has held the post for the past 50 years, is the seventh generation of the Fillioux family to be involved in creating Hennessy Cognacs, and will soon pass the reins to his nephew, Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, who will take up the legacy as the eighth generation. For over 200 years the Fillioux family has been associated with Maison Hennessy, as producers or as blenders of eaux-de-vie. At the early age of 19, Yann Fillioux trained at Hennessy under the tutelage of his uncle Maurice. He mastered both selecting and blending the eaux-de-vie that make up Hennessy. “Combining these Cognacs that inspire such emotions, blending them to make the ultimate Cognac that surpasses everything we know about elegance, that is great satisfaction,” Fillioux says.

Hennessy

There has never been a better time to make an excursion to Cognac itself, a pleasant train ride from Paris, to see how the legendary spirit is made. The Maison recently unveiled Les Visites Hennessy, its new visitor circuit in Cognac. This innovative new concept, the first of its kind in Cognac, features a contemporary setting within centuries old buildings, and a multi-sensory “360° vision” of the Maison’s universe including its history, know-how (savoir faire), presence, an initiation to Cognac tasting, and a stunning gift shop which is the only place in the world where every expression of the world-famous spirit can be purchased. In creating the new visitors’ center, particular attention was paid to using materials key to Cognac making, including glass, wood, and copper, tying everything in to the Maison’s impressive legacy of craftsmanship.

Hennessy

Each Hennessy visit features an itinerary made up of several stops, starting with a boat ride on the beautiful Charente River, which affords an overview of the city of Cognac which gives its name to the spirit, and its rich history. There are four categories of tours, offering increasingly immersive experiences, with prices ranging from €16 per person to €220 per person, starting with a basic visit and tasting of Hennessy V.S and V.S.O.P.

Hennessy

Then there is the Hennessy X.O Symbole, a 360-degree visit to the heart of Maison Hennessy to discover its history, know-how and particularly one of its iconic Cognacs, created in 1870, Hennessy X.O., positioned at the top of Hennessy’s core portfolio. In addition to the visitors’ center, the Hennessy Exception tour includes a visit to the Chai du Paradis or “cellar of paradise” where rare eaux-de-vie and Cognacs reside, ending with a tasting of Hennessy X.O. and Hennessy Paradis accompanied by appetizers made by David Fransoret, the Michelin-rated Chef at Hennessy’s historic Château de Bagnolet.

Hennessy

Built in 1801, and acquired by the Hennessy family 40 years later, Château de Bagnolet is like something out of a fairy tale, and no visitor will ever forget the thrill of being at the heart of the Hennessy brand. And for a truly exceptional experience there is Hennessy à la Carte, a made-to-measure program covering the Maison’s most exceptional locations and the behind-the-scenes world of Cognac-making at the iconic brand.

Hennessy

The experience includes a private tour of the vineyards where the grapes that become eaux-de-vie are grown, the magnificent Le Peu distillery built in 1962, the (well guarded) cellar where some of Hennessy’s oldest and unique eaux-de-vie, dating back to 1800 are stored, and the barrel-making workshop or cooperage which provides the casks essential for maturing the finest Cognacs, as well as a comprehensive tasting session specially designed for understanding the processes of aging and assembling eaux-de-vie.

What Makes Chardonnay a Chablis?

What Makes Chardonnay a Chablis?

Wine

Photo Credit: Wines of Chablis

The word Chablis is said to derive from two Celtic words: cab (house) and leya (near the wood). The village and surrounding wine region of Chablis is situated near Champagne, France in Bourgogne’s northern extremity between Paris and Beaune. Over 13,300 acres packed with vineyards comprises four appellations that flourish in gray marl and bands of limestone, rich in Exogyra virgula fossils (a small comma-shaped oyster) dating back 150 million years. The soil combined with a semi-continental climate far from maritime influences challenges vines with harsh winters, unpredictable springs, and hot summers yielding highly complimentary balances of sugar and acidity in the grapes.

Wine

Photo Credit: Wines of Chablis

 

It’s easy to keep the varietal of Chablis wines straight since they’re all made from the Chardonnay grape. The common adage that ‘Chablis is Chardonnay, but not every Chardonnay is Chablis’ springs from the purity and wide range of distinct aromatic variations in Chablis that can’t be derived from Chardonnay grapes grown anywhere else.

