Friday, July 28, 2017

Episode 28 : Branding Out of The Box - Paris GOOD food + wine

by Paige Donner

Host-Producer  Paris GOOD food + wine 

Looking to inspire the next generation of food+wine entrepreneurs, Paris GOOD food + wine takes a closer look at French and European food + wine companies that began as single-visionary entrepreneurs.

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A rural English potato farmer who turned his potato chips into a global brand (Tyrrell's); a Bordeaux wine company started by a few brothers in the late 1940s that has gone on to be Europe's biggest wine-selling brand and whose market is 80% French (Castel Frères) ; a cookie and snacks company whose founders got their pastry-making degrees while in business school (Michel & Augustin); a cabaret and restaurant that has been resurrected from the ashes of its 1930's glorious past (Le Bal Blomet); and a fine foods grocery shop that retains its Mom & Pop Provençal feel (Maison Brémond 1830).

June 28 Podcast Event Paris GOOD food+wine

This episode has been brought to you by the generous support of Paris Food And Wine. Follow us on Twitter @parisfoodwineFacebook @ParisFoodAndWine and you can find me on Instagram@PaigeFoodWine

Find this and more episodes of Paris GOOD food + wine on Soundcloud,Stitcher, YouTube, Tune IN Radio and also on iTunes.

Paris GOOD food + wine is the first (and still only) English language radio program and podcast about food and wine produced in Paris, France. This episode, Branding Out of The Box, seeks to inspire budding, next-generation entrepreneurs who might have an idea or a dream and simply require the confidence to pursue it. In an era where big companies are only getting bigger and fast becoming monoliths, the entrepreneurial, small-business dream is still real and still scalable.

Sprouts is a weekly program that features local radio production and stories from many radio stations and local media groups around the world. It is produced in collaboration with community radio stations and independent producers across the country.

All music used is free of rights and royalty-free courtesy FreeSoundTrack.com. This episode features Attacked by Cherubs and also the Sprouts soundtrack Torpedoes on Tuesday by Poison Control. Show Intro/ Outro Theme Jazzy Paris background courtesy of BenSound Music.
This episode has been generously brought to you by Paris Food And Wine@ParisFoodWine http://parisfoodandwine.net and also Bordeaux Food & Wine @bordeauxfoodvin http://bordeauxfoodandwine.com

For sponsorship and advertising, contact Paige. Also for hosting and speaking engagements and for media collaborations: http://Paigedonner.info

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

a flask of Chateau Haut-Brion wine

by Paige Donner (all photos copyright 2017 Paige Donner)

As Bordeaux's very first wine château, is it any wonder that Haut-Brion still ranks with such stature in the world's profile of wines and wine estates? Well, a measured answer would be both yes, and no. 




It's not a given that a wine or a wine estate with such deep-roots and a glorious past would be sheparded forward through the centuries in a fashion that continues to uphold what is best of the property and best for the wine. 

On a recent visit to Château Haut-Brion, my first visit, in fact, I was told by the lovely Turid, the château's press relations manager who has been with the property for 17 years, that Château Haut-Brion is rightfully considered the very first Bordelais wine-producing château as they have come to be known through the ages. Meaning: vineyards, wine production area, chai, vat room, cellars and in Haut-Brion's case, even a cooperage. 

As many French, and it's said the Bordelais in particular, tend to wax eloquent about the history and cultural significance of their properties, I had always taken this singular claim as the original Bordeaux Château with a grain of salt. BUT, I stand to be corrected. As the charming Turid pointed out, and later I was able to verify through my own research, indeed, it was as far back as 1533 that Jean de Pontac bought what was then considered to be a mansion that sat on the locality known as Haut-Brion in the commune of Pessac and united it with his surrounding vineyard land-holdings. 

Thus, it can rightfully be claimed, through historical land records, that Château (& vineyards) Haut-Brion came into existence in 1533




But that is not all that Jean de Pontac did. By 1549 he started building and enlarging on the very site that is still the château today and in fact the north-eastern part of the current château still constitutes this edifice. 

Fast-forward a century or so and the château, always owned by illustrious men of power and King's servants, has gained immeasurable repute for its terroir and its resulting wines. So much so that in 1677 a (famous) philosopher by the name of John Locke, on a visit to the estate, is quoted as saying, 

"The wine of Pontac, so revered in England, is made on a little rise of ground, lieing open most to the west. It is noe thing but pure white sand, mixed with a little gravel.  One wold imagin it scarce fit to beare anything...."

