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by Sophie Gayot


To celebrate the rich diversity of the French gastronomic tradition, Frédéric Lefebvre, French Secretary of State for Trade, SMEs, Services, Tourism, the Professions and Consumption, created La Fête de la Gastronomie last year. I had met Mr. Lefebvre at Les Etoiles de Mougins, during the 6th Festival International de la Gastronomie, in September 2011.


This year, for the second edition of La Fête de la Gastronomie, Mr. Lefebvre wants to expand to the U.S. Watch my exclusive video interview with Mr. Lefebvre to get a very first taste of what will take place on September 22, 2012.

Continue reading “La Fête de la Gastronomie 2012 in the U.S.” »



27

Mar

Cyrus' sous vide pork belly tacos

Cyrus' sous vide pork belly tacos

by Barb Rybicki


For wine lovers with an aching for bacon, the place to be this past weekend was Pigs & Pinot, the food and wine celebration and fundraiser held in Healdsburg, CA. The sold-out, seventh annual Taste of Pigs & Pinot kickoff on March 23 was a true feast from trotters to snout, MC-ed by chef Charlie Palmer at his Dry Creek Kitchen restaurant in the Hotel Healdsburg.


Pigs & Pinot benefits two child-focused non-profit organizations: Share Our Strength, which nourishes hungry kids in the U.S.; and Here For Them’s “Russ’s Kitchen” Bread For Life, which is helping orphaned kids in the Dominican Republic by building a panadería (bread bakery) to feed and train them in marketable culinary skills.

Continue reading “Pigging Out at Pigs & Pinot” »



Aerated foie gras, pickled beet, mashed plum, brioche at wd-50 restaurant in New York

Aerated foie gras, pickled beet, mashed plum, brioche at wd-50 restaurant in New York

All you ever wanted to know about Molecular food and are disconcerted to learn


by André Gayot


Due to our human condition, eating is an undisputable necessity, a possible pleasure, a subject of sciences (plural), and a topic of reflection. Rising above our basic mammalian status, the Escoffiers and the like succeeded in making eating a pleasure. However, not much has changed since the Stone Age when we knocked out aurochs with bludgeons, dug for roots with a flint, collected grains in the tundra and picked wild apples. As you may recall, the latter eventually generated a serious issue when Adam and Eve were ordered to promptly evacuate Paradise for this misconduct.

Continue reading “Molecular Gastronomy and the Future of Food” »



Did You Say Donuts?

on February 24th, 2012
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24

Feb

Vermont maple-glazed French cruller with candied bacon

Vermont maple-glazed French cruller with candied bacon

by Sophie Gayot


I recently found myself in the Loop in Chicago in search of breakfast, a vital part of my three-daily-meal routine. I can recommend a tiny place which just opened: Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee.


For donut lovers, it is a paradise. For others, it’s a good way to rediscover the treats. Since they offer so many flavors, you’re sure to find one to your liking, or one so good that you will want to return. Add a cup of coffee, and you’ll have a good way to keep you warm in the Windy City. That’s all they have; in fact, the entire menu of Do-Rite Donuts & Coffee is in its name!


Go to the photo gallery to discover some of their exotic flavors (Vermont maple-glazed French cruller with candied bacon, anyone?), and read the review for more information.



Madridfusión

on February 15th, 2012
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15

Feb

Madridfusión

Madridfusión

by Jennifer Olvera


Madridfusión: it’s where food trends come to life. Celebrating its tenth year, the recent gathering — held at the Palacio Municipal de Congresos — featured three chef-filled days replete with presentations, mad scientist-worthy cooking demos and interviews with food industry vets. Add to that the upper-level booths, proffering food, wine and cooking-related miscellania. It all occurs in tandem with Gastrofestival, a two-week extravaganza offering special food-based programming citywide at Madrid’s tapas restaurants, museums, markets and shops.


Those feeling particularly posh opted to stay at the palatial Hotel Ritz Madrid, where gracious service gives way to views of Retiro Park. But those in search of an edgier experience chose the architecturally driven — if off-the-beaten-path — Hotel Silken Puerta America Madrid. Its 13 floors, each designed in wildly creative fashion by a different architect, have a trippy feel and plenty of curb appeal.

Continue reading “Madridfusión” »



Flying Lobsters

on January 11th, 2012
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11

Jan

Live Maine lobster

Live Maine lobster


by Ben Narasin


While a trip to Montauk or Maine can create the ultimate lobster memory, if you don’t have one planned, you can create a small part of that Eastern elegance anywhere a FEDEX box can fly. GetMaineLobster.com will ship crustaceans overnight, chilled and wrapped in seaweed, alive and comatose, for you to drop fresh into your pot.


