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Chef William Bradley of the Addison Restaurant
Chef William Bradley of the Addison restaurant

By André Gayot

To count how many places in the entire world belong in the same class as The Grand Del Mar hotel near San Diego, you probably won’t need all ten of your fingers. Perched in the foothills of the Sierras, hidden within the rolling hills, this domain is nothing but majestic beauty.

 

Good enough, but how can we spend—without drastically breaking the bank — an unforgettable evening in this palatial Moorish style Kasbah spiced with a good ladle of Florentine art where no effort (nor money) was spared to erect this paramount of handsome hospitality? Follow me. Let’s walk to your table in the Addison restaurant, between the Porphyry columns sustaining the caisson ceiling over the encrusted marble floor.

 

Continue reading “The Rise of the Chef who Likes the Citrus Twist” »



Yes, We Can

on June 30th, 2009
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30

Jun

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, chefs Bruno Lopez & Sylvain Rivetr with Sophie Gayot
Yann Arthus-Bertrand, chefs Bruno Lopez & Sylvain Rivetr with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

These are, of course, not my words, but the ones borrowed from President Obama by French Consul General David Martinon, in Los Angeles, yesterday when introducing Yann Arthus-Bertrand and his new movie, “Home.”

 

A lunch was held before the screening. Chefs Bruno Lopez and Sylvain Rivet, from Amuse Bouche, received special instructions to prepare the meal: it needed to be “green” with organic products, and no animal protein. And yes, Arthus-Bertrand checked with them after the lunch. The pair used organic local vegetables, and replaced the traditional chorizo sausage for the paella with one (a very good one) made of soy and vegetables.

 

After watching the movie at the Egyptian Theater, I clearly understood Arthus-Bertrand’s request to the chefs. The message of his movie is so significant, actually a matter of life and death, that I feel I need much more space to discuss it than in the few lines I would usually write in the blog.

 

I will keep you posted when the interview I had with him is on-line. But I wanted to let you know now about Arthus-Bertrand’s activism to try to save the planet for us and our children. Since the movie is commercial-free, you can watch it in HD on YouTube.

 

 

 



28

May

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

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.

Petrossian Boutique & Cafe on Urbanspoon



19

May

22nd century coulis

22nd century coulis

By Alain Gayot

 

With the world’s population expanding like a hot air balloon readying for flight, our food supply needs to be addressed at a macro level by huge food ingredient firms such as CP Kelco. Still at a macro level, this global company, owned by the J.M. Huber Corporation, is itself the result of a merger of the Danish company Copenhagen Pectin, the Finnish company Noviant, and the American Firm Kelco Company. CP Kelco is a leading producer and supplier of specialty hydrocolloids – a family of materials designed to control the rheology (flow behavior) of water in various systems.  

 

The products manufactured by CP Kelco include: carrageenan, cellulose gum, diutan gum, gellan gum, locust bean gum, microparticulated whey protein concentrate, pectin, welan gum, xanthan gum, and other novel biopolymers. These products can be found in applications spanning across the food, pharmaceutical, oral care, personal care, household and consumer product, paper coating and oil field drilling industries. Every day, you are using a product that contains hydrocolloids. They have more than 3,500 customers in over 100 countries worldwide. That’s big!  

Continue reading “My Life as a [Molecular] Blog” »



Daniel Boulud serving food in the basement of Bar Boulud at an after party

Daniel Boulud serving food in the basement of Bar Boulud at an after party

By David Farley 

The 2009 James Beard Foundation awards came and went rather quietly this year. There was less food at the post-show reception in the Lincoln Center lobby and the celebration was more subdued than years past, but that doesn’t mean the kitchen stars didn’t come out for the event.

 

We were there all night (plus at after parties at Bar Boulud and the Pegu Club) and rubbed elbows with the culinary all stars, including Tom Colicchio, Alain Ducasse, Jean-Georges Vongerichten, David Chang, Missy Robbins, Grant Achatz, and Daniel Boulud.

