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  • 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” »



  • pinitbutton Air France: Paris / Los Angeles, Celebrating 50 years
sophiegayotdavidmartinon 300x199 Air France: Paris / Los Angeles, Celebrating 50 years
Consul General of France David Martinon, Sophie Gayot, pastry chef Yvan Valentin, Christine Ourmières, Air France Vice President & General Manager USA

by Sophie Gayot

It’s been fifty years since Air France became the first French airline to link to the West Coast of America. On April 4, 1960, the airline inaugurated twice-weekly flights of a Boeing 707, which took thirteen-and-a-half hours from Paris to Los Angeles, including a stopover in Montréal. Previously, the flight stopped in New York and lasted an extra 10 hours! Of course, things are even better today with three non-stop daily flights, done in eleven hours. From two classes of service (Luxe and Economy), there are now four: La Première, Business, the new Premium Economy (read a description of it in our Travel section) and Economy.

Continue reading “Air France: Paris / Los Angeles, Celebrating 50 years” »



Tennis Uncorked

on May 25th, 2010
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25

May

  • pinitbutton Tennis Uncorked

 

by Sophie Gayot

 

While I am in Paris enjoying escargots, fresh baguette, Camembert, and the glittering Eiffel Tower, I am also following the 2010 Roland Garros tennis tournament on the television channel France Televisions. Hopefully, I will have time to go see the players compete at the stadium, between my visits to Parisian restaurants.

 

If you are in the U.S., you can do the same by tuning your television to the Tennis Channel or TV5 Monde. In New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Atlanta, Washngton, D.C. and Chicago, we have selected a few French restaurants, bistros, brasseries and cafés that will bring true French tastes to your palate. Enjoy the games and the food!

 

Go to our Restaurant News, Restaurant Events, and Restaurant Search pages to find out what is happening in the culinary world from your city to Paris!



28

May

  • pinitbutton Caviar and Much More…
sophiegayotabbeland 275x300 Caviar and Much More…

West Hollywood Mayor Abbe Land cutting the ribbon with the Petrossians, the Martinons and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

After months and months of remodeling, the West Hollywood Petrossian Paris Boutique & Café finally reopened last night. Armen Petrossian and his son Alexandre made the trip from Paris to unveil a totally new space, where the boutique and the café each now have their own dedicated space.

The mayor of West Hollywood, Abbe Land, held the scissors for the red ribbon ceremony, also attended by the French Consul General David Martinon, and his wife Karen. Petrossian farm-raised American caviar, paired with Champagne, disappeared as soon as it came out of the kitchen.

Petrossian Paris was established by Armenian brothers Melkoum and Mouchegh Petrossian. The two were the first to introduce caviar to Paris, then to the rest of the world after fleeing Russia for the City of Lights in the early 1920’s. Today, Petrossian Paris offers an array of packaged goods including their signature smoked salmon, a variety of smoked seafood, fine chocolates, mustards, olive oils, specialty vinegars and fruit preserves along with the comprehensive collection of Petrossian caviar. You can find Petrossian boutiques, restaurants and cafés in Paris, Monaco, New York, Las Vegas and West Hollywood.

minilogo Caviar and Much More…



05

Apr

  • pinitbutton Running in the Streets of Paris
toureiffel 300x183 Running in the Streets of Paris

La Tour Eiffel, the most visited monument in the world

 

Worldwide, millions walk and jog. This morning more than 31,000 participants ran the 33th Paris Marathon. Starting at the bottom of the most beautiful avenue of the world, Les Champs-Elysées, they looped around the City of Lights to finish on the gorgeous avenue Foch. It seems that to get the best views of the city, it was better to be one of the helicopter pilots covering the event than an actual marathoner.

 

 

 

The weather was just perfect for this ultimate race, where the winner, Vincent Kipruto of Kenya, broke the record of the Paris competition by 33 seconds, finishing the 41,195 kilometers (26 mi., 385 yds) in 2 hours, 5 minutes and 47 seconds. Bazu Worku from Ethiopia finished second (2:06:15), while another Kenyan, David Kiyeng, took third (2:06:26). For the women, Ethiopian Atsede Bayisa won in 2:24:42 over her compatriot Aselefech Mergia (2:25:02). The surprise came from Christelle Daunay of the home country who took third place in 2:25:44. Did you know that women weren’t officially allowed to run marathons until 1972 (Boston) and at the Olympics in 1984 in Los Angeles?



  • pinitbutton Hey, Michelin, it is about Time for Frechon!

sophiegayotericfrechon 189x300 Hey, Michelin, it is about Time for Frechon!