That is probably one of the most remarkable things about Haut-Brion, a Gascon name that derives from its ancient Celtic origins of "Briga," meaning rise or mount, that traces of wine production here date back to the 1st c. AD. Hence as far back as Pax Romana times, this little hillock with its characteristic small white stone gravel soils has been recognized as being especially conducive to growing grape vines. 


First Growth, Bordeaux Grand Cru

On the 25th of May, 1787, America's great lover of wine, Thomas Jefferson, who at the time was the 2nd American Ambassador to France, visited Haut-Brion during a tour of Bordeaux.  According to historical record, this is what Mr. Jefferson had to say about Haut-Brion: 

READ MORE ON  https://localfoodandwine.wordpress.com/2017/07/05/a-flask-of-chateau-haut-brion-wine/

For photos contact:  PaigeDonner.info

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Monday, May 8, 2017

Episode 27: Chef Mauro Colagreco & Urban Paris Rooftop Gardening: Paris GOOD food+wine

by Paige Donner

One of the World's Best Chefs, Mauro Colagreco, and Urban Rooftop Gardening in Paris



For this episode of Paris GOOD food + wine, we have with us one of the world's top chefs, namely Mauro Colagreco. Chef Colagreco's restaurant, Mirazur, near the Italian border in the South of France, was ranked the world's Number 4 Best Restaurant last month by the prestigious and well-respected San Pellegrino World's Top 50 restaurants list. Chef Colagreco also has 2 Michelin stars for Mirazur.

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I caught up with him while he was doing a special Chef's dinner at his other restaurant, Le Grand Coeur, in the Marais, here in Paris. He talks to us about the differences between Northern and Southern French cooking.




Next, I get to talk to you straight from the rooftops of Paris. This interview with urban gardener and landscape architect, ChristopheGautrand, took place in the rooftop garden of the Mandarin Oriental Paris Hotel. The inspiration for this came from resident-Executive Chef, the 2-Michelin star Thierry Marx. With Christophe's help, Chef Marx uses his Parisian rooftop garden to grow herbs that infuse his dishes for Sur Mesure, his restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Paris. Grown up here are fragrant herbs like curry plant and strawberry mint which smell exactly like their names imply: respectively curry and fresh mint crushed with strawberries.


**


Looking for something fun with wine to do this month? Check May 19th and 20th off on your calendar:

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These are the days, a Friday and a Saturday, when La Revue du Vin de France, France's most widely-read wine magazine, holds their annual wine tasting salon, Le Salon du Vin, in the center of Paris. It takes place at the Palais Brongniart also known as The Bourse, in the 2nd arrondissement.


Over 200 major wine producers will be present and pouring their wines for you to taste.


Also, for English speakers this year, Franck Ramage, the wine director of Le Cordon Bleu, will be hosting a special workshop on food and wine pairings that will be presented in both English and French.


That takes place on Friday May 19th from 5 to 6pm with a nominal cost of 12€


** 


So join us for our Season 3 finale of Paris GOOD food + wine, coming to you directly from the French capital, Paris.


A special Thank You to Paul Reen, our Voice Over artist for the Chef Mauro Colagreco English translation.

This episode has been brought to you by the generous support of Paris Food And Wine. Follow us on Twitter @parisfoodwine, Facebook @ParisFoodAndWine and you can find me on Instagram @PaigeFoodWine



Find this and more episodes of Paris GOOD food + wine on Soundcloud, Stitcher, YouTube, Tune IN Radio and also on iTunes




All music used is free of rights and royalty-free courtesy FreeSoundTrack.com. This episode features Ilya Truhanov, Fantasy in EMajor. Show Intro/ Outro Jazzy Paris background courtesy of BenSound Music.

