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The Parisian Kitchen Cooking Class and Market Tour

Parisian Kitchen: Join a French Market Tour and Cooking Class

I have never been great in the kitchen. My family is filled with wonderful cooks and bakers, but it has always been clear that I did not inherit that gene. My father owned a restaurant and has always encouraged me to be an adventurous eater. My mother is well known for her cakes and decadent buttercream frosting. My brother collected TV infomercial kitchen appliances and loved experimenting with them. Does any one remember the Perfect Pancake Pan or the Fasta Pasta Microwave pasta cooker? Those were some of his favorites. Growing up, while they were concocting delicious meals in the kitchen, I was reading a book.

Parisian Kitchen: Join a French Market Tour and Cooking Class

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

48 Hours in Marrakech

Weekend Trips from Paris: 48 Hours in Marrakech

One of the greatest things about living in Paris (and Europe in general) is how easy it is to get to so many amazing places; two hours and twenty minutes by train to London, an hour and a half on high-speed rail to Brussels, and in just three and a half hours by plane you can touch down in another world: the red city of Marrakech. There’s a reason the city has been a favorite of creative types and designers for decades; the colors and the chaos are intoxicating and inspiring. Because it’s a relatively quick flight, you can feasibly tackle the city in a long weekend. But if you have more time, by all means take it, and be prepared to use your French.

Weekend Trips from Paris: 48 Hours in Marrakech

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The Perfect Weekend Along Paris’ Canal St-Martin

Canal St Martin and Quai de la Seine Paris

Quai de la Seine

Every Sunday the city of Paris inhales deeply, taking a short break to live life at a different rhythm as shops close and entire neighborhoods are labeled pedestrian zones. Museums and monuments become a refuge for art lovers and sight-seeing tourists, while many Parisians head for the greener pastures of local parks.

A weekend along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin, an upcoming neighborhood with markets, boutiques, cafes, and more

A weekend along Paris' Canal Saint-Martin, an upcoming neighborhood with markets, boutiques, cafes, and more

Hôtel du Nord; Le Comptoir Général

The 15th-century canals in Paris’ 19th arrondissement, Canal St-Martin and Canal de l’Ourcq, are great areas to slowly drift into the relaxing weekend beat. Start your day at the Marché de Joinville, where vendors announce prices for perfect picnic pickings. If the day has promised sunshine, rent an electric boat from Marin d’Eau Douce and head north, swans to port and cormorant starboard as you savor your market fare and take in the display of the local street art scene unfolding in this urban countryside.

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Posted in Markets, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

12 Paris Apps That Make Exploring the City of Light Easier

Best smartphone applications for exploring Paris

Whether you’re a visitor or a longtime resident of Paris, there are always new places to discover and explore. These days, few people carry guidebooks or maps with them, but chances are you do have a smartphone in your pocket. If that’s you, when it comes to navigating Paris and all that it has to offer, there are a few apps that make discovering this city just a little easier.

Best smartphone applications for exploring Paris

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Posted in Parisian Living | 1 Comment »

Inside the Marché aux Puces de Saint-Ouen, Part II: Where to Find Designer Vintage

Flea Markets: Where to find designer vintage at Paris' marché aux puces

AnnieAnniePancake; Zylenia

We wrote in October with tips for navigating Paris’ Marché aux Puces St-Ouen, specifically where to find the best in oh-so-popular mid-century modern furniture. Why? Because with more than 1700 vendors spread out over 14 different markets hawking wares from 1960s lighting to vintage copper pots, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the idea of a visit to this market, which is the largest in the world. But identifying what you’re seeking in advance and knowing how to find that item will make for a smooth day of treasure hunting.

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Posted in Fashion, Markets, Shopping, Tours and Classes | 2 Comments »

Signs of Spring in Paris: Asparagus & Daffodils, Fresh Market Produce & Sunny Picnics

Spring in Paris: Fresh flowers, seasonal fruits and vegetables, bike rides, and picnics in the sun

Spring is blossoming in Paris as sprigs of green sneak into our grey city, bringing us back to life after months spent under winter skies. As an opening act to the Lily of the Valley vendors in May, bunches of daffodils are now being hawked on street corners, in front of cafés and bistros, and in flower shops across the city. The cheerful flowers are the first sign of the transition towards spring for Parisians, who can’t help but bring a bunch home to brighten up their cozy apartments. 