Wine

Photo Credit: Burgundy Tourism

 

The actual Village of Chablis dates back to the Roman era. Later during the 9th century, Charles the Bald commissioned a small church built at the mouth of Vaucharmes valley dedicating it to Saint Marie in commemoration of his victory in the battle of Fontenoy. Charles later came to the rescue in A.C. 867 providing refuge for Benedictine monks fleeing Vikings advancing up the Loire. They soon established vineyards supporting their mission but ultimately, the Cistercian monks built Chablis into the wine making region you see today.

Wine

Wines of Chablis

 

Fast forward to the 1500s when royal tables in Paris regularly showcased Chablis thanks to the River Yonne trade route long before railways were established. Over the ensuing centuries, setbacks like phylloxera and World War I decimating the vineyard workforce challenged Chablis’ longstanding wine making heritage. But vineyards rose to the occasion reinvigorating blighted vines by grafting phylloxera resistant root stock while the loss of workers in this case thankfully coincided with mechanization. Winemakers also learned to mitigate the hazard of spring frosts killing newly formed buds with chaufferettes (heaters) and aspersion, a technique of spraying water on vines which freezes on contact creating a protective ice cocoon.

Wine

Photo Credit: Domaine Drouhin Vaudon

 

Many vineyards today are multi-generational keeping traditional wine making approaches alive while building on the knowledge and technological advancements acquired by formal training and exposure abroad.

Domaine Drouhin Vaudon – Chablis 2015

Situated in a historic 18th-century watermill straddling the Serein River, Drouhin Domaine headquarters overlooks their 95 acre estate where Chardonnay vines have been planted for centuries. Current owner Joseph Drouhin’s father Robert was considered a pioneer in the 1960s for revitalizing Chablis vineyards when they neared complete abandonment. He implemented Double Guyot ‘Vallée de la Marne’ pruning to resist frost and decrease yield. Grapes are pressed very slowly, capturing the widest range of fruit characteristics while aging takes place in vats for seven or eight months, resulting in an easy-to-drink dry wine full of nuances.

Wine

Photo Credit: Domaine Drouhin Vaudon

 

Fresh aromas reminiscent of lemon and grapefruit buttressed by dry fruity mineral notes give it a long and pleasant finish. A sparkling chalkiness successfully cuts through grilled meats while a biting thirst quenching kick to the back of the throat is made possible by an astringency that reveals juxtaposing characteristics like tart citrus and hints of candied fruit.

Wine

Photo Credit: Domaine Denis Race

 

Domaine Denis Race – 2015 Petit Chablis

This fourth generation estate nestled in the heart of Chablis is planted with vineyard parcels ranging in age from two to 65 years totaling 44 acres. After formal training in 2005, the owners’ second daughter Claire has been working here and plans to take over the estate when the time is right. Pneumatically pressed grapes distinctly exhibit well structured honeyed citrus on the nose with astringent lemon drop limestone on the palate. A slight effervescence pervades the mouth feel with a lively heightened minerality strong enough to pair elegantly with sharp cheeses. Even Holds its own after coffee and chocolate.

Wine

Photo Credit: Domaine Vocoret Et Fils

 

Domaine Vocoret Et Fils – 2013 Chablis Premier Cru

On one of the largest domaines with over 100 acres of vines in Chablis, Vocorets have made wines for three generations still matured in large oak foudres. Michel is now responsible for managing the vineyards while brother Claude is in charge of the wine making.

Controlled alcoholic and malolactic fermentation in stainless steel yields well-balanced structure and clean filtered chalkiness on the mouthfeel stabilizing on the palate with sharp lemon zest and stone fruit notes. Piercing thirst quenching attributes of tart green apple and fresh greens reluctantly yield to fruitier complexities with hints of ripe peach, cherry, and pear along with a crisp melange of spices defined by whatever dish it’s paired with.

Wine

Photo Credit: Vignoble Dampt Freres

 

Vignoble Dampt Freres Les Fourneaux – 2014 Chablis Premier Cru

Vignoble Dampt Freres represents a collaborative approach to wine making with the domaine encompassing 150 parcels in the three valleys of Yonne, Serein, and Armancon.

