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  • pinitbutton S.Pellegrino 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners
sophiegayotalmostfamouschefwinner 300x251 S.Pellegrino 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners

The winners of the 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition

by Sophie Gayot

 

After four hours of tasting yesterday for The Mystery Basket, two hours today for The Signature Dish, and one hour of voting and deliberation, the results are in for the 2010 S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition.

 

Many of S.Pellegrino’s representatives, including President & CEO Stefano Agostini, made the trip to Napa Valley for the finals, not only to congratulate the winners but also to see how to extend to competition worldwide.

 

Continue reading “S.Pellegrino 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition Winners” »



  • pinitbutton S.Pellegrino 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition Mystery Basket
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The first part of the competition is over; hats up!

By Sophie Gayot

 

 

Part one of the S.Pellegrino® Almost Famous Chef® Competition, held for the eighth time this year, is The Mystery Basket competition. The rules are very strict (there is a full page of them), but the basics are that the eleven contestants have 2 hours to create a dish with the featured ingredients and prepare 10 identical plates to be served to the judges. This year’s mystery ingredients were organic chicken, mushrooms and eggs. The contestants—all chefs in training— had a long list of other produce they were allowed to use, including flavors from the “Asian pantry,” the “Mediterranean pantry” and the “Latin pantry.”

 

Continue reading “S.Pellegrino 2010 Almost Famous Chef Competition Mystery Basket” »



Raising the Bar Again

on November 11th, 2009
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11

Nov

  • pinitbutton Raising the Bar Again
joesrestaurantvenice 300x144 Raising the Bar Again
The contestants and the judges (from left to right): Josh Renfree/BOA, Judge Michael Cardenas/BOA, Sophie Gayot, Clint Johnson/Comme Ca, Judge Nile Park/Comme Ca, Stacy Street/Church & State, Judge Yassmin Sarmadi/Church & State, Hector Bury/Joe’s, Judge Joe Miller/Joe’s

By Sophie Gayot

Come join us this Sunday, Nov. 15th, at 3:30p.m. at David Myers’ Comme Ca restaurant where the second part of Raising the Bar will be held.

 

 

Raising the Bar is a free cocktail competition that I will be judging, along with Victoria Recaño (anchor of KTLA’s 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts), between the bartenders of Joe’s in Venice, Comme Ca, BOA Steakhouse and Church & State. They will be required to make three rounds of drinks: a classic cocktail, a themed drink using a certain spirit (Bourbon) and a creation of their own.

 

Stacy Street from Church & State won the first part of the competition held at Joe’s in October. The classic was a Negroni; round two was made with Zaya Rum. For the freestyle, Hector Bury from Joe’s came up with “The Jean Genie” (Tuata, Vodka, Cointreau, lemon juice), Clint Johnson from Comme Ca with “Dominicana”, Josh Rentree from BOA with “Pumpkin Cream” and Street wowed the judges with her “Crémant de la Poire”.

 

Expect the atmosphere to warm up as time goes by. And, don’t worry, I will leave Comme Ca under the legal alcohol limit. Note that the event is free, so please come to Comme Ca.

 

 
 
 

Photo by John Meng

 



And The Winner Is…

on November 04th, 2009
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04

Nov

  • pinitbutton And The Winner Is…
sophiegayotmichaelmina 300x201 And The Winner Is…

Chefs Michael Mina and Katsuya Uechi with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Even though last night’s dinner at XIV entitled “East Meets West” was not a competition between chefs Katsuya Uechi (of Katsuya fame) and Michael Mina (XIV, and many more), I donned my Hell’s Kitchen clothes (the ones I was wearing when I judged in episode 4.08) and could not stop myself from comparing the dishes that were served side by side.

 

Continue reading “And The Winner Is…” »



  • pinitbutton 2009 Almost Famous Chef Competition
sophiegayotgailsimmons 300x256 2009 Almost Famous Chef Competition

Judges Gail Simmons from Bravo's Top Chef and chef Michel Richard with Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Well I told you I would keep you posted of what happened during the 7th “Almost Famous Chef” competition by Nestlé Waters North America under the Acqua Panna that took place in St. Helena, California on March 7th and 8th 2009.