We tried the Maine Lobster “Feast for Two.” Two one-and-a-half-pound, just caught, live Maine lobsters, two pounds of mussels and two whoopie pies. Delivered from the Eastern shore to our Western coastline, the small feast costs $115.

Continue reading “Flying Lobsters” »



A Couple Deep in Chocolate

on December 07th, 2011
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07

Dec

Hasty Torres in her Beverly Hills store with Sophie Gayot

Hasty Torres in her Beverly Hills store with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Some couples are diabolic, but Jacques & Hasty Torres aka Mr. Chocolate and Madame Chocolat, are “chocoholic.” Jacques operates out of Brooklyn, Hasty out of Beverly Hills. If you are in the Los Angeles area and cannot drive to Beverly Hills or cannot fly to New York to indulge in their chocolate creations, you have a chance to get their pieces at two pop-up stores. One is located at The Grove in Los Angeles (near the foot of the Christmas tree across from Crate & Barrel), and the second one in Glendale at Americana at Brand (102 Caruso Ave. across from Trattoria Amici restaurant and Barnes & Noble, formerly Guess Accessory store).

His chocolate products are wrapped in brown and orange, while hers are in brown and beige, so there is no reason to be confused. Since it’s the holiday season, we recommend Jacques’ Christmas tree, snowman, and Santa Claus and Hasty’s nutcrackers, watches or gift baskets. They run from $1 to $200.

You will also find their classics: Hasty’s Eiffel Tower, High Heel Pumps, or truffles; and Jacques’ chocolate caramel corn, espresso beans or chocolate-covered marshmallows (I never had those, so they’re next on my list.)

Continue reading “A Couple Deep in Chocolate” »



Mario Batali had to eat his words - good thing he has plenty of recipes.

Mario Batali had to eat his words - good thing he has plenty of recipes.

by André Gayot


“The ways the bankers have kind of toppled the way money is distributed and taken most of it into their hands is as good as Stalin or Hitler and the evil guys,” star restaurateur Mario Batali declared at a recent panel sponsored by Time Magazine. No surprise Mr. Batali got a lot of flak, especially, of course, from bankers and the like. The restaurateur realized belatedly that quite a number of his clients in his twenty fancy establishments might very well belong to or be associated with the banking industry because, according to his own terms, bankers “… have taken most of the money into their hands,” and thus can easily afford the hefty bills. Some talked vigorously of boycotting Batali’s restaurants. Deterring such a well-heeled clientele is not good business practice in these uncertain times.


Sorry, oops, my mistake, went Mario, who said through a spokesperson, “It was never my intention to equate our banking industry with Hitler and Stalin, two of the most evil, brutal dictators in modern history.” So we get the message: these two guys are really bad, but bankers are OK. OK, but not angels?

Continue reading “The Cook, the Demons, the Angels & the Bankers” »



14

Nov

by Sophie Gayot


The Food Network needs no introduction, of course, but have you heard about their new show “Chef Hunter”? Hosted by culinary recruiter Carrie McCully, “Chef Hunter” is a docu-reality series that takes you behind the scenes of running a restaurant, beyond just cooking the food. In the six episodes, chefs compete head-to-head for coveted executive chef positions at restaurants all over the country.


Watch our exclusive video interview with McCully to learn more about the show, and tune in to the next episodes. For information about the airing dates, click here.

Continue reading “Hunting for a Chef on Food Network” »



08

Nov

Chefs from The French Culinary Institute

Chefs from The French Culinary Institute

by Michelle Kwan


The thirteenth annual Project by Project-sponsored Plate by Plate event benefiting the Chinatown Youth Initiatives showcased the culinary talents of a group of distinguished chefs, among them Chris Jaeckle of Ai Fiori. Guests at the October 14 happening in New York City sampled specialties from participating restaurants, including a traditional Korean spicy welk salad with buckwheat noodles from Danji, Iberico ham from Bar Basque, and braised beef cheek from Macao Trading Co. Wineries like Southern California-based Monte De Oro and Bedell of North Fork, Long Island, served up tastings of their finest reds and whites, while Hakkaisan, Joto and Tengumai acquainted visitors with the subtleties of saké. Spirits distributors Zyr Vodka, Speyburn Scotch and Caorunn Gin, and designer water purveyor Voss, were also on hand. One of the highlights of the evening was the Quickfire Challenge with last year’s winner Jaeckle and former Top Chef contestant Lee Anne Wong as competitors, with each chef preparing dishes centered around one main ingredient: salmon. Kudos went to Jaeckle’s various salmon-inspired crudos, but ultimately, the title went to Wong’s salmon prepared three ways.
 

Continue reading “Project by Project, Plate by Plate” »



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