January 31, 2013
If you follow the Paris food scene, you’ve no doubt spotted a trend: eateries, bars and even desserts have gone decidedly American. From cupcakes and coffee bars to cheeseburgers and cocktail lounges, there’s no denying that all things New Yorkais are très à la mode. In a land famously derisive of American cuisine, it’s surprising to say the least. For those of us who adore Paris for its singular Parisian-ness, it’s a tough trend to love.
That’s why Le Foodist — a new series of deeply French “dining events” launched by Fred Pouillot, a French-born, erstwhile U.S. corporate exec — is a welcome newcomer on the local food scene. It started with a simple idea: offer a select group of diners the chance to discover French culture and history through its most prized creations — food and wine.
January 24, 2013
Dining in Paris is the stuff dreams are made of: elaborate dishes made with top notch ingredients, artfully presented by passionate chefs.
Unless, of course, you happen into one of the infinite restos where instead of having a mind-blowing meal, you’re served mediocrity along with impressive attitude. In fact, doesn’t it taste like those vegetables on your plate came straight from a bag?
Of course every town has its dining hits and misses. But for so long, it was unfavorably risky to gamble on your average neighborhood bistro in Paris. But finally the tides have turned. We seem to have arrived at a place where you don’t have to break the bank to have a fantastic meal that gets your heart and stomach juices pumping.
January 8, 2013
The Parisian private supper club scene started up a few years back with a small but solid selection of home “restaurants.” But it didn’t take long for these secretive suppers to become victims of their own success. Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen moved from her tiny pad to BBC2 as a television series.
Laura and Braden closed the doors of Hidden Kitchen and now welcome diners at their new restaurant and wine bar, Verjus. New Friends Table expanded across the water to London, leaving less time to feed their French friends.
December 13, 2012
Gluten Free French Eclairs – Helmut Newcake
Sans-gluten or gluten-free has not always been the easiest menu requirement to accommodate in Paris. As gluten intolerance gains visibility in everyday culture, it’s no surprise that gluten-free options are popping up all over, even here in Paris, the land of pastries.
The first of the two spots I’d like to share with you is Helmut Newcake. Helmut Newcake is Paris’s first 100% gluten-free pastry shop, located on the, ever so lovely, Rue Bichat right by the hip Canal Saint Martin. This cozy and relaxed tea parlor has more than just pastries; you can go for lunch, brunch, afternoon tea, or just to grab some food to go.
November 20, 2012
This summer, I was rudely awakened by a girl on the Paris Metro wearing American flag knee-highs and a stars & stripes bandana. My stomach turned; I knew something was terribly wrong. I had completely forgotten it was the 4th of July.
When the leaves start to fall in Paris, my heart turns to the U.S.. Although Pere Noel is already camping out on the shelves of the supermarche, this time of year always makes me miss the States a little bit more. After completely forgetting our most patriotic of American holidays, I promised myself to make a concerted effort to maintain my own personal traditions despite the preoccupations of my new life in France. Thanksgiving appeared as the perfect cultural bridge between my two homes.
I have been itching to push all of our tables together and host a Thanksgiving dinner of my own. Although a party of two is just fine for Christmas, Thanksgiving requires a big bird and a full house. Rattling off my guest list to my French husband, I realized that after several years of long-distance dating, we have never spent a real Thanksgiving together.
November 12, 2012
Popelini is a little slice of heaven that specializes in something oh so precious…. choux à la crème. I had passed their adorably lit storefronts many a time, thinking to myself, gosh, I’ve got to check this place out… I finally popped in to give their cream puffs a taste recently, and I was not disappointed.
Popelini is the name of the chef who invented choux à la crème in 1540. Surprisingly enough, he was Italian. Who would have known that this delightful French specialty was conceived in Italy? This cream puff shop, now in two locations in Paris, offers a new spin on the classic pâtisserie, with a variety of flavors made to satisfy all taste buds: from rose & raspberry to lemon, chocolate, and the divine caramel salted butter.
