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  • pinitbutton Tastes & Saveurs in Mougins, France

by Sophie Gayot

The sixth edition of Les Étoiles de Mougins, Festival International de la Gastronomie et des Arts de Vivre will be held September 16-18, 2011, on The Riviera in the gorgeous village of Mougins (Côte d’Azur, France). After the second edition in 2007, the prestigious event had to limit the number of participating chefs to 100 due to its overwhelming success. The Festival was created by mayor Richard Galy in 2006 to honor chef Roger Vergé who literally put Mougins on the world map with his restaurant and hotel Le Moulin de Mougins. If it sounds familiar, this is where Liz Taylor would hold her “big” AIDS charity dinner during the Cannes Film Festival. Watch the exclusive video interview with Mayor Richard Galy, the man behind the Festival. He wants people to know that Mougins is also a city of art with over 30 galleries and “ateliers d’art” stretching along the small winding and charming streets, and it now has a new Museum of Classical Art.

Continue reading “Tastes & Saveurs in Mougins, France” »



  • pinitbutton The Winners Are Double Winners!
winners sophie gayot 300x170 The Winners Are Double Winners!

The winners, from left to right: Sommelier Mark Sadr, Mixologist Tricia Alley, Sous-chef Alexandre Derenne, Pastry chef Matthieu Chamussy, Culinary Student Mark Wheeler with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot
I was lucky to be a judge at the Los Angeles Epicurean Festival held today at the Sofitel Los Angeles, as I did not have to stand in line to enter the event. The line stretched from the second floor all the way to the hotel’s driveway. The Festival brought together culinary specialties and wines & spirits for visitors to discover or rediscover. There was also a competition where I had to pick the winning team along with my fellow judges: sommelier Mark Mendoza (Comme Ça), Josiah Citrin (Mélisse), Franck Savoy (director of restaurants for Caesars Palace in Las Vegas), Michel Richard (Citronelle) and Michel Cornu (Hospitality Culinary Director for Boisset Estates).

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Finding Christina

on May 04th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton Finding Christina

by Sophie Gayot

The first time I sampled Christina Machamer’s cooking a few years ago, I told millions of people how disappointed I was. I was a judge on Season 4, Episode 8, of Gordon Ramsay’s hit TV show Hell’s Kitchen, which aired May 20th, 2008, and she was one of the contestants. Among the many dishes I sampled was a pavé of salmon with a warm salad of cucumber, olives, and tomato butter sauce which she prepared that left me unimpressed.

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  • pinitbutton Cochon 555 Competition in Los Angeles
sophie gayot chad colby osteria mozza 300x285 Cochon 555 Competition in Los Angeles

Cochon 555 2011 LA Winner Chad Colby, chef at Osteria Mozza, with his team and Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

UPDATE 5/01/11 : The winner is Chad Colby (Osteria Mozza). See photos from the event below.



This Sunday, May 1, five top LA chefs will each prepare a 175-pound, heritage-breed hog from head to toe for a friendly competition called Cochon 555. This ten-city touring event is the only culinary competition of its kind in the country, and will help family farms sustain and expand their businesses. Competing in the LA stop will be Octavio Becerra (Palate Food + Wine), Chad Colby (Osteria Mozza), Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station), Tim Goodell (Public Kitchen & Bar) and Joshua Whigham (The Bazaar). To support the event and its worthy cause, I will be there with other local judges to determine a winner based on presentation, utilization and overall best flavor.

  • pinitbutton S.Pellegrino 2011 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners
the winners 300x197 S.Pellegrino 2011 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners

From left to right: Elizabeth Freer, Emma Louth, Jean-Francois Daigle, Sophie Gayot, Marco Bahena

by Sophie Gayot

Nine young American student chefs and one Canadian squared off this weekend at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in St. Helena, Calif., during the 9th edition of the S. Pellegrino Almost Famous Chef Competition.

