Category Archives for Food and Beverage

master sommelier with wine

How To Become A Master Sommelier

To become a master sommelier, you must complete an apprenticeship program and practice for the certification examination by the International Society of Professional Sommeliers (ISSP) within three months. Steps to become a master sommelier are straightforward. However, just because you know how to pour a glass of wine correctly or know how to pick out a great red or white wine doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready to be certified as a sommelier. Becoming a professional sommelier requires much more than simply having a good sense of taste.

Attend classes

The first step of how to become a master sommelier is to get yourself enrolled in formal training or diploma course that teaches you the various aspects of wine tasting and wine pairing. You will be taught how to smell, and how to evaluate various qualities in the wine. You’ll learn how to properly sip different wines, and how to combine various drinks like cocktails and wines with food. Some of the basic requirements are to have at least 3 years of working experience in either the field of hospitality or in the related field of food and beverage management. Be prepared to submit proof of your work experience to your prospective institute or school.

Master Tips on Wine Tasting

During your studies, you’ll learn about the different kinds of wines and how to make them correctly. This includes such basics as to how to smell and evaluate the different aromas and flavors that come with different types of wines, and how to pair them appropriately. The institute or school you choose should also offer courses and lectures on food and beverage management, as well as practical demonstrations using authentic dishes and cocktails that you can try. You’ll be expected to perform these duties under the direction of professional master sommeliers, and you’ll be expected to bring in your recipes to test out in class.

Certified Sommeliers examinations

To become a certified sommelier, you must pass a series of exams that cover everything from anatomy and physiology to business ethics and wine history. These exams are known as the International Masters in Sommeliers (IMS) Examination and the International Masters in Hospitality Sommeliers (IMHS). There are two levels to these exams, with the first one being divided between those who’ve been trained in the United States and Europe and those who’ve been trained elsewhere. The certification takes about 2 years to complete, depending on which institute or school you’re attending.

master sommelier pouring wine

Introduction to Wine

There are actually four different parts to the examination, and candidates must study and prepare accordingly. The exam is divided roughly into three parts, with the first covering general information on the subject, the second looking at historic and contemporary developments in the field, and the last analyzing specific facets of the hospitality industry. Candidates who complete all three parts of the exam are recognized as having “passed” the introductory course and will be awarded their certificate. The certificate then permits the candidates to sit for the licensing examination, which consists of either a written or oral section.

Blind Tasting

To qualify for the blind tasting exam, candidates must first complete the basic training course, before they can even apply to the exam. During this course, candidates learn how to evaluate wines, along with other liquids such as cocktails and spirits. Candidates learn by doing, and much of the training includes practicing on the tastings conducted by professionals in the wine and beverage sector. Blind tasting exams also allow candidates to taste signature vodkas and other spirits, and to compare notes and experiences about the different types of drinks.

Parting words

Candidates who pass the examination are awarded a Master’s degree in the wine and beverage industry. At the end of their education, students must pass the final exam, given by an independent testing agency. Passing this exam earns you a certificate, which is necessary for all aspiring sommeliers to have to obtain their license. The certificate requires intensive study and takes up to four years to earn.

To pass the examination, students must learn to appreciate the role of sommeliers. They must know that the objective of the exam is to rate the ability of the candidate based on their knowledge and experience. They must also learn how to answer questions that deal with the history of the profession, as well as current practice. Those who earn their diploma will find that there are many job opportunities available within the profession. Jobs range from executive positions in hotels and restaurants to being an employee of a vineyard or winery.

salon with vegetables on plate

Most Popular Types of Cuisine Around the World

Knowing which types of cuisine best suit you is very important. You should be able to identify the things that you do best and then choose a career that focuses on those types of tasks. Most careers in fine dining are very diverse and you could spend years learning about them all. However, if you want to start a career in this industry, the first thing that you will need to learn is what types of cuisines there are. Here are the most popular types of cuisine for people all around the world.

Most types of cuisine focus on four areas. The five main categories of cuisine include cooking, eating, socializing, entertaining, and shopping. Cooking is typically the job or profession of creating food for others. When cooking, the most popular dishes include Italian, Greek, French, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, and Latin American cuisine.

