Since 1969, restaurant, hotel, travel & other witty reviews by a handpicked, worldwide team of discerning professionals—and your views, too.




  • pinitbutton The Summer Heats up with Hell’s Kitchen Season 7
gordonramsaysophiegayot 300x219 The Summer Heats up with Hell’s Kitchen Season 7
Chef Gordon Ramsay with Sophie Gayot and Alexandre, her son

by Sophie Gayot


For the third time, will be helping chef Gordon Ramsay on his hit TV show Hell’s Kitchen. In 2008, I was featured in the eighth episode of season 4. In 2009, my brother Alain Gayot appeared in the final episode of season 6. I will return to the program on the season 7 premiere, to be aired June 1st on Fox (8:00p.m.-9p.m. ET/PT).

On the first day of filming this episode, Gordon Ramsay presented the sixteen new contestants: eight ladies on the Red Team, and eight gentlemen on the Blue Team. The second day was the real deal: the cooking and the judging. In his personal style, Gordon Ramsay asked the contestants to do something that had never been done in the prior seasons: complete the dinner service on the very first episode. Did they? You will have to watch to find out. Expect a few more surprises as well.

On another note, I have met Gordon Ramsay a few times, away from the impressive set of Hell’s Kitchen located in Culver City. He is indeed a rather charming person. One day, when I ask him to autograph one of his cookbooks, he refused to sign it for me, but instead dedicated it to my son Alexandre, who wasn’t there that night. Although a busy celebrity chef, Gordon had remembered meeting him earlier. So, despite what you see on TV, he can be very sweet.

Note: Chef Jason Santos, one of the contestants, is offering a special dinner on June 1 at his Boston restaurant Gargoyles on the Square, offering dishes he prepared on the television show. For more about Boston restaurants, read our Boston Restaurant News, Reviews, Culinary Events and Wine Dinners.



  • pinitbutton French Romance in Hollywood

 by Sophie Gayot

The Gayots celebrated the opening night of the 2010 City of Lights, City of Angels (COL•COA) Film Festival last night at the DGATheater on Sunset Boulevard. The 14-year-old COLCOA is the second entirely-French-language film festival in the world.

Due to the volcanic activity in Iceland, some key figures could not make it, but French Consul General David Martinon welcomed the packed house watching the North American premiere of Heartbreaker(L’Arnacoeur), a romantic comedy starring Vanessa Paradis (Johnny Depp’s life partner) and Romain Duris, and directed by Pascal Chaumeil.

Continue reading “French Romance in Hollywood” »



  • pinitbutton Kefir Lime on the STREET
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Chef Susan Feniger with Sophie Gayot at STREET restaurant

by Sophie Gayot


How popular is Susan Feniger? So many people showed up at her latest venture STREET last night to watch her appearance on the TV show Top Chef Masters that the LAPD had to dispatch a traffic officer to Highland Avenue to handle the crush.  STREET private parking behind the restaurant was transformed into a party playground to handle the more than three hundred guests. Luckily, the walls of the parking are decorated with the same graffiti art as the inside.


We got to taste Feniger’s street food for the modest sum of $25, with half of the proceeds benefiting the Scleroderma Research Foundation. For me, the winning dish was the pork slider. Made with braised pork in licorice, sweet soy and oyster sauce, pickled carrots, daikon radish and cilantro, it also had a secret ingredient: kefir lime aioli that brought a smart touch.

minilogo Kefir Lime on the STREET



  • pinitbutton Une Grande Dame chez Melisse
sophiegayotlinerenaud 300x155 Une Grande Dame chez Melisse

French actress Line Renaud between chef Josiah Citrin and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Line Renaud, one of the most revered and talented French actresses, is undoubtedly France’s favorite lady. Line has accomplished so much in her career that it would be impossible to list all of her appearances, but her role last year as an authoritarian mother in the comedy ‘Bienvenue Chez les Ch’tis‘ made her even more loveable to all. At 81, she’s still going strong. Last week, she was in Los Angeles, before touring throughout France for the play, “Très Chère Mathilde,” Michèle Fitoussi’s French adaptation of the work of American playwright Israel Horovitz. Despite her busy schedule, she still found the time to spend hours at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Beverly Hills at the bed of French crooner Johnny Hallyday talking sweetly to him while he was in a coma.