Eric Frechon & Sophie Gayot already celebrating his high GAYOT rating

by Sophie Gayot

 

We were happy but not surprised to see executive chef Eric Frechon has finally earned his third Michelin star at his Paris restaurant Le Bristol, as we have raved about his culinary skills for years. Le Bristol, located in Hôtel Le Bristol, is one of just three dozen top restaurants in the world that we have rated as an 18/20.

While Michelin announced their honor in the 2009 edition of the famous red book that was published yesterday, we first gave our high mark way back in 2005.

Eric also has cooked a special dinner for us at Sylvain Rivet’s Amuse Bouche Fine Dining in Simi Valley (along with Josiah Citrin of Santa Monica’s Mélisse), and his talents are evident on both sides of the Atlantic. Take a bow, Chef!

 



Le Nez du Paquebot France

on February 08th, 2009
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08

Feb

  • pinitbutton Le Nez du Paquebot France
france 210x300 Le Nez du Paquebot France

Sophie Gayot In Paris in front of the "nez" of the France

by Sophie Gayot


The first time I ever traveled to America was by boat, even though aviation was no longer at its debut. I took the unforgettable journey with my family on the SS France, the fastest ship and the longest liner at the time. It took us five days to travel across the Atlantic, and I still have incredible memories of our passage. My brother Alain and I even got lost once going from our playground to the dining room.
 
 
 

Today, the once-powerful ship was sold in parts in Paris by the Artcurial gallery. The pièce de résistance was the nose, le nez. Estimated between € 80,000 to € 100,000, it was purchased by a realtor from Deauville, Normandy, for a whopping € 273,200. The remains of what was once a French point of pride will be displayed in the harbor of Le Havre where the SS France was once anchored.

 

 

 

 



Say Cheese!

on January 29th, 2009
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29

Jan

  • pinitbutton Say Cheese!
roquefort 300x267 Say Cheese!

Roquefort is the king of cheeses

by André Gayot

 

The Roquefort saga continues to unfold. The Europeans, of course, did not appreciate the last “gift” of the Bush administration: the tripling of the taxes on imported Roquefort cheese as of March 23, 2009. The background of the story is:

 

While it is legal in America to raise beef with hormones that accelerate the growth of the animals and also to “sanitize” chickens with chlorine (to prevent harmful salmonella), such procedures are forbidden in Europe. Since 1988, the European Union has banned US beef and chicken which does not comply with the European rules. Continue reading “Say Cheese!” »



  • pinitbutton In Search of the Best Chocolate Soufflé Recipe
img 6999 300x225 In Search of the Best Chocolate Soufflé Recipe

Gilles Epie and Sophie Gayot in the wine cellar

by Sophie Gayot

Since L’Orangerie has closed its doors in Los Angeles, I have been looking for that perfect soufflé au chocolat. I had no luck until my recent trip to Paris. As I always do when the chef offers the dessert on his menu, I ordered one to end my dinner at Citrus Etoile.

And, oh, was I surprised! It was as good as the one from the legendary temple of haute cuisine, though a slightly different version that was almost an improvement. Did I forget to mention that the chef, Gilles Épié, was the chef at L’Orangerie some years ago? Continue reading “In Search of the Best Chocolate Soufflé Recipe” »



  • pinitbutton Tough Début in the Kitchen for a Food Critic
francoissimon1 Tough Début in the Kitchen for a Food Critic

In the kitchen with François Simon

by André Gayot

The “sprinkler gets sprinkled” was the title of one of the first movies ever produced by the Lumière brothers credited for the invention of the cinema. A Parisian food critic has experienced the actuality of this moral and eternal story: don’t do to others what you wouldn’t want them to do to you.

 

The Paris foodie establishment is abuzz with the mishap of François Simon, known for his frequent bashing of the top chefs in a Paris newspaper. “These guys,” he contends, “think they are untouchable because of their star status. It’s healthy to debunk them off their pedestal.” However, the critic is also a strong supporter of a movement dubbed “Foodism” which aims to rejuvenate the French cuisine but so far has a hard time getting off the ground, because many say they don’t understand what “Foodism” is about. To abate the general skepticism, Simon announced in his blog that he would demonstrate the merits of “Foodism” by publicly preparing in a restaurant such a “Foodist” based meal. When the verdict was out, the media stated that there were no kudos from the public nor from the critics for Simon’s undertaking. No breakthrough yet for “Foodism” seems to be the consensus and no star for the apprentice chef. Of course, you don’t need to be a screenwriter or a director to write about films, but if you are not, maybe it’s better not to try to be one, especially if you tend to use a sword as a pen. Take it easy, François.

 

For the record, at the start of his career thirty eight years ago, Simon was an intern at the “Nouveau Guide Magazine” founded by Henri Gault, Christian Millau and I. Small world, indeed.

 

 



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