Viking River Cruises Sets World Record, Again – Travel News

Viking Longship Freya of the Viking River Cruises fleet
Viking Longship Freya of the Viking River Cruises fleet


For the second year in a row, Viking River Cruises became a bona fide Guinness World Record holder. In just a little over 24 hours, Viking christened sixteen of its award-winning Longships — nine were launched in Amsterdam, four in Germany and three in France.

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Where to Dine in 2014

How to find the best restaurants
Clockwise from upper left: The Church Key, Hakkasan (Beverly Hills), Lazare (Paris), Hôtel Plaza Athénée (Paris)

by Sophie Gayot
 
As 2013 has ended, aren’t you looking forward to know where to dine in 2014?
 
We have a few things that can help.
 
Listen to my latest interview on chef Jamie Gwen’s radio show, which is now syndicated throughout America, where we discussed (listen to show here):
– chef Michel Richard’s new restaurant in New York, Villard at The New York Palace;
chef Jeff Mahin’s new additions to the Chicago scene, Summer House Santa Monica and Stella Barra Pizzeria;
Michael Mina’s PUB 1842 at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, and Sam Marvin’s Echo & Rig Butcher and Steakhouse in Las Vegas;
– then we went to Paris to talk about the major renovation going on at the Dorchester Collection’s Hôtel Plaza Athénée, and chef Eric Frechon‘s new gourmet bistro Lazare;
– we finished the journey in Los Angeles at Hakkasan, the new Chinese restaurant in Beverly Hills, and chef Steven Fretz’s The Church Key in West Hollywood, which is already so popular, it’s hard to get a table.

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What is 40 Pounds of Recipes?

by Sophie Gayot

It is 18 kilos of a 1,200-page cookbook containing 500 recipes and illustrated by 1,500 photos; 1,000 copies of this book are being sold at € 1,500 by a chef who started in the kitchen at 15, and has been cooking for 25 years. From peeling potatoes at his debut, Yannick Alléno worked his way up to fine dining gastronomy when he took the helm at Le Meurice restaurant in Paris.

 

The best way to discover this soon-to-become iconic cookbook, Ma Cuisine Française, is to do it with Alléno himself with the video above. Also listen closely to how Alléno wants to redefine French cuisine in this exclusive one-on-one discussion.

 

To buy the book, you can only do so at http://macuisinefrancaise.com/

 

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When the Hôtel Plaza Athénée Closes Its Doors

Francois Delahaye | Alain Ducasse | Sophie Gayot
François Delahaye, Hôtel Plaza Athénée general manager, chef Alain Ducasse with Sophie Gayot


by Sophie Gayot


Although I missed the 100th-anniversary celebration of Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris in April of this year, I was there last night for its “unofficial” closing ceremony. Yes, you read that correctly, the Plaza’s last day was September 30th. Rest assured, it is closing for a good cause: to reopen with even more grandeur (if that is even possible).

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LLC: Luxury Louis XIII Cognac

by Sophie Gayot

 

House of Rémy Martin’s Cognac Louis XIII is made of an assemblage of 1,200 eaux-de-vie of which some are more than one hundred years old. The cellar masters involved in the process have to keep consistency so your palate enjoys the same taste from one bottle to another — especially since they are selling a $2,200 Cognac.

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