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

St. Emilion Jurade Inductee Henri Leconte Interview by Paige Donner Local Food And Wine TV

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St. Emilion’s Wine Council President, Jean-Francois Quenin. Interview by Paige Donner, LFAW-TV

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St. Emilion Jurade, Jean-Francois Quenin, Interview by Paige Donner, Local Food And Wine TV

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Where Celebrity Chefs Meet Celebrities

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Eater LA

“ “Robert Weakley and David Alan Bernahl of Coastal Luxury Management, co-founders of Pebble Beach Food & Wine, bring another multi day celebration of food to this here city via Los Angeles Food & Wine…” ”– Kat Odell, Eater LA
Celebrities from Music and Television Converge for Inaugural Epicurean Event  

LOS ANGELES, CA, October 7, 2011—Los Angeles Food & Wine, a new breed of culinary festival debuting October 13-16, 2011  will gather all-star talent from both the entertainment and culinary worlds to celebrate the very best in L.A. food and drink culture.  Headquartered at L.A. LIVE with events featured throughout the city including Santa Monica, Hollywood, and Beverly Hills, Los Angeles Food & Wine is brought to you by Coastal Luxury Management, the founders of the acclaimed Pebble Beach Food & Wine with partners dick clark productions (dcp) and AEG as well as chef and philanthropist Wolfgang Puck and Saint Vincent Meals-on-Wheels.   Continue reading

Fête de la Gastronomie

fete-de-la-gastronomie   Local Food And Wine

Foreword from the Minister

The Fête de la Gastronomie is a festival that is not to be missed, and it will be taking place on the first day of autumn [Sept 23rd]. It will also have its own theme, uniting all the different events and initiatives taking place throughout the country. This year we have chosen Our Earth, because it generously allows us to work it, harvest its fruits, and use them for our food. Because man and earth are inseparable. More INFO

Foreword from the MinisterEverywhere you look there is something to do with gastronomy: in the media, in the increasingly imaginative dishes available in our restaurants…as though the whole idea were something new, whereas in fact it is no more than a tradition in a constant state of renewal, very much alive, and one that makes the most of our country’s dynamism, the foods we produce, and what we do with them. Continue reading

Clos Lanson Champagne Harvest

by Paige Donner 

After nearly 40 years with the House of Champagne Lanson, Reims, winemaker Jean Paul Gandon is not afraid of innovation. That is, innovation when it stays within the context of tradition. Gandon and Champagne Lanson enjoy a singularly unique relationship in Champagne insofar as next year, when he celebrates his 40th year with the house, it will be the longest standing winemaker-to-winery relationship in this very exclusive region of France.

Jean Paul Gandon, Clos Lanson [Far Left]Jean Paul Gandon, Clos Lanson - Local Food And Wine

Gandon, Far Left

Gandon, Enguerrand Lanson Tasting Room, Reims - Local Food And Wine

Gandon, Enguerrand Baijot - Lanson Tasting Room, Reims - Local Food And Wine

Clos Lanson is one enclosed hectare of Chardonnay vines that grows grapes bursting with fruit and juice, if this past weekend’s harvest in Reims offers any evidence. The Clos is also singularly unique in Reims as it is the only enclosed hectare of vines growing within the city center. Beyond its walls are straight views onto the Reims Cathedral and the Stadium.

Harvest at Clos Lanson, Reims - Local Food And Wine

Harvest at Clos Lanson, Reims - Local Food And Wine

During one day each year family members, employees and friends of Lanson Champagne assemble for a spectacular day of convivial harvesting and celebration of what will be the most exclusive of Lanson Champagne cuvées, the Clos Lanson. This celebratory harvest and Cuvée of no more than 8,500 bottles was  the brain child of Gandon and one of the owners of Lanson International, Philippe Baijot, 6 years ago. This year will mark the first that the champagne will be available to taste and to drink.

Philippe Baijot, Champagne Lanson, - Local Food And Wine

Philippe Baijot, Champagne Lanson, - Local Food And Wine

Lanson Champagne Cave - Local Food And Wine

Lanson Champagne Cave - Local Food And Wine

Champagne Lanson is most well-known for its power of the Pinot Noir grape, its blocking of malolactic fermentation during its vinification and its cellaring of at least 36 months prior to release. (AOC Champagne regulations require 15 mos. minimum). Wine connoisseurs speak of keeping the Black Label Lanson for 10 years. In other words, this is not a “pop and pour” champagne.