 

The big winners included David Chang’s Momofuku Ko for best new restaurant, Daniel for most outstanding service, Dan Barber (of Blue Hill) for most outstanding chef and Jean-Georges for most outstanding restaurant. 

 

See our list of complete winners. 



1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners - Ferran Adrià of El Bulli (top), Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck (left) and René Redzepi of Noma (right)

1st, 2nd and 3rd place winners - Ferran Adrià of El Bulli (top), Heston Blumenthal of Fat Duck (left) and René Redzepi of Noma (right)

By Mary Anne Evans 

It was a glittering occasion last night in London. Where in the world would you get so many top international chefs deserting their kitchens and gathering together in one place at any one time? Names like Joël Robuchon, Mathias Dahlgren from Sweden, Ignatious Chan of Iggy’s in Singapore, Marcus Wareing, and David Chang of Momofuku Ssäm Bar in New York.

 

 

They had all jetted in for the S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards (co-sponsored by Restaurant magazine, Acqua Panna, Nespresso, Laurent-Perrier, alliance restaurant insurance and Electrolux, with Action Against Hunger the official charity). The ceremony took place in the Masonic Freemasons Hall, a suitably esoteric setting for the best chefs in the world.

 

Continue reading “The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants Awards” »



Michel Richard tasting Jean Joho's perfect risotto with Sophie Gayot

Michel Richard tasting Jean Joho’s perfect risotto with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

 

 

Today, at the Second Annual Pebble Beach Food & Wine extravaganza, I enjoyed a dream lunch prepared by chefs Michel Richard from Citronelle in Washington, D.C., and Jean Joho from Everest in Chicago.

Sponsored by Lexus, the meal was based on the king of mushrooms, the truffle.
The talented pair cooked right in front of us, and even filled the tent with smoke!

Continue reading “At Table with Two of Our Top 40 US Chefs” »


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04

Mar

Ferran Adrià of elBulli

Ferran Adrià of elBulli

 

A recent health scare at the world-renowned Fat Duck in England has forced the prestigious restaurant to shut its doors. Owner Heston Blumenthal, referred to as a “culinary alchemist” issued the closure when over 40 customers reported cases of illness after having dined at his establishment. These events have caused quite a stir in the culinary world, as many are now questioning the safety of molecular gastronomy – a cooking technique that relies heavily on chemicals that are intended to “deconstruct” the ingredients and transform the flavor and presentation of dishes. One of the most famous molecular gastronomists, Spanish-born Ferran Adrià (named best chef in the world by British publication Restaurant Magazine), implements similar techniques at his restaurant elBulli and has stood firm ground in support of cooking with chemicals.

Continue reading “The End of Culinary Alchemy?” »



Vive la Chandeleur!

on February 02nd, 2009
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02

Feb

Kids love to flip the crêpe in the pan

Kids love to flip the crêpe in the pan

It’s time to give thanks to Gélasse the First, Pope during the 5th Century, whose gastronomical contribution to Christianity has remained a steadfast part of history. 40 days after the birth of Jesus Christ, Gélasse was responsible for merging the celebration of the child with the pagan celebration of light. The event was in the fashion of a grand banquet, illuminated in the dark days of February by candles (in French: Chandelles). Hence the name of Chandeleur. During Chandeleur, on February 2, it is tradition to feast on “crêpes,” just like in the days of Gélasse. Everywhere in France on this day, crêpes are “de rigueur” whether at home or in “crêperies”. This year, eating in crêperies is a good way to avoid the high prices of restaurants and still get a great meal (particularly during such turbulent economic times.)  

 

Despite the recession, however, not all restaurants in Paris are hurting. Those serving good food at reasonable prices are continually filled to capacity. Diners rely on a Quality:Price ratio to determine at which establishment to dine. Business lunches are on the decline and everywhere diners unanimously complain about the mark-up of wine prices.

 

The recession certainly has not affected fast food chains. Who would have ever believed that McDonald’s would open new outlets left and right?  Those Golden Arches are not the only ones to benefit from this economic climate: a new French chic fast food chain is surfing on the wave of recession. Fresh products and creative recipes are the mainstay of Restaurant Cojean.



François Simon

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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