Eating is a social event and often involves dining with friends, family, or coworkers. When attending a gathering, it is common to eat meals with these people. Entertaining is a part of every gathering and often involves an array of dishes. Entertaining is the most popular type of dish served at most gatherings. Diverse, tasty, and elegant dishes are enjoyed by everyone.

indian food curry

Indian cuisine

Indian cuisine is one of the most popular types of food in the world. Indian foods are very colorful and spices are used in abundance. They contain a variety of ingredients, such as rice, beans, vegetables, fish, lamb, spinach, coriander, ginger, garlic, and more. Many types of Indian dishes are light, while others are heavy.

American Indian cuisine

American Indian cuisine is similar to that of the Indian meals discussed earlier. It shares some common elements, such as rice, fish, vegetables, beef, coriander, garlic, spices, and more. However, American Indian dishes are often light and simple, while the Indians themselves create the best-tasting dishes in the world. Americans say that Indian food tastes better when it’s hot!

spanish food

Spanish cuisine

Spanish cuisine is probably the most well-known type of cuisine in the world. Spanish cuisine is based on various types of fish and seafood. The most common types of fish used are mackerel, tuna, halibut, salmon, trout, shrimp, lobster, and scallops. In addition, various chilies, roots, spices, and peppers are commonly used to give Spanish cuisine its signature taste. Americans have taken to Spanish cuisine like a duck to water, so to speak.

Chinese cuisine

Chinese cuisine is the third most popular in America. Chinese people originated from the Mongols (also known as Manchis) who were the first ethnic group to colonize America. As a result, there are a great number of different Chinese dishes that Americans can choose to eat. Chinese foods include everything from stir-frying vegetables to stir-frying beef. It’s no wonder that Americans have become accustomed to eating Chinese food and not just eating Chinese food.

chinese food

Caribbean food

Lastly, Caribbean food contains all sorts of spices, fruits, nuts, and beans. Americans have adapted Caribbean food to include everything from spaghetti to pork. Most importantly, however, Caribbean food contains peppers. And most importantly, most dishes contain seafood. Americans have taken to eating just about anything Caribbean-related since the early 1700s.

Italian cuisine, Korean cuisine, Moroccan food, Greek yogurt, and French cuisine

Other types of cuisine include Italian cuisine, Korean cuisine, Moroccan food, Greek yogurt, and French cuisine. All these cuisines share many common elements, including fresh herbs, olive oil, various types of cheese, various types of seafood, and red or green peppers. Most importantly, though, all these cuisines contain pasta. And surprisingly enough, pasta was discovered by the ancient Greeks.

italian food pizza

Types of cuisine available in America

While it’s true that most Americans don’t know a whole lot about the types of foods in other cultures, they do recognize many of the most popular foods in the world. These popular cuisines include American, Italian, Mexican, Greek, Middle Eastern, and South Asian cuisines. These cuisines collectively make up the largest portion of the world’s population. Learning all about the most popular ethnic cuisines and the dishes that most Americans enjoy will help you learn more about the world around you.

In addition to the cuisines you’ve already learned about, there are even more types of ethnic food in America than most people realize. The United States is a country of immigrants, with large numbers of Hispanic, African, and Asian populations coming to the country in search of a better life. And the same is true for most other countries as well. Because these immigrants brought with them the recipes they have learned, restaurants specializing in ethnic food continue to thrive in cities across America. But these restaurants aren’t like your run-of-the-mill chain restaurants, and the menu can often be more interesting and varied than your average restaurant.

pasta in a bowl

By learning more about the types of cuisine available in America, you can expand your culinary horizons and discover new flavors you’ve never tasted before. Take time out to visit an ethnic food restaurant in your area. Some of them may even offer lessons in cooking, so you can begin making ethnic foods right at home. You may also be able to find information on how to prepare food in new ways, using ethnic ingredients that you’ve never tried before. Or you could purchase cookbooks or DVDs that teach you how to make these very unique dishes from scratch. Whether you love ethnic food or are just looking for something different to put on your list of great-tasting foods, take the time to learn more about the types of cuisine available to you.

chocolate as food to boost mood

Best Food to Boost Your Mood

If you are looking for foods to boost your mood there are plenty to choose from. Many people think that diet is the answer when it comes to boosting your spirits, but it isn’t the only factor. The food we eat can affect our mood. There are foods to eat to help your mood and get you through those difficult times in life.

When you eat foods to boost your mood, you will find that your body begins to produce compounds called dopamine. These are responsible for our feelings of happiness and sadness. Even if you don’t have depression, you will probably notice that you tend to have cravings for sweets or carbohydrates. Sugar and carbohydrates are the best sources of dopamine. Here are some foods to eat to keep your dopamine levels up.