Vintners here have a long heritage of taking a holistic approach to grape growing embracing environmentally-friendly viticulture in a big way. Cultivating a healthy relationship between vine, soil, climate, and environment means plants become naturally resistant to pests and diseases while grapes ripen at a more even pace. Instead of weed killers, pesticides, or anti-botrytis, natural treatments like nettle and valerian root are used as natural pest deterrents.

Wine

Photo Credit: Domaine Laroche

 

This genuine approach in the vineyardssets the stage for an exceptional tasting experience. You get a crystalline hue in the glass with a hefty mouth feel uncharacteristic for a white. Yeast pokes through solid lemon with hints of pear and floral notes. Clean and crisp high minerality is tempered with luscious fruit sugars providing a yin and yang duality of sharp freshness with rich fruit nectars enriched by aging.Cuts through and complements fatty grilled lamb and other meats with aplomb.

Chef Shane Robilliard on Lobster Decadence at a Billionaire’s Resort

Chef Shane Robilliard on Lobster Decadence at a Billionaire’s Resort

Fox Harb’r

Photos Credit: Fox Harb’r Resort

Fox Harb’r resort offers sanctuary in many forms. The resort is a culinarian’s delight; situated on the eastern tip of Nova Scotia and about 90 minutes from Halifax, the area is hugged by the Northumberland Strait and Fox Harbour. Whether you decide to fly right into the property via private charter/jet plane or opt for private car service, owner Ron Joyce (co-founder of Tim Horton’s) envisioned a luxury resort that highlighted the natural beauty of Nova Scotia, his home province. From a sprawling, award-winning golf course to indulgent spa retreats and horseback riding to seaside hikes, perhaps the most alluring aspect is the world-class cuisinefound on the property.

Fox Harb’r

There are three options when at the resort: The Willard, Cape Cliff, and In-room dining. The first is in casual, laid-back digs, akin to a seafarer’s bar that includes an outdoor terrace. It’s the ideal place for a happy-hour drinks or post-golfing relaxation especially after tackling the back nine. As well, The Willard is famed for its “Flaming Hole in One Burger” that features seafood chowder, fresh oysters on an open faced beef and roast tomato sandwich topped with aged white cheddar. In-room dining offers a wealth of meal options from Nova Scotia blueberry pancakes with maple sausage, line-caught halibut, to chilled seafood platters.

But for an upscale experience, opt for Cape Cliff, which overlooks Fox Harb’r’s 18th green, and proudly boasts as Atlantic Canada’s first sustainable seafood restaurant. It is here you can indulge in lobster dishes for every meal of the day.

Fox Harb’r

The visionary behind the gourmet dining experience is Chef Shane Robilliard and his culinary brigade. He’s been with Fox Harb’r for three years so far and has built a robust culinary program from the ground up, with a focus on offering sustainable seafood, as well as a self-sustaining organic greenhouse. In fact, his menus are a reflection of the fresh fishery options in Nova Scotia—but the difference here is that all meals are sustainable so that visitors can return and enjoy the same dishes for years to come.

In an interview with Chef, he talks to JustLuxe about his gastronomic passions, working with legend Alice Waters of Chez Panisse and his future culinary projects.

JustLuxe: Was there a culinary program in place prior to you arriving at Fox Harb’r resort?

Shane Robilliard: No, but it was a fantastic opportunity to initiate these ideas and have them take-off. The primary focus was golf before, but today we’re quickly becoming one of the top food destinations in Eastern Canada.

Fox Harb’r

JL: What programming have you initiated?

SR: Here’s an overview: All our food is sourced within a 30 mile radius. We’re one of the only Ocean Wise certified partners, which is a non-profit organization out of Vancouver, Canada; it endeavors to educate people about sustainable food practices for both businesses and consumers. We have our own organic greenhouse and currently, we grow about 40% of all the produce consumed on property. Lastly, we’ve just created a vineyard and will be producing our own brand of wines early next year.

JL: You mentioned earlier that sustainability is a passion of yours. Can you elaborate on this?