Champagne Lanson was founded in 1760 by Francois Delamotte which makes it the fourth oldest house in the world. During its changing of hands in the last several decades, “…vintages of Lanson remained of high quality… Much of this success in the face of adversity must be down to Gandon.”

Launched in 2011 is Lanson’s L’Académie de Lanson  and its Little Black Book of Champagne. The House believes strongly in viewing champagne as a wine and not purely as a label. The Lanson Academy was developed to engage and enlighten all champagne drinkers.  –    ♥Chérie Du Vin

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Obernai, Its Le Parc And Its Vineyards

By Paige Donner

Obernai is the exquisite gem of a village on the famous Alsace Wine Road. If you have two days in which to explore Alsace, I recommend that you hop on the TGV from Paris, do a quick change in Strasbourg and continue onto Obernai on one of the regional trains for another 30 minutes.

Obernai from Above - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Obernai from Above - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Obernai and its Vineyards - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Obernai and its Vineyards - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Disembark in Obernai and then park yourself at the 4-Star Le Parc Hotel, the haven of VIP service and quiet tranquility that awaits you at the top of the village. If you are so predisposed, you needn’t budge from this spot as the resort has an indoor and an outdoor pool, two restaurants, both gastronomic quality, a cigar and rum lounge, a stylish bar, a bowling alley, a breakfast room and one of the best spas – the Asiane Spa – not just in Alsace but in France. There’s even a winery right next door that sells cold bottles of Gewürztraminer, Cremant d’Alsace and Riesling, as well as regional specialties like Kirschwasser, Salted Caramel Liqueur and fine regional patés.

Le Parc Hotel Obernai, Alsace - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Le Parc Hotel Obernai, Alsace - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

l'Hotel Le Parc Obernai, Restaurant La Stub - photo courtesy Le Parc Obernai

l'Hotel Le Parc Obernai, Restaurant La Stub - photo courtesy Le Parc Obernai

Hotel Le Parc's Obernai (****) Rum and Cigar Lounge, Alsace - photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Hotel Le Parc's Obernai (****) Rum and Cigar Lounge, Alsace - photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Vineyards of Obernai

But if you do feel like venturing farther, an early morning walk, when the air is still fresh and cool, up Mt. St. Odile through the Schenkenberg, will have you walking through vineyards of Pinot Gris and Riesling. You will be rewarded with a magnificent view over Obernai that stretches all the way to several of the neighboring towns on the Wine Route.

Obernai's Oldest Butcher Shop, Alsace - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Obernai's Oldest Butcher Shop, Alsace - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Winery and Wine Shop next to Le Parc Hotel, Obernai, Alsace - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

Winery and Wine Shop next to Le Parc Hotel, Obernai, Alsace - Local Food And Wine photo by Paige Donner c. 2011

For Oenotourists, you have several options: Either let the extraordinarily gracious staff at l’Hotel Le Parc (****) make a few phone calls to their winery friends to set up tasting appointments for you – recommended if you have your own car or a rented one. Or you can wander over towards the Tourism Office where you will find a sign that maps the wineries right in Obernai, all within walking distance.  You can stop by for a tasting and pick up some of that Pinot Gris and Gewürztraminer before heading back to your hotel for an afternoon lazing by the pool and drinking outstanding Alsacian wine. Top your day off with a gastronomic dinner at Le Parc’s La Table accompanied by haute cuisine service. Paradise found…in Alsace.

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Gerard Bertrand’s Jazz Fest Weekend, Sud de France [Slideshow]

All photos by Paige Donner c. 2011.

The Gérard Bertrand annual Jazz Fest took place August 4th – 8th this summer at Château l’Hospitalet just outside Narbonne.  These photos are taken at Château l’Hospitalet in Languedoc-Roussillon, “Sud de France.”

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To read more about Gérard Bertrand wines, his annual summer Jazz Fest and his L’Art de Vivre Les Vins Du Sud, click on Gerard-Bertrand.com.

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Interview With Rothschild S.A.’s Adrien Laurent, USA-Mexico Export Manager

Interview by Paige Donner, Editor, Local Food And Wine

Contact Local Food And Wine for our Culinary Tours and Rates.

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The Men of Vinexpo, France’s Biannual Wine Bonanza

By Paige Donner Read Complete Article on Black Book Magazine A biannual affair, France’s monumental, just-wrapped Vinexpo Bordeaux has, once again, firmly established itself as the world’s leading exhibition for the wine industry. A few numbers: there were approximately 50,000 … Continue reading