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26

Oct

  • pinitbutton Food Flair at the Food Fair
chicken toasts Food Flair at the Food Fair

Chicken Snack Toast Rectangles

by André Gayot


In my European journey, despite the seasonal French pseudo-revolutionary sitcom, I was able to visit the SIAL in Villepinte near Paris. I guess the acronym is used instead of the full name — Salon des Industries Alimentaires or Food Industry Exhibition — because it’s shorter for the media and maybe also because we don’t like to be reminded that the content of our plates is nowadays largely concocted in industrial factories by Big Business. But there are also artisans who strive to find improbable ways to find a magic formula, such as the one who creates his “caviar” from truffle juice. Caviar is expensive, but so are truffles. I am missing his point.

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My A– !

on October 25th, 2010
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25

Oct

  • pinitbutton My A   !
all asses not equal 300x116 My A   !

“All asses were not created equal"

by André Gayot


I was puzzled the other night when a brightly illuminated billboard promoting pants over the boulevard drew my attention. It read: “All asses were not created equal.”


True enough! All of a sudden, as I was so far relatively satisfied with that part of my anatomy, I felt uncomfortable in my mind to have ignored this important issue and its intricacy. I did not feel guilty, though, because no trace of the lower back problem could be found in my favorite readings, that of Voltaire and Benjamin Franklin. Reflecting on the human condition, and on the research of equality among men, they were – it seems – mostly concerned by the inequality of the heads and by the difference it could make at the end of the day if nothing was done to take care of natural or acquired imbalances.
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When I was a Hostage

on October 20th, 2010
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20

Oct

  • pinitbutton When I was a Hostage
airplane andre 300x187 When I was a Hostage

Are airlines today exploiting their passengers with astronomical fees?

by André Gayot 


In the last century, terrorists of many descriptions found a spectacular way to make their point: they hijacked planes and seized the passengers as hostages to monetize them.


This lesson has not been forgotten. Airlines that were in the epicenter of the drama realized that they, too, could take advantage of this strategy and mimic the principle. It would be even easier because they already had the planes, and the passengers as well, in their grasp. Thus, they did not even need to capture them, which incurs additional costs.


Becoming a hostage seems to us to be an improbable event. Don’t believe that.

Continue reading “When I was a Hostage” »



No Foodies in LA, Indeed?

on October 18th, 2010
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18

Oct

  • pinitbutton No Foodies in LA, Indeed?
michelin andre 2 300x225 No Foodies in LA, Indeed?

Is this scallop dish from Providence restaurant not good enough for Michelin?

by André Gayot


Monsieur Jean-Luc Naret, the director of the red Michelin restaurant guide who is leaving his post at the end of the year, is a strongly opinionated person. Based on his brief stints, I presume, in the city of Angels, he affirmed to our colleague John Mariani that people here are not real foodies. He feels that they are not interested in eating well, but rather to look at other people going to restaurants, where they have to go to see them. In a word, they don’t really eat; they only devour the others with their eyes.


We poor Angelenos! As if it were not enough to cope with the earthquakes, the fires, the crises, and the gangs, now we also have to deal with the mediocre content of our plates. One of the tragic consequences of our ignorance is that Michelin will not publish any more restaurant guides for LA. So now, how can we learn how to eat? Sad! Continue reading “No Foodies in LA, Indeed?” »



14

Sep

  • pinitbutton And One Burger for the President
andre tony blair burgers 240x300 And One Burger for the President

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair’s memoirs, A Journey: My Political Life

by André Gayot


On this proposition, scientists are, at least, unanimous: “We are what we eat.” Fine, but even if I trust the verdict, I am not sure of what it means and entails exactly.


For example, in what capacity could we, with the content of our plates, supersede or contradict the Darwinian theory of evolution? Would it be possible via eating to transform ourselves into creatures different than the ones pre-determined by our genes? Without digging too deeply into this philosophical comestible matter, one sure thing is that eating is the most common and frequent act of our lives. We all — including the Pope, the Kings and the Presidents — do eat, but some of us do it better than others. As to ourselves, if we are smart enough in that endeavor, the Presidency of the United States could very well be in our lunch box. Continue reading “And One Burger for the President” »