Raw beets

Raw beets are an excellent food to boost your mood because they are packed full of nutrients like folate and tryptophan. Beets are also extremely rich in lutein and vitamin B6, which are also important for brain health. Try eating a raw beetroot with some crusty bread. It is a high source of folate and tryptophan and will help you feel more emotionally stable. If you don’t like the taste of raw beetroot, you can mash it up into a gooey substance and eat it raw.

eggs for breakfast

Eggs

Eggs are another great food to boost your mood because of their protein. When you have a big meal there is a great rush of dopamine and serotonin throughout your brain and in your stomach. However, the level of those two hormones will return to normal soon after you eat your meal. Therefore, it is important to watch the amount of food you eat because over-stimulation of these two hormones can interfere with your sleep.

Fish

Fish contain several essential nutrients including omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to boost brain function. Your mood will also be boosted by eating several types of fish. The best kinds to eat are salmon, Herring, sardines, and tuna. You may also want to include nuts in your diet in the form of almonds, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and cashews. The combination of the various nuts and fish will give you a healthy balance of amino acids, lignans, and serotonin. Nuts also have a high concentration of heart-healthy fats.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate has many health benefits. One of them is that it contains flavonoids that act as antioxidants and are particularly good for lowering blood pressure and improving your immune system. Flavonoids fight the free radicals that cause damage to cells in our body and can lower the risk of heart disease. Studies have shown that eating a small amount of dark chocolate each day can reduce the risk of depression by almost 50 percent.

dark chocolate bar on table

Folate

Folate is another food to boost your mood because it helps keep your brain healthy and your nerve cells working properly. Folate is found in some common, but uncommon fruits and vegetables such as liver, broccoli, carrots, squash, and red lettuce. Foods rich in folate are especially important for pregnant women who need to take careful precautions to ensure their baby’s health. It is not found in fast food. This is one of the reasons why it is best to avoid eating junk food, especially when you want to boost your mood.

Foods rich in L-carnitine

Last but not least, eat foods rich in L-carnitine. L-carnitine is a fat-soluble nutrient that helps make your body fuel-efficient, regulate mood, improve cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of serious diseases like cancer and heart disease. It is found in fatty fish, poultry, pork, dairy products, and legumes. Studies have found that eating large amounts of l-carnitine can help prevent depression. For those with existing mental health issues, eating foods high in L-carnitine may be especially important, as studies have shown an elevated risk of depression if you have low levels of this nutrient.

food and wine pairing

Tips for Great Food and Wine Pairing Recipes

Great food and wine pairing recipe are a menu that allows guests to easily enjoy complimentary high-quality food and wines. It can be any type of menu, too. And how it occurs varies greatly. It may mean: pairing one particular wine with one particular dish. It may also mean: pairing two wines together.

Food and wine pairings can have a big impact on the flavor and texture of whatever dish you pair them with. If the wines complement one another well enough, then the food will also benefit, too. The flavors will meld and flow harmoniously, resulting in a delicious meal that people will undoubtedly love. It’s just that simple. However, not everyone knows how to pull it off. Here are some simple guidelines.

The stronger the wine, the sweeter the food

Let’s start with the basics. There are three basic tastes found in wine or food: sweet, bitter, and acid. Sweet tastes are usually described as floral, while bitter tastes are usually described as meaty. There are other subtle variations, but those are the most common.

Sweet foods have a soft texture and delicate flavor. Examples include fruit desserts like apple pie or puddings made with cream cheese. These foods have a lot of sugar and don’t go very well with strong food types. Conversely, bitter foods have a sharp, bitter taste. Examples include beef stew or fish dishes.

The rule of thumb when it comes to food and wine pairing is: the stronger the wine, the more sweet the food must be. For example, red wine in a dish with chicken can overpower the natural sweetness of the chicken. So you would pair red wines with milder meats and cheeses.

When paired with certain foods, the sweetness is actually subtracted from the overall flavor, giving an overall feeling of less vibrant flavor and richness. Sweet wines can come through as simply sweet or as over-the-top with the highest levels of tannin.

food and wine pairing

Acidic food and sharp wine

Next, let’s look at acidity. In food and wine pairing, acidic food will enhance the flavor and fullness of the wine. A sharp, bitter flavor can be brought about by acidic food. Some of the most popular examples of acidic foods include garlic, onions, cabbages, tomatoes, asparagus, bell peppers, and pineapple. On the flip side, an alkaline wine like a zesty Vardon or Merlot will counteract the sourness of acidic foods.

