Taste Guide Event with San Pellegrino

This post is sponsored by S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

S.Pellegrino® Sparkling Natural Mineral Water is a premium sparkling mineral water that flows naturally from a thermal spring in San Pellegrino Terme, near Bergamo (Lombard), Italy. The unique balance of effervescence and rich minerality cleanse the palate and amplify subtle flavors, making it the perfect complement to fine food and wines.  Its clean, refreshing taste has distinguished S.Pellegrino as a preferred sparkling water by leaders of the global culinary community. S.Pellegrino is also a proud supporter of premier culinary events, such as Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Share Our Strength’s Taste of the Nation, Identità Golose, The James Beard Foundation Awards and Taste Guide. I had the pleasure of attending S.Pellegrino's Taste Guide yesterday, an online destination to explore U.S. cities, like here in New York City, through the eyes of award-winning chefs. 

In the spirit of culinary exploration, S.Pellegrino Sparkling Natural Mineral Water looked to the social media feeds of everyday food enthusiasts in NYC and Los Angeles to identify the trends and tastes taking over the summer spotlight. Acclaimed Chefs April Bloomfield (The Spotted Pig and The Breslin) and Ludo Lefebvre (Trois Mec and Petit Trois) have created original dishes inspired by these findings, offering a very tempting selection of "trending tastes"! Let me give you a tour of all the tasting points, which was cleverly built as an S.Pellegrino star on Pier 46 here in New York, plus a few NYC restaurant recommendations that are in trend with these dishes! 


A combination of flour, cornmeal, annatto seed, spring onion, calamansi (citrus), mayo, red holland chilis, rice wine vinegar, cilantro stems, eggs, olive oil, lemon juice and salt, I really enjoyed the citrus punch in flavor of this fried dish. Derived from calamondin, an intergenetic hybrid between a member of the genus Citrus (in this case lime) and the kumquat, definitely helped balance the fattiness from the quail egg and flours. Scrumptiously delish!


With mahi-mahi, lime juice, fermented pineapple, brown sugar, milk starter, pina juice, chilies, olive oil and micro cilantro, this dish was extremely fresh and light. I've never tried fermented pineapple before and the tanginess was terrific with the lime juice and sweetness from the brown sugar. I have to say this dish surprised me the most because it wasn't anything that I expected after tasting it! It was an explosion in my mouth (in a good way haha) and I wanted to go back for more!


The ultimate vegetarian tostada was complete with finely chopped beets, red wine vinegar, mayo, Tabasco sauce, chili, limes, salt, cornichon, avocado, milk, cilantro, and serrano. This dish was finessed with a fava bean on top of each tostada, giving added texture to the already deep-infused flavors in the beets mix. One of the prettiest dishes visually, the taste was on par with it. And the crunch on the tostada was mind-blowing!


I love the tuna marinade in this dish. With eggs, grapeseed oil, lemons, salt, capers, shallots, cornichons, and parsley, the tartare was wedged in between two homemade potato chips, which were thinly sliced to perfection. I love how they also left the skin on each chip, the trim bringing a rustic feel to a standard dish.   

I found the food tasting to be innovative and in tune with the summer season. And S.Pellegrino was the perfect beverage to refresh your palette after each tasting! Here are a few of my favorite New York City restaurants that prominently feature these trends! For seafood, some of my go-to places are the Blue Water Grill, Catch & Seamore's. Some a bit more classic than others, you will still find the latest trends in seafood when dining in these great restaurants. Looking for a great place for fried quail egg? One if by Land, Two if by Sea, is extremely romantic and expensive, but their fried quail egg will have you dancing in your seat! If you're looking more for fusion-type places, Boqueria is a great Spanish tapas bar with even a semi-private tasting table (they also have excellent quail eggs), Empellón Taqueria is a trendy Mexican hot spot serving up innovative tacos & creative drinks in an upscale setting. And my all-time favorite, Indochine, French-Vietnamese fare is served amid exotic decor of palm fronds & low light at this 80s-era hot spot... just order the bánh cuốn. You can thank me later. ;)





Parsnip Risotto With Beets And Walnuts

We're less than a week from Thanksgiving! It's my favorite holiday and my love for cooking is at it's ultimate height this month! Lots of turkey, pumpkin pie, mashed potatoes, cranberry everything; I'm drooling over my keyboard as I type!

Every year for Thanksgiving I try to come up with a different dish in addition to my more traditional dishes. This week, I tried out a recipe I discovered on Pinterest through the Love With Food website. A risotto lover (hubby included), I was excited with the idea of putting more earthy flavors and tones with the rice component. Parsnips are naturally sweet and have always paired well with the pungent taste of beets, in my opinion.

Parsnip Risotto With Beets And Walnuts

Serves 4


  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 medium large parsnips, peeled and cut in chunks
  • 1 & 1/2 cups risotto rice
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable bouillon
  • 100 grams walnuts, chopped
  • 4 large beets, peeled and boiled
  • 10 sprigs thyme
  • 2 tablespoons vegan margarine
  • 1/5 cup soy yogurt or soy cream
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Peel the onions and cut in small pieces.
  2. Peel and cut parsnips in medium bite-sized chunks.
  3. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and saute the onions until glassy.
  4. Add the risotto rice and mix to coat the rice with the oil.
  5. Add the white wine and cook until the wine has been absorbed.
  6. Add the parsnips and half of the vegetable bouillon and cook, stirring until the bouillon has been absorbed. Add other half after, stirring continuously.
  7. Slice the cooked beets.
  8. Heat the vegan margarine in a second frying pan.
  9. Add the chopped walnuts and lightly toast.
  10. Remove the leaves from the thyme sprigs and add to the walnuts.
  11. Add the beet slices and cook at light heat to warm the beets.
  12. When the risotto is soft, add the soy yogurt and mix well.
  13. Serve the risotto on a large serving platter with the beets and walnuts on top of the risotto and garnished with a dollop of soy yogurt (optional), a few walnut pieces and thyme leaves.

I love thyme and it perfectly goes well with the walnuts, though next time I would love to try this recipe with actual butter and cheese (mmmm... fatty alert) because the soy yogurt was really not my thing! I didn't even bother to add the dollop on top, though the recipe calls for it.

Are you a risotto fanatic like me? What are some of your favorite risotto recipes? Whatever plans you have for this weekend, we hope it's a relaxing and enjoyable one!

Love & xx's,

maQ + suz