Dishing with Kathy Casey: The Newsletter

Traveling Traveling Traveling… First Stop Malaysia!

Before 2010 ended I had the honor of being invited to develop and shake up some cocktails for the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia! My husband John and I left on a Monday at 10 am from Seattle, flew to LA and then landed in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday at 1 am!!! Yes, that is the LONGEST flight that I have ever taken and I have no intentions of topping it!

After a day of getting a little rest, we then went to work and spent the next ten days with the hotel’s bartending team. It was a whirlwind of drink development, training and opening new concepts. I have to say that I absolutely went nuts with the ingredients; from fresh kiwi and pink guava juices to my new favorite citrus fruit the calamansi, a tiny little green skinned fruit the size of a nickel with tangy orange flesh — yum! I even found local Malacca palm sugar which I used in an amazing mojito. But all that work did not stop me from trying lots of local cuisine. On Christmas day we got out and about and started our day with amazing dim sum, then enjoyed the local sites — it was a merry day indeed!

Casbah_Crew

The great crew at Casbah, the Mandarin Oriental’s new restaurant and bar! They studied hard!

Once all the work was done, the entire staff thoroughly trained, and all the drinks were in place, it was time to have some fun! I visited local hawkers and mamaks, where there a plethora of vendors cooking up some delicious foods — and this Seattle girl could handle the spicy heat! I represented us well! I even had a big GIANT shaved ice treat to cool me off for dessert after all that spicy food! Here’s what’s in it: shaved ice, sweet corn, sweet red beans, grass jelly, rose syrup and topped with ice cream — a drink and dessert all in one! Oh and its pink too so of course I love it!

Shaved_Ice

Me with my GIANT shaved ice — yum!

We also took a quick overnight trip to Singapore. It’s a quick 45 minute flight and definitely a must-do when in Southeast Asia. We stayed at the fabulous Fairmont Hotel and had an amazing brunch that the chef made for us featuring local specialties including Chili Crab! More yum!

Singapore_Dishes

Local Singapore dishes including Chili Crab

Cream_Puff

Yes I ate durian… in a cream puff in Singapore!
It wasn’t that bad… but I didn’t end up putting it in a drink!

One of the highlights of my trip was being interviewed for Time Out Kuala Lumpur Magazine. Time Out is my favorite magazine when traveling to find the best and coolest places in a city. Amin Khairuddin was my interviewer, a super cool guy that writes about what’s hot in the city as far as drinks and partying goes. I lucked out, as the “Best of Restaurants” issue was just out. I used it as my guide for some delicious Kuala Lumpur adventures!

TastingShooting

Amin tasting and shooting my drinks at the Mandarin Oriental for Time Out Magazine.

Oh and then there was China Town in Kuala Lumpur — an amazing market with tantalizing treats at every turn. From pandan pops to fresh squeezed sugar cane juice to charcoal roasted chestnuts … it was hard to decide what to eat next. I loved seeing some of the food carts set up on motorcycles!

ChinatownJohn

China Town! John (on the right) pondering — what to eat next?

VendorSquare_Ice_Cream

Square Ice Cream Pops… the green one is pandan!

JuicerSugar_Cane_Juice

Fresh-squeezed sugar cane Juice… now this would be good in a cocktail!

I tried super-sugary, salty “meat candy” squares in Singapore — but the candied cucumbers and carrots were also pretty different:

Candied

Candied cucumbers, carrots and ginger

There were plenty of other new and wild things that I enjoyed and I hope to fill you in more with a few videos that I shot along with some more tasty travel tales — stay tuned for my blog on our Southeast Asia trip!

Cold, Cool, and Fun… at Sundance Film Festival and Cheers Beverage Conference in New Orleans

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a fantastic party hosted by socialite JJ McKay at the Sundance Film Festival. It was an amazing time — celebs, s’mores, cocktails, friends and lots of fun. While I was there my new talent agency Generate LA hosted an amazing party for a little meet-and-greet. I shook up some super cool cocktails including a Triangle Rum Punch made with tea infused Cruzan rum, The Kraken spiced rum and Cachaca shaken with hibiscus infused POM juice, fresh pink grapefruit and Monin Almond syrup served over a Glace luxury ice ball and topped with a sprinkle of edible gold flakes. They went down easy!

Sundance

Enjoying a cocktail at Sundance! Brr! Yes, that is a goose in my hand!

Then it was off to New Orleans for the Cheers Beverage Conference! Cheers is an annual conference where spirit brands and mixologists gather to discuss all things boozy. It was a busy week of meeting fantastic people, seeing industry friends, parties and eating “everywhere.” The conference ended with a Celebrity Mixologists Reception where I shook it up Tony Abou-Ganim and Dale DeGroff. My signature cocktail was the Pacifica: 1800 silver tequila, Hangar One Mandarin Blossom vodka, a Cuties mandarin, fresh pineapple, kaffir lime leaf, a splash of fresh lime juice and agave nectar — Cheers to New Orleans!

Mardi_Gras

Heather and me in front of the Mardi Gras parade decorations
at the Cheers Opening party in New Orleans!

Big_Cocktail

Now that’s a cocktail! Yowza!

Mark your Calendars and come join me for some tasty fun!

February 27
If you’re a food and wine enthusiast, the 2011 Seattle Food & Wine Experience is the event for you! More than 1000 wines from around the world will be at this event on Sunday, February 27th for attendees to taste as well as an assortment of gourmet bites. This year I’ll be at the Foster Farms booth signing complimentary copies of my Northwest Table cookbook for the first 300 guests and serving up Savory Foster Farms Chicken & Bacon Cupcakes with Tabasco Fosting — stop by for a quick chat and a delicious bite! Last year was a sell out so make sure to get your tickets in advance!

March 12
Plymouth Housing Group is at it again! The 2nd Annual Seattle Dances! will be held at Fremont Studios on Saturday, March 12th and features a bevy of new Seattleite dancers covering all styles of dance from swing to hip-hop. I won’t be dancing this time (phew!), but I will be shaking up the signature cocktail for the evening. To learn more about the event and to buy tickets click here.


March 19
It’s coming soon! The 5th Annual Razor Clam Festival will be held on Saturday, March 19th at the Ocean Shores Convention Center! So super fun and “small town”, this popular festival kicks off with a Firemen’s Pancake Breakfast. I’ll be there hosting this year’s festivities once again as well as judging both the amateur and professional Clam Chowder Cook-Off! Super tasty!

There’ll be a variety of clam-tastic activities to keep everyone entertained, so make sure to plan ahead and get it on the calendar. Stay tuned for more information.

Make sure you get your boots and clamming gear ready! Read more about last year’s fun adventure!


March 13-15
The Tales of the Cocktail organizers are adding a slight twist to this year’s plans called Tales of the Cocktail on Tour Vancouver. this smaller version of Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans will be held from March 13-15 in Vancouver. This is a great time to get a feel for Tales as well as enjoy the beautiful scenery that Vancouver has to offer!

Thank you to all who attended our Holiday Open House & Extravaganza.
Here’s wishing to a fun year! — Kathy

P.S. If you haven’t seen my new cocktail show “Kathy Casey’s Liquid Kitchen” come check it out on Small Screen Network.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter (@KathyCaseyChef), Dishing with Kathy Casey Blog or find Sips & Apps on Facebook for all my tasty travel tidbits.

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Posted by Kathy Casey on February 9th, 2011  |  Add Comment |  Posted in Conferences, Foodie News, Newsletter, Recent Posts, Tasty Travels

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