SR: Alice waters is one of my food icons (I actually staged with her at Chez Panisse years ago), as well as Dan Barber. In a way, you can say I was inspired by both to initiate farming and sustainability projects on Fox Harb’r. But, we’ve got a way to go. And I’m up to the challenge. Educating people and exercising sustainable food practices overall on the East Coast hasn’t quite caught on yet — especially compared with the pace of the West Coast where practically all restaurants are Ocean Wise certified. Even though cod stocks collapsed two decades ago, all Atlantic provinces are still trying to recover. In the meantime, I’m trying to advocate for sustainable aquaculture and fishing practices. We only use Ocean Wise certified products. For instance, we use in-pond salmon and striped bass; all our halibut is line-caught, and we produce/raise our own trout on the property.

Fox Harb’r

JL: Does farm-raised salmon and other types of fish taste different than those caught in the wild? What about the pens themselves? Do they affect the natural environment in any way?

SR: Ocean Wise was started by the Vancouver Aquarium and so they put a lot of R&D into cultivating and promoting sustainable practices—this includes the “tanks” which are surrounded by rock quarries and always filter in fresh water. It is therefore self-contained and will not negatively impact the natural environment. As well, since the fish are not just lazing about in these pens, the force-flow of water (along with organic and nutrient-dense feed) creates the same conditions of that of the wild—so as a result you get a product, that is in my opinion, far more flavorful than wild- caught salmon, for instance.

JL: Where else do you source ingredients?

SR: As locally as possible. Our jumbo scallops and oysters are from nearby Malagash, our maple syrup comes from Earltown, and chickens from Holdanca Farms in Wallace. I’ll also make a weekly visit to Truro Farmers’ Market to buy fresh produce we’re not growing (yet) in our organic greenhouse.

Fox Harb’r

JL: You’re working with an on-site horticulturist for your greenhouse initiatives?

SR: Yes, it’s incredibly satisfying to use ingredients literally from our own backyard. I work with Michael Stewart who has grown me (in this year alone) 6 tons of head lettuce, three tons of tomatoes, and 1.5 tons of peppers. We’re always expanding the types of produce he grows for the property and it includes cucumbers, herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, dill, coriander), zucchini, carrots, beets, Swiss chard, and green beans. So far, about 40 percent of all the vegetation eaten is supplied by our greenhouse.

JL: That is exciting. Also, it has been said that you’re raising the profile of the property with a culinary series?

SR: Yes, we’re bolstering the overall culinary “foodie” experience by hosting and collaborating with numerous celebrity chefs. Since we began three years ago, we’ve hosted Chefs Lynn Crawford and Massimo Capra. Next year, we’ll be hosting another Canadian top chef, Vikram Vij. As well, we’ve been involved with the Devour Food Film Festival and its culinary program. And of course, we’re known for our famous lobster boils and feasts… it’s something that guests never want to miss out on.

Fox Harb’r

JL: With Canada offering a wealth of multicultural tastes, how would you describe your cooking style?

SR: I like to cook Italian a lot; I enjoy fresh, clean flavors, but most importantly, to not mess around too much with quality ingredients—my aim is to enhance already delicious produce from our sea. I love to work with seafood, as you can tell. It’s so versatile and it’s probably why I ensure that you can order it any time of day! This is probably the ultimate in experiencing Nova Scotia luxury: tucking into a gigantic lobster drizzled with sweet drawn butter.

JL: What does the future hold for you and Fox Harb’r?

SR: We’re hoping to open an intimate inn: about a 50-seater for more experimental and avant-garde cuisine. Also our Operations Manager, Peter Phillips, is overseeing our vineyard growth and production. Once we produce our own wines, we are hoping to have a food and drink pairing series. Currently, we spotlight great wines from our province, including from the nearby Jost Vineyards.

Once our vineyard is fully operational, we’re probably going to open a food shack right on the shoreline and build a gazebo so people can host events and weddings; it’s all to help spread the word about our hidden gem.

