April 27, 2008 |
You can do Paris by the numbers: Tote a favorite guidebook from point to point and read blurbs about the Arc de Triomphe or the Louvre. But to understand why Paris and its amazing landmarks matter, here's some reading that will help you embrace the city on a deeper cultural level. And you don't have to cram before you go; take one of these to peruse while you dawdle over a cafe au lait. 1. "Paris to the Moon," by Adam Gopnik (Random House Trade Paperbacks: $14.95). A New Yorker writer and his family move to Paris for front-row seats on the bistro wars and other remarkable happenings in the City of Light.
March 5, 1997 |
"We are selling dreams," French chef Bernard Loiseau says. "We are merchants of happiness." For the three-star Michelin chef, one of the most celebrated of his generation, it's a risky, if rewarding, trade. Balding and with the husky build of a rugby player from his native Auvergne region in central France, the 46-year-old Loiseau is taking time to chat with a visitor before he leaves for Paris later in the day. He plans to borrow 10 million francs, or about $1.75 million U.S.
February 26, 2003 |
In a nation where chefs are as celebrated as artists, fashion designers or athletes, one's standing in the culinary world can be a matter of life and death. That's why the news that pioneering chef Bernard Loiseau, whose three-star restaurant was the crown of an epicurean empire, was an apparent suicide brought such anguish. Leaders of France's culinary community did not wait for the autopsy to start pointing fingers of blame Tuesday.
February 11, 1993 |
" All cookery rests on the egg. The egg is the Atlas that supports the world of gastronomy; the chef is the slave of the egg. . . . And should all the hens in the world commit suicide, tomorrow every chef in France worthy of his name would fall on his spit, for . . . egg is the cement that holds all the castle of cookery together.
August 21, 1997 |
Who says you have to troll Ventura Boulevard to find good food? Almost 17 years ago, Juan Alonso returned home from a six-month sojourn to Europe. He'd spent two years selling real estate in Southern California, and before that he worked as chef in places like Le Petit Cafe in Hollywood, now long gone. He was at loose ends.
August 22, 1993 |
Fennel/Pazzia chefs Laurent Grangien and Umberto Bombana have left the Franco-Italian kitchen combo on La Cienega. Bombana, who worked at Mauro Vicenti's Pazzia since it opened five years ago, has taken a job cooking at the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. He has been replaced by Enrico Trova, former sous-chef at Vicenti's elegant downtown Rex il Ristorante.
August 19, 1999 |
Bistro cooking is the latest rage, it seems. In Los Angeles, places like Mimosa are positively jumping. Up north in the wine country, Bistro Jeanty turns away many more customers than it serves. But a few restaurants have been serving bistro food all along. Take La Fayette, an ancient place on an appropriately sleepy stretch of Garden Grove Boulevard in Garden Grove. The only thing modern about this big, dimly lit room is the towering spray of fresh flowers smack in the middle of it. Otherwise, La Fayette is all Old World charm and faded grandeur: glass chandeliers straight from the set of a Merchant-Ivory production, huge semicircular booths, empty magnums of expensive Bordeaux on the sideboards and a few Renoir prints hung over the tables nearest the kitchen.
November 28, 2001 |
"Allo." The gravelly voice had an immutable French accent. "Jean-Louis here." That was the telephone greeting of America's first world-class French chef, when one measures those things by Michelin stars. The inspiration of many great chefs cooking today, Jean-Louis Palladin, who died Sunday, needed no last name. Like Julia or Cher. And truth be told, if Jean-Louis Palladin had been born a woman, he would have been some combination of those two.
October 9, 1988 |
Ma Be, 8722 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles. (213) 276-6223. Open for lunch Monday-Saturday, for dinner nightly and for Sunday brunch. Valet parking. Full bar. American Express, MasterCard and Visa accepted. Dinner for two, food only, $42-$72. If Ma Be were a woman, her slip would never show. She would invariably say the right thing, her children would be loved by all their teachers, and if you were her friend you'd drop in at her house at odd hours in hopes of once finding it a mess.
April 6, 2005 |
Michael Roberts strode through life with the jaunty, slightly decadent air of a recently displaced count. Everything he did he did with style and grace and a heaping dollop of wit. The chef and co-owner of the landmark 1980s West Hollywood restaurant Trumps, Roberts died last week in Philadelphia at the age of 55 after a lifelong struggle with a progressive neuromuscular disease.