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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” »



A Sweet Afternoon

on March 21st, 2009
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21

Mar

  • pinitbutton A Sweet Afternoon
sophiegayot2 300x231 A Sweet Afternoon

All of us celebrating Jacques Torres’s new book

By Sophie Gayot

Jacques Torres, aka Mr. Chocolate, got help from a few of his fellow chef friends while in town to celebrate the release of his third book. “A Year in Chocolate” is all about chocolate recipes for holidays and special occasions, including eighty ultimate creations for all chocolate lovers. The event was held at his wife’s store Madame Chocolat in Beverly Hills, a dream shop for many of us.

 

 

Just as we were taking the photo with Jacques his wife Hasty, and chefs Denis Depoitre (The Dining Room), Bruno Lopez, Sylvain Rivet (Amuse Bouche), Remi Lauvand and Guy Gabriele (Café Pierre),  restaurateur and interior designer Barbara Lazaroff (Spago) walked in and suddenly made the picture much better!



  • pinitbutton A Pleasant Evening with Kim McCartys Watercolors

 

sophiegayot 300x239 A Pleasant Evening with Kim McCartys Watercolors

Artist Kim McCarty with her husband/restaurateur Michael and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 I am not an art critic, but starting a Saturday evening discovering Kim McCarty’s watercolors was rather pleasant. Her ambiguous fluid figures made me think about the human form in new and intriguing ways. There is no struggle in her designs; they are easy on your eyes, and rather soothing.

 

 In order to avoid the colors to run on the paper, McCarty can only paint horizontally; and it becomes a challenge for her knees when doing the near-size-life-size upper torsos! Her exhibition can be seen at the Kim Light Gallery, 2656 S. La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90034 until May 16th.  McCarty’s work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, UCLA Hammer Museum and the Honolulu Academy of Art. She is the wife of Michael McCarty, the owner of the legendary romantic restaurant Michael’s in Santa Monica, which will be celebrating its 30th birthday in May.



  • pinitbutton 2009 Almost Famous Chef Competition
sophiegayotgailsimmons 300x256 2009 Almost Famous Chef Competition

Judges Gail Simmons from Bravo's Top Chef and chef Michel Richard with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Well I told you I would keep you posted of what happened during the 7th “Almost Famous Chef” competition by Nestlé Waters North America under the Acqua Panna that took place in St. Helena, California on March 7th and 8th 2009.

Below are pictures of the “Signature Dish” competition, held on the second day, with the ten contestants prepping in the kitchen and showing us their creations before we judged them. With just a sous chef from The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, they had just four hours to cook two hundred plated tasting portions. to help

I was a judge along with eighteen others, including chef Michel Richard from Citronelle, and Gail Simmons, a regular judge on Bravo’s Top Chef. Hundreds of guests also got to taste and vote for the “People’s Choice” winner.

  Continue reading “2009 Almost Famous Chef Competition” »



  • pinitbutton The Competitors with their Mystery Basket
sophiegayiotjudge 300x235 The Competitors with their Mystery Basket
Sophie Gayot judging along with Michel Richard, Gail Simmons, Michael  White, Nick Stellino (visible on the picture)

 

by Sophie Gayot

If you have been following the

2009 Almost Famous Chef competition

by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. Nestlé Waters North America

I am happy to present you  the dishes that  the ten contestants made from the Mystery Basket, which took place on March 8th as the first part of the contest. I was a judge along with eighteen others.

See the winners of the competition on the awards page. Continue reading “The Competitors with their Mystery Basket” »



And The Winners Are…

on March 08th, 2009
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08

Mar

  • pinitbutton And The Winners Are...
sophiegayotalmostfamouschefwinners 300x164 And The Winners Are...

The winners of the Almost Famous Chef 2009 competition

by Sophie Gayot

 

The winners of the seventh edition of Nestlé Waters North America “Almost Famous Chef” competition under the S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna brands have just been announced. After preparing their signature dish, the ten contestants served it to the nineteen judges, including me. Two hours later, the results were in, and were combined with yesterday’s “Mystery Basket” results to produce an overall winner.

 

They are:

- “Overall Winner”: David Awad, from Connecticut Culinary Institute

- “Mystery Basket”; David Awad, from Connecticut Culinary Institute

- “Signature Dish”: Kendra Orng, from International Culinary School at The Art Institute California, Los Angeles

- “People’s Choice”: Joe Branton, Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College.

 

Congratulations to the three winners!

  Continue reading “And The Winners Are…” »



The Mystery Basket

on March 07th, 2009
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07

Mar

  • pinitbutton The Mystery Basket

 

sophiegayotmichelrichard 300x255 The Mystery Basket

Chef Michel Richard, contestant Daniel Agregard & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Today in St. Helena, California, the first part of the Nestlé Waters North America “Almost Famous Chef” competition under the S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna brands took place at The Culinary Institute of America Greystone. Ten contestants had two hours to prepare a dish with the same set of ingredients, which  they were given in a “Mystery Basket”. This year, it was composed of sturgeon, bacon, asparagus, fingerling potatoes, bay leaf and trumpet mushrooms.
I was a judge, as well as eighteen others, in the seventh edition of this top culinary event. And, yes, I had to go through ten versions and interpretations of “Mystery Basket” dishes. They were all very different. There was a cleat winner, but I can’t announce it until tomorrow.
UPDATE – SUNDAY MARCH 8TH: The results are in.

See the opening party of Friday March 7th.

You can see the dishes all the competitors on a dedicated page.

Continue reading “The Mystery Basket” »



06

Mar

  • pinitbutton New Talent Soon in the Kitchen
sophiegayotharolddieterle 215x300 New Talent Soon in the Kitchen

Harold Dieterle & Sophie Gayot at the opening ceremony of the Almost Famous Chef competition

by Sophie Gayot

 

Seven years ago to celebrate food, Nestlé Waters North America, under its brands S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, created a culinary competition in order find the best new young chef. The “Almost Famous Chef” competition was immediate a success. The seventh edition has just begun tonight in Yountville, California, and I am on the judging panel.

 

The ten finalists, from various culinary schools from the United States and Canada, were presented to the judges by Harold Dieterle, winner of the first season of Bravo’s Top Chef and chef/owner of Perilla in New York. During the next two days, the young chefs will have to prepare different dishes to determine the winner who will be announced on Sunday. Come back tomorrow, as I will keep you posted on the progress.

JUST IN! Sunday, March 8th: Find out who are the winners.

Read all about part 1 of the competition, The Mystery Basket, that took place Saturday March 7th.

Continue reading “New Talent Soon in the Kitchen” »



15

Dec

  • pinitbutton Ireland, A True Land to Discover
president 225x300 Ireland, A True Land to Discover

Her Excellency Mary McAleese, President of Ireland & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

During her current visit to the United States, Her Excellency Mary McAleese, the President of Ireland, hosted the Tourism Ireland luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

 

The guests, including myself, thoroughly enjoyed the President’s speech, a moving and heart-felt description of her country. With warmth and compassion, she illustrated the importance of the people, the landscape and the culture of Ireland, inspiring us to visit and discover the beauty of this rich island with breathtaking scenery, cultural delights, and captivating cities.



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