Category Archives: Food & Wine

French food & wine, cooking, some gastronomy, gourmandises, desserts, recipes, and favorite places in town. A table et bon appétit!

Chez Monsieur Marcel

Chez Monsieur Marcel “ La Vie Est Belle“!  We just happened to be in Santa Monica on 3rd Street Promenade a few weeks ago and the fresh sea air made us very hungry. We had a leisurely bite at Marcel’s. Marcel Café is a French outdoor bistro  (with several locations in LA ) we had lunch on  3rd street promenade in Santa Monica. We sat in the back patio and entertained throughout lunch by a twosome of awesome blues players.

It’s amazing how they whip out great dishes from their tiny portable kitchen. I liked that they also have for example ” des merguez!” spicy sausage from Algeria or Morocco and other unusual goodies on the menu. We had the Boeuf Bourguignon on that chilly afternoon and the French Burger with goat cheese and shoestring fries.

While sipping Monsieur Marcel House wine  a smooth Merlot  car” Un jour sans vin est comme un jour sans soleil!” and since I had some wine left I ordered some cheese because as we also say in my family  “When there’s wine left in your glass you got to have cheese!” and vice-versa,

Café Monsieur MarcelCafé Marcel on 3rd Street Promenade, Santa MonicaChez MarcelFromageMarcel MerlotFrench Burger Beuf Bourguigon2011-05-13_12-40-002011-05-13_13-1-32-35


La vie est belle chez Monsieur Marcel in Santa Monica!


Le Picnic des Chefs French Cook-off

Le Picnic des Chefs French Cook-off

Hats off to the Club Culinaire of Southern California.  This was the 31st Annual Picnic des Chefs Fundraiser of regional French cooking held this last Saturday under the trees in a beautiful natural setting, a place called  Vasa Park in Agoura Hills. A snippet of the afternoon in a Photo-Reportage:

We were warmly greeted by Kora Kroep the event organizer and handed a blue Picnic bag containing all our picnic utensils to sample the regional French food either ” sur le pouce”, “à table” , or “sur l’herbe”.

Or under the giant tent entertained by a live band and a little dancing following the raffle of many worthy prizes including the big prize: Air Tahiti Nui two Round trip tickets to Paris or Tahiti fo the lucky winner!

There was something for everyone, a real family-oriented event. the big boys played Pétanque with Los Angeles Petanque Club

….not far from the “refreshment” station aka le bar sipping pastis.

While the littler kids headed for the giant slide in the supervised heated pool and other attractions around the park:  petting zoo, rock climbing, photo Ops, etc…

The ladies strolled down wine country after lunch sampling a variety of different French wines & champagnes from the many Picnic Wineries.

The menu choices were très alléchants but be forewarned and get there early next year to enjoy some of the best LA French chefs in LA.

Appetizers Pate de Canard  made by Maison Akira, Josie Restaurant ‘s Quiche Lorraine and Pissaladiere from  The French Market Cafe  and Smoked Salmon from Michel Cordon Bleu to name a few and wonderful artisan Bread & Baguette  from various bakeries in LA ( Jacques bakery, Bread LA, Sadie Rose Baking Company, etc…)

From Provence; leg of lamb (Sofitel), Tri-Tip ( Lilly’s) Ratatouille (Le Cordon Bleu) and Golden Beet Salad with Goat cheese ( Joe’s Restaurant) , inspired from Britanny we had Shrimp & artichoke (BLVD), Rice Pilaf & Poached Salmon ( St Regis Hotel/ Church & State) and last but not least Rotisserie Chicken  from Paris (Biltmore) with oven-roasted potatoes ( La Cachette) and a Mesclun salad (Le Chêne)

Cheeses & desserts from Sweet Temptations, Maison Richard, LA Patisserie, Emil’s Swiss pastries,  Berty Siegels, and Melissa’s Produce Co. went very fast! Crepes, eclairs, clafoutis, and waffles. I got to taste an almond base chocolate mousse, pas mal du tout!

Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne (NY) also welcomed us warmly with a delightful sampling of bubbly which set the tone for the afternoon.

I also enjoyed sampling delightful new white wines, Piqueboule, Chardonnay, as well as a few delicious French Rosés Do You Tropez  and Clos Clementine Rosé de Provence as well as an unpretentiously delicious Blanc de Blanc called Le Grande Courtage Blanc de Blanc .

See you next year! A l’année prochaine!