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Incredible Meals at a Mountainside Paradise with a Remarkable Man

Incredible Meals at a Mountainside Paradise with a Remarkable Man

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It's late November, 2010. We're in the pool house a few hundred yards from a Savoyard-style villa on a hillside in Talloires, overlooking Lake Annecy in the foothills of the French Alps. It's a pool house by virtue of the fact that it has dressing rooms and is next to a small lap pool, covered over for the season, and a hot tub, open for business year-round — but it would really be more correct to call this a cookhouse. Inside, there's a big, well-equipped kitchen, complete with wood-burning pizza oven; an orchestra of copper pots hangs over the work counter; and a long farmhouse table that fills most of the remaining space. Outside, built into the side of the building, is an oversize wood-burning grill.

The pool house and its villa belong to Craig and Amy Schiffer, whose other residence is in suburban New Jersey. Amy has wisely recused herself from the premises, because Craig — a financial wizard who held executive positions at firms like Lehmann Brothers and Dresdner Kleinwort before opening his own New York City boutique financial advisory firm — is co-hosting, with chef Jimmy Bradley (The Red Cat, etc., in New York City), a long-weekend, men-only 60th birthday party there for his best friend, chef Jonathan Waxman of Manhattan's popular Barbuto.

In deciding how he wanted to celebrate the big event, Waxman considered a number of his favorite restaurants around Europe and America and some favorite destinations (the date falls conveniently in the midst of white truffle season in Piedmont, and he has observed the occasion in situ with ample shavings of that pricey tuber more than once), but ultimately decided that he'd end up eating better food and drinking better wines if he collaborated with his friends and stayed "home." The Schiffers welcomed Waxman and his family frequently to their hilltop paradise, with its postcard view of the pristine lake below and the mountains ringing this Alpine valley, as if it were their own.

Schiffer's email invitation to the event began: "Some of us age gracefully, some of us not quite so gracefully, and then there’s The Dude: he’s made it all look so easy that one can only look upon him with wonder. As unbelievable as it appears, M. Nouveau Beaujolais will be turning 60 this November 15th [the date when Beaujolais Nouveau was originally released each year]. I think that he can safely be called Vieux Beaujolais now — maybe a little vinegary, sour, and smelly with a churlish attitude — but he can nonetheless lead to a rollicking good time!"

Besides Schiffer and Bradley, seven or eight of Waxman's other friends have been able to make it to Talloires for the occasion — among them chef Joey Campanaro (The Little Owl, Market Table); Mark Williamson, who runs the legendary Willi's Wine Bar in Paris; London restaurateur Jeremy King (The Wolseley and The Delaunay, among others); and myself.

The gang has been out shopping earlier in the day in the shops and street market stalls in the storybook old town of Annecy, at the top of the lake, and all hands, under Waxman's direction, attack the raw materials. Schiffer can cook pretty well himself, but he seems happy to let the pros do most of the work — not out of laziness, it seems to me, but out of the sheer happiness of having all this talent, all this camaraderie, all this energy filling his pool house. He is ready to lend a hand when asked, but otherwise, well, he's just enjoying.

The menu practically defines gastronomic excess: oysters from Utah Beach in Normandy; omble chevalier — the delicately flavored wild Alpine char fished from the lakes of Annecy and Geneva — grilled over embers outside; a platter full of wild game birds simply roasted in the pizza oven — a pheasant, a couple of doves, a brace of mallard ducks (his and hers), a few woodcocks, and a partridge; two gratins from the same oven, one of cauliflower in cream with white truffle grated generously over the top, another of potatoes, turnips, onions, and garlic; a salad of mâche, purslane, and miner's lettuce (Claytonia perfoliata, sometimes called winter purslane) with persimmon seeds; croûtons of good country bread spread with a mash of the game birds' innards; some nutty tomme de Savoie and other local cheeses; and finally, a straightforward apple tart. A forest of wine bottles crowding the table testifies to the fact that all this food wasn't swallowed dry (a Sauzet Les Combettes Puligny-Montrachet 2008 was the standout).

It went on like that for four days. We ate one meal away from the pool house: The weather was unseasonably warm, so we repaired to the legendary Auberge du Père Bise at the edge of the lake in Talloires and sat on the terrace eating creamed sea urchin, foie gras terrine, and perfect roast chicken with pommes frites and a green salad.

Besides providing us with a good meal and a break from cooking, this visit to Père Bise had special significance for Schiffer and Waxman, since this is where Schiffer's connection with Talloires was forged. As Waxman tells the story, "In 1983 I had bought a Ferrari, which for some reason was parked in London. Craig had just moved to Lehman in London. He had some free time and we hopped in my Ferrari armed with his cash and my expertise and wheels, and punished the three-star restaurants of Europe. One meal in particular was at my perennial favorite, Girardet in Crissier, in Switzerland. Craig announced that it was the best restaurant in the world, which in some ways it was. I then took him on a detour to a former three-star, Père Bise. He vehemently protested that he didn't want to go a “two-star dump,” and pouted on the short trip across the French border to Talloires.

"It was summertime, the lake was shimmering, the grass beaches were filled with half-naked bodies, and we arrived in style at Père Bise. I was somewhat known to the owner, Madame Bise, and she welcomed us with a charm that is still beyond anything most of my colleagues in the restaurant business can summon up. Craig looked around, and feeling less grumpy, swam with me in the clear, emerald waters, and then we had a terrific meal by the lakeshore — omble chevalier meuinière, a dish of foie gras, some fancy appetizer, and, if memory serves me, rack of lamb from the Sisteron. The cheeses in the Haute Savoie are without parallel and we suffered through the little chèvres, the tomme de Bauges, some other cheeses, and then the grand master, Beaufort d'Été. We ate wild strawberries, raspberries, etc., with freshly made ice creams and sorbets. The final desserts were the magnificent gateau marjolaine and the intense chocolate negus. We ended with Michel, the perfect maître d' hôtel, offering us some vieille prune, poire William, and pre-Castro cigars. By that time, Craig had fallen love with Père Bise, Lake Annecy, the mountains, and the food of the Savoie.

