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  • pinitbutton L.A. Restaurants Celebrating Cinco de Mayo
Jamaica Margarita 200x300 L.A. Restaurants Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

Margarita at Yxta Cocina Mexicana

by Michael Gately

 

Eat, Drink and Save Dinero


Since Cinco de Mayo falls on a Sunday this year, there’s even more reason than usual to celebrate at one of the LA-area restaurants that are hosting special events and promotions.


Both Border Grill locations are holding Cinco de Mayo celebrations from May 3-5 with beer and tequila specials. Santa Monica will also have a photo booth, while the downtown location is offering beer-wrapped hot dogs and a live DJ. Susan Feniger’s STREET is hosting a Cinco de Mayo Taco Night, featuring homemade tortillas by Border Grill as well as aguas frescas and margaritas. The tacos will include both standard and unique options like carnitas, carne asada, lengua, chicken pibil, beer battered shrimp, smoked octopus, chipotle jackfruit, beer battered okra.

Continue reading “L.A. Restaurants Celebrating Cinco de Mayo” »



  • pinitbutton Tequila Pairing at Tortilla Republic
battered avocado 300x255 Tequila Pairing at Tortilla Republic

Tequila-battered avocado with pomegranate vinaigrette

by Barnaby Hughes


I’ve had the pleasure of attending many wine pairing dinners, but recently was invited to my first Tequila pairing at Tortilla Republic in West Hollywood. Taking place on the third Wednesday of each month in a private dining room, the four-course dinners pair Mexican tapas with a line of Tequilas from a single distillery. I was fortunate enough to attend the inaugural dinner featuring Milagro Tequila. Executive chef Brendan Warren came out of the kitchen to introduce each of the evening’s dishes, which were paired with three of Milagro’s Tequilas. Reposado was served with Tequila-battered avocado, Silver with camarones and chorizo, Reposado with albondigas over herbed rice and Añejo with sorbet and fresh fruit. A glass of the restaurant’s sangrita, a non-alcohol mix of juices and spices, was provided as a palate cleanser between courses.

Continue reading “Tequila Pairing at Tortilla Republic” »



Pigs & Pinot

on April 18th, 2013
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18

Apr

  • pinitbutton Pigs & Pinot
charlie palmer 199x300 Pigs & Pinot

Chef Charlie Palmer, Pigs & Pinot founder and master of ceremonies

Prestige and Pizzazz at Healdsburg’s Annual Event


by Barb Rybicki


Signs of spring’s arrival abound: daffodils and mustard mingle in the vineyards, newborn lambs frolic on ranches, and Pigs & Pinot dazzles food and wine enthusiasts at the Healdsburg Hotel and its Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant.


Now in its eighth year, the sold-out-in-three-minutes benefit for Share Our Strength and local scholarships and charities proved that pork is still king. Chef Charlie Palmer, cooking on home turf, once again played master of ceremonies, carving and plating juicy spit roasted pork with his sons in the central courtyard. Celebrity chef-restaurateurs helmed other stations: Jose Garces a.k.a Iron Chef, “father of Southwestern cuisine” Dean Fearing, Elizabeth Falkner (Citizen Cake) and Craig Stoll of S.F.’s Delfina Group.

Continue reading “Pigs & Pinot” »



  • pinitbutton It Happened in Saint Tropez   Movie Review
it happened in saint tropez movie poster It Happened in Saint Tropez   Movie Review

It Happened in Saint-Tropez movie poster

stars three half new It Happened in Saint Tropez   Movie Review

 

Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed by: Danièle Thompson
Starring: Eric Elmosnino, Kad Merad, Monica Bellucci, Lou de Laâge, Valérie Bonneton
Released by: Pathé Distribution
Year: 2012

 It Happened in Saint Tropez   Movie Review


by Alain Gayot


The 17th annual COL•COA French Film Festival debuted at The Director’s Guild Theater Complex in Los Angeles, where director Danièle Thompson’s “It Happened in Saint-Tropez” was presented by Axel Cruau, French Consul General in Los Angeles. Once the Champagne de L’Argentaine and food from some of LA’s popular restaurants like Church & State, K-ZO and Estérel at the Sofitel Los Angeles was enjoyed, a throng of VIPs, actors (including Robert Forster and Shannon Wilcox), directors and other moviegoers proceeded into the theater. The screening of the short “Clean” was followed by the feature presentation of “Des Gens qui s’embrassent” AKA stateside “It Happened in Saint-Tropez.” The title was inspired by the Frank Sinatra song “It Happened in Monterey” which is featured in the movie along with the crooner’s hit “My Way.” Coincidentally, the music for that song was co-written by Claude Francois, whose movie biography “My Way” was the opener at the 2012 COL•COA! After the credits rolled, writer/producer/director Edward Zwick (Defiance, The Last Samurai, The Siege) moderated a bilingual Q&A session.

Continue reading ““It Happened in Saint-Tropez” – Movie Review” »



  • pinitbutton Yao Ming Launches Eponymous Wine Label
 Yao Ming Launches Eponymous Wine Label

Winemaker Tom Hinde and Yao Ming

Yao Family Wines


by Barnaby Hughes


Former pro basketball player Yao Ming has not been idle since retiring from the Houston Rockets in July 2011. In addition to enrolling at the Shanghai Jaio Tong University and working on behalf of elephant conservation, the thirty-year old has begun producing a pair of premium Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignons.