Catching up with Blue Ribbon Restaurants’ Bromberg Brothers

Catching up with Blue Ribbon Restaurants’ Bromberg Brothers

Bruce & Eric Bromberg

Bruce & Eric Bromberg, Photo Credit: Blue Ribbon Restaurants

Bruce and Eric Bromberg of Blue Ribbon Restaurants have been pioneering forces in the culinary industry thanks to their no nonsense menus incorporating contrasting flavors and experiences across their Blue Ribbon portfolio. The Jersey natives carved their foothold in the industry with personal twists on old favorites, infusing tried and true comfort food into upscale settings.

Beginning with Blue Ribbon Brasserie in 1992, the Brombergs have since introduced more than 15 distinct venues into the restaurant group’s repertoire, reaching far past the confines of the Tri-state area. After recently opening a fifth Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill in Miami this year, and with new projects in Las Vegas and New York currently in the works, it’s clear that the Bromberg Bros have no plans of slowing down. We caught up with Bruce and Eric to get their two cents on Blue Ribbon’s past, present and the bright (blue) road ahead.

 

How did you get started in the food industry, and how did Blue Ribbon Restaurants come about?

We come from a family where food was omnipresent. Every trip, every weekend was focused on eating, so that really jumpstarted the whole process. We started cooking together as kids and love working together. We always knew we wanted to make something together, and food seemed like the natural choice. For Eric’s 13th birthday, he got a Benihana Wok—complete with Chef’s coat and knife and holster— which was sort of a catalyst for things to come. We both ended up in Paris for culinary school and it really was full speed ahead from there. In terms of Brasserie, we really just gathered a team of 14 dedicated cooks, waiters and dishwashers (many of whom still work side- by- side with us today 25 years later) and opened a 48-seat neighborhood eatery. We had no preconceived notions of what we were making. It was just another great project that we could work on together.

Bone Marrow & Oxtail Marmalade

Bone Marrow & Oxtail Marmalade, Credit: Blue Ribbon Restaurants

 

JustLuxe: You began with the original Blue Ribbon in 1992, how has your portfolio expanded in cuisine?

Bruce & Eric Bromberg: With the originally Blue Ribbon, Brasserie, in particular, we weren’t making a French restaurant; we weren’t making a Spanish restaurant. We weren’t making a fancy restaurant, or even an “American joint.” We just wanted it to be a good place to eat and drink with friends, and a place that was fun to work at as well. We set out to change all preconceived notions of what a restaurant was and had to be. Since then, we’ve really aimed to diversify, and at this stage, we really feel that each of our now 19 Blue Ribbon Restaurants offers its own unique and authentic dining experience inspired by its surroundings. They range in scope from eclectic brasseries, a wine bar, a Japanese beer garden, casual fried chicken spots, the Brooklyn Bowls and, through our partnership with Sushi Master Toshi Ueki, six unique Blue Ribbon Sushi restaurants.

Seafood Platter

Seafood Platter, Credit: Blue Ribbon Restaurants

 

JL: From where do you draw culinary inspiration?

B&E: Largely from our dad, I would say, and our collective travels growing up. We’re from rural Morristown, New Jersey, about 45 minutes from food- crazy New York City. We didn’t rely solely on frequent trips to SoHo wine bars, Chinatown dumpling houses or even Little Italy’s semi- authentic eateries for inspiration, but also our father’s obsession with everything that is food. Weekends, bed time stories, road trips to summer camp and every vacation the Bromberg family ever contemplated were all guided by one thing only, and that was the search for the perfect meal. The night before we opened Brasserie in 1992, Bruce and I sat down in the dining room and wrote down every dish we could think of that we loved as kids. The only common thread is that we love to cook and eat each and every dish. That was really different then. A restaurant without a specified cuisine. When people asked what kind of restaurant Blue Ribbon was we said ‘A good restaurant.’

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill Miami

Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill Miami, Credit: Steve Hill & Blue Ribbon Restaurants

 

JL: Why the dive into sushi? And how did you make that transition so successfully?

B&E: Bruce and I have been obsessed with sushi ever since we lived in Paris, and have worked with some Japanese chefs who have taken us to experience the absolute best places offering sushi and Japanese cuisine. In 1994, we met a master sushi chef named Toshi Ueki, who eventually became a close friend, mentor and partner. We opened Blue Ribbon Sushi with him in 1995 and never looked back. Our love for has just kept growing, as has our number of sushi concepts!

Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken, Credit: Blue Ribbon Restaurants

 

JL: The Blue Ribbon fried chicken is definitely a fan favorite, with its unique matzo meal breading. Why the choice to use such a unique breading?

B&E: It sure is! I don’t know that I would call it a “mistake” in hindsight, maybe happenstance…but let’s just say it was an experiment gone right.

JL: What kind of experience do you want for guests when they come into one of your restaurants?

B&E: We want people to feel welcome, and feel comfortable. We’ve always approached every aspect of our restaurants, from the décor to the menu to the staff, with the philosophy of “something for everyone.”

Matzo Ball Soup

Matzo Ball Soup, Credit: Blue Ribbon Restaurants

 

JL: What new projects and restaurants are you currently working on?

B&E: In June, we opened a new concept at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas that was inspired by our original Blue Ribbon Brasserie in SoHo, NYC and just recently also opened a new location of Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken on the iconic Las Vegas Strip in the Grand Bazaar Shops at Bally’s. As a matter of fact, we do have some new projects coming up as well. We have a new Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar location opening up on the Concourse Level of Rockefeller Plaza later this summer, as well as another Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken coming up in NYC, but nothing more to share on that one quite yet.

6 Gorgeous U.K. Wedding Venues From Film And Television

6 Gorgeous U.K. Wedding Venues From Film And Television

The U.K. is one of the most historically rich destinations in the world, from the castles of Scotland to the iconic country estates dotted around the English countryside, each with their own fascinating story to tell and plethora of famous ex-residents. So varied and culturally significant are these buildings that visitors from all over the globe frequently visit the UK simply to tour some of these stunning locations, from commercial ventures like Warwick Castle through to tourist hotspots like the Tower Of London.

Commonly, some of the most popular destinations are those that make regular appearances in film and television, particularly in popular series such as Harry Potter or Downton Abbey. But did you know that you can actually get married in many of them? Fancy getting hitched in the castle from Downton Abbey? Or the London mansion from Notting Hill? How about the hall from Pride and Prejudice? To help you make your decision, here are six of the most iconic wedding venues from film and TV:

Highclere Castle

Photo Credit: Dutourdumonde Photography / Shutterstock

 

1. Highclere Castle

Located in Highclere Park in Newbury, Berkshire, Highclere Castle is one of the UK’s most instantly recognizable buildings, due in no small part to the prominent role it plays in the ever popular Downton Abbey. Fully licensed for civil ceremonies, the entire castle can be booked for your wedding day, allowing you to take advantage not only of the stunning building but also the in-house catering team and beautiful gardens, located on 5,000 acres of glorious British countryside.

Chatsworth House

Photo Credit: Jason Batterham / Shutterstock.com

 

2. Chatsworth House

Located in Bakewell, Derbyshire, Chatsworth House is frequently voted the U.K.’s favourite country house, and it’s easy to see why. It’s been featured in scores of films, T.V. shows and books, but it’s perhaps most famous for appearing in Pride & Prejudice (both the book and the 2005 cinematic release). A stunning and iconic building, Chatsworth House is home to The Painted Hall, which is fully licensed for civil ceremonies and civil partnerships. As with Highclere, you can enjoy the stunning gardens and talented in-house catering team, as well as the huge collection of famous artwork housed throughout the building.

Durham Castle

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

 

3. Durham Castle

This one is for the Harry Potter fans, as Durham Castle has played a prominent role in the films. This world-famous Norman castle is located in Durham (surprisingly), and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Fully licensed for weddings with a range of different venues and locations available, couples can enjoy their wedding day in the historic Grade I Listed castle and take advantage of full in-house caterers, three-course wedding breakfasts and overnight stays for themselves and their guests.

Old Royal Naval College

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

 

4. Old Royal Naval College

The center piece of Maritime Greenwhich, this UNESCO World Heritage Site has often been referred to as the most popular filming location the world. Located in London, this stunning architectural masterpiece has featured in the likes of Les Miserables, Cinderalla, Skyfall, Pirates of the Carribbeanand Four Weddings and a Funeral (as well as scores of others). An absolutely phenomenal location for any wedding, couples can choose to get married in the Painted Hall, or—for smaller affairs—in the Admiral’s House.