Finally, let’s look at acidity and clarity. These are related to one another but play major roles in matching flavors with wines. Clear wines have light, crisp tastes, whereas foods with a greater amount of acidity have a fuller body and deeper, earthier flavor. For example, tart apples matched with a crisp, light Riesling will almost seem alive because it has that earthy taste.

There are three basic tastes you can pair with each vintage wine, and it helps to know which flavors evoke that feeling in the palette. The first one and simplest to describe are sweet. Food and wine do not have to complement each other in order to be a good match; they should be complimentary. Commonly used terms for describing this taste are fruity (i.e. apple, raspberry, orange), crisp, dry, and rich. Tons of acidity or bitterness are also considered to be characteristic of sweet wines.

Bitter food

Food and wine don’t always have to complement each other, they can instead go well together if they have a different taste profile such as acidic and spicy or herbal and woody. A lot of people will describe their flavors this way.

Lastly, there’s the bitter flavor profile. This is one where the wine has a very distinct flavor that simply makes the dish taste less like the dish would without the wine. For example, eating garlic instead of potato soup, or fish instead of beef stew are examples of this. It can also come from tart or salty foods and wines, so if you pair food and this type of wine, you’re almost guaranteed to end up with a dish that does not go well with the other. So if you want to find a complimentary wine pairing, think about what kind of flavor profiles you find in the dish you’re preparing; that way you’re much more likely to come up with a dish that goes well together.

Practice, practice, practice

So now you’ve got your basic knowledge about the basics of pairing food and wine. What’s next? Simple! Practice what you know! Match different foods and wines and keep tasting until you’re happy that you’ve found a drink that enhances each dish and compliments the other without being overwhelming.

sommelier and selection of wine

Who is a Sommelier?

A sommelier, (or wine steward), is a knowledgeable and trained wine expert, usually working in luxury fine dining establishments, who typically specialize in both wine and food pairing and all facets of wine service. The position of the sommelier in modern fine dining establishments is far more specialized and knowledgeable than that of a mere “wine waiter.”

While a wine waiter was an employee in a fine dining establishment, serving the guests, who were often experts in wines, sommeliers are hired based on their recommendation and experience in fine dining and have been for decades. Although sommeliers are expected to know very little about wines and their flavor profiles, they are often consulted in matters relating to their knowledge of wine pairing, and their ability to pick the perfect bottle.

Today, virtually all fine dining establishments employ a sommelier on staff. In some cases, sommeliers are actually part of the restaurant staff, and in other cases, the restaurant will hire a sommelier only when requested by a client. Typically, sommeliers are employed only in places where wine is more widely used, such as fine dining restaurants. In these establishments, sommeliers assist chefs and other food professionals with the selection of wines to be served at the table. However, today, they may also work in hotels and other dining establishments that do not offer a full-service fine dining experience.

Help with selection of wine

Generally, a sommelier is employed to guide patrons in matters relating to the selection of wines. The sommelier will usually have a full wine portfolio, which he will share with his patrons. The wine portfolio is often displayed on a wall inside the restaurant, and many of these establishments also have a separate section of the store where the sommelier work. These stores are great for patrons who are just getting started with wine because they can learn about the different varietals that are available and which ones are best paired with certain dishes. While it is important for new patrons to have an idea of the various kinds of wines that are available, it is equally important for experienced wine connoisseurs to keep their portfolios updated with the latest selections.

Be wine waiter

Another position that a sommelier can hold is that of wine waiter. Wine waiters are typically the servers who serve wine to customers at tables in dining establishments. However, in most establishments, a sommelier will not be able to serve the guests themselves, as that task would be too much responsibility for a single person. However, if you prefer to be in charge of the serving, this could be a great opportunity for you to let your entrepreneurial side come out.

If you are interested in working in the kitchen at a fine dining restaurant, then you may have an opportunity to take on additional responsibilities once you become a sommelier. You may be required to work in the kitchen during business hours, as well, preparing food and cleaning up after customers. However, the majority of sommeliers work off-site from home. You will, however, still need to maintain your current level of sommelier knowledge, which means that you should continue to research the latest offerings in the world of fine wines. Your online wine education program can help you achieve both of these goals.

sommelier and selection of wine

Be wine steward

Some sommeliers choose to become wine stewards instead. A wine steward is responsible for providing information to guests who are visiting a vineyard or other type of winery. He or she passes along information such as specific pairings for certain varietals, as well as general information about the vineyard that he or she visits. The main duty of a wine steward is to meet the guests at the entrance of the vineyard, greet them, and pass along information that they may not be aware of otherwise.

