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  • pinitbutton Julie & Julia Brings the Culinary Greats to Mind
movieposter Julie & Julia Brings the Culinary Greats to Mind

Julia Child brings inspiration to a young woman through her cooking in the film Julie & Julia

By Alain Gayot

How about a cute movie which is certainly going to deliver good laughs if not a bunch of chuckles sans the Hollywood special effects craze? Should you be a foodie or other type of gourmand head to see Julie & Julia, a movie based on the book by fellow blogger Julie Powell, who you can read more about at Eatizen Jane. In celebration of the film, some restaurants, like Chef Mavro in Honolulu, are offering movie-themed dinner menus, and the executive chef of The Ocean Bistro at the Four Seasons Resort Palm Beach in Florida, will be recreating his favorite Julia Child recipes. To learn more about the movie check out the review by clicking on the link at the bottom of this blog.

In this day and age when people are educated about food and wine, mastering the art of French cooking might not be your first priority, but what Julia Child started doing in the 1940s was monumental for food in America. Some of us might prefer Japanese food or, why not Mexican cuisine, but all of us owe thanks to a few key masters like Jacques Pepin and of course Julia Child with their TV shows.

Continue reading “Julie & Julia Brings the Culinary Greats to Mind” »



24

Jun

  • pinitbutton The Day in the Cloud Challenge
day in the cloud sign 300x225 The Day in the Cloud Challenge

About to board

By Alain Gayot

 

Take any flight on Virgin America and compute in the cloud with your notebook or mobile phone. Today was D-day for the young airline to offer a WiFi environment for any passenger on every flight in the U.S., the first airline to stake that claim. Sir Richard Branson appeared via an animated video to introduce the program via Gogo technology, along with the flight’s friendly crew. What was special about our 6:00 am flight VA 921 from Los Angeles to San Francisco is that it competed with flight 920 from San Francisco to Los Angeles in The Day in the Cloud Challenge – an online puzzle played in the air and on the ground. Our winning plane earned each participating passenger a nifty and slim HP netbook. The game continued for 24 hours as well, and enabled all top five scorers of each flight to earn A Year in the Cloud package comprised of free flights, free in-flight WiFi  from Virgin America, a netbook computer from Hewlett-Packard  and one terabyte of online storage from Google. Happy gamers went to work early and connected to Google apps in the clouds to secure information to solve the puzzle.

 

Continue reading “The Day in the Cloud Challenge” »



  • pinitbutton The Curious Case of Jenson Button
jenson button formula one The Curious Case of Jenson Button

Jenson Button

By Alain Gayot

 

I have been a fan of Formula One racing for as long as I can remember. Sunday afternoons watching these soldiers fight it out on the racetrack felt a lot like what my ancestors would have felt, watching gladiators in the  Arenes de Nimes   –  which by the way is the place where we got the  word Denim  from. The Levi brothers used  the durable  Toile de Nimes to manufacture solid outerwear for the 49ers;  no, not the football team. The drivers lost their lives in horrendous and fiery crashes. Due to improved technology, not only are the cars faster today but, thankfully, no one dies anymore. Although the drivers are still the critical part of the operation, software in its many shapes and applications is what wins races. How is it possible that in the 2009 championship the usual suspects (Ferrari, McLaren Mercedes, BMW and Renault) are quasi scoreless after five races? And the British sensation of the last two seasons, Lewis Hamilton, is left in the brake dust of Brawn-Mercedes, RBR-Renault and Toyota.

Continue reading “The Curious Case of Jenson Button” »



11

May

  • pinitbutton Red Bull Air Race in San Diego
mike mangold edge 540 256x300 Red Bull Air Race in San Diego

Pylon turn

Racing Bulls


By Alain Gayot


Motorsports are elevated when you are a live spectator from the sound of the roaring engine to the anticipation of an active crowd of 55,000. But when you are talking about the Red Bull Air Races, everything get kicked up a notch – especially when fans can get right up to their favorite pilot for a quick autograph on a recently purchased t-shirt. Finally it certainly can’t get much better than the setting in San Diego Bay with perfect weather conditions.


Created in 2003 by the energy drink guru Dietrich Mateschitz, the air racing series is a cross between the air races of the twenties and modern aerobatics flying. Although the aircrafts are small in size, the show they put on is big – very big. And beyond the actual race plane, there are all sorts of other acts and fly-bys by the U.S. Navy, demonstrations by the Coast Guards etc. You sort of need to attend to catch the full effect.

