Chef Challenge in Santa Monica, CA

Sophie Gayot - Nyesha Arrington
Winning chef Nyesha Arrington with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Last Saturday, I was at the 21st Santa Monica Festival which this year included a “Food Salon.” Besides local food trucks and cooking demonstrations, there was also a farmers market “Chef Challenge” in which Nyesha Arrington of Wilshire restaurant (who appeared on TV’s Top Chef season 9) and John-Carlos Kuramoto of Michael’s restaurant had fifteen minutes to create a dish using ingredients provided from the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market and Whole Foods. The dish had to be easy to make, fast and affordable, and good, of course. With the limited facilities on the stage, it could only be cold, so the two chefs each prepared a salad.

I was one of the judges along with Margo True of Sunset Magazine and Josephine Miller of the City of Santa Monica’s Office of Sustainability & The Environment. During the fifteen minutes of preparation, we enjoyed emcee Eddie Lin.

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Alinea: Dinner Extraordinaire!

by Sophie Gayot

When Alinea owner Nick Kokonas came to my table for dessert, after I had already sampled seventeen dishes from chef Grant Achatz, I had to share with him my thoughts: “Your restaurant should not be called a restaurant.” Yes, there is food, but it’s nowhere close to what one could ever experience at other dining venues. Achatz’s creativity is without limits, and tolerates no restriction, so expect the unexpected. What should it be called? Hmm… considering the homage and respect he pays to food, I can not say “food entertainment,” maybe an “ode to culinary invention.”

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Perillo Tours 9-Day Sicily Vacation – Travel Special

Ancient Greeks built the Temple of Concordia in Agrigento, Sicily in the 5th century BC
Ancient Greeks built the Temple of Concordia in Agrigento, Sicily in the 5th century BC

Savor the Splendid Culture, Cuisine and Architecture of Sicily

Sicily boasts a melting pot of cultural influences. To showcase the country’s exotic architecture, unique cuisine and “old country” culture, Perillo Tours has crafted the eclectic Splendid Sicily Package, which includes the following experiences:

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Gordon Ramsay Steak Opens in Las Vegas

Sophie Gayot - Gordon Ramsay
Gordon Ramsay with Sophie Gayot
Sophie Gayot - Gordon Ramsay
Smiling Gordon Ramsay with Sophie Gayot




















by Sophie Gayot

Last week mega-superstar/high-energy personality/TV host/chef Gordon Ramsay was in Las Vegas to open his latest restaurant venture: Gordon Ramsay Steak at Paris Las Vegas. As this is a British-inspired venue in a French-themed hotel, it’s fitting that diners enter it through an arcade reminiscent of the Chunnel connecting the two countries.

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When Mark Gold Reinvents Himself at Sadie

by Sophie Gayot

If you have been to Mark Gold’s Eva Restaurant on Beverly Boulevard in Los Angeles, you are familiar with his sleek and modern cuisine which earned him a very good GAYOT rating of 15/20.

If you head to Sadie in Hollywood, the former space of Les Deux, you will discover another aspect of Gold’s cuisine: a bistro style that is very well done. Watch my exclusive video interview above to whet your appetite. I am sure that you will enjoy your evening there, especially if you dine on the very pleasant patio.

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