"The next day, as we biked around the lake and had lunch, I had the feeling he wanted to stay. Soon afterwards, Craig and his wife, Amy, who spoke French, and who, too, was instantly smitten with Talloires, bought their gorgeous mountainside villa."

Our lunches and dinners back at the house blend together in my memory after four-plus years (this wasn't the kind of occasion where I wanted to take notes), but I remember homemade buckwheat blinis with heaps of Oscietra caviar; platters of thin-sliced assorted local salami-like sausages; paella made on the outdoor grill with rabbit, chicken, and local diot sausages (and a crisp-fried paella cake made from the leftovers the next day); roast saddle and chops of lamb; homemade pappardelle buried in white truffle; risotto made with the pickings off the bones of our wild game birds; gratins of cardoons (with more white truffles) and escarole with salt pork and onions; a big salad of frisée, lardons, and fingerling potatoes; endless cheeses, endless wines — magnums of 1999 Clos Cazals Champagne, 2007 and 2008 Sauzet Bâtard-Montrachet, 2005 Pio Cesare Barolo in magnum, 2001 Beaucastel Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2007 Château Triennes, 2004 Château Calon-Ségur, assorted magnums of Savoyard mondeuse and chignin-bergeron, bottles of eau-de-vie (poire Williams, vieille prune)…

I can also summon up snapshots of certain moments: Campanaro looking at a white truffle as big as a tennis ball and pulling some eggs out of the refrigerator and flour out of the cupboard and making perfect pappardelle in about five minutes; Waxman drifting off into sleep after lunch one afternoon and then starting awake and announcing "I'm going to make some puff pastry;" Waxman handing me another huge truffle, pointing to the cauliflower gratin just out of the oven, and saying "Don't stop grating until it's gone;" Schiffer sitting at the table before dinner one night, Champagne and caviar before him, with a slight contented smile on his face, lost in a reverie, as if imagining, and savoring, the pleasures he was about to dive into.

Craig Schiffer loved diving in. He loved eating and drinking good food with his friends and family, and he was heroically generous with them (everyone contributed to the raw materials for the pool house meals, but Schiffer did the heavy lifting — the caviar, the truffles, some of the best wines). He also loved challenging the mountains that surrounded his hilltop Eden — hiking, mountain biking, and, above all, skiing them. On December 23, 2014, schussing off-piste down a slope in Val Thorens, about 60 miles southeast of Talloires, he was caught by an avalanche and buried for 15 minutes. He died in the hospital in Grenoble.

Mother's Day Gift Guide: The Finest Private Island Meals For Spoiling Mom

There’s nothing more classic on Mother’s Day than starting the day’s celebrations with breakfast in bed, but a delicious meal overlooking clear blue seas from one’s very own private island is an upgrade most moms can get behind. Whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, taking in a meal from the vantage point of a relaxing tropical paradise will undoubtedly delight.

The world’s oceans are full of islands offering a truly exclusive experience where only one group of guests is accepted at a given time, but a majority of “private islands” actually have a small number of villas on them, while still working hard to maintain privacy for every visitor. Of course, renting out entire islands with all their villas is almost always an option, too. Whether guests have every scrap of land to themselves or not, each of these private islands ensures a luxury food experience certain to spoil Mom.

A beautiful, locally-sourced meal at Cayo Espanto

Belize’s coastline is a patchwork of private islands, but none are as luxe as Cayo Espanto . It’s only a seven minute boat ride from the tourist hub of San Pedro, but it feels worlds away. Prior to arrival, the resort gathers its guest's preferences for every meal, including snacks and drinks, so Chef Patrick, a graduate of the California Culinary Academy, can tailor a culinary experience to every visitor. While everything served on Cayo Espanto is locally-sourced, artfully crafted, and beautifully-plated, it’s the dinner setup that will really take mom’s breath away. Delicate lights strung over a candlelit table with a pathway of flowers leading up to it, with butlers on hand to welcome you to the meal is everything a private island meal celebrating mom should be.

Villas range from $1,595 to $3,395 per night, depending on the season.

Jade Mountain, St. Lucia

Families can up the ante for celebrating the mothers in their lives this Mother’s Day with the Ultimate Castaway Dinner at Anse Mamin Beach in St. Lucia. Guests staying at Jade Mountain resort can schedule a surprise three-course dinner on the resort's private, second beach to treat their wonderful mothers. Just a short stroll down a walkway from the main beach or a quick water taxi ride, families arrive at a candlelit walkway leading to their beautifully decorated tent. For dinner, mothers can expect a fresh gourmet meal made by ingredients hand-picked from the resorts on-site organic farm. Think rainforest herb-seared scallops, Chateaubriand, and giant salt Prawns. Toasting mom from the shores of a remote island beach while taking in the cotton-candy colored sunset is the Mother’s Day dreams are made of.

Villas range from $1,385 - $3,665 per night, depending on the season

Dining by the sea on North Island

North Island, Seychelles

Give mom the royal treatment at the Seychelles North Island , the private island where Prince William and The Duchess of Cambridge honeymooned. Here the chef meets with each guest individually to create meals tailored to their specific preferences, accompanying meals with wine from an extensive onsite cellar. The North Island’s staff will set up candlelit dinners anywhere on the island as desired, including in the villas and on the beaches, bringing bespoke to the next level -- and then some. This resort has mastered the art of luxury indulgence, and it tastes divine.

Four Seasons Voavah from above

Four Seasons Voavah, Maldives

Luxury doesn’t get much more private than this. In the Maldives, Four Seasons has locked down the world’s first exclusive-use UNESCO hideaway, transforming an already stunning, natural beauty into the apex of supreme luxury. The Four Seasons Voavah in the Baa Atoll features villas tucked into unreal greenery encircled by the purest white sand beaches. Dining comes straight from the surrounding sea, offering recipes from Chinese, Japanese, Sri Lankan, Indian, Maldivian, Italian, Lebanese, and Moroccan cuisines. Mom can enjoy these culinary experiences from her Mother’s Day villa, or at a candlelit soiree in the Beach House.

