The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards

1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners - Ferran Adrià of El Bulli (top), Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck (left) and René Redzepi of Noma (right)
1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners - Ferran Adrià of El Bulli (top), Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck (left) and René Redzepi of Noma (right)

By Mary Anne Evans 

It was a glittering occasion last night in London. Where in the world would you get so many top international chefs deserting their kitchens and gathering together in one place at any one time? Names like Joël Robuchon, Mathias Dahlgren from Sweden, Ignatious Chan of Iggy’s in Singapore, Marcus Wareing, and David Chang of Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York.

 

 

They had all jetted in for the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards (co-sponsored by Restaurant magazine, Acqua Panna, Nespresso, Laurent-Perrier, alliance restaurant insurance and Electrolux, with Action Against Hunger the official charity). The ceremony took place in the Masonic Freemasons Hall, a suitably esoteric setting for the best chefs in the world.

 

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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center

George Boyd and James Warren with Andre and Alain Gayot
George Boyd and James Warren with Andre and Alain Gayot

Tuskegee Airmen at the Udvar-Hazy Center and Baghdad


by Alain Gayot


It’s been a few decades since the end of WWII but there are still wars being fought and airmen up in the skies chasing bogies and dropping ordinance. A select group of black men, who had been previously forbidden to participate because of their race, were chosen as part of an “experiment” towards the end of the second world conflict to see if they might be fit to fly. African-American men had flown in air forces in Canada and France but never in the U.S. or for the U.S. Air Force.


“If you want to know more about us,” says George Mills Boyd, “you can watch the 1995 Robert Markowitz movie with Laurence Fishburne and Cuba Gooding Jr., The Tuskegee Airmen. But you should know that Eleanor Roosevelt was flown by the [white] Base Commander, as no [black] cadet would have been allowed to take the President’s wife up.” Alain and André caught up with four of the surviving Tuskegee Airmen, who were on their way to meet the boys in Baghdad for a motivational encounter, during a United Airlines tribute. It was an honor and a pleasure to meet a bunch of alert octogenarians who not only fought the enemy but also quasi-insurmountable racial obstacles on their ascent to build the respectable Fighting 99th Squadron. Some of them still fly to this day.

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At Table with Two of Our Top 40 US Chefs

Michel Richard tasting Jean Joho's perfect risotto with Sophie Gayot
Michel Richard tasting Jean Joho’s perfect risotto with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

 

Today, at the Second Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine extravaganza, I enjoyed a dream lunch prepared by chefs Michel Richard from Citronelle in Washington, D.C., and Jean Joho from Everest in Chicago.

Sponsored by Lexus, the meal was based on the king of mushrooms, the truffle.
The talented pair cooked right in front of us, and even filled the tent with smoke!

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Sweet Songs, Fine Wine

Mick Fleetwood with Gayot Associate Publisher Greg McComb
Mick Fleetwood with Gayot Associate Publisher Greg McComb

While some older rock-and-rollers don’t know what to do with themselves when the spotlight moves away, Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac fame knew what he wanted to do: make wine! We joined the Rock and Roll Hall-of-Famer at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar in Woodland Hills for some good food (try the lamb chops) paired with the drummer’s own wines. We enjoyed Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Riesling, Private Cellar Chardonnay and Cabernet with a hearty dinner that featured impeccable service (Thanks, Tina!) But Mick still gets himself out of the cellar and into the studio, as evidenced by his new CD that’s climbing the charts, “Blue Again.” Thanks for the autograph, the wines, and all of your great tunes, Mick!
Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

A New Restaurant at SLS at Beverly Hills

Chef Michael Voltaggio smoking salmon wiht TV star chaf Giada di laurentiis and Sophie Gayot
Chef Michael Voltaggio smoking salmon with TV star chef Giada de Laurentiis and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

A birthday celebration last week took me to dinner at The Bazaar by José Andrés. Two pieces of good news came from the kitchen where chef Michael Voltaggio was cooking that evening. First, the meal was as good as the previous ones we’ve had.

 
The second was the announcement of the opening of restaurant Saam at The Bazaar by José Andrés tomorrow, April 9th. Saam is a secluded dining room in The Bazaar, which is also decorated by Philippe Starck. In a very private and stylish atmosphere, José Andrés will offer a fine dining version of 20-plus “tastes” or small courses for $120 per person, or $170 including wine pairings. We are very much looking forward to dining there!

  

Saam at the Bazaar By José Andrés on Urbanspoon