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  1. Chef Suzana Davila at the Café Poca Cosa in Tucson Arizona. Not only does she make amazing margaritas and heavenly authentic mexican food, she is the damned sexiest grandmother in the world with a 1000 watt smile and overflowing generosity.
  2. PIMENT D’OR My friend Christelle is having a professional crisis. She has decided, at the ripe old age of 25, to embark on a career change. She wants to apply her well-honed marketing skills to the catering industry and has asked me to advise her. Christelle is Vietnamese so I suggested she take us to her favourite Vietnamese restaurant, Le Piment d’Or to discuss the project. Christelle ordered in Vietnamese and I enjoyed a Perrier with salted prune cocktail as we waited. Sounds like a weird aperitif? It is. A dried salted prune is covered with sugar and ice topped off with Perrier and stirred until the prune falls apart and turns the water brown. This is an acquired taste, a bit like salted liquorice, but very pleasant. Piment d’Or seats about 40, there were mostly Vietnamese clients during our visit. It is cheerfully decorated in yellow and red and so authentic you need a native speaker, or this review, to know what to order. Our first dish was ‘salade de boeuf et liserons d’eau’, cold cooked chopped beef and chopped bindweed (a celery like vegetable) on a bed of greens and marinated vegetables topped with chopped peanuts and crispy fried onions. The next dish, ‘crepes de lune à la vapeur’, is small disks of rice crepes topped with chives, taro paste and dried shrimp flakes. They fit on the tip of a spoon and are wonderful when dipped in ‘nuoc mam’ (fish) sauce. I finished my salted prune drink and ordered some jasmine tea for the rest of the meal. We devoured ‘ravioli vapeur’ (rice flour crepe stuffed with shredded pork and black mushrooms and topped with slices of Vietnamese sausage. You are meant to wrap the ravioli in lettuce with peppermint, mint, and a leaf Christelle described as ‘fish’ leaf that has a very fishy taste. Then we had ‘crepes de lune frites’ the fried version of the steamed ‘crepes de lune’ above topped with a whole shrimp, fried and served with mixed greens and marinated vegetables. TOur next dish was a “crepe Vietnamienne’ a huge crepe filled with bean sprouts, shredded pork, shrimp and taro paste. It looks like an omelette and you cut it into pieces and wrap them in lettuce leaves with mint to make a crunchy refreshing nibble, though a tad too messy for catering. The ‘porc et poisson au caramel’ is fish and pork chunks slowly cooked in spicy caramel in a cast-iron pot. It is a sweet and savoury extravaganza! We decided the ‘brochette de boeuf’ would be another good catering choice. Cooked marinated shredded beef and chopped herbs are wrapped in a ‘la lôt’” leaf (also known as a pepper leaf) into little bundles that look like Greek dolmathes (stuffed grape leaves) and are served on angel hair noodles topped with chopped peanuts. Next we ate delicious ‘crabes en mue’ sliced deep-fried soft-shell crabs with a salt and pepper coating. Christelle told me only a few Vietnamese restaurants serve this dish using fresh soft-shell crabs. The ‘crevettes sel et poivre’ are addictive and we polished off two whole plates of the crunchy titbits. Our last dish was an exotic ‘soupe de poissons au tamarin’ a tureen of fish, shrimp, chopped fennel and spring onions in tamarind juice. Tamarind is sometimes known as an ‘India date’. It has small seeds and a sour-sweet pulp that is used like lemon juice in Asian cooking. It is also one of the main ingredients in Worcestershire sauce. The total price for our meal came to € 105.76 euros for 4 people. Piment d’Or 111, avenue d’Ivry 75013 Paris Tel: 01 53 79 20 60 Open for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.
  3. cherry tomatoes with feta and egg An easy to make delicious dish I concocted last week. Fill a ramekin with cherry tomatoes and douse with olive oil. Bake at a low temperature 180°C for an hour. Remove from oven. Crumble feta cheese on top and put in oven again for 15 minutes till the top of the cheese starts to brown. take out of the oven add fresh basil and an egg on top. Leave in oven till egg has desired consisteny. Serve hot. ( RG564 )
  4. Food Network won't air Great Chefs because they can't afford it.
  5. I just reserved four dinners for a couple of American friends who enjoyed each one and never had any comments about Americans. Most of the French are anti-war, even anti-Bush and increasingly anti-Chirac who is perceived as breaking up the UN and causing a huge rift within Europe. When I was in England last week at a food show I did not hear one single anti-French comment. Its time to stop watching the news and start watching cooking programs again....
  6. At the risk of incurring the wrath of moderators who don't want politics messing up this site can I make a suggestion. I believe in freedom of expresion but I also believe in constructive criticism. Rather than pour French wine down the drain, I suggest that restaurateurs or consumers who want to protest the French position in the UN sell or auction off their unwanted French wine and donate the proceeds to a veteran's hospital. At least the money will be going to support the soldiers who may be wounded or maimed for life if this conflict actually happens. Another solution would be to send me your unwanted wines...
  7. What happened to Kathy P and husband and Jen M? David Bizer called the restaurant to cancel as did delights. Tony Finch is right, "nous sommes incapables d'organiser une beuverie dans une brasserie". I'll take the blame for bailing out of the dinner first, I was offered a very high paying job that involved business dinner that night. I was saddened to get a phone call from l'Os à Moelle yesterday asking where all the guests were. I am guessing that some of you may have a hard time pronouncing my long last name, so does 95% of the French population. Next time I'll just use my first name. A bientôt j'espere....
  8. I called the restaurant to change the reservation to 5 people for David, Kathy P and husband, delights and Jen M. If you plan to not go please call them to cancel. The reservation is in my name and I don't want to get a bad rep with them. Delights has said he will be 15 minutes late.
  9. I try to always make a maximum 3 minute description of a meal and use the mini voice recorder built into my cell phone so people think I am speaking on the phone. In cell phone unfriendly restaurants, (my favorites) I am careful that my phone never rings. If it does start to vibrate I turn it off.
  10. Hello all, I will not be able to attend the first egullet meal, I have an emergency work situation that I must attend to. The reservation in my name still stands however, if anyone wants to bring a buddy in my stead let me know else I'll change the reservation to 7 people it now includes: David Bizer Jen M Delights Balex Kathy P + husband Loufood
  11. OK I've reserved at Os a Moelle for the following 8 people at 7:30 pm (19h30) on Thursday March 6, in my name Marc Cosnard des Closets. Marc Cosnard des Closets David Bizer Jen M Martin Rosen Delights Balex Kathy P Loufood Anyone can't make it let me know by private message.
  12. Sounds like Thursday March 6 is best for most. Lets do it! I'm in!! Somewhere cheap yet good. We're not going for the food per se, we're going to be food geeks and have a laugh! We have to start somewhere so lets go to one of the table d'hote places, we'll all eat the same food and sample several different wines. Whaddya say? Marc Cosnard des Closets David Bizer Jen M Martin Rosen Delights Balex Kathy P Loufood (who should be done with her exams)
  13. http://travel.discovery.com/fansites/great...greatchefs.html for the best cooking show on TV with real working chefs.
  14. sign me up for February 28. How about one of the table d'hotes places, "Os à Moelle' or "Chez Michel" downstairs?
  15. OK, Trying again, who wants to eat when and where in Paris. ARe weeknds better or weekdays? Come on Paris egulleteers lets do it!!!
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