Orpheus Island, Australia

Nestled in the Great Barrier Reef is Orpheus Island, Australia , a gem within a gem that lucky visitors can visit while indulging in the this resort's trademark luxury. The island itself is home to a national park home to some of Australia’s most remarkable creatures, with the world’s largest barrier reef right offshore ready to be explored. Australia is a country of great wines, which are complemented by the local fare served up by the onsite chef. The most incredible of their dining experiences is Mother’s Day perfection: an intimate six course dinner for two served on the Island’s starlit pier, with teeming sea life swimming below while the vast sky twinkles with stars above.

Villas costs $2000+ per night, depending on season

Dinner at Laucala is always a beautiful event

25 villas, designed in an upscale Fijian fashion, adorn the remote island of Laucala . Some villas are perched on high while others are tantalizingly close to the water’s edge, creating a variety of private island perspectives depending on what Mom wants. While the island does have restaurants where guests might run into each other, Laucala offers what they call “dining by design”, which means customized menus in private dining locations: amid the jungle, along a jetty, in guests’ villas, whatever the heart desires. Every mom is different, but there will be something here for her no matter her preference.


The sun was shining this morning, so we thought that EPCOT would be a lovely start to our day with all of the Festival of the Arts happenings right now!

When we entered the park, it was quiet with only a 5 minute wait at spots like Spaceship Earth (but crowds changed later in the day).

Even though we were ready to say hello to our favorite characters and hop on some attractions, our first stop of the day was at La Cava del Tequila for the special anniversary celebration that was taking place at the bar! In honor of the ninth anniversary of a mezcal distillery named Mezcal Gracias a Dios from Oaxaca, La Cava was pouring $9 sips of their special edition Ensamble mezcal!

Oh, but that’s not all. The drink is served with an orange slice to cut the strength of the mezcal, along with crispy seasoned GRASSHOPPERS. Yup, you read that right!

Enjoying the special edition ensamble at @cavadeltequila to celebrate the 9th year anniversary of Gracias a Dios Mezcal!

&mdash AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) January 17, 2021

We started our morning off with insects (and, surprisingly, we kind of liked it).

Read our full review of the Gracias a Dios Mezcal and GRASSHOPPERS here!

BUT, we did need something sweet to wash down that strong mezcal and the grasshoppers, so we made our way over to Karamell-Küche for some sweet Werther’s Caramel. Anybody else’s taste buds tingling just looking at it?

Once the afternoon kicked off, though, the crowds began to pick up around the park with long waits at attractions like Frozen Ever After…

…and even merchandise stands like the Acme Archives with all its Star Wars themed artwork!

We weren’t too phased by some of the lines since we were able to see the Disney Princesses looking as lovely as ever…

…and Winnie the Pooh sending hugs to everyone in EPCOT. (We’re not crying, you’re crying!)

However, we did see some very interesting things during our walk through EPCOT. Over at Mitsukoshi, we spotted an Animal Crossing Backpack that was a whopping $85 (. ).

There was also the GORGEOUS Mulan Chalk Art that made our jaws drop with all the amazing details. The hand-drawn chalk art is an iconic part of the Festival of the Arts, but this masterpiece had us blown away by how life-like it was.

Along with the incredible details, guests can also interact with the piece by standing on the footprints and extending their arms. It will look like they are holding buckets and climbing the Chinese mountainside.

Love this art! Stand on the footprints and it looks like you’re holding the buckets!

&mdash AJ Wolfe (@DisneyFoodBlog) January 17, 2021

C’mon, what CAN’T these talented Disney artists do?!

Take a look at all the details on the Mulan Chalk Art here!

If you want to see more artwork, the park is “chalk” full of installations (see what we did there?) that feature paintings and other visual art that you can view in both Future World and the World Showcase.

As we made our way through the World Showcase, we made sure to stop by Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to take a look at the attraction now that the construction walls have been coming down. Fingers crossed that we get to ride it soon!

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Construction

As we ended our time in EPCOT, we made our way over to the American Heritage Gallery to see it before it switches over to “The Soul of Jazz” exhibit soon!

American Heritage Gallery

Currently, the American Heritage Gallery rests inside the American Adventure Pavilion to give guests a bit of lesson about the people who have lived all around the country throughout history.

American Heritage Gallery

We’ll miss being able to visit it once it disappears, but we are just as excited to welcome the brand new jazz exhibition into EPCOT this February!


The orange-tinted baby was accompanied by four older killer whales as it played in the Moray Firth, near Duncansbayhead, Caithness

Wildlife enthusiast Karen Munro, 44, travels around Scotland from her home in Thurso, Highlands, hoping to catch sight of the astonishing creatures

'I'm an orca enthusiast, it's my hobby. I've been to Norway, and to Iceland to see them. It's also brilliant to see the orcas are reproducing.'

The sighting comes days after a pair of killer whales named John Coe and Aquarius were spotted off the coast of Cornwall for the first time in over a decade by a group of wildlife experts.

This was the first sighting of members of the UK's only resident population of orcas, usually based off the west coast of Scotland, travelling this far south, said the Cornwall Wildlife Trust team that spotted the pair.

The pod they belong to, known as the West Coast Community, is made up of four males, including John Coe and Aquarius, as well as four females.

The two males were spotted on Wednesday swimming off the west coast of Cornwall, near the Minack Theatre, an open air venue on the cliffs of Penzance.

The orcas were identified as part of the UK group by the shape and notches of their dorsal fins, and patches of colouration near their eyes and on their backs.


A killer whale has been taught to speak human words through her blowhole.

Wikie, a 16-year-old female orca living in a French marine theme park, is able to copy words such as 'hello', 'bye bye' and 'Amy', as well as count to three.

Researchers tested multiple sounds in three situations. In one the whale was instructed to produce a sound to copy using gestures.

In another the sound was played through a loudspeaker and in the third a human produced the desired sound.

Each time the killer whale was able to accurately reproduce sounds.

Five sounds where orca noises that Wikie had not heard before. They were described by researchers as 'breathy raspberry', 'strong raspberry', 'elephant', 'wolf' and 'creaking door'.

Three sounds were already familiar to Wikie - described by researchers as 'song', 'blow' and 'birdy'.

She was also exposed to six human sounds - 'hello', 'Amy', 'ah ha', 'one, two' 'one, two, three' and 'bye bye'.

In each trial, the killer whale was given a 'do that' hand signal by a researcher, but offered no food reward.

The recordings were rated by Wikie's trainer and the researcher, as well as six independent observers.

Speech recognition software was also used to test how well she performed, which showed three words came close to the 'high-quality match' achieved by humans copying each other.

The recordings were rated by Wikie's trainer and the researcher, as well as six independent observers. Pictured is Wikie with her calf

Wikie was able to copy all the sounds she was presented with. She managed to copy all the human produced orca sounds on her first go.

'We found that the subject made recognisable copies of all familiar and novel conspecific and human sounds tested and did so relatively quickly (most during the first 10 trials and three in the first attempt)', researchers wrote in the paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

'The subject's matching accuracy is all the more remarkable as she was able to accomplish it in response to sounds presented in-air and not in-water, the species' usual medium for acoustic communication.

'It is conceivable that our data represent a conservative estimate of the killer whale's capacity for vocal imitation.'

The sounds emerge from her blowhole as parrot-like squawks, shrill whistles or raspberries, but most are easily understandable as words.

She 'spoke' while partially immersed in water with her blowhole exposed to the air.

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Hong Kong roast chicken at Wing Kee Restaurant

Secrets of Yellowstone | 18 Sites of Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most famous parks in the country, but just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it isn’t loaded with hidden gems and incredible secrets both inside and outside it’s boundaries. With historic ghost towns, loads of hot springs, mysterious musical rocks and some of America’s best fly fishing, Yellowstone and the surrounding area offer up more than just Old Faithful. Take a road trip through Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho to uncover it all!

1. Bannack State Park

The perfect way to start your Yellowstone adventures is by heading to Montana’s Bannack State Park, where you can take a stroll through one of America’s best preserved ghost towns.

Bannack is home to more than 50 buildings, each of them still standing, empty and abandoned, along what was once a bustling Old West main street.

2. Our Lady of the Rockies

Our Lady of The Rockies is an incredible 90-foot statue that sits atop the Continental Divide overlooking Butte, Montana.

The second-tallest statue in the United States (after The Statue of Liberty), the massive likeness of the Virgin Mary even has a secret entrance that you can peek inside, but be prepared to be moved: The walls are covered in letters and mementos left by visitors in memory of their loved ones.

3. Ringing Rocks of Montana

For a really interesting experience, head 18 miles east of Butte and visit Montana’s Ringing Rocks, which are exactly what they sound like.

The rocks in this strange geologic area let out a mysterious chime when tapped lightly with a hammer. No one is sure exactly why, but if a boulder is removed from the pile, it doesn’t ring anymore!

Make sure to bring your own hammer.

4. Mammoth Hot Springs

No visit to Yellowstone is complete without a visit to the Mammoth Hot Springs. These otherworldly springs located just inside the park are crazy hot (which means no swimming), but can be experienced from winding boardwalks that wrap around the park.

It gets pretty warm, but here’s a tip: The visitor’s center serves ice cream to help you cool off.

5. Lamar Valley

Fish aren’t the only wildlife worth discovering in the Yellowstone region! With a drive through Lamar Valley just a short distance from Mammoth, you can get in touch with nature without leaving your car. Foxes, bear and herds of bison and elk are all common sights on this scenic route, but be prepared to take your time: The bison have a habit of causing some amusing traffic jams.

Want the best experience? Visit early in the morning when you’ll beat traffic and get a better chance at seeing the animals.

6. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Considered by many to be the highlight of the whole park, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone has to be seen to be believed. The drive offers astounding views of the rugged cliffs and rushing waterfalls, and if you time it just right, you’ll catch sight of the iconic rainbow featured in so many of the canyon’s stunning photographs. You’ll also quickly realize where the name Yellowstone was derived from as you view the massive stone cliffs of the canyon. It’s a site to be seen!

Bonus: The Yellowstone River and Yellowstone Lake above the falls have some pretty awesome fly fishing, especially during the salmonfly hatch in mid-July.

7. The Smith Mansion

There’s a good chance you’ll spot this crazy work of art from the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, but this 75-foot-high structure is worth a closer look.

The Smith Mansion looks like some kind of bizarre Dr. Seuss illustration come to life, and is what resulted when a man decided to build his own house… but just couldn’t stop building.

Since the owner’s death in 1992, the Smith Mansion has sat untouched (it’s too dangerous to actually enter), but every year, thousands of curious travelers drive the byway and stop to see the structure—it’s a great photo op.

8. The Buffalo Bill Dam Visitor Center

This surprisingly beautiful reservoir is one of Wyoming’s most interesting hidden gems. The Buffalo Bill Dam, known formerly as the Shoshone Dam, is an engineering marvel tucked away on the side the mountain canyon. Hop in an electric buggy for a tour that brings you right up to the dam, and learn about its construction and storied life in a fun and interactive way.

The best part? The tour is free!

9. Old Trail Town

Old Trail Town, where Buffalo Bill Cody originally laid out the town of Cody, is a ghost town untouched by time. Tour living history by walking through several genuine Old West buildings, including the original cabins used by Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. You’ll see rare Native American artifacts and even step foot inside the very same saloon where Cassidy’s “Hole-in-the-Wall Gang” used to hide out.

10. Jackson Lake

Jackson Lake offers fantastic fishing and boating, and a variety of fun activities that make it a perfect destination for lovers of the great outdoors. To experience it you’ll get to experience another iconic park of the west, Grand Teton National Park. Make sure to take time to stop at the lake’s beach which is ranked among the best park beaches in America. Rent a boat and set off to catch some cutthroat, lake trout, or brown trout!

11. T.A. Moulton Barn

Hidden inside the Mormon Row Historic District of Grand Teton National Park, the T.A. Moulton Barn is an iconic landmark that you’ve probably seen before, even if you don’t remember where.

Set against a backdrop of blue mountains, herds of wild bison and grassy valleys, this rustic building is, literally, the most photographed barn in America. When you see the view, you’ll understand why.

