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Denim & Diamonds 2015 Live Auction: Fabulous French Feast

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DELICIOUS COMBINATION: The very talented chefs who will be preparing this once-in-a-lifetime culinary journey through France are Renee Chodkowski, The Great Foodini, and Steven Bearden, host of Denim & Diamonds. (Read Steven’s letter about his inspiration for the feast below.)

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Inspiration for the Feast

A Message from Steven Bearden

Lyon, France

By virtue of its history, location and passion for gastronomy (which borders on obsession), Lyon variously has been called the “stomach of France” and the “world capital of gastronomy.”

Located in the Rhone-Alps region, between Paris and the French Rivera, Lyon is the third-largest city in France (after Paris and Marseilles), known not only for exceptional foods and wines but also for its legendary chefs and cooking traditions.

Lyon is the birthplace of the revered chef, Paul Bocuse, who popularized nouvelle cuisine around the world. In Lyon, Paul Bocuse isn’t just a three-Michelin-star chef, he’s an institution. His name is everywhere — on multiple brasseries, a design hotel, the recently opened cooking school/resto L’Institut Paul Bocuse; even the celebrated Les Halles food hall now bears his name. But the flagship L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges — referred to simply as Paul Bocuse — is worth shelling out for; world-famous Chef Daniel Boulud refers to it as “the Sistine Chapel of French cooking.” Indeed, the entire experience feels quite reverential: from the ornate exterior to the gilded dining room to the elaborate food presentations — like, say, the black-truffle-stuffed Bresse chicken roasted inside a balloon-like pig’s bladder and served tableside. When 88-year-old Bocuse appears, as he does most days, to greet guests in his chef whites and tall toque, it’s as though the pope himself has entered the room. Not to be missed is his most famous dish, the truffle soup — a rich broth of black truffles and foie gras topped with puff pastry — which arrives in its own special urn-like bowl.

While I lightly aspire to be Paul Bocuse, I know this is only a dream nonetheless I am looking forward to bringing you some of the dreamy dishes I recently experienced while spending time in Lyon, France and dining at Paul Bocuse’s flagship restaurant: L’Auberge du Pont de Collonges. 

Bon Appétit,

Chef Steven Bearden

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