Did you miss Bastille Day yesterday? Don’t worry! Bastille Day celebrations are still going on this weekend. It’s a great time to visit L’Epicerie Market, a very French restaurant in downtown Culver City, California. The partners are Thierry Perez, formerly of Fraîche, and chef Sébastien Archambault who came directly from France to RH restaurant at the ANdAZ hotel in West Hollywood, where he first got acquainted with the Los Angeles food scene. Watch my exclusive video interview with chef Archambault, who only cooks French cuisine. You will learn what type of French cuisine he prepares, and that you can also shop at L’Epicerie Market whether you are dining there or not.
Rhode Island may be a small state, but Providence has a big culinary scene. Come see for yourself what Providence has to offer to the gastronomic world during Providence Restaurant Weeks, going on now until July 23. Special three-course lunches for just $12.95 and three-course dinners priced at $29.95 will be available at nearly 100 Providence-area restaurants. Among the participants are Italian restaurants like Angelo’s Civita Farnese and Bacaro, French restaurants like Chez Pascal, Contemporary restaurants like Gracie’s, and many more. For more information, visit www.goprovidence.com
On Saturday, July 9th, over 4,000 people partied on the backlot of Paramount Studios in Los Angeles at the 37th Annual Block Party of the Concern Foundation. The event was so successful that it was packed like the Paris métro at 6 p.m. A record was broken with the amount of money raised that evening with the ticket sales, plus the live and silent auctions: a million and half dollars. Among the lots sold was dinner with me while I review a restaurant!
Because of the crowds, I couldn’t get to most of the 80 restaurants that participated, along with pastry shops, wineries, and bars. To see some of the participants, look at the photos in the gallery below. One of the most memorable displays was put on by Savore Catering, which cooked more than 1,000 eggs for 58 minutes in a 147-degree-Fahrenheit water bath to prepare their “farm egg on baked heirloom beans with béarnaise” to the hungry hordes.
Yes there were some “barbecue” elements, like suckling pig, whole chicken, pork sausage, lamb leg and roasted baby goat, but they were all delicately cooked and served with tasty sauces on delicious homemade pasta and risotto.
A recent lunch in Paris brought me to Cyril Lignac’s bistrot Le Chardenoux located in a quiet street of the eleventh arrondissement. Lignac was not there, but Marie-Laure, “la maîtresse de maison”, was. As I ordered the baba au rhum for dessert, a Chardenoux classic, and my guests ordered the pain perdu à la cerise and the profiteroles à la vanille, she insisted that we try the éclair caramel beurre salé (salted butter caramel éclair). She knew exactly was she was doing, and that we would all love it. She was right. I don’t think an éclair can get any better than that, between its wrapping and its content: a perfectly baked puff pastry filled and covered with a delicious caramel cream.