This episode has been generously brought to you by Paris Food And Wine@ParisFoodWine http://parisfoodandwine.net and also Bordeaux Food & Wine @bordeauxfoodvin http://bordeauxfoodandwine.com

For sponsorship and advertising, contact Paige. Also for hosting and speaking engagements and for media collaborations: http://Paigedonner.info

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More Info @ParisFoodWine
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All photos copyright 2017 Paige Donner

Prints available by contacting http://PaigeDonner.info

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Summertime Oscars in Bordeaux

by Paige Donner

Move over MPAA (Motion Picture Association of America), Bordeaux has once again rolled out its Oscar picks in time for summer. But in good Bordeaux taste, these Oscars have nothing to do with films, and everything to do with good wine.

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In its 7th year now, each spring, 100 women in Bordeaux get together and blind taste hundreds of whites, rosés, clarets and sparkling wines from the Bordeaux region. Of these, the initial selection is pared down to 35 in each category and then those are whittled down to 6 winners.

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This year's "Les Oscars de l'éte' of Bordeaux are:

Bordeaux Crémant

  • Perle de Tutiac
  • Les Cordeliers Grand Vintage
  • Lateyron
  • Celene <Saphir>
  • Louis Vallon
  • Perles de Garrineau

Claret

  • Château La Freynelle
  • Château la Bretonnière
  • Château Sainte Catherine
  • Clairet de Lisennes
  • Cuvée French Kiss
  • Le Clairet de Boutinet

Rosé

  • La vie in Rosé du Château Landereau
  • Château du Barail
  • Château d'Haurets
  • Château Lauduc Classic
  • Château La Freynelle
  • Château La Rame

Bordeaux Blanc

  • Château La Freynelle
  • L'Instant Bordeaux
  • Cellier de Bordes
  • Château de Bonhoste
  • Château La France
  • Château Le Bonalgut


Spotlight on the bubbly rosé by the young Bordelaise, Celene <Saphir>

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This is the first cuvée by Céline Lannouye, a young Bordeaux woman who chose to express her winemaking ability with a sparkling rosé wine.  This approachable, balanced and refreshing bubbly is assembled from grapes grown mostly in the Entre Deux Mers region of Bordeaux. Her first production is an impressive 70K bottles. And this cuvée is one of the winners from the annual Oscars de Bordeaux blind tasting. Her parents have a wine estate in St. Émilion, so perhaps it runs in the blood.  Runs you about 10Euros per bottle. More Info : cremants-ballarin.com 

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Episode 26: Le Cordon Bleu, Paris by Paris GOOD food + wine

by Paige Donner

In order to record these interviews for Episode 26 of Paris GOOD food + wine, on a lovely late spring afternoon recently, I took a quick bus ride over to the new Le Cordon Bleu Culinary and Cooking Institut.

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These new 4OOO sq Meter premises are located on the Quai across the river from the Radio France headquarters. The graceful self-contained building is within eyesight of the emblematic statue of liberty that graces the Ile des Cygnes in the middle of the Seine.

It's the very statue that was used as the model for the one gifted to the United States from France which famously resides in NY City's Harbor.

But, back to the Institute – Le Cordon Bleu has become, in the past century, the standard of cooking schools. The diplomas that the students receive after completing coursework here allow them to progress onto substantial careers anywhere in the world. This is, of course, where Julia Child famously began her mastery of the Art of French Cooking and it's also the school that was featured with Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina as well as more recently referenced in the movie Julie & Julia.

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In recent decades, namely since the current president of the school, André Cointreau, took up the reigns, Le Cordon Bleu has focused on expanding internationally. It now has campuses all over the world.

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In my interview with Mr. Cointreau, we'll be hearing more about this global expansion and export of the French culinary savoir-faire when it comes to pastry making, cooking and wine appreciation.

You'll also be hearing interviews from two of the senior chefs at Le Cordon Bleu, namely the head Chef Patissier, Fabrice Danniel and also Chef Marc Vaca who came to the Cordon Bleu after some years spent in Australia. To round things out, last but not least, we'll get some insight from Franck Ramage, wine expert and director of the wine program at Le Cordon Bleu, a program that has expanded significantly under his tutelage.

So, sit back and enjoy another episode of Paris GOODfood+wine as we retrace Julia Child's footsteps and esprit, in great culinary kinspirit.

***

If you'd like to visit Le Cordon Bleu Institute's Paris campus you're more than welcome to. It's about a 2 minute walk from the fashionable new Beaugrenelle Shopping Center in Paris' 15th arrondissement.

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On the premises you'll find a pastry shop where you can purchase pastries and enjoy them in the little café overlooking the Seine or you can purchase them for takeaway.

