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Chef de cuisine Jorge Chicas from The Bazaar with Sophie Gayot stirring a liquid nitrogen margarita

Chef de cuisine Jorge Chicas from The Bazaar with Sophie Gayot stirring a liquid nitrogen margarita

By Sophie Gayot

 

More than fifty Los Angeles chefs and restaurants combined their culinary talents last Sunday at Share Our Strength’s annual Taste of the Nation, a benefit to support organizations that feed hungry children.

 

Guests were able to meet the chefs and taste their dishes, as well as enjoy live entertainment and a special auction. The event, held in Culver City’s Media Park, was supposed to end at 4 p.m., but the ambience was so enjoyable that the crowd stayed much longer.

Continue reading “Coming Together for a Nationwide Cause” »



Jay Leno & Sophie Gayot

Jay Leno & Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

More than three hundred guests attended Vintage Hollywood 2009, a charity event, held at a private estate in Bel-Air, California, last Saturday. Thanks to the hard work of Linda Daly and other members of the organization, many Los Angeles restaurants and wineries from across California as well as from Oregon, New Zealand and Argentina came together in a gorgeous garden. In addition, a silent auction took place.

 

But the highlight of the evening was the appearance of Jay Leno, who was in charge of the live auction. And trust me, it was an auction like no other. Leno’s celebrated humor was behind each of his words. I just wish there would have been more items to keep the show running. A private tour of the comedian’s “Garage,” guided by Leno himself, went for $29,500 for four lucky bidders. More than $200,000 was raised at this year’s event. Jay’s generosity brought even more support than expected.

 

Continue reading “A Night Show with Jay Leno for a Cause” »



Premiere with Rosé

on June 11th, 2009
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11

Jun

Chefs Mark Peel, Susan Tracht and Rick Moonen with Sophie Gayot

Chefs Mark Peel of Campanile, Suzanne Tracht of Jar and Rick Moonen of RM Seafood with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

Martini & Rossi Rosé was being poured with no limit (if you met the age limit, of course) last night at Campanile restaurant in Los Angeles, during the premiere of Bravo’s new television show “Top Chef Masters.”

 

For the occasion, Campanile chef/owner Mark Peel created a bite-sized dish to be paired with the sparkling wine: a roasted walnut and taleggio stuffed date. Peel also prepared six of his famous grilled cheese sandwiches, handed out to me by general manager Jay Perrin. Thanks to him I was able to try each of them. Due to the crowd I could not approach the gazpacho, the roasted beet salad, or the charcuterie and cheese station.

Some of the 24 chefs competing in the show were there, as well as host Kelly Choi. They all refused to give me any details, beside the fact that it was shot in the Los Angeles Warehouse District. I guess the best way to find out more is to simply watch the show, which takes competitive cooking to the next level. 

 



08

Jun

Coincidentally we landed at Orly Airport right  after Air Force One. They were so excited with President Obama that they forgot the red carpet treatment for us…

Coincidentally we landed at Orly Airport right after Air Force One. They were so excited with President Obama that they forgot the red carpet treatment for us…

By Sophie Gayot

Desirous to relax a little bit and enjoy Paris after one of those tense world leaders meetings, Bill Clinton asked former French President Jacques Chirac where he could have a nice, cool, simple dinner in a Parisian bistro. Chirac, who is known for his robust appetite and his love for calf’s head, can be considered among other things as a reliable source of information for restaurants. So he sent Bill to L’Ami Louis, known for being a fortress of bistro fare with generous portions. Records say Bill was happy.

 

Last week, when President Obama visited France and its new President Nicolas Sarkozy on the occasion of the anniversary of D-Day, after all the razzledazzle of the official receptions and functions, he was in the same mood as his predecessor. He chose to skip the proposed traditional—and probably boring—banquet at the Palais de l’Elysée and take his Saturday night off. He, too, wanted a bistro as bistroish as possible with no frills and just plain food. Who tipped him off about La Fontaine de Mars where he ended up was not disclosed. Probably not Sarkozy, who rather digs for the upper end of French gastronomy such as chef Eric Fréchon‘s offerings at Le Bristol close to l’Elysée or the very “people-oriented” Champs-Elysées Fouquet’s.

 

Continue reading “A Bistro for President Obama” »



LudoBites are Back

on June 03rd, 2009
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03

Jun

Chef Ludovic Lefebvre with Sophie Gayot

Chef Ludovic Lefebvre with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

If you were wondering where Ludovic Lefebvre had gone, look no further—we have found him. After L’Orangerie and Bastide, he resurfaced with Ludo Bites at Breadbar in 2007 for three months, then disappeared from Los Angeles altogether and landed on the Las Vegas strip, until he left there last May.

