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Sunday, September 28, 2014


Mind you, all is not perfect on Planet Earth, but for pure, unadulterated joy, how can you not smile watching on TV the happy exuberance exhibited by the European Ryder Cup victors, and that of their fans at Gleneagles, after trouncing the Americans 16.5 to 11.5.  The crowd chanting Ole Ola, reminded me of the the Brazil World Cup theme earlier this year.  I wonder why this is the first time Scotland, the home of golf, has hosted in 41 years?

Also in Europe, now that Ukraine has lost Crimea, but Scotland failed to attain independence, can Catalonia (Catalunya--that small brown blob in the middle)) succeed in seceding from Spain?  Traveling through that  region, you can sense that urge.  From the bitter rivalry between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid (#1 in soccer) to the non-binding referendum scheduled for November 9, action is picking up.  But let me go on record for saying that this won't happen, as it is illegal for any entity to split from the country.  Same for Texas.  Remember the Civil War?  

One point of interest, though, is that while at one time Paris was the world cuisine capital, Catalonia has now overtaken France, particularly now that elBulli has become Bullipedia.  And of all the craziness, Tokyo has more Michelin 3 Star restaurants than Paris.  Anyway, another gourmet list is Pellegrino's 50 Best World Restaurants.  #1 last year was El Celler de Can Roca, located a short distance from Barcelona.  But Noma this year returned to #1.  Here I am with Chef Rene (to my left) and his crew in Copenhagen.

Somehow, I've segued into fine cuisine, so let me continue by noting the following about Pellegrino's list:
  • #13 is Nahm and #17 Bangkok!  It is said that Gaggan is THE BEST INDIAN RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD!!!  I guess I'll need to try it when I get to Bangkok in November.
  • The highest rated from the Orient is Narisawa at #14, where I had lunch last year with President of Nokodai, Tadashi Matsunaga, and his wife.
  • The only other restaurant from Japan on this list is Nihonryori RyuGin at #33.  The same day I had dinner there, my lunch was created by Jiro himself, who has a Michelin 3-Star sushi bar next to the Ginza Station:

To appreciate how terrific those restaurants are, French Laundry is #44, and the next best restaurant on the West Coast is Coi of San Francisco at #49.  To close, #50 is Waku Ghin of Singapore, located somewhere near the top of the Marina Bay Sands.

But at the top in the middle there is an Infinity Pool and, yes, that's me.


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