Somerset House

Photo Credit: Botond Horvath / Shutterstock.com

 

5. Somerset House

Another of London’s most iconic buildings, Somerset House is located on The Strand, where it enjoys beautiful views of the River Thames. It has featured in numerous films over the years, most notably Goldeneye, Sleepy Hollow and the memorable opening scenes of Love Actually. Fully licensed for wedding ceremonies, couples can take their pick of numerous rooms and wings, ranging in capacity from 80 people right up to 1,500.

Kenwood House

Photo Credit: Eugene Regis / Shutterstock.com

 

6. Kenwood House

Another London venue, Kenwood House is located in the heart of Hamsptead. A stunning mansion that’s an English Heritage site, Kenwood House has been featuring in Notting Hill, Mansfield Park and in Zadie Smith’s hugely popular novel Swing Time. As a wedding venue, ceremonies take place in the Orangery, with receptions housed in the beautiful Old Kitchen or outside in the Flower Garden.

Satellite Headphones Aim to be the High Def Personal Audio System You Have to Have

Blue Microphones, Satellite

Photos Credit: Blue Microphones

Blue Microphonelatest product, Satellite, features a cutting-edge tech, high-quality audiophile experience that syncs wirelessly with your phone, to function as a “personal audio system.” Having a conversation has never sounded so good, becuase now you can do it in high def, with comfy headphones.

Satellite, Blue Microphones

According to John Maier, CEO of Blue, “Traditional noise-cancelling headphones use one pair of drivers for both audio and ANC, which compromises sound quality. Satellite uses separate, dedicated ANC drivers so that our dedicated audio drivers and audiophile amp can deliver high-fidelity sound for no-compromise wireless listening.” One can see the mesh for the face of two separate speakers in each ear of the headphones, and can appreciate the design even more after listening to some good tunes. I personally had the opportunity to compare Satellite with my current studio headphones, and the difference is night and day, with Satellite delivering on the hype.

Blue Microphones, Satellite

The ear pads of Satellite form a cup around each ear to effectively eliminate noise, and they delivers on silencing unwanted exterior distractions. Once in the headphone zone, they will pair wirelessly to your computer or phone to connect to the grid. With the built-in microphone, you can spend hours enjoying phone calls and music. The battery life provides 24 hours between charges, or up to eight hours of amplified sound and active noise-cancelling drivers. Coming from heritage of sound appreciation and engineering, I consider the Satellite to be a must-try if high-quality audio is a priority for you.

Pushing the 2017 Cadillac XT5 Luxury Crossover to the Limits in Death Valley

Pushing the 2017 Cadillac XT5 Luxury Crossover to the Limits in Death Valley

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Cadillac

There are certain things that are to be expected with a Cadillac SUV: interior detailing and state-of-the-art technology, a quiet cabin and stellar sound system, and of course, ease of drivability. After all, there is a reason why the brand is still synonymous with a certain type of easy luxury. But considering Cadillac has been steadily trying to rebrand its new and upcoming fleets as vehicles not solely for our grandparents, I wanted to know how the 2017 Cadillac XT5 luxury crossover SUV actually fares once you leave that Costco parking lot for somewhere a little more rugged. So naturally, I took it off-roading throughout the deserts of Southern California to find its limit. Turns out, its limit is in the Alabama Hills and Death Valley.

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Cadillac

 

The crossover SUV packs a lot of promise within its lightweight chassis, including all-wheel drive and sport configurations, and a punchy V6 with a 24-valve and direct-injected powerplant that offers 310 horsepower at 6600 rpm and 271 lb-ft of torque at 5000 rpm. Not to mention the high-tech Cadillac Cue system that includes an integrated wireless smartphone charger and 4G wireless connectivity with 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. In terms of the bells and whistles, it’s pretty much the same as the Cadillac 2017 CT6 Sedan. Specifically, I drove the 3.6L Platinum model, which starts at $62,895 and boasts everything the Premium Luxury Plus model has, plus features like a micro suede headliner and semi-aniline full leather seats, a hands-free liftgate, and an advanced Security Package with an interior movement sensor.

