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  • pinitbutton The Woodstock of Europe: Isle of Wight Attracts Thousands of Sail Boats, Musicians & Garlic Lovers

 

How Garlic Flew on the Wings of War

 

local artist 500x344 The Woodstock of Europe: Isle of Wight Attracts Thousands of Sail Boats, Musicians & Garlic Lovers

Artist Liz Sydenham captures scenes of the life on the Isle. Here, a yacht in the harbor of Yarmouth.

 

 

by André Gayot

 

Garlic is not usually associated with England. However, the small Isle of Wight, a sentinel of Great Britain off its southeastern coast in the English Channel, produces a surprising amount of the fragrant bulbs. One would think the Romans introduced garlic to their former 1st century colony, but it was not them. In fact, it was much much later and due to an unbelievable combination of circumstances.

Continue reading “The Woodstock of Europe: Isle of Wight Attracts Thousands of Sail Boats, Musicians & Garlic Lovers” »



  • pinitbutton Crossing the North Atlantic in Style on the Queen Mary 2

 

With her 151,400 tons,
her mighty majesty indeed rules the waves

 

verrazano brigde new york 500x332 Crossing the North Atlantic in Style on the Queen Mary 2

The majestic Queen Mary 2 sets sail beneath the expansive Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

by André Gayot

The Statue of Liberty fades away in the mist as we just slip underneath the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, the lapping strengthens, the breeze broadens out and the sky darkens. Continue reading “Crossing the North Atlantic in Style on the Queen Mary 2” »



A Call to Gastronomes

on February 11th, 2013
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11

Feb

  • pinitbutton A Call to Gastronomes
chef3 300x300 A Call to Gastronomes

Some chefs are real tyrants!

Let’s Fight the Taming of the Chew


by André Gayot


Four hour dinners; endless degustation menus encompassing 40 dishes; tyrannical chefs leaving no choice to clients who are expected to behave docilely; cooks parading and fishing for our admiration, sporting their names everywhere; all of this crowned by astronomical bills; that is the vision of a good portion of the contemporary fine dining experience depicted by our colleague Corby Kummer in his recent Vanity Fair article. While deploring in detail this regrettable spread of theatrical ego and auto-satisfaction, he humorously wishes modest and reasonable chefs like Alain Passard (L’Arpège in Paris) and Jacques Pépin lead a hungry crowd with forks and knives against the above described tyranny.


It won’t harm anyone to be equitable and admit a large portion of responsibility on our part, food writers, beginning with us. When we launched the magazine Le Nouveau Guide GaultMillau in March of 1969, we revealed to the public the names, faces and talents of 50 unknown new young chefs who became the centurions of the Nouvelle Cuisine. Guess what happened: their descendants are now every other day on the NBCs and CNNs of the world presenting their latest concoctions. They want to be famous with their names in capital letters beginning with their own establishment(s).

Continue reading “A Call to Gastronomes” »



24

Jan

  • pinitbutton Can Old Pots Make It To The Top?

best in world 300x225 Can Old Pots Make It To The Top?

by André Gayot


I wonder: is there a single best restaurant in the entire world? On what basis could such a global title be awarded? Yet some have made a business of an annual proclamation with great fanfare of “The best restaurant in the world.”


To place things in perspective, let me remind you of the old tale of the three eateries competing on Main Street, Trouduculville, a former Canadian trapper post in Northern Nebraska. Mac Adam Smith, descendant of a Scottish settler, opened the first restaurant there and dubbed it with some restraint, “The best in town.” Gregory Braun, whose grandfather emigrated from Hungary between the two world wars had a broader ambition and embellished his establishment with the nickname, “The best in the country.” As to the latest restaurateur, Arturo Martinez of Mexican descent, he placidly ended the debate when he posted a big sign on the façade that read, “The best on the street.” That confirms that all things are relative, n’est-ce pas?

Continue reading “Can Old Pots Make It To The Top?” »



12

Sep

  • pinitbutton When in Paris, Do As the Romans Do
Divinamente Italiano 300x202 When in Paris, Do As the Romans Do

Divinamente Italiano restaurant in Paris

by Andre Gayot


Craving Italian food while in Paris? Why not? And forget the old adage “When in Rome…” or “… in Paris.”


Italian chow is the preferred foreign cuisine of the French, who admit that since the conquest of the Gauls by Julius Caesar, Italians are not really foreigners. The French have embraced Italian cuisine as well as Italian art, culture and social organization, and hired Leonardo da Vinci to build palaces for their kings who married powerful or beautiful women — the latest being Carla, the spouse of Sarkozy. They also learned from them to eat with forks. It’s no surprise that there’s no dearth of Italian eateries in Paris.