 

Given the past success of Ludo Bites, he is again serving his cuisine with the same concept, where it originated. He rents the Breadbar space on Third Street (only open for breakfast and lunch) for dinner. You will find him there for three months, until August 22. It is like a temporary art exhibit; it moves around, and you don’t always know where it will be next. If you have never tasted Ludo’s cuisine, isn’t he sort of an artist anyway?

 

This week Ludo Bites is the Los Angeles “Review of the Week.”

 

Ludo Bites (@ Breadbar) on Urbanspoon



29

May

Mick Fleetwood and Sophie Gayot with a glass of 2005 Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Reisling

Mick Fleetwood and Sophie Gayot with a glass of 2005 Mick Fleetwood Private Cellar Reisling

By Sophie Gayot

 

From rock & roll to wine? But why? And how come? This is the question I posed to Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac while dining with him at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar at L.A. Live. Both Jonathan Todd, the drummer’s manager, and longtime friend producer Michael Shapiro commented on Mick’s involvement in the wine-making process. Mick, who offers a selection of seventeen American wines (red and white), is the sole decider of the wine’s blend as well as the winery that will carry his label on the bottle.

 

Although this was great information, it wasn’t exactly the answer I was looking for. I turned to Mick himself to help me put the pieces of this puzzle together. Of course, Mick has the means to produce wine, but what drove him to become so tremendously involved? I finally had him reveal, with his gorgeous voice and elegant British accent, his secret: he is a “nose” and has always had a heightened sense of smell. It allows him to create the blends that he likes—hoping that he won’t be the only one to enjoy them. If a winery produces great wine one year, but not so great the next, Mick’s nose knows! He just selects another winery. The drummer’s next blend will be a Bordeaux. You can find Mick’s wine in the sixty-nine Fleming’s restaurants and at Costco with an average price of $20.

 



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



26

May

Artist Alexey Steele with Sophie Gayot
Artist Alexey Steele with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot

What better way to spend Memorial Day weekend in the Golden State than by attending the California Art Club exhibition: on location in Malibu 2009 at Pepperdine University. The showing featured paintings of landscapes that capture the community of Malibu from the Pacific Coast Highway to the beaches and mountains. The fall 2007 wildfires ravaged much of the city and the artists wanted to record the positive changes of rebirth and renewal since then.

 

The highlight of the exhibit was Alexey Steele‘s Water and Fire, which depicts a graceful woman walking on the beach at sunset. Steele’s vision of the landscape was moving and the lighting he used added a dramatic effect. From his style, look, behavior, and the way he dresses and talks, Steele, who was born in the Ukraine in 1967, is an artist in the full sense of the word. His magnificent studio, located in Carson, is filled with books and the sounds of classical music which inspire him to create wonderful figurative paintings. His area of expertise includes multi-figure compositions, portraits, nudes and plein-air landscapes.

 

Continue reading “The Artist and his Painting” »



24

May

President Obama at Pamela's P&G Diner in Pittsburgh, PA
President Obama at Pamela’s P&G Diner in Pittsburgh, PA

Even though we haven’t had the chance to sit down to a stack of hotcakes at Pamela’s P&G Diner, we think its great that President Obama found the place so memorable that he has asked the owners to cook for eighty war veterans at The White House Memorial Day breakfast. The president made a stop at the Pittsburgh outpost during his campaign and it seems like those pancakes make quite the impression.

We invite our readers to try the flapjacks (stamped with the seal of approval from the president himself) at one of the Pamela’s P&G Diner locations and tell us what you think on our restaurant listing page using our “Write Your Own Review”.

Pamela's P & G Diner on Urbanspoon
 

 



Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

Top Chef Contestants Betty Fraser and Stefan Ritcher with Sophie Gayot

By Sophie Gayot


Last night, American Idol was not the only event getting people excited. A fierce battle ensued at The Grove in Los Angeles between two former contestants from the television show Top Chef.

 

After cooking demonstrations from The Grove eateries The Whisper Restaurant & Lounge, Maggiano’s Little Italy and Morels, Betty Fraser (season 2) and Stefan Richter (season 5) had fifty minutes to prepare a meal, each with a different mystery basket of ingredients.

 

The pair was playful behind the stoves and used knives, spoons, olive oil, salt, pepper and their words to tease one another. They sure did know how to work the crowd! Stefan was throwing red roses and ladies underwear (yes, underwear) to the women in the crowd, while Betty used her great smile to woo the audience. All the while, radio host Merrill Shindler commented on all the action.

 

When it was time to taste the food, a panel of unbiased judges was selected from the audience. They preferred Stefan’s steak atop an amazing potato purée over Betty’s fried pork with caramelized peaches. Congratulations to the winner!

 

Continue reading “A Battle of Top Chefs from Top Chef” »



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