Contributor: The Chef

Zino Davidoff was born on March 11, 1906 in Kiev in what is now Ukraine, then a part of Czarist Russia. He was the eldest of four children born to Jewish tobacco merchant, Henri Davidoff. Even in his own autobiographical writings, the facts on Zino's youth are a bit hazy. His parents were either cigar merchants or cigarette manufacturers in Kiev. Fleeing the political turmoil and anti-Semitism prevalent in Russia, they emigrated to Geneva, Switzerland in 1911 and opened their own tobacconist shop in 1912. Finishing school in 1924, he went to Latin America to learn about the tobacco trade, spending time in such places as Argentina, Brazil, and finally Cuba where he spent two years working on a plantation and first encountered Cuban cigars. Returning to Switzerland around 1930, he took over his parents' shop. What had originally been a modest smoke shop grew into a rich business during and after World War II. Switzerland, being a neutral country and spared much of the havoc being wreaked elsewhere in Europe, became a haven for wealthy tobacco customers. Zino was particularly successful in marketing the Hoyo de Monterrey Châteaux Series of Cuban cigars that had been created for Zurich cigar distributor A Dürr Co. in the 1940s and named after great Bordeaux wines. Around this time, Zino is also credited by many as having invented the first desktop cigar humidor, in order to preserve cigars at the same conditions of humidity and temperature under which they were rolled in Havana. Davidoff also had success writing several books on cigar smoking and Cuban cigar brands. He died in Geneva on 14 January 1994.

Minestrone Soup

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the origins of Minestrone. One school asserts the the recipe was conceived during the the 1600s and 1700s while the other claims ascendancy from pre-Roman times. Whoever is right, what is sure is that there is no fixed set of ingredients, although there are common themes. Typically a Minestrone will contain an assortment of beans, a spectrum of fresh vegetables, a meat of some sort (ham, soup bones, or even a pigs trotter), together with herbs like thyme and rosemary.порно чат

Minestrone Soup, garnished with Italian Parsley, served on the balcony.


Mozzarella Veal with Roast Tomato Salad

Saturday, July 19th, 2008

Tender veal steak rolls stuffed with melting mozzarella cheese, wrapped in prosciutto, served on a bed of rocket, garnished with Italian parsley and shaved parmesan, surrounded by a cluster of baked cherry tomatoes.

Mozzarella Veal wrapped in Prosciutto served with Roast Tomato Salad


Warm Goat’s Cheese Salad
Salade de Chèvre Chaud

Monday, July 14th, 2008

Paris, middle of winter, it’s cold, the air is dry, sun sulking on the horizon, a little table in the corner of the cafe where a struggling beam of sunshine lights the edge of the wineglass filled with the house Cote de Rhone. Looking up, the waiter arrives, a Salade de Chèvre Chaud in hand, places it on the table, slips the ticket under the paper table cover, wishes ‘bon appetit’, turns, and disappears.

Aroma takes center stage, eyes to the plate, taste-buds kick in, …

Salade de Chèvre Chaud, ready to enjoy.