We Raced Obama, and Won!

Alain Gayot getting a closer look at the Chevrolet Volt plug-in
Alain Gayot getting a closer look at the Chevrolet Volt plug-in

by Jeff Hoyt

Congratulations to President Obama for finally getting behind the wheel of the Chevy Volt electric vehicle with extended range capability during a visit to the Compact Power battery plant in Holland, Mich. LG Chem, the parent of Compact Power, is making the battery cells for the Volt, which goes on sale late this year in California, the Washington, D.C. area, and Michigan.

But we beat the President to the punch, experiencing the car powered with electricity at all times way back in September of 2008 talked about the car’s importance with the former Vice Chairman of GM Robert Lutz before he retired. The Volt, with its range of about 340 miles, was even used by Olympic athletes back in February in Vancouver.

2 Presidents, 1 Dinner

Chef Rick Bayless prepared Mexican cuisine for the Obama's second state dinner
Chef Rick Bayless prepared Mexican cuisine for the Obama’s second White House State Dinner

by Jeff Hoyt

Rick Bayless is the second top chef to work his magic at the Obama White House, preparing Wednesday’s state dinner for President Felipe Calderón of Mexico and his wife, Margarita Zavala. The first couple has dined at Topolobampo, one of Bayless’ Chicago restaurants along with Frontera Grill and Xoco.

According to a statement from the White House, Bayless worked with Michelle Obama and Comerford to prepare a menu that “reflects the best of American cuisine” while “honoring the culinary excellence and flavors that are present in Mexican cuisine.” His molé sauce reportedly used more than twenty ingredients and took days to make. Several ingredients for the dinner, including herbs, radishes and lettuce, were harvested from the White House garden, while White House pastry chef William Yosses used honey from White House bees for the desserts.

The White House posted the following menu for the state dinner on its website Wednesday afternoon:


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World’s Best Restaurants

The S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurants
The S. Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants

By Jeff Hoyt

We’re a big fan of S. Pellegrino, both their water and their awards. For the last few years, we’ve helped judge their cooking competition for young chefs. Last year, GAYOT.com was even able to attend the gala night they announced the world’s 50 best restaurants.

We’re glad to note that many of the American selections earning a World’s 50 Best Restaurants Award already graced our choices of top 40 restaurants in the USA, including Daniel, Per Se, The French Laundry, and Alinea. (For more on Alinea, The Aqua Panna Best Restaurant in North America, read André Gayot’s description of his recent meal there.) Around the world, we’ve written extensively on the soon-to-shutter El Bulli in Spain, and reviewed many of the honored restaurants, from The Tasting Room at Le Quartier Francais in South Africa to Quay in Australia to Iggy’s in Singapore to Biko in Mexico. We have nearly 500 restaurant reviews each in London and Paris, including The Fat Duck, which S. Pellegrino ranked #3 in the world, and Le Chateaubriand, ranked #11. You can view the rest of the winners at: theworlds50best.com.

So keep coming back to GAYOT.com for the latest in restaurant reviews and news worldwide.

elBulli Restaurant Closing

Leche eléctrica from elBulli restaurant
Leche eléctrica from elBulli restaurant

 By Jeff Hoyt

UPDATE 7/30/2011: Today, the last meal was served at elBulli. Ferran Adrià’s culinary academy is scheduled to open in 2014.

Chef Ferran Adrià announced that the world’s center of molecular gastronomy, elBulli in Spain, is to close for 2012 and 2013.

Is this the end of culinary alchemy, as we’ve asked ourselves in our blog in March?

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