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Celebrating Local and Seasonal at La Récolte, Paris’ New Sustainable Food Shop

La Récolte, Fresh Produce

In the two years that led up to La Récolte‘s opening in summer of 2014, owner Mathieu Mulliez tirelessly explored France, visiting independent producers. His goal was simple: find dedicated artisans practicing sustainable agriculture and bring their fresh, seasonal products to Parisians. The concept may seem simple, but it is shockingly difficult to find shops like La Récolte in Paris.

La Récolte, Carotte de Gwénolé

Bringing together quality products from France (and sometimes neighboring countries) as well as maintaining opening hours that correspond to busy city dwellers’ work schedules is a rare combination in Paris. Mathieu, who has worked his fair share of 9-5 jobs and has a love of cooking with quality ingredients, decided to meet this demand head on and create a shop that could welcome customers who are on their way home from work or looking for a quick, healthy lunch.

La Récolte, Montage, Bento Italian & Noisette Chocolat

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Posted in Food, Green, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Paris’ Best Indian Restaurants from Bollywood Kitchen Chef Sanjee

Indian Restaurants in Paris, Nalas Appakadai Bowls

Thali – Nalas Appakadai

Following our last post on Parisian Indian Chef Sanjee of Bollywood Kitchen when we visited her apartment in the very yummy-mummy 17ème arrondissement, she confirmed her frustration at the lack of good all-round Indian restaurants in the French capital. However, among the not-so-great restaurants, there are four that have held her attention (and palate), which she shares with us below.

Indian Restaurants in Paris, Nalas Appakadai Team

Indian Restaurants in Paris, Marcel

Sanjee at Nalas Appakadai; Marcel

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »

The Paris Popup: A Week-long Food Fête in the City of Light

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, Laura and Margaritas

Summer may be over, but there’s always something to celebrate in Paris. The end of September marked the long-awaited return of chef Harry Cummins and sommelier Laura Vidal, the well-known duo behind The Paris Popup. An initiative imagined while the pair were working together at Frenchie Restaurant, Paris Popup brings together the best of Harry’s inventive cooking and Laura’s dead-on wine pairings. 

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, Drinks menu

The popup group debuted last year with a number of successful one-day events hosted in notable Parisian venues like Verjus, Le Mary Celeste, and Bones. For their events the team worked closely with local suppliers and invited other notable chefs, sommeliers, mixologists, musicians, and artists to participate. After last year’s memorable Food Fest popup, hosted at the novel rooftop bar Le Perchoir, Paris Popup packed its suitcases and skipped town for a prolonged trip around the world. Dropping into the diverse culinary scenes of New York City, Oakland, Montreal, Québec City, and Kyoto, the group made friends and fans as they cooked their way across the globe. 

HiP Paris Blog, Sept Soirées, Emma Stencil, 3

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Posted in Events, Food | No Comments »

Paris’ 20ème: History, Culture, and Shopping in Belleville and Ménilmontant

20eme, Rue Denoyez Street Art

Rue Denoyez

The 20ème is one of the largest neighborhoods in Paris, covering the areas of Nation, Gambetta, Ménilmontant, and Belleville. Largely overlooked by tourists, this unique quartier is full of locals-only bars and restaurants, art galleries, theaters, charming backstreets, hidden pockets of nature, and a diverse population. As much as I love the familiar streets of the Marais and the Latin Quarter, after spending three months living here this summer, a part of me will always be called back to the 20ème. Here are a few of my favorite historic and cultural spots worth discovering.

20eme, La Bellevilloise

View from La Bellevilloise

A historically working class neighborhood, the 20ème was the center of opposition to Emperor Napoleon III during the eve of the First World War, and the very last neighborhood to surrender during the Paris Commune of 1871. Predominantly an immigrant community for the last century, nowadays young entrepreneurs, artists, and bobos flock to the area for its affordable rents, active nightlife, and thriving arts scene.

20eme, Rue Denoyez

Rue Denoyez

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Posted in Parisian Living, Shopping, Tours and Classes | No Comments »

Street Food Revolution: Paris’ Most Popular Food Trucks

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil

Le Réfectoire

It’s been three years since Paris food truck forerunner Le Camion Qui Fume hit the cobblestones of Europe’s culinary capital. Since then, the city of gourmet cuisine has experienced a revolution. More and more food trucks have joined the parade along the streets of Paris, invading the city with bistronomique burgers, kebabs, and bagels reminiscent of those in New York.

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil, 11

Cantine California

Just before lunchtime, these camions assemble at neighborhood markets to await hungry Parisians who are happy (or at least willing) to wait in line for a burger from Le Réfectoire or empañadas and helados from Clasico Argentina. Here are a few tried-and-true Parisian favorites to be enjoyed year-round. 