  Continue reading “Red Bull Air Race in San Diego” »



  • pinitbutton Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Stephen F. Udvar Hazy Center
george boyd andre james warren alain 300x225 Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Stephen F. Udvar Hazy Center

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.

Continue reading “Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center” »



Supporting Wine

on March 31st, 2009
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31

Mar

  • pinitbutton Supporting Wine
alaingayotandpetermondavijr 300x225 Supporting Wine

Peter Mondavi Jr. with Alain Gayot

by Alain Gayot


When it comes to legendary wineries in Napa, Charles Krug certainly comes out on top as the Valley’s first. Founded in 1861 by an exiled Prussian radical journalist, it was purchased by the Mondavi family after prohibition and the rest is history.


We caught up with third generation family owner Peter Mondavi Jr. at a fundraiser event for the Make-A-Wish children’s foundation of Greater Los Angeles at Morton’s on La Cienega. Emcee, Sara Fasolino, Certified Sommelier extraordinaire for the Morton’s chain, doubled as the evening’s auctioneer.

Continue reading “Supporting Wine” »



  • pinitbutton Annenberg Space for Photography Museum
timstreetporter 300x225 Annenberg Space for Photography Museum

Tim Street-Porter and Tom LaBonge

Photos-R-Us

by Alain Gayot
 

Who better than photographer Tim Street-Porter to feature LA and to be featured in LA at the debut of the prestigious Annenberg Space for Photography museum? Tom LaBonge, Councilmember for the Fourth District thought so too and used this glamorous occasion to present to him a Certificate of Recognition.
 


We were excited by the space which is supposed to remind you of a camera. In fact, the center room puts you right inside the lens and the ceiling design is reminiscent of a shutter. Starting Friday March 27th photography aficionados will be able to peruse the excellent work of talented artists free of charge.
 

Continue reading “Annenberg Space for Photography Museum” »



The Soul is Cool

on March 14th, 2009
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14

Mar

  • pinitbutton The Soul is Cool

 

sn200113 300x219 The Soul is Cool

Kia Soul

 By Alain Gayot

It’s quite cool to hit Miami Beach during Spring Break. You’ll find lots of energy up and down Collins Avenue, in the emerging Design District, and on quaint Brickell Key. It’s even more cool if you do it in a totally new automobile: in this case the thought out of the box Kia Soul.  This value-packed automobile hits showrooms anytime now. It offers a bunch of interior space, a great-sounding Infinity audio system with speakers that light up to the beat of the music, integrated iPod operation, and enough horsepower to haul four jovial beach-goers and their ice chest and other equipment. Best part is, its price, starting at $13,995 with a smiling in your face front-end, a boxy body and a fifth door for easy access. Kia marketing peeps assure us, it’s truly a new way to roll. Our Alien Sand colored tester with glow in the dark Soul logo laden seats turned as many heads as the almost has-been glamorous Lamborghinis in South Beach.

 

Continue reading “The Soul is Cool” »



The Smelly Cheese Shop

on February 20th, 2009
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20

Feb

  • pinitbutton The Smelly Cheese Shop
cheeseblog 300x200 The Smelly Cheese Shop

A variety of cheeses from Australia

by Alain Gayot

Going to a food market in any locale gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going on and teaches you a lot about a community and its people. I like to say that every time I head to Paris, as soon as I get off the plane, I head straight for the market. Each time I do that, I am amazed at the plethora of products, even if sometimes the morel mushrooms come from Oregon.

 

After a 23 hour trek from Los Angeles to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, we headed to the Central Market where, amongst an assortment of kangaroo and crocodile meats, local seafood offerings and exotic fruits, we were surprised to discover cheeses. Say what? Yes, cheese of the very best kind, made in various parts of the vast state of South Australia.

Continue reading “The Smelly Cheese Shop” »



BMW Art Cars

on February 12th, 2009
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12

Feb

  • pinitbutton BMW Art Cars
img 2796 300x205 BMW Art Cars

Alain Gayot at the LACMA BMW event

Fast Art


by Alain Gayot

 

A long time ago in a place far away from the City of the Angels, I grew up collecting toy cars. Yes, I always liked cars, often taking them apart and putting them back together. (The same goes for watches but that will be for another story.) One of these cars was a model of the 1975 BMW 3.0 CSL that car enthusiast and racer Herve Poulin commissioned Alexander Calder to paint. I loved the car design by itself, loved the race car version even more, had no idea who Calder was, but I thought his finished version was rather cool. He also painted a plane for Braniff International, for those who remember the progressive airline which was the only American company to fly — albeit very briefly — the magnificent but doomed Concorde supersonic airplane.

Continue reading “BMW Art Cars” »



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