12.22Holidays at the Four Seasons Paris

Four Seasons Paris

Courtesy Georges V

Leave it to the Four Seasons George V,  Paris to become a winter wonderland of white lights, exquisite flowers and a showcase for Swarovski crystals. Jeff Leatham, perhaps the most talented artistic director/floral genius anywhere, has transformed the hotel lobby into a forest of Christmas trees hung with crystal curtains made to order for the George V.

holidays Four Seasons Paris

Courtesy Georges V

The Swarovski’s Crystal Palace project was created in 2002 to create interpretations of large crystal chandelier making with signature lighting and design using cut crystal. You can visit the Swarovski Crystal Palace exhibition at the hotel through January 15th. It’s not to be missed.

holidays Four Seasons Paris

Courtesy Georges V

For those of us who can’t make the trip, we will have to be content to savor the photographs. The George V Paris wishes all my readers a Merry Christmas.

– The Gourmet Review

09.18Inside the Kitchen Interview | CHEF BRIFFARD | Four Seasons Paris

Photograph By Shin Shin

The master of the kitchen at Georges V’s  Le Cinq since June 2008 is Executive Chef Eric Briffard, who oversees the largest kitchen team in Europe: 115cooks, 7 apprentices, 15 sous-chefs and 13 sommeliers. Chef Briffard is the first to arrive and the last to leave the kitchen, where 17 to 18 hour days six days a week are common.

Chef Briffard’s haute cuisine has been drawing raves in Paris and throughout Europe – perhaps surprising the diner with  a bit of Asian influence when one least expects it, even for such traditional gastronomique delights as truffles and lobster. Or, who would expect sushi grade abalone prepared several ways from tartare to meuniere style? It’s a fun twist on traditional French cuisine.

Courtesy of Four Seasons Hotel

George V’s Chef Briffard’s superb credentials include an apprenticeship with Joel Robuchon.  With a focus on the freshest and best regional ingredients,  Chef Briffard  is known as a perfectionist when it comes to food and its presentation. Nothing but the best will suffice.

Chef Briffard has been kind enough to share some of his background with me.
Q  Who most influenced your love of cooking?

 My grandmother. (My research shows that Eric’s grandfather used to bake the family bread and even produced their own nut oil).

Q  What is your favorite food you cook at home?
I like all food, that’s why I became a chef!
Q  If you could share one secret for young chefs, what would it be?
To be passionate, enjoy yourself, and love to eat!
Q  What do you enjoy most about your job?
The gastronomical aspect as well as the sharing.
Q  What is the process for inspiring new recipes on the menu for Le Cinq?
I must be inspired when meeting the right product. I go meet growers, as it is the natural food that is essential to creating a great dish.
Q  What is your personal favorite dish on the menu?
That is a hard question, as it changes constantly and depends  on the season. However, my favorite dish will always be whatever my last creation is!

– The Gourmet Review



09.15The Culinary Experience of Le Cinq | Four Seasons | Paris

le cinq paris

Courtesy Four Seasons Paris

An elegant dining experience awaits you at the Four Season’s George V’s formal restaurant,  Le Cinq.  Surrounded by palatial opulence, yet with the intimacy of dining in a private chateau, you’ll find exquisite attention paid to every detail: even the tablecloths, china and silverware are custom made.

le cinq paris

Courtesy Four Seasons Paris

Look closely at the cameo found in  the center of each plate of white china.  The emblematic cameo is a reproduction of the cameo visible on top of each wall in the restaurant.

Don’t rush. You’ll find exquisite details throughout Le Cinq.

le cinq paris

 If you appreciate  haute cuisine and faultless service, you will savor your evening here. Le Cinq deserves every one of its Michelin stars. The “macaroons,” or stars, represent the highest honor that can be bestowed on a restaurant, particularly in Europe, where it shows gastronomic excellence. An impressive feat!

le cinq paris

Courtesy of Thuries Gastronomie Magazine

It’s always fun people watching, whether it’s the general comings and goings of guests, or the endless stream of celebrities dining at Le Cinq. If you had dined on election night, you would have seen French President Nicolas Sarkozy celebrating his election victory.

Many years back, you might have dined on lobster with chocolate sauce alongside Burt Lancaster, Clark Gable, Katherine Hepburn or Charlie Chaplin. My how times have changed in dining tastes!

le cinq paris

Courtesy of Thuries Gastronomie Magazine

One evening you might enjoy the tomatoes from Provence Collection 2010 as a millefeuille with crabmeat – carpaccio/fried/iced Liegeois/Panini or perhaps abalone from the Atlantic Coast with seaweed butter/creamy watercress soup/white cocao beans and ginger/lemon vinegar. These are the two appetizers I might order if I were lucky enough to hop on a plane to Paris this weekend.

le cinq paris

Courtesy of Thuries Gastronomie Magazine

Still have room for desert? Perhaps a crispy chocolate and mint creation served with cocoa sorbet, white mint granita and Manjari chocolate might sound appealing, or possibly something simpler; does a seasonal peach milkshake hit the spot?

Try tables 1 and 19 along the wall for the best dining experience, or alternatively, settle into one of the comfortable sofas, which offer excellent views of the restaurant, courtyard and even the entrance leading to Avenue Georges V.   Be honest. Wouldn’t you love to book a table for next weekend? 