Built as part of a larger farm between 1912 and 1945, the T.A. Moulton Barn is now frozen in time as the last remaining building from the Moulton family homestead.

12. Grumpy’s Goat Shack

Inside a little garage next to the Old Stone House Italian Restaurant in Victor Idaho sits a secret bar where you can chow down on some comfort food, kick back with a brew, and watch the local goats as they graze in the nearby pasture.

Grumpy’s Goat Shack is an unconventional little hideout that’s only open during the warmer months, but it takes full advantage of the summer season with a great outdoor patio in a nice, quiet setting. Pull up one of their eight bar stools, sample a local beer, and relax after a long day of reeling in fish.

13. Jenny Lake

One of the most beloved portions of Grand Teton National Park, Jenny Lake offers a slew of activities that range from action-packed extreme sports to low-impact wildlife observation hikes.

Jenny Lake is also a fantastic place for fly fishing. There’s a boat dock at the south end of the lake (make sure you get a permit from Teton Park), but if you’re more of a boots-on-the-ground angler, there’s some great trails circling the lake that provide access to the water.

Expect to find both cutthroat and lake trout.

14. Old Faithful

Old Faithful is an iconic American landmark that’s been inspiring awe since it was discovered in 1870, and it’s just as incredible today as it was more than a century ago.

Easily the most recognized, celebrated, and studied geyser in the world, Old Faithful, true to its name, erupts every hour and a half to the delight of onlookers who’ve come far and wide to catch a glimpse of its dramatic spout.

Show up when they open the park at 8:00 a.m.—you’ll beat the crowds and get a classic photo op.

15. Firehole River

One of several rivers in Yellowstone National Park, Firehole River has a pretty unique feature: It’s naturally heated by the nearby hot springs, making it almost 20 degrees warmer than other rivers!

Surprisingly, its heat also makes it a pretty great fishing spot, earning it the title of “strangest trout stream on Earth.” Don’t be surprised if you see large billows of steam rolling out of the waters as you reel in a big one.

16. Mesa Falls

As the only major falls in Idaho not used for irrigation or hydroelectric projects, Both Upper and Lower Mesa Falls has been painstakingly preserved to maintain its spectacular sights and sounds.

You can access both falls easily via well-maintained paths and viewing areas, each of which offers stunning views of the natural wonders.

Make sure to bring your fishing gear, because you’ll find tons of trout in the stretches of the Snake River above and below the falls.

Be sure to pop in to the lovingly restored Mesa Falls Lodge while you’re there.

17. Froststop Drive-In

If you’ve worked up an appetite during your fishing adventures and want to chow down on something that isn’t trout, visit the Frostop Drive-In, a classic diner in Ashton, Idaho, that’s known for its juicy burgers and fantastic root-beer floats.

Skip the french fries and order the tater tots instead!

18. Henry’s Lake State Park

This high mountain lake, with its peaceful location just outside of Yellowstone and one of the most prized fisheries in the West, has earned a reputation as an angler’s paradise.

Breathtaking views, calm waters, and a quiet vibe offer a nice change of pace from the busy crowds of Yellowstone.

Expect to find lots of cutthroat, brook, and rainbow-cutthroat hybrids in Henry’s Lake.

KOAs in the Area

The real Lord of the Flies: what happened when six boys were shipwrecked for 15 months

F or centuries western culture has been permeated by the idea that humans are selfish creatures. That cynical image of humanity has been proclaimed in films and novels, history books and scientific research. But in the last 20 years, something extraordinary has happened. Scientists from all over the world have switched to a more hopeful view of mankind. This development is still so young that researchers in different fields often don’t even know about each other.

When I started writing a book about this more hopeful view, I knew there was one story I would have to address. It takes place on a deserted island somewhere in the Pacific. A plane has just gone down. The only survivors are some British schoolboys, who can’t believe their good fortune. Nothing but beach, shells and water for miles. And better yet: no grownups.

On the very first day, the boys institute a democracy of sorts. One boy, Ralph, is elected to be the group’s leader. Athletic, charismatic and handsome, his game plan is simple: 1) Have fun. 2) Survive. 3) Make smoke signals for passing ships. Number one is a success. The others? Not so much. The boys are more interested in feasting and frolicking than in tending the fire. Before long, they have begun painting their faces. Casting off their clothes. And they develop overpowering urges – to pinch, to kick, to bite.

By the time a British naval officer comes ashore, the island is a smouldering wasteland. Three of the children are dead. “I should have thought,” the officer says, “that a pack of British boys would have been able to put up a better show than that.” At this, Ralph bursts into tears. “Ralph wept for the end of innocence,” we read, and for “the darkness of man’s heart”.

This story never happened. An English schoolmaster, William Golding, made up this story in 1951 – his novel Lord of the Flies would sell tens of millions of copies, be translated into more than 30 languages and hailed as one of the classics of the 20th century. In hindsight, the secret to the book’s success is clear. Golding had a masterful ability to portray the darkest depths of mankind. Of course, he had the zeitgeist of the 1960s on his side, when a new generation was questioning its parents about the atrocities of the second world war. Had Auschwitz been an anomaly, they wanted to know, or is there a Nazi hiding in each of us?

I first read Lord of the Flies as a teenager. I remember feeling disillusioned afterwards, but not for a second did I think to doubt Golding’s view of human nature. That didn’t happen until years later when I began delving into the author’s life. I learned what an unhappy individual he had been: an alcoholic, prone to depression. “I have always understood the Nazis,” Golding confessed, “because I am of that sort by nature.” And it was “partly out of that sad self-knowledge” that he wrote Lord of the Flies.

I began to wonder: had anyone ever studied what real children would do if they found themselves alone on a deserted island? I wrote an article on the subject, in which I compared Lord of the Flies to modern scientific insights and concluded that, in all probability, kids would act very differently. Readers responded sceptically. All my examples concerned kids at home, at school, or at summer camp. Thus began my quest for a real-life Lord of the Flies. After trawling the web for a while, I came across an obscure blog that told an arresting story: “One day, in 1977, six boys set out from Tonga on a fishing trip . Caught in a huge storm, the boys were shipwrecked on a deserted island. What do they do, this little tribe? They made a pact never to quarrel.”