  • pinitbutton When the American Dream Has a Taste of Brie

by André Gayot


Who wasn’t bewildered by the magnitude and the architectural riches of the South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California, when it first opened in 1967? We were among those filled with admiration for the shining, marble-tiled, majestic alleys of what was then one of the largest shopping malls of the world. (Of course, that is now dwarfed by The Dubai Mall). Today, we remain impressed with the flamboyant style of this cathedral of consumption adorned with the names of the luminaries of the chicest commerce of the globe. Overwhelmed by the Gucci’s, the Tiffany’s and the Louis Vuitton’s, we like to pause and seek some relief from grandeur in a human proportioned asylum, with the reassuring French name, “Marché Moderne.”
Continue reading “When the American Dream Has a Taste of Brie” »



27

Apr

  • pinitbutton The Global Show of Savor
samplesoflocalcuisine 300x225 The Global Show of Savor

Samples of local cuisine

By André Gayot

As the world gets global and progressively engulfs its denizens into a single one-fits-all mold, it’s an encouraging sign that here and there some rebels are proclaiming a personality of their own. Interestingly enough, the affirmation of such an individualism stems from the food, not as a raw material, but from the understanding we have of it and the procedures we invent to process it.

I had the privilege to observe such a comforting manifestation where last week in Puerto Rico when I attended the third annual “Saborea” (Spanish for “Savor” or “taste) event. It takes place along a sandy beach fringed with coconut trees on this American-style Caribbean island. The tropical setting is enough to tell what is reasonable to expect under these latitudes. Indeed, location, tradition, and production determine ipso facto the limits of the gastronomy. But imagination, this essential human addition, can transcend—or not—the regional capacities.

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L20 the Place to Go

on March 09th, 2010
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09

Mar

  • pinitbutton L20 the Place to Go
14 300x225 L20 the Place to Go

Poire Belle-Hélène: poached pear, pistachio, ginger & chocolate sauce.

By Andre Gayot

 

Hey Laurent, isn’t there a better way to let us know that this is a fish-oriented restaurant — and an excellent one for that matter — than this esoteric acronym of L20? L is for Laurent, we understand, and replaces the H which is half of the chemical symbol of water, H20.

 

But Laurent, you have nothing to do with chemistry except maybe when, with a funny allusion, you mock the molecular cuisine concealing your succulent foie gras under a cloud of sugar candy. Moreover, you make it difficult for the search engines to find this elegant and worthy eatery hidden in the chic Lincoln Park West area of Chicago in the databases of good restaurants, a pity for the uninformed who will miss a memorable dinner in this serene, almost spa-like space filled with Makassar ebony columns, plush couches and white leather chairs. The single onyx two-top has “it table” status written all over it.

 

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04

Feb

  • pinitbutton Alinea, Unlike Any Other Restaurant
img 0730 1 300x230 Alinea, Unlike Any Other Restaurant

Sour cream with sorrel, smoked salmon and pink pepper dish, featured in Chef Grant Achatz's Alinea Cookbook

By André Gayot

 

 

 

The name says it all. In the course of the unwinding world story, an “alinea” would mark the arrival of a new event of an idea of a philosophy. If the surging concept flies, it may be the beginning of a new episode. Alinea situates itself in a sphere in a forthcoming era to succeed the times of the inns, restaurants, brasseries, taverns, bistros, posadas, trattorias, eateries as we have known them so far. So be prepared: Alinea is not a restaurant like another chic restaurant; Alinea is like no other restaurant in the Americas, period.

 

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  • pinitbutton Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry
img 21831 262x300 Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry

The Nautilus shell, 450 million years old is still a mystery and an inspiration for mathematicians

By Andre Gayot

 

Usually, hotel meeting rooms bear grandiose names like “The Imperial Room” or “The Majestic Room.” But in The Indigo, a San Diego boutique hotel, their modest function space is dubbed “The Fibonacci Room.” Many visitors would immediately assume the Italian name in such a location refers to some variety of pizza.

 

Shame on us! We should be taught in first grade to pay respect to the genius Fibonacci (1175-1250), whose real name was Leonardo Pisano, who changed our lives when he changed the way we represent numbers way back in the XII, I mean 12th century. Fibonacci helped the world to adopt Arabic numerals instead of the Roman numbers that were then in use. He also popularized the use of the figure zero despite the resistance of the traditionalists, who, as usual, did not understand the concept and were up in arms against it. Hey! Zeros and ones: does that ring a bell for you, computer nerds?

Continue reading “Of the Good Use of Math in the Hospitality Industry” »



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