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Paris Tastes

Paris Eats Up Lola’s Cookies

Lola's Cookies in ParisInterview by Linda Donahue

In a city known for its delectable patisseries, where shelves are lines with all manner of gateaux, éclairs, Religieuses, Millefeuille and tartes, Parisians have begun to develop a taste for American baked goods. First, the cupcake invaded the French capital, and now the beloved American cookie is finding its way into the hearts (and stomachs) of Parisians. And two American expats have been leading the charge. (more…)


COlunching in Paris (and Beyond)

COlunching in ParisBy Bryan Pirolli

Paris has no shortage of adorable cafés and restaurants that are just begging for you to sit down in them and indulge in all sorts of culinary discoveries.  Eating a long lunch with a glass or two of wine is a French hallmark as much as the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre – it’s simply a must.  If you’re traveling by yourself, however, nothing is more intimidating than sitting in one of these establishments alone.  Solo eating seems like an art that few, especially those who don’t speak the local language, have mastered.  It’s simply not easy. (more…)


French Cheese Served with an American Smile

Francesca Hanak at cheese market in ParisStory and photos by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris Correspondent

One of the highlights of visiting Le Motte Picquet/Grenelle food market during my Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes is having Francesca Hanak select cheeses for me. She always has such a pretty smile and terrific recommendations for our cheese course for our lunch. Like so many American expats in Paris, Francesca has an interesting background and a fascinating story of how she ended up in the French capital. Be sure to look for Francesca next time you’re at the Le Motte-Picquet/Grenelle market on Wednesdays and Sundays. (more…)


Epices Roellinger: The Spice of Life in Paris

Story and photos by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris Correspondent

Master French chef Olivier Roellinger retired from his three star Michelin restaurant in 2010 because of health problems. Wanting to continue in the food biz, he traded in his Michelin stars to open a superior spice shop in Cancale, Epices Roellinger, offering spice creations from all over the world.

He recently opened a branch on the rue St. Anne, and the handsome shop with its dark wood floors and spices from floor to ceiling  almost looks out of place on this street filled with fast food Asian noodle shops with their super bright lighting. The focal point of the shop is the vitrine with a sailboat  entirely built with cloves, and the rest of the shop has smartly packaged spices in glass jars with bold, easy to read lettering on brightly colored labels.

Besides the hundreds of whole and powdered spices, sea salts, powders and peppercorns from Madagascar to Corsica, there’s a selection of 20 different aromatic vanilla beans. Those irresistible salted butter caramels from Brittany are stocked along with olive oils, condiments, aprons and cookbooks. Stop by, if even just for a heavenly whiff.

51 bis rue St. Anne, 2nd arr.
Metro: Pyramides or Opera
Open 10AM to 7PM, Tuesday to Saturday
Tel. 01 42 60 46 88
www.epices-roellinger.com

 

Richard Nahem is a native New Yorker who now lives in Paris. A successful New York City event planner and producer of cultural events, he has worked with many celebrities including Sarah Jessica Parker, Whitney Houston, and Joan Rivers. After a teenage trip to Paris made him an instant Francophile, he visited the city frequently until he made it his home (in 2005). With 25 years of rave reviews from friends and colleagues, Richard decided to take his own private tours of “his” Paris public. His goal for Eye Prefer Paris Tours is to provide fun, adventurous, and exciting tours of Paris for the independent-spirited traveler.


The Best Burgers in Paris

Story and photos by Lindsey Tramuta, Lost in Cheeseland

The French love to joke that the American diet consists of cheeseburgers, bacon cheeseburgers and diet soda. I find this to be one of the more amusing stereotypes because I’ve actually eaten more burgers in Paris than I ever have on American soil. Despite all their teasing, the French (or at least Parisians) go nuts for a big juicy patty with a side of “American Sauce.” In Paris, if burgers are on the menu, it’s likely to be the most ordered item. (more…)


A Little Bit Italian at La Cuisine Paris

Story and photos by Lindsey Tramuta of Lost in Cheeseland

More than a year has passed since my first attempt in baking French macarons.  I signed my husband and I up for a class at La Cuisine Paris over Valentine’s Day weekend last year as a way for us to do something together that would involve our love for eating. The options were limitless, really, but given the unwavering fascination with macarons (and my growing interest in baking) I thought it would be a good idea to give them a shot. (more…)


Paris by Mouth: Meg Zimbeck Speaks

Story and photos by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris Correspondent

