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by Sophie Gayot

“The President walks into a tavern through the back door,” sounds like the beginning of a racy joke, but that’s exactly what happened last night in Southern California. There were so many people around Tavern, the restaurant where Barack Obama was holding a fundraiser, that the Commander-in-Chief had to be escorted in through the back door.

We know that Tavern co-owners Suzanne Goin and Caroline Styne worked closely with the Secret Service to plan the event and the menu. According to Caroline, “Many have asked us about our dinner last evening for President Obama at Tavern. It was an incredible and intense experience for Suzanne, me, and everyone that works with us. The planning, anticipation and execution of the evening was nerve-wracking and exciting beyond description. We and our entire staff are just so honored to have been entrusted with such an important evening.

Continue reading “Suzanne Goin & Caroline Styne Cook for President Obama” »



18

Apr

Guests at the "Men of Style" event at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, CA

Guests at the "Men of Style" event at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, CA

by Cara Trump


We love a good party — especially when it benefits a great charity — and as it turns out, the people behind Angeleno magazine know how to pull out all the stops. On Tuesday, April 12, Angeleno held its “Men of Style” affair at the Saks Fifth Avenue Men’s Store in Beverly Hills to raise money for the Prostate Cancer Foundation, and we were there to experience all the high-end, guy-centered goodness they had to offer.


The festivities were spread across three floors, beginning with Chivas signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres served on the first floor, which could be enjoyed throughout the store or in the Clubhouse Corner, a lounge sponsored by Park Hyatt Aviara and designed by Interior Illusions. Also on the first floor was Connoisseur Row, featuring a handwriting analysis booth, handcrafted humidors and luxury gifts, as well as the Sideways Stop, where guests could taste artisanal cheeses and Central Coast wines from the Hitching Post (the restaurant and wine producer made famous in the movie “Sideways“).

Continue reading “Fashion for a Good Cause” »



14

Apr

President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama

by Jeff Hoyt


Is President Obama reading GAYOT.com? We certainly hope so. We named mk one of our top 10 Chicago Special Occasion Restaurants, and the President has decided to host a special occasion there tonight. The site of his fundraiser is also on our top 10 Chicago American restaurant list, which is important as he is already wooing voters for the 2012 Presidential election. It is also on our top 10 Chicago Romantic restaurant list, so we hope Michelle will be there!


Dinner will be a little pricier than usual tonight: a reported $35,800 a head. For that kind of donation, we’d expect to be named Ambassador to a Caribbean island nation. Here’s what’s on the menu that features only sustainably produced American food and wine:

Continue reading “Obama’s Dinner: A lot of Bread” »



Que La Fête Commence!

on April 12th, 2011
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12

Apr

by Sophie Gayot


Last night was the opening of the 2011 COLCOA Festival, A Week of French Film Premieres in Hollywood. Quite a few prestigious and renowned French actors and directors made the trip from France, arriving just in time for the City of Lights, City of Angels event, including writer-director Bertrand Blier. Watch my exclusive video interview with the Oscar winner (“Get Out Your Handkerchiefs”) as he talks about his career.


Every year, COLCOA Director François Truffart invites an actress who represents French cinema and glamour. This year, I had the pleasure to mingle with two-time César-winning actress Nathalie Baye (“Day for Night,” “La Balance”). Baye will be presenting her latest movie, “De Vrais Mensonges” (Beautiful Lies”) this Saturday at 8:30 p.m.

Continue reading “Que La Fête Commence!” »



A colorful display in the new Sony store at the Westfield Century City mall

A colorful display in the new Sony store at the Westfield Century City mall

by Alain Gayot 


Consumers have been spoiled by the Internet, allowing them to buy thousands of dollars of the latest technology from virtual stores like Amazon without even getting dressed. Smart retailers realize they have to offer shoppers more and more in order for them to spend the time, gas money and energy to visit a brick-and-mortar store. Responding to the heightened competition, Sony is rebranding its retail stores while making them more fully interactive.
 


Opening today at Westfield Century City shopping mall in Los Angeles is the first newly branded Sony store in the U.S. Seven more are poised to open later this year, with a vast roll out scheduled for 2012. Steve Krajenka, VP for Retail Stores at Sony, is proud to showcase to visitors and buyers what the new Sony stores are all about. “Yes, the design of our retail stores is important,” says Krajenka, “but it’s more about having the product stand out so that customers can touch, feel and play around with pieces of electronic merchandise.” Moreover, the store is staffed with Sony sophisticated users, not just salespeople.
 

