June 17, 2014
Returning home from a week in Brooklyn, where serving “perfectly” brewed beans has almost been legislated into city bylaws, I’m always startled to see Parisians rush to their favorite zinc, savoring their industrially roasted, under-frothed café crème for a reassuring taste of home.
Everyone has their favorite café. It’s usually the one closest to home or the office, because it’s not actually about the coffee, it’s about the crowd of familiar faces and friendly gossip.
There are a few mythic addresses, though, for which even locals will cross town to savor a sun-soaked terrace, a colorful scene or prime people watching.
June 12, 2014
Fresh roasted coffee, craft beer, and international wines are increasingly popular among Parisians, with specialty stores, bars, and coffee shops popping up in their honor all around town. A few weeks ago, we (re)introduced you to Alannah McPerson Tavallai of Emperor Norton, Sarah Mouchot and Lise Kvan of Holybely, among others. In part two of the Ladies of the Paris Dining Scene series we concentrate on some of the women behind the best-loved beverages in the French capital.
These three ladies have their finger on the pulse of each growing movement and were kind enough to take some time and share their insights with us.
People’s Drugstore, Didier Gauducheau
May 28, 2014
Aristide Boucicaut opened the world’s first department store in the 1850′s. Le Bon Marché was an instant and enduring success, changing shopping habits (and the neighborhood) forever.
The magnificent Hôtel Lutetia was built across the street to host out of town shoppers, and restaurants opened to feed them. Little has changed in the last 150 years and there are still a lot of great lunch options in the area, making it hard to choose just one!
May 15, 2014
L’épicerie du Verre Volé
With more and more people in Paris paying attention to the quality and origin of their food, it’s no surprise that independent, organic stores are increasingly popular. A focus on ingredient-based cooking in restaurants has inspired a focus on ingredients in the home and specialty food shops like Terroirs d’Avenir and L’épicerie du Verre Volé provide the everyday consumer with options for locally sourced and artisanal ingredients.
If you’re looking to go “bio”, or organic, in Paris, there are several options for certified organic shopping. Three open-air markets, Marché Batignolles, Marché Raspail, and Marché Brancusi, are exclusively organic- with everything from fruits and vegetables to meats and cheeses all cultivated respecting traditional and natural methods. If you can’t make it to the market, there are quite a few options for organic shopping in Paris. Chain stores such as the Monoprix group owned Naturalia and the swiftly expanding Bio C’ Bon abound and are easily found in most neighborhoods, but if you’re looking for something with more of a family-owned feel here are a few independent and ethically engaged organic shops that you shouldn’t miss:
May 6, 2014
Emily Dilling and Erica Berman sat down with famed chef David Lebovitz inside his (actual) Paris kitchen to get some insider details on the inspirations for his latest cookbook, My Paris Kitchen.We’re also giving away a copy of the book to one lucky reader! For your chance to win, see instructions at the bottom of this post. Happy cooking! -Geneviève
In French the word cuisine has a double meaning- referring both to the room in your house where food is prepared and the type of cooking that you do there.
Salted Butter caramel Chocolate Mousse/ David Lebovitz (Ed Anderson)
David Lebovitz’s new book My Paris Kitchen, is all about his cuisine, in both French senses of the term. David’s stories of equipping his Paris kitchen, from the double basin sink he drove all the way to Lille to retrieve to the industrial lighting fixtures that were procured after hours of wily web searching, set the scene for the 100 recipes to come.
Kitchen Utensils & Chocolate Cake with Dulce de Leche filling (Erica Berman)
Much like the recipes in My Paris Kitchen, the accessories and ingredients in David’s kitchen all have a story; the sole salad tong still looking for its mate, the spices shared from friends abroad, the olive oil from an organic producer in Sicily, the vintage cutlery and glass garlic holder, all props in the story of David’s life in Paris.
April 25, 2014
Walking through the streets of Paris, past famous monuments and cult patisserie shops, it’s hard not to notice the lines filling up with tourists. The Japanese, in particular, have become huge fans of French sweets in recent years, thanks in part to the now-global reach of brands like Ladurée.
The influence between the two cultures is far from one-sided, however. Asian ingredients and flavors are no longer rare on French menus, as French chefs and patissiers are won over by the restraint and precision that dominate Japanese cuisine – a refreshing alternative to over-the-top traditional fare.
This symbiotic relationship has not escaped the pastry arena in Paris. Among the most popular pastry shops in Paris today, you’ll find more than one Japanese star leaving its mark on French and international palates.
April 23, 2014
Lise Kvan and Sarah Mouchot at Holybelly (Holybelly & Kim Laidlaw)
As we know well, the promise of gastronomic delights is enough to inspire travelers to explore the world, seeking out hard-fought reservations and off-the-beaten-path restaurants in the name of really good food.
Adeline Grattard of Yam’tcha (Didier Gauducheau)
It’s easy to forget that behind these curated culinary experiences there is a team of dedicated professionals committed to using their talents and passions to improve and diversify the general landscape of food and dining. Certain events, TV shows, publications, and guidebooks spotlight some of these talented and resolute food professionals.
April 21, 2014
Behind a heavy wooden door and down a long corridor in Paris’ 11th arrondissement, Parisians and expats gather like addicts in need of a fix. They hand over money through a doorway in exchange for a much coveted product
they can’t find anywhere else in Paris– fresh corn tortillas.
Erika Ungur, who is originally from Cancun, opened Mil Amores Tortilleria with two partners last year. She spends 8 hours a day making tortillas using a custom made tortilladora from Mexico and a simple mix of imported white masa and water.
April 18, 2014
When I quit my corporate job and moved to Paris to pursue my dream of becoming a pastry chef, I wasn’t sure how far down this path I could manage.
Sure, I loved eating pastries and I loved the idea of making them, but I had also heard enough Hell’s Kitchen stories that had kept me worried.
So what is it really like to work in a pastry kitchen in Paris? As a part of my professional pastry program at école Ferrandi, I completed a 5-month internship at Un Dimanche à Paris, a chic boutique known for its beautiful exhibition kitchen and delicious pastries. Here are some behind-the-scene snapshots to give you an idea of what the life of a French patissier is like.
April 16, 2014
Acide Café & Blou
Montmartre, the Marais, Canal Saint-Martin; these are all well-known Parisian neighborhoods, their names immediately recognizable to any visitor. But Batignolles? That’s a local, well-kept secret.
This mostly-residential neighborhood on the outskirts of the 17th arrondissement is off of the standard beaten tourist track. There are no large monuments on visitor to-do lists, and beyond Place de Clichy, there are few names that the outsider will recognize. But that keeps it an out of the way gem, a place to explore when you’re craving a local dose of Paris.
Marché Biologique Batignolles & Parc Martin Luther King
The hub of Batignolles is Square des Batignolles, a quaint and well-maintained park that lies behind the church, Sainte-Marie des Batignolles. From here you can explore rue des Batignolles, full of a variety of small and independently owned stores. For the food lover there’s the epicerie Mary, which houses specialties from Corsica, including wines, honey, cheese, charcuterie and more.