HiP Paris Blog, Food Trucks, Emma Stencil, 9

Cantine California

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

In Search of Paris’ Sweetest Candy Shops

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Le Bonbon au Palais 10

Le Bonbon au Palais

French desserts would make almost anyone’s mouth start to water. Beautifully lined on bakery shelves, they are a heavenly wonder for sweet-tooths. But in addition to pastries, macarons, and mousse au chocolat, France is abundant with sweet regional specialties: Toulouse has its cachou Lajaunie (licorice); Orléans its cotignac (quince hard candy); Aix-en-Provence its calisson (marzipan).

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, Henri Leroux 17

Henri Le Roux

Île-de-France may not boast its own traditional bonbon, but that doesn’t mean that quality Parisian candy makers and suppliers are not putting their flair on other regions’ specialties. Here are some of our favorite artisanal candy shops in Paris:

HiP Paris Blog, Candy, Isabel Miller-Bottome, bonbon 3, 12

Le Bonbon au Palais

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Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »

Back to School in France: Frantic Moms and Fading Tans

Hip Paris Blog, La Rentree, Emma Stencil 8

Emma Stencil

In North America, it’s “back to school.” That time of the year when classrooms fill up and families slip into familiar routines, or start new ones as the youngest step into kindergartens and the oldest fly the nest for college. In France, it’s la rentrée, and is not just about families and their children. Each September, almost the entire population faces their regular routines after a long holiday season.

Hip Paris Blog, La Rentree, Emma Stencil 11

Emma Stencil

Since many businesses close for the month of August and three-week holidays are taken for granted, September means Parisians are frantically mourning their fading tans as they get back into the swing of things. Stock that has been arriving slowly over the previous weeks has shop owners scrambling to get their newest collections out on the floor (eg. the Pablo boutiques just announced their collaboration with actress Clémence Poésy, who played Fleur Delacour in the Harry Potter series and dabbles in fashion design on the side). Figs and wild mushrooms also begin to perfume the air at local markets, inspiring chefs to rewrite their menus to reflect on fall’s bounty. And, like Canada or the US, it is also back to school for the young ones. 

Hip Paris Blog, La Rentree, Isabel Miller-Bottome

 Isabel Miller-Bottome

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Posted in Parisian Living | 5 Comments »

In Search of the Perfect French Oyster: Les Huîtres de Cancale

HiP Paris Blog, Huitres, photo 4-2

Kate Robinson – Oysters getting ready for market

On a clear day, the ghostly meringue-like swirl of Mont Saint Michel is just barely visible across the bay from Cancale. This plucky little seaside town has been famous for its oysters since the Roman occupation of Gaul, and continues to be a top destination for ostreaphiles the world over.

HiP Paris Blog, Huitres, Isabel Miller-Bottome DSC_0253

Isabel Miller-Bottome

On a painfully bright day in July, I found myself sitting on a beach littered with shards of chipped and broken oyster shells, bleached white by the sun. Balanced on my knees was a plate of nine intact oysters, fresh from the Cancale bay, deeply cupped and glistening in their own liqueur. The oyster farmer who had sold them to me five minutes earlier had cracked each one open with barely a downward glance, as he stood talking to me in the shade of the little blue and white striped hut where creuses and plats sat in jumbles designated by size (the largest was surely only meant for cooking…). In exchange for the last three euros of vacation money that still jingled in my pocket, he presented me with a sturdy white plastic plate of oysters, a half a lemon and his condolences regarding my imminent return to Paris on the afternoon train.

HiP Paris Blog, Huitres, photo 1

Kate Robinson – Oysters on the beach!

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Posted in Food, Travel | No Comments »

Loches: A Glimpse into Historic French Countryside in the Heart of the Loire Valley

HiP Paris Blog, Loches, Isabel Miller-Bottome DSC_0313

On a hill overlooking the Indre in the heart of the Loire Valley, Loches remains one of the best-preserved medieval cities in France today. With its shadowy cobblestone streets, sweeping views of the enclosing forest landscape, and lively marketplace and cuisine, Loches has a particular authentic charm difficult to find elsewhere. A half-hour from Tours and a three-hour drive from Paris, it’s an off-the-beaten-tourist-path detour for visitors of the Loire region, as well as an easy weekend getaway for Parisians seeking a breath of fresh air.

HiP Paris Blog, Loches, Isabel Miller-Bottome DSC_0335

I find the best way to learn about French history is simply to wander and take in the historical sites themselves. Loches may be a quiet city today, but its sundry past features some of France’s most fascinating characters: Joan of Arc, Anne of Brittany, and King Charles VII and his notorious, “favorite” official mistress, Agnes Sorel.

HiP Paris Blog, Loches, Isabel Miller-Bottome DSC_0264

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Posted in Travel | 3 Comments »

Women In Food & Wine: Ladies Of the Paris Dining Scene, Part I

Ladies in Food, Holybelly, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Holybelly, Kim Laidlaw 2

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.

Ladies in Food, Yamtcha, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by Didier Gauducheau

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.

Ladies in Food, HiP Paris Blog, Photo by La Buvette

La Buvette

While these “foodie guides” are becoming more and more ubiquitous, they are unfortunately not always comprehensive as they far too often exclude women from their lineup. Continue Reading »

Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 2 Comments »