The article did not provide any sources. But sometimes all it takes is a stroke of luck. Sifting through a newspaper archive one day, I typed a year incorrectly and there it was. The reference to 1977 turned out to have been a typo. In the 6 October 1966 edition of Australian newspaper The Age, a headline jumped out at me: “Sunday showing for Tongan castaways”. The story concerned six boys who had been found three weeks earlier on a rocky islet south of Tonga, an island group in the Pacific Ocean. The boys had been rescued by an Australian sea captain after being marooned on the island of ‘Ata for more than a year. According to the article, the captain had even got a television station to film a re-enactment of the boys’ adventure.

I was bursting with questions. Were the boys still alive? And could I find the television footage? Most importantly, though, I had a lead: the captain’s name was Peter Warner. When I searched for him, I had another stroke of luck. In a recent issue of a tiny local paper from Mackay, Australia, I came across the headline: “Mates share 50-year bond”. Printed alongside was a small photograph of two men, smiling, one with his arm slung around the other. The article began: “Deep in a banana plantation at Tullera, near Lismore, sit an unlikely pair of mates . The elder is 83 years old, the son of a wealthy industrialist. The younger, 67, was, literally, a child of nature.” Their names? Peter Warner and Mano Totau. And where had they met? On a deserted island.

My wife Maartje and I rented a car in Brisbane and some three hours later arrived at our destination, a spot in the middle of nowhere that stumped Google Maps. Yet there he was, sitting out in front of a low-slung house off the dirt road: the man who rescued six lost boys 50 years ago, Captain Peter Warner.

Savagery in the 1963 film adaptation of Lord of the Flies. Photograph: Ronald Grant

Peter was the youngest son of Arthur Warner, once one of the richest and most powerful men in Australia. Back in the 1930s, Arthur ruled over a vast empire called Electronic Industries, which dominated the country’s radio market at the time. Peter was groomed to follow in his father’s footsteps. Instead, at the age of 17, he ran away to sea in search of adventure and spent the next few years sailing from Hong Kong to Stockholm, Shanghai to St Petersburg. When he finally returned five years later, the prodigal son proudly presented his father with a Swedish captain’s certificate. Unimpressed, Warner Sr demanded his son learn a useful profession. “What’s easiest?” Peter asked. “Accountancy,” Arthur lied.

Peter went to work for his father’s company, yet the sea still beckoned, and whenever he could he went to Tasmania, where he kept his own fishing fleet. It was this that brought him to Tonga in the winter of 1966. On the way home he took a little detour and that’s when he saw it: a minuscule island in the azure sea, ‘Ata. The island had been inhabited once, until one dark day in 1863, when a slave ship appeared on the horizon and sailed off with the natives. Since then, ‘Ata had been deserted – cursed and forgotten.

But Peter noticed something odd. Peering through his binoculars, he saw burned patches on the green cliffs. “In the tropics it’s unusual for fires to start spontaneously,” he told us, a half century later. Then he saw a boy. Naked. Hair down to his shoulders. This wild creature leaped from the cliffside and plunged into the water. Suddenly more boys followed, screaming at the top of their lungs. It didn’t take long for the first boy to reach the boat. “My name is Stephen,” he cried in perfect English. “There are six of us and we reckon we’ve been here 15 months.”

The boys, once aboard, claimed they were students at a boarding school in Nuku‘alofa, the Tongan capital. Sick of school meals, they had decided to take a fishing boat out one day, only to get caught in a storm. Likely story, Peter thought. Using his two-way radio, he called in to Nuku‘alofa. “I’ve got six kids here,” he told the operator. “Stand by,” came the response. Twenty minutes ticked by. (As Peter tells this part of the story, he gets a little misty-eyed.) Finally, a very tearful operator came on the radio, and said: “You found them! These boys have been given up for dead. Funerals have been held. If it’s them, this is a miracle!”

In the months that followed I tried to reconstruct as precisely as possible what had happened on ‘Ata. Peter’s memory turned out to be excellent. Even at the age of 90, everything he recounted was consistent with my foremost other source, Mano, 15 years old at the time and now pushing 70, who lived just a few hours’ drive from him. The real Lord of the Flies, Mano told us, began in June 1965. The protagonists were six boys – Sione, Stephen, Kolo, David, Luke and Mano – all pupils at a strict Catholic boarding school in Nuku‘alofa. The oldest was 16, the youngest 13, and they had one main thing in common: they were bored witless. So they came up with a plan to escape: to Fiji, some 500 miles away, or even all the way to New Zealand.

There was only one obstacle. None of them owned a boat, so they decided to “borrow” one from Mr Taniela Uhila, a fisherman they all disliked. The boys took little time to prepare for the voyage. Two sacks of bananas, a few coconuts and a small gas burner were all the supplies they packed. It didn’t occur to any of them to bring a map, let alone a compass.

No one noticed the small craft leaving the harbour that evening. Skies were fair only a mild breeze ruffled the calm sea. But that night the boys made a grave error. They fell asleep. A few hours later they awoke to water crashing down over their heads. It was dark. They hoisted the sail, which the wind promptly tore to shreds. Next to break was the rudder. “We drifted for eight days,” Mano told me. “Without food. Without water.” The boys tried catching fish. They managed to collect some rainwater in hollowed-out coconut shells and shared it equally between them, each taking a sip in the morning and another in the evening.

Then, on the eighth day, they spied a miracle on the horizon. A small island, to be precise. Not a tropical paradise with waving palm trees and sandy beaches, but a hulking mass of rock, jutting up more than a thousand feet out of the ocean. These days, ‘Ata is considered uninhabitable. But “by the time we arrived,” Captain Warner wrote in his memoirs, “the boys had set up a small commune with food garden, hollowed-out tree trunks to store rainwater, a gymnasium with curious weights, a badminton court, chicken pens and a permanent fire, all from handiwork, an old knife blade and much determination.” While the boys in Lord of the Flies come to blows over the fire, those in this real-life version tended their flame so it never went out, for more than a year.