Continue reading “New Interactive Sony Stores Offer Latest Electronics” »



by Sophie Gayot


Last night was the coup d’envoi (kick-off) of the 15th edition of COL•COA, City of Lights City of Angels film festival. The festival has now grown to be the largest French film showcase outside of France. Over sixty films will be shown at the DGA movie theaters on Sunset Boulevard from April 12 to April 18, including two world premieres.

Continue reading “2011 COLCOA – A Week of French Film Premieres in Hollywood” »



From left to right: Elizabeth Freer, Emma Louth, Jean-Francois Daigle, Sophie Gayot, Marco BahenaFrom left to right: Elizabeth Freer, Emma Louth, Jean-Francois Daigle, Sophie Gayot, Marco Bahena

From left to right: Elizabeth Freer, Emma Louth, Jean-Francois Daigle, Sophie Gayot, Marco Bahena

by Sophie Gayot


Nine young American student chefs and one Canadian squared off this weekend at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., during the 9th edition of the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition.


As I was judging the two challenges, along with twelve other judges, I am happy to announce the five winners, presented by Gail Simmons and Ralph Pagano:
The Overall Winner
Marco Bahena of Kendall College, in Chicago, received a prize of $10,000 and a paid apprenticeship with one of the participating chef judge’s restaurant of his choice;

Continue reading “S.Pellegrino 2011 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners” »



22

Feb

Dry Creek Kitchen is one of many excellent establishments participating in this year's Sonoma County Restaurant Week

Dry Creek Kitchen is one of many excellent establishments participating in this year's Sonoma County Restaurant Week

by Jeff Hoyt


It’s not all about wine in Sonoma County. They’re holding their 2nd Annual Restaurant Week right now until Sunday, February 27. During this seven-day celebration of Sonoma County’s farm-fresh food, with an emphasis on local ingredients, guests can enjoy three-course dinner menus at $19, $29, or $39, depending on the restaurant. This promotion includes appetizer, entrée, and dessert; tips, beverages, and tax are not included in pricing.


Each participating restaurant will offer their own unique menu and select restaurants will feature a bottle of — you guessed it — Sonoma County wine. Reservations are strongly recommended. Selections include Dry Creek Kitchen in Healdsburg, Hana Japanese Restaurant in Rohnert Park, Carneros Bistro & Wine Bar in Sonoma, and many, many more. Visit www.sonomacountyrestaurantweek.org for additional details.


Keep coming back to GAYOT.com for the latest in Napa and Sonoma restaurant reviews and wine events.



Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques restaurant in front of the CNN camera, discussing the dinner she will be serving at the 2011 SAG Awards
Chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques restaurant in front of the CNN camera, discussing the dinner she will be serving at the 2011 SAG Awards

by: Sophie Gayot


Chef Suzanne Goin was the star yesterday at her restaurant Lucques in West Hollywood. More than fifteen television stations fought to get her to describe the menu that she will be serving at the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Sunday, January 30th, at the Shrine Exposition Center for the A-list guests.


Ingredients for her antipasto plates include a whopping 150 pounds of Parmesan, 175 lemons, 1,900 dates, 8 pounds of Feta, 400 shallots, 4 gallons of yogurt, 120 pounds of salmon, and 140 pounds of lamb. I got to try four of her creations (see photos below), which was great because I unfortunately will not be attending the event. They were quite refreshing. There’s no movie magic needed to liven up Goin’s cooking!



Ria's plush dining room will host a boutique wine dinner showcasing its new menu. (Photo courtesy of Patricia Parinejad.)

by Jennifer Olvera


You’ve got to love a place that’s been open mere months and closes for a mini-facelift, New York-based culinary research and menu revamp, all the while riding on rave reviews. But that’s Ria for you. Celebrate its reopening early on January 22 with a luxurious wine dinner highlighting six boutique California producers: Failla Wines, Anomaly Vineyards, Realm Cellars, D.R. Stevens, Chase Family Cellars and Fischer Vineyards.


The event kicks off at 4 p.m. in the Elysian hotel’s grand ballroom with passed hors d’oeuvres and an informal wine tasting. Come 6 p.m., the soirée moves into Ria’s dining room for a six-course meal comprised of dishes from the yet-to-be-unveiled winter menu and, naturally, more specialty sips. Producers will be seated among diners and will elaborate on pours between courses and stay to talk post-dessert with those so inclined.


Participants for the tasting only may reserve advance tickets for $50, while the entire evening costs $250 per person, in addition to tax and service. Ria, 11 E. Walton St., 3rd Fl., 312-880-4400.


Keep coming back to GAYOT.com for the latest Chicago Restaurant News, Restaurant Reviews, Culinary Events and Chicago Wine Dinners.



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