June 24, 2016
When Kristen Beddard moved to Paris five years ago, it wasn’t to fulfill a childhood dream of living in the French capital, or with the hopes of falling in love in the land of éclairs and socially acceptable daytime drinking. It wasn’t because her career, which was beginning to take off at a New York advertising agency, had brought her there, and it wasn’t because she had decided to explore Europe as some recent college graduates often do. Kristen’s Paris story doesn’t start as intentionally as any of those scenarios; it starts with the somewhat unexpected transfer of her husband to a city she barely knew with a language she didn’t speak.
While Kristen’s story begins with struggles – learning enough French to go grocery shopping, making new friends after leaving perfectly good ones behind, struggling to find a job as a foreigner in a new city – what she did with her time in Paris is truly a story of success. After several frustrating attempts – and failures – to find kale in Paris markets and supermarchés Kristen launched The Kale Project, a blog that documented her endeavors to find kale in her new home, and her subsequent quest to reintroduce the forgotten vegetable to the French. Five years later, The Kale Project has thousands of supporters and has also been featured in The New York Times. But the true testament to Kristen’s hard work is that kale can now commonly be found at markets and health food stores in Paris and the rest of France. Bonjour Kale, Kristen’s memoir of Paris, love, and recipes, tells her story of finding a home in Paris, sharing her love for her favorite leafy green, and all the surprises that the life of an expat brings.
June 7, 2016
Next time your afternoon sugar craving hits, head straight to Fou de Pâtisserie in the center of Paris, where the city’s finest pâtissiers deliver their signature creations fresh daily.
April 26, 2016
I desperately missed Mexican food when I moved to Paris from the United States twelve years ago. Now there are plenty of taquerias and places riffing on contemporary Mexican cuisine, but Café Chilango, which opened in June of 2014, remains one of the finest.
April 21, 2016
I recently found myself strolling near the Place des Victoires, a business district that appeared to have closed for the day. Continuing in the direction of the more promising Galerie Vivienne, my date and I spotted a 1950s-style café with mosaic tile floors, Formica table tops, and primary-color paint. We were dubious, but hungry, so we stepped in, pleased to find that behind Le Bougainville’s near-empty café was a welcoming restaurant with a trove of pleased diners.
April 19, 2016
At L’Épicerie des Environs, you’ll find a local – or nearly local – version of just about everything you need to make a delicious dinner (and even clean up after): fruit and vegetables, rice from Camargue, pickles from Burgundy, fruity sorbet from Essonne, and even dish soap made in neighboring Vallée de Chevreuse.
The épicerie, or general store, opened four months ago. It’s quite at home in this corner of the 18th arrondissement, where a handful of other independent food stores and neighborhood restaurants are livening a neighborhood that had lost its flair. While corner shops still exist in every arrondissement, today most of them resemble late-night superettes. Owner Sandrine Cheikh’s idea was to create the kind of épicerie that used to exist in Paris, a place to stock up on all the basics. “I didn’t want to limit it to an épicerie fine, either,” she explains. “That’s why there’s a corner, for example, for beauty products and cleaning supplies.”
April 11, 2016
Le Square du Vert-Galant
What’s more Parisian than spreading out a blanket on the Champ de Mars or along the Seine and sharing a leisurely meal of fresh baguette, cheese, charcuterie, wine, and maracons? Paris Picnic, the first service picnic delivery service of its kind, will bring an artisanal picnic – complete with locally sourced goods, wine, cups, cutlery, and a cotton blanket – to the location of your choice. Simply select and customize your picnic online, request a delivery location and time, and voila: a picture-perfect picnic experience made easy.
Since its founding in 2013, Paris Picnic has become the 3rd highest rated restaurant on Paris’ TripAdvisor. The team serves up to 40 clients on a given day, from honeymooners, to families, to bachelorette parties, to corporate events. We sat down with the folks behind Paris Picnic to find out more.
Sandwiches from Paris Picnic
March 24, 2016
I hated butter when I was a kid, unless it was melted in mashed potatoes. Fast forward 20 years and here I am, living in France, regularly licking butter off my fingers while making tart crust or smooshing fat slices onto naked hunks of bread in the morning. Somewhere along the line, someone slipped me a sliver of Echiré and changed my world. There’s no going back once you’ve experienced the tender melt of cultured-cream butter on the tip of your tongue. But I wondered: what exactly makes this ubiquitous ingredient so good here?
According to Luisa Weiss, author of My Berlin Kitchen and founder of the blog The Wednesday Chef, the easy answer is fat. “The main difference between American and European butter is that European butter has a higher percentage of fat than American butter,” she explained over the telephone from her home in Berlin. American butter averages 80 percent fat, while European standards hover around 85 and 87 percent, with the legal French minimum being 82 percent. It’s not a huge difference – we’re talking 5 to 7 percent – but it’s enough to give European butter a deeper, richer flavor than its American counterpart.
March 15, 2016
While the idea of requesting a doggy bag in a restaurant feels foreign to the French, steps towards reducing food waste in the country are a source of national pride. Restaurants that serve over 180 meals per day are now being pressured to provide doggy bags to customers who request them, a practice that is rare- but might change- among French diners. The initiative is the result of a growing anti-gaspillage or anti-food waste movement, which has lead to groundbreaking legislation in the country.
While the doggy bag measure is one step towards reducing annual food waste in France, which amounts to over seven tons of food each year, other larger sweeping laws are tackling the problem on an industrial level. One such measure is a unanimously passed law that was enacted in early February requiring supermarkets to donate unsold and almost-expired food to charities.
February 16, 2016
I was working as a pastry chef in Brooklyn when I met my now-husband, Leo. While I didn’t realize we would get married in less than a year, I will confess that I did secretly wish my Frenchman would whisk me away to the land of pastries, cheese, and wine. And whisk me away he did… If you had told me one year ago today that I would be living in Paris now, I would have laughed and shrugged my shoulders. And here I am, writing this from my Parisian apartment in Montmartre.
January 26, 2016
Locals and tourists alike are well acquainted with Paris’ Catacombs. But there is something sitting beneath Place Denfert-Rochereau besides the famed bones of the departed.