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Au Revoir, Stuffy French Cooking; Bonjour, Rachel Khoo!

When I moved to Paris in the spring of 2009, I was as ravenous to explore the city’s food scene as I was to find a home and community of friends. One way I found I could meet people, learn a bit about local culture and customs, and eat some delicious food all at the same time was by taking the occasional cooking class. Which is how I met Rachel Khoo, author of La Petite Cuisine (Penguin, UK) and host of Little Paris Kitchen on the BBC, both debuting this spring.

It was a bright and sunny August afternoon that I found myself attending the modern Electrolux-sponsored kitchen inside the Palais de Tokyo. There were 12 of us students and I could tell the pretty Brit with red lips, a retro sundress and kitchen confidence had something going on. That something—I learned while whipping eggs for our plum clafoutis as she filleted our Provençal sardines—was pastry training from Le Cordon Bleu and a  burgeoning career as a “food creative.”

Over the next few months I experienced Rachel’s creative food endeavors: a muesli-tasting party while she developed recipes for her first cookbook, Barres à Céreales, Muesli et Granola Maison (Marabout, 2010). A pie-making class at La Cocotte. An 80s-themed dinner party, complete with Pac-Man shaped foie gras. And, most exciting of all, I was invited to be there for the grand opening of her Parisian restaurant—a wee party of two at La Petite Cuisine à Paris.

Rachel’s itty-bitty restaurant was one of the most coveted reservations in town throughout the spring and summer of 2011. As soon as word got out about her cooking—described by Rachel herself as “an English girl’s perspective on French food”—everyone wanted a taste. My lunch made it easy to understand why. Continue Reading »

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I Know How To Cook – Ginette Mathiot’s Classic Cookbook translated: Chocolate & Zucchini’s Clotilde Dusoulier at WH Smith in Paris – Tuesday, Nov. 17

i know how to cook

Our friend Clotilde Dusoulier (of Chocolate and Zucchini) has helped to edit the English version of Ginette Mathiot’s classic french cookbook, Je Sais Cuisiner. This book is the bible of French cooking and can be found in just about every French kitchen (Fanny Farmer or The Joy of Cooking would be the American equivalents). When I spoke to Clotilde last spring, she was wrapping up the project, and this Tuesday, November 17, at 7pm, she will be at WH Smith to publicize the book—on shelves now in France and the United States. The event will also mark the 6th anniversary of Chocolate and Zucchini, Clotilde’s wildly successful food blog that put her on the map as one of today’s best culinary bloggers. Continue Reading »

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La Recette du Jour

larecettedujourpixlarecettedujour.org

From classics like crêpes Suzette, tarte Tatin and ratatouille to more
modern dishes such as rocket mousselines, passion fruit verrines, and
pineapple carpaccio, La Recette du Jour celebrates French cuisine (with a
few traditional British dishes sneaking in to reveal the author’s
origin!). Most recipes are simple to do with the kitchen equipment you are
likely to find in a rented apartment or country cottage, and have been
tested using the stringent quality controls provided by French guests. So
you can take advantage of local produce to create your own home-cooked
French meals during your stay in France, and recreate dishes you’ve
enjoyed when you get back home.

Fabulous vacation rentals in Paris, Provence and Tuscany: haveninparis.com

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