It’s always fun to see what imaginative chefs come up with to celebrate holidays and other special occasions. Most recently we can’t stop quacking about the Easter Duckies that Executive Pastry Chef Chris Ford of the Beverly Wilshire, A Four Seasons Hotel, created for the spring holiday. Made of hallowed bittersweet chocolate and presented on a wooden crate with a mallet, the ducks are designed to be cracked open to unveil the surprise treat inside: Easter-themed Jordan Almonds and caramelized chocolate truffles.

The ducks came in four options, including Fool’s Gold, Duckmoji, Playbunny and Flower Power. Priced at $90 each on the Beverly Wilshire website, and customizable, they sold out immediately.

Ford’s whimsical sweets are inspiration on how to ending a banquet on a memorable note. And while his artful pastries, often end up on Instagram, he emphasizes that they are meant to be enjoyed, not just admired. “Flavor often gets lost in beautiful desserts. For me, it’s always flavor first and appearance second.”

I have sweated onions in many kitchens in my lifetime, but never in one as well equipped or filled with as much good cheer as the teaching kitchen at the The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay during a recent weekend of their Global Cuisine Series 2018.


The 36-room Atticus Hotel in McMinnville, Oregon, opened for business this past spring. The hotel features an on-site restaurant and bar, private dining in the Atticus Hotel Drawing Room, a boardroom for meetings of up to 16 people, a business center and a fitness room. Additional amenities include Dutch-style bicycles, electric-car charging stations, rooms with fireplaces and original artwork from local artists.