Category Archives: Restaurant

Julia, Jamie, Gordon – The Rise of The Celebrity Chef

Documentary about the rise of the Celebrity Chef. With Jamie’s fortune estimated at over £40 (million!) these cooks know how to whip it up in the kitchen. On and off screen.

Doc is by BBC – so it’s all UK-centric. Would love to see this done covering other countries.


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♥Chérie Du Vin

Napa March And April Events – Art and Taste of Yountville

With Spring just around the corner, the itch to get outdoors is growing stronger day by day. It’s easy to imagine how the grapevines must be feeling ’round about now… ready to burst forth and get busy bathing their buds in that sunshine.

Napa offers SO many great attractions the year round, but two of their outstanding events happen in March and April every year.

The first, Taste of Yountville, has been occurring annually for the past 20 years. With more excellent restaurants per capita than just about anywhere else on the planet, tiny Yountville really has something to offer… and boast about.

Better yet, each Taste Ticket costs only a buck ($1) and you can count on participants like Bouchon and Bardessono’s Lucy being ever so present.


Yountville will host the 20th Annual Taste of Yountville weekend celebration March 14-16, 2013 to showcase the town’s finest food, wine and arts. Taste of Yountville will culminate in a town-wide block party on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Admission is free, tasting tickets will be $1 each. In addition to Saturday’s signature block party event, the Taste of Yountville weekend will play host to several special events throughout Yountville.

For more information click hereor call theYountville Chamber of Commerce

More Info Here

Arts In April

Relative newcomer as far as events go… is Arts in April, Napa. Started in 2011, this will be its 3rd year running. Best yet is that the event unfolds over the course of the month… so no matter which weekend in April you get yourselves up to Napa, you will find highlighted art shows and exhibits to accompany those great Napa Valley Wines.

April 1 – 30, 2013
Visit Website

And be sure to check the Special Events Calendar (like for bASH in St. Helena April 13th!!) to help you plan your trip itinerary….

A celebration of the elemental connection between wine and the arts, this month-long program satisfies cultural cravings with an exploration of winery art installations, pop-up exhibitions and tastings. Introduced in April 2011, Arts in April offers special access and packages to enjoy The Napa Valley Collection, making it the perfect time to get a dose of Napa Valley culture with your Cabernet.

More INFO – VisitNapaValley

The NapaLife Insider’s Guide to Napa Valley

More than a guidebook, this newest Napa Valley Travel Book is written by Insider Paul Franson, a Napa resident for coming on 20 years now. What’s great is that he orients his book to the Digital Age. So, gone are the addresses and pet-friendly, smoking/non-smoking icons in minuscule type…
Instead – since you can look up those other things on your SmartPhone, of course – what Franson gives you is honest, down home opinions of the best of what there is to find in Napa.
He’s big on the local favorites, too, so you won’t get just the tourist recommendations or places TouristAdvisors have reviewed and recommended…

In fact, as far as Travel Guides go, Franson seems to have hit this one out of the ballpark. It’s like talking to a friend who has lived in Napa for a couple decades and getting the DL on good eats, good deals, good hikes and bike rides, where the celebs hang out, and even a bit of history as to who owns which winery and for how long and with whom?…

At any rate, you just might be tempted to pitch your tent until harvest time… Now that’s not such a bad idea is it? Too bad that Ag Preserve is so vigilant, eh?!

You can order NapaLife Insider’s Guide to Napa Valley guidebook directly from his website:

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♥Chérie Du Vin

Wine Evenings at Restaurant 114 Faubourg St. Honore


By Paige Donner

At the epicenter of chic, where rue Fbg. St. Honoré meets Avenue Matignon in the shade of Paris’s Élysée gardens, is where you will find the restaurant 114 Faubourg.
As part of Le Bristol Hotel, but with a separate entrance and in an adjoining building, the lunch and dinner restaurant headed up by chef Eric Desbordes along with his chief Sommelier, Marco Pelletier, is altogether a destination unto itself.

Tomes can and likely will be written about the talented young chef’s French cuisine, but focus here is on the restaurant’s once-monthly Wine Tasting Evenings, held the first Monday of the month, to be precise.

In a city that gathers the best wines of one of the best wine-producing countries in the world, there is an unexpected and surprising dearth of good wine-tasting evenings organized for the amateur/enthusiast and/or the visiting tourist. A once-monthly excellent wine and tailored food-pairing evening open to 25 guests is hardly going to make a dent in what should be a huge demand for this type of food and wine evening event, but, at least it’s a start…

Marco Pelletier, an adoptive Parisian whose authentic Canadianisms pepper his oenological descriptions and explanations, shines as the evening’s champion organizer. He not only invites the winemakers to Paris so they can talk about their “treasures,” but also curates his wines with that delicate care that only a professional with great passion and reverence for his metier can muster.

