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Welcome to delicious Destinations, a GourmetStation blog. Through the charater of T.Alexander and occasional real-life guests, our aim is to share with you light-hearted fun ideas about food, gift giving, entertaining and culture. At the same time we would love you hear from you. Please share your experiences from home or abroad.

Diva's Chocolate Ice Cream - Inspired By Johnny Depp

Posted: August 9, 2006
by: T.Alexander

My friend Toby Bloomberg, the Diva marketer herself,  never fails to surprise me with treats from her kitchen. Last year I was introduced to Toby's homemade chocolate ice cream. Oh my goodness - I have never experienced anything so delightful, especially in these hot summer months. Well Toby surprised me again a couple of weeks ago and this time I had to ask - "what is your secret to making this sensational chocolate ice cream?" I should have known that the story behind the ice cream was as exceptional as the ice cream itself. I'll let Toby tell you. Enjoy!

One of my favorite films is Chocolat. Wonderful story, acting, cinema shots of the French countryside and of course .. Johnny Depp!  You might say this was inspired by Johnny ;-) The main character, Vianne Rocher played beautifully by Juliette Binoche, opens a chocolaterie in a small French village.

During the course of the film she explains how to enhance chocolate. I incorporated some of those into my chocolat ice cream. Here's the recipe along the secret extras for

Diva's Chocolat Ice Cream:


1 c whole chocolate milk

2 c heavy cream - chilled

1/2 c granulated sugar

8 ounces of very good chocolate (semi sweet, bittersweet, milk chocolate - your choice. I like to mix them up.)

1 T pure vanilla extract - or to taste

>Secret Extras

1 T cold coffee

1/8 - 1/4 t chili powder

1/8 - 1/4 t cinnamon

In a blender or food processor chop/pulse the chocolate and sugar until chocolate is very fine. Heat the chocolate milk until barely bubbling around the edges and pour into the chocolate and sugar mixture. Add the chili powder, cinnamon and coffee and process until well blended and Very smooth. Transfer to a bowl and cool the mixture completely.

Add the chilled heavy cream and vanilla. Chill for at least 60 minutes. Longer is better to allow the flavors to blend.

Strain into your ice cream maker and follow manufacturer's directions about 25-30 minutes. I sometimes add additional chocolate during the last 5 minutes of mixing.

Pour into freezer containers. Chill until firm and Enjoy!  Toby

Big Night - Big Movie

Posted: December 4, 2005
by: T.Alexander

If you enjoy eccentric chef personalities, if you enjoy comedy, and if you enjoy movies about food, rent Big Night. The movie tells the story about two Italian brothers, Primo and Secondo, as they attempt to adjust to their newly adopted America. Stanley Tucci and Tony Shalhoub play the brothers and Minnie Driver gives her usual endearing performance. (Trivia: Director Joseph Tropiano is cousin to Stanley Tucci.)Big_night

The brothers have a talented chef and great cuisine, but the restaurant is near bankruptcy. When things seem all but lost, they learn that a famous celebrity will visit their restaurant for a multi course dinner. What goes on in preparation for this Big Night will make you laugh and hungry too.


Posted: August 28, 2005
by: T.Alexander

Our identification with food and wine far exceeds sensual pleasure. The relationships often identify ourselves. Ever thought about it? So it is with Miles (Paul Giamatti) in Sideways. Winner of six Independent Spirit Awards including Best Feature and Best Director, Sideways chronicles a snippet of two middle-aged men’s lives as they take a road trip in California wine country prior to Jack (Thomas Haden Church) getting married.  Middle aged men in crisis, wine, and more crisis is just the tip of the iceberg for this comedy drama.Sideways2

Now back to identifying with wine. Miles sees himself as a failure in life but he has found a glimmer of joy and self-confidence in his relationship with wine. In a heart- warming conversation with friend Maya (Virginia Madsen) Miles describes his favorite wine, Pinot Noir.  When Maya asked why he was obsessed with Pinot, Miles responds by describing Pinot as a hard grape to grow / thin-skinned / tempermental / not a survivor like Cabernet that can thrive with neglect. Only the most patient can take the time to understand the grape and coax it on to full potential argued Miles.

Miles got it! I’ll bet you can find similar parallels in your life. Consciously or unconsciously I guess we really are “what we eat (drink).”