Les listes de Noël fusent de tous les côtés depuis plusieurs semaines. Entre la liste des cadeaux pas chers chez DelicatesseNY, des desserts de fêtes chez La Cuisine des Chefs, des beaux livres chez United States of Flo, des idées beauté chez A shot of beauty, des idées luxe sur Le Blog de Krysthaa, ou encore la liste des cadeaux les plus pourris sur Le Bonbon, tout le monde propose ses idées pour essayer d’éviter que nos jolis paquets ne terminent sur ebay. Lire la suite de « Le guide cadeaux de Noël pour foodies et geekettes arty »
Christmas is just around the corner. Les Christmas cookies vous connaissez? Ces sablés que les américains font avant Noël, en général à partir de pâte à gâteau déjà prête au goût indéfini recouvert de cet infâme glaçage coloré vert et qu’ils appellent cuisiner. Je préfère, il est vrai me référencer à ces jolies biscuits alsaciens à la cannelle vendus dans tous les marchés de Noël. Lire la suite de « Sablés étoilés de Noël à la châtaigne et aux pépites de chocolat – Défi «Christmas Menu – Concours Noël tout en douceur de Sol Pâtisserie »
Last wednesday night, Inter Rhône was having its largest trade event of the year. With more than 50 wines featured at Gary’s Loft, the association of professionals representing Producers and Traders of Rhône Valley AOC wines did think big!
The venue was this bright midtown loft that was converted into an apartment. Trade could switch between 8 rooms and experiencing different ways to enjoy Rhône Valley wines. My favorite room was definitely the kitchen where you could enjoy a formal dinner with 6 wines matching. Uncommon appellations were featured, like the Condrieu by Vidal-Fleury, the star of the room. However I did not understand the lack of Chateauneuf-du-Pape (‘too common’) when Côte-du-Rhône was in almost every room.
Besides eating the chef’s recipes, his cooking demos taught me how to cut veggies and make spring rolls without them to blow up.
The funniest part was probably the rooftop. With summer that finally hits the city, the BBQ was the best element the party could have offered us. Reds were chilled; whites and rosés were more than welcome. The guitar singer, the view on the Empire State Building, the ‘almost’ photo booth and the mini sliders reminded me how much I will miss this city and working for such an industry.
Dessert was served in the living room, were cheesecake pop-tarts and (too sweet but very well done) macarons were matching a glass of Muscat de Beaumes-de-Venise.
And I obviously did not leave empty-handed. The raffle made me choose a bottle of Rasteau, Domaine Grand Nicolet, from the rack. Unfortunately the last people asking for their price did not get the best choices but the sommeliers helped me choosing the best possible.
With my gift bag, my BBQ kit, my bottle and my belly filled, I had such a blast and was definitely in the Mood of Rhône…
Last Wednesday was the presentation of the Georges Duboeuf 2012 Crus. Known as the biggest French negociant who started exporting wine 31 years ago in the US, Duboeuf does not mean only Beaujolais Nouveau. His 10 Crus, from the best part of the Beaujolais area, are named Flower and present a great value. But he also owns other domains and bottles the juice in his property.
The presentation took place at Lafayette, the new restaurant that has been open for exactly one month, owned by the same team behind The Dutch and Locanda Verde. 5 tables were dressed in the wine cellar downstairs, which was really appropriate for this event.
The first step was a walk-in tasting with some small appetizer. The gougère was too hard, but the mini slider was definitely one of the best burgers I had, and it is on the menu! The secret must have been the raclette cheese, even though it was a bit too salty.
The star of the event was again the Juliénas, Château des Capitans. The Beaujolais and Mâconnais were also featured with a special mention to the Pouilly-Fuissé, Domaine Emile Béranger, which is going to be the killer once people understand Duboeuf can also be featured in white tablecloth restaurants because of its quality.
As part of the lunch, the paté was paired with Beaujolais-Villages. All the French people got a bit disappointed since they put so much spices and fresh herbs you can barely taste the meat. And I hope you have strong teeth to eat the toasted bread served with it, you will need them.
Between each course, the legend, Georges, and his son Franck, talked about the wines.
The spinach and slight goat cheese ravioli were really fine. The roasted chicken was definitely the best dish. Naked, served only with 5 bites of roasted potatoes, it was like getting the chicken from the farmers market a summer in France. I was expecting a tarte tatin for dessert; we got a tarte fine, which is absolutely not the same. Thin slices of apple served on a puff pastry dough with a slight burned taste. I should probably share with them the actual recipe.
