Alice Waters – L’Art de la Cuisine Simple

West Coast USA’s culinary ambassador of slow food never went to a cooking school. Instead, Alice Waters taught herself by doing, by watching and by absorbing. Her sojourns in France, namely in Nantes and en Provence, were also great leaps … Continue reading

Major League Kale – Baseball Stadiums’ Rooftop Gardens

Mashup posted by Paige Donner At the beginning of the 2015 season, Fenway opened a 5,000-square foot rooftop farm along a previously unused stretch of roof behind Gate A, dubbing the area “Fenway Farms.” The impetus for the farm came … Continue reading

Food Books by French Authors Make Good Gifts

Author’s note: as a stunning example of the cultural communications chasm that still exists between France and the rest of the culinary world, imagine standing in a room of food and wine journalists at a chef’s book award event in France and having everyone swear to you that they’ve never heard of Zagat’s! No kidding. Continue reading

Chilled Avocado Soup

The Avocado tree is native to Mexico and Central America… The vitamins and minerals contained in this recipe can do everything from speeding cell turnover (to reveal healthier skin underneath) to protecting skin from the sun’s damaging rays. Get plenty of moisturizing vitamin … Continue reading

Chateau Mouton Rothschild – The New Museum and Cellars

Château Mouton Rothschild, June 16, 2013 Pauillac, Bordeaux by Paige Donner Photos by Paige Donner (and one by Anonymous Pirate Photographer) c. Paige Donner 2013   L’Art et L’Etiquette This is the title of the current exhibit at the new … Continue reading

Super Bowl Viewing Party Menu at MessHall

If you’re in LA this weekend – here’s one option where you can munch and watch the fraternal fracas that is Super Bowl XLVII…

De Vinis Illustribus, Paris

by Paige Donner

Tucked practically underneath Paris’s Pantheon is the 17th c. cellar and mythical wine shop, De Vinis Illustribus.  When current owners, husband and wife Lionel and Dominique Michelin, took over the cellars in 1994 from the legendary Jean-Baptiste Besse, a wine lover and connoisseur who welcomed the likes of Papa Hemingway to his shop back in the day, it looked nothing like it does now.

Read my Review on BlackBook City Guides HERE

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Paris Gets Food Truck Fever

by Paige Donner

Paris, the ultimate city of foodies, is, as I write this, gripped with Food Truck Fever.

Watch Video Interview HERE

Yes, believe it! In exemplary fashion of how it takes several months to a few years for trends to cross the Atlantic (and it goes both ways!)… Since December, when Paris got its first Food Truck, aptly named Le Camion Qui Fume (transl. “The Smoking Truck,”) to now, mid-April when Paris can boast its second Food Truck as of April 1st – Cantine California – to feed the fevered frenzy for French Fries, we can now confidently say that food trucks have firmly taken hold of the Parisian Foodie Scene. Continue reading

Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2012

[Press Release]

Last Thursday at Château du Clos de Vougeot, the GJB Association – and through it the entire regional wine industry – presented awards to a journalist, a photographer, and a television show for their pedagogical work highlighting the Burgundy wine culture. This was an opportunity to acknowledge the importance of these professions and the difficulties they often encounter.

Grandsjoursbourgogne_-_local_food_and_wine_pic_by_jean-louis_bernuy

Three Press Trophy Winners! Crédit photo : Jean-Louis Bernuy

Another success for the GJB – last week, this 11th edition brought together the trade from around the world (2,200). With 5% increased attendance compared to 2010 – an overwhelming endorsement for the show providing an opportunity for the trade to taste the wines in the heart of the region that brought them into being.

This success seems to confirm the upturn in 2011, in particular marked by strong growth in export sales (+16.5%). At €666.5 million, this is the 2nd best result, in terms of value, in Burgundy’s history. While Europe is stagnating, the U.S. is becoming the number 1 export market (+33% in value and +19% by volume) and the China-Hong Kong duo is approaching the Top 5 (doubling sales to €34 million). In Japan, where the strong yen has boosted exports, Burgundies have exceeded their peak value by more than 10% (+20% to €85 million).

It is in this context that Pierre-Henry Gagey, Chairman of the Burgundy Wine Board (BIVB), honored the Press Trophy winners, hailing those without whom “our wines would not have acquired their international reputation.”

Grands Jours de Bourgogne 2012 – A few figures :

  • ”  2,200 visitors, +5% compared to 2010

  • ”  10,274 of total admissions, an average of +20% of visitors per event

  • ”  More than 1,000 new contacts recorded during pre-registration

  • ”  42% of French (45% in 2010) and 58% foreign visitors (55% in 2010)

  • ”  44 different countries were represented with first visit from people coming from New Zealand, Chile, Argentina, Seychelles, Mexico, Finland, Slovakia and Lebanon

Yukino Kano, Japan, received the trophy for the “Press Article” category for her special feature entitled “Les Terres de l’épopée [The land of the epic tale],” published in December 2011 Japanese magazine Nile’s Nile. The jury of professionals and journalists especially enjoyed this feature’s poetic and very educational aspects evoking the lands and history of Côtes de Beaune and de Nuits.

A native Burgundian was awarded the first trophy for the “Photography” category (new for this edition). Armelle Hudelot was recognized for her catalog dedicated to the Burgundy Vineyard Climats, published in 2010. The jury was touched by the aesthetics and attention to detail transcribing the diversity of elements that make the mosaic of Burgundy Climats unique in the world.

Exceptionally this year, the jury wanted to commend France 3 Bourgogne’s TV initiative, by awarding a special prize for the program “Millésime.” Broadcast once a month on Sunday at 11 a.m., it explores the wine-making world through current topics (harvest, vinification, Climats, discovering professions, food and wine, exploring appellations…). As he presented the award to Muriel Bessard, the show’s creator, and Jean-Pierre Stucki, France 3 Bourgogne TV Director, Pierre-Henry Gagey explained this decision: “This choice – in French public television – is an act of courage, given the vigilance of some and the difficulties caused by the Evin law and jurisprudence.”

The GJB came to an end on Saturday in the sun with the Chevaliers du Tastevin’s Spring Tastevinage.

Mark your calendars now for the GJB’s 12th edition in 2014!

Bordeaux Primeurs Explained – Interview with Sylvie Cazes by Paige Donner

Bordeaux En Primeurs Explained – Interview with Sylvie Cazes by Paige Donner from Local Food And Wine on Vimeo. Sylvie Cazes explains the unique Bordeaux tradition of En Primeurs, or “wine futures”; She also talks a bit about the annual Marathon du Médoc. … Continue reading