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Following A Contestant

on October 03rd, 2011
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03

Oct

  • pinitbutton Following A Contestant

by Sophie Gayot

I previously wrote about attending Les Etoiles de Mougins, the 6th Festival International de la Gastronomie held in Mougins, France, and the professional chef competition. Of the seventy chefs who tried to take part, only five were selected to come to Mougins. Jessica Largey, who is a sous-chef at David Kinch’s Manresa restaurant in Los Gatos, California, was the only American and the only woman to make the cut.

Continue reading “Following A Contestant” »



23

Sep

  • pinitbutton La Fête de la Gastronomie in France
sophie gayot frederic lefebvre1 300x208 La Fête de la Gastronomie in France

Mr. Richard Galy (center), mayor of Mougins & Mr. Frédéric Lefebvre, French Secretary of State for Trade, SMEs, Services, Tourism, the Professions and Consumption with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Gastronomy is a very significant part of French culture, but it’s even more important today than ever before. For the first time, on September 23, 2011, the country is holding a national day dedicated to gastronomy. Frédéric Lefèbvre, French Secretary of State for Trade, SMEs, Services, Tourism, the Professions and Consumption, created La Fête de la Gastronomie to celebrate the rich diversity of the French gastronomic tradition. Each year, the Fête de la Gastronomie will be based on a theme. For 2011, it is “the Earth.”

 

All over the country, restaurateurs, chefs, caterers, producers, government agencies, and amateurs will showcase French cooking, French produce, and the art of entertaining à la Française. As I am writing these lines, there are over 4,400 scheduled events — and there are sure to be impromptu ones as well, such as chefs coming out of their kitchens to cook in the streets. The objective is to bring people together and inspire them to get cooking.

Continue reading “La Fête de la Gastronomie in France” »



  • pinitbutton Les Espoirs de Mougins 2011: The Winner, Le Gagnant

by Sophie Gayot

This past weekend, the 6th Festival International de la Gastronomie was held in Mougins, France. Over eighty chefs from all over the world made the trip to the south of France to showcase their cuisine during Les Etoiles de Mougins. The highlight of the three days was Sunday’s chef competition.

During the first step, five chefs were selected from a list of seventy: Francis Ogé (a cook in the kitchen at the Elysée Palace), Filipo Fiorentini (Arnolfo restaurant, Italy), Nelson Da Silva (Le Loom, Seignosse), Jessica Largey (sous-chef at David Kinch’s Manresa, Los Gatos, Calif.) and Olivier Jean (Le Métropole, Monte-Carlo). They had two hours to prepare a “foie gras cuit servi chaud avec une garniture libre autour de la courge butternut” (warm cooked foie gras with butternut squash based garnish). To make it harder, at the last minute, the jury introduced a mystery ingredient: lentils.
Continue reading “Les Espoirs de Mougins 2011: The Winner, Le Gagnant” »



  • pinitbutton LAbeille Restaurant at the Shangri La Hotel, Paris

The Eiffel Tower on Your Plate


by Sophie Gayot


There is a French expression: “avec des si, on mettrait Paris en bouteille,” which means, “with ifs, you could fit Paris in a bottle.” But how can you fit the Eiffel Tower on a plate? Watch the exclusive video interview with executive chef Philippe Labbé of L’Abeille restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel Paris, to see how he does it. You will find out why Labbé is paying a tribute to La Grande Dame, as about half of the hotel’s 27 suites and 54 rooms have unobstructed views of the monument built by Gustave Eiffel in 1889 for the World’s Fair.

Continue reading “L’Abeille Restaurant at the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris” »



02

Sep

  • pinitbutton Tastes & Saveurs in Mougins, France

by Sophie Gayot

The sixth edition of Les Étoiles de Mougins, Festival International de la Gastronomie et des Arts de Vivre will be held September 16-18, 2011, on The Riviera in the gorgeous village of Mougins (Côte d’Azur, France). After the second edition in 2007, the prestigious event had to limit the number of participating chefs to 100 due to its overwhelming success. The Festival was created by mayor Richard Galy in 2006 to honor chef Roger Vergé who literally put Mougins on the world map with his restaurant and hotel Le Moulin de Mougins. If it sounds familiar, this is where Liz Taylor would hold her “big” AIDS charity dinner during the Cannes Film Festival. Watch the exclusive video interview with Mayor Richard Galy, the man behind the Festival. He wants people to know that Mougins is also a city of art with over 30 galleries and “ateliers d’art” stretching along the small winding and charming streets, and it now has a new Museum of Classical Art.
 