There's also a charming boutique on premise which offers their own honey made from honey produced from their rooftop beehives. The boutique also stocks wonderful souvenirs such as chef's aprons, cookbooks, jars of mustards and lots more delicious Le Cordon Bleu goodies.


All music used is free of rights and royalty-free courtesy FreeSoundTrack.com. This episode features Ilya Truhanov, Fantasy in EMajor. Show Intro/ Outro Jazzy Paris background courtesy of BenSound Music.
This episode has been generously brought to you by Paris Food And Wine @ParisFoodWine http://parisfoodandwine.net and also Bordeaux Food & Wine @bordeauxfoodvin http://bordeauxfoodandwine.com 

For sponsorship and advertising, contact Paige. Also for hosting and speaking engagements and for media collaborations: http://Paigedonner.info

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

2016 Right Bank Bordeaux's + Margaux Silky Tannins

by Paige Donner

The first question I asked Oenoteam's Stephane Toutoundji after tasting some 40 of his 2016's-  primarily from Pomerol and St. Emilion - was, Are these silky tannins yours and your enologists' influence or is it the signature of the 2016's?

His quick response to me was that it's 2016's signature for Right Bank Bordeaux. And Margaux.

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En Primeurs 2016 Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2017
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En Primeurs 2016 Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2017
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En Primeurs 2016 Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2017
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En Primeurs 2016 Bordeaux photo by Paige Donner copyright 2017

His associates, Julien Belle and Thomas Duclos, who complete the Libourne-based Oenoteam, concurred. Of course as enologists who consult to the 45+ chateaus tasted on a sunny spring morning at Paris' elegant La Dame de Pic, their style is going to come through. But that style is not so much as forcing a wine to mimic the consulting enologist's personal tastes as it is allowing the wine to express itself in the most harmonious of  ways.

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Wine Allowed To Express Itself

When it comes to allowing a wine's inherent expression to shine forth,  I have to admit that I am an adherent to this religion, too. Maybe it's because my female palate, as they say, is sensitive to tannins. That may be so as personally I have never had an easy time judging the merits of a young Bordeaux. I seem only to be able to "taste" them after they've nicely settled in their bottles a few years. But even though these 2016s are full of flavor and not shy in alcohol (most hovering around 14% and even a bit higher) these were fresh and gentle and, above all, silky wines.

This En Primeurs tasting of these 2016's from Pomerol, St. Emilion and also Margaux was something altogether different. Silky. Supple. Approachable.

2016 Bordeaux: Expressive tannins that are amazingly well-mannered given their young age. Silky. Smooth.

With promises that they will only get better. This is true of the Margaux's such as Chateau Tayac's Or Norme as well as for their range of Pomerols like Chateau La Cabanne, Chateau de Valois and Chateau Mazeyres. It also holds for St. Emilion wines that have never disappointed me such as Fonroque and Chateau Soutard, but also ones that I've never tasted young like Muse du Val, Chateau Grangey,  Chateau La Serre, Chateau Larmande and Chateau Haut-Sarpe. There were even two from Fronsac that qualify for this descriptive of tame tannins for their 2016s, namely Chateau Barrabaque and Chateau Tessendey; as well as a Cotes de Bourg by Chateau Fougas (organic wine) that exhibited these silky tame tannins and also, remarkably, was a sleeper hit with 90% of the diverse tasters (male, female; young, old; smoker, non-smoker).

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Surprisingly there were even a few 2016s I wouldn't be shy to recommend drinking in the coming months.Though of course all of them, as good Bordeaux wines, can be cellared for 3 - 20 years and more. Especially the Pomerols and Margaux but also the St. Emilions and a few of the Fronsac wines, also Bordeaux Superieurs like Chateau L'Escart and Chateau Grand Français as well as Lussac Montagne St. Emilion's Chateau Le Claymore.

In addition to these superstar, world-class appellations from which this En Primeurs 2016 tasting drew, there were also a few uniques thrown into the mix, just to jazz things up even more. One of these was a wine made by Olivier Malrieu with consulting enologist Julien Belle that is an IGP Comte Tolosan (near Toulouse). This 2016 from Domaine du Moulin de Montlauzin is 100% Cab Franc, Cuvée Petits Grains. Its nose is perfumed, perhaps by the fact that the 5 ha. estate has no nearby neighbors; the mouth exhibited the subtlety of smooth silk, even as young as it is. This is a wine that offers good value and a refreshing discovery. 