Overall, Lafayette is a very nice place to get the spirit of a French Brasserie. And I will probably go back to taste their bakery for breakfast.
And I have to say that the flower bouquet with the gift bag was a nice wink to the Flower label and kind thoughts to women.
The Dutch is the American Soho restaurant own by the same team. The venue is bright, with the same snobby atmosphere you find in these trendy Manhattan spots I talked about in earlier posts. The non-so classic poached egg was served with ham, chipotle and tomato and a cheddar biscuit in an oven dish. Special mention to the burger and French fries. I feel I always get my best burgers in restaurants that are not known for that.
Last Wednesday night was the release of the book « Nice is just a place in France » by Betches Love This, a popular website run anonymously who chronicle what she loves or not since she’s the one who has everything figured out. I am still a bit confused about this website but I guess that night I felt like a ‘Betch’…
Two sisters (are they really anonymous?) had invited all their friends of the gilded youth to celebrate the launch party at The Jane in West Village. I guess this party was my first and last time at this hotel since my skirt was not tight and short enough and my heels way too boring.
Anyway the sisters hosted such a great party. [yellow tail] and Liquor 43 were largely poured at the bar, and chocolate covered pretzels (my favorite US candy) were all over the tables before guests decided to turn them into a danse floor.
Great party? Ohh yes! A regret? Who stole my ‘Betches Love This’ glasses?
20 importers and producers were part of the event; more than 60 wines were featured. The aim of the event was to bring the most affordable and accessible wines from France’s most famous wine producing region. Since the US has become the world’s largest wine-consuming nation for the first time in 2011 (even though it is 5 times bigger than France), there is a real opportunity for our wines to increase exportations.
We know that French wines and everything France related is appealing to the American consumers. However, there are two challenges for French wine, which is the basic consumer challenge, as they do not understand it and is not necessarily appealing to him because of the lack of differentiation. It is then also a distribution challenge created by producers themselves. Retailers have stopped importing top wines in the States as they will not be bought by the consumer who does not know about it.
However, I don’t know if it is because of the 4 wine tastings organized in Manhattan on the same day, the bright sun, or the disappointing French style cheese and charcuterie buffet that cost the event a small number of participants.
Like every tastings, people just walk around the room with their glasses, talking to producers. However, some of them did complain since they could only feature their wines from any other appellation than AOC Bordeaux and AOC Bordeaux Superieur. It could have been one of the reasons of the poor involvement.
The funniest part of the event was the Master Class led by Kevin Zraly. The guy was hilarious, trying to teach us how to taste and appreciate affordable 2009-2010 Bordeaux. I would have appreciated a bigger discussion about tasting notes. 10 wines tasted later, I leave the event with a great wine list for my dinners to come.
5 (female) chefs, 5 pigs, 5 winemakers: this is the tagline of the Cochon 555 event, a 10-city tour with a pig-culinary competition. Over 30 pork dishes were featured and consumers went from one chef to another to taste, evaluate and give their final vote. Always on a Sunday afternoon, the first round was in NYC at the Chelsea Pier on February 10th. People do lines but nothing crazy. Even though almost everything is pretty good except this piece of pork served with black-beans and a hard bland piece of crouton I cannot bite, nothing is really blowing my mind until I taste Alex Guarnaschelli dishes.
Chinese-inspired pork, every bite is tender, and I’m almost acting crazy when I see she is serving soup-dumpling. I had to vote for her, even though her “diva” behavior irritates me when she is stopping this Asian-blogger-trendy photographer from taking picture of her.
The winner, Missy Robbins, featured ravioli dipped in chicken broth. However, I could not really distinguished the flavor in the Prosciutto cotto (where is the black truffle?) and could not imagine tasting the pigs’s head terrine. I tried some good French wines from the Rhône Valley, others from a small importer Robert Kacher, some Rioja or other heavy Napa wines. I felt nostalgic with the pear cider and thought about my vacations in Normandy. I liked the idea of Four Roses presenting Bourbon Cocktails in cute jars. I will try it at my next party: good marketing!
A butcher demo with Sara Bigelow and a Heritage BBQ preview with Sue Torres and amazing Mexican-inspired dishes, they announced the winner with a Champagne toast. The speech is a bit long though.
8pm: end of the event. I was offered offered to follow the chefs and participants to the after party at Resto, Midtown East. The party bus drove us there. The venue was obviously all-about meat and I was impressed by the taste of the beef used in the hot-dog and by the fruity-flavor of the Belgium beer (1 out of 300 featured).
My wish? Going to the final tour in Aspen with all the winners.