Monday, February 8, 2016

Episode 14 Paris GOODfood+wine Happy Valentine's Day From Paris!

posted by Paige Donner

Episode 14 Paris GOODfood+wine  Happy Valentine's Day From Paris!

This episode of Paris GOOD food + wine is dedicated it to the spirit of Valentine's Day. We're sending out lots of love and goodwill to you from Paris today in our broadcast. This episode is airing on World Radio Paris and also on replay in the iTunes store.

First up, I'll be bringing you some food and wine anecdotes, news and tidbits from the world of #ParisFoodAndWine.

Next, you'll be hearing from our first featured interview guest, Chef Christian Le Squer. He has just been awarded his third Michelin star at his fairly new gig, the illustrious, storeyed and very exclusive George V restaurant here in Paris, the flagship restaurant of the Four Season's Paris Hotel George V.

In the kitchens of Le Cinq, Paris. Chef Christian Le Squer photo by Paige Donner copyright 2015
In the kitchens of Le Cinq, Paris. Chef Christian Le Squer photo by Paige Donner copyright 2015

Following on the heels of that, you'll get to hear what it's like to dine in an altogether different type of dinner theater, namely Opera Dinner theater.

The Bel Canto is a restaurant just steps from Paris' Hotel de Ville, which is Paris' City Hall. Here, at Le Bel Canto, the servers sing famous opera songs in between serving you your perfectly done steak or tender poached salmon. These performers mind you, are not servers moonlighting as opera singers, but, rather, opera singers moonlighting as servers.

It's a phenomenally successful small chain of restaurants. Well, you'll hear from the restaurateur-founder himself, Jean Paul Morel, who speaks to us about how he conceived of this restaurant, then opened a second one here in Paris and then another one in London, too.

So sit back and relax, as we take you on a culinary journey through the City of Lights, Paris.

These Top Wines Increased Double Digit %age Points in Value in 2015

Good news for certain sage French wine investors: 6 of the top ten wines that increased the most %age points in 2015, in terms of market value, were French wines. They hail from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône.

So if you own Château Angélus 2005, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux, It's up 39.9 percent to a GB£ value of about £3,148 per bottle

Next is Domaine du Pegau, 2010 Cuvée Réservée from, Châteauneuf-du-Pape in France's Rhone region: up 37.2 percent to a per bottle price tag of £598 

The next biggest percentage increase in terms of per bottle value is from Burgundy's Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru 2010 with a 34.4 percent rise to £2,933 GBP per bottle.

The other French winners, which you can read about directly on Liv-Ex are

  • Domaine Leflaive Bâtard-Montrachet Grand Cru 2002, Burgundy;
  • Château Cheval Blanc 2005, Saint-Émilion, Bordeaux; and
  • Château La Mission Haut-Brion 2005, also Bordeaux.

It's worth noting that Robert Parker in his 10 year retrospective review he did last June upped three of those wine scores to 100 points. Namely Parker upgraded his scores for Angélus 2005 and La Mission Haut-Brion 2005 from 98 to 100 points and generously upgraded Cheval Blanc's 2005 from 96 points to 100 points

The NY Times also pointed out in a feature article they ran last summer (July 2015) that investors who own a valuable cellar can now borrow against it. This has led some wine collectors to strategically monetize their classic vintage collections in exchange for hard cash.

Doggie Bags vs. Gourmet Bags

Next up and what's new in the world of Paris Food And Wine is Doggie Bags Are Now de rigeur in the capital.

The long-standing cultural snobbism here towards taking your leftovers home is seeing a bit of a refresh. It's in response to a government campaign that now legally obliges restaurants to provide doggie bags to diners, as a way to stave off the vast amounts of restaurant food wastage - up to one ton - seen annually here in France.

The law went into effect on New Year's Day, so you needn't any longer be embarrassed to ask to take that half-eaten steak home with you for Fido. Or whomever.

But, since cultural morés don't die easily, there's a growing campaign underway, largely initiated by the Hotel and Restaurant Industry Union here, the UMIH, to re-christen le Doggy Bag, as Le Gourmet Bag.

This is in hopes that more French diners, 70% of whom said in a poll that they had never taken leftovers home from a restaurant meal, will overcome the cultural embarrassment of this western world's mostly widely accepted practice.

A government-commissioned report on food wastage released last year explained the cultural reluctance this way: "The majority of diners don't dare to ask for the leftovers of their meal, while the restaurateurs see it as a 'degradation' of their dishes."

So far, at least 100 Paris restaurants have formally adopted Le Gourmet Bag. In theory, anyway.

And, before we start our feature interview with the just crowned 3-Michelin starred Chef Le Squer of the exclusive George V restaurant here in Paris, it's worth noting there are two more recent bits of tantalizing news in the world of Paris chefs:

  1. Pierre Gagnaire was voted the world's best Michelin-starred chef by a group of his peers and
  2. Japanese chef Nobu, aka Nobuyuki Matsuhisa, is set to open a restaurant here in Paris in the early part of this year.This will be the sixth Matsuhisa-branded restaurant for the 66-year old chef famed for his fusion of traditional Japanese recipes and South American flavors. 

This following interview with Chef Le Squer was conducted in the kitchens of the George V restaurant. My first question was to ask him to explain why he describes his cuisine as, "a pair of jeans worn with a Chanel couture jacket:"

See iTunes for Audio Interview. You can also catch the show airing on World Radio Paris.

Listen to  Paris GOODfood+wine at the  iTUNES store.
Listen to Paris GOODfood+wine at the iTUNES store.

Next up is my interview with Jean Paul Morel, the founder and owner of Le Bel Canto. In the background you hear the rehearsals of his performer-servers, all formally trained opera singers.

You can read more about Le Bel Canto in my review featured in USA Today's International Edition and also on

Music by Sting and Mylene Farmer

Video Clip

The show is brought to you by Paris Food And Wine. Download the Paris Food And Wine APP in the App Store today.

#ParisFoodAndWine App
#ParisFoodAndWine App

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