November 7, 2012
As an aspiring food writer and someone who puts peanut butter on everything, I often question my relevance in a country of haute gastronomie. But much like Tiffany Iung, I eventually found my niche, retelling traditional culinary tales as an outsider looking in.
Tiffany, the brains and bicycle behind Tifamade, Paris’ best sandwich vendor on two wheels, has been sharing her inspired sandwiches with Parisians since 2010. She can be spotted catering events throughout the city and peddling her handmade sandwiches from a vintage suitcase strapped to the back of Pink Lady, her pink bicycle. Using seasonal ingredients sourced from farmers markets and eco packaging, Tiffany has given the ubiquitous jambon beurre some fierce competition. But what is it about the humble sandwich that has Tiffany so impassioned? “A sandwich is not fussy. You hold it with your hands, and all of the flavors are experienced at once, so there isn’t too much thought about it. It’s just meant to taste good, and I think it gets the job done.” That’s good enough for us!
Not only do Tiffany’s 2-wheeled adventures inspire her sandwich creations, they led to the initial business idea too. “I was living in the banlieue, the Parisian suburbs, at the time and was riding my bike along the canal everyday into the city center.
October 18, 2012
Sugar Daze, the former Little Miss Cupcake, has been sweetening everyone’s taste buds for the past 4 years with her smashing, internet-only, cupcake business. Cat is also one of the organizers of the annual Cupcake Camp event in Paris, where bakers, both amateur and professional alike, unite with their cupcakes to raise money to donate to the Make A Wish Foundation. This year the event will take place on Saturday, October 27 at Le Comptoir Général. You can find out more on the Cupcake Camp Paris Facebook Page.
In honor of this year’s Paris Cupcake Camp, I stopped by to have a little chat with Cat, my favorite Parisian Cupcaker (and a New Yorker to boot!). I started out by asking her when she got into cupcakes: “I have been baking FOREVER! I just love cupcakes. There is so much you can do with them. The flavor possibilities are endless and there are so many ways to dress them up or down. I also like that they are the perfect size for individual snacking!”
October 15, 2012
Chef Kristin Frederick’s Le Camion Qui Fume was first in line in the recent food truck brigade to hit Paris. And Paris has not had enough. 2-hour waits, sold out services and tv spots, she has blown up into a local food celebrity. So what is next for Paris’ most in-demand Californienne? Frederick’s new cookbook ‘Les Burgers du Camion Qui fume’ is taking her authentic American burgers from the streets into the comfort of home, minus the two-hour wait.
Le Camion Qui Fume has been a tremendous success since it dished up its first burger this time last year. It has turned the Capital of Gastronomy upside down by questioning the approachability of good food in a culture still dependent on a fork and knife. Kristin is still surprised by the enormous — and instant — success of her little-Camion-that-could, “It has never ceased to amaze me. People not only come out, but come back again and again. In the summer, in the winter, in the rain. In all seasons.” Before Le Camion Qui Fume, burgers in France were an afterthought, limited to Big Macs and regrettable 18 € bistro burgers. “For me, a burger is a blank palette with a lot of possibilities“, Kristin told me.
September 28, 2012
As I parked my Velib on a rare sunny afternoon in Paris, just steps from the Canal St Martin, I could already tell I was in for a treat. I made my way up charming rue de la Grange aux Belles to the narrow storefront of Ten Belles, snuggled next to a lush, overgrown plant store (le Bleuet Coquelicot). I highly suggest a peek inside… adorable!
Ten Belles, this brand new Paris coffee house is a collaboration of the team behind Le Bal Café and Frogfight organizer, and well known Paris barrista, Thomas Lehoux. It’s intimate ambiance and focus on refined and meticulously cared for coffee make it the perfect stop for coffee enthusiasts, even attracting other known Paris baristas on their days off. Ten Belles served up one of the best cappuccinos I have ever had in Paris, and the charming baristas make it all the sweeter.