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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 | 4 Comments »

New Friends Table: A Secret Supperclub on Paris’ Hidden Dining Scene

Paris is teeming with cool dining experiences, for those prepared to seek them out. New Friends Table, a new addition to the Paris scene, aims to bring together an eclectic yet compatible group of like-minded foodies around a delicious meal in a real Parisian apartment.  Our very own Erica Berman also recently checked it out; during her dinner, she mingled with a former Moulin Rouge dancer, a Cartier wedding planner, an Argentinian working for the BBC and an organic spa owner! -Geneviève

The possibilities for private dining experiences in Paris continue to expand with yet another new addition: New Friends Table. This ‘secret eating and meeting club’ appeared on the scene last spring thanks to a multi-national group of friendly and fun, food-minded locals.  With my penchant for new and unusual eating experiences, I requested a booking as soon as it popped up on my radar.

Cozy ambiance at the New Friends Table

To secure an invitation, you introduce yourself by email with some basic background information such as food preferences, interests and what languages you speak.  While some might consider the necessity of introducing themselves a nuisance, it’s completely in line with the principles of this club.  New Friends Table is about more than just putting something tasty in your belly. It’s about conversation, interaction, getting to know your fellow diners, and hopefully even fostering new friendships. Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Food | 10 Comments »

Dinner in Paris at Hidden Kitchen w/David Lebovitz & Meg Zimbeck

When I heard that the lovely Lily of Context Travel was organizing a dinner at Hidden Kitchen hosted by David Lebovitz and Meg Zimbeck, I jumped at the occasion. I was lucky enough to attend Hidden Kitchen over a year ago and was itching for the chance to return and experience Braden’s cooking again … The problem? It’s always sold out! This particular dinner was to be a combination gourmet meal and chance to get to know David, Meg, and Context travel in an intimate setting (there are only 16 guests at a time at Hidden Kitchen).

HiddenKitchentableEBBErica Berman

The lucky guests were to hear all about David’s decadent new dessert cookbook and the inevitable trials and tribulations of his life  amongst the frenchies. We also got to learn about Meg and her culinary adventures. Meg is a Paris food writer and is currently in the final stages of developing (along with quite an impressive team) a new Paris foodie website, “Paris by Mouth” to be unveiled on June 1…..more on that soon on the HiP Paris Blog! As my friend Claudia from Miami is in town doing decorating wonders for a client, I invited her to join in the fun. It was an evening of fabulous food and conversation galore – one to remember and hopefully repeat. Below Claudia reminisces about this unique Parisian experience.  Enjoy! – Erica

DavidLebovitzMegZMeg Zimbeck

Bonsoir everyone!

Friday night was truly one I will never forget and feel privileged to have been invited to such a soiree magnifique. It felt like we stepped back in time to a salon gathering of some of the great young minds and talents residing and making their marks in Paris.

From the moment we walked into the foyer and were handed champagne, the night was pure magic. As the 16 guests arrived, we mingled and chatted and the air was palpable with what our palettes were about to experience!

If you’re in Paris, I highly suggest you make a reservation at hidden kitchen. Our host and hostess, Braden and Laura are the most charming and talented American couple you could hope to meet on your trip, and the exquisite beauty of everything from the decor of their apartment to every morsel served was sublime! Continue Reading »

Posted in Events, Food, Parisian Living, Restaurant Reviews, Tours and Classes | 10 Comments »