While anyone can just walk into a restaurant and talk to the chef, you need a special invite (or in this case a ticket) to make it past the security guards at Conde Nast to visit the kitchens at Gourmet Magazine. Next weekend (October 20th – 22nd) is the fourth Gourmet Institute where Ruth Reichl and Co throw open their doors and invite everyone in to meet, eat and see how it all works. (I had a lovely time at the GI in '04.) This year's program includes a seminar with Daniel Boulud and Gilles Vérot. Who is Monsieur Vérot? Daniel calls him 'the Pierre Hermé of pâté.' He's practically a French national living treasure. I had the opportunity to meet M. Vérot and sample his wares last year. When I heard that Vérot's duck à l'orange pâté (which I think was his grandmother's recipe) may be in the building, I rsvp'd oui oui right quick. Check back later for the post-event report.