Did you know that many years ago, management had the unique idea of offering its guests the  option of having their dinner conversations recorded  under the table. At the end of the evening, guests would not only pick up their coats, but a souvenir recording of their dining experience.

Guests would take pride in building libraries of conversations in their homes. No doubt today, they would be accused of eavesdropping. Imagine how times have changed!

– The Gourmet Review


Welcome! The Gourmet Review is a montage of our favorite food and travel experiences. Let your senses feast on mouth watering, easy to prepare recipes and our favorite dream destinations around the world. Whether you have champagne or simple tastes, The Gourmet Review will give you something to whet your appetite.

Join us as we tour kitchens at great restaurants and interview award winning chefs, sommeliers, pastry chefs, cake makers and even floral designers.

Hopefully, our favorite destinations around the world will inspire your next trip. If you can’t stay at the hotels, go to the restaurants. If you can’t go to the restaurants, pony on up to the bar for a cocktail.

At the very least, try your hand we hope you’ll enjoy savoring the ambience and nuances of food and travel as much as we do.

Warmest Regards,

The Fearless Foodie and my favorite  Blue Baker


Singita Safari Lodge | Best Luxury Travel Hotels

Courtesy Singita Private Game Reserve

The Gourmet Review is a luxury travel blog featuring the most extraordinary travel destinations  around the world. If you love reading about luxury travel hotels, you’ve come to the right place.

Wolfgang Puck Recipes | Chef Interviews

Courtesy Wolfgang Puck | Celebrity Chefs | Photography by Amanda Marsalis

 We also feature celebrity chef recipes, chef interviews and VIP access inside some of the country’s most famous kitchens.

Best Travel Blog | Top Restaurant Blogs

Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

The Gourmet Review also features the best restaurant recipes from around the country, quickly earning its title as one of the best restaurant blogs for gourmet diners.

Four Seasons Kona | Secret Restaurant Recipes

Courtesy Four Seasons Resort Hualalai

Some think of us as a healthy recipes blog featuring, you guessed it, gourmet food recipes. Using whole, fresh foods, we will  show you how to create easy gourmet recipes to WOW! your friends and family.

Four Seasons Paris | Cocktail Recipes

Courtesy Four Seasons George V

The Gourmet Review takes unique and popular cocktail recipes and turns them into the top cocktail recipes available on the web. Find out how the best mixologists create their signature cocktails.

World Travel | Best Travel Blog |World Travel Blog

Courtesy Christian Sperka

We take pride in giving you VIP Access to the inside stories of the people who make great dining and travel experiences come alive, from inside the kitchen interviews with great chefs to sommeliers, mixologists and even African safari photographers. We hope to be your favorite luxury travel blog.

Hurry and check out our best celebrity recipes, secret restaurant recipes, top cocktail recipes, luxury travel hotels and the inside story behind the people who make dinning and travel  extraordinary.


-The Gourmet Review


Photos in slideshow are appearing courtesy of Wolfgang Puck, Thomas Keller, the Four Seasons George V, Four Seasons Hualalai, Singita Ebony Lodge, and Wynn Resort Las Vegas. Can you match up the these names and the photos? Read more about all of these great chefs and dream destinations in my blog.

11.11Glimpse the Splendor of Villa d’Este | Slideshow

Verdi, Puccini, Stravinsky, Liszt, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, George Clooney (of course, since he has a villa across the lake), Alfred Hitchcock, Barbara Hutton, Aristotle Onassis, Sting, Elizabeth Taylor, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Madonna, William Randolph Hearst, Paul McCartney, Greta Garbo, Valentino, Gianni Versace, Clark Gable, Elton John  and many more guests have walked the same grounds and enjoyed the impeccable service of Villa d’Este since l873, when the hotel was opened to the public.

While many of the amenities may have been updated, the same views of Lake Como, the palatial hotel and grand gardens have remained the same through the centuries. Take a look at some of the new additions since the hotel first opened.

– The Gourmet Review


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– The Gourmet Review

The Gourmet Review is a gourmet food blog featuring celebrity chef recipes, secret restaurant recipes, family favorite recipes and easy gourmet recipes, quickly becoming the best recipe blog for gourmet eating.  TheGourmetReiew.com also features the best luxury travel experiences, taking you inside the kitchen and behind the scenes through VIP Access at some of the top luxury travel hotels, be it the Wynn Resort Las Vegas, the Four Seasons hotels and Four Seasons Resorts or Singita’s Private Game reserve in South Africa.If you are interested in a Wolfgang Puck chef interview, poular cocktail recipes with a gourmet twist, or a healthy recipes blog, we look forward to sharing a culinary journey with you from around the world.


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The Gourmet Review is a gourmet food blog featuring celebrity chef recipes, secret restaurant recipes, family favorite recipes and easy gourmet recipes, quickly becoming the best recipe blog for gourmet eating. TheGourmetReview.com also features the best luxury travel experiences, taking you "inside the kitchen" and "behind the scenes" through VIP Access at some of the top luxury travel hotels, be it the Wynn Resort Las Vegas, the Four Seasons hotels and Four Seasons Resorts or Singita's Private Game reserve in South Africa. If you are interested in a Wolfgang Puck chef interview, popular cocktail recipes with a gourmet twist, or a healthy recipes blog, we look forward to sharing a culinary journey with you from around the world.