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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.

 

 



Inauguration Day!

on January 20th, 2009
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20

Jan

  • pinitbutton Inauguration Day!
obamalunch Inauguration Day!

Barack Obama Luncheon Menu

Barack Obama has officially been inaugurated as the 44th President of the United States. And what better way to celebrate than with a beautifully prepared and culturally rich meal with la crème of this country’s political figures. The luncheon menu reflects the cuisine of the home states of both the President and Vice President as well as the theme of the Inauguration. A tradition that dates back as far as 1897, the inaugural luncheon is featuring a three course menu including a seafood stew and a brace of American birds (pheasant and duck) served with a sour cherry chutney and accompanied by whipped sweet potatoes with molasses. For dessert, an apple cinnamon sponge cake with sweet cream glace is being served. A selection of wines is being paired with each course. The first course is being served on replicas of the china from the Lincoln Presidency, displaying the American bald eagle standing above the U.S. Coat of Arms.



19

Jan

  • pinitbutton What to do on Valentines Day?

hearts promo big What to do on Valentines Day?

by Sophie Gayot

There are many things you can actually do, but being who we are, we strongly advocate for a romantic night out with the person you hold most dear. We have put together a list of Valentines restaurants that will help with romance, and many of them are offering a special Valentines menu.

For more suggestions of where to host an intimate dinner for two, consult our lists of romantic restaurants in various cities.



Spread the Roquefort

on January 16th, 2009
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16

Jan

  • pinitbutton Spread the Roquefort
roquefort Spread the Roquefort

Roquefort

by André Gayot


It’s time to stock up on Roquefort since the U.S. government has decided to raise taxes 300% on this cheese produced in the South of France. The inflation will result in making Roquefort as expensive as caviar. The motivation behind this decision stems from the U.S.’s desire to penalize the European Union for its reluctance to import American beef. The E.U. argues that the use of hormones in animal feeding is illegal in Europe while it is accepted in the U.S. European scientists continue to question the innocuous nature of these hormones when ingested by humans in their hamburgers or steaks. The dispute has been dragging on for years.

 Now why, among all food products imported from Europe, the attack on Roquefort? Its selection by the U.S., as an effective weapon of persuasion, remains unclear. Could it be because Roquefort is such a staple of European cuisine? Then what wonderful, unsolicited publicity! Or is it due to the Penicillium roqueforti found within the cheese as a result of the fermentation of ewe’s milk? The shepherds in the French Southern mountains contend that their sheep have nothing in common with American beef, and that Roquefort is a natural antibiotic.

At any rate, buy yourself a couple pounds of Roquefort while it is (relatively) affordable.

  

Read the update on the situation.

 

 



12

Jan

  • pinitbutton The Best French Fries in Los Angeles
img 8750 225x300 The Best French Fries in Los Angeles

Chef Ashley James with Sophie Gayot


 

Look no further! We have found them for you, at Windows Lounge, the bar at the Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills. The chef, Ashley James, insists on calling them “Real Fries,” because they are made the way they should be made: from fresh quality potatoes (opposed to frozen), fried twice in vegetable oil that is thrown away every day. They only come with the grilled cheese sandwich and the beef sliders, but they were so good that I ordered more of them. The bar, which has always drawn crowds, has been redecorated. The huge marble chimney in the central room brings a touch of modernity.

 



  • pinitbutton David Myers’ New Restaurant in Orange County
img 8825 300x225 David Myers’ New Restaurant in Orange County

Stephan Samson, Sophie Gayot, David Myers

by Sophie Gayot

David Myers surprised us all with his latest venture. We were anticipating the opening of Comme Ca in Costa Mesa.

Instead, we got Pizzeria Ortica which he opened last night with chef Stephan Samson, who was formerly at Valentino. Expect simple Italian fare with thin-crust pizzas, pasta and much more.

Florent Marneau of Marché Moderne, who I went to visit after, told me that “We are glad to see David coming here”—meaning that the Orange County culinary scene is climbing one step higher.

Myers has more projects in the works: Ortica in front of Sona, a catering service, and providing upscale bread to restaurants. And Comme Ca in OC will open soon.

minilogo David Myers’ New Restaurant in Orange County



09

Jan

  • pinitbutton Legendary Lenôtre Dies at 88
lenotre2 Legendary Lenôtre Dies at 88

Legendary French pastry chef Gaston Lenôtre

by André Gayot

In the late 1960s, Yves Bridault, the chief editor of Le Nouveau Guide Gault-Millau that we founded with my friends, used to visit his aging mother on Sundays. Prior to ringing her bell, he would stop nearby at a small pastry shop.

The young pastry chef had just arrived from his native Normandy and was trying to make his way in Paris. Yves liked the gâteaux this chef was creating and wrote about him in the magazine. Rapidly, the chef’s reputation rose beyond the limits of the 16th arrondissement. Soon, his pâtisserie was filled with gourmets rushing to taste his creations and Gaston Lenôtre acquired well deserved renown as one of the best pastry chefs in Paris. Forty years later, that talented young pâtissier was the head of a worldwide empire of pastry shops and restaurants (Le Café Lenôtre) which included the U.S.
His ambassadors to America was Michel Richard (Michel Richard Citronelle, Central Michel Richard, Citrus at Social, Citronelle by Michel Richard), who hoisted himself to the rank of the best chef in the nation.

 

Gaston Lenôtre, who was the arm of “Nouvelle Cuisine” for pastry (which he made lighter and tastier according to the nouvelle philosophy), passed away this Thursday. We mourn a great innovator and, even more, a friend.



08

Jan

  • pinitbutton The Nouvelle is Alive

 

christianmillau2 The Nouvelle is Alive
Christian Millau

In an interview with Spanish newspaper El Dia, gastronomic critic Christian Millau, who in 1973 established the rules of the “Nouvelle Cuisine,” assures that this movement is still alive.

Millau affirms that 35 years after the creation of this movement, pioneering chefs like Joel Robuchon continue this cooking style that once competed with the showiness and decoration of the French tradition. 
 
Millau, who, in November 2008, received the International Prize of “The Best of Gastronomy,” considers “Nouvelle Cuisine” present in kitchens all over the world and what Ferran Adrià has done is “something else;” he has brought his creativity to the highest levels.  Continue reading “The “Nouvelle” is Alive” »


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