Evenings start at around 7:30 with a tasting flight of four wines during which the winemaker shares tales about the vintages he’s pouring. The 114 Faubourg team takes care of hosting duties, which allows these extraordinary cultivators of French wines to simply elaborate the stories of their wines in the company of the people who have come to sip and savor their particular expressions of terroir.

According to Pelletier, there is no commercial element to the evening. The winemakers are not honored guests invited to “sell” their wines. “They just come to share the story behind the wines and vintages being poured for the evening. The winemakers are often small producers that I’ve usually already chosen to feature and work with or who have already worked with Le Bristol for a long time,” explains Pelletier. “These are the ‘Haute Couture’ of winegrowers.”

Article Author: Paige Donner 

Writer, Journalist, Filmmaker. Life Enthusiast. Paris Editor for BlackBook City Guides.

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Plaza Athénée’s Alpine Pop-Up Restaurant

From the 28th of February to 10th March, Paris’s Hotel Plaza Athénée invites you to experience their Alpine-inspired Pop-Up restaurant.

Cuisine is inspired by the Rhone-Alpe region of France known as the Haut-Savoie with its Savoyarde regional cuisine. Think hearty, mountain cooking for cold nights and white winters!

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The Wine Yacht

“We wanted to put our own unique spin on traditional food and wine pairing concepts” says Chef Natasha Harris.“Clients who book the yacht will be able to show their guests Vancouver from a new perspective, while learning about interesting wine and food combinations using local ingredients. It’s a great opportunity to showcase our city and what we are privileged to have here.” 

Created by Sunset Bay’s ISG accredited Executive Chef Natasha Harris, The Wine Yacht’s interactive group tasting sessions are designed to provide clients with an informative and unique custom tasting event while on board the “Sunset Bay II” private yacht. Each tasting station features premium wine varietals from BC and around the world, paired with small plates inspired by the corresponding wine’s region. Continue reading

Insider Guide to the 8th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival

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Sam the cooking guySan Diego’s beloved Sam the Cooking Guy has created a list of tips to help you master the 8th Annual San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival! As a seasoned Festival veteran for the last 7 years, Sam knows a thing or two about the event and wants to give you a sneak peak into the action-packed culinary week that only a foodie could appreciate. 

Discover insider tips, top picks and must-sees at this year’s Grand Tasting.  CLICK HERE to view Sam’s full Insider Guide to the Festival.   


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the 2011 San Diego Bay Wine & Food Festival


Champagne Bars In Paris – Top Picks On Black Book Magazine by Paige Donner

By Paige Donner 
Black Book - Best Champagne Bars Paris by Paige Donner screenshot Oct 4 2011
Black Book – Best Champagne Bars Paris by Paige Donner screenshot Oct 4 2011

Read More On  Black Book Magazine


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Fête de la Gastronomie

Fête de la Gastronomie - Local Food And WineForeword FROM THE MINISTER

The Fête de la Gastronomie is a festival that is not to be missed, and it will be taking place on the first day of autumn [Sept 23rd]. It will also have its own theme, uniting all the different events and initiatives taking place throughout the country. This year we have chosen Our Earth, because it generously allows us to work it, harvest its fruits, and use them for our food. Because man and earth are inseparable. More INFO

Foreword from the MinisterEverywhere you look there is something to do with gastronomy: in the media, in the increasingly imaginative dishes available in our restaurants…as though the whole idea were something new, whereas in fact it is no more than a tradition in a constant state of renewal, very much alive, and one that makes the most of our country’s dynamism, the foods we produce, and what we do with them.  Continue reading

Gérard Bertrand Annual Jazz Fest Weekend, Sud de France

All photos by Paige Donner c. 2011.

The Gérard Bertrand annual Jazz Fest took place August 4th – 8th this summer at Château l’Hospitalet in Narbonne.  These photos are taken at Château l’Hospitalet just outside Narbonne.

To read more about Gérard Bertrand wines, his annual summer Jazz Fest and hisL’Art de Vivre Les Vins Du Sud, click on

Watch the Local Food And Wine TV interview of Gérard Bertrand at his Cigalus Estate HERE.

Full Slideshow on Local Food And Wine.

Château l’Hospitalet. Festival de Jazz. Photos by Paige Donner c. Local Food And Wine.




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