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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 »

Posted in Food | 3 Comments »

Foodie Paris: Creative Cookery with Rachel Khoo

Courtesy of RachelKhoo.com

Courtesy of RachelKhoo.com

While classical French cuisine will always have its place, today’s Parisian food scene is full of young innovators who aren’t afraid to mix things up. Rachel Khoo, one of Paris’ premiere “food creatives,” is doing just that. A graduate of London’s Saint Martins College of Art and Design and of Le Cordon Bleu’s patisserie school, Rachel combines her technical culinary training with her eye for style and aesthetics.

The result? A delicious portfolio of food-related projects that are as appealing to the eye as they are to the palate.

I caught up with Rachel at Bob’s Juice Bar—a foodie hangout just off the hip Canal St. Martin—where she is a regular. Over smoothies and Thai pumpkin soup, we talked about her approach to culinary entrepreneurship and the evolving food scene in Paris. Continue Reading »

Posted in Arts, Events, Food, Tours and Classes | No Comments »

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