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  • pinitbutton A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef
sophiegayottopchef 300x235 A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef

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

  • pinitbutton So Many Chefs, So Little Time
sophiegayotcurtisstone 300x243 So Many Chefs, So Little Time

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” »



  • pinitbutton Tom Hanks brings Shakespeare to Life!
sophiegayottomhanks 300x221 Tom Hanks brings Shakespeare to Life!

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

  • pinitbutton An Elegant Dinner for a Cause
sophiegayotflavorsoflosangeles 300x142 An Elegant Dinner for a Cause
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” »



  • pinitbutton Mother’s Day with Our Mom in L.A.

sophiegayotalexandremeiers 300x261 Mother’s Day with Our Mom in L.A.

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.



  • pinitbutton An English week in Los Angeles!
sophiegayotbobpeirce 300x210 An English week in Los Angeles!

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!

 



04

May

  • pinitbutton Michael (almost) Angelo
sophiegayotmichaelmccarty 300x198 Michael (almost) Angelo

Husband and wife Michael and Kim McCarty with father and daughter André and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Michael‘s, the eponymous restaurant of Michael McCarty in Santa Monica, California, was packed yesterday with faithful clients, friends and colleagues celebrating the 30th anniversary of this landmark house with Michael and his artist wife Kim. The buffets were stupendous, up to the stainless reputation of this regarded table.

 

Indeed, three decades of consistent success in Tinseltown, where the life span of an eatery is often times shorter than that of a cactus flower, can be considered an historical achievement worthy of merited kudos. Michael and Kim were justly entitled to appear radiant in their “ravishing” garden as we described it in our review of Michael’s in 1982, and the charm still floats on the patio.

Continue reading “Michael (almost) Angelo” »



  • pinitbutton At Table with Two of Our Top 40 US Chefs
sophiegayotmichelrichardjeanjoho 300x257 At Table with Two of Our Top 40 US Chefs

Michel Richard tasting Jean Joho’s perfect risotto with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

 

Today, at the Second Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine extravaganza, I enjoyed a dream lunch prepared by chefs Michel Richard from Citronelle in Washington, D.C., and Jean Joho from Everest in Chicago.

Sponsored by Lexus, the meal was based on the king of mushrooms, the truffle.
The talented pair cooked right in front of us, and even filled the tent with smoke!

Continue reading “At Table with Two of Our Top 40 US Chefs” »


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05

Apr

  • pinitbutton Running in the Streets of Paris
toureiffel 300x183 Running in the Streets of Paris

La Tour Eiffel, the most visited monument in the world

 

Worldwide, millions walk and jog. This morning more than 31,000 participants ran the 33th Paris Marathon. Starting at the bottom of the most beautiful avenue of the world, Les Champs-Elysées, they looped around the City of Lights to finish on the gorgeous avenue Foch. It seems that to get the best views of the city, it was better to be one of the helicopter pilots covering the event than an actual marathoner.

 

 

 

The weather was just perfect for this ultimate race, where the winner, Vincent Kipruto of Kenya, broke the record of the Paris competition by 33 seconds, finishing the 41,195 kilometers (26 mi., 385 yds) in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 47 seconds. Bazu Worku from Ethiopia finished second (2:06:15), while another Kenyan, David Kiyeng, took third (2:06:26). For the women, Ethiopian Atsede Bayisa won in 2:24:42 over her compatriot Aselefech Mergia (2:25:02). The surprise came from Christelle Daunay of the home country who took third place in 2:25:44. Did you know that women weren’t officially allowed to run marathons until 1972 (Boston) and at the Olympics in 1984 in Los Angeles?



  • pinitbutton Another Dining Experience at L.A. Live
sophiegayot3 268x300 Another Dining Experience at L.A. Live

1992 Olympic Champion in women's singles Kristi Yamaguchi with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot
Besides trying many different foods, I also very much enjoy ice skating. So last night what better place could I have been than at Staples Center to attend the first day of the World Figure Skating Championships. Of course I had to have dinner first and decided to head to the new Rock ‘N Fish restaurant at L.A. Live. I enjoyed sampling the signature dishes made famous by its parent location in Manhattan Beach.

Accompanied by two former world competing figure skaters, Danielle Carr McGrath (1992, 1994, 1998 Olympic Competitor, 14-time World Pairs competitor, 19-time Australian National Pair Champion) and Lily Lee Fugier (1994 Olympic Competitor, 6-time World Figure Skating Competitor, 5-time Korean National Champion), I watched the Pairs Short Program, (2 minutes and 40 seconds with 7 required elements) in complete and utter amazement. I’m glad we stayed until the very end as the winners, German skaters Aliona Savchenko and Robin Szolkowy, performed last.

Click here to see the winners of the 2009 Pairs Short program of the World Figure Skating Championships.

Continue reading “Another Dining Experience at L.A. Live” »



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