Thursday, December 11, 2014
Friday, October 24, 2014
by Paige Donner
Move over foodtrucks, because France has re-envisioned the gourmet food-on-wheels concept and it's called the Bustronome.
Only in Paris! This surely qualifies as one of those Only in Paris experiences. The French, as you know, seem never to be satisfied with exhilarating experiences unless -and until - a healthy dose of good food and wine has been added to the mix.
This is one of those exhilarating experiences.
And a great big healthy dose of food and wine has been added to the mix here on Bustronome, the gourmet bus tour of the sacred sites of Paris that is sure to delight even the most reticent of foie gras lovers.
The bus excursion starts off at the Etoile, aka the Arc de Triomphe. You can't miss the elegant big black bus that is parked there awaiting its passengers. The bottom level of the double-decker bus is outfitted as a chef's kitchen. The panoramic glass roof-covered and cozy upstairs seats about 40 comfortably in 4-top and 2-top tables, with an aisle inbetween both right and left window seatings.
Certainly the heros of the evening are the chef and his team, laboring below in a very coolly-equipped kitchen as the bus tools its way through the Parisian evening traffic. And the waiter who not only jogs up and down the flight of stairs all night long but carries trays of hot and heavy platters of this four-course meal.
The tables are customized with stylish plexiglass holders that keep your water and wine glasses in place. The dishes are weighted by their design, with your entrée coming in a covered stone pot, which keeps it from careening around on the table.
The evening is planned for about 2 1/2 hours but you should allow for up to four. The bus stops at some of the highlight points, such as in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame and at Place de la Concorde, allowing for passengers to get off and enjoy some fresh air (and smokers to get their fix).
Other iconic landmarks on the Bustronome's route include Musée d'Orsay, Opéra Garnier, Grand Palais, Saint-Michel and the Louvre.
AND they even have a lunch option, too. Prices for lunch (drinks included) start at €85 pp. For that you have an appetizer of shrimp in coconut milk, garnished with mint leaves; duck foie gras served with tomato chutney; sea bass filet cooked with thyme, spring vegetables and soucis flowers; another main course of roasted veal served with baby carrots and mashed potatoes; then for the cheese course a selection of Rocamadour goat cheese drizzled with olive oil, sprinkled with rosemarky and garnished with dried apricots; Dessert is a chocolate cake with a melted chocolate center served with Sacher cookies and Arabica coffee with little flavored cocoa bits.
Champagne aperitif and wine pairings are included.
AND you have Paris at your feet, all evening long... More INFO here.
Friday, October 3, 2014
Every year in September France celebrates their Heritage Days, called the Journées du Patrimoine. This year, I dared to take a preview peek at one of the few new fabulous developments in Champagne.
The oldest co-operative in Champagne, known now as Champagne Collet, located in the little village of Aÿ , has just finished its thorough renovations and construction of elaborate exhibit facilities that depict both the history of champagne in the region and their development as a Top Ten champagne producer.
This champagne house, Champagne Collet, was first established as a Co-operative in 1921. It is the oldest Co-operative in Champagne.
View of Champagne de Castellane Tower in Epernay as you cross the bridge into Epernay coming from Ay, Champagne, France. This photo was taken just during the end of harvest 2014, at the golden hour.
All photos by Paige Donner copyright 2014
The significance of its location in Ay, France, which sits just between Reims and Epernay, both dominant champagne producing towns in the region, is that it is the historic setting for the champagne growers' revolt that took place early in the 20th c. here.
Part of the fabulous exhibit that their facility now houses shows historical photographs and even an old (restored) film that gives accounts of this event. The event served to shape the history of the region and even the wine itself, which has so famously become known around the globe as champagne.
The cellars are also not to be missed. Their vintage cuvées are displayed with elegant accompaniment of local celebrated photographer's, Michel Jolyot's, photos.
Since it is not yet officially open to the public, I am posting only a few photos here for now. When it does open its doors for public entry, it is definitely not to be missed. And the little town of Aÿ is one of the most beautiful little villages in Champagne. It is also home to Bollinger and Deutz among several other top-class champagnes.
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Ten years after releasing the acclaimed film, Mondovino, Jonathan Nossiter is back in theaters with his newest film, Résistance Naturelle.
It examines vineyards in Italy that are cultivating their grapes bqoth organically and with chemicals and pesticides. He then compares the soil quality and harvest yields of the different cultivation methods. It's not strictly a documentary as he blends some narrative filmmaking in with the documentary.