Finally

If you want to run your own winery, then you may want to consider becoming a winemaker. Becoming a winemaker involves a lot more responsibility than serving basic appetizers at events. Winemakers must be experts on all facets of winemaking, including fermentation and maturation as well as tasting. Some winemakers work with a team of sommeliers, as they prepare the wine inventory that is distributed to different establishments. Many people that are interested in this career field start out as stockpot holders at local vineyards. As you learn more about wine and tasting, you will likely find your own calling and you can pursue it as a career.

fast food

What is the Effect of Fast Food on Society

It is well known that the consumption of fast food has increased in the U.S.A. However, what many people do not realize is the effect of fast food on society at large. When someone is visiting a restaurant, they will usually order a large soda. It is so easy to just pop it into your mouth and enjoy the flavor. Most people have no idea how much that large cola soda is actually costing the family!

Increase of social disorder

Not only do these huge drinks cost money, but they also impact the food habits of those who consume them. There is a direct correlation between the effects of fast food on society and the level of social disorder. When people who consume these unhealthy foods are not aware of the cost to their health, they often make poor decisions about their eating habits. This can be seen in the way that some children eat. They become thin and more easily affected by nutrition deficiencies.

What is lost when people eat away from home is not always obvious in the first place. Many families in the U.S.A. live paycheck to paycheck, meaning that they have very little discretionary income. Food can become a luxury because it is hard for some families to fit the food that they need into their budgets. This is an effect of fast food on society because it cuts out a large percentage of the population.

fast food

Worse physical well-being

What is lost when people cut back on their diet is not just mental peace but physical well-being as well. There is a direct correlation between the levels of obesity in the U.S.A. and the consumption of fast food. Americans do not realize how much weight they are gaining simply because they do not take the time to look at the effects of fast food on society. In many cases, the fast-food chains themselves have done no harm to society. They are just providing an excess of food that some individuals cannot handle.

Fewer people cooking

One effect of fast food on society is the fact that there are far fewer people making a diet of fresh food to bring home to the family every night. This is because of the unhealthy food that the average fast-food chain serves. It would probably be safe to assume that most of these restaurants are targeting those of us who do not care for fresh produce. This is a problem because the health of our society depends upon us caring for our bodies and preserving the well-being of our society.

The only way we can reverse the effects of fast food on society is if the public begins to care about the ingredients that go into the food that they consume. Until that happens, we will continue to see an increasing number of people in the world who are overweight or obese. The solution to this problem may come from within our own communities. Perhaps it is time for local municipalities to take control of their public resources and market them to families looking for healthier choices. The results of the decisions that we make today will directly affect generations to come.

fast food

Finally

The effects of fast food on society are clear, and the effects are not good. For this reason, more people are trying to reduce their intake of this type of food. This is a difficult task because so many people associate eating out with poor taste, and the foods themselves are usually delicious.

The effects of fast food on society are not going to disappear any time soon either. In fact, they are only going to become more like they are now. People are less likely to order takeaway anymore because they don’t trust the restaurant’s claims that the food is freshly prepared and that they are not selling harmful chemicals to the people who consume it. People are also putting a much greater emphasis on nutrition, and this is not always well received by the fast-food industry. Sometimes these ingredients are even listed under the guise of healthy.

wine

6 Basic Types of Wine

Simply put, wine is simply the fermented juice from a grape. A wine grape, unlike your average grocery store-classical grape, is rather thin, sweet, densely-shedmed, and has many seeds inside. In fact, there are two kinds of grapes used to make wine: black grapes (also called red grapes) and white grapes (also called white grapes). The type of grape you use to make wine depends on what kind of wine you’re making.

Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is a red wine that is often made in the central part of Italy, especially in the regions around Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Limoges. Pinot Noir has a fruity, cherry flavor that’s paired particularly well with beef. This wine isn’t very widely distributed, mostly coming from the Bordeaux region of France. Italian wine enthusiasts have a variety of choices for the wine they enjoy, however. They can purchase Pinot Noir at any liquor shop in their local area and enjoy it, or they can buy an imported bottle and enjoy it as well.

