While many Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort team members have been following governmental guidance and staying at home over the past couple of months, their talents remain sharp, as the chefs are actively cooking in their home kitchens and gardening fresh herbs in their backyards, and spa therapists are focused on self-care and de-stressing. Until the magical talents of Four Seasons Resort Orlando craftspeople return, the experts are sharing some of their tips below, for optimal self-care, healthy eating, and enjoyment at home.
Executive Chef Fabrizio Schenardi finds his at-home cooking go-to recipes are from his native country of Italy. He notes many Italian recipes require simple ingredients and are quick and easy for the home chef to make. One of his favourite recipes is for homemade pasta and mushroom cream sauce. Here, Schenardi shares the recipe, sure to create a delicious dinner and bring an authentic taste of Italy home.
Ravello Fresh Pasta
Beat egg with salt using a fork. Mix semolina and all-purpose flour in a bowl. Add the eggs to flour mix, incorporate with a fork until smooth. Knead the dough by hands until tight and smooth to the touch. Let rest for 30 minutes, wrap in a clean towel.
Roll the dough with a small pasta machine or a rolling pin, is very important to keep folding the dough during this process.
If using a pasta machine, dust with flour and pass the dough twice through the machine, dust again and pass it through again. Dust the pasta with flour so when cut, it does not stick together. Let pasta dough dry on the table for 3 minutes. Cut with the pasta machine or by hand with a knife into thin strips.
If by hand, cut the pasta into strips for lasagne, fettuccine, tagliatelle, pappardelle and linguine. Let dry on a baking sheet for 2 minutes. Dust with flour again, fold them in half lengthwise, or into small “nests.” Let dry for another 30 minutes, then wrap and refrigerate for 2 days or freeze for up to 2 weeks.
Cook in boiling salty water; just made pasta will take 4-5 minutes to cook, one day old pasta will take 6-7 minutes. Serves 4.
If semolina is unavailable, use all-purpose flour only, 18 ounces and same method as above.
Mushroom Cream Sauce
Make the cream sauce: Melt the 2 ounces of butter in a sauce pan, add the shallots and let cook until soft at low flame. Add the white wine, and let reduce to ½ of his original volume. Add cream and nutmeg, bring to a boil, keep stirring the sauce with a wooden spoon. Lower the flame and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes, add the cheese and keep stirring, let simmer until the cheese is completely melted. Taste and add salt if needed.
Prepare the mushrooms: Melt one ounce each of oil and butter in a frying pan. Add garlic and cook until golden. Sauté the mushrooms for about 5 minutes until they are softer, and add the thyme. Adjust seasoning to taste. Mix the mushrooms with the cream sauce. Toss the pasta into the sauce, serve and garnish with chives and parmesan cheese. Serves 4.
Executive Sous Chef Ryan Schelling is an avid home gardener, and is spending a majority of his time at home outside working on his herb and vegetable garden.
“I have always kept a variety of plants in pots or elevated beds for visual aesthetic and seasonal fragrance, but more recently I have been growing plants with multiple use, for both food and natural insect repellent,” says Schelling. “Using decorative plants and herbs can keep patios lively and mosquito-free.”
Schelling notes keeping a herb garden is relatively simple and does not require a large amount of space. “Rosemary, sage, basil and mint are all types of herbs that can thrive in potted environments,” he says. “Alliums such as chives, onions and garlic will provide edible bulbs and foliage. They all offer a natural mosquito repellent in the aromas that they emit and provide edible blossoms. In addition to repelling mosquitoes, mint can also act as a natural repellent for ants and flies. Picking leaves and sprigs from these plants will also encourage new growth, giving you more to harvest for the season.”
Schelling also recommends lavender, citronella grass and bee balm to deter mosquitoes, and notes that these herbs will also attract butterflies, hummingbirds, bees and other non-biting pollinators. Schelling also suggests growing tomato, cucumber, peppers and squash, which can all be easily maintained in pots and troughs. “No matter if from seed or purchased as a small plant from garden centres, these vegetables can continually produce throughout the growing season, once mature,” adds Schelling. “These vegetables, herbs and edible flowers can be grown organically and offer fresh additions to dishes made at home.”
There are many ways herbs can add flavour to at-home recipes, such as beverages and sauces. A refreshing drink that incorporates garden-fresh mint and cucumber is the Capa Spa Day mocktail. Enjoy the recipe below:
Capa Spa Day Mocktail for One
Mint syrup ingredients:
Cucumber water ingredients:
Spa Day Mocktail ingredients:
Make the mint syrup: Heat water and sugar in a small pot until sugar is dissolved. Take pot off heat and let syrup cool down. Add syrup to a blender with mint and blend well. Strain mixture through a fine sieve.
Make the cucumber water: Combine ingredients in a blender and blend on high. Strain mixture through a fine sieve. Strain again if needed.
Make the Spa Day Mocktail: Combine lime juice, mint syrup, and cucumber water in a shaker filled with ice. Shake and double strain over ice in a highball glass. Top off with club soda. Garnish with cucumber slice and mint sprig.
With everything revolving around the home right now, it can be helpful to add some extra special touches to bring surprise and delight to family members. Director of Catering Laure Hitzig Clavette, who is accustomed to creating amazing tablescape designs with her clients, has been celebrating all the “little moments,” tying in décor whenever possible.
“People are looking for reasons to celebrate right now,” says Hitzig Clavette. “For my family, it’s been fun to have theme nights for dinners, and to celebrate unofficial holidays such as Cinco de Mayo. For the Mexican theme, I made sure to have a taco dinner with all the toppings, and bring out all of my colourful serving platters to make the table as bright and cheerful as possible.”
Hitzig Clavette notes that using different coloured placemats, table linens, or dinnerware can give a table a whole new look. “Candles, flowers and multi-coloured glassware are also easy ways to add some fun and elevate the average table, making dinnertime something even more exciting to look forward to,” she notes. “A specialty drink can also be fun, and it doesn’t have to be fancy, just made with what you have at home – such as creating fizzy punches with juice and soda water and adding fruit to garnish.”
Self-care has never been more important, as it can be easily ignored when one is not able to visit their regular providers for hair, nails, skin and body care. However, it can be as simple as taking the time to enjoy a long shower and exfoliate the skin, to make one feel renewed and refreshed. Lead Spa Therapist Stephany Collins recommends an at-home exfoliation scrub, based on The Spa’s Mindful Matcha Massage treatment, one of The Spa’s signature body treatments.
“Matcha is loaded with benefits for skin and body that you receive from the topical application,” says Collins. “Matcha is packed with antioxidants, which aid in detoxification. Plus, the oil will give your newly polished skin a hydrated lustre and softness.”
Mindful Matcha Exfoliation
Make the scrub: Mix matcha and oil in a bowl until blended and beautifully bright green. Add salt (or sugar) to the blend until the mix is at one’s preference for grit.
Apply the scrub: Take a warm bath or shower to wet skin. Apply the matcha mixture in gentle, circular motions to the full body. Rinse off the matcha/oil/salt concoction without the use of soap. The matcha may leave a greenish residue on skin, which is normal and fine, as the powder has many skin and body benefits. Simply rinse more vigorously to remove the hue. The salt or sugar acts as an abrasive agent to gently slough off dead skin and smooth rough spots. Apply lotion as a follow up post-scrub, and enjoy smooth, refreshed skin.