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29

Apr

Organic Beef

Organic Beef

By André Gayot

 

On bumper stickers we often read this straightforward formula: “War is not the answer.”


That should be the motto of the World Trade Organization (WTO) when the officials of this International entity try to reconcile the US Department of Commerce with the European Commission of Brussels. For now, the battle is raging.

 

 The European Union does not want to buy American beef because of the (legal) use in the US of the growth hormone to raise cattle faster by some farmers. Indeed, not all the farmers. Apparently the EU is not sensitive to the difference and parks all of these American animals in the same corral. In response, the US retaliates with the threat of raising custom tariffs on European food items such as French Roquefort and Italian mineral waters so popular on this side of the Atlantic. Continue reading “Meet Meat Not Scary to Eat” »



A Sweet Afternoon

on March 21st, 2009
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21

Mar

All of us celebrating Jacques Torres's new book

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!



Rock and Roll Wine

on March 12th, 2009
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12

Mar

Record Wine Label from Rock and Roll CellarsBy Jeff Hoyt

What is the official beverage of rock and roll? Some might answer beer in general (and Rolling Rock in particular), or Jack Daniel’s, but wine seems to be making inroads. I just enjoyed a Vintage Rock Wine Dinner, the first wine dinner presented at the new Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar, part of the bustling L.A. Live project across from the Staples Center. I started with a not-overly sweet Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Riesling Central Coast 2005, which paired well with shrimp in blue cheese sauce. The wine is actually one of seventeen so far made by the Fleetwood Mac  drummer. The 2005 Doobie Red, a Bordeaux blend which accompanied my filet mignon, isn’t made by one of the Doobie Brothers, but by the band’s longtime manager Bruce Cohn. 

And that’s not all. I’m looking forward to trying new offerings from Rock And Roll Cellars, including puns on album names like “Meet the Pinots” and “Exile on Vine Street.” To find out more about which rockers make wine and which just license their names, read Wine-ing Celebrities.

Fleming's Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon



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

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” »



Sophie Gayot judging along with Michel Richard, Gail Simmons
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

The winners of the Almost Famous Chef 2009 competition

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

 

Chef Michel Richard, contestant Daniel Agregard & Sophie Gayot

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

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

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” »



Josh & Zoe Loeb with Sophie Gayot

Josh & Zoe Loeb with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Last week, I heard that the owners of Rustic Canyon Wine Bar & Seasonal Kitchen, Josh and Zoe Loeb, had just opened a café and bakery in Santa Monica

Being a fan of Zoe’s rustic pastries, I decided to check out Huckleberry Café & Bakery, and was impressed. Like Rustic Canyon, it features simple décor, somewhat noisy atmosphere, and quality products. Here, you will enjoy good home-style food, including sandwiches, salads, rotisserie chicken and sweets. It’s worth the drive just for the sourdough country boule alone.

All items are available for takeout. Read more about the place in our restaurant section.

Huckleberry on Urbanspoon



The Smelly Cheese Shop

on February 20th, 2009
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20

Feb

A variety of cheeses from Australia

A variety of cheeses from Australia

by Alain Gayot

Going to a food market in any locale gives you a pretty good idea of what’s going on and teaches you a lot about a community and its people. I like to say that every time I head to Paris, as soon as I get off the plane, I head straight for the market. Each time I do that, I am amazed at the plethora of products, even if sometimes the morel mushrooms come from Oregon.

 

After a 23 hour trek from Los Angeles to Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, we headed to the Central Market where, amongst an assortment of kangaroo and crocodile meats, local seafood offerings and exotic fruits, we were surprised to discover cheeses. Say what? Yes, cheese of the very best kind, made in various parts of the vast state of South Australia.

Continue reading “The Smelly Cheese Shop” »



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