Merlot

Merlot is a popular choice among wine enthusiasts. It’s made in the central part of Italy, specifically in the cities of Modena and Venice. Merlot is similar to Pinot Noir in that it is not widely distributed, but it does tend to be more expensive than the latter. Like Pinot Noir, Merlot comes from the same grape used for other Italian wine varieties, and it too has a fruity, cherry flavor that’s rather well-suited to red meats. Like Pinot Noir, Merlot is best purchased from Italy’s most popular liquor stores.

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is a red wine, which may be light or dark in color. It’s made by using different kinds of grape varieties, including both red and black grapes. Chardonnay is served with foods that are heavier on the meat side, including lamb, and is usually served with dessert. Chardonnay is produced primarily in northern France, although it’s also grown in California and Oregon.

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is a variety of red wines, or rather, dark, spicy reds. There is an extensive variety of Cabernet Sauvignons available, which often comes in distinctive, sharply flavored blends. Some blend Cabernets actually taste quite a bit like their varietals, since the spices used to create them often blend remarkably well with the grapes themselves. Cabernet Sauvignons is very popular because of their ability to pair well with spicy reds, including zesty types like strawberry-red and burgundy types like Syrah. Most people enjoy a nice Cabernet Sauvignon with dessert or as a wine to open the door to when you’re having dinner.

Syrah

Syrah is a red grape, like Cabernet Sauvignon, but it’s much sweeter. In fact, most people find that a high-quality Syrah has less of a kick than a high-quality Cabernet. Syrah pairs very well with dessert foods and is generally enjoyed as a wine to open the door to after dinner.

Rose Wine

Rose Wine is an off-white grape varietal that is sweeter than most of the other types of wine mentioned above. Rose Wine is produced primarily in Australia, South Africa, Italy, Chile, Spain, India, and California. The most common kinds of rose wines are produced in Australia, where it’s produced largely from the Penrillo grapes, but it can also come from old-growth Syrah in France or South African sources. It’s a great wine to pair with many different meals but is especially enjoyable when paired with sweet desserts like pies or chocolates. It pairs very nicely with Roasted Pepper and Chocolate, or with Roasted Peas, or with jam, custards, or cheese.

Finally

These types of Australian varieties of dry wines are very versatile. Each one of these is a dry white, medium-dry red, or dry reds with accents of berry or citrus fruit. Some have notes of peachy or fruity flavors, others are nutty or spicy. This type of varietal wine can be found in different regions throughout Australia, including Margaret River, Barossa Valley, and Clare Valley.

a girl eating in bed

How to Start Mindful Eating?

What is mindful eating? This may sound like an easy enough concept, but it is anything but that. Mindful eating takes you to accept and acknowledge the emotions, thoughts, and physical sensations you experience without judging them. It can even extend to the act of eating it and preparing, buying, and serving the food as well.

People refer to mindful eating as a state of enlightenment. It is a practice in which you allow yourself to experience the ingredients, sounds, smells, and tastes in all their natural forms without holding in your emotions, thoughts, or senses. This practice can be practiced by anyone. Even if you are the quiet type who prefers to do things without judgment, you can benefit from mindful eating. You will come to appreciate the nourishing goodness of natural ingredients and the subtle changes they make to your experience. You will no longer feel guilty for enjoying the foods you eat.

Identify when you are full

The first step in mindful eating is learning to identify when you are full. By keeping a food log, tracking your eating over a period of a few weeks, or a month or so, you can see when you are satisfied and when you are still hungry. This will help you avoid overeating, which has often been linked with overeating in the form of obesity, which is often characterized by a feeling of constant hunger.

Manage your emotions

Another way to enjoy the benefits of mindful eating is to learn to manage your emotions. Anger and depression are often closely linked with overeating. If you can learn to cope with these negative feelings, you may not experience cravings as often. But even if you do not experience cravings, you might become aware of how other people’s emotions make you feel. This awareness can help you become more self-aware and can teach you how to change your eating habits to help reduce your cravings.

a bowl of different fruit

Consciously choose foods

You can also learn to eat mindfully by consciously choosing foods. Instead of automatically picking a plate of chips because you are hungry, choose an all-fruit smoothie instead. Or choose a veggie burger rather than a fried one. And try to pick up a new recipe for foods you usually avoid because you are afraid it will be too hard or time-consuming to prepare. For instance, making a spinach bisque sauce is very easy, but is definitely not something you might run into on a Friday night.

