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Knife Shopping and Sharpening in Paris: Recommendations From a Chef

HiP Paris Blog rounds up the best knife stores in ParisKaspar Metz

A trusty knife is the best accessory a cook could ask for. Without a good knife, our handiwork is useless. Sharpening your knife is absolutely essential and even if you buy the most expensive, beautiful knife, it’s not going to get the job done effectively if the blade is not tip-top sharp.

As a chef, I always travel with a good knife for catering gigs and have even been known to travel with my knives on vacation. Because who wants to get stuck without a knife or, even worse, with a bad knife? Knives are an extension of our arms in professional kitchens and if you are caught with an unsharp knife or a maimed blade our work becomes ten times more challenging. Even for a home cook, a good knife will see you through the toughest of times.

Continue Reading »

Posted in Shopping | 4 Comments »

La Cuisine Cooking Classes in Paris: HIP Paris Makes French Apple Tarts

Tarte Tatin, Tarte Fine aux Pommes (Julien Hausherr)

Eating and Paris. No matter how much you might try to dissociate the two, a stay in Paris without its fill of delicious treats could be a holiday in any other northern European capital, albeit one with some pretty nice architecture.  Letting yourself be tempted by the window displays in patisseries and the cozy banquettes of corner brasseries is all part of the charm of living in Paris.

You won’t be blamed for spending your time here eating your way through neighborhood markets and various restaurant guidebooks, but you may find upon returning home to a routine of simpler meals (what, no Coq au Vin for dinner tonight, Mom?) you wish you had brought some of the mythical recipes back with you.

To answer the ever more popular dream of the food-blogger/cook/tourist, scores of great and not-so-great cooking schools have opened up in Paris to teach eager visitors la cuisine française. If you are not serious enough to book a semester at the Cordon Bleu, though, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the options out there. Lucky for you, Ariel and I recently tried out a class at “La Cuisine”, a wonderful cooking school geared towards visitors and locals that we feel confident recommending to anyone looking to delve a little deeper into the secrets of French cuisine.

La Cuisine: Ariel peeling an apple, Geneviève stirring the Crème Anglaise (Julien Hausherr)

Oliver and Jane started “La Cuisine” just over a year ago, and its popularity has already supported their move to a fantastic location right next to the Hotel de Ville. Tired with the demands of her banking job, Jane decided to drop it all, work her network, put together a group of serious culinary professionals and open a cooking school. With a soon-to-be degustation room and cellar, in addition to the two lovely kitchen/classroom spaces, La Cuisine is a great place to soak up a few recipes & tips in a welcoming environment.

On our recent visit, Ariel and I learned from the lovely Nathalie how to make the elusive Crème Anglaise. As side dishes to this queen of creams, we also learned how to make a perfect Tarte Fine aux Pommes and a traditional Tarte Tatin. Ariel has the scoop on the recipes below… – Geneviève

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La Cuisine: Crème Anglaise (Julien Hausherr)

Mmmmm, I could just live off of Crème Anglaise alone! I miss that sweet ambrosia when I’m back in the states, since Americans tend to prefer the frozen version as a garnish to our pies and cakes.

For someone like me, an abysmal cook who can’t even fry an egg, the idea of actually making Crème Anglaise from scratch was madness, something best left to professionals for fear of botching one of the complex intermediary steps.

Au contraire mon amie! After taking the class at La Cuisine, both Genevieve and I have been able to recreate the sweet sauce (to the amazement of our family and friends)!

Here are Nathalie’s foolproof steps for a perfect Crème Anglaise: Continue Reading »

Posted in HiP Recipes, Tours and Classes | 16 Comments »

Culinary Paris: Paule Caillat’s Promenades Gourmandes

BP Paule Promendaes Gourmandes-4-blog

It’s easy to eat well in Paris, but to truly eat like a local is a whole different endeavor. At the heart of the Parisian culinary experience are the city’s markets, and eating like a Parisian means knowing where to get the “best” of everything—the freshest produce, the most interesting wines, the best baguettes, the most unique specialty products. The preparation of a perfect at-home meal is a nuanced process that involves the assembly of carefully selected puzzle pieces—not to mention the actual cooking, plating, presentation and consumption rituals.

BP-030810-Paule-MONT-2

Luckily, there is a short-cut in the form of Paule Caillat’s Promenades Gourmandes: personalized culinary excursions that allow anyone—from novices to gourmands—to access the pleasures of French home-cooking done right. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Tours and Classes | 3 Comments »