La Dame de Pic (Michelin-starred)

After the tasting it was encouraged that we choose wines from these same chateaus and domains but from earlier vintages, such as 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 to accompany lunch. 

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Kitchens at La Dame de Pic 1 Michelin Star Paris Restaurant   photo by Paige Donner copyright 2017


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Kitchens (1) Signature Anne-Sophie Pic butter (2) at La Dame de Pic, Paris 1 Michelin Star  Restaurant  photos by Paige Donner © 2017

Anne-Sophie Pic, the Michelin-starred French chef, is one of France's culinary treasures and is, remarkably, self-taught. Her only guides she uses for inspiration in creating her inventive dishes are her highly-tuned olfactory sense and palate. When she speaks of her cuisine she often seasons her conversation with references to perfume, such is the delicacy of her alchemic offerings. 

I was intrigued to see how I could pair big, bold Pomerols, Margaux and St. Emilions with such delicate dishes as L'Oeuf de Poule, a poached egg served with green anise butter, verveine-infused oil and delicately grilled finely sliced green asparagus from Mallemort. Luckily I didn't have to because Stephane Toutoundji of Oenoteam suggested we sip the Chateau K white from Bergerac to start things off. This young fruity-nosed white that finishes on dry notes of its Sauvignon Blanc and Sauvignon Gris blend served only to highlight the delicate balance of this dish. 

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 La Dame de Pic Paris,  1 Michelin Star  Restaurant  photos by Paige Donner © 2017

Next up was pigeon which, we were reassured, would be served rare unless we really had a problem with that?  No one did. For this course the bold and knowledgeable at the table were given the task of finding a suitable wine to pair from our embarrassingly abundant selection. Chosen: Fonroque 2014,  Chateau Mazeyres 2010, Chateau Soutard 2009, Chateau Tayac 2010, giving us a comparison between classic vintage Right Bank St. Emilion and Pomerol and also a Margaux.

The pigeon had first been marinated in Geranium root and Cubébe pepper. It was served with red rhubarb puree, roasted celery that was then chilled and a dollop of puréed boudin noir (blood sausage) with Zacapa rum added. Testament to Chef Pic's delicate hand, it was the very first time I had been able to enjoy boudin noir. With the perfectly cooked pigeon and in such a small dose, perfumed with that hint of rum, it all paired perfectly with....well, for me, my top picks were Fonroque 2014, Chateau Le Caillou 2009,  and Chateau Tayac 2010 with the topper of Chateau Mazeyres 2010. But that was just my personal taste influences. Not everyone at the table agreed with me. 

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Though I would say that wine tasting is, of course, all about that. A rose is  rose by any other name, but, the smell of a rose will evoke different sense memories in each of us. Hence different palate responses. I quite understand that the wine business is a business. Though I do appreciate the fact that it is a business that bottles earth, land, sunshine, a moment in time and the people who author all of that. In this sense, each bottle and each expression is deserving of the utmost respect. It's for each one of us to decide which we appreciate the most individually. 

Or as Anne-Sophie Pic would say:  "En toute chose, je recherche l'équilibre, la note juste, la précision...mon travail de création me donne l'impression d'etre toujours sur le fil."

(Transl. "In all things I look for balance, just the right note, precision...my creativity in my work gives me the sense that I am perpetually searching/walking a tightrope."

ABOUT OENOTEAM:

This team of three oenologists is based in Bordeaux's right bank Libourne where they have their own "laboratoire." They offer a variety of services, including: enological advice and consulting, detailed analyses, expertise in the cellar, vinification process and vineyards and more. "Each of our wines are unique, and each of our clients, too." 

The team's M.O. is that each wine be allowed to find its best expression with as little external influence as possible. There is a phrase that great wine consultants like to use in French that roughly translates to, "I elaborate wines, I don't 'make' wines." This is a phrase by which you can describe the Oenoteam. 

MORE INFO @PARISFOODWINE
INSTAGRAM @PAIGEFOODWINE
BORDEAUX FOOD & WINE TOO! @BORDEAUXFOODVIN

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