If you want to feel better emotionally and eat better, you should start a program called Emotional Eating by John Davenport. Davenport uses a series of spoken exercises and stories to help people overcome their negative emotions and fears around food. He believes that emotional eating is a major contributor to the weight problem and that a large number of overweight people have an emotional eating problem. Davenport has taken years to research this problem and has come up with some valuable tips and advice to help people break free of emotional eating.

The biggest tip Davenport gives is to start paying attention to your feelings and emotions rather than focusing on what you are eating. If you are watching tv while you are eating dinner, you may be distracted by what is being said on the TV. Instead of focusing on what is being said, focus on the actual experience of feeling hungry. With enough awareness, you will find yourself not only noticing your own thoughts and emotions but also the feelings and emotions of others as well.

A useful trick

Another great technique for mindful eating is to take one piece of raisins, crack it open and chew it thoroughly. The raisin must be chewed without distractions. The more you focus on what you are eating, the more you will realize when you are intentionally eating food or when you are not aware of what you are eating. This simple mindful eating technique can give you a new perspective on food and help you lose weight.

Cocktails and Food

Expert Guide: Cocktails and Food Pairing Essentials

Pairing food and drinks is one of the essential skills every experienced bartender should possess. While this is an art and a science that are taught around the world in the most prominent bartending schools, keep in mind that it takes time, trial and error, and plenty of innovation and experimentation for you to develop your personal style and your unique way of pairing food and drinks. That said, when it comes to cocktails, things start to get more complicated.

Every aspiring bartender can learn how to pair wine with cheeses and appetizers in general, but given the fact that cocktails boast unique flavor tones and that they can be composed of numerous ingredients, pairing them with food can seem like a daunting task. After all, it only takes one wrong ingredient to ruin the entire experience, which is why pairing cocktails with food and devising the right cocktail for the occasion is a nuanced art form.

Nevertheless, it’s crucial that you learn this skill if you are to become an amazing bartender that bar owners, professional caterers, and clients will fight to book for their events. That’s why today, we’ll be taking food and drink pairing to a whole new level, by giving you the essential rules to pairing cocktails with food and how to innovate new flavors for every occasion, along with some actionable examples to help this information stick. Let’s get to it. 

Match the flavors of the cocktail and the dish

Matching cocktails with food might be an art, but the majority of artwork can be broken down, analyzed, categorized, and given a scientific framework. In other words, you can’t just pair the cocktail with the food, you have to analyze every ingredient to figure out if the individual taste notes it brings to the experience match the dish in question. You can also reverse the process and analyze the dishes on the menu to see if their ingredients match the ingredients of the cocktail. Remember, you have the option to innovate cocktails and food for the occasion, but if you’re just starting out, it’s better to work with something that already exists.

We’ll touch on the subject of contrasts in the next segment, but for now, let’s stick with matching flavors and nuances. Obviously, you can use sweet and light cocktails to complement a desert, for instance, but you have to be mindful of the alcohol content (stick around to learn about that as well) and the amount of sweetener you’re going to put in both. Use the same mindset for savory, zesty, and heavy flavor groups.

Depending on the nature of the gathering, you will want one of the two to be the accent, and the other to be the backdrop. For example, if you’re organizing a cocktail party, then the cocktails should boast the accent flavor, while the appetizers and spreads should add to the experience with their subtle notes – and vice versa.

Cocktails and Food

Use the cocktail as a strong yet delicious contrast

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the contrasts. Typically, it will be the cocktail that will serve as the contrasting accent, because you wouldn’t want the food to surprise the taste palate – your cocktails should achieve that “wow” effect, because after all, you are a bartender. With that in mind, start by analyzing the body of the drink, and the type of food that you’re supposed to serve. If you are working with heavier foods (meats with starchy carbohydrates and vegetables, for example) then go ahead and serve a light, slightly-zesty cocktail to make the meal a bit lighter as well, and allow your guests to stay refreshed and feeling energized.

Following a similar mindset, a good contrast to a light lemon-basil and ricotta spread would be a good old Martini, or a Manhattan better yet – the bitters interlaced with whiskey and sweet vermouth will make the dish a bit heavier and enhance the taste. If you are making spicy food, then be sure to contrast the base flavor with a light cocktail like a French 75, which will perfectly contrast the spiciness with its refreshing lemon zest and a hint of cooled gin.