Continue reading “Tastes & Saveurs in Mougins, France” »



05

Jul

  • pinitbutton When the Eclair Sparks
eclair caramel beurre sale 300x193 When the Eclair Sparks

Superb éclair caramel beurre salé

by Sophie Gayot


A recent lunch in Paris brought me to Cyril Lignac’s bistrot Le Chardenoux located in a quiet street of the eleventh arrondissement. Lignac was not there, but Marie-Laure, “la maîtresse de maison”, was. As I ordered the baba au rhum for dessert, a Chardenoux classic, and my guests ordered the pain perdu à la cerise and the profiteroles à la vanille, she insisted that we try the éclair caramel beurre salé (salted butter caramel éclair). She knew exactly was she was doing, and that we would all love it. She was right. I don’t think an éclair can get any better than that, between its wrapping and its content: a perfectly baked puff pastry filled and covered with a delicious caramel cream.

Continue reading “When the Eclair Sparks” »



  • pinitbutton The 2011 French Open on Tennis Channel

by Sophie Gayot

Like last year, we have partnered with Tennis Channel to offer a taste of France to American fans of Roland Garros who can not make it to Paris. In New YorkWashington D.C., Atlanta, Miami, Phoenix and Los Angeles, we have selected the top ten French bistros/brasseries/restaurants to help celebrate Tennis Channel‘s round-the-clock coverage of the two-week French Open. Their high definition programming will let you follow the matches of tennis’ largest and most prestigious clay-court competition live starting at 5 a.m. EST. A nightly recap will run from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. EST.

 Here is where to find the GAYOT.com Top 10 French Restaurant Guide for these markets:
- Atlanta
- Los Angeles
- Miami
- New York
- Phoenix
- Washington D.C.

 For more info about the coverage of Roland Garros 2011, go to www.tennischannel.com.



11

May

  • pinitbutton Joël Robuchon, A Stellar Chef

by Sophie Gayot


In 1990, Joël Robuchon was named Cuisinier du Siècle, Chef of the Century. The title, which did not come easily, was based on his impressive, extraordinary talent, so-well-controlled creativity, religious respect of produce and the purity of his flavors. Luckily for us, his gifts are still going strong in this century.


Since moving from Poitou (a Western region of France) to Paris in 1978, Robuchon has distilled his undisputable cooking skills throughout the world with ultra-fine dining establishments like Restaurant Joël Robuchon in Las Vegas (a GAYOT.com Top 40 Restaurant since its 2005 opening), and the L’Atelier concept. I have to admit that when I saw the first Atelier under construction in Paris in the winter of 2002, I was skeptical about having Robuchon’s delicacies sitting behind a bar on a bar stool, without having the possibility of sharing these culinary pleasures with more than one or two persons (it’s not easy to have a larger party along a bar). Oh, boy, was I wrong! There are now nine Ateliers around the world, with the latest addition in Singapore.

Continue reading “Joël Robuchon, A Stellar Chef” »



Paris, Produce & Purple

on February 23rd, 2011
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23

Feb

  • pinitbutton Paris, Produce & Purple

by Sophie Gayot


Fresh off the plane from Los Angeles, I headed to Le 114 Faubourg in Paris with an American friend of mine to show her how a chef can bring brasserie cuisine to a luxurious level. The restaurant is located in the Hôtel Le Bristol and is overseen by chef Eric Frechon, so I was pretty sure that the demonstration would be good. My assumption was confirmed.


At Le 114, produce is king. The cuisine, prepared by chef de cuisine Eric Desbordes, is simple, one you can have (almost) every day. Watch my exclusive video interview above with chef Frechon to learn more and see the luxury brasserie.

 

Continue reading “Paris, Produce & Purple” »



  • pinitbutton When the American Dream Has a Taste of Brie

by André Gayot


Who wasn’t bewildered by the magnitude and the architectural riches of the South Coast Plaza in Orange County, California, when it first opened in 1967? We were among those filled with admiration for the shining, marble-tiled, majestic alleys of what was then one of the largest shopping malls of the world. (Of course, that is now dwarfed by The Dubai Mall). Today, we remain impressed with the flamboyant style of this cathedral of consumption adorned with the names of the luminaries of the chicest commerce of the globe. Overwhelmed by the Gucci’s, the Tiffany’s and the Louis Vuitton’s, we like to pause and seek some relief from grandeur in a human proportioned asylum, with the reassuring French name, “Marché Moderne.”
Continue reading “When the American Dream Has a Taste of Brie” »



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