Food and travel writer Meg Zimbeck is the proud mother (her words) of Paris by Mouth, a comprehensive and popular site with over 1,000 pages about food and drink in Paris. Meg and I met a few years ago when we first started blogging and it’s been nice to watch her exciting progress as a respected food writer and avid Paris foodie. (more…)


Paris Restaurant Etiquette: Dining Discreetly

Story by Tory Hoen, HiP Paris Correspondent

Sometimes, I’m still intimidated by Paris. If the city were a person, it would probably be your elegant-but-somewhat-terrifying grandmother. She’ll help you become more refined, but might also scare the heck out of you in the process. (more…)


The Inside Scoop: A Foodie Tour of the Rue du Bac

Story by Amy Reverdy, HiP Paris Correspondent

Do you know Amy Reverdy, of the wonderful blog C’est La Me? If not,  prepare to be wooed. This sweet expat from California charms with her self-deprecating, I’m-too-west-coast-to-take-myself-seriously tales of adapting to life with the Frenchies. In this post she shares her mouth-watering Context food tour in Saint Germain with fellow HIP Paris contributor and fabulous Parisian foodie, Meg Zimbeck. (more…)


La Cuisine Paris Cooking Classes: Making French Apple Tarts

Story by Ariel Kocourek and Genevieve Sandifer, HiP Paris Correspondents. Photos by Julien Hausherr.

Eating and Paris. No matter how much you might try to dissociate the two, a stay in Paris without its fill of delicious treats could be a holiday in any other northern European capital, albeit one with some pretty nice architecture.  Letting yourself be tempted by the window displays in patisseries and the cozy banquettes of corner brasseries is all part of the charm of living in Paris. (more…)


Paris as Seen by Pierre Hermé

Interview edited by Sophie Delon

Pierre Hermé is one of the most talented pâtissier of his generation and his celebrity extends as far as Tokyo. It is however in Paris that he finds what he needs to satisfy his curiosity and his love of fine and good things.

You are one of the most iconic pâtissiers in Paris, but you are from the Alsace region of France. What do you remember about your early career in the capital?

I moved to Paris in 1976 when I was 14 years old. I was an apprentice at Gaston Lenôtre, which was where my professional career began. I was really very young and I worked hard. I lived in Auteuil, near to the Mirabeau bridge, in an attic room on the eighth floor. I used to get up at 4am in the morning, and then I took the bus in the direction of Plaisir to get to Lenôtre. I used to finish at 2pm and then for me it was the start of a second day. This gave me the time to discover Paris, the Paris of the pâtissier of course, but also cinema and the endless number of attractive shops. All that, I discovered on my long walks through the city streets. I really wanted to see everything, discover everything. I remember once being at the barber’s shop … he was called Alexandre, and when I was given the bill I could hardly believe my eyes: 180 Francs at that time! That was my entire salary as an apprentice, and I was used to having my hair cut for only 3 Francs in the Alsace. Gradually I came to understand that things had a different value here.

Tell us about your Paris of today.

I left my attic room in Auteuil and moved into the 20th arrondissement, in the east of the capital. Then I lived in the Marais, close to the Centre Pompidou, in Montmartre and in Asnières before returning to the 17th arrondissement where I live now. I do not have far to go to work because my office and my creative workshop are situated close by, just next to Monceau Park. I really enjoy walking there or in the surrounding area. When I am not in my shops in rue Bonaparte, rue de Vaugirard or rue Cambon, I like to travel around Paris visiting suppliers of my favorite Parisian foodstuffs. I use the opportunity to find new shops that sell products with flavors that are new to me. For meat, for example, my regular supplier is in the 14th arrondissement, at the butcher Hugo Desnoyer, whose motto is, “it is impossible to cheat, on the customer’s plate”. For fish, I go to rue Mouton-Duvernet, to the Comptoir Océanique. I buy my bread at Poilâne, rue du Cherche-Midi, or at Des Gâteaux et du Pain, boulevard Pasteur. There is nothing like it for serving with a good cheese, which I buy at Marie-Anne Cantin, rue du Champ-de-Mars, at Marie Quatrehomme, rue de Sèvres, or at Dubois, rue de Lourmel. But for most of my supplies, I go to the Alma market, on avenue du Président-Wilson, just between the Palais de Tokyo and the Galliera Museum. I have an infallible reference point there: the stalls of Joël Thiebault, the best-known market garden produce of the Place Grâce. In addition to the excellence of its produce, you can also find less common vegetables (parsnips, swedes, helianthus, Jerusalem artichokes, parsley root, etc.). I also love to nip off in between two professional meetings. I take a bit of time off for example to shop at the Finkestein deli, on rue des Rosiers (his caviar d’aubergine is irrestible!), at the chocolate maker Jean-Paul Hévin, on boulevard Saint-Germain, or at the Pâtisserie des Rêves, on rue du Bac. The one thing that I confess I don’t know very well in Paris is the foreign pâtissiers. I usually bring myself up to date when I am traveling abroad.