Don’t be afraid to innovate flavors

The sooner you start stripping cocktails and dishes down to their base ingredients, and the sooner you start analyzing all of these subtle flavor notes, the faster will you become an innovator in your field. Sure, people love to see the tried-and-tested cocktails and dishes on the menu, but if you want to leave your mark as a bartender, then you should have a few cocktails in your repertoire that are purpose-made for a specific dish, or a set of entrees. This is something that every aspiring mixologist needs to learn how to do nowadays, because bars and event managers are looking for innovators as much as they are looking for people who know the traditional recipes by heart. 

Whether you are based in an overly-competitive market like New York or not, you mustn’t be afraid to innovate flavors. Now, there are a few steps to this process, so tend to the following:

  • Create a theme for the event, and know your audience.
  • Gather the individual ingredients that you believe go with the theme.
  • Make a list of well-known cocktails and dishes that you have to have on the menu, and set it aside.
  • Use the dishes as the foundation for your new cocktail recipes – the cocktails need to match or contrast these flavors.
  • Start experimenting with different ingredients, making sure to note down even the slightest of differences with each ingredient you add to a drink.
  • Keep in mind that this is not a one-person job. Gather your friends and family for a taste test, but don’t forget to invite a couple of your professional colleagues as well.
  • Compare your notes with the feedback they give you, and don’t be afraid to go back to the drawing board.
  • Remember to give yourself plenty of time for this process, because you can’t hope to innovate cocktails two nights before the big event.

Cocktails and Food

Complement the dish, don’t overpower it

When you’re trying to enhance the flavor of a dish, meaning that the dish is the foundation of the experience and the cocktail serves as a subtle accent, you must remember who is in charge – the dish, not the cocktail. This means that the drink needs to retain a supporting role, so it’s flavor must not overpower the taste of the dish itself.

For example, you wouldn’t want to serve a cocktail that is heavy in its whiskey notes such as a Highball or the overly-complex Vieux Carre with something that has a very specific note such as oysters, but you would want to serve such a cocktail with a good steak. Remember, let the food influence the flavor of the cocktail, not the other way around. Otherwise, you’ll ruin a perfectly good steak.

Make a cocktail more interesting with aromatics

When in doubt, use more garnish. That was obviously a joke, but there is some truth to the fact that aromatics like herbs and accents such as olives and onions, lemon and orange slices, and the like can help you make a cocktail more interesting and memorable without actually adding any more ingredients. This is a good way to stay on the safe side when you’re innovating, for example, because you wouldn’t want to add an ingredient that will ruin the dining experience.

Instead, you can simply add a raw garnish to the drink, or you can muddle the herbs together to infuse their notes into the base of the cocktail – and by extension, the dish itself. You can also experiment with proprietary aromatics such as sprays and tinctures to achieve the desired effect. 

Cocktails and Food

Pair regional ingredients in cocktails and food

Typically, but it’s not a rule, regional ingredients tend to work wonderfully when paired in cocktails and dishes. An obvious example would be a tequila-based cocktail paired with a mole sauce dish. Both originated in Mexico, so their common geographical origin gives them a complementary taste note – not just literally, because guests will love knowing the fact that you are using regional ingredients. 

This is a simple yet effective way to pair cocktails and food, but also to innovate when you know that you have to come up with new cocktails for a themed party, or a seasonal party, like a summer cocktail event, for example. With that in mind, be sure to research the region, and try to use ingredients native to that part of the world.

Don’t go overboard with the alcohol content

Last but not least, as a great bartender, your objective should be to inspire everyone to have a great time, not to get wasted. The goal here is to let people enjoy themselves and try as many of your wonderful creations as they can, but without actually ending up under a table in an hour, which is why you need to know when someone has had enough and advise them to try some water for a change. But that’s not all you should do.

As a good bartender, you need to control the alcohol content of every drink. The alcohol in the cocktail is there to give it its unique flavor, not to make it a hangover bomb. If the organizer is serving a five-course meal, and there is a cocktail for each, then your job is to make them as light yet memorable as possible. The easiest way you can control the amount of alcohol people consume, is to serve your cocktails in two or three ounces. 

Wrapping up

Pairing food with certain drinks may not be that difficult, but pairing food with cocktails can certainly be a challenge even for an experienced bartender. Take the time to digest all of this information and don’t be afraid to experiment and innovate, and you should have no problem becoming the bartender that everyone wants for their event.