October 8, 2015
Once a country girl, always a country girl. Or at least it turned out that way for Zoé Kovacs, one of the owners of L’Epicerie Végétale, a new flower and produce market and cold-press juice bar in the 11th arrondissement.
Having made a name for herself as a fashion photographer with clients like Sephora, Zoé and her business partner Guillaume Servet reached a point where life in the fashion fast lane was no longer what they wanted. After spending nearly a year working for a small organic produce store and learning the ins and outs of working directly with independent producers, Zoé and Guillaume opened L’Epicerie Végétale at the end of September. The vision? To make everything as local and seasonal as possible.
September 23, 2015
When Emily Dilling moved to France in 2005, she immediately started looking for ways to become involved in the French food movement. She was startled to discover that there was not as much out there as she had hoped. She was disturbed to see that the things France is known for, like eating in season and from the land, were becoming further and further displaced. There were fewer local producers at markets and good, quality bistrot food was seemingly becoming obsolete. To chronicle her discoveries of local produce, wine, cheese, coffee (to name a few), she launched a blog called Paris Paysanne. Emily wanted to prove that it was possible to live a local and sustainable lifestyle in an urban environment.
September 8, 2015
Gabrielle Gerard and Marion Jaubert, fashion school friends turned business partners, are the dynamic women behind Ambrym, a French label dedicated to sustainable and locally made fashion. Together they have created a line of clothing, and a shop in the 10th arrondissement, that resembles their unique stories as well as their shared history.
Their shop, next to the Canal St-Martin, looks exactly like what you’d imagine a space shared by two creative ladies would, sketches and paintings that inspire their designs are hung on the walls, while jewelry and clothing are lovingly presented. It’s immediately clear that this friendly and welcoming space was created by two amies. While the project is a collaboration, Gabrielle’s childhood and background heavily influence the collections.
August 13, 2015
Paris is set to become home to the city’s first participative food cooperative, scheduled to open in early 2016. After a successful campaign to get investors and funding from local residents, La Louve, which is based off the model of New York’s Park Slope Food Coop, has signed a lease for a space on rue des Poissonniers in the 18th arondissement.
The lease signing marks an epic moment in the long history of La Louve, which began with two Americans in Paris, Tom Boothe and Brian Horihan. Inspired by the coop model that can be found around the United States, these 18th arrondissement transplants decided to bring the dynamic and collaborative American-style food coop to their adopted home. After two years of finding kindred spirits and motivated partners, the association Les Amis de La Louve was created and began to gather community support.
March 27, 2015
Though you might not expect it, Paris – with its boulevards lined with grey Hausmann-style buildings and its meticulously cultivated and pruned city gardens – is home to over 150 independent community gardens. From transformed abandoned lots to reclaimed city property, these urban gardens of all sizes can be found throughout Paris, welcoming wildlife and creating biodiversity within the city.
December 5, 2014
In the two years that led up to La Récolte‘s opening in summer of 2014, owner Mathieu Mulliez tirelessly explored France visiting independent producers. His goal was simple: find dedicated artisans practicing sustainable agriculture and bring their fresh, seasonal products to Parisians. The concept may seem simple, but it is shockingly difficult to find shops like La Récolte in Paris.
Bringing together quality products from France (and sometimes neighboring countries) as well as maintaining opening hours that correspond to busy city dwellers’ work schedules is a rare combination in Paris. Mathieu, who has worked his fair share of 9-5 jobs and has a love of cooking with quality ingredients, decided to meet this demand head on and create a shop that could welcome customers who are on their way home from work or looking for a quick, healthy lunch.
November 8, 2014
Le Timbre, Palmyre Roigt
Over the past few years there has been a lot of conversation around the startling statistic that around one-third of France’s cafes, brasseries and restaurants are actually using pre-frozen ingredients or entire meals that only need a microwave before reaching your plate. In typical French fashion, this was a drawn out discussion that needed a government vote and while restaurants now can mark on their menus “fait maison,” when items are truly made from scratch, you might not always be able to see the menu before sitting down.
Verjus, Diane Yoon
A few months ago, I attended a question and answer session about French food and the fait maison/frozen food question was raised. A few people said, “you just should know where to go.” But without any mandate and as a visitor to Paris, “knowing where to go,” is easier said than done. And for first-time tourists, it’s easy to end up somewhere that is beautifully authentic and appears to be using all fresh ingredients but well, isn’t. Here are five tips to keep you street smart when eating fresh, seasonal and farm-to-table in Paris.
Verjus, Diane Yoon
March 28, 2014
When it comes to what to drink in Paris, there will always be French wine. In the last few years, though, a few more exciting options have appeared. There are the specialty cocktail bars, offering a new twist on the classics; hot spots like Frenchie-to-Go, Glass and Dirty Dick now offer artisan beers, some of which are even brewed in Paris; and it seems there is a new coffee shop, with locally roasted beans, opening every week. Now there is also a healthy option to add to your drinking plans: cold-pressed juices.
What has become one of the top trends in New York City and Los Angeles has finally arrived in the City of Lights. Cold-press juicing differs from the average, fresh-pressed juice because an advanced press is used to extract the juice at a low temperature, therefore preserving all the vitamins, minerals and natural enzymes. If you’re going to drink your vegetables, cold-press is the purest way to do it.
While people come to Paris to break out of their health regimes and splurge on steak frites, stinky cheese, and pastries, there comes that moment when you just might need something light and fresh that’ll have a little less effect on your waistline. Luckily, there is now more than one place in Paris to partake in a mini-detox, and it’s also a great way to enjoy the organic, locally grown produce that France has to offer.
August 5, 2011
Parc des Buttes Chaumont (Celine NYC)
If you’re in Paris in summer, you’ll pretty quickly realize that as soon as the sun starts to glimmer, Parisians grind into picnic gear. However, despite informal appearances, there is a complex and unspoken code of conduct to be adhered to in order to avoid unforgivable picnic faux pas.
Do dress appropriately.
It is important to give the air of not trying very hard. For girls: a categorical ‘no’ to heels and look-at-me makeup. For guys: forget smart suits or bling sportswear, it’s all about skinny jeans and scarves. Subtle colour and pattern coordination are à la mode. Hats highly recommended.
Do arrive late.
It is useless to turn up anywhere near the appointed picnic hour. It is best to saunter up several hours in, give a slightly (don’t overdo it) apologetic smile, whilst simultaneously giving the impression that your diary is over-spilling with très fun engagements and that the organiser should therefore be delighted that you’ve managed to squeeze them in.
Do invite lots of friends.
The concept of ‘the more the merrier’ is de rigueur. Whereas the biting winter winds keep Parisians at home or drives them (penguin-style) into crowded, sweaty bars, the warm summer weather democratizes social gatherings, which are known to take on gigantesque proportions!
Do not buy ready-made sandwiches.
It is unacceptable to pop to the supermarket and pick up a long-life cellophane-encased creation that deigns to call itself a ‘sandwich’. A fresh baguette, some cheese and charcuterie are the bare minimum.
July 18, 2011
Little Girl in Paris’ Luxembourg Gardens (Ktylerconk)
I’ve always thought of Paris as the ultimate adult playground. But Paris for the under-four-foot set? I wasn’t so sure.
That’s why discovering kid-friendly Paris (yes, it exists!) has been such a happy surprise. When the kids tire of museums and medieval churches (dubiously labeled “kid-friendly” by many a travel guide) put the Luxemburg Gardens on your family game plan. Even if much of the grass is interdit, there’s more than enough here to tire out your little travelers leaving papa et maman to enjoy an evening à deux.