You spend part of your time traveling abroad. How would you describe the creative energy of Paris?

I adore the creative energy of Paris! Of course, I love to spend a few days in New York or Tokyo, but it is so wonderful to return to the capital. Paris for me is happiness; it is everything I prefer, from the point of view of culture and the art of living. There are so many exhibitions but also all types of shops. I have also noticed that there are more and more initiatives in the field of artistic creation. Patronage and support from private funds, for example, are working better and better, and it really is very encouraging!

And how do you enjoy the creative aspects of Paris?

I’m very interested in fashion, design and art. Recently, I met the Japanese artist Shinro Ohtake. He is a real star in Japan, where he is also known as Murakami. When he comes to Paris, I will take him to see my latest favorite things. I have for example recently visited Item éditions, a lithograph workshop at Montparnasse. It is well-known amongst artists, and David Lynch was working there during my last visit. I have also found some very fine works by the Chinese artist Fang Lijun there. Even if my work takes up a lot of my time, I always try to save a little time for myself to go and see an exhibition, if possible with my wife and daughter. I am also particularly fond of the Bourdelle Museum in the 15th arrondissement. Its small-scale coziness, the beauty of the works presented, both classic and contemporary, and the bucolic aspect of the venue are a great source of inspiration.

What are your next projects in the capital?

My reply will no doubt surprise you, but I would like to spend a night with my wife in a hotel in Paris, the new Royal Monceau Raffles Paris! I like to do this once or twice a year. Traveling, while staying in Paris … we will take advantage of this little interlude in my schedule to do the tour of some of the great classics: the Eiffel Tower, the Orsay Museum, the Quai-Branly Museum, Monceau Park, the Vie Romanique Museum … while waiting for the Galliera Museum to reopen.

Where to find Pierre Hermé:

PIERRE HERMÉ PARIS
www.pierreherme.com

Les boutiques Pâtisserie
72 rue Bonaparte, Paris 6th
Tel +33 (0) 1 43 54 47 77

185 rue de Vaugirard, Paris 15th
Tel +33 (0) 1 47 83 89 96

Les boutiques Macarons et Chocolat

4 rue Cambon, Paris 1st
39 avenue de l’Opéra, Paris 2nd
Publicis Drugstore, 133 avenue des Champs Élysées, Paris 8th
Galeries Lafayette, 40 boulevard Haussmann, Paris 9th
58 avenue Paul Doumer, Paris 16th

Top photograph courtesy of Janine Vasta and The New Luxury blog. Photo of Pierre Hermé courtesy of Pierre Hermé.


Croissant Smackdown: Paris’ Best Croissants

Story and photos by Amy Thomas for the HiP Paris Blog

Amy Thomas, Paris’ sweets goddess, recently organized a croissant tasting for a blessed few. To our great dismay, we were out of town and unable to partake in the buttery festivities. To make up for it, we’re sharing her write-up here so you can live vicariously through the smackdown with us. (more…)


Tarte Heaven in Paris

Paris-Tartes-KlugerStory and photos by Lindsey Tramuta, Lost in Cheeseland

For a country known for relatively small portion sizes, I am forever stuffed after eating out in Paris. I might attribute this to excessive baguette consumption or even overly tempting dessert menus, but overall I think the small portion size is a fallacy. It’s no surprise that Paris is an expensive foodie city and as I’ve discussed many times on my blog, I find it very difficult to eat well cheaply. Of course, when you think about how much it costs a restaurant or shop to have employees (social charges) it’s no wonder the food costs so much. (more…)


Farm-to-Table: Cooking Classes on a French Farm

camont-france-culinaryStory by Maggie Battista, HiP Paris Correspondent

While I love the pace of a vibrant city like Paris, I’m a New England girl at heart. As such, there’s nothing like a big green vista or a vast ocean to make me feel at home. (more…)