Yao Ming and Tom Hinde, President and Director of Winemaking of Yao Family Wines, presented the portfolio at the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles recently. The grapes are sourced from multiple Napa sub-appellations and include small amounts of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Continue reading “Yao Ming Launches Eponymous Wine Label” »



  • pinitbutton S.Pellegrino 2013 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners
kristen thibeault sophie gayot 300x242 S.Pellegrino 2013 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners

2013 Almost Famous Chef competition winner Kristen Thibeault with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


The winners of the 11th S.Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef competition, held at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., have just been announced.


During two challenges, The Mystery Basket yesterday, and The Signature Dish today, ten competitors had to prove to the judges that they can cook. The chef judges were Rick Moonen, Tony Mantuano, Jean Joho (2012 GAYOT.com Best Restaurateur in the US), Michel Richard, Susur Lee, and Mark McEwan; the media judges Dana Cowin, Mitchell Davis, Jacob Richler, Betsy Andrews, and me.

Continue reading “S.Pellegrino 2013 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners” »



21

Feb

  • pinitbutton 2013 Napa Truffle Festival Recap
fresh black truffles 300x199 2013 Napa Truffle Festival Recap

Fresh black truffles

by Barb Rybicki


While Napa Valley farmers can earn $5,000 a ton or more for wine grapes, there’s another crop that puts that figure to shame. Truffles can fetch a whopping $1,200 dollars per pound which is the equivalent of $2.4 million per ton. It’s the most expensive crop in the world, even though truffles are actually 83 per cent water.


The 3rd annual Napa Truffle Festival took place recently to celebrate the revered fungus – specifically the prized Périgord black winter truffle – through a series of ethereal meals and fascinating educational seminars. Ground zero was Napa’s Westin Verasa and its La Toque restaurant – though actual ground played a role as well during truffle orchard and wild mushroom forays.

Continue reading “2013 Napa Truffle Festival Recap” »



  • pinitbutton The Other LA   A Taste of Louisiana in Los Angeles
bourbon pecan pies 225x300 The Other LA   A Taste of Louisiana in Los Angeles

Miniature Bourbon pecan pies at the “Only in Louisiana” brunch

by Sasami Ashworth


Grammy weekend (Feb. 9-10), the state of Louisiana brought the bayou to Los Angeles (or as they like to call it, “the other LA”) to celebrate their always-impressive list of nominees. The sixth-annual “Only in Louisiana” brunch took place on Saturday atop Los Angeles’ Bunker Hill, in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, for two cajun-spiced hours of acclaimed regional cuisine and live music. From smoked rabbit and alligator gumbo to washboard-strummed revelry, this brunch was certainly not short on Southern charm.


Kix Brooks, one half of the award-winning duo Brooks & Dunn, imparted his easy-going Shreveport sensibility as an emcee alongside Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne as they honored Louisiana-bred Grammy nominees like Lil’ Wayne, Frank Ocean, Dr. John and Ellen Degeneres. Among the highlights of the event was a performance by Corey Ledet, who brought Southwestern Louisiana to the stage with his Grammy-nominated accordion playing. The room was studded with eminent music industry members and recording artists, all of whom chowed down as the toe-tapping sounds of soulful roots music filled the hall.

Continue reading “The Other LA – A Taste of Louisiana in Los Angeles” »



Joios! Rooftop Tasting

on January 22nd, 2013
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22

Jan

  • pinitbutton Joios! Rooftop Tasting
Joios 224x300 Joios! Rooftop Tasting

At the Joios! Rooftop Tasting, wines are brown-bagged and labeled so as not to reveal their identity.

by Michelle Kwan


Joios, as the name would suggest, celebrates the spirit of conviviality marked by fine wine, good company, and the idea that quality bottles should be accessible to all. Bringing together oenophiles of all stripes, Joios invites participants to partake in a blind tasting focusing on specific varietals or shared characteristics. With Joios’ unique “discover and uncover” approach, wines are brown-bagged and labeled so as not to reveal their identity; participants are then asked to taste pours of each and take notes according to their impression and preference. Afterwards, a tally is taken based upon tasters’ votes and notes. Finally, the wines are unveiled and background as to provenance, age, varietal, and vineyard are discussed.


At a recent New York tasting that we attended, Grenaches from several countries were sampled, including one from Spain and a particularly noteworthy smooth and fruity French variety. To kick things off, participants’ palates were primed with a crisp, undisguised French rosé. Continue reading “Joios! Rooftop Tasting” »



  • pinitbutton Roussillon Wine Tasting at the Maison de la Region Languedoc Roussillon
Charles Roussel 300x199 Roussillon Wine Tasting at the Maison de la Region Languedoc Roussillon

Wine pouring at the Roussillon Wine Tasting at the Maison de la Region Languedoc-Roussillon in New York City

by Michelle Kwan


The Languedoc-Roussillon region has been perfecting their winemaking and honing the quality of their craftsmanship for the last two decades. The varied terroir of the region, encompassing the border of Spain and extending to different sides of the Pyrenees along the Mediterranean Coast to the Rhône Valley and Provence, has enabled local growers to cultivate a variety of grapes to produce numerous combinations of reds, whites, roses, and fortified sweet wines. The Maison Languedoc Roussillon has brought together a collection of wines from Collioure, Côtes du Roussillon, Côtes du Roussillon Villages Latour de France, and Maury among others to demonstrate the versatility that comprises this region with 13 AOCs/AOPs (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlées/Appellation d’Origine Protegées). Bottles like the 2011 Cotes du Roussillon, Les Vignes de Bila Haut red from Maison Chapoutier had good tannins and acidity while the white variety was light with balanced minerality.

Continue reading “Roussillon Wine Tasting at the Maison de la Region Languedoc-Roussillon” »



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