As I was judging the two challenges, along with twelve other judges, I am happy to announce the five winners, presented by Gail Simmons and Ralph Pagano:
- The Overall Winner
Marco Bahena of Kendall College, in Chicago, received a prize of $10,000 and a paid apprenticeship with one of the participating chef judge’s restaurant of his choice;

Continue reading “S.Pellegrino 2011 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners” »

A Sweet Angel out of Hell

on February 18th, 2011
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  • pinitbutton A Sweet Angel out of Hell

by Sophie Gayot

Two days ago, I finally got to spend quality time Nona Sivley, the winner of season 8 of Hell’s Kitchen, in person. The funny thing is that when I was on the show judging a challenge on episode 8, I had to compare her to another chef. And she won!

Sivley is as sweet as a person can be. She has such positive energy, you just want to be around her; her husband Curtis and son Jackson are very lucky. She has now arrived at Kerry Simon’s LA Market at the JW Marriott Los Angeles L.A. Live to work as the chef de cuisine. She’s always pleasant, even though she gets in at 6 a.m. and leaves around 10 p.m. If you thought being a chef was an easy job, you are mistaken.

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Raising the Bar #4

on November 01st, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Raising the Bar #4
sophie gayot michael cardenas 300x179 Raising the Bar #4

From left to right: Christopher Hennessy, Comme Ca general manager; Yassmin Sarmadi, Church & State owner; Tim Loden, Comme Ca mixologist; Sophie Gayot; Charlotte Cramer, BOA mixologist; Claudia Smith, Joe’s Restaurant; Hector Bury, Joe’s Restaurant mixologist, Victoria Recano, TV personality; Dave Ferney, Church & State mixologist; Michael Cardenas, BOA owner.

by Sophie Gayot

Join me at Church & State on Sunday, November 7th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the fourth edition of the cocktail competition Raising the Bar. Along with Church & State owner Yassmin Sarmadi, chef/owner of Joe’s Restaurant and Bar Pintxo Joe Miller, Comme Ca General Manager Christopher Hennessy, and newcomer The Raymond Restaurant General Manager Chris Mangandi, I will be judging cocktails created on the spot.

Four mixologists, Mat Greis (Church & State), Jennifer Zerboni (Joe’s Restaurant), Eugene Shaw or Tim Loden (Comme Ca) and Lacey Murillo (The Raymond Restaurant) will have to create three different cocktails: a classic, another made with Starr African Rum, and one freestyle. Audience members will also enjoy a choice of special menus from chef Jeremy Berlin. Ask for details, including pricing, when making your reservation at 213-405-1434. Continue reading “Raising the Bar #4” »



  • pinitbutton Judging (Again) on Hell’s Kitchen

by Sophie Gayot

For the third time, I was called by Gordon Ramsay to be a judge on his highly watched television show Hell’s Kitchen. Thank you, Gordon! When telling the story, I always get the question, “Is it fun?” Indeed, it is. And Ramsay can behave charmingly as much as he can talk very loud (or scream as some would say).

The challenge I had to judge (along with chef/owner Mark Peel of Campanile, Nobu West Hollywood‘s general manager Justin Wyborn, and food blogger Libby Rego) was part of the 100th milestone episode of the show; episode 8.8, which aired on October 13th. The red team (four women and one guy) was pitted against the blue team (four men), fighting for what I had to determine would be the most expensive dish. Continue reading “Judging (Again) on Hell’s Kitchen” »

  • 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.

Raising the Bar #3

on March 11th, 2010
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  • pinitbutton Raising the Bar #3
sophiesgayotraisinghtebar 300x178 Raising the Bar #3
The contestants and the judges from Raising the Bar #2 (from left to right): Judge Nicholas Liberato/Comme Ca, Shana Street/Church & State, Victoria Recano, Sophie Gayot, Tim Loden/Comme Ca, Judge Yassmin Sarmadi/Church & State, Hector Bury/Joe’s, Judge Joe Miller/Joe’s

by Sophie Gayot

Join me at BOA Steakhouse in Santa Monica on Sunday, March 14th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., for the third edition of Raising the Bar, a cocktail competition created by Joe Miller of Joe’s restaurant in Venice that is free to attend.


Continue reading “Raising the Bar #3” »

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