Continue reading “Une Grande Dame chez Melisse” »

Bouchon Voilà!

on November 17th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Bouchon Voilà!
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Larry King with Sophie Gayot at the opening of Thomas Keller’s Bouchon in Beverly Hills

By Sophie Gayot


Last night, the grand opening of Thomas Keller’s third Bouchon restaurant in Beverly Hills was definitely the place to be. The long, red carpet was filled with celebrities, including Larry and Shawn King, Jay Leno, Pierce Brosnan, Don Johnson, Gilles Marini, Ryan Seacrest, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. Some were driven to and from the event by BMW, one of the night’s sponsors.


Continue reading “Bouchon Voilà!” »

Time to Cover Kobe

on October 13th, 2009
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  • pinitbutton Time to Cover Kobe
sophiegayotkobebryant 300x219 Time to Cover Kobe

Kobe Bryant with chef Philippe Chow and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


Kobe Bryant took a break from Lakers training camp to attend the opening of Philippe Los Angeles last night. Was it due to his love for contemporary Chinese food, which flowed generously out of the Melrose Avenue kitchen? No, Kobe was celebrating his appearance on the cover of L’Uomo Vogue magazine, and his new watch collaboration, the Black Mambo, by Nubeo.


We’ll give you a further report on the new Philippe Chow restaurant after we have dinner there next week. And, as for Kobe, we think his taste in jewelry is more along the lines of another NBA championship ring!

minilogo Time to Cover Kobe



  • pinitbutton Susan Feniger, Star of the Emmys
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Jeff Probst, best reality host Emmy winner, with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot




If you were looking for Susan Feniger last night, she was nowhere near her restaurants (STREET, Border Grill, Ciudad). She was too busy cooking for 1,000 guests at CBS Television Entertainment Tonight’s Emmy Awards Party downtown at Vibiana—a former church now transformed into an elegant event venue.


Her worldwide cuisine was offered at four different buffets, each with a geographical theme, with more selections passed on trays such as Japanese shizo shrimp, Moldavian meatballs, and Indian semolina cakes.


Feniger’s food was so different from what caterers usually present, that it made the evening that much more stellar.


Continue reading “Susan Feniger, Star of the Emmys” »



  • pinitbutton LA Restaurant News on the Radio
sophiegayotfrankmottek 300x207 LA Restaurant News on the Radio

Frank Mottek in the KNX1070 studios with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


If you missed my appearance last week on Frank Mottek’s Business Hour on KNX1070, here is another chance to hear about the Los Angeles restaurants that are perfect for dining during these summer days and thereafter.



You can listen to

- last week’s interview here

- previous interviews on KNX1070 here.




  • pinitbutton Recipes for a Stylish Barbecue
sophiegayotcurtisstone 276x300 Recipes for a Stylish Barbecue

Chef Curtis Stone showing his new book to Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

What better way to experience a cookbook than to cook with the author himself? Since it is summer and we all enjoy the outdoors, celebrity chef Curtis Stone put on his apron last week to show us some of his barbecue recipes.


From his latest release, Relaxed Cooking with Curtis Stone, we enjoyed the baby-back ribs. I am sure it was due to the barbecue sauce, both sweet and sour (page 192); it was so good I used the leftover the next day on chicken, and vegetables. Stone suggested seasoning lobster with a white sauce, lemon and parsley before putting it on the grill (page 183).


For a light, sweet finish, he had prepared lemon curd tarts topped with fresh raspberries (page 250). He likes to tell the story that lemon curd is one of the first things his mum taught him to make.

Continue reading “Recipes for a Stylish Barbecue” »



  • pinitbutton We Will Miss You, Michael
sophiegayotlatoyajackson 300x243 We Will Miss You, Michael
Latoya Jackson with Wolfgang Puck and Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

The closest I ever got to Michael Jackson was through his sister Latoya Jackson. I had met her at the opening party of Wolfgang Puck’s CUT restaurant in the Beverly Wilshire hotel in Los Angeles, back in May, 2006.


Then, later that year, I had the pleasure to dine with her at CUT while master chef Puck was there. We were only four at the table, so I was really able to appreciate her kindness. Like many of us, fascinated by her genius brother Michael, I was hoping to meet him one day.


Michael, you will forever live in our heart and ears. Thank you for all you brought to music and the world.


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