Mr Peter Warner, third from left, with his crew in 1968, including the survivors from ‘Ata. Photograph: Fairfax Media Archives/via Getty Images

The kids agreed to work in teams of two, drawing up a strict roster for garden, kitchen and guard duty. Sometimes they quarrelled, but whenever that happened they solved it by imposing a time-out. Their days began and ended with song and prayer. Kolo fashioned a makeshift guitar from a piece of driftwood, half a coconut shell and six steel wires salvaged from their wrecked boat – an instrument Peter has kept all these years – and played it to help lift their spirits. And their spirits needed lifting. All summer long it hardly rained, driving the boys frantic with thirst. They tried constructing a raft in order to leave the island, but it fell apart in the crashing surf.

Worst of all, Stephen slipped one day, fell off a cliff and broke his leg. The other boys picked their way down after him and then helped him back up to the top. They set his leg using sticks and leaves. “Don’t worry,” Sione joked. “We’ll do your work, while you lie there like King Taufa‘ahau Tupou himself!”

They survived initially on fish, coconuts, tame birds (they drank the blood as well as eating the meat) seabird eggs were sucked dry. Later, when they got to the top of the island, they found an ancient volcanic crater, where people had lived a century before. There the boys discovered wild taro, bananas and chickens (which had been reproducing for the 100 years since the last Tongans had left).

They were finally rescued on Sunday 11 September 1966. The local physician later expressed astonishment at their muscled physiques and Stephen’s perfectly healed leg. But this wasn’t the end of the boys’ little adventure, because, when they arrived back in Nuku‘alofa police boarded Peter’s boat, arrested the boys and threw them in jail. Mr Taniela Uhila, whose sailing boat the boys had “borrowed” 15 months earlier, was still furious, and he’d decided to press charges.

Fortunately for the boys, Peter came up with a plan. It occurred to him that the story of their shipwreck was perfect Hollywood material. And being his father’s corporate accountant, Peter managed the company’s film rights and knew people in TV. So from Tonga, he called up the manager of Channel 7 in Sydney. “You can have the Australian rights,” he told them. “Give me the world rights.” Next, Peter paid Mr Uhila £150 for his old boat, and got the boys released on condition that they would cooperate with the movie. A few days later, a team from Channel 7 arrived.

Other Areas

Louie's Office

Whenever Louie isn't serving up drinks or partying the night away, he usually relaxes in a comfortable chair in his private office. Just a small back room with a desk and ceiling fan, Louie's cluttered office contains many souvenirs, mementos, and treasured objects collected over the years Louie's Place has been in business.

Louie's back office, home to treasured souvenirs from the years since Louie's Place opened.


The hottest spot next to the dance floor is the kitchen in the back of Louie's Place, its ovens and stoves kept sizzling with fresh meals, made ready to eat. Herbs, spices, and seasonings find their way into Louie's flavorful dishes, which he makes without the aid of recipes. This "anything goes" school of cuisine sometimes involves cooking practices that no legitimate health department would condone, but Louie lets customers judge the results: from the acquired taste of guacamole tacos to Louie's world-class pizza pie that everybody loves (just don't ask how he mixes the tomato sauce). Meals can be eaten at Louie's Place or ordered to go from time to time Louie has toyed with ventures into food delivery, and he now runs his own catering business.


Customers who want a table away from the main floor's craziness, a cozy spot with some privacy, or simply a seat with a view should visit the upper-deck lounge, once the main cabin of the wrecked ship around which Louie built his nightclub. The carved banister, salvaged curtains, and antique cannon — all well preserved — lend a period charm to this room, a remnant from the great age of sailing. Guests to the lounge may drink in the ocean vista while sipping on drinks, or avail themselves of a seaside stroll by exiting through the club's back door.

Louie's Quarters

Unlike many nightclub owners, Louie lives with his business. His private bedroom can be found right down the hall from the kitchen, decked out with drapes, floor mats, and tiki masks much like the rest of Louie's Place.


When Louie built his place around the old ship that had crashed, he sealed off the wreck's unused areas. The boat's hold became the basement of Louie's Place, full of furniture and articles a hundred years old, once the property of the ship's long-departed captain. These items might fetch a handsome price on collector's markets, but Louie keeps the basement locked up. A few longtime customers (who ought to know better) say the cellar might be haunted.

Raugi's Restaurant Kooljaman

Bush tasting plate: slow roasted goat, quandongs, emu crepinette, camel cottage pie, smoked kangaroo fillet, carrot puree, lemon myrtle brussel sprouts, pearl barley risotto, riberry compote, mint gel, redcurrant jus,emu chorizo.


Location & Map

220km North of Broome, Broome 6725 WA - See Map

Features & Facilities

Payments Accepted: Visa, Mastercard, Eftpos

Seats: 80 Chef: Joseph McGrattan

Opening Hours

Open for breakfast and lunch 7 days a week for the wet season Nov-Mar. Dinner reservation available for the wet season for bookings over 10.

Groups & Functions

Leave a Review

Member Reviews (38)

Best food I’ve had in a long time
The food is beautifully fresh and the bush inspired flavours so delicate they melt in the mouth

Breathtaking food experience
This was one of the most memorable meals we have ever had- adults had entree and main, children had mains and dessert. We were all so impressed by the creative menu, the delicious flavours, the use of local produce to create the most amazing combinations. Staff were knowledgeable and super friendly. It's an absolute jewel of a place to have dinner, there's a few things that could be done to improve surrounds and comfort, but they keep it real and remind you that you are in remote WA - well worth the 220km drive from Broome.

Fantastic meal. 5 star quality and design . Great value . Walked out impressed and full.

The food was Devine the experience unforgettable, the chefs and waitress explained each serving if you go to cape leveque, don't miss out do the 9 course Degustation .excellent

Without doubt, the best food and service on the planet. Sensational.

Bush Tucker Treat
We had an overnight night stay at Kooljaman. Decided to treat ourselves to dinner. Dinner was exceptional and the different flavours well thought out. Loved tasting some of the local bush ingredients. Staff were exceptional with there knowledge of the meals and the indigenous flavours. Thank you. Just a shame we had no room for dessert. Maybe next time.

