Say Cheese!

Roquefort is the king of cheeses
Roquefort is the king of cheeses

by André Gayot

 

The Roquefort saga continues to unfold. The Europeans, of course, did not appreciate the last “gift” of the Bush administration: the tripling of the taxes on imported Roquefort cheese as of March 23, 2009. The background of the story is:

 

While it is legal in America to raise beef with hormones that accelerate the growth of the animals and also to “sanitize” chickens with chlorine (to prevent harmful salmonella), such procedures are forbidden in Europe. Since 1988, the European Union has banned US beef and chicken which does not comply with the European rules. Continue reading “Say Cheese!” »

In Search of the Best Chocolate Soufflé Recipe

Gilles Epie and Sophie Gayot in the wine cellar
Gilles Epie and Sophie Gayot in the wine cellar

by Sophie Gayot

Since L’Orangerie has closed its doors in Los Angeles, I have been looking for that perfect soufflé au chocolat. I had no luck until my recent trip to Paris. As I always do when the chef offers the dessert on his menu, I ordered one to end my dinner at Citrus Etoile.

And, oh, was I surprised! It was as good as the one from the legendary temple of haute cuisine, though a slightly different version that was almost an improvement. Did I forget to mention that the chef, Gilles Épié, was the chef at L’Orangerie some years ago? Continue reading “In Search of the Best Chocolate Soufflé Recipe” »

Tough Début in the Kitchen for a Food Critic

François Simon
In the kitchen with François Simon

by André Gayot

The “sprinkler gets sprinkled” was the title of one of the first movies ever produced by the Lumière brothers credited for the invention of the cinema. A Parisian food critic has experienced the actuality of this moral and eternal story: don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you.

 

The Paris foodie establishment is abuzz with the mishap of François Simon, known for his frequent bashing of the top chefs in a Paris newspaper. “These guys,” he contends, “think they are untouchable because of their star status. It’s healthy to debunk them off their pedestal.” However, the critic is also a strong supporter of a movement dubbed “Foodism” which aims to rejuvenate the French cuisine but so far has a hard time getting off the ground, because many say they don’t understand what “Foodism” is about. To abate the general skepticism, Simon announced in his blog that he would demonstrate the merits of “Foodism” by publicly preparing in a restaurant such a “Foodist” based meal. When the verdict was out, the media stated that there were no kudos from the public nor from the critics for Simon’s undertaking. No breakthrough yet for “Foodism” seems to be the consensus and no star for the apprentice chef. Of course, you don’t need to be a screenwriter or a director to write about films, but if you are not, maybe it’s better not to try to be one, especially if you tend to use a sword as a pen. Take it easy, François.

 

For the record, at the start of his career thirty eight years ago, Simon was an intern at the “Nouveau Guide Magazine” founded by Henri Gault, Christian Millau and I. Small world, indeed.

 

 

Inauguration Day!

Inauguration Luncheon Menu
Barack Obama Luncheon Menu

Barack Obama has officially been inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. And what better way to celebrate than with a beautifully prepared and culturally rich meal with la crème of this country’s political figures. The luncheon menu reflects the cuisine of the home states of both the President and Vice President as well as the theme of the Inauguration. A tradition that dates back as far as 1897, the inaugural luncheon is featuring a three course menu including a seafood stew and a brace of American birds (pheasant and duck) served with a sour cherry chutney and accompanied by whipped sweet potatoes with molasses. For dessert, an apple cinnamon sponge cake with sweet cream glace is being served. A selection of wines is being paired with each course. The first course is being served on replicas of the china from the Lincoln Presidency, displaying the American bald eagle standing above the U.S. Coat of Arms.

What to do on Valentines Day?

Valentines Day Dinning Restaurants

by Sophie Gayot

There are many things you can actually do, but being who we are, we strongly advocate for a romantic night out with the person you hold most dear. We have put together a list of Valentines restaurants that will help with romance, and many of them are offering a special Valentines menu.

For more suggestions of where to host an intimate dinner for two, consult our lists of romantic restaurants in various cities.