Released in theaters since June 2014.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
by Paige Donner
La Freizh, La Freizh!!
A young, impassioned wild strawberry producer - gariguette in French - named Julien Héliès has launched a limited production of White Strawberries.
Did you know strawberries were originally WHITE?!
You might not have known that 300 years ago, when strawberries were first imported to Europe from Chile, they were white berries. But they were.
That was back in 1714 when, after two years of travels around South America, the explorer, Amédée Frezier, arrived back in Marseilles with 5 plants from Chile he brought with him of these white strawberries. One of these was planted in the botanical gardens of Brest.
A bit larger than a wild strawberries found in the woods and hinting of a taste of pineapple amidst their delicious sweetness, this limited and very confidential production can be found by contacting the strawberry grower/agriculture cooperative directly at Saveol.com where you can also read more about the history of the strawberry in France and around the world.
Personally I am waiting with bated breath until I see some of the Parisian chefs, or any international chefs, serve these up, fired simply by their fruitful - ; ) - imaginations.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
by Paige Donner
Just a few tantalizing photos... All details and descriptions to these outstanding Paris Patisseries can be found HERE at 10BEST Paris.
All photos are copyright the illustrated pâtisseries.
Monday, March 31, 2014
by Paige Donner
On a recent round-up of Paris interviews, I succeeded in doing the near-impossible - catching up with the man-in-motion, the chef who never stops, Mr. Yannick Alléno, 3* Michelin chef and champion of local-sourced ingredients for his outstanding cuisine.
You can catch my interview with him on World Radio Paris by clicking on the World of Wine play button Here. He talks about his upcoming book that re-envisions French sauces and also his winemaking endeavors with M. Chapoutier in the Rhône Valley. Episode will air shortly...
Until then, here's what's new:
Moët & Chandon, Épernay team up with Chef Yannick Alléno for Summer Pop-Up Restaurant in Champagne
Starting in a few short weeks, mid-April to be exact, you will be able to make reservations for a very special dining experience:
Where - Moët & Chandon's l'Orangerie in Épernay
This is the private l'Orangerie on the Trianon Garden grounds just across from the main cellars on Avenue de Champagne in Épernay. The grounds are only open to invited guests, except for once a year when they give tours of the gardens, including the l'Orangerie, on France's national Garden Day.
A dining experience in this magical setting is sure to be a memorable one.
Who - Yannick Alléno, 3* Michelin Chef and Benoit Gouez,
Moët & Chandon's Chef de Cave.
Chef Yannick Alléno, already a legend not just for his 3* Michelins but also for his extraordinary re-visioning of French cuisine and his dedication to local foods and ingredients which he uses exclusively when creating his menus and dishes.
When - June 9 2014 to July 9 2014.
What - A sublime dining experience.
Photos were taken at his newest Terroir Parisien, at Palais Brongniart in Paris, otherwise known as La Bourse. Photos copyright Paige Donner 2014.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Next Stop Spain is the benchmark for the VIP clients in arranging their trips to Spain since previously there was no company with the experienceto put the entire country at the disposal of those who wanted to discover the majesty of our country. Due to this continuous pursuit of excellence they have created a new way to travel and take care of your pets stay for unique customization.
The prestigious luxury travel agency Next Stop Spain is the first one to offer specialized travel for the most demanding clients ´pets : private jets, limos , hairdressers, five star hotels ...
"We are receiving a very high demand for luxury stays for pets of our clients. Currently, a program designed to measure a known entrepreneur includes limousine transfer for his pet to his private plane where everything is arranged during the flight so he can enjoy his favorite dishes made by an expert in canine nutrition chef . After his arrival and transfer by helicopter each day includes different activities: from costume tests from brands like Little Lily, which make replicas of the dresses worn at the Oscars by celebrities, to education courses and canine psychology taught by the most famous dog trainer in the world, known for his television programs "explain the founders of Next Stop Spain.
It is well known that millionaires who love their pets spare no expense when it comes to make them happy and Spain already have numerous five-star hotels for canine customers. Dogs suffer when they have to leave their homes and separated from their owners for a few days , but the sadness and anxiety is not so much when they can enjoy the exquisite attentions of this canine luxury residences, which include massage services, beach walks, dog grooming salon, gym, private pool, supervising caregivers 24 hours, music, television, and even canine hydrotherapy beds scented with lavender. Besides, how could it be otherwise, the owners are informed of the status of their dogs continuously by sending photos and videos or directly from the webcam.