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Cadillac

 

My first handful of destinations were deliberately tame. I first drove out to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park via the twisty Montezuma Road, looped around Salton Sea to Bombay Beach, stopped off at Salvation Mountain and then took highway 78 back up through the mountains to eat some much-deserved pie in Julian. This route proved successful for the 2017 Cadillac XT5, which is the marque’s replacement of its second-generation SRX and is almost 280 pounds lighter than its predecessor. The SUV handled the curvy mountain roads pretty well and it feels effortless to drive when all you need is basic power. The interior is spacious and incredibly comfortable, which makes it a great choice for quick jaunts around town and for long road trips. With incredibly soft leather and an easy-to-navigate infotainment system, the XT5 definitely sits pretty in the luxury segment. There are also a few design elements that I loved, such as the wireless charging slot, which is under the center console compartment lid. The slot allows the phone to be tucked out of the way, while also enabling charging cords to pass through the slot to plug into the dual USB port within the compartment.

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Cadillac

 

Despite its comfort level, there are details that began to grate on my nerves at this point and those include its stop/start technology that kicks in whenever you stop at a red light. While it does save on fuel, it also results in the car being a little sluggish from the starting gate. If you had the ability to switch this feature off, that would be ideal. The shifter also began irritating me, as no matter how much time I spent with it, I never seemed to get the hang of it. With the need to push a button as you shift—when moving into reverse, it requires a push forward and then a shift to the left—it’s pretty awkward and even after having the car for nearly a month, it still didn’t feel natural.

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Mila Pantovich

 

The next handful of destinations proved to be a little much for the XT5. My first goal was to wake up with dawn in the middle of Alabama Hills. To do that, I chose to fold the rear seats down flat so I could spread out camping pads and sleep in the back of the car. The idea seemed much better than it turned out being, since as roomy as the cargo hold is, turns out that it isn’t roomy enough for two people—especially when one of them is a 6-foot Australian. Oh and that interior movement sensor I mentioned? Turns out, it really doesn’t like when people are in the car after you lock it. Thankfully we were in the middle of nowhere when the alarm rang out…several times. Of course, Cadillac probably never intended for people to sleep in the back, so that’s entirely on me and my romanticized notions of staring up at the stars through the panoramic sunroof.

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Mila Pantovich

 

The endless bumpy dirt roads throughout Alabama Hills certainly posed a challenge to the XT5, since its all-wheel drive offering didn’t help it at all and its safety systems had no idea how to handle rocks and bushes. The poor Caddy basically alerted me to every single thing, even auto braking several times when I got too close to a shrub when backing up. And even after disabling traction control, it was as if the car was still being overly cautious and never allowed me full control.

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Cadillac

 

The XT5’s cautious nature also comes into play when you push the engine to its max, resulting in a disconnect between you and the machine. There is noticeable hesitation in the gas pedal when you press down and the shift from low speed to high speed lags before jolting. This was made the most obvious when driving the steep switchbacks up Mount Whitney after Alabama Hills and again when heading into Death Valley straight after.

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Cadillac

 

It did fare far better on the well-maintained roads throughout Death Valley though, where it is prohibited to drive off marked roads. To be honest, the XT5 became my best friend at this point. With the temperature reaching 130°F by the time I reached Badwater Basin, I utilized the car’s remote start feature every single time I made it back from whatever short jaunt I endured in the stifling, dry heat. There is nothing better than climbing back into a cool car after huffing along Dante’s View. And those seat coolers….

Cadillac XT5

Photo Credit: Mila Pantovich

 

In the end, I really enjoyed my time with the XT5, but ultimately realized that it wasn’t for me. I loved driving it throughout San Diego as I went about my day-to-day life, but it didn’t exactly handle desert drifting all that well. If I’m going to go with an SUV, I want it to be able to handle any weekend adventure that I throw its way. Obviously Cadillac has designed the XT5 for people who do most of their driving in an urban environment and are maybe just looking for enough pep to merge onto freeways, but if a brand is trying to appeal to a younger, affluent market nowadays, the car needs to be able to satisfy on several different fronts.