Krug & Train

Nobu Matsuhisa, his chefs & Sophie Gayot
Nobu Matsuhisa, his chefs & Sophie Gayot

by Sophie Gayot


Just so you’re not confused by the headline, this blog is not about a train powered by Krug Champagne or even drinking Krug while riding on a train. It’s about listening to the group Train performing live while drinking Krug Champagne during Saturday night’s Los Angeles Food & Wine event, which left quite an unforgettable memory.


Earlier that tasty night, many top chefs served their food to the appreciative crowd. The choices of food (and wines) were vast and very different, as were the participating toques: Joachim Splichal & Tony Esnault (Patina, GAYOT.com Top 40 Restaurant in the US), Paul Prudhomme (K-Paul Louisiana Kitchen, GAYOT 2011 Top 10 Insider Picks in the US), Christopher Kostow (The Restaurant at Meadowood, GAYOT.com Top 40 Restaurant in the US), Hugo Bolanos (CUT, GAYOT.com 2011 Top 10 Steakhouses in the US), and 2011 Top Chef on Top Chef Masters Floyd Cardoz (North End Grill). Lines were very long in front of Lydia Shire (Towne Stove & Spirits); and Akasha Richmond (Akasha), who served a delicious braised American lamb (word spread fast). Also popular was Drew Nieporent & Stephen Lewandowski’s choucroute (Tribeca Grill, Alsatian chefs should be jealous of the recipe). Chef Ben Ford (Ford’s Filling Station) got help serving from his son Eaton.

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Food & Wine at L.A. LIVE

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sophie Gayot, Wolfgang Puck and his guest, Randy Jackson at the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Food & Wine
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Sophie Gayot, Wolfgang Puck and his guest, Randy Jackson at the opening ceremony of the Los Angeles Food & Wine

by Sophie Gayot


Last night was the opening of the first Los Angeles Food & Wine which was held at L.A. LIVE. To celebrate the evening, mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Randy Jackson took the stage. They are both food lovers, and are great supporters of restaurants and the hard working people they employ.


The event was truly red carpet, as the entire area where the chefs and wineries had their booths was completely covered with it, which was great for those wearing high heels. It made the setting quite elegant for sampling Daniel Boulud’s charcuterie, Kerry Simon and Nona Sivley’s tuna tartare with caviar (SIMON L.A.), Lissa Doumani’s savory Japanese pancakes (Terra) and Michael Ginor’s escargots, to name just a few. Kristen Schaefer, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas’ mixologist, was serving “The Alameda cocktail” (Hangar One blueberry vodka, green Chartreuse, blueberry and pomegranate juice, fresh lemon, and thyme-infused honey), and not too far away, Maison Marques & Domaines was pouring Louis Roederer Cristal 2004.

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Scoops from LA Chefs

by Sophie Gayot


I have had the pleasure of meeting French chef Bruno Lopez many times throughout his career. I’ve tasted his dishes when he was working at different The Ritz-Carlton hotels, at the Regent Beverly Wilshire (now a Four Seasons), and the Hotel Bel-Air. I was most impressed with his peach gazpacho with truffle oil, which he made when he was at the restaurant of the Raffles L’Ermitage hotel (now part of the Viceroy Hotel Group). I was sorry when he stopped serving the public when he became a private chef at the French Consulate Residence in 2009.


Last Friday, I got to congratulate him on his skills yet again, but the setting was quite different. Lopez received the esnigns from French Consul General David Martinon making him an officer of the Ordre National du Mérite Agricole, in recognition for his work in promoting French cuisine in the USA.

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Wolfgang Puck Iced Coffee

by Sophie Gayot


Among the many things über-chef Wolfgang Puck likes, there is coffee. His passion for the black drink led him to create a line of cold brewed iced coffees in 2009 with pastry chef Sherry Yard and Craig Lieberman, president of Woodway Beverage Partners.


The trio has developed four flavors: Vanilla Fusion, Double Blend Mocha, Crème Caramel and Café au Lait. Made with certified organic ingredients, they are prepared using a cold-brewing process that reduces the tannins and the bitter taste often found in hot-brewed drinks. The results are delicate flavors at only 120 calories for an 8.5-ounce bottle, while other brands are around 250. Watch my exclusive video with Wolfgang Puck talking about the drinks.

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GAYOT.com 2011 Top 10 Steakhouses in the US

by Sophie Gayot

Our steakhouse lists are some of the most read ones on GAYOT.com, so it made sense that we would dedicate a section in our Annual Restaurant Issue to honor ten of the best steakhouse restaurants in the U.S. There are many—so this was not an easy choice. Congratulations to the winners!


Check out my exclusive video interview above with executive chef Ari Rosenson at CUT Beverly Hills at the Beverly Wilshire hotel (he is also Regional Culinary Director, Los Angeles Restaurants & CUT Concepts), to see why CUT made the list. And to complete the tour of Wolfgang Puck’s steakhouse, watch my videos with general manager Mishel LeDoux and beverage director Dana Farner.

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