My life has calmed down because I’ve finally finished my MBA program! It has been quite a year and a rewarding one too. Now that I have more free time, I wanted to recap the rest of my Singapore trip that I took a couple of weeks ago.
One of the major highlights of the trip was eating at Mos Burger! I love Mos. It’s a wonderful fast food chain from Japan and I’ve never seen it in the U.S. They have these amazing hamburgers that have this tasty chili on top. When you pair it with a fluffy bun, hamburger patty, thick tomato slice, jalapenos and onions, you have one delicious hamburger. They also have these really interesting rice burgers where the “bun” is actually a pan-fried rice patty. I love the whole concept. If I had to choose one though, I’d always go for the classic Mos Burger.
Sri Mariamman Temple right by Chinatown
Chinese Chess in Action
On one of the nights, my friend and I went to check out Chinatown. We came across the Sri Mariamman Temple, the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore, and I was really taken back by the beautiful architecture. We wandered Chinatown, buying knick knacks and feasting on dim sum at one of the local spots.
Audemars Piguet Manufacturing Factory in Vallée de Joux
Earlier this week, I had a class field trip to Lausanne to visit Audemars Piguet watch manufacturing factory. It was my first time in Switzerland and a very short trip (less than 24 hours), but it was such an honor to actually visit one of the premier watch manufacturers.
Lausanne: View from my Hotel
Lausanne: Café de L’Évêché
My classmates and I had an authentic fondue dinner at Café de L’Évêché. As soon as you stepped into the restaurant, your olfactory senses were overwhelmed with the distinct smell of stinky cheese. Despite the way it smelled, it was delicious (and extremely filling) and so nice to have real fondue with unpasteurized cheese (an impossible feat in the United States). I desperately needed some meat to balance out all the cheese, bread and potatoes. My friend and I split a ribeye steak, which was also perfectly seasoned Florentine style– just salt and pepper. If you only have one night in Lausanne, I would definitely recommend Café de L’Évêché for a reasonably priced dinner.
March was a busy month in terms of travel. For ESSEC’s MBA in International Luxury Brand Management, we had field trips to Hong Kong, Dubai and now Milan and Florence. It was incredible to visit all of these cities, meet people from different companies, and learn about the luxury industry in different regions. We even got to visit the Zegna textile factory and the Gucci shoe factory. I thought I’d share a few photos from the packed week in Italy.
Dinner at Il Giardino dei Segreti
Our first night in Milan, we had an amazing meal at Il Giardino dei Segreti. I had tagliata (thin cut rare beef) and spaghetti alla bottarga (spaghetti with fish roe) for the first time. They were both incredible and I would highly recommend the restaurant for an authentic, casual eatery.
Château Brane-Cantenac introduced us to their state-of-the-art optical sorting machine. This machine uses cutting-edge technology and lets the user set parameters to sort the grapes. You can sort by weight, color, size and so much more. I’m sure it speeds up the sorting process and leads to a higher quality of grapes. Last year, there were only five châteaux with this kind of technology; this year, there are about 20.
Don’t let the picture deceive you. This Bucher Vaslin machine will set you back half a million Euros!
They renovated their buildings to make them more sustainable with natural cooling and heating systems, energy-saving air movement and humidity control. I enjoyed the wines at this second growth winery because the tannins in the wine weren’t as harsh and more silky. Château Brane-Cantenac takes pride in their “balanced wines.”
Château Pontet-Canet’s underground cellar (top right) dates back to 1865.
Harvesting and Sorting
The statue (far right) is actually for you to spit in.
Paris never ceases to amaze me, especially when it comes to the arts. You know what else amazes me? Social media. It’s because of Instagram (thank you @refinergy29; follow me @rbjello) that I learned Chloé opened a brand-new exhibit last weekend.
Backside of Palais de Tokyo
Paris is full of so many museums and passing exhibits. Everyone knows about the Louvre, Musée D’Orsay and Le Centre Pompidou. But have you ever heard of the Palais de Tokyo in Paris? I had no idea it existed. It dates back from 1937 and reopened in 2001. It’s a crazy building because the outside is Art Deco, but the inside has a warehouse feel with lots of concrete and exposed pipes and brick. It’s one of the largest sites dedicated to contemporary art in Europe. Oh, and the museum is open until midnight. That’s unheard of!
What an absolutely incredible birthday! I do not think I’ll ever be able to top visiting the private Louis Vuitton family home and historical workshop. Throw in champagne in crystal Baccarat glasses, a mini cheesecake, a wonderful meal with my classmates and you basically have the epitome of a perfect birthday in Paris.
Outside of the Louis Vuitton Family Home
In 1859, Louis Vuitton established a trunk workshop in Asnières. It was a strategic location because it was close to Seine river (so it was easier to transport the wood needed to make his fabulous trunks) and it was also a railway stop close to Paris. Soon after building the workshop, he built his family home next door. Our visit was an honor because the family home and workshop is closed to the public. Unless you are a high-profile client or journalist (or MBA Luxe student at ESSEC), you can’t visit this truly historic site.