Paris Pastry Hopping: A Sweet Tour Around the Faubourg Saint Antoine

ble-sucre-madeleineStory & Photos by Amy Thomas, Haven in Paris Correspondent

Paris may be the best place in the world to visit if you’ve got a sweet tooth. Blocks lined with patisseries, crèpe stands on street corners, butter-filled pastries for breakfast… Amy Thomas knows some great spots for off-the-radar sweet fixes, and she shares her favorite picks with us here. Happy eating! (more…)


Stuff Parisians Like: Macarons Ladurée

laduree-macarons-parisBy Olivier Magny, Ô Chateau

Parisians lack imagination. Baby Shower? Macarons Ladurée. Birthday party ? Macarons Ladurée. Thank you note? Macarons Ladurée. Dinner party? Macarons Ladurée. Weekend in Normandy? Macarons Ladurée. (more…)


Living the Dream at Fauchon

fauchon-in-parisInterview Edited by Sophie Delon

Originally from the Sarthe region of northwest France, Benoît Couvrant, 29, is responsible for the entire range of patisserie activities at Fauchon, a leading luxury brand on the contemporary French gastronomic scene,  delighting customers in central Paris for more than 120 years. (more…)


Angelina: A Tea Salon Even Parisians Love

angelina-restaurant-parisReview by Emily Monaco for Eye Prefer Paris

Walking down rue de Rivoli in mid-afternoon around this time of year, you may be surprised to see a lineup outside one of the many upscale cafés that dot the street: this is most certainly Angelina, and you should most definitely join the queue… don’t worry, it moves quickly, and you’re standing in line to await the hot chocolate experience of your life. (more…)


Time for Mirabelles

Photo courtesy of www.lonelilly.com

Photo courtesy of www.lonelilly.com

Story by Rosa Jackson

When summer decides that it’s over in the south of France, it doesn’t fool around. For a few days last week, it was as if someone with a wicked sense of humor was aiming a giant firehose at the city of Nice. Local artist Sylvie T.’s mother, who delights in chatting with passers-by in front of her Old Town gallery, put it more poetically. “In Nice it doesn’t rain; it’s the sun that’s crying.” (more…)


Sweet Dreams are Made of These

paris-brest-conticiniA few years ago, a friend in Paris showed me a copy of the a cookbook centered around Nutella. Philippe Conticini was the pastry chef who put together this wonderful collection of recipes, so when I heard he opened a new shop on the rue du Bac, my mouth immediately started watering. (more…)


Paris By Appointment: Cocktail Appreciation Course at the Ritz

copie-de-barhemingwayhdStory by Zeva Bellel, Paris By Appointment Only

Anyone who’s every tried to find a proper American martini (no, not the sweet vermouth!!) in Paris knows that while the city lays claim to many indulgent pleasures, the cocktail is not one of them. Luckily, Colin Field, the master mixologist who transformed the historic Bar Hemingway at the Ritz Hotel from dusty relic to vibrant laboratory of libations, is doing his part to change all that. (more…)


Rosa Jackson’s Socca

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This recipe makes enough for 2 cake tins or 1 large socca or pizza pan.

125 g chickpea flour (about 1 cup)
250 ml cold water (about 1 cup)
45 ml olive oil (3 tbsp)
1/2 tsp salt
1 sprig rosemary
Freshly ground pepper

In a mixing bowl, combine the water and chickpea flour. Add 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil, the salt and chopped rosemary leaves. Mix well until smooth. The batter should have the consistency of light cream – add water if necessary. Set aside at room temperature for at least 2 hours or, better yet, let the batter rest overnight, covered, in the refrigerator.

Heat the oven on maximum heat for at least 20 mins, with the cake tins or socca pan inside. Pour 1 tbsp olive oil into each of the 2 tins, or 2 tbsp oil into the large pan, and place in the oven to heat for 5 mins. Pour the socca batter into the tin(s). Place in the upper part of the oven.

After 5 mins, turn on the oven’s broiler (grill). Cook for 3-4 mins, until the socca starts to brown and even burn a little in spots.

To serve, cut into rough pieces and sprinkle with plenty of freshly ground pepper.


Chocolat: An Interview

Interview by Richard Nahem, Eye Prefer Paris

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I think I finally found someone who has a more fun job than I do. Chloé Doutre-Roussel is a chocolate expert and some of her jobs have included being the chocolate buyer for Fortnum and Mason in London, author of a best selling book The Chocolate Connoisseur, the manager of the chocolate department at Ladurée, and giving chocolate tasting classes. Read about her scrumptious life and make sure you have some chocolate next to before you read this. (more…)