Below are pictures of the “Signature Dish” competition, held on the second day, with the ten contestants prepping in the kitchen and showing us their creations before we judged them. With just a sous chef from The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, they had just four hours to cook two hundred plated tasting portions. to help

I was a judge along with eighteen others, including chef Michel Richard from Citronelle, and Gail Simmons, a regular judge on Bravo’s Top Chef. Hundreds of guests also got to taste and vote for the “People’s Choice” winner.

  Continue reading “2009 Almost Famous Chef Competition” »



  • pinitbutton The Competitors with their Mystery Basket
sophiegayiotjudge 300x235 The Competitors with their Mystery Basket
Sophie Gayot judging along with Michel Richard, Gail Simmons, Michael  White, Nick Stellino (visible on the picture)

 

by Sophie Gayot

If you have been following the

2009 Almost Famous Chef competition

by San Pellegrino and Acqua Panna. Nestlé Waters North America

I am happy to present you  the dishes that  the ten contestants made from the Mystery Basket, which took place on March 8th as the first part of the contest. I was a judge along with eighteen others.

See the winners of the competition on the awards page. Continue reading “The Competitors with their Mystery Basket” »



And The Winners Are…

on March 08th, 2009
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08

Mar

  • pinitbutton And The Winners Are...
sophiegayotalmostfamouschefwinners 300x164 And The Winners Are...

The winners of the Almost Famous Chef 2009 competition

by Sophie Gayot

 

The winners of the seventh edition of Nestlé Waters North America “Almost Famous Chef” competition under the S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna brands have just been announced. After preparing their signature dish, the ten contestants served it to the nineteen judges, including me. Two hours later, the results were in, and were combined with yesterday’s “Mystery Basket” results to produce an overall winner.

 

They are:

- “Overall Winner”: David Awad, from Connecticut Culinary Institute

- “Mystery Basket”; David Awad, from Connecticut Culinary Institute

- “Signature Dish”: Kendra Orng, from International Culinary School at The Art Institute California, Los Angeles

- “People’s Choice”: Joe Branton, Culinary Institute of Charleston at Trident Technical College.

 

Congratulations to the three winners!

  Continue reading “And The Winners Are…” »



The Mystery Basket

on March 07th, 2009
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07

Mar

  • pinitbutton The Mystery Basket

 

sophiegayotmichelrichard 300x255 The Mystery Basket

Chef Michel Richard, contestant Daniel Agregard & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot

Today in St. Helena, California, the first part of the Nestlé Waters North America “Almost Famous Chef” competition under the S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna brands took place at The Culinary Institute of America Greystone. Ten contestants had two hours to prepare a dish with the same set of ingredients, which  they were given in a “Mystery Basket”. This year, it was composed of sturgeon, bacon, asparagus, fingerling potatoes, bay leaf and trumpet mushrooms.
I was a judge, as well as eighteen others, in the seventh edition of this top culinary event. And, yes, I had to go through ten versions and interpretations of “Mystery Basket” dishes. They were all very different. There was a cleat winner, but I can’t announce it until tomorrow.
UPDATE - SUNDAY MARCH 8TH: The results are in.

See the opening party of Friday March 7th.

You can see the dishes all the competitors on a dedicated page.

Continue reading “The Mystery Basket” »



Celebrity Dining Hot Spots

on December 27th, 2008
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27

Dec

  • pinitbutton Celebrity Dining Hot Spots
theinsider 300x174 Celebrity Dining Hot Spots

Sophie Gayot on The Insider

Tune in tonight to The Insider, the CBS nightly, half-hour entertainment newsmagazine, where Sophie Gayot will reveal the top five Hollywood dining hot spots.

December 28th.
If you missed the show, see the restaurants where celebrities like to dine.



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