Where is the first place you call when your manager asks you to plan an executive lunch in Paris? Uh…. Le Crillon, bien sur! The Grande Dame of Paris has recently undergone a $25 million renovation to restore it to its original grandeur. Originally commissioned by Louis XV to architect Jacques-Ange Gabriel in 1758 to create the most magnificent facades in Paris, Le Crillon overlooks the frenetic Place de la Concorde, is next to the US Embassy and a stone’s throw from the swanky Rue du Faubourg St Honore.

The Michelin-starred Restaurant, Les Ambassadeurs, is led by the robust Chef Jean-Francois Piege. In his second year at the helm, at a mere 35 years old, he received two Michelin stars and ranked in the news section entitled “Chance For The Third Star”, a new category created in 2005 to recognize restaurants that are better than two-stars but not quite a three-star ranking. Jean-Francois revolutionized the menu with unexpected combinations, amazing textures, and subtle flavors that continue to offer the customers a memory they will never forget. We certainly won’t forget our lunch any time soon…

Le menu….

Aquarello Rice with Shaved Parmesan and Black Truffle Jus

Royal Sea Bream with Olive Viennese and Artichokes in an Artichoke Jus

Rose Macaron with Rose Ice Cream and Grapefruit

Mignardises – Bite-sized Dessert Delicacies and Chocolates

Chateau Olivier 2001, Pessac-Leognan

Mercurey 2001, Chateau de Chamirey

And the views are almost as delicious as the lunch! Place de la Concorde….

La Tour Eiffel…..

and the US Embassy!

Bon appetit!

Lunch at Le Crillon 6 May,2006Cucina Testa Rossa


Cucina Testa Rossa

After a decade in Silicon Valley, Laura traded her keyboard for a cutting board and moved to New York City to immerse herself in food and wine studies and restaurant operations. She graduated from the French Culinary Institute where she studied under Master Chefs Jacques Pépin, André Soltner, Alain Sailhac, and Master Sommelier Andrea Immer. While in New York, Laura cooked with some of the world’s most highly acclaimed chefs including Mario Lohninger (Danube), Morimoto, Mark Franz & Emily Luchetti (Farallon), Michael Romano (Union Square Café), Mario Batali, Marcella Hazan, Jonathan Cartwright (White Barn Inn), Martin Heierling (Bellagio), Dave Pasternack (Esca), Richard Reddington (Redd, Auberge du Soleil), and the legendary Alice Waters (Chez Panisse).

After working as the Back Kitchen Chef of Jacques Pépin’s PBS cooking show, “Fast Food, My Way”, Laura moved to France to cook her way around the country. She cooked at the Cannes Film Festival, then to the northwest corner of France, to Britanny, to cook on a lobster boat, then east to Paris to the world famous Pierre Hermé Patisserie where she made thousands of his macarons every day! Laura cooked for the fabulous Olivia de Havilland and interned at 3 Michelin Star Le Cinq under Chef Philippe Legendre and Pastry Chef Fabrice Lecleir. Laura was the executive chef and cooking instructor at the DaVinci Code chateau outside of Paris where she was on set during the filming of the movie.

In Fall 2007, Laura worked on Jacques Pepin’s most recent PBS television series as prop and food stylist. “More Fast Food, My Way” should air in the Spring of 2008. “My Keyboard for a Cutting Board ~ Adventures in a French kitchen v1.0”, Laura’s first book highlights her first three months cooking in France, was published in Summer 2006. Convivialité is her second book and will hopefully be published in the fall.

Laura now splits her time between Paris and the San Francisco Bay Area doing private chefing, teaching cooking classes and leading market tours when in Paris. Bon Appetit!

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor