Spread the Roquefort

Roquefort
Roquefort

by André Gayot


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.

  

Read the update on the situation.

 

 

The Best French Fries in Los Angeles

Chef Ashley James with Sophie Gayot
Chef Ashley James with Sophie Gayot


 

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.

 

David Myers’ New Restaurant in Orange County

Stephan Samson, Sophie Gayot, David Myers
Stephan Samson, Sophie Gayot, David Myers

by Sophie Gayot

David Myers surprised us all with his latest venture. We were anticipating the opening of Comme Ca in Costa Mesa.

Instead, we got Pizzeria Ortica which he opened last night with chef Stephan Samson, who was formerly at Valentino. Expect simple Italian fare with thin-crust pizzas, pasta and much more.

Florent Marneau of Marché Moderne, who I went to visit after, told me that “We are glad to see David coming here”—meaning that the Orange County culinary scene is climbing one step higher.

Myers has more projects in the works: Ortica in front of Sona, a catering service, and providing upscale bread to restaurants. And Comme Ca in OC will open soon.

Pizzaria Ortica on Urbanspoon

Legendary Lenôtre Dies at 88

Legendary French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre
Legendary French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre

by André Gayot

In the late 1960s, Yves Bridault, the chief editor of Le Nouveau Guide Gault-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.
His ambassadors to America was Michel Richard (Michel Richard Citronelle, Central Michel Richard, Citrus at Social, Citronelle by Michel Richard), who hoisted himself to the rank of the best chef in the nation.

 

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.

The “Nouvelle” is Alive

 

Creator of the Nouvelle Cuisine movement Christian Millau
Christian Millau

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Dia, gastronomic critic Christian Millau, who in 1973 established the rules of the “Nouvelle Cuisine,” assures that this movement is still alive.

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” »