Egly Ouriet 2014 disgorgements

  Egly Ouriet is family estate of 4 generations The Grand Cru terroirs are on the villages of Ambonnay (7,8 ha) Bouzy (0,3 ha) and Verzenay (1,6 ha). The 1er Cru terroir is in Vrigny, 2 ha of Pinot Meunier Average age of vines is 40 years.   Brut 1er cru “les vignes de Vrigny“…

Mistral lunch in Gigondas

The village of Gigondas is located at the foot of the impressive Dentelles de Montmirail. We were warm in the car when we drove to the center of town and saw that the terrace of l’Oustalet was open. Beautiful May day …but we underestimated the wind. Wow was there a lot of wind! And not…

Veronica’s spring risotto

One of Veronica’s long time dreams was to buy food and cook it in her own kitchen in Paris. Her dream came true this spring. Saturday morning found us at the Bio market on the boulevard des Batignolles loaded down with beautiful springtime produce. Peas and asparagus that Veronica planned to simmer into her risotto….

Behind the scenes @ Le Jardin Gourmand

They were just back from Rome, to get away while the work was being done. Work being a total make over of the restaurant Le Jardin Gourmand. « We had to do it to be ready to face the next 10 years » said chef Pierre Boussereau with a laugh as he welcomed us into the empty…

Saturday morning breakfast @ Batignolles Organic Market

On cold blustery days (the kind we’ve had a lot recently) the tarps covering the market stalls look like they’ve been pulled extra-tight together, huddling up close in solidarity. On the nicer, sunnier days, there is a little jazz trio playing notes that dance with the patches of sunshine through the alleys of the market….

Tang, Coquilles and St Julien

I’ve mentioned Resturant Tang before as one of my absolute favorite places in Paris. I know a lot of his dishes, but on my last visit, he surprised me with this scallop and spicy soy sauce recipe. Scallops (Coquilles St Jacques, in French) are in season now here in France. It is rare to find a…

Did I mention the 2009 beaujolais?

I’ve been tasting a lot of 2009 Beaujolais recently, everything from Crus like Régnié, Brouilly and Morgon to plain Beaujolais.  Some are just bottled or just before bottling. Everytime I stick my nose in a glass of the stuff, I cant get over it : they are all delicious ! So delicious, I want to suck down…

Christian Etienne and unexpected truffles…

The streets of Avignon are dead on this wintry night with the exception of a few Chinese tourists. How did they get here? Where is everyone else? We arrive late at Christian Etienne, but when we open the door, we are greeted with all the human warmth and sunshiny southern French accents were had been…

Sidewalk inspirations: alternative foie gras

It happens when he is walking down the street. Who knows what is going through his mind. And then, suddenly, something emerges. Clear. Precise. A mission. Monkfish liver and oysters… It has to do partially with a dish that Antoine Heerah at the Chamarré did for us not long ago, he presented it as ‘foie…

Truffles and Chardonnay @ Le Chassagne

The 2004 Bernard Morey Chassagne Montrachet 1er Cru Les Embrazées, was a little disappointing because it was reduced (needed air) and never fully expressed its potential, both of terroir and vintage. Chardonnay, even if disappointing on its own, tends to goes well truffles. This was certainly true of the Embrazés. Chef Stephane Léger of Le…

Haddock and beets @ Le Chassagne

I have a soft spot for chefs who use beets. Surprisingly complex aromatically with an interesting mixture of red fruits and earthiness, beets are an under-rated vegetable. My most recent visit to Le Chassagne, chef Stefane Léger brought out a smoked haddock and beetroot appetizer with not one, but two different preparations of beets. What…

What are we drinking in Vietnam?

Forget about wine. There is no wine here. Most people haven’t even heard of wine and wouldn’t know how to serve it if they did. Not that I hold it against them, they have other priorities. It used to be that you could buy bottles of Dalat wine from ambulant push cart merchants on street…

Unexpected Beaujolais Nouveau 2009

When he handed me the bread, and I realized that it was warm, I thought, “this is too good to be true”. How can you have a Beaujolais nouveau day without a glass (or three) of Beaujolais? Someone with some power at SNCF (French national railroad) must have been thinking about this, or else it…

end Ch9 day

Short hand in the notebook and constant translation from French to English. After a day of stains on teeth, hands and notebook pages. After barrels here, tanks there, old wood foudres, and multiple blends. Different spices, fruits, and flowers. After all of the power (and alcohol) saturated wines, and after the varying tannin levels… At…

The Pyrenees, Petit Manseng, and Cauhapé

Pyrenees watch over Petit Manseng It’s a five-hour ride from Paris to Pau on the TGV. The train flies down as far as Tours, then medium speed to Bordeaux, before slowing even more until Pau. It is as if someone wants you to watch, watch the progression of this flat land until they appear: the…

2009 vintage: what ripe Chardonnay looks like: gold

We didn’t have to go far with Alexandre Moreau to see some of his ripe Chardonnay in Cote de Beaune (Burgundy), we just crossed the street from his cellar and into Chassagne 1er Cru La Maltroie vineyard. Here, too, the leaves were beautifully green. Chardonnay grapes getting golden like this is rarely to be seen….

A revelation: Foie gras with raspberries and red bell pepper jelly

How do you make foie gras go with Beaujolais Villages? Start by giving the chef a glass or two. Just so that he can get the creative juices flowing… The young chef at Auberge de Chantemerle came up with an incredibly creative and unique idea that worked beautifully: Foie gras with a jelly of red…