April 25, 2014
Walking through the streets of Paris, past famous monuments and cult patisserie shops, it’s hard not to notice the lines filling up with tourists. The Japanese, in particular, have become huge fans of French sweets in recent years, thanks in part to the now-global reach of brands like Ladurée.
The influence between the two cultures is far from one-sided, however. Asian ingredients and flavors are no longer rare on French menus, as French chefs and patissiers are won over by the restraint and precision that dominate Japanese cuisine – a refreshing alternative to over-the-top traditional fare.
This symbiotic relationship has not escaped the pastry arena in Paris. Among the most popular pastry shops in Paris today, you’ll find more than one Japanese star leaving its mark on French and international palates. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 4 Comments »
April 18, 2014
When I quit my corporate job and moved to Paris to pursue my dream of becoming a pastry chef, I wasn’t sure how far down this path I could manage.
Sure, I loved eating pastries and I loved the idea of making them, but I had also heard enough Hell’s Kitchen stories that had kept me worried.
So what is it really like to work in a pastry kitchen in Paris? As a part of my professional pastry program at école Ferrandi, I completed a 5-month internship at Un Dimanche à Paris, a chic boutique known for its beautiful exhibition kitchen and delicious pastries. Here are some behind-the-scene snapshots to give you an idea of what the life of a French patissier is like. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Parisian Living | 16 Comments »
April 9, 2013
After macarons, cupcakes, and cream puffs, the classic eclair is now enjoying a serious revival in Paris. Here to test the trend, Carin gathered a few knowledgeable sweet freaks to test the goods from Paris’ most notable new eclair shops, l’Eclair de Genie and l’Atelier de l’Eclair. -Geneviève
Éclairs from L’Éclair de Génie
If you ask people about pastries that remind them of Paris, one that first comes to mind is the classic éclair. A pastry made with pâte à choux, a fluffy cream filling and mouth-watering icing on top — mmmm!
Éclairs from L’Éclair de Génie
Many of us forgot about this delicious little pastry when adorable macarons and elaborate American cupcakes took the Parisian dessert spotlight over the past couple of years. Thanks to inventive pastry chefs (and probably a general fatigue with everything bite-size), two new Parisian pastry shops, L’Eclair de Genie and L’Atelier de l’Eclair, have put the éclair back on the dessert tray.
I have to admit: I haven’t always been a huge fan of the éclair myself. It wasn’t until I stepped inside the newly opened L’Éclair de Génie in the Marais, that I realized I might need to revise my position: seeing miniature éclairs all lined up in different colors and variations made my heart skip a beat. After my first bite of a noisette/praliné éclair, I was sold. I’m now an unabashed éclair convert (under the right circumstances, of course). So when the HiP Paris blog asked me to spend an afternoon exploring new variations on this classic pastry, I jumped at the chance! Continue Reading »
Posted in Food | 17 Comments »
November 12, 2012
Popelini is a little slice of heaven that specializes in something oh so precious…. choux à la crème. I had passed their adorably lit storefronts many a time, thinking to myself, gosh, I’ve got to check this place out… I finally popped in to give their cream puffs a taste recently, and I was not disappointed.
Popelini is the name of the chef who invented choux à la crème in 1540. Surprisingly enough, he was Italian. Who would have known that this delightful French specialty was conceived in Italy? This cream puff shop, now in two locations in Paris, offers a new spin on the classic pâtisserie, with a variety of flavors made to satisfy all taste buds: from rose & raspberry to lemon, chocolate, and the divine caramel salted butter. Continue Reading »
Posted in Food | 16 Comments »
February 16, 2012
Here at HiP, we’re always up for a good expat adventure tale, particularly one in which desserts play a starring role. In her new book, Paris, My Sweet, food writer (and regular HiP Paris contributor!) Amy Thomas regales us with stories from her two-year stint in Paris, where she wrote advertising copy for Louis Vuitton by day and scoured the city for sweets in her spare time.
All in all, it sounds like a pretty ideal existence, but like all expats in Paris, Amy faced a typical series of ups and downs. It’s no surprise that she fell hard for the city upon arrival; and it’s also no surprise that, once the initial Parisian shine wore off, Amy ultimately came to see the city’s not-quite-so-sweet side. It’s at this point that the story really starts to ring true for those of us who have been expats in Paris: you’re simultaneously charmed and alienated, comforted and challenged, energized and exhausted.
As Amy weathered the highs and lows of expat life, she also covered serious ground in the dessert department, hitting all of Paris’ confectionary hotspots and sampling the city’s most decadent delights. This book is not only an account of her time in Paris, but also a goldmine of bonnes addresses (in both Paris and New York) for dessert lovers. This woman knows her way around a pâtisserie, and serious sugar-high seekers would do well to heed Amy’s recommendations.
Paris, My Sweet is a guidebook of sorts, but it’s also just a fun and decadent read—I devoured it in less than 48 hours, pausing only to scrounge up some chocolate now and again. In addition to making me hungry, Amy’s writing transported me back to Paris, a trip I am ever-eager to make, if only vicariously.
Below, I caught up with the author to talk Paris, pastries, and ultimately picking her favorite city. Continue Reading »
Posted in Events, Food, Parisian Living, Travel | 14 Comments »
March 7, 2011
Adam Wayda is an American gourmand with “a bit” of a sweet tooth. Spending half of each year in Paris, he chronicles Parisian pastry and the great chefs behind it on his site, which poses the very real risk of making your computer’s monitor ooze with crème pâtissiere.
A trip to Paris without visiting a pastry shop – or 10 of them – is woefully incomplete. It’s not just the pastries that make the experience, it’s the shops themselves. From the romantic 19th century charms of Ladurée to the 23rd century design sensibilities of La Pâtisserie des Rêves , there’s never been a more varied and deliciously sucré landscape in the history of Paris. Although, if time is tight or if you’re attempting to not completely overindulge, arguably the shop not to skip is Hugo & Victor.
H&V for me, however, was the one major pâtisserie I almost missed on my last great pastry adventure. Months earlier, I’d landed at CDG with a detailed list of 20+ shops to which I’d make my rounds, bingeing daily on 3…4…5 (or more) of their goodies. As my extended vacation wound down and my pant size burgeoned 3 inches, a friend emailed me saying, “Have you checked out Hugo & Victor yet?”
Thinking I knew every pâtisserie of any significance, I barely took the time to Google them. The shocker was the photos that turned up, plus an address no more than 4 blocks from my apartment. It seems they had opened just shortly before my arrival in Paris. While I could be excused for nearly missing them, a visit was long overdue.
Walking through the sliding glass door of H&V, I felt like I’d stepped into a jewelry boutique. After all, half the pastries were individually top-lit and locked behind glass. I quickly struck up a conversation with the salesgirl and got the rundown on what makes H&V so special: Continue Reading »
Posted in Food, Shopping | 4 Comments »