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Hope you packed your fat pants. Sunday, June 22 is National Chocolate Éclair Day.
And because it would be a travesty to let such a day go uncelebrated, the Le Méridien hotel brand will roll out its new culinary treat: a global éclair program developed in partnership with Johnny Iuzzini, the James Beard award-winning pastry chef also known for his stint as head judge of Top Chef: Just Desserts, tattoos, and rockabilly sideburns. Meow.
This month guests at all the brand’s properties will find four éclair varieties available at each Le Méridien Hub, the space previously known as “lobby.” (They’re increasingly tricked-out social spots now.) There will be three staple flavors: Milk chocolate, coffee, and vanilla. And each property will also have a special treat inspired by its unique location. For instance, the Texas Honey Pecan Éclair at Le Méridien Dallas by the Galleria, a coconut-infused éclair at Le Méridien Panama, and at Le Méridien Munich a savory éclair with goat cheese, cranberry and pumpernickel crumbs — which sort of sounds like something that would be used to lure Hansel and Gretel to a deceptively innocent penthouse suite. But we digress.
In conjunction with the new program, chef Iuzzini will ride a motorcycle around several global cities to gain inspiration for eight additional varieties that Le Méridien properties can add at their discretion. (Also, because nothing melts hearts more than a man who rides a hog and can bake you a dainty French pastry.) Dubbed “The Éclair Diaries,” the tour kicks off in San Francisco on Thursday, July 10 and has already been approved by sexually frustrated housewives everywhere. Stops to develop additional recipes will continue throughout 2014 and 2015, and you can keep track of various éclair-related info on social media via hashtag #LMeclairs.
If you're reading this today from inside a Ritz-Carlton Hotel, then scurry on down to the front desk and immediately request one of the new signature Ritz-Carlton chocolate cakes.
Available at all Ritz-Carlton hotels around the world, the chocolate cake was created as an edible way to celebrate the heritage of Ritz-Carlton. They also wanted a cake that could travel well as they anticipated guests would take them home as gifts.
So, 20 of the Ritz's pastry chefs from around the world were asked to submit their own recipe for the best cake, all to be executed by Frederic Barasse, the head pastry chef at The Ritz-Carlton, Tysons Corner, and judged by Ritz-Carlton's top execs.
However, Ritz's corporate chef Rainer Zinngrebe had some stipulations--the cake had to contain Grand Marnier since the liqueur was named by Cesar Ritz for his friend Louis-Alexandre Marnier La Postelle, who had invented the liqueur (and who later gave Ritz the money to start up his very first hotel in Paris.) The cake also had to contain fine chocolate because, well, of course it has to have chocolate. And lastly, the cake needed to stay fresh for up to eight days.
After an extensive taste-test (which was written about for the latest issue of the Ritz-Carlton magazine), the chef with the winning cake was….
Keep reading to find out who won the Ritz-Carlton cake-off!
Celebrity Scoop / Britney Spears / Viva Vegas / Engagement Hotels / Hotel Cakes / Room Upgrades / Hotel Suites / → All Tags
For most people, an engagement party involves a little champagne, some friends, and a chance for the bride-to-be to show off her ring. Britney Spears is not most people. Well, we knew that already, but we sure got a chuckle out of seeing these photos released of the betrothal festivities that went down this past weekend at Planet Hollywood in Vegas.
Celebrating first at the resort's Strip House Steakhouse, a very visible "ph" emblem was positioned on top of the cake so it would show up in every photo. We doubt the couple ever actually sat down to taste the cake, but it's the
thought publicity that counts.
Also on the agenda? A night at one of the resort's 3,100-square-foot, Jonathan Adler-designed "mega suites" (which we couldn't even find on the website, but apparently include a Murano glass chandelier, living room, dining room, and a jacuzzi). Then again, let's face it: she wasn't exactly about to get stuck with a Spaceballs-themed room, now was she?