Archive | March 1st, 2013

Hot Tea Tips: From Top London Tea Sommelier

Hot Tea Tips: From Top London Tea Sommelier

Karl Kessub, tea sommelier in London.

Karl Kessab, tea sommelier at London’s Lanesborough Hotel.

At the Lanesborough hotel in London, Afternoon Tea at Apsleys, a Heinz Beck restaurant, is the domain of Karl Kessab, the world’s first tea sommelier. Every year since 2005, under his guidance, the hotel has won a coveted “Award of Excellence” from the UK Tea Council.

Twice it was crowned The Tea Guild’s Top London Afternoon Tea.

Below are Kessab’s secrets to the perfect cup of tea — just in case you can’t make it over to the Lanesborough in London anytime soon!


  1. Use only pure, fresh water
  2. Never reboil water for tea
  3. Keep tea leaves crisp and fresh as room temperature
  4. For black tea, use water that has just boiled, 95°C or 203° Fahrenheit
  5. For green or white teas, use water that is 83 -85°C or 181.4 – 185° Fahrenheit
  6. Loose leaf tea produces a better tasting drink.
  7. Tea tastes better brewed in a teapot than in a mug.
  8. Be patient and let the tea brew as long as it needs
  9. Do not over-brew tea, more time means more tannin
  10. For tea brewed in a teapot, add milk to the cup first; add the milk last if using a tea bag

Tea hot with potThe Lanesborough: With its enviable location, situated on the borders of Knightsbridge and Belgravia, in the heart of London and with panoramic views of Hyde Park, The Lanesborough has long been considered one of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Its elegant surroundings, exquisite cuisine, unsurpassed attention to detail and world-renowned service are second to none.


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Dishing Up Paella: Coming Soon to Pearl

Dishing Up Paella: Coming Soon to Pearl

The 4th Annual Corona Paella Challenge hosted by La Gloria’s chef/owner, Johnny Hernandez, returns to Pearl Sunday, March 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m..  Chefs from San Antonio, across the country and Mexico will be cooking.

“We are excited to host the Paella Challenge again this year and invite everyone to come and join us in this celebration,” said Elizabeth Fauerso, chief marketing officer at Pearl. “This event has become a tradition in San Antonio, bringing chefs and the community together, and we are thrilled to be doing it again this year.”

paella snailsGoing into its fourth year, the Paella Challenge showcases the delicious food and wine of Spain and offers traditional sangria and a variety of fabulous craft and imported beers. The event continues to present its attendees with an afternoon filled with live entertainment and fun for the whole family.

Proceeds from the event will benefit The Culinary Institute of America San Antonio and The Educational Foundation of the San Antonio Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

This year’s celebrity chef will be Jehangir Mehta, who appeared on The Next Iron Chef: Redemption.

Joining him in competition are Jesse Perez (Arcade Midtown Kitchen), Jeff White (The Boiler House), Steven McHugh, Tim McCarty (Sodexo), Jhojans Priego Zarat (Mariscos Villa Rica), Susana Trilling (cookbook author and Seasons of My Heart Cooking School chef instructor), Zach Lutton (Zedrics), John Herdman(Las Ramblas), David Wirebaugh (Hyatt Regency), Jeff Balfour (Citrus), Jason Dady (Tre Trattoria).

Also entering are Craig Bianco (The RK Group), Peter Holt (Lupe Tortilla), Mark Bliss (Bliss), Clint Connaway (MAX’s Wine Dive), James Canter, Michael Mata(Wyndham), Alejandro Rodriguez (Catalan Cuisine Catering), and Flor Vergara (True Flavors).

Tickets to the event are $50 pre-sale. Admission for individuals under 21 years of age is $25.  Tickets can be purchased here. and the day-of at Pearl.

paella traditional

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