Our friend Jean-Claude Ribaud, one of the most respected food critics in France, has visited — or revisited — a fistful of old and new Parisian Italian restaurants. For more on Italian cuisine at large, read John Mariani’s How Italian Food Conquered the World.

Continue reading “When in Paris, Do As the Romans Do” »



  • pinitbutton Should France sell the Eiffel Tower?
eiffel tower paris Should France sell the Eiffel Tower?

Eiffel Tower in Paris, France

A globalization-trotter asks: Should France sell the Eiffel Tower?


by Andre Gayot


A Chinese billionaire has just purchased the most glamorous Burgundy wine estate, Gevrey-Chambertin, which was owned by the same French family for more than 150 years, at an astronomical price. Why not? The problem, though, may be that there are more Chinese billionaires eager to buy vineyards in France than there are glamorous wine estates in the hills of Burgundy and on the banks of the Garonne. Some fear that, in the future, top French wines will exhibit a too-strong Mandarin accent.

Continue reading “Should France sell the Eiffel Tower?” »



Oceania Restaurants

on July 23rd, 2012
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23

Jul

  • pinitbutton Oceania Restaurants
christening riviera cruise ship barcelona 300x196 Oceania Restaurants

The christening of Riviera cruise ship in Barcelona

It’s Easy to Book a Cruise — It’s Hard to Pick the Right One


by Andre Gayot


What’s the right cruise for you or me? Let’s start with the size of the ship: Big? Not so big? Small? Big is beautiful, some say. But small can be also, I think. I have tried it all, including a 25-foot schooner, and they all have their charms. How much you will enjoy your voyage depends on many factors: age, temperament, dependence on comforts, openness to adventure, aptitude to control sea-sickness, etc.

Continue reading “Oceania Restaurants” »



  • pinitbutton La Serenissima   Docking in Venice
grand canal 300x200 La Serenissima   Docking in Venice

The Grand Canal in Venice

Although Submerged by Crowds, At Least There Are No Gondola Traffic Jams in Venice


by André Gayot


The Riviera, the latest heir to the family of the Oceania Cruises fleet, lazily fondles the banks of the Lido. It is a chubby newborn, weighing in at 66,084 tons, that can host 1,250 guests in lavish luxury. From the upper deck, one can glance a mirage becoming real: the 117 islets, the 177 canals and the 400 bridges of Venice, the home of Marco Polo. The rising sun ignites the roofs of the palaces and brushes with a touch of silver the dark green lap of the canals. As we get closer, so appears the marvel, the crown of “La Serenissima” (The Serene, as the Republic of Venice was dubbed) — the Piazza San Marco and its two gems, the San Marco Cathedral and the Doge’s Palace. From this height upon the 15th deck, the panoramic view is sublime, unforgettable. The boat, almost still, lingers, leaving our eyes and minds the time to record the beauty of Venice. Then it turns cautiously to the left into the Canale della Giudecca to the terminal. Of the many pleasures on board the Riviera, this extraordinary moment alone could serve as the raison d’être of the voyage.

Continue reading “La Serenissima – Docking in Venice” »



  • pinitbutton Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera   Travel News
riviera cruise ship 300x179 Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera   Travel News

Oceania Cruises' Riviera

A New Contender Joins the Upscale Cruise Market


With this month’s maiden voyage of the Riviera, boutique cruise line Oceania Cruises increased its fleet to four luxury ships. Sailing from Venice to Athens, the ten-day “Pearls of the Aegean” introduced a new contender in the upscale cruise market. Following a gala christening ceremony in Barcelona, the 1,250-guest Riviera debuted just sixteen months after the launch of her sister ship, Marina. The new ship even has its own godmother — Cat Cora, the American chef, restaurateur and co-host of Bravo’s “Around the World in 80 Plates.” This pairing is apt, since the Riviera has been specially designed for epicureans and features ten dining venues, including a French bistro from Jacques Pépin. Continue reading “Oceania Cruises Launches the Riviera – Travel News” »



  • pinitbutton Molecular Gastronomy and the Future of Food
aerated foie gras 300x220 Molecular Gastronomy and the Future of Food

Aerated foie gras, pickled beet, mashed plum, brioche at wd-50 restaurant in New York

All you ever wanted to know about Molecular food and are disconcerted to learn


by André Gayot


Due to our human condition, eating is an undisputable necessity, a possible pleasure, a subject of sciences (plural), and a topic of reflection. Rising above our basic mammalian status, the Escoffiers and the like succeeded in making eating a pleasure. However, not much has changed since the Stone Age when we knocked out aurochs with bludgeons, dug for roots with a flint, collected grains in the tundra and picked wild apples. As you may recall, the latter eventually generated a serious issue when Adam and Eve were ordered to promptly evacuate Paradise for this misconduct.

Continue reading “Molecular Gastronomy and the Future of Food” »



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