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Chef de cuisine Jorge Chicas from The Bazaar with Sophie Gayot stirring a liquid nitrogen margarita

Chef de cuisine Jorge Chicas from The Bazaar with Sophie Gayot stirring a liquid nitrogen margarita

By Sophie Gayot

 

More than fifty Los Angeles chefs and restaurants combined their culinary talents last Sunday at Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation, a benefit to support organizations that feed hungry children.

 

Guests were able to meet the chefs and taste their dishes, as well as enjoy live entertainment and a special auction. The event, held in Culver City’s Media Park, was supposed to end at 4 p.m., but the ambience was so enjoyable that the crowd stayed much longer.

Continue reading “Coming Together for a Nationwide Cause” »



Jay Leno & Sophie Gayot

Jay Leno & Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

More than three hundred guests attended Vintage Hollywood 2009, a charity event, held at a private estate in Bel-Air, California, last Saturday. Thanks to the hard work of Linda Daly and other members of the organization, many Los Angeles restaurants and wineries from across California as well as from Oregon, New Zealand and Argentina came together in a gorgeous garden. In addition, a silent auction took place.

 

But the highlight of the evening was the appearance of Jay Leno, who was in charge of the live auction. And trust me, it was an auction like no other. Leno’s celebrated humor was behind each of his words. I just wish there would have been more items to keep the show running. A private tour of the comedian’s “Garage,” guided by Leno himself, went for $29,500 for four lucky bidders. More than $200,000 was raised at this year’s event. Jay’s generosity brought even more support than expected.

 

Continue reading “A Night Show with Jay Leno for a Cause” »



Premiere with Rosé

on June 11th, 2009
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11

Jun

Chefs Mark Peel, Susan Tracht and Rick Moonen with Sophie Gayot

Chefs Mark Peel of Campanile, Suzanne Tracht of Jar and Rick Moonen of RM Seafood with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Martini & Rossi Rosé was being poured with no limit (if you met the age limit, of course) last night at Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles, during the premiere of Bravo’s new television show “Top Chef Masters.”

 

For the occasion, Campanile chef/owner Mark Peel created a bite-sized dish to be paired with the sparkling wine: a roasted walnut and taleggio stuffed date. Peel also prepared six of his famous grilled cheese sandwiches, handed out to me by general manager Jay Perrin. Thanks to him I was able to try each of them. Due to the crowd I could not approach the gazpacho, the roasted beet salad, or the charcuterie and cheese station.

Some of the 24 chefs competing in the show were there, as well as host Kelly Choi. They all refused to give me any details, beside the fact that it was shot in the Los Angeles Warehouse District. I guess the best way to find out more is to simply watch the show, which takes competitive cooking to the next level. 

 



26

May

Artist Alexey Steele with Sophie Gayot
Artist Alexey Steele with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

What better way to spend Memorial Day weekend in the Golden State than by attending the California Art Club exhibition: on location in Malibu 2009 at Pepperdine University. The showing featured paintings of landscapes that capture the community of Malibu from the Pacific Coast Highway to the beaches and mountains. The fall 2007 wildfires ravaged much of the city and the artists wanted to record the positive changes of rebirth and renewal since then.

 

The highlight of the exhibit was Alexey Steele‘s Water and Fire, which depicts a graceful woman walking on the beach at sunset. Steele’s vision of the landscape was moving and the lighting he used added a dramatic effect. From his style, look, behavior, and the way he dresses and talks, Steele, who was born in the Ukraine in 1967, is an artist in the full sense of the word. His magnificent studio, located in Carson, is filled with books and the sounds of classical music which inspire him to create wonderful figurative paintings. His area of expertise includes multi-figure compositions, portraits, nudes and plein-air landscapes.

 

Continue reading “The Artist and his Painting” »



Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


Last night, American Idol was not the only event getting people excited. A fierce battle ensued at The Grove in Los Angeles between two former contestants from the television show Top Chef.

 

After cooking demonstrations from The Grove eateries The Whisper Restaurant & Lounge, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Morels, Betty Fraser (season 2) and Stefan Richter (season 5) had fifty minutes to prepare a meal, each with a different mystery basket of ingredients.

 

The pair was playful behind the stoves and used knives, spoons, olive oil, salt, pepper and their words to tease one another. They sure did know how to work the crowd! Stefan was throwing red roses and ladies underwear (yes, underwear) to the women in the crowd, while Betty used her great smile to woo the audience. All the while, radio host Merrill Shindler commented on all the action.

 

When it was time to taste the food, a panel of unbiased judges was selected from the audience. They preferred Stefan’s steak atop an amazing potato purée over Betty’s fried pork with caramelized peaches. Congratulations to the winner!