We stayed in a safari tent for three nights and dined at Raugi's on two of these. It was amazing! The beautiful view as the sun set, the friendly but very knowledgeable waiting staff and the 5 star meals all made for a wonderful experience. We also enjoyed a delicious breakfast each morning- the menu was a far cry from the usual bacon and eggs! The chefs should be congratulated on creating such amazing dishes in such a remote, yet beautiful part of our country.

Really different flavours in a beautiful remote setting
We had the beetroot salad and vegetarian tasting plate, both were wonderful, with rich,varied flavours based on a fusion of French and indigenous cuisine. All of this looking at the sea in a very remote setting on the Dampier Peninsula, with attentive service . Strongly recommended.

Definitely Worth the drive
Dining at Raugi's restaurant was a fabulous culinary experience and worth every bit of the drive up the unsealed road of the Dampier Peninsula. It seems incredible to find fine dining at such a remote location. The taste sensations of the food were simply amazing and wonderful use of bush tucker. Given the high quality of the food I think the menu pricing was very reasonable. Well done chefs.

Worth the Drive Up the Dampier Peninsula
Dining at Raugi's restaurant was a fabulous culinary experience and worth every bit of the drive up the unsealed road of the Dampier Peninsula. It seems incredible to find fine dining at such a remote location. The taste sensations of the food were simply amazing and wonderful use of bush tucker. Part of the entertainment is being able to see the chefs cooking and assembling the concoctions. They work really hard and it shows in the pride of the plating up of dishes. Given the high quality of the food I think the menu pricing was very reasonable. Well done chefs.

Magic setting, amazing menu
The chef here creates an innovative menu with an emphasis on showcasing local bush food. All dishes are finished beautifully

This place was amazing, incredible high class delicious food in a natural bush setting
We were so impressed. Food was exquisite - local produce and game/fish done with a flair I have not yet seen. You cannot believe you are eating this incredible tasting gourmet food whilst looking over unspoiled coastline and bush. This chef needs more than a prize. All the staff was excellent but the chef is out of this world.

This restaurant is remarkable. The quality of the food and the presentation were the best we have EVER had. The mixture of fresh local products and bush tucker was very impressive. Outstanding chefs and waitstaff.

Recently had a few days staying up at stunning Cape Leveque & we loved the fabulous food & friendly service at Raugi's Restaurant. we will definitely be back. thanks guys it was gr8.

Exceptional food in the middle of nowhere. A real find

Relaxed class in the outback
Lucky enough to live in Melbourne and have enjoyed meals at Attica, Vue, Brae. all trying too hard to out do each other. Rewarded for our journey to WA paradise with the best all round dining experience of our 45 years. BYO, under the stars, small diverse menu, perfectly priced, honest friendly authentic wait staff. Congratulations.

Awesome food and location. Thank you!!

Stunning to find such great food in such a perfect setting. All local produce beautifully prepared and presented, based on local bush tucker.

Delicious meals based on local produce. Amazing presentation. Friendly service.

Wonderful relaxing atmosphere,the food was amazing,cooked to perfection ,utilising local produce and presentation was unbelievable! Definitely a fine dining experience I would recommend to everyone.

Clever infusion of flavours using local products with a French influence. Memorable. Highly recommended.

Michelin Restaurant in remote WA
Amazing flavours and textures. The chef is on a mission to succeed and this man has exceeded all expectations. He is in the middle of nowhere (challenging enough) and produces ridiculously outstanding food of a Michelin star level. Incredible . Any chef that needs to run down the road for a forgotten ingredient . This place has no option and instead uses the native flavours and textures to create masterpieces. Genius

Simply Outstanding
Simply outstanding! Michelin star food in the outback. HIGHLY recommended (book in advance to avoid disappointment).

Outstanding meals every time. Unique and memorable. Love the use of local native produce. Can't get enough .

Cape Leveque is an amazing place with scenery that commands almost every superlative you can imagine. Dining under the stars is an experience not to be missed. We shared a lamb starter that promised extensive use of local and native produce, and it was delicious. Indeed, all three courses used a wide range of native ingredients, creating a vivid picture on a plate. Maybe one or two ingredients too many - taste bud overload, but we thoroughly enjoyed everything we ate. Bringing your own wine is highly recommended as you cannot purchase alcohol once there. We also bought the Raugis muesli for our breakfast and enjoyed their food st both ends of our day

This is the best restaurant I have been to in all my days of travelling around the world and eating all differing cuisines. 100% purely beautiful and quality food!

A brilliant restaurant. Really imaginative and innovative food using many "bush tucker " ingredients. Wonderful flavours and exceptional presentation. Set in the atmospheric surrounds of Cape Leveque on the Dampier Peninsula in WA . Not to be missed! Excellent and friendly service.

A group of 6 friends, we arrived for a 3 night stay by light aircraft-sure beats the dysty drive in! Like many others before us thus year, we were blown away by the wonderful food, and SO unexpected in this location! I had the bush tasting plate, which was so well presented, beautifully cooked and clearly demonstrated the chef's skills and commitment to great preparation using bush tucker ingredients to showcase bush foods snd local produce! Highly recommended. Wonderful service complemented the efforts of the tiny kitchen staff - a lesson to many other kitchens here - work with what you have, work hard BUT know your limitations for serving numbers, and spread your bookings accordingly. FABULOUS!

WOW! Best meal I have ever had. It was a 5 star meal, presentation was fantastic, it was a taste sensation and best part was local food used. Just delicious. Valentina our waitress was delightful and friendly, Marky assistant chef chatted to us about rugby and Joe chef was brilliant in the kitchen. Cannot speak highly enough of the service. Well worth a trip to Kooljaman just for the food. Congratulations Raugis a wonderful experience

Laat nite four of use had dinner at this magnificent restaurant We were waited on by the magnificent Valentina who was first class She knew the entire menu and could answer any questions about this and the environment of where some of the local foods and berries were grown and sourced Our chef was Joe and he was assisted Markey the presentation was 10/10 not to mention the taste and smells of the dishes to die for 100% for presentation too well done Raugis

Watch the video: Easy 10 Breakfast Recipes (August 2022).