Monthly Archives

April 2012

Franco File Friday: Trish Deseine

27 April 2012

 When I began taking an interest in the foreign movers and shakers on the French culinary scene a few years ago, I didn’t have to look far to identify the major players. Daniel Rose was surging to fame with Spring, David Lebovitz’s baking anecdotes and bons plans continued to beguile loyal readers and Trish Deseine’s work was everywhere I turned. Deseine, an Irish food writer and cookbook author who has called France home for the last 25 years, has sold over a million copies of her books worldwide, won international awards and hosted her own cooking shows. Raising four children falls into the mix too. Nary a bookstore exists in this city that doesn’t carry her vast collection of food creations – from very personal interpretations of French fare to original, luscious chocolate recipes (speaking of which, you must watch Trish’s tutorial video for a salted caramel milk chocolate mousse – if the visuals don’t suffice in awakening the baker in you, her gorgeous accent will coax you into the kitchen). A few things about this wildly talented Francophile… Describe what you love about France in three words. Beauty. Decadence. Arrogance.  Favorite place for savory and sweet in Paris? For […]…

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Télescope Café

23 April 2012

As if anyone needed another reason to spend time in the neighborhood surrounding the Palais Royal and its gardens, my favorite new coffee shop is mere blocks away. At Télescope, Nicolas Clerc (photographer-barista) and David Flynn (expert barista formerly of Le Bal) peddle the kind of exceptional coffee that makes bean connoisseurs everywhere reconsider Paris as a suitable stomping ground to fuel their obsession. Of course it helps that these two apt roasters have equipped their earthy, rue Villedo café with first-rate machines. They are the first in the city to use the Über Boiler from Irish brand Marco which precisely regulates the quantity of water and temperature necessary to produce a consistently perfect, flavor-locked brew or infusion. My first visit was two days after they opened for business, right at 8:30am. I was so impressed by the machinery and their poised expertise that I immediately felt compelled to imbibe myself with what would turn out to be an inordinate amount of coffee. I began with the sumptuously rich crème and a toasted Poujauran tartine topped with jam for a breakfast so sublimely simple and delicious I mentally scheduled my next visit on the spot. Then just as I looked […]…

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Franco File Friday: Dorie Greenspan

20 April 2012

There are two things I recall vividly about cooking with my mother as a child. Between the clangorous sounds of pots and pans, utensils and slamming cabinets, she’d bellow warnings for me to stand out of the way so as not to get trampled. Instead, (first memory) I’d observe the chopping, pouring, mixing and roasting from a safe distance, making frequent trips to the mini television hanging above the marble counter to raise the volume – noisy dinner preparation muffled the voice of our mentor Julia Child. She was always on, always instructing with wry humor and always acting as a sort of cooking companion to my mother, in and out of the kitchen (second memory). In retrospect, learning of her love for France and her rich ties to the food, culture and people subconsciously contributed to my desire to explore all things French as I grew older. She was a regular guest in our home. That was then.   When I rediscovered my love for baking as an adult in Paris, it was no longer Julia I looked to but someone who has forged a similarly disarming legacy of demystifying French cooking for the American masses while putting her […]…

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Cantine California

17 April 2012

When I set out for lunch on Saturday, I was on a mission – introduce my husband to the food truck phenomenon and sate my ever-present burger hankering. Both objectives were met but not without tremendous stress. I’ll explain. Two weeks ago, Paris by Mouth broke the news that another food truck had just hit Paris streets. When I read the name – Cantine California – I knew it was the one Kristin Frederick, chef-owner of the city’s first itinerant food truck Le Camion Qui Fume, told me about several months ago. Then, the only information she had sussed out about the mystery copycat was that its theme would be Californian and the menu would resemble her own but with a twist- burgers and Mexican food. How curious. I shrugged it off, convinced that Kristin’s bureaucratic suffering would deter any and all overeager food entrepreneurs from considering the truck as a viable option. I stand corrected. The American upheaval of the Paris food scene continues, time to compare. I’ve been touting the virtues of Le Camion’s burger to Cédric, my fellow burger enthusiast, since my first bite back in early December but their hours and locations of operation don’t match his schedule and […]…

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Franco File Friday: Meg Gagnard

13 April 2012

One of the people I’ve had the pleasure of growing closer to over the last year is someone who reminds me a lot of myself. Naturally curious about language and travel, Meg Gagnard‘s exposure to France and the French language began during middle school in Colorado, the same time my fascination for the two was blossoming. She spent part of her high school career studying in France before pursuing her bachelor’s in Global Communication at The American University of Paris, where I completed my Master’s. Somewhere between traveling the world and exploring France’s many gifts, she fell hard for a Frenchman (sound familiar?) and started documenting her adventures – here and beyond – on her whimsical blog De Quelle Planète Es-Tu? (What planet are you from?). Bienvenue, Meg!  Describe what you love about France in three words. Eye Candy and Lights  Favorite place in France to relax and recharge?  Honfleur, in Normandy. As I was thrown into the beauty of Normandy at 16 for a year abroad, it will always have a soft spot in my heart. One of my first weeks in Normandy, my host family took me to Honfleur and I found it to be one of the […]…

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