It’s time to stock up on Roquefort since the U.S. government has decided to raise taxes 300% on this cheese produced in the South of France. The inflation will result in making Roquefort as expensive as caviar. The motivation behind this decision stems from the U.S.’s desire to penalize the European Union for its reluctance to import American beef. The E.U. argues that the use of hormones in animal feeding is illegal in Europe while it is accepted in the U.S. European scientists continue to question the innocuous nature of these hormones when ingested by humans in their hamburgers or steaks. The dispute has been dragging on for years.
Now why, among all food products imported from Europe, the attack on Roquefort? Its selection by the U.S., as an effective weapon of persuasion, remains unclear. Could it be because Roquefort is such a staple of European cuisine? Then what wonderful, unsolicited publicity! Or is it due to the Penicillium roqueforti found within the cheese as a result of the fermentation of ewe’s milk? The shepherds in the French Southern mountains contend that their sheep have nothing in common with American beef, and that Roquefort is a natural antibiotic.
At any rate, buy yourself a couple pounds of Roquefort while it is (relatively) affordable.
Look no further! We have found them for you, at Windows Lounge, the bar at the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills. The chef, Ashley James, insists on calling them “Real Fries,” because they are made the way they should be made: from fresh quality potatoes (opposed to frozen), fried twice in vegetable oil that is thrown away every day. They only come with the grilled cheese sandwich and the beef sliders, but they were so good that I ordered more of them. The bar, which has always drawn crowds, has been redecorated. The huge marble chimney in the central room brings a touch of modernity.
In the late 1960s, Yves Bridault, the chief editor of Le Nouveau GuideGault-Millau that we founded with my friends, used to visit his aging mother on Sundays. Prior to ringing her bell, he would stop nearby at a small pastry shop.
The young pastry chef had just arrived from his native Normandy and was trying to make his way in Paris. Yves liked the gâteaux this chef was creating and wrote about him in the magazine. Rapidly, the chef’s reputation rose beyond the limits of the 16th arrondissement. Soon, his pâtisserie was filled with gourmets rushing to taste his creations and Gaston Lenôtre acquired well deserved renown as one of the best pastry chefs in Paris. Forty years later, that talented young pâtissier was the head of a worldwide empire of pastry shops and restaurants (Le Café Lenôtre) which included the U.S.
Gaston Lenôtre, who was the arm of “Nouvelle Cuisine” for pastry (which he made lighter and tastier according to the nouvelle philosophy), passed away this Thursday. We mourn a great innovator and, even more, a friend.
Millau affirms that 35 years after the creation of this movement, pioneering chefs like Joel Robuchon continue this cooking style that once competed with the showiness and decoration of the French tradition.
Millau, who, in November 2008, received the International Prize of “The Best of Gastronomy,” considers “Nouvelle Cuisine” present in kitchens all over the world and what Ferran Adrià has done is “something else;” he has brought his creativity to the highest levels. Continue reading “The “Nouvelle” is Alive” »