Spring in Paris: Fresh flowers, seasonal fruits and vegetables, bike rides, and picnics in the sun

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Posted in Food, Markets, Parisian Living | 3 Comments »

The Best (Organic) Bread in Paris

The best organic bakeries in Paris, serving up baguettes and pastries that are healthy as well as delicious

Maison Kayser

Healthy, organic food is sweeping through Paris in the form of health food stores, juice bars, and vegetarian cafés, and not even boulangeries are immune to this food craze. The city’s top bakers are making baguettes and other loaves in biologique (organic) varieties in an effort to offer healthier products and protect the environment. Those who come to Paris hoping to forget about their diets and indulge in the city’s legendary baguettes and pastries should not be dismayed; the switch to organic flour doesn’t mean a sacrifice in taste.

The best organic bakeries in Paris, serving up baguettes and pastries that are healthy as well as delicious

Du Pain et Des Idées

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Posted in Food, Markets | 2 Comments »

Roasted Chicken in Paris: The Best Poulet Roti in the City of Light

Where to Eat the Best Roast Chicken in Paris: The Chicken Lady at Marché Bastille, Le Coq Rico, Maison Ramella, and more!

I’m not sure any country takes chicken more seriously than France, where there are dozens of heritage breeds and where over 30 percent of the chickens consumed have been pasture-raised thanks to the Label Rouge program. This all ensures that whether your poulet rôti has been purchased straight off the spit at the market or at a Michelin-rated restaurant, the quality will likely be good. However, not all poulets rôtis in Paris are created equal.

Each Sunday morning at the Marché Bastille, follow your nose and the hordes of people to The Chicken Lady, a vendor known for her chicken crapaudine, or spatchcocked birds. The chickens have been marinated for several days in a variety of ingredients from citrus and ginger to honey and sesame, and then roasted until the skin is extra crispy. With a sticky, almost candy-like skin, these chickens are dangerously good (I dare you not to eat one in a single sitting). For added decadence get a side of the potatoes that soak up the roasting juices at the bottom of the rotisserie.

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Posted in Food, Markets, Parisian Living | 4 Comments »

December Events in Paris: Jeff Koons Retrospective, Paris Magnum, Pop-up Holiday Shop

December Events in Paris, Ice Skating, Hotel de Ville, Jean-Phillippe Bourque

 

Hotel de Ville, Jean-Philippe Bourque

The holiday season has begun in Paris and while the usual lineup of seasonal pop-up events – from ice skating at Hôtel de Ville to the Christmas markets scattered around the city – are back, this December brings a handful of other wonderful events as well.

The Centre Pompidou recently opened a retrospective of cult American artist Jeff Koons’s work. The exhibition is on view until April 27 and features some of the Koons’s most iconic pieces, from a Michael Jackson sculpture to the ever-recognizable oversized balloon animals.

December Events in Paris, Cinematheque Francaise, Luke McKernan

Cinematheque Francaise, Luke McKernan

December 3 – January 25: The Cinémathèque Française kicked off a month-and-a-half-long series of screenings honoring American filmmaker John Ford. You can attend a screening of Ford’s Hollywood classics up until January 25th at the Musée du Cinéma in the 12ème.

December Events in Paris, Centre Pompidou, Björn Olsson

Centre Pompidou, Björn Olsson

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Posted in Events, Parisian Living | No Comments »

Paris Farm-to-Table Restaurants: Delicious, Local and Fait Maison

Farm to Table, Le Timbre 25

Le Timbre, Palmyre Roigt

Over the past few years there has been a lot of conversation around the startling statistic that around one-third of France’s cafes, brasseries and restaurants are actually using pre-frozen ingredients or entire meals that only need a microwave before reaching your plate. In typical French fashion, this was a drawn out discussion that needed a government vote and while restaurants now can mark on their menus “fait maison,” when items are truly made from scratch, you might not always be able to see the menu before sitting down.

Farm to Table, Verjus 4

Verjus, Diane Yoon

A few months ago, I attended a question and answer session about French food and the fait maison/frozen food question was raised. A few people said, “you just should know where to go.” But without any mandate and as a visitor to Paris, “knowing where to go,” is easier said than done. And for first-time tourists, it’s easy to end up somewhere that is beautifully authentic and appears to be using all fresh ingredients but well, isn’t. Here are five tips to keep you street smart when eating fresh, seasonal and farm-to-table in Paris.

Farm to Table, Verjus 5

Verjus, Diane Yoon

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Posted in Green, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews | 1 Comment »