 

Continue reading “A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef” »



20

May

Chef Curtis Stone with Sophie Gayot

Chef Curtis Stone with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

One and a half million dollars was raised Saturday at the 20th Annual Culinary Evening with the California Winemasters, which benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. The event took place at the “Midwest Street” set lot at Warner Brothers in Burbank. Forty-five celebrity chefs prepared an amuse-bouche which was paired with wine donated by over 65 wineries.

 

There were so many chefs and wineries that I didn’t have the chance to talk with everyone, even though I was there for over four hours. I started my tour with John Cuevas from Muse at Montage Beverly Hills, who prepared a salad of local watermelon, marinated green beans, feta and anchovy. I tasted Curtis Stone’s chicken liver parfait after waiting in line behind a crowd of fans getting his autograph (some even had Stone tattoo their arms!). Much later in the evening I ended my tour with chef Warren Schwartz of Westside Tavern (our current Los Angeles Review of the Week). Unfortunately I didn’t get to try his grilled hanger steak with brown butter béarnaise because it was too late in the evening.

Continue reading “So Many Chefs, So Little Time” »



Tom Hanks with Sophie Gayot after the reading of The Comedy of Errors

Tom Hanks with Sophie Gayot after the reading of The Comedy of Errors

By Sophie Gayot

Last night, as I was leaving the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood, I was trampled by a mass of frantic fans hoping for an autograph and a picture. The group was not looking for me, but rather Tom Hanks who was stepping out of the theatre to address the mob. I tried to get through the high-energy crowd by telling them, “Let me out”; their attention was ONLY focused on Hanks. But what were we all doing there?

Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson had organized a “reading” of Shakespeare’s “The Comedy of Errors” with a star-studded cast to benefit The Shakespeare Festival in Los Angeles. The proceeds from the event went to support operational costs of youth and education programming, as well as professional theatrical performances.

The performance was unique in that the actors read their lines from the script—an interesting outcome of their busy schedule!

 

 

  Continue reading “Tom Hanks brings Shakespeare to Life!” »



18

May

The chefs who donated their time for the 2009 Flavors of Los Angeles Culinary Gala with Sophie Gayot
The chefs who donated their time for the 2009 Flavors of Los Angeles Culinary Gala with Sophie Gayot, holding roses from Cherry Blossom 

By Sophie Gayot

 

Last night, the Greater Los Angeles Division of the American Liver Foundation held its third annual Flavors of Los Angeles culinary gala, where I was acting as honorary chair, also for the third time. The event took place at City National Bank Plaza in downtown Los Angeles and began with a cocktail reception and a silent auction. Afterwards, eight Los Angeles chefs prepared a five-course feast with wine pairings for their personal tables of ten guests. I had the pleasure of mingling and interviewing each of them as they were cooking right in front of the patrons. Each table had a different meal, and I can assure you that they were all good.

 

On behalf of the American Liver Foundation, I would like to thank the chefs who donated their time and talent to support an evening which benefits so many in Los Angeles (listed in alphabetical order): Andy Cook, The London West Hollywood; Celestino Drago, Drago Centro; Katie Hagan-Whelchel, Beso; Calvin Holladay, Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar; Kevin Meehan, Cafe Pinot; Gabriel Morales, Provecho; John Rivera Sedlar, Rivera; Shigefumi Tachibe, Chaya Downtown.

Continue reading “An Elegant Dinner for a Cause” »



Sophie Gayot and her son

Sophie Gayot and her son

By Sophie Gayot

 

 

 

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and Alain and I are so happy to have our mom visiting with us now. Of course the Gayot family tradition is to have a fabulous Mother’s Day meal in one of the world’s great restaurants.

 

Throughout our travels we have found many wonderful places to enjoy a delicious Mother’s Day Brunch. Even at the last minute, there are lots of great restaurants taking Mother’s Day reservations all across the U.S.

 

In France, we celebrate Mother’s Day at the end of May and I am looking forward to another great meal with my mother and with my own fabulous son.



Bob Peirce, British Consul General in Los Angeles, his wife Sharon Harroun and Sophie Gayot

Bob Peirce, British Consul General in Los Angeles, his wife Sharon Harroun and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

What a better way to keep in touch with Great Britain and entice you to go there, than to bring some of its culture, creativity and energy directly to our doorstep, at least for those who had a chance to experience Los Angeles’ “BritWeek.”

 

The English are famous for their sense of humor, so the “week” is, in fact, spread over the course of three, starting on April 16th and ending May 8th. British Consul General in Los Angeles, Bob Peirce, plays a dominant role in this huge organization.

 

Last night during a party at the Petersen Automotive Museum, I had a chance to chat with him. He shared with me the good news that the pound has fallen against the U.S. dollar, making Great Britain much more affordable!

 



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